Tag Archives: whitewash

Police inquiry whitewashes Johnson’s links with Jennifer Arcuri

Johnson and Arcuri: the IOPC delayed its report into their relationship by months, even after its declared reason for doing so (local elections) was cancelled.

Well, what did we expect?

This Writer has noticed a distinct reluctance on the part of the police to investigate any alleged wrongdoings of government ministers – including and especially the prime minister – ever since I started writing politics.

George Osborne’s paddock is an example that leaps to mind, having written about it again within the past week.

It seems these people – squalid though they may be – are utterly above the law.

So there’s evidence to believe that Johnson had an intimate relationship with Ms Arcuri, then?

But the £126,000 he gave her in three separate deals was entirely appropriate?

And so were the decisions to bring her on three trade missions in 2014 and 2015?

Will the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which carried out this investigation, be taking questions on this decision and defending its findings?

Or will it just stonewall as usual and say “this is what we found, like it or lump it”?

The good news is that the arrival of this decision – several months late, and for no reason after local elections were cancelled – means other inquiries by the London Assembly and the London Mayor’s Office can now get back under way.

Perhaps these organisations will return a more believable verdict than our supposedly-impartial law guardians.

For clarity: if the police have cleared Johnson of criminal behaviour in this matter, I don’t believe a word of it.

Source: Boris Johnson will not face criminal probe into links with Jennifer Arcuri, sources say – Mirror Online

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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BBC whitewashes ‘government propaganda’ NHS story

131029bbcbias

 

Back at the end of September the BBC News website ran a story on 91-year-old Harry Smith’s speech to the Labour Party Conference, in which he detailed the miserable state of healthcare before the arrival of the NHS and stated his fears for the future of the service under the Conservative Party.

This was all fine. What a shame Auntie’s unnamed reporter had to spoil it by adding in two extra paragraphs that parroted – almost word-for-word – comments made by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that seemed to contradict what Mr Smith had said. Tom Pride, over at Pride’s Purge, put the statements into an image, allowing people to compare Mr Hunt’s statements with the BBC’s. That image is reproduced again here:

bbc-hunt-quotes1

The BBC report was clearly paraphrasing Mr Hunt’s words. No attempt was made to indicate that this was the government’s side of the issue; the offending paragraphs were stationed at the end – as statements of facts that contradict Mr Smith’s words.

That’s blatant government propaganda, in the view of this blog – especially as both statements are false.

That’s right – analyse the facts and Mr Hunt’s/the BBC’s assertions fall apart.

Did the government increase NHS spending in the UK? The BBC attitude was that it has, because the amount of money spent on the NHS – in England alone – has increased.

But Mr Smith wasn’t talking about England alone. Look at the BBC article (which has been revised since Vox Political complained) and you’ll see he refers to “the Britain of my youth”. The final paragraph (as it is now) does not separate England from the rest of the UK.

You may think that’s nit-picking. Try this instead: A “money-terms” increase in NHS spending is not what the Coalition government promised. The Coalition Agreement of 2010 promised a “real-terms” increase and that is what Jeremy Hunt said had happened in the comment from 2012. But spending on the NHS has fallen in real terms.

The BBC’s complaints director, Richard Hutt, in a letter of October 31, admitted as much: “My research suggests that spending on the NHS has increased marginally in terms of the amount of money spent… but as you are aware, if GDP deflators are applied a slight decrease is shown.”

But, following on from a previous BBC response in which we were told, “your blog talks about real-terms spending. Our original article did not, and had we wished to refer to real-terms spending, we would have said so,” he continued: “Nothing in the article indicated that the intention was to refer to “real-terms” spending and so I have difficulty in agreeing that this is how it would have been understood.”

Then what was the point of mentioning spending at all?

The promise was to increase “real-terms” spending, and “real-terms” spending has in fact decreased. Any reference to spending other than in “real-terms” is therefore irrelevant to the debate and can only confuse the issue in the minds of the public.

In the face of the facts, Mr Hutt – it seems – isn’t having this. Doesn’t that suggest that he has been told to whitewash the BBC – deny any wrong-doing, no matter what?

Let’s move on.

Does the Coalition support the founding value of the NHS that nobody, regardless of income, should be deprived of the best care? The easy answer to this is no, it doesn’t.

It was the work of a moment on a search engine to find a story demonstrating the opposite. It was this Daily Mail article, detailing the predicament of a gentleman who has been forced to pay £450 per month because his local Clinical Commissioning Group (brought into being by the Coalition government) would not provide him with a drug that is available free on the NHS elsewhere in England. Ironically, the cash-starved NHS in Wales is reported to have agreed to provide the drug.

In response, the BBC changed the wording of the last paragraph slightly, claiming that this changed the meaning. It didn’t.

The BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit has done nothing but whitewash its story.

Never mind; there was still one more bullet in our gun. An email has just been sent to Mr Hutt, pointing out the words of Tom Pride that kicked off the whole affair:

“These are not facts. They are the opinions of a government minister being reported as facts by the BBC.

“That’s not news. It’s propaganda.

“Mind you, I don’t know why the reporter who wrote the article is so keen to remain anonymous.

“I mean, we all know that the reporting of unattributed propaganda from government ministers is a sackable offence for professional journalists in reputable news organisations.”

It’s best not to expect a reasonable response.

It’s clear we aren’t dealing with a reputable news organisation at all.

Bone thrown to the expenses investigators

Image: BBC.

Image: BBC.

Tory right-whinger Peter Bone is the latest MP to face questions over his expenses.

The inquiry will focus on expenses relating to the upkeep of his second home between 2005 and 2009. As such, the investigation will be carried out using the system that was in place before it was reformed after a string of scandals in 2009.

Both George Osborne and Maria Miller had their expenses examined under this system, so we can expect Bone to get away with any wrongdoing as well.

From evidence that has emerged in the Osborne and Miller investigations, it is clear that the pre-2009 investigation system was completely useless except as a way of whitewashing MPs’ reputations.

Of course, Bone is a frequent contributor to Prime Minister’s Questions, where he often claims to have been prompted into making a query by his wife.

In the unlikely event that he is found guilty of a misdemeanour, will he be blaming that on Mrs Bone as well?

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How do you fight disability hate crime if the police are the perpetrators?

police

An attack on a disabled man is being investigated by the local police and crime commissioner and the Independent Police Complaints Commission – because the victim said it was committed by on-duty police officers.

Bedfordshire’s police commissioner has said the alleged attack may have been a disability hate crime, but the force has stirred up anger by refusing to suspend the two constables while the investigation takes place.

Faruk Ali, who has autism and learning difficulties, allegedly suffered the assault as he stood in his slippers, next to the dustbins outside his family home.

He says – in a story confirmed by neighbours – that he was grabbed by one policeman, pushed to the floor, and thrown against some wheelie-bins before being chased screaming into the house. There, family members said the assault continued and one of the officers punched the victim.

The two accused policemen did not immediately report the incident to their superiors, and it is understood they have claimed they thought Faruk Ali was committing a robbery (in his slippers, remember).

The Disability News Service has the full story.

All I can say is the people of Luton, where the incident took place, had better hope they have a good commissioner; experience suggests the IPCC will be as much use as a bucket of whitewash.

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David Cameron’s dream: a Britain without hope

Here’s an article that brings home the truth about David Cameron’s “Hopeless” Britain. It’s entitled ‘This cruel welfare system is steadily crushing lives – where is the anger?’ Read it and weep.

Having read it myself, I’m glad to see that at least one Guardian contributor appears to agree with my opinion of Liam Byrne, as expressed in my blog back in January.

I believe I can answer the question posed by this article. There isn’t any anger because the prevailing emotion is DESPAIR. John Harris correctly deduces the government’s attitude to welfare, as prompted by companies like A4E, Working Links (who?), Serco and G4S. The trouble is, this is the government’s attitude, and we’ve seen that its far-right policy isn’t for changing just because benefit recipients are suffering!

There will be no Parliamentary rebellions; the Tory back-benches are behind Mr Cameron all the way and the Liberal Democrats are useless as anything but Tory enablers. The saddest part of their involvement is the fact that they will be blamed more than the Tories themselves.

The despair has spread to other scandals – the current banking issue is a prime example. The government wants an inquiry led by its own ministers, right? We know that half of Conservative donations come from the financial sector; Mr Cameron’s personal fortune is based in banking and tax avoidance (or so we’re told); the millionaires in his cabinet are heavily involved in banking. Therefore we can deduce that any minister-led inquiry will whitewash the banking sector and those who have been fleecing us – ‘us’ being ordinary working- and middle-class people who have to use banks to keep what’s left of our cash safe – will go scott free. The people see no way to prevent this.

Finally (although I could go on), Mr Harris asserts that the previous government’s social reforms are partly to blame for our current woes. There is certainly an argument for this and, together with the Labour leadership’s apparent inability to champion popular opinion, it means the people cannot expect the situation to improve, no matter who gets into power after the next election.

This is Britain under David Cameron. Hopeless. Perhaps this is why he is so fond of saying that word at Prime Minister’s Questions. It’s certainly why despair is the prevalent emotion, rather than anger.

Personally, I refuse to give up. I say: Britain needs to change. And the way to make sure it does is to be as vocal about it as possible. Demand change at every opportunity. Force ministers to explain themselves wherever they go. Make their position as difficult as it can be – after all, that’s what they’re doing to you.

If you give in to despair, and let them walk over you, then you’re as much a part of the problem as they are.