Tag Archives: office

Truss and Kwarteng LIED about independent report on their mini-budget. Should they resign?

It turns out the Office for Budget Responsibility provided Kwasi Kwarteng with a report on his mini-budget plans on September 6, the day he took office as Chancellor.

The OBR offered to update it with any extra information before Kwarteng’s ‘fiscal event’ on September 23 – and would have been able to provide this – but was not asked to do so.

Instead, Kwarteng refused to issue any OBR report on that day – claiming there was not enough time. This appears to have been a lie:

Truss is still refusing to publish the OBR’s assessment of her plans until November 23 – nearly three months after it was written.

So Kwarteng has lied to the nation and Truss has compounded that lie by refusing to rectify it.

And the reason?

The OBR’s report would have damned the plans in the “fiscal event” as economic suicide. Truss and Kwarteng were told what their plans would do, and they produced them anyway. Shouldn’t they resign for deceiving us like this?

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Sunak and Truss: Tory PM contenders squabble while critics attack them both

Squabbling: Sunak and Truss.

This Tory leadership contest is like watching children squabbling over a toy.

Neither Rishi Sunak nor Liz Truss have any decent ideas to improve the quality of life in the United Kingdom, so all we are seeing in the end is the pair of them plumbing the depths in accusing each other.

Sunak’s latest attack on Truss is a claim that, if she doesn’t choose to offer either an unfunded £50 billion of tax cuts – mostly for the rich – and cost of living support (mostly for the poor), she will plunge the UK into an “inflation spiral”.

But his own economic policies are already sending UK inflation rocketing: US bank Citi has predicted it will reach 18 per cent – nine times the Bank of England’s target – in 2023.

That’s because of soaring energy prices – but Sunak’s policies are to blame for the effect they’re having on UK households because neither he nor any of the Tory chancellors since 2010 bothered to invest in UK-based green energy generation; they left us at the mercy of foreign fossil fuel bosses.

Meanwhile, it seems both candidates are committing political suicide by ignoring the interests of the Tories’ natural constituency: pensioners.

Propertied and pensioned people aged over 65 tend to vote for the Conservatives because they want to protect the investments and savings they have earned over the decades. Most Tory Party members are over 60.

But according to Dame Esther Rantzen, older people are facing “victimisation” due to current government policies, with the needs of senior citizens “totally ignored”.

She said both candidates should commit to creating a post for a minister for older people – but that seems a forlorn hope.

Neither Sunak, 42, nor Truss, 47, seem to have anything to say about older people.

And the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that Truss is planning an emergency budget, if she is elected Tory leader (and prime minister by default), without an official economic forecast, even though one is ready and may be used.

Supporters of Sunak say she is trying to avoid scrutiny.

It seems that the policies being offered up by either candidate are no better than a dog’s dinner. We should all be living in fear for the future, no matter which of them gets into 10 Downing Street.

Source: Truss poised to plunge UK economy into ‘inflation spiral’, says Sunak

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Was this extra-marital Boris Johnson sex act the reason Times story on Carrie Symonds was pulled?

Carrie Johnson: it seems she demanded that The Times keep its big mouth shut but if she had done that, there might not have been a story in the first place.

Remember Carriegate? The claim that a Times story about Boris Johnson trying to get his then-lover (now wife) Carrie Symonds (as was) a high-paying Foreign Office job, back when he was Foreign Secretary, was removed from the paper and deleted from the World Wide Web because of interference from Downing Street?

Now, Private Eye has claimed that the woman now known as Mrs Johnson had demanded the story’s removal out of a fear that the more salacious details of her relationship with Johnson would be trotted out.

(This is probably baseless; The Times may be a Murdoch rag but it isn’t The Sun or the News of the World.)

But now we know anyway, because Private Eye has told us that another member of Parliament walked in on Johnson and (now) Johnson just as she was attending to his important little places in an intimate way:

The Friday night attack of the ab-dabs was caused by a baseless fear that the Times might be more specific about the compromising situation [those of a timid disposition should look away now] by adding that the MP walked in while Carrie was giving Boris oral sex on the sofa.”

This raises serious questions:

Yes, blackmail – because the MP who burst in on such an act could demand elevation in return for his silence. Some have suggested that Gavin (now Lord) Williamson may have been that person, because he has subsequently done very well for himself despite being utterly incompetent;

There are also concerns about misconduct in public office.

Firstly, it may be misconduct if the sex act “renders the public office holder vulnerable to misjudgement” – such as trying to get the provider of said act a job worth more than £100,000 a year? Note that Johnson has ‘form’ in this respect as he funnelled more than £100K to Jennifer Arcuri, who alleges a similar relationship with him.

Alternatively, if the act occurred when the public office holder was “on duty” – that dereliction of duty/unprofessionalism attends the conduct and it could be seen to undermine trust in the office holder.

It’s alleged that Johnson was interrupted in his office by a colleague wishing to discuss work with him, and could have easily been interrupted by any number of other foreign office officials or government staff.

They may have used it as kompromat – compromising information collected for use in blackmailing, discrediting, or manipulating someone, typically for political purposes – as has been (humorously?) suggested of Gavin Williamson. Junior or female staff may have seen it as sexual harassment.

So, in withdrawing the article, it seems The Times did us all a favour and revealed that the man who is now our prime minister may have casually – and possibly habitually – put himself in the kind of compromising situations that may endanger the security of the United Kingdom.

As Yorkshire Bylines suggests, this is a matter for investigation – possibly by the Metropolitan Police, possibly by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. Personally, I would add that the security services might also wish to become involved.

Whoever takes in the task (if anyone does in Johnson’s corrupt UK dystopia), This Writer can only agree with the final sentiment of the Bylines piece:

Let’s hope for their sake there’s no photographic evidence.

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#Carriegate – tell the truth, media hacks: Johnson DID deny trying to get his now-wife a top FO job

The UK’s news sites were full of stories saying Boris Johnson had avoided a question on whether he tried to give his now-wife Carrie a Foreign Office job, at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (June 22).

This is not true.

Here’s what happened:

Labour MP Chris Elmore asked Johnson: “Has he ever considered the appointment of his current spouse to a government post or to any organisation in the working of the royal households? Be honest, prime minister, yes or no?”

To this, Johnson replied: “I know why the party opposite wants to talk about nonexistent jobs, in the media.”

He was very clearly denying that he had tried to get Mrs Johnson a job by saying that no such job existed.

If, in the future, evidence shows that he did try to get her into a job – that one did, in fact, exist – then he will have lied to Parliament again.

This Writer hopes Parliament’s Privileges committee is paying careful attention and asks the right questions.

Source: PM avoids denying he attempted to get Carrie Johnson top Foreign Office job

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Why are asylum-seekers to be electronically tagged? What is their crime?

Priti Patel: it would be better if she were not only electronically tagged but also gagged, to prevent her causing further harm to innocent victims.

Priti Patel’s Home Office is planning to electronically tag asylum-seekers arriving in the UK, as though they were criminals (or people accused of criminality) rather than refugees from persecution.

The decision has been likened to “victim blaming” – an opinion endorsed by This Site – although the Home Office itself is twisting language to claim the trial will examine whether electronic monitoring can help maintain regular contact with migrants and help to progress their claims.

Perhaps someone has been in contact with the “Nudge Unit” to get help to convince us all they’re doing the right thing? If so, it’s not working!

Ministers faced calls to abandon the “farce of a policy” after suggestions that those who recently avoided being sent to Rwanda after a legal challenge could be among the first to be tagged under the programme.

Clare Moseley, founder of the Care4Calais charity, said: “I think it’s outrageous. Refugees in general do not abscond. There’s no data that shows that they do – they never have done. They are here to claim asylum, so why would they? They’re not criminals, they’re victims. Things happen to them. They didn’t cause it. It’s just another part of the government criminalising refugees, which is basically victim-blaming.”

Apparently the number of decisions on asylum applications has plummeted while Patel has been busy victimising innocent people, created a huge backlog.

And of course, by attacking victims of persecutation and exploitation, she is doing nothing to eliminate criminal people-smuggling gangs.

The Tories get away with this by “othering” the asylum-seekers and refugees.

By making them look like criminals, they are hoping enough of the electorate will be gullible enough to believe that is what they are. I hope they are mistaken.

Source: Outrage over scheme to electronically tag asylum seekers arriving in UK

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Julian Assange’s extradition to USA is rubber-stamped by Priti Patel

Protest: you can tell the strength of public feeling in support of Julian Assange from this image – but the law is the law, even if it is a bad one.

The UK Home Secretary who wants to send asylum-seekers to a country with a record of human rights abuses has approved the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States. Is anybody surprised?

The decision flies against fears that Assange will be mistreated by US authorities who – it is alleged – planned to either kidnap or assassinate him while he was in UK custody.

The United States has been foiled in its attempts to prosecute Assange for around 12 years after he published reports on Wikileaks that alleged war crimes and corruption by that country.

The US government wants to prosecute Assange for 18 alleged crimes – 17 of them under a 1917 terrorism act – because his reports allegedly caused risk to the lives of American military personnel.

No evidence has been brought forward to substantiate the claim. US prosecutors have admitted that they do not have any.

Those said to be responsible for the alleged war crimes and corruptions have not faced any form of justice and were allowed to walk free, despite the allegations and the evidence supporting them.

The US has been foiled in its attempts to bring Assange to trial for 12 years – firstly because the journalist, fearing his own life would be under threat if he was brought into US custody, fled to the UK’s Ecuadorian Embassy seeking asylum, which he received until 2019, when he was arrested for breaking UK bail by British police.

He has stayed in Belmarsh Prison since then – long after his jail term for the bail offence was over – because the US had applied to extradite him and he has a history of absconding.

This has led him to suffer mental ill-health, according to his supporters.

It led a court to deny the US extradition request in January 2021, on the grounds that his mental health would suffer much more if he were subjected to the US penal system, which is far more hostile that that in the UK.

Meanwhile, it is understood that US secret service operatives planned to either kidnap or assassinate Assange, while he was in UK custody.

Former CIA director and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, confronted with the allegation, said the 30 sources who spoke to Yahoo News reporters “should all be prosecuted for speaking about classified activity inside the Central Intelligence Agency” – which seems to be an admission that the claims were accurate.

It seems that in 2017, US intelligence agents plotted to poison Assange. They bugged the Ecuadorian embassy in London so they could listen to meetings with his solicitors, followed Assange’s family and associates, targeted his then six-months-old baby to steal his DNA, and burgled the office of his lawyer.

Given this information, one would expect a UK court to dismiss any extradition request at once, on the basis that Assange’s life is in clear danger.

Unfortunately, the UK has a one-sided extradition treaty with the US – signed during Tony Blair’s period in office – that makes no provisions for such circumstances. Indeed, the UK must take US assurances that a suspect will not be ill-treated at face value, with no evidence requirement, and US claims cannot even be cross-examined in court.

So it should be unsurprising that the Home Office has said the courts found that extradition would not be “incompatible with his human rights” and that while in the US “he will be treated appropriately”; the law binds them into saying that.

Once extradited to the States, it seems Assange will face a kangaroo court, rather than receiving any actual justice.

The law under which he is charged does not allow a public interest defence, meaning he cannot argue that he was holding the US government to account by publishing details of its alleged war crimes.

And as Assange is not a US citizen, it seems he would not enjoy constitutional free-speech rights.

Furthermore, the US authorities have arranged for his case to be heard in Alexandria, Virginia – home of the US intelligence services, where people cannot be excluded from a jury because they work for the US government – prompting fears that Assange will be judged by people with a vested interest in supporting their employer.

He could go to prison for 175 years, according to colleagues at Wikileaks – although the US government says the term is more likely to be between four and six years. Who do you believe?

Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision and Wikileaks has said that it will.

Otherwise the UK will send a man to a foreign country whose government, we understand, has already tried to kill him, to face a trial on crimes for which there is no evidence, judged by people employed by the prosecutor, facing a possible 175-year prison sentence – on the basis of safety assurances that aren’t worth the time it takes to speak them.

So much for British justice!

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Priti Patel told to stop lying about refugees by UN agency

Hate face: would you trust Priti Patel with a duty of care over any human beings at all?

Priti Patel should stop lying that refugees from foreign countries arriving in the UK are merely “economic migrants” looking for  a bit of easy money.

That’s the gist of a report by the United Nations’ refugee agency:

The United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) told the Guardian that those travelling by small boat to the UK should be considered to be asylum seekers or refugees, and not migrants.

“Based on currently available Home Office data, UNHCR considers that a clear majority of those recently arriving to the United Kingdom by boat are likely to be refugees. Refugees and asylum seekers are not, and should not be described as, ‘migrants’,” the spokesperson told the Guardian.

“Access to asylum should never be contingent on mode of arrival or nationality. Equally, the only way to establish whether people are refugees is through a fair and efficient determination of their claims, for which the UK has a clear responsibility.”

The intervention comes as the Home Office prepares to deport the first set of people to Rwanda, after Patel announced her intention to emulate a failed Israeli plan to do the same that was wound up a few years ago.

The policy is explicitly focused on people who arrive via so-called “irregular” routes, such as in small boats across the Channel or hidden in lorries.

Here’s the part of the Home Office statement referring to this (that isn’t waffle):

“Only those with inadmissible asylum claims who have made dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys will be relocated and to suggest otherwise is wrong.”

Inadmissible in what way?

Because they arrived by an “irregular” route? Who defines what is an “unnecessary” journey and what are their criteria?

Are they as described by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees? If so, is the UK breaking UN rules again, as it did with sick and disabled benefit claimants?

And will the Tory government get away with it yet again, after the UN proved utterly toothless in effecting change?

Source: Clear majority of people crossing Channel are refugees, says UNHCR

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Home Office staff take government to court with concerns ‘culture of fear’ is illegal

Minister for inhumanity: Priti Patel’s “Hostile Environment” policies have involved Home Office staff in illegal activities in the past. Now she is being challenged in court to prove her plan to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda is not also against the law.

10 years after the launch of the ‘Hostile Environment’ policy, representatives of Home Office staff are challenging the government in court over things they are being asked to do.

The Public and Commercial Services Union and the Immigration Services Union are challenging Priti Patel’s policies to “pushback” small boats in the English Channel and to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda.

They have strong justification: the “pushback” policy is likely to break international law on asylum while the idea of deportations to Rwanda copies a previous policy by Israel – that didn’t work and was abandoned.

And the Conservative government has a record of “Hostile Environment” criminality.

We all know – don’t we? – about the Windrush Scandal that illegally targeted for deportation a generation of people who had the right to live in the UK but whose documentation had been destroyed.

The Home Office has also wrongly accused 34,000 international students of cheating in English language tests and failed to ensure that innocent people were not wrongly deported.

An Institute for Public Policy Research report in 2020 concluded the hostile environment policy had fostered racism, pushed people into destitution, wrongly targeted people who were living in the UK legally, and had “severely harmed the reputation of the Home Office”.

In the wake of the Windrush scandal the Home Office committed to introduce a total transformation of the department, including a review of the hostile environment policies – and failed to complete it.

So it should be no surprise that civil service representatives are trying to protect workers from having to take part in Priti Patel’s potential crimes.

One glance at comments on the “Hostile Environment” policy by Nazek Ramdan, the director of the charity Migrant Voice, should make the reason crystal clear:

“Perhaps no other policy in living memory has left such a malign mark, a stain like an oil slick. It is racist, xenophobic, immoral, illegal, unfair, punishing, divisive, mean-spirited, discriminatory and counterproductive.”

Source: Home Office staff worry they may be asked to act illegally in ‘culture of fear’

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Establishment racism: Non-verbal black teenager who has never left UK detained at immigration centre

Priti Patel: it seems she’s so racist, she will merrily try to deport black people, even though they are UK citizens. She just won’t carry out the proper checks.

This is beyond This Writer’s ability to comment. The level of racism displayed by the UK authorities in this story is off the scale:

A woman has described how her 17-year-old black British son was found at an immigration detention centre after going missing while being treated for psychosis.

The boy – who is non-verbal – disappeared from a hospital in Kent, where he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, on 7 April. Two days later, he was arrested by British Transport Police (BTP) at Euston on suspicion of fare evasion, before being detained by Immigration Enforcement near Gatwick, despite being British.

“It’s just horrific,” the boy’s mother said. “Because he’s black they just assumed ‘let’s pick him and put him in a deportation centre’.”

When the boy was returned to the hospital, his clothes contained Home Office documents that incorrectly stated his name and date of birth, and recorded his nationality as Nigerian.

“How do they know he’s from Nigeria, when he doesn’t even speak to them?” the woman said of her son.

The boy is a British citizen and has never left the UK. His mother said he would not have been able to say his date of birth properly, and would never have said he was from Nigeria.

James Wilson, deputy director of Detention Action, which works with people facing removal, said unaccompanied minors or children under the age of 18 should not be in detention in the first place. “In theory detention should be an absolute last resort, rather than an early step you would go to,” he said.

This is a prime example of how Priti Patel’s Home Office treats UK citizens, isn’t it?

Let’s consider the Home Office’s comments on this case…

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We rely on information provided by our policing partners when an individual is referred to Immigration Enforcement. In this case, the individual declared himself to British Transport Police to be an adult male. Police nurses assessed him and raised no physical or mental health issues.”

Yeah, but did they? Really? a non-verbal 17-year-old?

I have a doubt about that.

I don’t think the person declared himself to be anything at all.

I don’t think nurses assessed him in anything like an adequate way.

do think that this case reveals serious failures in Home Office procedures.

And I think it is Priti Patel’s responsibility to sort them out.

But I don’t think – for a single minute – that she is in any way capable, or responsible enough, to take the necessary steps.

Source: Non-verbal black teenager who has never left UK detained at immigration centre

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Tories deny knowing MP in panel advising on grooming gangs was accused of molesting boy

Khan and can’t: Imran Ahmad Khan with Boris Johnson. The former committed a sex crime against a minor and, because the latter’s party couldn’t be bothered to record a complaint about him, he ended up on a Home Office panel advising the government on ways to stop the sexual exploitation of children. Think about that before voting Tory on May 5.

The Tories have said they did not know Imran Ahmad Khan had been accused of sexually assaulting an under-age boy – even though he had told their press office.

That’s the reason they’re using for giving him a position on a Home Office panel that advised the government about child sexual exploitation by grooming gangs, while his crime was being investigated by police.

Do you believe that?

Boris Johnson was cagey about the subject when he was challenged about it in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (April 27, 2022):

 

“I believe the Home Office has already made a statement about it,” he said.

Yes – as follows:

The Home Office was not aware of the allegations against him at the time and he no longer has any involvement with the department.”

This is very odd, because the MP’s victim told a court that he had made a complaint to the Conservatives’ press office days before Imran Ahmad Khan was elected as MP for Wakefield in November 2019.

The Tory Party line?

“We have found no record of this complaint.”

That could be because, as the victim stated to the court,

“I wasn’t taken very seriously.”

He said the woman he spoke to sounded “shocked” and passed him on to someone else who sounded more “stern” and asked if he had any “proof”.

“I said, ‘Yes, there’s a police report’ and she said, ‘Well …’, and that was it.

“I said, ‘I’m going to the police’, and she said, ‘Well, you do that’.”

It seems the Tories didn’t even bother making a record of the conversation and passing it on to the Whips’ office.

And it says much about the quality of Conservative MPs that Imran Ahmad Khan never bothered to mention that he was under investigation by the police and might not be an appropriate choice – or simply recused himself.

Considering the recent revelations that a Tory MP smeared Angela Rayner leading to the ‘Basic Instinct’ Mail story, that 56 MPs are accused of sexual misconduct including three Tory Cabinet ministers, and that a Tory frontbencher was caught watching pornography in the Commons chamber, we should not be surprised.

It seems the Conservative Parliamentary benches are full of sexual deviants.

And it seems they know they can get away with their perversions because nobody in their party ever takes complaints about them seriously. Am I right?

Source: Ex-Tory MP guilty of molesting boy was on panel advising on grooming gangs | Politics | The Guardian

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