Tag Archives: take

Priti Patel disapproved of Black Lives Matter protests – is anybody surprised?

 

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson: when he gets into trouble, she starts making questionable statements to the media.

It might be too much to say that Priti Patel’s obvious disdain for people of certain ethnic origins makes this a foregone conclusion.

So let’s just allow her record to speak for itself. Run a search for “Priti Patel” on this site and see what comes up. And see this for a current example of her behaviour:

On the current issue, The Guardian says she described the protests prompted by the killing of George Floyd by police in the United States as “dreadful”.

It seems she didn’t like the way that some of these protests turned violent after police became involved. Or did I misinterpret those events?

So, what did she think of the peaceful gesture that people chose to make – “taking the knee”?

Asked if she would be prepared to take the knee, she replied: “No I wouldn’t, and I would not have done at the time either.

So in other words, she didn’t like any kind of protest?

“I don’t support protest…”

Wow. So we’re all supposed to just knuckle under and accept any kind of ill-treatment, no matter how appalling – including murder by police officers?

I’m not okay with that. And I’m not alone:

Mind you, it seems odd that – after nobody asked her – Priti Patel should suddenly come out with a comment like this.

It’s as though there was another motive for it…

Or is that too much of a stretch?

Source: Priti Patel hits out at ‘dreadful’ Black Lives Matter protests | Priti Patel | The Guardian

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Tory Brexit trade bill will rob disabled people of the few rights left to them

Looking guilty: But Liam Fox won’t lift a finger to make his trade bill acceptable to disability rights organisations.

If you think the Conservative Party – and in particular a minister who is a doctor by training – would not do everything in its power to harm people with disabilities, you simply have not been paying attention.

Tories are keen on “chequebook euthanasia” – pushing the unemployed and disabled into early graves with the excuse that supporting them is just too expensive.

That is why the concern raised in the Independent article quoted below is so convincing.

Robbing disabled people of transport by claiming it is necessary for the purposes of trade will isolate some of the UK’s most vulnerable citizens and deny them access to employment or meaningful lifestyles.

The examples of the last few years show what happens next: Malnutrition, depression, and eventual suicide.

And the Tories wash their hands of any responsibility, saying there are “many reasons” for a person to take their own life.

Perhaps the most foul aspect of this is that it would be collateral damage – a tangential consequence of Brexit on which none of the Tories in Parliament would waste a moment’s thought.

Of course the Department for International Trade insists that the continuity powers in the trade bill could not be used without Parliamentary scrutiny and says that it has held discussions with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission about the bill.

If so, why would signatories including Liberty, the Business Disability Forum, Disability Rights UK, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mencap, The National Aids Trust, the Royal National Institute for the Blind, Amnesty International UK, Ambitious About Autism and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations feel the need to write?

Once again, disabled people are to bear the brunt of Tory cruelty.

The irony is that even the Confederation of British Industry has made it clear that the Trade Bill will not help the UK deal with other countries at all; the only purpose will be to increase the suffering of our own population.

And – if you voted ‘Leave’ – you thought Brexit would make our lives better!

An inevitable consequence of a Brexit run by the Conservative Party is that the interests of society’s most vulnerable people are being trampled upon in an unprecedented manner

The latest example of that happening comes courtesy of the Trade Bill that will be debated on the floor of the House of Commons.

According to a letter sent to the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, the bill “lets ministers change a wide range of laws – including the Equality Act – without parliamentary scrutiny, in order to implement international trade agreements”.

It continues: “There are no safeguards to prevent ministers from using these new powers to remove rights granted by Parliament.”

It could [for example] be used to change those parts of the Equality Act that require public vehicles to be made accessible to disabled people. This is important because people with disabilities rely far more on public transport than non disabled people… for access to [work], leisure facilities, local services, shops and the like.

Source: Liam Fox’s Brexit trade bill set to crush disabled people | The Independent

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The only way the Tory government has ‘lost’ controversial archive papers is DELIBERATELY

Shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett says the ‘loss’ of documents about controversial periods in history is unacceptable [Image: AFP].

This Writer would not believe for a single moment that the Conservative government has ‘lost’ important archive papers on some of the most controversial episodes of recent history – and nor should you.

The politics of the past seven years has shown very clearly that the Conservatives cannot be trusted – and Theresa May’s government least of all. They are trying to whitewash history, in my opinion.

The fact that the documents were borrowed from the National Archives by civil servants means nothing. Civil servants act on the orders of government ministers.

Some of these documents may be easily replaced, such as the Zinoviev letter, which was an attempt by MI6 officers to bring about the downfall of the first Labour government. There are plenty of copies of that item in circulation! So an attempt to whitewash this attempt at political meddling is unlikely to succeed – but you can understand why some might want to try. I wonder, do we know the names of those who ordered that attempt?

Consider this, from The Guardian:

“An entire file on the Zinoviev letter scandal is said to have been lost after Home Office civil servants took it away. The Home Office declined to say why it was taken or when or how it was lost. Nor would its say whether any copies had been made.”

That is unacceptable. Those documents are public property and the entire workforce of the Home Office are public servants. They answer to us – and that means they must provide answers to us when we demand them.

The material involved with the Troubles in Northern Ireland has already gathered attention because of the potential to hide human rights abuses by the UK government (or governments). Already, organisations have made their concerns clear:

“Theresa May must order a government-wide search for these ‘lost’ files and their restoration to their rightful place in the archives at Kew,” said Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland programme director.

“Victims of human rights abuses in Northern Ireland have a right to full disclosure of what happened to them and their loved ones at the hands of the state.

“Accountability and justice demand that these files are among the evidence available to families, judges and historians in determining the truth of what happened here during three decades of violence,” said Corrigan.

“Revelations that government departments are requisitioning and then misplacing crucial files strengthen our view that decisions on the disclosure of findings by the proposed Historical Investigations Unit in Northern Ireland cannot be left to UK government ministers, as currently demanded by the Northern Ireland Office.”

Reprieve – the human rights advocacy organisation – also condemned the government, fearing that future possible abuses may be hidden from the public eye.

“This is deeply troubling and unfortunately follows a pattern we have seen before,” said Maya Foa, director. “Ministers have previously blamed ‘water damage’ for destroying crucial files showing complicity in rendition and torture, and right now they are forcing legal cases seeking to expose the truth about UK involvement in George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ into secret courts where the public and press are denied access.”

Similar files held in the National Archives have previously been instrumental in exposing human rights violations committed by the UK in Northern Ireland.

A 1977 letter from the home secretary, Merlyn Rees, to the prime minister, Jim Callaghan, documented how ministers gave permission for the use of torture against internees in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, evidence that was reportedly withheld from the European court of human rights.

In total, more than 1,000 documents – all of which have been declassified and should be available for the public to access – have been removed from the National Archive and no copies are available.

So, serious questions need to be answered:

  • Why are there no backup copies of these documents? We live in a computer age, and digital copies would provide at least a modicum of assurance that the documents are available, especially if the originals are loaned out on the orders of government ministers.
  • And who took them? Any ordinary lending library provides material only to people who are valid members of that library and, when they do take items, the library has a record showing who took them and when. This makes it easy to track those items and – if they are kept for longer than the specified time, or lost – fine the person responsible. Why does the National Archive not follow the same security procedures?

Labour’s Jon Trickett has already demanded action:

“The loss of documents about controversial periods in history is unacceptable.

“The British people deserve to know what the Government has done in their name and their loss will only fuel accusations of a cover-up.

“These important historical documents may be a great loss to history – and their disappearance must urgently be investigated.”

He’s right. Until all the documents are returned to the National Archive, until the names of those who withdrew them are known, and until the ministers who told them to take the documents and hide – or, worse, destroy – them are identified, we can only conclude that the current Conservative government has removed them in order to hide historical facts that are embarrassing to the Conservative Party or its members.

If the current government cannot – or will not – return the documents it has stolen, then it has betrayed the public trust and should resign.

And if you’re laughing at the thought, This Writer wouldn’t be at all surprised.

This is a story of corruption – and the corrupt will do anything to pretend they aren’t crooked.


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DWP worker took more than £1,400 of other people’s benefit money

Barbara Johnstone [Image: Gazette Live].

This is not a good look for a government department that just as-good-as admitted it denied sickness and disability benefits to people under false pretences – as a matter of policy.

A Middlesbrough woman diverted over £1,400 into another account she could access while working for the Department for Work and Pensions.

Barbara Johnstone was employed by the DWP and was working at the benefits centre in Stockton when she began moving the money into another account.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard how the 65-year-old stole £1,498.75 between May and October this year.

The court heard that the money came from the benefits of nine people.

Johnstone… pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position.

Source: DWP worker diverted over £1,400 of people’s benefit money for own gain – Gazette Live


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