Tag Archives: Sky

Your Tory government: social security minister couldn’t show sympathy for mum who starved to death

Therese Coffey: this fat (let’s be honest about it) Tory showed that she couldn’t care less about a human being who starved to death because of the decisions of her Tory colleagues.

Therese Coffey is a shining example of Tory inhumanity when faced with the suffering of others, isn’t she?

You’ll be aware of the tragedy of Mercy Baguma, the refugee mother who died after the Home Office removed her right to remain in the UK, depriving her of the means to support herself.

Coffey – your secretary of state for Work and Pensions, remember, and therefore the minister who should be most associated with compassion, failed no less than three times to show any human feeling for the lady her government starved to death.

The Liverpool Echo provides the details:

Dr Coffey said: “I think I know the situation and its a lady with immigration status that may have changed. This really is a matter for the Home Office to decide. I’m concious that people can also apply for changes to their status with the Home Office, if they are struggling with aspects of that.”

Asked again to show some compassion for a woman who starved to death next to her baby, Dr Coffey again refused, stating: “I don’t know the ins and outs, I know it happened in Glasgow fairly recently – but really the Home Office is the place that decides on this.”

Given yet another chance to show some humanity, [Kay] Burley asked ‘what sort of society are we when a woman can starve to death next to her child?’

“What I’m trying to say Kay is that when people are in very difficult situations and are looking to the government for help, there are ways they can access that help.”

After a final attempt to draw some compassion from the Minister, the Sky host eventually gave up.

Viewers were shocked at the cold-hearted responses to such a tragic story.

And so they should be.

The simple fact is that Ms Coffey does not think there is anything wrong with somebody she considers to be a lower form of life starving to death.

I don’t mean a person of a different race, or from a different country, either.

I refer to a person in a different income bracket.

Bear in mind that, unless your are exceptionally rich, you are also a lower form of life, as far as Therese Coffey is concerned.

She couldn’t care less if you live or die – even if she happened to be responsible for it.

Source: DWP boss refuses sympathy for mum who died next to starving child – Liverpool Echo

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Never mind Sky – has Rupert Murdoch bought Theresa May?

Has Rupert Murdoch bought the UK prime minister’s complicity in his business dealings?

We’ll know soon enough, with his bid to take over the 61 per cent of Sky that he does not yet own.

Mrs May met Mr Murdoch during a flying visit to New York in September – a meeting that many political commentators considered curious, as she is not normally close with the mass media.

Since then, the right-wing media have been hugely supportive of the Conservatives while highly critical of Labour – which is nothing unusual. But would it have been different depending on the outcome of that meeting?

Commentators on Twitter want to know what happened:

Questions about the meeting were asked in Parliament yesterday (December 12).

Concerns have been raised that nothing has changed in Mr Murdoch’s organisation since his last attempt was rejected, several years ago.

And Ofcom has been urged to apply the test of whether Mr Murdoch is a “fit and proper person” to enjoy the huge influence over the UK’s media that full ownership of Sky would confer.

I think we all know the answer to that one!

Theresa May has been asked to reveal whether she has discussed with Rupert Murdoch his new bid to takeover BSKYB.

On Friday the billionaire’s 21st Century Fox company made a fresh £11.2bn offer to take control of the 61% of Sky it does not already own.

His 2011 bid was derailed after it emerged journalists from the News of the World had engaged in phone hacking.

Speaking in the Commons today, Labour’s shadow culture minister Kevin Brennan said voters needed to know “whose side the government is on” and said the bid should be referred to broadcast regulator Ofcom.

Source: Theresa May Pressed To Reveal Details Of Rupert Murdoch Meeting Ahead Of BSKYB Bid

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TV debates: New format proposed but will Cameron come back?

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David Cameron is facing one of the biggest challenges of his political career – now that the TV companies have offered to include the Green Party (and others) in the televised election debates, is he man enough to take part?

Cameron scampered off like a startled rabbit when he realised he could use the Green Party’s exclusion as a reason not to participate, but now broadcasters have put forward new proposals which include the Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

The BBC and ITV would stage debates involving the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, UKIP, SNP and Plaid, while Sky and Channel 4 will go ahead with their plan to host a head-to-head between Cameron and Ed Miliband – if Cameron has the guts for it.

However, he still has two possible escape routes – the Democrat Unionist Party will be writing to the BBC and other broadcasters to ask why it is not being included when it has more seats than the three parties that have now been included. Will he demand its inclusion as well?

And Cameron has said he is not happy with the dates being offered for the debates – April 2, 16 and 30 – saying they should take place before the official, ‘short’, campaign begins.

Who thinks he’ll chicken out again?

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Gaza conflict provokes the weak-minded to assault the innocent

Reality check: All you need to know about this issue is wrapped up in the fact that Vox Politicl had to add the words "NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY" to an image that should - obviously - be treated as satirical.

Reality check: All you need to know about this issue is wrapped up in the fact that Vox Political had to add the words “NOT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!” to an image that should – obviously – be treated as satirical.

What a paradox: While the Jewish state of Israel is criticised for treating Palestinian Muslims the way Hitler’s Germany treated them, history is repeating itself for British Jews who are being targeted for exactly the same treatment.

Gaza means Jews across the world may now be perceived as both perpetrators and victims.

Antisemitic attacks in the UK were up 42 per cent on the previous six months in July, because idiots can’t tell the difference between citizens of Israel and British Jews.

Attacks on Jewish people in the UK between January and June had already risen by 36 per cent.

Undoubtedly the increase in hate crime, described by Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust (in The Guardian) as a “wave of racist intimidation and violence”, has been fuelled by media coverage of the Israeli military action in Gaza that began in early July.

Mainstream media such as the BBC and Sky News have been criticised for one-sided reporting in favour of the Palestinian political group Hamas, and condemnation of the Israeli government has been widespread.

It is easy to understand why, when one examines the casualty figures: Almost 2,000 Palestinians have died, while the Jewish casualties number less than 100. Tens of thousands of people attended a rally in condemnation of these deaths in London yesterday (Saturday).

What has gone unnoticed – especially by the antisemitic thugs – is that Jewish communities in the UK are also “filled with grief for the people of Gaza”. As Rabbi Miriam Berger states in The Independent, “No Jew in Britain could possibly relish this loss of life.”

While she also expresses the belief that Israel needs to defend its citizens from attack, this simply shows how confused the situation has become. As this blog has stated, the conflict is a squabble over land between political organisations – Hamas and the Israeli government. Religion has very little to do with it.

British Jews are citizens of the UK, not Israel. They have nothing to do with the political process in that – foreign – country and it is clear that many of them disapprove of actions that have led to such a marked loss of life.

It is to all our shame that they have fallen foul of the kind of people who cannot distinguish fantasy from reality. These thugs would probably attack a soap actor in the street if a storyline made a villain of their character.

Demonising people who have done nothing wrong will only make a horrifying situation even worse.

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The great Leveson whitewash

Lord Justice Leveson, delivering his speech.

Oh, all right – greywash.

Please note: This is an initial reaction to the Leveson report, based on Lord Justice Leveson’s speech today (November 29). The report itself is 2,000 pages long and may contain much more that is of interest to us. But that will have to wait for another day.

Lord Justice Leveson has come out with his report which, in effect, advocates as little change to current press regulation as he thought he could get away with.

Jeremy Hunt, the Murdochs, George Osborne and David Cameron can all sleep comfortably tonight, in the knowledge that the skeletons in their closets have not been disturbed.

Leveson wants the press governed by a new self-regulatory body, underpinned by legislation, containing no serving editors or politicians.

But he says incidents in which the press have corrupted politicians or police are exceptions to the rule, and that the norm is a “robust” (he said that word a lot) relationship.

He said: “The lawbreaking in this area is typically hidden, with the victims unaware of what has happened… I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that corruption by the press is a widespread problem in relation to the police; however, I have identified issues to be addressed.”

On the relationship between press and politicians, he recommended steps to create greater transparency “so there is no risk of even the perception of bias”.

He said: “In a number of respects, the relationship between politicians and the press has been too close, conducted out of the public eye, between policymakers and those who stand to benefit.

“The power of the press to affect political fortunes may be used to affect policy. That undermines the belief in policy decisions being made genuinely in the public interest.”

I suppose you could say he did criticise the government with this line: “The press is entitled to lobby in its own interests, but it is the responsibility of the politicians to ensure their decisions are in the public interest. Their dealings with the press should be open and transparent and the public should have understanding of the process.”

That certainly hasn’t happened with regard to the relationships between David Cameron and either Andy Coulson or Rebekah Brooks, or the relationships of both Mr Cameron and George Osborne with the Murdochs, or indeed that of former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt with News Corporation/News International!

I don’t think his proposals will work. I think the transgressors will keep on doing what they have been doing, and the politicians will continue to pander to them because they influence the popular vote.

I would like to have seen Leveson criticise a situation that has seen powerful newspaper magnates worm their way into the retinues of ministers and even the Prime Minister; and especially welcome would be a request for an explanation, from the PM, of his over-close relationship with the former chief executive of News International, Rebekah Brooks, who is even now awaiting trial for alleged criminal acts.

I would also like to see Leveson demand disclosure of the emails and texts that Mr Cameron did not provide to the inquiry or otherwise make public. What does he have to hide? Also, since the Prime Minister should be above reproach, should we conclude that his continued opacity in this regard is an admission that he is culpable of something, and therefore should we not demand his removal from office?

Instead, Leveson seems to have drawn a line under what happened. It is future relationships that he wants to safeguard. For those involved in the phone hacking scandals and the relationship between the Murdoch organisation and the Conservative Party, this means there will always be doubt in the public mind. Mr Cameron has lost public trust over this.

I would like to have seen Leveson question the way newspaper reporters have managed to get inside information from police forces across the country, because this raises serious issues about the corruptibility of our boys in blue. It takes two people to hand over confidential information – the one who’s asking for it and the one who provides it.

Perhaps that will follow but I doubt it. Despite Lord Justice Leveson’s beliefs, it seems this affair has damaged public perception of the police – as a whole – as well.

Omnishambles, omnishambles, omnishambles

Feeling tired? Don’t worry, Vince Van Winkle, we’ve got a cosy place in the Cabinet for you, next to Ken ‘Can’t Keep My Eyes Open’ Clarke!

Before the general election in 2010, David Cameron reminded us that Tony Blair had summed up his ambitions in three words, “Education, education, education”, then said he could manage his in three letters: “N.H.S.”

How wrong he was!

We now know that the correct three-word slogan would have been: “Omnishambles, omnishambles, omnishambles”!

Here’s three examples of Coalition government ineptitude that have fallen onto my desk during this morning alone.

1. The government is having to shred £350,000 worth of ballot papers for the Welsh police and crime commissioner elections after a late decision to print them in both English and Welsh.

There really is no excuse for this. I know for a fact that Labour and, I believe, Plaid Cymru were both pushing for bilingual ballots, months before now.

When Christine Gwyther heard the Home Office did not have Parliamentary approval for bi-lingual ballot papers and information to voters, she immediately took steps to rectify the matter, writing to Bryn Parry-Jones, the returning officer, who agreed to pursue it on an all-Wales basis. She told Labour’s Brecon and Radnorshire constituency party the story at its meeting in September, which was one and a half months ago at the time of writing.

The government says the cost will be met from the £75 million election budget. I find this unconscionable. People across the country are getting into terrible states of anxiety over how to afford an extra £20 or £30 a month due to benefit cuts (of which more in a moment), but this government is prepared to throw away hundreds of thousands of pounds because its members couldn’t be bothered to make a perfectly simple decision in a reasonable amount of time.

Shambles.

2. A senior Downing Street aide has quit working for David Cameron in order to join Wonga.com, the loan company that charges bizarrely exorbitant rates of interest – more than 4,000 per cent. This is according to Sky News.

Jonathan Luff has done this, allegedly, at a time when the Office of Fair Trading is trying to crack down on payday lenders and concern is high about the industry’s business practices. The question is whether the move will give Wonga inappropriate access to ministerial decision-makers.

I guess we’ll find out, if the issue mysteriously goes away in the immediate future, with no explanation.

Already, critics have denounced the move as a sign of what Conservative supporters are really interested in – not the good of the country, but the size of their bank accounts.

Shambles.

3. Finally, in an article on this very blog, I seem to have revealed ambiguities in the plan for the new, so-called “bedroom tax” that could add tens, if not hundreds of pounds to the cost for people renting council- or social houses.

It seems that it is unclear whether the amounts to be removed from housing benefit – 14 per cent for one extra bedroom, 25 per cent for two or more – are to be taken from the amount of benefit being paid, or from the total rent being paid on the property. One of my readers tells me that Cornwall Council has taken the latter stance, meaning a loss of £21 per week for the first spare bedroom, £29 per week for two – considerably more than the advertised average of £14 per week.

Social housing provider Bromford, on the other hand, states clearly that it is a household’s housing benefit entitlement that will be cut, which seems to make it clear that it is a percentage of the benefit, not the full rent.

One wonders whether the government will stir itself to provide a definitive answer before the new rules come into practice next April. I shall not be holding my breath in anticipation.

Oh, and households with students away from home for less than 52 weeks per year – exempted under the new rules – will find that Cornwall Council doesn’t see it that way, either. from the form letter: “If you have an extra bedroom(s) for children who don’t live with you full time, the Government will count this as a spare bedroom and your benefit will be cut.”

Omnishambles.

Bubbling under, we have the accusation against Business Secretary Vince Cable that he slept through the new Cabinet Growth Committee’s meetings, as he seems to know nothing about them despite being, as I understand it, the vice-chair.

Coming soon: Borishambles.