Tag Archives: support

Hancock won’t resign over unlawful Covid contracts – and why should he when Starmer supports him?

With friends like these: Matt Hancock has refused to resign for breaking the law – and Tory-in-Labour-clothing Keir Starmer has supported him. So much for democracy. So much for justice.

Matt Hancock has refused to resign after the High Court said he had breached a legal obligation to publish details of Covid-19-related contracts with private firms. He said he had been doing what was needed in order to save lives.

That, of course, has yet to be seen – and we shouldn’t have to wait too long.

The court’s decision means details of Hancock’s hidden contracts must be publicised at last. We will be able to judge whether he spent billions of pounds of public money on measures that have actually saved lives…

… Or simply funnelled cash into the pockets of Tory cronies and chums who then failed to do anything useful with it at all.

Sadly, Hancock is under no political pressure whatsoever to resign after Keir Starmer, a so-called “Blue Labour” turncoat who pretends to lead Her Majesty’s Opposition but instead acts more like a cheerleader for the Conservative government, spoke in support of him instead:

What a betrayal – well, you can tell how This Writer feels about it from my own response:

All Labour – as a party – has done is urge Hancock to publish details of contracts that remain secret at the time of writing, which is no more than the High Court ordered.

And Labour said he should stop using emergency procurement powers in order to put a stop to cronyism. He should have stopped months ago; procurement of Covid-related equipment and services was an emergency matter in February 2020 but by now it should be subject to the proper tendering process – the emergency should be over.

Some Labour MPs have demonstrated that they have more backbone than the party’s fake of a leader, though:

It is hard to tell what is most disappointing about the way this story is developing.

If the UK’s government was functioning properly, then Hancock should have been out of a job within minutes of the High Court’s decision becoming public.

But government hasn’t functioned properly in this way since the 1980s, if I recall correctly.

The news media failed to grip the story properly; it is only because the social media publicised it that they felt pressured into mentioning it at all.

And the inaction of the Labour leader has been nothing short of contemptible.

Source: Matt Hancock refuses to resign over failure to publish details of Covid contracts – Mirror Online

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Employers need to plan for the future. Why is the ‘party of business’ denying them this security?

Ditherer: Rishi Sunak doesn’t know how to safeguard businesses and the UK economy, or link its well-being with public health because the neoliberal dogma he learned does not accommodate phenomena like the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19-related support packages for businesses are set to end soon, with no extension or replacement announced – signifying a £50 billion loss to the UK’s economy.

According to Tory plans the furlough scheme, rates holidays, tax deferrals, VAT cuts and other support packages will be closed at the end of the financial year.

But businesses are now expecting to be closed well into the spring and possibly beyond.

Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak is not likely to announce his plans for the future of the economy until he makes his spring Budget statement on March 3 – too late for many firms, whose bosses will have to make decisions based on information currently available to them before that, if they are to be seen to be acting with responsibility to their shareholders, creditors and even employees.

Labour has demanded immediate action and, for once, Keir Starmer’s party is right.

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell also touched a raw nerve when she said Boris Johnson’s Tory government had failed to ensure that business support was integrated with public health measures.

As a result, the UK’s Covid-related recession had been the worst of any major economy.

And the longer Sunak dithers, the worst the situation will become.

Source: Businesses facing £50bn ‘bombshell’ as Covid support withdrawn, warns Labour | The Independent

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Trickster Coffey: she says disabled people should switch to Universal Credit – where they’ll be worse-off

Therese Coffey: you wouldn’t think she was trying to get her jollies by encouraging people to quit legacy benefits for Universal Credit with a false claim that they’ll be better-off, would you?

Did Therese Coffey get her doctorate in lying to people?

Having refused calls to extend the £20-per-week Universal Credit uplift to so-called “legacy benefits” that sick and disabled people receive – Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and others – she has suggested that they should claim UC instead.

People on Severe Disablement Premium (SDP) were unable to make that move until Wednesday (January 27) – when the Tories removed that barrier.

But charities have warned that this is a trap.

People with long-term illnesses and disabilities are more likely to lose money if they switch to UC and, once they have made the move, there is no going back.

It’s just another example of Tory discrimination against people with disabilities, that has reached new heights in the Covid-19 crisis, which they have used as an excuse for persecution.

People who’ve been on SDPs can get £120, £285 or £405 per month in transition payments – depending on their circumstances. But DWP officials have confirmed these payments “will be subject to erosion and cessation” over time.

And the Disability Rights UK group has claimed that, “after transitional help is eroded after time”, Universal Credit will be “significantly less generous” than legacy benefits for disabled people.

So the two-tier discrimination against people with disabilities in fact continues, no matter whether they are on “legacy benefits” or Universal Credit.

This Writer’s advice is clear: stay where you are. Don’t give Trickster Coffey the giggle she wants to get from hurting you.

Source: Fears as DWP chief urges disabled people to switch to Universal Credit from Wednesday – Mirror Online

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‘I’m backing Brexit!’ says Starmer. But will he take his MPs with him?

About face: Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer have performed an astonishing turnabout to support Boris Johnson’s Brexit – even though they don’t have to; it will become law anyway. Why are they insisting on tying Labour into responsibility for it?

Keir Starmer has given us yet another reason to distrust him:

Yes, that’s right. The politician who demanded that Labour pursue a policy that would put the UK through another EU referendum – and that lost the 2019 general election – has performed a complete about-face and was backing Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal before he had even read it.

That doesn’t seem very “forensic” to This Writer!

Here’s the proof:

That statement was made a matter of hours after Johnson announced that a deal had been reached; he would not have had time to read the 1,200-page agreement and its 800 pages of appendices.

It is impossible for those of us in the know not to say “we told you so”…

But the question now arises: should Labour back Johnson’s deal, that has cost hundreds of billions of pounds and promises nothing more than to make us all worse-off?

And the answer is obvious: no.

The deal will go through; the Conservatives have a very comfortable majority in the House of Commons, thanks to Starmer’s own daft election policy. It doesn’t need Labour’s support.

And of course, Starmer has outed himself as a hypocrite, considering the number of times he has told his MPs to abstain on Tory policies.

It raises once again what has become a perennial question:

Perhaps in an attempt to head off criticism, deputy leader Angela Rayner has tried to say Labour will vote for the deal, but won’t take responsibility for it – and will hold the Tories to account for broken promises:

That is not reasonable. If Labour supports the deal, then Starmer (and Rayner) take as much responsibility for it as Boris Johnson and the Tories. That’s what their vote means:

The plan confirms Starmer’s Labour as pale-blue Conservative cheerleaders:

One criticism that may strike home is that Starmer has turned the House of Commons into an imitation of the Russian Parliament, the Duma, in which the opposition party votes with Vladimir Putin on everything (apparently).

Note that Rayner says that Labour with vote for the agreement “against no deal” – but there is no possibility of that, now. The Conservatives can vote it through without Labour’s help. ‘No deal’, it seems, was nothing more than an invented bogeyman after all – a threat to hang over us so we wouldn’t compare what we are getting with what we are losing.

In Rayner’s case, it seems to have worked.

But will she – and Starmer – take the rest of the Parliamentary Labour Party with them?

Chris Bryant may find it hard, for one, after his comments about Jeremy Corbyn…

Yes indeed. And it seems more trouble is brewing, according to the Telegraph:

A series of Labour MPs are set to revolt against Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to whip the party in support of Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal.

Rupa Huq, Kevin Brennan, Neil Coyle, Geraint Davies and Clive Efford were among those who criticised the deal and signalled their refusal to vote for it, according to sources present on [a briefing] call.

It is not clear whether they will vote against the deal or abstain, but who can blame them for rebelling? They’re probably thinking something similar to David Rosenberg:

Depending on what happens and how badly the public take it, This Writer thinks James Foster’s prediction may bed horrifyingly accurate:

Whatever happens, one thing must be made clear:

Keir Starmer knows what he is doing. He should be judged on that basis.

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Tory message to people on benefits: have yourselves a MISERABLE little Christmas

Therese Coffey: computer says no.

The worst part of this is that Therese Coffey probably didn’t even think about the consequences of her actions.

It is doubtful she gave a moment’s consideration to the fact that the Tory government’s so-called “grace period” exempting many people who claimed Universal Credit due to the Covid-19 crisis from the benefit cap will end this month – right before Christmas.

The number of households affected by the Benefit Cap has doubled since the Covid-19 crisis started – to 170,000. And a further 160,000 will reach the end of the nine-month grace period in the remaining weeks before Christmas.

How nice for them to have to work out how to make up the sudden shortfall just when they are likely to need more!

Still, it could be worse – they could be claiming Employment and Support Allowance, like many people with long-term illnesses and disabilities.

These people were diddled out of a £20-per-week rise in benefits that was given to people on Universal Credit. Coffey babbled a bobbins “computer says no” claim – that changes to computer systems could take months.

For UC claimants, the increase will last at least until next April, although there are demands for it to be made permanent, in the light of increasing uncertainty about the nation’s economic future.

ESA claimants are already £660-a-year worse-off – each – because of Ms Coffey’s computer-illiteracy, and this could almost double to £1,000 if they don’t see the rise in April.

Now for the most insidious part: Ms Coffey hasn’t ruled out the possibility that ESA claimants may get their benefit increase in the future.

But (firstly) she hasn’t said anything about whether they’ll have the rise backdated to cover all the time they’ve had to cope without it.

And (secondly) there’s an enormous orange elephant sitting in the middle of this room: people on Employment and Support Allowance die. One could say it is what they are best-known for.

The most common reason they die, that is known to those of us who check, is lack of money. ESA claimants need more cash because their medical conditions mean their lives are more expensive than those of people who are able-bodied.

And here the Tories have said they are deliberately denying sick people the extra cash that they have said everyone else needs to cope with the extra costs of Covid!

I fear that, for many, that is the equivalent of writing a death warrant.

And, given the Tory record on these matters, I fear that death is exactly what Ms Coffey is hoping will happen to these people – whose only crime is failure to be a “functioning work unit” (as Tory jargon describes the rest of us).

AFTERTHOUGHT: Shortly after I posted this, I received the following comment on Twitter, which I think makes a very good point:

And this:

Source: Two million disabled people set to lose £2 billion in Tory benefits freeze – Mirror Online

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After his supporters bleated over Corbyn, how can Starmer avoid corruption claims?

Keir Starmer: he’s not looking so smug now (image for illustrative purposes only, before anybody points out it’s old).

Keir Starmer dug a deep hole for himself when he allowed Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour membership to be suspended.

This Site has already discussed the fact that it led other party members to protest and they, in turn, were suspended for talking about it – even though Starmer and other members of his party elite had been doing the same.

It has been said that these suspendees were not allowed to vote in the NEC elections that took place while Corbyn’s suspension was ongoing – or rather their votes weren’t counted – so there is already a smell of corruption about the business.

To this may now be added the possibility that it was unlikely Labour would ever have suspended Corbyn because he may have taken the case to court. Corbyn has hundreds of thousands of pounds in a fund that was raised when it seemed he may be sued over the Panorama documentary Is Labour Antisemitic? – and he has the facts on his side; he was well within his rights to say the words that led to his suspension.

And now Starmer’s own supporters have undermined him by complaining. This Writer has engaged with one of them as follows:

Hodge’s response is, I’m told, mild in comparison with some of the others.

I tend to agree with Skwawkbox‘s interpretation of this:

After weeks of bleating about political interference by party leader Jeremy Corbyn (even though his office only intervened to tell heel-dragging right-wing staff to get on with it), they are now demanding political interference by party leader Keir Starmer – and threatening to flounce out unless he does interfere – even though the reinstatement was decided by a right-dominated NEC panel.

These are the same people who have been loudly demanding that the party implement the full conclusions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report – which bans political interference. Yet as soon as a disciplinary process ends in a result they don’t like, they come over all ‘To hell with that!’, which makes you wonder what kind of ‘independent’ process they’d accept. Of course, the ‘mainstream’ media is pointing out precisely none of this shameless hypocrisy.

You’d almost think the ‘moderates’ weren’t serious about wanting impartial and just outcomes to disciplinary complaints and had just been cynically exploiting an opportunity in a way that can only be described as, well… political.

Starmer has promised to implement all the recommendations of the EHRC report mentioned above – including the ban on political interference. He may not have done it yet but, by demanding it, they are at least breaking the spirit of the new rules Starmer plans to bring in.

And there are all the complaints that have already been made about those of Starmer’s lieutenants who have passed anti-Semitic comments without fear of suspension.

Put it together and Starmer faces corruption accusations from all sides.

By suspending Corbyn supporters, he may be accused of corrupting the NEC elections.

By not suspending his own supporters, he may also be accused of corruption.

Either way, it seems clear he sits at the head of a corrupted Labour Party machine – with himself as the cause of the corruption.

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DWP disabled sanctions extension shows great tragedy is due to timing, too

Habitual cruelty: if you thought the Tories stopped persecuting people with long-term illnesses and disabilities during the Covid-19 crisis, think again.

The Department for Work and Pensions has employed its usual subtlety and tact – and has extended benefit sanctions against people with disabilities in time for the new English lockdown.

People with long-term illnesses and/or disabilities who fail to take part in telephone work capability assessments are now to be sanctioned. The change was brought in on November 2, days before the new lockdown began.

The change has been attacked by mental health charity Mind as an “abandonment of their responsibility to keep people safe”.

Mind’s Ayaz Manji said:

We need to see a compassionate response to this pandemic.

That has to mean removing benefit sanctions and cancelling reassessments for disability benefits so that people with mental health problems don’t face the prospect of going without income this winter.

Sadly, we are not going to see any compassion from the Department for Work and Pensions while it is under Tory control.

The Department has said nobody will be sanctioned without being contacted first – which raises interesting questions if assessors can’t even phone up a claimant properly:

People will be contacted to ask them to explain why they did not, or could not attend or participate in the assessment and where good cause is provided and accepted, support will continue.

We don’t want to sanction anyone and our absolute priority is to ensure people continue to receive the support they are entitled to.

We will contact anyone who hasn’t engaged in a telephone appointment and their support will absolutely continue if they have a good reason for not attending or participating.

We’ve heard it all before. Expect a slew of articles about the DWP failing to follow this simple routine.

Source: DWP extends benefit sanctions against disabled people just as new lockdown begins – Mirror Online

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Will new inquest into death of ESA claimant Jodey Whiting show failure of DWP safeguarding?

Jodey Whiting, 42, took her own life after her benefits were stopped.

Permission for a new inquest into the death of ESA claimant Jodey Whiting has been granted amid concern that a government department’s role in it had been covered up.

Here is the announcement from solicitors Leigh Day:

“The family of Jodey Whiting has been granted permission to apply to the High Court for a fresh inquest into her death after new evidence was submitted about the effect on her of a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) decision to halt the benefits on which she was entirely dependent.

“Jodey’s mother, Joy Dove, was granted permission by the office of the Attorney General following her submission that the original inquest into her daughter’s death was insufficient. The new evidence she submitted in support of her application included an investigation into the handling of Jodey’s benefits by the DWP and a report from an independent psychiatrist.

“Jodey, from Stockton-on-Tees, died aged 42 on 21 February, 2017. She took her own life three days after she received her last Employment Support Allowance (ESA) payment.

“She had been informed on 6 February that the payments would stop and the associated housing benefit and council tax benefit payments would also be stopped.

“The decision to halt the payments was made because following a reassessment of Jodey’s entitlement to ESA, begun in 2016, she had failed to attend a work capability assessment (WCA).

“However, Jodey had requested a home visit for the WCA as she rarely left the house because of her severely poor health. She suffered multiple physical and mental health difficulties, took 23 tablets a day and was entirely dependent on welfare benefits.

“She had made in clear in her request for a home WCA that she had “suicidal thoughts a lot of the time and could not cope with work or looking for work”.

“The request was refused, the WCA was set for a date in January, and Jodey did not attend.

“After Jodey’s death, an inquest was held three months later, 24 May, 2017, which lasted less than an hour.

“The coroner declined to consider the potential role of the DWP and their acts or omissions in Jodey’s death.

“Jodey’s family were unrepresented and were unaware that they may have been entitled to publicly funded legal representation.

“After the inquest a report by an Independent Case Examiner concluded that the DWP had made multiple significant errors in how it treated Jodey.

“Some of the failings had not been known to Jodey’s family, who were horrified to learn how many failings had occurred in the handling of Jodey’s benefits.

“The opinion of an independent Consultant psychiatrist, sought by Jodey’s family,  confirmed that the DWP’s failings would probably have had a substantial effect on Jodey’s mental state at the time she took her own life.

“Joy argues that the manner in which Jodey was treated by the DWP, and in particular the withdrawal of her ESA, caused or materially contributed to her death and that, had this not occurred, Jodey’s death would not have occurred when it did.

“Following the letter giving her permission to apply for a new inquest into Jodey’s death, Joy said: “What a relief to be granted permission for a new inquest into Jodey’s death. It has been a nightmare but I want to thank the hard work of Merry Varney and all the team at Leigh Day and everyone who has been helping me with the Justice for Jodey campaign. This is a big step forward.

““I love my daughter so much and this should never have happened. How could they say she was fit to work? What they put her through was terrible, but I hope that this will mean that Jodey has saved others from the same nightmare.”

“Joy is represented by Leigh Day partner Merry Varney, who added: “The Attorney-General’s decision is very welcome. It is the first completed step in the long journey by Jodey’s family to seek a full and fearless investigation into whether the DWP, and its flawed decision making regarding Jodey’s benefits claim, caused or contributed to her death.

“”We must now apply to the High Court and seek to persuade the Court a fresh inquest is necessary.”

“The application for a new inquest will be made to the High Court within the next 6 weeks and a final hearing may take place by summer, 2021.”

This Site has been covering this case since June 2017 and will report further developments as and when they become available.

Source: Jodey Whiting’s Family Given Permission To Apply For Second Inquest Into Her Death | Leigh Day

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Inside the campaign to support Jeremy Corbyn

Undaunted: He’sonce again, he’s got a sheer wall to climb but that has not stopped Jeremy Corbyn in the past.

One would imagine the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn were all rabid anti-Semites and extremists, judging from the behaviour of some Establishment stooges who should know better (including members of the current Labour leadership).

This could not be further from the truth, as a report on an online rally in support of Corbyn demonstrates. This Writer’s good brother, Beastrabban, attended (if that’s the right word for an online experience) the event and heard speakers including Diane Abbott, Jess Barnard, Howard Beckett, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Rivkah Brown, Richard Burgon, Deborah Hermanns, John McDonnell, Roger McKenzie, Barnaby Raine, Chardine Taylor Stone, and Jon Trickett.

Some of the speakers had personally experienced the racism of which Corbyn and his supporters are accused:

Jon Trickett is Jewish through his mother’s side, and suffered anti-Semitic abuse recently from a real Nazi.

But it is important to record that

they acknowledged that there was a problem with racism and anti-Semitism in the Labour party and society, and felt that it was growing, and needed to be fought.

This tallies with other information that has been revealed recently. It seems that, with increasing numbers of Jews relocating to Israel, anti-Jewish sentiment is rising in the European countries they are vacating, including the UK. Is this because there are fewer actual Jews around to provide tangible examples of the falsehood of the anti-Semites’ propaganda?

In the Labour leadership, of course, the anti-Corbyn sentiment was said to be motivated, not by a reaction against anti-Semitism, but against socialism – the very reason the Labour Party was formed:

Some speakers made it extremely clear that the anti-Semitism smears against Corbyn weren’t actually motivated by any concern about real Jew hatred, but were instead an attempt to stop the emergence of a genuine socialist Labour party. This was shown in a Torygraph article that day calling for Starmer to purge the party completely of Corbynism.

They made the point that what frightens the Tories and their supporters is that Labour has a membership of 500,000. The Labour party isn’t the leadership, it isn’t MPs, it’s the members.

They also pointed out that Corbyn’s problem was that no socialist could become a Labour MP during Blair and Brown’s tenure of power, and so the parliamentary MPs from this time, who have only been MPs for a few years, are naturally opposed to the [former] Labour leader.

That was clear from the moment Corbyn put his name on the Labour leadership election ballot. It opened a class divide within the Labour Party – something that should have been unthinkable in a party where everybody should be equal. Corbyn was considered to be a lower-class upstart with delusions of grandeur just for thinking that he could ever be admitted to the top table.

The result of that election, and the subsequent attempted coup in 2016, showed the elitists in the Parliamentary Labour Party that they had misjudged the membership – so it should be no surprise that, now they are back in control, they want to change party democracy to deny the majority of members any opportunity to elect leaders who actually want to bring about the changes for which the Labour Party was originally created.

People like Keir Starmer enjoy their power over the “little” people and want to keep it. They don’t want to give ordinary working people any more power over their own lives. Remember that, those Labour members who are left after the recent exodus, next time you take part in internal party elections.

There’s a link to a video of the event in the Beastrabban article (see below) so you can watch the whole event yourself.

I recommend that you do; it may dispel any disinformation that you have heard about Corbyn, his supporters and their beliefs.

Source: Momentum’s Stand With Corbyn Rally | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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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StarmerLabour supports Biden because he supported Thatcher’s Falklands war. What does that say about StarmerLabour?

Nandy: all mouth, no brain?

StarmerLabour mouth Lisa Nandy was doing the media rounds this morning, telling us that her party’s leadership wants Joe Biden to be the new US president.

There’s nothing wrong with that if she had stopped there but she didn’t.

She went on to say that this was because Biden had supported former Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s Falklands war.

That is not a good position for Labour to take and I’ll explain the reason,

Once the Falklands had been invaded by General Galtieri’s Argentinian forces (he wanted control of huge oil reserves beneath the South Atlantic), the UK had to go out and liberate the people who lived there and identify as UK citizens – there’s no doubt about that.

But it is widely argued that the reason they needed rescuing in the first place is that Thatcher withdrew naval support from the area, deliberately making the Falklands an attractive target for the Argentinian dictator.

The intention was tacitly to invite him into starting a war that Thatcher could win, in order to create a surge of public support for herself and the Conservative Party here in the UK that would carry them to a stronger victory at the next general election. And it succeeded.

That’s the belief. In the light of it, Nandy’s comment is tone deaf:

It shows that StarmerLabour rejects its own party as it was in the early 1980s, preferring to trumpet its support for the Tory leader who championed the neoliberal ideology that brought disaster down on working-class families across the UK.

It should come as no surprise that Nandy said this was a good thing. Her talent for media stupidity is fast becoming legendary. Here…

… is a clip of her from the BBC’s PM on October 29, presenting the anti-Semitic view that all Jews are rich and that hatred of them is “punching up”. She gets away with making racist comments – and inciting racism with them – because she is on Starmer’s side and for no other reason.

Sadly, she would probably have got away with such a comment, even under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, either because complaints would have been dismissed by right-wingers in the Governance and Legal Unit who would want her to continue as an embarrassment to Corbyn, or because Corbyn, assailed by false accusations, did not want to rock the boat. That was his weakness and ultimately the reason he lost two elections and his Labour Party membership has now been suspended.

Fortunately the tweeting public has no such restraint:

Other comments by the daft Nandy have also attracted justified criticism:

Finally, this comment stands as a harsh reminder to us all of the backstabbing ways adopted by Nandy and her kind of Labour MP:

If they get into power, they would backstab all of the voters who put them there.

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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