Tag Archives: penalty

Johnson’s contempt of the courts as Covid contracts are STILL unpublished

UK prime minister Boris Johnson missed his calling in life: he belongs in the circus.

Who can doubt that Boris And His Amazing Talking Backside would be a hit with audiences across the country, if not the globe?

And let’s be honest, it would be a far more appropriate place for him to make the kind of utterances he does.

There can be little doubt that most of Johnson’s conversation comes, not from his mouth, but from the other end.

He tends to give vent to short bursts of hot air with very little real content. And such content as there is, stinks.

A prime example of this verbal flatulence is the moment he claimed that all Covid-related contracts were “on the record for everyone to see” after Matt Hancock had been found to have broken the law by failing to publish them.

And were they?

Challenged about the ruling in the House of Commons on 22 February, Mr Johnson said: “All the details are on the record.”

The prime minister added: “The contracts are there on the record for everybody to see.”

But three days later, in a written legal response to the Good Law Project, seen by the BBC, government lawyers admitted 100 contracts for suppliers and services relating to Covid-19 signed before 7 October had yet to be published.

So they weren’t. And nobody is surprised because we all know that Johnson’s words don’t come from his mouth but from somewhere much lower down.

The other Tory claim about this – that the government has been “working tirelessly” to deliver protection for health and social care staff – was disproved the moment it was uttered.

We all remember that health staff had to fight Covid with no personal protective equipment at all when the first wave of the pandemic broke over the UK.

And social care staff actually carried it between homes, infecting – and killing – 30,000 residents.

When the High Court made its judgement against Matt Hancock last month, he was ordered to publish details of his contracts and pay £85,000 towards the costs of the Good Law Project, whose members brought the case.

The government hasn’t published those contracts. Shouldn’t Hancock now suffer a stronger penalty?

Source: Covid contracts still unpublished despite Boris Johnson’s claim – BBC News

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New penalties for breaking Covid travel rules are right – and they are also an insult

Matt Hancock: this vacant-eyed dimwit has helped cause the deaths of tens of thousands of people and will suffer no penalty for it – but he wants you to know that he can take £10,000 off of you, even if you do nothing to spread Covid-19.

Your Tory government – the one that just admitted ignoring scientific advice in a way that caused tens of thousands of deaths – has just imposed new penalties for breaking Covid-19-related travel bans.

The rules include:

Ten year jail terms… could be given to anyone who lies on a passenger locator form to hide they have been to red-list country within ten days before arriving, from which travellers will have to quarantine in hotels for up to ten days.

Anyone arriving from one of the 33 red list countries will have to pay £1,750, which will cover the cost of their hotel stay, transport to the hotel, and their coronavirus tests.

Anyone arriving in the UK from any country will need to take two Covid tests before being allowed to leave isolation, whether they are quarantining at home or a hotel.

This is on top of a negative test result required 72 hours before travelling.

Anyone in England who does not comply with the rules faces fines of up to £10,000.

It is reasonable to impose new controls to restrict the spread of Covid-19 – including the fines (although I don’t think people should have to pay the cost of following those controls that are being forced on them).

My problem is this:

These controls, imposing huge financial penalties and imprisonment on people who may not spread Covid at all, are penalties for ignoring advice from a government that has admitted causing tens of thousands of deathsby ignoring advice from scientists.

Boris Johnson hasn’t paid a fine – and I would expect him to have to pay a lot more than £10,000, considering the megadeaths he has caused, the harm to families across the UK and to the national economy as well.

Boris Johnson hasn’t gone to jail. What’s the sentence for causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths?

So, while I agree with the principal behind the new rules, I don’t believe Johnson’s Conservative government has any moral authority to impose them.

In fact, I would go as far as to say:

It is an insult. Johnson and his Tories are telling us not only that they can get away with causing thousands upon thousands of deaths, but also that they can inflict further harm on us – at will – whenever they feel like it.

Source: Ten year jail terms and £10,00 fines for breaking Covid travel rules as border controls tightened | ITV News

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Is Priti Patel planning to bring back the death penalty? For what – criticising Tories like her?

The devil in a dress: Priti Patel appears to have developed a homicidal streak. What am I saying? I mean, an EVEN MORE homicidal streak.

For crying out loud.

This is what happens when you vote for Conservatives, folks.

They decide to conserve their way of life by depriving us of any life at all.

We have already seen evidence of her triggering violence against “activist lawyers” with her own unwise comments; perhaps this will be to stop people from pointing out her own stupidity to her in public.

Just wait for the details. It will be applicable for anything upwards of looking at Tories in a funny way.

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Tory penalty fines for missing school next term may be illegal

Evidence: Coronavirus outbreaks in English schools have risen exponentially since the Tories ordered parents to send their children back.

Typical Tory bullying: “We’ll threaten people with a fine to force them to send their kids back to school, whether they’re likely to catch Covid-19 or not.

“Then they’ll have no excuse not to go back to work, even if there’s a huge chance they’ll catch the virus there.”

Here’s a fly for their ointment:

Every parent has a legal responsibility to keep their children from harm.

No fine imposed by the Tories will overrule that responsibility; it can’t. To do such a thing would be admitting they want parents to allow the government to harm their children.

That is implied by their threat, but admitting it out loud would be electoral suicide.

Now look at the graph (above). Since the Tories forced only some children in England to go back to school, Covid-19 infections there have risen exponentially, week-on-week.

That’s pretty strong evidence to support protecting children by keeping them away.

Parents in England who do not send their children back to school in September will face fines, says the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

“Unless there’s a good reason for absence… we’d be imposing fines on families,” he said.

But head teachers said fining parents was not the “right approach” at first.

“There will be many frightened and anxious parents out there,” said Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union.

Head teachers, who decide whether absences are authorised, are more likely to want to build up parents’ trust in a safe return, said Mr Barton.

Source: Penalty fines for missing school next term – BBC News

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Boris Johnson wants “proper sentencing” for serious offenders – like the DEATH PENALTY?

Priti Patel: She wants to re-introduce the death penalty for serious crimes. Will Boris Johnson support her in this?

Was anybody else deeply disturbed by Boris Johnson’s incoherence on his first outing as prime minister?

He started robotically: “Today – is the first day – of a new approach – that will end” with what? His batteries running flat? It was worse than the Maybot.

This Writer has been informed by the luminaries on the social media that he was probably trying to sound Churchillian. He didn’t. He sounded like a child.

He followed this underwhelming debut with a seven-minute rant in response to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Did he answer any of the points Mr Corbyn raised? I found it impossible to tell.

One point he did not touch upon was the question of his Home Secretary’s support for the death penalty.

Priti Patel should not be Home Secretary at all, of course. She was forced out of Theresa May’s cabinet because she could not be trusted with government work and was caught carrying out what seemed to be a foreign policy of her own in visiting Israel and advocating support for that country.

Mr Corbyn did not mention that in his speech. But he did ask: “Given his first appointment is the Home Secretary – the first Home Secretary in a generation to support the death penalty – can the Prime Minister assure the House now that his government has no plans to bring back capital punishment to this country?”

No response – in seven minutes of ravings about the number of houses that were built in the UK last year, Mr Corbyn’s alleged dealings with Iranian mullahs, and John McDonnell’s historic behaviour.

But in a later reply to Chris Leslie he said he did not “personally” support the policy but “I think what the people of this country want to see is proper sentencing for serious violent and sexual offenders […] we will also be pursuing all the preventative measures necessary to reduce our prison population”.

Well, the noose would indeed reduce the prison population – although not by a huge amount; murder is thankfully not a common crime.

But Mr Johnson’s ambivalence was not a welcome sign. Ms Patel has shown herself to be unable (or unwilling) to listen to reason on this subject, as we can see from her response to Ian Hislop when the matter was raised on the BBC’s Question Time a few years ago.

We now have the most right-wing, authoritarian government the UK has seen in decades – if ever. Around one-third of the new cabinet, for example, voted against marriage rights for LGBT people.

How long will it be until they start clamouring for the return of executions – and never mind if innocents die?

I reckon they’re just waiting for an excuse.

Source: BREAKING: Boris Johnson refuses to rule out reintroducing the DEATH PENALTY | Evolve Politics

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Tory MP calls for return of the death penalty for murderers. Why does HE want to kill people, then?

Far-right Conservative MP John Hayes seems to lack the self-awareness needed to see the contradiction in his demand for the return of the death penalty for murderers.

Is he deliberately ignoring the obvious? Here it is:

If his party voted to reinstate capital punishment, that would make every MP who did so a killer – including himself. Murderers all, in fact, as they would be responsible for the premeditated killing of who-knows-how-many people?

And, is this another crackpot idea to be pinned on Brexit?

Here are the facts, from The Independent:

“A Conservative MP has called on the government to reintroduce hanging for people who commit violent crimes.

“John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, and a former minister, asked justice secretary David Gauke to consider the “potential merits” of the death penalty.

“The option of capital punishment “should be available to the courts” in cases such as that of Westminster Bridge attacker Khalid Masood, he said.

“Masood was shot dead by armed officers after mowing down pedestrians and fatally stabbing PC Keith Palmer in March 2017, but Mr Hayes suggested that had Masood survived it would have been “appropriate” for him to be hanged.

“Mr Hayes told Lincolnshire Live: “We have got an issue in Britain with very serious crime.

““We have had a number of serious crimes, the murder rates increase and barely a week goes by without hearing about some horrific child murder or old people being attacked and killed.””

As far as increasing murder rates are concerned, he doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on:

https://twitter.com/gerardtubb/status/1058724321282191360

The Conservative government has responded with the official line – that it opposes the death penalty and is campaigning for it to be abolished internationally.

But what induced this man – who is a member of Parliament, let’s not forget – to think that this would be a good time to demand the return of barbaric punishments?

Brexit opportunism? “Everything’s going to go to pot, including law and order, so let’s bring back the death penalty and get rid of people we don’t like”?

This is the heart of the matter: Innocent people will be killed if the death penalty returns:

Still – and in the interests of balance – there’s always a loony who will support these psychopaths:

https://twitter.com/seabrook_ellis/status/1058676265186668544

Isn’t wanting to kill people for no reason a sign of declining morals?

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Right’s ‘outrage’ over vexatious claim penalty gives away their real agenda | The SKWAWKBOX

Brace yourself for a wave of false accusations against supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party – most probably of anti-Semitism.

That is the message we are to take from the so-called Red Roar‘s fake outrage at the proposed penalties for vexatious or malicious claims.

It occurs to me that this might be the reason for the cloning of Corbyn-supporting Labour members’ Twitter handles, as explained by Evolve Politics here.

If you are a Labour member, please take note of the advice in the last paragraph by Skwawkbox, below, and act on it.

The ‘Red Roar’, more commonly referred to among Labour members as the ‘Blue Squeak’ has been attempting to whip up outrage about the idea that a penalty for vexatious or malicious claims might be included in Labour’s disciplinary code when Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) meets to discuss the party’s Code of Conduct either next month or in October.

That’s right – Labour’s morally-bankrupt right, for which the Squeak is an unprincipled mouthpiece – thinks it’s a bad idea that people should be penalised for making false claims designed either to bog the party down in nonsense or to smear someone with an undeserved and lifelong taint.

The proposal… would address false complaints of any type – and is entirely in line with usual legal principles.

If someone makes a deliberate false accusation of a criminal act, they can be charged and suffer legal penalties. If someone makes a false, damaging statement about someone in the media, they can be penalised for defamation.

So the Squeak getting its knickers in a twist reveals more than they might wish – because only people who want to make false and malicious accusations are likely to worry that there might be a penalty for doing so.

It’s a dead give-away of the plans of the Labour right – of course only false accusations by Labour members would be subject to any penalty in Labour’s rules.

So what can Labour members of good will do? Find the details of your member or union representatives on the NEC and demand that they ensure that a motion for the inclusion of a penalty for vexatious, malicious or abusive complaints is on the agenda for the next NEC meeting – and that they both support it and lobby their colleagues to do the same.

Source: Right’s ‘outrage’ over vexatious claim penalty gives away their real agenda | The SKWAWKBOX

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Wrong-headed Ukip leader candidate wants death penalty for paedophiles – unless victim ‘looks 18’

John Rees-Evans, UKIP leadership candidate.

John Rees-Evans, UKIP leadership candidate.


Is John Rees-Evans angling for the Daily Mail readers’ vote?

The Mail, as we all know, runs a column down the right-hand side of its website containing image after image of scantily-clad celebrities (if you can call them that), praising their physical attributes, no matter how young they may be.

In fact, the Mail‘s editorial position appears to be one of praise for girls aged less than 18, especially if they look older.

So, as This Writer mentioned before, “the leaning towards leering at very young girls is ingrained in the psyche of that extremely-popular site”.

The combination of a death penalty for paedophiles, commuted to another sentence if the victim looks older, therefore seems right up the Mail‘s alley.

But we should not attribute any extra support from this quarter to strategy by the candidate himself.

After all, he’s the man who claimed a gay donkey raped his horse.

A would-be Ukip leader has said paedophiles should receive the death penalty – but not if the victim “looks 18”.

John Rees-Evans, who has previously suggested a gay donkey raped his horse, suggested only abusers of “pre-pubescent”children would face the penalty under his re-introduction of capital punishment, suggesting it would only apply when the victim was under the age of 13.

In an extraordinary policy position that even shocked fellow Ukip leadership contenders, Rees-Evans was speaking during a debate held by LBC radio when he caveated his position on paedophiles facing the death penalty – arguing it depends “what you define as a paedophile”.

Questioned by presenter Iain Dale about bringing back the punishment, Rees-Evans said:

“I would vote in favour of the death penalty in the case of, specifically, for paedophiles and child killers.”

Dale pressed him further, asking whether “all proven paedophiles” would face the same punishment. He replied, before hesitating:

“Yes … but sorry, with paedophiles I wouldn’t say necessarily someone (the victim) who looked 18, and was fifteen-and-a-half.”

Source: Ukip Leadership Candidate John Rees-Evans Wants Death Penalty For Paedophiles Unless Victim ‘Looks 18’ | Huffington Post

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Why is Chris Grayling trying to sabotage the national finances?

You loved yesterday's meme about Iain Duncan Smith so here's one about Chris Grayling. Feel free to share it across the Internet and tell all your friends to do the same [Image: 38 Degrees].

You loved yesterday’s meme about Iain Duncan Smith so here’s one about Chris Grayling. Feel free to share it across the Internet and tell all your friends to do the same [Image: 38 Degrees].

Here’s further evidence that Justice Minister Chris Grayling is not only unjust but actually evil.

It seems he is drawing up contracts which will ensure profits – for the period of the next two parliaments – for private companies taking over probation services, and massive penalties for the next government if it cancels the contracts.

“Taxpayers will face a £300m-£400m penalty if controversial probation privatisation contracts are cancelled after next May’s general election under an “unprecedented” clause that guarantees bidders their expected profits over the 10-year life of the contract,” according to The Guardian.

It seems the contracts would guarantee the income of two of our favourite outsourcing firms, G4S and Serco, both of which have been at the centre of serious fraud allegations. They have received these contracts during a period when Grayling himself had said they would receive nothing.

Clearly he has misled Parliament.

The Ministry of Justice says it is following Treasury guidance by including the clause, making it likely that we are seeing a conspiracy among Tory-led government departments – and that we will see more of the same in other politically-controversial contracts that will be signed before next May’s general election.

In a time of austerity, inflicted on us by the same government!

Isn’t it illegal for one government to tie the hands of the next in this manner?

Margaret Hodge, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, has said she was appalled by the discovery, according to the newspaper.

This is a typical Tory tactic in new wrapping. Remember how the Tory-led Coalition has forced budget cuts on councils and the regional assemblies, meaning in return that they had to cut services to citizens – and take the blame for the choices?

Grayling is clearly hoping that a Labour or Labour-led government of the future that cuts the contracts to G4S and Serco will take the blame for the increased cost to the taxpayer that he is imposing.

He isn’t thinking straight, though. G4S and Serco are under investigation, facing serious allegations of fraud. While they were cleared to work on government contracts in January, this came from auditors working for the Conservative government; a future government may disagree with that decision.

This means that contracts awarded to G4S and Serco would be void – and no money would be due to them.

Whatever happens with the contracts, Grayling himself should face legal proceedings for his own involvement in what amounts to interference with the public finances, after he is forced out of office next year. The favouritism he shows towards the two companies is deeply suspicious and he should be investigated for financial connections to them.

Let us remember, also, that Grayling has no mandate for these actions as nobody elected a Conservative government into office to tie the hands of future administrations. It was not in the Conservative 2010 manifesto, nor was it in the Coalition agreement.

This ‘justice’ minister belongs behind bars.

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Poverty: The situation’s bleak, but the future looks worse!

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We all owe a debt of thanks to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for its work to reveal the depth of poverty in British society today.

The Foundation’s latest report reveals that – even by standards that have slipped since the Coalition government came into office – in-work poverty has galloped ahead of that suffered by those in workless and retired families – proving once and for all that, under the Tories and Liberal Democrats, work doesn’t pay!

But the situation is actually worse than the figures suggest, because the poverty line is always 60 per cent of average (median) income – and incomes in the UK have been dropping. Some say the average is now seven per cent lower than in 2010; others say nearly 10 per cent.

This means that, if we add in the people in working families who would be below the poverty line if it had remained at, say, 2008 levels, another two million people would be considered to be in poverty. These people are no better-off than they were before the poverty level slipped; they can’t buy more than they could before – in fact, their money goes a lot less far because inflation, even at 2.7 per cent, has hugely outstripped pay increases.

Add in the number of workless and retired families who are also in poverty – 6.3 million – and we have 15 million people in poverty in the UK today. That’s a quarter of the population of the seventh largest economy in the world.

And George Osborne wants us to congratulate him for his achievements over the past three years. Well done, George. You have conclusively proved that you are the worst Chancellor in British history – heading up the worst government in British history.

Let’s look at some of his successes:

The fall in average incomes in the last two years alone has wiped out all the gains made by Labour in the previous decade – and George has another year and a half to put people in even more serious trouble.

Worse still, incomes for the poorest 10 per cent of the population have been falling since 2004/5, because the neoliberal New Labour government did not protect them. These are the people for whom the four ‘D’s – debt, destitution, desperation and despair – will hit hardest.

The proportion of low-paid jobs increased in 2012. Remember that, when the government tells you that more people are in work than ever before. They are not telling you that these jobs keep people in poverty. They are not telling you the fact that, under the Coalition, work most certainly does not pay.

Among those in work, the number paid less than the living wage rose from 4.6 million to five million in 2012. This means 400,000 more working people are having to claim benefits to make ends meet. Work does not pay. The five million figure is one-sixth of the total workforce and includes two million people who had never previously claimed.

Meanwhile, those in benefit are being pushed into very deep poverty by sanctions, the effect of overlapping changes to social security benefits – which the government has again and again refused to measure, and the falling value of benefits due to the Chancellor’s one per cent uprating cap.

More sanction referrals were made on the unemployed between 2010 and 2012 than there are people currently claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (1.6 million, against 1.48 million claimants) – and 800,000 benefit stoppages or reductions were approved. This impacts on the government’s jobless figures, which do not include the number of jobseekers under sanction. Think about it – 800,000 is more than half the number that official figures show are out of work. Also, we know that Workfare is being stepped up, in order to fiddle the figures even more seriously.

The Bedroom Tax and council tax benefit cuts have hit 400,000 families, of whom around 267,000 families were already in poverty.

It is in this context that Iain Duncan Smith feebly attempted to distract attention away from the damning facts by telling the Telegraph that 50 families were each earning around £70,000 in benefits before his benefit cap (the £26,000-per-year, not the one per cent uprating limit) was brought in.

While this may be a shocking figure for some people, he did not provide the full details. How many people are we discussing, per family? Will the cap push them below the poverty line? Considering the facts laid out above, would a job relieve poverty for these families – or make it worse?

Smith – or ‘RTU’, as we call him here (it stands for ‘Returned To Unit’, a reference to his dismal Army career) – has yet again insisted that his diabolical changes are making the system “fair”. Anybody who repeats an assertion such as this, as often as he has, knows that nobody believes it.

Today, he is due to go before the Commons Work and Pensions Committee to account for his persistent interference with the statistics. Expect bluster and bravado but do not expect the facts.

For example, he will never admit how many people have died from the poverty caused by his assessment regime for Employment and Support Allowance.

That figure alone could bring down this government.

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