Tag Archives: officer

‘Knuckledragging racists’ try to use Croydon police tragedy to attack black MP

Dawn Butler: racists have used the tragic death of a police officer to attack this London MP, who also happens to be a black woman. They don’t care about the man who died – he was just a handy hook on which they could hang their bile.

This is a new depth of depravity.

After Brent MP Dawn Butler tweeted her condolences about the police officer who was shot dead at Croydon Custody Centre, the racists have turned out in their thousands to blame her for it.

Their reason is the fact that she complained about being in a car subjected to stop-and-search by (other) officers from the same force, for “driving around while black”.

These are completely separate incidents.

So Ms Butler’s highly-vocal critics are wrong to suggest that her tweet is hypocritical. Complaining about an incident of apparent racial profiling is not the same as wishing death upon any police officer.

Nor is her complaint about a stop-and-search procedure that had no justification any reason to suggest that she had somehow prevented police from finding the weapon that was used in the Croydon attack.

If you’re unaware of the facts of the case, here they are:

A long-serving police officer has been shot dead at Croydon Custody Centre in south London.

The male sergeant was shot in the chest before the suspect turned the firearm on himself, sources have told the BBC.

The man had been brought to the custody suite in a police vehicle and the shooting happened during questioning about Covid-19, the BBC was told.

It was believed the suspect – who is critically ill in hospital – was known to counter-terrorism police.

Ms Butler had clashed with other police officers in a very widely-reported incident which she recorded, using her mobile phone.

But it is insanity to suggest that she held the actions of those officers against the entire force – or that, even if she had, she would want any police officers to die. That is what has been implied today.

Ms Butler tweeted the following:

As a London MP, it is entirely appropriate for her to have sent this message.

Brace yourself, because here come a few of the replies:

There have been many, many more.

Notice the number of flags in the profile pictures? What does that suggest to you? To me it suggests racism – English nationalism, “Britain for the British” and all the usual bilge.

Many of the attacks focused on the Chris Phillips quote about stop-and-search, so let’s put an answer to them straight away:

Notable among the critics was that humdrum right-wing rabble-rumbler Julia Hartley Doodah, who added this to the mix:

… and had her derriere minced into burger meat and handed back to her:

Fortunately, it seems there are still more decent people in the UK than loudmouthed racist imbeciles. Let’s give reason some space now:

Oh, and perhaps someone who has served as a police officer should have a say:

No, she wasn’t. Her behaviour was entirely proper. Those who attacked her are the shame of the nation.

But I do think some politicians should take blame for what has happened here: Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage. David Cameron. Anybody who used the EU referendum campaign to stir up jingoistic, fake patriotism that was really racism in disguise. Priti Patel, for insisting on deporting refugees. Theresa May, for insisting on deporting UK citizens. Successive Tory governments that encouraged the claim that foreigners were coming to the UK and taking citizens’ jobs and/or claiming state benefits. The list goes on and on.

Racism is on the rise because right-wing politicians thought it would make them popular.

But who’s getting the blame for it in this story?

The black person.

And who’s being ignored in the rush to lay that blame?

The dead person.

What a hateful day.

Source: Police officer shot dead at Croydon Custody Centre – BBC News

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#SackWhitty and #SackVallance, people are saying – before they’ve even made their broadcast

Chris Whitty: the Chief Medical Officer is facing calls for his removal – before he has even had a chance to broadcast to the nation alongside Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance.

New hashtags on social media are calling for the UK’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser to be sacked – before they’ve even had a chance to address the public on television.

The broadcast was scheduled for 11am today (September 21) but platforms like Twitter have already been filling up with attacks on Chris Whitty and – notably – Patrick Vallance.

The attacks don’t make much sense.

In fairness to the advisers, we don’t know what their advice to the government has been. Their meetings have taken place behind closed doors and when they have faced the public it has always been under the shroud of shared responsibility – a line has been taken by Johnson government ministers and the advisers are obliged to support it.

So comments like this…

… seem premature.

Worse still is the “blame game” that some people are playing:

“Bent science”? We don’t know that the gentlemen concerned have been bending science in any way at all.

We do know that the politicians have been as bent as the figure “8”, trying to delay lockdown to keep the economy going, trying to shorten lockdown to prevent the economy from being harmed more than it already has been… trying to continue making money for their party donors while people die (or suffer serious health consequences).

And it’s the politicians who have been misusing emergency procurement procedures to funnel vast amounts of public money into the hands of private firms – some running companies that have been dormant for years – that happen to be run by friends of theirs; the socialism of the very rich.

So This Site tends to come down on the side of those who have been standing up for the scientists:

So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt – for a little while, at least.

But let’s also remember…

… other scientific opinions are available.

Where are the suspensions connected to the leaked Labour anti-Semitism report?

Keir Starmer: he’s extremely relaxed about alleged corruption and racism among his party officers.

Many Labour members are named as having participated in the misdeeds chronicled by the leaked Labour report on the party’s response to anti-Semitism allegations. According to the rules, all of their party memberships should have been suspended immediately. Why has this not happened?

Keir Starmer said he was launching an investigation immediately (this was not true because I hear the National Executive Committee is meeting on Thursday to discuss that investigation’s terms of reference; it hasn’t started yet).

Anyone who has ever had their membership suspended will know that this happens before an investigation begins.

Don’t forget that while the report states none of the officers concerned were found to have anti-Semitic attitudes, the allegation that they delayed investigations into anti-Semitism (to make Jeremy Corbyn look bad) means they are believed to have actively tried to support the presence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. If rank-and-file members had been accused of this, their memberships would have been suspended.

So, if all Labour Party members are supposed to be equal, why are these alleged racists and election-fixers getting preferential treatment?

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Labour officers spent years stabbing Corbyn in the back, according to suppressed report

“Straight talking”? “Honest politics”? Prove it, Lord McNicol; prove it.

Labour lawyers have stepped in to stop a report on the party’s response to anti-Semitism accusations being submitted to the Equalities & Human Rights Commission – because it shows that right-wing party officers spent years backstabbing Jeremy Corbyn.

The report runs to 860 pages and concludes that factional hostility towards Mr Corbyn amongst former senior officials contributed to “a litany of mistakes” that hindered the effective handling of the issue.

It provides evidence that senior staff “openly worked against the aims and objectives of the leadership of the Party, and in the 2017 general election some key staff even appeared to work against the Party’s core objective of winning elections”.

In other words, by the time Jeremy Corbyn became leader, it seems the organisational structure beneath him was riddled with individuals who hated the Labour Party and were actively working to ensure it would not win a general election.

Reading between the lines, it seems this means they misled the elected leadership about the number and nature of anti-Semitism allegations, hid documents to make some claims appear more credible than they were, and deliberately obstructed investigations to falsely make Mr Corbyn’s leadership appear incompetent.

Of course, there’s no way to know whether that’s true, until the report is published. I look forward to seeing new leader Keir Starmer order it, although I fear I may be waiting for some time.

What we do know, from a Sky News report on the document, is that it says there was “abundant evidence of a hyper-factional atmosphere prevailing in Party HQ” towards Jeremy Corbyn which “affected the expeditious and resolute handling of disciplinary complaints”.

It seems the anti-Corbyn faction ensured a lack of “robust processes, systems, training, education and effective line management”.

The report doesn’t find any anti-Semitic intent behind the behaviour, or that anti-Semitism complaints were handled differently to any other – but this should not come as any surprise.

The anti-Corbynites’ intention was to create an impression that anti-Semitism was a huge problem in the party – not to engage in it themselves. That would have been counter-productive.

And why should anti-Semitism complaints be handled any differently when the intention was to portray Mr Corbyn as incompetent?

In this context, the report casts doubt on the validity of claims made by the BBC in last year’s Panorama documentary, Is Labour Antisemitic.

Some of the stars of that particular film – which took their claims as cast-iron fact – are also heavily featured in the report, including the former General Secretary, Lord McNicol, and the former acting head of the governance and legal unit, Sam Matthews.

Lord McNicol and other senior figures are accused of providing “false and misleading information”on the handling of anti-Semitism complaints to Mr Corbyn’s office, which the report claims meant “the scale of the problem was not appreciated” by the leadership.

Note that we are not told whether this means anti-Semitism was more or less prevalent than Mr Corbyn was led to believe.

According to Sky News, the report quotes:

  • Conversations in 2017 which appear to show senior staff preparing for Tom Watson to become interim leader in anticipation of Jeremy Corbyn losing the election

  • Conversations which it is claimed show senior staff hid information from the leader’s office about digital spending and contact details for MPs and candidates during the election

  • Conversations on election night in which the members of the group talk about the need to hide their disappointment that Mr. Corbyn had done better than expected and would be unlikely to resign

  • A discussion about whether the grassroots activist network Momentum could be ‘proscribed’ for being a ‘party within a party’

  • A discussion about ‘unsuspending’ a former Labour MP who was critical of Jeremy Corbyn so they could stand as a candidate in the 2017 election

  • A discussion about how to prevent corbyn-ally Rebecca Long-Bailey gaining a seat on the party’s governing body in 2017

  • Regular references to corbyn-supporting party staff as “trots”

  • Conversations between senior staff in Lord McNicol’s office in which they refer to former director of communications Seamus Milnes as “dracula”, and saying he was “spiteful and evil and we should make sure he is never allowed in our Party if it’s last thing we do”

  • Conversations in which the same group refers to Mr. Corbyn’s former chief of staff Karie Murphy as “medusa”, a “crazy woman” and a “bitch face cow” that would “make a good dartboard”

  • A discussion in which one of the group members expresses their “hope” that a young pro-Corbyn Labour activist, who they acknowledge had mental health problems, “dies in a fire”

The report was drafted as a submission by the Labour Party to the EHRC’s ongoing investigation into “institutional anti-Semitism” in the Labour Party, and contains passages that refer to that organisation or address it directly. It therefore seems strange in the extreme that the party is now refusing to submit it, and claiming that it is out of the scope of the EHRC’s inquiries. Here’s Sky’s Tom Rayner:

The quoted extract says, “We hope the EHRC will focus on the documentary, primary-source evidence that the Party has made available to it… rather than the personal accounts of staff or former staff.” How is the EHRC supposed to do that if Labour won’t hand over the report?

Mr Rayner went on to say that a Labour source who worked in Mr Corbyn’s office said the report showed the leadership had been “sabotaged and set up left right and centre by McNicol’s team”.

Now read the quotes he had from McNicol himself, and from Matthews:

From McNicol we get whataboutery: party officers have been “trawling 10,000 emails rather than challenging anti-Semitism”. Of course, it would not have been necessary if he had done his job properly, right? And, really, an issue affecting only 0.06 per cent of party members (some of whom have been falsely accused, like This Writer) doesn’t merit the attention of every single person working for Labour.

Matthews simply attempts to divert blame. But here’s the thing: the report asks for the primary evidence – the documents – to be considered, rather than the comments on those documents by interested parties. The data doesn’t lie.

https://twitter.com/UmaarKazmi/status/1249283358305198080

The report’s non-publication has scandalised those of us with a stake in the issue – and should upset anybody else with an interest in justice. Many in the media leapt on the fabrication and treated it as real, without any reason to do so.

For example: remember Phillip Schofield demanding an apology for the anti-Semitism crisis in Labour, on live TV during the general election campaign? Now we see evidence that it was cooked up by backstabbers, will Mr Schofield be issuing an apology for sabotaging Labour’s election campaign?

Twitter has been alive with outrage:

There is already a mechanism by which anybody who is concerned about this issue can demand that the report be published for all to read, including the EHRC. Here it is:

Please visit the site and sign the petition. I have!

Source: Report in to antisemitism in Labour Party concludes that Jeremy Corbyn and senior leadership were stitched up – Dorset Eye

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Coronavirus: The Tories’ catalogue of failures means people who should have lived WILL die

Chris Whitty: the Chief Medical Officer has now self-isolated with symptoms of the coronavirus himself. Doesn’t that suggest there’s something wrong with his ideas?

Those of you who have been following This Site over the past few days will have read article after article exposing the failures of the Conservative government – firstly to anticipate, then to combat the coronavirus crisis.

So it should come as no surprise that these failures have ensured that NHS workers and people who contract Covid-19 will die, who should be saved.

And the pedigree of the man making that claim should not be doubted: Richard Horton is the editor of what is possibly the most highly-regarded medical journal of them all: The Lancet.

He said measures implemented “far too late” had left the NHS “wholly unprepared for the surge of severely and critically ill patients”.

As a result, it had been plunged into “chaos and panic”, with patients and NHS staff condemned to “die unnecessarily”.

He pointed to an article in The Lancet, already referenced by This Site, stated on January 24 that the coronavirus was on the verge of becoming a global pandemic and urged the government to ensure that the NHS was prepared.

But Boris Johnson and his government didn’t bother. Successive Conservative governments over the previous 10 years had systematically dismantled the UK’s capability of tackling a pandemic like Covid-19.

The strategy to deal with it was last updated in 2011 and is hopelessly out-of-date.

The dedicated government Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Team, tasked with tackling this type of crisis, vanished around 2011.

The crucial document for getting the right messages to the public – the Communications Strategy – was written in 2012 and is wildly inaccurate in its assumptions about how and where people now get their information.

Worst of all, the government guide to dealing with the fatalities of a pandemic – the deaths – was written in 2008 and had never been updated.

Perhaps we should not be surprised, then, that the Conservative government’s response to coronavirus – throughout February – was wrong.

The Lancet article warned that “preparedness plans should be readied for deployment at short notice, including securing supply chains of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, hospital supplies and the necessary human resources”. But this warning was ignored.

Mr Horton lays the blame for this on Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, Chief Executive Officer of the NHS in England Simon Stevens and Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.

Vallance’s was the mind behind the ridiculous “herd immunity” scheme to allow us all to become infected and if millions of vulnerable people died, that was a reasonable price to pay if the rest developed a resistance to the virus.

It didn’t last long but valuable days were wasted and, of course, while the overarching strategy was “do nothing”, nothing was being done to make the UK ready to fight the disease.

And when the government finally adopted an acceptable approach, the NHS was caught unprepared.

It didn’t have pharmaceutical supply chains ready – note the call for volunteers to ship medicines where they’re needed.

It didn’t have the necessary human resources.

And it didn’t have personal protective equipment, despite protestations to the contrary. As part of his article, Mr Horton called on England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Harries, to apologise to health workers for saying the UK has “a perfectly adequate supply of PPE” and supply pressures had been “completely resolved” on March 20.

She was wrong, and it means doctors are risking their own health, if not their lives, every day by having to assess patients with respiratory symptoms, without the equipment necessary to protect themselves.

Worse still, the government didn’t follow basic World Health Organisation (WHO) advice. According to Mr Horton: “They didn’t isolate and quarantine. They didn’t contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all the way down the line, Boris Johnson and his government have had to be dragged into doing the right thing – always late and never willingly.

Already more than 1,000 people have been acknowledged to have died.

And it seems clear that more will follow – who would have lived if Mr Johnson and his ministers, their advisors and the leaders of the NHS had simply done their jobs properly.

Source: Coronavirus: UK response means NHS staff and patients will ‘die unnecessarily’, Lancet editor says | The Independent

Has the Season of Goodwill infected the DWP’s compliance unit?

Distortion With Prejudice: Will we ever get FACTS from the Department for Work and Pensions - or just more spin and spiel?

Distortion With Prejudice: Will we ever get FACTS from the Department for Work and Pensions – or just more spin and spiel?


It seems the answer to the above question is “yes”.

Readers may recall that Mrs Mike received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions’ ‘compliance unit’ at the end of last month, announcing that our home would be invaded by a ‘compliance officer’ on December 3.

Particularly disturbing was the following passage:

“What will happen if we do not hear from you?

“If you fail to be available for this visit and do not contact me, your entitlement to benefit may be in doubt and your payments will be stopped.

“If there has been an unreported change in your circumstances then any overpayment will have to be paid back. Further, you may be liable for financial penalties.”

The letter put Mrs Mike on the verge of panic – terrified that this ‘customer compliance officer’ was being sent to find any excuse to say she was ‘fit for work’ and throw her off the benefit

In response, and thanks to a friend who signposted us to information on the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) website, Mrs Mike told the DWP, in terms only slightly more polite than what follows here, to get stuffed.

You see, the information provided to her showed that any letter causing her considerable distress and exacerbating her illness, as this had, put the DWP in a very actionable position. She was able to respond: “Should the DWP persist in sending me further letters of a similar nature I can only conclude that it does so knowing that it will cause me alarm or distress. Such actions are a criminal offence under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and I retain the right to make a criminal complaint to the police.”

In addition, she said she was entirely happy to conform to all legal requirements.

Would you believe we had a telephone call from a DWP ‘compliance manager’ today (December 23)?

It was from one of those ‘Out of area’ numbers that we never ever answer, but fortunately she left a message and I called her back.

She could not apologise enough for the upset that had been caused to Mrs Mike.

She said there was no allegation of wrong-doing; it was a purely-routine reassessment.

She said she had already sent a letter assuring Mrs Mike that she need not be worried over the Christmas period; this call was to ascertain whether she would be happy to submit her reassessment in writing, so we would have a copy for our records, to be returned by the end of January.

The whole episode made a welcome change from the usual antagonism – although we should all know it’s just a ceasefire – hostilities will undoubtedly recommence soon.

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My bid to foil DWP persecution of people in the ESA support group

[Picture: Skwawkbox blog]

[Picture: Skwawkbox blog]

Insane as it may seem, the Department for Work and Pensions is actively pursuing people with long-term illnesses, apparently in order to make them increasingly anxious and thereby worsen their health.

This will not be news to anybody who is familiar with the benefit system for the sick and disabled. All you others, take note.

On Monday, Mrs Mike received a letter from the DWP. It said:

“Notification of Customer Compliance Visit

“We will be calling at your home.

“A customer compliance officer … will be visiting you at your home on Thursday 3rd December 2015… It is essential that you are available for this visit and provide the documents requested in this letter. This interview has been arranged because your circumstances may have changed and we need to ensure your payments are correct.

“When you claimed benefit you agreed to tell us immediately if the circumstances relating to your benefit entitlement changed.

“What will happen if we do not hear from you?

“If you fail to be available for this visit and do not contact me, your entitlement to benefit may be in doubt and your payments will be stopped.

“If there has been an unreported change in your circumstances then any overpayment will have to be paid back. Further, you may be liable for financial penalties.”

And then there’s a list of documents the ‘customer compliance officer’ wanted to see – ID, bank/pensions/earnings details.

Mrs Mike was deeply distressed by this letter.

I came down from the office to find her in what one might describe as “a proper state”. She was on the verge of panic, in fact – terrified that this ‘customer compliance officer’ was being sent to find any excuse to say she was ‘fit for work’ and throw her off the benefit.

As her carer, it would be grossly understating the situation to say that I was extremely concerned for her mental well-being.

But it’s funny how events transpire – later in the day I saw a tweet from a friend in DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts): “Template letters for those in ESA Support Group harassed by Job Centres.” How interesting… I clicked the link.

“We’ve had increasing numbers of emails from those in the ESA support group facing constant harassment from local job centres,” the DPAC page begins.

“Harassment takes the form of letters and phone calls ‘inviting’ people to work focused interviews, chats with job coaches or other ‘helpers’. Another type of ‘invite’ suggests that the job centre need to check you’re getting the right amount of benefit. They advise you to take in bank statements and other documents.

Often these letters and phone calls wrongly state that your benefits are at risk if you do not attend.

“All such interviews are voluntary according to the regulations, not mandatory. It sounds like a scam warning from some dodgy company doesnt it? But this is the DWP Job Centre, supposedly public servants, causing anxiety and misery.

“We have reproduced two template letters to use if these scams happen to you.”

The letters were directly below. They were written as if by the ESA recipient.

“The DWP is aware that I have been placed in the Support Group for Employment and Support Allowance and therefore exempt from activity of this nature,” the template letter relevant to Mrs Mike states. “The Welfare Reform Act 2012 makes no provision for people allocated to the Support Group to be summoned to attend random benefit interviews.

“On the .GOV website the DWP states:
“Y’ou’ll then be placed in 1 of 2 groups if you’re entitled to ESA:
“‘* work-related activity group, where you’ll have regular interviews with an adviser
“‘* support group, where you don’t have interviews’

“In fact the DWP has the Benefit Centre network that contains benefit integrity centres and performance measurement to undertake this type of review by appropriately qualified officers. Therefore, this interview appears to be incompatible with the DWP’s own processes.

“In respect of payments the DWP knows that I am in the Support Group and the amount of which I am in receipt. Therefore, it can easily determine if this amount is correct without recourse to a face to face review.

“To the best of my knowledge my circumstances have not changed. If the DWP has evidence to the contrary please address it to me in writing as I find the benefit system far too complex and distressing to deal with on the telephone or face to face. I also rely on extensive support from other people when dealing with the DWP.

“This letter has caused me considerable distress and has exacerbated my illness. Should the DWP persist in sending me further letters of a similar nature I can only conclude that it does so knowing that it will cause me alarm or distress. Such actions are a criminal offence under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and I retain the right to make a criminal complaint to the police.

“As the DWP is acting contrary to the Welfare Reform Act 2012, please regard this letter as notification to cease and desist all such activities immediately.

“I will not be accepting the customer compliance visit and in doing so I will not be placing my entitlement to ESA at risk. Any suggestion by the DWP to the contrary will be considered harassment.

“I remind the DWP that I will continue to comply with all lawful requirements in respect of my ongoing claim for ESA.”

Now, some of you might think it’s a bit dicey, sending what is effectively a “cease and desist” demand to a government department, and backing it up with the threat of criminal prosecution.

But those of you who are familiar with This Writer will also know that I love humiliating the DWP, and my natural inclination when offered a chance to do something, rather than sit by and let authority roll over me, is to take the plunge.

So the letter went off yesterday (Tuesday). I had to do a bit of detective work because the DWP correspondence had no return address (clearly they’re trying to make it as difficult as possible for people to shut them down).

I’ll let you know what happens.

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The two faces of Theresa May

Prove who you are: Theresa May and David Cameron check the credentials of two police officers, to ensure they aren't illegal immigrants. No, not really - but don't be surprised if police checkpoints start appearing everywhere with people in peaked caps demanding your papers, just like in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 40s! (According to the caption that accompanied this picture last year)

Prove who you are: Theresa May and David Cameron check the credentials of two police officers, to ensure they aren’t illegal immigrants. No, not really – but don’t be surprised if police checkpoints start appearing everywhere with people in peaked caps demanding your papers, just like in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 40s!
(According to the caption that accompanied this picture last year)

The Home Secretary has been on stage at the Conservative Party conference, trying to convince us all that she is no longer using the police to pursue racist policies.

Speaking after a young man of Afro-Caribbean descent told delegates he had been stopped no less than 20 times, despite never having committed a crime, Theresa May asked the conference to imagine what it is like to be stopped by police and searched “only because you are young, male and black”.

She said 27 per cent of stop-searches are carried out without the reasonable grounds for suspicion required by law, which is not only wrong, she says, but “hugely damaging” to confidence in the police.

She reckons she has “reformed” (they love that word) stop and search.

Is this the same woman who – only one year ago – sponsored an advertising campaign on the side of vans patrolling London, with the message “In the UK illegally? GO HOME OR FACE ARREST.”

Is this the same woman whose Home Office tweeted messages about the number of illegal immigrants it wished to claim had been detected or turned themselves in – and even transmitted photographs of suspects in a move that was certain to undermine any claims that it was not trying to incite racial hatred?

Is this the same woman whose immigration officers carried out stop-checks at railway stations, demanding to see identification proving that people were in the UK legally, apparently because they looked foreign?

Theresa May can say what she likes.

We should judge her by her record.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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It’s official – Britain’s top jobs are a ‘closed shop’ and ‘equal opportunity’ is a myth

A day out with their minders: If you have ever sat amazed at decisions made by criminal court judges, rest easy in the knowledge that they come from deeply sheltered backgrounds and simply don't know any better.

A day out with their minders: If you have ever sat amazed at decisions made by criminal court judges, rest easy in the knowledge that they come from deeply sheltered backgrounds and simply don’t know any better.

If you have ever wondered why you couldn’t get on in life, despite all the talent anyone should ever need… now you know the truth. It’s because you didn’t go to a private school and you didn’t go to Oxford or Cambridge University.

According to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 71 per cent of senior judges, 62 per cent of senior armed forces officers, 55 per cent of top civil servants, 43 per cent of newspaper columnists and 36 per cent of the Cabinet are members of a deeply elitist “cosy club” who were educated at private schools (Owen Jones, writing in The Guardian, commented: “It is quite something when the ‘cabinet of millionaires’ is one of the less unrepresentative pillars of power”).

Also privately-educated were 45 per cent of chairmen/women of public bodies, 44 per cent of the Sunday Times Rich List, and 26 per cent of BBC executives. Where are the naysayers who claim the BBC is a Leftie haven now?

When it comes to Oxbridge graduates, the situation worsens – they have a “stranglehold” on top jobs, according to The Guardian, which adds: “They comprise less than one per cent of the public as a whole, but 75 per cent of senior judges, 59 per cent of cabinet ministers, 57 per cent of permanent secretaries, 50 per cent of diplomats, 47 per cent of newspaper columnists, 44 per cent of public body chairs, 38 per cent of members of the House of Lords, 33 per cent of BBC executives, 33 per cent of shadow cabinet ministers, 24 per cent of MPs and 12 per cent of those on the Sunday Times Rich List.

My personal belief is that this should be no surprise to anybody – I’ve known it ever since the then-headteacher at my high school proudly announced that the only sixth-former on their way to Oxford, one year back in the 1980s, was his own daughter. Even then it wasn’t about what you knew but who Daddy was.

At least it is official now.

The person who should be least surprised by these findings is Commission chairman and Labour turncoat Alan Milburn. He does not come from a nobby background but has been absorbed into the group – possibly in gratitude for a series of betrayals of his own kind that began when he entered government.

Milburn was one of the Labour MPs who embraced neoliberalism in the 1990s. His reward was a place in the Cabinet as Minister of State for Health, then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and then Health Secretary. He was also honorary president of the neoliberal thinktank Progress, which works hard to foist right-wing ideas onto the Labour Party.

It is no wonder, then, that Milburn subsequently became the darling of David Cameron’s Coalition government, being offered a role as ‘social mobility tsar’. It is in this role that he has delivered the current report on elitism.

According to that great source of knowledge Wikipedia, Milburn’s role was about “advising the government on how to break down social barriers for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and help[ing] people who feel they are barred from top jobs on grounds of race, religion, gender or disability”.

Nearly four-and-a-half years into a five-year Parliament, Milburn came out with this report, and I’m willing to bet that, if a similar document had been compiled before Labour left office, evidence would show that the situation has worsened, not improved.

Even now, David Cameron is probably congratulating Milburn on what a great job he has done – achieving nothing.

In fairness, even a man like Milburn could not ignore such clear findings and the report describes the situation as “elitism so stark that it could be called social engineering“.

What is more interesting about the situation is the fact that it has been described as a ‘closed shop’, a term more readily-associated with those bitter opponents of privilege – the trade unions.

A closed shop is an agreement under which an employer agrees to hire union members only, and employees must remain members of the union at all times in order to remain employed. That is definitely what the report is demonstrating and, considering the elite’s antipathy to the unions, it is further demonstration of the high-handed and corrupt attitude of these types – their belief that they should be a law unto themselves.

This in fact provides us with the only positive element to come out of this report. It gives jobseekers a decent reason for being unable to secure work – all the best jobs are being hogged by overprivileged twits!

Owen Jones’s Guardian article suggests of the situation: “In the case of the media this has much to do with the decline of the local newspapers that offered a way in for the aspiring journalist with a non-gilded background; the growing importance of costly post-graduate qualifications that are beyond the bank accounts of most; and the explosion of unpaid internships, which discriminate on the basis of whether you are prosperous enough to work for free, rather than whether you are talented.”

That is not my experience.

I did my post-graduate journalism course with help from a training scheme run by the Tory government of the time – the Department of Social Security paid for my education in that respect. My recollection is that I was one of the highest-achievers on that course; considering my future career, this indicates that there is truth behind the ‘closed shop’ claim of the new report.

My experience on local newspapers is that they are more likely to offer a way in for aspiring “non-gilded” reporters now than when I entered. While I was fully-qualified when I was hired by my first employer in Bristol, here in Mid Wales the papers have seemed happy to hire people with no qualifications at all, and train them up. There are no unpaid internships here, to my knowledge.

That being said, management practices in the press are so bad that I am constantly amazed anybody bothers trying to work for these idiots at all.

My first paper was passed from one company to another in a “gentleman’s agreement” on a golf course. It meant that I took an effective pay cut, being forced to travel 30 miles further to work and receiving a lower-than-normal pay rise when I became a senior reporter.

Another paper was doing quite well when I joined, offering healthy bonuses for all employees at Christmas. I never got to benefit from this, though, because bosses foolishly took on at great cost a ‘general manager’ who managed all our profits away and then persuaded them to sell up to a much larger firm that stripped the operation to the bone and hoovered up all the profits. Quality plummeted and (after I left) so did sales.

A third paper’s solution to declining sales was a plan to cut back the number of reporters while keeping the management structure intact. That’s right – they reduced the number of people writing the stories that sold the papers. Then they attacked the remaining reporters for the continued drop in sales and absolutely refused to entertain any notion that they might have got the situation arse-backward.

That is why I agree with the UK Commission for Education and Skills, which said that “poor management hinders UK competitiveness”, and with the comment on that report in Flip Chart Fairy Tales, that “poorly managed firms drag a country’s score down and Britain has more than its fair share of them”.

The Milburn report puts the seal on the problem: Firms are poorly-managed because the people at the top are over-privileged fools who got into their position thanks to Daddy’s money rather than any talent of their own.

As the banking crisis – caused by these very people – and the subsequent, slowest economic recovery in UK history demonstrate starkly for all to see, these private-school, Oxford and Cambridge ignoramuses are worse than useless when it comes to managing an economy.

There is nothing you can do about it while a Conservative-led government is in power because that is exactly how David Cameron and his cronies like it.

(What am I saying? Of course they like it – they and their friends are the private-school, Oxford and Cambridge ignoramuses who are cocking up the system!)

You only need to read the ‘Revolving Doors’ column in Private Eye to see how these goons lurch from one failure to another – always finding a new job after each disaster because of the Old School Tie.

It is long past time we saw a few highly-prejudicial sackings but our sad, fat ‘captains of industry’ just don’t have the guts.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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