Tag Archives: Nicky Morgan

Cabinet ministers put Boris Johnson on a warning. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?

Boris Johnson after being defeated in Parliament last week: One can imagine that he looked much the same when the warnings started trickling in.

After the resignations, the warnings: It seems both Nicky Morgan and Robert Buckland have sent warnings to Boris Johnson over his handling of Brexit.

It seems three cabinet ministers and nine junior ministers have also contacted quitter Amber Rudd, presumably for advice about what to do. Why? She has led by example and if they have serious concerns, they know what to do.

And other ministers have contacted our wannabe dictator to tell him the anti-“no deal” Brexit Bill can’t be ignored once it is passed.

Ms Morgan – nicknamed “Thicky Nicky” by This Site, has promised to “stay in the room” rather than quitting and weakening BoJob’s position more than it already has been by the losses of his brother Jo Johnson and Amber Rudd.

But she said Mr Johnson must be more “transparent” about his progress in negotiations with the EU – most probably because previous claims about discussions with the bloc’s representatives have been debunked by anybody able to pick up a phone and call Brussels.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has tweeted that speculation about him resigning was “wide of the mark”.

But he added that he had spoken with Boris Johnson “regarding the importance of the Rule of Law, which I as Lord Chancellor have taken an oath to uphold”.

The implication is clear: If BoJob breaks – or even bends – the law to get out of following the requirements of the anti-“no deal” Bill, then Mr Buckland will be out.

His position is supported (although he may not thank them for it) by rebel Tory MPs who were expelled from the party whip last week.

Rory Stewart said the idea that Mr Johnson could simultaneously apply for an extension to the Article 50 Brexit deadline while sending a letter urging the EU to reject the application was unlikely to come to fruition, echoing the words of former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption, who said it would not be legal.

Fellow rebel David Gauke said a second letter would be pointless as the EU would know it was not the will of the UK’s Parliament.

But Tory Brexiter Nigel Evans has gone on-record saying the government has around 20 options to bypass the Bill.

Speaking to The Guardian, he referred to just two: the government tabling a vote of no confidence in itself, or the government passing a one-line bill setting the date for an early election.

But both are problematic: The government could try to pass a vote of no confidence in itself, but that would open up a 14-day period in which MPs could agree to support an alternative PM and government. And Mr Johnson could try to pass a law requiring an election on October 15, but that would require a majority he does not have, and it could be amended in ways unacceptable to Downing Street.

So Boris Johnson looks increasingly boxed-in.

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Even ‘Thicky’ Nicky Morgan can school Theresa May about her fashion faux pas

[Image: Aardman Animation/Twitter].

She was a duff Education Secretary but even ‘Thicky’ Nicky Morgan knows better than to flaunt her own wealth in the faces of the poor.

That is a lesson Theresa May has yet to learn and – as prime minister – it means she is setting a terrible example.

And the only real leadership, as we know, is by example.

Downing Street made it worse with a suggestion that Ms Morgan had been brought to a previous meeting by Alistair Burt, prompting her texted barb, “No man brings me to Downing Street. Your team invites me.”

This Writer would also like to raise the comments made by a Twitter user whose name must (for now, at least) remain mislaid by me (sorry). The comment is pertinent to the sexism implied by Downing Street’s attitude and the main lesson of this story.

It is this (bolding mine): “Before it’s said, people aren’t criticising May’s clothes because of her gender – Any politician who spends £995 on trousers is out of touch.”

An angry exchange of texts between former minister Nicky Morgan and one of Theresa May’s top aides has been leaked, threatening to reignite a row over the prime minister’s £995 leather trousers.

On Friday, the Guardian reported that Morgan, the former education secretary and leading advocate for a less harsh Brexit, had been cut from a list of moderate Conservative MPs due to meet May at Downing Street.

Morgan had been included in a group comprising Alistair Burt, Nicholas Soames, Nick Herbert and Anna Soubry, who were to see the prime minister to discuss the strategy for handling the upcoming article 50 negotiations.

However, Morgan had her invitation rescinded after she raised doubts about May’s decision to be photographed in the leather trousers, fellow backbenchers said.

“I don’t have leather trousers. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on anything apart from my wedding dress,” Morgan had said.

Source: Theresa May trousers row: angry text exchange between Tories revealed | Politics | The Guardian

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Humiliated Tories scrap controversial (racist?) nationality census for 2-5 year-olds

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched a motion this week to stop pupil nationality data collection [Image: BBC].

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launched a motion this week to stop pupil nationality data collection [Image: BBC].

This is a sneaky move by Theresa May and her gang.

It’s another humiliating climbdown and U-turn for a prime minister who has spent her entire prime ministerial career of such things, but they’re trying to use it to de-fang moves by the Labour Party to stand up for children.

It is quite clear that the Party of Division (that’s the Conservative Party, for those who need to be told) wanted to create another fake enemy for “hardworking British people” (whoever they are) to hate.

Theresa May’s cronies knew there was resentment against “immigrants” who are said to be taking away our housing, health and school places.

This is because Conservatives have been rationing these services (under the banner of fake “austerity” – fake because it affects only the poor and not the rich).

Instead of addressing the real cause of the problem – their own rationing process – Mrs May’s Tories wanted to capitalise on it by making the perceived cause – “immigrants” – more visible and therefore more vulnerable.

Jeremy Corbyn has put forward a motion to block this – and it has cross-party support in Parliament. So now Theresa May and her Tories look like xenophobes and racists.

Their solution: Cancel the monitoring of children aged two-to-five but continue with the rest.

They’ll seem to be acting benevolently while still collecting enough information to continue pursuing their “divide and rule” policy.

Nursery schools will no longer be forced to collect details on the nationality and birth place of children as young as two… following a Government U-turn over the controversial school census.

Since September this year, schools, colleges and nurseries have been required to ask parents to provide details of where their children were born, as well as nationality and English language proficiency – a move MPs say has “all the hallmarks of racism”.

The new legislation, which comes as part of an expansion on the existing school census, have been met with fierce backlash from parents, campaigners and MPs, who have criticised the census as “dangerous and divisive” and raised concerns over how the information is being used.

After meeting with campaign group Schools Against Border for Children (ABC), Department for Education officials said the collection of data on nationality and country of birth would not be extended towards children aged two to five, despite previous Government guidance stating the contrary.

The requirement still stands for children of primary and secondary school age, in spite of cross-party opposition and a motion lodged by Jeremy Corbyn to block the new legislation.

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner has condemned the census as it stands, criticising the Government for forcing schools to police the immigration status of children.

Department for Education officials said Education Secretary Justine Greening had disagreed with the proposals set out by her predecessor Nicky Morgan to expand data collection.

Source: Government scraps plans for controversial nationality census for 2-5 year-olds in humiliating U-turn | The Independent

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The old school tie? Nicky Morgan aide forced to resign after facing inquiry over IT contract


Here’s evidence of more corruption among members of the Conservative Government and the people they appoint.

While Greg Wallace (not the Masterchef host who has three “g’s” in his name) has reluctantly vacated his post on the maths working group run by the Department for Education and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths, former Tory MP Esther McVey remains chair of the British Transport Police.

Transport secretary Patrick McLaughlin gave her the role after the voters of the Wirral made it clear they did not want her to draw a paycheque from public funds by ejecting her from her seat in the 2015 general election. She has no qualification for the role.

Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, faced huge embarrassment last night as one of her advisors was forced to quit following revelations to the Department for Education that he was facing a disciplinary hearing over IT contracts awarded to his partner.

Greg Wallace – who was once described by Michael Gove, the former education secretary, as one of his “magnificent seven” academy superheads – agreed to stand down from a government advisory board when approached by education officials after this news-paper alerted them to his track record on Friday.

The former head was dismissed as leader of five schools in Hackney, east London, last year following an investigation into financial irregularities involving contracts given by his academy group to his partner. Wallace is due to appear soon before a disciplinary hearing ordered by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

Despite his track record, both the Harris Federation of academies, founded by the Conservative party donor Lord Harris, and the government had subsequently appointed Wallace as an adviser. More than 24 hours after the Department for Education was approached with the revelations, a spokesman confirmed that he had vacated his post in response.

Source: Nicky Morgan aide forced to resign after facing inquiry over IT contract | Politics | The Guardian

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Cameron’s Conservatives welcome increased poverty in the UK

130617childpoverty

If David Cameron wants to tell us the current definition of child poverty is a bad one, he’s probably right. The problem is, his preferred changes to that definition will probably be worse.

Poverty is currently defined according to whether a household’s income is less than 60 per cent of the national average. So during a recession, when most incomes (apart from those of the very rich) drop, poverty actually appears to decrease.

Now, despite there having been no appreciable rise in incomes across the board, the Institute for Fiscal Studies is forecasting a rise in child poverty from 2.3 million to 2.5 million – that’s 200,000 more children in poverty, as it is currently measured.

For David Cameron, this is a disaster because it shows that – even with the help of the silly sliding-scale definition of poverty, his government is worsening the situation for children across the UK. What an evil man. What an evil government.

His solution, it seems, is to revive plans to change the way child poverty is defined, to ensure that all those children who have fallen on hard times since he came into office (in 2010, not this year – we, at least, can be honest about the effect he is having) may be dismissed from the poverty figures even if they don’t have food to eat or clothes to wear.

The thought of taking action to stop children falling into poverty probably hasn’t even occurred to David Cameron.

It seems he discussed the matter on Tuesday morning with Nicky Morgan, our dunce of an education secretary, Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office minister they keep in a back room in case he frightens children, and Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary who models his behaviour on the Nazis – any of his solutions are likely to be final.

(In fact, the £12 billion cuts being planned for the Gentleman Ranker’s welfare budget are likely to be fatal to a huge number of people in any case.)

The Guardian‘s report on this points out that “a little-noticed line in the Conservative party’s general election manifesto said the government would “work to eliminate child poverty and introduce better measures to drive real change in children’s lives, by recognising the root causes of poverty: entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency”.

So the manifesto plan is: Blame the parents.

What are they going to do, then – sanction them (take money away)?

Already popular organisations are starting to line up against the government. Alison Garnham of the Child Poverty Action Group took an early shot at Cameron’s claim to be running a ‘One Nation’ government (a slogan he stole back from Labour after the general election).

“You can’t have one nation if children’s lives, opportunities and life chances at every turn are shaped and limited by poverty,” she said. “The government’s child poverty approach is failing but the prime minister’s speech [on Monday] simply missed the point and failed to set out what his government will do to prevent his legacy being the largest rise in child poverty in a generation.

“It is no good pulling bodies out of the river, without going upstream to see who is throwing them in – especially, if turns out the culprit is government policy. The right choices that would reduce poverty include protecting children’s benefits with the same triple-lock protection pensions enjoy, fixing the deep cuts to tax credit help for the low-paid, tackling cripplingly high rents, high childcare costs and expanding free school meals.”

These things will not happen under a Conservative government. There’s no profit in it for them because children – unlike pensioners, for example – don’t vote.

So, in simple terms, this is the situation:

Child poverty is rising.

The Conservative Party intends to pretend that it isn’t happening by fudging a new definition of poverty.

The Conservative Party will do nothing to tackle the real causes.

What conclusion can we reach?

The Conservative Government welcomes increased poverty in the UK.

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Will Loughborough expel Nicky Morgan

Nicky 'No Brains' Morgan: Under-achieving Education Secretary.

Nicky ‘No Brains’ Morgan: Under-achieving Education Secretary.

It is typical of our execrable Coalition Government that its education secretary could not hold the attention of a school class.

Vox Political praised Nicky Morgan a few days ago, for her determination not to allow a non-political organisation to set the school curriculum but to ensure that the government takes the blame for it. This is only right – there is a lot of blame to go around.

Since then, this blog has discovered that she actually has done something of note – and it was, typically, something wrong. In a bid to improve the take-up of the so-called STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) – because the number of international students in these subjects is plummeting, perhaps? – Nicky Morgan said that studying arts and humanities would hold students back for the rest of their lives.

Here’s poet Jess Green on that subject:

“So she did maths, and she was good at it and she became an accountant. I saw her on a train last Tuesday; she said she earned 60 grand a year and wakes up most days fighting the urge to top herself.” Nice one, Nicky Morgan, you “stuck-up, out-of-touch politician”.

How would residents vote if they knew Nicky Morgan’s voting record? Let’s find out, starting with education.

Well, gosh. Not only does Nicky support the twin drains on the education budget that are privately-run ‘Free Schools’ and privately-owned ‘Academy Schools’, she very strongly supports them; she voted very strongly for the increase in undergraduate tuition fees to £9,000 per year; and she voted to end financial support for 16-19 year olds in training and further education. This is the Secretary of State for Education in the UK, and she only wants education to be available to those who can pay for it.

She is very strongly against increasing income tax paid by the extremely rich; strongly against a bankers’ bonus tax; strongly supports cutting Corporation Tax (even though this does not make companies more likely to invest in the UK or its workforce); and supported the increase in VAT very strongly. Clearly she believes in taxing the poor to pay for the rich.

Like so many of her fellow Tory sheep, she is very strongly in favour of the current government’s creeping privatisation of the NHS.

She strongly supports the Bedroom Tax.
She very strongly supported cuts to social security benefits including Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, the Personal Independence Payment and so on.
She very strongly supported the benefit uprating cap, ensuring that benefits do not rise in line with prices.
She voted very strongly for making local councils responsible for helping people afford council tax – and for reducing the amount available for such support.
This is someone who, having denied education to anyone whose family is not rich already, is happy to deny them state benefits while they try to find someone willing to employ them. Perhaps she would like to see such people begging in the street so she can step over them like former Tory chief whip Sir George Young.

She is a strong supporter of military operations overseas.
She voted strongly for replacing Trident with more nuclear weapons.

She voted both for and against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
She supports same-sex marriage but does not support equal rights for gay people.
Nicky Morgan is a confused woman.

She is against localism and has voted to reduce both the powers of local councils and their funding.

She very strongly supported the waste of money that is Police and Crime Commissioners.
She strongly supported the restriction of Legal Aid that has made justice available only to the rich.
She very strongly supports secret courts.

She strongly supported the invasion of privacy that allows the security services to monitor and keep information about your communications.

She voted very strongly for the botched privatisation of the Royal Mail – and for the sale of England’s state-owned forests.

She very strongly supports unrestricted rises in rail fares, and is against regulation of gambling.

She opposes green energy generation.
She supported the badger cull.

If you live in Loughborough, you need to know this information.

Vox Political readers are invited to distribute it to friends and relatives who live there.

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Tories admit they have no MPs capable of simple mathematics

What hope would the UK have if THIS man continues as Chancellor of the Exchequer after the general election?

What hope would the UK have if THIS man continues as Chancellor of the Exchequer after the general election?

If ever any headline should spur people into voting against the Conservative Party, it is this one:

George Osborne to stay UK chancellor if Tories win election

Apparently he has been told the Treasury will have a pivotal role in negotiations over Britain’s EU membership, so it must be all about money.

Unfortunately, Osborne can’t answer simple maths questions like “What do you get if you multiple seven by eight?”

Comedy Prime Minister David Cameron failed to answer “What do you get if you multiply eight by nine?” during a speech on education yesterday, while education secretary Nicky Morgan ducked the seven-times-eight question in a TV interview.

This bunch of Tories must be the stupidest yet voted into Parliament!

None of them can perform simple arithmetic.

So voting for them cannot possibly add up to anything sensible.

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Poll for today: Should schools be forced to separate pupils into ability groups?

According to The Guardian, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan wants to make it compulsory for schools to place their pupils into ‘sets’ dictated by their academic ability.

The move may be controversial as it may be argued that it helps those with higher ability and leaves the rest behind.

However, as someone who was educated in a school that ran a ‘setting’ system, Yr Obdt Srvt can see advantages as well. It would minimise disruption caused by pupils of lesser ability who may be confused by more difficult lessons – and disruption by pupils of greater ability who may be bored by simpler lessons. It would also be helpful to separate pupils with high academic ability from this with vocational ability, making it possible to teach each pupil according to their strengths.

Other arguments – for both sides – are also available. But what do you think? Here’s the poll:

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Cameron’s candidate list is like his cabinet: full of empty suits

David Cameron and Tory election candidate Chris Davies: A suit full of hot air next to a suit full of nothing at all.

David Cameron and Tory election candidate Chris Davies: A suit full of hot air next to a suit full of nothing at all.

Here’s one to file under “missed opportunities”: David Cameron passed within seven miles of Vox Political central and we didn’t know about it.

He made a surprise visit to the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, Radnorshire, to talk about some agricultural scheme – but we don’t need to discuss that. Nor do we need to discuss the fact that the bronze bull statue in nearby Builth Wells town centre was found to have had its tail ripped off shortly after the visit; it would be wrong to suggest that the comedy Prime Minister was responsible but if he starts sporting a uniquely-shaped swagger stick, well, you read it here first.

We don’t even need to discuss the fact that Cameron arrived by helicopter, which is an exorbitantly expensive form of travel. Yr Obdt Srvt was watching a documentary about a Doctor Who serial made in 1969 and featuring a helicopter – just starting the rotors cost £70, which was a lot more money then than it is now! Next time you hear that there isn’t enough money around, bear in mind that this government always has the cash to hire out a pricey chopper!

No, Dear Reader – what was really shocking was the fact that Cameron allowed himself to be photographed with Chris Davies, the Tory Potential Parliamentary Candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire – a man who this blog has outed as having no ideas of his own, who parrots the party line from Conservative Central Headquarters and who cannot respond to a reasoned argument against the drivel that he reels off. Not only that but the new Secretary of State for Wales was also at the Showground – his name is Stephen Crabb and he is on record as saying that the role is “emptied and somewhat meaningless”.

Bearing this in mind, those who didn’t attend the event, but would like to recreate the spectacle of David Cameron flanked by Messrs Davies and Crabb, can simply fill a few children’s party balloons with hot air, arrange them in a roughly human shape, and put a suit on them – that’s Cameron – then add two more, empty, suits on either side.

Discussion of empty suits brings us inexorably to the dramatic cabinet reshuffle Cameron carried out last week, in which he replaced his team of tired but recognisable old fools with a gaggle of new fools nobody’s ever heard of. The whole situation is reminiscent of a routine that Ben Elton did back in 1990, when he was still a Leftie comedian.

Still topical: Ben Elton's 'cabinet reshuffle' routine from 1990.

Still topical: Ben Elton’s ‘cabinet reshuffle’ routine from 1990.

The parallel with today is so close that the routine may be paraphrased to fit the moment:

These days the cabinet minister is a seriously endangered species, constantly culled by the boss… How stands the team today? All the personalities have been de-teamed, and Mr Cameron was rather left with a rack full of empty suits. So he reshuffled Philip Hammond, a suit full of bugger-all from Defence across to the Foreign Office. Then he reshuffled Nicky Morgan, a skirt-suit full of bugger-all who had been at the Treasury for 13 whole weeks. She was reshuffled to Education and is also now Minister for Women and Equalities. A suit full of bugger-all called Wright, who nobody had heard of that morning, became Attorney General. This is the British cabinet we are dealing with; not the local tea club.

Now Nicky Morgan, come on, be honest, six months ago, who’d heard of her? Hardly anyone. Since then she’s been Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Education Secretary; nobody can say the girl hasn’t done well because she has. She reminds me of Jedward – everyone’s saying, ‘She may be rubbish but at least she’s trying!’

Who the hell is Jeremy Wright? He’s the Attorney General, that’s who. When he leaves home for work in the morning, even his wife doesn’t recognise him! ‘Bye bye darling – who the hell are you?’ … I confidently expect to see Keith Lemon elevated to cabinet status, with Gary Lineker becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer due to his amazing powers of prediction (“The Germans really fancy their chances, but I don’t see that”). He’ll be joined at the Treasury by financial wizard Jimmy Carr. Katie Hopkins takes over as Iain Duncan Smith so no change there.

140724cabinet3

This isn’t a party political thing. There have been lots of towering figures in cabinet before. Tebbit! Heseltine! … Lawson! You may not have liked them but at least you’d heard of them! These days, what have you got? The only reason a ‘dramatic’ reshuffle is ‘dramatic’ is because it takes so long to prise all their faces off the team leader’s backside, that’s why! They’re all stuck down there like limpets; they’re clinging on to the mother ship! If they all breathed in at once, they’d turn him inside-out.

That’s why they all speak so strangely – their tongues are all bruised and knotted from the team leader trying to untangle the top Tory tagliatelli flapping about behind.

Cabinet government is one of the safeguards of our precious democracy. It involves discussion, consensus, and it has produced great cabinets on both sides of the House. Churchill – the largest, perhaps the greatest political figure in the last century – a Tory, he was a constant thorn in the side of his boss, Baldwin. Wilson included Tony Benn, even though they were never friends, let’s face it. Heath employed Mrs Thatcher. They all understood that cabinet is a microcosm of democracy – but these days, it’s different. Nobody must dissent in cabinet. And nobodies are exactly what we’ve got.

There was more talent and personality in JLS – and at least they knew when to quit.

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