Tag Archives: talk

#ConcreteMike : interviewer tells #InsulateBritain spokesman you can grow concrete

This is what happens when a right-wing radio presenter thinks he’s smarter than a simple man with a simple message:

“You can’t grow concrete,” said Cameron.

“You can…” responded Mike Graham – and then had to eat silence while Cameron let the enormity of his mistake sink in.

This Talk Radio presenter actually suggested that people could grow concrete – a synthetic substance.

And then he went on to suggest that being a carpenter – making items out of a renewable substance like wood – is bad. It’s one of the oldest and most useful professions in any human culture!

No wonder Mr Graham said he didn’t want to talk to Cameron – or anybody else from Insulate Britain – ever again. As it is, he will undoubtedly receive a strong shaming over this.

If you really want to know what Insulate Britain is about – there’s a reason behind their road-blocking protests, you see – then enjoy This Writer’s interview with another member of the organisation, here.

The quick summary is that if you agree with Insulate Britain, then you want warmer homes, a solution to the dangers of climate change, and decent jobs for local craftspeople.

If you don’t, then you side with somebody who thinks carpentry is a bad idea.

And if we’d listened to people like Mike Graham back when humanity was first starting its ascent, we’d all still be living in caves, wearing animal skins and afraid of the dark.

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Brexit trade talks continue after deadline as UK and EU negotiators appear to change their story

Man in black: why isn’t Johnson wearing a Union Flag facemask, considering von der Leyen has one for the EU? Men in black are traditionally… villains, aren’t they?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Sunday, December 13 the deadline for a post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal, considering the ratification process for all Parliaments?

Suddenly that’s not the story after all. Instead:

The two sides had said Sunday was the deadline for a decision on whether to continue with talks.

They’re making this stuff up as they go – on both sides.

This is what happens when both sides in a confrontation talk tough but know they really need to come to terms.

The UK is facing an economic disaster (that prime minister Boris Johnson may – or may not – be secretly working towards, depending on which rumours you believe).

And the EU has to consider the possibility of political destabilisation that could arise from failure to reach a deal.

And both could be hoping to magic up a public relations miracle in time for Christmas.

Forgive me, but This Writer finds the timing – and the rhetoric – all to be a little… cynical.

Source: Brexit trade talks: UK and EU to ‘go the extra mile’ in effort to agree deal – BBC News

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John Redwood thinks the UK can control its fish. John Redwood thinks he is Aquaman

John Redwood: I’m quite fond of this image of him, clearly broadcasting from his home planet.

Just when the Conservatives really need someone to win back their credibility, John Redwood turns up and starts talking about fish.

As UK-EU trade talks resumed in London, with an attempt to resolve differences on fishing quotas high on the agenda, Redwood tweeted this:

“Controlling our own fish”?

They’re not like dogs! You can’t put a salmon on a lead. You can’t put a harness on a halibut. And I’m sure a cod couldn’t care less what John Redwood thinks it should do.

Maybe fish behave differently on Vulcan.

Maybe Redwood has tired of being compared to a character from Star Trek and wants to take on a new role…

There have been attempts to grapple with the underlying issue…

… but not many.

This Writer wouldn’t be surprised if Tory desperation has reached such a point that they’re hoping we’ll be too busy laughing at Redwood to notice when they bugger up the bargaining – again.

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Labour members are banned from talking about Corbyn – and they’re not taking it lying down

Still the most apt comment on Keir Starmer: his namesake Hardie obviously didn’t say those words but if he were alive today, he might well follow through on the threat.

It’s the new policy from the Labour leadership: do as we say, not as we do.

Why is it permissible for Keir Starmer, David Evans, Angela Rayner, Lisa bloody Nandy, uncle Tom Cobley and all in the shadow cabinet and the NEC to spout any tripe they like about the suspended former Labour leader, while gagging rank-and-file party members?

It isn’t, as far as This Writer can see. Party rules certainly don’t allow for it.

And party members aren’t standing for it.

The edict, mentioned in the Mirror yesterday, is a repeat of what Evans and Starmer said back on October 29 when Corbyn was suspended – and party members ignored it then, too.

There have been petitions and open letters signed by members from CLPs across the UK, and individuals have spoken out on the social media and in their own groups.

They will continue to do so, because the Labour Party was founded on the principle that everybody is equal and, in this case, Starmer and the others have led by example.

They made a huge fuss about Corbyn’s suspension when they announced it; they can’t complain about everybody else making a fuss about it now.

And the way they are tackling the issue has been likened to Russian politics under Stalin in the 1930s:

An MP who was at the meeting… said: “In 40 years I’ve never seen anything like it. It was a bit scary.

“It’s like 1938 in the USSR, with the show trials. I’m not, and never have been, a fan of JC but it makes me feel a bit nervous.”

Starmer will hate this comment. He has already been labelled Keir Stalin over his ham-handed handling of Corbyn’s suspension.

And worse was to follow as Labour – and ex-Labour members took to the social media to hammer him:

All of the above are good, valid comments but I would draw particular attention to the one below. Unlike the others, it comments on the posture adopted by Starmer and his cronies who are currently infesting the Labour Party’s top positions:

That is what rings true, in everything Starmer has done since he became party leader – ironically on a “continuity Corbyn” ticket.

He isn’t a socialist. He’s a neoliberal, cut from the same mould as Tony Blair, Iain McNicol and Peter Mandelson. He hates the socialism that swept Corbyn to the leadership and boosted party membership to more than half a million.

And that means if you are a Labour member who joined because of Corbyn, Keir Starmer hates you.

He will try to drive you out. He has probably succeeded in pushing out many of your colleagues already.

He is trying to annul the votes of those who have left from the current NEC elections, in order to gerrymander a victory for hard-right-wing candidates, because he thinks that will send you on your way.

He is proving, every day, that he fooled huge numbers of you; you elected to the head of a democratic socialist party a man who is neither a socialist nor a democrat.

He deserves all the exposure you can heap on him. So to Labour members I say: 

  • Ignore Keir Stalin’s dictat to stay silent about Jeremy Corbyn. If you all speak up, there’s nothing they can do about it.
  • Expose the inconsistencies in his posture. His closest colleagues have broken party rules and they have committed acts of genuine anti-Semitism. Why has he taken no action against them?
  • And demand that the party leadership return to following its own rules by suspending all those who have broken them – including Starmer himself.
  • Do not give up until you have won.

You are many – he and his cabal are few.

Source: Labour banned from talking about Jeremy Corbyn’s possible expulsion from party – Mirror Online

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Why did Johnson say trade talks with the EU had ended – only to restart them within days?

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying. Was he wearing it when he announced that talks on a trade deal with the EU had been called off?

This looks like a set-up, to me.

Last week, Boris Johnson and his Tory government said that a “no deal” Brexit was now inevitable because talks with the EU had broken down irretrievably.

“Really?” I thought at the time. “Are they going to come back in a few days time and say there’s been a breakthrough, it’s all back on and they’re making a history (it’s always historic) deal?”

And lo! it is coming to pass:

The UK is “ready to welcome the EU team” to continue negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal, says No 10.

The two sides’ chief negotiators, Lord David Frost and Michel Barnier, spoke on the phone earlier after talks stalled last week.

Following the conversation, Downing Street said the pair had “jointly agreed a set of principles for handling this intensified phase of talks”.

The intention is to create some more public goodwill for the Tories, who have realised that any good feeling among the general population of the UK has dwindled away to nothing.

Of course, being Tories, they can’t generate it by actually doing something good; it had to be with a stupid trick.

Anybody can fabricate an emergency of their own making and then solve it.

If a deal comes from the new negotiations, it is because the UK and the EU were always going to make one – not because the talks have been saved.

Anything else is just more smoke and mirrors from the Tory liars.

That’s my interpretation of it.

Source: Brexit: UK ‘ready to welcome EU’ to continue trade talks – BBC News

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Johnson’s overcooked ‘oven-ready deal’ has blown up in his face. Why is he happy about it?

From Twitter: the caption was “Get in, losers. We’re driving it off a No Deal cliff.”

It seems Boris Johnson is getting exactly the kind of Brexit his backers wanted: ‘no deal’, meaning disaster for the UK economy.

He is putting on his sad face at the moment but that’s not fooling me, and it shouldn’t fool you.

His claim that Brussels has “abandoned” the ambition of a free trade deal is as empty as his soul:

Sky News has this to say:

The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator has told his European counterpart not to come to London on Monday to resolve stalled talks, after the prime minister warned it was time to “get ready” to leave without a deal.

Isn’t this the same prime minister who said there was an ‘oven ready’ trade deal, only last year?

And didn’t he – also – say that failure to secure a deal would be a failure of statecraft?

So isn’t he admitting that he is a failed prime minister? And shouldn’t we be demanding his resignation and replacement at the earliest possible opportunity?

Johnson is, of course, doing his best to blameshift responsibility for his failure onto the EU:

Mr Johnson said in a dramatic intervention that “there doesn’t seem to be any progress coming from Brussels”.

He told businesses and hauliers to “get ready” for there to be no free trade deal.

But this is clearly nonsense, in the light of what he – and other Brexiters – have been saying since before the EU referendum in 2016.

They have spent years trying to convince us that the EU nations would be desperate to forge a deal with the UK that would put us at an advantage.

Instead, it seems we’re going to have to pay high tariffs to sell into a market that was free before Johnson and his cronies convinced 17 million of us to vote the entire nation out.

And remember, Johnson won last year’s general election on this – claiming that he would “Get Brexit Done” and it would create a golden future for the UK.

Well. At best he was mistaken. At worst he was lying.

This Writer remembers the claims that he was in cahoots with a cartel of wealthy hedge fund bosses who had bet heavily on the UK leaving without a trade deal, and on this causing the end of a large number of major UK businesses.

Doesn’t this seem more likely now – especially as Johnson has intervened personally to stop any further negotiations, a month and a half before the transition period ends?

It all seems highly suspicious to me.

And I’m not the only one, it seems:

(Incredible that Boris Johnson’s selfishness has actually put me on the same side as Dan Hodges…)

It seems likely the decision to end negotiations and prepare for ‘no deal’ could also mean the end of the United Kingdom as we know it:

Johnson tried to regain some of the credibility he has lost by suggesting that the UK was headed for an “Australia-style deal”…

He said the UK’s relationship with the EU could be more like the one Brussels has with Australia, which will mean tariffs being introduced on goods between the UK and the 27 other EU countries.

… but it seems he’s either badly mistaken (yet again) or trying to pull over our eyes (yet again):

Perhaps this is the most accurate comment of the day:

Source: Brexit: Michel Barnier told to stay home after Boris Johnson says EU ‘abandoned free trade deal’ | Politics News | Sky News

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Andrew Bridgen destroys his government’s credibility on EU trade talks

Andrew Bridgen: winner of this week’s “Inverse Genius” award.


Everyone with any political nous in the UK has been laughing at eurosceptic Andrew Bridgen after he swallowed both feet (metaphorically) in a Channel 4 News interview.

Discussing his Fuhrer Boris Johnson’s plan to renege on the EU withdrawal agreement that he signed in January, Bridgen said – well, see for yourself:

The reaction on Twitter has been universal:

https://twitter.com/cbailiss/status/1303110907732602883

What a… typical Conservative MP.

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Boris Johnson’s big NHS meltdown

After their campaign on law and order dissolved into chaos, the Tories tried to take the moral high ground on health. It didn’t work.

Most particularly, it didn’t work for Boris Johnson, who was challenged on the subject by prime minister-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Corbyn was keen for Mr Johnson to explain why his government had held secret trade talks with US firms that would nearly triple the price of medicines bought by the NHS, creating serious pressure on the service at a time when it is already under enormous strain.

I discuss the issue here, or you can watch this video to have it in a nutshell:

Note also that “drug pricing” is now to be known as “valuing innovation”. And, as a TV comedian once said, from now on radiation will be known as “magic moonbeams”.

Here’s Mr Corbyn, opening his questioning in PMQs – and Mr Johnson’s answer:

Of course, Mr Corbyn was well aware of the situation regarding the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi; it was his intervention that succeeded in getting it provided on the NHS, we’re told.

Mr Johnson’s claims about building 40 new hospitals fare less well in the fact-check. As Mr Corbyn put it: “As for the fabled 40 hospitals, that figure dropped to 20 and then finally dropped to six.” They’ll be down to none in the event of a Conservative election victory.

Mr Corbyn continued: “We learned this week that Government officials have met US pharmaceutical companies five times as part of the Prime Minister’s planned trade deal. The US has called for “full market access” to our NHS, which would mean prices of some of our most important medicines increasing by up to sevenfold. While the Government are having secret meetings with US corporations, it is patients here who continue to suffer.”

And he said: “Of course we need to import medicines from various places; I just want it to be done in an open and transparent way. I do not want secret talks between Government officials, on behalf of Ministers, and big pharma corporations in the USA.”

He slammed Tory privatisation of NHS services, which has skyrocketed with more than £10 billion being frittered away to private companies and their shareholders, rather than supporting the health of UK citizens.

He said: “What we do not want is private companies like Virgin Care suing our NHS for contracts that they did not get. Our NHS should be focused on making people better, not making the wealthy few richer.

“National health service A&E departments have just had their worst September on record. This morning, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said that this winter the NHS needs more than 4,000 extra beds.” But under Boris Johnson’s government, he said, the number of people in England waiting for an operation has now reached a record high of 4.4 million.

He continued as follows:

And he concluded: “Despite the Prime Minister’s denials, the NHS is up for grabs by US corporations in a Trump trade deal. Is it not the truth—the Government may not like this—that this Government are preparing to sell out our NHS? Our health service is in more danger than at any other time in its glorious history because of the Prime Minister’s Government, his attitudes and the trade deals that he wants to strike.”

It is indeed the truth.

Mr Johnson spluttered on for a while but the best he could do in his defence was quote a discredited CBI claim that Labour would spend nearly £200 billion on a privatisation programme; the CBI itself has admitted that the claim was based on questionable assumptions and withdrawn it.

He lied that Labour would tax corporations, people, pensions and businesses – in fact Labour will only increase taxes on the people earning the most, who are therefore most able to accommodate such a charge.

And he said Labour would condemn the UK to two more referendums – on Brexit and Scottish independence. He neglected to say that he would consign us all to even more Brexit uncertainty as he would try – yet again – to push through a departure on the worst possible terms for the majority of the nation.

Finally, he appears to have become tongue-tied in his predictions of the future, mixing the roles of his party and Mr Corbyn’s.

I’ll fix that for him now:

“That is the future for this country: drift and dither under the Conservative party, or taking Britain forward to a brighter future under Labour. That is the choice this country faces.”

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Shock revelation: Liar Boris Johnson has been secretly selling out the NHS

Boris Johnson has been selling out the National Health Service in negotiations on a trade deal that would allow US companies to set drug prices, it has been claimed.

The revelation about these secret talks could not come at a worse time for the Tory government, as it prepares to dissolve Parliament and launch a general election campaign.

This is electoral poison for the Conservatives as Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock and international trade secretary Liz Truss have all insisted that the NHS is “off the table” in talks with the US if the UK leaves the European Union.

The threat is that NHS finances would be put at risk by a trade deal with the US that would force the health service to buy more expensive drugs.

And there is evidence that it is an overarching Tory policy to lay the NHS open to exploitation by US pharmaceutical monopolies, as the talks began under Theresa May (who also lied about them) but have continued under Mr Johnson.

Who will vote for a government that is bad for our health – and deliberately lies about the harm it is doing?

Here’s the information from Channel 4’s Dispatches:

The Independent has reported that more than one-third of people surveyed in a recent poll said they were “very concerned” about the future impact of a deal with Washington on the NHS.

Meanwhile, Tories like Michael Gove have apparently been lying through their teeth (metaphorically, on Twitter)…

… and the public isn’t having any of it:

The message for the general election is clear:

Your NHS is not safe with Boris Johnson – or any of his Conservative liars.

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Swinson lies AGAIN, it seems – Harman claims she didn’t talk with Lib Dem leader

Harriet Harman: She says she didn’t talk with Jo Swinson.

Here’s a fascinating piece of information from Skwawkbox.

We already know that novice Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson claimed she had spoken to both Kenneth Clarke and Harriet Harman about one of them leading an interim government following a vote of “no confidence” in Boris Johnson’s administration.

This Site quoted her comment when challenged on this: “I have been in touch with them because obviously you don’t just mention people’s names without checking that they’re OK with that.”

That quote was in my article showing that Mr Clarke had not been in contact with Ms Swinson. He said: “I’ve been on holiday for two weeks and missed all this. This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

Now it seems Ms Harman has said she never spoke to Ms Swinson either.

In an email to members of her Camberwell & Peckham constituency party, according to Skwawkbox, Mr Harman wrote: “I can reassure you that I have not been involved in any closed door, cross-party talks between Labour and Conservative backbenchers and the Leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

“I support Jeremy Corbyn going for a vote of No Confidence in Boris Johnson. And will, of course, vote for it.

“It is… the clear constitutional right of the Leader of the Opposition to have the first attempt to form an administration if the Government fails.

“I back Jeremy Corbyn’s determination to do everything possible to prevent the terrible damage to our country that will be caused if the Government stampedes into a No Deal Brexit.”

Now I hear that opposition leaders including Ms Swinson have signed a declaration to do “whatever is necessary” to stop a “no deal” Brexit.

But discussions centred on ways of using the law to prevent such an event, with minimal talk about the “no confidence” vote.

Was this because of Ms Swinson’s reluctance to support Mr Corbyn? If so, shouldn’t the clear evidence of dishonesty mitigate against her?

Source: Excl: Harman denies Swinson’s claim they spoke about interim PM position | The SKWAWKBOX

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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