Tag Archives: Queen

After Partygate: public bring their own boos to Boris Johnson’s jubilee party

As a man who hates being disliked, the reaction of the public when Boris Johnson arrived at – and departed from – the Queen’s platinum jubilee thanksgiving service may sting him more than his Partygate fine.

Let’s watch – and listen to – what happened. Here’s Johnson’s arrival:

Labour leader Keir Starmer turned up a few minutes later – and the crowd remained quiet for him.

But when Johnson left at the end of the service, the jeering had become markedly louder:

Or do you think it’s just that the media microphones were closer to the crowd?

If so, you may be confused by the BBC’s coverage, which muted the catcalls later. Skwawkbox demonstrates this on video, here:

Johnson has been trying to brazen out the backlash against him after being fined for attending one party at Downing Street during the Covid-19 lockdowns that forbade any such events from taking place, and the Sue Gray report that showed he attended many more parties than just one.

His cronies, like Dominic Raab and Priti Patel, have lined up to play down the significance of the fines, and of the evidence that Johnson lied to Parliament.

The corrupt prime minister has rewritten the Ministerial Code to ensure that minor law-breaking – like being fined – is no longer punishable by forced resignation from the Cabinet.

But lying to Parliament still carries the ultimate sanction because it indicates not only that a minister could not be trusted on one occasion, but that he or she can’t be trusted at all.

And grassroots Conservatives seem to be pressuring their MPs to push Johnson out of office before the electorate has a chance to push the Tories out of government altogether.

The head of the activist group that is actually called Grassroots Conservatives has publicly called for Johnson’s removal.

Ed Costello told the Telegraph: “I’ve come to the conclusion that he probably should resign, and if he had any sense he would resign before he was pushed.

“He needs to go before the next election, because some of what he has done will put off voters. He just hasn’t been wholly honest about what went on, and it would have been better if he ’fessed up and it would all have been over.”

Grassroots Conservatives was launched during David Cameron’s time as prime minister, to pressure the party into upholding “small-c” Conservative values of “stable family, sound economy and strong defence”.

So it seems likely that it may represent the views of a large number of Tory voters – especially bearing in mind the boos, jeers and catcalls from all those (mainly-Tory?) royalists outside St Pauls.

Depending on whether 54 letters of “no confidence” have been handed in to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, Johnson could be ousted in a vote as soon as next week.

But is he ready to throw in the towel?

Source: Boris Johnson booed as he arrives at St Paul’s for platinum jubilee event | Boris Johnson | The Guardian

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The Tory Bill for workers’ rights – just another Boris Johnson lie?

The Tory two-fingered salute: this time it’s for working people across the UK who thought the lying Boris Johnson was ever going to offer them a fair deal.

Simple answer: it’s what they do.

Unions and industry groups were incensed earlier this week when they discovered that the Tory government has not included an Employment Bill to protect workers’ rights in plans for the new Parliamentary session.

Why were they so upset?

Because the Tories had promised it, that’s why!

Boris Johnson had responded to concerns that workers’ rights could be watered down after the UK left the EU, and worries about treatment of employees in the gig economy with a pledge to enshrine rights in law. That was in 2019.

Since then, nothing.

According to the BBC,

When first announced, the bill had promised:

  • the creation of a single enforcement body, offering greater protections for workers
  • making sure that tips left for workers go to them in full
  • all workers would have the right to ask for a more predictable contract
  • redundancy protections would be extended to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination
  • parents allowed to take extended leave for neonatal care
  • entitlement to one week’s leave for unpaid carers
  • subject to consultation, the bill also proposed making flexible working the default unless employers have good reason not to.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said the lack of the Employment Bill in Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech meant “vital rights that ministers had promised – like default flexible working, fair tips and protection from pregnancy discrimination – risk being ditched for good”.

She claimed ministers had “sent a signal that they are happy for rogue employers to ride roughshod over workers’ rights,” adding it would see “bad bosses celebrating”.

She’s not wrong!

But then, working people and their representatives were wrong ever to believe that Boris Johnson and his gang of asset-strippers and exploiters would ever legislate to ensure proper treatment for them.

In short, it seems clear that the promise of an Employment Bill was another Boris Johnson lie. We should have treated it as such from the start.

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Boris Johnson will use Queen’s Speech to push ‘plan to improve’ after elections loss. How?

It probably isn’t him but it gets the message across: in a national poll, Boris Johnson has been described as an “utter anus” by at least one respondent. It’s claims like those in the story below that add veracity to the criticism.

This looks like another load of tosh from a prime minister with a proven record of being all mouth and no trousers.

It seems Boris Johnson wants us to believe he’ll calm the fears of restless Tory backbenchers – and save his job – by demonstrating that after last week’s huge local election loss, he has a plan.

That’s unbelievable already. Johnson has never had a plan beyond short-term gain for his miserable self.

Oh, but it gets worse. He has a plan, it seems, to improve.

Impossible.

Apparently we’re to believe this improvement – for the country as a whole, let’s not forget – is in around 15 Bills he wants to get through Parliament over the next year or so:

The Queen’s Speech will contain at least 15 pieces of legislation intended to become law over the next 12 months. Rishi Sunak is also preparing a fresh package of financial support to be announced in the autumn, before the energy price gap is raised for a second time this year.

A number of the bills included in tomorrow’s speech are aimed at promoting economic growth in the long term, including a wide-ranging Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which will shake up the planning system and make it easier for businesses to move in to empty high street shops.

A Brexit Freedoms Bill, Financial Services and Market Bill and Data Reform Bill are all intended to take advantage of post-Brexit opportunities to liberalise corporate regulations.

Apparently this is to improve our prospects over the medium- and long-term because there’s nothing to be done about what Johnson has inflicted on us right now.

Isn’t it handy for the Tories that their fixes are always set to happen sometime in the future? Isn’t that intended so that, if some international windfall comes down the line, they can pretend they’re responsible?

I think so.

Because I see nothing in Johnson’s legislative programme that’s going to help you.

Source: Boris Johnson will use Queen’s Speech to convince Conservative MPs he has plan to improve after elections loss

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Media reporters have DEFINITELY been hiding evidence of #DowningStreetParties. And what else?

Slack by name: if he was a proper reporter, James Slack would have published a story about the Downing Street parties as soon as he went back to work at The Sun. He didn’t – for reasons that, while obvious, are unacceptable.

Well, there it is. There can’t be any doubt that the media have been suppressing evidence of the lockdown-busting parties at Downing Street now, because one of them was for the current deputy editor-in-chief of The Sun – who attended it.

James Slack’s first duty as a news reporter would have been to report that the prime minister was allowing such parties to take place, in contempt of the rules that he had imposed on everybody else.

Reporters have a duty to act in the public interest.

He didn’t – for perfectly understandable but entirely unacceptable reasons: he was at the party on the night of April 16-17, 2021 (it was his leaving party), and he was at the party of May 15 the year before (he appears in the photograph that has been released to the press.

Considering the networks of contacts that all political reporters in Westminster must have, it seems highly unlikely to This Writer that others were kept unaware of it. I doubt the party organisers would have been able to do so and, to be honest, I think it is highly likely that they were invited – especially to an event for somebody who is an industry colleague.

So people like Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston should be asked where they were that night, too. Peston in particular, because of course he worked with Allegra Stratton, the former Downing Street press secretary who resigned after a video clip was publicised showing her laughing about an alleged party there on December 18, 2020.

And we, the public, need to examine their reports now with extreme scepticism.

Slack himself joins Johnson as another two-faced liar who has only apologised because his transgression has been revealed to us. If it had not, then he would have merrily kept it hidden for the rest of his career. Instead, he tells us: “This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility.” Weasel words.

The other party was for someone described as one of Johnson’s personal photographers. It is alleged that staff were sent out to a nearby shop carrying a suitcase, and brought it back filled with bottles of wine.

The party in the Downing Street basement, with a laptop computer blaring out music from atop a photocopier, is said to have linked up with the event for Slack, continuing until well after midnight.

At the time, England was under “Step Two” restrictions, meaning that people were banned from socialising indoors with those from other households. Indoor gatherings and gatherings of more than six people outdoors were unlawful, unless “reasonably necessary for work”. There were also fixed penalty notices of up to £10,000 for individuals organising unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.

This information has been released to us now because somebody has decided it is to their advantage. I would suggest that this person would be somebody in the Conservative government who sees an opportunity to grab power from Johnson.

We certainly should not believe that anybody is innocent of such machinations if they speak up in support of Johnson now; it is entirely possible for a person to be supportive in public while stabbing somebody in the back privately.

The current revelations are doubly offensive to the Queen, of course. Firstly, there is the clear offence that two events, in which people partied, laughed and joked in close contact with each other, took place at a time of national mourning, the day before she had to sit alone at the socially-distanced funeral of her husband of 73 years.

Secondly, though, this is the second time prime minister Boris Johnson has made a fool of her; the first was when he persuaded her to prorogue Parliament on the basis of a lie he told so he could bypass an obstacle to his (now revealed to be entirely useless) Brexit deal.

If she doesn’t absolutely hate Johnson by now, she must be superhuman indeed.

It is said that Johnson was not at the parties of April 2021 – but you’d have to be a fool to think he wasn’t aware of them, after all the others.

Today’s revelations bring the current total number of parties being investigated by civil servant Sue Gray – who is, let’s remember, an employee of Boris Johnson and not an independent investigator at all – to 12.

One has to question whether there is another strategy here – to leak new information about parties out at intervals, so Ms Gray’s investigation can never be concluded.

To those of us watching from outside, it’s beginning to seem as though Downing Street was a party venue from the moment the first lockdown began, right up to last Christmas, at the very least.

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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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Will Priti Patel’s new immigration Bill put her in conflict with the Queen?

The Queen: she has given the RNLI a Royal Charter to rescue anybody at all whose life is in danger on the sea near the UK. If Priti Patel wants to criminalise this activity, it seems likely that she will come to grief.

It’s a thought that would make a normal UK minister pause – but Priti Patel is not normal, and I mean that in the most unkind way possible, so This Writer is keen to see how events unfold.

Patel’s draft Nationality and Borders Bill, clause 38, potentially criminalises rescuers of asylum seekers if they are deemed to be “facilitating” their arrival in the UK.

Clause 38 amends the 1971 Immigration Act offence of assisting an asylum seeker, increasing the maximum sentence to life imprisonment, from 14 years, and removing the words “for gain”, which previously limited prosecutions to paid people smugglers.

This is potentially very bad news for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has vowed to continue rescuing anybody its crews find to be in danger at sea off the UK’s coast – no matter what their legal status may be.

This is in line with International Maritime Law and with the United Nations’ Safety Of Life At Sea (Solas) convention.

Crews could face imprisonment for life, according to the legislation.

The Home Office has said the Bill is intended to target “ruthless people smugglers” and organisations like the RNLI – and individuals – would be allowed to continue humanitarian rescue work.

But if that is the case, why amend the law to criminalise all rescues rather than merely those carried out “for gain”?

So, as George Peretz QC states, “Mere assertion doesn’t cut it.”

Here’s where it gets really interesting, though: The RNLI is mandated to carry out its rescues by a Royal Charter issued by its patron – The Queen.

That’s why it has the word “Royal” in its title.

The charter means the RNLI is permitted to rescue anybody whose life is in danger on the sea off the UK’s coast – by order of the Queen.

Does legislation by the Commons have authority to override that?

I don’t know. I think Patel needs to re-write her bad law to avoid finding out.

I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes if she tried to force the issue.

Source: RNLI vows to continue sea rescues despite prison fears for picking up migrants | Financial Times

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The Queen hasn’t been ‘cancelled’ just because students have taken a photo of her off their wall

Is she bothered? Some students have taken a photo print of her down from their common room wall. So what?

The ‘silly season’ has arrived early this year.

Those purveyors of hysterical (in both senses) tabloid stories at Guido Fawkes blog have got their knickers in a tizzy after graduate students at the Middle Common Room of Magdalen College, Oxford, agreed to take down a photo print of the Queen that has been up since 2013.

Presumably they wanted to use the space for something else – for a while, at least.

Guido seems to resent this display of democracy. “Stalin would be proud,” the article claimed – indicating that the author doesn’t have much understanding of the way the late Russian dictator worked. It would be more Stalinist to demand that the portrait remain up after the students voted to remove it.

So, it seems, does Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who appears to have provided his opinion: “Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd. She is the Head of State and a symbol of what is best about the United Kingdom. During her long reign she has worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity and respect around the world.”

That may be his opinion but it has nothing to do with the students’ decision.

Other examples of misdirection in the article (spotted by the much higher-quality Zelo Street) are:

  • The image that has been removed isn’t a portrait – it’s a print of a photograph. For all we know, it might have had to come down because, after eight years on the wall, it’s probably a bit tatty by now. Guido‘s claim that it may be auctioned therefore lacks credibility.
  • Guido states that the college had voted to “scrap” the Queen, and this is simply untrue. College authorities had nothing to do with the decision by graduate students. It follows that the college didn’t agree to anything.

Still, why should the newspapers let the facts get in the way of a good scandal? Both the Heil (Mail) and the Brexit (Express) took joy in regurgitating the claims.

Outrage as Oxford students vote to axe Queen, screamed the HeilHow dare they! Oxford students cancel our Queen, screeched the Brexit.

And very foolish they look too – now. Here are some more rational reactions:

Yes indeed – mention of the former Ms Markle raised a pertinent point:

Last word must be this little reminder:

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Queen’s Speech confirms it: Boris Johnson is renewing his attack on your freedom – because it’s what Britain wanted

Manifesto commitment: the Conservatives made their plan to end democracy clear in their 2019 election manifesto. Every Conservative voter demanded an end to democracy and a slide into dictatorship.

Boris Johnson is getting back to business after the Covid crisis – and his business is stripping you of the liberties and freedoms your ancestors fought hard to win over the last several hundred years.

Be in no doubt: you will have lost most of your rights by the end of this Parliamentary term, and you can thank your Tory-voting neighbour for making it happen.

Included in the Queen’s Speech were announcements that all three main planks of the attack on democracy – listed on Page 48 of the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto, so everybody who voted Tory absolutely supported them – are still going forward. They are:

  • Removing your right to protest so they can use the police and armed forces to put down any dissent.

  • Imposing dictatorship by ensuring that the courts cannot stop the Tories from breaking the law.

  • Imposing indefinite Conservative government.

The only one of these that has been given prominence by the mainstream media is the last – the planned repeal of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act. This has been reported as meaning that Johnson would be able to call elections before his Parliament has served its full five-year term.

But it could also mean that he will allow himself to delay elections indefinitely.

The FTP Act repealed the previous electoral law that allowed prime ministers to call elections at any time during their five-year term, but demanded that they must call an election to be held after five years, no matter what.

So repealing the FTP Act means that unscrupulous prime ministers like Johnson would be able to call elections whenever they liked – or simply neglect to call them at all and remain in power indefinitely.

This is what will happen unless he specifically writes new limitations on Parliamentary terms into his new law. And why would a corrupt liar like Johnson do that when he has a majority of 80 seats in the Commons and can currently do whatever he likes without fear of punishment?

Worse still, the new legislative programme includes more attacks on democracy, the most important being the planned limitation of the right to vote to those who can afford to show the proper photographic identification.

This, Johnson claims, is to stop electoral fraud. You may assume that this is a rampant problem across the UK, but in fact it is practically nonexistent. His plan will strip the vote from around two million people:

Here’s a graph showing the scale of voter fraud as a percentage of all votes cast:

You see the picture?

Further information is available below:

The plan will strip votes from people who are poor and young – in other words, people who will not vote for the Conservatives at the next election. It is corrupt Tory gerrymandering to prevent the voice of the people from being heard at elections.

Typically of the current Tory government, its MPs tried to justify the planned law by lying to us about it. Gillian Keegan, whoever she is, claimed you need photo ID to pick up a parcel from the Post Office – and was put straight in no uncertain terms by fact-checking site Full Fact:

Many of us think valuable Parliamentary time would be better spent preventing the kind of corruption that allowed Tory cronies to gain multi-million pound contracts to provide vital supplies in the fight against Covid-19, that they were totally unable to fulfil. What happened to all that money?

Finally, shall we consider the misplaced priorities of these entitled Tories who have spent more than a decade manslaughtering benefit claimants without feeling any need to reform the system?

Come to that, why isn’t the government introducing plans to end tax evasion? I mention this because the deaths of disabled benefit claimants are linked to the Tory clampdown on claims – the so-called “magic cures” that claimed hundreds of thousands of people were not disabled at all, despite volumes of medical evidence showing they were. These people were unceremoniously stripped of their benefits and many of them subsequently died. The figure of 120,000, quoted above, is a very low estimate.

The Tories spend huge amounts of money every year on their campaign to strip disabled people of their ability to survive. It is a campaign of persecution that has been more successful in eliminating the disabled than the infamous Nazi “Aktion T4” in 1930s and 1940s Germany. In comparison, they spend hardly anything on tracking the rich Tories – let’s not deny it – who have evaded their tax responsibilities in order to squirrel away trillions of pounds in tax havens abroad.

Absent from the new legislative programme are any plans to support the rights of workers with promised reforms to zero-hours contracts and the gig economy, and an end to the practice of “fire and rehire” – terminating workers’ contracts and then demanding they take new contracts with lower pay and fewer privileges:

“Fire and rehire” is a key element of Howard Beckett’s campaign to lead the UK’s largest union, Unite. He was in London to campaign about it while the Queen was delivering her speech:

He has also made the very obvious point that the currrent Labour leadership has no interest in looking after the interests of British workers – because Keir Starmer actually refused to oppose “fire and rehire”.

The oppression goes on and on:

Long-awaited plans for reform of social care – promised by the Tories years ago – went undiscussed. There is no plan for such reforms in the current Parliamentary term.

Admittedly, Andy Burnham is right to say all parties are responsible for allowing social care to fall into the disrepair we have today; New Labour failed to do anything about it too.

And Death Health Secretary Matt Hancock has claimed the government is committed to social care reforms this year – 2021:

He spent the whole of 2020 lying about the severity of Covid-19 and justifying his decisions to award government contracts worth billions of pounds to Tory cronies who couldn’t fulfil them. What are his words worth?

Oh, and before anyone suggests that plans to address the climate crisis show at least some hope for the Tories, they don’t:

For a more detailed attack on the new legislative programme, take a look at Unite’s response (under current leader Len McCluskey). I’m sure other critiques are also available.

Last word can go to Smokey, below, who makes an excellent point despite their inability to spell the word “speech”:

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Royal baby expected – just as Royal Family falls into controversy. Funny, that…

The Queen (left): when she announces the legislative programme at the start of every Parliamentary term, how much of it has already been influenced by her? And how heavily?

Considering the apparent enmity between Prince Harry/Meghan and the rest of the Royal Family, I can only imagine that this announcement is a timing malfunction.

Others may take it as an indication that the split wasn’t as big as we were all led to believe.

Either way, it will take some of the heat off the Queen and anyone in line for the throne, who have been the focus of politically-charged criticism lately. So I think this line from the BBC may well be accurate:

The Queen and Royal Family are “delighted”, as the Sussexes say “Archie is going to be a big brother”.

See, it seems the Queen has a lot more influence on the way laws are enacted than we previously thought – especially if they affect her or the other Royals in any big way.

So, for example, she successfully lobbied the Heath government of the 1970s to exclude Heads of State from financial transparency laws.

Other alterations made to benefit the crown or her private interests, or to reflect her opinions, include:

In 1982, she withheld Queen’s Consent for debate on a plan to create a new commission to preserve ancient monuments and historic buildings in England, taking over from an existing royal commission. This meant Parliament was denied permission to discuss the plan.

The Queen ultimately consented to the bill six months later. However, the royal commission would survive for another 17 years. It was merged with English Heritage in 1999.

In 1968, she used the consent procedure to extract a commitment from Harold Wilson’s government that a new law – to apply the same road safety rules to all roads accessed by the public – would not apply to her private estates.

And in 1975 a Bill demanding that those intending to lease land for development would do so through local authorities – in an attempt to secure reasonable rates – was opposed because the Crown Estates believed there was a “financial advantage” to be made from direct dealing.

These are only instances that have become public because the relevant documents were not included – possibly by mistake – in an absolute exemption from release to the public.

This exemption lasts until at least five years after the death of the relevant member of the royal family.

So we don’t know how much influence the Queen has wielded – or continues to wield – and we won’t until five years after she passes away.

And now that Meghan has announced that she has a baby on the way, it seems unlikely many people will care about it for the foreseeable future, either.

Source: Meghan and Prince Harry expecting second child – BBC News

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Corbyn was helping the homeless during the Queen’s Speech. What was Johnson doing?

Jeremy Corbyn: He helps the homeless at Christmas. Boris Johnson is off in the tropics helping himself.


We’ve established that, like most of the UK’s population, Jeremy Corbyn has better things to do than watch the Queen’s Christmas message.

He visits a local shelter for homeless people and helps out.

Apparently this is a shocking display of irresponsibility, according to ITV’s Julie Etchingham.

But Boris Johnson is raving it up on Mustique. It’s an island playground for the incredibly rich in the tropics somewhere, apparently.

So, of the two, which would you say was taking his role seriously? And which may be seen to be rubbing our noses in his extreme privilege?

Source: What Jeremy Corbyn does instead of watching the Queen’s Christmas speech – Mirror Online

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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