Tag Archives: staff

#OperationSaveBigDog? No, Tories. Take him to the vet & have him put down, for his sake and ours

Treacherous cur: Boris Johnson is pictured next to Martin Reynolds at the Downing Street garden party on May 15, 2020, a bottle of booze on the table next to them. Now, it seems Johnson wants Reynolds to take the rap for the parties, to save the prime minister’s pointless career.

It’s exactly as we all thought. Rather than accept responsibility for creating a culture of corruption at Downing Street in which employees were encouraged to have parties while the rest of the UK lived in isolation, Boris Johnson is going to scapegoat the staff.

It seems he has drawn up a list of colleagues he intends to throw under the bus in order to save his own worthless career.

They include Martin Reynolds, the private secretary who invited 100 people to a party in the Downing Street garden on May 20, 2020 and with whom Johnson is pictured at a party in the Downing Street garden on May 15, 2020.

Apparently he’s calling it “Operation save Big Dog”. Here are the details.

One has to question why Johnson thinks pretending other people are responsible for the attitude of contempt for the rules that he created will help him – for a very obvious reason.

The latest story has it that Downing Street staff were having drinks parties every week during lockdown – as suggested by Johnson. The Mirror called it “Boris Johnson’s wine time Fridays“.

The staff scapegoating plan hasn’t gone down well among the political community:

… Or indeed among the public:

If I was one of the staff members being pressurised to quit so Boris Johnson can save a career that isn’t worth saving, I’d be handing my phone full of lockdown-busting party invitations to the investigators – after using it to call the Mirror, the Torygraph and all the other members of the press pack who are baying for prime ministerial blood.

This is one “Big Dog” who needs to be put out of our misery.

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Are government staff really being ordered to break the law over #DowningStreetParties?

What they want erased: Downing Street staff are being ordered to erase information on their mobile phones relating to the alleged Downing Street lockdown-busting parties. Note that this image from the May 2020 event shows Boris Johnson sitting next to the organiser, Martin Reynolds, with a bottle of wine on the table. And he says he didn’t realise it was a party?

This is damning: it seems staff at 10 Downing Street have been ordered to clear their mobile phones of any information that could suggest lockdown parties were held there. This is a criminal offence.

According to the Independent,

Two sources claim a senior member of staff told them it would be a “good idea” to remove any messages implying they had attended or were even aware of anything that could “look like a party”.

It’s on Twitter too:

For clarity, this is what it means:

Interesting, that.

Boris Johnson claimed he had changed his phone altogether in order to avoid responsibility for failing to pass on WhatsApp messages about the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat. Was that a criminal offence?

And Lord Bethell, the Tory then-minister responsible for awarding Covid-19-related contracts that bypassed the normal procurement system, replaced his mobile phone before it could be searched for information relevant to £85m of deals that are subject to a legal challenge. An offence?

If so, then this former minister and Prime Minister should be subject to prosecution.

Ah, but they’re members of Parliament and therefore above the law, aren’t they?

Downing Street staff aren’t. They should think very carefully before erasing anything from their phones.

In fact, they should probably take their phones to the police.

Experts can easily restore erased material anyway.

Source: No 10 staff told to ‘clean up’ phones amid lockdown party allegations | The Independent

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Boris Johnson isn’t the only Tory in trouble for breaking the rules

Daniel Kawczynski: this was his justification for bullying his staff.

Here’s Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham:

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski is facing a one-day suspension from the Commons after being found to have broken the rules over an apology he gave for bullying parliamentary staff.

So, not only was he found guilty of bullying his own staff – he has now been found guilty of breaking the rules for apologising about it!

The recommendation has been made by the Commons Standards Committee and follows comments the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham made before he said sorry last June.

The committee ruled that interviews he gave on local radio and with a newspaper before the required apology in the Commons chamber meant he had failed to comply, as the apology was not “unequivocal”.

In its report, the committee said: “Although he says he was sincere by the time he made the apology to the House, he had that morning effectively undermined the sincerity of that apology by broadcasting the fact that he was making it because he was required to do so and he disagreed with the way the case had been conducted.

I wonder if he expected the government to change the rules for him, as it tried to do for his former North Shropshire colleague, Owen Paterson?

Read the full story here: Tory MP facing suspension for breaking rules over apology for bullying parliamentary staff

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Javid’s vaccination coercion will increase NHS staff shortages

Covid Javid: he’s trying to force something into the bodies of frontline NHS staff. Many will see this as a form of attempted rape – which it is – and quit. And NHS staffing will worsen. Wouldn’t it be better simply to change their jobs so unvaccinated people aren’t on the front line?

We could all see this coming. For a party that insists it values choice above all things, the Tories love forcing people to accept what they don’t want.

So Sajid Javid is forcing all NHS frontline workers to have Covid-19 vaccination injections, whether they want them or not.

We have discussed this subject previously on This Site. I made it perfectly clear that I am double-jabbed – and I intend to have the booster injection when it is offered to me, even though I know it will make me feel very ill for several days.

Nevertheless, I was attacked as an anti-vaxxer by several ignorant souls after I stated that this has been my personal choice, and there is no possible argument strong enough to rob other people of their own choice.

Javid cannot force people to have the injection. That would be forcing them to have a foreign object inside their body against their will, which is analogous to rape. I do not use the comparison lightly and anybody who criticises another person for making it fails to understand the seriousness of the issue here.

The alternative to taking the injection, it seems, is expulsion from the National Health Service.

Who does that help?

It won’t help patients because there will be fewer staff available to treat them and waiting lists will become longer.

It will help those who want to privatise the NHS altogether because they’ll have a stronger (albeit as false as ever) argument that it cannot cope and private firms should be brought in to take up the slack.

Is that Javid’s ulterior motive? Probably.

A simpler solution would be to move staff who won’t accept the injection away from frontline duties. That would be the safer option for all concerned in any event and should have happened as soon as a vaccine became available. I wonder why nobody has bothered to implement it until now.

Other staff could have been trained up – or hired in (remember, the NHS currently has a shortage of many thousands of nurses and doctors).

If a solution isn’t found and people are forced to choose between the injection and the loss of their job, then that will be coercion and I would strongly encourage victims of such intimidation to take the Health Secretary to court for attempting the criminal activity named above.

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Hunt staff appear to MURDER dog that just wanted to play

Shot dead: Scamp’s reward for being a playful puppy who acted according to her nature.

There’s a big push to end the ban on hunting with dogs at the moment, because we have a Conservative government with a huge majority and Tories love cruelty to animal.

Today we found that this cruelty extends even to the dogs, with the filmed murder of a young hound – apparently for being too much trouble for her handlers.

It seems they got tired of having to chase her back in, after being allowed out into the exercise field with the rest of her pack.

So they shot her in the head.

The revelation comes after secret filming showed hounds at the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt in Gloucestershire being shot dead at kennels (be warned: if you visit the site you will see footage of this happening).

It seems hounds can be killed, legally, if they are too old to hunt, or are ill or injured. The Hunt told ITV that hounds are humanely euthanised if they cannot be rehomed – and most can’t because they are not house-trained and are used to a pack environment.

But the footage appears to show one hound being shot simply for being playful and enjoying life.

Here’s the story:

The RSPCA has responded to the footage (after being challenged on it, on Twitter) – but only to say that it has handed Hunt-related prosecutions to the police and would appreciate an investigation:

There was no indication that the RSPCA had bothered to bring the incident to the attention of the police – an act that would have had greater weight than if any ordinary member of the public did so. Asked if it would take such action…

… There was no reply.

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Bonanza for private health firms as Tories cut NHS’s ability to cope

Private hospitals are set to mop up more than £2 billion in new deals – £200 million of which will be pure profit for shareholders – to provide non-urgent procedures like hip replacement operations because the NHS is struggling with Tory underfunding.

It’s typical financial incompetence from the Tories – they’d rather send £200 million to the private offshore tax-haven bank accounts of greedy profiteers than invest it in the health of the English people (this is an English NHS plan).

And experience indicates that the NHS will have to come back and sort out the mess after the private firms botch a significant percentage of the operations (unless they’ve managed to stop doing that? If anyone has new information on this, please let me know).

According to iNews,

The Government has drawn up contingency plans for further local, regional, or national lockdowns in England, but hopes the deals to create around 7,000 extra beds in private hospitals will help avoid the need for the reintroduction of Covid restrictions.

The signing of further contracts with the private sector follows a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies that found NHS waiting lists could almost treble to 14 million by autumn next year.

A spokesman for NHS England claimed such deals between the NHS and private healthcare groups are struck “at the same cost to taxpayers” as NHS services. However, similar contracts throughout the pandemic have agreed a “cost-plus” pricing formula, which allow for profits of between 8 and 10 per cent to be paid to the hospital groups.

Private hospital groups such as Circle Health, Ramsay Health Care and Spire Healthcare are believed to been among those discussing new and expanded deals with the Department for Health and Social Care.

This is just throwing good money after bad.

And the reason it is necessary? Here‘s the Morning Star:

NHS workers are trapped in a “vicious circle” of staff shortages and exhaustion, health service experts have warned, as they called for better funding of the health service.

Real investment in capacity is needed to address vacancies in the NHS, the effect of which has been compounded by increasing rates of staff sickness, said Dr Layla McCay, policy director of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service organisations.

The warning came after MPs published a damning report in June highlighting “emergency” levels of staff burnout in the healthcare sector.

There are currently 76,000 staff vacancies in the NHS, including 40,000 for doctors.

Last month, research by doctors’ union BMA found that England was 25 years behind comparable European nations in terms of the number of doctors per 1,000 people.

Saying that it was “unforgivable” that the government had allowed workforce levels to reach this point, the union demanded extra Treasury investment in training and retaining doctors.

So there you have it.

The NHS would be able to cope with the extra work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – if only the Conservative Government had funded it properly, making it possible to employ and retain a number of doctors equivalent to those available in other European nations.

But they didn’t. Once again, despite being the sixth-richest country in the World, the UK is the “poor man” in terms of the value we get for that money.

And rather than even begin to put right that lack of investment, the Tory imbeciles are wasting money by throwing it at private firms who will invest it in their own private back accounts rather than in treating people who need it.

That really is sick!

It conforms with Noam Chomsky’s definition of privatisation technique perfectly, though: defund, make sure things don’t work… hand it over to private capital.

The Tories in government are swearing that the private contracts are just a stop-gap measure while the NHS is struggling.

But just you watch them and see if they ever take that work back in-house.

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Starmer’s office staff are disintegrating – under pressure over Batley & Spen election?

I haven’t had a chance to go into this properly; fortunately, I don’t have to.

May I direct you to the Skwawkbox, which has been doing a fascinating job of dissecting the shenanigans at the office of the Leader Of The Opposition.

First we had this:

Keir Starmer has appointed a replacement for Ben Nunn – the private health lobbyist ousted on Friday as Starmer’s head of communications.

His new communications director is Steph Driver. Ms Driver makes an appearance in the notorious ‘Labour leaks’ report on the alleged misdeeds of right-wing former HQ staff – one in which she praises the infamous ‘Ergon House’ plan to divert funds, intended for the campaign to win the 2017 general election, into a secret pot to fund the protection of right-wing Labour MPs.

In WhatsApp messages among right-wing staff, Ms Driver – at the time a ‘Political Advisor – Press and Comms’, according to her Linkedin – is seen describing the plan as ‘brill’ and saying that she endorsed it – and promising to ‘very much’ keep it secret from anyone else.

Then came this:

Keir Starmer has removed right-winger Morgan McSweeney – previously of Labour Together and Liz Kendall’s disastrous 2015 leadership campaign – as his chief of staff, as panic sets in about next week’s likely defeat in the Batley and Spen by-election and Starmer’s record-breakingly bad leadership.

In what appears to be an attempt to save face, Starmer’s office is insisting that McSweeney remains his ‘number one adviser’ – but McSweeney has been moved into an ‘election strategy’ role, a laughable admission that Starmer is clinging to the illusion that the disasters in Hartlepool, national local elections, a worst-ever by-election result for the party in Chesham and Amersham this week and polling that isn’t even bothering to circle the plug-hole before diving in.

And now this:

Leading Labour left-winger has lobbed a metaphorical hand-grenade into the utter chaos and collapse of Keir Starmer’s dying ‘leadership’ of the Labour party – targeting Starmer’s craven and Tory-like habit of letting underlings take the blame for his disasters.

Trickett pulled the pin and tweeted:

What next?

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Tory Covid-19 mismanagement means 10 MILLION PEOPLE missed hospital care in 2020

Hospital ward: many people who desperately need medical care will not get treatment in one of these for years, because the Conservative government spent years starving the NHS of cash and resources (including staff) before the Covid-19 crisis.

That’s right – around one-fifth of the UK population did not receive hospital care because Boris Johnson’s Tories couldn’t be bothered to fund the NHS properly.

Don’t tell me the money isn’t there because experience over the last year has shown that it quite clearly is – the Tories simply don’t want to spend it on a service they are quietly trying to privatise.

We all knew that the Covid-19 pandemic would disrupt normal NHS services; this was inevitable no matter how well-resourced the health service would have been.

But the Tories have spent years starving it of funds and hiving off elements of it for sale to private companies that are simply incapable of helping in a crisis, even if their bosses were inclined to do so.

As a result, we now see that 4.6 million people missed out on hospital treatment – mostly because hospitals suspended their normal services in order to handle the huge influx of people who were severely ill with the virus as a result of Boris Johnson’s incompetent failure to lock down the UK in time to prevent a tragedy.

A further six million fewer people were referred by GPs to hospital for diagnostic tests and treatment because of the disruption to care, a wish not to further pressurise the overstretched NHS, and a reluctance to send patients to a place where they could catch the virus.

This means the NHS is likely to face even more pressure as these missing millions demand treatment as the pandemic eases off. And what if another wave pushes hospital admissions up again?

More to the point: how many patients have died?

And crowdfunding website GoFundMe has reported a huge increase in the number of people seeking donations to support medical care: 87 per cent more citing “waiting lists” as their reason, 60 per cent more stating they need cash for “clinical trials” and a deeply concerning 55 per cent more saying they need cash to buy cancer drugs.

The concern here is that people who pay for private surgery often end up being sent back to the NHS to have botched operations fixed.

So people who pay for operations to take pressure off the NHS could find that they are still only making matter worse.

The extent of the problem is highlighted by The Guardian:

The number of people forced to wait more than a year for their operation has rocketed from 1,613 before the pandemic to 304,044 in January this year, and more than 1 million people have been waiting at least six months, even though 92% of patients are supposed to be treated within 18 weeks under the referral to treatment scheme.

“The waiting list is already at the highest level it’s been since comparable records began in 2007, and if it did rise from 4.6 million now to 9.7 million by March 2024 as we estimate, that’s more than double the waiting list now,” [said Tim Gardner, a senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation].

Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association, pointed out that patients have gone without life-saving treatments:

She said the association was “particularly concerned by reports of treatments being cancelled that could be life-saving”.

Finally – and to hammer home the point that this is a political issue: the disruption to hospital treatment was almost one-and-a-half times as bad in poorer areas than where people are richest. The worst-affected English region was the North West.

This confirms not only that poverty affects health but also that Tories like Boris Johnson couldn’t care less; after all, they haven’t done anything about it.

It will take years to reduce the number of people waiting for treatment until the 18-week target time is achieved – even with a government that genuinely wanted to help. The experts say it won’t happen until long after the next general election.

But local elections are happening much sooner – on May 6. Tories will be concerned that voters will use them to express their displeasure with a government that let them down badly, and has been lying about what a good job it has done.

Source: Covid: 4.6m people missed out on hospital treatment in England in 2020 | NHS | The Guardian

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Employers are forcing staff to spread Covid-19, research finds

Rampant: the Covid-19 virus is once again on the loose across the UK because the Tories haven’t just lost control; they’ve deliberately thrown it away.

This is what wage slavery does to people; it forces us to do the wrong thing, harming not just our own health but that of everybody around us.

This Writer had to face it in one of my newspaper jobs. The company dictated that employees could only take a maximum of five sick days per year – and I suffered from cluster headaches.

The condition is now acknowledged by the NHS to cause the most extreme pain of any kind at all; when it comes on, it can last around three months, inflicting excruciating migraines on the sufferer (in my case) around four times a day.

You can see the problem. The condition could last three months but I was allowed only five days off work. Even taking all my vacation time, I could not cover the time I needed.

So this does not surprise me at all:

Thousands of workers feel pressured to return to their jobs when they still risk spreading coronavirus, and employers who breach Covid guidelines are avoiding serious punishment, according to evidence of major weaknesses in England’s lockdown measures.

One in 10 of those doing insecure work, such as zero-hours contracts and agency or gig economy jobs, said they had been to work within 10 days of a positive Covid test, according to research seen by the Observer. For workers overall the proportion is around one in 25.

These people have been coerced into endangering themselves and the people around them.

And consider the consequences. Suppose family members, friends, people on the same bus or train caught Covid-19 as a result, and some died. Who would get the blame for infecting them? The firm that forced people to work when they were sick? Or the employee?

I think we all know the answer.

And now the Tory government wants to cut back employees’ rights.

New Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has denied plans to strip us of our entitlement to paid holidays and other protections – but he is infamous for having condemned UK workers are “among the worst idlers in the world”, that the UK “rewards laziness” and “too many people in Britain prefer a lie-in to hard work”.

So what do you think he’s going to do?

Meanwhile,

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors have not issued any enforcement notices on companies for Covid safety breaches since the start of the latest lockdown, despite having been contacted 2,945 times between 6 and 14 January about safety issues.

Just 0.1% of about 97,000 Covid safety cases it has dealt with during the pandemic appear to have resulted in the issuing of an improvement or prohibition notice. No company has been prosecuted for a Covid-related breach.

This is just not taking Covid-19 seriously.

No wonder the virus is rampaging across the UK and our hospitals are being overwhelmed.

Source: Staff ‘pressured to go back to work’ in breach of UK Covid rules | Coronavirus | The Guardian

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Hancock on the spot as ICU nurse asks ‘how he can look NHS staff in the face’ (Vox Political Scrapbook)

Matt Hancock was left looking sheepish on Good Morning Britain today as he was confronted by an ICU nurse who had earlier asked how he could “look NHS staff in the face.

The Health Secretary appeared on GMB today as he addressed whether there would be a national lockdown, the confusion regarding schools and on ICU wards struggling over understaffing.

During the interview, Susanna Reid pointed out ICU nurse Dave Carr’s remarks that hospitals are “beyond breaking point”.

Hancock was shown a clip of what Dave would ask him if he was able to, which saw the nurse respond: “How he can seriously look any health worker in the face and tell us that he is stewarding the NHS and managing this pandemic properly?”

Fumbling, Hancock awkwardly replied: “Well, the staff across the NHS have done a great job… I’m very pleased that earlier in the year that we were able to give a significant pay rise to nurses across the board.”

Susanna … remarked that Dave had certainly not described the pay rise as “significant”.

Source: Matt Hancock confronted by ICU nurse on ‘how he can look NHS staff in the face’ – Mirror Online

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