Tag Archives: Williamson

Is this really the ‘skeleton’ in Johnson’s closet that Williamson is being knighted to hide?

‘Keep your mouth shut and there’ll be a knighthood in it for you,’ Johnson could be saying here. But it seems Gavin Williamson couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Did he say anything worth knowing?

The announcement that Boris Johnson was giving double Cabinet failure Gavin Williamson a knighthood has prompted a wave of speculation about what the real reason for it might be.

This Site has already published an article about it. Nobody believes the award is for “services to the public and to politics”.

Now it seems that investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr may have uncovered at least one reason for it – and it refers to Johnson’s links with Russia.

She has published her evidence in a Twitter thread that you can find here. For brevity, I’ll refer to a summary from Yorkshire Bylines, which states:

Cadwalladr explains as follows:

Williamson was appointed secretary of state for defence on 2 November 2017, shortly after the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed it was investigating suspected Russian assets/agents operating in London, some of whom had met with Foreign Office officials, including Boris Johnson, then foreign secretary, and Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who had been accused of being the link between Russia and the Trump campaign. Johnson subsequently denied meeting Mifsud, until a photograph emerged.

Cadwalladr had previously been writing about Russian connections to Brexit and the Conservative Party. On 4 November 2017, she reported that the Observer had been told by a British intelligence officer that “The entire city (of London) is a nest of spies … There’s more espionage activity here now than there was even at the height of the cold war”.

She maintains that she subsequently received information that a person “high up in government” rang Richard Tice, founder of the Vote Leave Campaign and director of the Brexit (now Reform) Party, with some information to pass onto his political journalist partner, Isabel Oakeshott.

Oakeshott’s statement was that “I am in no doubt that [Leave.EU campaigners] [Arron] Banks and [Andy] Wigmore have been acting as agents of influence for the Russian state… The material clearly shows that they discussed Brexit and personal enrichment opportunities with senior Russian officials. They met several times with men they knew to be members of Russian intelligence services and passed them sensitive documents. They claim to be patriots, but when the UK and Russia had a political dispute, they publicly and privately supported the Russian position.”

Ms Cadwalladr then tweeted that the “source believed that person who tipped off Tice about Banks’s Russian connections was…drum roll…Gavin Williamson, then sec of defence”.

She explains that there are still areas of this situation that are opaque to the British people, but what we do know is that the FBI’s investigation came to London, that key individuals and organisations were based here, and that one of these individuals was Johnson “knee deep in Russian connections and money”. And indeed, May seems to have responded directly to this information with her ‘we know what you are doing, Russia’ speech.

The article concludes:

Williamson appears to be in possession of information that the prime minister does not want to appear in the press at the time the western world sits aghast with horror at the actions of the Russian state. If he will not answer questions on this point, the question for the British people is clear: do we really want a government that works in this clearly corrupt manner? And if we don’t, what are we going to do about it?

This Writer has not seen the documents that apparently induced Ms Oakeshott to say that Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore were working for Russia.

And there is no readily-apparent connection between the claims about them and any Russian influence on Johnson.

But there is enough here to justify an investigation into whether these named people were connected with – or influenced by – Russian agents (or were agents of Russia themselves).

What does Williamson know? And does it in fact relate to Boris Johnson?

What about Banks and Wigmore? Are the allegations correct? If not, then why were lies released to a journalist, and what made her believe them? If so, then it is important for their involvement to be revealed, along with the names of anybody they know to be part of this apparent web of intrigue.

Did Russia hijack the UK’s referendum on membership of the EU in order to weaken this country and Europe?

And if Boris Johnson is one of those involved, it is vital that we know the facts.

Because – if true – then this is potentially treason.

Source: The Russia connection: defying gravity, reality … and treason?

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Knighthood for dunce Williamson: confirmation that Johnson wants to ‘keep skeletons in closet’?

Gavin Williamson: another honour for the Tory Party’s ‘Mr Stupid’ – to ensure he doesn’t reveal all Boris Johnson’s guilty little secrets?

Twice-sacked Tory ministerial failure Gavin Williamson is to be knighted – for reasons that none of us can understand.

The government is saying he’ll have the honour “for political and public service”, but his record of service to politics and the public is so shockingly bad that a prison sentence for treason would be more appropriate.

He has been sacked from two ministerial posts – as secretary of state for education and defence – after causing huge scandals.

The Huffington Post has listed just some of his worst offences:

His handling of disruption to schools during the height of the pandemic and the grading of GCSEs and A-levels after exams were cancelled was widely seen as disastrous.

The firing from defence came following an inquiry into the leak of information from a security council meeting about Chinese telecoms firm Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G mobile network. Williamson denied being the source of the leak, despite having an 11-minute conversation with a journalist that broke the story.

Away from policy errors, Williamson is perhaps best-known in British politics for his habit of making a gaffe.

In September, Williamson confused footballer Marcus Rashford with another sports star. [He] told the Evening Standard that he had met Rashford, a prominent campaigner for free school meals, while it was later revealed he had actually met rugby union player, Maro Itoje. Both men are black.

Last year, Williamson said he did not remember what A-Level grades he received – despite remembering opening the envelope.

In the wake of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in 2018, Williamson … said: “Frankly, Russia should go away and should shut up.” The tenor of his warning clearly had little effect.

Days after his Rashford gaffe, Williamson urged teachers to return to in-person teaching – during a virtual appearance at a conference.

Williamson was told off by parliamentary authorities after using Instagram in the House of Commons.

In 2018, Williamson was attempting to deliver a speech on Isis in the Middle East when a voice coming from his jacket pocket interrupted proceedings. Siri could be heard saying: “Hi Gavin, I found something on the web for: ‘In Syria, democratic forces supported by…’”

The list of Gavin’s gaffes is very long indeed.

So, why the knighthood?

Well, he did run Boris Johnson’s campaign to become the Conservative Party’s leader in 2019. Some say he was given his cabinet position as Education Secretary as a reward; it certainly seemed incongruous after previous PM Theresa May had sacked him from Defence.

But the smart view is that, as an intimate colleague of Johnson, Williamson is getting the honour in order to keep him quiet – to prevent him from exposing any “skeletons in the prime minister’s closet” of which he has knowledge:

The Prime Minister fears the backbencher could open up on what he saw when he was running his leadership campaign, and a knighthood is seen by some as the price for buying his silence.

But such a move is likely to anger teachers, unions and pupils and risks further disillusioning the public as he allegedly held a Christmas party at the Department of Education (DoE) in December 2020.

The party was hosted at the DoE cafe in Westminster and up to two dozen staffers attended.

The DfE did not deny Covid rules had been broken and admitted “it would have been better” not to have held the event while the rest of the country was banned from doing so.

If this is the real reason, then it is simply more evidence of Boris Johnson’s corruption – and of the corruption that infects the heart of the UK government that accepts him as its leader:

Who can argue with that?

Source: Gavin Williamson could receive knighthood from Boris Johnson in bid ‘to keep skeletons in closet’

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Tory dunce Williamson is latest MP accused of PPE corruption

Gavin Williamson: an artist’s impression of the suspect.

Gavin Williamson used to be Education Secretary before his many stupidities forced Boris Johnson to dump him onto the backbenches.

He had nothing to do with Covid-19 as part of his job.

So what possible reason could he have had for pushing Technicare onto the infamous ‘VIP lane’ for PPE contracts?

And – worse – why did current ministers at the Department for Health and Social Care leave his name off a list of ministers and MPs who referred companies to the VIP lane used to fast-track firms with links to ministers, MPs and officials?

His involvement was revealed after the government – quietly – updated its list to include Technicare, trading as Blyth Group Ltd – and revealed for the first time that Mr Williamson had referred them.

Does it seem to you that somebody in a high place was trying to pull the wool over our eyes – hide the ex-minister’s involvement in unlawful behaviour?

The Government’s use of the ‘VIP lane’ was ruled unlawful by the High Court last month, following a legal challenge brought by the Good Law Project and campaign group EveryDoctor.

If this stuff had been any good, it might not have been quite so bad. But…

At least 51 firms are understood to have been handed more than £4 billion worth of PPE contracts – all without competition – after being referred to the VIP lane.

DHSC documents show £673m worth of PPE purchased by the government – some of which was obtained through the VIP lane – was not suitable for use in health settings.

A further £750m worth of PPE and equipment was not used before its expiry date.

Williamson’s name joins those of Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and Grant Shapps among the 48 people or groups who referred companies to the fast track.

Some of the firms that won contracts and failed to fulfil them took cash from organisations with proven track records – thereby endangering citizens of the UK.

Because of that, these MPs should face a serious penalty for having used a secret system to boost amateurs over professionals.

But we live in the age of “one rule for us and no rule for them”. Will there be any justice at all?

Source: Gavin Williamson referred firm for £1.7m ‘VIP lane’ PPE deal, ministers admit – Mirror Online

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Good riddance, Gavin! Williamson sacked as Education Secretary

Ooh, don’t have a Betty: Gavin Williamson was dubbed the Frank Spencer of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet due to his ineptitude and lack of intelligence. Worse still, he didn’t have the heart that Michael Crawford gave his comedy character. In fact, let’s face it – Williamson has no redeeming features at all.

England’s education system is (momentarily) stronger with the announcement that Gavin Williamson has been sacked from his post as the minister in charge, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle by Boris Johnson.

His two-year tenure stands as testament to the fact that having no Education Secretary is better than having him in the role.

Incompetent Williamson’s failures are fast becoming the stuff of legend, with the headline disasters well-known to all of us:

In 2020, when A-level students could not take their exams because of Covid-19, he used a algorithm to allocate marks – that was rigged to make it seem that privately-educated pupils were more intelligent than the riff-raff from the state system that he ran.

He later tried to force disadvantaged, black and minority ethnic children in England to take exams when other kids didn’t have to, claiming that they respond better to examination conditions. It seemed clear racism – an attempt to put these children down with duff results.

He made it clear that the government expected all schools to open as normal in January this year – then closed them after just one day because prime minister Boris Johnson ordered a new lockdown and he was unaware of it.

He decided to foist Latin as a subject onto state school pupils, rather than anything useful. At the time I wrote: “Having killed the economy with Brexit and enormous numbers of the population with Covid-19, the Tories now want us all to learn a dead language.”

He scrapped dozens of legal rights for children.

He also wanted a clampdown on indiscipline in schools after the return from Covid-19 lockdown – but provided no evidence whatsoever to support his wild claim that our children had gone feral.

Before Boris Johnson gave him the bullet, it was suggested that Williamson would blame school pupils and parents if Covid-19 infections spike after the start of the school term.

It’s still too early to tell whether that has happened but we will be able to judge his successor by whether they choose to follow the same cowardly strategy.

If Johnson continues to follow his “Cabinet of all the idiots” strategy (he thinks it makes him look like the intelligent one) then our children’s education may be in for an even worse battering.

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Gavin Williamson prepares to blame school kids and parents for Covid spike

“Perfectly safe”: this photo was taken on a school staircase after Boris Johnson ruled that it was “perfectly safe” for children to go back there in September 2020 – no social distancing, no PPE… not safe at all. As schools reopened THIS September, NOTHING HAS CHANGED AT ALL.

We all saw this coming for a long time, didn’t we?

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has had a month and a half in which to install Covid-19 restricting measures – like improved ventilation – in schools.

He has done nothing.

And now, with schools across the UK reopening again for the autumn term, the dunce at the Department for Education is telling parents any increase in Covid infections will be their fault.

That’s right.

The new Conservative Government plan to deal with the coming wave of Covid-19 is…

You can read the mainstream media version of the story here:

Parents are understandably anxious – and angry

This parent makes the concerns clear:

It seems clear that the plan for keeping schools clear of Covid is exactly as described in this parody account:

Meanwhile, the virus is spreading across the UK, with the restriction of its spread caused by the school holidays eliminated:

Meanwhile, let’s remember the Tories’ real policy for dealing with Covid-19:

So, as your children succumb to infection because they’re being ordered to attend badly-ventilated classrooms before they’ve had a chance to be vaccinated, just remember that all this suffering is vital for Conservative government ministers and their friends to make a fat wad of money.

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Starmer runs away from Green New Deal campaigners [Also in the news]

The excuses man: when approached about the environment, Starmer makes his excuses and runs away.

Wasn’t the Green New Deal a major part of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour policy?

And Keir Starmer was fully behind it then.

But now he seems to have performed a massive about-turn – and is actually avoiding campaigners against climate change.

How does he think this is acceptable?

Also in the news:

Public dissatisfaction with Starmer continues to rise

Sunak tells NHS staff if they don’t like their pitiful pay rise they should retrain and get better jobs

The mystery of the Education Secretary’s A-level results may be solved

More government cronyism and corruption

And finally: A reminder of what Boris Johnson said he would do if Brexit emptied supermarket shelves

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Zahawi replacing Williamson in suggested Cabinet change would be going from bad to worse

Nadhim Zahawi: waving the flag and messing up the message.

If Boris Johnson really is planning to reshuffle his cabinet, I see the plan is still to surround himself with people who are even more incompetent and corrupt than he is.

Nadhim Zahawi is tipped to replace Gavin Williamson as Education Secretary after Williamson’s latest gaffe – pretending to forget his own A-level results in an LBC interview:

Williamson previously tried to have thousands of students’ A-level results marked down, using an algorithm that artificially boosted privately-educated pupils over those who went to state school.

He demanded a ramping-up of discipline in schools, claiming without any evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic had “inevitably” turned our children feral and blaming technology – mobile phones – as a disruptive influence while at the same time praising it for keeping them learning.

When Boris Johnson announced a lockdown in January, Williamson presided over chaos in the education system as primary pupils were sent back to school for just one day before Johnson pulled out the rug from under the system and Williamson had not provided any advance warning – at all – about what was going to happen.

He had previously taken local education authorities to court for keeping schools closed when he wanted them to open, creating confusion and anxiety due to constant mixed-messaging.

He illegally stripped children in care of 65 legal protections after conducting a consultation that was selective about whose opinions it sought. The change proved to be temporary.

He was exposed as a racist when he said children from ethnic minorities need to sit exams. After it was pointed out that those in Wales and Scotland who weren’t going to do so (because of the Covid crisis) may have better results, he scrapped the plan for exams in England.

And don’t even get me started on his plan to offer Latin as a language subject in schools – a dead language for a country that is dying due to Brexit, Covid-19 and the corruption of government ministers like him.

Given all of the above, one might think it is a good thing that Williamson may be going.

But there is just one problem:

Nadhim Zahawi is at least as bad as Williamson – if not worse.

Zahawi wants everyone to think that he has made a great success of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout – he is the Vaccines Minister, after all – but there’s just one problem: it has been run entirely by the NHS.

He’s just the figurehead. His other duties include trying to avoid explaining his prime minister’s financial irregularities, like the Downing Street flat refurbishment:

How about when he had to explain why Johnson had said vaccinations had broken the link between Covid infection and hospitalisation?

Before the vaccines job he was a business minister – and duly messed up explaining why the government wasn’t providing enough help for the self-employed during the Covid crisis:

He has a second job working for an oil company – a conflict of interest at a time when pressure will be put on such firms to green up their act.

Historically, he became notorious during the expenses scandal, after it was revealed that he had claimed public money to heat his stables.

He used a mortgage lender based in a tax haven.

He attended the Presidents Club dinner event- on multiple occasions – where women were subjected to sexual harassment, and did not report the offences.

He objected to Donald Trump’s travel ban against Muslims – but only when his own family were affected.

He is incompetent and he is corrupt.

And it seems Boris Johnson thinks he is perfect material to take over from another corrupt incompetent in a Cabinet role.

It is an apt coincidence that this is being reported on the day the former Welsh Education minister, Kirsty Williams, is in the headlines for speaking out about online abuse she received.

She could have done the Westminster job better than either of these two clowns.

Source: Nadhim Zahawi tipped for Cabinet role as pressure builds on Gavin Williamson

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Latin to be offered to state school pupils to make the UK even more out-of-touch

Wearing the dunce’s cap yet again: but should Gavin Williamson get all the blame for wanting to inflict Latin on our unsuspecting sprogs? I suspect this is another daft demand from Boris Johnson and Williamson, being a dimwitted yes-man, is just pushing it through.

It is as though Gavin Williamson actually sat in the Department for Education, thinking: “I can’t screw up exams this year; how else can I bugger up state school kids?”

Here’s what he came up with:

Latin lessons are to be offered to thousands of state school pupils in England as part of an effort by the Department for Education to make the language less “elitist”.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said a new programme would ensure the subject was not “for the privileged few”.

A £4 million Latin Excellence Programme will see the ancient language offered to 40 state schools in England as part of a four-year pilot, according to The Daily Telegraph.

It makes a perverse kind of sense: having killed the economy with Brexit and enormous numbers of the population with Covid-19, the Tories now want us all to learn a dead language.

It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of other things to which Williamson could be devoting his time – as the Twitter community was quick to point out:

All good points as I’m sure you’ll agree.

Other commenters have taken glee in pointing out that Williamson has, yet again, drawn attention to his own shortcomings:

I’m sure nobody would want to argue with that!

Source: Latin to be offered to state school pupils to make subject less ‘elitist’ | The Independent

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Priorities: Tories fail to provide funding for schools to recover from Covid-19 because they want YOUR kids to fail

Gavin Williamson: he could provide the funding needed to help your kids catch up with the education they’ve missed due to the Covid lockdowns – he just doesn’t want to.

Tory priorities in action: they have billions to waste on PPE provision contracts for donors who were never going to be able to provide anything, but they absolutely refuse to spend enough for your kids’ education to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The gap between what is needed and what they’re offering is apparently so wide that England’s school recovery commissioner (did you even know there was such a person) has resigned in disgust:

The education recovery commissioner for England, Sir Kevan Collins, has resigned in a row over the lack of “credible” Covid catch-up funding.

Sir Kevan took on the role as catch-up tsar in February to develop a long-term plan to help pupils make up for lost learning during the pandemic.

But on Wednesday he stepped down saying the government’s funding for the plan “falls far short of what is needed”.

Head teachers labelled the £1.4bn cash over three years as a “damp squib”.

The Education Policy Institute had calculated that a catch-up funding recovery would need £13.5bn – and Sir Kevan was reported as having put forward plans costing £15bn.

The government’s proposal represents £50 per pupil per year.

The government’s response has been to thank Sir Kevan for his work, and to claim that already £3 billion has been put into helping school pupils catch up.

So that’s an admission that they’re providing less than a third of what is needed.

The tragedy of this is that the government could magic up the cash for this in a heartbeat – but our dunce of an Education Secretary, Gavin “Algorithm” Williamson, together with Boris Johnson himself, simply doesn’t want to.

To explain: governments create money and invest it in the economy wherever their priorities lie. Last year, Johnson created £300 billion to keep the UK ticking over during the Covid lockdowns.

So, if the government really wanted to invest in your child’s education, it would create the money for it and pump it into the education system.

The only conclusion to be had is that the Tories don’t want your child to be properly educated. Why should they? Their children are privately-educated.

Source: School catch-up tsar resigns over lack of funding – BBC News

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Education professionals rubbish Williamson’s claim Covid has worsened behaviour in English schools

Wearing the dunce’s cap yet again: Gavin Williamson was happy to deliberately endanger your children by reopening schools at the height of the Covid crisis (he was forced to close them again when the demand for him to do so became overwhelming. Now he’s happy to falsely criminalise them – in order to satisfy a new profit-making market he is creating?

The Tory Education Secretary’s unevidenced claim that discipline in English schools has “inevitably” worsened after a year of lockdowns has been dismissed as nonsense by people who actually work with school pupils.

Gavin Williamson intends to impose a national network of “behaviour hubs” to spread “best practice” among schools and teachers.

But it seems there is absolutely no need for them. Why is the Tory minister so keen to force them on our schools, and on our children?

Is it anything to do with his new network of “secure schools” – prisons for youngsters – to be run by private firms as “charitable” enterprises?

But Mark Russell, the chief executive of the Children’s Society, told The Guardian:

“We are not aware of any evidence that their behaviour is worse, and our practitioners report that on the whole young people have been relieved to get back inside the classroom.”

Mary Bousted, a joint leader of the National Education Union, said:

“With all the challenges currently facing schools, playing to the gallery by talking tough on behaviour is the least useful approach the education secretary can take.”

Wes Streeting, Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister, also said something – but we are already aware that he is an extremely suspect character himself so it is best to pass him by.

Stuart Lock is chief executive of the Advantage Schools trust, which includes one of the 22 schools named as hubs. Even he disagreed with Williamson’s claims:

“I don’t believe classroom behaviour has got worse than it was before the pandemic. It is probably a bit better.”

Even the man leading the new project – Tom Bennett, the DfE’s lead adviser on behaviour – has said there is no evidence of worsened behaviour:

“To be honest, the picture on behaviour we’re seeing is reasonably consistent with the behaviour we were seeing before the pandemic.”

So why has Williamson suddenly falsified a claim that our kids have all gone feral, and started wasting our money on a project to correct behaviour that hasn’t gone bad?

Well, there is this new “secure schools” aspect of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill:

Secure schools are essentially a re-branding of Young Offenders Institutions that allows private organisations to run them.

The government says it is building “schools with security, not prisons with education” but as Zahra Bei wrote in 2019, “the policy of rebranding youth jails as ‘secure schools’ provides a thinly-veiled disguise for what in essence marks the start of the biggest children’s prison expansion programme in Britain”.

Members of the British Association of Social Workers have called the plans “a penal approach rooted in the past”.

The contract for the first secure school was awarded to academy chain Oasis, which has one of the highest rates of personal exclusions in the UK.

It will be on the site of the former Medway Secure Training Centre in Kent, which was described as “a site of violence and abuse that prevented the young people who were held there from accessing learning and freedom”.

After a dispute arose over whether running a child prison could be considered a suitable activity for a charity, the government wrote clauses into its new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to ensure that running a child prison can be considered a charitable activity in law.

The change will encourage more academy chains to be providers, creating what the Tories no doubt hope will be a profitable market. And the use of charities will put distance between the Tory government and anything that happens there.

You can read further information on the “secure schools” project here.

With a new market opening up for the detention (and mistreatment?) of children, it seems clear that the organisations running it will want a supply of children.

And suddenly Gavin Williamson is talking about poor behaviour in schools. Convenient?

Source: Experts reject claim Covid has worsened behaviour in English schools | Pupil behaviour | The Guardian

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