‘No deal’ Brexit looking more likely as UK negotiator rattles his sabre at the EU

If the UK government is not “scared” of leaving the EU without a trade deal, then it is because the interests of UK government ministers will not be harmed. Reading between the lines of the BBC’s story, perhaps they expect the taxpayer to fund any businesses in which they have an interest? The downside is that UK negotiator David Frost is saying your Tory government couldn’t care less if your business crashes to dust as a result of high tariffs that will be imposed by the EU nations in January. Both…

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Does money matter more than your life? Corporations prepare lawsuits against countries over Covid-19 protections

Remember the fuss over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? No? Let me tell you a story. Back when the UK was part of the European Union, there was a move to create a trading partnership with the United States, allowing goods to flow between the two power blocs, practically tax free. But problems arose over a so-called ‘Investor-State Dispute Settlement’ system that would have allowed corporations to prosecute individual nations if they passed laws that – for example – protected citizens from having to buy inferior goods that…

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If Eton isn’t reopening until at least September, why the hurry to bring back state schools?

Don’t you think it’s a bit strange? I mean, if it was safe to reopen schools at the beginning of June, you’d think the recipients of the most expensive education in the United Kingdom would be desperate to get their noses back to the grindstone. Wouldn’t you? And their parents – many of whom are, I’m sure, inhabiting chairs in Boris Johnson’s cabinet – would be lining up to send them. But it seems there’s no chance of Eton (for example) reopening its doors until September at the earliest. Eton,…

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Even the Queen didn’t look like she believed her speech

Parliament has just undergone its most underwhelming State Opening – possibly ever – with a speech delivered by a gimlet-eyed Queen who sounded like she didn’t believe a word she was saying. And what she said was vague beyond expression. Here’s the first bit, about Brexit: "My government's priority has always been to secure the UK's departure from the EU on 31 October" The Queen begins her speech setting out the government's agenda by outlining plans on Brexit, immigration and the rights of EU citizenshttps://t.co/N3xen7sW1e #QueensSpeech pic.twitter.com/bXt80TZUGM — BBC Politics…

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Almost three-quarters of people hit by the Bedroom Tax are sick or disabled

Was the so-called Bedroom Tax a tool to attack people with long-term illnesses and disabilities? That seems to be the conclusion we reach from an answer to a Parliamentary question by minister for welfare delivery Will Quince. He said by April 2019, 240,350 households had been affected by the State Under-Occupation Charge – the penalty inflicted on Housing Benefit claimants who have a spare bedroom. Of these, a staggering 170,360 households – 71 per cent of the total – included a person in receipt of sickness or disability benefit. Figures…

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Planned pension-age rise means most will die before ever seeing it

Iain Duncan Smith is a genuinely evil little man, isn’t he? He spent years orchestrating the deniable deaths of uncounted (literally – the Department for Work and Pensions deliberately did not check on what happened to these people) sick and disabled people by changing the benefit assessment system to make it easier to cancel their payments. Now the Centre for Social Justice think tank, of which he is chairman, is recommending that the age at which we may qualify for the state pension should be raised to 75 by the…

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UK railway services are now almost entirely state-owned – by foreign countries

Could there be a better argument to support Labour’s call for train services to be re-nationalised? British rail commuters pay the highest prices in Europe to use trains that are almost exclusively run by European state operators. We are subsidising services in their countries. If our railways were re-nationalised, the money we pay would flow into UK state coffers. From there it could be used to, possibly, improve the service and reduce prices. Don’t you think that would be a better way? With rail fares set to rise again by…

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Esther McVey is now Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Expect many, many deaths

You knew This Writer would have a few things to say about this. In a characteristic departure from anything resembling reason, sense or sensitivity, minority prime minister Theresa May has named Esther McVey as her new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The announcement is certain to ramp up levels of anxiety, stress and fear among the unemployed, together with those who have long-term illnesses and disabilities. Some may even be pushed to suicide because of it. Others may die because the decision to appoint Ms McVey may worsen…

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WASPI women stage noisy walkout of Commons after minister denies them pensions help

Proceedings in Parliament became a little noisier than usual yesterday – and for a good reason: Did anybody else just hear this? pic.twitter.com/0UxgvRaqJ2 — Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) December 14, 2017 I’ll let Labour’s Laura Pidcock explain: #WASPI women in the gallery of the House of Commons, at first stood up and turned their back on @GuyOpperman, then walked out on him, shouting 'shame on you!’ Can totally understand their anger. #Solidarity to the @WASPI_Campaign. — Laura Pidcock (@LauraPidcock) December 14, 2017 Mr Opperman had just refused to provide any transitional…

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The ‘Repeal Bill’ will put profit over people in a double-whammy for the Tories

If you were wondering why the Tories have quietly dropped their dodgy ‘Bill of Rights’, it’s because they don’t need it any more – they can achieve the same aims, with far less fuss, in their so-called ‘Repeal Bill’. The Bill will be the most dishonest piece of legislation to go through Parliament in decades – starting with its title. It will repeal nothing. The stated aim is to enshrine European laws that the UK observes (without having passed them as our own) into UK law, to ensure a smoother…

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