Tag Archives: plummet

‘Overwhelming majority’ of rapists going free because of collapse in prosecutions

The “overwhelming majority” of rapists are walking free because of a collapse in prosecutions in England and Wales, campaigners have warned.

Only 1.5 per cent of almost 55,300 rapes recorded by police in 2019 saw a suspect charged, down from 7 per cent four years before.

An alliance of women’s groups attempted to launch a legal challenge accusing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of changing its practices,  but were refused permission by the High Court in March.

On Tuesday, they published testimonies from complainants, statistical analysis, a CPS whistleblower’s allegations and other evidence from the case.

Some of these testimonies need to be read to be believed. Try this:

A woman who alleged that a man had raped her at gunpoint was told in a CPS letter that the weapon “was not a serious threat” during the alleged attack, and that the man may have thought she consented.

Who wrote that? They should go into the dock alongside the alleged rapist, as an accessory to the crime.

In a separate case, a gay woman who said she was raped by a man was accused of “engaging with the defendant” before the attack. Charges against a suspect, who was caught on CCTV, were dropped.

So there’s video evidence against this person but they weren’t charged because someone said the victim “engaged” with them. What does that even mean?

The End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) has accused the CPS of dropping a “merits-based approach” credited with increasing the number of rape prosecutions, but officials said they had not.

The High Court refused permission for a judicial review of the plummeting prosecutions, saw EVAW has appealed, and has raised more than £80,000 via crowdfunding to back the action.

That seems like an appeal worth supporting.

Here’s the web address.

Source: ‘Overwhelming majority’ of rapists going free because of collapse in prosecutions, campaigners warn | The Independent

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UK plummets from 11th to 156th in global children’s rights rankings. The Tories are responsible

Tories harm children and they harm the rights of children. Your kids aren’t safe under Tory rule.

If you know anyone who voted Tory last month – or who didn’t vote at all, tell them: well done.

Be as sarcastic as you like.

Tell them that, under the Tories, the UK has become one of the worst-performing countries in the entire world in the matter of improving children’s rights.

Tell them that, thanks to their vote – or lack of it, the UK’s government will continue to fail younger generations.

And tell them that discrimination against children on racial or religious grounds has been incorporated into the structure of UK society under the Conservatives.

Ask them whether they consider themselves to be racists and, if not, why they support a racist administration.

And if they say they don’t, remind them that prime minister Boris Johnson is a known racist.

Point them to the anti-Semitism in his novel if they want proof beyond his Islamophobic comments and other recent outbursts.

The UK has been accused of employing “inadequate” provision for children’s rights protection after it fell dramatically in global rankings for child rights within a year, from 11th to 156th.

Serious concerns have been raised about structural discrimination in the UK, including Muslim children facing increased discrimination following recent anti-terrorism measures, and a rise in discrimination against gypsy and refugee children in recent years.

The UK now ranks among the bottom 10 global performers in the arena of improving rights of the child, after it achieved the lowest-possible score across all six available indicators in the domain of Child Rights Environment (CRE), according to the KidsRights Index 2017.

Portugal is this year’s global frontrunner.

Source: UK plummets from 11th to 156th in global children’s rights rankings | The Independent

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Rats leaving the sinking ship: As Theresa May’s ratings plummet, Tories are scuttling to other parties

She’s out: Ann Widdecombe has had enough of Theresa May’s Tory Party and has taken a lurch to the far-right Brexit Party formed by Nigel Farage.

Ann Widdecombe has become the latest person to quit the Conservative Party – this time to stand as a candidate for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the European Parliament elections next month.

She made her announcement on the day Theresa May’s approval ratings among members of her party were found to have sunk to an all-time low.

Writing in the Express, the former Prisons Minister whose chief contribution to UK culture was a comedy appearance on Strictly Come Dancing stabbed her former leader in the back: “Alas, a hopelessly inadequate prime minister, a gloating and determined EU and a parliament ready to dismiss the people as ignorant have combined to thwart our escape from foreign domination.”

Her words seem to reflect the findings of the latest survey of Tory Party members on the ConservativeHome blog site, which puts Mrs May’s rating even lower than that of Transport Secretary Chris “Failing” Grayling:

The commentary states: “The prime minister is bearing particular blame from party members – both, one suspects, for her Brexitfailure in particular and for the more general problems her continued leadership brings with it.

“So far as I can see this is the worst rating awarded to any Conservative ever in this question.”

With an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Conservative Party on the way, at which a vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May is likely to be voted through, it seems the worst prime minister in UK history is finally about to be tweezered out of 10 Downing Street.

Be assured her Tory replacement will be even worse.

Pro-Labour poll boost leads to Tory panic – and propaganda backlash?

Tom Watson: The Tories’ secret weapon?

Labour’s poll lead over the Conservatives is widening – just as This Writer said it would – and it seems part of the phenomenon is due to the splitter group Change UK (as it now wishes to be known) taking traditional Tory votes.

A version of the poll that allows voters to support the new party, Change UK, provides a hint as to the reason for the Conservatives’ fall:

A Twitter user delighting in the handle “You’re terrible, Luriel”, stated: “It *is* funny that the Tinge have done more damage to the Tories than Labour though, isn’t it? Big shoutout to , , , et al. Who knew that the greatest service you could do the Labour Party was not be in it?”

I think it tells us something we knew all along – that TINGe/Change UK/CHUK or whatever you want to call it is just another brand of Toryism. It has attracted traditional – non-neoliberal – Tories away from the Conservative Party, thereby weakening Theresa May’s increasingly feral pack of animals.

The poll ratings appear to have induced panic in the Tories’ high command, which seems to be splitting over Theresa May’s alleged offer of a general election in the event of further deadlock over her Brexit plan.

According to The Observer, MPs from all sides of the Conservative Party are saying they would block any move by Mrs May to lead them into a general election, fearing a worse wipeout than in 2017 – and who can blame them?

Meanwhile, Amber Rudd is said to have formed a party-within-the-party to stop what’s seen as a disturbing rightward drift, perhaps spearheaded by the European Research Group (ERG) of right-wing MPs; pro-Brexit ministers are threatening to resign if Mrs May agrees a permanent customs union with the EU; and other Conservatives are preparing to support a referendum on any deal eventually passed by Parliament.

In other words, the Conservatives are a mess and the only reasons they are likely to stay in government are selfish. No wonder they are plummeting in the polls.

After all, when even the Mail‘s principal ugly, Dan Hodges, is saying this –

– they know they’re deep in the doo-doo.

But all may not be lost for them!

Their secret weapon – Labour deputy leader Tom Watson – was set to appear on the BBC’s flagship politics discussion programme, The Andrew Marr Show, on Sunday morning. It is entirely possible he’ll find some piece of anti-Labour dribble that he’s been saving for a rainy day, that the pro-Tory Corporation can overhype until somebody believes it.

Watson has already said he would work with the Conservatives in a “government of national unity”, whatever that is, so we know he can’t be trusted to support a Labour government. By rights he should be drummed out of the Labour Party for suggesting the answer could be anything other than a Labour government – but of course he is a senior party representative and a member of Parliament to boot, so he remains impervious to any attempts to put him through the party’s grotesquely biased and one-sided disciplinary procedure.

The trouble is, the clocks have gone forward and most people are likely to oversleep and miss it. I’m writing this at 2.20am, so I know I will!

Who knows what else the Tories will try, if Tom doesn’t turn the tables for them?

We may find out in unintentionally (for the Tories) hilarious ways.

In a nutshell: The Conservatives are unsafe whatever they do – and it’s all their own fault.


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Tories have frittered away half a trillion pounds. Is this good financial management?

This looks like another result of Brexit.

It is balance of payments data – the difference between the amount we pay to foreign countries for goods and services and the amount we receive – that shows the loss.

Also, direct investment in the UK by foreign firms has nose-dived.

It is exactly as This Writer warned, only a few days ago.

The really galling aspect of this is that the minority Conservative government will still claim to be the party of sensible financial management, even though it is its own division over Brexit that has created the uncertainty in which the money has disappeared.

Remember: Brexit is happening because David Cameron thought a referendum on EU membership would unify the Tories. It didn’t.

Remember: The vote to leave the European Union was based very strongly on lies and wild speculation by people who knew better but were trying to trick the public. There was never any chance of the NHS seeing £350 million of investment per week, for example.

Remember: The Conservatives have botched negotiations on the terms of our departure so badly that businesses are fleeing the UK. They can’t get away fast enough.

The longer this farce continues, the worse it will be for the UK as a whole.

And it will be the poor who bear the brunt of the harm.

Global banks and international bond strategists have been left stunned by revised ONS figures showing that Britain is £490bn poorer than had been ­assumed and no longer has any reserve of net foreign assets, depriving the country of its safety margin as Brexit talks reach a crucial juncture.

A massive write-down in the UK balance of payments data shows that Britain’s stock of wealth – the net international investment position – has collapsed from a surplus of £469bn to a net deficit of £22bn. This transforms the outlook for sterling and the gilts markets.

“Half a trillion pounds has gone missing. This is equivalent to 25pc of GDP,” said Mark Capleton, UK rates strategist at Bank of America.

Making matters worse, foreign ­direct investment (FDI) by companies is plummeting. It fell from a £120bn surplus in the first half 2016 to a £25bn deficit over the same period of this year.

Source: Britain’s missing billions: Revised figures reveal UK is £490bn poorer than previously thought


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Is Theresa May DELIBERATELY trying to put the NHS into debt?

Read the following, from the Health Service Journal, and you might believe so.

Every time Theresa May makes a speech about Brexit, the Pound falls in value. It is currently at a 32-year low, as This Writer understands it – and that’s just in advance of her speech tomorrow (January 17).

A low Pound is great for FTSE100 companies that make their profits in dollars – and terrible for the NHS, which buys all its supplies with pounds.

Theresa May knows this.

So she must also know that she is cancelling out her claimed increase in NHS funding with every poisoned word she utters.

Brexit could result in an extra £900m bill for the NHS as suppliers hike their prices to protect themselves against a weakening pound.

The currency turmoil triggered by Britain’s decision to leave the EU could add a further 18 per cent to the efficiency target set out in the Carter review, according to NHS procurement expert Chris Robson.

Mr Robson, of the management consultancy Akeso and Company, estimates that at least half of the products used in the NHS originate from outside of the UK, with a high proportion manufactured in Europe, Switzerland, the US and the Far East.

Most NHS organisations buy products in the pound, which has plumbed depths not seen for over 20 years against most global currencies.

According to Mr Robson: “The ongoing and sustained deterioration in exchange rates versus key currencies… is very likely to lead to claims from suppliers for an increase in [pound] pricing over the longer term.

Source: Brexit: Fall in the pound could create extra £900m bill for NHS | News | Health Service Journal

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GET IT SORTED, STUDENTS! – politics.co.uk

150111students

Tens of thousands of students are disappearing from the electoral register as the 2015 general election approaches, according to politics.co.uk.

So why are ministers insisting the change in the rules is proving “very successful”?

The first statistics released since the transition from household registration to individual electoral registration were published on December 1st. Or at least, they were supposed to be – but many local authorities have been avoiding doing so because of a legal loophole.

With the Electoral Commission taking its time to release national numbers, it’s up to the Labour party to come up with the first realistic figures about the true impact of this potentially devastating reform. Opposition researchers are working hard on that, but in the meantime snapshots of the situation in towns with high student populations reveals a dramatic fall-off.

Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle and Brighton and Hove have all seen a reduction in the size of the electoral register of over 15,000, well over ten per cent of the existing electorate.

The worst fall was in Cardiff, where in spring 2014 there were 263,960 registered voters. In 2015, that number drops to 239,258 – a dip of 24,702.

Liverpool is in second place. A source on the city’s Labour-run Cabinet has already confirmed the largest student hall of residence saw a 90% fall in registration, from 926 in 2014 to just 101. Now we know the total reduction in the size of the register is 20,616 voters.

Southampton, Manchester and Oxford have all seen falls of over 10,000 voters, while Norwich and Canterbury – whose populations only just exceed 100,000 – have seen dips of 4,885 and 693 respectively.

“Early indicators suggest that hundreds of thousands of people have gone missing from the electoral register,” shadow constitutional affairs minister Stephen Twigg said.

“This will affect an already highly imperfect register, which is estimated to be 7.5 million short of the number of eligible voters. The government have been hugely complacent in preparing for the transition to individual electoral registration and this complacency is now decimating levels of registration.”

That complacency was revealed in deputy prime minister’s questions on Tuesday this week, when minister Sam Gyimah insisted the transition to individual electoral registration was proving “very successful”.

Gyimah points out there will be an automatic carry-over of voters for the 2015 general election, meaning anyone who disappears will be artificially included in the list of those allowed to vote in the looming contest.

But many fear the relief that offers will be short-lived, leaving students disenfranchised when it comes to vital elections in 2016. The warped statistics will also mean the boundary changes review coming next year will redraw Britain’s electoral map in favour of the Conservatives, enlarging rural constituencies and shrinking the total number of the urban ones with mobile populations that usually favour Labour. That, unsurprisingly, has left many Labour politicians fairly fed up.
Today’s statistics are troubling for students because the answer is painfully obvious. It used to be that students would be automatically registered en masse by their university. That principle has been abandoned, dumping responsibility for registering on students themselves. It is not their fault barely any of them have yet bothered to do so.

“Labour has called on the government to allow registration en bloc for certain institutions – such as schools, care homes and Universities – and to allow councils to use local data more extensively,” Twigg added.

“These figures should come as a wake-up call in Whitehall to take emergency steps to ensure the register is maximised before the general election. We simply cannot afford to have our democracy undermined in this way.”

Meanwhile a legal loophole has emerged which explains why some councils have been so elusive in providing their data.

Any kind of by-election – be that a parliamentary one, a police and crime commissioner by-election or a local government by-election – means the electoral returning officers don’t have to bother publishing any statistics at all until February 1st.

The wait for more information on the scale of the problem continues – with Labour expected to publish its first national guess at the damage the transition is causing shortly.

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Farage’s popularity plummets as voters realise what UKIP is

Nigel-Farage

Sanity seems to be returning to British politics – if only in a small measure – with the revelation by The Independent that UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s personal approval rating has lead-ballooned.

According to pollsters Ipsos Mori, he’s now equal in unpopularity with David Cameron – which seems about right, considering their political similarities.

Voter satisfaction with Farage dropped 14 percentage points in the last month after a sex scandal involving UKIP’s now-suspended general secretary and rows over public breastfeeding, expenses and immigration.

Of all voters, 53 per cent said they were “dissatisfied with the way Nigel Farage is doing his job as leader of UKIP”, while 33 per cent were “satisfied”. With “don’t knows” taken into account, Mr Farage now has a similar net approval rating to comedy prime minister David Cameron: -20 and -21 respectively.

Among UKIP’s own supporters, Farage remains highly popular, with 92 per cent saying they were satisfied with what he’s doing.

But then, UKIP supporters are a rum lot. Earlier this week the Vox Political page on Facebook endured an influx of Kippers who were incensed that this blog had promoted a Political Scrapbook story questioning their party’s record on disability.

Not one of them had a reasonable case to present. They turned up, insulted the blog, the page and anybody on it who pointed out that they weren’t making any sense. They spammed the page with endless pointless images promoting UKIP and denigrating the other parties, and with long passages of policy declarations from the party’s website – none of which were relevant to the issues at hand.

Then the page’s administrator decided enough was enough and started banning them, so those who remained declared that they had demonstrated that anyone speaking against them was wrong, deluded or stupid and that Vox Political wasn’t worth the bother – which was enough to get them banned as well.

The general change of heart about Farage is therefore a great relief, as it indicates that people are coming to their sense. The alternative – if he had remained popular while his people have been carrying on like bulls in a china shop – would have been to lament to depths to which British political sensibilities had sunk.

The Independent reported: “At the weekend – as the Ipsos Mori poll was being carried out – UKIP’s candidate in a top target seat, Kerry Smith, was forced to resign after it emerged he had made homophobic and racist remarks and joked about shooting poor people.”

That’s right – and the controversy earned this response when Farage tried to justify his candidate’s behaviour:

“Nigel defends candidate’s language: ‘If you were going out for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?’

“I say ‘Chinese’ Nigel.”

With a leader like that, no wonder the rest of his party are hooligans.

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