Tag Archives: reject

Cowardly Tory MPs may abstain from vote on Boris Johnson and Partygate

Not so much fun now, is it? Whether or not this image means what the Partygate Inquiry concluded, it has helped pitch Boris Johnson out of Parliament. Will their reaction to that inquiry have the same effect on large numbers of Conservative MPs?

The measure of an MP is in how they respond when faced with difficult decisions.

By that standard, it seems most of the current crop of Tories are worse than useless.

It seems a significant number of them will not be willing either to support or oppose the findings and recommendation of the Partygate Inquiry’s report on Boris Johnson – for fear of upsetting various sections of their voter base.

The rationalisations are ridiculous.

Apparently, some are afraid that Johnson’s supporters will turn away from them if they support the report’s findings. But the report itself is extremely thorough and answers any criticisms of its methodology, meaning that its conclusions are as safe as they could possibly be. Anybody who still thinks that Boris Johnson is a pillar of integrity should therefore be considered wrong.

The job of an MP faced with voters who insist that Johnson has been mistreated is to explain that the inquiry was carried out to an extremely high standard and arguments against its findings are just wishful thinking.

And how do these MPs know what the majority of their voters are thinking, anyway? It isn’t even 24 hours since the report was published. Anything said by members of the public before that is now irrelevant; we have all seen opinion polls showing how the mood of voters fluctuates over time – and that they are especially shaped by major events.

Some MPs are upset at what they consider the harshness of the proposed punishments against Mr Johnson. But anyone who reads it will see that he brought these punishments on himself. Originally the sanction was to be a 10-day suspension from Parliament. This was extended to 80 days because of the extremely strong – and public – response that he made after he had received advance notice of the report’s findings. This was itself a serious contempt of Parliament.

Considering the facts of the matter, one is led toward the conclusion that these MPs are not so much concerned about what other people think of Johnson and the report’s findings – they simply don’t want to be part of any final decision on it.

Cowards, one and all. And that seems to include their second-choice prime minister, Rishi Sunak, who “hasn’t yet had time to fully consider the report”, according to the BBC, and has thus managed to avoid commenting on it.

This Writer is heartened to read in that same article the belief of Tory MP Tim Loughton – one of the few who have dared to put their heads over the parapet – that the result’s recommendations will “go through very easily next week”.

We’ll see.

And with a general election looming ever-nearer, the choices these Tories make will be sure to affect not just Boris Johnson’s political future, but their own.


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Nurses to strike on May Day bank holiday after rejecting Tory pay offer

Nurses are going back on strike after rejecting a Tory pay offer that simply wasn’t enough.

Nurses from the Royal College of Nursing have rejected a government pay offer of half the rate of inflation plus a one-off payment and will strike again for 48 hours on May Day.

How appropriate for the Tory government.

The walkout will last for 48 hours from 8pm on April 30, involving NHS nurses in emergency departments, intensive care, cancer and other wards.

Some critical care services, such as intensive care, will not be staffed on strike days – something which did not happen in previous strikes.

The Tories have claimed that this is an escalation in strike action and the RCN nurses should be ashamed.

But isn’t it more shameful that the Tories could find billions to spaff on duff PPE and any number of other fraudulent offers by their buddies, but reckon they can’t afford to pay the nurses who kept us all alive during the Covid-19 crisis?

Unison nurses (and ambulance workers) have accepted the five per cent pay offer plus one-off payment of £1,655 to top-up their salaries for 2022-23.

You may also have an opinion about that.


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Windrush: Government sued over recommendation rejections | The Canary

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a few years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

The Tory government simply won’t do right by the victims of the Windrush scandal:

On 6 April, Britain’s government faced legal action by campaigners over its refusal to accept key recommendations made by an inquiry into the Windrush scandal, which affected thousands of Black post-war immigrants.

Suella Braverman in January refused to accept three of the changes previously promised by the Conservative government.

The … independent inquiry issued 30 recommendations, which Braverman’s predecessor agreed to adopt in full.

However, Braverman rejected more powers for Britain’s independent chief inspector of borders. She also refused a commissioner to safeguard migrants’ interests, and the holding of reconciliation events.

The group Black Equity Organisation, created last year to campaign for the civil rights of Black Britons, said it was seeking a judicial review of the home secretary’s decision.

There was no immediate comment from [the Home Office] as to the legal action.

Read the full story: Windrush: Government sued over recommendation rejections


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The UK government could have saved Dover travellers from huge queues – but didn’t

Queues: coaches waited for hours to board ferries while passengers queued for passport checks.

The UK’s Cabinet Office snubbed a £33 million proposal to double the capacity for French government passport checks at Dover – meaning it is responsible for the queues that have caused a critical incident there.

The French made the proposal back in 2020 – but the UK’s Tory government rejected it:

The money would have been used to double the number of French government passport booths from five to 10 in anticipation of more stringent requirements, including stamps in passports after January 1st, according to the Financial Times.

It came after the Port of Dover had repeatedly warned that it will need to substantially boost capacity for French controls, which under a reciprocal bilateral agreement enables passports to be checked before boarding the train or ferry to France in order to ease traffic flows.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic, in six-hour queues, made its way towards the Port of Dover on Friday – one of the busiest periods for foreign travel from the UK as most schools in England and Wales break up for summer.

When the Department for Transport was asked yesterday why it did not approve Dover’s bid for £33 million investment, an official said the department “did not comment on individual bids”.

So now we all know it’s the fault of the Tories.


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Firefighters reject below-inflation pay offer and will ballot on strike action

Dept. of Below-The-Attention-Of-The-BBC: I saw this tweet from Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack…

So – nurses are to strike, civil servants are to strike, and now the fire brigades are preparing to do the same.

I clicked across to the BBC website to read the report on what this means for the Tory government in what is fast shaping up to be a Year of Discontent among working people.

Nothing.

Fortunately, other news purveyors have been quicker off the mark. Here’s the Evening Standard:

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack, said: “FBU members have spoken. This result, on a two-week turnaround, shows that there is remarkable strength of feeling amongst firefighters and control staff on this derisory pay offer.

“The ball is in the employers’ and Government’s court. There is still an opportunity to resolve this dispute and we will be writing to Fire Ministers and Government departments across the UK requesting urgent meetings.

“We have firefighters using foodbanks. Our members worked through the pandemic to help protect their communities, taking on extra duties to do so.

“A further real-terms pay cut is an absolutely disgusting way to thank them. Whilst strike action is always a last resort, our members simply can’t go on like this.”

Source: Firefighters reject 5% pay offer, paving way for ballot on strike action

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Food banks will start turning people away as demand outstrips supply

Food bank: this image was taken a few years ago – now they’re struggling to fill the shelves, and considering turning away visitors.

That’s that, then: no doubt the Tories will be delighted that they have finally overloaded destitute Britons’ last hope.

The food bank network has stated categorically that stratospheric energy bills and rocketing inflation are putting “unsustainable” demand on them – and they are going to have to start turning people away.

Those people will starve.

Food banks have already seen a ‘dramatic’ surge in people needing them since April – when the energy price cap shot up 54%.

This has been made even more disastrous by the fact they are also seeing a decrease in donations.

One in five providers say they have already resorted to making their parcels smaller.

A fall in donations is entirely consistent with the situation: the rich who can ride out the current crisis aren’t going to donate to help the poor – and those on middle-incomes who normally do are suddenly facing poverty themselves.

The Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan UK) has appealed to the Tory government for “urgent, cash-first interventions” – which This Writer predicts will do about as much good as spitting into the wind.

Source: Food banks are unsustainable and will have to ‘turn people away this winter’

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Voters in rural areas are deserting Boris Johnson and the Tories. Why would that be?

Tractor factor: more people than farmers live in the countryside – but will they usher in twilight for the Tories?

A survey of voters in rural areas has found that the Tories are about to lose their lead over Labour in the countryside.

This is the reason This Writer is sceptical about Somerton and Frome MP David Warburton’s reasons for saying he has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital with shock due to his suspension from the Tory whip for sexual misconduct and drug abuse.

Whether he meant it to be or not, it looks like he’s trying to get people to look on him (and his currently-former party) kindly.

And it smacks of whataboutery: people in rural areas have perfectly good reasons to shun the Conservatives this year – concerns over planning and the ‘levelling up’ agenda, but it seems they’re being asked to vote Tory anyway, out of sympathy for one who has been accused – whether falsely or not.

I hope the ploy doesn’t work this time (for a change). The figures – from that most accurate of pollsters, Survation – suggest that it may not:

The Survation survey of Cornwall, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Norfolk and Gwynedd, Wales found that 36% of voters in the countryside now intend to vote Labour at next month’s local elections, two points behind the Tory vote share.

That is a 7.5% swing to Keir Starmer ’s party. At the 2019 General Election 46% backed the Tories and only 29% Labour.

I don’t like Starmer’s Labour – for very good reasons; he’d be a nightmare if he ever got into Downing Street – but anything that makes the Tories think again would be welcome right now.

Source: Boris Johnson losing countryside support as rural voters desert Tories in droves

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Tories support discrimination and division in rejecting bid to improve MPs’ behaviour

Say what you want: Boris Johnson’s Tories have stamped on a bid to make MPs conform to principles of anti-racism, inclusion, diversity and respect. What does that tell us about them?

The Conservative government has rejected a proposal to change MPs’ code of conduct in line with a principle of “respect”.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised; they seem to respect few things other than money and power.

They have rejected calls by the Commons Standards Committee that would mean MPs “should demonstrate anti-discriminatory attitudes and behaviours through the promotion of anti-racism, inclusion and diversity”.

It doesn’t actually mean they want to promote racism, exclusion and blind obedience – but it does appear to mean they won’t oppose it if MPs exhibit those traits during debates.

I wonder how long that will last, if non-Tories exploit the openings this presents?

A separate committee on Standards in Public Life has already updated the Seven Principles of Public Life – also known as the Nolan principles – to include the demand that all public officials “treat others with respect”, to counter “increasing intimidation and abuse”.

But 10 Downing Street chief of staff Steve Barclay and chief Tory whip Mark Spencer rejected the idea of incorporating this into the wider MPs code.

They said in a joint statement: “We would not want to stifle legitimate debate on politically contentious issues which are important to our democracy… This could have a chilling effect on free speech on contentious and polarised political issues.”

Expect the Tories to play on this as much as they can, just to rub it in everybody else’s faces.

Source: Tories reject move to stamp out ‘discriminatory attitudes’ in Commons as attack on MPs’ free speech

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Left-wing campaigner rejects Sunak’s energy loan. Will you?

An old friend of This Site has written to Rishi Sunak, turning down the Chancellor’s attempt to foist a £200 loan on him to pay for increased energy bills.

Keith Lindsay-Cameron (remember him from A Letter A Day to Number 10, back when David Cameron was in Downing Street?) said he was perfectly capable of managing his own poverty without having more of it pushed on him.

His letter states: “With regards to the recent news that all customers of energy companies in England will be given a £200 loan from the Government to be repaid over following years.

“I would like to state that I do not want this loan. I have not asked for this loan. I do not wish my energy company to transfer the loan to my account, nor take repayments from my account in the future, and I shall be writing to them to this effect.

“I have several reasons for this decision.

“I do not want any debt imposed upon me that I have not asked or given my consent for.

“It is a certainty that prices will continue to rise, thus creating more hardship which this imposed loan will only exacerbate.

“My chosen route to pay for energy is up front payments via Pay As You Go, I do not consent to any sum of money being added to my account that leaves me in debt for several years. I manage my poverty perfectly well without being indebted by you.

“Your government has a bitter record of forcing us into debt and hardship, whilst throwing billions of pounds at banks and corporations, I want no part of the imposition of this loan on ordinary people.”

These are very good points.

Will you be writing to reject Sunak’s plan to impose debt on you for years to come while enriching the privatised energy giants that a previous Tory government created – many of which are at least partly-owned by foreign governments?

Alternatively, you could report Sunak to the Financial Conduct Authority as he seems to be misrepresenting his squalid little loan as a “rebate” or “discount”:

Or will you just lie back and let him strip you of more self-respect?

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Starmer in denial as Labour take local election pummelling. HE is the problem

The excuses man: but no amount of references to Jeremy Corbyn can save Keir Starmer from the condemnation of traditional Labour supporters who have been forced to walk away from the party by him.

Before I start, let’s be clear about one thing:

That being said…

Keir Starmer has vowed to lead Labour’s fightback after having led it to a bitter local election pummelling and the loss of one of the party’s Parliamentary strongholds.

The denial is strong in this one.

It is clear to even the most disinterested observer that the party’s losses are all Starmer’s fault; that his direction for the Labour Party is deeply unpopular with the British people and that the best way he can help Labour fight back is to resign.

But he won’t do that. Instead, he’ll be announcing a “bold vision” for the party in the next few days.

That will be – what? His third “bold vision”? His fourth? – since he deceived party members into making him leader last year.

By the time of writing, StarmerLabour has lost 192 council seats, with the bulk going to the Conservatives.

The Green Party has picked up 51 seats, indicating that left-wing voters have migrated to that party in protest against Starmer’s betrayal of traditional Labour values. And the Liberal Democrats have also lost seats – 24 of them – indicating that the public has still – and rightly – not forgiven them for propping up the Tories for five years, from 2010 to 2015. These are about the only things the English voting public has got right.

In terms of council control, the Conservatives have taken Pendle, Maidstone, Cornwall, Nottinghamshire, Basildon, Northumberland, Dudley, and Nuneaton and Bedworth councils from no overall control. They also took control of of Harlow council, in Essex, from Labour.

Labour has lost Sheffield, Plymouth and Rossendale to no overall control.

And in another former Labour stronghold, the Tees Valley, Conservative Ben Houchen was re-elected mayor with 73 per cent of the vote – a massive swing of 23 per cent away from Starmer’s Labour.

Meanwhile, here in Wales, Mark Drakeford’s version of Labour – which many have said is a genuine continuation of Corbynism – has won 30 seats in the Senedd, securing another working majority. Labour will rule in Wales for another five years.

The contrast with StarmerLabour could not be more plain.

For This Writer, the most surprising aspect of StarmerLabour’s implosion is the way his critics are pussyfooting around him, playing down the scale of the disaster.

Look at left Labour MP Richard Burgon’s comment, quoted in the following tweet – and the response by Jen Wood:

Let’s not bother with the ‘soft’ critics. Starmer doesn’t need to hear people saying “Never mind, Keir. You stay put and next time you’ll do better.” At this point, such a possibility seems unlikely in the extreme; Labour is more likely to run out of votes altogether and be extinguished as a political movement.

He needs to hear the hard criticism – like this, from Peston:

And this, from near-legendary Canary columnist Steve Topple:

Even this is charitable; voters didn’t abandon Labour because they don’t care – they walked away because they do, and because Starmer wasn’t offering them anything they could support.

You want proof?

So that’s that. These people aren’t going to come back to Labour while Starmer remains in charge of what was once their party.

The message of the 2021 local elections is clear, then. For those who are still having trouble grasping it, it is this:

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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