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Some still religiously cling to the unfathomable Covert 2019 Rugged Election result, blaming a dire confected Labour defeat on supporters of a confirmatory vote. Sadly, the Labour Party in its current state, under the destructive leadership of Trojan horse Keir Starmer, is no longer fit to take office! But, in a London Economic Article entitled, “Labour on track to reclaim red wall, Johnson to lose seat and majority at next election,” Joe Mellor says, “It isn’t looking good for the PM… The PM promised to level up the economy and help out the north after winning Labour seats in the Red Wall. According to a new poll, these constituencies are turning their back on his Government, after only a year. Additionally he could lose his own seat, according to this data, but there is a long way to go until the next election. This news comes as the planned reopening of schools in England has descended into disarray, as unions advised teachers not to return to the classroom, heads took legal action over the government’s plans.”
Mellor announced, “Tories ‘ majority was wiped out. The research, carried out by Focaldata, will set alarm bells ringing in central Government. Over 22,000 people were surveyed in a closely watched constituency-by-constituency poll over a four-week period in December, published by The Sunday Times. According to the poll the Tories would lose 81 seats, destroying their current 80-seat majority. In this situation Labour would win 282 seats and the Tories would have 284. This would leave the SNP as potential kingmakers as they are predicted to win 57 or 59 seats in Scotland. However, pressure continues to mount for a new Scottish referendum, which has been soundly rejected by Johnson. But as support grows, the public may force his hand. In the findings Tories manage to cling on to just eight of the 43 ‘Red Wall’ seats that they won at last year’s general election – Bassetlaw, Bishop Auckland, Colne Valley, Dudley North, Great Grimsby, Penistone and Stocksbridge, Scunthorpe, and Sedgefield.”
Mellor reports that, “Back in November Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram said: ‘This morning millions of people woke up knowing the Prime Minister of this country believes the North is worth less than the South.’ He said voters across ‘red wall’ areas would not be ‘fooled’ into electing the Conservatives again. The Labour politician said: ‘Apparently all votes count equally, but all voters demonstrably don’t, to this Government and the support you get from the Chancellor of the Exchequer depends on a horizontal line drawn across the country and on which side of it you sit.’ The poll suggested the PM would lose his own Uxbridge and Ruislip South constituency, where he is defending a majority of 7,200’.” This fails to take account of the fact that predictions were not good for the Tories before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election where they almost certainly failed to win tha 80 seat majority as claimed. However the Labour Party is being torn apart right now by the Trojan horse who conned his way into leadership.
In mid October of last year Dr John Ashton wrote another Article for Byline Times entitled, “COVID-19 And the Second Harrying of The North,” with a scene from the Bayeux Tapestry of Normans burning Anglo-Saxon Buildings to illustrate the parallel he was drawing. This harsh comparison is intended to alert us to the deliberate and vindictive nature of the political choices being made by this Tory Government as they relentlessly target the most deprived areas in the north of England. The reality of their selective persecution of the poor makes a mockery of their deceitful ‘lev…up’ PR spin by exposing the true to form Tory ‘Decimating Down’ agenda of perpetual austerity! The “Byline Times’ chief medical officer, John Ashton, looks at how the Government has lost popular support for its unequal tier system.”
Ashton allerted us to, “A new wave of COVID-19 is making its way relentlessly through the country. Track, Trace and Isolate is in disarray and on the verge of being overwhelmed. The numbers of daily new cases are escalating more steeply than in the worst days of the spring accompanied by steadily rising numbers of hospital admissions and transfers to intensive care. Barring a miracle the numbers of deaths are set to follow the same trajectory over the next two weeks. Boris Johnson and his coterie are still not listening. His failure to use the powers at his disposal in February to get ahead of the pandemic and make good the neglect of ten years of austerity policies and the chaotic reorganisation of the NHS in 2013, has landed us here. Nothing less than a full-blown repeat of the spring lockdown has any chance of bringing the pandemic under control but it must be fully funded.”
Ashton reported that, “The ordinary people of this country, have had to stand by whilst an increasingly chaotic administration has allowed tens of thousands of its most precious senior citizens to die prematurely and alone. Meanwhile an infatuation with private sector solutions to the neglect of over 130 local public health teams with a 170 year tradition of sorting out pandemics and epidemics has led to a chumocracy and enrichment on a vast scale. The breakdown in trust between the governed, the citizens of the country, and now their local political leaders, mortally damaged by Dominic Cummings in his May escapade to Durham, has endangered solidarity in the battle against the virus.” This blatant transgression is a recurrent theme that pervades all assessments by those analyzing serious mistakes made by the PM and his shambolic Tory Government.
Ashton pointed out that, “With extreme irony, a Government whose repertoire of slogans includes ‘Taking Back Control’ and being the ‘Party of the United Kingdom’ has driven a series of wedges across the country. An unwillingness to act in an open and transparent manner, to engage fully with the public through social mobilisation rather than erratic top-down edict, a lingering hope for the absurd notion of ‘herd immunity’ and a clear belief that the economy trumps the public health (when they must march in together if we are to protect either) has brought us to a dire place.” The sad reality is that ‘Take Back Control’ was very strictly limited to removing the influence and protections of the EU to enable the Tory Government to consolidate absolute control after the New Year Brexit deadline, to establish the Tory Sovereign Dictatorship.
Ashton reminds us of a savage event in our history in a shocking comparison to the present day. Back then he wrote, “As we head into autumn and winter with the worst still to come, it is time to remind ourselves of previous episodes in our island history when hubris and unaccountable power led to social fracture with resulting violence and death. During the Harrying of The North in the winter of 1069-70, as many as 100,000 people are believed to have died as a result of the famine that followed in the wake of the devastation wrought by William the Conqueror. He laid waste to the northern counties, starving out and slaughtering of the rebels using scorched earth tactics to impose the will of the Norman ascendants from the south in a genocide that reduced the population by 75%.” Tory Government policies deliberately abandon the poorest in our society and once again disproportionately inflict the worst hardship and deprivation on the north of England.
Ashton cites another example when, “Three hundred years later, the events of 1381 that came to be known as the Peasants Revolt had their roots in the impact of the 1348 pandemic of plague and the subsequent struggle of peasants and yokels to free themselves from the bounds of serfdom. The straw that broke the nation’s back was the imposition of three poll tax levies on the peasants over a three year period. In the ensuing insurrection led from Kent and Essex by the visionary preacher and rabble-rouser John Ball and his ally, one-time soldier and adventurer, Wat Tyler, the centre of London was invaded by thousands of disaffected ordinary people over the Corpus Christi Festival weekend in June. The next few days saw the paralysis of Government, the collapse of public order and hundreds of revenge beheadings in the streets of the capital before the imposition of military rule restored order and instigated a counter-terror.”
Turning to modern times Ashton described, “Tiers That End In Tears,” saying, “The most recent belated efforts by Johnson’s Government to respond to the rapidly deteriorating COVID-19 situation through the central imposition of a three-tier system of lockdown is already in turmoil.” He notes that, “It has been apparent the reckless ‘Independence Day’ on 4 July was a recipe for the virus to continue to circulate through the summer months and the return of the schools and universities has resulted in massive amplification that is now cascading into vulnerable populations. Matt Hancock’s finger in the dyke will not be enough to prevent a further unacceptable toll of death and long term ill-health and the lukewarm and hostile response from northern political leaders to the proposal for a three-tier approach to lockdown is both understandable and rational.”
Ashton warned that, “Nothing less than a full-blown repeat of the spring lockdown has any chance of bringing the pandemic under control but it must be fully funded if the massive untoward consequences of large scale poverty are to be avoided in addition to the devastation wreaked by the virus. When the virus first struck a three-tier system would have been in order if we had had a fit for purpose system of Testing, Tracing and Isolating. Seven months later with the privatised testing and tracing system in ruins, the only immediate option is to move all but the low virus areas on to the highest level for the immediate future.” Despite the numerous complaints about the dysfunctional centralized system set up by serial failure, Dido ‘Tallyho Harding’ and copious evidence of the need to rely on local public health authorities and fund them accordingly, nothing has changed as we enter the New Year.
Ashton compliments Manchester Mayor for taking a stand, noting that, “In providing strong leadership on behalf of the northern region and demanding a properly funded economic package together with full decentralisation of the COVID-19 response, Andy Burnham seems to be walking in the footsteps of John Ball and Wat Tyler. Johnson’s Government team have only got themselves to blame. If we are to avoid the dreadful consequences prefigured all those centuries ago it is time for all good people of whatever political stripe to save the government from itself and really ‘Take Back Control’ for democracy and for England.” Byline Times plugged more expansive writing from their Chief Medical Officer by saying that, “John Ashton is the author of Blinded By Corona, How The Pandemic Ruined Britain’s Health and Wealth. Gibson Square Press ( 2020).”
In the Byline Times Article entitled, “The North Will Soon Be Calling Last Orders on Boris Johnson,” Jane Thomas said, “The Government’s contempt for the North has been exposed, and we won’t forget in a hurry. To put the pandemic in terms of the classical references so adored by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson faces a herculean task. The pandemic that arrived so soon after his general election victory was the first for more than 100 years; a truly frightening situation that required, more than anything else, good, decisive governance, and leadership that earned the people’s trust. It’s therefore hard to understand why he has decided to alienate a large section of the country – the very people whose support he needs right now.”
Back in mid October Thomas reported that, “First it was the devolved nations. His relationship with the oft-ignored legislatures in Holyrood and Cardiff has been terse, at best, with leaders in both Wales and Scotland continuing to see Brexit legislation as a ‘power grab’ by the centre. The recent Internal Market Bill has just made things worse. But confirming that this really is just a Government for England, and not just England, but southern England, Johnson has now taken his battle to everywhere North of Birmingham. There is a strong sense that we in the North are being played. Played in the interests of those who really haven’t got a clue where Barnsley is, and have no intention to visit. Played by those whose lives are so different from ours that we may as well come from a different planet. Played in the pretence of caring about devolution, by giving us city mayors, but not the powers nor the responsibilities that should come with it.”
According to Thomas, “The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the staggering centralisation in Westminster, at the expense of the nations and regions. Early on, mayors were crying out to have not just more resources, but more powers to respond to the pandemic. Voices from Independent SAGE were saying the same thing. Quietly, so were our directors of Public Health England. If you want to play whack-a-mole then actually give the hammer to those on the ground who know the rules of the game, and who know their people. The news last Thursday, shared via newspapers rather than direct briefings, that the Government intended to undertake further lockdowns in the North, lit the fuse to a firework that has been waiting to go off. The anger is palpable and should come as no surprise, particularly when there’s no evidence that the decisions are evidence-based. There are Labour areas in the North in lockdown, with far lower rates of infection than many Conservative areas in the South.”
Thomas said, “The anger felt is not just about the lack of caring for the North. It’s also about a lack of trust. Dominic Cummings’ little trip to Barnard Castle was just the start of a downward journey for the Government on this metric. Track and Trace, the ‘world-beating’ service that was going to turn around tests in 24 hours, is an abysmal failure. There is more than a sniff of corruption around the handling of most of the contracts issued for the services and equipment needed to deal with this pandemic – Test and Trace. Each week brings a new scandal. This week is the news that Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick allocated £25 million of Government funding to his Newark constituency from the Towns Fund, a hardship fund that is part of the Government’s levelling-up initiative for areas with multiple levels of deprivation. Ranking as only the 270th most deprived area in the country, Jenrick allegedly said the funds could be used to restore the town’s 12th Century castle gatehouse. Of the 61 towns selected to receive money, 60 are in constituencies won by the Conservatives at the last election.”
Thomas reported, “Comments by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer indicated that the rise in Coronavirus cases in the North was because the ‘disease level in the North never dropped as much’ as in the South. This confirmed what many of us had suspected: that the lockdown was lifted to suit conditions for London and the South, not the North. It rankles that we continue to be a country dominated by a square mile in Westminster and Whitehall. What’s happening here is in large part due to the failure of a London-centric Government to engage with the North. Johnson needs to recognise that the co-operation of the North is necessary to respond to the pandemic, and that means he needs to work collegiately. In the immediate future, this means handing Track and Trace over to local authorities or mayors. ‘Johnson calls last orders on the North’ said one paper over the weekend. The sense of having something done to us, not by us, or never for us, continues and it is wearing thin. We may yet be the ones calling last orders on Johnson.”
The Scotts may have celebrated a more sober Hogmanay than usual, but their First Minister’s New Year message was at least hopeful about an independent future. In the London Economic Article entitled, “Nicola Sturgeon tweets ‘Scotland will be back soon, Europe’ as leaders see in the New Year,” Jack Peat says, “MEP Terry Reintke also sent out a sobering tweet, saying ‘tonight so many rights and freedoms come to an end’. Scotland’s trading and travel relationships with EU countries will now be governed by the agreement announced by the UK Government on Christmas Eve. Ms Sturgeon reiterated the SNP’s call for an independent Scotland to join the EU. Just after the Brexit transition period formally ended at 11pm on December 31 Nicola Sturgeon Tweeted a picture of the words Europe and Scotland attached by a loveheart, she said: ‘Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on.’ The image had previously been projected on to the side of the EU Commission building in Brussels.”
Just a few days later on Monday, as School children were dutifully returning to unsafe classrooms in highly infection ridden areas of the UK on the orders of our hapless PM, ‘Bungling Boris,’ the Scottish First Minister, recalled the Hollyrude Parliament. Her announcements were as somber and firm as they were compassionate, delivering a new set of restrictions for the Scotish people regarding exactly how they should behave in response to the escalating Covid risk. As I highlighted before, “She was countered by a set of concise, logical and practical questions for further clarification put forward in a professional, non-combative manner by Tory Ruth Davidson. This informative and civilized exchange was designed to leave the Scottish public crystal clear about what they should do and when, while definitely outlining the reasoning behind the latest decisions made regarding further restrictions and what will be strictly prohibited until further notice.” Later Boris Johnson belatedly followed Nicola Sturgeon’s strong leadership.
The PM appears unembarrassed by repeatedly being forced into abrupt U-turns following Nicola Sturgeon’s lead, he has no shame! He may gloat over his power to prevent IndyRef2, but he is building a formidable enemy in Scotland in addition to hostility south of the border. Peat reported, “Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Mike Russell also said the separate Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar show independence is the ‘only alternative’, as the transition period ended. He was reacting to news that a draft agreement had been reached between the UK and Spain to keep the border with the Rock open on January 1 and beyond. While Scotland has the same trade arrangements with the EU as England and Wales, there is a separate Northern Ireland Protocol to avoid a hard border with the Republic. Additionally, on December 31 it was announced that Gibraltar would be covered by a separate treaty. In December 2016, the Scottish Government proposed keeping Scotland in the single market post-Brexit.”
Peat noted, “Mr Russell tweeted on Thursday evening: ‘The NI & Gibraltar deals make clear that the 12/16 @ScotGov proposals could have produced a Scottish deal but were never pursued in EU negotiations by UK. ‘Consequently the UK has itself created the circumstances in which independence is the only alternative for Scotland.’ The Scottish Parliament earlier refused to give legislative consent for the Prime Minister’s Brexit agreement. MSPs voted by 92 to 30 to say the deal would ’cause severe damage to Scotland’s environmental, economic and social interests’, following a debate on Wednesday. A Scottish Government report released earlier modelled that GDP would be 6.1% lower by 2030 compared to remaining a member of the EU. However, the Conservatives accused the SNP of hypocrisy for refusing to back the Prime Minister’s deal when it had opposed a no-deal Brexit.”
According to Peat, “On Thursday, they said the Scottish Government had been spreading ‘propaganda’ about the agreement on its official channels. Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said he had written to civil service chiefs seeking an apology for the ‘bad deal for Scotland’ video shared on social media.” Despite the accurate description of Scotland being, “Dragged out against our will,” which is blatantly obvious given the overwhelming majority of Scotts voted to reject Brexit, the Tories want to label this fact ‘propaganda!’ Mr Ross claimed: “This video is a work of shameless propaganda and it’s incredible that a politically neutral civil service would think it is in any way appropriate. For taxpayers to be bankrolling a work of one-sided Nationalist distortion is not on. The government is supposed to represent everyone in Scotland.” Talkabout ‘the pot calling the kettle black,’ I don’t know how Tories have the gall to make such a spurious accusation given their own shameful track record with regard to generating fake news propaganda.
The Tories certainly know how to generate fake news stories to damage their opposition. The Tories ‘bankrolled’ the disreputable Scotish based fake Charity, the ‘Integrity Initiative,’ illegally funded by UK taxpayers, to create a vile defamatory smear campaign targeting Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party to help them steal the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. Sadly the disgusting factoids they produced were amplified by the compliant BBC and Mainstream Media, perpetually resurfacing like unhealthy turds that refuse to exit the toilet bowl! This deliberate sabotage of the Labour election campaign represents a serious criminal enterprise for which, in a functioning democracy, the perpetrators would not only be removed from office they would be jailed for corruption. Evidence of this corruption is sufficient to bring down this Tory Government even without an Investigation into a multitude of significant postal vote irregularities. That’s right: we have the evidence to challenge the legitimacy of this rabid Tory cabal right now to get them out!
According to Peat Ross had insisted that, “Scottish business groups had welcomed the trade deal between the UK and the EU.” More than likely because the alternative crash-out Brexit was a whole lot worse: Hobson’s choice! Peat described, “Demonstrators gathered outside Holyrood on Thursday afternoon to protest against the end of the transition period. Around 12 people took part in the socially distanced Yes for EU event. Morag Williamson, from the group, said: ‘We are very sad and very angry at the same time. We don’t want to leave the family of Europe, but we are being dragged out against our will.’ Elsewhere Green MEP Terry Reintke tweeted that this would be a ‘hard day for millions of citizens in the UK’. Andrew Adonis posted that the ‘campaign for Britain to rejoin Europe’ starts today, while Owen Jones looked ahead to 2021 with a call to arms.” I felt totally devastated. Things would have been very different, but for the Covert 2019 Rigged Election: we must correct this injustice and Get The Tories Out! DO NOT MOVE ON!