Tag Archives: statement

Tory irresponsibility: Sunak financial statement sparked four suicides in Merseyside

Who, exactly, are the Tories helping with the hundreds of billions of pounds they have borrowed?

According to the latest projections, the government is likely to have borrowed £316.4 billion more than last year, mostly on Covid-19-related measures.

That’s about £5,000 per person and This Writer can’t help thinking the money would have been better-spent if the Tories had just given it to each of us and told us to stay at home.

Instead, they devised a series of financial packages to fit people in certain circumstances – and to ignore others.

That’s the reason the Liverpool Echo is reporting that four people in Merseyside were known to have committed suicide after hearing Rishi Sunak’s most recent financial statement.

The Echo quotes Anneka Hicks of Excluded UK, an organisation to help a large proportion of the workforce who have been cut out of any ‘meaningful government support schemes’:

Over the past eight months many of our members have had to sell their homes, their cars – they have depleted their entire life savings.

They’ve lost their dignity. Many of them have been forced to take state benefits (if they can) and use food banks to feed their families, they’ve lost their businesses or made redundancies.

They are expected to start again with nothing, or less than nothing.

Sadly, we lost four members to suicide within 72 hours of the chancellor’s latest financial statement, but they are only the people we know about.

There are more details in the Echo article but look at the heartlessness of the government response:

We’ve acknowledged that not everyone has been helped in the way they would have wanted, but overall the Government has provided a huge amount to help businesses and families through this crisis.

The scheme’s eligibility criteria are designed to most effectively target support to low earners and prevent fraud.

It seems clear that it isn’t working.

And now Sunak wants people like these to pay increased taxes. One of them points out

I pay my taxes every year, I expected something back from that.

How can Sunak expect money from people he deliberately locked out of any help – or the families of people who have died as a result of his policies?

Source: ‘Four suicides within 72 hours of Rishi Sunak statement’ says campaigner – Liverpool Echo

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Riley libel: new statements show she’s flailing – so support Mike

 

Remember that new witness statement that had me concerned about Rachel Riley’s libel case against me?

I have now seen it and it seems I need not have worried so much.

I can’t say much about it because I don’t want to prejudice anything that happens in the hearing on November 6.

This will be her attempt to strike out parts of my case – and mine to strike out a significant part of hers.

I expect to succeed in my bid. Hers is looking less and less likely.

But I still need funds if I am to get anywhere at all. After my last update there was a welcome surge in contributions and we are now within £2,000 of that £100,000 milestone.

Reaching that before the hearing next week would be a huge psychological victory for all of us, so please – if you can afford it in these Covid-ridden times – follow these instructions:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Riley wanted this hearing – pointless as I expect it will be for her. I reckon she thought she could use it to drain my campaign of its funds.

Let’s show her that this was a bad mistake – and knock her off-balance before next Friday’s court hearing.

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Good news for U-graded Gavin Williamson as Johnson announces courses for people with no skills


Ill-starred education secretary Gavin Williamson has suffered another setback by making a long-overdue and practically-empty speech about the effect of Covid-19 on universities – on the day Boris Johnson announced new courses for people who need new skills.

Williamson put himself forward as a prime candidate for such a course.

Here’s how one commentater described Johnson’s announcement earlier today:

Only hours later, others were to signal how fitting his words were:

Here’s some of what he said – and some of what people are saying about it:

On his responses to others, they had this to say:

In summary:

Of course he isn’t. He isn’t even supposed to be.

And we’re supposed to see that he isn’t.

Boris Johnson has surrounded himself with dimwits; it’s an old strategy.

He knows he’s nigh-on useless himself, so he’s making sure none of the candidates to replace him even match up to his low standard.

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Yes, it is more ‘meal deal’ than ‘new deal’ – but Sunak’s summer statement isn’t ALL bad

Rishi Sunak: his job could be hanging on the result of this plan. Shame it has already been sabotaged by his boss Boris Johnson.

It didn’t matter what Rishi Sunak was going to say in his summer statement because Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and the other Tories had already sabotaged it.

Sunak’s objective is to save jobs while the UK works through the post-Covid recession, but his problem is that his colleagues’ insistence on easing lockdown means the Coronavirus isn’t over yet – no matter what Johnson says.

In this nation of shopkeepers (as Napoleon had it), if we want to keep people in their jobs, we need to keep spending money into – and through – the economy. That means going out and paying for things.

But the number of new infections in the UK is high – and will remain so, while Johnson insists on helping the virus infect other people by opening pubs, schools, and whatever else he’s planning next.

That means people are going to be reluctant to resume normal patterns of social consumption.

It’s going to be difficult in the extreme to restore confidence after these Tory blunders. After schools and pubs, Johnson can claim it is our social duty to go back out and spend until he is redder in the face than the gammons he represents, but the public will only hear him telling us to go out, catch the virus and die.

That’s the second hurdle that Sunak faces; thanks to Johnson, public trust in the claims of politicians is at an all-time low, being worsened all the time by his insistence on lying whenever the mood takes him and refusing to apologise when his lies are exposed.

So the ending of the furlough scheme in October is directly counter-productive; watch the number of redundancies increase when that month comes round and try to tell me I’m wrong.

The offer of a £1,000 “jobs retention bonus” is likely to fall similarly flat. The conditions are that employees must be carrying out proper work, and be paid at least £520 per month – the lower limit of National Insurance payment – and it seems unlikely that many employers will be able to manage this.

Similarly, the VAT cut from 20 per cent to just five per cent to help out restaurants, pubs, cafes, B&Bs, hotels, theme parks and cinemas may only have limited success. Who’s going to go, if there’s a chance they’ll catch a fatal disease?

Sector-specific stimuli such as this are a good idea – don’t get me wrong – and this would work if the number of Covid infections was much lower than it is (in England, at least) – and if more people were interested in wearing face masks, perhaps (how would that work, when they’re eating food?) – but as I’ve already mentioned, Johnson has put a stop to that with his ridiculous blunderings.

And the already-infamous “meal deal” voucher, offering 50 per cent of the cost of meals for everybody eating out between Monday and Wednesday, throughout August, may go hungry for customers. Here’s the reason:

On the other hand, raising the threshold for stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000 might conceivably be a good idea, if it stimulates construction work as people are encouraged to buy new homes.

Possibly best of all the measures laid out in the statement was a scheme to create jobs for young people, subsidising six-month work placements for people aged 16-24.

If this is used to re-skill the workforce – actually preparing the UK for future opportunities – then it has enormous merit.

But I can see employers using it as a cheap alternative to the workers they already have. Why take just £1,000 over three months to keep on your current workforce when the Tories will give you a teenager for twice as long and pay all of their costs?

So my initial verdict is that this is final proof of the Conservative government’s economic illiteracy; they really couldn’t run a p***-up in a brewery.

But it would be wrong to pre-judge a plan that hasn’t gone into practice yet.

The sad part is that this may break Sunak but Johnson will laugh it off, no matter how disastrous the result.

Source: Coronavirus: Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils £30bn plan to save jobs – BBC News

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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TV satire show responds to criticisms over its treatment of Jeremy Corbyn – but ignores the main issue

Jeremy Corbyn: still not an anti-Semite.

Thank goodness Beastrabban has been watching Have I Got News For You; it means I don’t have to.

He was the one who alerted me to Victoria Coren-Mitchell’s false claim that Jeremy Corbyn believes the anti-Semitic “Jewish bankers’ conspiracy” trope, broadcast on the show last month (October 2019).

Now he has written to say that the host of Friday’s (November 1) show, Jo Brand, made an announcement regarding complaints raised since that previous edition.

He wrote:

“The Beeb’s satirical panel game, Have I Got News For You, decided to reply to certain criticism regarding their treatment of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. This week’s guest host, Jo Brand, stated that the programme had been widely attacked by supporters of the Labour leader because the programme continued referring to him by his surname, while the Prime Minister was more informally called by his first name, Boris. This, it was claimed, showed a bias towards the Tory leader, which the programme disputed.

“Ummm, no. This is not why many of us object to the programme’s bias against Labour. We object to it because it pushes, like the rest of the media, the flagrant lie that he and his supporters are anti-Semites.

“Last Friday I put up on this blog immediately after the programme an article expressing my dismay at seeing this pushed once against by Victoria Coren-Mitchell, a broadcaster for whom I have otherwise immense respect. She made a joke about Corbyn believing in the anti-Semitic Jewish bankers conspiracy. He doesn’t. Never has done, and never will.

“He has a proud record of supporting Jews and Jewish issues in the UK as part of a general commitment to combating racism.

“But he frightens the British, American and Israeli political establishments by supporting Palestinian rights. And more alarming, horror of horrors!, he has the support of self-respecting Torah-observant and secular Jews.

“It seems that the outrage on social media with the programme and its treatment of Corbyn has got to the point that its producers realise they have to do something to tackle it.

“But they can’t defend their linking of Corbyn with anti-Semitism and bogus, murderous conspiracy theories, it seems. Nor can they acknowledge, it appears, that there is a serious issue here.

“And so they tried to head off criticism by rebutting a different issue entirely.

“This is not good enough, not by a long way. Some people might object to the programme for the above reason, but that’s not why an increasing number do.

Perhaps if we continue to voice our real objections, the Beeb might just have to come clean on the real issue. I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.

Source: No, HIGNFY, That’s Not What We Object to in Your Treatment of Corbyn | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

Tory muckraker Kuenssberg is trying to undermine NEC statement on Brexit

Labour’s NEC has released a statement of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s preferred policy on Brexit – and the BBC’s Tory-supporting political editor is already doing everything she can to undermine it.

The statement shows that a Labour government would negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU and put it before the people in a new referendum within six months of coming into office.

This deal, following discussion with industry, trade unions and the EU, would include a new UK-EU customs union, a close relationship with the Single Market, protections of the Good Friday Agreement with no hard border, securing the permanent rights of three million EU nationals in the UK and one million UK nationals in Europe, guarantees of workers’ rights and environmental protections, and membership of key bodies to ensure joint co-operation in areas like climate change, counter-terrorism and medicines.

And Labour would decide how to campaign in a referendum on this deal – or remaining in the EU – after a special one-day party conference, to ensure that the will of party members is upheld.

Here’s the meat of the statement:

Labour will put control of Brexit back in the hands of the people in a new referendum with a real choice between a sensible leave deal or remain.

The NEC further welcomes the role of the Labour Party in Parliament to work cross-party to legislate against crashing out on 31 October. There is no mandate for No Deal.

A Labour government will get Brexit sorted one way or another within six months of coming to power, allowing us to concentrate on all the issues that matter to people most.

A Labour Government would secure a sensible leave deal with the EU within three months, and within six months would put it before the people in a referendum alongside the option to remain.

Jeremy Corbyn is right to say that as a Labour prime minister he would implement the will of the British people in that referendum.

The Labour frontbench has consulted with industry, trade unions and EU leaders and officials on a deal that protects jobs and investment, while respecting the 2016 referendum result.

Labour’s leave deal would include a new UK-EU customs union, a close relationship with the Single Market, protections of the Good Friday Agreement with no hard border, securing the permanent rights of 3 million EU nationals in the UK and 1 million UK nationals in Europe, guarantees of workers’ rights and environmental protections, and membership of key bodies to ensure joint co-operation in areas like climate change, counter-terrorism and medicines.

If people vote to leave on those terms, Labour will deliver that and leave the EU with that negotiated deal. If people vote to remain, Labour would implement that and seek to reform the EU as members. A Labour government will deliver whichever decision is made by the people of the UK.

The NEC believes it is right that the party shall only decide how to campaign in such a referendum – through a one-day special conference, following the election of a Labour Government.

It’s a strong policy, ensuring that the people of the UK have the opportunity to determine their own future – unlike the policies of the Boris Johnson’s Conservatives or Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats.

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1175733913668542464

So of course BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg – who already crashed the BBC switchboard with complaints after she outed a concerned father who challenged Boris Johnson over the collapse of the NHS as a “Labour activist” and told Twitter’s Tories where they could dogpile him – had to try to cause trouble.

In a series of tweets, she claimed that the Labour leadership had emailed the statement to NEC members with a request to get replies in before 1.30pm:

But her claim doesn’t take in the realities of conference participation. Was she suggesting that NEC members should have abandoned their commitments to appear, in order to have a meeting about it?

In practice, a round-robin email was the easiest way – and the deadline was late enough that everyone involved would have had time to respond, between conference appearances.

As it was, there was a majority for the statement before midday, so it was released.

So much for the threat that Brexit divisions would overshadow the conference. But how many people will dwell on Ms Kuenssberg’s distortion rather than the facts?

Source: Breaking: NEC statement ratifies Corbyn’s Brexit position – and post-GE special conference plan | The SKWAWKBOX

Government announces refusal to accept ‘Revoke Article 50’ petition, no matter how many people sign it

So much for democracy under a Conservative government.

So much for its ePetitions website, which was introduced as a huge step towards giving the people a stronger voice in government (if you can remember that long ago).

So what does the government response to the ‘Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU’ petition actually mean? Nothing at all.

The statement was released on the day the petition topped 5.8 million signatures. Although the rate at which people are signing has slowed considerably, it still seems likely that more will have signed it than voted for Brexit in the EU referendum, by the time the revised departure date of April 12 comes around.

Opponents of the petition’s aim have tried to undermine it by claiming it has been overrun by bots, foreign people signing it under the pretence of being British, and multiple signings by the same people. There is no evidence to support these claims.

As for the government’s statement – well, let us examine it.

This Government will not revoke Article 50. We will honour the result of the 2016 referendum and work with Parliament to deliver a deal that ensures we leave the European Union.

Translation: “Expect a general election soon. We are unable to deliver a deal that both Parliament and we can accept.”

It remains the Government’s firm policy not to revoke Article 50. We will honour the outcome of the 2016 referendum and work to deliver an exit which benefits everyone, whether they voted to Leave or to Remain.

But we know that Brexit will harm the economy – that it has already done so, thereby harming those who voted Leave and Remain alike.

Revoking Article 50, and thereby remaining in the European Union, would undermine both our democracy and the trust that millions of voters have placed in Government.

Voters put their trust in governments to lead their nations to prosperity – not ruin. We have seen that Brexit is hugely harmful to the UK economy, yet the Conservative government is determined to pitch us over that metaphorical cliff.

Therefore this statement confirms that the government does not deserve your trust.

The Government acknowledges the considerable number of people who have signed this petition. However, close to three quarters of the electorate took part in the 2016 referendum, trusting that the result would be respected. This Government wrote to every household prior to the referendum, promising that the outcome of the referendum would be implemented. 17.4 million people then voted to leave the European Union, providing the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at UK Government.

Gosh. And if more than 17.4 million people sign the petition, that will provide the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at the UK government.

One wonders whether this statement, made at a time when the petition is one-third of the way to passing 17.4 million, has been timed to discourage people from signing.

The statement also fails to acknowledge that the question posed by the referendum was flawed, in that no attempt was made to describe the form in which the UK’s departure from the European Union would take. This failure has led to nearly three years of paralysis, with the government failing to strike a withdrawal agreement with the EU, and failing to address the “burning injustices” (as Theresa May famously described them) at home.

It fails to acknowledge that many of the three-quarters of the electorate who took part in the referendum, even though its terms were vague beyond incompetence, may have done so in the knowledge that abstaining might result in a huge national mistake.

And you should note well that the government chooses it set the referendum above the petition, even though it has denied us the opportunity to have another referendum to gauge public feeling now. In such circumstances, it seems the petition is the only avenue via which people may make their opinions felt, but the government is saying it will not take any notice of those opinions. That is not democracy.

British people cast their votes once again in the 2017 General Election where over 80% of those who voted, voted for parties, including the Opposition, who committed in their manifestos to upholding the result of the referendum.

How disingenuous. The government has no way of knowing that any members of the electorate voted on the basis of the parties’ policies on Brexit. Opinion within all UK political parties is divided, as the last few months of deadlock have proved beyond any doubt.

And the electorate votes for candidates – not parties.

This Government stands by this commitment.

Even though it does not know whether the majority of the people voted to support it.

Revoking Article 50 would break the promises made by Government to the British people, disrespect the clear instruction from a democratic vote, and in turn, reduce confidence in our democracy. As the Prime Minister has said, failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”, and it is imperative that people can trust their Government to respect their votes and deliver the best outcome for them.

The whole farce of Brexit has already caused “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”. What else may we conclude from the fact that only seven per cent of the population consider the Conservative government to have handled this matter well?

If it really is “imperative that people can trust their Government to respect their votes and deliver the best outcome for them”, then the current Conservative government has no mandate to continue.

More than 80 per cent of the population do not believe the Conservative government is capable of delivering “the best outcome for them”. Many of us do not believe the Conservative government ever tried to do so.

Based on a response like that quoted above, it seems clear that the UK electorate should demand a general election before this fiasco goes on any longer.

If the Tories are determined to fail us, it is time to seek a government that won’t.

Government ePetitions website crashes as thousands PER MINUTE call for Brexit to be revoked

Backfire: Theresa May’s Brexit statement proved hugely divisive (as she intended) – but with general opinion siding against her (which she probably didn’t). Open mouth, insert foot…

That’s handy, isn’t it? The government ePetitions website crashed at a time when 1,500 people per minute were trying to sign a petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked and Brexit halted.

The petition, launched about a month ago, started gaining signatures in huge numbers after Theresa May’s statement yesterday evening (March 20).

It seems signatories objected to the prime minister’s claim that members of the public want her to “get on with” Brexit, and that she is “on your side”.

It had received almost 600,000 signatures when it went down around 9am today (March 21). The site was restored by 9.40am but crashed again shortly afterwards.

Some might say the faults were fortuitous for a government that has done little over the last two years except spend huge amounts of time, effort and money trying to get us all to accept a departure from the European Union that will benefit only a tiny minority, rather than the nation as a whole.

However, at the time of writing (3pm, March 21) it is up again and showing more than one million signatures.

That’s nearly half a million signatures in six hours. Do a quick bit of maths and you’ll see that a question arises:

What if this petition tops 17.4 million signatures – totalling more people than voted for Brexit in the first place?

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, addressed this in the debate on her statement regarding the business of the House next week, saying: “Should the petition reach more than 17.4 million signatures, there would be a very clear case for taking action.”

So it seems the general public could have a final say on Brexit after all?

For clarity, if you would like to sign the petition, please visit the government website here.

Theresa May has been reported to the police for endangering MPs in her latest statement

Behind bars: If convicted, Theresa May could face a prison sentence lasting up to six months – which would be a welcome break for everyone.

Alex Tiffin, writer of the Universal Credit Sufferer blog, has reported prime minister Theresa May to the police after she blamed MPs for delaying Brexit in a statement.

He is justified in doing so. As he reports in his article, MPs are increasingly having to endure threats to their personal safety which require them to have security for basic functions like constituency surgeries.

And her outburst yesterday –

– in which she said, “You’re tired of the infighting. You’re tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rows. Tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit, when you have real concerns about your children’s schools, our national health service, knife crime. You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side. It is now time for MPs to decide,” provoked a strong response from those she had blamed.

Mr Tiffin quotes a tweet from Labour MP Wes Streeting:

And he quotes Conservative MP Sam Gyimah, who said: “Resorting to the ‘blame game’ as the PM is doing is a low blow. Democracy loses when a PM who has set herself against the HoC then blames MPs for doing their job. Distracts from Art 50 extension, all part of her strategy to run down the clock and rule out other options. Toxic.”

Mr Tiffin himself wrote: “Given the state of politics in the UK just now Theresa may will be well aware that anything she says will carry consequences. Jo Cox MP was murdered by a far-right extremist because of her views. MPs are being accosted daily outside the Houses of Parliament and they face very credible death threats all the time and have had to increase their security.

“Had an ordinary citizen acted in this way, they would at the very least be investigated. She has blamed MPs for delaying Brexit. Such a delicate issue as this should, lead public figures to be careful of that they say. In this case, I can’t see how the Prime Minister thought this was wise.

“At the very least, there should be a full investigation of May’s actions last night and also a review of MPs security arrangements. Anything short of that will tell the public that holding a high office makes you immune from scrutiny under the law.”

We all know that holding high office makes people immune from the law.

You only have to look at the various paedophile scandals that have been swept under the carpet in the last 50 years – some of them by Theresa May – to know that is true.

And I doubt that any investigation would get very far, as it opens the door to investigations into statements by public figures that may have endangered other members of the public.

Wes Streeting himself joined in the condemnation when This Writer was accused of anti-Semitism, and I was certainly forced to endure a large amount of unwelcome – and wholly unwarranted – abuse during that time. Was he responsible? If I had been subjected to physical attack, would he have taken any responsibility for directing the attackers toward me?

What about Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman, whose unwise behaviour on Twitter caused a huge amount of unwanted and undue attention towards a young teenager?

The relevant law is section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986, under which it is an offence if a person uses “towards another person threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour … whereby that person is likely to believe that such violence will be used or it is likely that [unlawful] violence will be provoked”.

We should all await with interest the response from the Metropolitan Police.

This charity chief broke the Tory gagging order on the effect of Universal Credit. Her words are heartbreaking – and infuriating

The lady in the video below is Ellie Waugh, chief executive of the charity Humanity Torbay, which aims to help the vulnerable secure homes, jobs and training.

Part of that mission has involved working with the Conservative government – but this has come with strings attached, including a demand not to criticise Tory policies such as Universal Credit on pain of losing grant aid.

Ms Waugh has chosen to speak out despite these threats because she thinks the public needs to know how bad the situation is.

Her statement is clear: “It is absolutely awful out there.”

Anyone who is not heartbroken by her message and infuriated at the Conservative government for making it necessary, and for creating the situation that made it necessary, should seriously consider trying to find their own humanity.

Please share the clip. People need to see it.

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