Tag Archives: Vox

Will #BorisJohnson face a #leadershipchallenge right after #PrimeMinistersQuestions?

Boris Johnson: his entire career could rest on his performance in Prime Minister’s Questions on January 19.

It seems rumours about a group of Tory MPs from the 2019 preparing to challenge Boris Johnson’s leadership are accurate.

In a previous article, I drew your attention to this:

Now the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg has got on the case, although it seems she’s treating it like a damage-limitation exercise on Johnson’s behalf.

According to Ms K,

there’s a notion that they will as, a group, submit their letters [of no confidence in Boris Johnson] to Sir Graham after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday afternoon.

She reckons there are around 20 of these MPs, rather than a dozen, as previously suggested. If it’s true that 35 MPs have already submitted ‘no confidence’ letters to Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, then he will have 55, which is one more than the threshold for a challenge to Johnson’s leadership.

Kuenssberg went on to say that a Johnson-loyalist Cabinet member has dismissed the “notion”, saying it is not a serious threat to the prime minister but a “pork pie plot”, playing on the fact that one of the 2019 group is Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton (home of the pork pie).

If her report of that intervention is accurate, then it can only make Johnson and his people look worse because, as Kuenssberg states,

colleagues say Ms Kearns has been unfairly targeted and that she’s not leading any rebellion.

Let’s hope other Conservative MPs are as disgusted by the behaviour of this Cabinet member as I am, and they add their support to the 2019 group and oust BoJob before he can do any more harm to the UK.

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#RishiSunak writes off £4.3 billion that he gave to ‘Covid fraudsters’

I didn’t claim self employment support from the Tory government during the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis – and even in the light of the latest revelation, I’m convinced I was right to do so.

That’s because, even thought Rishi Sunak has admitted he won’t be able to collect £4.3 billion of the £5.8 billion he mistakenly (?) dished out to fraudulent claimants of self employment support and the furlough scheme, you can bet he would have been chasing me for a share of the £1.5 billion he thinks he can get back – even though I would have claimed it legitimately!

I’ve had too much experience of the Tory benefit system to get involved in that. I managed to survive by my own means.

But the failure to recoup the money that was claimed by fraud raises serious questions – like this one:

Well? Rishi Rich and his friends have managed to give our cash away to their buddies with all their other schemes – why not this one?

It would certainly fit with the pattern of behaviour we have seen from the Tory government.

And it raises questions about Sunak’s integrity…

And where’s the outrage from the mainstream media?

At the end of the day, it’s another £4.3 billion that Rishi Rich has spaffed up the wall without carrying out due diligence. By rights, he should be resigning from his job because he has wasted public money for no good reason.

He won’t, obviously. No integrity, remember?

What he might do is tell us we can’t have particular service anymore, or he’ll be reigning back on them so that, for example, people in the North can’t have the NHS care that people in the Southeast get – because “northerners are tougher than soft southerners, right? That’s what they’re always saying”.

Seriously, the justifications would probably be sillier than that.

I think we need to take a closer look at the books, here.

Why can’t Sunak get the money back? What’s stopping him? We need to know.

Because from here, it’s not looking like he is unable to recoup that cash.

It seems more likely that he simply doesn’t want to.

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Did #PritiPatel really want to attack asylum seekers with #sonic weapons?

Labour left-winger Diane Abbott has been attacked by the Tories and their client media – including the Express – for claiming that Priti Patel wants to use “sonic booms” against asylum seekers as they cross the English Channel in small, flimsy boats.

But was she wrong?

Here’s what Ms Abbott wrote:

The Express admitted,

Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) are already installed on two Border Force vessels but are used to issue voice commands, the Home Office said.

However, Downing Street policy experts called for them to be used as sound cannons that emit loud, high-frequency noise powerful enough to induce vomiting.

So there was evidence to support what she was saying. Apparently these sound cannons can induce ear damage so bad that people could go permanently deaf.

But while Downing Street may have been all in favour of deafening people including refugees from Afghanistan who were abandoned in the UK’s withdrawal from that country last year, the Home Office denied that any such plan was being considered…

… after Ms Abbott made her claim.

Are you convinced by that?

Whatever the truth of the matter, the good news is that the Tory government cannot, now, use LRADs aboard Border Force ships in the way Ms Abbott described, without causing severe reputational harm to the Home Secretary and her department.

Refugees seeking asylum in the UK can take comfort from that – if from little else.

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#BorisJohnson lies: he says nobody told him about party rules THAT HE ANNOUNCED TO US

Press briefing: on March 23, 2020, Boris Johnson ordered the UK into lockdown in a live TV broadcast. He explained that all public gatherings were banned and this was to be enforced by police action including arrest and fines. He is now saying that he did not understand those rules when he permitted huge parties to take place at 10 Downing Street during the time he had locked the UK down.

Boris Johnson is trying to take us all for fools.

His latest attempt to duck out of responsibility for those Downing Street lockdown parties is in a televised interview in which the PM, masked to hide his liars smirk(?), tells us nobody told him that having a social event in the Downing Street garden involving more than a handful of people was against lockdown rules.

This is obviously a lie. Not only was Johnson the one who announced the rules to us on March 23, 2020

But he was also reminded of those rules on the day of the party called by his own Personal Private Secretary, Martin Reynolds – according to his then-advisor, Dominic Cummings.

Johnson has denied it but we know that Johnson is a liar. When a liar accuses another person of lying, who do you believe?

The evidence is irrefutable.

But Johnson’s Tory supporters (a dwindling group, it must be admitted) still say they’re waiting for the results of an inquiry by Johnson’s civil service employee Sue Gray, saying they’ll consider what to do if Johnson is found to have lied.

Johnson’s supporters are desperately trying to convince us that Gray’s inquiry will be impartial; it won’t. It can’t be. And even if she tries to run it in that manner, it won’t make much difference. It was commissioned by her boss, Boris Johnson. It will report to her boss, Boris Johnson. And her boss Boris Johnson will decide what action to take, based on its findings.

We all know from experience that he’ll find in his own favour, even if the evidence is as damning as we all know it should be.

His detractors, of course, don’t have to wait.

One last thing:

Remember that whenever Johnson tells us he “didn’t understand the rules” that he himself announced to us, live on television.

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#PoliceBill: The Lords have blocked the #Tory plan to outlaw #protest

This is a bit huge, isn’t it?

Members of one House of Parliament have shown that they are capable of listening to the public, and have voted to block a plan by the Tory government to outlaw “noisy” and/or “disruptive” organised protests.

The decision to erase this part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has come after a weekend of “noisy” and/or “disruptive” organised protests against this government policy.

And it followed a debate that was punctuated by the noise of a demonstration against the Bill outside the Lords Chamber, to which peers did not object at all.

Home Office minister Baroness Williams tried to persuade peers that police would only use the proposed new powers where “necessary” and “appropriate” – but it seems nobody believed her on that. Once the law is passed, police will be allowed to adhere to its letter, not whatever meaning is being applied to it now. That means they’ll be able to do what they like – and that’s not acceptable in a democratic society.

Baroness Williams tried to gather support by saying the noisy protest outside would not be stopped – which is odd, as part of the Bill would have banned protest from Parliament Square.

Instead, she said noisy anti-vaccination protests outside a school or nursing home were a different matter – and that police should have the powers to intervene if necessary. But such protests are unique to the Covid-19 crisis; they don’t need a permanent law.

So it seems Priti Patel’s Bill is intended to address only current, short-term issues – but will then leave the measures to address them on the statute books in order to oppress people who would otherwise be described as entirely law-abiding exercisers of their democratic rights.

Again: not acceptable in a democratic society.

The Lords also voted to make misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales, in spite of the government’s policy not to.

Baroness Williams reckoned any evidence that a crime was misogynistic would be entirely subjective, and police would get tied up in reporting and monitoring statistics and data which are unlikely to be reliable.

Well, This Writer is not convinced. Misogyny is quantifiable and I’m sure people who investigate crimes will know how to do that. Perhaps Priti Patel could try talking with police sometime, instead of talking at them.

The Bill cannot be passed into law until both Houses have agreed on what it should be – so it will go back to the Commons, where the Tory majority will undoubtedly reverse these changes, along with several others agreed by the Lords.

They won’t think about it; they’ll just nod the stupidity back in.

And so the long year begins.

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Video of #KillTheBill activists on #PritiPatel chat is funny – but also shows she can’t answer real questions

Here’s an insight into the way your Tory overlords behave.

Priti Patel went on a video chat with what she thought was a group of Conservative supporters. You can see it on Skwawkbox. No doubt she was expecting a few carefully-vetted questions for which she could provide some carefully-rehearsed answers.

What she got was a group of “Kill the Bill” protesters, angry at her Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that is intended to criminalise public protest in the United Kingdom. I don’t condone their behaviour because, to be honest, they went rampant on the text chat in a way that wasn’t likely to do their cause any good.

What the incident demonstrates, though, is the polarity of thought in the upper echelons of the Conservative Party.

The chat’s host apologised for the incident, stating, “I’ve no idea how these leftists got in on the call.”

“Leftists”? How do they know?

The simple fact is that Patel’s Bill will outlaw protest by people of any political denomination: left, right, up, down, centre (wherever that is) – they’ll all go to jail for raising a finger, if she has her way.

But people with a legitimate right to question her policy were put down as “leftists” by the chat host.

One may conclude that this person is as much a fascist as Patel herself.

Perhaps everybody taking part (other than the protesters) is of the same persuasion.

The question we, as ordinary citizens of the United Kingdom, have to ask is:

Do we want these creepy ghouls to have authority over us?

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Stable-heater Zahawi rushes to deny #OperationRedMeat to save #BorisJohnson’s bacon

Duper’s delight: Boris Johnson (wherever he is) may well be wearing this smile today, as his lieutenants rush to defend him and sway public opinion back in his favour with a dripfeed of drivel. Are you going to let him get away with it?

Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Secretary, wants us to know that he is refusing to recognise suggestions of an “Operation Red Meat” strategy to save Boris Johnson’s bacon.

Zahawi, who himself is no angel after trying to get the public to pay for his stables to be heated by claiming it on his MP expenses, wants us to think Johnson is in no danger of dismissal, despite votes of “no confidence” from 35 sitting Tory MPs and one suspended Tory (Anne Marie Morris), and revelation upon revelation every day.

“He’s human and he makes mistakes,” said Zahawi. Yes indeed, we all are and do. But most of us don’t make the same mistake continually over a period lasting at least 11 months, possibly much longer. That is a pattern of behaviour.

Zahawi has also denied some of the details of “Operation Red Meat”, saying sending the military to deal with refugee boats trying to cross the channel was something the government had been “seeking to address for a long time”  – and got into hot water on Sky News for doing so:

It’s true: You don’t crack down on people traffickers by sending the military to attack a flimsy boat full of vulnerable refugees from a country the UK abandoned.

Zahawi wasn’t the only one coming out with nonsense to the media.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, challenged by (Islamophobe) Trevor Phillips on Sky News yesterday (January 16), said Johnson would address the culture that allowed the Downing Street parties to happen:

There’s just one problem with that: Johnson won’t do anything about any such culture because he is the one who created it and fuels it.

All Dowden’s other comments – the vast majority of his speech, in fact – were tangential; Johnson’s decisions on Covid-19 have little bearing on the parties that were hosted at his house. And in any case, those decisions were either wrong or late, meaning the UK’s Covid-19 death toll has been far higher than it should have been.

The only way Tory Covid policy could be linked with the parties is if it is pointed out that Boris Johnson made a decision to enjoy drinkies with his party buddies while the rest of us were losing loved ones because of his decision not to fight Covid-19 in the proper way and at the proper time.

We need to keep that in mind, no matter what drivel the Tories and their mouthpieces in the media throw at us.

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Turning advisors into #scapegoats won’t help #BorisJohnson – for these obvious reasons

His only working strategy: Boris Johnson hasn’t thought through his plan to sack all the advisors who know all the rules he has been breaking since he became prime minister. What does he think they will do?

Boris Johnson is the stupidest prime minister the UK has had in decades if he thinks sacking his top team will help him.

These are the people who know everything that has been going in in Johnson’s corrupt Tory administration since he became prime minister in 2019. They have the keys to all the cupboards where the skeletons are buried.

After Dominic Cummings, Johnson should know that it is much better for him to have people inside his tent – if you will forgive the expression, pissing out, than outside it, pissing in.

Personally, This Writer cannot wait to hear the stories that will come out in the weeks and months after any such boneheaded move by Johnson.

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#DowningStreetParties: ANOTHER one is revealed as 35 Tory MPs hand in ‘no confidence’ notes

Party boy: this image is from an electioneering event before the Covid-19 crisis and the liquid in the glass was water (we’re told). And that’s just as well for attendees; if it was one of Johnson’s lockdown-busting parties and they were staff members, he would be demanding that they resign their jobs in order to save his own skin.

It’s being reported that 35 Conservative MPs have submitted letters of ‘no confidence’ in Boris Johnson’s leadership – and more are sure to follow after it was revealed that he attended another Downing Street party.

It seems Johnson went to a leaving party for defence advisor Captain Steve Higham in December 2020 – one that it seems unlikely he’ll be able to deny, because he gave a speech at it.

The revelation is more proof of Johnson’s personal corruption: he set rules for the rest of us that meant we could not socialise at Christmas, or even visit our relatives who were dying of Covid-19, but he was merrily boozing it up with his party mates all the time.

It really was one rule for us and no rules at all for him.

And his own MPs are getting increasingly sick of it. It’s being said that 35 of them have now submitted letters calling for a challenge to Johnson’s leadership because they have no confidence in him.

Six leading Tories – Douglas Ross, Andrew Bridgen, Sir Roger Gale, William Wragg, Tim Loughton and Caroline Nokes – are demanding Johnson’s immediate resignation.

Johnson is fighting back – with plans to pacify his backbenchers by offering them things they want, no matter how bad they are for the UK. So the NHS will suffer more privatisation so shareholders in private companies can have more public money in their back pockets; the BBC licence fee will be ended so it will be destroyed in its current form, and so on.

And he is planning a Hitler-style “Night of the Long Knives” in which members of his top team will be sacked – so he can pretend to be doing something to address the rot in Downing Street.

It won’t work because we know the rot is being caused by him.

Even his attempts to shift the blame sound pathetic. He is alleged to have moaned to his aides, asking, “How has all this been allowed to happen? How has it come to this? How haven’t you sorted it out?”

The simple answers are: “Johnson authorised it all. People talked about it. And nobody could have stopped it but him… and he was too busy whooping it up.”

So it will be entirely unfair – but entirely within character – for Johnson to demand that his employees take the blame for his own wrongdoing.

One MP (unnamed) is quoted comparing it with Hitler’s “Night of the Long Knives”.

He said: “Boris is preparing to lay down the lives of his staff to save his own… It will be the Night of the Long Scapegoats.”

Anybody who knows their history will be deeply troubled by this.

The Night of the Long Knives was a series of executions carried out by Hitler in 1934, to rid himself of political opponents and consolidate his rule of Germany; it made him more able to carry out his extremist agenda.

Any purge of his top team by Boris Johnson, although not nearly as homicidal, will have the same result; he will rid his government of advisors who would caution him against some of the extreme right-wing choices he is making and will bring in people who’ll support him to the hilt.

We have already learned that he is proposing an onslaught against the UK’s institutions and the rights of people living here or coming here, in order to appease the extremists on his own back benches.

If he gets away with it, the UK will slip further into the fascism that Johnson already represents.

It may even tip our nation over the brink into Nazism itself.

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.

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#OperationRedMeat: How destroying the UK’s institutions may save #BorisJohnson

Operation Red Meat won’t help you or anybody you know. Its only purpose is to save Boris Johnson’s career by destroying much-loved UK institutions and making promises that, let’s face it, our lying prime minister won’t keep.

Boris Johnson is pandering to the worst demands of his backbenchers in a desperate bid to stop them booting him out of 10 Downing Street, it seems.

He has apparently drawn up a list of extreme actions that he hopes will persuade his Parliamentary party not to challenge his leadership.

They include:

  • Promising to end the BBC licence fee, putting the existence of the UK’s beloved public service broadcaster in jeopardy.
  • Announcing plans to tackle the backlog of operations in the NHS that has arisen because of his party’s failure to fund and staff the public health provider properly.
  • Lifting Covid-19 health protection measures (otherwise known as restrictions) on January 26, whether it is safe to do so or not.
  • Ordering the military into the English Channel to stop foreign nationals from crossing to the UK.
  • Forcing the 1.5 million people who are out of work and on Universal Credit into government-funded skills and job training (but not creating actual work for them).
  • Publishing Michael Gove’s “Levelling-Up” White Paper, that aims to improve neglected towns in northern England. So far, so-called “levelling-up” money is notable for having been used to improve a Tory aristocrat’s driveway, costing the public £300,000.
  • And announcing a workplace booze ban to end the drinking culture in what has been called “Club Downing Street”.

If any of that sounds good to you, it shouldn’t.

The BBC remains the best creator and broadcaster of TV and radio in the world – because it is funded by licence fee and does not have to pander to shareholders, advertisers or even ratings. This means programming for minority interests is not only possible, but encouraged. Johnson’s plan will make it the same as every other broadcaster – if it survives. Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has leapt at the opportunity to kill off this huge national asset, like the raving dunderhead she is.

How will Johnson tackle the backlog of operations that his own idiocy has run up? He’ll probably farm it out to private companies, funnelling even more of our money into shareholders’ pockets. If previous records are any yardstick, many of the operations will be botched and NHS surgeons will have to repair the damage.

Johnson’s attitude to Covid-19 has been wrong throughout the crisis. Here he is being influenced by his backbenchers who don’t care about public health but do want the proles to get back to work, making money for them and their doners. If he lifts the measures that protect us too soon – again – he will pitch us back into crisis.

What will happen when the Royal Navy – intentionally or otherwise – sinks a boat full of refugees? How will Johnson respond to the international incident he will have created?

Funding skills and work training may seem a good idea, but there is no guarantee that this training will be of any use at all; based on Johnson’s criteria for handing out Covid-19-related funding, it seems likely that it will be a tick-box exercise for hastily-created firms founded by friends of Conservative MPs to take more money from the public purse.

The failings of “Levelling-Up” are already well-documented, and publishing a White Paper is not the same as putting the right money in the right places. In fact, experience of Johnson suggests the exact opposite will happen.

And announcing a booze ban isn’t the same as stopping the drinking culture in Downing Street. Far from it. Johnson is a liar. He’s most likely to tell us he has done something, and then carry on partying as though no scandal happened at all. What do his MPs think the public will do, when we find out that he has let us down again?

The whole strategy – if it can really be dignified with such a description – is being called “Operation Red Meat”. One questions how Johnson arrived at the title.

Is it because he intends to rip the best parts of the UK – its finest institutions – into bloody shreds and then feed them to his toadies?

We can all foresee the harm Johnson is planning. Here’s just one comment on his plan to destroy the BBC:

And then, of course, there’s this:

Worst of all is: You won’t have any say in whether this happens or not.

The decision will be left with Conservative MPs – and we all know that their first priority has never been the good of the nation; they will do whatever they think will enrich themselves in the extreme short term.

You’ll get your chance to vote them out in 2024. If these plans – including the Police, NHS privatisation and anti-refugee Bills – have been enacted by then, it will be too late to save the institutions that have made Britain great.

And the alternative, of course, will be an extreme right-wing organisation masquerading under the name of the Labour Party, whose policy platform will bear no resemblance at all to traditional Labour philosophy.

In other words – and purely for your information: Boris Johnson is trying to use this threat to his leadership as a way of screwing you even harder than he was doing before.