Tag Archives: trust

This former Commons speaker can still put a prime minister firmly in his place

This clip speaks for itself.

Former Commons Speaker Lady (Betty Boothroyd), speaking in today’s (October 19) Lords debate on how badly Boris Johnson has cocked up the UK’s departure from the European Union, said the following:

“Never in my Parliamentary experience have I witnessed such a collapse in the people’s trust.”

That is a warning.

Johnson will be too stupid – or too selfish – to take it.

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Former PM rips into Internal Market Bill: ‘So much for global Britain’

What a face: Theresa May’s expression shows exactly how she feels about Boris Johnson’s idiotic, selfish and destructive Internal Markets Bill.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May has made a devastating intervention on her successor’s Internal Market Bill, attacking the reasons it has been drafted and its effect on the integrity of the United Kingdom, and questioning whether any other country will trust the UK again.

In a debate on the Bill on Monday afternoon (September 21), she raised several important questions, starting with this:

Clauses 41-45 of the Bill refer to customs arrangements in Northern Ireland. Boris Johnson signed the EU Withdrawal Agreement in January, accepting that NI would remain under EU tariffs and effectively placing a customs border in the middle of the Irish Sea. Now he wants to renege on that.

Mrs May was critical:

And she makes an excellent point.

Her final point was better still – that the circumstances in which the UK chooses to break international law won’t matter to people in other countries; they’ll only see that the UK has broken international law and won’t want anything to do with a rogue state of that kind:

Her conclusion was a devastating blow – not only to the Internal Markets Bill but to her successor, Boris Johnson: “This is a country that upholds the rule of law. That is one of the things that makes us great; it is one of our characteristics… yet we are being asked to tear up that principle and throw away that value. Why? I can only see, on the face of it, that it is because the Government did not really understand what they were signing up to when they signed the withdrawal agreement.

“Frankly, I find it difficult to understand how any Minister can go through the Lobby to support these clauses.

“I consider that… the Government are acting recklessly and irresponsibly, with no thought to the long-term impact on the United Kingdom’s standing in the world. It will lead to untold damage to the United Kingdom’s reputation and puts its future at risk.”

Wow.

It won’t make any difference, of course.

If Boris Johnson was able to gull more than 300 Tory MPs into voting for his Withdrawal Agreement in January, and then to vote against it in September, then the word of a former prime minister won’t stop them doing whatever he wants.

They would probably shoot themselves through the lung if he told them to.

Effectively, that is exactly what they are doing – and the rest of us, too.

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#Whitty and #Vallance to appeal to the public over #Covid19 – because nobody trusts the Tories any more

Whitty takes over: the chief medical officer – with chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance – will be making a televised address to the nation because nobody trusts the Tories any more. From the state of this image, not even Whitty.

Trust in Conservative ministers has eroded so badly that they have been forced to hand over a televised update to the UK’s chief scientific and medical officers.

Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty – who was last seen shouting at performing monkey prime minister Boris Johnson and his boss Dominic Cummings in a photograph published in The Spectator – will make an appeal to the public to stick to new rules on Monday (September 21).

Whitty and Vallance are likely to compare the UK with other European countries such as France and Spain, which have seen a sharp rise in cases translate – after a lag – into increasing hospitalisations and then deaths. The UK saw 3,899 new cases and 18 deaths on Sunday.

The scientists will set out the latest data on the spread of the disease, and urge people to exercise caution. Whitty is expected to warn: “We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period.”

Their intervention comes after ministers were accused of eroding trust, from failings and broken pledges on testing and tracing to scandals such as Dominic Cummings’ lockdown journeys.

Covid-19 is now on the rise across the UK, among people in all age groups. Cases are doubling each week.

The Tory ministers – like Johnson and Matt Hancock (also seen recoiling from Whitty in that Spectator shot) – are said to be hoping the scientists’ broadcast will help bring home the message that tough new restrictions will be unavoidable if the situation fails to improve.

So it is the Tory mailed fist behind the velvet glove: comply with restrictions, including the “rule of six” limit on social gatherings, or see stricter measures imposed.

Source: UK at ‘critical point’ over Covid-19, top scientists to tell public | World news | The Guardian

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Distraction tactics: why pay attention to all this right-wing fiddling while your country burns?

Jeremy Corbyn: it’s nice that a Twitter poll has rated him the best prime minister the UK never had, but the PM that we’ve got is turning the UK into a major disaster and this stuff is nothing more than an attempt to distract you. Did it work?

We all know bank holiday Mondays are where the news goes to die but August 2020 was particularly bad.

Judging by Twitter, the event that caught everybody’s imagination was a poll by right-wing Times Radio that resulted in a nobody presenter – This Writer has never heard of him – having to declare that Jeremy Corbyn is the best prime minister the UK never had.

(It means he would have been a better choice, not only than Boris Johnson or Theresa May, but better than many others as well – according to those who took part in the poll.)

Certain right-whingers immediately took it upon themselves to alleged – without any factual basis – that Corbynista Twitter users had ganged up to rig the poll.

Who cares?

It doesn’t matter. We didn’t get Corbyn. We got Theresa May in 2017 and Boris Johnson now – partly because Labour apparatchiks conspired to bugger up Corbyn’s campaigns on one or both occasions, if you believe a certain report (I do).

And it diverts attention from the failures of the government we have – especially at a time when Parliament is about to resume sitting after the summer recess.

The Guardian‘s editorial has identified a few of the political crises from which the poll has diverted our attention. For example:

Rishi Sunak is determined to end his Job Retention Scheme – the furlough to you and me – at the end of October, triggering a huge wave of unemployment. That’s right, even more people are about to learn what Universal Credit is all about – and they’re not going to like it.

He’s facing an annual national deficit that will have grown to twice the amount faced by Gordon Brown’s Labour government during the so-called “great recession” of 2008 or thereabouts. His party made a lot of mileage out of criticising Labour’s handling of that recession, slithering back into office by claiming it would end deficit spending and cut the national debt as well (instead the Tories more than doubled the debt to £2 trillion).

And in November Sunak has to produce a budget that will boost the economy and return the national finances to some semblance of balance (fat chance! He’s already facing a backbench rebellion on his mooted plans for tax rises).

Nobody’s going back to work because they don’t trust the government’s proclamations that it is safe from Covid-19. Nobody is likely to go back to universities for the same reason. The only people likely to want to go back to school are the kids – and that’s because they’re probably a bit bored by now and want to see their buddies again.

The Johnson government’s determination to push through Brexit as planned by December 31 means the party that pledged to end the scourge of “red tape” is more likely to throttle us with it, as businesses have to deal with an avalanche of pointless bureaucracy.

These are all problems that the Tories have created for the rest of us, either by incompetence or by design, since they first came back into power in 2010 – and most particularly since Boris Johnson became prime minister last year.

You need to be thinking about that, but instead you’re being seduced into thinking about a dopey Twitter poll that doesn’t mean anything at all.

You’re watching the right-wingers fiddling around while your country burns around you.

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Medical experts warn that government Covid-19 antibody tests are probably duff

How typical of the Tory strategy on Covid-19 that the blood antibody tests that cost them £16 million might not work:

Senior medical specialists have raised concerns about the accuracy of the antibody tests being carried out on NHS staff across the country.

The blood tests – which can tell whether someone has had Covid-19 – were previously described by prime minister Boris Johnson as “game-changing”.

The government has spent £16m buying some 10 million test kits from pharmaceutical giant Abbott and Roche with the first phase of the testing programme assessing NHS and care staff, before being rolled out to the public.

But a letter from academics and clinicians, published in The BMJ, raises concerns about the performance of the tests, the clinical reasoning for them and the cost.

“We have three concerns… Firstly, there is no specific clinical indication for the test on an individual basis. Secondly, the performance of these assays has not yet been assessed to the standard typically required of a novel test. And thirdly, the resource implications are not considered.”

“The assay is being rolled out at an unprecedented pace and scale without adequate assessment, potentially compromising public trust in pathology services in the future.”

The letter adds: “NHS England requires the result to be available in 24 hours. Given that routine testing of patients is neither clinically urgent nor meets a clear public health need, this push to introduce a non-evidence based test for uncertain gains risks inefficient use of scarce resources.”

The experts also warned that a positive or negative test result would not alter how a patient is managed either way and added that a positive result “does not indicate immunity”.

It seems the government has admitted the scientists may have a point.

The Department of Health and Social Care made a statement saying: “We do not currently know how long an antibody response to the virus lasts, nor whether having antibodies means a person cannot transmit it to others.”

Nevertheless, antibody testing “will play an increasingly important role as we move into the next phase of our response to this pandemic”.

Looks like another pointless waste of cash to This Writer. How typical.

Source: Coronavirus: Medical Experts Issue Warning Over Government’s Antibody Tests | HuffPost UK

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George Floyd death: asphyxia finding creates potentially catastrophic collapse of trust

Trump: while all this is going on, he’s been sitting in a White House bunker, writing incendiary tweets that could burn down his country.

People in the United States cannot trust their police or the services who work for them, after a private post-mortem found that he was asphyxiated by Minneapolis police officers.

The county medical examiner had previously claimed that the death of George Floyd was caused by the combined effects of being restrained, underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, and potential intoxicants in his system.

Now we hear that this was not true.

It means the people of the United States cannot trust the officers they appoint to keep the law – either to enforce it properly or to tell the truth about it when others have failed in that duty.

In such circumstances, they cannot afford to trust in those who provide the services they fund. People of colour must feel particularly at risk.

This has happened in the term of exactly the wrong president.

Whereas Barack Obama (for example) might have agreed that there are serious problems with the authorities in Minneapolis, authorised an investigation and promised to get to the bottom of it, Americans have to face whatever decision Donald Trump makes instead.

He is likely to try to brazen it out – pretend that the county medical examiner’s finding was right and threaten action against anyone who says otherwise. In other words, he is likely to make a terrible situation disastrous.

If he’s not careful – and we know he isn’t – Trump could turn every US citizen against their neighbours. People across that country have already participated in violent confrontations over this.

There’s nothing to stop Trump from escalating that violence catastrophically. For example:

How is that helping?

And then there’s the fact that this is happening in the middle of the worst disease pandemic in a century.

If Trump is stupid enough to turn the American people against each other, then they’ll probably spread the virus like wildfire.

And – thanks to Trump’s daft-headed policies – the death count in the States is already higher than anywhere else in the world.

Source: George Floyd died of asphyxia, private post-mortem finds – BBC News

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NHS doctors were told not to list coronavirus on death certificates. Why?

False information: the NHS is fighting a deadly pandemic, so why would medical staff willingly record a false cause of death? That would be storing up trouble for themselves in the future. That doesn’t make sense so somebody else is responsible.

Coronavirus deaths could be going unreported after doctors at an NHS trust were told they don’t have to list it on patients’ death certificates.

Now, why on Earth would anybody want to falsify coronavirus deaths? Who on Earth would want to create misleading figures? Who would benefit?

Well… doctors don’t take orders from lower-ranking members of their profession, so they were told to do it by someone above them.

As it was trust-wide, we may conclude that somebody outside it issued the order; nobody within it would falsify records of their own free will, in This Writer’s opinion. Why would it occur to them?

The Tories have claimed the guidance was the responsibility of the trust. But why would they do that without a good reason? What I’m saying is…

Realistically, and tell me if I’m jumping the gun here, the only people who are going to ask a National Health Service trust to record an inaccurate cause of death is the Conservative government.

So it seems the Tories wanted to force doctors to pretend the number of deaths – in hospital – is dropping.

This suggests they want to pretend the pandemic is easing off.

And this suggests they want us to think it will soon be over and we can all go back to work.

But if we do, and it isn’t over… then more of us will catch the disease and for many of them, it will be all over, very soon thereafter.

So it seems the government may be deliberately trying to bring about the deaths of some of us.

Isn’t there a word for that?

The Good Law Project said it has obtained a leaked document telling medics that recording “pneumonia or community-acquired pneumonia” as the direct cause of death was acceptable.

The unnamed trust’s guidance contradicts that issued by the Government, which says Covid-19 is an “acceptable direct or underlying cause of death” on a death certificate.

The group claims the guidance from the trust states: “‘Doctors are asked to use the standard MCCD (Medical Certificate of Cause of Death) form to certify death. ‘Pneumonia ‘or ‘community acquired pneumonia’ are acceptable at 1(a) on the MCCD.

“There is no requirement to write COVID 19 as part of the MCCD. It may be mentioned at 1(b) on the form, should the doctor wish.’”

The Good Law Project said the document states Covid-19 may be mentioned in a different section of the form relating to indirect causes of death “should the doctor wish”.

Whoever is responsible, the legerdemain has been discovered and the damage will be stopped.

This time.

What next?

Source: NHS doctors ‘told they don’t need to list coronavirus on death certificates’ – Mirror Online

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NHS medical records handed to O2 to predict mental breakdowns – isn’t this against the law?

How many NHS record files have been handed over to a private firm by the Tories, in breach of Data Protection laws and the General Data Protection Regulations?

This looks like a huge data protection breach.

The Tory government, which runs the NHS in England, should have sought permission from patients before handing over their records to a commercial organisation – anonymised or not.

The fact that this information only became public knowledge via a Freedom of Information request makes it even worse because the Tories have been hiding what they have done.

Are you a patient of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust?

If so, I strongly suggest that you get together with other patients, find out if your information was handed over, and take legal action. Get in touch with Citizens Advice to find out how.

The telecoms giant O2 has been given access to a cache of NHS medical records to develop an algorithm aimed at predicting when mental health crises might occur.

Patients’ consent was not sought before Telefonica, the Spanish group that trades as O2 in the UK, was given free access to the trove of records from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, according to documents, published last month under freedom of information laws.

The data includes five years’ of anonymised records belonging to current and former patients. In the document, the NHS trust said that “25,000 people experience a mental health crisis every year” in Birmingham and Solihull, suggesting that data on tens of thousands of patients could have been shared.

Source: NHS medical records given to telecoms group to predict mental breakdowns | News | The Sunday Times

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Who do you trust with the NHS? Boris ‘privatisation’ Johnson or Jeremy ‘investment’ Corbyn?

[Image: The Critique Archives.]

Some Tory-supporting chump on the BBC’s Politics Live has suggested that people trust Tory privatiser Boris Johnson with the NHS more than Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.

This seems to be fake news, to me!

Consider the fact that Mr Johnson has been in long-running talks with Donald Trump’s government in the United States over a trade plan that would more than double the price of medicines in the UK.

Mr Trump has said he does not want to take over the NHS and this is likely to be true – as a Republican he would want nothing to do with socialised healthcare.

But a massive rise in the cost of medicines will harm the economic viability of the NHS as a whole, making it easy for the scheming Johnson to claim it is not viable as a state-run organisation and to advocate privatisation.

Do you know how much you’ll be paying for healthcare under a privatised system – that Boris Johnson actually advocated, years ago?

Here’s the clip, in fact:

In this video, people were asked how much they think certain treatments cost. The results are extremely revealing:

If you vote Conservative, that’s what you want – hugely expensive healthcare, whether you can afford it or not.

Mr Johnson has made extravagant promises for the NHS, including the addition of 50,000 nurses.

But there’s something wrong with his mathematics – as was exposed when his stooge, ‘Thicky’ Nicky Morgan, appeared on Good Morning Britain to plead for the policy. The moment was examined by the families on Channel 4’s Gogglebox. Brace yourself because this video is hugely damaging to the Tories:

As the election campaign continued, we learned that the reality is even worse:

The small print of the Tory plan shows only 1,400 new nurses would start work per year.

And leaked NHS documents show that around a quarter of the new staff would be nursing associates, whose worth is calculated as around half that of a full nurse.

Add to this the long-since debunked Tory claim that they would fund the construction of 40 new hospitals – in fact their offer is to repair six – and it is clear that the Tory offer on the NHS has collapsed altogether.

Here‘s The Critique Archives, summing up the Tory disaster (before the facts about the new nurse recruits were known):

“Boris Johnson, our illustrious Prime Minister, cannot count to the number forty correctly. Truly. What he does when he gallantly attempts to rival John Nash is to count to five, presumably on the fingers of one hand. The effort to switch over to the digits of his other hand appears to confuse him, as the next number he will call out is ‘forty’.

“You think I am making this up? Well, how does Johnson explain arriving at his policy of building “forty new hospitals” when everyone else who has analysed the proposal has found that the actual total is six? That miscount is so egregious, the only explanation is that he thinks that five-plus-one equals forty.

“And then of course, there is the disturbing collective miscount of this General Election campaign, in which the entire Tory Cabinet appear to have somehow decided that the number thirty-one thousand is the same as the number fifty thousand. Therefore, when ‘BoJob’ et al announced with almost fevered excitement that there would be ‘50,000 new nurses’ recruited to the National Health Service over the next term, the number they actually meant was 31,000. The nineteen thousand difference was made up of nurses who are already in the NHS, but who are projected to leave over the next five years, and Conservatives hope just to convince them to stay. Apparently, thirty-one thousand new recruits plus nineteen thousand old recruits who are persuaded to stay by means undefined equals fifty thousand ‘new‘ recruits.”

In contrast, Labour will end NHS privatisation.

Labour will increase NHS funding by 4.3 per cent per year – more than the 3.2 per cent per year offered by Mr Johnson’s Tories.

And Labour will establish a generic drug company to ensure that all medicines are available to the NHS at a fair price.

Considering all the above, let’s have a poll – and please share this article to ensure the maximum number of responses:

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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