Tag Archives: Politics Live

Normalising racism: Abbott attacked for highlighting Farage’s hypocrisy over Raducanu

Raducanu: she won the US Open so the racists in UK politics are happy to let this Romanian-heritage teenager be British. What would they have called her if she had lost?

The BBC really is contemptible these days.

Its daily Politics Live programme has just taken time out to criticise Diane Abbott for making a perfectly reasonable point.

After Emma Raducanu won the US Open Ladies Singles tennis final, Nigel Farage was among the many who praised her up.

But arch Brexiter Farage, while campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union, had previously stated that he would not want a Romanian living next door to him.

Ms Raducanu’s heritage is Romanian.

So Ms Abbott was absolutely right to make this point:

And she’s not the only one pointing out the hypocrisy:

The verdict on Politics Live?

Led by host Jo Coburn, guests united to say that Farage’s words were in the past and that it is wrong to use a sporting even to score political points.

So it’s fine for politicians like Boris Johnson (and, indeed, Farage) to make hay when sportspeople representing the UK do well – no matter that they personally have expressed racist views that constitute abuse against individuals among those sportspeople in the past?

I don’t think so!

The whole disgrace was encapsulated in a tweet before Ms Raducanu’s victory (that I didn’t save, sadly).

It said that, depending on the result, the Daily Mail would tell us whether she was British or not.

And it’s a good point.

Would these creepy politicians be quite so keen to let bygones be bygones if Ms Raducanu had not won?

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Deaths of homeless people hit record high – but Tories are STILL lying that they care

These snow effigies of homeless people were created in 2018 to demonstrate that rough sleepers were freezing to death [Image: @TrevorCoultMC on Twitter].

A record 726 homeless people died in 2018 due to Conservative government policies – and Tory mouthpieces Therese Coffey and Danny Finkelstein are still pretending their party cares.

The novice Work and Pensions Secretary and the former Tory speechwriter professed outrage at claims that the Conservatives were not compassionate (remember “compassionate Conservatism”?) and didn’t care in a stomach-turning display of hypocrisy on the BBC’s Politics Live.

Ms Coffey tried to blame the 22 per cent increase in deaths since 2017 on drug use. But why do people take drugs? They do it to escape the hell of their existence – a hell into which they have been forced by Tory policies.

Universal Credit, the Bedroom Tax, and cuts to sickness and disability benefits have all been engineered to make it impossible for people to afford to pay for their accommodation and to eat.

Have no doubt about this – the Tories have been deliberately levering poor people out of their homes. The evidence is in the policies and in their result.

If they really were trying to solve homelessness – as they vowed to do in 2017 – there would have been a 100 per cent fall in homelessness-related deaths, not a 22 per cent increase.

A record number of homeless people died last year, marking the biggest increase in deaths since reporting began, official data shows.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show an estimated 726 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2018. This is a 22% rise from 2017 and the highest surge since the data was first collected in 2013.

Drug-related deaths saw the biggest increase, rising by 55% since 2017.

Charities called for an urgent investigation into the deaths of vulnerable people, saying it was heartbreaking and that they should not die “unnoticed and unaccounted for”.

The mouthpieces rushed to cover their political rears on Politics Live, provoking a predictable reaction from This Writer:

Even The Guardian‘s Helen Pidd was finding excuses for the Tories, with a claim that defied reason:

And the simple fact is that deaths will continue to rise until homelessness becomes an automatic death sentence.

I said that was the plan when the Conservatives announced their plan to halve homelessness by 2022 and eliminate it by 2027 – and this is more evidence that I was right.

The answer to homelessness, and the problems that come with it, have been known for years – give these people a place to live! That would relieve burdens on the health service and also on the police and justice system – as has been proved in Utah.

The Conservatives know this but refuse to take the appropriate action.

Therefore we may conclude that they are deliberately driving people to their deaths.

And there’s only one way to stop it – unless you are one of the thugs who consider rough sleepers to be targets for violence and would rather pour petrol on them and set them alight than help. And I don’t think Vox Political readers are thugs.

We need a Labour government, as soon as possible – or these Tory policy deaths will only increase.

Source: Homeless deaths in 2018 rise at highest level – ONS | Society | The Guardian

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Will Labour deselect anti-Corbyn MPs and gain unity in the Parliamentary party at last?

Re-selection fodder: Liz Kendall failed to defend Labour against criticisms by Theresa Villiers on the BBC’s Politics Live. Time for her to go?

The Labour Party has triggered a process that could allow constituency members to remove MPs they believe are not properly representing them in Parliament and on the media.

The party has begun the first phase of a re-selection “trigger” process, asking MPs to confirm whether or not they wish to stand for Parliament again, with a deadline of July 8.

It seems likely that this deadline is to allow the party’s National Executive Committee to agree a timetable in which constituency members may decide whether they wish to hold a selection process or retain incumbents unchallenged.

But it may be impossible for the process to conclude in time for an early election to be forced through a “no confidence” vote before the current deadline for Brexit (October 31). It is possible that the Labour leadership is expecting that deadline to slip.

If MPs say they want to stand again, then constituency members may remove them. This would be done with a process that requires one-third of each constituency’s rank-and-file members to demand that the incumbent must stand for re-selection.

But local meetings are not held in August, and many CLPs don’t hold them in September either, due to the proximity of the party conference. So, according to LabourList, it seems likely the next stage of the selection process won’t happen until October.

That blog is suggesting that many incumbents – even those with an expressed anti-Corbyn view – may be in no danger as a majority of party members may vote them back in, despite having triggered the re-selection process.

Some should definitely be looking over their shoulders, though. For example: Liz Kendall.

Labour’s MP for Leicester West appeared on the BBC’s Politics Live on June 25, in which she very clearly failed to stand up for her party and its leader in the face of criticism from the Conservative Theresa Villiers. I commented on this:

The responses were telling:

“Time for Leicester West to get her deselected then,” tweeted ‘Cool Daddy’.

“Let’s see if she stands for re election,” added Christine Abram.

‘Leicester Worker’ stated: “Looking forward to seeing whether or not she wishes to stand as a Labour candidate again.”

Many pointed out that Ms Kendall was a candidate in the leader election when Jeremy Corbyn won the support of 59 per cent of party voters. Only four per cent supported her:

“Liz 4% Kendall hates the idea of a Corbyn government it seems,” tweeted Anne Fallon. That’s not a good look for someone who may need to seek the support of her constituency party members in the near future!

And the obvious failure to address the issue at hand at the time was also covered:

“Kendall was as weak as water let Villiers get away with that unforgiveable” was the slightly incoherent response from Patricia H.

Ashok added: “The line on the dangers of a corbyn led government should be challenged by all MP’s especially considering the mess of he have made of the country over the past few years.”

And ‘Time for Change’ stated: “All Labour MPs who appear on shows like should be supporting Labour Party and attacking opposition. Anything less is a failure and they need to be deselected.”

Will the people of Leicester West seek a new representative, who is more capable of putting forward the case for Labour policies, its members and leader – or will they bottle it? And what about other constituencies with anti-Corbyn (or indeed anti-Labour) Labour MPs?

We’ll find out as this process goes on.

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The ‘diabetes tax’: Some patients must pay £1,200 a year for tool Theresa May said was freely available on the NHS

Theresa May: She might get her FreeStyleLibre diabetes tool on the NHS, but her government has made sure many members of the public have to pay a fortune for it.

An apparently innocent interlude in Prime Minister’s Questions has opened up a potentially-huge controversy for the Conservative government.

Labour MP Steve McCabe noted that Theresa May uses a FreeStyleLibre diabetes tool, which monitors her condition and warns her when she needs medication. He asked when it would be freely available on the National Health Service. Here’s the dialogue, from the official record of Parliamentary affairs, Hansard:

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak) (Lab)

“Even the Prime Minister’s fiercest critics—I believe she has a few—must be full of admiration for the way in which she manages her diabetic condition and holds down such a tough and demanding job. I understand that she benefits from a FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system. Wouldn’t it be nice if she did something to make that benefit available to the half a million people who are denied it because of NHS rationing? Perhaps we could call it “help for the many, not the few”. [907106]

“I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments. I do use a FreeStyle Libre, and it is now available on the national health service, but it is not the only means of continuous glucose monitoring that is available on the NHS. Yesterday I saw a letter from a child—a young girl—who had started on the FreeStyle Libre, but, because of the hypos that she had been having, had been moved to a different glucose monitoring system. There is no one system that is right for everyone; what is important is that those systems are now available on the NHS.”

Technically, she was correct and the FreeStyleLibre is available on the NHS.

But, thanks to Tory meddling, its availability to people with diabetes is based on a postcode lottery.

You may remember that Andrew Lansley’s hated Health and Social Care Act of 2012 imposed Clinical Commissioning Groups on the NHS. These are local organisations that decide which services should be available to patients in their areas, based on the amount of money that is made available to them. The creation of CCGs was justified with a claim that GPs would serve on them – but in fact GPs are far too busy and the work seems to have devolved to businesspeople.

Unite the Union surveyed the 3,392 CCG board members in 2015 and reported that 513 were directors of private healthcare companies: 140 owned such businesses and 105 carried out external work for them. More than 400 CCG board members were shareholders in such companies.

As a result, trust in CCGs’ ability, or indeed willingness, to provide the best-quality healthcare their budgets can afford is low. It seems the bias is more likely towards offering private firms the contracts they want, in order to appease shareholders who sit on these groups.

The FreeStyleLibre – together with those who use it – appears to be a victim of this system.

While it is nominally available on the NHS, as Mrs May claimed, it is not available to huge numbers of NHS patients because the CCGs in their area simply haven’t offered to pay for it. Instead, they have to fund it themselves at a cost of £100 per month.

That’s a “Diabetes Tax”, if you like, of £1,200 per year.

This information comes from a segment of the BBC’s Politics Live that I was lucky enough to notice:

Here’s the clip the programme put up on Twitter, in which Type 1 diabetic Tessa Nejranowski destroys Mrs May’s claim:

So there you have it:

Mrs May lied to Parliament. FreeStyleLibre is not available on the NHS – at least, not everywhere in England – and where it is not, people have to pay £1,200 a year to have it privately. That’s a “diabetes tax” imposed on people with the condition by the Conservatives.

And it’s about as strong an argument as any for the dissolution of the CCGs and the repeal of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. But you’ll have to wait for a Labour government before that happens.

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