Tag Archives: publish

Is Priti Patel a bully or isn’t she? And is Boris Johnson covering up for her?

 

One man and his crony: Boris Johnson (right) and Priti Patel – who seems to be dressed up like a dog’s dinner for reasons unknown.

Here’s another crony of Boris Johnson who seems to get preferential treatment despite an ever-lengthening series of blunders: Priti Patel.

She was faced with serious allegations of bullying civil service staff at three different government departments in March, including claims from a former Permanent Secretary at the Home Office.

The Cabinet Office launched an inquiry and said that it would be for Johnson – as prime minister – to decide whether to publicise its conclusions.

Well, that inquiry ended some time ago and Johnson has shown no sign of telling us what it decided.

Should we draw our own conclusions?

One person who thinks it would be better if we were just told is Lord Evans of Weardale, the former head of MI5 and now adviser on standards in public life. He said:

When you have got these allegations that have not really been put to bed then it’s easy to say they’ve just been brushed over and I don’t think that’s ideal for public trust and public standards.

The Cabinet Office has done some form of investigation. It has not been published so it is very difficult to know whether there was something here or whether there wasn’t.

And still the uncertainty drags on.

Meanwhile, Patel has legislated to remove our ability to move freely from the UK to other countries. She has tried to have asylum-seeking migrants sent to concentration camps on St Helena or Ascension Island. She allegedly encouraged attacks on “activist lawyers” who stand up for such asylum-seekers’ legal rights. The list of her lunacies lengthens every day.

And Johnson stands by her.

Another of his little cronies.

Source: Boris Johnson under pressure to publish Priti Patel bullying report – Mirror Online

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Now the Tories have stopped publishing Covid-19 death figures – with a flimsy excuse

The Conservative government has stopped telling us how many people are dying of Covid-19 every day because it contradicts the plan to lift lockdown.

I mean: because Health Secretary Matt Hancock has demanded a review of the way the figures are calculated.

But here’s a suggestion: why can’t the figures be published using the current system, until this review is completed and a new method put into practice if necessary?

ITV’s news story says researchers have claimed the way deaths are reported across England has led to an “over-exaggeration” of the figures due to “statistical flaws”.

This suggests that the figures as reported are higher than the actual number of deaths.

But whenever I’ve seen the figures modified, it is the new total that is higher.

So I doubt the sincerity of these so-called “researchers'” remarks. And I distrust the Tories’ reason for suppressing the numbers altogether.

Source: Publication of UK daily coronavirus death figures put on ‘pause’ as Matt Hancock calls for review into PHE data | ITV News

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Do you believe Downing Street’s story that the Russia report may soon be published?

Parliament’s committee responsible for publishing the report on Russian interference in UK politics may be reconvened “imminently” – according to Downing Street sources.

Do you believe that?

Or do you think that, even if it happens, it’s only because Boris Johnson has found another way to delay the report – or hide what it says?

According to the BBC, the government is denying that Johnson has stalled the process:

A source close to the process has told me they are hopeful the committee will be confirmed by Downing Street “imminently”.

That would remove the most significant obstacle to the Russia report being published and means it could happen soon.

Number 10, meanwhile, has denied deliberately stalling the process.

The PM’s spokesman said the government wanted to get the committee up and running as soon as circumstances allowed.

But the spokesman said the last few months has seen an unprecedented situation in government and Parliament.

So the Covid crisis has made Johnson so busy he hasn’t had time to restore this vital organisation that could release damning information?

What’s he been busy doing? Changing nappies?

Apparently so. But while This Writer approves of equality in the parenting process, as prime minister, Johnson has a responsibility to the nation.

He seems to have forgotten that. But did you anything different from him?

Source: Russia report committee to be set up ‘imminently’ – BBC News

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Did Tories ignore reports demanding action to prevent deaths of disabled benefit claimants?

[Image: www.disabledgo.com]

When the government is dragging its heels over publishing years-old coroners’ reports that called for measures to protect disabled people from death, what does that suggest to you?

To This Writer, it suggests that the Tories ignored the reports and allowed deaths to continue for up to five more years after the first report was written.

It is for the Conservative government to publish the reports – unredacted – if it wants to prove me (or any other critics) wrong. If they remain covered up, I think we’ll have to draw our own conclusions.

Here’s Disability News Service:

The government is facing calls to publish two coroners’ reports that link the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with the deaths of benefit claimants.

New information shows that the missing reports were written by coroners in 2015 and 2016, but neither of them have ever been published.

Both “prevention of future deaths” (PFD) reports warned DWP that more disabled people could die if the department failed to act.

But both DWP and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are refusing to release the reports.

Source: Net closing on government departments that refuse to publish deaths reports – Disability News Service

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Tory incompetence: Cabinet Office publishes home addresses of Honours recipients

Data publication: This is how the recipients of the New Year Honours probably responded to the announcement that their private details had been made public by the government.

They really can’t complain. We can be sure most of the New Year Honours recipients voted for this kind of Tory ineptitude so they can’t make much of a fuss about having received it.

Yes, the Tory-run Cabinet Office has managed to publish the home addresses of celebrities including Elton John and cricketer Ben Stokes, alongside those of police officers, politicians like Iain Duncan Smith and Ministry of Defence staff, and hundreds of “unsung” local heroes.

The Tory government even made the details available in an easily-downloadable list – to make it extra easy for enemies of the state to access the home addresses of its defenders.

The spreadsheet was posted on the government website at 10.30pm on Friday (December 27), and was taken down early today (December 28).

But experts reckon the breach will be hard to remedy, now it has happened. Even if the number of people who downloaded the list is known – along with their identities, how many of them will have passed it on? It could spread like a virus.

Clearly the Tory government doesn’t have the slightest idea about data protection and cannot stick by the rules that it made for itself.

Of course we already knew that. The biggest security risk in the country is current prime minister Boris Johnson.

The Tories passed a new Data Protection Act last year, intended to ensure that sensitive information of this kind would not be broadcast by organisations such as, say, Her Majesty’s Government.

The Cabinet Office, which published the list, is responsible for supporting the National Security Council and the Joint Intelligence Organisation. It coordinates the government’s response to crises and manages the UK’s cybersecurity.

So we’re all doomed, obviously.

Source: Government exposes addresses of new year honours recipients

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Tory government breaks ruling ordering it to publish report on UK fracking

The obvious question – asked by Labour’s Jon Trickett in the quoted extract below – is clear:

If the Tories will break a legally-binding regulator’s ruling to hide the facts about fracking from the public, what other rules are they willing to break?

My guess is: all of them.

And if they’re hiding information from you, it’s because they are putting their own interests before those of the nation.

That’s no way for a government to behave.

The government has refused to abide by a ruling to publish parts of a report on the state of the UK’s fracking industry, Labour has pointed out.

The government was instructed by the information commissioners office (ICO) to release the document by 5pm on November 25th. This followed the failure of the cabinet office to respond to a freedom of information request submitted by Greenpeace in 2018.

The cabinet office had refused on the grounds the information “could call into question the industry’s viability” and was an internal government document exempt from the environmental information regulations.

Labour’s shadow minister for the cabinet office, Jon Trickett, said: “The Tories’ failure to publish this crucial report on fracking shows contempt for democracy and serves as a stark warning for what lies ahead if Boris Johnson is re-elected.

Labour has explicitly committed to a ban on fracking. The government halted fracking earlier this month but campaign groups are concerned that this is a temporary pause.

Source: Government refuses to publish report on fracking – LabourList

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Tories block move to publish Universal Credit briefings. You KNOW what this means

Under Universal Credit, child poverty is skyrocketing. It seems the Tories knew this would happen but decided to hide it from you.

For years, the Conservatives in government have been telling us that Universal Credit is better for everybody, helping the claimant into work and then towards better-paid work at less expensive to the taxpayer in a streamlined system.

But the result of Labour’s Opposition Day debate on the controversial system seems to prove one thing:

The Tories’ claims were nothing more than the vilest of lies.

Why hide the reports otherwise? If they don’t say anything that would turn the public against the Tories, then there wouldn’t be any need to keep them from public view.

Therefore they contain information that shows the Tories knew UC claimants would lose money – badly.

We’ll consider some of the ways they lose out, later.

Here’s the headline:

And here’s Labour’s official response from Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Margaret Greenwood: “The Tories have voted to shamefully cover up the impact that Universal Credit is having on families and people who most need our support.

“We all know that this policy is causing chaos and misery but this Government is refusing to listen and refusing to come clean.

“The roll-out of Universal Credit must be stopped immediately.”

Dawn Butler agreed that the Tories need to reveal the facts:

Members of the public have already drawn the correct conclusion:

The Tories came out with false arguments during the debate:

And they made offers they had no intention of honouring:

Apparently people have already tried, and had no response.

Tory Johnny Mercer trotted out the old chestnut that the best way out of poverty is employment. We all know that this is no longer true, as more people in work are in poverty than those who are out of work.

Claimants who tried to get assistance from the Department for Work and Pensions have found their pleas falling on deaf ears:

But what does Universal Credit actually do to claimants? We have already learned that it causes disproportionate harm to families with children, women, and people in minority groups. Here, Jeremy Corbyn elaborates:

And there is evidence to show the harm to children:

Those are merely the latest revelations this week!

What more could we learn over the next few days?

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Green Party MEP launches new legal challenge for release of Brexit studies

The Department for Exiting the EU is resisting calls to publish findings on the predicted damage of leaving the EU [Image: Reuters].

Molly Scott Cato, Green Party MEP for the South West, writes:

There have been letters, Freedom of Information requests, Parliamentary questions and, earlier this week, a letter signed by 120 cross-party MPs – all demanding that the government release studies they are sitting on about the economic impacts of Brexit.

But David Davis has remained bullish, refusing to publish the findings.

So, I have teamed up with Jolyon Maugham QC, a barrister and director of the The Good Law Project, to demand the Government release these studies within 14 days or face legal action. If the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Treasury fail to do so, we will issue judicial review proceedings before the High Court, which would seek to compel the Government to release them.

The form this challenge takes has been recognised by the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. While the outcome cannot be predicted with certainty, we have the benefit of advice and representation from experts in the field of information law.

We are after two classes of study. First, those mentioned by David Davis MP to the Commons Committee on Exiting the EU on 14 December last year, when he acknowledged that there were 57 studies covering 85 per cent of the economy: everything except sectors not affected by international trade. DExEU has repeatedly promised to publish the list of studies “shortly” – but has never done so.

Secondly, we want details of a report prepared by the Treasury comparing the predicted economic damage of Brexit with the potential economic benefits of alternative free-trade agreements.

But will it work?

The Conservatives, since 2010, seem the most reluctant government in the history of the UK. It seems someone is having to take the Tories to court every five minutes because they won’t release information that, it is self-evident, we need to see.

But they still go through with their plans, no matter what the result.

So why not just cut out the costly business of going to court and assume the logical?

If the Brexit studies being hidden by David Davis, Theresa May and the rest of that chamber of horrors we call the Conservative government said anything optimistic, they would have plastered the findings all over the front pages of the Daly MailThe Sun, The Times, The Torygraph, The Express and any other mainstream media outlet they could persuade.

They haven’t.

So the Brexit studies show leaving the EU will harm the UK’s economy – possibly cripplingly.

Let’s just go with that, and if the Tories want to dispute it, they’ll have to publish – won’t they?


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Momentum’s election of Jackie Walker to its conference arrangements committee is a powerful statement

Jackie Walker (center right) at a meeting of Momentum in Brighton and Hove, in June [Image: The Electronic Intifada].

Jackie Walker (center right) at a meeting of Momentum in Brighton and Hove, in June [Image: The Electronic Intifada].

Jackie Walker was famously framed by activists from the Jewish Labour Movement at the last Labour conference in September, you may recall.

They filmed her as she discussed anti-Semitism and Holocaust Memorial Day in a workshop setting that was billed as a “safe space” in which different points of view may be discussed freely – and then they proved this claim to be a lie by publicising her words in an attempt to smear her.

The conspiracy was successful, to a certain degree; other members removed her from her position as Momentum vice-chair under pressure.

But Ms Walker did not say anything wrong. The definition of anti-Semitism that had been put forward at the workshop is discredited, and Holocaust Memorial Day did not recognise all victims of events that may be described under that term.

Now, Momentum has elected her to its conference arrangements committee in a clear message to the wider Labour Party: Put your house in order.

Labour’s own conference arrangers allowed the Jewish Labour Movement to flout the rules, taking video of what should have been a private meeting and using it, out of context, to harm a fellow party member. That should never have been permitted.

Ms Walker’s election to Momentum’s own conference committee says, very clearly, that the organisation will not countenance such behaviour in its own activities.

And it challenges Labour to do the same.

Controversial Momentum figure Jackie Walker has been elected to the conference arrangements committee at Momentum’s national committee meeting.

Walker, who was suspended from the Labour party over comments made about the holocaust and anti-semitism, was removed from her position as vice-chair of Momentum in the wake of her suspension from Labour.

Source: Jackie Walker elected to Momentum conference arrangements committtee | LabourList

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Location revealed for ‘benefit-related deaths’ Tribunal hearing in November

The battleground: Field House, in London. It doesn't look like much from the outside but it is where the DWP will try to slither out of its Freedom of Information oblligations - again.

The battleground: Field House, in London. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but it is where the DWP will try to slither out of its Freedom of Information oblligations – again.

The First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) has provided details of the venue for the ‘benefit-related deaths’ hearing at which the DWP will appeal for permission not to publish the exact number of people who have died while claiming incapacity benefits since November 2011.

It will be at Field House, 15 Bream’s Buildings, London EC4A 1DZ, starting at 10am on November 10 this year. Apparently it’s a five-minute walk from Chancery Lane tube station; those of you with disabilities will need to plan extra time to allow for your conditions (although obviously you don’t need This Writer to remind you of that).

All tribunal hearings of this kind are open to the public, so if you are able to attend, please make a note of the date and location in your diary and come along. If you can’t, tell all your friends to come in your place.

Here’s a map:

150821tribunallocationmap

 

Any and all support on the day would be welcome. The Conservative Government, by rush-publishing its fudged ‘ASMR’ statistics on benefit-related deaths, is hoping to quiet public unrest about the number of deaths that have taken place after its “welfare reforms”.

It seems clear that ministers are terrified that this issue will continue to blow up in their face.

This is your chance to show that you are not going to let it lie down and die.

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