Tag Archives: Prime

Did Boris Johnson try to kill off the Queen with Covid-19?

Boris Johnson and the Queen: he wanted to continue meeting her every week after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out – and would certainly have passed Covid-19 on to her if he had done so.

That’s a bold suggestion in the headline – but it seems to be supported by the evidence.

WhatsApp messages supplied by Dominic bloody Cummings say that Johnson was unwilling to go back into lockdown in autumn 2020 because he considered Covid-19 only to be fatal to people aged over 80 – who have therefore lived longer than national life expectancy.

“So get COVID and live longer,” is the typically-insensitive Johnson remark.

Now, I was going to point out that Johnson was effectively sentencing his own father to death:

But then I saw the hammer-stroke:

Cummings also told the BBC that Johnson had been determined to go to see the Queen in person, despite people in Number 10 already ill with Covid in March 2020.

“I said, what are you doing, and he said, I’m going to see the Queen and I said, what on earth are you talking about, of course you can’t go and see the Queen. He said, ah, that’s what I do every Wednesday, sod this, I’m gonna go and see her,” Cummings said.

Cummings said he eventually convinced Johnson not to take the risk. “I said to him, there’s people in this office who are isolating, you might have coronavirus, I might have coronavirus, you can’t go and see the Queen. What if you go and see her and give the Queen coronavirus?

“You obviously can’t go … I just said if you, if you give her coronavirus and she dies what, what are you gonna, you can’t do that, you can’t risk that, that’s completely insane. And he said, he basically just hadn’t thought it through, he said, yeah, ‘holy s**t, I can’t go.’”

Downing Street has denied the account – which is hardly surprising as it suggests that Johnson was, at the very least, reckless with regard to the safety of the Queen.

The UK Establishment may be happy to tolerate the many harms he has inflicted on the population at large, but endangering Her Majesty (who was 93 at the time and therefore well within the extreme-danger zone) is a different matter entirely.

Did Johnson mean to endanger her life by exposing her to the virus?

In all honesty, it’s doubtful. He is a very stupid, selfish man and in March 2020, when Cummings says he had to be stopped from visiting her personally, he was saying he did not think Covid-19 was going to affect the UK seriously.

He didn’t even know whether he had the disease himself (he did contract it and spent time in hospital with it).

He certainly would have passed the disease to the Queen if those meetings had indeed continued.

Now: all this information comes from Dominic Cummings, and he has a grudge against Johnson; this is one of a series of attacks he has launched against his former boss.

But of course, he is not the only source of information and questions are being asked about why reporters for the mainstream media haven’t bothered to find it out for themselves. I have my own view about that:

Well?

All you national TV and newspaper reporters – what are you waiting for?

Get out there and rake the muck until you can provide evidence to prove whether Johnson was planning meetings that would have endangered the life of the Queen.

Or is that beyond your meagre skill set?

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Mythbusting: nurse(?) makes mistake over ‘Do Not Resuscitate’

Ventilator: people with long-term illnesses, disabilities and learning disabilities are still being denied resuscitation by the NHS – and one nurse, at least, has denied the existence of this scandal.

I can’t let this pass.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on June 16, Peterborough’s Tory MP Paul Bristow asked an important question about “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) orders that have been made on NHS patients during the Covid-19 crisis.

Having reported on this scandal many times on This Site, I tweeted in response:

I was surprised and saddened when this provoked the following response from a Twitter user who identifies as a nurse (I won’t reproduce the tweet here because I do not wish to identify that person):

“Are you a healthcare professional?

“No.

“Then do not spread false theories about something you obviously know nothing about.”

I attempted to put my critic straight – as politely as possible, in the circumstances:

“I am a news reporter of nearly 30 years experience and have been covering this story from the start. I DO know the facts here. And I see that, since you provide no information to support your insult, you probably don’t. Go well.”

Sadly, this person would not take the (rather overt) hint and came back at me:

You have confirmed it.

It is a story.

I do not have the time, inclination or room on twitter to “provide you with information” only to say that I have 30 years experience as a nurse and have a postgraduate qualification in Professional Practice

Then this is a person who ought to have known better. The claim, “It is a story,” was an attempt to downplay the DNR deaths as fiction, and I wasn’t having that. Also the refusal to support a claim with factual information is a classic tactic by trolls who don’t have any facts to offer.

So I responded (again):

“And how does that better qualify you to comment on this? I’ve done the research so I know my facts. It isn’t fiction.”

And again this person came back at me:

Ok then would you attempt CPR on a five stone frail old woman? Am not going to carry on with this because I’m afraid you just don’t know what you’re on about

This is misleading, and a lie. Allow me to explain.

Mr Bristow’s question is available  to read in Hansard, here. He said: “Last year, doctors and care settings issued an unprecedented number of “do not resuscitate” orders to patients with learning disabilities and mental illness. Many were unlawful and caused avoidable deaths.

“Despite urgent Care Quality Commission and NHS guidance, shockingly, this practice has continued. Last week, The Telegraph reported that Sonia Deleon died unresuscitated. Her family said she was given a DNR without them knowing, and with her learning disabilities and schizophrenia stated as reasons.

“Does the Prime Minister share my alarm about these cases, which should have no place in our care, and does he agree that they should be independently investigated?”

I won’t bother to repeat Boris Johnson’s response as he made no undertaking to prevent further abuses of DNR orders.

It was clear that the issue here was not the safety of attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on a person who may suffer as much harm in that attempt as by the condition that had caused them to need reviving.

It was a political choice to deny health care to people dying with Covid-19, because they have learning (or other) disabilities. It seems to have been considered an opportunity to clear many thousands of so-called “useless eaters” from the UK’s benefit books.

Sonia Deleon’s story is a classic example; you can read about it here.

In brief, almost a year after it was revealed that a policy was in place to deny NHS Covid-19 care to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities – and NHS bosses then claimed to have warned hospitals, GPs and NHS managers not to make such orders on these people, Sonia Deleon was deliberately allowed to die because a DNR order on her had been made.

Hospital authorities claimed that it the order had been agreed with Ms Deleon’s family but they deny this strenuously.

Ms Deleon had learning disabilities and the circumstances of her death are not only a scandal in themselves but are a continuation of a national disgrace.

And I was criticised for highlighting this atrocity – by someone claiming to be a nurse.

I won’t take this matter further by seeking to identify the NHS trust for which this person works and requesting that they be reminded of the facts and properly disciplined for trying to mislead the public. I may change my mind if any further attempts at deception result from this article.

But I will take the opportunity to request that anybody who has relatives living with a long-term illness or disability, or a learning disability, should contact the NHS and ensure that orders equivalent to death sentences have not been applied to their loved ones without their knowledge.

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Incredible sulk: and Johnson will have a lot to sulk about if MPs tighten rules on lying

Temper, temper: Boris Johnson lost his rag in PMQs over repeated accusations of dishonesty and sleaze. Trouble is, his outburst contained at least one more false claim.

It had to happen at a Prime Minister’s Questions that This Writer didn’t see.

For once, Labour leader Keir Starmer had a good week – but then, with the kind of ammunition he has been provided over the last few days, he could hardly go wrong.

He spent most of his time on the financing of renovations to Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat. Questions over the origin of £60,000 of funding were asked months ago and not answered.

Now, Starmer asked directly whether the money – now pegged at £58,000 – was put up by Lord Brownlow – and Johnson failed to answer directly.

Rather than saying whether Brownlow had any involvement, he simply asserted – repeatedly – that he himself had “covered the cost”.

It would be entirely possible for Johnson to have “covered the cost” after receiving the money from a third party – and the fact that he did not flatly deny any involvement by Brownlow means his claim is meaningless.

But it may be Starmer’s first question that turns out to have been the bigger bear-trap. He asked whether it was true that Johnson had said he would rather have “bodies piled high” than implement another lockdown.

Johnson answered with a categorical “no”, coupled with a demand for Starmer to bring forward any evidence he had.

That may seem fairly straightforward.

But then Starmer said he would follow up on his question in the future.

And then the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford waded into the fray. Acknowledging that MPs aren’t allowed to directly accuse each other of dishonesty, he simply asked Johnson to say whether he is a liar or not.

And Johnson wouldn’t:

As you can see from the clip, first he tried to worm out of answering by querying whether the question was in order – it was.

Then he (again) questioned the evidence of him having done as Blackford (and Starmer) had suggested.

And then he responded that he had not said those words (leading us all to conclude that they may be a close paraphrase of whatever he really said).

Under this kind of pressure, perhaps it should come as no surprise that, while responding to Starmer’s claim that he was “Major Sleaze”*, Johnson underwent what might be described as a “sulk-out” – a two-minute rant that failed to address what he had been asked…

… including another false claim – that Starmer had voted against the Tory government’s Brexit deal.

And this is important, because…

As a result of all these accusations of dishonesty, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has supported a plan to enforce the rules on misleading Parliament.

Amid a fresh row over the prime minister’s “lies” to MPs, Lindsay Hoyle supported a proposal for the cross-party Commons Procedure Committee to look into “how perceived inaccuracies could be corrected” as quickly as possible.

This could create serious difficulties for Johnson, whose serial lies were mentioned on This Site very recently.

You see, Starmer is right – any minister who knowingly misleads Parliament – including the Prime Minister – is expected to offer their resignation.

If the Procedure Committee puts this expectation on a more formal basis – and Starmer produced the evidence that Johnson did make a comment to the effect that he would rather see multiple deaths than impose a lockdown – then that would signal the end of his premiership.

And it wouldn’t be a day too soon.

*That should be Major Corruption, as reported a few days ago by This Site (and others) – but perhaps Starmer was restricted from saying as much by Parliamentary rules (again).

Source: Boris Johnson Facing Tough New Rules To Force Him To Correct ‘Lies’ To Parliament | HuffPost UK

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As both Starmer and Johnson try to strike hits, last PMQs of 2020 becomes a battle of (half)wits

Johnson v Starmer: it really doesn’t matter who scores the most points in their regular weekly confrontations as they’re each as daft as the other.

Did an element of end-of-term fever enter into the last weekly clash of UK political party leaders of 2020? One would assume so, from the quality of this exchange.

It seems Keir Starmer was hoping to get one over on Boris Johnson with his final submission to yesterday’s (December 16) Prime Minister’s Questions. He said:

This is the last PMQs of the year, and I for one often wonder where the Prime Minister gets his advice from.

Well, now I know, because I have here the official newsletter of the Wellingborough Conservative party. It is not on everyone’s Christmas reading list, but it is a fascinating read, because it gives a lot of advice to wannabe politicians.

It says this: “Say the first thing that comes into your head… It’ll probably be nonsense… You may get a bad headline… but… If you make enough dubious claims, fast enough, you can get away with it.”

The December edition includes the advice: “Sometimes, it is better to give the WRONG answer at the RIGHT time, than the RIGHT answer at the WRONG time.”

So my final question to the Prime Minister is this: is he the inspiration for the newsletter, or is he the author?

As attempted put-downs go, you have to agree that it wasn’t bad.

Sadly for Starmer, Johnson’s retort was better:

I think what the people of this country would love to hear from the right hon. and learned Gentleman in this season of good will is any kind of point of view at all on some of the key issues.

This week, he could not make up his mind whether it was right for kids to be in school or not, and havering [whatever that means] completely.

He could not make up his mind last week whether or not to support what the Government were doing to fight covid, and told his troops, heroically, to abstain.

He could not make up his mind about Brexit, we all seem to remember.

We do not know whether he will vote for a deal or not.

He cannot attack the Government if he cannot come up with a view of his own.

In the words of the song, “All I want for Christmas is” a view, and it would be wonderful if he could produce one.

Alas, we all know – thanks to the diktats released by Starmer’s (acting) general secretary David Evans – that the Labour Party is now not allowed to have any views on anything at all, for fear of offending the legions of ‘snowflakes’ covering the UK (even in this, so far, mild winter).

Starmer was defeated. The loss will be all the more galling to him because Jeremy Corbyn was never so soundly thrashed by either Theresa May or the current incumbent.

And Johnson will go to his Christmas break happy to have won that round of the regular battle of wits.

But then, given the quality of the participants, it would be more accurate to describe it as a battle of halfwits.

Source: Engagements – Wednesday 16 December 2020 – Hansard – UK Parliament

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PMQs: Starmer misses Johnson’s gaping-open goal, allowing the Tory to make a fool of him

Johnson and Starmer: we have a PM for whom the initials more appropriately refer to him as a Performing Monkey, but the ‘forensic’ former Attorney General is incapable of beating him, despite his incompetence.

Keir Starmer’s protestations of support for Tory government anti-Covid policies came back to bite him on the arse in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Two weeks after supporting the government in its decision to close pubs at 10pm, Starmer u-turned, demanding an explanation of the science behind it. He gave Johnson a perfect opportunity to land a knockout blow – and launch a new anti-Labour soundbite:

I was dismayed:

Sadly, that was the way of it for the whole of this week’s PMQs – as I had feared at the outset:

Look at the rest of my commentary on the confrontation:

He didn’t. But Johnson picked up on that failure and it led to the knockout later on.

As I write this, Jo Coburn on the BBC’s Politics Live is suggesting to Labour’s Stephen Doughty that Starmer wrote Johnson “a blank cheque” by offering his support “whatever restrictions are in place”.

That failure – that lack of closure – seems to have given Johnson the confidence to launch his own attack.

I could have done better:

Starmer is under attack at the moment, for his failures to lead an effective Opposition against the Johnson government.

On Twitter, the general public are at each other’s throats with many attacking him under the #StarmerOut hashtag, while others have tried to subvert that with an opposing line, #StarmerOutstanding.

In the real world, the union Unite has withdrawn 10 per cent of its funding because Starmer “isn’t listening” on matters of major importance (I’ll make more of this in a separate article).

If he can’t respond to these criticisms – as he failed to protect himself from Johnson soundbiting him into shreds – then he must seriously reconsider his position.

He is leading Labour into irrelevance.

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Peston’s client journalism: his fawning tweet about ‘saddened’ Johnson gets short shrift

Johnson and Starmer: political hack Robert Peston managed to get between them during PMQs with an ill-judged remark that has singled him out as a client journalist for the PM.

Sometimes you can tell how a nation feels by the way it reacts to the reporting of the news.

That’s what Robert Peston has been discovering after a particularly ill-advised tweet toadying to Boris Johnson. Here it is:

Johnson wasn’t saddened. He was annoyed that Labour leader Keir Starmer was asking pertinent questions about the failure of the Tory Test and Trace system and was desperate to deflect attention away from that failure.

We all saw it – those of us who were watching Prime Minister’s Questions. And some of us had a few sharp responses:

No – it’s client journalism. Peston was working in Johnson’s favour, trying to make the performing monkey PM look better than he is.

It’s a moment’s work that has been particularly damaging for Peston himself:

And it hasn’t done Johnson any favours either:

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‘Desperate’? Boris Johnson is clutching at straws as his party loses faith

Impotent rage: Boris Johnson is losing his grip on his party, as his incompetence as a leader becomes increasingly apparent.

Remember the old adage that repeating an action and expecting a different result is a sign of madness? It seems Boris Johnson hasn’t.

But then we already knew his grip on reality is tenuous at best.

The Observer is reporting that he is furious at the failure of his attempt to smear Labour leader Keir Starmer by connecting him with the IRA.

But rather than finding an alternative, he has instead reprimanded his advisers for leaving him under-prepared – and demanded more attack lines on Starmer, doubling down on criticism of his legal record.

It hasn’t worked; it won’t work.

Even where Starmer may be criticised, he knows those weaknesses and will have answers.

And of course Johnson will be laying himself open to analysis of his own past career – which consists of multiple claims of dishonesty and at least one high-profile sacking.

That won’t play well when he lays himself open to an airing of his faults at PMQs.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in the Conservative Party will be doing what they always do when they see a leader sinking; they’re sharpening their knives. Here’s The Observer:

There is evidence that the wider Tory party is losing faith in Johnson’s ability to lead them against Starmer – and signs that the chancellor Rishi Sunak has become the new favourite of the Conservative grassroots.

According to the latest survey of Tory members by ConservativeHome, the website for party activists, Johnson is now in the bottom third of cabinet ministers in the satisfaction ratings – having been the runaway leader nine months ago.

Johnson has slumped to 19th place, below Baroness Evans, the leader of the House of Lords, with a rating of plus 24.6%. Sunak meanwhile is out in front on plus 82.5%.

The verdict among the Twitterati is that Johnson is self-destructing:

You get the idea.

Who said Johnson would be gone by Christmas?

It seems likely he might be out a lot sooner.

Source: Desperate Boris Johnson to step up personal attacks on Keir Starmer | Politics | The Guardian

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PMQs: here’s how Badmouther Boris got from his exams failure to accusing Keir Starmer of IRA sympathy

Johnson v Starmer: in the PMQs battle-of-words, Starmer came out the clear winner against a prime minister that didn’t seem to know what question he was being asked to answer – let alone how to do it.

Prime ministerial failure Boris Johnson showed us all he had no answers about the ‘A’ level results scandal when he wandered off in the middle of PMQs and started accusing Keir Starmer of sympathising with the IRA – by proxy.

The Labour leader had asked a reasonable question – when did Johnson know that there was a problem with the algorithm used by Ofqual and the Department for Education to produce results, as exams hadn’t taken place?

Johnson’s response was not only an insult to everybody whose results were tainted by the system that upgraded private school pupils and marked down those at state schools – it was a direct attack on Starmer, with no reason.

He was clearly off-balance; he did not know what to say about the exams fiasco – so he groped for an attack on the Labour leader that he (or more likely his team) had clearly prepared in advance.

See for yourself:

This is Johnson’s tactic, it seems: if he’s asked a tricky question, he’ll throw a dead cat on the table.

The barb about supporting the IRA had nothing to do with anything at all – particularly not Keir Starmer who, as he said, prosecuted many terrorists in his former role as a lawyer and as Director of Public Prosecutions.

It was simply a means of distracting attention away from the fact that his government failed ‘A’ level students across the country and he did not have an excuse.

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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Theresa May’s comment on pension entitlement is inaccurate by four and a half YEARS

Theresa May in Parliament – and don’t you wish she wasn’t? [Image: YouTube].

All of us – especially women affected by the change in the state pension age – should be grateful that David Hencke was on the ball during Prime Minister’s Questions last Wednesday (February 7). I was (and am) still suffering from a cold and was no use to anybody.

He spotted the following falsehood, uttered by PM Theresa May.

I would strongly advise the 6,000+ women aged over 50 who live in Hexham, Northumberland, to consider Mr Hencke’s advice about Guy Opperman.

There was an extraordinary error by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, when she was challenged by Ian Blackford, the Scottish Nationalist leader, at Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament.

Mr Blackford used one of his two questions to raise the plight of the 3.8 million WASPI women who have been hit by the government’s decision to raise the pension age from 60 to 65, then 66 and 67.

Mr Blackford asked: “A motion in this House last November, which received unanimous cross-party support—the vote was 288 to zero—called on the Government in London to do the right thing. Will the Prime Minister do her bit for gender equality and end the injustice faced by 1950s women.”

The Prime minister replied: “As people are living longer, it is important that we equalise the pension age of men and women. We are doing that, and we are doing it faster. We have already acted to give more protection to the women involved. An extra £1 billion has been put in to ensure that nobody will see their pension entitlement changed by more than 18 months. That was a real response to the issue that was being addressed.

3.8 million women waiting up to SIX years for their delayed pension have yet to get the message across. Theresa May just thinks you have a little wait of 18 months. And this £1.1 billion concession is just a future cost to the government over the next two years, no money has been paid out yet.

Source: 50’s Women:”Nobody will see their pension entitlement changed by more than 18 months” – Theresa May’s crass error | David Hencke


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Theresa May lied to Parliament about Accident & Emergency waiting times

Theresa May has been rebuked by the UK’s statistics watchdog for using a misleading comparison between the health services of England and Wales.

Sir David Norgrove said the minority prime minister had used two different measures to compare the waiting times in Accident & Emergency services in England and Wales.

She was trying to make Wales look bad in comparison to England.

Here’s his letter to the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones:

It says: “Thank you for your letter of 25 January, where you raised concerns about the Prime Minister’s comparison of accident and emergency performance in England and Wales.

“You are right to say that the comparison is not valid. The figure used for England refers to the accident and emergency wait time from the decision to admit to admission into another part of the health service. The figure used for Wales represents the entire time patients wait from arriving to leaving accident and emergency services, including the time from decision to admit to actual admission.

“Waiting time comparisons between UK countries are difficult, for a variety of reasons, including differences in data collection and in health service structure, the use of walk-in centres for example.

“It is clearly important to be able to compare health and social care service performance across the UK, particularly to learn lessons from different ways of doing things. I welcome current efforts to improve accessibility of the data and their comparability but strongly urge the need for faster progress.”

Of course, we know why Mrs May lied, don’t we? Or at least we can guess.

She wants to soften us up to the idea that the part-privatised English NHS is more efficient than the wholly-nationalised Welsh version. That way, she hopes to convince the public that private healthcare is a better option.

If the only way she thinks she can win the argument is by lying, then she has already lost.

The NHS is at its most efficient as a wholly-nationalised organisation, with funds pumped into providing the best healthcare possible for the people of the UK, rather than being funnelled into the pockets of rich executives and their shareholders who see health as a profit-making exercise for themselves, not a service to the country.

It is to be hoped that Opposition MPs remember this, next time Mrs May thinks it’s clever to commit contempt of Parliament by deliberately lying to her fellow MPs – and the public – and puts her on the spot for it.


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