Tag Archives: park

‘Machete’ attack in Hyde Park brings racists out against Sadiq Khan – but it’s really Priti Patel’s fault

Tory policy: the ‘stock’, to which Patel’s satirical comment refers, are you and me – ordinary people. Tories don’t think of you as human beings like them, therefore crime against you is of no concern to them at all.

The best law-enforcement in the world won’t stop some crime – and the best way to encourage it is to blame the wrong people for it.

So today, after an individual was attacked by a gang wielding weapons that some have claimed included foot-long knives and a machete, the racist right-wingers were out in force on the social media, blaming London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Policing isn’t his primary function. That job went to Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel. And the fact that there are 20,000 fewer police on your streets is the responsibility of a previous Tory Home Secretary (and later prime minister), Theresa May.

Get your priorities right, or a bad situation will get worse.

Sadly, too many people seem to have their priorities wrong – led by a rabid far-right political activist called Darren Grimes.

This product of a broken culture is a former Brexit campaigner who was nearly fineed £20,000 for breaking electoral spending rules and lying on the declaration form – but was let off after he said the form had confused him.

Is he similarly confused about the questionable politics of his internet platform Reasoned, which seeks to attact people who “hide [their] political views for fear of being called homophobic, a TERF (transphobic], [or] racist”?

It seems to This Writer that such a site will attract exactly that kind of person – especially after he published an interview on that platform in which historian David Starkey said slavery was not genocide, “otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?”

Grimes said he hadn’t “caught” the comment before publishing it, which does not excuse him from the fact that it was published. Perhaps he was just confused about what constitutes racism?

Given the considerable confusion in his past, it seems entirely reasonable for Grimes to be confused about who is responsible for policing in London. Fortunately, we have more rational social media users to put him straight:

Sadly the damage has been done and lunatics are springing up to blame the recently re-elected London Mayor (it seems some of them are smarting that the Tory racist didn’t get in) for an incident that he could not have prevented even if he had all the police in the country at his disposal; they can’t be everywhere.

I know Vox Political readers won’t be fooled by any of this nonsense. But for the benefit of weaker-minded souls who might need help, let’s have a few words from people who understand the situation better than the far-right headbangers:

This Writer just hopes that the hysteria whipped up by right-wing racists hasn’t diverted attention away from the politician who should be telling us why she is allowing this violent crime to happen in one of the UK’s most famous public spaces.

So, what do you have to say for yourself, Priti Patel?

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Keir ‘More Tory Than Tories’ Starmer wants barriers to remove the hoi-polloi from Primrose Hill park

Fake Labour: Keir Starmer is more interested in flags, suits, haircuts and privilege than in representing the ordinary people of the UK.

When a Labour leader is more interested in blocking ordinary people out of a Royal park so rich residents aren’t disturbed by the hoi-polloi, you know he has to go.

Keir Starmer has supported calls for a 9ft high barrier to be put across entrances to Primrose Hill in North London, after receiving complaints that lockdown restrictions had resulted in a rowdy, violent, drug-taking and drug-dealing crowd coming to the park.

There is no evidence to suggest that he has researched the situation himself; he has simply followed right-wing Labour policy of believing that any complaint about anything at all must be true and that the alleged wrongdoers are guilty and no proof is needed.

What a strange attitude for a former Director of Public Prosecutions!

In fact, any implied wrong-doing at the park could be halted with effective policing. The Tory government says it is bringing in thousands of new police officers, so there’s no reason not to send some of them here.

Far worse than any alleged wrong-doing in the park – for Starmer – is the fact that, yet again, he has sided with Conservatives for no reason at all; local Tories have been leafleting the area to campaign for gates.

It means the Labour leader is actively campaigning to end the right of ordinary people to enjoy London’s only remaining permanently-open Royal park, and to restrict it to people who are rich and privileged.

The response on the social media is well worth examining. Consider this:

If you look at the responses from those who support gating, you’ll see that most of them have very few followers and aren’t following many people either, that their profile pictures are not of themselves, and that they have numbers at the end of their Twitter handles; in short, that they are trollbots that have been set to ensure that idle readers think there’s more support for gating than just a few self-entitled toffs and their Labour Party cuckoo.

These comments ring truer:

Source: Anger as Starmer intervenes to back closures at popular Primrose Hill | Keir Starmer | The Guardian

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If Johnson’s bike ride ‘didn’t break rules’, police don’t understand them

On his bike (this is an old, pre-Covid image).

You have to laugh at these desperate attempts to justify Boris Johnson’s decision to ride his bike around the Olympic Park in London – seven miles from 10 Downing Street.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick actually went on the radio and said if people exercise “from your front door and come back to your front door”… “That’s my view of local.”

Great!

This Writer is not best-located to mock this point of view as I live in one of the UK’s biggest cycling hubs, with routes flying in all directions around Mid Wales.

But if I didn’t; if I lived in a place that was 10 miles away from a cycle track – or more – and I wanted to do a bit of pedalling, it’s nice to know that Cressida Dick would fully support my decision to do so – cycling all the way there, round the track as often as I wanted, and then back home again.

That’s her view of local.

She was basically saying we can go out as far as we like, for as long as we like.

That is entirely against the demands of the current lockdown. And she is the commissioner of London’s police force.

The guidance states very clearly that, while you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)… “stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live”.

Admittedly, living in Mid Wales, I’m not as familiar with London as many.

But I feel sure there are a few open spaces in central London and there was no need for Johnson to go seven miles.

So I can’t help but wonder whether anyone now facing fines for break lockdown guidance now has another excuse.

Besides saying, “Dominic Cummings,” they’ll now be able to say, “Boris Johnson.”

Source: Covid: Johnson’s bike ride ‘didn’t break rules’ – BBC News

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Claims the ‘Farage Garage’ flooding story was a hoax… turn out to be a hoax

Farage’s legacy: this land is set to become a parking zone for 17,000 lorries.

We all had a laugh at the name given to a planned lorry park in Kent to accommodate expected customs delays following full Brexit on January 1 next year – right?

(If you’re not aware of this, skip back to this article and enjoy the references to the ‘Farage Garage’ and ‘Jacob Rees Bogs’.)

And yesterday we had a laugh at the following:

Then it seemed someone was having a laugh at us…

But it seems the story is accurate after all:

The story states:

Work on a huge post-Brexit lorry park is running behind schedule after heavy rain forced contractors to down tools.

The Department for Transport says it had to suspend construction of the 1,700-space facility in Ashford earlier this week “to manage surface water levels”.

Whether the site really does flood four times a year is not made clear, although it has clearly managed it once since construction started.

Thanks go to to Artemis (above) for the link to the Kent Online story.

And to the person who sent a snarky comment to This Site about “fake news” – perhaps you should do some research of your own before flinging wild accusations!

 

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Brexit will ruin the Garden of England; Brits respond in typical style

Farage’s legacy: it may not look like much now, but when it’s finished, this huge segment of the Garden of England will be a lorry park for 1,700 vehicles – the Farage Garage. The Jacob Rees-Bogs haven’t been installed yet.

This has been cracking me up since I first heard of it this morning (October 16) and I’m only sorry I had to wait until now to write an article about it.

It seems the practical upshot of Brexit is that Kent – also known as the Garden of England – is being bulldozed, in order to turn it into an enormous lorry park.

This is all being carried out by a political organisation that describes itself by the misnomer of “Conservatives”. What are they conserving, exactly?

British people, knowing that this is a result of the nation leaving the European Union, have dubbed the first such lorry park – set to hold 1,700 vehicles – the ‘Farage Garage.

Apparently the on-site toilets have been designated the ‘Jacob Rees-Bogs’.

Twitter has been gridlocked with it. See for yourself:

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National Trust closes open spaces to restrict coronavirus – but it seems disabled people were blocked anyway

An attempt by the National Trust to provide an open space for people to enjoy while still observing guidelines on social distancing seems to have failed spectacularly.

The Trust had announced that it was closing its houses but keeping its gated gardens and parks open, to give people a chance to enjoy fresh air and the beauty of nature, in the belief that we will need it more than ever.

But a huge volume of visitors yesterday (March 21) convinced bosses that it would not be possible to ensure that people maintain the kind of distance necessary to protect people from contracting coronavirus.

We should not blame these visitors for coming – but it could be claimed that they abused the offer by staying when it was clear that so many others had also turned up.

In any case, there seems to have been confusion about the situation, with disabled people complaining about the closure of car parks in gated parks.

The trust has waived car park fees for their open countryside areas, but the gated parks were supposed to be remaining open, with their car parks closed.

This site was contacted by a person who relayed a conversation with a National Trust representative about access to one of its parks.

In it, they said: “My elderly parents have been visiting the park twice a week since my mother had a stroke. They do not get out of the car… Simply sit in the park and watch the world go by. It is a source of great comfort especially to my mum who was robbed of so much by the stroke. They live locally but will be unable to access the park because my mother is virtually unable to walk.

“I understand that you need to take precautions but can you have a rethink and allow blue badge holders to access the car park please.”

The response: “In order to allow access to a select few we would need to have the gate manned all day from 8am-6pm as there is no digital way that we can self-select cars.

“In the current climate, we cannot put a staff member in that position. I am sorry that there is not more we can do.”

Were the car parks open or not?

Ultimately, it seems a moot point as cars were reportedly parked along access roads to National Trust parks and gardens as people queued up to get in – making a mockery of the Trust’s attempts at social distancing.

Publicity the Trust received when it announced that it would keep its parks and gardens open was positive.

This Site has been told that people with disabilities took a different view as a result of the apparent car park prohibition.

Perhaps the best way to look at it is as a genuine attempt to help that simply has not succeeded – partly because of the way people reacted to it.

A shame.

Source: Latest statement on coronavirus (COVID-19) | National Trust

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If you hear Boris Johnson making a claim, it’s probably a lie – as his PMQs performance proves

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying. He would have been wearing it in Parliament during PMQs but he was too busy wagging his hands around.

How reassuring it was to hear Boris Johnson claim that the bursary for trainee nurses has been restored and that hospital parking is free.

There’s just one small issue: trainee nurses shouldn’t apply for that bursary and anyone visiting hospital should bring their cash with them.

Because both of Johnson’s claims were lies.

The UK now has a prime minister so dishonourable, so low, that he thinks nothing of telling falsehoods to the nation, wholesale.

In Prime Minister’s Questions, he boasted: “We’ve restored the nurses’ bursary, introduced a bill to ensure a record cash boost for our NHS, and ensured there is free hospital car parking for everybody who attends a hospital.”

That reminds me: adjust the figures for inflation and his “record cash boost for our NHS” turns out to be nothing of the sort.

Here’s Nursing Notes on Johnson’s lies:

While a new educational grant of up to £8,000 per year will be offered to all nursing students on courses from September 2020, it falls significantly short of the bursary system previously scrapped by the Conservative Party as students will graduate with up to £60,000 of debt.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has previously confirmed that from April 2020 some hospital staff and visitors will be entitled to free parking. However, this will be limited to blue badge holders and the parents of sick children staying overnight.

And for those of you who prefer audio-visual records:

Source: ‘Nursing bursary restored and hospital parking is free’, insists PM | NursingNotes

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Sign the petition to end the hospital car parking tax on the sick

Car park charges at Royal Surrey County Hospital Guildford [Image: North Downs Picture Agency].


This Writer lives in Wales, where the only hospital that charges for car parking is in Cardiff – and has been pilloried for the practice.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have to pay for hospital parking – my nearest hospital is in Hereford (England) and Mrs Mike has treatment at a hospital in Gobowen, near Oswestry (also in England). Both charge a small fortune for parking.

Now we discover – well, see for yourself:

Here’s the information as relayed by the Daily Mirror:

Patients, NHS staff, visitors and politicians from across the divide last night joined forces to demand the end of crippling hospital car parking charges.

The hated fees … last year raked in a record £175million for NHS trusts and private contractors.

The sick, disabled, relatives and workers were being charged £500,000 a day to use hospital car parks at up to £4 an hour. It comes as it was revealed only 0.001% of income from the fees is spent on health.

The Mirror is calling for the charges – described as a “tax on the sick” to be dropped, nationwide. Notably, disabled Tory MP Robert Halfon has joined the call. Labour is, of course, in support of the campaign:

There is a petition, calling for the charges to be cut. This Writer has signed, and I urge you to do the same.

Sign the petition calling for cruel hospital car parking charges to be scrapped.


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Bristolians rise against austerity with ‘Fund our city!’ call

On the march: The Rally for Bristol.

As I write this, the people of Bristol are staging a rally against austerity-driven Tory cuts to funding and services for their city.

The event was called by city mayor Marvin Rees – and This Writer (a former Bristolian) agrees with his reasons.

Only today, I had to write about funding cuts to another local authority that have endangered Women’s Aid services there – putting lives at risk.

Tories don’t care. They think money is more important than human lives.

The event’s Facebook page states:

“Mayor Marvin Rees has called a march and rally on Saturday September 9th … to demand the Conservative government gives Bristol and other cities the funding we need for our public services and stops the cuts that are damaging the lives of so many.

“The general election and polls since have shown that austerity is now opposed by the great majority of the public. But despite its weak position this government is handing £70 billion to the wealthy in tax breaks over five years, even as it burdens Bristol City Council with cuts to bare-bones essential services totalling £104 million (10% cut each year).

“On September 9th, three days before the Mayor is set to lobby ministers at Westminster, let’s send a powerful message by marching in our thousands in Bristol and other cities: we won’t take any more cuts – not to our social care and NHS, our children’s services, our housing, our libraries, our arts, our community centres, our parks, our schools, our children’s crossing patrols…

“We’ve had enough of closures, privatisation and job losses, and we’re uniting – as workers, service users and citizens – to fight all the way for the investment we need in the public services and the living standards of our communities!”


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Russell Howard tells it like it is about tax credits and tampons (STRONG LANGUAGE)

Russell's opinion of Philip Davies after the Shipley filibusterer talked out a proposed law to help carers park at hospitals.

Russell’s opinion of Philip Davies after the Shipley filibusterer talked out a proposed law to help carers park at hospitals.

This Blog has been waiting more than a week to put up this clip of Russell Howard taking the Tories to task over their plan to cut tax credits and their refusal to end the tampon tax.

Here it is, but be warned – the language is spicy!

Russell is originally from Bristol, just like This Writer. He has been dishing it out to our dish-faced prime muppet since his new serious began on BBC2 a few weeks ago. It airs at 10pm every Thursday – last time round he gave Philip Davies a trouncing for talking out the Bill to end hospital parking charges for carers.

As a carer myself, I could not agree with Russell more.

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