Tag Archives: policy

A polite letter to Therese Coffey [TRIGGER WARNING]

Phillip Herron.

[Yes, this article comes with a trigger warning as it discusses matters which some people may find extremely upsetting.]

Dear Ms Coffey,

Please take a good, long look at the image accompanying this. It is the last photograph of Phillip Herron, taken minutes before he took his own life.

Mr Herron died because your employees at the Department for Work and Pensions could not be bothered to take their fingers out of their collective posteriors long enough to pay him the Universal Credit he was owed. He would undoubtedly be alive now if they had.

No doubt the DWP officers concerned would say they did not need to pay Mr Herron as Universal Credit is paid in arrears and his five-week wait had not yet ended. They were “only following orders”, they will say, echoing the so-called Nuremberg Defence that did not protect any German soldiers who were prosecuted for ensuring the deaths of so many people during World War II.

You, together with previous Work and Pensions secretaries, and many other Conservative MPs past and present, justify the wait with the mantra that delaying payment for more than a month prepares claimants for the world of work, but we all know that is not true.

It attacks their mental health. It causes depression and despair, and ultimately can lead to suicidal thoughts. Mr Herron’s death is a matter of Conservative government policy.

When he died, he had just £4.61 in his bank account and debts of more than £20,000 that were escalating due to that five-week wait for Universal Credit.

£20,000 is not a substantial sum of money in this day and age. I know you have said it is in interviews, but just take a look at your own bank balance. You probably consider that to be small change; the kind of pocket money you might spend on a night out.

It is one-sixth of the pay rise you will receive next year, just for being a member of Parliament.

It could have been handled. There are ways to ensure debt can be paid off within a reasonable period of time, no matter what the debtor’s means. But Mr Herron could not see that because your system forced him to concentrate on the negative aspects of his situation.

He saw no way out because you denied it to him. So he took his own life. His blood is on your hands. I understand DWP jargon describes that as a “positive benefit outcome”.

Now his three young children must go through life without a father – because that is what you demanded.

Their upbringing is likely to be a much greater burden on public funds than paying his Universal Credit claim – because that is what you demanded.

And there are countless others in the same predicament right now – because that is what you demand.

Your system does not help anybody. It pressurises them; it brutalises them; it forces them to consider the unthinkable – because that is what you demand.

It does not matter whether you spoke the words. You ordered the death of this man.

Please make a copy of his photograph and put it on your wall. Then, every day, when you come into work, you can spend time looking at it – and try to find a way to justify the fact that you caused him to die.

You can find more information – and more than 18,000 comments from members of the public – in this Facebook post.

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School Covid-19 infections see record one-day rise. The Tories will cause more deaths because there is no cure for stupidity

Rampant: the Covid-19 virus is once again on the loose across the UK because the Tories haven’t just lost control; they’ve deliberately thrown it away.

Wow. Boris Johnson and his cronies promised you and your kids would be perfectly safe if you sent them back to school.

And what happened?

It was the largest one-day record for the number of schools infected.

Somehow, I doubt it will all be over by Christmas.

So does Eoin Clarke, who runs the Tory Fibs Twitter feed. He laid out his own concerns about the current Tory policies in a thread that I have no qualms about reproducing here, so you can experience the depth of the Johnson government’s failure here:

This Writer has been saying much the same – especially about the concentration on the economy causing more damage in the long run.

Sadly, there no way to stop Johnson, Hancock and the other incompetents from continuing on their course to disaster – for a very simple reason:

There is no cure for stupidity.

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Continuation of Tory business by other means: disabled people make up six in 10 Covid-19 deaths

Targeted: more elderly and disabled people have died of Covid-19 than anybody else. Doesn’t that suit the Tories’ purposes perfectly?

It’s a sickening thought but it just might be possible that Boris Johnson and his Tories have been allowing Covid-19 to go unchecked – in certain places – because it is fulfilling their goals.

We all know that the Conservatives hate – I mean they absolutely hate – people with disabilities, for no reason other than that they have disabilities. It’s a classic prejudice that, if it were drawn along racial line, would demand prosecutions.

That’s why Tory policy since 2010 has been so brutal towards people with disabilities and has caused so many deaths. Just read back through This Site’s posts over the last nine years and you’ll see what I mean.

Covid-19 seems to have given them an excuse. It’s not just their policies causing the deaths any more – it’s the virus.

What a great way to excuse themselves!

I fear that is exactly how people like Therese Coffey and Iain Duncan Smith, not to mention Johnson himself, think.

Here’s Metro:

More than half of people who died of coronavirus in England and Wales had a disability, new figures revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 59% of all deaths involving Covid-19 from March 2 to July 14 were of disabled people.

But only 16% of the population have disabilities, according to 2011 Census data, meaning they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Targeted is the word I would use.

After adjusting for region, population density, socio-demographic and household characteristics, the coronavirus mortality rates between disabled and non-disabled people was 2.4 times higher for females and 2.0 times higher for males.

And the benefit to the Tories was even greater among pensioners, who the Tories consider a huge burden on the Treasury:

For women over 65 with a severe disability, the mortality rate was 589.63 compared with 187.95 for non-disabled women.

Out of the 19,405 deaths of females aged 65 and older from March 2 to July 14, the proportion of disabled people was the largest, accounting for 67.2% (13,048).

In contrast, among the 2,766 deaths of males aged 9 to 64, the share made up by disabled people was the smallest at 38.5% (1,066).

I know: it’s a disease and it most strongly affects those who have the least resistance to it.

That’s exactly what they want you to think.

Source: Coronavirus UK: Disabled people make up six in ten Covid-19 deaths | Metro News

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One in eight childcare workers in England earns much less than the minimum wage

We thought this window-writing was by a child in care. It seems it might have been by a carer instead.

This research shows all the hallmarks of Tory employment policy: early years workers – predominantly female – are considered to be of low worth and paid less than the minimum wage, and have few career options – and the Covid crisis is likely to make matters worse.

It’s Conservative policy, remember: they have victimised women since they got back into office in 2010, with the so-called austerity policies attacking women far more than men.

One in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour, according to new research which warns that low pay, high workload and a lack of career development are having an adverse effect on the sector.

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) report says… as many as 13% of childcare workers are paid under £5 an hour.

The workforce included apprentices, students on placement, volunteers as well as childminders, hence the low hourly rates.

Staff turnover is high at 13%, with one in six leaving their posts within a year, and 37% quitting within two years.

The report also highlights a lack of training opportunities for those who enter the workforce, which is 96% female, with just 17% of early years workers in receipt of job-related training.

Workload is high and the job carries considerable responsibility – more than one in 10 (11%) full-time early years workers reported working more than 42 hours per week, compared to 3% of retail workers.

It’s cognitive dissonance; the job is clearly highly-responsible and stressful, yet the remuneration is pitiful and there are no associated benefits.

Does this not indicate a political decision by the Tories?

That party’s notorious “nudge unit” has long been tasked with pushing people into particular decisions by making the alternative unacceptable.

Apparently they don’t want children to have professional care while we go to work.

Clearly we’ll all have to stay at home instead – or stop having children so we can go to work.

But if we stay home, what will happen to the economy?

And if we stop having children, well, there aren’t enough people working in the economy to support the current number of senior citizens, and that will only get worse if the working population diminishes – as it must in that eventuality.

So it seems that, by allowing childcare workers to be treated so badly, the Tories are deliberately trying to trash the UK economy.

And some of us voted them into office with a landslide in order to do that.

Were these voters ill, or insane, or suffering mass hysteria?

Source: One in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour | Childcare | The Guardian

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Why are you cheering for Tories who have killed so many and ANNOUNCED a plan to kill many more?

The latest Mainly Macro piece from Simon Wren-Lewis is of course quite right to point out that the Tory expectation of at least 100 deaths per day until spring 2021 is a nightmare.

It also make the point that not locking down – as has been demanded by certain stridently opinionated creatures – would have been a disaster of much greater magnitude.

He states:

We keep being told by the government that they are at a much lower level than they used to be, every graph shows deaths are much lower than they were at the peak, resulting in a danger that we regard daily deaths around a hundred as somehow inevitable.

But they are not inevitable.

They are an order of magnitude higher than deaths in other European countries.

Yes indeed – and he provides a graph to prove his point which you can see by visiting Mainly Macro (link below).

It shows that daily deaths in the UK are “an order of magnitude” above those of our European neighbours. That can only be attributed to the political decisions of our Conservative government, led by Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and their cronies.

The other graph he uses – of deaths as a proportion of the population – shows Sweden – which deliberately chose not to go into lockdown – leapfrogging the UK.

So we can see what could have happened, had the UK not gone into lockdown – many more deaths as a proportion of the population. And that’s not considering how the Tories’ policies would have worsened matters!

And this takes us to the author’s main point: that the Conservatives have deliberately chosen to keep the number of deaths high:

Our numbers are higher because our lockdown was less severe than in other countries, and we started reducing an already weaker lockdown while deaths were still high. The government didn’t protect care homes, and it didn’t protect medical staff. And the government decided to farm out test, trace and isolate (TTI) to their private sector friends rather than expand experienced local authorities.

The government intends to do little to rectify the situation.

He goes on to make excellent comments about media complacency:

Let’s put 100 deaths a day in context. On average 5 people die a day from road traffic accidents. Far fewer die on average from deaths as a result of terrorism. But just think of the media publicity each terrorist incident gets in the UK.

But the economy! Right? We have to ease the lockdown or the economy will collapse? Nuh-uh:

If daily infection numbers remain high, people will be reluctant to resume social consumption. This in turn will threaten the viability of some businesses, and lead to a lot of unemployment as other firms slim down. The government, by ending lockdown too early, is creating an economic crisis that will hit the UK in the second half of this year.

Somebody in the Tory bubble must have known this – and must have mentioned it to Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings and the other lunatics.

If so, they were ignored.

So it seems clear that the Tories have deliberately engineered the mass slaughter of the UK’s population, with a knock-on effect of causing economic collapse that will inevitably lead to further hardship and death.

And, because our mass media haven’t got a grip on the genocidal nature of the Tories’ behaviour, the people are cheering those Tories as they are led to the slaughter.

So, if anyone tells you the Tories are doing a good job, remind them:

Boris Johnson has killed tens of thousands of his countryfolk and has announced his intention to kill tens of thousands more.

When will these people turn on him?

It’ll be too late when their own heads are on the block.

Source: mainly macro: Why does this government get away with murder?

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Why aren’t Tory voters furious after their party u-turned on free school meals and all their other disastrous policies?

Tearing Britain apart: it’s what Conservative voters supported, so why aren’t they complaining about every policy alteration that prevents it?

This Twitter user makes a very good point:

Mr Maginn is absolutely right.

If you voted Conservative, you voted for a party that would starve your children in the school holidays. Why aren’t you demanding that they stick to their principles?

This got me thinking about all the other ways the Tories have let their voters down over the last few months.

For example, we know that the Tories dismantled all the systems that had been in place to combat a pandemic like Covid-19. Conservative voters supported that.

So, if you’re a Conservative voter, why aren’t you absolutely raging that your demand for the entire nation to be infected, in order to develop “herd immunity” has been rejected? Voting Tory means that’s what you wanted, no matter how many people it killed.

Why aren’t you furious about the lockdown that interfered unforgivably with your ability to make money for yourselves and your family and boost the economy? You voted Tory – that’s what you had a right to expect, even if it meant your entire family caught Covid-19 and died.

Why aren’t you frothing at the mouth about the fact that the Tories were shamed into casting around for PPE (personal protective equipment) for NHS staff dealing with the coronavirus in hospitals? You voted Tory and the Tories decided long ago that this equipment would not be necessary – and we know they have been quietly dismantling the NHS for the last decade; if doctors, nurses and support staff all caught Covid and died, that would achieve the aim very well.

If you voted Conservative, then you supported that party’s Brexit policy that has discouraged foreign workers from coming to the UK – so you must be seething at Tory attempts to entice them back to harvest this year’s fruit crop before it rots. You voted for that crop to rot in the fields! It is unconscionable that the Tories should go against your wishes in trying to save it.

Progressing from there, if you voted Conservative, then you support the underlying racism that supported the “hostile environment” policy, and the Windrush generation deportations. You must be raging against the Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK and the calls for statues glorifying slavers and racists to be taken down. Why aren’t you contacting your MP, demanding that charges against the Nazis who rampaged through London on Saturday be dropped on the grounds that they are only good British citizens acting in concord with the policies of the Conservative government and its racist leader Boris Johnson?

Need I go on?

Too often, voters confuse what the Conservatives have done with what they wanted to do.

If Boris Johnson’s government had done everything it wanted, then the United Kingdom would already have been decimated by plague and famine (caused by deliberate starvation as well as failure to bring in the crops) – with worse to follow.

It’s what Conservative voters wanted. Perhaps someone should point that out to them.

The UK has recorded more Covid-19 deaths in a single day than the entire EU. How is this success?

Read it and weep.

Yesterday (June 4), the UK recorded more Covid-19-related deaths – in hospital alone – than all 27 EU countries put together.

Yet members of the Conservative government keep claiming that their policies are a huge success!

Are they saying their policy is to kill more of their own population than any other country in the world?

That seems the logical conclusion…

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Blame game: Tories try to shift responsibility for sending Covid-19 into care homes – and fail

Care: the Tories don’t.

Pathetic, isn’t it?

The Conservative government has tried to claim that temporary care workers spread Covid-19 between different care homes to cause the huge increase in deaths there.

Those of us with a more rational outlook believe the epidemic was more likely caused by the Tory policy of shifting people with Covid symptoms from hospital into care homes as soon as possible – without caring whether those homes had isolation facilities.

Which do you think is more likely?

Bear in mind that the two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

And who’s responsible for homes having to employ temporary workers, anyway?

The Guardian certainly seems to think the Tory government is responsible either way. It states:

In evidence that raises further questions about ministers’ claims to have “thrown a protective ring around care homes”, it emerged that agency workers – often employed on zero-hours contracts – unwittingly spread the infection as the pandemic grew, according to [a] study by Public Health England (PHE).

The genome tracking research into the behaviour of the virus in six care homes in London found that, in some cases, workers who transmitted coronavirus had been drafted in to cover for care home staff who were self-isolating expressly to prevent the vulnerable people they look after from becoming infected.

During flu pandemic planning in 2018, a report from social care directors warned ministers that frontline care workers would need advice on “controlling cross-infection”. A 2019 PHE document about flu pandemic preparations called “Infection prevention and control: an outbreak information pack for care homes” urged operators to “try to avoid moving staff between homes and floors”.

But the DHSC’s social care plan, published on 16 April, mentions nothing about restricting staff movements between homes in its chapter on “controlling the spread of infection in care homes”.

So hopeful Tories are set to be disappointed; if temporary care home staff did transmit the bug, it was because of Tory government failures.

Worse is the Tory government policy to transfer elderly people with Covid-19 symptoms out of hospital and into care homes, regardless of whether those homes had the facilities to isolate the patients. Here‘s the Huffington Post:

The government had a “policy of emptying hospitals and filling care homes” when coronavirus began to grip the country, a top care boss has said.

Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said Boris Johnson should have stopped the spread of Covid-19 to social care settings, where elderly people, many of whom have underlying health conditions, were particularly vulnerable to the disease.

He also criticised the discharge of patients from hospitals to care homes, saying people who either “didn’t have a Covid-19 status or were symptomatic were discharged into care homes” which were full of people “with underlying health conditions”.

Green, whose body represents care home providers in England, said homes should have been isolating residents who returned from hospital – as those in some other countries have – but many did not have the right set-up.

Whichever way you look at it, the Tory government was responsible for what has been an absolute massacre of vulnerable people who were supposed to be enjoying the best possible care.

So we come back to the big question, with the Tories found to have been responsible for causing these infections and deaths in care homes.

Was this result intended?

Source: Agency staff were spreading Covid-19 between care homes, PHE found in April | World news | The Guardian

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His policies gave the UK the worst death toll in Europe but Hancock wants critics to modify THEIR tone

Matt Hancock: there’s a problem with his tone.

If anybody needs to modify their tone, it is Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

He was challenged in the House of Commons to acknowledge that the government’s lack of testing for the coronavirus had led to unnecessary deaths – and he responded by saying the questioner should modify their tone.

That was a big mistake – because the person asking the question was Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who has been working as a doctor in an Accident & Emergency unit, treating coronavirus patients, while Hancock has been sitting in Downing Street with his thumb up his posterior, making up test results by any means he could.

Here’s the exchange:

Dr Allin-Khan later said she would “not watch my tone when dozens of NHS and care staff are dying unnecessarily,” according to Sky News.

And she’s right, by the way – the UK government’s testing strategy has been non-existent.

We’ve heard all sorts of targets, ranging from 250,000 a day to just 10,000 and back up to 100,000. None of them were reached by the Tory government when they were supposed to be.

Last week, Hancock lied to the nation, claiming that he had managed to reach his personal target of 100,000 tests a day by April 30. He had not. His figures included tests that had been mailed out but not used.

And these included multiple tests sent to individual homes with no return address, that subsequently had to be destroyed.

The daily testing total since April 30 has fallen back below 100,000 and you will have noticed that Hancock’s answer in the video clip referred only to a “capacity” of 108,000 tests per day.

That’s less than the number he claimed were carried out on April 30. This wretch just contradicted his own lie!

Worst of all – and underlying this argument – is the fact that the UK’s coronavirus death toll is now the worst in Europe:

The government’s tally of fatalities across the UK reached 29,427 for those who tested positive for coronavirus, exceeding the 29,029 recorded in Italy – until now Europe’s worst-hit country. Italy’s total does not include suspected cases.

Newly released data from the Office for National Statistics showed that 29,648 deaths were registered in England and Wales with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate by 2 May. With the addition of the official death figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland, this was calculated to take the UK’s toll to 32,313.

The true figure is likely to be significantly higher due to missed cases and a lag in reporting.

I wonder what the totals look like when differences in population – numbers and composition – are taken into account?

I reckon that would make the UK look much, much worse.

And the liar Matt Hancock wants an NHS doctor to modify her tone.

He has managed to be both unaccountably arrogant and irresponsibly pathetic at the same time.

Source: Calls for inquiry as UK reports highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe | World news | The Guardian

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Coronavirus: Higher death rate in poorer areas – because that’s what the Tories want

Well, what do you know? The useless Tory compensation schemes mean poorer people are going hungry, and there’s a higher death rate in poorer areas.

Coincidence? Don’t kid yourself.

People living in more deprived areas of England and Wales are more likely to die with coronavirus than those in more affluent places, new figures suggest.

Office for National Statistics analysis shows there were 55 deaths for every 100,000 people in the poorest parts of England, compared with 25 in the wealthiest areas.

Mortality rates are normally higher in poorer areas. But the ONS said coronavirus appeared to be adding to the problem.

It isn’t just the coronavirus adding to the problem.

It is clear that the Tories have arranged affairs – via their inadequate compensation schemes for working people – so the coronavirus can be the excuse when a disproportionate number of poor people die.

But I suppose it’s unpatriotic to point that out while Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and the others are busy eliminating my friends and yours?

Source: Coronavirus: Higher death rate in poorer areas, ONS figures suggest – BBC News

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

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