Tag Archives: text

No sooner is Gavin Williamson back in the Cabinet than he is causing trouble

Gavin Williamson: he’s in trouble for sending abusive messages to a former Tory Chief Whip.

Gavin Williamson, newly-appointed Minister Without Portfolio in Rishi Sunak’s government, has been causing trouble again.

It has been alleged that Williamson sent abusive texts to former Chief Whip Wendy Morton on September 13 – so it has taken a while to come to light, complaining that he and other colleagues had been excluded from the Queen’s funeral for political reasons.

Here are the most offending messages:

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden fielded questions about it from Sky’s Sophy Ridge.

Other people have different opinions:

“If I had been told that one of my closest allies was a puerile man-child, I think I would have remembered.” Well said, Phil Moorhouse!

This one’s short and sweet:

So it looks like Rishi Sunak’s government will have Cabinet resignations sooner in its tenure than Liz Truss’s.

After Sunak put in all that work to defend Suella Braverman, Gavin Williamson has swept up from behind and turned himself into a sacrificial lamb.

With Braverman still in the firing line, and a dearth of talent on the backbenches, it seems Sunak’s steady government is already on the wobble.

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Ex-MP Paterson PESTERED government for Randox & PM defended him. Johnson is the problem

Boris Johnson and Owen Paterson: if the prime minister was prepared to twist Parliamentary rules for this corporate shill, then he certainly can’t be trusted to clean up Downing Street.

If you needed proof that Boris Johnson won’t fix the culture of rule-breaking in Downing Street – because he is the problem – it’s in the way he protected Owen Paterson’s persistent lobbying.

Paterson – now the former MP for North Shropshire – was being paid £8,333 per month for 16 hours’ work as a consultant for health firm Randox when he started pestering then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock on the company’s behalf.

His lobbing started in January 2020 – two months before Boris Johnson accepted the seriousness of Covid-19 and locked the UK down.

And he wouldn’t wait for a decision. Here’s the timeline according to Sky News:

WhatsApp messages show Mr Paterson gave Mr Hancock Randox boss Dr Peter Fitzgerald’s contact details on 26 January 2020.

Mr Paterson said he told Mr Fitzgerald to “expect an email” from the health secretary, who contacted the Randox boss that night.

Mr Hancock then told Mr Paterson on 5 February 2020 that Public Health England (PHE) would be in touch with Mr Fitzgerald “directly”.

On 25 February, Mr Paterson again contacted Mr Hancock, saying Randox had not been contacted by the government for 19 days, while its test kits had been shipped to “China, Mexico, Ukraine, Oman, Tunisia and Guatemala”.

He added: “PHE’s attitude looks incomprehensible given current developments” and said there was “absolutely no sense of urgency”.

Forwarding Mr Paterson’s messages on to officials, Mr Hancock [said] he was “very worried about this… If we are treating other companies like this we are failing.”

Randox was awarded its £133 million contract in March 2020. It was a closed process – unadvertised and with no other companies being asked to bid.

In later messages, before a meeting, a senior official in then-health minister Lord Bethell’s office said on 11 May 2020: “Lord Bethell has indicated that he would like a 1:1 with Owen Patterson [sic] beforehand as well (who I understand is a consultant employed by Randox).”

This may correspond with the information we had that, a month after the contract was awarded, Paterson was a party to a call between Randox and James Bethell, then the Tory minister responsible for Covid-19 testing supplies.

We know that there was concern in July 2020 about Randox testing kits.

Randox was hired to supply 2.7 million testing kits – but 750,000 of them were withdrawn after spot checks in July 2020 found that some of the kits, supplied by a Chinese manufacturer but sent out by Randox, were not sterile and could therefore be contaminated.

The failure delayed plans to provide regular testing for English care home residents and staff. We later discovered that Tory government failures to protect care homes resulted in around 30,000 unnecessary deaths.

But in September 2020, Mr Paterson sent a WhatsApp message asking Mr Hancock to “revisit even briefly and privately” the long-term future of Randox’s involvement in testing, as he had visited the firm in Northern Ireland for the first time and was impressed.

He added there was “widespread exasperation that Randox’s achievements have not been promoted”.

Randox’s contract was extended for a further six months in October 2020. Again, the process was closed – unadvertised, with no other companies permitted to bid.

In October 2020, Mr Paterson complained that a story in The Guardian said the government “only gave Randox the testing contract because I’m a paid consultant”.

He asked Mr Hancock: “If it comes up, can you kill this once and for all as I know absolutely nothing about the contact?”

Mr Hancock replied: “Of course.”

Well, hang on a second, there. Paterson contacted Hancock to secure a contract for Randox to supply test kits in January 2020, then followed this up the following month; Randox got its contract in March.

He was involved in some way in at least one meeting between the government and Randox.

And after Randox’s kits were found to be potentially contaminated, Paterson went back to demand that its contract should be “revisited”, and it was renewed very soon afterwards.

And then, in the very month the Randox contract was renewed – at his urging – Paterson secured Hancock’s collusion in misleading the public that he had nothing to do with it!

Here’s the topper, though:

Also revealed was the fact Lord Agnew, who suddenly resigned last month as the minister in charge of tackling COVID fraud, warned Mr Hancock the government was “paying dramatically over the odds” for Randox’s tests.

So not only was Paterson instrumental in securing and renewing the Randox contract but the company received more than the going rate – in public money – for its services.

This Writer doesn’t blame Randox for any of this wrongdoing; it is a commercial firm and was acting in its interests.

But Paterson was clearly breaking Parliamentary rules on lobbying by MPs – which is what the Standards Commissioner found after an investigation.

Now, here’s why Boris Johnson can’t be trusted to end the kind of corruption that led to members of the government in Downing Street holding lockdown-busting parties while the rest of us suffered:

Instead of accepting a ruling against his MP, he tried to change the rules to get rid of the person who made it, and to ensure that corporate sponsorship of Tory MPs would be legalised.

Perhaps Johnson hadn’t seen the WhatsApp messages mentioned above, but he had seen the evidence that had gone before Kathryn Stone, and his first instinct was to use his own powers to make changes that override it.

His reason? We think it’s that Paterson’s penalty was 30 days’ suspension from Parliament, which would have exposed him to a possible recall petition from his constituents, who could then vote him out in a by-election.

Johnson couldn’t bear that – even though he had an 80-seat Parliamentary majority.

So he decided to change the rules – in all our faces – instead.

And now another inquiry has shown that the Downing Street parties were symptomatic of a failure of standards in the government.

Johnson’s first instinct has been to make changes.

Logic – and the precedent created by Paterson – tells us those changes would be to ensure nobody ever again finds out what goes on in Downing Street, or to put that address above the law that affects every other location in the UK.

That is why Johnson is the problem. And that’s why he has to go.

Source: Owen Paterson: Disgraced former Tory MP’s WhatsApp messages to Matt Hancock reveal extent of lobbying | Politics News | Sky 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.

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


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

False positive: Vox Political’s Covid journey was brief… for now

Test results: presumably this is the way my PCR test turned out.

The text message came in just after 7pm yesterday (Wednesday): “Your coronavirus PCR test (or other lab test) result is negative. It’s likely you did not have the virus when the test was done.”

So my lateral flow test was a false positive. What a relief – or at least, it would have been if Mrs Mike’s negative result hadn’t come in a couple of minutes earlier. So I was mentally prepared.

And it seems I’m not the only one to have a welcome surprise…

In fact the greatest relief was the fact that I don’t have to put up with texts, emails and phone calls from various Covid-related government organisations.

Oh, the bureaucracy!

I had seven texts from ‘NHSresult’ and three from ‘NHSWALESTTP’ (the track and trace mob).

I also had a phone call from track and trace, who stopped being interested when I started listing people I’d met and places I’d been, and opted to email me a questionnaire instead.

The instructions with the LFT kit said I had to notify the NHS online, so I logged in and went through a lengthy process to identify myself and provide my test result. Then the site told me to order a PCR test for myself and anybody else, meaning I then had to go through the same lengthy identification procedure I’d just been through, plus a new lengthy ID process so I could get a test for Mrs Mike as well.

I then received a further nine emails telling me what to do, what not to do, and where not to do it.

And I had to go online again to fill in that contact tracing questionnaire.

Blimey!

If I’d really had the virus, I wonder whether I would have been up to any of it.

But I don’t have the virus. Or at least, I don’t have that virus.

I do have something, it seems. Don’t know what but the symptoms are persisting.

So, while I don’t have to self-isolate any more (thank goodness!) I’ll be cooling the social life for a while – especially after what I heard about what people who really do have Covid-19 have been doing.

After all, if I don’t have Covid now, I can still catch it any time.

Next time I go to the pub, you’ll know who I am. I’ll be the one wearing two masks, with a cover over his pint, sucking it up through a straw.

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Tories text cancer, transplant and asthma patients to axe them from shielding list

Big Brother: he’s watching vulnerable people and has decided that too many of them are getting government help. So some will lose it, no matter how badly they need it.

What the actual blazes is the Tory government trying to do now?

The apparently unilateral decision to axe people with serious medical conditions from the shielding list will undoubtedly have severe consequences.

(Although This Writer’s own contact who is on the shielding list only ever received one food parcel, in any event. It came unheralded and unlabelled and he had no idea what it was at first.)

People with cancer, liver disease or severe asthma have been dropped from the UK government’s coronavirus shielding list by text message before their doctors have been able to speak to them.

The decision to remove people with various health conditions from the shielding programme has caused upset. The text also informed people they would no longer qualify for government food parcels.

Many who received the messages last Friday believed they were fake. But the government has since confirmed the texts are correct and are official government communications.

Certain patients who have had a liver transplant, are on immunosuppressant medication, or have decompensated cirrhosis have also received texts. People with brittle asthma and those with other types of cancer were also told they were no longer getting additional help from the National Shielding Service.

Apparently, a government spokesperson said: “The government is committed to supporting the clinically extremely vulnerable and all decisions about whether someone should shield are clinically led.

“In some cases health experts have advised that a patient no longer needs to shield themselves from coronavirus. Where this is the case, the person will be informed that they are not on the shielded patient list.

“Those advised that they no longer need to shield may still access forms of support including the NHS Volunteers network, and will retain their supermarket priority delivery slots.”

The claim is that the government had asked clinicians to review people’s records to ensure that only those who needed to shield were on the shielded patient list.

Apparently doctors should have written to explain the decisions that had been made, and the text was supposed to both confirm that support would end and direct patients to other forms of help.

Clearly, that hasn’t happened.

This looks like an attempt to save money by withdrawing support from vulnerable groups, who may then contract Covid-19 or die for other reasons.

With no advice on other forms of help, and no wherewithal to collect supplies (if they wisely ignore the government’s claims and continue to shield at home), what are these people going to do?

You can guess what the Tories want.

Source: Cancer, transplant and asthma patients axed from shielding list by text message | World news | The Guardian

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Brooks and Coulson charged; Cameron remains at large

I asked this before, and I’m still asking now: What have they got to hide, and can it be any worse than what we’re all thinking?

Why is it that Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have both been charged with crimes of corrupt payments to public officials, but their good friend David Cameron – perhaps the most public official in the UK – is able to evade investigation?

If his emails and text messages to Mrs Brooks were innocent, then why have they still not been made available to the public – as they should have been during the Leveson inquiry – and as promised after a Freedom of Information request elsewhere on the Internet?

Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson are among five people facing charges that they made corrupt payments to police and public officials. She is a member of the ‘Chipping Norton set’ and a close friend of Mr Cameron, as we know from the fact that there is a wealth of email and text correspondence between them – all innocent, we are told – that we have been prevented from seeing. He is a former Downing Street communications chief who was previously editor of the News of the World, under Mrs Brooks.

Also facing charges are journalists Clive Goodman – former royal correspondent of the News of the World – and John Kay – formerly chief reporter at The Sun – and Ministry of Defence employee Bettina Jordan Barber.

Mr Coulson and Mr Goodman will be charged with two conspiracies, relating to the request and authorisation of alleged payments to public officials in exchange for information, including a royal phone directory known as the ‘Green Book’.

The two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office involve one between 31 August 2002 and 31 January 2003 and another between 31 January and 3 June 2005.

Ms Barber, Mr Kay and Mrs Brooks face one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2012.

None of these charges suggest any wrong-doing by our comedy Prime Minister, I should stress.

But he is a long-term friend of Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson, and his correspondence has been kept hidden for so long that I’m sure I’m not the only one smelling something rotten here.

The current line from the Conservative Party on this matter is that we all (and especially the Labour Party) need to “change the record”.

That’s a particularly weak defence, isn’t it?

It was made by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, while emphasising the government’s programme on transparency.

Labour’s Chris Bryant asked, if that was the case, when Mr Maude would publish the “large cache” of emails relating to Mr Coulson [and] Mrs Brooks, and that was his answer: “The honourable gentleman needs to change the record.”

He can’t “change the record”. His question relates to a vitally important matter: Is there any evidence to suggest the Prime Minister of the UK may be implicated in alleged criminal actions by his close friends?

The longer we have to wait for an answer, the more suspicious this affair seems.

Cameron and Brooks – the more we know, the less we like it

What have they got to hide, and can it be any worse than what we’re all thinking?

There’s a bad smell surrounding the correspondence between David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks, and it has nothing to do with the horse she let him ride.

The Observer is today reporting details of “intimate” texts sent between the current UK Prime Minister and the former head of Rupert Murdoch’s News International. One of them, from Brooks, states that she felt so emotional listening to his (2009) conference speech she “cried twice”, and that she “will love ‘working together’.”

Working together?

In what way, exactly?

There are too many loose ends here for anyone to feel comfortable. Everywhere you turn, one of them whips you in the face (like a riding crop, perhaps).

Let’s bear in mind all the embarrassment fomer Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt (Con) had over the plans for Mr Murdoch’s firm to take over Sky TV, granting it an unprecedented dominance over the UK mass media. Working together?

Let’s remember that Andy Coulson, a former News International employee and editor of the News of the World, became Mr Cameron’s Downing Street press officer for a time, until he was implicated in the phone hacking scandal and stood down. Working together?

Let’s also consider the way the right-wing press – of which News International and Sky News form an uncomfortably large cohort – has suppressed stories about the harmful effects of Mr Cameron’s policies, such as the deaths of 73 sick or disabled people every week (on average) who had their benefits cut after reassessment by the Department for Work and Pensions and its contractor, Atos. Working together?

Cameron has refused to allow publication of any more of these texts – and it is understood that around 150 may exist. The Observer states that it understands many of them would prove to be “a considerable embarrassment” to the government.

We don’t know what is in those texts, and we are being told that we never will. The only possible conclusion is that they contain information that is damaging to Mr Cameron, and therefore to his Conservative-led government. Because of the identities of the correspondents, we can also conclude only that this damage relates to them working together.

It’s obvious he’s got something to hide.

He’s not going to come clean about it either.

So he’s being dishonest to us, the British public.

It is not in our interest for him to behave like this.

What else has he been doing that is not in our interest?

I think we have a right to know.

After all, he didn’t win the 2010 election; he’s only in Downing Street because of a dodgy deal with the Liberal Democrats.