Tag Archives: US

#USAElection2020 – it’s Biden! so Boris Johnson is in trouble

Joe Biden has beaten Donald Trump in the US presidential election – meaning trouble for UK prime minister Boris Johnson.

Biden topped the 270 electoral college votes needed to take the presidency when Pennsylvania declared for him on Saturday afternoon (UK time – November 7).

This means – hopefully – we will all be treated to the sight of Donald Trump being dragged from the White House by secret service men, kicking and screaming. That’s what he promised!

Trump may well follow through on his threat to bog the process down with litigation. We’ll see.

Assuming such shenanigans are dismissed, Biden’s accession to the Presidency creates serious problems for Boris Johnson.

Once described by Biden as a “kind of a physical and emotional clone” of Trump, he has long been considered hostile to Johnson’s right-wing, populist politics.

Part of this can be traced back to Johnson’s dismissal of Barack Obama. His claim that Obama’s “part-Kenyan” heritage gave him an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire” may be considered racist.

Biden’s team has, we’re told, kept a close eye on the Johnson government, taking offence at the way it has cosied up to Trump.

Dominic Cummings has been likened by some on Biden’s team to Stephen Miller, the Trump policy adviser who contributed to a controversial 2017 travel ban and policy of separating migrant children from their parents.

More tangibly, Biden warned Johnson away from his threat to break international law on Brexit and – potentially – undermine the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland.

Biden’s own heritage is Irish. It seems, when it comes to ancestry, Boris Johnson’s judgement is poor indeed.

So when it comes to trade deals, Johnson may find himself losing any ground he gained by cultivating close links with Trump.

That doesn’t mean we’ll all be saved from eating chlorinated chicken after all.

In fact, it’s more likely to mean Johnson will toss more of our national property in, to sweeten the deal.

Whatever happens, it seems Boris Johnson is heading for even more trouble – and, as usual, it’s all of his own making.

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Look at the diseases in the US food your Tory government wants you to eat

Yummy yummy diseases for your tummy: a chlorinated, antibiotic-fed chicken. It may well be full of salmonella, e.coli and excrement but your Tory government will be demanding that you eat it if it signs a trade deal with the United States.

Channel 4’s Dispatches has highlighted the danger into which Boris Johnson’s Tory government will force us, if it is allowed to make a trade deal that will kill UK farming and force us to eat chlorinated chicken and other diseased foods from the United States.

This Site told you on Tuesday (October 13) that the government has rejected calls to enshrine high food standards in law, saying it is enough that Tory ministers have said they will demand such standards in any trade negotiations with foreign nations.

These are the same Tory ministers who supported Johnson’s EU Withdrawal Agreement to the hilt in January, and now say that it is no good and they support breaking international law – turning the UK into a criminal state – instead, so their word is worth less than nothing; it is a promise of betrayal.

Dispatches has shown us what it will mean if we allow food into the UK from the United States:

Yes, you heard it correctly: the Americans would sell us meat that has animal excrement in it.

And yes: the diseases carried in this US meat would cause serious problems to people with long-term ill-health, meaning the Tories would be creating another opportunity to quietly kill off many thousands more people with long-term illnesses and disabilities and wipe them from the benefits bill.

Apparently somebody spoke up on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, demanding that the Tory government legislate for higher food standards.

But I fear this Twitter user has drawn the right conclusion:

That is my feeling, too: Boris Johnson’s loyalty lies with the US rather than with us.

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Lords defeat Johnson over food standards because they don’t want chlorinated chicken

Chicken: if this one was of the US chlorine-washed variety, do you think Boris Johnson would be soiling his hands with it?

Boris Johnson’s hopes of a trade deal with the United States are looking increasingly like a house of straw… built on sand.

Already leading figures in Congress have said they will block a trade deal if Johnson pushes his Internal Markets Bill into UK law, as it would break international law and – particularly – threaten the peace in Northern Ireland.

(Did Johnson really dream up this Bill because his Russian donors demanded it?)

Now the House of Lords has amended his Agriculture Bill, so that food products imported under any future trade deals must meet or exceed current standards in the UK – to prevent farmers in this country from being undermined.

For the opposition, Lord Grantchester warned: “Low-quality food cannot be allowed to jeopardise rural communities by undercutting UK farmers with products using methods that would be illegal here.”

Consumers did not want chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef to be imported from the US, he said.

It was only by supporting the Labour-led move that peers could be sure the Government was “bound to its commitment not to import food of lower standards than our own domestic products”, Lord Krebs said.

Baroness Boycott, a crossbench peer, said chlorinated chicken was the “tip of the iceberg” of “bad food” which could come into the country.

The amendment is a rejection of the Tory government’s claims, as summarised by Baroness Noakes:

“The government’s policy is clear. They are committed to higher food and welfare standards.

“We do not need to write into law what the Government is committed to.”

Clearly the majority of the Lords disagree – and who can blame them?

The whole point of not writing such a commitment into legislation is to ensure that a government can U-turn on it, once it has been enacted, and we all know it. That’s why the amendment has been brought in.

Unfortunately, it is well within Boris Johnson’s power to throw out the Lords’ amendment, so that the eventual law will undermine UK farmers, and will allow diseased meat onto our plates.

It is possible that MPs will stop and think for a moment before blithely voting it away, though; debate in the House of Lords is of a higher standard than that in the Commons and their reasons for changing a Bill deserve careful consideration.

Many Tories represent rural constituencies full of farmers.

How will those people take it if one of the earliest actions of these MPs in the new Parliament is to stab their voters in the back?

Source: Government defeated in Lords over post-Brexit food standards | The Independent

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US Congress threatens to pull out of #freetrade deal if UK undermines #GoodFridayAgreement

Partners? Dominic Raab is in the United States, where he has been meeting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But the threat to the Good Friday Agreement posed by the Tory government’s Internal Market Bill means they may not see eye-to-eye.

This is awkward for Boris Johnson.

The US Congress – or at least members of it – is threatening to withdraw from any free trade deal with the UK if Boris Johnson’s Internal Market Bill undermines the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland.

This is a body blow to Johnson, who has claimed that the Bill is vitally important even though it very clearly breaks international law by shattering treaty agreements with the EU and in NI.

According to the BBC:

US Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week said there would be no UK-US trade deal if the Good Friday Agreement was undermined.

Ms Pelosi said if the UK broke international law and Brexit undermined the Good Friday Agreement – the Northern Ireland peace deal – there would be “absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress”.

On Tuesday, four senior congressmen also issued a similar warning, saying a UK-US trade deal would be blocked if the UK failed to preserve the gains of the Good Friday Agreement.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, the four congressmen said the plans to give ministers powers to override part of the UK’s exit agreement – designed to avoid a hard Irish border – could have “disastrous consequences for the Good Friday Agreement and broader process to maintain peace on the island of Ireland”.

“We therefore urge you to abandon any and all legally questionable and unfair efforts to flout the Northern Ireland protocol of the withdrawal agreement and look to ensure that Brexit negotiations do not undermine the decades of progress to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” the letter added.

The letter was signed by Democratic congressmen Eliot Engel, Richard Neal, and Bill Keating, who all chair committees in the US House of Representatives, as well as Republican Congressman Peter King.

Downing Street has said the GFA will be upheld “in all circumstances” but the problem is that Johnson has a record of saying one thing and doing the opposite.

The row over the Internal Market Bill is because it contradicts the EU Withdrawal Agreement that Johnson himself signed in January after expelling 21 Tory MPs for failing to support him.

He simply cannot be trusted; he will say anything he likes to get whatever he wants at a particular time.

The warning from Congress underlines fears that no other nation will want to do a deal with a country that breaks international law.

The Americans would be better-advised to pull out of any deal now.

They might as well be negotiating with a spoilt child.

Source: Brexit: Dominic Raab seeks to reassure US politicians over Brexit bill – BBC News

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Supine Sunak set to axe ‘Facebook tax’ because he’s scared of big, nasty Donald Trump

Rishi Sunak: ‘Please don’t force us to eat your diseased chicken, Mr Trump! Look – we’ll cancel our tax on your tech companies! They can take as much money as they like from operating in our country and we won’t ask for a penny! Will that persuade you, Mr Trump? Mr Trump? Are you there..?’

Could there be a more blatant display of the UK’s newfound powerLESSness in the world?

The UK imposed a tax on tech companies like Facebook last year, expecting to bring in £500 million per year from firms that make more than £25 million each and would otherwise pay very little indeed.

But now Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning to axe it, in the hope that doing so will encourage Donald Trump not to insist on sending chlorinated chicken to the UK.

Sunak doesn’t even have the bargaining power to say he’ll do it on condition that Trump relents on his determination to foist food poisoning on the United Kingdom.

The justification to the rest of us? “Oh, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.”

I don’t know about that. £500 million is a lot of money to most of us.

The whole situation is pathetic.

The Johnson government, in the footsteps of Theresa May and David Cameron, has reduced Britain from Greatness to a state that can only be described as Little.

Source: Rishi Sunak to axe ‘Facebook tax’ on US tech giants deciding it is ‘more trouble than it’s worth’ | Daily Mail Online

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Nurses excluded from public sector pay rise – because of impending NHS sell-off?

No pay rise for nurses: by keeping the payroll as low as possible, aren’t the Tories making the NHS more attractive to US corporate buyers?

The Tories have denied nurses a pay rise that they have granted to other public sector workers including teachers and doctors.

It seems that, while these other professions are to get a raise “recognising their efforts on the frontline during the battle against COVID-19”, nurses – after many of their colleagues died on the Covid-19 “frontline” – are to be ignored.

The Tories say nurses are already benefiting from a series of pay hikes imposed in 2017 – but nursing representatives say this is blurring the line between professional progression and a pay rise.

Certainly there is a difference between the Tory claim that the average nurse will “receive an average 4.4 per cent rise this year” and the 1.65 per cent the vast majority of nurses had.

Here’s a thought, though: The Tories just voted en masse to ensure that the NHS is included in any trade deal with the United States.

If they’re about to hand over such a large concern to new, corporate, profit-driven owners, they’ll want to ensure that it has relatively low operating costs – and the best way to do that is to keep payroll costs down, what with wages being the highest cost in most businesses.

Doesn’t that make sense to you?

Source: No new pay rise for nurses, confirms Downing Street | NursingNotes

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Here’s how the Tories reneged on their promises to protect ‘our’ NHS

This Site has already mentioned the Tory NHS betrayal so let’s go over the details.

First thing to bear in mind is that when a Tory refers to “our” NHS, they mean their NHS. They consider it to be their property, to dispose of it as they please.

And yesterday evening it became clear that despite all protestations to the contrary, they intend to hand it over to US corporations as part of a post-Brexit trade deal that will kill free healthcare in the United Kingdom.

In response to a Trade Bill currently going through Parliament, Labour had put down an amendment that would have barred any deal which “undermines or restricts” a comprehensive public-funded health service, free at the point of delivery.

It would have banned any deal that undermined the ability “to maintain the quality and safety of health or care services”, and would also have legally guaranteed the UK’s ability to control the pricing of medicines, and maintained the current level of protection for patient data.

Tory MPs voted the amendment down – along with a separate Labour bid to keep “chlorine-washed” chicken and other poor-quality US foods out of the UK.

You don’t need me to point out the obvious, but I’ll do it anyway. This means:

  • The Tories want a trade deal that undermines a comprehensive public-funded health service, free at the point of delivery. They plan to put an end to the NHS as we know it.
  • The Tories want a trade deal that will force poor-quality and unsafe health/care services on the people of the UK.
  • The Tories are quite happy to enter a trade deal that means the UK will pay more for medicines, even though these deals are meant to ensure the opposite.
  • The Tories are happy to make patients’ confidential information public if it makes them a quid or two.
  • And the Tories are quite happy to give you food poisoning – or worse – if they can make a quid or two out of it.

Those are facts. You can argue about the wording if you like, but the meaning of what Tory MPs have done is clear.

If your Tory MP participated in this wholesale betrayal of the British people, then you should complain in no uncertain terms. You can find out if they did by visiting this site.

I see from the list that This Writer’s own MP – Fay Jones (Brecon and Radnorshire) – supported this betrayal. I’ll let you know how she responds to my own complaint.

One more thing: you – and the entire UK electorate – were led up the garden path by both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Only Jeremy Corbyn told you the facts of the NHS sell-off – and the UK electorate, like a herd of sheep, ignored him because they were told to by the UK’s Tory-supporting mass media.

https://twitter.com/KamBass/status/1285517272803663872

The same media representatives ignored the NHS vote in favour of the Russia Report. I don’t agree with Cornish Damo that it’s a “dead cat” – because the issue of any foreign country affecting the way ours is run is important – but he makes some very good points here:

Here’s video of Corbyn from last December:

Donald Trump had said last year “everything with the trade deal is on the table”, before U-turning (presumably after being worded by Boris Johnson) and saying of the NHS: “I don’t see it being on the table.”

Johnson himself said in October: “In any future trade negotiations with our country, our national health service will never be on the table.”

Clearly by “never” he meant “very soon”. Not an easy mistake to make so let’s conclude that he was lying.

So the public chose to believe the liar rather than Jeremy Corbyn. No wonder a new Twitter hashtag has emerged: #CorbynWasRight

One in every five adults has less than £100 in savings. Shall we write to our MPs, the BBC, Sky News and all the others and ask them whether the private health schemes to which they obviously belong run budget deals?

Source: Tory MPs vote down legal bid to protect the NHS in a US trade deal – Mirror Online

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Tory treachery: these are just TODAY’S reasons to regret voting ‘Conservative’

Loadsamoney: Boris Johnson and his party are rolling in it, and can expect much more, courtesy of Russia and the USA. You are going to suffer like you’ve never suffered before.

Anybody who voted ‘Conservative’ last December in the belief that they would be better-off must be really kicking themselves now.

Today we have learned that the Tories took money from Russians and then looked the other way while Russia interfered with our general elections – and possibly the Brexit referendum. The arrogant Tories have said they won’t even bother with a retrospective investigation of what happened (in case it incriminates them, perhaps).

Within the last 24 hours, the Tories voted to ensure that the National Health Service will be part of a future trade deal with the United States of America, meaning that health care in the UK will become an asset of US corporations if any such deal goes through.

Allow me to expand on this.

The Tories have already reneged on a promise that they would not allow diseased US-manufactured chlorinated chicken into the UK, meaning anybody who eats it is more likely to contract food poisoning.

Now we can see that anybody who does become ill in that way will not be able to afford help from a doctor, as they will be charged exorbitant US rates. Buying insurance will be no good because the insurance companies actively search for ways to avoid paying out (see my pieces about Unum).

Jeremy Corbyn warned us that the NHS would be privatised before the election last year – he showed you the documents! – but you were told not to vote for him, and like a herd of sheep you did as you were told.

So: possibly because of Russian interference, if you voted ‘Conservative’, you voted to harm your own health and to ensure that you would not be able to gain access to the healthcare you would need in order to get better.

That’s on you!

By all means, blame the Tories if you like. But they are Tories – it is pointless to say, “You told us you wouldn’t sell the NHS or allow chlorinated chicken, or allow the Russians to mess with our democracy,” because their answer is clear: “You knew what we were when you voted for us. We’re Tories. Lying to you is in our nature.”

Oh, and by the way, under the Tories, borrowing has reached a record high. The UK is in more debt than it has every been in the history of the country, and that is all because of the Tories.

Remember back in 2010 when they conned you into voting for them in that year’s election? They said their austerity would eliminate the national deficit by 2015, and they would go on from there to eliminate the debt as well. They lied.

And it means there will be no money for future, non-Tory governments to buy back what the Tories are selling – without creating a debt crisis as Tory lenders refuse to help out.

And for once, the saying is true.

We’re all in the mire together – because you voted Tory.

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Website showing Israelis teaching the choke hold that killed George Floyd is changed to remove evidence. Why?

Doesn’t this strike you as odd?

Late last month, Keir Starmer sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow Education Secretary after she tweeted a link to an interview with actor Maxine Peake which he claimed featured an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory”.

It seems the Labour leader believes it is anti-Semitic to state that Israeli military/police personnel taught members of the US police the choke hold that was misused to kill George Floyd, triggering a wave of protest across the world.

Last week, This Site found and published details of an organisation, run by Israeli ex-forces personnel, that provides exactly that service: the Israeli Tactical School.

A representative of the organisation even commented on the article to say that George Floyd’s death was caused by mis-application of the hold taught by its representatives.

And this is perfectly reasonable. There has never been any implication that Israelis trained US police officers specifically to kill black people.

Nevertheless, it seems the site has been altered since my piece was published, to remove evidence that Israeli Tactical teaches this particular hold.

According to Skwawkbox,

The content of the law enforcement page was deleted in just the last few days, with the amendment dating to after the Long-Bailey sacking. It is now blank.

The about page has been radically amended – with the ‘knee on neck’ image removed and the text altered.

The question is: Why?

Screenshots of the original pages are available – Skwawkbox publishes them in its article – and This Writer has taken copies of them. The evidence showing not only that Israeli personnel taught this technique but that it is an established technique used in Israel is clear.

So why even try to hide it? Doesn’t that just make the technique, the teaching and the organisation look suspicious?

Source: The newly-deleted web page that seems to exonerate Long-Bailey and Peake – SKWAWKBOX

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