Tag Archives: whitewash

Partygate: Met Police Acting Commissioner pathetically tries to whitewash Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson: the prime minister is pictured participating in a party to mark the departure of Lee Cain from his Downing Street communications job – but according to Acting Met Police Commissioner Sir Stephen House, there is “no clear evidence” that he took part in the rampant Covid-19 rule-breaking there.

A police officer who witnessed “a large number of people” at a “crowded and noisy” party, where “some members of staff drank excessively” did not immediately take action over Covid-19 rule breaches because he was there for security and not to “police what goes on inside the building”, according to Met Police Acting Commissioner Sir Stephen House.

Have you ever read such nonsense? Police officers are sworn to uphold the law at all times, no matter what their stated duties are said to be. Would he have turned a blind eye to burglary, or rape, because he was assigned to “security”?

Apparently the same officer did not feel that a large number of drunken people in a crowded and noisy room breached Covid-19 regulations that strictly prohibited such social gatherings.

It’s no wonder this “acting” Commissioner’s other comments are also shockingly inadequate in the light of this.

House told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee there was “no clear evidence” that Johnson had breached Covid-19 rules many times in Downing Street, despite the very clear photographic evidence of him participating in a party to mark the departure of Lee Cain from Downing Street on November 13, 2020.

This was not a “works gathering”. Far too many people were present and they were socialising and drinking alcohol – as was the prime minister, who gave a speech. The amount of time he spent there was immaterial because the rules in place at the time prohibited all such social events from taking place at all.

At least one attendee was fined for being at this event but there was “no clear evidence” that Boris Johnson was there or took part, according to House.

House also suggested that it was difficult for his officers to work out which gatherings were work-related and which were not. How daft! If alcoholic drinks were visible in the room, then they weren’t work-related. And in any case, if the room was packed with people, meaning they were not at least 2m away from each other in accordance with social distancing rules, they were breaking the law.

House said he was personally involved in the decision-making and was confident in the outcome of the police investigation. That should be enough for us to demand that he surrender his badge.

Is he selling us down the river so he can gain the favour of the top Tories?

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Sue Gray report in depth: how many times was Boris Johnson drunk in charge of a nation?

Boozy Johnson: it seems he spent most of the Covid-19 crisis drunk, along with many of the staff at Downing Street – and the Met Police, together with Sue Gray, have been trying to cover-up his wrongdoing.

Isn’t it a shame that Sue Gray’s report into the drunken party culture that prevailed at Downing Street from early 2020 until late 2021 (at least) is so uneven.

Parts of it are thoroughly researched, but other parts – especially, it seems, where Boris Johnson is concerned, are amateurish.

Consider the report’s entry about a gathering in the Downing Street flat on the evening of November 13, 2020.

Ms Gray states that after the announcement that Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain were leaving, a meeting was held in the Number 10 flat to discuss the handling of their departure.

It started at 6pm, involving five special advisors, and Johnson himself turned up at 8pm. Food and alcohol were available and the “discussion” continued into the evening with people leaving at various points.

This was not a works gathering – it was a party.

If it had been a works gathering, then it would have taken place in an office – not the flat. Alcohol would certainly not have been available – have you ever been to a work meeting where booze was being served up to all and sundry? I haven’t! People attend work events to work – not to drink. And everybody would have stayed until the meeting was closed by its chair, if it were a works gathering.

Johnson was getting drunk with his mates in his flat and they simply pretended it was a works gathering to diddle the rules, or so it seems to me. Doesn’t it look that way to you?

Ms Gray’s report states she had to halt her investigation because the police inquiry began, and did not re-start it when the Met had finished their dog’s dinner of a probe because she did not think it was “appropriate or proportionate” to do so.

Is this because she feared that she would expose her boss’s lawbreaking further than it already has been?

I’ve looked in detail at just three events so far. All were parties, and Boris Johnson participated fully in all of them. At those times, he was drunk in charge of the nation – and these were times when the nation needed a sober hand at the helm.

It was a flagrant abuse of power that both the Met Police and Ms Gray seem to have been doing their utmost to cover up. Shame on them – and shame on all of us if we allow them to get away with it.

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Shame on Sue Gray – it seems she has let Boris Johnson off the hook over Downing Street parties

Sue Gray’s report on alleged Downing Street parties has been published and is likely to cause further controversy rather than quiet it.

She claims that the very first event she discusses – in which Boris Johnson and others were pictured sitting around a table drinking wine on May 15, 2020, was a legitimate work meeting.

But the rules she herself describes in her report stated that “participating in a gathering of more than two persons in public was prohibited except where the gathering was ‘essential for work purposes’… Social distancing guidance applied, with workplaces required ‘to maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible'”.

Was the gathering “essential for work purposes”? Sue Gray tells us, “the Prime Minister, Martin Reynolds (his Principal Private Secretary), and Dominic Cummings (his senior adviser) were continuing a lengthy meeting that had started in the Prime Minister’s office, before moving to the garden at around 18.00.” Why did they have to meet in person for this meeting? Why were they not socially distanced (you can see from the image above that they are not two metres distant from each other? And crucially, how can it have been a work meeting if there was alcohol provided – and by the prime minister as well?

This Writer has never been to a work meeting at which alcohol was freely available and imbibed by those present.

Those who were there were ignoring social distancing rules that they had imposed.

And there was no reason for them to be in the same space as each other at all.

This was a social gathering, not a works meeting, and Sue Gray has ignored the evidence.

In her favour, Gray criticises those who participated in the events for failing to come forward with full details after her investigation was announced, instead allowing information to become available “piecemeal” as it was revealed by the press. “This is disappointing. Given the piecemeal manner in which events were brought to my attention, it is possible that events took place which were not the subject of investigation.”

This can only be seen as criticism of Boris Johnson as he made it perfectly clear from the start that he would not willingly provide any information about what had happened in Downing Street on his watch.

That’s what This Writer sees after reading just 11 pages into the 60-page report. It seems clear that, like the police before her (or indeed, after her, if this report was in fact written before they started their investigation), Sue Gray has given Boris Johnson every break possible – even if there is damning information in the rest of her report. That is shameful in itself.

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Investigation of Conservative Islamophobia is another blatant whitewash

Boris Johnson’s comments about the clothes worn by Muslim women are only part of the huge volume of Islamophobia and racial hatred he has tried to stir up on his own – but the EHRC was happy to let the Tories investigate accusations against their own party and now that report stands revealed to be a whitewash.

An independent (was it?) review into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party has said there is no “institutional” problem – to howls of outrage from the rest of us.

Even though it does report attitudes that make “uncomfortable” reading for Boris Johnson and other Tories, the report is as much a whitewash as the examination of “institutional racism” in the UK, a few weeks ago.

The government has been resisting calls for that report to be discredited and scrapped ever since and the Conservative Party must now face the same calls over this.

Here’s the BBC, calmly presenting the Tories in as kind a light as possible (in other words, very dimly):

There is “clear evidence” the Conservatives’ complaints system is “in need of overhaul”, Professor Swaran Singh’s independent review into alleged Islamophobia and discrimination in the Conservative Party said.

It found anti-Muslim views were seen at local association and individual level.

But claims of “institutional racism” were not borne out by evidence of the way complaints were handled.

The report warned it “should make for uncomfortable reading for the party”.

But it also said it found “no evidence the party had… systematically failed any particular community”.

Oh, really?

Let’s go to some of our favourite people on Twitter for their analysis.

Here’s Ash Sarkar, who happens to be a Muslim who has suffered Islamophobia from Conservative Party members:

She was also able to provide an example of Islamophobia by a very senior Conservative, from very recent history:

She was referring to this:

Johnson’s own comment about women wearing the burqa (or burka, spell it how you like) looking like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” was criticised as “insensitive”. That’s a strange way to spell “racist”!

It seems he tried to excuse himself with the pathetically weak comment that he wouldn’t do it again, now that he is prime minister.

How is that acceptable? He was saying that he still holds his racist, Islamophobic opinions, but he now intends to deceive the public that he doesn’t by choosing not to broadcast them!

Perhaps he feels he should not be picked out for special investigation because he isn’t the first Tory prime minister to be out-and-out racist filth. Theresa May’s “hostile environment”, that gave rise to her racist “go home” advertising vans and the Windrush scandal, springs to mind.

But apparently these historical examples of racism and Islamophobia are still not enough for the Singh review!

They were enough for Russ Jones:

Also on a party-wide basis:

Some have seen this as marking the right time for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to resume its own investigation into Tory Islamophobia, that was called off after the Singh review was announced.

This was rightly criticised at the time because the EHRC point-blank refused to call off its inquiry into Labour anti-Semitism after that party announced an internal review.

So Peter Oborne’s suggestion rings hollow:

The most that is likely to come from it, even if the EHRC deigns to respond, is confirmation that it is biased towards the Conservatives.

And as far as Conservatives are concerned, we have this comment to put the whole situation in its proper context:

Divide and rule. It is the Tory mantra. They have spent more than a decade encouraging prejudice and racism across the UK.

And they’re not going to stop, now they know it’s working.

Source: PM’s burka comments gave impression of insensitivity – report – BBC News

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Tory contracts whitewash: the government has cleared itself of favouritism. So what?

Two-fingered response: your family members died because the Tories didn’t get vital supplies for tackling Covid-19 out in time? Too bad! They were handing the money to their mates and that is all that mattered to them.

Politics has suddenly become so busy that a lot of Tory corruption might get swept under the carpet if we’re not careful – like this example of a person appointed by Boris Johnson to probe David Cameron’s lobbying finding the government innocent of favouritism in awarding Covid contracts to Tory cronies:

The report states:

The man appointed by Boris Johnson to probe David Cameron’s lobbying has cleared the government of “favouritism” in the award of £17bn in Covid contracts.

City lawyer Nigel Boardman admitted that some government practices, such as a fast-track “VIP” priority system for firms known to MPs and ministers, gave rise to the “suspicion” of bias.

What do you do if there’s a suspicion of wrong doing? You investigate it.

Did he? Doubtful.

The report said he found no evidence of favouritism. But this is a discussion of cases in which Tory cronies with absolutely no experience of providing the relevant services were offered contracts instead of long-established firms that had been doing just that for years.

It is easy to find no evidence if you’re looking the other way.

Rachel Reeves, who is now Shadow Chancellor, had predicted that the report by Boardman – another Tory crony – would be a whitewash. She responded:

“This barely scratches the surface of the conflicts of interest in government procurement, and the deep and troubling pattern of taxpayers’ money being sunk into crony contracts.

“We need a complete overhaul to tackle cronyism, and an urgent end to emergency procurement measures.”

If such measures are still being employed, then yes – they need to stop. Even Boris Johnson is signalling (for all he’s worth, which is not much if you believe the reports) that any emergency is now over.

And we need to be sure that the money-grubbing that led to 150,000 deaths while Tories handed out useless contracts to their useless friends never happens again.

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Racism by gaslight as the UK’s racist government’s new report is a #whitewash

Tory racists: let’s remember that the government currently claiming there’s no institutional racism in the UK is led by a prime minister who had to apologise for an article claiming black people have lower IQs, then went on to say Muslim women in burqas resemble “bank robbers” and “letterboxes” and told us black people are “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. His novel 72 Virgins also contains an anti-Semitic trope.

The Tory government has released a report claiming that, despite thousands of cases of casual, institutional racism that we all see every day, the UK should be seen as an “exemplar” of racial equality.

Who do these racist Tory twits think they are going to fool?

The answer to that is obvious – the majority population of white British people who don’t experience racism in their day-to-day lives, many of whom habitually vote Conservative even though it is against their own interests to do so.

You know… the gaslit millions.

The report by the Tory government’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities was scripted by Downing Street and released under what Peter Walker of The Guardian described as “some pretty cynical news management”.

He explained in a short series of tweets:

He concluded: “We just ignored the “no approach” aspect as it seemed weird to not ask expert groups about a major report in their own subject area, and cynical for government press officers to expect this.”

It wasn’t weird at all. He was right the first time: it was an attempt to ensure that coverage of the story would only highlight the positive message – the lie – that your racist Tory government was peddling.

And let’s not have any nit-picking about my reference to these Tories as racist. This report deliberately hides the racism with which UK society is riddled in order to gaslight the gullible into thinking it doesn’t exist. That in itself is racist.

When you see the head of the commission, Tony Sewell, speaking about it, bear in mind that he is distrusted by the minority ethnic community because he has long claimed that institutional racism does not exist.

A summary of the report focused on education, claiming that many students from minority ethnic backgrounds do as well or better than their white peers.

That is not the experience of youngsters who continue to be treated as backward, simply because of the colour of their skin. Read Akala’s book Natives for a ground-level account of what it’s really like.

The Guardian article, having ignored the Tory embargo, features some on-the-nose responses too:

The shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, told the same programme that disproportionate rates of school exclusion and arrest among black children underlined evidence of an institutional problem. It would roll back progress if the government sought “to downplay or deny the extent of the problem, rather than doing what it should be doing which is getting on the front foot and tackling it,” she said.

A spokesperson for Black Lives Matter UK said that while the report focused on education, “it fails to explore disproportionality in school exclusion, eurocentrism and censorship in the curriculum, or the ongoing attainment gap in higher education.

“We are also disappointed to learn that the report overlooks disproportionality in the criminal justice system – particularly as police racism served as the catalyst for last summer’s protests. Black people in England and Wales are nine times more likely to be imprisoned than their white peers, and yet, four years on, the recommendations from the Lammy review are yet to be implemented.”

Halima Begum, the chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, said: “As we saw in the early days of the pandemic, 60% of the first NHS doctors and nurses to die were from our BAME communities. For Boris Johnson to look the grieving families of those brave dead in the eye and say there is no evidence of institutional racism in the UK is nothing short of a gross offence.

“The facts about institutional racism do not lie, and we note with some surprise that, no matter how much spin the commission puts on its findings, it does in fact concede that we do not live in a post-racist society.”

Maurice Mcleod, the chief executive of Race on the Agenda, described the conclusion of the inquiry as “government level gaslighting” and criticised the summary for claiming communities are being “haunted” by “historic cases” of racism, creating “deep mistrust” in the system that could prove a barrier to success.

He said the implications of the report were that “the reason so many black people don’t get on well in this society is because they are stuck in the past and this makes them mistrustful. So racism isn’t the problem, people talking about racism is the problem.”

“Government level gaslighting” is right – and is a theme that has been taken up on the social media by people who should know:

You get the picture?

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that this is only one example of the deception coming from your Tory government – which is gaslighting us so heavily that one Twitter user said it was in danger of breaching the Paris Agreement on Climate Change:

But there is an easy way to fight back:

Here’s some information to get you started:

Source: Downing Street suggests UK should be seen as model of racial equality | Race | The Guardian

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Review whitewashes Metropolitan police behaviour at Sarah Everard vigil

Is anybody surprised that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has cleared the Metropolitan Police of any inappropriate behaviour at the Clapham Common vigil for Sarah Everard?

The review said the force “was justified in adopting the view that the risks of transmitting COVID-19 at the vigil were too great to ignore”.

So that made it reasonable to kettle these people – crowd them into an ever-smaller space, making those risks much greater, did it?

That made it reasonable to arrest these people, did it? Were they crammed like sardines in police vans? Were they crammed like sardines into cells?

Forcing people into close contact with each other seems an extremely odd way to combat a disease that is spread by close contact – especially people who had been very recently injured.

The review said “officers remained calm and professional when subjected to abuse” and “did not act inappropriately or in a heavy handed manner”.

So this wasn’t heavy-handed?

How about this?

Or this?

Hmm.

Like many others, I notice that there was no problem with the Duchess of Cambridge attending the event that Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick branded illegal.

Why wasn’t Kate Middleton attacked with a baton and bundled into a White Maria?

Ah, but she attended during daylight. The police didn’t move in and start hurting people until after dark. Now, why was that, do you think?

The report by Sky News makes it clear that the atmosphere did not turn hostile until the police started kettling people. Oh, the cops were telling people to leave, were they? How could they do that when the uniforms were cutting off their ability to go?

The bandstand was soon almost surrounded by officers and the atmosphere started to become more hostile. It was at this point that a number of women appeared to be shoved and people starting shouting at the police.

It seems clear to me that HM Inspectorate of Constabulary came to the conclusion it usually reaches – that the police can do no wrong.

How many attendees at the event were consulted during this review?

None, I’m betting.

No wonder the result was one-sided.

Let’s have a proper, public inquiry – then we’ll hear some uncomfortable facts (but of course, that will never happen).

Source: Met Police ‘acted appropriately’ at Sarah Everard vigil, review finds | UK News | Sky News

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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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