Tag Archives: shock

Ignorant Johnson fails to apologise after Nazanin tells him she lived in ‘shadow of his words’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: when she explained to Boris Johnson how his ill-chosen and false comments in 2017 affected her experience of jail in Iran, he affected shock – and refused to apologise.

Boris Johnson’s ignorance and hubris really do know no bounds.

Faced with first-hand information about the effect his personal stupidity had on a woman who had been falsely jailed in Iran, he affected shock – not that he had caused such harm, it seems, but that he was being criticised.

And he failed to apologise.

Johnson had been accused of lengthening her ordeal when, as foreign secretary in 2017, he wrongly claimed she had been training journalists at the time of her arrest in 2016.

Four days after Johnson’s damaging remarks as foreign secretary, she was summoned before an unscheduled court hearing, where his comments were cited as proof that she was engaged in “propaganda against the regime”.

The incident took place at a meeting between Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, together with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella, and Boris Johnson in Downing Street on Friday (May 13):

Mr Ratcliffe said his wife challenged the Prime Minister on “why did it take so long” to secure her release.

She also told him the “massive impact” his comments had on her, even saying the Iranian authorities brought Mr Johnson’s words up during interrogation shortly before her release.

Asked if the Prime Minister apologised, Mr Ratcliffe responded: “Not specifically.”

Nazanin’s MP, Tulip Siddiq, was also at the meeting:

“I was really proud of Nazanin. She was sitting next to the Prime Minister, and she told him very clearly and categorically that his words had had a big impact on her and that she had lived in the shadow of his words for the best part of four-and-a-half years,” Ms Siddiq said.

“I have to say the Prime Minister looked quite shocked, I think, when she said that, but I was really proud she did say that because… there was a time when the words had a big impact.”

Ms Siddiq [said] that her constituent “didn’t mince words” with the Prime Minister, saying his comments had “haunted her for four-and-a-half years”.

The family urged Johnson to give evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into the Government’s handling of the case. He said he would look at it, which probably means no.

They also pressed him to help free the other Iranian dual nationals still being held in detention.

Nobody seemed to touch on the alleged reason Nazanin was freed – that the UK had paid more than £400 million owed to Iran for the failed sale of military equipment back in the 1970s.

If that was in fact the case, then Johnson will not be able to repeat it. This Writer fears that his answer to the second request will also, therefore, be no.

So ends another contemptible contribution to the failures of the UK’s worst-ever leadership failure.

Source: PM does not apologise after Nazanin tells him she lived in ‘shadow of his words’ | The Independent

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Tories deliberately refuse to record the effects of their cruelty to the poor – it is surprising that this still shocks people

Food banks distribute food, sanitary products and other vital day-to-day items [Image: Newfrontiers via photopin cc].

For This Writer, the surprising aspect of this story is not that the DWP isn’t bothering to collect data on food bank use, but that luminaries like Peter Stefanovic, tweeting about it, find it “staggering” that they don’t:

Those of us who have been following the bizarre behaviour of the Department for Work and Pensions over the last seven years and more are now well aware of its self-blinding practices.

Look at the way the DWP refuses to check on the progress – or lack of it – of sickness and/or disability benefit claimants who have been thrown off their benefit, beyond a hugely-restrictive two-week period.

We know that many, many people are pushed into early graves, rather than jobs, by this behaviour – This Site has published story after story covering the fates of such people.

But the DWP, despite being aware of the stories, point-blank refuses to compile official figures on outcomes for people who have been denied state support.

It is therefore to be expected that the DWP will not collect information on the number of people who are forced to rely on foodbanks, either because the amount of money they receive from the state is not enough or because they don’t get any cash at all.

Then again, I heard a line in a film last night that the quality of a good reporter is the ability to be continually shocked at appalling behaviour that they should have come to expect. Clearly I’m not a good reporter any more.

But if I’m not a good reporter, the DWP’s performance – as a provider of help to those who need it – is diabolical.

The Tory government has been “turning a blind-eye” to the scale of foodbank use across the UK, the SNP has said – after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed that it did not collect any data on the number of people using foodbanks.

The staggering admission was revealed in response to an FOI request from the SNP – who have highlighted the oversight as proof of just how cruel and callous the Tory government is.

The Trussell Trust estimates that 1,182,954 people received three-day emergency food supplies in 2016-17, including 436,938 children, up from 40,898 before the Tories came to power in 2010 – an increase of 2792%.

Figures for the first half of this year show areas with full rollout of Universal Credit have seen a 30% increase in foodbank use compared to the previous year.

Source: Tories ‘turning a blind eye’ to rising foodbank use, says SNP


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