Tag Archives: scandal

Partygate scandal is trivial ‘fluff’, says Rees-Mogg. Conflict of interest?

Jacob Rees-Mogg: he knows how to rave it up with the best of Tories! In fact, there’s no suggestion that he took part in the scandalous Downing Street parties – but there are still good reasons he should not discuss them.

Does Jacob Rees-Mogg think he’s an ‘influencer’ now?

He’s certainly trying to influence opinions over ‘Partygate’ – the scandal of the Downing Street parties that took place during Covid-19 lockdowns, with Tories raving it up in large groups when the rest of us were forbidden even from seeing our relatives who were dying of the virus.

And that’s not acceptable – because, as a member of the Tory government himself, his words represent a conflict of interest; he simply should not be talking about this issue.

For once, he should take a leaf out of his boss Boris Johnson’s book – and I don’t get to say that very often!

Jacob Rees-Mogg has dismissed the row over parties held during lockdown in Downing Street and across Whitehall as trivial “fluff”.

“All of that is shown up for the disproportionate fluff of politics that it was rather than something of fundamental seriousness about the safety of the world and the established global order.”

He’s wrong, too.

‘Partygate’ showed us that our government holds us in contempt.

Its ministers – including Rees-Mogg – are happy to behave in whatever foul and depraved ways they see fit and expect to get away with it, while the rest of us have to labour under the extreme demands they make of us – and use the police to enforce.

I was wrong. His words aren’t unacceptable; they are unforgivable.

Source: Downing Street partygate scandal is trivial ‘fluff’, says Rees-Mogg

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#BorisJohnson plummets in polls after #DowningStreetParty #scandal. Will #Tories eject him?

 

 

Public opinion is swinging wildly against Boris Johnson over the allegations that a huge Christmas party was held in 10 Downing Street last December. But how far does it have to swing before his Tory colleagues stab him in the back and find another leader?

We all know what’s happened by now: a video clip has been made public, showing Downing Street staff laughing about a party at Downing Street on December 18, 2020, and discussing how to lie about it if questions are ever asked.

The revelation that government officials, and possibly ministers, were whooping it up at a time when the rest of London was in Tier 3 lockdown and people were dying alone because of social distancing restrictions they had helped impose, has provoked a wide variety of responses.

Some have been humorous (be warned that the first clip includes part of the Wham! track Last Christmas, so if you’re playing Whamageddon you may not wish to hear it. The second clip is also based on that track but isn’t the track itself so you should be okay):

Some have been incredulous:

 

And some have been acidic:

But the only response that really counts is the effect on the electorate’s voting intention – and it’s not looking good for the Tories:

This is a reversal of the usual situation, which puts the Tories on around 40 per cent and Labour in the low 30s. Keir Starmer has certainly done nothing to make this happen so the responsibility lies entirely with Johnson.

And with the media full of people in North Shropshire telling us how they’re planning to turn their back on the Conservative by-election candidate because of Johnson, it may be only a matter of days before Tory MPs decide to ditch him.

It’s what they always do, when a leader becomes a liability. And there’s ample evidence that that is what he has become.

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Amid #ToryCorruption and #DowningStreetParty scandals, #BorisJohnson is running away AGAIN


Not just a filthy liar but a craven coward. What a wretched piece of verminous filth the UK has as a prime minister.

I refer of course to Boris Johnson, who is using the birth of his second child with wife Carrie (something like his eighth in total, although even he doesn’t seem sure) as an excuse to run away from all the scandals he has caused.

With people across the nation – including his own backbench MPs – screaming for his resignation over the lies he spat at us about the various Downing Street Christmas parties last year…

With Tory MPs across the board planning to rebel against the so-called “Plan B” Covid-19 restrictions he rushed to announce yesterday in a desperate and failed attempt to distract us from his wrongdoing…

With a by-election coming up next week that is being touted as a litmus test for public feeling on his unsuitability for office, even though it is in a Conservative “safe seat”…

He’s running away to “make time with his family”.

That is not the behaviour of a prime minister.

When a person enters public life, they understand that their personal issues – no matter what they are – must be considered of lesser importance.

That’s why all those Tory MPs who resigned because of legover scandals back in the 1980s always said they were looking forward to spending more time with their family (and why some of us laughed scornfully and asked “which one?”).

Johnson can be prime minister or he can be Mr Family Man. He can’t be both – especially when, as his spokesperson admitted “this is a particularly challenging time for the country”.

If he wants to run away from all the trouble he has caused, then he should resign as prime minister and as a member of Parliament. The UK will be far better-off without him blighting us.

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#BorisJohnson announces #Covid19 #PlanB – but does he really think anyone is listening?

Breaking: the look on Johnson’s face shows how desperately he’s hoping that this will distract us all from the fact that he’s a serial liar who inflicts stupid rules on us and ignores them himself. No such luck, bullsh*t boy!

Nobody in England is even slightly interested in what Boris Johnson had to say in his Covid-19 press conference at 6pm today.

Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle would have been, if the prime minister – for now – had held the event without bringing the proposals to Parliament – but the information was provided by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, as the broadcast went ahead.

As for everybody else – well, people are being urged to work from home wherever possible, starting on Monday, so that’ll be vetoed by bosses.

Face masks will be required in public settings like theatres and cinemas – except when eating, drinking, exercising or singing – from Friday. People will just walk away and do their own thing. I understand a lot of farmyard barns may be empty this winter, due to Brexit, so perhaps people will party it up there instead of anywhere someone will be checking up on them.

And Covid passports will be required for entry into large entertainment venues. Again, people are more likely to stay away and do their own thing.

Alternatively, the operators may simply refuse to enforce Johnson’s new rules.

Why?

Because nobody has any reason to pay attention to Boris Johnson any more.

As the prime minister’s former colleague, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, says: trust in Johnson has eroded beyond redemption:

This means the biggest danger to public health in the UK at the moment is Boris Johnson, not Covid-19 or any of its variants including Omicron.

The measures he has announced today may be sensible, for all anybody knows, but that doesn’t matter.

People will ignore them because he is the one who says they’re necessary, and he’s a liar who just says whatever comes into his head to get him out of trouble like the Downing Street party scandal.

Why else do you think he’s announcing them now?

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Aftershocks of the Paterson scandal: qui bono?**

Owen Paterson: he quit his job as an MP, but will he – and his corrupt Tory party – be REWARDED for it?

If you’ve been locked away for the past couple of days, here’s the situation:

The primary result of Paterson’s fall is that there will be a by-election in North Shropshire.

No indeed. It will be an opportunity for Keir Starmer to parachute his ex-Tory trophy John Bercow in (perhaps), but Bercow would not be an acceptable choice for the Labour Left, so such a decision may lead to a further split in that party.

Labour has refused to countenance the possibility of a single Opposition candidate, chosen from among all the non-Tory parties. Presumably Starmer sees no advantage for him, especially if such a candidate – from another party – wins and then reneges on any agreements.

So the Conservatives are likely to retain North Shropshire, even if they put up a shaved monkey for the seat (and they probably will) – because the other parties are squabbling among themselves.

Meanwhile, the Tories who are actually occupying Parliamentary seats have been disgracing themselves all over the place. Here’s Nadhim Zahawi, admitting that he didn’t bother to read the report on Owen Paterson’s behaviour before voting to support him last Wednesday (November 3).

Note his scrabbling attempt to backtrack with a claim that he didn’t take in every detail. It’s nonsense, of course; he didn’t read the report. He was told to support Paterson so he did, without thinking. That’s Fascist Britain for you.

Here’s a good question:

The fact is that Zahawi would not have been able to answer, as he would know that either position would be unsafe for him.

Still, his choice seems to have been less difficult than that faced by other Tory MPs who (presumably) were leaning against supporting Paterson.

We are told that they were threatened with sanctions if they didn’t vote the way Boris Johnson wanted:

So much for justice, honesty and decency in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government. Even if you’re on his side, you have to do what you’re told, without thinking, or face sanctions. There’s another fairly recent national government that did much the same but I can’t quite recall where it was…

To prove the point, Tory Angela Richardson was fire from her job as a secretary to Michael Gove, because she stuck to her principles and refused to support Paterson. The following morning, when it had become clear that the Tories would not be able to save him and their plan to corrupt the standards system had failed, she was reinstated:

One would hope that her stand would put her in a much better position than her blindly line-toeing colleagues (including This Writer’s MP, Fay Jones. I’d like to know her reasons for supporting corruption!) in a general election. But in tribal England, that seems unlikely. Sad.

And what of Owen Paterson himself?

Perhaps we should all lobby the production team of HIGNFY, never to invite a corrupt, disgraced former MP to guest on the show?

As for the knighthood, why stop there?

So it seems he’ll be heading for the House of Lords – which is already bursting at the seams with Tories after previous efforts by David Cameron and Boris Johnson to fill the place with people who don’t deserve to be there:

Crime really does pay in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, doesn’t it?*

It seems the Tories will keep the Parliamentary seat that their corrupt MP just vacated, even though their conduct throughout the affair shows that none of them deserve to be in Parliament at all.

And Paterson himself is set up for a nice little peerage and more than £300 per day for turning up at the House of Lords.

*All right, what he did is not defined as a crime, otherwise he would be facing criminal charges. But it is certainly not acceptable behaviour, as this entire affair demonstrates.

**What an illiterate! I meant cui bono. After realising my mistake I decided to leave it in, mostly because I reckon more people might read the article, simply to correct my spelling! What a world we live in.

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Racist Patel strikes again: Jamaicans are being targeted for deportation by Home Office

Patel: see the posters behind her? The only UK aid she likes is helping foreigners off British soil. Odd, considering she is herself the daughter of immigrants.

Priti Patel’s Home Office has been disproportionately targeting Jamaicans for deportation.

And it seems clear officials know their actions are racist. Otherwise why would they have spent a year trying to withhold the information after The Guardian made a simple Freedom of Information request?

Jamaicans are 10 per cent more likely to be deported than people from other countries, even though the same rule applies to all of them:

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, foreign nationals who are jailed for a single offence for at least 12 months will normally be considered for deportation on their release, with exceptions under human rights rules – for example, having children in the UK, and for people who have been trafficked.

A comparison of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Home Office data between 2015 and 2020 showed that once people from European Economic Area countries were excluded, as they are not covered by the act, an average of 65% of overseas nationals jailed for at least 12 months were deported.

For Jamaican nationals, this proportion rose to 75%, however, despite the much greater likelihood of their having significant ties to the UK. For other former British colonies in the Caribbean, such as Trinidad and Tobago, and St Lucia, the rates were higher still.

The statistics also showed that 90% of Nigerian nationals were deported, and 76% of those from Ghana. For Albanians, the rate was 90%, and for Vietnamese nationals 84%.

Concern has also been registered about deportations to Albania and Vietnam, which have known issues with human trafficking connected to organised crime.

The Guardian reported that it had only been able to publish its findings after “a year-long freedom of information battle”:

While the MoJ supplied the information within weeks, the Home Office refused, saying that to do so would be “likely to prejudice diplomatic relations between the UK and a foreign government”, and could hamper the operation of immigration controls.

The Guardian appealed to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which ruled against the Home Office, calling the department’s arguments “vague” and “generic”, and noting that no attempt had been made to substantiate them. “The commissioner will not accept at face value assertions made by a public authority that, in her view, require a proper and fuller explanation,” the ruling stated.

Even now, the Home Office has tried to justify its disproportionate targeting of people from Jamaica: “We do not target specific countries.”

The record states otherwise – because the Windrush scandal showed how the Home Office deliberately destroyed records proving that people of Jamaican origin had the right to remain in the UK, and then pursued an aggressive policy of deportation against them.

It seems Priti Patel has kept up the deportations, despite protestations of fairness.

Source: Disproportionate targeting of Jamaicans for deportation from UK, data suggests | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian

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Mythbusting: nurse(?) makes mistake over ‘Do Not Resuscitate’

Ventilator: people with long-term illnesses, disabilities and learning disabilities are still being denied resuscitation by the NHS – and one nurse, at least, has denied the existence of this scandal.

I can’t let this pass.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on June 16, Peterborough’s Tory MP Paul Bristow asked an important question about “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) orders that have been made on NHS patients during the Covid-19 crisis.

Having reported on this scandal many times on This Site, I tweeted in response:

I was surprised and saddened when this provoked the following response from a Twitter user who identifies as a nurse (I won’t reproduce the tweet here because I do not wish to identify that person):

“Are you a healthcare professional?

“No.

“Then do not spread false theories about something you obviously know nothing about.”

I attempted to put my critic straight – as politely as possible, in the circumstances:

“I am a news reporter of nearly 30 years experience and have been covering this story from the start. I DO know the facts here. And I see that, since you provide no information to support your insult, you probably don’t. Go well.”

Sadly, this person would not take the (rather overt) hint and came back at me:

You have confirmed it.

It is a story.

I do not have the time, inclination or room on twitter to “provide you with information” only to say that I have 30 years experience as a nurse and have a postgraduate qualification in Professional Practice

Then this is a person who ought to have known better. The claim, “It is a story,” was an attempt to downplay the DNR deaths as fiction, and I wasn’t having that. Also the refusal to support a claim with factual information is a classic tactic by trolls who don’t have any facts to offer.

So I responded (again):

“And how does that better qualify you to comment on this? I’ve done the research so I know my facts. It isn’t fiction.”

And again this person came back at me:

Ok then would you attempt CPR on a five stone frail old woman? Am not going to carry on with this because I’m afraid you just don’t know what you’re on about

This is misleading, and a lie. Allow me to explain.

Mr Bristow’s question is available  to read in Hansard, here. He said: “Last year, doctors and care settings issued an unprecedented number of “do not resuscitate” orders to patients with learning disabilities and mental illness. Many were unlawful and caused avoidable deaths.

“Despite urgent Care Quality Commission and NHS guidance, shockingly, this practice has continued. Last week, The Telegraph reported that Sonia Deleon died unresuscitated. Her family said she was given a DNR without them knowing, and with her learning disabilities and schizophrenia stated as reasons.

“Does the Prime Minister share my alarm about these cases, which should have no place in our care, and does he agree that they should be independently investigated?”

I won’t bother to repeat Boris Johnson’s response as he made no undertaking to prevent further abuses of DNR orders.

It was clear that the issue here was not the safety of attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on a person who may suffer as much harm in that attempt as by the condition that had caused them to need reviving.

It was a political choice to deny health care to people dying with Covid-19, because they have learning (or other) disabilities. It seems to have been considered an opportunity to clear many thousands of so-called “useless eaters” from the UK’s benefit books.

Sonia Deleon’s story is a classic example; you can read about it here.

In brief, almost a year after it was revealed that a policy was in place to deny NHS Covid-19 care to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities – and NHS bosses then claimed to have warned hospitals, GPs and NHS managers not to make such orders on these people, Sonia Deleon was deliberately allowed to die because a DNR order on her had been made.

Hospital authorities claimed that it the order had been agreed with Ms Deleon’s family but they deny this strenuously.

Ms Deleon had learning disabilities and the circumstances of her death are not only a scandal in themselves but are a continuation of a national disgrace.

And I was criticised for highlighting this atrocity – by someone claiming to be a nurse.

I won’t take this matter further by seeking to identify the NHS trust for which this person works and requesting that they be reminded of the facts and properly disciplined for trying to mislead the public. I may change my mind if any further attempts at deception result from this article.

But I will take the opportunity to request that anybody who has relatives living with a long-term illness or disability, or a learning disability, should contact the NHS and ensure that orders equivalent to death sentences have not been applied to their loved ones without their knowledge.

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Hancock pledges payouts over infected blood scandal – like those the Windrush victims are still awaiting?

Matt Hancock: would you believe a promise by this man?

Matt Hancock has promised that the government will pay compensation to people infected by contaminated blood products – and their families – if a public inquiry into the scandal demands it.

What a pretty promise!

Here it is:

The health secretary told the inquiry: “I respect the process of the inquiry and I will respect its recommendations, and should the inquiry’s recommendations point to compensation, then of course we will pay compensation.”

This Site has reported on the infected blood scandal before, and the Guardian‘s account of it is as good as any:

As many as 30,000 people became severely ill after being given factor VIII blood products contaminated with HIV and hepatitis C imported from the US in the 1970s and 80s. Others were exposed to tainted blood through transfusions or after childbirth. On average one person is dying every four days, with approximately 3,000 haemophiliacs having died to date.

The question is: why should we believe Hancock?

His record hardly speaks for his honesty.

And as for his government’s record on payouts… here’s the National Audit Office, discussing another recent scandal:

If the death rate really is as reported, then considering the government’s tardiness in stumping up compensation cash…

I wonder if any of the victims will see a single brass farthing before they die.

Source: Infected blood scandal: Hancock pledges payouts if advised by inquiry | Contaminated blood scandal | The Guardian

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The vast majority of Windrush Scandal victims have yet to be compensated by a government that doesn’t care

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 couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

This is scathing – and it comes from the National Audit Office, no less:

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Who gave Boris Johnson the money to pay for Downing Street renovation?

Cheese Queen Liz Truss made a very interesting revelation to Andrew Marr about the renovation of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat.

But it wasn’t in what she said – it was in what she didn’t.

Referring to a claim by former prime ministerial advisor Dominic Cummings that Johnson encouraged Tory donors to help pay for the redecoration, she said he had funded the changes himself.

This is entirely in line with what Cummings stated. He said Johnson had planned “to have donors secretly pay for the renovation”. What better way for them to do so than by giving money to Johnson, which he could then pay towards the changes as if the cash had come from him?

You see, when This Site reported on the funding of the redecoration job last month, the issue was why Johnson had not declared the money that had been spent on it. I wrote:

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has been accused of having misled Parliament by failing to provide details of funding for renovations to his official Downing Street flat.

The allegation is that private donations to the Conservative Party totalling £60,000 have been used as part of £200,000 worth of refurbishments to the flat.

If so, it should have been reported to the Electoral Commission, because the Ministerial Code demands that “a statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly”. The last such statement appeared last July, eight months ago.

I went on to say it seemed clear that Johnson had knowingly breached the Code in failing to declare the sources of funding for the flat.

That in itself, for MPs, is a resignation-level offence.

If donors had provided the money for this purpose, that would also have put Johnson in breach of the Ministerial Code because it isn’t allowed.

But how would Johnson have been able to afford it, otherwise?

It isn’t very long since we heard Johnson was complaining that his prime ministerial salary wasn’t enough to pay for all his outgoings:

And he suddenly had enough in his back pocket to fork out (allegedly) £60,000 to wallpaper a government-owned flat?

Don’t mock my intelligence, Cheesy Liz.

Source: Boris Johnson covered Downing Street flat renovation from his own pocket, says Liz Truss – BBC News

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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