Tag Archives: support

Starmer’s protest against Universal Credit cut forgets that sick and disabled people have suffered worse

What a pathetic excuse for an Opposition leader Keir Starmer is!

He has (rightly) come out against the removal of the £20 Universal Credit “uplift” that was introduced to protect people from the effects of Covid-19.

But his claim that it is the “biggest overnight cut in the history of the welfare state” is a long way off the mark!

Here’s Sue Jones to explain:

It tells us much about Starmer and his priorities.

Once again under the control of neoliberals, StarmerLabour couldn’t care a fig about people who cannot work because of illness and/or disability.

As Starmer’s Shadow Chancellor once claimed, Labour is once again oriented only towards working people. Anybody else can go hang.

And let’s be honest: even if you’re working, Starmer is only really interested if you can hand him large amounts of cash in donations, to shore up his party’s failing financial position. Everything else – including his stance on Universal Credit – is just a pose.

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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:

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Keir Starmer: llama harmer – killing an alpaca with no symptoms of TB is his only policy

Keir Starmer: another foot-in-mouth moment for a failing Labour leader.

Once again we see Keir Starmer siding with the Tory government on an issue where they are both wrong.

He wants Geronimo the alpaca to be euthanised because of four-year-old test results for bovine tuberculosis – because that’s what Boris Johnson’s government wants. Starmer has no ideas of his own.

Geronimo was imported from New Zealand to a farm in South Gloucestershire in 2017, after being tested four times for bovine TB. Those tests came back negative.

But when he arrived, owner Helen Macdonald agreed to allow him to be tested with the Enferplex blood test, a voluntary test as part of national surveillance of the disease.

That test produced a positive result, as did a further test in November that year. But there are long-standing concerns about the accuracy of the government’s preferred tests, which have not been allayed by protestations that they are 99 per cent reliable.

Ms Macdonald reckons the tests produced false positives because Geronimo had been ‘primed’ by being injected with bovine tuberculin.

It is not clear to This Writer why this happened. Was it done as part of the New Zealand tests?

The government decided that Geronimo should be euthanised after the 2017 tests but this has been delayed because Ms Macdonald has resisted it in court.

She has just lost her final appeal in the High Court, and the government is expected to carry out its death sentence on the eight-year-old alpaca within 30 days.

This is what’s bothering me: while it is perfectly normal for it to take years for bovine TB symptoms to make themselves felt, it has now been four years since Geronimo’s first positive test.

Shouldn’t he be showing one or two such symptoms by now? (He isn’t.)

And: why is the government so reluctant to give Geronimo another test? Surely it would have been less expensive than all these legal shenanigans? (Believe me – I know how expensive court proceedings can be.)

Given all that, I wonder why Keir Starmer has got involved on the government’s side – or, indeed, at all.

It certainly hasn’t done him any good, as the comments from members of the public show.

Starmer said, “It’s always tragic when it happens. I don’t think we can make an exception in this case.”

His words provoked the following responses:

More damning still is the – accurate – claim that Starmer could be taking action to oppose the government on other issues, but has chosen instead to support it over Geronimo:

These are bad choices by a bad leader.

Source: Geronimo: Sir Keir Starmer says there’s ‘no alternative’ to alpaca’s slaughter | ITV News West Country

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Riley libel latest: she insults anybody who has supported Mike. Does that include you?

That’s right – Rachel Riley’s latest tactic is to insult you, saying no reasonable person would come to the conclusion I reached about her.

So, if you’re among the thousands of people who have helped fund my defence against her libel claim, she’s saying you are not a reasonable person because not only did you come to that conclusion, but you have funded my defence on the basis of it.

The new revelations come in her reply to my amended defence against her.

She says a reasonable person reading the source material I say that I read (we’ll come to that shortly) would not have reached the same conclusion – but neglects to provide any explanation for the claim.

She then says that, if my research had been as thorough as I have said, I would have taken account of other tweets that should have changed my mind. What other tweets? She doesn’t say. Do such tweets exist? Well, it’s debatable.

The case is based on exchanges on Twitter, and one aspect of that platform is that conversations begin to resemble trees, branching off in different directions. I concentrated on tweets by Riley and her teenage victim – about each other and the original subject of their dialogue.

That’s the reason I didn’t pick up Riley’s admission that she believes it is possible for ‘blue-tick’ Twitter users to whip up their supporters to attack and abuse other people until this year, that she contradicted in her failed bid to strike out my defences last year; it was in a response to Owen Jones.

And those tweets support me, not her.

If she produces tweets that support her claim, she’ll have to place them in context to show their relevance, and explain why I should have been able to find them. I look forward to that evidence.

She’s also claiming that I’m lying about the tweets I did read – that I didn’t actually read them all before writing my article – on the grounds that I haven’t produced them all previously.

The reason is simple: I didn’t have to.

I did read those tweets – around 200 of them. But none of the material provided to the court so far has been evidence; it has been what’s known as pleading. A pleading is not supposed to produce all of the material that will come out in disclosure and witness evidence.

And Riley knows this – or at least, her solicitor Mark Lewis knows this, and as he is the one who signed and dated this reply (with the wrong date, I notice), perhaps we should conclude that he is the one making all these claims. Why? Is she running away?

To sum up: Riley (and/or her lawyer) is claiming that I lied and misled you – with a false claim that I did not read all the tweets I’m saying I did – before writing my article accusing her of hypocrisy.

And she’s saying that, having read the evidence I have produced, you have to be unreasonable to agree with me.

There is only one way for you to counter this insult effectively – and that is to make sure I can defeat her claim in court.

That is by no means certain at the moment. The CrowdJustice fund has just covered the cost of creating the amended defence and hefty new costs are going to start mounting up now.

So if you are as angry at Riley’s insulting attack on you as I think you should be, then please do at least one of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, 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.

I know this case has been going on for a long time now, but it seems to me that Riley – and her lawyer – is getting desperate.

On the basis of this reply, I think that she will lose her case in court.

But the case has to get to court first.

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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Here’s why Starmer really could be destroying Labour as an effective Opposition to the Tories

Johnson and Starmer: There is a historical precedent for claims that the Labour leader is propping up a prime minister who is a danger to the UK’s population.

The claim that Keir Starmer is deliberately sabotaging Labour so the Tories stay in power indefinitely is very much in vogue at the moment.

But it seems there may be a very clear historical precedent for this fear – and This Writer’s own brother, Beastrabban, has unearthed it. He writes:

It looks like Starmer and his supporters are determined to destroy the party, rather than see it return to socialism.

But they also remind me of the bizarre constitution of the former East Germany. This was a Communist dictatorship, but on paper it constitution, drawn up by the allies after the War, proclaimed it to be a multiparty democracy. And indeed there were other parties, which all duly recognised the leading role of the East German Communist party and were there to provide the illusion of genuine democracy even though the reality was very different.

Boris Johnson is taking us towards real Fascism at a rate of knots with his curbs on the right to demonstrate, the ability of the courts to hold the government to account and now Priti Patel’s new laws to impose jail terms of 14 years for any journo who embarrasses the government. All this could very well lead to the establishment of what would be effectively a Tory dictatorship. But the Tories also need to claim some democratic validity, and hence I wonder if that’s Starmer’s role.

He’s there to maintain the illusion that there are opposition parties even though their leadership has reduced them to impotence.

So now we all know. Is forewarned forearmed? Or is it already too late.

Read the full article here: Starmer: A Puppet Opposition in a Sham Democracy | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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Starmer announces support for Northern Ireland unionism – at the worst possible time

Keir Starmer: open mouth, insert… well, jackboot, really.

Is Labour leader Keir Starmer deliberately trying to stir up violence in Northern Ireland?

He has told an interviewer that, if a referendum were called on whether NI should rejoin the Irish Republic, he would campaign with Ulster Unionism against Irish Unity.

If this happened at a time when he was prime minister (unlikely, I know) this would contradict the Good Friday Agreement:

In any case, Starmer’s decision to say this could not possibly have come at a worse time. He said it just days before July 12, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth or Orangemen’s Day – the Ulster Protestant celebration of William of Orange’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne that began Protestant Ascendancy in the province.

According to our good and reliable friends, Wikipedia, “On and around the Twelfth, large parades are held by the Orange Order and Ulster loyalist marching bands, streets are bedecked with British flags and bunting, and large towering bonfires are lit.

“The Twelfth has been accompanied by violence since its beginning.”

This apparent endorsement of Protestant supremacy by a Labour leader is likely to encourage the more incendiary elements of the Protestant population. Who knows what could happen as a result?

It was an astonishingly irresponsible statement for Starmer to make.

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Why isn’t Labour SCREAMING about the new Bill to increase NHS privatisation?

From what Keir Starmer isn’t saying, should we now conclude that he supports the Tory plan for NHS privatisation?

The response? Silence.

Oh – Starmer posted a couple of “happy birthday” message son the NHS’s 73rd anniversary, back on July 5.

You can read about the government’s plan here.

Meanwhile, what’s going on in the NHS at the moment?

How about Covid-19. How’s that going?

Uh-huh!

Okay, well maybe it’s not the right time yet. Has any other left-wing leader said anything?

Okay, he’s not the Unite general secretary yet but at least he’s saying something!

So why is Starmer so quiet?

The only logical conclusion is that he supports the pro-privatisation plans within the Health and Care Bill.

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Never mind her antics: Priti Patel would have DEPORTED members of the England football team

Priti Patel: this is a more accurate representation of the image she should have had on her shirt.

Priti Patel really has a nerve.

Only a few days ago, she was saying she saw nothing wrong with racist football fans booing the England Euro 2020 squad for ‘taking the knee’ before its matches.

That was before Gareth Southgate’s team won a place in the final, of course.

Now look at her:

Just wait until somebody tells her that her idea of good immigration law would have denied eight of the 11 team members their place in the team she now supports so fanatically:

As it is, she seems intent on criminalising the Royal National Lifeboat Institution with her proposed new laws to stop us saving refugees from death. Get your head around this:

Here’s the relevant part of the legislation:

That’s right – for seeing somebody in desperate need and saving their life, you could be imprisoned for the rest of yours under Patel’s (and her boss Boris Johnson’s) dictatorial, fascist regime.

Perhaps the worst indictment against her is that she can’t deny that her proposals would have outlawed initiatives like the Kindertransport that saved hundreds of Jewish children from Nazi death camps by bringing them to safety in the UK before the outbreak of World War II:

I wonder how well that plays with her friends in Israeli politics?

Of course, that law hasn’t been enacted yet, so we can all enjoy this:

Final word:

So much for Patel.

If you want to admire a political figure who supports the England team in an honest way, here’s the Left’s Grace Blakely:

DWP confirms ESA £5,000 underpayment update next month

The Department for Work and Pensions office in London.

This is fairly straightforward – although when the DWP announced it was doing this, I was among many who thought it was a cover for yet another purge of benefit claimants.

I wonder… When the report is published on July 8, will it include a section on the number of people the Department found to have been overpaid or wrongly paid, and from whom it is now clawing money back?

That might be interesting.

The DWP confirmed it will release a final update on progress of checking 600,000 Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) cases for underpayments next month.

In a brief statement on the GOV.UK website, the DWP announced the statistics will be available from 9.30am on Thursday, July 8 as part of the completion of the exercise – reports the Daily Record.

In the last update, DWP reported that 600,000 ESA claims started the reassessment journey, with 112,000 claimants receiving arrears payments.

The UK Government has already paid out a total of £589million in backdated payments, with claimants receiving an average of £5,000 in January 2020.

Source: DWP confirms ESA £5,000 underpayment update next month – Liverpool Echo

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The DWP carried out dozens of secret reviews into benefit claimant deaths – and deleted them. Why? What did they show?

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign].

If you’ve got nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, right?

In that case, what is the Department of Work and Pensions afraid of?

Since February 2012 (as far as we can be sure), it has been carrying out secret reviews into the reasons benefit claimants died – but has destroyed records of all such reviews carried out before 2016.

Why? What did they find that the DWP needed to hide?

Freedom of Information requests show that 49 reviews took place between February 2012 and autumn 2014 (all records of them have been destroyed) – and nine reviews took place between August 2014 and April 2016 (but these overlap with other periods where we know the numbers).

The reason this is cause for serious concern is that the DWP’s policies and practices have been linked to the deaths of benefit claimants – particularly those claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) who suffered mental distress – ever since the Tories took over control of that department in 2010 (if not before).

At the time of writing it is only a day since This Site published an article highlighting the fact that more than 300 terminally-ill people have been dying every month after being denied fast-track access to benefits by the DWP.

The department has been rejecting around 100 claims per month.

The concern – as I pointed out yesterday – is that the Department for Work and Pensions intentionally harms people claiming benefits by depriving them of their payments in order to hasten their deaths.

Is that what was revealed in the now-destroyed reviews of the reasons claimants died?

Is that why the DWP shredded them?

If so, then it seems this department’s bosses – and their political leaders from 2010 onwards – have good reason to be afraid. But when will they be brought to justice?

Source: DWP admits carrying out more than 175 secret reviews into benefit deaths in nine years – Disability News Service

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