Tag Archives: rule

#BorisHasFailedTheUK is trending because Johnson can’t even announce his own rules properly

Boris Johnson might have surrounded himself with idiots but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s the biggest fool of the lot.

In an announcement on tighter Covid-19 restrictions in northeast England, he couldn’t even get his own facts straight:

Mr Johnson was asked to clarify the rules after a junior minister was unable to do so.

When asked if people in the North East could still meet people from other households outside, such as in a pub garden, Mr Johnson said people should follow local guidance and urged them to use their common sense.

He went on to talk about the separate rule of six.

“In the North East and other areas where extra tight measures have been brought in, you should follow the guidance of local authorities – but it’s six in a home, six in hospitality but, as I understand it, not six outside,” he said.

On Twitter, Mr Johnson later apologised and clarified that the new law meant those in the North East “cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home”.

“You should also avoid socialising with other households outside,” he added.

The rebukes were swift:

Of course, the discussion soon digressed to Johnson’s other failures:

Ultimately, the critics pointed out that ultimate responsibility for the UK’s plight lies not with the fool in charge but with the fools who put him there:

They never do, sadly.

It’s a phenomenon called “shy Toryism”.

They hide the fact that they voted for Johnson and the Tories – because they are ashamed of it. And then they do it again next time.

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Local lockdown to hit northeast England – but why was it first announced on TV?

Speaking too soon: Robert Jenrick announces restrictions on northeast England, on the Peston TV show.

BBC news has announced – around midday today, September 17 – that the northeast of England will be subjected to stronger Covid-19-related restrictions because of increased infections there. It’s not quite a local lockdown but close.

I knew this last night because Robert Jenrick announced it on television, on Robert Peston’s ITV political chat show.

The only reason I didn’t publish a story straight away was fatigue (I had been awake for around 19 hours on the trot by then) – and also I wanted to know what Commons Spaker Lindsay Hoyle would have to say about this breach of regulations:

Some are saying this is another example of Dominic Cummings-style “government by media”, although I can’t see any advantage for the Tories in doing this.

Who benefits from Jenrick’s announcement, which came just 13 hours (and a bit) before the statement in Parliament?

The people of the northeast? No – the difference in timing still isn’t enough for them to properly prepare, if they need to.

The government? No – this is an admission that a government policy has failed.

Robert Jenrick? No – he was announcing something that nobody wanted and is more likely to be resented for it. In any case, he’s widely considered to be as bent as a nine-bob note (see his record of corruption on planning matters).

Robert Peston benefits, because the announcement was on his show.

But what’s the tactical advantage for the Tories? Are they trying to set up some kind of divide-and-rule rivalry between Peston and Piers Morgan, whose breakfast show can’t get government spokespeople because they’re afraid he’ll rip them to shreds?

That seems pointless because the Tories lose more than they gain, if they get another reprimand from Speaker Hoyle.

Perhaps Jenrick was speaking on his own initiative – a loose cannon, as it were.

If so, let’s hope he shot himself in the foot.

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Priti Patel: ‘it’s okay for Tory MPs to break the law but I’ll call the cops if you have a garden party’

The UK has become a police state under the Tories, with them breaking the law left, right and centre while the public are punished.

That is what Home Secretary Priti Patel told us today (September 15), when she said she would inform the police if she found people breaking the so-called “Rule of 6” that bans public gatherings of more than six people.

She, of course, has just voted for her Tory government to break international law by overriding the EU withdrawal agreement.

And let’s not forget that she was ousted from Theresa May’s cabinet when she started carrying out her own foreign policy in Israel, independent of her own government.

She’s a serial villain, and she has the hypocrisy to claim the moral high ground:

The Home Secretary told BBC Breakfast “I don’t spend my time looking into people’s gardens” but added: “I think anybody would want to take responsibility and make sure we’re not spreading this awful disease.

“If I saw gatherings of more than six people, clearly I would report that.”

That’s except for her fellow Tories, of course. They can do what they like.

Did she object when Dominic Cummings broke lockdown to go and visit his family in Durham? No.

Did she call the police when Robert Jenrick did the same? No.

But she’ll happily dob you in because you’re not in her exclusive club.

Given this behaviour by the Home Secretary, This Writer is not inclined to accept her demand.

Other people have brains and can use their own judgement to decide what they do.

I certainly won’t be bothering the police with it. If Covid-19 rises, I will blame the Tories for failing to provide an example to follow.

Source: Priti Patel says she’d snitch on her neighbours to police under ‘rule of six’ – Mirror Online

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Going, going, Gove: the Tory hypocrite who’ll break international law but demands we obey his ‘Rule of Six’

Spitting Image: Michael Gove’s likeness on the new version of the satirical comedy appears to have certain male genital organs for cheeks – which is entirely appropriate as he was talking a lot of b*ll*cks on TV today.

Michael Gove appeared on breakfast TV, to demand that we all – including our children, obey his government’s new prohibition of social gatherings of more than six people.

Why should we obey this, when he went on to admit that the government itself will break international law and turn the UK into a rogue state that no other country will trust?

I don’t have a clip of him calling on us to obey the ‘Rule of Six’ – which is a stupid demand that won’t stop the now-uncontrollable spread of Covid-19 because it does not target the causes of that spread.

If our friends and family had Covid-19, we would have already caught it, so going out with them makes no difference.

We are still legally allowed to go out on our own and sit in pubs and restaurants that are packed with strangers – any or all of whom may have the virus – but the new rule does not take this into account.

Here’s a link to an article in which Gove accepts responsibility for this act of criminal stupidity:

do have a clip of Gove voicing his support for unqualified Attorney General Suella Braverman, whose defence of Boris Johnson’s decision to break international law by reneging on the EU Withdrawal Agreement in his Internal Markets Bill was comprehensively destroyed on This Site, only days ago. Here he is:

Here’s the appropriate response:

Gove also said the EU was “threatening the integrity of the United Kingdom” by demanding that Boris Johnson honours the withdrawal agreement he signed in January.

Oh, really? That’s not what the Tories said at the time…

… and nobody was fooled by this blatant bid to gaslight the nation:

In fact This Writer can only fault the Twittersphere on one point: those who accused Gove of turning blond to acknowledge his Aryan/fascist/Nazi supporters appear to be colourblind.

His hair has gone grey. And I’m not surprised.

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Why are people praising Jacob Rees-Mogg for breaking another Parliamentary rule?

Tone deaf: Jacob Rees-Mogg broke a Parliamentary regulation to play Rule Britannia in the Commons. If he had bothered to think about how the lyrics reflect on his pitiful excuse for a government, he might have reconsidered.

People seem to think it uplifting that Jacob Rees-Mogg played a snippet of Rule Britannia in the House of Commons. I don’t.

In fact, he was normalising Tory rule-breaking.

There is a Parliamentary rule against what he did and, as Leader of the House of Commons, he should have abided by it.

Why isn’t he resigning his position, effective immediately?

Here’s a clip of him playing the, er, clip. Notice the backswipe at the BBC from the Tory backbencher (who’s she?) asking the question:

Yes, Rees-Mogg apologised for it but the fact that he broke this rule means he is entirely prepared to break others, if he gets away with it.

It would be better for the health of the United Kingdom if he were to be stopped now.

Oh, and as for that song: has anybody supporting it so strongly actually bothered to listen to those lyrics?

“Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves” – Britannia hasn’t ruled the waves for decades! Our navy currently consists of a handful of rustbuckets that never seem to work properly and it’s all down to Tory cuts.

“Britons never, never, never shall be slaves” – until the neoliberal Tories turned up. Modern slavery is on the rise in Tory Britain.

“The nations not so blest as thee
“Must, in their turn, to tyrants fall” – Mr Rees-Mogg is in the government of would-be tyrant Boris Johnson. The UK has fallen to a tyrant and must therefore be considered “not so blest”.

“While thou shalt flourish great and free:
“The dread and envy of them all” – hardly! The Tories have led the UK into debt and economic ruin.

“Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
“More dreadful from each foreign stroke” – is this a line saying that we can repel attacks from foreign countries? Boris Johnson’s dodgy connections with Russia – and his attempts to hide those connections – suggest that this is not true in a UK run by Tories. Rather than rising “more dreadful from each foreign stroke”, Tory Britain seems to roll over, present its bare backside and beg for more.

It goes on in this fashion but you get the idea.

It is not an appropriate song to be sung in the UK at the moment.

And Jacob Rees-Mogg should be out of a job.

Source: Jacob Rees-Mogg plays ‘Rule, Britannia!’ in the Commons – BBC News

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Did Tory-run DWP change rules on cancelling benefits to avoid humiliation in court?

Errol Graham: he starved to death after the Department for Work and Pensions cut off his benefits.

The Department for Work and Pensions has quietly changed its rules on stopping benefits of vulnerable claimants – after relatives of a man who died of starvation won the right to have a judicial review.

Relatives of Errol Graham were granted permission for a judicial review of DWP policies after the department failed to review and revise them itself, following his death.

The DWP ignored its own safeguarding advice to deprive Errol Graham of his benefits, This Site reported previously.

Left with no income, Mr Graham starved to death.

He had been receiving incapacity benefit, and then ESA, for many years as a result of enduring mental distress that had led to him being sectioned.

The DWP stopped Mr Graham’s Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) entitlement – and backdated that decision to the previous month – after making two unsuccessful visits to his home to ask why he had not attended a face-to-face Work Capability Assessment (WCA) on August 31, 2017.

He had not been asked to fill in an ESA50 questionnaire, though.

The government department managed to stop an ESA payment that had been due to be credited to his bank account on October 17, the same day it made the second unsuccessful safeguarding visit.

Its own rules state that it should have made both safeguarding visits before stopping the benefits of a vulnerable claimant.

Not only that, but the DWP had needed – but failed – to seek further medical evidence from Mr Graham’s GP, in order to make an informed decision about him.

In fact, it seems this would not have made much difference as Mr Graham’s GP had not seen him since 2013, or recalled him for vital blood tests or issued prescriptions since 2015, despite medical conditions including significant, long-term mental distress and hypothyroidism.

Because he had lost his entitlement to ESA, Mr Graham’s housing benefit was also stopped.

When bailiffs knocked down his front door to evict him on June 20, 2018, they found a dead body that weighed just four and a half stone. The only food in the flat was a couple of out-of-date tins of fish.

Mr Graham was 57 years old.

Solicitors Leigh Day, acting for Mr Graham’s family, revealed they had won the right to have a judicial review last week.

And on Tuesday – the day before Parliament rose for the summer recess – the DWP told Parliament’s Work and Pensions committee that it had changed the rules.

Permanent Secretary Peter Schofield said: “If we tried all of that [contacting the claimant by phone and carrying out two safeguarding visits] we would then take that back and have a case conference about the individual and particularly, obviously if it’s someone with vulnerabilities that we know about, then we would seek to involve other organisations that might have a different way of knowing about that individual.

“And then we would seek to understand what do they know about that individual and how can we support them.

“And if that fails that could then be escalated to the safeguarding leads. And in that way basically what we’d seek to do is provide support not removal of benefits.”

Do you believe that?

Tessa Gregory of Leigh Day seems sceptical, still: “Today’s announcement that the procedures have changed is news to us and news to our client.

“Whilst we cautiously welcome the announcement, it is imperative that the Secretary of State publishes the relevant guidance immediately so that our client and the public can see whether it actually requires decision makers to liaise with different agencies in cases like Errol’s and whether enough has been done to ensure that the vulnerable are adequately protected.”

This Writer thinks the best way to achieve that aim is to go ahead with the judicial review. Why were these changes only brought in when the Tory government was facing humiliation in court?

Source: DWP chiefs quietly change rule on stopping benefits after man starved to death – Mirror Online

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Terminally ill woman forced to fight for benefits as it’s uncertain if she’ll die in six months

Lorraine Cox.

A woman from Derrylin, in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, has challenged the legal definition of a terminal illness after she was refused access to benefits due to uncertainty over her lifespan.

Lorraine Cox has Motor Neurone Disease.

Lorraine was required to still look for work months after she medically retired because of her condition.

The 40-year-old then underwent a medical assessment for both ‘Universal Credit’ and ‘Personal Independence Payment’ (PIP) due to a rule which states that those who qualify for payment are expected to die within a period of six months.

Law Centre NI legal officer, John McCloskey, who is assisting Lorraine in her application explained; “The inclusion of the six month criterion in the legal definition of a terminal illness has been described as cruel.”

It is restricting access to support for people at a very difficult time. “The six month rule was introduced over 30 years ago and was intended to assist people in accessing special terminal illness rules, not restrict them. It is now hurting terminally ill people who have an illness that’s more difficult to accurately predict.

“The Westminster all-party parliamentary group for terminal illness described the six month criterion as ‘unfit for purpose’ and called on the UK government to amend the legal definition of a terminal illness.

“Walter Rader, in his independent review of PIP in Northern Ireland, recommended that the clinical judgement of a medical practitioner should be sufficient to allow special rules to apply. We are now testing whether the application of the six month criterion is in fact lawful.”

Source: Terminally ill woman ‘forced to fight for her benefits’ – The Fermanagh Herald

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Brexiteers have handed direct rule of the UK to Tory ministers and advisers – NOT Parliament

They’re laughing at you really: Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson are using Little Englanders’ hatred of Europe to force on the UK a dictatorship worse than anything we’ve ever had from Brussels.

So much for democracy.

Remember all that “Take back control” tripe Brexiteers like Dominic Cummings were force-feeding us, during the EU referendum campaign?

It seems they weren’t advocating a return to democratic rule by Parliament. Instead the UK is to be ruled with decrees by people like – guess who? – Dominic Cummings.

The facts are in a forensic analysis of every bit of legislation passed and going through Parliament to change the law after Brexit becomes a reality on January 1 next year, by the House of Lords Constitution committee.

New Acts of Parliament covering covering agriculture, money laundering, immigration, trade, taxation, reciprocal health agreements and even the granting of road haulage licences will give power over these matters directly to Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and advisers like Cummings.

The Bills create statutory instruments – otherwise known as “Henry VIII powers” – allowing ministers to change the law by decree, meaning they make the changes without bothering with a Parliamentary vote. In some cases, they won’t even have to inform other MPs.

The Agriculture Bill alone creates 40 of these “Henry VIII powers” – including power to define new criminal offences with unlimited fines.

One new power on export and import duties will allow ministers to change the law by public notice – meaning they will simply pin up a sign somewhere, saying that the law has been changed.

And there won’t be a thing your elected MP can do about it.

In his article about this, David Hencke makes an excellent deduction:

If Waitrose followed what it said it will do and clearly label chlorinated chicken a government minister could just change the law by decree, making it illegal to do so. And if Waitrose disobeyed they could face unlimited fines.

Think about that.

To facilitate a trade deal with the United States, your Tory government – voted in because people were desperate for Brexit – could force supermarkets to sell you, and force you to eat, diseased meat.

Remember when we were told Brexit would end EU bureaucracy that saddled the UK with thousands of unwanted rules and regulations?

Now read this [boldings mine]:

The Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill [gives ministers] well over 150 separate powers to make tax law for individuals and businesses. These laws made by Ministers will run to thousands of pages. The Treasury’s delegated powers memorandum, which sets out in detail all these law-making powers, alone runs to 174 pages.”

Even legislation delegated to the devolved governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is not safe from Tory interference as ministers are also taking powers to override those laws, as well as to interfere in what EU-adopted case law can be used to decide new cases in tribunals and lower courts.

All of these dictatorial powers will be handed over to Johnson, Gove and Cummings by Parliament because the UK electorate handed Johnson’s Conservatives a massive 80-seat majority in the House of Commons.

And the reason voters gave them that massive majority was Brexit.

Little did these Little Englanders know that they were taking power away from an elected organisation and handing it to a tiny cabal of Tory dictators instead.

“Taking back control”?

They’ve thrown it all away.

Source: Welcome to your new rulers: UK Commissioners Gove, Johnson and Cummings | Westminster Confidential

Coronavirus: Wales starts easing the lockdown – one rule at a time

The Welsh government has announced that it is easing lockdown restrictions – but only one part of them, and for a very good reason.

From Monday, people from two different households in the same local area will be able to meet up outdoors. They must continue to maintain social distancing and strict hand hygiene.

As a general rule, people will not be allowed to travel more than five miles for these meetings – which comes hard for those of us in rural areas who have friends more than five miles away that we haven’t seen in nearly three months.

There will be exceptions including travelling to work, shopping for essentials that aren’t available locally, and to seek care.

That last exception seems to be an attempt to legitimise behaviour like Dominic Cummings’s trip from London to Durham, which caused a hugely embarrassing scandal that the Tory government has been trying to silence for the last week.

The reason for lifting just one rule at a time is simple, as First Minister Mark Drakeford was told:

“Making more than one significant relaxation was too dangerous because if the infection rate went up, it would not be clear what had caused it.”

Contrast that with Boris Johnson’s idiotic rush to get everybody back to work as soon as possible, and damn the consequences!

Is it any wonder that this decision has been followed by another one – to stop showing the daily number of Covid-19-related deaths?

Source: Why the Welsh Government is only making one major lockdown change | Wales – ITV News

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Tory advisor Neil Ferguson resigns after breaking social distancing rules

Neil Ferguson: he broke the rules so he quit. If only some Tories had the same integrity after the event.

How typical of the Tory government and its cronies: this guy joined the others in imposing rules on the rest of us, then decided they didn’t apply to him.

But whereas his politician colleagues have just carried on in-post, doing whatever they like because they can, at least Neil Ferguson has had the integrity to own up and quit.

Personally, I can’t blame him for wanting some pleasant company. After nearly six weeks of lockdown, I’m starting to look forward to seeing customers at the supermarket (albeit at two metres’ distance).

The difference is, I would not endanger others for the sake of a moment’s selfishness.

That’s why this man had to go. Now go back and think on what this says about the Tory politicians.

A key scientist advising the government on the coronavirus pandemic has resigned after reportedly flouting social distancing restrictions, admitting he made an “error of judgement”.

Professor Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist whose modelling convinced Boris Johnson to press ahead with a UK-wide lockdown, stood down from the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) after allegations emerged in the Daily Telegraph.

It was claimed on Tuesday evening that professor Ferguson had allowed a woman to visit him at home in London at least two occasions during the lockdown – despite strict rules against mixing households.

Source: Neil Ferguson: Government coronavirus adviser quits after breaking lockdown rules | The Independent

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