Tag Archives: Tory

Tory tone-policing: THEY should modify THEIR tone before talking down about racism to people of colour

Proud of herself: Helen Whately thought it was really clever of her to belittle a Parliamentary colleague because they happened to be a person of colour who didn’t go to a public school like her.

These Tory MPs really are up themselves, aren’t they?

They seem to think that their 80+ seat majority in Parliament means they can patronise the plebs on the opposite benches.

Stupidly, they think this includes tone-policing people of colour about racism.

Take a look at the video here and the comments attached:

(How sad that it was left to a minority political organisation – the Breakthrough Party – to stand up for Labour MPs who were being attacked for not being white public school alumni.)

Most recent offender was Tory talk droid Helen Whately, whose performances indicate that she is programmed with all her responses before being wheeled out to regurgitate them in public at the House of Commons or on TV.

This would explain her failure to announce the NHS three per cent pay deal (she wasn’t programmed to mention it) but not her treatment of Dr Rosena Allin-Khan when that MP challenged her:

People are angry:

It’s entirely possible that the Muslims who have become dispossessed – after Keir Starmer turned Labour into a haven for Islamophobes – will now think again before traipsing across to the Tories.

And not just Muslims:

Here’s the thing, though: being offended won’t achieve anything. People need to take action. So I have a proposal:

Pre-emptive strikes.

It’s too late for the current session but when Parliament returns in the autumn, every Opposition MP (of whichever party) should append their questions or speeches with the words: “The minister is reminded to moderate [his/her] tone to ensure that it is acceptable.

They should all do this, all the time – especially during Prime Minister’s Questions.

And they should only relent when a government spokesperson stands up, apologises for the behaviour of ministers like Whately, and promises that they will not try to belittle their Parliamentary colleagues in such a childish way again.

It won’t happen and I don’t know why. Presumably Opposition MPs are masochists?

Tory MPs face suspension – for ONE DAY – after trying to pervert the course of justice. Why aren’t they in jail?

One law for them: five Tory MPs are being disciplined by a Parliamentary watchdog after they tried to influence the trial of a colleague. That is a crime. Why aren’t they in jail?

We know the reason but I’ll get to it shortly.

The Commons Standards Committee has found that five Conservative MPs breached Parliament’s code of conduct by trying to influence legal proceedings against a colleague:

Theresa Villiers, Natalie Elphicke, Sir Roger Gale, Adam Holloway and Bob Stewart wrote letters regarding ex-MP Charlie Elphicke, who was convicted of sex offences.

The letters on Commons notepaper were addressed to senior judges.

Three of the MPs could be suspended from Parliament for one day.

Ms Villiers, Mrs Elphicke and Sir Roger face suspension, while Mr Holloway and Col Stewart have been told to apologise by the Commons Standards Committee.

Attempting to influence legal proceedings is a crime. These MPs should be facing criminal trial and imprisonment, not suspension from Parliament for a single day.

The way they are being treated is an insult to British justice.

Ah, but the police force that would handle any complaint is the Metropolitan Police, which is run by Cressida Dick. There’s no way any Tory MP will face justice on her watch!

In any case, police are discouraged from prosecuting any member of Parliament at all, under any circumstances. Charlie Elphicke was an exception in which – as I understand it – it was impossible not to take action.

He was the exception that proves the rule that they really are above the law.

Source: Five Tory MPs found to have breached code of conduct – BBC News

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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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#KeirStarmer outwitted by dim #Tories as they leapfrog #Labour #NHSpay demand

Pennies: The Tories offered the NHS a tiny pittance and all Starmer could think to do was offer a tiny pittance more. So the Tories have offered more again and can now say that they are better for working people than Labour.

Doesn’t this just demonstrate the hopelessness of the Labour Party under Keir Starmer?

Seeing the Tories offer the National Health Service a one per cent pay raise – but unwilling to demand the 15 per cent that would level up (to adopt a current vogue phrase) their pay to pre-2010 levels, Starmer’s Labour demanded – what?

Two per cent.

And now the Tories have shown how easy it is to outwit Starmer’s dimwitted band of fake socialists, by offering three per cent.

They can now say that they are offering the workers a better deal than Labour and there is nothing Starmer can do to deny it.

Three per cent is still an almost-useless offer. Inflation currently stands at 2.4 per cent, meaning NHS workers will get a real-terms improvement of 0.6 per cent.

Then there’s this:

There is also speculation that just 1.5% of the 3% would be added permanently to salaries, with the other 1.5% given as a one-off payment. If that proves to be the way the offer is structured then workforce representatives are likely to criticise the 3% figure as a sham and too low.

So the Tory offer could be – in essence – a lie.

But people only notice the headline figure and in it they will see that the Tories are offering more than Labour.

The Tories aren’t clever. But Starmer is plain stupid. He will never beat them because he can’t. He simply doesn’t know how.

Source: NHS staff in England could be offered 3% pay rise | NHS | The Guardian

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NHS summer crisis as major hospital cancels planned operations for two days

Put the blame for this where it belongs: the Conservative government.

The Tories spent the last 11 years defunding the National Health Service because they wanted to make it seem incapable of providing the treatment UK citizens need.

They thought that this would make privatising NHS services more palatable.

But they didn’t count on the arrival of a major pandemic that would highlight the fact that the Tories’ cuts have weakened the service.

Most particularly, the Tories did not expect to show us all how poor private services would be, when they outsourced Covid services like contact tracing to the privateers.

So now we know that delays in operations – that may be fatal to the patients – have been caused deliberately by the Conservatives.

Their decision to defund the NHS is causing delay, pain, and even death.

One of the largest hospitals in the country has cancelled all its planned operations for Thursday and Friday because of a lack of beds and space in intensive care.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, which has more than 1,100 beds, has had to stop dozens of elective operations, including liver transplants, because of increasing numbers of coronavirus patients as well as wider demand.

The hospital’s intensive care unit, one of the largest in Europe, was full on Thursday with 10 patients in the wider hospital on a watch list who may need a bed in the critical care unit. This meant there were no spare beds for planned operations and transplants where patients would need an ICU bed post-surgery.

Source: NHS summer crisis: Major hospital cancels all planned operations today and tomorrow | The Independent

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Government appeals court ruling that contract with Gove cronies Public First was unlawful

Backhander: if you know the circumstances of the court case against the government over its contract with Public First, then you will know why I’m using this picture. If not, follow the link in the story to read the details.

After spending half a million pounds defending a decision to give a contract worth only slightly more to friends of Tory minister Michael Gove – and losing – the government intends to spend even more on an appeal.

In June, the High Court ruled that a Tory government decision to award a £560,000 contract to Public First gave rise to “apparent bias” and was unlawful.

Mrs Justice O’Farrell said: “The claimant is entitled to a declaration that the decision of 5 June 2020 to award the contract to Public First gave rise to apparent bias and was unlawful.”

You can read the details of the case here.

Now the Good Law Project – which brought the case to court – has revealed that the government is appealing against the ruling, although the exact grounds for the appeal do not seem clear.

“We think his decision to spend more public money on an appeal is likely to be driven by a desire to postpone a further embarrassing loss in a separate challenge we are bringing,” a statement by the Good Law Project claims.

“We are challenging another lucrative contract awarded to allies of Michael Gove, this time to a company called Hanbury. It was due to be heard later this month but will now be delayed.

“However, the appeal gives us a chance to revivify the arguments … that there was time for a proper competitive tender process and/or no need to give such a long and valuable contract without any tender process.

“All of that having been said, we have to recognise Government spent an extraordinary £500,000+ on a one day hearing below – approximately twice what we managed to raise to fight and win the case. With that in mind, we have decided to reopen our crowdfunding page.”

If you are in a position to donate, you can do so here.

Source: Government is appealing – Good Law Project

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Covid-19: recriminations as the UK heads for disaster on July 19

The UK is well on-target to have more than 50,000 new Covid-19 infections per day by July 19 – when Boris Johnson insists on unlocking all lockdown restrictions and abdicating any responsibility for the consequences.

Today – July 15 – the UK recorded 48,553 new cases and 63 deaths (within 28 days of a positive test) – those are the highest levels since January 15 and March 26 respectively.

More than 1,200 scientists have signed a letter accusing the Tory government of “recklessly exposing millions to the acute and long-term impacts of mass infection”.

Branding the government’s plans “dangerous and premature”, it described Johnson’s strategy as “herd immunity by mass infection” and said that opening the country should be delayed until “everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high”.

“A strategy that chooses mass infection in children and young people now as a way to protect the vulnerable in winter, instead of taking the time to vaccinate our young is unethical and unscientific,” the letter added.

It also said the pandemic plan risked “burdening a generation with long Covid, the long-term consequences of which are unknown”.

Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton has accused government Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty of “wilfully misrepresenting scientific opinion across the country”.

He said: “I found it extraordinary that the Chief Medical Officer suggested and emphasised that there was widespread agreement across the scientific community whereas in fact there is profound disagreement in the scientific community.

“He did not mention the letter… that we published, and I’m afraid I have to conclude that the Chief Medical Officer is wilfully misrepresenting scientific opinion across the country, and that is extraordinary to observe.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the city’s transport network will continue to make wearing face masks mandatory after July 19 – and cartoonists have gleefully seized on the obvious opportunity for satire:

A SAGE expert has warned that young people in particular will suffer “acute Covid injury” – damage to their lungs and kidneys that will seriously harm their future health – due to the felaxation of social distancing restrictions:

Economist Richard Murphy raises another concern – that the decision to relax face mask rules was down to Tory vanity. He points to an article in the Financial Times, to which this tweet refers:

“The message is loud and clear,” Murphy states. “The right-wing of the Tory party want to end Covid restrictions without caring for the consequences. The government knows that this is madness, but will not rely on Labour votes to retain masks. And so, to save Boris Johnson masks must go, even if (as will happen) thousand will die as a result.

“This is democide in action.”

Read it yourself via this tweet:

It seems thousands of people are to die because Boris Johnson is scared of his backbenchers – and too proud to rely on support from Keir Starmer – that he has enjoyed throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

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No justice for anybody as Tories announce blanket amnesty for crimes in NI ‘Troubles’

Northern Ireland: I’ve chosen not to publish a representative picture of the Troubles for reasons of taste.

Boris Johnson’s government has confirmed that it is planning to end all prosecutions relating to crimes committed during the so-called ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland.

The decision has been widely condemned. It seems the government has set out to upset everybody except the criminals among both the security forces and paramilitary groups.

Groups representing the victims, together with representatives of the executive parties at Northern Ireland’s Stormont government, have expressed their opposition.

It seems victims’ groups haven’t even been consulted.

Labour leader Keir Starmer raised the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions today (July 14): “I worked in Northern Ireland for six years with the Policing Board and the police and I have prosecuted terrorists as the Director of Public Prosecutions, so I know how difficult and sensitive the issue is. But a blanket amnesty, including for terrorists, is plain wrong.

“It is absolutely clear that the Government’s amnesty is not supported by the political parties in Northern Ireland and it is not supported by victims’ groups. Last Thursday, I spoke to victims of terrorism at the WAVE Trauma Centre in north Belfast; they have not even been properly consulted on the proposal.

“If things are to move forward in Northern Ireland, any discussion has to start with the victims. Politicians in London cannot simply draw a line under terrorism and other crimes and then force it on those most affected.”

He quoted Julie Hambleton, whose sister was among the 21 people killed in the Birmingham pub bombings, and who said: “Tell me Prime Minister, if one of your loved ones was blown up beyond recognition, where you were only able to identify your son or daughter by their fingernails…would you be so quick to grant their murderers an amnesty and propose such obscene legislation?”

Johnson had no comfort for Ms Hambleton – and admitted it: “Nothing I say or can do now can in any way mitigate her loss.”

But he said: “The people of Northern Ireland must, if we possibly can allow them to, move forwards now.

“There are many members of the armed services who continue to face the threat of vexatious prosecutions well into their 70s and 80s and later. We are finally bringing forward a solution to this problem to enable the Province of Northern Ireland to draw a line under the troubles.”

And he tried to turn the issue into an attack on Starmer by saying the plan had “a wide degree of support, if I may say so, from former Labour Prime Ministers and former Labour leaders who are of considerably more distinction than the right hon. and learned Gentleman”.

Is this true, fact checkers?

Johnson concluded: “Someone with greater statesmanship and clarity of vision would have seen that and given the proposals a fair wind.”

So, politicians who live and work in Northern Ireland – not to mention the victims of the crimes he is wiping off the record – lack statesmanship and clarity of vision, according to Johnson?

Forgive This Writer for putting forward an opinion on this matter, but it seems to me that Johnson is trying to put a stop to prosecutions – along with civil cases and inquests – because they seem too much like hard work and he can’t be bothered.

The BBC has reported that

Northern Ireland’s five main political parties, the Irish government and several victims’ groups have been highly critical of any suggested blanket ban on prosecutions for Troubles-era offences.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the “the proposals for an effective amnesty for Troubles-related crimes are totally unacceptable”.

Sinn Féin president Mary-Lou McDonald said … the move was “an act of absolute bad faith by the British government”.

Victims of the Ballymurphy shootings in 1971 also expressed anger over the reports.

[And] Amnesty International rejected the proposals as showing an “appalling and offensive disregard for victims”.

The only voice raised in support of the proposals was that of Lord Dannatt, a former Army chief, who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles – some of whose officers and men would have been under threat of prosecution if this amnesty does not happen.

And even he admitted that it “isn’t the solution to everyone’s problems”!

This is another back-of-a-fag-packet plan that reeks of Tory corruption. If they can’t make money out of a process, they simply aren’t interested.

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Covid-19: Boris Johnson gave more than the GDP of 140 nations and territories in contracts to crony companies

Spaffer: Johnson spaffed £52.5 billion up the wall in so-called Covid-19 contracts to Tory crony firms – and got practically nothing in return.

Boris Johnson used the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to give cash totalling the Gross Domestic Product of 140 nation states and territories – your money – mostly to companies that were run by Tory donors or friends of people in his Conservative government.

And now he’s saying the cost of the Covid crisis means he’s cutting overseas aid. Doesn’t he mean there’s no money for Johnny Foreigner because he’s spaffed it all up his fatcat crony donor friends?

Of £52.5 billion in contracts, £27.5 billion was awarded without competitive tender. Experience shows that this means the cash went to cronies of the Tory government, many of whom had no experience and had literally just set up a company name in order to take the money. Meanwhile, experts in their field were denied any funding at all.

Profiting most from the handout was a firm called Innova Medical Group, with whom most of the contracts were for test kits that the US government has said are inaccurate and should be thrown away.

The National Audit Office says only 96 million out of 691 million Innova test kits have been registered as used.

The travesty is explained in excruciating detail by The Citizens, below:

Yes, the government has serious questions to answer.

Sadly, it is a government led by Boris Johnson so we know that all the answers will be twaddle.

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Outrage after Tory agent on BBC board sabotaged job appointment for political reasons

[Image: Sketchaganda].

It was never going to work.

Boris Johnson’s Conservative government put its man Robbie Gibb on the board of the BBC as a non-executive director and he has tried to block the appointment of a news boss on political grounds.

The irony is that non-executive directors are responsible for “upholding and protecting” the BBC’s independence – not to make demands on the behalf of their political leaders.

Gibb used to be Theresa May’s communications director when she was prime minister. Before that, he was a BBC journalist and he started his career as a Tory aide – so it seems likely that his politics has coloured much of his work.

The BBC has often been criticised as the propaganda wing of the Tory Party and this intervention will only strengthen that impression among members of the public. It proves that attempts to rig decisions of organisations like the BBC by stuffing their ruling bodies with Tories can only backfire.

What did he do?

He sent a message to the Corporation’s director of news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth, warning her not to appoint Jess Brammar to a new post of BBC executive news editor, saying it would shatter the relationship between the BBC and the Tory government.

It is clearly a political intervention. Brammar’s career is now being trashed by other Tory propaganda mouthpieces:

What could this “borderline fake news lefty clickbait website” be? It seems an odd way to describe HuffPost UK, and This Writer looks forward to seeing that organisation’s reaction to the smear.

Previously, Brammar had been deputy editor of Newsnight.

According to the Financial TimesGibb’s message to Unsworth said she “cannot make this appointment” and the government’s “fragile trust in the BBC will be shattered” if she went ahead. One of his cronies has apparently denied the claim.

The recruitment process has now stalled. Gibb’s message was allegedly sent on June 22 and the post has yet to be filled.

Apparently the Corporation is going through Brammar’s past statements, in public and on the social media. To see if it can find some dirt on her that would invalidate her application?

It’s alleged that Gibb would want her defence of HuffPost journalist Nadine White to count against her – but if so, natural justice would demand that he be disappointed.

White was attacked by Tory minister Kemi Badenoch, who claimed she was “creepy and bizarre” in asking questions about a Covid-19 vaccines video that Badenoch branded unnecessary.

In response, Brammar filed a former complaint to the Cabinet Office, stating that “this characterisation of a journalist asking questions as somehow undermining a public health message or fostering misinformation should alarm anyone working in journalism or anyone who believes its job is to hold power to account.”

Realistically, the vetting process is unlikely to provide any reason to reject Brammar because Gibb’s intervention has forced the BBC’s hand.

Turning her away would indicate that the Corporation is vulnerable to political pressure – the kiss of death for an organisation that has long had to defend itself against such accusations.

And there is another possible reason for Gibb to have intervened now.

Awkward

The BBC is currently negotiating a five-year financial settlement with Boris Johnson’s Tory government.

Still-newly-appointed director general Tim Davie – himself a dyed-in-the-wool Tory – has spent a lot of time, and used up a considerable amount of his own credibility, steadying relations with the government in the midst of aggressive (some would say unreasonable) criticism.

Doesn’t it seem likely that Gibb’s claim about Brammar may be just the excuse Johnson needs to cut BBC funding further than previous Tory governments already have?

Whatever happens, the public response has been a PR disaster for the Tories:

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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