The Tories were never going to recruit an extra 20,000 police officers; they were always trying to compensate for the 21,000 they removed – and they were never going to make it because a more realistic recruitment figure, taking retirements into account, was 50,000.
Worse still, because the population has risen, the number of police officers per UK citizen has fallen drastically.
And to cap it all off, trust in the service is at an all-time low because of recent revelations about the Metropolitan Police (institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic).
The result is a crisis for law and order in the United Kingdom that Braverman is simply ignoring.
Last words: Liz Truss delivers her final speech as UK prime minister. What a shame so much of it was untrue.
Typical. You have to spend a day seeing to family matters and everything kicks off at work.
This Writer was away from his desk on Tuesday (October 25) – so of course it was the day Liz Truss finally gave up being the prime minister, Rishi Sunak took over, and he went on to form a new cabinet of halfwits.
I missed the lot. Forgive me for playing catch-up now.
We’ll start with Truss’s final speech as prime minister. Here it is in its full, awkward glory:
Here’s that speech with a bit of fact-checking from Politics Joe:
Personally, I love the bit where she mentions “the philosophicer Sene…ca”. Was that bit written for her by someone else? Has she ever read Seneca? (I’ll admit I haven’t.)
She said her government had acted “urgently and decisively on the side of hard-working families and businesses” – but the headlines showed that the UK economy is expected to be weak until 2024, with rising costs hitting households and companies.
Also shown was a headline stating that a primary school running a foodbank said people are struggling hugely. Another said “toast is a luxury” and families have “never been more scared” over where money will come from. And a third said one-fifth of households are considering cancelling their Christmas celebration – with many considering loans to get them through the festive season, due to the cost-of-living crisis that Truss did nothing to ease.
Businesses stated that her energy assistance plan was no good, and her mini-budget caused political and market turmoil.
She said her government had “helped millions of households with their energy bills” – but headlines indicated that families were still struggling after energy bills skyrocketed from £74 to more than £1,300.
She said her government had “helped thousands of businesses avoid bankruptcy” – but headlines said supply and staffing issues, inflation and high energy bills meant the UK hospitality industry alone was expecting a “tidal wave” of closures.
“We are taking back our energy independence,” she said, “so we are never again beholden to global market fluctuations or malign foreign powers.
Firstly, let’s take a moment to remind ourselves that Tory governments of the past were warned about the dangers of allowing power over our energy supply to pass to foreign owners – and ignored those warnings.
Now, let’s look at the headlines, which stated that the whole UK electricity system is under private ownership due to Tory privatisation in 1989, and its dependency on imports has increased in the decades since (after being more or less self-sufficient previously).
“We simply cannot afford to be a low-growth country where the government takes up an increasing share of our national wealth,” she said, expanding on this later in her speech by saying, “It means lower taxes, so people can keep more of what they earn”. But the headlines contradicted her, showing that the International Monetary Fund had openly criticised her tax plans, adding that Jeremy Hunt, as Chancellor, has reversed her income tax breaks along with almost all other measures from the disastrous mini-budget of September 23.
She spoke about “restoring power to democratic institutions” and said “we must be able to out-compete autocratic regimes where power lies in the hands of a few” – ignoring the fact that “Rishi Sunak’s coronation as PM would shame a banana republic” because he was elected by fewer than 200 people – all of them Tory MPs. Another headline highlighted Sunak’s “lack of mandate”.
“And it means delivering growth that will lead to more job security, higher wages, and greater opportunities for our children and grandchildren,” she said. But figures show that “under-30s lost more than 20 per cent of disposable income in the last 12 months”, blaming rising energy prices.
So almost everything she said in her speech was contradicted by the facts.
Thank goodness she has gone. Can you imagine having to put up with two more years of this ridiculous, easily-dismissed doubletalk?
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.
Theresa May in Grimsby: She might as well have said, “There isn’t even this much truth in what I’m saying about your rights.”
Cabinet ministers – and the prime minister above all – have an obligation to be truthful. It’s one of the seven principles of public life enshrined in the Ministerial Code – and one that Theresa May broke flagrantly in her speech on Brexit in Grimsby the other day.
She was trying to claim that her deal means the rights of employees will be protected – more than they would be if the UK remains in the European Union. This is not true.
She said: “We have … committed to protecting the rights and standards currently set at the EU level – from workers’ rights to environmental protections.
“And this week we have said that if the EU expands workers’ rights, we will debate those measures in Parliament and decide if we want to follow suit.
“But we will not tie ourselves in automatically to follow EU changes without Parliament having its say.
“That would mean weakening workers’ rights if the EU ever chose to do so. And it would not be taking back control. The UK has led the way in the EU, and we will lead the way outside it.
“Leaving with the deal means workers’ rights will be protected.”
“That would mean weakening workers’ rights if the EU ever chose to do so.” Oh, really?
This is a false statement from the Prime Minister. EU law sets only minimum standards for employment law, so a (hypothetical) reduction in those minimum standards would not automatically mean a reduction in UK standards. https://t.co/DRxdmSnAQt
She tried to tell us the EU could weaken workers’ rights in the UK when in fact it is her government that is more likely to do that.
There will be nothing to stop her from weakening employees’ rights, once the UK leaves the EU.
I wonder if any enterprising member of Parliament may be motivated to set the record straight – and to request an investigation into the prime minister’s breach of the code that all government ministers must observe, or resign.
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The Vox Political Facebook page has become a lively place over the last couple of days – mainly because of the presence of misinformed people purveying hand-me-down myths about Labour Party policies, accompanied by the odd troll who wants to cause mischief by supporting those beliefs, even though they know them to be false.
This makes it a frustrating place for Yr Obdt Srvt, who has had to respond to every other comment with a rehash of explanations provided to other people on other comment threads. It’s like trying to have a conversation in which you have to repeat yourself after every couple of sentences because you’re talking to people who keep coming out with the same – disproved – claims.
Clearly it is time to provide these people with a common point of reference, to which they may refer – it won’t shut up the trolls but at least they’ll look stupid if they’ve been given an answer and still carry on.
So! Let’s have a look at some of these claims.
1. “Labour voted to support the Bedroom Tax and it is hypocritical of them to oppose it now.”
Labour never – categorically NEVER – voted for the Bedroom Tax.
The entire Parliamentary Labour Party (barring possibly any who were ill or had some other reasonable excuse not to be present) voted against the Welfare Reform Act (which contains Bedroom Tax legislation) when it was pushed through Parliament in February 2012. Look up Hansard debates, February 21, where MPs’ speeches, and the way they voted, are reported verbatim.
Since then, the party’s campaigning against the Bedroom Tax has been constant.
If you have been making this claim, you stand corrected.
Do not come to this blog or the Vox Political Facebook page repeating that claim again.
In addition, you should now take responsibility for preventing other people from spreading that falsehood. If you spot anyone doing so, you just make sure they know the facts – along with everyone they’ve been misinforming.
2. “Labour has committed itself to following Coalition spending plans and is therefore no different from the Conservatives.”
The Tory spending limits myth is another one that has to be challenged at every turn because a lot of people misunderstand it.
Firstly, just because Labour has committed itself to keeping the same limit on its spending as the Tories, for one year only, does not mean that Labour will spend the money in exactly the same way!
Too many people make this assumption when there is absolutely no basis for it in fact – including some newspapers, it is sad to report. They got it wrong.
Secondly, government spending for the first year is tied down, to a certain extent, by commitments made by the previous administration. Once those are out of the way, it leaves the board clear for the new government to be as bold as it wants.
“First, the party’s pledge to match the coalition’s spending totals in 2015/16 does not mean that it has to spend each budget in the same way. In education, for instance, it could devote less funding to free schools and more to schools in areas where demand is greatest.
“Second, the commitment to match planned government spending only applies to the first year of the next parliament: the party is free to outspend the coalition after that and to make greater use of tax rises to reduce borrowing.
“Third, while promising to eliminate the current account deficit, Labour (unlike the Tories) has not pledged to eradicate the total deficit, leaving room to borrow to fund capital projects such as housing and transport infrastructure (provided that the rate of spending growth is slower than the growth in GDP it will still be able to meet its promise to reduce the national debt).”
3. “Ed Miliband is a closet Tory because he has said he wants to govern like Margaret Thatcher.”
Some people seem determined to shoehorn this statement into a belief that Miliband was confessing that he is a Conservative.
He was talking about Margaret Thatcher’s style of leadership, not her political beliefs – Thatcher led from the front, telling her cabinet what she wanted done and expecting them to do it. In contrast, for example, Johon Major was a consensus leader who discussed big decisions with the other members of his cabinet in order to find out their opinions before making a decision.
Now, you might have an opinion on which of those styles is the best, but you won’t even be able to start forming a judgement if you’re unable to recognise what it really is!
4. “We cannot trust New Labour, the party of Tony Blair and his brand of neoliberalism.”
New Labour ended in 2010.
Go to a search engine and type in ‘Ed Miliband new labour dead’ or something similar. The relevant articles are dated around September 26. New Labour was a neoliberal mistake.
New Labour made too many errors – it was a silly experiment to take Labour down the same neoliberal cul-de-sac as Thatcherite Tories. This is why the current leadership has turned its back on the whole project.
Yr Obdt Srvt joined Labour to help turn the party back into what it should be. Yes, there are still New Labour hangers-on, but Vox Political does its bit to expose them for what they are on the blog (as you’ll know, if you’re a regular reader).
We’re not all Red Tory propagandists, you know!
5. “Labour has not opposed any of the Coalition cuts to services or social security. Labour has supported them.”
This misconception seems to have grown from the fact that the Coalition has been able to push through all of the changes it wanted, no matter how damaging – and arises from a misunderstanding of the way Parliament works.
While the Coalition has a majority, it doesn’t matter what Labour does in Parliament – the Coalition will always win the vote.
In fact, Labour has opposed every single cut inflicted on the UK by the Coalition, except in one case where the party abstained in order to win concessions.
Labour MPs and activists have campaigned ceaselessly against the cuts that have led to many thousands of deaths, speaking out in the Commons Chamber, in newspapers, at demonstrations, rallies and public events. They have made it perfectly clear that they intend to hold the Coalition to account.
Claims that Labour “sat idle” for the last four years are dangerous nonsense as some people may believe them without checking the facts for themselves.
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