United Nations warns UK could be breaking international law over cladding

What do you think the Conservative government will do about this, considering it is now three years since the Grenfell disaster and the Tories haven’t lifted a finger to replace flammable cladding on thousands of other tower blocks? This Writer is willing to bet we’ll hear a load of flannel about the UN not doing its job properly – or misinterpreting its role in some way, and some minister – probably Robert Jenrick – will make some sabre-rattling suggestion that it should keep its foreign nose out. You know how…

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UN poverty expert condemns UK coronavirus response as ‘utterly hypocritical’

How else would you describe the way the UK’s Tory government threw away austerity the instant the well-being of the rich was threatened? Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, made a good point when he pointed out that the harm caused by austerity policies of the last 10 years cannot be undone – but the policy itself was reversed the instant it seemed likely to harm the rich. He told The Guardian: “My thoughts of course hark back to the sense of how utterly hypocritical it is now to…

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The false arguments against Greta Thunberg – and why you should ignore them

Who would have thought a teenager who isn’t in showbusiness could have such an impact on the world? This is a really strong speech: Admittedly, Greta Thunberg has yet to persuade financiers and business leaders to stop the climate change-related harm they are doing to our environment, but this is probably because she has hit such resistance from the false-equivalence brigade. For example: '16 year old Greta Thunberg is too young to make her own mind up and has been groomed' scream people who said that Shamima Begum knew at…

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UN poverty rapporteur’s condemnation of the Conservatives must be read

Sometimes important information drops off the news agenda because crafty operators do what they can to obscure it. Sometimes there’s just so much going on that it is ignored. In this case, with international controversy over an Iranian oil tanker and a British ambassador to the US, and domestic fuss over the pumped-up Labour anti-Semitism claims and the Tory leadership election, the latter seems possible (for a change). But Philip Alston’s anger about the way the Tories have sidelined his report on the way their austerity policies (carried through at…

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The UN says austerity has fuelled UK racial inequality. Will the Tories call THIS a lie, too?

Prepare for a new outbreak of outrage against a United Nations rapporteur. The Tory government likes to pour scorn on UN reports, and I reckon this will be no different. Note that Tendayi Achiume managed all her research in 11 days. The Tories pilloried Phillip Alston, the poverty rapporteur, for carrying out his own research in less than two weeks, and there’s no reason this would be different. Of course, it turned out that the facts on which Mr Alston based his findings were accurate and the Tories rubbished his…

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Are they joking? UN poverty expert thought Tory response to his report was a ‘spoof’

At a time when we are all taking a long, hard look at the Conservative government of the last few years, this is damning. Philip Alston, the New York-based human rights lawyer and United Nations rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, has responded with disbelief after the Tories responded to his report on poverty in the UK. “I thought it might actually be a spoof,” he said after ministers claimed that his report was “a completely inaccurate picture of our approach to tackling poverty” and that the UK was…

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UN reports on poverty in the UK – and the Tory response is WORSE than expected

Remember when I responded to news of a UN investigation into cruel and inhumane treatment of disabled people by stating, “The UN will release a damning report stating that the UK’s Conservative government tortures disabled people, and the UK’s Conservative government will ignore it.” The government’s response to UN expert Philip Alston’s report on poverty is, if anything, worse. Mr Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, accused ministers of being in a state of denial about the impact of policies, including the rollout of universal credit, since 2010. He accused…

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The United Nations is investigating the UK’s treatment of the disabled again. Don’t expect anything useful

We’ve been here before. The UN will release a damning report stating that the UK’s Conservative government tortures disabled people, and the UK’s Conservative government will ignore it. In his opening statement to the UN’s Committee Against Torture, the head of the UK government delegation, Paul Candler, said the UK government “consistently and unreservedly condemns torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and raises concerns about it “wherever and whenever it occurs”. He said: “The UK has a longstanding tradition of ensuring rights and liberties are protected domestically,…

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Why should we take the blame for an environmental emergency that a tiny elite has caused?

Watching the report of the UN’s findings on BBC News earlier, I was moved to tweet the following: Watching #bbcnews treating the UN's report on the threatened extinction of a million species, as though it's something new and shocking. The scale of the crisis has been known for DECADES but the people with the money – including the UN – haven't been interested. — Mike Sivier (@MidWalesMike) May 6, 2019 I tend to agree with Greta, here: It’s 2019. Can we all now please stop saying “climate change” and instead…

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UN poverty expert has an uphill struggle – with DWP ministers who don’t even understand their own rules

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on poverty, Professor Philip Alston, has hit back at Conservative government ministers over their refusal to acknowledge his report on the consequences of their austerity policies in the UK. But it seems he is on a hiding to nothing as at least one Conservative MP at the Department for Work and Pensions has revealed he does not even understand the way his party’s own rules work. Ignorant Tories including the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, have been lining up to say they “do…

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