Tag Archives: responsibility

What is the point of Remembrance Day when the government lets down our veterans so badly?

Contempt: at the national Remembrance Day commemoration service in 2019, Boris Johnson showed contempt for our Armed Forces by laying his wreath face-down. Is this merely symptomatic of the Tory government’s attitude to veterans generally?

I pass this on without comment. Do I need to amplify it further?

Disabled ex-armed forces personnel are being let down by the welfare system, with many experiencing stress and anxiety brought on by the struggle to access social security benefits, according to the Royal British Legion.

The charity said frontline Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff were insufficiently aware of their obligations under the armed forces covenant, which requires public services to give special consideration to injured ex-service personnel.

Among the difficulties reported by veterans to a Royal British Legion survey was the failure of benefits officials to understand post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when carrying out and scoring health assessments for disability benefits.

study by a Salford University academic published last year found many armed forces veterans with complex needs reported overwhelmingly negative experiences of universal credit, disability benefits assessments and benefit sanctions.

Source: Disabled veterans being let down by benefits system – Royal British Legion | Benefits | The Guardian

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One in eight childcare workers in England earns much less than the minimum wage

We thought this window-writing was by a child in care. It seems it might have been by a carer instead.

This research shows all the hallmarks of Tory employment policy: early years workers – predominantly female – are considered to be of low worth and paid less than the minimum wage, and have few career options – and the Covid crisis is likely to make matters worse.

It’s Conservative policy, remember: they have victimised women since they got back into office in 2010, with the so-called austerity policies attacking women far more than men.

One in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour, according to new research which warns that low pay, high workload and a lack of career development are having an adverse effect on the sector.

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) report says… as many as 13% of childcare workers are paid under £5 an hour.

The workforce included apprentices, students on placement, volunteers as well as childminders, hence the low hourly rates.

Staff turnover is high at 13%, with one in six leaving their posts within a year, and 37% quitting within two years.

The report also highlights a lack of training opportunities for those who enter the workforce, which is 96% female, with just 17% of early years workers in receipt of job-related training.

Workload is high and the job carries considerable responsibility – more than one in 10 (11%) full-time early years workers reported working more than 42 hours per week, compared to 3% of retail workers.

It’s cognitive dissonance; the job is clearly highly-responsible and stressful, yet the remuneration is pitiful and there are no associated benefits.

Does this not indicate a political decision by the Tories?

That party’s notorious “nudge unit” has long been tasked with pushing people into particular decisions by making the alternative unacceptable.

Apparently they don’t want children to have professional care while we go to work.

Clearly we’ll all have to stay at home instead – or stop having children so we can go to work.

But if we stay home, what will happen to the economy?

And if we stop having children, well, there aren’t enough people working in the economy to support the current number of senior citizens, and that will only get worse if the working population diminishes – as it must in that eventuality.

So it seems that, by allowing childcare workers to be treated so badly, the Tories are deliberately trying to trash the UK economy.

And some of us voted them into office with a landslide in order to do that.

Were these voters ill, or insane, or suffering mass hysteria?

Source: One in eight childcare workers in England earn less than £5 an hour | Childcare | The Guardian

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Civil disobedience: would parents be irresponsible to send their children back to school now?

Closed: schools in England should stay that way because the Tory government cannot guarantee that they are safe – and parents will be legally responsible if their children catch Covid-19 while following the government’s demand that they attend.

If English parents send their children back to school on Monday (June 1), they will carry responsibility if their child catches Covid-19 as a result.

It seems the Tory government isn’t telling anybody about that part of the law on parental responsibility.

This Writer is grateful to one such parent, who writes:

You have a legal obligation to not send your child anywhere you believe to be unsafe.

If you suspect your child is going to be harmed and you send them anyway and they get harmed, you are legally liable.

You cannot be made non-liable either, not while you have parental responsibility and they can’t penalise you for fulfilling a legal obligation.

So the law seems clear, in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic:

There is no guarantee that children will be safe from catching this potentially deadly disease at school.

If they catch it, then it doesn’t matter whether they show symptoms or not – they will still be vulnerable to the variant of Kawasaki disease that has proved fatal in several cases both in the UK and around the world.

Parents have a responsibility to keep children away from places where they may be endangered – and these places currently include schools.

If the child catches Covid-19, or contracts the Kawasaki variant, at school then the parent will be legally responsible for it – not the Tory government that demanded that the child must go back to school.

So the law tells us that parents must keep their children away from school, no matter what the government says.

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An INCOMPETENT government released the London Bridge terrorist to kill again: a TORY government

How tasteless of the Tories to try to blame Labour for a tragedy that they caused.

People have died and both Home Secretary Priti Patel and prime minister Boris Johnson have tried to turn the atrocity into a political football.

For clarity: convicted terrorist Usman Khan murdered two people on London Bridge last Friday (November 29).

Both Mr Johnson (see the link below) and Ms Patel have tried to blame the fact that he was free and able to commit these murders on an early release policy which they say was imposed by a Labour government.

Both Mr Johnson and Ms Patel were telling an untruth.

Khan had been jailed under Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) – a policy imposed by Labour, but abolished by a Conservative Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, in 2012.

It is because the Conservatives abolished IPP that Khan was able to appeal against his sentence – successfully. It was reduced to 16 years, meaning he was released on licence in December 2018.

Labour had nothing to do with it.

If you read the article (link below), you’ll see that Mr Johnson changed tack – to claim that his government could not be responsible because he has only been prime minister for 120 days. What drivel.

The UK has been under continuous Conservative rule since 2010. The same Conservative government that repealed IPP is now being run by Mr Johnson. The only differences – of cabinet members and prime minister – are cosmetic.

So don’t let Boris Johnson and his Tory cronies make a fool of you.

His government was responsible for Usman Khan’s release and as leader, he should take responsibility for it.

The fact that he is desperately trying to slither out of it is more proof of his unsuitability to govern.

Make sure he doesn’t get the chance to cause any more harm. Vote Labour on December 12.

Source: Boris Johnson blames Labour for release of London Bridge killer | UK news | The Guardian

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Lords bid to block ‘no-deal’ Brexit as OBR raises recession fears

An anti-Brexit demonstration outside Parliament on June 12 last year.

The possibility of a Tory prime minister trying to prorogue Parliament – discontinuing it without dissolving it – in order to pass a “no-deal” Brexit has been pushed back by the House of Lords.

Peers voted by a majority of 103 to ensure Parliament will sit in the weeks leading up to the October 31 deadline, making it impossible for Boris Johnson (or, indeed, Jeremy Hunt) to ensure the deadline can pass without MPs interfering.

The vote happened the day before the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned that a “no-deal” Brexit could trigger a recession, shrinking the economy by two per cent by 2020.

The organisation said increased uncertainty and falling confidence would deter investment and hit trade.

The decision was an amendment to the Northern Ireland (executive formation) Bill which returns to the Commons today (July 18).

Voting by MPs is likely to be tight.

Supporters of Mr Johnson are saying that concerns over the economy are fear-mongering, and that it is buoyant at the moment.

That may be, but the OBR is saying leaving without a deal would add £30bn a year to borrowing from 2020-21 onwards and 12 per cent of GDP to net debt by 2023-24.

Watch how your MP votes – and take note of the effect on the economy. There will be an election soon, and you should judge your MP on whether they are reckless about your well-being.

Source: House of Lords passes amendment to help prevent no-deal Brexit | Politics | The Guardian

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This teacher set the record straight on who is responsible for rising youth crime: TORIES

The Mentorn TV executive who chooses Question Time audience members may be reviewing the company’s policy after this truth bomb dropped on the April 4 edition of the programme (there is a connection with the Conservative Party, as I understand it):

She was referring to the attempt by Home Secretary Sajid Javid – and by prime minister Theresa May, let’s not forget – to palm off responsibility for knife crime among young people onto teachers like herself.

As I wrote last week, she wants teachers to have a “public health duty” to identify warning signs that a young person could be in danger, such as worrying behaviour at school, issues at home, or “presenting at A&E with a suspicious injury”. For real?

There is an existing duty requiring teachers and police to work together to safeguard children. As a former Home Secretary, Theresa May should know that.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the teachers’ union the NASUWT, delivered the reality check to Mrs May when he said: “All professionals involved with children and young people are well aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding their health and welfare.

“Violent crime involving young people, of course, needs to be taken seriously and appropriate strategies considered. However, this is a complex issue which will not be resolved by putting additional pressures and responsibilities on teachers and head teachers or indeed others.”

No it will not.

But the very rich are looking for their next tax cut, aren’t they, Mrs May? And what’s a bit of extra crime among the plebs anyway? That’s just culling the stock. Am I right, Mrs May?

What do you think?


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Boris Johnson’s ‘Garden Bridge’ failure cost you £53m. So much for Tory financial responsibility

Is anyone keeping track of the amount of money these failed Conservative vanity projects are costing the public purse?

Boris Johnson cost us £53 million with this silliness alone, but has everyone forgotten his costly water cannon project?

Chris Grayling haemorrhages money.

The DWP spends a fortune trying to deny help to benefit claimants.

I’m sure you can think of plenty of other examples.

Under the Conservatives, the national debt has more than doubled, but they have insisted on granting huge tax cuts to the super-rich.

And they call themselves the party of financial responsibility. Pathetic.

A failed plan to build a bridge covered with trees and flowers over the River Thames in central London cost a total of £53m, it has been revealed.

A Transport for London (TfL) inquiry showed the Garden Bridge Trust spent £161,000 on a website and £417,000 on a gala for the abandoned project.

The design of the bridge cost more than £9m and the charity paid its executives £1.7m.

Around £43m came from the public’s pocket, TfL added.

Source: Failed London Garden Bridge project cost £53m – BBC News


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New Tory NHS plan is to tell you your health problems are your fault

It all seemed so positive – until the facts got in the way.

Theresa May announced a new “long-term plan” (they like talking about long-term plans; remember their long-term economic plan that sank us into £1.7 trillion of debt?) for the NHS on Sunday. Here’s here Twitter feed:

And here’s the pretty video clip the Conservatives released to go with the announcement, full of empty slogans:

About the only concrete announcement was one we’d had already – that the NHS budget is to rise by £20bn a year above inflation by 2023, although a detailed explanation of how that funding will be provided has not been forthcoming. Last June, Mrs May said it would arise from increased taxes and the so-called “Brexit dividend” – an increase in available money due to the UK’s departure from the EU.

Unfortunately for her, simple mathematics has shown that this “Brexit dividend” is fictional.

So it seems unlikely that all of the aims Mrs May has laid out for the new 10-year plan will be met. They include:

  • Better mental health care, including round-the-clock advice from NHS 111 by 2023 and tailored services for young adults. Currently once someone in care turns 18 they are thrust into the adult system, often when they are not ready
  • Providing the best maternity care in the world by improving safety and providing greater mental health support for new parents. One in five new mothers struggles with mental health in the first year of her baby’s life
  • Greater control and choice in old age by expanding the use of personal budgets to allow people to decide what care they want, and greater support in the community so people do not end up in hospital
  • Better prevention and detection of disease – cancer is expected to be a key focus with an ambition to increase the number of early detections from one in two cancers to three in four, which in turn will improve survival
  • Increases in the NHS workforce – currently one in 11 posts is vacant
  • Bringing the NHS into the digital age, including online GP booking, prescriptions management and health records

Oh, and let’s not forget the promised improvements to social care, after that was brought under the control of the Department of Health. A Green Paper was promised in 2017 and still hasn’t appeared.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock set the real agenda in an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sky:

He said the plan is to place the blame for poor health on patients.

Obviously he didn’t reveal it in such bald terms; this is the age of spin, of the ‘nudge’ unit, of propaganda. So he put it this way: “The whole purpose of the NHS over the next 10 years needs to shift towards helping people to stay healthy, as much as curing them when they’re ill.”

“Helping” people. Is that like the DWP “helping” people towards work by denying them the benefits their taxes have funded throughout their working lives, pushing them towards destitution (and in some cases prostitution) if they don’t accept low-pay, no-benefit, substandard excuses for jobs?

You see, we’ve heard these lines before.

And he said a key part would be making the public take responsibility for their own health.

I don’t know about you, but I do take responsibility for my own health, and I resent the implication that I don’t. I look after myself as well as I’m able, and only bother the National Health Service when I have persistent symptoms that are causing me significant problems, when I have contracted a disease that I can’t treat on my own, or after a serious accident or other emergency. I don’t think I am alone in this behaviour either.

My fear is that this will become the all-purpose excuse for failure to treat people properly, by the NHS’s ever-diminishing workforce. That’s Rick B’s diagnosis:

https://twitter.com/TenPercent/status/1082194784377290753

Going back to the DWP, think of the all-purpose excuse wheeled out every time a benefit claimant is found to have committed suicide, leaving evidence that they took their own life in despair over the way they had been treated by benefit assessors: “Suicide is very complex and it would be wrong to attribute it to just one cause.” You can see the Department of Health readying its own all-purpose statement: “Unfortunately this patient did not take responsibility for their own health.”

And it seems likely this will be used as a smokescreen to mask other failings in the health service.

Labour was quick to raise these issues in video clips of its own. Here’s one:

Wow. All those targets missed and 40,000 nurse positions vacant, along with 9,000 doctors.

What did Mr Hancock have to say about that? Nothing. He said they’d be covered in separate plans, although he did add that having 30,000 of the nursing vacancies handled by agency staff can be “fixed”. That seems extremely suspicious.

Also glossed over is the fact that nothing is said about the service’s failure to meet any of its targets regarding waiting times. Labour touched that nerve with another video clip, that also raises concerns about Tory plans to privatise the NHS altogether:

Again, the Tories have said they’ll publish plans to address overlong waiting times at a later date. It seems NHS bosses are unhappy about promising anything they cannot deliver.

As for privatisation – with more than £8 billion spent on private companies that have been allowed to buy into the NHS by the Conservatives since 2012, concern is high that the whole service in England is being primed for sale, to be replaced with a private insurance-based system, as poor as the schemes currently failing the citizens of the United States. These fears are supported by the fact that current NHS boss Simon Stevens used to work for a US-based health profiteer:

https://twitter.com/Corbynator2/status/1082247457667469312

This new 10-year plan, it seems, is setting out to do exactly what Noam Chomsky described when discussing the steps leading to privatisation: Strip the service of funds, make sure it doesn’t work properly, wait for people to complain, and then sell it to private profit-making firms with a claim that this will improve the service.

It never improves the service.

Look at our railways – stripped of funds, sold off to private firms, and now owned by foreign companies that use them to make huge profits at our expense.

Look at our water companies. Look at our energy suppliers. Look at our airports. It’s the same story across the board.

So you can look forward to a future in which you are blamed for any health problem that arises, and forced to pay through the nose for health insurance (that probably won’t cover your needs or won’t pay out at all, to judge by the American system).

It seems the Tories’ 10-year plan for the NHS is to trick you into an early grave.

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UK government spending watchdog confirms what we already knew: There really is NO BREXIT DIVIDEND

The Leave campaign infamously claimed Brexit would result in a £350m a week dividend for the UK.

This is not news.

We’ve been saying this ever since the stupid ‘Brexit bus’, with its lie that £350 million per week would become available for the NHS, was first rolled out.

And the Institute for Fiscal Studies made it clear that there is no ‘Brexit dividend’, exactly one month ago – as reported by This Site here.

It isn’t even news that known liar Theresa May has used the Leave campaign’s lying ‘Brexit dividend’ claim to lie to the country again. What else are we to expect from a liar?

The Government’s official and independent spending watchdog has confirmed that there will be no “brexit dividend” for the UK, despite the claims of ministers.

Theresa May said last month that the extra £20bn a year pledged to fund the health service would be partially paid for by UK money no longer being sent to the European Union.

That claim was universally slammed by economists as grossly misleading, since the Government’s own projections suggest Brexit is already weakening the public finances, rather than strengthening them and that any fiscal gains from zero EU payments will be wiped out by feebler tax revenues.

The Government has also already earmarked much of those net £13.3bn a year EU budget payments for other major spending items such as support for farmers and science.

And on Tuesday the Office for Budget Responsibility, established in 2010 to provide authoritative and independent fiscal forecasts for the Government, confirmed that no Brexit boost for the public finances is expected.

“Our provisional analysis suggests Brexit is more likely to weaken than strengthen the public finances overall,” the OBR said in its latest Fiscal Sustainability Report.

Source: ‘Brexit dividend’ for health service a myth, Government’s official spending watchdog confirms | The Independent

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Economic forecasts make nonsense of Tory policy – but will be used to hammer the poor again

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond recently said public sector workers like nurses were overpaid, according to a Cabinet leak. So he probably won’t shed tears over an economic forecast that could allow him to postpone easing the cap on their pay that has sent them to food banks to make ends meet.

Commentators like the Financial Times would like to say government plans are going sideways because of “weak economic forecasts”, but the fact is they were always rubbish.

Tory deficit reduction ideas that involve squeezing the poor rather than expanding UK productivity and economic output were never going to work. That’s never – not a few years after they predicted.

Today we found out that the Office for Budget Responsibility has been over-optimistic in all its productivity forecasts for the seven years since it was formed by David Cameron. Some of us aren’t surprised at all.

But here’s a thought:

Isn’t it curious that these facts are only acknowledged when the government is being asked to ease austerity, cut student debt and build houses?

It’s almost as though someone is letting the information trickle out only in order to stop politicians from helping the poor and vulnerable and keep them in line, helping only the very rich instead.

Isn’t it?

Philip Hammond is facing what officials describe as “a bloodbath” in the public finances in his Budget next month as weak economic forecasts derail the government’s plans.

As much as two-thirds of the £26 billion of headroom in the public finances that the chancellor created last year as a buffer for the economy through the Brexit period is likely to be wiped out after the government’s fiscal watchdog concludes its forecasts for growth have been too optimistic.

The Office for Budget Responsibility will publish on Tuesday a new analysis suggesting it has persistently over-estimated Britain’s productivity over the past seven years and will give a broad hint that it will rectify the situation with a more pessimistic Budget forecast.

Slower growth in the forecast will limit deficit reduction and cut the size of the war chest that Mr Hammond put aside to smooth the Brexit transition. This leaves him in an awkward position politically, because he is under increasing pressure to end the austerity cap on public pay, lower the burden of debt on students and build houses.

The situation will dismay the Treasury and surprise economists, who have been encouraged by a steady improvement in Britain’s monthly public finances figures, even as economic growth has slowed this year. In August, the UK posted its lowest budget deficit since before the financial crisis, borrowing a net £5.7bn, well below the consensus estimate of £7.1bn.

Source: ‘Two-thirds’ of Hammond’s £26bn Budget war chest faces wipeout


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