Tag Archives: petition

#BringBackBrown: ex-PMs endorsement of Rashford school meals petition sparks support

The secret of great political drama – as with comedy – is timing. And the timing of Gordon Brown’s political intervention is very dramatic for Boris Johnson.

The former Labour prime minister, who was in office between 2007 and 2010, has declared his support for footballer Marcus Rashford’s petition for schools to provide free meals to children whose families are stricken with poverty – possibly because of Tory Covid-19 restrictions.

Johnson has already refused Rashford’s demand. As far as he’s concerned, poor people’s ankle-biters can starve.

Or, if you want a less partisan view, here’s The Independent:

Poorer pupils will not receive free meals during school holidays, No 10 insists – putting Boris Johnson on a fresh collision course with footballer Marcus Rashford.

The Manchester United star has launched a fresh campaign to help hungry children, calling for vouchers for October’s half-term break and at Christmas.

The England striker stepped up his campaign by launching a Commons petition, saying: “Whatever your feeling, opinion or judgement, food poverty is never the child’s fault.”

The petition is also calling for free school meals to be extended to any household which receives benefits – to help a further 1.5million under-16s, during term-time.

But the [prime minister’s] spokesperson said: “We took that decision to extend free school meals during the pandemic, when schools were partially closed during lockdown.

“We are in a different position now. Schools are back open to all pupils and do not regularly provide food to pupils during term-time.

“We believe the best way to support families outside of term times is through universal credit, rather than schools subsidising meals.”

It’s easy to punch holes in this statement – but I don’t have to.

Mr Brown appeared on the BBC’s Breakfast News to say that he has signed Rashford’s petition, and he was delighted to explain his reasons:

Politely and calmly, he absolutely shredded the Tory prime minister’s statement:

It’s clear that Naga Munchetty had been told to end that segment of the interview, giving the government the last word, but Brown wasn’t having any of it. He explained exactly why the statement was nonsense and put the ball back very firmly in Boris Johnson’s court, saying it is for the (current) prime minister to answer this – not a stooge.

Then the most successful UK chancellor of the 21st century (still) levelled his verbal guns on current chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying – effectively – that his economic plans are nonsense. And, again, he was making perfect sense:

The interview has sparked a surge of support for the former chancellor and prime minister, whose calm, reasonable delivery prompted nostalgia for the days when the government was run by reasonable people who understood how a country works, rather than by populist prattlers whose only concern is making a fast buck for themselves:

Perhaps we need more interventions like this – to put Johnson and his hysterics firmly in context.

God knows, we’re not getting it from Starmer the Abstainer.

Source: Boris Johnson rejects Marcus Rashford’s campaign to extend free school meals to half-term and Christmas holidays | The Independent

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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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Windrush scandal victims deliver petition to Downing Street – for all the good it will do

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

If ever you needed proof that your government tells you what to do, and not the other way around, it’s this.

The Windrush Scandal – and the “hostile environment” that spawned it – was created from a desire to rid the UK of huge numbers of citizens who came to the UK from Commonwealth nations, notably in the Caribbean, to help rebuild the nation after World War II.

Their job was done, you see, so racist politicians decided to destroy any information offering them a right to UK citizenship and then deport them on the grounds that they could not show a good reason to stay.

Of course, they were caught in the act. And in fairness, the Conservative Government apologised.

Only words.

When it came to actually providing compensation to the people they attacked – make no mistake, this was a deliberate attempt by a UK government to harm its citizens – our Tory administration has spent two years dragging its heels.

Yes – a recent docu-drama on the BBC has reminded us all of the extent of the crime here.

But I see no willingness to make recompense to people who, being poor, cannot exert any influence over the politicians who had all power over them.

Watch what happens and see if I’m right.

Survivors of the Windrush scandal have delivered a petition to Downing Street signed by 130,000 people calling on the government to speed up compensation payments and implement all the recommendations in the Windrush Lessons Learned review.

Paulette Wilson and Anthony Bryan – who were wrongly held in immigration detention centres and threatened with deportation to Jamaica, a country they both left as children in the 1960s and had not visited in more than 50 years – handed the petition to police officers at the gates of Downing Street on Friday.

They both expressed their anger that so few people affected had received compensation in the two years since the government first apologised for wrongly classifying thousands of legal residents as being in the country illegally.

They were joined by Michael Braithwaite, a special needs teaching assistant, who was sacked from the primary school he had worked at for 15 years; Glenda Caesar, who was sacked from her job as a GP administrator after more than 20 years working for the NHS; and Elwaldo Romeo, who was told by the Home Office he was facing detention and should return to Antigua, a country he left 59 years earlier as a four-year-old boy.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The home secretary has been clear that the mistreatment of the Windrush generation by successive governments was completely unacceptable and she will right those wrongs.” However, they added, Williams had recommended that the Home Office consider the review carefully before responding, “and we are committed to honouring that request”. Patel had said she would update parliament before the summer recess.

Officials in charge of organising the compensation scheme stressed that claimants should not feel discouraged by the difficulties experienced by others and should persist with making claims. A spokesperson said assistance in completing the claim form was available via the free Windrush helpline on 0800 678 1925.

Source: Windrush scandal survivors deliver petition to No 10 | UK news | The Guardian

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‘Sack Cummings’ petition set to test whether Boris Johnson has any interest in democracy


A million signatures is a lot of people, but you can be sure that Boris Johnson will try to ignore this public exercise of democracy.

My reason for saying this is simple: look where the petition is being hosted.

If it had been on the UK Parliament’s petition page, it would have needed only 100,000 signatures to guarantee a discussion in the House of Commons – but it would never have achieved it because it would have been removed on the grounds that petitions about government employees are forbidden.

So much for democracy.

As this one is on Change.org, it give Johnson an opportunity to deny its legitimacy and refuse to pay attention to it, no matter how many people eventually sign.

Remember when the ‘Revoke Brexit’ e-petition – that was on the UK Parliament site – reached six million signatures?

Even after there was a debate in the Commons, the government of the day ignored it.

Johnson will try the same tactic here – but he has far less justification for doing so.

Even after the Brexit e-petition gained its six million names, that was only slightly more than a third of the number of people who voted to leave the EU, so there was some legitimacy in the claim that it should not overthrow the referendum decision (although the fact that the claim was made before the final number of signatures was known made it ambiguous at the time).

But nobody voted Cummings into Downing Street. He’s a hired hand.

The fact that so many people have signed a petition calling for his removal is significant – and indicates that far more people are unhappy with him continuing to hold any position within the workings of government.

So Johnson has put himself between a rock and a hard place.

If he sacks Cummings, then he will be admitting he was wrong to support his chief advisor. But the longer he delays, the more people lose confidence in him – and the more likely he is to be replaced.

A petition calling for Dominic Cummings’ departure from government is on course to reach one million signatures, as fury over the scandal fails to die down.

A Change.org page that demands the PM’s top aide either resigns or is sacked now has the backing of more than 945,000 people.

A survey has suggested that 80% of the public disagrees with his actions, while around 40 Tory MPs have called for him to leave Downing Street.

Source: Petition for Dominic Cummings’ sacking set to hit 1,000,000 signatures | Metro News

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More than 250,000 people have signed a petition to deny Iain Duncan Smith a knighthood.

The worst thing about this is, he probably thinks it’s not enough.

Here‘s a link to the petition. Iain Duncan Smith was granted a knighthood in the New Year honours.

And here’s petition author Mona Kamal, explaining why he should be divested of it:

It is … an insult to all those who suffered needless distress, impoverishment and humiliation as a direct result of his attacks on our welfare system.

During his time as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith was responsible for some of the cruellest and most extreme welfare reforms this country has ever seen.

Under his stewardship of the DWP, the UK became the first country to face a United Nations inquiry into human rights abuses against disabled people – an investigation which later confirmed that our government had been guilty of “grave and systemic violations of the rights of disabled people”.

Over the past decade of austerity very little has demonstrated the callousness and incompetence of this Tory government than their treatment of those with disabilities and chronic mental illness.

The legacy of Iain Duncan Smith is one of incompetence, hypocrisy and above all cruelty to the most vulnerable in our society.

The fact he is to be rewarded for this is a travesty of natural justice which reveals the rottenness at the core of our establishment.

Source: Petition · UK Government and Parliament : We object to Iain Duncan-Smith receiving a Knighthood · Change.org

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MS sufferer nails problems with PIP – and delivers petition to put them right

As seen on Twitter: there’s many a truth told in jest.

Ashley Arundale understands the Personal Independence Payment better than most ministers at the DWP, it seems.

Not only has the multiple sclerosis sufferer delivered a letter to Downing Street demanding changes to the administration of PIP, but she has written an article explaining exactly what is wrong with it.

She describes the claim process as an “indignity I never expected”:

Firstly, the form itself is incredibly complex – not ideal for anyone with cognitive issues, experienced by up to 60 per cent of us living with MS. And you don’t really get advice on how to fill it in.

But an even bigger – and very common – worry is the lack of knowledge from assessors. My assessor did not seem to understand MS at all, and gave me no chance to explain it. In fact when I suggested it would be helpful for me to give some information about my condition, she seemed to get pretty annoyed.

The assessor’s total lack of knowledge was alarming.

Worse still is the fact that the assessment report that comes back is more likely to be a work of fiction than a medical record:

It was full of contradictions and inaccurate information. For example it claimed my condition could improve with specialist input – but treatment does not make MS better, it just tries to stop it getting worse.

The report also said I was observed walking with no difficulties and a normal gait. But the assessor never observed me walking, and I definitely don’t have a normal gait!

The DWP refuses to acknowledge fluctuating conditions, in which the symptoms are sometimes worse than normal, either. And what did it mean?

These informal observations were used to determine my financial future.

Anything that was inconvenient to the DWP’s version of me was either ignored or rewritten.

That’s the so-called “Atos [or Maximus] Miracle”, of course – the mythical ability of unqualified assessors to magically cure people of long-term, debilitating and progressive conditions, simply by pretending they don’t exist.

And, of course, such miracle cures can only cause harm in the end – often fatal harm, as we have seen in far too many cases.

At least one in four people with MS have had their PIP reduced or cut altogether – often incorrectly.

Figures from the MS Society revealed 83 per cent of people with MS who appealed their PIP decision after moving from the old benefit, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), won their case at tribunal.

We know this rings true too – and it suggests that people with MS have a better chance than those with other disabilities.

But the problem is getting people to appeal. Ms Arundale didn’t:

I thought about appealing but was afraid of making a fuss and losing the award altogether, which I know has happened to others. Right now I don’t feel supported by the system at all, just scared and exhausted.

The Tories have promised improvements – a minimum reassessment period and the scrapping of unnecessary reviews for pensioners and those with the highest needs. But there have been reports of difficulties.

And talk of the money that’s being spent isn’t encouraging. What’s the point of saying £84 million more is being spent on disability benefits, if it’s not going to the right people?

As Ms Arundale states:

For years the Government has been dragging its heels, with various politicians promising improvements to PIP, and that we will have a benefits process we can trust. But what’s taking them so long? Why are they leaving thousands of people like me struggling to get by?

Because they like it, of course. Because they want fewer disabled people using the public purse to live a decent life.

Because they want fewer disabled people.

I think they call it “culling the stock”.

Source: Living with MS is painful but I’ve never felt indignity like a PIP assessment | inews

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Honour for Duncan Smith has not humiliated the left – it has ENERGISED us

The pick of the Tories: Iain Duncan Smith might have been given a knighthood by Boris Johnson’s government, but few people are impressed with the face-chiseller from Chingford.

I read a message on Twitter suggesting that the knighthood for Iain Duncan Smith was an attempt to take a leaf out of Donald Trump’s playbook – humiliating and de-motivating opponents of the new Tory regime.

The honour for the so-called ‘Architect of Death’, whose draconian policies of hate against benefit claimants including some of the most vulnerable, ill and disabled people in the United Kingdom have ended the lives of thousands upon thousands of people who had as much right to live as the rest of us, was an attempt to demonstrate to us just how little we matter to Boris Johnson and his elitist clique.

Well, it backfired massively, didn’t it?

When I wrote my article calling on you to support Dr Mona Kamal’s petition to deny Duncan Smith his knighthood, it had already acquired a significant 70,000+ signatures. That number has now more than doubled to nearly 160,000 at the time of writing.

In just two days!

Instead of showing us that we are weak, and few, the decision to honour one of the least worthy men in the United Kingdom has instead inspired us all to dust ourselves down, stand up and show that we are many and we are strong.

And we reject a government that scorns its people in this way.

Keep signing the petition, folks. Let’s make this a statement that Boris Johnson remembers – to his humiliation.

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Will you sign NHS doctor’s petition to stop Iain Duncan Smith receiving knighthood?

He laughed: Remember, IDS laughed at the terror he was causing a rape victim by using the Bedroom Tax to make it too expensive for her to keep a ‘panic room’. The man thrives on terrorising others.

I’ll be signing – will you?

It probably won’t do any good – the Tories tend to find a way to ignore any petitions demanding any activity they don’t want to carry out, no matter how many people sign it.

But it will be a great sign of resistance against Boris Johnson and his fake “people’s government”!

A petition has been launched calling for MP Iain Duncan Smith to be stripped off his knighthood.

More than 30,000 people have already signed the petition against the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions after it was announced that he has been given a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

The decision to knight the former Conservative minister has sparked fury amongst his opponents, years after he was criticised for laughing during a Bedroom Tax debate and shedding ‘crocodile tears’ online.

The Chingford and Woodford Green MP is known as the ‘architect’ of Universal Credit , the system of benefits which rolls a number of state payments into one, supposedly simplifying the process.

Around 1.9 million people have been left £1,000 worse off a year and many have been forced onto the streets due to lengthy delays before their first payments and punitive sanctions.

The petition, set up by Dr Mona Kamal Ahmed, a NHS psychiatrist … claims Mr Smith was responsible for “some of the cruellest most extreme welfare reforms this country has ever seen”.

It says that under his leadership, the “UK became the first ever country to face a United Nations enquiry into human rights abuses against disabled people” and that the “suffering and impoverishment” seen in the UK today are a “direct result of the welfare reforms he has implemented”.

In her explanation, Dr Ahmed writes that she has frequently witnessed people diagnosed with chronic mental illness in A&E who have been driven to panic attacks as a result of the anxiety caused by these tests and over the prospect of losing the welfare payments they rely on.

The petition is on the Change.org site, here.

Click and sign. It’s easy!

Source: NHS doctor launches petition against Iain Duncan Smith receiving knighthood – Mirror Online

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No justice for man the Tory-run DWP said wasn’t sick enough for PIP

Dave Smith with his (now late) brother Jamie Oliver. After denying him PIP twice, the DWP wanted him to attend an appeal hearing – five months after he died.

Remember Jamie Oliver, who the Tory government said wasn’t sick enough for PIP, right before he died?

It seems the Tories would rather you forgot about him – they have cancelled a petition to get justice for him, by calling the general election.

Mr Oliver died on April 9 after a long battle with chronic liver disease – and after being refused Personal Independence Payment by the DWP on the grounds that he wasn’t sick enough – twice.

Five months after his death, in one of the hugely distressing and insulting cock-ups that have made the DWP infamous, one of Mr Oliver’s children discovered a letter saying an appeal hearing had been arranged for late September.

The situation infuriated Mr Oliver’s brother, Dave Smith, who stated that “one of the last things he said to us [was] “I don’t believe it. I’m going to die and I’m still not sick enough for PIP.”

Mr Smith said: “I honestly cannot think of an organization as shambolic, insensitive, incompetent and unhelpful as the DWP and the sooner all this PIP/Universal Credit fiasco is kicked into touch the better.”

Last month (October) he launched a petition that he hoped would secure enough signatures – 100,000 – to ensure the issues are debated in parliament.

The petition on the government website called for an end to the use of private contractors for DWP disability benefit assessments, both for PIP and for employment and support allowance (and its universal credit equivalent).

He said the disability benefit assessment system is linked to many suicides and “accelerated deaths”, like his brother’s.

And he said he believed there have been “multiple lies” in the written assessment reports completed by nurses, paramedics and occupational therapists working for Atos and Capita (the other PIP assessment contractor).

But with the dissolution of Parliament and the launch of the general election campaign, not only have any Bills been dropped but all petitions have also been cancelled and will not be reopened.

Mr Smith told Metro:

“They have taken the f***ing piss, not just after all the hours I and my supporters have put in but all those poor people who have reached 100,000 signatures will now never get their debate.

“I am angry beyond belief, for me, for other petition creators and for every supporter of every petition. ‘There is something badly wrong here. The problem you are petitioning about hasn’t gone away and you can’t use another petitioning site as the results are not recognised.”

Source: Petition for man DWP said ‘wasn’t sick enough for PIP’ is scrapped | Metro News

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Petition launched to scrap privatised disability benefit assessments after brother’s death

Dave Smith with his (now late) brother Jamie Oliver. After denying him PIP twice, the DWP wanted him to attend an appeal hearing – five months after he died.

The brother of a disabled man who was denied essential benefits while he was dying has launched a petition to end the outsourcing of assessments to private companies by the UK government.

This Site covered the case of Jamie Oliver a few months ago. He died on April 9 after a long battle with chronic liver disease – and after being refused Personal Independence Payment by the DWP on the grounds that he wasn’t sick enough – twice.

Five months after his death, in one of the hugely distressing and insulting cock-ups that have made the DWP infamous, one of Mr Oliver’s children discovered a letter saying an appeal hearing had been arranged for late September.

The move infuriated Mr Oliver’s brother Dave Smith, of Hastings, – whose MP happens to be Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd.

In an incendiary Facebook post, he wrote: “I honestly cannot think of an organization as shambolic, insensitive, incompetent and unhelpful as the DWP and the sooner all this PIP/Universal Credit fiasco is kicked into touch the better.”

According to Disability News Service:

He has launched a petition that he hopes will secure enough signatures – 100,000 – to ensure the issues are debated in parliament.

His petition calls for an end to the use of private contractors for DWP disability benefit assessments, both for PIP and for employment and support allowance (and its universal credit equivalent).

He says in the petition that the disability benefit assessment system is linked to many suicides and “accelerated deaths”, like his brother’s.

And he says he believes that there have been “multiple lies” in the written assessment reports completed by nurses, paramedics and occupational therapists working for Atos and Capita (the other PIP assessment contractor).

If you feel strongly about this, visit the petition site and sign.

You can find much more information on Mr Oliver’s case here: Months of PIP distress ‘hastened my brother’s death’ – Disability News Service

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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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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