Tag Archives: papers

Never mind Metro and the BBC – the DWP has been pushing Universal Credit propaganda already

Amber Rudd: The Work and Pensions secretary is facing demands for answers about a multi-million-pound propaganda campaign involving the Metro newspaper and the BBC – but what about all the “puff” pieces in the local papers?

It’s nice that MPs are finally beginning to realise that the DWP is filling the media with disinformation to make people think Universal Credit is a good thing.

Yes, that’s right – finally.

It seems the local papers have been filling up with this nonsense for a while. Consider the following, from one of Vox Political‘s longest-standing readers:

“They’ve been doing a PR campaign in the local rags – DWP press releases masquerading as local news to reassure nervous Tory MPs, some with small majorities, who fear that Universal Credit is another poll tax.

“[It is] so contrived and patronising – tame staff parroting off the official line word for word, bordering on Maoist, or hostage, statements in a despotic banana republic.

“Most of the articles are more or less the same with the odd bit added here and there.

“The line is that [the news stories about people being forced to food banks, or dying, because of Universal Credit are] only troublemakers telling tales out of class to the papers.

“It’s a very, very regimented, top-down and corporate style of management. I have experienced it before; you can read it like an open book.

“Everything is to a pre-determined outcome and purely to impress someone more senior – all singing from the same hymn sheet in a crackpot religious sect church. They’ll only hear what they want to hear.”

He named some of the newspapers participating:

The Plymouth Herald (“Johnny Mercenary who apparently went or threatened to go on strike – the irony!”)

The Birmingham Mail (“The West Midlands has a few Tory pockets.”)

The Middlesbrough Evening Gazette (“Simon Clarke – a swivel-eyed Brexiteer.”)

Derby Telegraph (“Pauline Latham, Patrick McLoughlin.”)

There was a puff PR piece in the Leicester Mercury too.

“However this G4S UKJCP security guard is parroting off the Victorian ‘feckless and irresponsible poor’ line for the DWP.”

“I’m afraid some people will have to learn the hard way. No loyalty is given; none is expected.”

Here’s another such article:

And here’s the Leicester Mercury piece:

Local newspapers are struggling – I know; I spent decades working for them. But taking the Tory shilling to spread tattle isn’t the way to survive. Any paper that does so should be boycotted by readers and advertisers alike.

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Tories block move to publish Universal Credit briefings. You KNOW what this means

Under Universal Credit, child poverty is skyrocketing. It seems the Tories knew this would happen but decided to hide it from you.

For years, the Conservatives in government have been telling us that Universal Credit is better for everybody, helping the claimant into work and then towards better-paid work at less expensive to the taxpayer in a streamlined system.

But the result of Labour’s Opposition Day debate on the controversial system seems to prove one thing:

The Tories’ claims were nothing more than the vilest of lies.

Why hide the reports otherwise? If they don’t say anything that would turn the public against the Tories, then there wouldn’t be any need to keep them from public view.

Therefore they contain information that shows the Tories knew UC claimants would lose money – badly.

We’ll consider some of the ways they lose out, later.

Here’s the headline:

And here’s Labour’s official response from Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Margaret Greenwood: “The Tories have voted to shamefully cover up the impact that Universal Credit is having on families and people who most need our support.

“We all know that this policy is causing chaos and misery but this Government is refusing to listen and refusing to come clean.

“The roll-out of Universal Credit must be stopped immediately.”

Dawn Butler agreed that the Tories need to reveal the facts:

Members of the public have already drawn the correct conclusion:

The Tories came out with false arguments during the debate:

And they made offers they had no intention of honouring:

Apparently people have already tried, and had no response.

Tory Johnny Mercer trotted out the old chestnut that the best way out of poverty is employment. We all know that this is no longer true, as more people in work are in poverty than those who are out of work.

Claimants who tried to get assistance from the Department for Work and Pensions have found their pleas falling on deaf ears:

But what does Universal Credit actually do to claimants? We have already learned that it causes disproportionate harm to families with children, women, and people in minority groups. Here, Jeremy Corbyn elaborates:

And there is evidence to show the harm to children:

Those are merely the latest revelations this week!

What more could we learn over the next few days?

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Labour to call for all private government briefings on harmful effects of Universal Credit to be published

We’re hearing more and more horror stories about the effect of Universal Credit on the people who are forced to claim it, now.

The latest accounts seem to have done some good, prompting the Conservatives to delay completion of the flawed benefit’s rollout across the UK while they consider ways of minimising hardship caused to people being transferred onto it.

Joy at the decision has been dampened by the revelation that the options being considered won’t do much good – and the fact that the benefit would still target families with children, women, and minority groups with disproportionate cuts in income.

We have been led to believe that even Conservative backbenchers have been considering rebelling against their own government, in the belief that a show of defiance over a matter that has outraged the public might save them from losing their Parliamentary seats at the next general election, which might not be far away.

Perhaps the decision to delay completing the rollout of UC across the whole of the UK was made to pacify these potential rebels.

Their opportunity to make a stand would have come in an Opposition Day debate on Universal Credit today (October 17). Whether that happens or not, the Labour Party has almost certainly outflanked both them and the government itself, with its plan for a “humble address”, in which the Queen is asked to direct that certain documents be released.

In this case, the documents would be private briefing papers on the impact of the roll-out of Universal Credit on recipients, household income and on claimants’ debts:

It seems certain that any papers released in this manner would show that the Conservatives were well aware of the harm their Universal Credit would do – but went ahead with it anyway.

That would include the potentially-rebellious Tory backbenchers; they would have been perfectly aware of the drawbacks to claimants of the benefit as it had been designed.

So Labour’s move – if successful – would expose the Conservatives on multiple levels.

The resulting scandal could be catastrophic for the Tories.

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Whipped Tories ensure Theresa May’s role in the Windrush scandal remains a secret – for now


It seems that every single Conservative MP has slavishly followed Theresa May through the ‘No’ lobby at the House of Commons, ensuring the success of her desperate bid to keep her own role in the racist victimisation of the so-called Windrush generation secret.

The vote was won by 316 votes to 221 in favour of the motion, which would have ensured that all papers relating to the Windrush scandal between 2010 and 2018 would be released.

But in ordering her MPs to hide the facts, Mrs May has admitted that there are facts about her involvement that she does not want the public to know.

She has admitted that she has not told the truth – or at least, not the whole truth.

That is the message that should be put to voters before they cast their ballots in the local elections tomorrow (May 3):

Does anybody seriously want to support the woman who imposed the most racist policy ever to blight the UK’s citizens – and then tried to deny her role in it?


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Were pervert MPs protected to prevent embarrassing a Tory government?

Implicated: Leon Brittan [Image: Guardian].

Implicated: Leon Brittan [Image: Guardian].

If The Guardian‘s story yesterday is correct, it seems the Conservative Government of the 1980s was perfectly happy to protect child abusing cabinet members, because the harm they caused to “small boys” was deemed to be less important than “the risks of political embarrassment to the government”.

In fact, the risk posed to children was not considered at all; the only concerns set out in correspondence between then-director general of MI5, Sir Anthony Duff, and then-Cabinet Secretary Sir Robert Armstrong were dangers to security (national security?) and political embarrassment for the Conservatives.

If that does not make you physically sick with disgust at the attitudes that pervaded the top level of government in the United Kingdom, read it again until it does.

Implicated in the papers are the recently-deceased former Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, along with Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary, Sir Peter Morrison, former diplomat Sir Peter Hayman and former minister Sir William van Straubenzee.

Note carefully the fact that everybody implicated had a knighthood – indicating just how institutionalised child abuse appears to have been.

The other connection between them is that they are all dead – meaning that, if they did commit crimes against children, all of them escaped justice because they were connected with a Conservative government.

The papers came to light months after an official review concluded that claims the Home Office covered up child abuse allegations in the 1980s – including when Lord Brittan was Home Secretary – were “not proven”, and also several months after the sudden death of Lord Brittan himself – it was claimed he had succumbed after a long battle with cancer but, if so, it is strange that nobody seemed to have heard of it before.

The Cabinet Office is saying that the papers have only come to light now, because they had been kept in a store of “the Cabinet Secretary’s miscellaneous papers” at the National Archive where they had lain, largely uncatalogued and unregistered, with others accumulated over several decades up to 2007.

Do you believe that cover story?

Cabinet Office permanent secretary Richard Heaton wrote to Peter Wanless, head of the NSPCC and author of the official review, in May apologising for a “flaw in the way the Cabinet Office initially responded” to his, and fellow review author, barrister Richard Whittam’s, request for documents, and confirming that three categories of papers had since been identified as potentially relevant.

In a supplement to the review, released online yesterday, Wanless and Whittam said: “We are concerned and disappointed that the Cabinet Office was aware of the separate Cabinet Office store of assorted and unstructured papers, yet informed us that the searches covered all records and files held.”

So there it is. A previous Conservative Government hid evidence of child abuse among its ranks.

And the current Conservative Government obstructed investigations into these historic abuses until after all those involved were dead.

What do you think of that?

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