Tag Archives: North

Local lockdown to hit northeast England – but why was it first announced on TV?

Speaking too soon: Robert Jenrick announces restrictions on northeast England, on the Peston TV show.

BBC news has announced – around midday today, September 17 – that the northeast of England will be subjected to stronger Covid-19-related restrictions because of increased infections there. It’s not quite a local lockdown but close.

I knew this last night because Robert Jenrick announced it on television, on Robert Peston’s ITV political chat show.

The only reason I didn’t publish a story straight away was fatigue (I had been awake for around 19 hours on the trot by then) – and also I wanted to know what Commons Spaker Lindsay Hoyle would have to say about this breach of regulations:

Some are saying this is another example of Dominic Cummings-style “government by media”, although I can’t see any advantage for the Tories in doing this.

Who benefits from Jenrick’s announcement, which came just 13 hours (and a bit) before the statement in Parliament?

The people of the northeast? No – the difference in timing still isn’t enough for them to properly prepare, if they need to.

The government? No – this is an admission that a government policy has failed.

Robert Jenrick? No – he was announcing something that nobody wanted and is more likely to be resented for it. In any case, he’s widely considered to be as bent as a nine-bob note (see his record of corruption on planning matters).

Robert Peston benefits, because the announcement was on his show.

But what’s the tactical advantage for the Tories? Are they trying to set up some kind of divide-and-rule rivalry between Peston and Piers Morgan, whose breakfast show can’t get government spokespeople because they’re afraid he’ll rip them to shreds?

That seems pointless because the Tories lose more than they gain, if they get another reprimand from Speaker Hoyle.

Perhaps Jenrick was speaking on his own initiative – a loose cannon, as it were.

If so, let’s hope he shot himself in the foot.

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‘Red Wall’ communities to be hit harder by coronavirus recession than the South

Pittance: count your coppers if you live in the North of England or the Midlands – the Tories will starve you of cash and favour the South East as they try to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

Everybody in the former ‘Red Wall’ constituencies must be feeling properly humiliated now.

What a bunch of chumps. They voted Tory because they wanted to “Get Brexit Done” and now they find that the only things being “done” are they themselves.

Perhaps they’ll console themselves by thinking that even a Labour government would not have been able to stop Covid-19 ravaging the UK – but that’s only because the Tories, who they helped vote back into government, had failed to make the proper preparations in good time.

Whichever way you look at it, it seems everyone in those constituencies who switched their vote to Tory is about to get their just desserts. Let’s hope they learn their lesson, which is: never ever vote Conservative.

My sympathy goes out to everybody in the North who didn’t vote for the Tories but will suffer just as much as those who did.

Communities in the North will be hit more than twice as hard by the economic impacts of coronavirus than parts of the South, a new report has found.

The recession caused by the crisis, which Chancellor Rishi Sunak this week acknowledged would be “the likes of which we have never seen” will see an average fall of 12 per cent in permanent losses in economic output over the next five years across the so-called Red Wall, the Centre for Progressive Policy found.

It means areas in the North and the Midlands would be hit harder than communities in the South East, which would see average losses of five per cent.

The Red Wall crumbled at the 2019 general election in the face of the Conservatives’ advance, and the party has pledged to “level up” prosperity across the UK.

We can see very clearly that the Tory pledge to “level up” prosperity across the UK was never serious.

Source: ‘Red Wall’ communities to be hit harder by coronavirus recession than the South, report finds | Yorkshire Post

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More than half Tory candidates in NE England live hundreds of miles from their constituencies

Aren’t candidates in general elections supposed to live in – or at least near the constituencies they want to represent?

According to Pride’s Purge, many of the Conservative candidates in North East England live hundreds of miles away, in the south.

They are strangers who have no idea of the issues facing people in the North East – placeholders put there to do Boris Johnson’s bidding instead. So why would anybody vote for them?

The article states:

“The Tories … are probably hoping no-one has noticed that more than half of their candidates – 13 to be exact – live hundreds of miles away from the constituencies they’re hoping to win and represent:

Newcastle Central
– Tory candidate Emily Victoria Payne lives 275 miles away in Westminster
Newcastle East
– Tory candidate Robin Gwynn lives 294 miles away in Surrey
Newcastle North
– Tory candidate Mark Guy Lehain lives 230 miles away in Bedford
North Tyneside
– Tory candidate Dean Spencer Carroll lives 232 miles away in Shrewsbury
South Shields
– Tory candidate Oni Boghene Oviri lives 310 miles away in Croydon
Blaydon
– Tory candidate Adrian Norman Spencer Pepper lives 278 miles away in Westminster
Gateshead
– Tory candidate Jane Emma Macbean lives 266 miles away in Chesham
Easington
– Tory candidate Clare Ambrosino lives 278 miles away in Hammersmith
North Durham
– Tory candidate Ed Parson lives 285 miles away in Sevenoaks
North West Durham
– Tory candidate Richard John Holden lives 100 miles away in Clitheroe
Houghton and Sunderland South
– Tory candidate Christopher John Charles Howarth lives 274 miles away in Kensington
Sunderland Central
– Tory candidate Tom D’Silva lives 298 miles away in Kingston
Washington and Sunderland West
– Tory candidate Valerie Margaret Allen lives 162 miles away in Warrington

“Probably not all that surprising that a posh, southern-England based party like the Tories finds it impossible to persuade real north-easterners to represent them.”

And if real north-easterners don’t want to represent the Tories, then real north-easterners don’t want to vote for them. Right?

Source: More than half Tory candidates in North East live 100s miles away from constituencies | Pride’s Purge

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‘No flooding emergency in the North,’ says Johnson in epic campaigning blunder

“Much of Yorkshire and Derbyshire was deluged. And who turns up? Boris with a mop.” If he’d taken the “Free eye test” advertised next to him, he might have been able to recognise a national emergency. But it seems doubtful.

Boris Johnson may have thrown away the Conservative Party’s chances in the North of England after he said major flooding that has already killed one woman was “not a national emergency”.

Way to win over those Labour heartlands, BoJob!

Consider:

Boris Johnson has said major flooding across swathes of northern England is not a “national emergency”, during a visit to an affected area.

The prime minister made the comments in Matlock, Derbyshire, near where a woman died after being swept away after a river breached its banks.

Mr Johnson said the government had set aside billions for flood defences and preparations due to an increase in serious flooding “perhaps because of building, almost certainly because of climate change”.

“You’ve got to face the reality that places like this are vulnerable to flooding – we’re going to see more of it,” the prime minister said.

However, he said the recent bout of floods “is not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency”.

At the time of his words, the Environment Agency had made no less than seven “danger to life” severe flood warnings along the River Don in Yorkshire.

According to The Independent, the North and the Midlands have all seen torrential rain and flooding over the past few days, with some areas seeing a month’s rainfall in just 24 hours.

“Around 35 home were evacuated in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, after a collapsed quarry triggered a mudslide. People were seen leaving their homes in boats in one Doncaster street.

“South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had rescued more than 100 stranded people on Thursday night.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also been visiting the North.

He seems to have taken the matter more seriously: “This is what a climate and environment emergency looks like.

“Every year we don’t act means higher flood waters, more homes ruined and more lives at risk.

“Flooding isn’t a natural disaster – it’s human-made. Not only are the government’s plans to tackle the climate emergency weak, they’ve failed to prepare communities by investing in flood prevention and Tory cuts have stretched emergency services to breaking point.”

What a contrast.

Boris Johnson – still the prime minister, remember – says “places like this are vulnerable to flooding – we’re going to see more of it,” while Jeremy Corbyn points out that it was a Tory government that cut funding for flood prevention – as he said during a previous flooding crisis.

It is a subject on which he has much to say:

Here’s another question, posed by a commenter to This Site. They write: “I was wondering what happened to the army over the last couple of days. There’s supposedly thousands of troops on standby to prevent riots and looting if and when Brexit ever happens, but nowhere to be seen when sandbags needed to be distributed, river banks needed shoring up, people needed rescuing or evacuating, whilst much of Yorkshire and Derbyshire was deluged. And who turns up? Boris with a mop.”

Last word goes to Ash Sarkar on Twitter (apologies for the free use of language):

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Joan Ryan’s ugly outburst after losing constituency ‘no confidence’ vote over faked anti-Semitism claim

Members of Joan Ryan’s own Enfield North constituency party have supported a vote of ‘no confidence’ in her.

There could have been no better illustration of the reason the Chair of Labour Friends of Israel lost the confidence of her constituency party members than her vitriolic outburst in response to it.

The decision casts further doubt on the validity of accusations of anti-Semitism against Labour Party members.

Joan Ryan had faked an accusation of anti-Semitism against a Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporter called Jean Fitzpatrick. Speaking to an undercover reporter who she thought was a pro-Israel activist, she claimed the PSC activist had said Labour Friends of Israel was a route to getting a job at a bank in the City.

“You heard her say … ‘join you lot and you get into Oxford’ or ‘you get into working in the bank,’” Ms Ryan said in the resulting documentary, The Lobby. The film shows that Jean Fitzpatrick had said no such thing, but Ms Ryan reported the campaigner to the party’s disciplinary system.

Ms Fitzpatrick, 71, provided a statement to local members on what really happened, attached as an appendix to the motion. She stated that “the strain of the whole case took its toll on me psychologically and emotionally… It would be true to say that it is only in the last year I have begun to recover my health and equilibrium”.

As a Labour member who is going through a much more lengthy experience with Labour’s disciplinary procedure, I can personally confirm its effect on victims’ mental and emotional balance. And I use the word “victims” deliberately.

It has also been revealed that Labour Friends of Israel works “really closely” and “behind the scenes” with the Israeli embassy – including raising accusations of anti-Semitism against other members of the Labour Party.

https://twitter.com/SocialistSki/status/1037780144432316417

Ms Ryan has been one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most bitter opponents since he was elected leader of the Labour Party, and the motion cites this long-running campaign as its basis, stating that she has written and contributed to many articles in a “press unjustly hostile to Jeremy Corbyn. By doing so our MP has smeared his character.” A constant theme has been baseless allegations of anti-Semitism against the party under Mr Corbyn – made under the direction of the Israeli Embassy?

It has been alleged that Ms Ryan is in contact with an Israeli Embassy agent every day.

And Enfield North constituency party members were angry that Ms Ryan’s 2017 general election campaign was “all but abandoning Labour and sought to publicize herself as an independent in all but name.”

At the time, Ms Ryan sent out letters claiming that “many” local people had told her “they have more confidence in Theresa May as prime minister than they would have in Jeremy Corbyn.” Despite “your misgivings about the Labour leadership,” she wrote, “I hope that you will consider voting for me as your local MP.”

Yesterday’s constituency party meeting was packed, according to those who attended. But look at the way her supporters tried to intimidate members:

Obviously, voting against a transgressing MP is not anti-Semitic, but the accusation does show how poisonous claims of anti-Semitism have become – that those making such claims are doing so, not to reveal genuine issues, but simply to silence critics.

The meeting itself was decisive:

And how does this representative of the people respond?

“Trots, Stalinists, Communists and assorted hard left”? What a disgusting way to respond – by disparaging the politics of her fellow members of the UK’s largest political party!

Can you imagine what would happen if any one of those people had responded with some well-known words or claims about people of Jewish ethnicity? The two behaviours are equally abhorrent, are they not?

And she got the reaction she deserved:

With her own constituency party calling for a new candidate to represent them at the next general election, focus now turns to Labour Friends of Israel, which lies at the heart of this matter.

I disagree. Cutting LFI out of the party is not enough because the MPs and party members who support the organisation will remain. Labour needs to investigate every single member of LFI, to ensure that nobody who is willing to work for the Israeli government, rather than the British people, is allowed to continue as a Labour representative.

It is also worth adding that another Labour MP lost a ‘no confidence’ vote:

This was a much more decisive choice, with Mr Shuker losing by a margin of 11 to one.

These are both victories for the movement to increase democratisation of the Labour Party.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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