Tag Archives: poor

Now the #ToryScum are squabbling among themselves about #FreeSchoolMeals

Gavin Williamson: did he really ask Rishi Sunak’s Treasury for £150 million to provide meals for poverty-stricken children during school holidays?

Conservative cabinet ministers have started in-fighting over responsibility for blocking the provision of meals to poverty-stricken children during school holidays.

Somebody, it seems, has claimed that the Treasury blocked a request for £150 million to pay for such a scheme.

But Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hotly denied this, claiming that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson never asked for the funds.

Treasury sources said there had been no request from the education secretary for the £150m to provide meals for 1.4 million disadvantaged pupils during the holiday.

It seems perfectly reasonable to suppose that Sunak is right, in fact.

The call for the government to fund the meals came originally from footballer Marcus Rashford, and it was Labour who took it to Parliament in an Opposition Day debate last week – when the Tories ensured that it was rejected.

So it seems to me that Williamson would have had no reason to ask for the cash to make it happen.

Boris Johnson has since said that his government will not u-turn on the decision, no matter how hard public opinion turns against it.

His comments, along with the claim that no request has been made for the cash, will make it very hard for him to change his mind (as he often does if the focus groups tell him he needs to).

And he managed to cause trouble for himself by claiming local authorities could draw on a £63 million fund that his government has already created.

Council leaders angrily pointed out that the fund was intended to cover a wide range of hardships created by the Covid-19 crisis and most of it has been used.

Meanwhile, Nadhim Zahawi told Kay Burley of Sky News that kids were more interested in football than food:

The Tories have argued themselves into a corner and are digging themselves a hole in order to escape.

If I didn’t have some already, I’d be buying popcorn.

Source: Treasury rejects claims it refused extra £150m for free school meals | Education | The Guardian

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#PoorBoris – UK citizens give what sympathy they can to PM ‘complaining about money’

Don’t cry, Mr Johnson: we all know it’s hard for you to feed yourself, your paramour and four of your six kids on a £150,000+ income, with your accommodation supported by the state. But we’re not sure you or anyone you know should be in charge of the nation’s economy if you can’t. It was Tories like you who said the economy was like a household budget, after all.

If you behave more like a performing monkey than a prime minister, you get what you deserve when you complain.

It seems the UK’s performing monkey – Boris Johnson – is complaining, as his fans in The Times explain:

The headline defies reason! Overburdened, underpaid and ‘misery on his face’!

Overburdened? This is the prime minister who has spent more time on holiday then any of his recent forerunners – possibly than all of them put together, if you average it out for a single year.

Underpaid? Let’s see how that plays out for our £150,000-a-year public servant in some of the comments from those he is supposed to serve:

 

Well…

Here‘s Phil Harrison: “This piece is jaw-droppingly offensive. a) He earns five times the national median wage at a time when millions are losing jobs. b) He’s already minted. c) He only looks after 4 of his 6 kids?! YOU WHAT?? Does he want a medal? He should be in court.”

Indeed. Johnson probably claims Child Benefit for the other two…

Indeed. If Johnson had not wanted to support his children, one wonders how he came to have so many. Lost In The Shire has a thought about that: “I sometimes imagine his supporters think he slipped and accidentally impregnated a host of women and so that’s why he doesn’t need to pay to support or acknowledge all of his own children.”

Still, there’s a lot of good advice for him, such as this, from WeeHalfPint: “If we all clap, that should help him put food on the table, yeah?”

Queen Neferure has more practical help for him: “Hi @BorisJohnson I’m sorry to hear you are struggling on £150k. I get ESA, which for the over 25s is less than £4k per year. If you need any help with budgeting, do not hesitate to contact me or contact your local jobcentre, @CitizensAdvice or @StepChange for help.”

How about this?

Alternatively, perhaps he could try taking advice from a fellow right-winger, as suggested here:

Sara Anzani adds: “He should try living on £5.65 a day, like he and the rest of his government expect asylum seekers to.”

Of course, Johnson isn’t struggling to pay the bills on his own; he has a partner. These Novel Thoughts was prompted to make the following suggestion with this in mind: “Is Carrie working? If so, surely that’s another salary coming in. If not, why do they need a nanny? And given the fact that Johnson only works about a day a week, can’t he do some cleaning?”

As for the misery on his face. Well, The Times stated that being a performing monkey prime minister was his life’s ambition.

Perhaps he has discovered the truism that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.

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Fat Boris’s war on obesity is an insult to the poor

Fat Boris Johnson: his crusade against obesity ignores the fact that people cannot afford to buy healthy food, so none of the measures he has announced will have any effect at all.

Fat Boris Johnson really is an ignorant dimwit, isn’t he?

He has started a crusade against obesity, claiming he realised the need to lose some of his own tonnage after realising it was hindering his own ability to recover from Covid-19.

But here’s the problem: Under Tories like Fat Boris, obesity isn’t a personal choice; it’s a political one, made for the poor by national leaders like him.

He has chosen to make millions of people across the UK poor, thereby restricting the food we can afford to eat.

The cheapest food is high in sugars and fats – the ingredients that make us obese.

So we don’t have a choice. Until we can afford to buy healthier food, we will continue to struggle with weight gain.

And Johnson won’t let us earn enough.

So all his protestations about the need to lose weight, to be able to fight Covid-19, are pointless. We might as well listen to a whale spewing water out of its blowhole.

The Tory attitude is ridiculous, too – have you heard the nonsense spouted by the government about its “world-leading” plan?

Top of the list is a ban on adverts for “unhealthy” food before 9pm, when children can see them. Pointless if the adults left to watch them are financially bound to buy those foods in any event.

Next is an end to BOGOF – Buy One, Get One Free – promotions, meaning cash-strapped families will be forced to pay even more for their unhealthy food, while still being unable to afford better fare.

Large restaurant, cafe and take-away chains will be required to add labels to the food they sell, showing their calorie content. Again, this will make no difference to people who are forced by financial circumstances to buy what they can, rather than what they want.

There are other measures including diverting NHS time and effort to promoting weight loss, but this will not help people who simply don’t have the wherewithal to follow the recommendations of dieticians in the service. It will simply waste even more scant NHS resources.

Ultimately, Fat Boris isn’t helping you. He’s selling you a pup and asking you to swallow it.

Source: Poverty causes obesity. Low-income families need to be better off to eat well | Business | The Guardian

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Tories should blame their own bad messaging for the Covid-19 deaths of poor people

Johnson’s Covid-19 strategy: muddle the message.

Here’s another reason to abolish hereditary peerages: Lord Bethell.

This Tory health minister, who inherited his place in the House of Lords rather than earning it, tried to blame poor people for making poor decisions that result in their own deaths from Covid-19.

He said there were “behavioural reasons” for these deaths, listing “the decisions that people make about social distancing, about their own health decisions”.

But those decisions are influenced by his Tory government’s messages!

The Tory response to Covid-19 is now well-acknowledged as muddled, confusing and dangerous.

Boris Johnson made bad decisions before the virus even arrived in the UK that increased the death toll when it did – and he has continued as he started ever since.

The fact is that more poor people have died because poor people have not had the opportunities to hide from exposure to the disease that the rich have enjoyed – mostly because Johnson’s administration told them to stay at work.

So people in service industries were told to put themselves in danger – and many of them died as a result. Black people and those from ethnic minorities were particularly hard-hit because more of them work in these low-paid jobs due to the systemic racism underlying the UK’s culture.

The government said hospitals should send care home residents who had the disease back to those homes, even though those places did not have the facilities to treat them – and tens of thousands of them died.

The government said people could go to the beach, to the pub, back to work – and Covid-19 infection rates spiked every time.

So now nobody at risk trusts a word the Johnson government has to say about Covid-19.

survey by King’s College London and Ipsos Mori has found that 52 per cent of British adults aged 16 to 75 were sceptical about the relaxation of lockdown.

It also showed that more people thought the coronavirus crisis had been handled badly in the UK (42 per cent) than believed it has been handled well (36 per cent).

The figures revealed that Labour voters, who are more likely to be poor, were three times more likely than Conservative voters to believe the response was mismanaged. Because they have been twice as likely to die as rich Tories?

It follows that people should not trust the government’s advice on when it is safe to return to work, school and leisure activities – even when it may actually be accurate.

The result is a much more dangerous society – because the Tories made it that way. Crocodile tears from a know-nothing toff won’t change that.

Source: Minister Accused Of ‘Blaming The Poor’ For Their Own Deaths From Coronavirus | HuffPost UK

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Tories are denying Covid-19 test-and-trace system to disadvantaged people

Test and trace: if you’re credit’s not good, you don’t get to be part of it. The Tories are using Covid-19 to attack the poor again.

Typical Tories: if your credit isn’t good, you don’t get to take part in their new online test-and-trace system.

It doesn’t work anyway, so the penalty isn’t as bad as it may at first appear.

But it still represents an attempt to harm the poor – many of whom, amazingly, would still vote for their persecutors.

Disadvantaged groups may be excluded from the government’s online coronavirus test and trace system because it requires a credit reference database check to decide whether to deliver a home test, HSJ can reveal.

Source: Revealed: online covid tests refused to those not on credit check database | News | Health Service Journal

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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

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Another humiliation for Johnson – this time over claim life expectancy gap is narrowing

Boris Johnson: The blond lummox is humiliated again.

How many times does Boris Johnson have to make a fool of himself before we can do something about it?

Let me answer that: We’re 44 days into his new Parliament, meaning there are a potential 1,783 days of humiliation to come.

And it’s always possible that he’ll manage to make himself look a berk more than once per day.

Conclusion: It’s going to be a long five years.

The current humiliation concerns his claim that the gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor is narrowing; it isn’t.

Here’s The Independent:

The prime minister raised eyebrows when he told MPs the gap “is a disgrace”, then added: “None the less, it is coming down, and it will come down.”

In fact, official statistics last March showed women in the poorest parts of England are living three months fewer – while the average life span of women in the wealthiest areas is rising by almost as much.

The discrepancy between men in the richest and poorest areas has also widened by about three months, driven by a faster rise in life expectancy for the wealthy.

Alarmingly, decade-on-decade improvements in life expectancy began to tail off in 2011 – a shock change blamed by some experts on the government’s harsh austerity programme.

Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP who raised the issue, said: “The prime minister is renowned for making things up” – and there wasn’t much that BoJob could say in response.

And Ed Davey, the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “If the prime minister really wants to unite the country, he has to learn how to tell the truth.”

If we believe that, then the country will never be united because there’s no chance of Boris Johnson ever learning to tell the truth!

Source: Boris Johnson forced to retreat on false claim life expectancy gap between rich and poor is narrowing under the Tories | The Independent

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‘A great deal’ for whom? The UK will haemorrhage money!

Thumb up: But Boris Johnson won’t lose money on his Brexit deal like the rest of us.

Read this, which refers to Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal:

A “great deal”? Or a nightmare?

Some of you will no doubt be saying, “Don’t give us all that Project Fear talk, Mike! It’s all just scaremongering to keep us as vassals to the fascist EU superstate!” Or whatever.

But is it scaremongering? Is it really, when the economic figures come from Boris Johnson’s own official government analysis?

Isn’t it more accurate to say that the unelected prime minister is once again lying through his teeth in the knowledge that the kind of voter who would respond as I suggest above will lap it up?

Analysis published by the UK government last November suggested that a deal along the lines of that agreed by Johnson would have a major adverse economic impact on the UK, with British people hit by falling wages and declining growth.

Consider this:

Johnson’s own government’s analysis suggested that a deal along the lines of that agreed on Thursday will reduce annual economic growth by 6.7% compared to staying in the EU. That’s a major hit to the UK economy which will make average households thousands of pounds poorer than they would have been had we remained in the EU.

The UK government’s own analysis also suggested that a deal along the lines of Johnson’s would have a big impact on the average wages of people living in the UK. According to its central projection, average real terms wages would fall by 6.4% compared to staying in the EU.

The economic hit would inevitably lead to the UK government being forced to borrow more, or dramatically slash the services it provides to the public. According to the government’s own analysis, there would be a 3% increase in borrowing as a percentage of economic growth.

Admittedly, negotiations over the final shape of the UK’s future trading relationship with Europe – and the rest of the world – have not yet begun – Boris “Get Brexit Done” Johnson lied about that too.

But the broad direction is clear. The UK economy is going into a ditch.

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Should the poor and disabled be given NHS fitness trackers?

Is this a good idea?

Even if it is, considering the Conservative government’s clear hatred for people who are sick or disabled, would Tories ever allow it?

Fitness trackers should be prescribed on the NHS to stop a further widening of health inequality, a new review has warned.

Some of the poorest communities and disabled people could be left behind by the technology revolution in medicine unless action is taken, according to the report by the Social Market Foundation.

It warned that there is a growing risk that some vulnerable groups would not benefit from the innovations because they lack the skills or technology that others enjoy. Those most at risk are on the lowest incomes, who are also most likely to be in poor health or to have a disability.

Source: Call for poor and disabled to be given NHS fitness trackers | Inequality | The Guardian

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Legal aid decision for Shamima Begum allows the Tories to give free rein to their hypocrisy

Hypocrite: Jeremy Hunt.

I can’t say I’m happy that the UK is likely to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on legal aid for Shamima Begum’s bid to regain her citizenship.

As you know if you read my previous work on this subject, I subscribe to the belief that Ms Begum knew exactly what she was doing when she left the UK to join a terrorist organisation (Islamic State) that wants to end the way of life enjoyed by citizens of this country, and I think her plea to be returned to the UK – at our expense – was motivated only by the fact that IS appeared about to be wiped off the map.

It’s the prevailing belief across the UK but proved controversial in some parts of the Internet, where critics suggested my view was racist and ignored the grooming (wrong word – they meant radicalisation) of innocent people into supporting terrorism.

It seems to me that there’s only one way to find out who’s right – and that is to have all the relevant information aired in a court of law.

So I reluctantly support the provision of legal aid in this single case.

But I object to the Tory hypocrisy about it.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (April 15), foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt justified the decision to grant legal aid by saying: “We are a country that believes that people with limited means should have access to the resources of the state if they want to challenge the decisions the state has made about them and, for obvious reasons, those decisions are made independent from politicians.”

That’s two falsehoods in one sentence.

The Conservatives certainly do not believe people with limited means should have access to state resources to challenge state decisions.

And they don’t want those decisions to be made independently.

The Conservative Party has cut legal aid to members of the public by 20 per cent – severely restricting access to justice.

The Tories’ Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act of 2012 cut the legal aid budget by £350 million and ended the right to legal representation in large areas of the law on divorce, child custody, clinical negligence, welfare, employment, immigration, housing, debt, benefit and education.

Amnesty International said the cuts had created a “two-tier” system that denied the poorest people access to justice.

Particularly hard-hit have been people with disabilities; the total number of disabled people granted legal aid in welfare cases has plummeted from 29,801 in 2011-12 to just 308 in 2016-17.

And this is exactly as the Tories wanted it.

Back in 2013, I wrote:

“This vindictive government of millionaires intends to make it impossible for the poorest and most vulnerable in society to seek legal redress against cruel and unwarranted decisions that will withdraw from them the money they use to keep themselves a hairs-breadth away from destitution.

“It is a decision to attack the poor for the fun of it.”

So when Jeremy Hunt tells the BBC, in all his hypocrisy, that “we are a country that believes that people with limited means should have access to the resources of the state if they want to challenge the decisions the state has made about them”, then we – the country – know he is excluding his government from that statement.


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