Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019


Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

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Kim Sanders-Fisher

To my amazement, strong hints of the imminent Brexit deal talked up on BBC news, actually became reality. Possibly the French border closure was at least partially a bit of last ditch brinkmanship from the EU side to demonstrate to the Brits that all of the PMs saber rattling over walking away had very severe real world consequences. Not that any dire consequences for the majority of the UK population would really bother Johnson, just how well he could manage to spin it. That very visible build up of lorries on the M20 and at Manston had the PM ‘spinning’ down the drain fast, clearly demonstrating that he was too incompetent to organize a piss-up in a brewery. Not a good look, but, along with threats of hauliers refusing to deliver food to the UK after the New Year, did all those rightfully furious lorry drivers tip the balance? I thought the latest rumours would amount to no more than that as the PM careened towards crash-out Brexit; I wasn’t at all hopeful as it seemed far too much like that’s exactly what Boris Johnson wanted.

Meanwhile there’s further evidence that the supposedly new, more easily transmissible strain of Covid was just a scare tactic and a means of explaining away the high increase in infections caused by the Tory Government’s reckless refusal to close schools, take adequate measures to protect pupils and staff as well as other shambolic last ditch or ineffective infection control policies including test and trace failures. Macron may have recognized the PMs ruse, called his bluff and reacted as he did because it served a vital illustrative purpose: the UK was demonstrably unprepared for crash-out Brexit; it was an emperor in the buff moment for Boris! In the Skwawkbox Article entitled, “‘New mutant’ C19 strain has been in Italy at least 9 days. Italy’s cases are going DOWN,” they offer an alternative, logical reason for the rapid increase in the UK infection rate that doesn’t fit the Tory narrative. They explain by saying, it “Seems ‘new’, ‘virulent’ virus strain doesn’t like school closures.” Skwawkbox have been highlighting this fact for months!

The Skwawkbox report that The ‘new’ ‘UK strain’ of coronavirus that the government is blaming for the rocketing rate of coronavirus cases and deaths in this country has been in Italy for at least nine days, as it was identified by 14 December in that country, as the ‘Nextstrain’ site notes. However, infection rates in Italy have been falling and continue to fall sharply, even though the 5-6 day typical incubation period of the virus would allow new cases to show well within those nine days.” Skwawkbox have included the data and graphics to support this logical conclusion. They say that, “Italy imposed a new school shutdown in November. The Tories squandered a chance to time the last England-wide lockdown to coincide with the half-term holidays and insisted, with Labour leader Keir Starmer’s enthusiastic backing, that schools must remain open as normal, even when England’s second and far less stringent ‘lockdown’ eventually came. School-children of all ages now suffer the highest levels of infection of the whole population.”

According to the Skwawkbox, “that situation began to emerge long before the supposedly-new ‘mutant’ strain became the Tories’ excuse for rising numbers of cases, hospitalisations and deaths, and scientists continue to say that it is too early to conclude that the new strain spreads faster. They also say that the current rates are primarily attributable to the Tories’ failure to take the right steps to contain it, rather than any new characteristics of any new strain.” They say that, “the government’s own scientists continue to avoid confirming and even directly contradict the claims of Johnson and Hancock, such as in Hancock’s press conference just this afternoon: ‘We have no evidence that this virus is more transmissible in children yet. No evidence and the presence for, at the very least, the last nine days of the virus in Italy, while the number of cases in Italy continues to fall, further suggests that whatever the capabilities of any new strain, they have little or nothing to do with the current rampage of the virus.”

The Skwawkbox have reached the damning conclusion regarding our rapidly increasing infection rate, “Which makes it very much the fault, yet again, of the Tories and their helpers and the supposed ‘70% more transmissible’ claims look very much like ‘cover our arse’ spin.” All spin and fxxk-all substance best describes the Tories lamentable level of support offered to hungry children in needy households, despite Marcus Rasford’s valiant efforts appealing to this tight-wad Tory Government on their behalf. With classic Empire willy-wagging, Chancellor Sunak is far more willing to splash the cash on ramping up British military spending, as if right now that was a major priority in the midst of a Pandemic! Seemingly large numbers announced in Parliament might sound impressive, but the Canary has been busy counting the beans and for the poorest families in the UK they just don’t make five.

In the Canary Article entitled, “The DWP just sent a Christmas ‘f*ck you’ to millions of hungry kids,” Steve Topple says that, “The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) may as well be trolling millions of hungry children. Because two days before Christmas, it sent a effective ‘fuck you’ to all of them.” So while this Tory Government is squandering public money by the shedload, what has Topple so understandably incensed? “The Covid Winter Grant Scheme and the DWP; The Covid Winter Grant is a scheme for low-income households. The DWP’s Twitter account is currently promoting it: DWP @DWP – The Covid Winter Grant Scheme is ensuring children are warm and well fed this winter. To find out what your local council is doing, visit http://gov.uk/coronavirus-lo.”

The Canary report that, “Back in November, the government noted that: Building on the significant support given to the most vulnerable during the pandemic, a new £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme will be run by councils in England. The funding will be ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to support with food and bills, and will cover the period to the end of March 2021.The Guardian reported that the Tories put it in place after a campaign by Marcus Rashford.” Yes the PM had to be shamed into taking action by a 22 year old football star! “Bowing to pressure?” The Canary point out that, “The footballer had been speaking out about the lack of government support for children on Free School Meals during the holidays. But his campaign was broader than this. It was ultimately calling for measures to end child food poverty altogether.”

The Canary report that, “Following the government’s announcement on the Covid Winter Grant scheme, Rashford said: ‘I very much welcome the steps that have been taken to combat child food poverty in the UK,’ But he noted that: ‘There is still so much more to do, and my immediate concern is the approximate 1.7 million children who miss out on free school meals, holiday provision and Healthy Start vouchers because their family income isn’t quite low enough. But the intent the government has shown today is nothing but positive and they should be recognised for that.’ Sadly, the reality of the Winter Grant isn’t quite what is now being trumpeted by the DWP. Back in the real world the Canary’s Steve Topple notes, ‘I live in Bromley, London. I know that the Winter Grant’s value is £45 in our borough. This is being explained to families via their child’s school. The grant will cover Christmas and the February half term only’.” So what did the cheery message from the Department of Work and Punishment say?

“Dear Parent/Guardian, We are pleased to confirm that the local authority is supporting the provision of supermarket vouchers for pupils eligible for support under the Covid Winter Fund grant. The purpose of the Covid Winter Fund grant is ‘to provide support to vulnerable households and families with children particularly affected by the pandemic throughout the winter period,where alternative sources of assistance may be unavailable.’ We will be issuing one voucher for the Christmas and February 2021half term period, to the value of £45 per eligible child, this is £15 per week for the Christmas period and one week for February 2021 half-term. Voucher distribution will be by email; therefore, it is essential we have an up-to-date email address for you.”

The Canary response? “Hmm. As I tweeted: Steve Topple @MrTopple – £45 to cover both Christmas holidays and February half term, with some schools being closed for the week commencing 4th January? That’s £2.14 a day per relative school days; including days when a kid wouldn’t be at school this is £1.55 a day. Do people live in the real world?” Well said Topple who started crunching the numbers noting that, “£1.55 a day is just based on the school holidays for our son’s school, plus weekends at Christmas and in February. If, like the DWP said, you were to spread it out from December 2020 to the end of March 2021 it would be 37p a day. I’m not sure what planet the DWP and the Tory government live on. But even with my high-end calculation of £2.14 a day, in the real world this doesn’t stretch very far.”

Topple spells it out for us, “Reality check one: Take my pre-payment meter-based gas and electric. The combined cost of these per day is around £2.20. And that’s with us limiting our use of the gas (I’m currently sat writing this in multiple layers of clothing). So, if like the DWP says I can use the Winter Grant to ‘ensure’ my child is ‘warm,’ clearly it depends on your definition of this. At best, £2.14 wouldn’t cover my utilities for a day. Extra layers of clothes it is, then. What about the DWP’s claim the grant is to keep my child ‘well fed’? Our son is 14 years old. He’s nearly 5′ 11″, wears an adult size medium – although to be fair he is slim. Oh, and he eats as much as I do. So, based on averages – his food costs would be around £5.41 a day. Crudely divide that across three meals, and that’s £1.80 per meal. So, the DWP’s generous £2.14 would cover the lunch he would get at school if he was on Free School Meals. That would leave us 34p a day for utilities. In other words, about 3.7 hours worth of gas and electric.”

Topple continues his critique, “Reality check two, So, thanks to the DWP I can either give my son: Nearly a full day of gas and electric; One meal and maybe a bag of crisps; One meal and 3.7 hours of gas and electric. This is best case scenario. At worst, my bottom end calculation of 37p a day would go unnoticed in most families’ budgets. Moreover, schools give it to you in the form of a supermarket voucher. Technically, you should probably divide the voucher up between the equivalent number of shops you’ll do while your child is off school. In reality, most people will use it on one shop and that’s it. People don’t have the time to be budgeting to that level of detail. Herein lie the problems with the Covid Winter Grant Scheme.”

Topple is rightly angered by the warped Tory Government priorities: “Money for bombs but not for hungry kids. Firstly, it would be easy to think that it’s designed by people who don’t live in the real world; those whose intentions are well-meaning, but don’t really have a clue. I don’t think this is the case. What we’re seeing with the Covid Grant, as we’ve seen with (for example) the £20 a week increase in Universal Credit, is political spin. The DWP announced that it was spending £170m ‘to support children, families and the most vulnerable over winter’. To many people, £170m would sound like a lot of money. But in terms of government spending, it’s tiny; 0.09% of the DWP’s total spending on pensions and welfare in 2019/20, for example. Or to put it another way, 0.7% of the increase in the defence budget over the next four years. So, as always – we’ve got the money to pay for bombs and technology capable of killing people. But we can only afford a fraction of that to support millions of hungry children in the UK.”

According to Topple, “£45 is nothing to many families in the real world. We should stop accepting the meagre scraps off the Tory government’s plate, and start demanding proper wages, proper social security, proper housing, and ultimately a right to a fair and decent life for all. Because all it’s offering is lip service.” I heartily agree, we have got to stop sucking it up and that starts with the type of painful embarrassment Rashford inflicted and instead of keep repeating the ‘levelling up’ lie, tell it like it is, this corrupt Tory cabal is ‘Decimating Down’ with their austerity under a deceitful new banner. In another Canary Article entitled, “My wish for 2021? We all start fighting back, now,” Drillminister sums up his plan for the future. He says, “Boom. Bam. You know who it is. Yung Drilly, aka Drillminister – writing for The Canary. I’m running for London Mayor in 2021. And with the mess that our politicians have made in the past 12 months, we need radical change and quickly. So, here’s my message as we head towards the New Year.”

Drilly asks us to consider, “Black Lives Matter. But do they really? This year has laid bare the open corruption and political violence in our society. It held a magnifying glass to the hate. And even though it’s obvious for all to see – nothing has changed. The UK saw the reverberations of George Floyd’s murder echo across the streets of London. I stood shoulder to shoulder with Stormzy in the ‘Battle of Trafalgar‘.” He says, “I watched Patrick Hutchinson save the life of a racist former police officer. I shouted ‘no justice, no peace’ outside Downing Street: But what did we get?” That picture of Hutchinson carrying a yob to safety was iconic and, as he would have faced ridicule from his tribe, probably did more to teach the oaf a hard lesson than any punch. The BLM protests were racially mixed and inspiring, but I worry that this Tory Government have used Covid to shut down protests of all kinds at this most critical juncture in our political history.

Drilly describes the, “Institutional racism and prejudice,” pointing out that, “In London, nine out of ten children on remand are still from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background. We are still statistically more likely to be unemployed or homeless. We’re more likely to be stopped by police and searched without committing a crime, more likely to be arrested, imprisoned or die in custody when use of force, restraint or mental health issues are involved. 3,000 people have died in police custody since 1969. That was the last time a police officer was convicted of murder/manslaughter in relation to this. So, if we do die in custody, it’s unlikely a cop will face the consequences. I’m one of countless Black men whom the police have stopped and searched, despite not having committed a crime. I know first hand how this form of government harassment robs you of your basic human rights.”

Drilly makes his Mayoral pitch, saying, “My campaign for mayor will be addressing the politically driven poverty that is the root cause of violence in London. It won’t be punishing those most affected by it. Stop and search is a prejudiced and ineffective policy. It targets poor people, and People of Colour, and as London mayor, I will end it immediately.” Drilly highlights, “a political choice,” saying, “We have seen more than ever that poverty and homelessness are political decisions. The government finds money for firearms but not for food; hellfire missiles but not homes. As part of my campaign, I worked with Streets Kitchen: a grassroots group that provides people in need with food, clothing and help. I handed out hot drinks to a woman living on the streets. She must have been eighty years old. I spoke to an Iraq war veteran who US forces blew up in friendly fire. The government left him to fight for survival when he returned home.”

Drilly reports that, “Elodie from Street’s Kitchen told me ‘If the government doesn’t do something, hundreds will die this Christmas.’ I spoke to reformed drug addict Kevin Dooley about sleeping rough metres from parliament. He showed me the queues of people lining up for food in Central London. A line that grows everyday: I wanted to understand the root causes of homelessness. So, I interviewed the former UN rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Leilani Farha. Her organisation The Shift looks to change housing from a commodity to a human right. She told me that we must make it harder for tax-avoiding, so-called shell companies to buy up London homes. We can turn the capital into an inhospitable environment for the private companies causing homelessness.” One potentially positive post Pandemic change is that I believe fewer people will need to commute to work in London offices; more people will continue to work from home. Less prime real estate used for offices could mean space liberated for affordable homes.

Drilly insists that, “We need to fight back,” saying, “The UK saw our classist and classless politicians vote against feeding society’s poorest and most vulnerable children. Still, hundreds and thousands of kids will go hungry this Christmas. It is shameful Unicef is now working in the UK.” He is obviously disgusted by, “the reaction to this from miscreant MPs like Jacob Rees-Mogg is just as shameful too. Instead of being a playground for the rich, we are going to build playgrounds for children. Right now there’s no justice. Just us and the government.” He drums home the message that, “we need to start fighting back. Let’s make 2021 the year we do that.” I cannot vote in the London Mayoral election anyway, but my only concern over his bid is that as usual the progressive Socialist agenda could be split between a couple of decent candidates, like Drilly, the Green Party’s Sian Berry and Sadiq Khan will probably run again: even with the supplementary vote system I fear this might still allow another rabid Tory to prevail.

The single greatest obstacle to fighting back right now is the curtailment of our right to protest under the guise of Covid restriction necessity; we cannot trust this Tory cabal to tell us the truth or act in our best interests. If we are not extremely careful this highly restrictive state will become the new normal for the entire time it takes for the Tory Sovereign Dictatorship to rewrite our laws to strip us of all our workers protections and human rights. We could coordinate loud individual protests from our homes right across the country, but a visible public figure needs to set that up. Labour members must fight the right-wing Zionist takeover of the Party initiated by Tory Trojan horse Keir Starmer with the weaponizing of fantisemitism; how many CLP ‘No Confidence’ votes does it take to oust him? We already have enough evidence against the PM and the Tory Party to get them removed from power without Investigating the Covert 2019 Rigged Election with the illegal squandering of public funds to swing an election and pay off chums!

Barnier said “the clock is no longer ticking” Johnson has apparently done a deal with the EU. No doubt on the ERG understanding that it can be broken in “limmited and specific ways.” Why else would the PM finally do that deal against the express wishes of hard core Brexiteers? Because they are totally confident Johnson will cross that line, entail the wrath of the EU, but probably cling on to current status through bullshit, bravado and brinkmanship. What pushed Johnson to tell the EU we would finally sign? He had already demonstrated to Parliament he was prepared to ‘wing it,’ breaking any signed agreement he saw fit. The EU took him on his word, knowing, that when it comes to screwing the public he really does know how and that the British people will always come dead last. What pushed the PM to the brink? What would the inevitable gridlock at the ports look like, well now we know, not so pretty! Who cares that on paper the EU appears to have us duped? No matter it’s a deal… that will come undone when necessary!

My only wish for 2021 is that it is not quite as unmitigatingly miserable as 2020! Small ask, but probably too much to hope for under the Tory Sovereign Dictatorship that lies ahead. This has to be my worst ‘festive season’ since the yacht I was delivering down to St Thomas suffered a 180 degree capsize in a north Atlantic storm on Christmas day; it left us terrified, frantically bailing water for our lives, still four days from safe landfall in Bermuda. My life is a lot calmer now; I’m not experiencing any real hardship beyond confinement, but I feel riddled with guilt. Although I took responsibility seriously and worked hard when I was at sea, I was lucky to do a job I really loved, sailing thousands of miles and visiting places all over the world. A young person who might wish to pursue that same adventurous lifestyle now will be blocked from doing so by new EU restrictions on British passport holders, who, for the first time, will be limited to no more that 90 days within the EU in any 160 day period: it wasn’t that strict before we joined the EU.

My mother was 42 when she decided to go live in Spain where she became a tour guide and spent the next twenty years. I too left for the continent, even as an unaccompanied minor I had more freedom to travel at 17 before the UK became a member state. Both my mother’s and my own life would have been dramatically different without that unique opportunity to travel and see the world while still young. In his targeted assault on the youth of this country the PM decided to remove the UK from the Erasmus student and apprentice training program. We have slammed the door shut for young people, after years of exploiting and abusing them, we have just removed another tantalizing option to escape pitance pay on zero hours contracts, student debt and living with parents well past the age of thirty. I can only say I’m really sorry that my selfish generation did this to you; I have never been more deeply ashamed to say I’m British, but I will fight tooth and nail to turn things around because I genuinely feel I owe you that much. DO NOT MOVE ON!