Tag Archives: pledge

NHS waiting lists increase by 400,000 after Rishi Sunak’s pledge to bring them down

Waiting for treatment: in fact, this image of people waiting in a corridor for treatment was taken in 2017 at a hospital Accident & Emergency department, but it serves to represent those waiting for scheduled treatment too, doesn’t it?

Rishi Sunak has failed in another pledge to help the people of the UK.

Has he become too preoccupied with helping his business colleagues who are embroiled in the Post Office scandal and Israel’s genocide of Gaza?

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Here are the details of the latest mess:

Rishi Sunak has broken yet another pledge, after new data this morning revealed that NHS waiting lists have soared by 400,000, a year after the Prime Minister pledged to bring them down as one of his five pledges.

Data from NHS England shows 7.61 million treatments were waiting to be carried out at the end of November, involving 6.39 million patients. Although the latest numbers show this was around 100,000 less than the previous month, it is still higher than the 7.19 million waiting list in January last year, when Sunak made his pledge to voters to bring down NHS waiting lists.

The Royal College of Nursing said: “Data released today shows the NHS waiting list remains extraordinarily high, with 400,000 more waits since the prime minister pledged to cut the numbers waiting more than a year ago.

“He can’t pull the wool over people’s eyes by claiming it’s down to strike action. Patients, staff and the public deserve better.”

Source: NHS waiting lists increase by 400,000 after Rishi Sunak’s pledge to bring them down – Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate


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Starmer SCRAPS (not ‘waters down’) his pledge to strengthen workers’ rights

Keir Starmer: if he bothered to do some work instead of lounging around listening to right-wing donors, he’d known that protecting workers’ rights means employers’ productivity and profitability improves. His claim that watering down those rights is pro-business is ridiculously silly.

Keir Starmer has really done it this time; he has scrapped the Labour Party’s reason for existence.

In case it hasn’t occurred to you, the “Labour” in that party’s title means it was created to represent working people and people who have to seek work in order to make a living.

Not very long ago, Starmer pledged (he loves to pledge) stronger rights for workers if his party were to form a government.

Now that pledge is as much a part of history as all the others he has made:

Let’s be clear on this: Starmer has gone on the record many times, stating that his word is his bond and if he makes a pledge, he’ll stick by it (the following clip discusses renationalisations of privatised national utilities and the scrapping of university tuition fees, which are both Starmer pledges that have since been consigned to history):

Saul Staniforth points out that Starmer’s supporters have excuses for his decisions to withdraw all the pledges he made when he became leader of what was still, then, the Labour Party. But Saul also clarifies that the same conditions are not relevant to the pledge on workers’ rights:

It seems clear from shadow minister Stephen Morgan’s interview response below that the pledge on workers’ rights is now history:

Here’s the at-a-glance guide to what Starmer has done:

Alternatively, follow the link below for a more in-depth examination:

Amazingly, Angela Rayner is still claiming that the policy is intact and the only difference is that, now, the way it will be implemented is being laid out:

But nobody is taking that seriously, including leading figures within the party:

Ultimately, last week’s announcement means just one thing to most people:

And finally: here’s Damo with exactly the kind of earthy commentary we should expect from him:

The punchline is that Starmer’s claim that scrapping this policy is pro-business… is childish nonsense.

Firms whose employees have strong rights and support are more successful than those whose workers don’t – because their job security instils loyalty, pride in their work and a genuine desire for the entire business to prosper. They are healthier in body and mind, and more productive.

Firms that treat their employees as they will be able to continue treating them under Starmer’s new policy… well, they go under. And then the bosses blame the workers they mistreated.

Starmer would know that if he had bothered to do any research.

Sadly, it seems he doesn’t know the meaning of work.


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Is latest council loss REALLY a ‘bounce’ against Labour’s attack on workers’ rights?

Let’s answer the headline question straight away: This Writer doesn’t think so.

Keir Starmer’s announcement that he’s abandoning yet another pledge – this one to strengthen the rights of UK employees – probably came too late to influence the results of last week’s council elections.

It’s more likely to be part of a long-term shift towards Independent candidates that we saw enacted across the country at the local elections in May.

For clarity: the Ayresome ward in Middlesbrough has been won from Labour by an Independent candidate:

This Writer knows little about the winner apart from her name: Jackie Young. From what I can see, she is not a former Labour Party member, as so many of those who took seats from Keir Starmer’s party in May were.

My guess, then, is that she was offering policies that voters in Ayresome actually wanted, as opposed to the current Starmer Party we-do-what-we-want-because-you-have-to-vote-for-us nonsense. I’m willing to stand corrected if necessary, but experience suggests that’s how it is.

Remember what happened in May, when and expected Starmerite landslide turned into a trickle of extra seats for Labour while the Green Party and a large number of Independents who had been booted out of Starmer’s party (or had left of their own accord) cleaned up?

Here’s a reminder from Vox Political‘s article of May 5:

But the biggest kick in the teeth for the main parties – especially Labour – is the strong performance of councillors who have been expelled from that party for being too left-wing (other excuses are available).

Usually when a person leaves a political party – or is, as in these cases, removed – and stand as an independent, they sink without a trace. Look at the performance of the Labour quitters who formed Change UK while Jeremy Corbyn was in charge, and then lost their seats in the 2019 general election.

Instead, independent left-wing candidates are retaining their seats across England.

Here are a few examples:

This is in Portsmouth:

This is in Windsor:

To me, this indicates that people are starting to give up on political tribalism – they’re not all voting for candidates just because of the name of the party those people represent.

Instead, they are voting for the people they know will represent them.

We should bear in mind that these are council elections in wards with low electorates and low turnouts.

But council election results are regarded as forecasts for general elections.

The times are changing. The Parliamentary elites have tried to dictate the policies we can support and the people available to get our vote – and across the country, people are saying they’re not going to put up with it.

It’s the way we are. We’ll put up with a lot – but there come a point when someone will try to tell us what to do and we’ll say: “No.”

Keir Starmer won’t learn any lessons from this. My impression is that he’s too deeply into the pockets of right-wing donors to hear the pleas of those who actually vote election candidates onto councils and into Parliament.

Let us hope they make their message clear when the general election is finally called.


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House of Lords: will Keir Starmer abolish it, or is it another broken promise?

Keir Starmer in a hospital: his policies belong there – on life support.

One of the (many) pledges Keir Starmer has made as leader of the Labour Party has been to abolish the House of Lords, to be replaced with an elected Upper Chamber (if I recall correctly).

It seems to be another pledge that he is breaking, though.

The Times is reporting that, rather than eliminate the Lords along with the archaic system of appointing them, Starmer now intends to stuff the already-overfilled Chamber with new Labour peers, in order to ensure that all of his legislation has a smooth passage through Parliament:

It’s true – you really can’t trust a single word that come out of Starmer or the Labour Party he leads.


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More meaningless pledges from the lying Labour leader

Labour leader Keir Starmer has come out with a couple more pledges to make voters happy for a while. Expect them to be reversed long before any general election.

The first is a promise to repair governmental relations with armed forces personnel who were used and thrown away by Tory governments. Starmer again played his ‘family’ card – that he had a family member in the societal sector concerned.

But he said his mother was in the NHS and is quite happy to privatise it into oblivion for the sake of a bung or two from private health companies, so it means nothing.

Also:

Didn’t Starmer’s lieutenant, Rachel Reeves, cancel a pledge to invest £28 billion on green initiatives in every year of a Labour government, in the name of a “fiscal responsibility” that doesn’t actually exist? The UK economy is such that money can always be found for initiatives that governments want to support; think of the £800 billion that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak spaffed off to Tory friends and donors during the Covid-19 crisis, in return for nothing at all.

(If a Labour government was serious about “fiscal responsibility” it would get that cash back.)

So there you have two Labour pledges that mean nothing at all.

One Labour pledge that does mean something is its unswerving, unequivocal support for the government of Israel and the apartheid that it operates. Here’s Keir Starmer, categorically denying that any such apartheid exists…

(His appeal for Jews to return to the Labour Party is risible because he has expelled more Jews from that party than any previous Labour leader.)

… and here’s an expert from the United Nations, explaining that Israel is indeed an apartheid state.

Keir Starmer can say whatever he likes but the facts are against him. As long as he continues to make false claims about Israel, Labour will continue to be a racist party – and anti-Semitic because of its persecution of left-wing Jews within the party.

Also persecuted within the Labour Party is anybody who is not absolutely loyal to Keir Starmer. So we see the shortlist for candidates in the campaign to become the new North East Mayor, that does not have left-winger Jamie Driscoll on it.

This has outraged party members and supporters:

Now we learn that Mick Whitley, a member of Labour’s Socialist Campaign Group, has been deselected and will not be allowed to stand for re-election as the MP for Birkenhead in the next general election.

Commentators like This Writer have spent years warning SCG members that their supine acceptance of Starmer’s aggression will not help them; they cannot change Labour from the inside and will only be targeted for removal individually, over time. Sadly, we have been proved correct yet again.

Mr Whitley is not happy about his deselection and has made his feelings clear:

These are just two more examples of Keir Starmer’s disdain for democracy. It isn’t a secret – take a look at the following (and read the article) for further details (if you can get past the paywall):

There’s an obvious conclusion to draw: if Starmer is willing to “ride roughshod” over democracy in the Labour Party, then he’ll do exactly the same to the UK as a whole if his party is ever voted into government.

Isn’t it ironic? You were warned off voting for Jeremy Corbyn by people who told you he would turn the UK into a far-left Communist dictatorship. And now the same people are avidly egging you on to vote in Starmer’s far-right dictatorship instead.


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Labour does u-turn on green investment pledge. Does that party have ANY policies at all?

Rachel Reeves: it’s a big smile but the eyes are utterly vacant – like her policy platform.

Rachel Reeves has announced yet another StarmerLabour u-turn, leaving voters questioning whether the party has any policies it will not betray and asking why they should ever vote for it.

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, Reeves scrapped Labour’s promise to invest £28 billion per year on green projects, funded by borrowing. This was in line with a Labour commitment that it would only borrow to invest, and not to support day-to-day spending.

She said she would increase investment after the time of the election, reaching £28 billion per year “after 2027”.

How long after 2027? We’ve heard weasel words like these before. It’s a “sometime/never” promise that means nothing.

Remember: the entire planet is in an environmental crisis, with catastrophic and irreversible disaster only a few short years away if no change happens.

Tory politicians have been talked out of shifting to green policies by the fossil-fuel industrialists who stand to lose profit by the change. They probably threatened to cut donations to the party.

Has the same now happened to Labour?

The announcement has been greeted with disgust on the social media.

See what I mean?

That’s an easy question to answer: under Keir Starmer, Rachel Reeves, Yvette Cooper, David Lammy, Wes Streeting and the rest, UK Labour stands for the acquisition of power for its own sake and the enrichment of the individuals named above – in the same way Tony Blair’s New Labour did. Or so it seems to me.

Labour’s problem now is the sense of betrayal that voters are feeling across the nation:

And those voters are already looking for alternatives:

People will certainly be looking for a political movement to support that won’t betray its promises and make liars of its representatives on a regular basis.

Obviously that won’t be Labour. Let’s be honest – it hasn’t been Labour for years. Think of the way Starmer lied his way into the party leadership and then systematically ditched every single promise he made in order to get there.

Who will you support, now?


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Tory hospital fail as Sunak and Barclay abandon plan for 40 new builds by 2030

In denial: Steve Barclay (front) and Rishi Sunak (behind) are trying to hide the fact that NONE of the 40 hospitals they have promised the NHS will actually be built by 2030 – if ever.

Have you noticed how the Tories always manage to achieve plans that will profit them – on time, with a minimum of fuss – but never complete projects to help the population as a whole?

For example, their boast that they would build “40 new hospitals” by 2030 is now in tatters after Health Secretary Steve Barclay admitted that it simply isn’t going to happen.

In any case, the 40 projects weren’t in fact new hospitals anyway, as this extract from a 2022 article shows:

By their definition, of the Government’s 40 ‘new’ ones, 22 can be classed as rebuilding projects; 12 as new wings of existing hospitals; three rebuilds of non-urgent care hospitals; and three can truly be termed ‘new’ as people who speak the English language understand that word. Oh, but two of the three actually-new hospitals will open as old ones close, as replacements. Both were planned anyway, before 2019.

They only fit the government’s own criteria of what constitutes a new hospital, rather than conforming with those of the general population:

These criteria, according to the document, can include: “a major new clinical building on an existing site or a new wing of an existing hospital, provided it contains a whole clinical service, such as maternity or children’s services; or a major refurbishment and alteration of all but building frame or main structure, delivering a significant extension to useful life which includes major or visible changes to the external structure.”

The author of that article now has this to say about the Tory claim:

Despite the admission that the work isn’t going to happen within the 11 years that the Tories had given themselves to get it done in their 2019 manifesto, Barclay was still trying to kid us all that we would be getting 40 new hospitals at some time in the future, when the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg interviewed him today (Sunday, May 28, 2023):

As you could hear, he was in fact referring to the hotchpotch of rebuilding projects, new wings and so on, described above.

His claim that patients would not mind, either way, is of course nonsense. In the UK, 7.3 million people are waiting for treatment and 40 fully-staffed, state-of-the-art new hospitals would have addressed that waiting list. A few new wings and replacements won’t.

It’s typical Tory policy.

They always prioritise what they want – and to hell with what you need.


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Starmer reckons his new policies aren’t ‘very’ different to the pledges he abandoned. Liar?

We shouldn’t be surprised at Keir Starmer’s latest two-faced outburst: back in 2015 he campaigned against ‘Israeli racism’ and now he is a staunch ally of that country’s government.

Keir Starmer – what a… politician!

No, the comment is not well-meant.

He even lies about lying, as far as I can see.

In an interview, ITV political editor Robert Peston said voters may have difficulty trusting a party leader who has abandoned all the policy pledges he made in order to get elected as leader.

Starmer responded with a claim that his current policies are “not very different” but this is not true. The policies on which he was elected were a continuation of Jeremy Corbyn’s centre-left socialism, while his current plans mark a shift to right-wing neoliberalism.

Think about the NHS: where before he was preaching a return to a fully publicly-owned service, now he wants to infect it with even more corporate profiteering.

And he’s saying he wants to stimulate the economy with lower taxes. Firstly, we all know that cutting taxes didn’t work so well for Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng – they crashed the economy; secondly, as ‘Marl Karx’ below points out…

So all Starmer achieved with his answer to Peston was to prove that he is not to be trusted – and neither can Labour, while he leads it.


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Starmer ditches pledge to scrap tuition fees: YET AGAIN he doesn’t deserve your trust

The genius at the top of the Labour Party has shot himself in the foot – again.

Keir Starmer has ditched yet another of the pledges on which he managed to get elected as leader of the Labour Party – and has already been lambasted for it in the pages of The Spectator:

The article states – rightly, it pains This Writer to admit:

In the latest wheeze to … prove that Labour is now a Serious Party of Government, the spin doctors at Labour HQ have opted to ditch the party’s long-standing pledge to abolish tuition fees.

As recently as 2021 he was lambasting it as ‘a huge debt for young people that they carry around for a long time’ which is ‘why we rightly committed at the last election to get rid of tuition fees.’

Starmer told Radio 4’s Today programme that: ‘We are likely to move on from that commitment because we do find ourselves in a different financial situation. But I don’t want that to be read as us accepting for a moment that the current system is fair or that it’s working.’ So, er, the system is broken but we’re not going to fix it? So much for an end to sticking plaster politics…

The abolition of tuition fees was of course one of Starmer’s ‘ten pledges’ that secured him victory in the 2020 leadership race, back when he was live action role-playing as a Corbynite. Among those include ‘common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water’, ‘defend free movement as we leave the EU’, ‘increase income tax for the top five per cent of earners’, ‘abolish Universal Credit’ and ‘end outsourcing [in the] NHS, local government and justice system.’ All this at a time when he’s asking the country to vote him in on the basis of his so-called ‘five missions’.

It begs the question, as one BBC journalist put it to Starmer, ‘Why should we believe your five pledges when you binned your ten leadership pledges once you were elected?”

The relevant trade unions – and remember, Labour relies on the unions for support – hate the new posture:

Others are picking out video clips of Labour figures talking up the former policy to flag up the hypocrisy of the new position; representatives who proudly proclaimed that they would end tuition fees now have to proudly proclaim the exact opposite:

And others are bringing it home by tying it to the local elections on Thursday (May 4):

It’s nauseating. We’ve gone from “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!” to “Ugh! Keir Starmer!”

The current Labour leader has abandoned everything that distinguished Labour from the Conservatives.

Voting for his party – now – means voting for no change at all.

And that is as true with the local elections as it is with a general election: he has made sure all party representatives are terrified of dissent so electing them is putting in place somebody who will do their best for Starmer… and not for you.

If you were thinking Labour looked like a smart choice, you’d better think again.


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Local services in Wales will suffer if the Conservatives take over the Senedd

Think before voting: the Conservatives are promising to freeze council taxes in Wales if they take control of the Assembly – but this will benefit the rich far more than working-class people.

The Welsh Conservatives have said they will freeze council tax for at least two years if they take control of the Welsh Assembly after the local elections in May – but this is a threat, not a promise.

The party has said it will fund a council tax freeze, but there is no guarantee that it will follow through on any such pledge. Even if it does, this only means that it will maintain services as they are.

So what happens when events demand spending beyond that level?

Answer: we won’t see it – they’ll say there isn’t enough money (which is a lie).

Also: who benefits most from a council tax freeze? The rich.

Taxation is a way of redistributing wealth, ensuring that poorer people are able to enjoy publicly-funded services for all, rather than those services being restricted only to those who can afford to pay for them out of their own pocket.

It also ensures that funding is available for projects that would not otherwise receive support from private individuals.

By freezing council taxes, then, the Conservatives are pledging to let rich people keep more of their money while depriving the poor of the services they need to get by.

But the Tories don’t tell you that.

Source: Tories pledge to freeze council tax in Wales for at least two years

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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