Tag Archives: Party

Stable-heater Zahawi rushes to deny #OperationRedMeat to save #BorisJohnson’s bacon

Duper’s delight: Boris Johnson (wherever he is) may well be wearing this smile today, as his lieutenants rush to defend him and sway public opinion back in his favour with a dripfeed of drivel. Are you going to let him get away with it?

Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, wants us to know that he is refusing to recognise suggestions of an “Operation Red Meat” strategy to save Boris Johnson’s bacon.

Zahawi, who himself is no angel after trying to get the public to pay for his stables to be heated by claiming it on his MP expenses, wants us to think Johnson is in no danger of dismissal, despite votes of “no confidence” from 35 sitting Tory MPs and one suspended Tory (Anne Marie Morris), and revelation upon revelation every day.

“He’s human and he makes mistakes,” said Zahawi. Yes indeed, we all are and do. But most of us don’t make the same mistake continually over a period lasting at least 11 months, possibly much longer. That is a pattern of behaviour.

Zahawi has also denied some of the details of “Operation Red Meat”, saying sending the military to deal with refugee boats trying to cross the channel was something the government had been “seeking to address for a long time”  – and got into hot water on Sky News for doing so:

It’s true: You don’t crack down on people traffickers by sending the military to attack a flimsy boat full of vulnerable refugees from a country the UK abandoned.

Zahawi wasn’t the only one coming out with nonsense to the media.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, challenged by (Islamophobe) Trevor Phillips on Sky News yesterday (January 16), said Johnson would address the culture that allowed the Downing Street parties to happen:

There’s just one problem with that: Johnson won’t do anything about any such culture because he is the one who created it and fuels it.

All Dowden’s other comments – the vast majority of his speech, in fact – were tangential; Johnson’s decisions on Covid-19 have little bearing on the parties that were hosted at his house. And in any case, those decisions were either wrong or late, meaning the UK’s Covid-19 death toll has been far higher than it should have been.

The only way Tory Covid policy could be linked with the parties is if it is pointed out that Boris Johnson made a decision to enjoy drinkies with his party buddies while the rest of us were losing loved ones because of his decision not to fight Covid-19 in the proper way and at the proper time.

We need to keep that in mind, no matter what drivel the Tories and their mouthpieces in the media throw at us.

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#DowningStreetParties: ANOTHER one is revealed as 35 Tory MPs hand in ‘no confidence’ notes

Party boy: this image is from an electioneering event before the Covid-19 crisis and the liquid in the glass was water (we’re told). And that’s just as well for attendees; if it was one of Johnson’s lockdown-busting parties and they were staff members, he would be demanding that they resign their jobs in order to save his own skin.

It’s being reported that 35 Conservative MPs have submitted letters of ‘no confidence’ in Boris Johnson’s leadership – and more are sure to follow after it was revealed that he attended another Downing Street party.

It seems Johnson went to a leaving party for defence advisor Captain Steve Higham in December 2020 – one that it seems unlikely he’ll be able to deny, because he gave a speech at it.

The revelation is more proof of Johnson’s personal corruption: he set rules for the rest of us that meant we could not socialise at Christmas, or even visit our relatives who were dying of Covid-19, but he was merrily boozing it up with his party mates all the time.

It really was one rule for us and no rules at all for him.

And his own MPs are getting increasingly sick of it. It’s being said that 35 of them have now submitted letters calling for a challenge to Johnson’s leadership because they have no confidence in him.

Six leading Tories – Douglas Ross, Andrew Bridgen, Sir Roger Gale, William Wragg, Tim Loughton and Caroline Nokes – are demanding Johnson’s immediate resignation.

Johnson is fighting back – with plans to pacify his backbenchers by offering them things they want, no matter how bad they are for the UK. So the NHS will suffer more privatisation so shareholders in private companies can have more public money in their back pockets; the BBC licence fee will be ended so it will be destroyed in its current form, and so on.

And he is planning a Hitler-style “Night of the Long Knives” in which members of his top team will be sacked – so he can pretend to be doing something to address the rot in Downing Street.

It won’t work because we know the rot is being caused by him.

Even his attempts to shift the blame sound pathetic. He is alleged to have moaned to his aides, asking, “How has all this been allowed to happen? How has it come to this? How haven’t you sorted it out?”

The simple answers are: “Johnson authorised it all. People talked about it. And nobody could have stopped it but him… and he was too busy whooping it up.”

So it will be entirely unfair – but entirely within character – for Johnson to demand that his employees take the blame for his own wrongdoing.

One MP (unnamed) is quoted comparing it with Hitler’s “Night of the Long Knives”.

He said: “Boris is preparing to lay down the lives of his staff to save his own… It will be the Night of the Long Scapegoats.”

Anybody who knows their history will be deeply troubled by this.

The Night of the Long Knives was a series of executions carried out by Hitler in 1934, to rid himself of political opponents and consolidate his rule of Germany; it made him more able to carry out his extremist agenda.

Any purge of his top team by Boris Johnson, although not nearly as homicidal, will have the same result; he will rid his government of advisors who would caution him against some of the extreme right-wing choices he is making and will bring in people who’ll support him to the hilt.

We have already learned that he is proposing an onslaught against the UK’s institutions and the rights of people living here or coming here, in order to appease the extremists on his own back benches.

If he gets away with it, the UK will slip further into the fascism that Johnson already represents.

It may even tip our nation over the brink into Nazism itself.

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#OperationSaveBigDog? No, Tories. Take him to the vet & have him put down, for his sake and ours

Treacherous cur: Boris Johnson is pictured next to Martin Reynolds at the Downing Street garden party on May 15, 2020, a bottle of booze on the table next to them. Now, it seems Johnson wants Reynolds to take the rap for the parties, to save the prime minister’s pointless career.

It’s exactly as we all thought. Rather than accept responsibility for creating a culture of corruption at Downing Street in which employees were encouraged to have parties while the rest of the UK lived in isolation, Boris Johnson is going to scapegoat the staff.

It seems he has drawn up a list of colleagues he intends to throw under the bus in order to save his own worthless career.

They include Martin Reynolds, the private secretary who invited 100 people to a party in the Downing Street garden on May 20, 2020 and with whom Johnson is pictured at a party in the Downing Street garden on May 15, 2020.

Apparently he’s calling it “Operation save Big Dog”. Here are the details.

One has to question why Johnson thinks pretending other people are responsible for the attitude of contempt for the rules that he created will help him – for a very obvious reason.

The latest story has it that Downing Street staff were having drinks parties every week during lockdown – as suggested by Johnson. The Mirror called it “Boris Johnson’s wine time Fridays“.

The staff scapegoating plan hasn’t gone down well among the political community:

… Or indeed among the public:

If I was one of the staff members being pressurised to quit so Boris Johnson can save a career that isn’t worth saving, I’d be handing my phone full of lockdown-busting party invitations to the investigators – after using it to call the Mirror, the Torygraph and all the other members of the press pack who are baying for prime ministerial blood.

This is one “Big Dog” who needs to be put out of our misery.

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If cleaners lodged complaint after #DowningStreetParty, why was it treated as such a surprise?

Sue Gray: she’s the investigator appointed by Boris Johnson. But shouldn’t she actually be investigatED?

After a lockdown-busting drinks party in the garden of 10 Downing Street in May 2020, the cleaners lodged a complaint about the state in which it had been left, it has been revealed.

Worse: according to the iNews report, it is apparently not clear which May 2020 party they were complaining about.

We know there were booze-ups on May 15 and 20 that year. Who knows what other events took place?

With parties known to have been taking place between May 2020 and April 2021 at least – for all we know, they were happening right up until the first revelation last month – it seems entirely possible that the complaint relates to a previously-unreported event.

source told the paper No 10 staff had been unhappy with the state the garden was left in.

“They’d had to clean up the morning after,” the source said. “They weren’t happy.”

But the insider did caution that this may have been after a different social event.

Nothing was said about it in public at the time – even though the entire country was in a lockdown that separated families from their relatives as they died of Covid-19, as has been reported at great length since the revelations started coming out last month.

It seems to This Writer that questions should be asked about why this information – which is important to our understanding of the way the UK is being run – was withheld from the public.

Were these cleaners pressurised to keep quiet about it?

Were there moves within the Downing Street administration to hush it up?

Considering the revelation earlier this week that staff there have been told to erase details of Downing Street parties from their mobile phones – a criminal offence – this seems likely.

It would suggest – strongly – that the people running Downing Street need to be part of Sue Gray’s investigation.

But Sue Gray is a civil servant and one of the people running Downing Street. Doesn’t this show that she is compromised and should investigated, rather than the investigator?

Source: Downing Street party: No10 cleaners lodged a complaint over state of garden after ‘BYOB’ party

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Number of #DowningStreetParties being investigated hits unlucky 13 for #BorisJohnson

Boris Johnson: his self-inflicted troubles are piling up.

The revelations are coming out thick and fast now, and all Boris Johnson can do now is react with an apology.

It’s the worst possible situation for him because he doesn’t know what’s coming next and cannot prepare; he can only take the rap and hope the public get outrage fatigue.

And we’re not getting tired of being angry at all.

The latest revelation is that the former head of the civil service Covid taskforce – the team responsible for drawing up Covid restrictions – held a leaving party during lockdown in 2020.

Kate Josephs, now chief executive of Sheffield City Council, has tweeted a statement in which she says she had drinks with colleagues on the evening of 17 December.

Here it is:

It does seem odd that she has decided to make this statement unilaterally.

Perhaps she feared the consequences if it came to light from another source.

While it doesn’t seem to involve Boris Johnson directly, it is still hugely damaging to his administration because it means the person who designed the lockdown restrictions that the rest of us had to observe or face the wrath of the law was happy to break them herself.

The implication is that this assumption runs across Johnson’s government; they all thought they could do what they liked.

That’s the kind of attitude that only spreads from the top downward.

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Data watchdog warns government staff against clearing phones of #DowningStreetParties information

Who has been using digital information systems like the internet or the phone lines to order the deletion of messages referring to the alleged lockdow-busting Downing Street parties? Here’s an artist’s impression of one possible suspect.

After This Site and others raised concerns that Downing Street staff were being ordered to remove information they had received about lockdown-breaking parties, the information watchdog has barked.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has warned staff that removing such messages could be a criminal offence:

“Relevant information that exists in the private correspondence channels of public authorities should be available and included in responses to information requests received.

“Erasing, destroying or concealing information within scope of a Freedom of Information request, with the intention of preventing its disclosure is a criminal offence under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act.”

As it is, it seems an investigation may be launched into who gave the order to erase the information.

In fact, it seems likely that any removal of the information from individual phones will not wipe it out of existence but will merely criminalise the owner of the phone for trying to do so.

Messages sent using services such as WhatsApp are stored on a cloud server – not the recipient’s device(s) – and may be recovered by the authorities under circumstances including a legal investigation.

This Writer is not sure whether the same is true of SMS messaging, although I am sure that experts are able to recover information that has been removed by users who pressed the “delete” button but have not deep-cleaned the storage system on which the message had been placed.

I shall be keen to hear if anybody has received the alleged order to erase data, if they acted on it, and if they will be prosecuted for it. I also want to know who send this alleged order and what will happen to them.

Ultimately, we need to know who authorised this alleged message in the first place. And what penalty will they face?

Source: No. 10 Staff Clearing Phones Before Party Inquiry May Be Crime: ICO

Media reporters have DEFINITELY been hiding evidence of #DowningStreetParties. And what else?

Slack by name: if he was a proper reporter, James Slack would have published a story about the Downing Street parties as soon as he went back to work at The Sun. He didn’t – for reasons that, while obvious, are unacceptable.

Well, there it is. There can’t be any doubt that the media have been suppressing evidence of the lockdown-busting parties at Downing Street now, because one of them was for the current deputy editor-in-chief of The Sun – who attended it.

James Slack’s first duty as a news reporter would have been to report that the prime minister was allowing such parties to take place, in contempt of the rules that he had imposed on everybody else.

Reporters have a duty to act in the public interest.

He didn’t – for perfectly understandable but entirely unacceptable reasons: he was at the party on the night of April 16-17, 2021 (it was his leaving party), and he was at the party of May 15 the year before (he appears in the photograph that has been released to the press.

Considering the networks of contacts that all political reporters in Westminster must have, it seems highly unlikely to This Writer that others were kept unaware of it. I doubt the party organisers would have been able to do so and, to be honest, I think it is highly likely that they were invited – especially to an event for somebody who is an industry colleague.

So people like Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston should be asked where they were that night, too. Peston in particular, because of course he worked with Allegra Stratton, the former Downing Street press secretary who resigned after a video clip was publicised showing her laughing about an alleged party there on December 18, 2020.

And we, the public, need to examine their reports now with extreme scepticism.

Slack himself joins Johnson as another two-faced liar who has only apologised because his transgression has been revealed to us. If it had not, then he would have merrily kept it hidden for the rest of his career. Instead, he tells us: “This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility.” Weasel words.

The other party was for someone described as one of Johnson’s personal photographers. It is alleged that staff were sent out to a nearby shop carrying a suitcase, and brought it back filled with bottles of wine.

The party in the Downing Street basement, with a laptop computer blaring out music from atop a photocopier, is said to have linked up with the event for Slack, continuing until well after midnight.

At the time, England was under “Step Two” restrictions, meaning that people were banned from socialising indoors with those from other households. Indoor gatherings and gatherings of more than six people outdoors were unlawful, unless “reasonably necessary for work”. There were also fixed penalty notices of up to £10,000 for individuals organising unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.

This information has been released to us now because somebody has decided it is to their advantage. I would suggest that this person would be somebody in the Conservative government who sees an opportunity to grab power from Johnson.

We certainly should not believe that anybody is innocent of such machinations if they speak up in support of Johnson now; it is entirely possible for a person to be supportive in public while stabbing somebody in the back privately.

The current revelations are doubly offensive to the Queen, of course. Firstly, there is the clear offence that two events, in which people partied, laughed and joked in close contact with each other, took place at a time of national mourning, the day before she had to sit alone at the socially-distanced funeral of her husband of 73 years.

Secondly, though, this is the second time prime minister Boris Johnson has made a fool of her; the first was when he persuaded her to prorogue Parliament on the basis of a lie he told so he could bypass an obstacle to his (now revealed to be entirely useless) Brexit deal.

If she doesn’t absolutely hate Johnson by now, she must be superhuman indeed.

It is said that Johnson was not at the parties of April 2021 – but you’d have to be a fool to think he wasn’t aware of them, after all the others.

Today’s revelations bring the current total number of parties being investigated by civil servant Sue Gray – who is, let’s remember, an employee of Boris Johnson and not an independent investigator at all – to 12.

One has to question whether there is another strategy here – to leak new information about parties out at intervals, so Ms Gray’s investigation can never be concluded.

To those of us watching from outside, it’s beginning to seem as though Downing Street was a party venue from the moment the first lockdown began, right up to last Christmas, at the very least.

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Are government staff really being ordered to break the law over #DowningStreetParties?

What they want erased: Downing Street staff are being ordered to erase information on their mobile phones relating to the alleged Downing Street lockdown-busting parties. Note that this image from the May 2020 event shows Boris Johnson sitting next to the organiser, Martin Reynolds, with a bottle of wine on the table. And he says he didn’t realise it was a party?

This is damning: it seems staff at 10 Downing Street have been ordered to clear their mobile phones of any information that could suggest lockdown parties were held there. This is a criminal offence.

According to the Independent,

Two sources claim a senior member of staff told them it would be a “good idea” to remove any messages implying they had attended or were even aware of anything that could “look like a party”.

It’s on Twitter too:

For clarity, this is what it means:

Interesting, that.

Boris Johnson claimed he had changed his phone altogether in order to avoid responsibility for failing to pass on WhatsApp messages about the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat. Was that a criminal offence?

And Lord Bethell, the Tory then-minister responsible for awarding Covid-19-related contracts that bypassed the normal procurement system, replaced his mobile phone before it could be searched for information relevant to £85m of deals that are subject to a legal challenge. An offence?

If so, then this former minister and Prime Minister should be subject to prosecution.

Ah, but they’re members of Parliament and therefore above the law, aren’t they?

Downing Street staff aren’t. They should think very carefully before erasing anything from their phones.

In fact, they should probably take their phones to the police.

Experts can easily restore erased material anyway.

Source: No 10 staff told to ‘clean up’ phones amid lockdown party allegations | The Independent

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#Tories justifying #BorisJohnson and his #DowningStreetParties are getting desperate

Christopher Chope: he once blocked a Bill to prevent photographers from “upskirting” – taking photographs of women’s underwear by pointing cameras up their skirts. That’s the kind of support Boris Johnson has.

The lies – all right, let’s call them falsehoods – are getting blatant now.

Take a look at the following clip of Christopher Chope, the filibuster king, discussing Labour leader Keir Starmer’s demands for Boris Johnson to resign, after Johnson admitted attending a party in the garden of 10 Downing Street on May 20, 2020:

Oh, really?

Let’s see what Starmer was saying:

So: “The Prime Minister pretended that he had been assured that there were no parties.” Let’s check that.

That’ll be from Hansard, then – the official record of Parliamentary proceedings. Yes, here it is:

“I repeat that I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no covid rules were broken.”

We know now that it was a pretence because he has admitted actually attending one. The claim that he thought it was a “work event” doesn’t hold true because he admitted realising what it was – that is his stated reason for leaving it.

“Then the video landed, blowing the Prime Minister’s first defence out of the water, so then he pretended he was sickened and furious about the parties.”

This will be the video of Allegra Stratton laughing while trying to work out what to say about the Downing Street Christmas party in December 2020.

In response, Johnson said: “I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing Number 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures… I was also furious to see that clip.”

Getting back to Starmer, yesterday: “Now it turns out he was at the parties all along.”

And we know this is true of one party, because Johnson has admitted it.

The evidence was all there, for everybody to see, hear or read.

But Christopher Chope chose to deny it for what I’m sure Boris Johnson himself would call “political” reasons (as he referred many times to criticisms of his attendance at the party, during Prime Minister’s Questions on January 12).

I’m surprised the people of Christchurch don’t expect better work from their MP.

I note also that Chope’s fellow Tory backbencher Peter Bone has a Private Members’ Bill coming to the Commons soon, to abolish the BBC licence fee. I look forward to hearing Chope filibuster it out of existence, as he has many other such Bills in the recent past.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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After #BorisJohnson apologised over #DowningStreetParties, a Tory party political broadcast. Brave! Here’s the reason

Boris Johnson: after the abjectly-insincere apology for attending a possibly law-breaking event, putting out a party political broadcast claiming the Tories are the party of law and order is the equivalent of making an obscene gesture to the whole of the UK.

Somebody in the Conservative Party must be a comedian.

What other reason could there be for scheduling a party political broadcast – discussing law and order – on the day Boris Johnson apologised to the UK for attending a potentially lawbreaking, lockdown-busting party?

That is what has happened.

He made the apology just after midday on January 12 and the PPB went out at 6.25pm.

No, I don’t have video of it. Sometimes one has to draw the line.

Instead, I’ll give you just a few reactions:

Oh wait! I have found video that I think you should see! Here it is:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook