Tag Archives: replace

Public Health England to be axed as Matt Hancock desperately blame-shifts

Matt Hancock: he was a Covid-19 super-spreader so it should be no surprise that the private organisation he wants to create, replacing Public Health England, is likely to do nothing to prevent the resurgence of the disease across the UK.

Failed Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to scrap Public Health England (PHE) this week, we’re told, in an attempt to blame somebody else for his failure to control Covid-19 in the UK.

The trouble is, he’s planning to replace it with something worse.

Public Health England, as an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, exists to protect the general health and well-being of English people – in any circumstance. But Hancock wants to replace it with an organisation dedicated only to handling pandemic threats.

And he plans to do this by merging the pandemic response work of PHE with Serco Test and Trace – the privatised ‘test and trace’ system that has already proved itself to be a humiliating failure for the government, and for its plans to privatise NHS services.

What a fiasco.

It means that Hancock is planning to replace a system that he has decided has failed with something that we all know is a failure, for the sake of the Tories’ Holy Grail of NHS privatisation.

And the devil take public health and safety.

Let us also remember that, as a wholly-owned executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, PHE’s failure are entirely the responsibility of one man: Matt Hancock. It seems he is hoping that he can hide his incompetence by dissolving the organisation that contains the evidence.

It doesn’t work that way. The evidence is already public knowledge. Take a look at this article if you need to be convinced.

And we all know where the blame lies:

It’s true. The BMJ article (link above) states that public health funding has fallen by 25 per cent per person in the last five years alone.

Worse still, the rumour mill has it that the new, privatised organisation that will be tasked with protecting us from pandemic infections (but only if it can make a profit from doing it, of course) will be headed by another failure: Dido Harding:

This may be another example of Tories giving jobs to their friends, rather than to anybody who actually knows what they are doing:

It’s interesting also to take note of the fellow-travellers who have sprung up to support Hancock’s plan. These are Tory propagandists who should never be trusted on any subject at all.

Here’s an obvious example: Julia Hartley-Doodah.

Rest assured that nothing good will come of this. Hancock will not succeed in shifting the blame away from himself; his decision can only result in more infections and deaths as Serco continues to take our money while failing to do anything to prevent Covid-19 infections from spreading.

We know this is the wrong decision and it will only worsen a Tory-engineered national disaster.

But there is nothing we can do to prevent it. We lost that opportunity on December 13, 2019.

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Why are we learning about Trident replacement plan from the Pentagon, not Parliament?

Buddies: Johnson and Donald Trump seem to have shaken hands on a deal to replace Trident, without bothering with trifling matters like… I don’t know… democracy.

When did Parliament approve the plan to buy new nuclear warheads, replacing Trident, from the Pentagon?

I don’t remember that vote!

And if the UK’s MPs haven’t decided on it, then the decision hasn’t been made, and the United States government has no right to say it has.

That wouldn’t stop Boris Johnson telling them it had, though.

What do you reckon? That Johnson has done a secret deal – unilaterally – with the US?

That he intends to place it before Parliament as a fait accompli – a done deal that the UK now has to honour – probably under threat of losing trade deals with the US in the future?

So much for democracy!

Johnson’s Parliamentary majority is such that he would have had the decision he wanted if he had put the deal before MPs in the proper way.

So why did he do it like this?

To show that he can do what he wants? That he is, now, the UK’s dictator?

Britain has committed itself to buying a new generation of nuclear warheads to replace Trident, which will be based on US technology. The decision was revealed by Pentagon officials who disclosed it before an official announcement has been made by the government.

The revelation has dismayed MPs and experts who question why they have learned of the move – which will cost the UK billions of pounds – only after the decision has apparently been made. It has also raised questions about the UK’s commitment to staunching nuclear proliferation and the country’s reliance on the US for a central plank of its defence strategy.

Source: Pentagon reveals deal with Britain to replace Trident | UK news | The Guardian

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From bad to rotten: Sajid Javid appointed as new Home Secretary

Grin and bear it: Being Home Secretary is like taking a poisoned chalice but Sajid Javid has accepted the job.

The man responsible for cocking up the Tory government’s response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been appointed as the new Home Secretary by flailing prime minister Theresa May.

Perhaps she hopes Sajid Javid will be as bad at restoring their rights to the Windrush Generation as he has been at restoring homes to the survivors of Grenfell.

How long did Theresa May say it would be before the Tories re-housed them? Three weeks?

And how long have most of them been in temporary accommodation? Nearly a year.

Pathetic.

And what about his time as Business Secretary, when he ignored the advice of senior civil servant Edward Bell in order to keep granting export licences for weapons being sent to Saudi Arabia, despite allegations of war crimes in Yemen?

But when Tata announced it was selling its UK steelworks, Mr Javid was off on a jolly to Australia. And he spurned a crisis conference with Welsh Labour MPs to attend a business event organised by a right-wing American think tank instead.

We may conclude that this is a man who is happy to deal out destruction to foreigners while delivering destitution to people here in the UK.

There’s more:

And this is Theresa May’s choice to replace disgraced serial liar Amber Rudd.

Her record of appallingly bad decision-making continues unabated.

Was she looking for another human shield, rather than someone able to do the job?


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Why should Tories split over whether to sack Johnson or Hammond? Ditch them both!

Conservative MPs are split between wanting Thereas May to sack Boris Johnson or Philip Hammond [Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

There are plenty of would-be cabinet stars churning around the Parliamentary Conservative Party who would love to replace Boris Johnson or Philip Hammond – or at least take other cabinet places in a reshuffle.

But Theresa May is too scared to act.

Isn’t it the truth that she doesn’t move anybody new into prominent positions because the public would then see exactly how talentless and clueless modern Tories really are – especially the younger generation?

Conservative MPs are split between Brexiters who want Philip Hammond sacked and remainers who would like to see Boris Johnson out of a job, but believe the prime minister may be too weak to get rid of either of them in a reshuffle in the coming weeks.

In conversations with dozens of Tories, the Guardian found MPs divided along their views on the EU referendum over whether they would like to see Johnson or Hammond given the boot.

Theresa May has hinted she could conduct a reshuffle after her trip to Brussels at the end of next week, as she comes under pressure from new MPs in her party to bring fresh talent into the cabinet after a moribund Conservative party conference.

Since then, a handful of remainers, including Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, have called for Johnson to lose his job over his interventions setting out his own personal blueprint for an optimistic Brexit. On the other side, leavers including Nigel Lawson and Nadine Dorries have urged May to get rid of the chancellor for being too gloomy.

Source: Conservatives split on whether May should sack Johnson or Hammond | Politics | The Guardian


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When Theresa May is ousted, it won’t matter who replaces her – unless it is a Labour PM

[Image from Twitter.]

This is very pertinent, from Labour’s Richard Burgon: The problems with a Conservative government don’t lie solely with the choice of prime minister.

When Theresa May finally accepts her P45 – for real – it will most likely be for a Conservative to replace her. That means the government will be the same as before.

The same policies of impoverishment for workers and enrichment for the idle elite.

The same policies of genocide against the sick and disabled.

The same arrogance when dealing with the European Union and other foreign countries/organisations.

The same hypocrisy.

The same lies.

The same abuse.

It’s not acceptable.

When Mrs May goes, we – the citizens of the UK – need to make it clear that her government has failed.

That it does not have any legitimacy.

That it never had any.

And that we want a new government, from a better political party – now.

The main problem with the Conservative Party Conference wasn’t that the Prime Minister’s speech ended up like an excruciating scene from Peep Show or The Office. The main problem was the Conservative Party’s mask of decency slipping on a number of occasions and a complete lack of policy, vision and hope.

The ethos and agenda of the Conservative Party is no laughing matter. And that was very clearly revealed in the Foreign Secretary’s statement to an audience in a conference meeting that there’s big profits to be made in Libya if you just “clear the dead bodies away.”

I believe that the Foreign Secretary’s statement wasn’t a “gaffe” as some have called it — it was a window into the worldview of top Tories.

His recitation of a colonial song while in Burma and his callous call to “clear the dead bodies away” in a bomb-blasted Libya that his government helped to make more dangerous, more unsafe and more unstable are true to born-to-rule Bullingdon-boy type.

The truth is, we can’t trust the Conservatives to do the right thing in terms of Britain’s role in the world — and the Prime Minister’s fawning over a president who threatens to “totally destroy” an entire country, her politically motivated refusal to do what even her Conservative predecessors did and commit to the principle of a world free from nuclear weapons and the Foreign Secretary’s reference to the corpses his government’s disastrous intervention helped to create in Libya as barriers to business and profit are further proof of this.

Much has been made of the idea that in response to Corbyn and socialist Labour’s huge advance in the battle of ideas, the Conservative government has “stolen” Labour’s policies.

If only. Rather than adopting Labour’s policies, the Conservative government has — in pure desperation — produced pale imitations of Labour’s policies in an attempt to dupe a public that is more fed up to the back teeth with them with each day that passes.

The task of our movement is not just the removal of a prime minister or even just the removal of a government. The task of our movement is to secure a Labour government which will remove a system that is rigged against working people.

Source: Morning Star :: The nasty party’s mask comes off | The People’s Daily


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A Parliamentary Bill to replace Theresa May? Tories don’t have much faith in her, do they?

Look at this:

Peter Bone is a Conservative. What does he think he knows about Theresa May’s health?

Is it about her mental health?

Or what?


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Right-to-buy scheme WILL deplete social housing; Tories are taking us for fools

These Tories are trying to take us all for fools.

Communities secretary Greg Clark (who?) reckons councils will have to replace any housing association property that is sold under the Conservative Government’s latest plan.

But this won’t work, because the plan is to offer a discount on the purchase of each property, of up to 70 per cent.

That means councils, who are being starved of money by – guess who? – the Conservative Government, will be either unable to replace 70 per cent of the lost accommodation or will be forced into serious debt.

Don’t be deceived by this blatant lie – it’s all part of the Tory plan to deplete social housing.

The new communities secretary, Greg Clark, has insisted government plans to provide a right to buy for 1.3 million housing association tenants will not lead to a fall in overall provision of social housing in England.

The measure is due to be included in the Queen’s speech on Wednesday and Clark defended the policy saying “consistently, over many years, nearly 86% want to own their home and just because you have signed a social tenancy should not mean you sign away your aspiration to own your own home”.

Ministers have insisted that social housing will not fall because councils will be expected to replace any housing association property that is sold. The new properties are due to be provided by the enforced sale of more expensive council-owned property when the tenancy falls vacant. Housing association tenants who have lived in a property for three years will be entitled to seek a discount on the purchase of the property of up to 70%.

Clark said there would not be a net fall in affordable property. “Where the flat is sold to the existing tenant it is not lost, it does not evaporate, and it is sold to someone that has means to pay for it, so then what is released in terms of the sale can then build an extra home – so it is adding to the housing stock. Every housing association property that is sold will be replaced one for one for a new property, so it is not only allowing people to meet their housing aspiration, but to increase the housing stock as well.”

Source: Right-to-buy scheme ‘will not deplete social housing stock’ | Society | The Guardian

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Labour launches plan to attack political corruption

westminsterfromwater

If there’s one area of British life that needs reform, it’s politics.

Every day, Vox Political receives at least one comment from somebody saying that the system is corrupt and desperately needs an overhaul. Today (Tuesday, March 3), Labour is due to announce its plans for tackling this very issue.

The trouble is, of course, that many people are saying Labour is part of the problem.

The claim is that the party and its high-level members have a vested financial interest in keeping the system as it is – and the gravy train rolling along. How will Labour combat these?

Well…

There are plans to consult on new powers for the Speaker to tackle the worst and repeated instances of rowdy behaviour in the Chamber with a so-called ‘sin bin’.

Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans described the idea as “rubbish”, pointing out that the speaker already has the ability to remove MPs in certain circumstances and has lots of discretion at present.

But the Speaker himself, John Bercow, has given a cautious welcome to the suggestion that MPs face a rugby-style “yellow-card” temporary ban for bad behaviour in the Chamber. Answering questions at a Hansard Society event at Westminster, Mr Bercow said: “I think there is merit in it, it’s not for me to decide, it’s for the House to decide.”

Other measures will be revealed at an event in Parliament, by Shadow Leader of the Commons Angela Eagle. They include:

  • Overhauling elections with measures including introducing votes at 16 and trialling online voting
  • Changing how Parliament works with a Prime Minister’s Questions for the public and a new process for law-making that gives people a say
  • Tackling vested interests by regulating MPs’ 2nd jobs and creating compulsory rules for lobbyists, and
  • Devolving power across the UK and replacing the Lords with a ‘Senate of the Nations and Regions’.

Some of these measures have already been trailed, like votes for 16-year-olds, public PMQs and regulation of MPs’ second jobs. One has been claimed by the Conservative Party, although Labour’s Austin Mitchell describes the plan for devolution to Greater Manchester as a “deathbed repentance by a government which had centralised continuously in a country that is over-centralised already”. He claimed that a concentration of power in London and the south-east of England “needs to be reversed so the rest of us can have a chance”.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Angela Eagle said: “The recent debate over MPs’ second jobs reminds us that so much needs to change in Westminster. When trust in politics and politicians is already at a record low, only radical reform will restore faith in our political process.

“Labour’s plan will deliver the reform our politics needs. We will reform the Commons to strengthen its ability to hold the government to account. And we will ensure our political system always puts people before rich and powerful vested interests.

“Our politics works on an adversarial system, but sometimes MPs take it too far and it turns the public off. A Labour government will consult on new powers for the Speaker to curb the worst forms of repeated barracking.”

This writer is particularly keen on online voting. It is to be hoped that the trials go well, so that this may help restore interest – and confidence – in democracy.

Does it go far enough? Undoubtedly people will say it does not – but at least, it seems, Labour will do something to arrest the corruption that seems to have seeped into the very bones of the Palace of Westminster (the building will be unusable within 20 years, it seems, unless expensive restoration work is undertaken).

What would you do?

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Is it wise to combat Islamic extremism in schools by sending in Tory extremists Theresa May and Michael Gove?

Extremists: Theresa May (left) and Michael Gove. [Image: BBC.]

Extremists: Theresa May (left) and Michael Gove. [Image: BBC.]

The alleged rift between Michael Gove and Theresa May over claims that Muslim extremists have taken over 25 Birmingham schools is bizarre.

These are government ministers who most closely share the extremist attitudes that the ‘Trojan Horse’ school governors are said to have; their methods are the same, even if their aims are different.

Consider this. The claims made about the Birmingham school are that:

  • A ‘Trojan Horse’ (stealth) takeover of schools in Birmingham, by Islamic extremists, has taken place.
  • Governors were installed who undermined and then replaced school leaders with staff who would be more sympathetic to their agenda.
  • Boys and girls have been separated.
  • Assemblies put forward extremist Islamic views.
  • Other religions are downgraded.

Now let’s look at Theresa May, who:

  • Took part in a backdoor (stealth) takeover of the UK government after the Conservative Party failed to win a majority in the 2010 general election.
  • Wants to repeal the Human Rights Act as it protects UK citizens against some of her favourite policies:

The duty to refrain from unlawful killing, investigate suspicious deaths and prevent foreseeable loss of life runs against the results of the Coalition’s changes to incapacity/disability benefit assessment which led to the unnecessary deaths of 73 people per week between January and November 2011.

The prohibition of slavery, servitude and forced labour is contrary to the government’s mandatory work activity schemes.

The right to a fair trial contradicts the changes the government has been making to Legal Aid.

The right to respect for one’s privacy, family life, home and correspondence runs against the “snooper’s charter” that Mrs May wished to impose.

And so on. The Tories would dearly love to remove your rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association, as that means they could outlaw this blog and abolish trade unions.

  • Authorised a plan to use a fleet of advertising vans telling illegal immigrants to “go home”, which split the London communities in which they were used and led to false accusations against British citizens.
  • The phrase “go home” on the vans attracted criticism from the Advertising Standards Authority as it was a reminder of an extremist racist slogan.

And Michael Gove:

  • Took part in the backdoor (stealth) takeover of the UK government.
  • Has imposed an army of independent advisors on his education department, to overrule the opinions of expert civil servants, grind down their morale and force them out of their jobs.
  • Planned to give a Bible to every state school in the country, clearly implying an intention to assert the supremacy of Christianity over every other religion practised in the UK, with others downgraded.

They’re all as bad as each other.

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