Tag Archives: social

#BackBoris ? Responses to this hashtag show people would rather back OVER him

Another bid to rehabilitate Boris Johnson bites the dust.

The idea behind #BackBoris appears to have been to rally support for Boris Johnson by concentrating on his successes – whatever they were! – and minimising the importance of the Downing Street parties; the deceit and corruption they represent.

But a hashtag is available for anyone to see, and those among us who know the facts about Boris Johnson could not resist the opportunity to restore the balance.

The results are for all to see – as follows:

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Confirmed: #JacobReesMogg party video was made THIS year – and was still in extremely poor taste

Jacob Rees-Mogg: It’s all very funny to him.

A video of Jacob Rees-Mogg joking at a party about whether police would investigate it, and about non-existent social distancing, was made in 2021, not 2020, according to the MP.

Rees-Mogg was shown in a clip to be making jokes that proved to be in extremely poor taste, after the video of Allegra Stratton laughing and joking about the party that happened in Downing Street on December 18 last year was made available to the public.

Here’s the Rees-Mogg clip:

Many people – including This Writer – were led to believe that the Rees-Mogg clip was made a year ago, because of the proximity of its release to that of the other video. The comment about “a year’s time” might have been considered an obvious indicator that it was current, but it was also entirely possible that someone back then might speculate on how long it would take for such a thing to go public, so some of us erred on the side of condemnation.

It’s still extremely poor taste. Rees-Mogg was still laughing it up at the expense of everybody who died during the Christmas restrictions last year, and of everybody who lost loved ones at that time. So were all the other attendees at the Institute of Economic Affairs (remember that name) think tank party where the clip was taken, who can be heard appreciatively guffawing at his callous so-called humour.

Guidelines in force at the time didn’t demand social distancing but did urge people to consider the risks of close contact. They can be seen standing shoulder-to-shoulder, and Rees-Mogg himself makes light of it. Won’t it be a shame if there’s a Covid-19 outbreak there as a result?

Rees-Mogg himself has since spoken up – not to apologise, but to justify the extreme offence he caused.

He said: “What I was saying was how nice it was to be free of restrictions so that we can have parties this year. That was what I was being pleased about.”

No – he was taking the piss out of everybody who followed the rules over the last nearly two years by laughing about how nobody had to follow them at that party.

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Do working-class Tories realise their government is going to take away their homes?

The Tory decision to charge people £86,000 up-front for social care casts a new perspective on the Conservative Party’s policy on housing from the 1970s onward.

Margaret Thatcher’s government was very hot on giving us all the “right to buy” our homes, including council houses, thereby reducing the amount of social housing available and increasing homelessness.

The buyers were told the purchases would be investments that they could pass on to their successors.

Thatcher’s – and successive – Conservative governments were also opposed to state-run social care. They passed it into private hands with a series of increasingly-inadequate funding agreements that have led to the plan in the Health and Care Bill.

So it seems the plan has always been to fool working-class people into spending their money on houses that would be taken away from them again in their old age; if these dwellings had remained as council housing, it would not have been possible to demand them as payment.

And now we are seeing messages like this.

How many millions of people like Sir Norman of Nowhere’s Dad are there, out in the United Kingdom right now, ignoring the fact that their own political decisions will ruin their retirements (or earlier life, depending on whether they need social care before then)?

What a breathtakingly evil long-term plan.

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Tories vote in changes that make social care free for the rich – while the poor lose everything

“I’m going to apply the pincers and drag every last penny out of the poor”: Boris Johnson explains how he’ll make sure rich people don’t have to pay a penny towards their social care, so they can pass their millionaire mansions to their kids.

You would never know what has happened, from the way the BBC reported it.

Boris Johnson’s Tory government has gone ahead and approved a plan to make the poorest people in the UK pay for the social care of the richest.

It means rich people will be able to pass their huge mansions to their children while poor people will have to sell their houses to pay for their social care.

Here’s how it works: from October 2023, nobody will pay more than £86,000 for care costs (excluding accommodation) in their lifetime.

Once people have paid this amount – a pittance for the extremely rich – their ongoing costs will be paid by local authorities. Those with between £20,000 and £100,000 in assets will get means-tested help from their council; those will less than £20,000 won’t have to pay from their assets but might have to contribute from their income – an additional burden for low-earners.

It means people are still likely to have to sell their houses to pay for care – unless they are rich.

Meanwhile an increase in National Insurance contributions to pay for social care will be dragged exclusively from the poor. Richer people won’t have to pay a penny more.

How did the BBC report this?

MPs have backed a change to the way the government’s cap on lifetime social care costs for people in England will work.

They supported excluding council support payments from the new £86,000 cap by 272 votes to 246.

Labour and other opposition parties argued this would unfairly hit the poor, while some Conservatives raised doubts about the proposal.

But the PM insisted the new system would still be “incredibly generous”.

It’s not a total lie – the new system will be “incredibly generous” – to people who are incredibly rich.

Everybody else loses out. But the BBC didn’t mention that.

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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Spot the hypocrisy in the Labour Party’s latest messaging

Can you really believe Labour will reform anything when Keir Starmer is being worked like a ventriloquist’s dummy by Tony Blair and other New Labour gits?

Try to hold back your mirth as you read the following genuine social media post from the Labour Party. Jackie Walker’s response nails it:

Of course it is – as we’ve all seen this week with the revelation that Labour – Starmer’s Labour, let’s not forget – passed information about thousands of members and ex-members to a “third party” that officials are refusing to name, only for those recipients to lose the information, apparently to a ransomware criminal.

It is corrupt of Labour to have kept information about those of us who have left the party.

It is corrupt of Labour to have passed that information to anybody else without our knowledge and consent.

And now it is corrupt of Labour to refuse to name the “third party” concerned or tell us what restitution it will provide to the thousands of people it has wronged.

On a week when Labour has betrayed its members so badly, it is in no position to lecture anybody about corruption.

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Patel lies about David Amess as she demands removal of social media anonymity

Hate: it was naked on Priti Patel’s face during her Tory conference speech, yet she talks about closing anonymous social media accounts to end it. She speaks with a forked tongue.

The hypocrisy is bald and blatant:

In fact, we know who wants to remove social media anonymity – it’s Priti Patel. But government sources of stories to news media would keep their anonymity, meaning huge opportunities to mislead the public will still be available to them. Remember the false claim that three Labour MPs were going to defect to the Conservatives during conference season?

Patel made her claim during an interview on Sky News, in response to the stabbing of David Amess.

She said there had been a “coarsening” of the public debate (without acknowledging the role that recent Tory governments have played in it) and added:

We can’t carry on like this. I spend too much time with communities who have been under attack, basically who have had all sorts of postings online and it is a struggle to get those posts taken down.

We want to make some big changes on that.

And she said:

This is about wider public discourse and I would also go as far to say social media, anonymity on social media, where we’re members of parliament are subjects of some of the most cruel comments attacks.

And they are relentless, many of them are relentless.

My colleagues go through just some of the most appalling attacks I’ve seen online and I have as well.

Off the top of my head, This Writer doesn’t recall Patel ever showing any concern about the enormous volume of hate sent to Diane Abbott on a regular basis. But then, Ms Abbott is a black female Labour MP and not a white male Tory knight – so it seems other rules apply.

And there’s an elephant in this room. Why is Patel suggesting a crackdown on anonymous social media accounts when the suspect in the Amess murder, Ali Harbi Ali, has not used one?

According to a YouGov poll, a majority of people think there should be curbs on anonymity…

… and This Writer is not a fan of unmonitored anonymity, having been a victim of online hate myself.

But I would not seek to ban online anonymity. I would suggest that those who wanted to be anonymous registered for it, and if social media platforms received verifiable complaints about their activities – in other words, if they were caught abusing others, that privilege may be removed.

The reason for this should be clear to everybody but if it isn’t, read the following:

And of course removing online anonymity will only increase the imbalance between the privileged and the rest of us:

Again: I have certainly been a victim of online abuse organised by people on Twitter with blue ticks next to their name. I am not aware of any instance when that organisation has acted on complaints against these “celebrities”.

So it seems that, rather than acting to end online abuse, Ms Patel is trying to increase the ability of the rich and privileged to cause such abuse, while ending any chance for ordinary people to defend themselves.

And let’s not forget that this is coming from the minister who wants to “turn back the boats” of refugees coming to the UK, exposing children to the possibility of drowning at sea, while granting her employees who cause such deaths immunity from prosecution:

Hate – whether online or in real life – has always been a tool of the Tories and Patel’s words stand on their heads. She may say she wants to shut it down but in fact it seems clear that she wants to increase it.

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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Also in the news: Starmer’s racist Labour accuses Jews of anti-Semitism

“Keith”: this is just one comment on the way Starmer treats members of his own party who support the values on which Labour was formed, rather than the twisted parody that he leads.

Labour has become a farce under Keir Starmer; its false-flag attack on party members is once again accusing Jews of anti-Semitism – some of them for a second time.

A quick glance down the list of those accused (see this Skwawkbox article) provides familiar names: Leah Levane, Jenny Manson, Graham Bash, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Mike Cushman, Glyn Secker, Jonathan Rosenhead, Stephen Marks, Diana Neslen, Marion Roberts, Tony Booth.

Some of these have been targets of the Labour witch-hunt for years. In supporting this latest offence (and believe me, despite his claim to be stepping back from disciplinary matters in accordance with EHRC demands, he’s in this up to his armpits), Keir Starmer is disgracing himself, the disciplinary farce over which he presides, and every single member of the Labour Party who is allowing it to continue.

Also in the news recently:

Petition launched for Boris Johnson to fix the social care crisis – because he still hasn’t

Yes, Johnson has increased our National Insurance contributions by more than 10 per cent on the pretext that he will use the extra cash to fix social care – but he hasn’t offered any details of what he was going to do.

So the Guideposts Trust, a charity working in local communities with people who have dementia, learning disabilities, autism, and long-term mental health issues, and carers, has launched a petition.

It calls for “a real plan to solve the social care crisis that our community has been living with for years”.

And it makes suggestions:

Give social care staff the pay and respect they need.

Level up social care to the same level as the NHS.

Improve benefits and support for people trying to live independently.

You can sign the petition here.

Gas prices skyrocket but Johnson isn’t bothered

We should not be surprised that Boris Johnson isn’t concerned about rocketing gas bills; he doesn’t pay his own, after all (that’s if Downing Street even has gas).

Global gas prices have spiked, just as millions of people across the UK are facing the loss of £1,040 per year with the removal of the £20-per-week Universal Credit “uplift”.

And Johnson had the nerve to say: “I don’t believe people will be short of food – and wages are actually rising.”

He said gas prices surging was a “short-term” effect of the global economy re-starting. Is that right?

That’ll be a “no”, then.

The obvious solution is to re-nationalise gas – but neither Boris Johnson nor Keir Starmer would dream of doing that; they represent the people who are profiting hugely from the increases.

(What, did you honestly think they give a fig about your best interests?)

As a result of this – and all the other erosions of our rights and earning power – the UK is facing a Winter of Despair. See for yourself:

Patel taken to court over ‘concentration camps’ for asylum seekers

From The Mirror:

“Home Secretary Priti Patel is being taken to court over plans to keep asylum seekers in grim barracks for another four years.

“285 migrants are sleeping 14 to a dorm in Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where Covid outbreaks are rife.

“The High Court ruled in June that the Home Office had acted unlawfully by placing refugees in the barbed wire ringed facility – where fires broke out amid unrest in January.

“Ms Patel had used emergency planning laws to take over the MoD base for 12 months.

“Full planning permission was needed to continue using it beyond September 21. But she has secured it for four more years with a Special Development Order, avoiding local authority scrutiny and public consultation.

“Now one volunteer who supports residents is challenging the decision in the High Court as a breach of planning control – and has crowdfunded £35,000 to fight the case.”

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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Pension triple lock scrapped for a year. But will the Tories stop there?

This Site predicted the suspension of the pensions triple lock, so it’s no surprise here.

The problem with the commitment to increase pensions every year by the highest of pensions, earnings or 2.5 per cent is that it did not anticipate a huge fall in earnings like that caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by a similarly whopping rise when everybody went back to work and pay packets re-balanced.

It meant the highest of the three benchmarks – this year – is a massive eight per cent increase. And the Tories don’t want to pay it.

Back in July, I suggested the Tories were making a big fuss about nothing because they could impose a stop-gap increase that reflects the increase in the cost of living (which is what the triple lock is supposed to do).

It turns out that the Tories are doing something similar. Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said that – for this year only – pensions would rise by inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher. The earnings increase will be restored to the calculation next year.

The decision has caused bitter resentment in some quarters, because people are upset that the Tories have broken a manifesto promise.

But this misses the point completely.

The point is that the UK state pension is one of the worst pension deals in the whole world.

On retirement, our pensioners will receive, on average, 29 per cent of their former earnings. This compares with an increase of 0.6 per cent in the Netherlands, more than 90 per cent of former earnings in Portugal, Italy and Austria, and an OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development) nations’ average of nearly 63 per cent.

In fact, the UK’s pensions deal comes in at slightly worse than that provided in… Mexico.

This was a chance to level up the UK pension with some of our closest neighbours – but the Tories didn’t want to. That’s why people should be angry.

Of course, with the national insurance increase that the Tories say will pay for social care (eventually), pensioners will be worse off than ever – because pensioners who are still earning an income will pay towards it.

And there’s another aspect to this.

It is the rivalry between the old and the young over state benefits, the perception that pensioners get more than their fair share, and that they should lose some in order to correct a perceived imbalance.

This is utter piffle.

As Craig Berry states in The Guardian,

We can and should spend more on social security for young and old people alike.

To believe that a Conservative government would invest what it saves by removing the triple lock on today’s young people requires some magical thinking.

In practice, by reducing the state pension accrual rate (the entitlements we build up in return for paying national insurance), scrapping the triple lock would effectively amount to a significant tax hike on young people.

That’s because the tax they pay now would entitle them to a lower income in retirement than previously anticipated.

So it is ridiculous to suggest that we need to cut pension increases in order to help the young. It simply won’t happen.

Let’s face it – it simply hasn’t happened.

The (alleged) social care-related increase to National Insurance will affect young people and pensioners alike.

Because that’s what Tories are like.

They don’t take away from one group that needs help, in order to give to another.

They take from both, in order to give to themselves – as you can see with Boris Johnson’s National Insurance hike.

My only question is, do we believe them when they say they’re going to bring the triple lock back?

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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Boris Johnson’s lie-ridden social care proposals are a disaster for workers – and pensioners

“I’m going to apply the pincers and drag every last penny out of the poor”: Boris Johnson explains how he’ll make sure rich people don’t have to pay a penny towards their social care, so they can pass their millionaire mansions to their kids [no, he didn’t really say that. But it is what he intends to do].

Boris Johnson’s announcement of a rise in National Insurance, claiming it will pay for social care, was expected. It seeks to camouflage a new catalogue of his lies and hide the fact that he is making the poorest pay for the care of the richest.

Let’s think about what we know:

Firstly, Johnson was lying in 2019 when he said he had a plan to overhaul social care. It is clear now that he didn’t. His current proposals are to fund the existing – predominantly privately-owned and poorly-functioning – system rather than replace it with one that actually works.

Yes indeed: he is imposing a 10.42 per cent increase on National Insurance contributions that are paid by people earning between £9,500 and £50,000 per year. People earning more will pay nothing extra.

Do not be confused: this is a 1.25 percentage point increase – NI contributions will rise from 12 per cent of earnings to 13.25 per cent – but this represents a rise of more than 10 per cent in the contributions themselves.

He is also imposing a 10.42 per cent increase on profits from shares in companies, saying that this means rich people will pay a significant amount towards the cost of social care. This is a lie. Shareholders will merely pass the cost onto employees by denying them wage increases. It means the de facto increase in payments for people earning between £9,000 and £50,000 is 20.83 per cent (the slightly lower-than-double figure is due to roundings-up and -down).

The changes are expected to raise around £12 billion a year – a paltry pittance in comparison to the amount that would have been raised by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who had proposed a tax on the UK’s wealthiest people.

Johnson has said that none of the money raised will go towards social care for three years after the NI increase is imposed in April 2022. Instead, it will be used to ease the backlog of NHS treatments that has been caused because Johnson’s Tory government had weakened the health service so badly that it could not cope with Covid-19 and continue to carry out these procedures at the same time.

Johnson has not said how much of the annual £12 billion will eventually be diverted to social care. Nor has his health secretary, Sajid Javid.

After April 2023, this extra payment will become a separate tax – called the Health and Social Care Levy – on earned income. It will show up separately on payslips.

Unlike NI, people who work beyond retirement age will also pay this Health and Social Care Levy, meaning Johnson’s already-broken promise to keep the pensions ‘triple lock’ is smashed to smithereens and pensioners will be punished hard.

The government says people earning £20,000 a year will pay £130 to the new levy. Those on £30,000 will pay £255; those on £50,000 – £505. It provides figures for people on £80,000 (£880) and £100,000 (£1,130) but these must be notional amounts as their NI payments will be unchanged. People with shares that provide those amounts in dividends (as already noted) will merely pass the burden onto employees.

Johnson has said the increased payments will fund changes meaning that, from October 2023, nobody will pay more than £86,000 for care costs (excluding accommodation) in their lifetime. Is that a permanent commitment? So even as inflation means £86,000 is worth less and less as years pass, people will still have to pay no more than that amount? This Writer doesn’t think so. I reckon Johnson was lying again.

Once people have paid this amount, their ongoing costs will be paid by local authorities. Those with between £20,000 and £100,000 in assets will get means-tested help from their council; those will less than £20,000 won’t have to pay from their assets but might have to contribute from their income – an additional burden for low-earners.

It means people are still likely to have to sell their houses to pay for care – unless they are rich.

As far as I can see, the exception if spouses still live in the family home still applies.

That’s a lot to take in. It is likely that Johnson is hoping ordinary people will not recognise the enormity of the impact his plan will have on poor and working people.

Fortunately, we have clever people available who are able to work out the facts.

Here’s the headline:

So, for example, here’s the impact on graduates:

So such a graduate would take home slightly less than £16,000 a year.

And do you remember that measly three per cent pay rise for NHS workers? It is now, once again, a pay cut:

And people employed in the social care system – such as it is – will now pay more towards it than their bosses, who profit from it:

Average earners lose a lot too…

… and if you earn less than the average, you get hit by the Universal Credit cut as well…

… and this means child poverty will increase:

Johnson has tried to justify this new attack on low earners by claiming that the Covid-19 crisis has cost the nation billions of pounds. That could not have been foreseen when he promised no tax increases in the run-up to the 2019 election, and that is the reason this measure is necessary. He was – of course – lying.

The government created new money to pay for the Covid crisis; there was no cost to the nation at all. So the situation now is exactly what it was in 2019, as far as tax increases are concerned.

And there is the issue of what Johnson did with all the money that was created to handle Covid – like blowing £37 billion – more than three times what he expects to raise every year with his NI increase – on Dido Harding’s ‘test and trace’ service that did not work at all.

And what happened to all that Brexit money?

Back in 2016, Johnson campaigned for the UK to leave the EU, in a big red bus emblazoned with the message, “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund the NHS instead”. The UK has now left the EU and not a single penny of that so-called “Brexit bonus” has reached the National Health Service. Instead, Johnson is taxing the poor on the pretext that they will pay for it.

Johnson’s apologists have leapt up to praise him for doing something about the social care crisis in the UK – but they haven’t been able to hide the fact: what he has done is worse than nothing.

They don’t mention facts like this, either:

The failure of the mainstream, mass media to hold Johnson and his government to account has been monumental – if expected. That doesn’t mean it should be accepted:

Particularly damning has been criticism of Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose feather-light opposition to the proposals makes a mockery of his party.

The best he had to offer was an attack on Conservative claims to be the party of low taxation…

… but Labour’s philosophy has always been that tax is fine, as long as it has a purpose and is fair. Johnson’s plan for social care demonstrates neither of those traits but Starmer couldn’t – or wouldn’t – see it.

He has become a sick joke, as critics have been quick to point out:

Worse, Labour had solid plans for a well-funded National Care Service – along NHS lines – under former leader Jeremy Corbyn – as he, and some Labour MPs, remember:

Do you know how much a wealth tax would bring in? See for yourself:

But Starmer has thrown Corbyn’s plans away because they would lift people out of poverty – and he seems uninterested in helping poor or working people (a strange stance for a Labour leader).

Another Twitter user, @aconda_an, added – referring to Corbyn: “They had someone with solutions and meaningful policies. They didn’t want it. Shame on them.”

And shame on everybody who voted Conservative in 2019 because they believed Johnson’s lie that he wouldn’t tax them. He’s a Conservative – it is his nature to lie.

You only have yourselves to blame, and you have dragged the rest of us down with you.

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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Keir Starmer needs to be persuaded to support socialist social care policy. He must go

Keir Starmer: someone recently said he’d run out of Brylcreem long before he ever gets to run the UK and on the basis of this failure, that is just as well.

This is a shocking indictment of the man who pretends to be the Labour Party’s leader.

Keir Starmer had to be told to oppose the Conservative plan to increase National Insurance that poor people pay – increasing poverty – under the pretext that it is to fund social care.

It’s worse than that – it is class warfare, and a class war in which Starmer seems firmly on the side of the rich few against the masses who made him Labour leader.

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room: nobody has to be taxed to pay for social care. The government owns the magic money tree and can simply create the cash.

The principal reason we talk about people being taxed to pay for such measures is because taxation is needed to control inflation – but inflation hasn’t been a problem whenever the Tory government has created money for itself and its friends over the last 11 years, so it doesn’t seem a problem.

If we accept that improving social care may cause inflation, then there are better ways to tax that problem away. For a start, there is a very rich part of society that isn’t taxed nearly enough – and won’t be forced into starvation or onto the streets if they are asked to pay a little more:

The issue with Starmer that this has revealed is the fact that he had to be told – in fact, it seems he is resisting calls for him to support this commonsense policy. And people are calling him out on it:

Even Tory ministers are coming out against the government plan – before Starmer:

(Sorry but I don’t know who @philbc3 is or what that person may have said about it. Blame Grace, not me.)

The worst part of this is that previous Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had a perfectly good policy for funding social care – and Starmer hasn’t even had the wit to mention it. Fortunately Corbyn’s shadow chancellor is on hand to remind us all:

This last comment is perhaps the most incisive – and the most damning against Starmer:

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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