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

Kim Sanders-Fisher

Labour MP Derek Twigg launched the first attack at PMQ’s, raising an issue that is crippling local authorities right across the UK as the Tory Government choke off repeatedly promised funds to cover the increased costs of dealing with the Pandemic. This callous move appears aimed at forcing Councils to raise Council Tax rates that will hit the poorest residents the hardest as Tories distance themselves from the impact. He asked, “Halton Borough Council ran out of funding for discretionary covid isolation payments despite the strict criteria for eligibility. Just 171 constituents have been helped. The council has applied for further funding, but what the Government have offered will not be enough. Other constituents failed to qualify for help due to the criteria set by the Prime Minister’s Government. Will he look again at this and bring forward a properly funded scheme so that no constituent is in a position where they cannot afford to isolate? We need this to happen if we are to continue to drive down covid-19 infections.”

The problem of people not having sufficient funds to isolate when told to do so is far too well recognized for the Government to claim ignorance and it therefore clearly indicates a conscious choice to leave this massive breach in the infection control effort wide open to enable the targeting of poorer communities. There is simply no excuse for inaction, but again the tactic of distancing is being used to offload responsibility onto cash-strapped Councils forcing them to axe public services in another covert Tory austerity drive. Boris Johnson responded by saying “I thank the hon. Gentleman and pay tribute to the work of everybody on Halton Council for everything that they have been doing throughout this pandemic. I know it has been very tough on council officials and, indeed, on everybody else. Central Government have put in another £4.3 billion to help councils throughout the pandemic. We will continue to support our local authorities and he will be hearing more from the Chancellor next week.”

Then Tory MP Duncan Baker asked, “If the UK is to become the Saudi Arabia of wind power, off my coast of North Norfolk is surely the capital. But the current piecemeal and environmentally damaging connection method to the national grid is holding us back, as was proven by the Vattenfall judicial review just last week. We need legal and regulatory reform now. Prime Minister, could this be a job for the new Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform to help us to implement the much-needed offshore transmission network and meet our net zero targets?” It was an invitation for the PM to brag replying, “Yes indeed. I congratulate my hon. Friend on his campaign to make his constituency the Riyadh, or possibly the Jeddah, of offshore wind. I can tell him that we are certainly looking at the issue of the transmission network review and we are developing the necessary regulatory changes.” Alignment with the murderous regime of beheadings, female repression and bombing Yemen into oblivion didn’t phase the PM.

It was Sir Keir Starmer turn to present his weekly charade as Labour opposition, he said, “The principles behind the Prime Minister’s recovery plan, of caution and it must be irreversible, are plainly right, but one of the biggest threats to that is misinformation about the risks of the deadly virus. For example, there have been people saying that covid statistics ‘appear to have been manipulated and that Monday’s road map is based on ‘dodgy assumptions’ and ‘false modelling’. Does the Prime Minister agree that these kinds of comments are irresponsible and undermine our national recovery?” A pathetic non-question dribbled out as the PM sought more praise, “The road map that we have set out will, I believe, set us on a cautious but irreversible journey to freedom. I am glad that the right hon. and learned Gentleman supports the four steps of 8 March for schools, 12 April for shops, 17 May for hospitality and 21 June for everything. The data supporting all of that has been available to the House since I announced it on Monday.”

Starmer failed to realize his own ineptitude saying, “I think the Prime Minister dodged that question, no doubt because all those comments came from his own MPs, some of the 60 or so members of the Covid Recovery Group. Perhaps the Prime Minister should have a word with them. Another big threat to the recovery plan is that around three in 10 people who should be self-isolating are not doing so. That is a huge gap in our defences, and the small changes on Monday will not fix it. That is why Labour has called for the £500 self-isolation payment to be made available to everybody who needs it. Will the Prime Minister just fix this?”

The PM was still fishing for complements, a bit more grovelling was expected from his faithful Trojan horse so he tried once again to coapt the Labour Leader in his own deadly shambolic decision making saying, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman knows very well that those who are asked to self-isolate already have the £500 test and trace support payment, and I think he also knows because he supported the road map on Monday, that the eligibility criteria are being extended to allow parents and guardians who are staying off work also to receive a payment, provided they meet the criteria. I think he is aware of that.”

The money wasn’t being supplied to Councils to cover the cost of paying people to isolate, but the opposition should be clearly pointing out that this is by design,’ a callous Tory strategy to target the poor in deprived areas, a ‘cull!’ Starmer said, “Three out of 10 people who should be self-isolating are not doing so. That matters to millions of people, and it matters if we are going to get the virus under control. The chair of Test and Trace said that people are ‘scared’ to come forward for a covid test because they cannot afford to isolate. The chair of Test and Trace says they cannot afford it. The Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre concluded that ‘unmet financial need’ was why some lower-income areas are seeing ‘stubbornly high’ infection rates. Why, after all the billions the Government have thrown around, is it still people in low-paid jobs who are at the bottom of this Government’s priorities?”

The PM saw this as his opportunity to launch into PR bragging in the pretence that the public are appreciative of all the misdirected funding and the choked-off vital support. He said, “Actually, I think that most people looking at what we have done throughout the pandemic and looking at the £280 billion package of support can see that it is the poorest and neediest in society, those on the lowest incomes, who have been at the top of the Government’s priorities, and that is quite right. We will continue to act in that way and the right hon. and learned Gentleman will be hearing more about that next week from the Chancellor. That is in addition to the discretionary funding we have given councils to support those who need it most, including those who have to self-isolate.”

The public are not fooled by the Tory, ‘black is the new white campaign;’ the money simply isn’t there and cash strapped Councils have no choice while billions in public funds are being squandered on Tory mates. Starmer hit back, “Here is the difference. If you need £500 to isolate, you are out of luck. If you have got the Health Secretary’s WhatsApp, you get a £1 million contracts. Turning to next week’s Budget, I do not expect the Prime Minister to pre-empt what is in the Budget, if I want that, I can read it on the front page of The Times, but will he at least agree with me today that now is not the time for tax rises for families and for businesses?” The progressive Left felt the bear trap snap shut as the Captain of Capitulation ignored the need to tax the wealthy elite.

The PM seized the opportunity to force Starmer into abandoning tax hikes on the wealthy, he said, “I don’t know about you, Mr Speaker, but the Budget is happening next week, and it is not a date that is concealed from the right hon. and learned Gentleman. He knows when it is happening and he knows what to expect, but it is preposterous for him to talk about tax rises when he stood on a manifesto only a little over a year ago to put up taxes by the biggest amount in the history of this country. It is the Labour party, including his Labour council in Camden, that puts up taxes across the country. That is the way Labour behaves, and it is thanks to prudent fiscal management by this Government that we have been able to fight this pandemic in the way that we have.”

Starmer’s ‘forensic’ skill wasn’t clear – he said, “The Prime Minister wants to talk about tax rises, and he should because it matters. Councils up and down the country are being forced to decide now whether to put council tax up. That is a £2 billion rise on families. I am not blaming councils. They have been starved of funding for a decade, and Labour and Conservative councils are in the same position. For example, the Prime Minister might want to concentrate on his own constituency. His own council, Conservative-run Hillingdon, is voting to increase council tax by 4.8%. Does the Prime Minister think that the council is right to do that?”

The PM defended his record saying, “Hillingdon Council, in common with most Conservative councils has been running lower council taxes than Labour up and down the country. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is completely wrong, so I will correct him. The top 10 highest council taxing councils in this country are run by the Labour party, and they are all going to put their taxes up, except for one in the top 10, which is Burnley, which is currently in no overall control. He talks about London and my own record on taxes, but he should talk to the current Labour Mayor of London, who is putting up his council tax by 10%. I can tell him that the previous Conservative Mayor of London cut council tax by 20%. That is what Conservative councils do.” In reality, there is good reason why Councils in deprived areas need more support with fewer high-end business premises to boost revenues, but the PM was on shaky ground citing his London record after he gutted the Fire Department so it was ill-equipped to deal with Grenfell!

Starmer said, “The fact is that £15 billion has been taken out of council budgets over the last 10 years. The Prime Minister should stop blaming others for the damage he has done. He quotes the Mayor. This is the former Mayor who bought water cannon that could not be used, spent millions on a garden bridge that never got built and then more recently gave a pay rise to Dominic Cummings.” He noted, “This is yet another PMQs with no answers. The truth is this. The Government spent a decade weakening the foundations of our economy and our country. As a result, we have the highest death toll in Europe. We have the worst recession of any major economy. Families are facing council tax rises and millions cannot afford to self-isolate. And all the Prime Minister offers is a return to business as usual. Next week’s Budget is a chance to choose a different path, to build a stronger future, to protect families, to give our key workers the pay rise they deserve and to back British businesses by supporting 100,000 new start-ups. Will the Prime Minister do so?”

The pressure was on the PM to offer concessions; remaining stum he said, “If the right hon. and learned Gentleman will only wait until next week, I think he will find that we will do far more than that paltry agenda he has set out. It is quite mystifying to see the way that he weaves hither and yon like some sort of druidical rocking stone. One week he claims that he supports the vaccination roll-out. The next week, he attacks the vaccine taskforce, when it is spending money to try to reach hard-to-reach, vaccine-resistant groups, and says that that kind of spending cannot be justified. He calls for us to go faster with rolling out vaccines when he would have stayed in the European Medicines Agency, which would have made that roll-out impossible. He vacillates. We vaccinate. We are going to get on with our agenda, cautiously but irreversibly taking this country forward on a one-way road to freedom, and I very much hope that his support, which has been so evanescent in the past, will genuinely prove irreversible this time.”

Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns was ready and willing to stroke the PM’s ego, saying, “The Prime Minister’s road map will provide many of my constituents in Morley and Outwood with a vision of hope that life is set to return to a new normal before the end of June, allowing us to celebrate the great British summer. Can he inform the House of the pre-emptive actions that the Government are taking to spot, prevent and limit the damage of any future health emergencies, so that local economies in constituencies such as mine have certainty that this will be their last lockdown?” The PM responded, “My hon. Friend is right to raise the issue of local outbreaks and how to tackle them, particularly with the threat of new variants, which she rightly raises. That is why we have a very tough border regime but also a programme as we go forward for surge testing, door-to-door testing, to ensure that, when there is a local outbreak, we keep it local and keep it under control, as we are trying to do at the moment with the South African variant”

The SNP leader Ian Blackford asked, “Next week’s Budget gives the opportunity to tackle the financial costs of this pandemic. The UK has suffered its worst recession in 300 years. We now need a Government who understand the scale of this crisis, yet at the very moment that we need maximum investment to recover, the Tories are threatening austerity cuts that will leave lasting scars on all our communities. Families have already seen their incomes slashed under this Government, and now the Tories want to impose a public sector pay freeze and cuts to universal credit. Will the Prime Minister rule out a return to Tory austerity cuts and commit to a major fiscal stimulus of at least 5% of GDP, or will he threaten the recovery and leave millions of people worse off?”

The PM just needed to bluff this out in the normal way, bragging over exaggerated spending on the wrong priorities, “I am proud of the massive investments that the UK Treasury has made throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, with £13 billion and more going to Scotland and huge sums going throughout the country. I wish that the Scottish nationalist Government would spend that money better because it is very sad to see some of the failures in education policy in Scotland and the failures in their criminal justice policy and fighting crime. I think what the people of the whole UK and, I believe, the people of Scotland would like to see is less talk about a referendum, which is the right hon. Gentleman’s agenda, and more talk about the real issues facing our country.” Cloaking himself in the mantle of assumed public approval the ‘Emporor’s’ nakedness exposed all his most sordid ‘bits!’

Ignoring Johnson’s repeated childish insult of improperly recognizing the title of the SNP, Blackford hit back saying that “The Prime Minister is boasting, but the cold, hard reality is that the United Kingdom has suffered the worst slump of any major economy and 120,000 people have lost their lives. That is under your guidance, Prime Minister. Coronavirus has exposed the deep inequalities under this broken Westminster system. After a decade of Tory cuts, millions of families are in poverty and UK unemployment is soaring. In contrast, in the United States, President Biden understands what is needed. He has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to restart and renew the American economy. Prime Minister, will your Government follow the example of the US and boost the economy like Biden, or is the Tory plan to return to type and impose yet another decade of Tory austerity?”

Damn him ignoring the insult, still, no apology was necessary the PM was free to hurl abuse as he pleased, even in the Chamber, such is the power of Tory Sovereign Dictatorship. He bragged, “This Government are investing £640 billion in infrastructure alone throughout the UK, a massive programme to get our country rebuilt and restarted again. I think that is what people would like to focus on, rather than the right hon. Gentleman’s agenda. He has talked about our broken politics, our broken country. All they want to do is break up Britain with another referendum, and I think that is the last thing this country needs at the moment.”

Ed Davey briefly joined the Tory congratulatory chorus saying, “Can I start by thanking the Government for their change of policy, announced today, on the vaccination priority for people with learning disabilities, despite the Prime Minister’s rather more equivocal answer to me on this last Monday?” It was a victory for the Lib Dem Leader’s personal crusade. He then switched his attention to concern over China saying, “Today, millions of Uyghur people in China live in fear under a cruel regime. The BBC, international media and human rights non-governmental organisations are all reporting on forced labour camps, women being raped and sterilised, and families being separated. This is a genocide happening in front of our eyes. So does the Prime Minister agree with me that, unless China ends this genocide, Britain and Team GB should boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year?”

The PM ignored Davey’s triumph to focus on China saying, “The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to highlight the appalling campaign against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and that is why my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has set out the policies that he has the package of measures to ensure that no British companies are complicit in or profiting from violations. We are leading international action in the UN to hold China to account, and we will continue to work with the US, friends and partners around the world to do just that. The right hon. Gentleman raises a point about a sporting boycott. We are not normally in favour of sporting boycotts in this country, and that has been the long-standing position of this Government.” In reality, both the US and UK are very selective in targeting outrage over human rights abuse, atrocities and genocide: Israel, Turkey and the Saudis get a free pass!

Labour’s Dame Diana Johnson’s attack was short and razor-sharp as she demanded to know, “Is the 40% cut to Transport for the North’s budget part of the Prime Minister’s plans for levelling up the north?” Ouch! That other Johnson, our lying, cheating, shyster PM replied in defensive denial of the truth, claiming, “There has been no such cut, and we intend to invest massively in Northern Powerhouse Rail, and in railways in the north and across the entire country.” For over a decade Tories have maintained this con! Labour’s Wes Streeting poured shame on the PM citing how “We went into this pandemic with rising child poverty, a widening attainment gap, and school funding falling in real terms.” He asked the PM if he would be happy with just 43p per pupil per day spent on his own children? The PM “passionately disagreed” and tried to bluff the house with impressive totals that amounted to… just 43p a day! He went on to attack, “bankrupt policies of the Labour party;” presumably prioritizing feeding and educating kids!

Labour Alex Cunningham highlighted one of the PM’s photo-op visits to a vaccine complex in his constituency pointing out a local tour that might have bought him down to earth. He said “I could have taken him to nearby Billingham food bank, where he would have learned that over a third of the children in my constituency live in poverty, yet two in five of those same children are still not entitled to free school meals because the threshold is so low. Will he urgently address that scandal, take long-term action on universal credit and school meals, and help free our children from poverty?” In the cruelest of denial tactics the PM pretended he had received a compliment saying, “I certainly am proud of what universal credit is doing…”

Johnson then started ranting about the Labour agenda to replace Universal Credit with a functioning social safety net and banged on about “top-quality jobs” that simply do not exist. Jack Lapresti launched into another PR pitch for the pet Tory project of creating covert UK tax-haven Freeports with the false promise of creating, “50,000 jobs in the region” and linking this to building affordable homes throwing in the catch phrase “build back better.” It is vitally important that all opposition MPs consistently call out these lies and false promises by pointing to the stark reality of rapidly increasing deprivation and destitution throughout the UK while the Tory squandering of public funds on dodgy private contracts handed out to friends continue apace. In a functioning democracy, the perpetrators of this relentless corruption would be robustly Investigated for fraud including their manipulation of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. They would be in jail not in office; it is time we demanded justice to remove this Tory Sovereign Dictatorship.

We must change the narrative to prevent the British public being subjugated by the Tory propaganda and exploited for another decade or longer under their Dictatorship. The ‘lev…up’ lie must be banished from the political lexicon because the mere mention of this term breathes life into this dangerous myth. At Prime Ministers Questions reality returned when SNP Stuart C. McDonald asked, “Before the budget is finalised, will the Prime Minister ensure that his Chancellor reads the Trussell Trust’s new report, ‘Dignity or Destitution? The case for keeping the Universal Credit lifeline’? His Government have been incredibly generous to pals with personal protective equipment contracts, so surely, instead of cutting employment-related benefits to the lowest real-terms level in 30 years, he must now afford some basic dignity to 6 million people on universal credit and make the uplift permanent.” We cannot wait patiently for Tory Sovereign Dictator Boris Johnson to consider bestowing dignity on our people: he must go ASAP. DO NOT MOVE ON!