- This topic has 517 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Kim Sanders-Fisher.
June 7, 2020 at 10:27 #54767SA
Meanwhile , this is where the research and the industry efforts are concentrated, not on medicine and science, but on warfare.June 8, 2020 at 10:56 #54793Kim Sanders-Fisher
It was truly nauseating to hear the Prime Minister mouth off the sentiment “of course Black Lives Matter,” when we are all painfully aware that a serial lying racist usurped the leadership of our country in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. Boris Johnson has amply proved himself an equal opportunity bigot with his numerous offensive comments directed at ethnic minorities and other sectors of the UK population. He has never demonstrated the courage to say sorry and the example he has set to the nation still remains appallingly divisive and a serious reason for people to take to the streets to let him know his conduct is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated. I am convinced that Johnson’s willingness to embrace and latch onto the toxic movement stirring up vile anti-migrant sentiment in the UK to get elected, in reality did not succeed as is evident from the protesters on our streets. We must not give up on the investigation required to expose this injustice; under Johnson and the Tories we are doomed as no lives will matter.
The tide is turning and we must demand change. If you have not yet reviewed the Petition I launched, please read, sign, share and link to: 2019 TORY LANDSLIDE VICTORY DEMANDS URGENT NATIONWIDE INVESTIGATION.
I believe that the strength of anti-Tory sentiment began to build in this country with the entitled arrogance of Boris Johnson’s refusal to sack his miscreant Chief Advisor, Dominic Cummings after he callously breached the lockdown rules that everyone throughout the country had made huge personal sacrifices to adhere to for months. He was counting on procrastinating just long enough to get the public and the press to compliantly “Move On.” He probably thought that ongoing fear of infection with the virus would keep people from protesting, but he had already made so many workers to take risks by forcing them back to their jobs on cramming public transport it was no longer an issue. Frontline workers, many of whom are from BAME backgrounds, are being treated as “cannon fodder” in Johnson’s genocidal “Slaughter of the Sheeple!” DO NOT MOVE ON!
This evil agenda is being fully exposed and the public have sent Boris Johnson a strong message that fear will not prevent protest as he continues to put people’s lives at risk with leis, lack of scrutiny and dangerous rule by selfish Tory dictate. In the Guardian Article: “Labour accuses Government of cover-up over BAME Covid-19 report” they report that the Government is accused of “covering up vital recommendations” They say that, “Concerns about censorship mounted this week after third-party submissions, which reportedly highlighted structural racism and social inequality, were left out of the government-commissioned report on the disproportionate effects of Covid-19 on BAME people. On Saturday the shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, demanded the report be published in full.” Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the MP for Streatham, said, “the fact the review overlooked factors arising from structural racism and wrongly focused on comorbidities including obesity and diabetes sent a message that ‘we don’t matter’.”
According to Hansard, during a Parliamentary debate held on the 4th of June Urgent Question requesting a statement on the Public Health England review of disparities in risks and outcomes related to the covid-19 outbreak. This is most of the debate, a long read. Responding for the Tory Government Kemi Badenoch started into her statement with the words, “As a black woman and the Equalities Minister,” before commenting on her reaction to the George Floyd case in the US. Rather than establishing concern, her remarks bore the hallmark of a ‘they’re worse than we are’ pitch. It was not a confident start to a speech that made a familiar veiled request not to criticize the Government and meandered through continued inaction to culminate in the need for further review.
Labour’s shadow Minister for Women and Equality, Gill Furniss MP, voiced concern over what had been published. Furniss stated that, “The review confirms what we already know: racial and health inequalities amplify the risk of covid-19. It found that those from BAME backgrounds were more than twice as likely to die from covid-19 than white people, and that BAME healthcare workers are at particular risk of infection. Public Health England’s review fails to make a single recommendation on how to reduce those inequalities, protect workers on the front line, or save lives. That is despite the fact that its terms of reference include to ‘suggest recommendations’ for further action. Will the Minister urgently explain why the review failed to do that? The Government have said that the Race Disparity Unit will publish recommendations on the findings from the review. When will those recommendations be published, alongside a plan for their implementation?” Badenoch’s response was to offer more noncommittal Government stalling.
Joanna Cherry speaking for the SNP, wanted to “reassure Scotland’s BAME communities that the SNP were taking the issue very seriously.” She said that, “On 20th May, the Scottish Government published Public Health Scotland’s preliminary analysis, which suggested that the proportion of BAME patients among those seriously ill with Covid is no higher than the proportion in the Scottish population generally. However, the Scottish Government are treating those findings with caution, given the findings in England and Wales. Further work is under way to deepen understanding of the risk factors and improve analysis.” If this disparity between Scotland and the rest of the UK is confirmed then it would diminish the possibility of genetic factors that cannot be changed and increase the likelihood of socioeconomic factors and discriminatory problems that can and should be very urgently addressed.
Highlighting an issue raised at Liaison Committee Cherry asked, “What action will the UK Government take to review their ‘no recourse to public funds’ policies, given that the Prime Minister revealed that he was unaware that thousands of people are locked out of available support due to those rules? In addition, why will the UK Government not lower the earnings threshold for statutory sick pay, which is forcing people in BAME communities out to work when it is not safe for them to be working?” These two really important points demonstrate the need to create a more comprehensive and all inclusive safety net that does not force people to choose between community safety priorities and personal economic survival.
The Public Health Scotland results differing from Public Health England, offered a further excuse for Government prevarication and an endless stream of reports as Badenoch cited it as “one reason why we are not rushing to recommendations.” She then reverted to the classic Tory ‘blame the patient’ evasion of responsibility by saying, “It is important to note that the PHE review did not take into account other factors such as comorbidities.” The slightest mention of those excluded from support brought forth a torrent of self-congratulatory propaganda spin with inflated financial compensation lavishly spread across various sectors in ways that best support those least in need of assistance while denying huge sectors of the working poor who are being forced back into unsafe work environments even if they really need to shield of isolate.
Several of the Tory contributors to the debate seemed intent on steering the focus well off course by raising other issues like age, the learning disabled, lung damage among former Miner’s and Tory MP Dr. Liam Fox should have known better than to make a pitch for the plight of men! The report was to focus on issues where intervention or a change of policy might make a difference to reduce the poor outcome for those from a BAME background. Badenoch welcomed any distraction to set off on a tangent especially if it could be used to blame the victims and exonerate the Government for ten years of Tory cuts, low investment, neglect, rising poverty and ongoing inequality. Referring to the report she said, “Some of the things not present included comorbidities, population density, public transport use, household composition and housing conditions.” It was time for another hefty Tory kick into the long grass…
While Tory Richard Fuller compared how although there had “historically been an over-representation of black and minority ethnic people among employees, they have been under-represented in the leadership of the NHS.” Which gave Badenoch the ideal opportunity to promote fake news by saying, “We do want to see diversity in leadership across institutions in this country, which is one reason why we asked Professor Kevin Fenton, who is a black surgeon, to lead on this review?” Although Public Health England announced the inquiry, which investigated the impact of the virus on different ethnic groups, would be led by black doctor Prof Kevin Fenton, the Canary Reported and the BBC clarified that the report was led and written by Prof John Newton, head of the UK’s testing programme. PHE said Prof Fenton “contributed” to the review.
Labour MP Rachael Maskell said, “In 2010, Professor Marmot published his report on how structural inequalities predispose the poorest to the worst health outcomes. We know how race inequality is entwined with that. A decade on, the inequalities have grown. The PHE report has now highlighted the fatal consequences of that. Even today, low-paid workers are exposed to the greatest infection risks, and lockdown easement is reinforcing that. Will the Minister pause the easement plan until a full mitigation plan is in place to address these inequalities?” Badenoch defensively grasped for Tories favourite human shield ‘the science…’ saying, “It is important to reiterate that any easement plan is being made in conjunction with scientists.” She then tossed the responsibility onto employers to, “make risk assessments for their staff so that they are not unduly exposed to the virus.”
A Skwawkbox Article revealed how Fenton’s input was so controversial it was removed and his role leading the review was downgraded. Badenoch answered the next point about employees with typical Tory jargon saying, “Engaging employers as well as employees will be essential. Professor Kevin Fenton of PHE has already undertaken extensive stakeholder engagement on this issue, and I intend to assist him in continuing that excellent work.” Later in the debate Labour MP Mary Kelly Foy also raised Marmot stating, “In February of this year, Professor Marmot published his review of health inequalities a decade after his original report. He made several recommendations, the first being for the creation of a cross-government, cross-party strategy led by the Prime Minister to address those health inequalities. Given that covid-19 has shown how far we are from achieving a fair and equal country, will the Minister say whether the Government will incorporate that recommendation as a key part of the recovery from coronavirus?”
Labour MP Fleur Anderson asked, “The Spanish flu epidemic led to huge, widescale social reform, and this report points to the need to do the same. Almost three quarters of health and social care staff who have died as a result of covid-19 are from black and ethnic minorities. Why does the review fail to mention the occupational discrimination faced by BME healthcare staff, which has been highlighted by the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing and needs urgent attention?” Although Badenoch seemed emphatic in her reply saying, “Again, it is important to remember that the purpose of the review was to look at specific factors,” she appeared a lot more willing to dismissively muddy the waters with frequent references to comorbidities. She just had to include that pathetic Tory claim of “working round the clock to protect everyone on the frontline during this pandemic for as long as it is required…”
Labour MP Helen Hayes brought up the injustice suffered by the woman who died tragically from coronavirus after being spat at while at work at Victoria station. She said, “There must be justice for Belly Mujinga and her family by way of meaningful action to stop unnecessary BAME frontline deaths now. When will the Government instruct employers to put in place the comprehensive protections that are needed for all BAME staff and other vulnerable workers who need protection to stop them dying now?”
Badenoch response professed sympathy, but then coldly added, “I understand, contrary to what the hon. Lady says, that British Transport police are not taking further action in Belly Mujinga’s case because senior detectives are confident that the incident at Victoria station did not lead to her contracting Covid.” It was just an assault ignored by police because of her BAME background: not OK! Hopefully, due to public pressure, the perpetrator will now be prosecuted, but Badenoch was not offering her support,
SNP Alison Thewliss was one of several MPs to raise the issue of “no recourse to public funds” remarking, “As I said to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care earlier this week, it is one thing to say that black lives matter and quite another to force black people and people from BAME backgrounds out to work who have no choice other than to go to work because they have no recourse to public funds. No recourse to public funds is a racist policy. Will she abolish it now?”
Badenoch was fiercely defensive in her reply saying, “I must push back on some of what the hon. Lady said. It is wrong to conflate all black people with recent immigrants and assume, which is what she just said, that we all have to pay a surcharge.” Was she trying to ramp up Tory anti-migrant rhetoric? Dig out that favourite Tory word “conflate” to help blur the harsh reality of warranted criticism and remind the House that she was, “a black woman…” as if this was not perfectly obvious. Verbally brandish her ethnic badge, she continued her rant, “It is absolutely wrong to try to conflate lots of different issues and merge them into one, just so that it can get traction in the press… It is not right for us to use confected outrage. We need courage to say the right things, and we need to be courageous in order to calm down racial tensions, not inflame them just so that we have something to put on social media.”
Labour MP Dr. Rupa Huq was unperturbed by this inappropriate defensive rant when she spoke of the Black Lives Matter protest as she challenged, “The Minister talked about having courage and being a black woman herself. She and I are both BME parents. Can we really look into our sons’ eyes and say we acknowledged it? Surely we need action. It is not good enough. When will we see a detailed plan, with deliverables, objectives, dates and buy-in from all our diverse communities, so that this does not just look like a box-ticking exercise?” She got that right, Badenoch appeared seriously out of touch with the UK protesters when she said, “actually this is one of the best countries in the world in which to be a black person.” Not as bad as the US, is not good enough!
Despite prefacing with Black lives do matter! Tory MP Jason McCartney started into the “stroking” routine of “Does the Minister agree…” and claiming, “that the UK should be very proud of the huge contribution BAME workers have made during this crisis, both as key workers and in the health service? With that in mind, following this review, will she say once again what immediate action she is taking to address these disparities?” Badenoch, a typical Tory, ready to cheer on the key workers while denying their paltry pay rises, failed to see the hypocrisy. On immediate action she was more reticent saying, “we must take the right action; we must not rush into doing the things people are asking for if it turns out they are the wrong steps to take but look right. It is not about optics; it is about doing the right thing, and that is why we are not rushing. We will have a proper programme. We will look at all the studies that have come out, not just the Public Health England one, and produce an appropriate set of recommendations that have the confidence of various communities.” The Tories will kick this into the long grass.
Labour MP Dawn Butler got right to the point, “The PHE report has no third-party submissions. Where are the missing submissions and will the Minister place them in the House of Commons Library? The Government have a reputation for whitewashing reports and hiding from the consequences of structural racism. The Minister says she is not going to rush. In 2016, the Conservative Prime Minister said she would tackle the burning injustices in society. What happened? Where is the social injustice office that was promised in 2016? There is not rushing, and then there is taking your time and avoiding the issue. The Windrush report was delayed and edited, and some parts were deleted. That is a worrying trend of this Government. The PHE report essentially says that there is nothing internal about why black, Asian and minority ethnic people are dying of Covid at twice the rate of their white counterparts. There is nothing internal. That means that it is external, and it is accelerated by this Government.”
Badenoch was really on the defensive saying, “I utterly reject what the hon. Lady has said. With permission, Mr Speaker, I think I need to clarify some confusion that seems to have arisen.” She claimed the review was separate from the input solicited on the same subject and we should not expect the Government to act logically by assessing the totality of this information. She said, “Separately, PHE has been engaging with a significant number of individuals and organisations within the BAME community over the past couple of months to hear their views. That was not a part of this. A lot of people think that that is something that should have been in the report. We will be building on, and expanding on, that engagement as we take this work forward, but that is different from the report that we have commissioned.” Very long grass…
Tory MP Mrs Flick Drummond came to the rescue with excuses about how the report was rushed, but “…does raise a number of issues, such as the effect of age and ethnicity. Further examination is also needed of other issues such as comorbidities, socioeconomic issues and multi-generational living, which is the case in Italy too. Does the Minister feel that the report has gone far enough?” Badenoch replied, “The short answer is no. The report is a welcome first step, but it certainly has not gone far enough. We will take it to where we think it needs to get to.” We’re talking very, very long grass…
Labour MP Zarah Sultana said, “The coronavirus does not discriminate, but the system in which it is spreading does. Higher rates of poverty, overcrowded housing, precarious work and jobs on the frontline mean that if you are black or Asian you are more likely to catch the virus and to be hit worse if you do. “Black lives matter” is not a slogan. We are owed more than confirmation that our communities are suffering; we are owed justice. Will the Minister commit to a race equality strategy covering all Whitehall Departments, so that we can rebuild by tackling the underlying inequalities and systemic injustice that coronavirus has so brutally laid bare?”
Badenoch replied with that Tory “All I can say…” line claiming once again that, “the Government are doing every single thing they can to make sure we eliminate the disparities that we are seeing because of this disease.” She then wandered off course to include various other issues, “We must remember that, as we talk about different groups, there are many other groups that have been impacted based on age and even based on gender. We are looking at all of that.” Badenoch then got quite insulting, to the point where a Canary Article reported on the hypocrisy of her response, she said, “I am not going to take any lessons from the hon. Lady on race and what I should be doing on that. I think the Government have a record to be proud of. We will wait and see the outcomes of the following steps in the recommendations.” Another Tory proud the UK’s disgraceful high death toll track record!
Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine elaborated on what was missing saying, “The review, as we know, found that people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian, Caribbean and other black ethnicity had between 10% and 50% higher risk of death when compared to white British, yet only 11 of the 89 pages explore the issue of racial inequalities in coronavirus deaths. We have also heard reports that there is a chapter, referring to individuals and stakeholder groups, which is not included. Can the Minister assure us that there is no reason why the people she referred to as being dealt with separately should not have been included in the report? Can she assure us that what we will see from the Government is the full unredacted evidence from individuals and stakeholder groups to address the imbalance in the evidence in this review?”
Badenoch was back to the Tory jargon on ‘Stakeholder engagements’ and ‘conflating issues’ saying, “Again—I will repeat this point—it is important that we understand the key drivers of the disparities. What we commissioned was a quantitative review. We want to be evidence-led. Stakeholder engagement is important, but we do not want to conflate the two things, and that is something that we will be taking forward in the future.” That will be the very distant future… If you deliberately ask the wrong question it will help you to deliberately confuse or procrastinate endlessly over the answer and how to implement recommendations to the point where everyone forgets there was even a question posed in the first place… Tory strategy in a nutshell!
Labour MP Chris Bryant commended Tory MP Scott Benton for what he has said regarding deprivation as it was a point he was about to raise. Referring to his own constituency he said, “the Rhondda, has one of the highest death rates per 100,000 head of population in the country, and therefore in the world. Being poor is certainly an early death sentence—by some 20 years compared with richer parts of the country—and that is because it is the people who are subsisting on poor wages, few hours and unsafe labour in difficult working conditions, without proper protection, with miserly benefits, with statutory sick pay that does not enable people to put food on the table, relying on food banks, who are dying. Surely, one lesson that we must learn from coronavirus is that we must pay our key workers properly so that they can put food on the table and not rely on food banks.”
Badenoch who had obviously been ordered to continue the Tory ‘levelling up’ deception needed to signal her agreement even if her Party would never follow through. Surprisingly Tory MP Nusrat Ghani attacked what she called, “The lack of leadership and transparency in Public Health England and NHS England has been shamefully exposed, with BAME health workers dying at a greater rate. Covid has showed us what it means when these institutions are not equal, with BAME workers saying that they did not have the same access to personal protective equipment as their white colleagues and felt pressured to work on the frontline. As both Public Health England and NHS England are independent, how will my hon. Friend hold them to account?” Badenoch replied by referring to “concerns that we have been hearing anecdotally” as if the issues raised were just fake news, but she was careful not, “criticising NHS workers for not looking after their own.”
Labour MP Stephen Timms again raised the issue of those excluded from support asking, “will she press her colleagues to suspend the ‘no recourse to public funds’ restriction, which has prevented thousands of hard-working BAME families, many with children born in the UK, from claiming universal credit during this crisis?” Badenoch tried to create the classic Tory separation of good migrants who work in the NHS from those bad migrants who we want to punish and deport by saying, “We understand that there may be difficulties for failed asylum seekers who cannot return home, and we are continuing to provide free accommodation to those who would otherwise be destitute. That is just another example of how the Government are looking at these things intensely. We have not forgotten anyone.”
SNP’s Patrick Grady reinforced the same concern saying, “Does the Minister not understand that ‘no recourse to public funds’ reinforces the various structural inequalities that the Black Lives Matter campaign is trying to call out? It is not leaving my constituents looking for mortgage holidays; it is leaving them destitute. That is not just unequal; it is inhumane. So will the Government please review this situation and allow people to get the support that they so desperately need?” Badenoch was back to conflating… “I will repeat the point I made earlier: we should not conflate black people with people who do not have any recourse to public funds. It is a very—I am not going to say the words ‘disingenuous argument’, Mr Speaker, but I do think that this is something that we need to be very clear about and not muddy the waters in terms of what is going on.”
Labour MP Maria Eagle said, “The research shows, among many disturbing findings about race disparities, that diagnosis rates are higher in deprived and densely populated urban areas, and that our great cities such as Liverpool have been hardest hit by the virus. Does the Minister accept that the reason why we must research Covid disparities is so that effective action can be taken to address them? Will she undertake to ensure right now that the Government allocate resources to combat Covid in such a way as to address these inequalities—she can do that now—rather than on a crude per capita basis that completely ignores the realities of who is hardest hit and why?” Badenoch made a point about engaging with local authorities despite the reality that this Tory Government rarely tries to “engage” with anyone.
Tory MP Andrew Griffith started by repeating the mantra of the day, “All lives matter! He said going on to make an important point, “They matter now and they mattered in March and April, when many of my constituents could not get a test when they needed one. Will the Minister talk to her colleagues about changing the attitude of Public Health England towards working with the private sector to mobilise testing capacity?” Badenoch broadly agreed, without attempting to explain why testing had been so calamitous or so delayed.
Getting towards the end of the session, in reply to a typical self-congratulatory “stroking” non-question, Badenoch made the astonishingly brazen reply that typifies Tory lack of self awareness. She actually said, “People do look to this House to set an example across the country, and those of us in this House must not just demonstrate that we agree with the guidance, but show that we are following the rules as well.” What planet is she on? Does Badenoch have no idea how angry people are that Dominic Cummings has remained in post despite breaking the strict rules that he created? I do not know how in hell Badenoch could come out with a statement like that while the scandal of Boris Johnson continued refusal to fire his “handler,” Cummings for blatantly breaching lockdown restrictions has remained such a raw wound of abused privilege and betrayed trust. DO NOT MOVE ON… if Cummings is ousted he might just turn Whistleblower, expose the truth and bring down this toxic Tory Government out of revenge.June 9, 2020 at 10:33 #54816Kim Sanders-Fisher
Just before last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson announced that the next day he would “open the global vaccine summit; the UK-hosted, virtual event will bring together more than 50 countries, as well as leaders of private sector organisations and civil society, to raise at least $7.4 billion for Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance.” He said that the “global vaccine summit should be the moment when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease.” I would respond to his pronouncement by saying that as someone who has travelled extensively and functioned as a Medical Volunteer overseas I am seriously worried that big Pharma will try to monetize promising drugs and vaccines so that they are unavailable to poor countries in the developing world because black lives do not matter to big Corporate interests.
Labour’s, Rachael Maskell, asked an important question of the PM, “As the Prime Minister obfuscates over his adviser, the real scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has been exposed in the Public Health England report published yesterday on inequality and poverty. If you are black or Asian, if you are poor, if you have a low-skilled job, the mortality risk is up to double that of the rest of the population, with the poorest having the greatest exposure, risk and fate. Now the Government are seriously increasing that exposure and risk with their easement announcements. Why will the Prime Minister not publish a full health and economic risk assessment for scrutiny, to protect us all from this deadly virus?”
The PM responded, “I thank the hon. Lady for her question. This Government commissioned the review from PHE and we take its findings very seriously, because there obviously are inequalities in the way the virus impacts on different people and different communities in our country. The Minister for Equalities, my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Kemi Badenoch) will be looking at what next practical steps we need to do to protect all our country from coronavirus.” The reality was a fruitless debate where Badenoch response to concerned MPs was to obscure the facts, do yet another review and kick it into the long grass!
Before starting into his allotted questions Keir Starmer said, “May I start by expressing shock and anger at the death of George Floyd? This has shone a light on racism and hatred experienced by many in the US and beyond. I am surprised the Prime Minister has not said anything about this yet, but I hope that the next time he speaks to President Trump he will convey to him the UK’s abhorrence about his response to the events.” He then asked, “This morning, The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Prime Minister has decided to take ‘direct control’ of the Government’s response to the virus, so there is an obvious question for the Prime Minister: who has been in direct control up till now?”
Boris Johnson needed to catch up, he really should have made a statement about the George Floyd incident in the US, but as committed racist himself it would not have sounded sincere, but then nothing he said ever sounded sincere so he took a stab at it offering a nod of agreement by saying, “Let me let me begin by associating myself absolutely with what the right hon. and learned Gentleman had to say about the death of George Floyd. I think that what happened in the United States was appalling and inexcusable. We all saw it on our screens. I perfectly understand people’s right to protest at what took place, although obviously I also believe that protests should take place in a lawful and reasonable way.”
Johnson has a bad habit of only starting into a reply with “Right Honourable” and “learned Gentlemen” when he intends to hit back with an insulting put down, smug comment or a sarcastic remark followed by a nauseating stream of boastful fake claims. He said, “On the right hon. and learned Gentleman’s more polemical point, let me just say that I take full responsibility for everything that this Government have been doing in tackling coronavirus, and I am very proud of our record. If you look at what we have achieved so far, it is very considerable. We have protected the NHS. We have driven down the death rate. We are now seeing far fewer hospital admissions. I believe that the public understand that, with good British common sense, we will continue to defeat this virus and take this country forward, and what I think the country would like to hear from him is more signs of co-operation in that endeavour.” He was proud of his Government’s appalling response with the world’s second highest death toll, he just needed to end his response with a slap down in the hope Starmer would return to facilitation mode…
Kier Starmer, looking surprised that the PM should even try to curtail his robust scrutiny, proceeded, “The Prime Minister asks for a sign of co-operation—a fair challenge. I wrote to him, as he knows, in confidence two weeks ago, to ask if I could help build a consensus for getting children back into our schools. I did it confidentially and privately, because I did not want to make a lot of it. He has not replied. This is a critical week in our response to covid-19. Whereas ‘lockdown’ and ‘stay at home’ were relatively easy messages, easing restrictions involves very difficult judgment calls. This is the week, of all weeks, where public trust and confidence in the Government needed to be at its highest. But as the director of the Reuters Institute, which commissioned a YouGov poll this weekend, said, ’I have never in 10 years of research in this area seen a drop in trust like what we have seen for the UK government.’ How worried is the Prime Minister about this loss of trust?”
Despite warnings before PMQs that Starmer would be more critical this time, Boris Johnson look insecure and defensive as he tried to defend himself. He must have felt relieved that this attack, stemming from his inability or unwillingness to fire Dominic Cummings, was so oblique. He said, “I am surprised that the right hon. and learned Gentleman should take that tone, since I took the trouble to ring him up, and we had a long conversation in which I briefed him about all the steps that we were taking. He did not offer any dissent at that stage—he thoroughly endorsed our approach, and I believe that he should continue to endorse it today.”
When all the evidence shows that public support for the Government had tanked – black is the new white – just fake that public backing as if everyone is onside with the exception of Starmer in backing your point of view. He said, “I think that he is on better and firmer ground when he stands with the overwhelming majority of the British people who understand the very difficult circumstances we are in and who want clarity across the political spectrum but who believe that we can move forward, provided that we continue to observe the basic rules on social distancing, on washing our hands and on making sure that when we have symptoms, we take a test and we isolate. I think everybody understands that. That is why the incidence of this disease is coming down, and his attempts to distract the public from that have not been successful, because they continue to pay attention to our guidance.” Keep telling it like it isn’t!
Keir Starmer responded by saying he would put it in the public domain saying, “The Prime Minister challenges me on the offer I made to him. This was a confidential letter. I think the best thing I can do is put it in the public domain, and the public can decide for themselves how constructive we are being.” He then asked, “Two weeks ago today at the Dispatch Box, the Prime Minister promised: ‘we will have a test, track and trace operation that will be world-beating, and yes, it will be in place by 1 June.’ But it is not, and a critical element—the ability of local authorities to respond to local spikes—is missing. As one council leader put it to us, ‘We are weeks away from having this fully up and running. We simply were not given enough warning.’ …The Prime Minister mutters that it is not true. Dido Harding, the Prime Minister’s own chair of the track and trace system, has said that this element will not be ready until the end of June. The Prime Minister must have been briefed on this problem before he made that promise two weeks ago, so why did he make that promise?”
Boris Johnson responded by suggesting that Starmer’s scrutiny of the Governments shambolic roll out of the system was in some obscure way insulting those who had been recruited to do the job. He said, “I am afraid that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is casting aspersions on the efforts of the tens of thousands of people who have set up the test, track and trace system in this country from a standing start. We now have 40,000 people engaged in this. As he knows, thousands of people are being tested every day. Every person who tests positive in the track and trace system is contacted, and then thousands of their contacts—people they have been in contact with—are themselves contacted. I can tell the House that at the moment, as a result of our test, track and trace system—which, contrary to what he said, was up and running on 1 June as I said it would be—and the efforts of the people who set it up, thousands of people are now following our guidance, following the law and self-isolating to stop the spread of the disease.”
Unfazed, Starmer responded with, “I welcome that news from the Prime Minister. He did not put a number on those who have been traced, but, as he knows, the number of people testing positive for covid-19 every day is only a fraction of those actually infected every day. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number actually infected every day is between 7,000 and 9,000. Assuming that up to five contacts need to be traced for every infected person, the system probably needs to reach 45,000 people a day, so there is a long way to go; and I am sure that if it is 45,000 a day, the Prime Minister will confirm that in just a minute.”
Starmer then attacked the truthfulness of the fake news statistics according to the Government that vary widely from ONS figures.
He said, “But the problem when the Prime Minister uses statistics is that the UK Statistics Authority has had concerns on more than one occasion. In a strongly worded letter to the Health Secretary yesterday, the chair of the UK Statistics Authority said that the statistics ‘still fall well short of…expectations. It is not surprising that given their inadequacy data on testing are so widely criticised and often mistrusted.’ Can the Prime Minister see how damaging this is to public trust and confidence in his Government?”
This level of scrutiny was really starting to bother the PM and his efforts to get Starmer to tone down his attacks fell on deaf ears. He said, “I must say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that I really do not see the purpose of his endless attacks on public trust and confidence, when what we are trying to do is to provide—I think this is what the public want to hear from politicians across all parties—clear messages about how to defeat the virus. Test and trace is a vital tool in our armoury, and, contrary to what he says, we did get up to 100,000 tests a day by the end of May and to 200,000 by the beginning of this month. That was an astonishing achievement, not by the Government, but by tens of thousands of people working to support the Government; I think that he should pay tribute to them and what they have achieved.” It was vital he just doubled-down on the lies and kept talking confidently of the non-existent public support as if Starmer was trying to attack the public.
Starmer clarified the reality of the situation by saying, “The Prime Minister is confusing scrutiny for attacks. I have supported the Government openly and I have taken criticism for it—but, boy, he has made it difficult to support this Government over the last two weeks.” He continued, “Another critical issue on trust and confidence is transparency about decision making. On 10 May, the Prime Minister said on the question of lifting restrictions: ‘If the alert level won’t allow it, we will simply wait and go on until we have got it right.’ At the time that he said that, the alert level was 4, and the R rate was between 0.5 and 0.9. We are now three weeks on and some restrictions have been lifted, so can the Prime Minister tell us: what is the alert level now and what is the R rate now?”
Boris Johnson continued to confuse, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman knows perfectly well that the alert level does allow it. Indeed, he did not raise that issue with me when we had a conversation on the telephone. He knows that the reason that we have been able to make the progress that we have is that the five tests have been fulfilled. Yes, the alert level remains at 4, but as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies will confirm, we have managed to protect the NHS, and we have got the rate of deaths and the rate of infections down. The personal protective equipment crisis; the difficulties in care homes; the question of the R figure – they have been addressed. The question for him is whether he actually supports the progress that we are making because at the weekend he was backing it, but now he is doing a U-turn and seems to be against the steps that this country is taking.” Begging for fealty wasn’t going to work, but he tried to reframe the situation as if Starmer was being inconsistent and unreasonable.
Starmer replied, “I have supported the Government in the gradual easing of restrictions. That is why I wrote to the Prime Minister two weeks ago, because I could see the problem with schools and I thought it needed leadership and consensus. I privately offered to do what I could to build that consensus. That is the offer that was not taken up.” Starmer would need everything in writing or why not record phone conversations; how else do you deal with a compulsive liar! Lastly he needed to deal with the latest ludicrous attempt to make Parliament unworkable and discriminatory by not continuing to work around the Covid 19 lockdown.
Starmer then asked, “Finally, may I turn to the question of Parliament? Mr Speaker, I know you feel very strongly about this. The scenes yesterday of MPs queuing to vote and Members being unable to vote were, frankly, shameful. This should not be a political issue. Members on all sides know that this is completely unnecessary and unacceptable. If any other employer behaved like this, it would be a clear and obvious case of indirect discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, so may I urge the Prime Minister to stop this and to continue to allow online voting and the hybrid Parliament to resume?”
Boris Johnson was still trying to be annoying and insulting as he enlisted the non-existent support of ‘ordinary people’ the ones he had treated as expendable throughout the Covid 19 crisis. He said, “Again, I do think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman needs to consider what is really going on throughout the country, where ordinary people are getting used to queuing for long periods to do their shopping or whatever it happens to be. I must say I do not think it unreasonable that we should ask parliamentarians to come back to this place and do their job for the people of this country. I know it is difficult, and I apologise to colleagues for the inconvenience.” This made no sense as this decision could create a loyal band of MP super-spreaders taking the virus from the Westminster hotspot to the farthest flung regions of the country: it could put rocket boosters under his Herd Immunity scheme!
Parliament was about to ignore Health and Safety workplace guidelines and trash the right of vulnerable MPs to stay safe. But he blasted on, “I apologise to all those who have particular difficulties with it because they are shielded or because they are elderly, and it is vital that, through the change we are making today, they should be able to vote by proxy. But I have to say that when the people of this country look at what we are doing, asking schools—the right hon. and learned Gentleman now says he supports schools going back—our policy is test, trace and isolate; his policy is agree, U-turn and criticise. What I can tell him is that I think the people of this country on the whole will want their parliamentarians to be back at work, doing their job and passing legislation on behalf of the people of this country, and that is what this Government intend to do.” Johnson should realize that it is too late to enlist public support after treating them like trash by not firing Cummings, zero self-awareness. It was time for Tory stroking…
The SNP Leader Ian Blackford started speaking. “Watching events unfold across America in recent days, and the actions and rhetoric from the American President, has been distressing and deeply worrying. We cannot delude ourselves into believing that we are witnessing anything short of a dangerous slide into autocracy. It is at times like these that people look to those they elect for hope, for guidance, for leadership and for action. However, in the seven days since George Floyd was murdered, the UK Government have not even offered words. They have not expressed that pain. They have shuttered themselves in the hope that no one would notice. The Prime Minister skirted over this earlier in Prime Minister’s questions. May I ask him what representations he has made to his ally Donald Trump? And at the very least, Prime Minister, say it now: black lives matter.”
Boris Johnson, whose past openly racist remarks have never been retracted or apologised for, looked and sounded thoroughly insincere and shallow as he said, “Of course black lives matter, and I totally understand the anger and the grief that is felt not just in America but around the world and in our country as well. I totally understand that, and I get that. I also support, as I have said, the right to protest. The only point I would make to the House is that protests should be carried out lawfully and, in this country, protests should be carried out in accordance with our rules on social distancing.” The tail end of his comment was directed at his hero Donald Trump who had helped expand the parameters for acceptable racial abuse. He wanted to pretend that US heavy-handed police tactics were justified to restore law and order; it does not bode well for our future here in the UK.
Blackford scolded in vain, “I am afraid the Prime Minister did not answer the question of what representations he has made to his friend Donald Trump. It is imperative that the UK is vocal on human rights, freedom to gather and protest, freedom of speech and upholding press freedom in other parts of the world. It would be nothing short of hypocrisy if we were to turn a blind eye to events unfolding in the US. However, actions speak louder than words. [Interruption.] The Prime Minister can shake his head, but the UK exports millions of pounds worth of riot control equipment to the US, including tear gas and rubber bullets. The Prime Minister must have seen how these weapons are used on American streets. With the Government’s own guidance warning against equipment being used in such way, will the Prime Minister urgently review such exports?” No chance… Too much profit at stake!
Boris Johnson responded saying, “I am happy to look into any complaints, but as the right hon. Gentleman he knows, all exports are conducted in accordance with the consolidated guidance, and the UK is possibly the most scrupulous country in that respect in the world.” I couldn’t help thinking of how we supply so many foreign despots and global tyrants who turn British made weapons on civilians, despite our protests and attempts to ban these exports. Tories condone the sale of riot control gear for targeting the internally displaced and ethnic minorities… the Palestinians, the Kurds and so many more. Death and destruction is already one of our biggest exports earning huge profits, Johnson will not let anyone put a dent in that.
Labour’s Lloyd Russell Moyle asked an important question regarding the ongoing Tory cuts to the Fire Service. He asked, “Our fire-fighters have been assisting in this Covid crisis. They have taken 12 additional areas of work supporting our NHS, and while they are busier than ever, they are about to face another round of devastating cuts. My local fire authority in East Sussex is planning to remove 10 fire trucks from the county, with the loss of frontline fire-fighters. Is the Prime Minister planning to respond to the Fire Brigades Union letter sent to him on 22 May calling for a moratorium on cuts? Clapping on Thursdays is well and good, but will he put his money where his mouth is and ensure that no fire authority needs to cut frontline fire-fighters when they have been helping to save our country?”
The PM’s reply was to say, “I will certainly respond to his letter.” You would have thought that the Government would have learned from the Grenfell disaster that massive cuts to the Fire Department can end up costing lives, but since Grenfell there have been no ‘lessons learned;’ the inquiry is just a distraction that postpones action that was urgently needed well before the disaster. Johnson managed to distance himself from any responsibility for decimating London’s Fire department during his time as Mayor and the Tory agenda of eviscerating all that ‘Health and Safety Red Tape’ has been effectively decoupled from its role as a contributing factor. Just like the Windrush scandal targeting Caribbean migrants; after a few news cycles the compliant press moved on and the Tories could get back to their Hostile Environment and more deportations. Zero accountability leads to more of the same, another disaster, another scandal, more lives destroyed Move On…
The investigations and reports just whitewash and exonerate the guilty who are never held to account. Theresa May should have resigned over Windrush, but the new normal is never admit wrongdoing, you can rely on the BBC and right-wing press to cover your back, the public will Move On when pushed! Boris Johnson’s reckless damage to the London Fire Department and its impact on the Grenfell tragedy should have prevented him taking over as PM, but there was no scrutiny. The vile things he has repeatedly said about ethnic minorities, women and the less fortunate should have prevented him from taking office, but there was no scrutiny. The same toxic woman whose clandestine collusion with an Israeli Government responsible for the brutal slaughter of Palestinians is reappointed to preach to the British public about curbing their unlawful behaviour! Total hypocrisy; zero accountability. Tory foreign policy supports the continued sale of arms to regimes like Israel and, despite a ban, to Saudi Arabia as they target civilians in Yemen.
How can this Government claim that “Black Lives Matter” after installing an openly racist PM and with so many gaping wounds of the recent past still unresolved? He deliberately decides who within our population is expendable, how many will die and how to bribe to keep the media on side as this catastrophe unfolds. Justice requires a national uprising as this Tory Government has already committed crimes against humanity that has innocent lives. Tearing down of Colson’s statue and tossing it in the harbour was a totally appropriate political statement to signal that UK racism must end now. Boris Johnson has never even apologised for his racist remarks, but he too needs to be ripped from his pedestal. An Investigation of the Covert2019 Rigged Election could destroy his legitimacy, but the pain of his manipulation of this crisis will be exposed as other countries recover just as the UK is hit with a second wave. Whatever it takes to remove them from power; the Tories cannot be allowed to remain in office. DO NOT MOVE ON!June 10, 2020 at 10:02 #54862Kim Sanders-Fisher
It was a genuine time to cheer at one small victory over oppression as Slave Trader Edward Colston got the heave-ho into Bristol harbour captured on camera for posterity and the pleasure of all who have enjoyed that priceless piece of footage online. Pritty Patel could barely contain her rage, Boris Johnson was furious, but made an awkward attempt to try showing empathy for the rejoicing supporters of the protest while still threatening to prosecute them as vandals! The Tories need to realize that the public mood is not going to side with privileged toffs past or present and they too may soon be toppled from their undeserved pedestal of power. These multi-ethnic protests have gone way beyond just a few token solidarity marches over the murder of George Floyd. They have expanded to embrace the intense hurt felt by the families of those killed in violent incidents here in the UK, the fear that so many young men must feel when they are repeatedly stopped by police for no good reason other than the colour of their skin.
Keir Starmer lost Labour support by stating that the statue should not have been removed in that way. No Starmer that was exactly how it had to come down; that finally got the authorities to take note of the ignored masses. Keir Starmer needs to reflect on the core public feeling on this as well as other issues. David Olusoga’s Guardian Opinion Piece; “The toppling of Edward Colston’s statue is not an attack on history. It is history.” He epitomized my feelings when he wrote, “For people who don’t know Bristol, the real shock when they heard that the statue of a 17th-century slave trader had been torn from its plinth and thrown into the harbour was that 21st-century Bristol still had a statue of a slave trader on public display. For many watching the events unfold on social media, that was the real WTF moment.” Timing is everything as this occurred right as the Tories cautiously released the more palatable segments of a sanitized review into why Covid 19 puts members of the BAME community at increased risk?
The Government Review was not the only examination of the alarming data. In the biggest survey of its kind, ITV News asked the UK’s BAME healthcare community – respondents were of different ethnicity and roles in the NHS – “why they thought more of their BAME colleagues are dying than their white counterparts.” They reported, “From the more than 2,000 respondents to our survey, comments revealed BAME NHS staff feel fearful in the most at-risk frontline roles, while others are feeling unfairly deployed, and at an increased risk of infection, with many feeling unheard, and some driven to quit their profession. Perhaps most shocking, 50 per cent of respondents felt discriminatory behaviour has played a role in the high death toll – with one in five claiming they have experienced it personally. 50 per cent also said health was a contributing factor.”
ITV reported, “One of the most revealing parts of the survey was the stark insight into the experiences of BAME workers in the NHS gained from more than 4,000 comments.” The said that, “The most common reason given in the survey for the potential cause of these figures was the deployment of BAME staff to frontline roles, with higher potential for exposure to the virus. Whilst this may be due, in part, to minority ethnic groups often being over-represented at lower levels of the NHS – many respondents told ITV News they believed unfair or discriminatory decisions were also at play. One respondent described treatment as “very unfair” adding: “All BAME nurses [have been] allocated to red wards and my white colleagues [are] constantly in green wards.”
The survey highlighted that, “For BAME NHS workers from overseas, the fear of losing their jobs is coupled with the fear of losing their home due to visa regulations around employment. One respondent told ITV News: “A lot of BAME [people] don’t have the support of an immediate family because they live alone in UK whilst their family are back in their home country” saying, “I believe this adds to the stress especially now it’s pandemic a lot of BAME have not been able to go back to their home country to be with loved ones.” I would also add that many of these Healthcare workers send ‘Remittance Money’ overseas to help support family members who rely on them. For the Brexiteer Tories this deliberately engineered job insecurity is the perfect set of circumstances to insure hard work, long hours and unwavering compliance, despite gross inequality while ignoring dubious safety conditions. Eliminating the EU’s level playing field to force UK workers to compete with desperate developing world medics will destroy the power of unions in post Brexit Britain.
Multiple respondents told ITV News that, “they were told by superiors not to ‘panic’ after they raised concerns around PPE early in the outbreak.” Another medic said: “I have had a few precarious discussions with managers early in the crisis who were telling us to stop panicking and not to ‘waste’ PPE because we wanted to protect ourselves.” This sentiment was echoed in a callous statement made by Matt Hancock suggesting that dwindling stocks were only running out because NHS staff were needlessly squandering precious PPE supplies! Survey respondents continued, “Though PPE guidance to medical staff has changed during the outbreak, one health worker responded to the survey that they had been ‘actively forbidden’ from wearing masks in the two weeks prior to lockdown.” The individual said: “We were […] threatened with being sacked If we spoke up about not being allowed to wear PPE.”
ITV reported, “Reflecting on their experiences since the outbreak began, 90 per cent of respondents pointed to the government – calling for more to be done to protect BAME medics. Downing Street has announced a formal review will take place into why people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds appear to be disproportionately affected.” This was reported on and debated in the Commons on the 4th on June, but significant segments were missing and there were no recommendations. They said that, “Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary for England, told ITV News he is ‘very concerned’ about the numbers of ‘people from a BAME background’ contracting Covid-19 and dying from the virus.” Hancock said, “I fully acknowledge that there is a higher prevalence amongst people of BAME backgrounds and it’s something that we’re doing work on.” Mr Hancock added: “It’s something I’m really worried about.”
The ITV survey was conducted before the Government Review, but it should have provided a stark warning of the realities driving the disparity in prognosis. However the input of Professor Fenton was omitted and his leading role was downgraded to contributor as the Tory Government sought to whitewash the damning results. ITV had said, “Indeed, the formal review is something the heads of medical organisations have called for, Chair of the BMA Dr Nagpaul told ITV News a ‘proper investigation’ is needed.” He said, “94% of doctors who have died after contracting Covid-19 are from a BAME background. That proportion is far greater than the proportion of BAME doctors in the workforce.” ITV added, “But will a review, or an investigation, go far enough?” In retrospect it seems not! One survey recipient said: “I strongly feel that the lost lives of the BAME NHS staff will be brushed off without much changes or protection [it] reflects the current state of affairs within the system.”
• The ITV News survey was created after discussions with BAME medics.
• The survey was distributed directly, officially through large medical organisations, like the GMC, and to leading British BAME medical groups including: APPS, BAPIO, MDA, BIMA, SDDA,SDU, Melanin Medics, BSMA, NMA, GMA, GDDA, RCN, NNCAUK and BIDA.
• Responses were gathered across a seven day period from when the survey was released on May 2
Just as concerning ITV News reported that, “Half of pregnant women in hospital with Covid-19 were from a BAME background, study reveals.” According to the, “ peer-reviewed research, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at data for pregnant women admitted to 194 obstetric units in the UK with a positive Covid-19 infection between March 1 and April 14. It found that of the 427 pregnant women in hospital during that period, 233 (56%) were from BAME backgrounds, of which 103 were Asian and 90 were black. The high proportion of pregnant women from BAME groups remained after excluding major urban centres from the analysis.” They authors said that, “We sought to collect national, population-based information on severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, defined as hospital admission, to capture the incidence and outcomes of severe disease in pregnancy.”
As I highlighted when writing about the debate the other day the word from north of the border might offer a ray of hope with input from the SNP. Joanna Cherry said she, “wanted to reassure Scotland’s BAME communities that the SNP were taking the issue very seriously.” She said that, “On 20th May, the Scottish Government published Public Health Scotland’s preliminary analysis, which suggested that the proportion of BAME patients among those seriously ill with Covid is no higher than the proportion in the Scottish population generally. However, the Scottish Government are treating those findings with caution, given the findings in England and Wales. Further work is under way to deepen understanding of the risk factors and improve analysis.” If confirmed, this disparity between Scotland and the rest of the UK would diminish the possibility of genetic factors that cannot be changed and increase the likelihood of socioeconomic factors and discriminatory problems that can and should be very urgently addressed.
Boris Johnson and his wretched Tory cabal might have really thought that the demonstrations would detract from the Cummings scandal, but in reality their whole elitist attitude epitomizes the colonial superiority over ordinary people that had fired up the UK Black Lives Matter protests. They might have thought that they had managed to drive such a massive angry wedge between various ethnic communities that there would be no possibility of solidarity; they were wrong. Imagine Johnson’s outrage when Bristol law enforcement had been ordered to stand down as irate citizens dragged Slave Owner Colston off his plinth, rolled him down the street and dumped him unceremoniously into the harbour. Why didn’t the police start cracking heads? He would push for prosecutions, but it had aroused the press and created a call for other venerated members of the past elite to be removed.
The media had failed to normalize the unrest and get the public to Move On… The Tories might not reveal it, but they are scared; that such strength of feeling could topple more than effigies, it topples tyrants too. Do we even need Cummings to turn vengeful Whistleblower and spill the beans? That would certainly destroy Johnson’s legitimacy overnight. We should not stop trying to get Cummings fired as there is ample reason, growing by the day, and it could precipitate his betrayal of Boris Johnson. We should not stop demanding a full, comprehensive investigation for complete exposure of the truth about the Covert 2019 Rigged Election either. However, the way the shambolic handling of the Covid 19 crisis continues to rapidly deteriorate where this Government has become the global, stand-out failure at some point people will take to the streets in protest or the current protests will get ugly. We need to maintain focus and solidarity: DO NOT MOVE ON!June 11, 2020 at 10:37 #54913Kim Sanders-Fisher
As the old saying goes, “Heads will roll;” the ironic fact that they are only of bronze and marble effigies does not make witnessing their fall from grace any less rewarding. I would be the last to advocate for decapitation in a literal French Revolutionary sense, but so many of us desperately want to see our current exploitive despots removed from power, that even this symbolic victory is well worth relishing. This Tory Government has got the majority of our population enslaved on below the poverty-line wages, with ethnic minorities at the very bottom of the pile; that reality really needs demonstrating in our ongoing protests. A BBC News Report stated that, “A statue of noted slaveholder Robert Milligan has been removed from outside the Museum of London Docklands.” We must continue to demand the removal of Dominic Cummings from his pedestal of privilege and unelected power. More heads must roll!
The BBC said that, “Sadiq Khan earlier announced a review of all of London’s statues and street names, saying any with links to slavery ‘should be taken down.’ Milligan’s monument was removed to ‘recognise the wishes of the community’ said the Canal and River Trust,” according to the BBC. “There were cheers and clapping as the monument was lifted from its plinth using a crane.” The BBC quoted The Museum of London Docklands who said, “the statue of the prominent British slave trader, who owned two sugar plantations and 526 slaves in Jamaica, had ‘stood uncomfortably’ outside its premises ‘for a long time’.” Adding that “The Museum of London recognises that the monument is part of the ongoing problematic regime of white-washing history, which disregards the pain of those who are still wrestling with the remnants of the crimes Milligan committed against humanity.”
The BBC quoted London Mayor Mr Khan who said that, “London was ‘one of the most diverse cities in the world’, but added that, “recent Black Lives Matter protests had highlighted that the city’s statues, plaques and street names largely reflect Victorian Britain. It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade.” He said. “While this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been wilfully ignored.” BBC reported that, “The Local Government Association’s (LGA) Labour group has also announced that Labour councils across England and Wales are to review ‘the appropriateness’ of monuments and statues in their towns and cities.”
According to the BBC, “Campaigns calling for the removal or amendment of monuments celebrating controversial figures have increased in volume around the UK in recent days. As the Milligan statue was lowered from its plinth, thousands of people gathered outside an Oxford college to demand the removal of a statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes.” Adding that, “In Oxford, 26 councillors and an MP have called for a statue to be removed.” Elsewhere BBC report that, “A plaque is to be added to a Henry Dundas monument in Edinburgh to “reflect” the city’s links with slavery, while the leader of Cardiff Council said he would support the removal of a statue of slave-owner Sir Thomas Picton from the city’s civic building.”
In an Equal Times Article entitled, “From Charlottesville to Brussels: collective memory and the challenge of our monuments” the writer reflects on the stubborn denial of Belgium’s brutal colonial past in its failure to recognize or teach of the cruel excesses of King Leopold II. Reminiscing on a visit to “the city of my birth, Kinshasa, formerly Leopoldville, in the Democratic Republic of Congo” and hearing shocking news from the States about a violent protest in Charlottesville. “The speakers announce the 8.00pm news flash on Radio Okapi. The international news catches my attention. They are talking about a town in the United States called Charlottesville. The presenter explains that a young woman has died and another 30 people have been injured in clashes between white supremacists and anti-racist activists.”
The writer continues by explaining, “The reason for this violence? A statue, of General Robert E. Lee, who led the confederate troops of the slave states during the American Civil War. When the city council voted to remove the statue in February, it had no idea that implementing the removal would lead to such a confrontation. Looking at the pictures of the enormous monument to General Lee astride his horse, I immediately saw the visual and historic resemblance to that of Leopold II prominently displayed in the centre of Brussels, roughly equidistant from the Royal Palace, the European Parliament and the vibrant Congolese neighbourhood of Matongé.”
What is described so clearly in this piece is the deliberate whitewashing of the most unpalatable parts of history that we are equally guilty of here in the UK. They say “to the victor go the spoils,” but it is equally true to acknowledge that the victorious colonialist plunderers also commandeered the narrative and have dominated a well establish delusional version of their role as liberators and benefactors despite the horrific truth about their greedy conquests. The author admits late discovery of the facts saying, “I got to know the “Builder King” – as the Belgians nicknamed him – thanks to a book by American writer Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost, published in 1998. I was 23 years old and I was discovering my country of origin and its strange, not to say difficult, relationship with my host country. This book showed me the ugly face of Belgian colonialism, which is something that wasn’t talked about in our history lessons.”
The article documents that, “On the basis of several historic studies, it is estimated that about half the population of the Congo was wiped out between 1885 and 1908, when Leopold II’s privately owned territory was annexed by Belgium. Thirsting for profits from the ivory trade, then rubber, the King’s militia pillaged, killed, raped, mutilated and enslaved millions of Congolese, while Leopold II, entrenched in his Brussels palace, accumulated an immense personal fortune. However, with the hindsight of history, it is difficult to truly believe that colonisation was ever motivated by humanist ideals, or to deny that its purpose was to conquer territory, drain its wealth, while exploiting its cheap and malleable work force. Even at the time, people around the world raised their voice in protest against these atrocities, which gave birth to one of the first major international human rights movements.” Despite such grisly revelations the exploitation of DRC continues to this day, with conflict driven by the mining o Coltral for our mobile phones.
The writer continued, “from primary school right through until university, Belgian students grow up without hearing a word about this, and involuntarily perpetuate the image of a ‘civilising’ and ‘redeeming’ colonisation. All my education has been in Belgium, and so it was a very sudden awakening to the invisibility 80 years of shared history, not just in education and culture, but also in the media and in our urban environment. Most of the existing traces of this subject paid tribute to terrifying and bloody characters. These so-called heroes became my tormentors. Despite their horrific acts, they were always cast as the good guys. It was rare to find anyone daring to denounce this type of evidence. Why so much censorship on this topic? Is it because many of the richest families in Belgium still owe their fortunes to this period? Or that the current king is a descendant of Leopold II?”
This article is well worth reading and I have to feel that writer would have felt greatly relieved to hear that following yet another extreme act of violence in the US, with the brutal murder of George Floyd by police, the anger of protesters has demanded change in numerous countries around the world and the glorified memorials to icons of hate and persecution are finally being removed. The Daily beast Reported that, “A statue of Belgian King Leopold II was removed Tuesday in Antwerp after protesters painted it red then lit it on fire. Leopold, who was king of Belgium from 1865 to 1909, oversaw that monarchy’s oppressive rule over Congo. Other statues of Leopold across Belgium—including those in Brussels, Ghent, and Ostend—have been defaced, some bearing George Floyd’s final words: “I can’t breathe.” Belgians have long campaigned to have statues of Leopold removed and plaques bearing his name changed, but recent Black Lives Matter protests have renewed the efforts.”
A Guardian Article asks, “It’s a big turning point’: is this the end of racist monuments in America?” They comment on the, “Protests across the country have led to the removal of many statues honouring racist figures – but hundreds still remain. Although a number of Confederate monuments across America were torn down in 2017 after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, many still remained. But a bigger tide appears to be turning.” Will the protests finally have an impact? These haunting memorials to America’s racist past are prolific, “According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are roughly 1,800 Confederate symbols across the US, 776 of which are monuments. While 141 Confederate symbols have already been removed across the country (61 of which are monuments), the SPLC is aware of seven Confederate symbols pending removal or renaming across the country.”
The article highlights one proposal for, “Relocating the monuments from public areas to cemeteries could also happen.” They add, “When the statues are on court lawns or statehouse lawns where laws are made, it sends a message that you will not get justice in these places,” according to one commentator. “Many pedestals could be left empty, (if not removed altogether), making space for a new kind of monument. Last year, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in Montgomery, Alabama, paying tribute to the lives lost from racial lynching’s between 1877 and 1950. In Florence, Project Say Something is planning to create a social justice monument. And recently, a fence outside the White House in Washington has become a makeshift memorial wall, covered in tributes to the black men and women who have died from police brutality.”
News Click Reports that, “The statues are coming down. The most recent avalanche began in the United States after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police and the uprising it occasioned. It is clear that no society should celebrate people like Robert E. Lee, Winston Churchill and Edward Colston.” The report on a little publicized point that, “These were men who defended enslavement and colonialism; there is no debate about that. Over the years, even the family of Robert E. Lee has asked for his statues to be removed from public display: One of Lee’s descendants said in 2017 that he believes that the Charlottesville, Virginia, statue of his ancestor “has become a symbol of evil nationalism.” Another descendant of Lee’s wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post on June 7 calling for the removal of his ancestor’s statue in Richmond, Virginia.”
The focus of the article then shifts to the issue of cancelling the staggering debt that continues to cripple forward progress both for ordinary Americans and for plundered former colonies of the vast British empire. In a claim that is equally true here in the UK the writer says, “All crises within the United States disproportionately strike African Americans: the financial crisis from more than a decade ago illustrates this, but so does the coronavirus pandemic and the coronavirus recession. Everyone suffers, but African Americans seem to suffer more. Debt rates are higher among African Americans, while income loss in a time of crisis is borne more deeply in the African American community.”
The author states that, “To remove a statue is important because the existence of the statue is a standing rebuke to the humanity of the people who must walk past it every day. But more is needed: what the men depicted in these statues succeeded in establishing in the world must also be removed. The removal of Colston’s statue is significant. Behind it, however, lingers an atrocious reality. In 1833, when the British parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act, it promised “compensation” not to the human beings freed from this brutal system, but to their “owners.” From 1835 to 2015, the British exchequer paid the “owners” and their descendants £17 trillion. This is an extraordinary amount of money. The precedent for this came from the French. When Haiti won its independence from France, the French sent their warships in 1825 to demand that the new republic pay compensation for the loss of slavery. Between 1825 to 1947, Haiti paid France $21 billion for the emancipation of the Haitian people.”
The reality check continues by exposing the truth of our ongoing exploitation by revealing that, “…countries like Haiti and Jamaica had to borrow money from governments and banks in Europe to finance their survival. That borrowing escalated over the last several decades as these countries faced enormous challenges, including natural disasters and coups promoted by the United States of America. The desolation of the finances of these countries continues. Today, a reasonable estimate of the external debt of the developing countries—many of them former slave plantations—sits at $11 trillion, with debt servicing due this year of $3.9 trillion. Attempts to postpone or cancel the debt have been futile as U.S. and European governments and banks have been lukewarm to the ideas on the table. They want their money.”
The writer concludes by saying, “This money, however, should not be sucked out of the formerly colonized countries; we need to use those resources toward the dire needs of our societies. It is one thing to knock down a statue; it is another to cut down the debt. In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon wrote, “Colonialism and imperialism have not settled their debt to us once they have withdrawn from our territories. The wealth of the imperialist nations is also our wealth. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. Bring down the statues, surely. But more importantly: cancel the debt and provide reparations to the formerly colonised for the centuries of theft and brutality.” Most former colonies in the developing world would be far better equipped to deal with the Covid 19 pandemic if we had not denuded them of their wealth and scavenged the few Medical personnel that they could so ill afford to train.
Far from conveying this realistic message to the public, this Tory Government has expounded on the unrealistic selfish demands popularized by delusional Brexiteers, that we must reduce or eliminate the foreign aid budget and rapidly gear up for increased exploitation of former colonies after we leave the EU. Because, just like in Belgium with the distorted truth about King Leopold’s brutal exploits, the telling of the history of the glorious British Empire is so seriously warped that UK children never learn about the horrific price paid by those that we oppressed. While many are prepared to march in protest how popular would genuine justified payback be among the younger generation who are themselves suffered from a decade of Tory austerity, deprivation and lack of opportunities? The harsh reality is that nothing can or will change until we are able to extricate this Tory Government from power.
The Covert 2019 Rigged Election installed a tyrannical Tory Government dominated by delusional Brexiteers who, despite their shallow talk of “levelling up,” have absolutely no intention of delivering justice or equality either here in the UK or overseas. If we do not demand an investigation to expose the truth we will fail to remove these corrupt usurpers from power and most ordinary people can expect decades of extreme “decimating down” after this Tory Government has totally finished culling the “economically inactive” from society in their “Slaughter of the Sheeple!” The gross mismanagement of the Covid19 Health crisis is by design: the sick eugenics plan of Dominic Cummings who still desperately clings to his position of power controlling our weak narcissistic PM. The Tories want you to forget about the Cummings scandal, after all he is just one strangle scruffy elitist abusing his power. Don’t be fooled by his dressing down; he is no friend of the people, but a ruthless megalomaniac who must be removed. Heads must roll – DO NOT MOVE ON!June 12, 2020 at 10:32 #54961Kim Sanders-Fisher
The Indy100 Article, “Fury as Afua Hirsch calls out Britain’s racism and Nick Ferrari asks: ‘Why do you stay in this country?’” This article is not alone in condemning Nick Ferrari some would like LBC to ditch him. The Indy say that, “A resurfaced clip of a debate between two commentators about racism has caused outrage online. In the clip, white LBC presenter Nick Ferrari is seen asking black colleague Afua Hirsch why she ‘stays’ in Britain after she presented a segment on ‘problematic figures’ glorified by memorials across the country. Originally airing in 2018, the clip is taken from Sky News panel debate show The Pledge.”
In reality, how many of us would seriously consider leaving the country rather that outspokenly protesting an issue that bothers us? What should concern us all, is why any presenter felt that it was appropriate to ask this question of Hirsch as if she didn’t belong in the UK. The Indy100 report that, “In the two-minute video, the author and presenter begins by discussing New York removing the statue of a doctor who “tortured” enslaved black women before going on to cite other examples of countries removing or defacing monuments to individuals with racist pasts. Hirsch mentions Bristol’s Colston Hall as an example, which originally promised to change its name in 2018 and has only now committed to the pledge.” Referring to his grossly inappropriate suggestion she might consider leaving the UK they say that, “As Ferrari is speaking, Hirsch looks visibly shocked and upset” and they note that, “The clip’s re-emergence amid the renewed Black Lives Matter movement has prompted many to condemn Ferrari’s words.”
Another iconic bigot at LBC has been toppled from his white supremacist vantage point for inciting hate. The Guardian report that, “Nigel Farage is to leave the radio station LBC ‘with immediate effect’, the company has announced.” They said, “Nigel Farage’s contract with LBC is up very shortly and following discussions with him, Nigel is stepping down from LBC with immediate effect.” The station’s Managing Director, Tom Cheal, in a message to staff wrote, “We thank Nigel for the enormous contribution he has made to LBC and wish him well.” …In his next nationwide campaign of hateful unadulterated bigotry no doubt! The Guardian wrote that, “Farage has been a vocal critic of the recent Black Lives Matter protests and sources at the station pointed to internal fury over his comments earlier this week comparing protesters who destroyed the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol to the ‘Taliban’,” and that “Farage has yet to comment on his departure, but his LBC producer tweeted to say he had learned the news via social media.” The LBC presenter James O’Brien tweeted: “We got our station back.” One more heave and they might ditch Nick Ferrari!
In Afua Hirsch’s recent Guardian Opinion Piece, “The racism that killed George Floyd was built in Britain” she commented that, “This is not just ‘horrible stuff that happens in America’. Black people know we need to dismantle the same system here.” Hirsch goes on to explain how, “The headlines are now describing the US as a nation in crisis. As the protests against the killing of African American George Floyd by a white police officer enter their second week – curfews in more than 40 cities, the deployment of the national guard in 15 states – there is a far deeper, more important message. Because the US is not, if we are honest, ‘in crisis’. That suggests something broken, unable to function as planned. What black people are experiencing the world over is a system that finds their bodies expendable, by design.”
Afua Hirsch elaborates on the numerous missed opportunities where black people in America rose up in protest against systemic inequality and injustice or when the atrocity of another obscene act of police brutality took an innocent life and sparked riots. The protests have extended far beyond the US to the many places where racism still scars civil society. She reminds us that, “In the UK, black people and our allies are taking to the streets as I write to wake British people up out of their fantasy that this crisis of race is a problem that is both uniquely American, and solvable by people returning to the status quo.” We certainly cannot allow that all too pervasive opinion to remain unchallenged; we absolutely cannot betray these fellow citizens once again by permitting this Tory Government to return to the same unjust, exploitative position of the past: we must demand a new normal!
Hirsch quotes Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said on behalf of Britain: “We want to see de-escalation of all of those tensions.” She comments that, “If he had bothered to listen to black British people, he might have discovered that many of us do not want de-escalation. We want protest, we want change, and we know it is something for which we must fight, because many of us have been fighting for this all our lives.” What should the response have been? According to Hirsch, “The British government could have had the humility to use this moment to acknowledge Britain’s experiences. It could have discussed how Britain helped invent anti-black racism, how today’s US traces its racist heritage to British colonies in America, and how it was Britain that industrialised black enslavement in the Caribbean, initiated systems of apartheid all over the African continent, using the appropriation of black land, resources and labour to fight both world wars and using it again to reconstruct the peace.”
From reading Hirsch’s Article I learned of a few pertinent facts about the Prime Minister’s pick for the Tory Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch. Hirsch documented that, “On ‘institutional racism’ – a phenomenon that affects minorities in Britain – she has been reported as saying that she doesn’t recognise it . On former mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith’s Islamophobic campaign? She helped run it. On the black community? She doesn’t believe that it really exists. On American racism? ‘We don’t have all the horrible stuff that’s happened in America here,’ that was what Badenoch said in 2017.” Despite the pure convenience of fitting the required profile in terms of sex and ethnicity, Badenoch would appear to be a far less than ideal choice for the role. However, she is well suited to the task of ignoring rampant Islamaphobia in the Tory Party and helping to facilitate widespread acceptance of Boris Johnson’s racist leanings and obnoxious insulting remarks.
Afua Hirsch concludes with a solemn warning to us all saying, “We are also telling you that as long as you send all children out into the world to be actively educated into racism, taught a white supremacist version of history, literature and art, then you are setting up a future generation to perpetuate the same violence on which that system of power depends. We are telling you that we need to dismantle, not to de-escalate,” she is imploring us all to, “Pay attention.”
Afua Hirsch’s recent Guardian Opinion piece is entitled, “Why are Africa’s coronavirus successes being overlooked?” After my own extensive travel throughout the developing world, I was seriously concerned about the impact of Covid 19 on creaking Healthcare systems already overwhelmed due to our morally bankrupt scavenging of Medical personnel who they could ill afford to train. Afua Hirsch’s piece acknowledged that, “There was deep anxiety about what it would mean for countries with lower income populations, dominant but harder-to-regulate informal economies and far fewer healthcare facilities than the UK or Italy.”
A few of the rapid and innovative responses should have gained a lot more attention. Hirsch reports the encouraging news that, “…many African nations, realising early on that large-scale, expensive testing and hospitalisation was not an option for the populations, had no choice but to take a more creative approach. Take the two African countries I have called home – Senegal and Ghana. Senegal is developing a Covid-19 testing kit that would cost $1 per patient, which it is hoped will, in less than 10 minutes, detect both current or previous infection via antigens in saliva, or antibodies. It’s hard to know exactly how this compares with the price of Britain’s tests, but many of them use polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, to detect the virus, and cost hundreds of dollars. And I can testify that a leaflet that came through my door in London this week offered me a private testing kit for £250.”
Afua Hirsch continues her piece by explaining that, “Senegal is in a good position because its Covid-19 response planning began in earnest in January, as soon as the first international alert on the virus went out. The government closed the borders, initiated a comprehensive plan of contact tracing and, because it is a nation of multiple-occupation households, offered a bed for every single coronavirus patient in either a hospital or a community health facility.” In comparing the outcome she documented that, “As a result, this nation of 16 million people has had only 30 deaths. At every single one of those stages, the UK did the opposite, and is now facing a death toll of more than 35,000.” She adds that, “Ghana, with a population of 30 million, has a similar death toll to Senegal, partly because of an extensive system of contact tracing, utilising a large number of community health workers and volunteers, and other innovative techniques such as “pool testing”, in which multiple blood samples are tested and then followed up as individual tests only if a positive result is found. The advantages in this approach are now being studied by the World Health Organization. “
Hirsch rightfully points out that, “The African continent has a stellar history of innovating its way out of problems – just look at how mobile money and fintech has turned it into one of the most digitally savvy regions in the world. It has been well documented how a patronising attitude towards east Asia is what allowed European countries to be caught by such surprise at the spread of this disease. Now a similar mindset seems set to ensure we don’t learn the lessons Africa has to offer in overcoming it.” It’s true to say that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention,” but it would be equally realistic to recognize that the African continent has the mother-load of necessity! It is this incredible creative, pragmatic resourceful and innovative spirit that excites me when I visit countries in Africa. Before I departed on my last tour of sub-Saharan Africa a British Anaesthetist told me to “prepare to be humbled;” he was extremely impressed by the skill and ingenuity of the Medical practitioners he encountered on his humanitarian trips to the region.
Hirsch says, “Across the African continent, the lack of access to expensive pharmaceutical products, not to mention a well-founded historic lack of trust, has fuelled interest in whether traditional herbal remedies have anything to offer. One plant in particular – Artemisia annua, or sweet wormwood, which belongs to the daisy family – is drawing particular attention…” In a recent Max Planck Gsellschaft Press Release, “Artemisia annua to be tested against coronavirus” the Max Planck Institute who are looking into the potential expanded use of this Chinese herb report that, “An international collaboration will conduct laboratory cell studies with plant extract.” They elaborate that, “Treatments containing an artemisinin derivative, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), are now standard treatments worldwide for malaria. Artemisia annua extracts show very little toxicity and artemisinin-based drugs are widely used to treat malaria even in newborns.”
Unfortunately, less costly options are often overlooked or deliberately discredited by Pharmaceutical giants who are always eager to establish another lucrative gravy train based on human misery. Hydroxychloraquine, a cheap widely used anti-malaria drug, was pulled from the global trials over safety concerns despite the huge body of evidence regarding its current fully approved uses that also include not just Malaria, but also Lupus and Arthritis. It didn’t help when Trump weighed in with his unscientific endorsement that let to uncontrolled random use in the US and elsewhere which depleted stocks. In reality Hydroxychloroquine has a respectable safety profile when used appropriately, which should not exclude it from inclusion in trials; thankfully the WHO have now reconsidered as reflected in the StatNews Report, “WHO resumes hydroxychloroquine study for Covid-19, after reviewing safety concerns.”
The potential benefit from these relatively cheap, widely available, alternatives has the ability to liberate the developing world from the huge financial burden of far more costly medicines designed to generate massive profits out of the Covid crisis. This will make any affordable option a threat to US Pharma monopolies that they will fight tooth and nail. The race to create a vaccine has the potential of becoming a race to lock in the biggest profits and exclude the developing world; the “Black Lives Matter” protests must demand that any vaccine or treatment we develop must not reinforce this divisive Capitalist policy of racial discrimination. Tories prioritize money, they couldn’t let a crisis go to waste; there were obscene profits to be made, wealthy Tory benefactors all wanted a cut, centralized programs went to the usual Corporations local community expertise be damned, those Nightingale Hospitals were a great money spinner, PPE provision made dismal profits, NHS staff were expendable so just offer to give them a badge!
If the Tories do mange to remain in power despite their catastrophic handling of Covid 19 that has decimated the elderly, the most vulnerable and the frontline key workers, especially in BAME communities, it will be because we did not do enough to pry them out of power. The Tories have proven that with them in Government “no lives matter” as their policies have proactively led to huge loss of life among segments of society they have deliberately targeted. The Tories will try to agitate among the protesters so that they can then resort to violence, crack heads and talk of law and order while they cling onto and protect Dominic Cummings and several other Tories from accountability for callously breaching the lockdown everyone else throughout the country made huge personal sacrifices to adhere to for months on end. We must demand their removal and hope that when Cummings is fired his last vengeful act will expose inside information to support a full investigation into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. Fear of infection will not stop the protests while Tories treat people like “cannon fodder” in Johnson’s genocidal “Slaughter of the Sheeple!” DO NOT MOVE ON!June 12, 2020 at 15:30 #54989Clark
Kim, Kemi Badenoch is my MP, so if you have any questions or message for her, post them here and I will probably feel inclined to pass them on.
Thank you for the very encouraging news and ideas from Senegal and Ghana.June 12, 2020 at 15:38 #54990Clark
PS: you might do better to restart your petition on 38 Degrees. I remember Craig’s article about them succumbing to pressure and hiding the (lack of) evidence for “abusive remarks”, but they’re UK focussed and I expect they suffer from less neocon influence.June 13, 2020 at 18:34 #55064Kim Sanders-Fisher
Clark – In her appointed role as the Government’s Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch is in the most influential position to speak up and commit to making a significant difference in response to the “Black Lives Matter” protests, but as her recent performance in the Commons clearly illustrated she is either woefully out of touch or well muzzled by Johnson’s toxic Tory cabal. Independent input or rebelion is instantly quashed; Johnson ruthlessly dispensed with veteran MPs who defied the Tory whip, despite totally eviscerating his slim majority. He confidently launched the Covert 2019 Rigged Election relying on Dominic Cummings to mastermind the cruel deception with military grade PsyOps and his VICS Voter Intention Collection System to quantify and target where to steal votes for 80 seats exactly as promised. That huge stolen majority enables Boris Johnson to threaten and bully dissenting voices, but his glory days as PM depend on the real power behind the dictatorship: firing Cummings risks his bringing down the Government!
If she is not muzzled into silent approval of Government policies, possibly through fear of being ousted from her post, possibly too hopelessly out of touch to know or even care about the BAME community, what could Kemi Badenoch do to genuinely contribute in the ongoing struggle against racism in the UK? “A powerful new video exposes the UK’s ‘racist’ and ‘most brutal’ law” according to a shocking Article in the Canary that highlights the increasing racially motivated abuse of section 60 powers, the injustice of ‘Joint Enterprise’ and Indeterminate Sentencing. The Canary report, “Protests continue around the world to challenge the abhorrent extent of systemic and institutional racism. Now, conscious rapper and poet Potent Whisper has released a new video. This exposes a further layer of racism within our legal system. Campaigners have called ‘joint enterprise’ “racist” and the UK’s “most brutal law”. It disproportionately affects too many young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people.”
According to the Canary, “Under joint enterprise, one or more people can be found guilty of a crime committed by another person.” The describe it as “highly controversial.” They point to a support organization, “Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) is a group that works with families of young people who’ve been falsely imprisoned via the application of joint enterprise law. The group notes, “It’s been used to issue ‘mandatory life sentences’ for crimes committed by other people. Significantly, the media also fuels a: shared incorrect narrative that the Joint Enterprise doctrine is about gangs, broken Britain and the ‘alleged’ feral youth that needs to be served justice.” This is a massive injustice disproportionately targeting minorities that Badenoch could take on as her personal crusade.
The Canary report, “As a result: People can be wrongly charged and convicted when they have been within close proximity of a crime, have a random connection with the actual perpetrator or via text or mistaken phone call or they might not even have been at the scene of the crime.” The Canary quote JENGbA co-founder Jan Cunliffe: “We’ve been working to prove that the joint enterprise law is wrong and that it’s racist. We have the evidence. But we’ve been ignored by the government for the last ten years. This is the most brutal law we’ve got. We’ve got children as young as 12 who’ve been given life sentences for a murder that they didn’t commit. The sentences are huge too. We’re not talking three or four years, we’re talking as big as 35 years. But, most worryingly, studies show that the doctrine is disproportionately used to criminalise young BAME people – young Black men in particular.”
The Canary cite evidence of, “Legitimized Racism… In 2016, a study commissioned by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies examined the disproportionate criminalisation of BAME people in the UK legal system. The findings revealed that ‘prosecutors regularly rely on racial stereotypes’ in cases with Black defendants. This was used to influence juries, especially in building joint enterprise cases. For example: prosecution teams were reported as being more likely to appropriate discourses of ‘gang insignia’ and music videos or lyrics, particularly ‘hip hop’ and ‘rap’ genres, as a way of building a JE [joint enterprise] case against BAME prisoners.”
According to the Canary, “The report also examines the ways that targeting young BAME people as gang members is ‘a result of racialised policing practices, not because of the objective risk they pose’ They say, Half of those questioned in this study were not present at the scene of the offence”. It found that “the ‘gangs’ discourse” was frequently used against BAME defendants, but rarely against white people. Yet: Despite featuring heavily in gang databases, young black and minority ethnic people do not appear to be responsible for most serious violence in their areas. Indeed, official data illustrates that the majority of successful prosecutions for serious violence are of white people.” This injustice continues despite being recognized at the highest levels, The Canary say that, “A 2016 Supreme Court ruling found that joint enterprise resulted in wrongful convictions. But this hasn’t ended the practice or dealt with the systemic racism in policing and UK criminal law.” A JENGbA representative explained: “In 2016, it was acknowledged that the law was wrong. But nothing’s been done to change it. Nothing’s been done to release those prisoners that were convicted. The vast majority of people we support are Black and ethnic minorities.”
The Canary also say that, “Even some senior police officers think that ‘institutional racism still plagues policing’. After hearing Potent Whisper’s latest poem, Benjamin Zephaniah said: ‘Word up. I am responsible for what I do. If joint enterprise was a fair thing then we should prosecute all the cops who stand by and watch as their friends kill our friends. We should prosecute all those politicians who sell arms to warmongers all over the world to kill innocent people and those who stand by and do nothing about the high numbers of black people being killed by Covid-19. They are all involved in an enterprise that leads to the deaths of many. Joint enterprise is lazy policing. Resist’.” I would have preferred to include the Picture of this Text, but did not know how to imbed; “Powerful to see Professor Benjamin Zephaniah speak about Joint Enterprise and identify the *real* criminals in society.”
The Canary insists that, “Drawing attention to the unjust and racist aspects of joint enterprise is vital. As Black Lives Matter protests continue, it’s now more important than ever.” They quote Cunliffe who said that, “this law underpins a significant amount of anger in the UK and is “very important as part of these protests”. She continued: “This is the worst bit of law that this country has right now. And it’s coming from the top. Every agency in this country that is supposed to protect us is involved. It’s good to fight racism at ground level, but this is racism right at the top. We need to get the public to realise that this is where it’s coming from and this is what Black Lives Matter is fighting against. It’s the institutional racism, the systematic racism and that’s the thing that most people don’t realise even exists.” I would say that Kemi Badenoch has her work cut out for her and it is time she rolled up her sleeves and got started on addressing the long neglected injustices suffered by the BAME community.
Alarm bells were already ringing last year when a Canary Article entitled, “Boris Johnson’s latest ‘supremely ruthless’ move could trigger violent unrest.” The say that, “Boris Johnson’s latest claim ‘to come down hard on crime’ has caused widespread concern. Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, for example, slammed his approach as ‘draconian’. She also warned it had the potential to trigger unrest and riots. Johnson announced plans to “make criminals afraid” in the Mail on Sunday. In addition to investing £2.5bn for an additional 10,000 prison places, Johnson’s also extending Section 60 (S 60) stop and search powers for police.”
The Canary explain Section 60 as, “part of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, which was allegedly designed “to provide an exceptional [police] response to anticipated violence”. As policing campaign group StopWatch noted, it can also “curtail people’s civil liberties at a moment’s notice”. However they note that, “Even before Johnson’s announcement, June figures showed a ‘five-fold increase in the number of stop and searches’ in London alone.” They cite the Guardian reporting that, “Searches under section 60 had increased in the capital from 1,836 in 2017-18 to 9,599 in 2018-19. In addition, figures showed a 219% rise in ‘authorised S 60 orders’,” warning that, “Johnson has now extended those powers. A further 8,000 police officers can stop and search people; and they only need authorisation from an inspector, rather than a senior inspector.”
The Canary cites a Report from, “the all-parliamentary group on knife crime found, there are direct links between ‘cuts to youth services and the country’s knife crime epidemic’. It stated: Analysis of council youth service budgets and knife crime data since 2014 has found areas suffering the largest cuts to spending on young people have seen bigger increases in knife crime” They also quote, “Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said this was ‘alarming but sadly unsurprising’ …Taking away youth workers and safe spaces in the community contributes to a ‘poverty of hope’ among young people who see little or no chance of a positive future.” The phrase used to be “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” in reality our protests to this ruthless Tory Government should include a new mantra, “It was the Austerity, Stupid!”
At one point during the time I was living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida I had a graphic artist volunteering his time helping me to create the logo for ‘Team ProMaxi’ which was my International racing crew hoping to gain sponsorship to compete in the 93/94 Whitbread Round the World Race. He was a very talented, IT savvy young man who channelled all of his energy and funding into his start-up business, but as a darkly complected Puerto Rican male who drove a slightly dilapidated car, he was constantly getting stopped by police. At first I thought that he might actually have poor driving skills, but the frequency of these annoying traffic stops started to bother me as it aroused memories of a single disquieting incident in my own past. Because police harassment didn’t affect me personally on a constant basis I was naive to the reality of racial profiling. Perhaps through aspects of her background, Badenoch is lucky enough to be personally removed from ever having experienced racial targeting in the UK: she needs enlightening.
One personal experience alone was all it took to jolt me to my senses regarding police targeting in Fort Lauderdale. Even after it got dark I used to walk everywhere and one evening I was on my way home carrying two bags of groceries just emerging from a shortcut alleyway when a gold coloured van emerged from behind. I tried to ignore the men in the van not realizing that it was a police vehicle. Suddenly two police officers leapt out of the van and took up a very menacing stance brandishing truncheons and implying they would use them in a heartbeat. Most people in the US drive everywhere so the officers thought I was a helpless, homeless, bag lady they could harass; without any explanation they wanted to take me down to the police station. I was just a couple of blocks from my home, but they didn’t even want to let me go that far and they refused to contact my husband who was expecting my return. It is easy to become irate during an experience like this when officers deliberately try to provoke outrage.
The police officers tried claiming they were protecting the businesses that backed onto that ally, but we had actually rented an office on that same block so I pulled out a card wallet and produced my business card. The officers were stunned; at that moment I stopped being a vulnerable potential victim of police harassment an easy target as a ‘bag lady.’ I had endured their grilling and intimidation with threats of violence for at least thirty agonizing minutes before they backed down; I was both furious and shaking with fear when I got home. That night I fit the profile of an easy target and that was the only requirement for the police to zero in on me. Just one harrowing altercation was enough to leave me feeling so terrified and insecure I honestly considered leaving the country. It is hard to imagine what it must be like for young black men who face this experience on a regular basis. That was in America, but we have this same bigoted attitude of targeting the vulnerable here in the UK and it sickens me.
There are another group of minority citizens who might not feel well represented by Badenoch in my analysis of “could do better.” An Article in the Independent critical of her voting record appeared right after Boris Johnson formed his mostly ‘pale, male and stale’ Cabinet of hyper compliant Tory MPs, all sworn to absolute loyalty and adherence to alt-right voting obedience. Commenting on his selection of Badenoch they informed us that, “The government’s newly appointed junior minister for equalities has never voted on equal gay rights or gay marriage in her three years as an MP, it has emerged. Following Boris Johnson’s reshuffle, Kemi Badenoch is working on policy for women and LGBT+ people – but she has abstained on every Commons vote on the issue. In July 2019, the Saffron Walden MP abstained from a vote on Northern Ireland’s extensions of “Marriage of Same-Sex Couples” and “Marriage and Civil Partnerships” for same sex people. Both of these successfully passed through the Houses.”
In my 8th of June Post #54793, which I warn is quite lengthy, there is a link to the full Hansard transcript of, “Public Health England review; Covid 19 disparities.” In my summation of her performance I say that, “Responding for the Tory Government Keri Badenoch started into her statement with the words, ‘As a black woman and the Equalities Minister,’ before commenting on her reaction to the George Floyd case in the US. Rather than establishing concern, her remarks bore the hallmark of a ‘they’re worse than we are’ pitch. It was not a confident start to a speech that made a familiar veiled request not to criticize the Government and meandered through continued inaction to culminate in the need for further review.”
The most stunning revelation from the debate was from the SNP’s Joanna Cherry who revealed that a similar report in Scotland She said that, “On 20th May, the Scottish Government published Public Health Scotland’s preliminary analysis, which suggested that the proportion of BAME patients among those seriously ill with Covid is no higher than the proportion in the Scottish population generally.” While she admitted the study was not particularly comprehensive and the findings were therefore preliminary this lack of disparity contrasts sharply with the UK and should provide a way to rapidly assess the problem areas that need to be addressed in England. The devolved Government in Scotland has tried valiantly to diminish and counteract the punitive impact on the most vulnerable that have been caused by ten years of Tory austerity policies. Glasgow took an innovative approach to rampant knife crime that reduced violence in the city, but there are undoubtedly other policy differences a humane Government should emulate.
During the debate Badenoch confidently asserted her opinion that, “This is one of the best countries in the world to be a black person” and at one point she described the response of a Labour MP as “confected outrage.” I highlighted the input from Labour MP Zarah Sultana who said, “The coronavirus does not discriminate, but the system in which it is spreading does. Higher rates of poverty, overcrowded housing, precarious work and jobs on the frontline mean that if you are black or Asian you are more likely to catch the virus and to be hit worse if you do. ‘Black lives matter’ is not a slogan. We are owed more than confirmation that our communities are suffering; we are owed justice. Will the Minister commit to a race equality strategy covering all Whitehall Departments, so that we can rebuild by tackling the underlying inequalities and systemic injustice that coronavirus has so brutally laid bare?”
Kemi Badenoch’s response was truly staggering in light of the Government’s appalling high death toll track record dealing with Covid 19, she said, “I am not going to take any lessons from the hon. Lady on race and what I should be doing on that. I think the Government have a record to be proud of….” Her aggressively defensive reply was typical of the Tory double-down on delusion public response. Keep repeating how proud you are of the Tory Government’s chronic mismanagement of the Covid 19 crisis and just megaphone your unquestioning support for Johnsons inept and downright dangerous leadership or you will be replaced with a more compliant MP eager to climb the greasy pole into a Ministerial position. Threaten and bully dissenting voices, no independent thinking is allowed; that is the key to a strong dictatorship, but Boris Johnson’s Achilles heel is Dominic Cummings. He knows too much about the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; if he’s ousted he could expose the truth and bring down this Government. We need to keep the pressure up; DO NOT MOVE ON!June 14, 2020 at 19:23 #55086Kim Sanders-Fisher
Boris Johnson started into last Wednesday’s session of Prime Minister’s Questions by drawing the attention of the House to the horrific tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire. Although the PM has never acknowledged any responsibility for decimating the London Fire Service with swinging cuts, Fire Station closures and redundancies during his time as London Mayor; there wasn’t even the slightest tinge of remorse as he callously offered sympathy towards victims who are still being sidelined by this cruelly dismissive Government. He said, “As we approach the third anniversary, this coming Sunday, of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, I know that the whole House would wish to join me in sending our heartfelt sympathies and thoughts to the families and friends of the 72 people who lost their lives and to the survivors. Across Government, we remain committed to ensuring that such a tragedy can never happen again.” This empty statement was followed by birthday wishes to the 99 year old Duke of Edinburgh and to the Speaker.
Before the Leader of the Opposition began the weekly fray there was a question about shielding from an MP who as shielded person herself requested, “a ‘safe hour’ walk for shielded people similar to that adopted in many other countries… They also want more transparency on the shielding list, with each category named and risks published. Will he provide that? Finally, will he agree to review the furlough scheme so shielded people, in the future, are not penalised?” The PM replied, “Yes, I can tell the hon. Lady that we certainly will be doing as much as we can in the near future to ensure shielded people get guidance about how they can come out of their shielded environment safely, in a way that is Covid secure. Her point about furlough is a very important one, and clearly newly shielded people may be asking themselves whether they will be entitled to furlough funds. I have been made aware of the issue very recently. I can assure her that we will be addressing it forthwith.”
Keir Starmer began by saying, “May I join the Prime Minister in his comments on Grenfell—that dreadful night—in his comments on the Duke of Edinburgh and, of course in his best wishes to you, Mr Speaker? May I also say that I listened carefully to what the Prime Minister just said on furlough for those newly shielding, which I welcome? That has been something we have been concerned about. We will look at the proposal when it is put on the table, but I am grateful that he has listened to that and for what he has said this morning.” It was a subtle warning that Starmer would be on the PM’s case if he did not follow through.
Starmer then said, “The Prime Minister on Monday said that feelings of black and minority ethnic groups about discrimination are ‘founded on a cold reality’, and I agree with him about that. There have been at least seven reports into racial inequality in the past three years alone, but precious little action. For example, most of the recommendations in the Lammy report into inequality in the criminal justice system have yet to be implemented, three years after the report was published. Similarly, the long-delayed and damning report by Wendy Williams into the Windrush scandal has yet to be implemented. I spoke last night to black community leaders, and they had a very clear message for the Prime Minister: ‘Implement the reports you’ve already got’. Will the Prime Minister now turbocharge the Government’s responses and tell us when he will implement in full the Lammy report and the Windrush recommendations?”
The PM responded, “I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, and of course I understand, as I said, the very strong and legitimate feelings of people in this country at the death of George Floyd. Of course I agree that black lives matter. We are getting on with the implementation, not just of the Lammy report but also of the report into Windrush. For instance, on the Lammy report, which this Government commissioned, and for which I thank the right hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr Lammy), we are increasing already the number of black and minority ethnic people in the Prison Service, as he recommended. We are increasing the use of body-worn cameras, and we are trying to ensure, among other things, that young BME people are not immediately prosecuted as a result of the trouble they find themselves in. We try to make sure that we give people a chance, but I must stress that on the Lammy report and all these matters, it is absolutely vital at the same time that we keep our streets safe and that we back our police, and that is what we are going to do.”
Starmer said, “I welcome what the Prime Minister says about implementing the reports, and obviously we will hold him to it. He will appreciate that people do notice when recommendations are made and then not implemented, so it is very important that they are implemented in accordance with those reports. The latest report is the Public Health England report on the disproportionate impact of covid-19. That report concluded that death rates are “highest among people of Black and Asian ethnic groups.” It went on to say—this was the important bit—that “it is already clear that relevant guidance…and key policies should be adapted” to mitigate the risk. If it is already clear that guidance and policy need to be changed, why have the Government not already acted?”
Name dropping the lead person who was demoted for his honesty about the situation before redacting his controversial input so that it was not published in the report, Johnson bluffed through his response. “Not only is it already clear, but we are already acting. I can tell the right hon. and learned Gentleman that as a result of the report by Professor Fenton, which again we commissioned, we are looking at the particular exposure of black and minority ethnic groups to coronavirus. We should be in no doubt that they have been at the forefront of the struggle against coronavirus, whether that is in the NHS or in public transport. Some 44% of the NHS workforce in London are black and minority ethnic workers. That is why what we are doing first and most directly is ensuring that those high-contact professions get expanded and targeted testing now, and that is what I have agreed with Dido Harding from NHS Test and Trace. I think that is the first and most practical step we can take as a result of Professor Fenton’s report.”
Starmer was persistent, “The Prime Minister, I know, understands the frustration of those most at risk when they see a report like that and they know action is needed. Action is needed now, not in a few weeks or months, so can I ask for the Prime Minister’s complete… Well, perhaps the Prime Minister will indicate whether that is all the action or whether there is more action. This is a serious issue, and we can make progress together, but it is important that it is done swiftly for those most at risk.”
Starmer began a new question, “I want to turn to the overall numbers of those who have tragically died from covid-19, because those overall numbers haunt us. Since the last Prime Minister’s questions, the Government’s daily total figure for those who have died from coronavirus has gone past 40,000. The Office for National Statistics figure, which records cases where coronavirus is on the death certificate, stands at just over 50,000. The number of excess deaths, which is an awful phrase, stands at over 63,000. Those are among the highest numbers anywhere in the world. Last week the Prime Minister said he was proud of the Government’s record, but there is no pride in those figures, is there?” This was a thoroughly pointless waste of a question to take a snipe at the PM; it was like water of a ducks back trying to appeal for to Johnson for accountability, shame and humility!
Take control of the question Johnson – Johnson was the question so he defaulted to empty sentiments with, “Let me just say that on the death figures for this country, we mourn every one; we grieve for their relatives and their friends. But I must also tell the right hon. and learned Gentleman—he has raised this point repeatedly across the Dispatch Box—that the best scientific evidence and advice is that we must wait until the epidemic has been through its whole cycle in order to draw the relevant international comparisons. I simply must repeat that point to him.” The Tories want us to wait until the ‘Holocaust in Care’ has completed a comprehensive cull of the elderly and the targeted ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple’ has removed the ‘economically inactive,’ the poor and the vulnerable before we begin to assess Johnson’s ‘Final Solution!;
More bluster was needed to silence opposition criticism so the PM continued, “As for what this country did to fight the epidemic, I must say I strongly disagree with the way he characterised it. I think it was an astonishing achievement of the NHS to build the Nightingale hospitals. I think it was an astonishing thing that this country came together to drive down the curve—to follow the social distancing rules, in spite of all the doubt that was cast on the advice, to follow those rules, to get the number of deaths down, to get the epidemic under control in the way that we have. This Government announced a plan, on 11 May, to get our country back on to its feet, and that is what we are going to do. We have a plan, we are following it and we are going to stick to it.” No one ever told Boris that when you’re in a hole it’s best to stop digging!
Starmer wasn’t going to let the matter drop, he responded, “It just does not wash to say that we can’t compare these figures with other countries. Everybody can see those figures and see the disparity, and we need to learn from those other countries—what did they do more quickly than us, what did they do differently? We can learn those lessons and ensure that the numbers come down. It is little solace to the families that have lost someone to simply be told, ‘It is too early to compare, and to learn from other countries.’ And of course there will be long-term consequences of the Government’s approach.”
Starmer moved to another question, “I want to turn now to another aspect of Government policy, and that is school reopening. We all want as many children back into school as soon as it is possible and as soon as it is safe. What was required for that to happen was a robust national plan, consensus among all key stakeholders and strong leadership from the top. All three are missing. The current arrangements lie in tatters; parents have lost confidence in the Government’s approach. Millions of children will miss six months’ worth of schooling and inequality will now go up. Several weeks ago, I suggested to the Prime Minister that we set up a national taskforce, so that everybody could put their shoulder to the wheel. It is not too late. Will the Prime Minister take me up on that?” Not the slightest chance Johnson will seize this opportunity to dumb down a whole generation of already deprived children.
Why did no one listen when he doubled-down on his lies, it was so annoying to have to keep repeating himself. Boris Johnson responded by saying, “As I told the House before, I have been in contact with the right hon. and learned Gentleman by a modern device called the telephone, on which we have tried to agree a way forward, which he then seemed to deviate from later on. Last week… Last week he was telling the House that it was not yet safe for kids to go back to school; this week he is saying that not enough kids are going back to school. I really think he needs to make up his mind.” It was a great manipulative tool the telephone, you could pretend you had discussed something and you had reached agreement reinvent the truth and just keep then confuse.
Johnson was starting to sound sarcastic and insulting saying, “Since he is so fond of these international comparisons, he should know that there are some countries in the EU—in Europe—where no primary school kids are going back to school, I think. We are being extremely cautious in our approach; we are following the plan that we set out, and I think that the people of this country will want to follow it. All the evidence—97% of the schools that have submitted data are now seeing kids come back to school. I think what we would like to hear from the right hon. and learned Gentleman is a bit of support for that, and a bit of encouragement to pupils, and perhaps even encouragement to some of his friends in the left-wing trade unions, to help get our schools ready.”
It was such a pity they had to cancel that cheerleading troupe who were all set to provide vibrant half-time entertainment, but they had to follow those Social Distancing rules even if Tory MPs and staff were permitted to ignore the regulations. But Starmer just was not going to choke down that lie about the phone call that never happened; he was getting annoyed as he said, “Let us just have this out.; It sounded like he wanted to go outside for a fight! He said, “The Prime Minister and I have never discussed our letter in any phone call; he knows it, and I know it. The taskforce has never been the subject of a conversation between him and me, one-to-one or in any other circumstance on the telephone; he knows it, so please drop that. Secondly—he mentions other countries—plenty of other comparable countries are getting their children back to school. Wales is an example; across Europe there are other examples. We are the outlier on this. And it is no good the Prime Minister flailing around, trying to blame others…”
He was stopped by the Speaker who wanted to move on calling “Order. We need to get through lots of other Members, so if we can listen to the question, I certainly want to hear the answers.” Starmer continued, “I was saying it is no good the Prime Minister flailing around, trying to blame others. A month ago today—a month ago today—he made the announcement about schools, without consulting relevant parties, without warning about the dates and without any scientific backing for his proposals. It is time he took responsibility for his own failures. This mess was completely avoidable. The consequences are stark. The Children’s Commissioner has warned of ‘a deepening education disadvantage gap’ and she spoke yesterday of, ‘an emerging picture, which doesn’t give confidence that there’s a strategic plan.’ She called for the Government to scale up their response and said, ‘It must have occurred to the Government that space would be a problem; that there would be a need for temporary accommodation and classrooms.’ The Government built the Nightingale hospitals; why are they only starting on schools now?”
There was no way anyone in the opposition could possibly understand the Tory plan because it was so disgustingly perverse: The chaos was intentional and gave the Tories space to blame the Teachers and the Unions. The agenda remains that missing a serious amount of school time will seriously dumb-down the most disadvantage children and thereby create a vast pool of poorly educated worker drones who have dismal life chances and can be paid subsistence wages for the rest of their miserable lives. The Nightingale Hospitals were a great PR stunt that fooled the public into thinking that Boris Johnson was going to prioritize the NHS. In reality, while PPE was in short supply putting frontline staff at risk, the Nightingale project had made a fortune for his elite Tory benefactors supplying costly equipment that was now lying idle awaiting the Government’s planned horrific second wave of Covid.
No point trying to explain all that, just stick to the confusion. Johnson replied, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman still cannot work out whether he is saying that schools are not safe enough or that we should be going back more quickly. He cannot have it both ways. It is one brief on one day and another brief on the next. I understand how the legal profession works, but what the public want to have is some consistency. I hope he will agree that it is a good thing that 37% of kids in year 6 in our primary schools are now coming back, and that is increasing the whole time. I think the message that teachers want to hear across the country is that all parliamentarians in this House of Commons support the return of kids to school and, furthermore, that they are encouraging kids to come back to school because it is safe. Will he now say that?” The PM is supposed to answer the questions not ask them, but Starmer was not falling into the PMs trap of getting him on the defensive.
Starmer said, “I want as many children to go back to school as possible, as soon as possible, as quickly as possible—when it is safe. I have been saying that like a broken record for weeks on end. I know that the Prime Minister has rehearsed attack lines, but he should look at what I said in the letter and what I have been saying consistently.” In another question he suggested, “One way in which the Government could help those worst affected would be to extend the national voucher scheme. Because child poverty numbers are so high in this country, 1.3 million children in low-income families rely on those vouchers. They mean that children who cannot go to school because of coronavirus restrictions still get free meals. The Labour Government in Wales have said that they will continue to fund those meals through the summer. Yesterday, the Education Secretary said that will not be the case in England. That is just wrong, and it will lead to further inequality, so may I urge the Prime Minister to reconsider on that point?”
The PM responded, “Of course, we do not normally continue with free school meals over the summer holidays, and I am sure that is right, but we are aware of the particular difficulties faced by vulnerable families. That is why we are announcing a further £63 million of local welfare assistance to be used by local authorities at their discretion to help the most vulnerable families. This Government have put their arms around the people of this country throughout this crisis and done their absolute best to help…” He wanted to portray Labour as ‘sitting on the fence’ so he said, “I may say that this is not helped by the wobbling and tergiversation of the Labour party and the right hon. and learned Gentleman. Last week he said that it is not safe; this week he says we are not going fast enough. We protected the NHS, we provided huge numbers of ventilated beds and we are now getting the disease under control, but we will do it in a cautious and contingent way.”
He was channelling his hero Churchill commanding the people in a time of crisis. He hadn’t noticed how unpopular the old chap had become daubed in paint and angry reminders of the appalling impact of his most bigoted decisions. Johnson would do well to learn that it is becoming harder and harder to rewrite history to whitewash over your mistakes. How long has he got to keep lying and pretending to the British people before he too will be toppled from his pedestal of power? Trying to sound Churchillian he continued, “Today I will be announcing further measures to open up and unlock our society, but only because of the huge efforts and sacrifice that this country has made. We are sticking to our plan of 11 May. It is a plan that is working and will continue to work, with or without the assistance of the right hon. and learned Gentleman.” It was a stark reminder that his control over Government was absolute as long as he could manage to hold on to his Machiavellian side-kick Dominic Cummings. He was relieved when a compliant Tory MP gave him the opportunity for more self-congratulatory boasting about lavish spending on a research project.
SNP Ian Blackford started with the same perfunctory statements, “May I associate myself with the remarks of the Prime Minister on Grenfell, and on the birthdays of both the Duke of Edinburgh and yourself, Mr Speaker?” He then went to his first question which began with a shocking statement, “The Prime Minister told the Liaison Committee: ‘I do not actually read the scientific papers’. It is no wonder, then, that it took the UK so long to act on quarantine measures. The Prime Minister’s scientific advisory group was not even asked for advice on this significant policy. This has been a complete shambles: too little, too late. We cannot risk ignoring the experts once again. Can the Prime Minister confirm what scientific papers he has read on the 2 metre social distancing rule?”
Oh no! That was a really stupid admission for him to make as it looked like he was not on top of his brief. The best thing would be to deny what was unfortunately documented in Hansard. Confident that nobody would read Hansard, he just lied saying, “I must say that I disagree with the right hon. Gentleman. I have read a huge amount about a disease that affects our entire nation. I have actually read many papers on the social distancing rule, and it is a very interesting point. Members across the House of Commons will want to understand that I believe that those measures—the 2 metre rule—need now to be kept under review. As we drive this disease down and get the incidence down, working together, I want to make sure that we keep the 2 metre rule under constant review, because, as I think the right hon. Gentleman indicates, there is all sorts of scientific advice about that particular matter.”
Blackford responded, “Of course, we know that the Cabinet has discussed reducing the 2 metre social distancing rule, but that is not the experts’ advice right now. SAGE reported that being exposed to the virus for six seconds at 1 metre is the same as being exposed for one minute at 2 metres. That is a significant increase in risk. The last time that Professor Whitty was allowed to attend the daily press briefing, he stressed that the 2 metre rule was going to be necessary for as long as the pandemic continues. People are losing confidence in this Government: a U-turn on schools; a shambolic roll-out of quarantine measures; and now looking to reduce the 2 metre rule far too soon. Will the Prime Minister continue to ignore the experts, or will he start following the advice of those who have actually read the scientific papers?”
Obviously Johnson was not including the brazen non-compliance of his Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings when he claimed that, “Actually, the people of this country are overwhelmingly following the guidance that the Government give. Tomorrow the House will be hearing a bit more about what has happened with NHS Test and Trace, and they will find that there is an extraordinary degree of natural compliance and understanding by the British people. In spite of all the obscurantism and myth making that we have heard from the Opposition parties, I can tell the right hon. Gentleman that there are all sorts of views about the 2 metre rule. He is absolutely correct in what he says about the SAGE advice, but, clearly, as the incidence of the disease comes down—I think members of SAGE would confirm this—the statistical likelihood of being infected, no matter how close or far people are from somebody who may or may not have coronavirus, goes down.”
Tory, Mrs. Mary Miller said, “Many peaceful protests have been held across the country against racism following the appalling events in the US, including in my own constituency yesterday. Can I commend my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister for recognising the significance of these events? As well as scrutinising the health impact of c-19 on ethnic minority groups, can he look again, using the Race Disparity Audit, for any persistent and systemic racism in all Government Departments—from the treatment of BAME people in the judicial system through to how we teach children about these issues in our education system?” Wow! I did not expect to hear that final statement from a Tory.
Boris Johnson saw this as an opportunity for boasting in pretence of his non-existent support for the BAME Community; as London Mayor he was in post while police forces were being cut by the Tory Government across the UK and London was no exception. He said, “I thank my right hon. Friend. I completely agree with the need for all political leaders to promote these issues—to recognise how important they are in people’s hearts. I am very proud of what I did as Mayor to encourage the promotion of young BAME officers in our Metropolitan police; we had a system to move them up. I want to see that kind of activity across the government of this country. It is the right way forward for the UK.”
The SNPs Kirsty Blackman asked, “The response from the US President to the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement has been horrendous. Can the Prime Minister confirm to me if he still believes that Trump has “many, many good qualities”, and if so, what are they?” Johnson was defensive as he proclaimed, “I renew what I have said many times; it is important for the House to hear it again. Yes, black lives matter, and yes, the death of George Floyd was absolutely appalling. As for the qualities of Mr Trump, let me say that, among many other things, he is President of the United States, which is our most important ally in the world today. Whatever people may say about it—whatever those on the left may say about it—the United States is a bastion of peace and freedom and has been for most of my lifetime.”
Tory MP, Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley, offered a fitting tribute to retiring Archbishop of York, renown humanitarian John Sentamu. He said, “Mr Speaker, I hope you will allow me to ask the Prime Minister also to welcome the birthday of the Primate of England—the 2007 Yorkshireman of the year—the Archbishop of York, who is just laying down his crosier after 14 years of service. His great words were that we can share the glories, the struggles, the joys and the pains of this country. We should remember that John Sentamu was tortured in Uganda, served in Tulse Hill, Stepney and Birmingham as well as York, and was a critical adviser to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.”
He continued, “Can I put it to my right hon. Friend that if, in a period of eight years, there are eight interrogations of a bishop, each time John Sentamu, we have got more to learn about making the colour of one’s skin as important as the colour of one’s eyes and the colour of one’s hair—something you may notice but does not tell you any more about them.” That was a profound statement, but Boris Johnson’s reply made a mockery of this noble man. He started by saying, “I join my hon. Friend warmly in paying tribute to the Archbishop of York as he lays down his crosier. He and I correspond very often and I take his advice very sincerely. I had no idea that today was such a distinguished birthday.” No one could quite believe that Johnson would actually have the humility to take advice from a genuinely committed humanitarian; the PMs advisor was a scrawny semi-bald white guy with poor dress sense.
In tune with the recent weeks of protest over ‘Black Lives Matter’ this was excellent timing for Lib-Dem Sir Edward Davey to raise this really important racial inequality question. In a topical challenge to the disproportionate BAME targeting of Stop-and-Search, Davey asked, “Under suspicionless stop-and-search powers, which this Government are expanding, a black person is 47 times more likely to be stopped and searched than a white person—47 times. On too many occasions, stop-and-search seems to mean that being black is enough to be suspected of being a criminal. So will the Prime Minister abolish suspicionless stop-and-search powers and end the pain and injustice they wreak on so many people in Britain’s black and minority communities?”
Johnson who obviously has no problem with this blatant racial profiling replied, “It is very important that stop-and-search is carried out sensitively in accordance with the law. The fact that we now have body-worn cameras has made a great difference to the way it happens. I must say that section 60 powers can be very important in fighting violent crime. I am afraid that what has been happening in London with knife crime has been completely unacceptable, and I do believe that stop-and-search, among many other things, can be a very important utensil for fighting knife crime. It does work. It worked for us when I was running London and it must work now. I am not saying it is the whole answer—the right hon. Gentleman is right; it is not the whole answer—but it is part of the mix.” There is no hint in this reply of the way in which section 60 powers are being used to target black neighbourhoods.
SNP Stewart Malcolm McDonald highlighted Sick Pay, asking, “Even before the pandemic began it was clear that the UK has one of the most manifestly inadequate systems of statutory sick pay in the world: we are second from the bottom in European terms, and it continues to shun millions of workers who are low earners, work in the gig economy or are self-employed. As we come back from the crisis in economic terms and make the workplace better, will the Prime Minister agree to work with those of us in the…?” The PM started by agreeing, but then lapsed into a series of self-congratulatory boasts that bore little relationship to the truth. After admitting that, “Yes, of course, statutory sick pay is an important…” he started into typical Tory banter with, “…Anybody looking impartially…” and rambling on with “will concede that the UK has done more than virtually any other country on earth…”
Labour MP Rachel Hopkins said, “My constituents tell me that they have lost trust in the Government, as they are confused by mixed messaging around public health measures and angry that Dominic Cummings seems to have been let off the hook, but they are particularly worried about local jobs and livelihoods because of inadequate support schemes, a lack of crisis funding for Luton council and an illogical quarantine impacting Luton airport. All of this has been on your watch, Prime Minister. How can my constituents feel confident about the proposed next steps for easing lockdown when your Government have fallen short so far?”
Oh no! She had triggered the Cummings alert, his master was under attack; she had dared to ask about the disgraced Dominic Cummings, for whom no rules or restrictions must be applied or it could derail their grand Tory plan for Dictatorship of the country. It was time to turbocharge the insulting, disingenuous, lying Boris Shit. His defensive reply enlisted all those people who had yet to realize no longer supported him, but he was too narcissistic to recognize that fact as he claimed, “Because I think the British public, with their overwhelming common sense, have ignored some of the propaganda that we have been hearing from the Opposition about our advice. They have ignored the negativity and the attempts to confuse and they are overwhelmingly following advice, and indeed, they are complying with NHS Test and Trace—which is the way forward—which will enable us to defeat this virus both locally and nationally.”
Johnson really thought he had managed to get the opposition to ‘Move On;’ It was just one more Tory scandal so why couldn’t they just let it go? It was not good the Tory MP on the Isle of Weight had also been caught breaking lockdown rules and a Welsh MP was admonished for a party at his house; these regulations were meant to control the masses not the privileged elite, but Johnson failed to see why that was unfair. Instead of eased restrictions driving the working poor back to their abysmally paid servitude they were taking to the streets in ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest demanding equality and desecrating dear old Churchill. All this protest and our refusal to “Move On” has them worried; we cannot let up now. If we can force Cummings out he will be livid; no personal power – no Tories. He could seek vengeance by exposing the truth about the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; that might lead to a full police investigation with the Tories removed from power . Keep protesting: DO NOT MOVE ON!June 15, 2020 at 19:33 #55128Kim Sanders-Fisher
Boris Johnson needed to detract from the ongoing ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, pretend he was taking the protesters grievances seriously and organizing a decisive plan of action, so he announced yet another inquiry to report on issues that have already been reported on time and time again. He is hoping that his “cross-government inquiry into ‘all aspects’ of racial inequality in UK” will appease the protesters with screeds of redundant duplicate paperwork that we all clearly recognize as just another massive kick into the long grass. According to the Telegraph, where Johnson planted his latest pearls of wisdom, “the new commission will report directly to Mr Johnson and also be overseen by equalities minister Kemi Badenoch.” Yep, that’s Boris the lifelong bigot and the same Badenoch that, “on ‘institutional racism,’ a phenomenon that affects minorities in Britain, she was reported as saying that she doesn’t recognise it and on the black community? She doesn’t believe that it really exists.”
An Article in the Independent notes that Labour Shadow Equalities Secretary, Marsha de Cordova, said: “We are in the midst of a global health pandemic that has sharply exposed deep structural inequalities which have long since needed urgently addressing. That the prime minister now says he wants to ‘change the narrative … so we stop the sense of victimisation and discrimination’ is condescending and designed to let himself and his government off the hook.” Boris Johnson’s article said that, “an independent chairman or woman would be appointed to oversee the body which would be comprised of people ‘with a mix of ethnic, social and professional backgrounds’.” Why would opposition parties be so sceptical? We have been here so many times before; exhaustive inquiries followed by reports that are either never publically available or are selectively amended, with recommendations that are never auctioned.
According to the independent, the PM also used his Telegraph article to “defend the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, which some protesters want pulled down, and to warn against attempts to ‘photoshop’ Britain’s cultural landscape. He lauded Churchill as “one of the country’s greatest ever leaders”, saying it was the ‘height of lunacy’ to accuse him of racism. ‘I will resist with every breath in my body any attempt to remove that statue from Parliament Square, and the sooner his protective shielding comes off the better’,” said he, who relentlessly demonized a man of peace by slandering him as a dangerous terrorist! However, in full recognition of the veracity of Johnson’s bold promises there is scant concern over his will to “resist” anything if it poses a threat to his ambitions. Remember how he pledged to lie down in front of the bulldozers to “resist” Heathrow expansion? He was too cowardly to even face voting on the issue so he hastily scheduled a rapid overseas jaunt.
Although Johnson condemned the counter protesters who clashed with police in London on Saturday as “far-right thugs and bovver boys” saying there was, “nothing that can excuse their behaviour,” it is his uncompromising defence of Churchill that has brought the white supremacists onto the street using the feeble excuse of needing to protect this iconic racist. It is the job of police and security guards to protect any of the statues that might become a target for vandalism. The protective barricade hastily erected around Churchill will suffice without the unruly intervention of an angry militia focused on precipitating violent clashes with those whose responsibility it was guard the statue and keep the protests peaceful. Churchill’s statue could be far better protected in a museum where his contribution to our history both noble and frighteningly horrific can be presented in full and in context.
On Sunday Andrew Marr introduced MP David Lammy as, “at the forefront of the fight for justice for the Windrush and the victims of the Grenfell fire, he is now Shadow Justice Secretary.” Focusing initially on the demonstrations and the desecration of statues he immediately tried to nail down the Labour position on the Government’s latest intervention, asking Lammy “do you support fast track prosecution for people in these circumstances?” Lammy said, “the scenes were ugly and very, very threatening” he voiced his disgust for the person caught urinating on the memorial for PC Palmer, the officer who died in a terrorist attack near parliament, describing it as ‘utterly despicable’ causing pain to the officer’s family. On fast-tracking of cases Lammy pragmatically reminded Marr that there was a “massive backlog in the Justice system because of Coronavirus’” he also noted that the virus was in the prisons.
Marr’s second headline grabber also fell flat after he demanded to know if Labour supported tougher sentences for those caught desecrating war memorials. Lammy calmly informed him that the potential for a ten year sentence for vandalism or the desecration of war memorials with criminal damage already exists. Such announcements typify a Government desperate to appear strong and detract from their significant failures, of which there have been many in the past few months. Lammy said that, “We still only have in this country 1% of police officers that are black, 1% of judges that are black, 51% of (those in) our young offender institutions are from black, Asian, or minority ethnic backgrounds, languishing in those young offenders’ prisons.” He said. “Those are the serious issues that people want the government to deal with. Not statues, not Priti Patel, deal with the problems.”
As Marr made a pitch on behalf of the ‘don’t touch Winston Churchill brigade’ my hackles went up; the current protests targeting this controversial former Prime Minister mark one of the extremely rare occasions when the well documented atrocities of Winston Churchill have been aired and openly debated. Lammy tried not to offend those who saw this notoriously bigoted British icon as a war hero, while still managing to attract enough attention to his controversial past to fuel online research; he pointed out a few of the most serious strikes against Churchill without elaborating on the brutal details. Thankfully, people can now discover the truth online or by visiting alternative news outlets. Don’t let Johnson’s propaganda spin detract from the horrific truth of Churchill’s rabid racist ideology. Fervent critics call for our public spaces not to be dominated by the ongoing glorification of Churchill. I would prefer not to have a “blue bigot” bank note offered as legal tender and occupying my purse as I consider Churchill an affront to humanity!
On the Marr show Lammy made an important point when he said of Boris Johnson, “He’s never tweeted eight times in a day on Coronavirus, he’s never tweeted eight times in a day on the Windrush review or what he’s going to do about it, or on the review that David Cameron asked me to do on disproportionality in the criminal justice system and what he’s going to do about it.” Lammy said, “This feels to me like a bit of a deflection. Let’s get to the action, let’s have some substance, let’s do something about these historic injustices that still exist in our country.” David Lammy called on the Government to “deal with the substance” around racism and not focus on individual Ministers experience of racism, which must have referred to Priti Patel who had created a recent furore in the Commons by donning the victim badge to negate opposition arguments on neglect of racial issues. This is why when the PM launches another review to add to the stack of ignored review data and recommendations, we all know it is a worthless exercise.
On Friday’s Newsnight Kirsty Walk stated, “George Floyd’s death has amplified the debate around structural racism here in the UK raising voices hitherto ignored and kicked off a nationwide conversation about memorials and monuments to men steeped in slavery or whose views on race were, according to Boris Johnson unacceptable to us today. He was referring specifically to the statue of Winston Churchill in parliament square which has been boarded up on the orders of London mayor Sadiq khan because of fears of further vandalism. The prime minister said it was absurd and shameful that the statue had to be protected this way. Both men are asking people not to protest not only because of Coronavirus, because also the danger of violence.”
We are all eager to see what action will be taken? Will these protests make more of a difference than just the relocation of a few offensive statues? Kirsty said, “This afternoon activists and anti-racisms campaign groups erected a billboard listing more than three thousand names of people they say whose deaths were linked to racism. The names are arranged to spell out ‘I CAN’T BREATH’ the words uttered by George Floyd just before he died.” Kirsty was joined by “David Olusoga Professor of Public History at University of Manchester and Ndidi Okezie Chief Executive of the charity UK Youth.” I an effort to explore what might be accomplished by this latest wave of protests Kirsty asked renowned historian David Olusoga, “beyond the protest at the statues and debates about statues beyond the broader protest; in history what protests have actually effected change and how has that happened?”
Olusoga replied, “Protests and direct action, and I’m afraid violence, have often effected change and have often been the catalyst for change, but that’s only ever really worked when there’s been a willingness to have conversations and compromise and when there’s been statesmanship, when there’s been leadership from Government. I think we have a lot of those elements in place, we have a catalytic event that shocked millions of people in many countries across the world; I think we a quite remarkable moment of willingness to debate to discuss to reframe new ideas. You use the phrase structural racism in your introduction; that phrase people have been using it for many, many years and it’s been dismissed by many people. What I think were lacking is leadership from Government.”
Kirsty turned to Ndidi to ask, “just before we talk about that leadership and how to effect change, just in terms of the kind of galvanizing on the passion of young people, were you surprised even by just how many young people were energized by what was happening?” Ndidi replied, “Honestly I wasn’t surprised at all. I think history’s shown us that young people have always been the most powerful forces in social change and this particular atrocity was remember like a grenade that was thrown in the midst of weeks of lockdown; reality that young people are going to be the most impacted by Covid 19, that black, Asian and ethnic minorities communities have been disproportionately impacted by and through Covid and in the midst of that already challenging context we watched a man being murdered in the most caviller of manners and so for me it was clearly the straw that broke the camel’s back and honestly young people are telling us and making it clear that enough is enough.”
Kirsty addressed David to ask, “we talk about and when you talk about, dealing with structural racism and you talk about leadership whose responsibility do you think it is, where does the responsibility lie for making these changes, for actually making fundamental changes?” Olusoga said, “well I think there’s lots of examples of leadership there’s institutions that are changing our policies, doing audits of how their policies may, in all sorts of ways that aren’t obvious, effect and impact on the lives and the life chances of black people. You can see whole industries, the publishing industry and the television industry, beginning to have conversations that they have struggled to have. Where there isn’t leadership is from Government!”
He said, “This is a moment for statesmanship; this is a moment for a Government to step forward and try to lead truth and reconciliation. Truth in terms of looking into our history and trying to devise a new history that can make sense for the country that we have, and reconciliation in terms of trying to defuse the situation. None of that is forthcoming and I have to say, and I say this as someone who has no party political affiliations, …we have a prime minister whose uniquely unable to do this, because this is a man, and this was said before he was elected, who has used racial slurs to describe people in this country, he has described black people as ‘piccaninnies with watermelon smiles’ he hasn’t got the moral authority to discuss these issues and lead this debate.”
In that case she turned to Ndide to ask, “Who do you think people would trust if you don’t think the trust is there in Government and perhaps people you do think the trust is there in Government? Who do you think you would trust to make practical changes to society?” Ndidi replied, “Honestly from what we’re hearing I think… it’s a very interesting point about who do you trust…. Who’s accountable for making this change but what we’re hearing is that young people are telling us loud and clear that they want to be heard they want to be heard about their experiences. When we say the George Floyd murder, UK Youth, my organization we were just inundated with young people who were saying where can we talk, where can we share our experience because clearly no one, people don’t really understand. So our immediate response to that was to launch the Young and Black Campaign. Which is literally snippets of young people talking about what it is like to grow up young and black in Britain.”
Kirsty asked David, “What happens when you have this conversation is an opportunity to share more equality who gives up the power, who shares the power, how does that change? Where do you shift, how do structures shift to make sure that it’s a much more equal conversation?” Olusoga responded, “Well I think this is a generational issue and I think there is a generation who are willing to are willing to restructure society who are willing to share power who don’t want to live in a society where the shape or the value of their parents there radically different from their grandparents and they’re willing to have these radical conversations.”
He said, “What’s the most striking thing for me about the past three weeks has been the level of reading and debate and conversations young people passing reading lists around on twitter and on instagram. If you try to go online now and buy a black British history book on racism written by a black British author you won’t be able to because they’re all sold out and they’re being bought by black and white people and they’re having discussions and inter generational discussions its led by young people and its perfect timing as well lockdown means people have a chance to read.” He added that, “…young people are being thrust to the forefront of these demonstrations. Young people have rightfully taken their place leading demonstrations leading political activism as indeed they often have.”
This is an interesting concept that while cooped up during lockdown young people have had the time genuinely become better informed about history and about issues of injustice. Their hectic lives scrambling between zero hours contract jobs did not permit much more than short attention-span sound bites of the type so well suited to propaganda peddlers like Cummings and serial liars like Boris Johnson. They are discovering that a lot of what they learned about our glorious British Empire cantered on greed and exploitation that is nothing to be proud of. Perhaps Covid 19 has allowed the time for young people to realize that they are the target of exploitation now, but by becoming better informed and committed to use their future vote they can change their life chances. The most effective way to combat military grade PsyOps is with real knowledge of the facts because propaganda thrives on ignorance. A full investigation of the December vote would expose the fake Tory ‘landslide victory;’ they couldn’t repeat it now!
Those who voted for Brexit to return to a nostalgic past, elderly and vulnerable are the ones dying in greatest numbers. The hateful anti-migrant sentiments are being drowned out. The powerful image of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protester carrying an injured white opponent to safety did more to decimate the racist agenda of the counter-protest thugs than any battle of words or fists. Johnson has placed himself firmly in defence of a notorious genocidal racist; a perfect personality match for his white-supremacist leanings with the racist street thugs on his side. Johnson’s chaotic handling of the Covid crisis with its high death toll has drained support; his inability to fire Cummings despite his unforgivable breach of the lockdown that confined us all has lost the PM another whole swath of former supporters. This is not down to loyalty, it’s driven by fear; the PM is under serious threat because Cummings knows enough about the Covert 2019 Rigged Election to bring down this Government. DO NOT MOVE ON!June 16, 2020 at 20:30 #55177Kim Sanders-Fisher
The Boris Johnson wrecking ball swung into action today with him announcing an extremely poorly timed merger. In a Canary Article that spells out the implications of yet another disastrous plan for gross mismanagement they report that, “The prime minister has announced he is to scrap the Department for International Development (DfiD) in a merger with the Foreign Office. The move, which has come under fire from former international development secretaries and Opposition MPs, will see the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Boris Johnson, in a statement to MPs, said it was ‘outdated’ to keep the departments separate. He told the Commons: “We must now strengthen our position in an intensely competitive world by making sensible changes.” Just like our Covid death toll Johnson’s ‘world-beating’ idiocy is set to rival Donald Trump; the serious priority of removing him from office becomes a lot more urgent by the day.
Who will take charge of our Foreign Aid Budget? How much do you trust the Tory who failed to realize the strategic importance of the port of Dover to UK imports? Thats right, the newly merged Department will put Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in control of overseeing the Foreign Aid Budget and although the 0.7% of GNI spent on International Development, which was part of the last Tory Manifesto remains as is enshrined in law, but there will undoubtedly be a radical change of emphasis on how it is spent. We can certainly expect to see American style crippling conditionality that favours the dominance of major UK Corporations in future. The usual Tory elitist tax cheats will gain access to lucrative contracts as payback for support with greedy billionaires sopping up the funding that was formerly assigned to vital overseas development goals.
The Canary report that, “Labour hit out at the move, with shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy labelling it a retreat. She tweeted: ‘Extraordinary that in the middle of a global crisis, the UK is retreating from the world. Aid has long been one of Britain’s strengths helping us to build strong alliances, act as a moral force and creating greater global security. Once again we are diminished in the world’.” They say that, “Work will begin immediately on the merger and the department will be formally established in early September, International development secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan will remain in post until the merger is complete.” At a time of unprecedented upheaval, in the midst of a Global Pandemic, with crash-out Brexit guaranteed to exacerbating the catastrophic recession due to his disastrous handling of the Covid 19 crisis, Johnson wants to increase the chaos!
Not all Tories approve of this move, but no one is able to deter Johnson’s chaotic whims right now; no doubt he is being guided by his handler Cummings, who must go. The Canary note that, “Rory Stewart, both a former international development secretary and foreign office minister, told PA news agency he would have been ‘strongly’ arguing against the shake-up if he was still in office. He added: ‘I don’t think it is the smart option. There are many other things we need to be concentrating on at the moment. It will lead to a lot of disruption, a lot of uncertainty at a time when the Foreign Office has an enormous amount to be focused on.’ Tory MP Andrew Mitchell, who served as international development secretary during the coalition government, joined in criticising the proposals, saying ‘abolishing Dfid would be a quite extraordinary mistake’. In a statement to PA, the former Cabinet minister said it would ‘destroy one of the most effective and respected engines of international development anywhere in the world’.”
Sadly Boris Johnson’s selfish recklessness will overshadow the tiny scrap of good news for the developing world that I wanted to share today. When Newsnight interviewed Professor Robin Shattock of Imperial College London last week to update their team’s progress on developing a vaccine for Covid 19 I got the first hint that they were pursuing a completely different model both in terms of the science and the distribution. A brief “must watch” YouTube Video presentation, “Distributed production of RNA vaccines for agile response to outbreaks” was presented by Professor Shattock at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos; it explains their new model. His lucid answer to the obvious question of why this radically different business and distribution strategy wasn’t in use already was absolutely priceless. Shattock matter-of-factly states that, “it would be very disruptive to traditional business models;” which is an extremely polite way of saying that big Pharma would not be able to exploit the vaccine to make obscene profits!
What is wrong with the current system aside from Pharma’s unhealthy stranglehold on even the most impoverished people on the planet? The really slow logistics of distribution leads to a hierarchy of who will receive the vaccine first and inevitably who will gain access to the vaccine dead last; a tragic inequality that has had me seriously worried. Shattock poses the question, “Imagine you are standing in any major city in the world and there’s an outbreak of what we call Disease X, an unknown respiratory pathogen, how quickly could we respond?” He explains that, “the reality is that for most countries there’s no regional mechanism that could manufacture and distribute vaccines in a meaningful timeframe.” The Professor then cites the Ebola outbreak as an example bemoaning, “the time it took to get a traditional manufactured vaccine into play” and showing a slide of the data he said that, “the required response was a matter of weeks.” He said that according to the modelling for Disease X, “for every month’s delay there would be up to 5 million deaths… equivalent to taking out a city the size of Rome or Singapore every month!”
In his presentation Professor Shattock ominously warns that, “…Importantly it’s developng countries that would bear the biggest burden, accounting for up to 80% of deaths.” Imperial’s 7th June News Brief seriously grabbed my attention as it is refreshingly positive in offering hope to those least able to afford a costly vaccine: “Vaccine Equity through Social Enterprise could provide a new model for access? Imperial College London has formed a new social enterprise VacEquity Global Health (VGH) to bring its COVID-19 vaccine to the world. For the UK and low-income countries abroad, Imperial and VGH will waive royalties and charge only modest cost-plus prices to sustain the enterprise’s work, accelerate global distribution and support new research. It is supported by Imperial College London and Morningside Ventures.”
The News Brief states that, “The Imperial vaccine technology is a ground-breaking innovation that is readily scalable. The social enterprise’s mission is to rapidly develop vaccines to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and distribute them as widely as possible in the UK and overseas, including to low- and middle-income countries. Morningside and Imperial are also launching a separate startup company VaXEquity (VXT), to develop the underlying self-amplifying RNA technology to treat other health conditions beyond the current pandemic.” If this project is successful it marks the dawn of a new era in vaccine technology that would not selectively exclude the desperately poor communities who so often live in the overcrowded conditions most conducive to the spread of infectious disease.
Shattock’s brief presentation elaborates on what makes this a ground-breaking innovation in vaccine technology, saying, “The two new ventures are built upon years of research of Professor Robin Shattock who pioneered the technology of self-amplifying RNA. For COVID-19, the technology is used to deliver genetic instructions to muscle cells to make the ‘spike’ protein found on the surface of the coronavirus. This evokes an immune response in the host to produce immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” They report that, “The COVID-19 vaccine will enter phase one/two human trials on the week of 15 June with 300 people. A further efficacy trial involving 6,000 people is planned for October. If these human trials are successful, the Imperial vaccine can be distributed in the UK and overseas early next year.”
I worry about the selfish mindset epitomized by Trump’s attempt to gain exclusive access to the first vaccine that proves effective in trials. Just like the disastrous private Healthcare system in the US that excludes the most needy, but lets the entire country down in an epidemic. Beware of those you do not treat, in America those who cannot afford Healthcare provide a fertile breeding ground for contagious diseases capable of wiping out millions. They should have learned that lesson from the resurgence of TB where, after almost eradicating the disease, their neglect and abandonment of the homeless population spawned a highly drug resistant strain that we were deathly afraid of contracting ourselves when I worked in the ER at Jackson Memorial. I always wanted to work in what I referred to as overwhelmed public Hospitals; Johns Hopkins is a prestigious private Hospital with founding commitment to treating the uninsured.
For the exact same reason we cannot afford to ignore the plight of poor people in the developing world in our efforts to eradicate Covid 19. If this global priority is neglected there will be a greater opportunity for mutation, which could potentially produce an even more contagious and virulent strain just as Spanish Flue did in a deadly second wave. To take maximum advantage of this new technology, what Imperial are proposing is a type of franchise model to would create localized production; a strategy that might prevent poorer countries in the developing world being automatically relegated to the end of the line. In his YouTube presentation Professor Shattock says that to avoid this, “you need a distributive solution. Even if we solve the manufacturing and approval timeline, a single manufacturing site is unlikely to make that just-in–time commitment to make a vaccine globally available.”
Citing an example of a familiar franchise Shattock says it is “…made locally to defined specifications. So can vaccine work in that way? One part of the solution is RNA vaccines because they can be made by a fully synthetic process, without requiring culture of cells or infectious material. Most importantly they can be made in a matter of weeks, a concept we are exploring with CEPI this partnership for preventing outbreaks.” He goes on to explain how, “RNA vaccines work by identifying the coat surface of a pathogen, encoding it in synthesized RNA and then that is injected into your muscle and the muscle makes the vaccine. So imagine your muscle becomes the factory, that makes the vaccine, that triggers your immune system to make protective white cells and antibodies.”
For more info on CEPI the Wellcome website states that: “CEPI can develop new vaccines to fight epidemics – but it needs global funding. Vaccines are a vital part of fighting epidemics, but developing new ones is challenging, costly and complex. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) is a new model for funding vaccine development which could drastically change the way we tackle epidemics. A collaboration between government, industry, philanthropy and civil society, CEPI launched in January 2017 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Its aim is to finance and coordinate development of vaccines against known and unknown infectious diseases so they can be used to contain outbreaks before they become emergencies.”
In his Davos presentation Professor Shattoch reports that, “This technology offers four important advantages: first, rapid response, then you can include multiple vaccines in the same technology even within the same shot, it has low infrastructure cost and low manufacturing footprint.” Imperial College London have already proven their credentials with regard to providing vital humanitarian Healthcare solutions at genuinely low cost with their program SCI Foundation, formerly the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, which targets the eradication of parasitic diseases in Africa. Recommended as a top charity for International Development by GiveWell, managing to devote the maximum of donated funds to practical work on the ground, they get a lot accomplished on a modest budget. When I first donated just 50p could treat two people once a year for seven neglected tropical diseases; I’ve socking away 50p coins for them ever since.
Also out of Imperial College, Professor Alan Fenwick runs a special five day Global Health course once a year that is incredibly worthwhile for anyone who shares my passion for the developing world. On their Imperial webpage it says, “We provide a brief introduction to each of the major challenges in global health and debate how to address them. The various expert lecturers each discuss the role of different governmental, academic and NGO players in their chosen field, and consider how health problems in developing countries contribute to global health which affects us all. The five day course consists of lectures, debates, discussions and small group work. No prior global health knowledge is required to attend this course and lectures are delivered in a way that is accessible to anyone with a general interest in global health. Places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.” The course is open to non-medics and for £300, or less than half that for students, it is very affordable.
I am reminded of the haunting lyrics of a folk song Joan Baez used to sing, “If living were a thing that money could buy, you know the rich would live and the poor would die.” “All my Trials,” was popularized during the social protest movements of the late 1950s and 1960s, but the poignant message is just as real today; the only questionable word being “if.” Boris Johnson believes that living is a thing that his money can buy so the poor, elderly and disabled are destined to die in his genocidal “Slaughter of the Sheeple” He is being called out by a popular football star and popular Tory Ruth Davidson who both criticized him for refusing school meals for kids during the summer holiday. Waging yet another dishonourable battle is making him tank in the polls at a point where the public are still angry over his refusal to fire Dominic Cummings. I am convinced that Cummings knows enough about the Covert 2019 Rigged Election to pose a serious threat; if he is ousted he might turn Whistleblower: with a police investigation, both of these dangerous and destructive men would be removed from power. DO NOT MOVE ON!June 17, 2020 at 08:17 #55201Clifton
I have been reading the start of this thread concerning the potential for postal vote rigging on an industrial scale by Idox.
I am a Mathematician who specialises in statistics. I have compiled the data of the 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019 elections together into one document in an attempt to be able to compare the results between both the elections and also the constituencies that had Idox (or one of its subsidiaries) counting the vote compared to those that did not.
The only issue I currently have is that I do not have 3 columns of information that I need to complete the comparison. These columns are: Number of postal ballot papers issued for each constituency in the 2019 election, Number of postal votes included in the count for each constituency in the 2019 election and whether each constituency used Idox to run their postal vote count or not.
Unfortunately, because these results are not compiled and centralised until 2 years later by the electoral commission, the only way that I can obtain this data is by making 650 individual FoI requests, one for each constituency. This will require a huge amount of time, and whilst I am trying to get whatdotheyknow website to assist me with this, it looks like I will have to go about this the long way. Therefore I am wondering if other people will be willing to also make the FoI requests so that I can finish the data collection and make a comparison that could potentially highlight industrial scale voter fraud?
Please let me know if you could be of assistance in this.
CliftonJune 18, 2020 at 05:26 #55237Kim Sanders-Fisher
Clifton – In a week where our part-time Prime Minister has gone from lauding the spin show in the “Emperor’s New Clothes” to shamefully skulking off in dirty skivvies after the football hero scored a major success, it’s great to welcome another activist. Who could possibly believe this rabid Tory Government really meant to follow through on Johnson’s empty promises about “levelling up” when it took such a monumental effort to secure free school meals over the summer holiday for the poorest kids? The public are becoming increasingly disillusioned due to Johnson’s shambolic leadership and they have demonstrated that they are not afraid to protest. If we can expose enough data anomalies the public are ready to ditch Johnson’s Brexit sirens song now they know first-hand how seriously their jobs are at risk. Not ousting Cummings for rule breaking has offended people across the board; and defending statues of bigot’s panders to the far-right extremist thugs during a time when the message is “Black Lives Matter!” We cannot afford to let Johnson remain in post; he is costing lives and livelihoods even before he starts “decimating down” in earnest.
You say you are “a Mathematician who specialises in statistics,” and you, “have compiled the data of the 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019 elections together into one document in an attempt to be able to compare the results between both the elections and also the constituencies that had Idox (or one of its subsidiaries) counting the vote compared to those that did not.” This is great news, we have had a number of people on this discussion thread trying to collate reliable data to help uncover the truth. I have spent the day scanning through all of the past posts, and other contacts I have tracked down, to identify which ones have the data you can use, so watch this space. I will email the contacts I have so far and post on this again in the coming days. It is interesting to note that it was statistical analyses that clearly demonstrated fraud in the Scottish independence referendum by compiling data that exposed highly improbable numbers in the postal vote returns as reported in an Article in the Scottish Standard.
Fantastic that you are putting together this cache of evidence and you are not alone; I know one person who has the data on Raab’s constituency which looked really dodgy. I have discovered that there are others who are engaged in similar activities and sometimes the stumble upon the forum. We need to create a repository for this information so that it is all collected in one place. The space to exhibit all of this data extends beyond the capacity of this Forum, but there are other possibilities as outlined by our Moderator. I am not a very Tech savvy person when it comes to the capacity of Blogs, connectivity or Social Media, but the advice of the Mod is very valid and offers us a way to display the data collected direct from a Link on this Forum.
My concern is that the greatest failure of this effort so far is the ability to keep all of the various activists who are diligently working on this issue interconnected through one universally recognized hub. How many of the people reporting their serious electoral problems and unexplained anomalies in sporadic posts on Facebook or Twitter are connected to one another and working together towards a common goal? The connectivity issue is a particularly serious weakness for me personally because I am not prepared to launch on Facebook as I am even less trusting of the site now than I was years ago when everyone else was so eager to join. I find it equally frustrating trying to keep track of what is posted in brief blips on Twitter. The information shared seems to appear and then disappear just as rapidly and I am not sure that if I joined in the random tweeting on a twitter account that I would be any the wiser or even be able to keep pace.
We need to create a broad cross-section of different types of Internet spaces, social media platforms, alternative news outlets and Blogs that can come together to focus on one purpose: to bring accountability to our electoral process by challenging the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and potentially other flawed votes. People who can connect through a number of different Internet platforms will be essential to keeping the information current and widely disseminated for maximum exposure to get the general public on side.
In a time where most people do not even divulge their real name, let alone provide a contact email address or a phone number, it is has become very difficult for me to get in contact without membership access to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, these spaces are so cluttered and diffuse that it is just by random luck that one might attract the attention of that key person that there is a dire need to get in touch with. The most valuable tool that social media savvy supporters can provide is to help direct those key people to our campaign so that they can decide if they want to take on the challenge and get involved.
WHO DO WE NEED TO CONTACT? I have tried attracting the attention of the team from “Led By Donkeys” to see if we can interest them in publicizing this issue as the natural successor to their amazing public awareness campaign that garnered so much newsworthy attention nationwide. Paul Barbara did try to contact the “Led by Donkeys” team for me, but I have not got through to them yet. We need to contact a number of very high profile social media icons like Rachael Swindon and all the Alternative News promoters from across the spectrum like Aaron Bastani, Michael Walker, Kerry Anne Mendoza, Carole Cadwalladr, John Pilger, Owen Jones to name but a few. We need a major post in the Canary and other Alt News outlets; that means persuading Skwawkbox to stop apologising and making nonsensical excuses for the catastrophe hoax being promoted by the Tory party.
Much of this has been posted before but is best restated; What else am I trying to achieve with my relentless posting on this Forum?
A) Inform people of the high probability that the Covert 2019 Rigged Election was a fraudulent vote by constantly publicizing information about it.
B) Encourage everyone to demand information and electoral data from their local authorities.
C) Maintain a Forum space where information and strategies can be shared that might prompt a Whistleblower to feel safe and supported enough to emerge from the shadows.
D) Decisive Action: Accumulate enough evidence with the help of a professional Investigative Journalist to make this a front page news story and an unstoppable demand for justice from both UK authorities and potentially the EU Courts too.
I have tried to post Links to other Blogs, Websites and Articles that elaborate on the situation to help build this wealth of evidence that will hopefully become so overwhelmingly compelling that it cannot be ignored. One blog that I found, “the Daily GasLamp” is dedicated to the issue of our rigged elections especially in the area of Cambridge Analytica’s PsyOps technology and how even now “weapons grade” PsyOps brainwashing is being deployed to manipulate the electorate. I am monitoring this Blog very closely so that each time they post further information I can offer a brief summary of the new content and a Link to visit the site. It is a good idea to check out sites like this and post a comment that links back to this forum. We also need well established organizations like Open Democracy and the International Consortium of Professional Investigative Journalists to deploy a team of investigative journalists to start sifting through the data that has already been collected, filling in the gaps, collating the evidence and demanding answers so that we are ready to expose the truth and demand action.
At that point a police investigation, an Electoral Petition Challenge and even an appeal to the EU demanding justice could become a genuine possibility. Pressuring the PM to fire Cummings is a priority; in a fit of rage he could reveal the crucial evidence to bring down the Government as he knows exactly how they committed industrial scale fraud and he has no special allegiance to the Tory Party: he could be the perfect Whistleblower. I know everyone is very distracted right now by just trying to survive Covid 19, but we should capitalize on the social unrest to oust this toxic Government. They tell me that correcting the injustice of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election will have to wait until after the virus is under control, but the two are inextricably linked as Johnson is using Covid as cover for his authoritarian takeover and to cull the “economically inactive.” There is so much to be done and no time to waste as by the end of this year the window of opportunity will slam shut. People tend to drift onto this Forum and then drift away again, but we need all of you to let us know what you might be able to realistically work towards accomplishing and then please keep us posted… DO NOT MOVE ON!June 19, 2020 at 02:14 #55282Clifton
I have created a temporary email account. [email protected] as I do not want to leave my email on a forum post. If you would like to get in touch with this account I can email you back from my real account with the data I have collated so far.
The Data is just a collection of what is easily available online. It is the 2019 postal data that I need in particular, which should be able to be accessed per constituency by FoI requests.
If I do find data that shows significant differences between the constituencies that had Idox running their postal vote verification process and those that don’t or discrepancies between constituencies that had a large Tory swing compared to those that don’t, I will email the findings to every UK and foreign media source I can think of and also include the UK political parties, all of the police forces and the attorney generals office. I will do this all in one email so that every addressee will be aware of every other address that has received the email. At that point it will be impossible to whitewash. Therefore you will not need to worry about who to pass the information onto so it will be heard.
Of course there is the very obvious possibility that the votes were just changed rather than extra added for those who didn’t vote, if this is the case, the data I am collecting will not be able to highlight this as the percentage change of postal votes in each constituency will remain at a reasonable level. So if my data shows nothing, it doesn’t clear anyone of electoral fraud, it merely discounts one way in which it could have been achieved.June 19, 2020 at 13:59 #55325Kim Sanders-Fisher
Clifton – I am still on the case going through older entries, and also Posts in an earlier Elections Aftermath Forum that was started shortly after the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, in the hope of finding out who has been compiling data on this. I will contact you at the temporary email you have given; this was a smart fix as it is unwise to just post your regular email in a Forum. One person that I am in touch with I just contacted yesterday and am waiting to hear back; another sent data to a semi-abandoned blog of mine that I mention lower down in this post. I think the UK public are starting to realize how disastrous and deadly this Government is and are a lot are more receptive to hearing the truth, but we really need publicity and a professional Investigative Journalist on this case as they would know the short cuts for obtaining the data. The Dunoon Unit Report, despite being done by the Democratic Socialist Federation in Scotland and pertaining to the 2014 Postal Ballot at the Scottish Independence Referendum, uncovers a whole host of useful information. I just reviewed a Must Watch Video where the presenter raised several very important points.
One point raised was about Ruth Davidson’s televised prior knowledge of the result. This crime occurred again in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election with Laura Kuenssberg’s widely publicized BBC gaff and with Dominic Raab appearing so confident of a win due to the postal vote in a constituency he was widely expected to lose. The claim that someone, as in a person, took a sample look at the ballot papers simply doesn’t hold up to logical scrutiny. In reality, in order to get a meaningful sample, that would have required literally hundreds of trusted officials all over the UK to break a law which carries a custodial sentence! This is highly unlikely, which means that any confident claim regarding postal votes favouring the Tories throughout the UK had to come from a central source, ie: those who rigged the election. The presenter also claims that it’s ludicrous for the police not to pursue the case by citing lack of evidence, he says that if someone announced on TV that they had stolen goods the police would not have an option to ignore it.
In my page 4, Post #51624 I wrote about a post on Ricky Coxon’s Blog, “Did Labour really lose for this reason?” I touched on the above issue saying, “To see the lengths that Della Reynolds went to in her efforts to get Dominic Raab investigated you can find and follow these Links by going to the comment section at the end of Coxon’s Blog post and locating the comment posted on March 7, 2020 at 3:22 pm by: [email protected]. The comment begins: “This is a well researched piece. Certainly the 2019 GE needs to be looked at and it seems that only members of the public are concerned.” Towards the end of his comment you will find the two links that caused me such a problem when I tried to insert them in my post. One Link goes to a group of exchanges between Della Reynolds, who was a constituent of Raab not prepared to just accept his illegal conduct. It is worth reading her exchange of complaint emails directed towards the Electoral Commission and their dismissive replies.”
I reported that, “I wanted to see if there was a way to find Della Reynolds elsewhere on the Internet in Blogs, Twitter comments or Facebook. Without much effort I quickly made a very interesting discovery: apparently Della Reynolds had been entered as an independent candidate in two previous Election cycles. In what was once a Tory safe seat of Esther and Walton Della Reynolds tried to make a difference by competing stating on Surry Mummy: ‘I am the first Citizen candidate to stand in the UK. I am standing on the platform of accountability and social justice’.” I found, “contact info that I will be chasing down in the coming days. On Twitter at, Della Reynolds #Truth @phsothefacts, I found that the comment posted by: [email protected] appears to be one in the same person; I’m not sure how these accounts as I’m not twitter enabled.”
Further down in the same Post I relay, “On another Twitter page on a 7th of April Twitter post, David McCulloch wrote: ‘Having undertaken to analyse the 2019 Election Results in relation to the 2017 figures, I have chased the detailed media data promised in March by the Electoral Commission. Unsurprisingly it is not ready, with no timescale promised. From a preliminary analysis of the 2017 figures, focusing on the seats gained by Conservatives in 2019, it is almost certain that Postal Voting is the key to any manipulation. The risk is that both the detailed data and the Russian Report will be deliberately forgotten because of the pandemic. We must not let that happen.’ Another person commenting on Coxon’s Blog posted a link to a Facebook group saying; ‘If you’re on FB, please join this group: DemocracyNotDeMOCKracy’ On this Facebook page Emma Lightburn writes: ‘See this below and my many other posts with analysis of data for last 5 GE, NO-ONE CARES’!!” I so detest Facebook I have never joined so it is harder for me to contact someone who is only accusable via that site.
This person talks of compiling data so if you are better connected it might be worth getting in touch via Facebook. She wrote, “We all know GE2019 was rigged. In an effort to try to understand how, I myself needed to go through the guidance for Electoral Officers published by Electoral Commission and pull out the salient point. I have posted my findings as a series of posts in ‘bite-size’ chunks. I have one more that I am hoping to get finished in the next few days which is the process for opening, checking and counting the returned postal votes. After I have all of my write-ups together and printed out, now that I understand what happens and who has access to what information, hopefully I can see where it would be easily interfered with. HOWEVER: going down this road is long, drawn out and costly to even get an investigation going – and of course who would investigate based upon suspicion. The easier and less costly way is to prove Human Rights abuse because folks were denied their right to vote.”
I am not sure if this is of use, but I found this in an early entry on January 3rd Saticon #49442 Posted data on the number eligible to vote in 2019 in various areas documenting the following numbers that may or may not be helpful. “The first 26 constituencies that saw a decline in those registered to vote compared with 2017” The following list of numbers was posted containing data for the listed Constituency | Electorate | Valid Votes Cast, the numbers are ‘Reduction in Electorate’ and ‘Reduction in Votes Cast:’
Wolverhampton South East | -6945 | -2861 ~ Erith and Thamesmead | -4325 | -3080 ~
Bridgwater and West Somerset | -3967 | -615 ~ Aldershot | -3588 | -1023 ~ Watford | -3148 | -545 ~
Stoke-on-Trent Central | -2772 | -1075 ~ Faversham and Kent Mid | -2604 | 645 ~
York Central | -2514 | -3583 ~ Oxford West and Abingdon | -2336 | -1196 ~ Hyndburn | -2200 | -2796 ~
Warwickshire North | -2006 | -1264 ~ Suffolk Central and Ipswich North | -1915 | -274 ~
Montgomeryshire | -1758 | -677 ~ West Bromwich East | -1722 | -3123 ~ Spelthorne | -1712 | -605 ~
Gloucester | -1631 | -307 ~ Rotherham | -1549 | -2272 ~ Stoke-on-Trent South | -1547 | -2086 ~
Halton | -1527 | -3315 ~ Huddersfield | -1508 | -1952 ~ West Bromwich West | -1380 | -1635 ~
Warley | -1303 | -2967 ~ Hemel Hempstead | -1274 | -1011 ~ Caerphilly | -1215 | -1180 ~
Easington | -1203 | -1781 ~ York Outer | -1183 | -2080
In Wolverhampton South East any impact of the reduced electorate/turnout fell entirely on the Labour Party. Wolverhampton SE would be mainly the Bilston area, although Wolverhampton as a whole is predicted to gain a population of about a thousand people per year. West Bromwich East is Tom Watson’s former seat, which George Galloway contested. Rushmoor District Council which represents the Aldershot constituency only predicted a fall in population of about seven hundred persons in the two years since 2017. However, Aldershot is due to have several new housing developments in the next few years. Kim, I’ve posted more to your blog at medteam.wordpress.com”
I replied later in Post #49443 Telling Saticon that, “all of your posts came to my email address for moderation. Unfortunately, I have not touched my blog for rather a long time, so long that I have even forgotten my password so I could not gain access to approve your posts. In reality the important information you sent would languish in neglect on my obscure medical whistleblower blog. I have cut and pasted all the info you sent into a file where I can review the data. It would be far more topical and useful to post all of your data here on this forum where others who are trying to crunch the numbers and make some sense of this debacle can share your findings. Ross has also been uncovering relevant facts about the vote so he could benefit from the information you shared with me. It will undoubtedly contribute to all of our efforts to expose the truth, so thank you for sharing.”
Saticon remarked that, “As I don’t know how long my comments will last on here I’d have preferred to post somewhere more neutral.” However, this Forum is proving to be one of the more readable and reliably stable places to deposit information as I am still gaining very easy access to links, data and information that was posted months ago. These posts were from the first Elections Aftermath Forum that is now closed for comment, but all of the material posted there is still readily accessible. A flurry of Posts are all grouped together in the same area of the original Elections Aftermath Forum. Saticon then says, “I’ve had a brief look at some of the social media reports of high turnout and they tend to correlate with a high turnout registered in their constituency if it can be inferred. Walsall have broken down their results to a ward-by-ward basis” (I have embedded the Link.)
In another January 3 Post #49445 Saticon offers more information that I presume there is supporting evidence for saying: “Faulty ballot papers affected postal voters in Newcastle and Wansbeck, under 200 voters in total, threatening to invalidate their votes. They also reveal that the voter information can still be paired up with their voting intention or marked ballot after the covering envelopes would have been processed.” This was deduced from what I presume was corrective material sent out containing the quote, “For those who may have already sent in their ballot paper, we are asking them to sign the additional letter along with their date of birth in the space provided, then return it in the pre-paid envelope we have supplied. Alternatively, they can ask for a replacement pack and we will cancel the original pack.”
Saticon includes the following reporting, “According to the BBC, errors or defective settings in software supplied by Xpress / Electoral Reform Services / Civica to 245 Local Authorities meant that several people were wrongly informed that they were entitled to vote despite the fact that they had apparently registered successfully after the 26 November deadline. ‘The issue means scores of people who did not apply before the 26 November electoral registration deadline may have been wrongly informed that they can vote at the election, forcing councils to reprint their polling station registers after installing a software update’.”
Still in the same section of fairly early contributors at the bottom of page 1 of 3 in the original Elections Aftermath Forum, in Post #49455 Postal Vote Investigation offers information saying, “You can follow my twitter at @PaulWar17502822. By mind mapping the postal vote services, use cases, and documentation flow I independently came to pretty much the same conclusion that others have on how there are many points where a private contractor can either suppress postal votes (by delaying their delivery) or create phantom postal votes (by knowing who has and who hasn’t used their postal votes). It seems IDOX is very much involved in the voter registration drive as well, and so who and who isn’t registered is now also a piece of the jigsaw puzzle, and they also have their own canvassing app that has been used across the board to identify voter intention I think the most important thing we can do is highlight the possibility of fraud, so that the general public no longer has faith in outsourcing democracy.”
Also in this section you will find an idea that I shared for making a definitive determination of criminality. In Post #49457 I said, “If you are thinking that our efforts will be totally stymied by lack of evidence take heart and think again. All we need is to get our foot in the door with a warrant to seize ballots for testing. We need access to a random batch of votes in a heavily suspect marginal constituency. When I say ‘access’ I mean a level of suspicion that affords more than a quick glance under supervision. The ballot papers will need to be tested by the forensic department of the local police department concerned. These ballot papers will include a number of postal ballots mixed in with ballots cast in polling stations. As I have stated in earlier posts it is still possible to differentiate between postal ballots and polling station ballots after the fact despite the mixing in with postal ballots.”
I explain how one feature may still differentiate the two types of ballot when put under closer scrutiny noting that, “The postal ballots are more likely to be marked in pen after filling in confirmation data in pen, while in the polling station only a pencil is available. In an automated process the marked ballot would need to match similar postal votes prior to the mixing in process. A statistically significant number of the ballot papers, would need to be subjected to forensic testing primarily to identify fingerprints.” I note that despite what might at first seem too complicated it is not that complex, I say, “While this might all sound rather labor intensive it is actually incredibly simple; the principal is so simple it was probably overlooked in arrogance and haste. It would be normal to find a group of common sets of fingerprints within the same batch of ballot papers. Idox staff are not pictured wearing gloves in the promotional video, but the count staff will also have left their mark.”
Then I reveal my thought on the value of fingerprinting as, “it is not the fingerprints present you are testing the ballots for, it is the fingerprints that are missing. Replacement ballots would have required a fully automated printing process with a limited number of people involved to maintain secrecy. There is no way that Idox or any other Vote Management service could possibly explain why a significant number of the tested ballots of any type did not bear a unique set of fingerprints from the person actually casting the ballot; this is simply not humanly possible. Yes on some occasions a person has very dry hands and does not leave an easily identifiable print, but there are also more sophisticated ways of testing for fingerprints on paper now. There is no possible credible explanation for a large number of ballots to be totally devoid of any unique sets of fingerprints. Got ya!”
Of course you would need to have significant enough suspicion to request the police to test the ballots in the first place and that is where the value of statistical data comes in. The results in Dominic Raab’s constituency would be a perfect target due to several factors; he was not expected to do well, but he won and he boasted of knowing he would win ahead of time. The above argument of how was he so confident of support from the postal votes means that he has evidence of a crime in the same way as if he was touting stolen goods on TV. There is a constituent of Raab’s who has been trying to resolve this via the Electoral Commission and the local police; she has filed FOI requests and she has all the data now for that constituency. Raab’s win is not just a significant anomaly in the expected result; he holds one of the four highest offices in this Tory Government and he is not popular, especially after his most recent comments about taking the knee. I think FOI requests are in public record so I will try to make contact with her.
A number of people have revealed on this bog that they have either contacted their own local council or they have data on several constituencies. Ross was one and I have just emailed Ell, another. There are people who have documented on twitter that they have this data including Postal Vote [email protected] and Facts Central @StillDelvingH. The problem I have with Twitter, and why I do not tweet, is that information is so fleetingly available and research trying to track down information is a nightmare, but perhaps that is just because I do not know how to use it. If you, Clifton know how to contact people on twitter then these two names are a good place to start finding the data you are seeking to compile. I am going to continue scanning through all of the older posts on this Forum and the original Elections Aftermath Forum to see what I can dig up.
There are many people who showed huge enthusiasm for uncovering the truth early on, but have since given up in the belief that nothing can be done now. This process of letting go accelerated with the onset of concern over Covid 19 as people said we needed to put this on hold until the epidemic was under control. People are just starting to realize that this crisis will not be over for many months and worse still that this Tory Government we are allowing to remain in place is manipulating the situation to further extend the damage, misery and death toll inflicted on the British people. We need this to be fully investigated ASAP to expose the industrial scale fraud that was used to steal the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; we must destroy the legitimacy of Boris Johnson and bring down this Government before more harm is done. By the end of this year it will be too late after crash-out Brexit strips away our last remaining rights as we could then face decades of dictatorship. We must take this threat seriously: DO NOT MOVE ON!June 20, 2020 at 20:45 #55405Kim Sanders-Fisher
At (PMQs) Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday first to put forward an obsequious non-question was Tory Martin Docherty-Hughes dutifully following the typical format I refer to as ‘stroking’ as he weighed in behind Boris Johnson’s grossly inappropriate choice to head up his thoroughly redundant review of racial disparities in the UK. He began reframing the hard-right agenda, trying to forge acceptance of Johnson’s effort to double-down on ‘blaming the victim; by saying, “The journey of Munira Mirza from the pages of the Srebrenica-denying Living Marxism and the Revolutionary Communist party into the heart of No. 10 has not gone unnoticed. On Monday, the Prime Minister appointed them to lead the commission—the Government’s commission—on racial inequality, and it was greeted with some disbelief, given their well-known views on the matter. So I wonder: can the Prime Minister tell us today, does he agree with Ms Mirza that previous inquiries have fostered a ‘culture of grievance’ within minority communities?”
Boris Johnson revelled in this overt style of grovelling from his MPs, perfecting the art was perhaps a prerequisite for climbing the conservative greasy pole. Beaming with approval he responded by saying, “I am a huge admirer of Dr Munira Mirza, who is a brilliant thinker about these issues. We are certainly going to proceed with a new cross-governmental commission to look at racism and discrimination. It will be a very thorough piece of work, looking at discrimination in health, in education and in the criminal justice system. I know that the House will say we have already had plenty of commissions and plenty of work, but it is clear from the Black Lives Matter march and all the representations we have had that more work needs to be done, and this Government are going to do it.” What the protesters were really saying was stop procrastinating and start actually doing something about the copious evidence you already have regarding this matter, but Johnson had just ordered a few more gallons of whitewash.
Yet another sickening call to arms came from Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns who said, “Following the disgraceful events of the last week, with folks defacing national monuments, including Churchill and Queen Victoria, and offending the memory of hero PC Keith Palmer, what will the Prime Minister do to uphold British values and carry out the rule of law?” The far-right racists are baying for blood, coapting bully-boy thuggery in faux defence of statues, undeserving of our reverence, despite the protective detail afforded by police. These radical extremists find support among Tory MPs for whom it’s far more important to shield the bronze and plaster icons of Imperial rule and jingoistic subjugation of the global south than it is to safeguard the hard-working, loyal and dedicated living decedents of those poor exploited people among our key workers and the heroes of our NHS still dying from Covid 19!
We cannot extricate Churchill from our past, but his history belongs on display in a museum along with a detailed explanation of his contribution to our past, depicted truthfully without the one-sided propaganda of hero worship. In Parliament square he remains a divisive monument glorifying his status, while in opaque denial of his significant flaws and appallingly grisly atrocities. A history of half truths, that obscures horrendous mistakes that must never be repeated, underscores why we so consistently fail to heed any “lessons learned.” The relocation of Churchill is not, as Johnson claims, an attempt to “photo-shop” history, it is a chance to be brutally honest about our past; to ditch the propaganda of conquest and acknowledge the pain and suffering caused by our colonial greed. It is time for British people to stop pretending that Foreign Aid is a benevolent salvation given out of generosity; in reality it is a paltry contribution to repayment of the debt we owe to commonwealth nations we plundered in our global expansion of power.
Who might be less controversial, more inclusive and universally acceptable by the entire British public as a worthy replacement for Winston Churchill on that venerated plinth in Parliament square? What truly heroic figure from the devastating years of world war trauma, adored as much by the veterans who fought in Burma’s jungles as the worried wives they left behind to endure the blitz? Please not another towering man of endless brutal conflict and cruelty, but instead a noble woman of compassion and strength, whose commitment and courage took her to the front line unarmed, not carrying the bandages to heal wounded bodies, but blessed with the powerful voice that soothed desolate, fearful and tormented minds. Even a firmly committed pacifist could rejoice in her contribution to preserving the flagging morale of our embattled people in our darkest hour; I speak of course of Vera Lynn.
I abhor the term “British values” as it is inherently racist, a disgusting form of othering that feeds the veracious beast of nationalistic superiority as It implies that British values are more desirable, worthy and honourable that those of any other nation or their people. From the appalling example set by our current leadership we must deduce that honesty, transparency, integrity, trust, accountability and generosity are certainly not British values. A charitable commitment to help those less fortunate doesn’t make the list and a humble apologue should never be considered for an instant. Translated from the Latin the motto of my first school was “Always tell the truth” and I was taught that “an Englishman’s word was his bond:” try telling Boris Johnson that! Should we now espouse these despicable Tory values of selfish superiority, bigotry, exploitation and greed?
Personal values are not dictated from a bully pulpit by a narcissistic tyrant devoid of any redeeming altruistic qualities; they are the core beliefs demonstrated by worthy charitable examples of making a genuine positive contribution to society. This noxious Tory Government is trying to totally eradicate our innate humanity, by forcing our retreat into the toxic isolation of far-right nationalism of divide and subjugate as they try to inculcate their warped range of selfish elitist Tory principals on an austerity weary population too battered to resist. We must proactively dismantle their systemic faults and prejudices by encouraging our young people take the lead, drawing upon the rich diversity of our multi-ethnic population to compile a list of universal values that we can all proudly emulate in solidarity. This offers a path to healing the injustices of the past, mindful of our duty to the vulnerable and those who are less fortunate as we strive for greater equality in modern day society. For me, “the courage to say I’m sorry” would be near the top of that list.
But I digress, how did Boris Johnson respond? He said, “I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I can tell her and the House that any incident of vandalism or attack on public property will be met with the full force of the law, and perpetrators will be prosecuted. I can also confirm that we are looking at new ways in which we may legislate against vandalism of war memorials.” It is vitally important that the Government protects monuments that glorify war; without such potent symbols how could they drive the next generation of compliant cannon-fodder to enlist? Tougher sentences to quell protest and resistance; that’s a promise this ruthless authoritarian would-be dictator will likely keep; all others are subject to an abrupt and cowardly U-turn.
Feeling the need to placate Johnson’s insatiable ego, Keir Starmer, started by congratulating the PM and then complementing him on his most recent humiliating defeat saying, “Can I start by welcoming the announcement of a major breakthrough in the treatment of coronavirus by UK scientists? That is really fantastic news. We are all behind it and I pay tribute to all of those involved. Can I also welcome the Prime Minister’s latest U-turn, this time on free school meals? That was the right thing to do and it is vital for the 1.3 million children who will benefit. It is just one step in the fight against child poverty.” It was now time to hit him with a demand, he continued, “A report last week from the Government’s Social Mobility Commission concluded that there are now ‘600,000 more children…living in relative poverty’ than in 2012. The report went on to say: ‘Child poverty rates are projected to increase to 5.2 million by 2022.’ What does the Prime Minister think caused that?”
Starmer’s style of asking an unaccountable, pathological liar to admit guilt and apologize for the ruthless decimation and neglect of a decade of Tory austerity is bordering on delusional as it just invites Johnson to double-down on his prolific lies. The PM replied, “I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for what he said about dexamethasone, and I am glad that he is finally paying tribute to the efforts of this country in tackling Coronavirus. But I can tell him, on free school meals, that this Government are very proud that we set up universal free school meals. I am very pleased that we are going to be able to deliver a Covid summer food package for some of the poorest families in this country and that is exactly the right thing to do. But I must say that I think he is completely wrong in what he says about poverty. Absolutely poverty and relative poverty have both declined under this Government and there are hundreds of thousands—I think 400,000—fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010.”
Starmer stays on the same track saying, “The Prime Minister says that poverty has not increased. I have just read a direct quote from a Government report, from a Government commission, produced last week, which says that it has gone up by 600,000. The Social Mobility Commission has a clear answer to my question: ‘This anticipated rise is not driven by forces beyond our control’. I gave the Prime Minister the number: 600,000. He did not reply. The report goes on to say, and this is a real cause for concern… The Prime Minister is chuntering. He might want to listen. This is a real cause for concern because the commission goes on… I am sure that the Prime Minister has read the report. On the increase to 5.2 million, it states that ‘projections were made before the impact of COVID-19, which we expect to push more families into poverty.’ This is a serious issue. I am sure the Prime Minister would agree that an even higher child poverty rate would be an intolerable outcome from this pandemic. So what is he going to do to prevent it?” Does Starmer really think this public scolding will accomplish anything more than another round of lies?
Johnson hits back by rejecting the current situation and decrying the ominous future speculation saying, “I have understood that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is talking about what he calls an anticipated rise rather than a rise that has actually taken place. A new concept is being introduced into our deliberations. What we are talking about is what has actually happened, which is a reduction in poverty.” Conflating stark current statistics with future projections in a classic bait and switch, Johnson then switched to his favoured tactic of “I can say” bragging. The PM continued, “I can tell him that of course we are concerned. The whole House will understand that of course this Government are deeply concerned about the impact of Coronavirus on the UK economy.”
Johnson then enlisted his non-existent public support saying, “I think everybody with any fairness would acknowledge that this Government have invested massively in protecting the workforce of this country, with 11 million jobs protected by the coronavirus job retention scheme, unlike anything done anywhere else in the world, and £30 billion-worth of business loans. We intend to make sure that we minimise the impact of Coronavirus on the poorest kids in this country. One of the best ways in which we could do that, by the way, would be to encourage all kids who can go back to school to go back to school now, because their schools are safe. Last week, I asked him whether he would say publicly that schools were safe to go back to. He hummed and hawed. Now is his time to say clearly that schools are safe to go back to. Mr Speaker: your witness.” This was the new trick he was so proud of; turn Prime Ministers Questions into a spurious grilling of the opposition on an issue he had absolutely no control over.
Starmer started with more insults that don’t seem to bother Johnson in the least as he’s totally detached from the reality of the dire chaos he is causing; the wealthy elite are feeling no pain and those are the only people the PM cares about. “The Prime Minister obviously has not got the first idea what the social mobility report, from a Government body, actually said last week. He talks to me about consistency and U-turns. The Government have had three U-turns in the last month. First, we had the immigration health charges; then we had MPs’ voting; and then we had free school meals. The only question now is whether U-turns at the Dispatch Box are before or after. Three U-turns. He argues about one brief one week and one the next; he is an expert in that.”
Starmer’s tactic of taunting the PM over U-turns might make Johnson even more entrenched in his shambolic policies and less likely to retreat in future; sadly the political point scoring of competing alpha males always prevails at PMQs. Starmer continued his onslaught with, “This is not the only area where the Government are falling short. During the pandemic, local authorities have been working flat out on social care, homelessness, obtaining protective equipment for the frontline, and delivering food and essential supplies. On 26 March, the Communities Secretary told council leaders directly and in terms, in a letter to council leaders and in a speech: ‘The Government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to support councils in their response to coronavirus’. Does the Prime Minister believe that the Government have kept that promise?”
Johnson shot back with a few meaningless large sums of cash that mysteriously never appear to materialize, but they do sound suitably impressive when announced. He boasted, “We put £3.2 billion extra into local government to tackle coronavirus, but I must say that we did not hear an answer, did we Mr Speaker? How can the right hon. and learned Gentleman talk about tackling the effects of Coronavirus on the most disadvantaged? It is the most disadvantaged kids who need to go back to school, and it is those groups who unfortunately are not going back to school. Let’s hear it from him one more time: will he say that schools are safe to go back to? Come on!” He sounded like a broken record asking for a damaging capitulation he knew he would not get.
Starmer pointed out the obvious by stating, “This is turning into Opposition questions. If the Prime Minister wants to swap places, I am very happy. I could do it now. The only bit of an answer he gave to the question I asked was about £3.2 billion… It is a lot of money. The Conservative-led Local Government Association has said that councils will have a shortfall of £10 billion this year… The Health Secretary heckles. The Conservative leader of Lancashire County Council wrote a letter to the Communities Secretary a month ago, on 7 May. He said that ‘the overall financial impact on councils nationally and locally will be far in excess of the £3.2 billion provided to date.’ He went on to say that ‘we…would like some assurance from you that all councils will be fully reimbursed for the costs of…covid-19′. These are the Prime Minister’s own council leaders. He must have known about this problem for months. Why has he been so slow to act?”
Time to throw some more big cash amounts into the mix; the PM bragged, “We have not, because in addition to the £3.2 billion, we have already put in another £1.6 billion to support councils delivering frontline services, plus—from memory—another £600 million to go into social care. I want to return to this point about poverty. We want to tackle deprivation in this country. I want kids to go back to school. The unions will not let the right hon. and learned Gentleman say the truth. A great ox has stood upon his tongue. Let him now say that schools are safe to go back to.” Johnson’s response was beyond unimaginative and defensive it was truly desperate as if – the record’s stuck… the record’s stuck… the record’s stuck…
Starmer ignored the broken record and kept up the attack with, “The Prime Minister just does not get how critical this is. I spoke with council leaders from across the country this week. The Prime Minister must know that they face a choice between cutting core services and facing bankruptcy under section 114 notices. Either outcome will harm local communities and mean that local services cannot reopen. That will drive up poverty, something the Prime Minister says he does not intend to do. Local councils have done everything asked of them in this crisis—the Government have not. Will the Prime Minister take responsibility and actually do something?” It’s called ‘Decimating Down’ Starmer; that is the reality of the Tory propaganda on ‘Levelling Up’
Johnson started into his reply with fake respect ahead of the next rash of false promises, “With great respect to the right hon. and learned Gentleman, I have outlined what we are doing to support local government, and I think this country can be very proud of the investments that we have made. It can be very proud of the incredible work that local government officials have done across this country, but I must say that there are some councils, particularly Labour councils, alas, that are not opening their schools now when they could be opening their schools. I say to him, for I hope the last time: now is the moment when he can say to those Labour councillors that it is safe for kids to go back to reception, to year 1, to year 6, to early years, as they can. Will he now say it?” The record’s stuck; how absurd to expect the leader of the opposition to endorse the forced reopening of schools despite the Tory Government’s failure to put appropriate provisions and safety measures in place!
Starmer might think he is getting under Johnson’s skin, but the PM has a very thick shell! He stated that, “Every week, the Prime Minister seems to complain that I ask him questions at Prime Minister’s questions. If he wants to swap places, so be it. Finally, I want to return to the Prime Minister’s other recent U-turn, which was on the immigration health surcharge for NHS and care workers. Following Prime Minister’s questions on 20 May, the Government announced that they would drop that deeply unfair charge—that is nearly a month ago. Nothing has happened. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Physicians and Unison have all written to the Prime Minister, so he must know about this. One doctor was quoted on Monday as saying: ‘My colleagues who have applied, even yesterday, one of them said he had to pay for himself, his wife and four kids so that is £6,000…The Home Office is…saying that…nothing has been implemented’. These are people on the frontline. The Prime Minister said he would act. When is he going to do so?”
Oh no, now Starmer was actually expecting the Tory Government to follow through on a pledge, obviously he didn’t realize it was just a fleeting PR stunt; this Englishman’s word is definitely not his bond, it never was… The PM said, “I am genuinely grateful for an important question, because it is vital that people who are working on the frontline, and NHS workers in particular, get the support that they need. That is why I said what I said a few weeks ago. What I can tell the right hon. and learned Gentleman is that NHS or care workers who have paid the surcharge since 21 May will be refunded, and we are getting on with instituting the new arrangements as fast as we possibly can.” Postpone implementation then drown retrospective claimants in a sea of bureaucratic paperwork that frustrates until they simply give up in exasperation; it has worked so well with Windrush it’s the Tory model.
Tory Lia Nici piped up to stroke the PM’s ego over his moronic commitment to crash-out Brexit by saying, “I welcome the Prime Minister’s rejection of the extension to the Brexit transition period. Does he agree that taking back control of our fishing waters in January 2021 will benefit the fishing communities within the Great Grimsby constituency?” We may try to block any other boats from fishing in our waters, but we cannot force the EU to continue buying our fish; just one more industry the Tories will throw under the bus! Johnson responded with the standard Brexit delusion saying, “I can tell my hon. Friend that it certainly will when we become once again an independent coastal state. I know how brilliantly she campaigns for fisheries in Grimsby and I urge her to engage with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to make sure that the people of Grimsby can exploit the recapture of our spectacular natural marine wealth.” Not much good if the EU no longer buy our fish.
Ian Blackford praised the determined football star who had shamed Johnson into his latest U-turn, stating, “Marcus Rashford has shown more moral leadership in tackling poverty in a matter of days than this Tory Government have in the past decade of cuts, but, as he says, people are struggling all year round and more needs to be done. This morning, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Save the Children published research showing that the ongoing health crisis is causing six in 10 families to borrow money, seven in 10 to cut back on essentials and over five in 10 to fall behind on rent and other essential bills. An extra £20 a week in social security support would prevent millions of families from having to make the choice between paying their bills or feeding their children. Will the Prime Minister now immediately uplift the child element of universal credit and child tax credit by £20 per week?”
Asking for money for those barely subsisting on paltry benefits with their children living in grinding poverty was never going to fly, it did not unfreeze the heart of the imposter part-time PM; he has no heart. Johnson started bragging again, “This is a Government who have done everything we possibly can so far to help families in need to make sure that nobody is penalised for doing the right thing during the crisis. I know how difficult it has been. That is why we uprated the universal credit by £1,044, benefiting, I think, 4 million families in this country. I say in all sincerity to the right hon. Gentleman that we are fully aware that there will be tough times ahead and we do stand by to do more where we can.”
Blackford kept pitching for that meagre extra cash for impoverished families asking, “Twenty pounds a week—twenty pounds a week to help families with children. That is what we are asking for. We are talking about an extra £20 a week to stop families having to make the choice between paying their bills or feeding their children. That is the harsh reality, Prime Minister. This is a question of helping people survive. This Tory Government have seen a decade of austerity that has driven people into poverty, and they have scrapped child poverty targets. Rather than reversing their damaging policies that have pushed millions into poverty, the Prime Minister is more interested in finding money to spend on his own vanity project: a luxury VIP plane. Is he seriously saying that he will not find £20 a week to help families who are struggling to survive?”
He had to compare the plight of poor children to the obscene extravagance of Johnson’s VIP plane; Trump had a plane, he needed one too. Just deny and distract, the PM continued, “No, of course not. That is why we are investing massively in universal credit, employment and support allowance, and benefits across the board, to say nothing of the novel schemes we have introduced, such as the Coronavirus job retention scheme, which is a model that I think the whole world is admiring. There is no other country that has put its arms around 11 million workers in the way that this Government have supported jobs and supported incomes across the whole of the UK. We are going to get this country through it, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman supports our measures.” Johnson evoked that ‘Tory hug of death’ that had so disgusted the public when applied to neglected Care Homes; it was no less offensive repeated here.
For some reason several Tory MPs felt the need to complement the PM’s vigour and health with statements like, “It is really good to see the Prime Minister looking fighting fit.” There were also a number of gratuitous comments that offered Boris Johnson the perfect opportunity unleash a stream of self-congratulatory statements about money allocated that in many cases had either been insufficient to meet genuine needs, highly conditional with regard to access or had yet to materialize. Just like the compensation for Windrush victims these announcement target the attention of the compliant press with impressive commitments that are never intended to be met. These euphemistically termed, ‘questions’ classically begin with the words, “Does the Prime Minister agree with me…” going on to describe one of Johnson’s fanciful proposed investments in infrastructure or industry that is designed to placate the wary masses as another thinly disguised compliment is unveiled and nauseatingly exploited by the PM in his response.
I believe that this wretched Tory cabal are getting seriously worried as the desperation of their efforts becomes more blatant by the day. Even with the backing of a fully compliant media, and the fastidious shielding of the BBC, their fake messaging is not cutting through and approval ratings for Boris Johnson are in freefall. The tone deaf response to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests has become a self-inflicted wounding of the Tory brand while Johnsons refusal to fire Cummings has universally alienated those of all political persuasions. The victorious Brexit finish line is sight, beyond that point all rights and freedoms can be stripped away without recourse to resistance as the EU will no longer have a cause to intervene on our behalf. The need for complete exposure of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, an urgent investigation and an appeal to the European court to correct the injustice of the hijacked, stolen, corrupt and reckless Tory decision-making process shares this same impending deadline. We must not give up.June 21, 2020 at 21:47 #55461Kim Sanders-Fisher
The most seriously long overdue response from Boris Johnson to the “Black Lives Matter Movement” would be for him to offer his best attempt at delivering a really sincere apology to the nation for his own bigotry and deeply offensive racist remarks that are documented in articles that he penned, in his white supremacist arrogance. But no, Johnson doesn’t do sincere and he is far too narcissistic to ever even consider a humble apology. That simple duty would have marked a starting point, an indication that he was at least trying to listen; instead the tone deaf part-time Prime Minister announced that he was setting up yet another distracting and redundant inquiry into racial disparities. If he thought this might act as a salve to quell the protests he was seriously out of step with public opinion. If anything the PM poured petrol on the fire by appointing Munira Mirza to lead the disingenuous “inquiry.”
As the Guardian Article reporting in, “Fourth week of anti-racism protests fuels call for change,” “Protesters in London demand removal of Munira Mirza as head of race inequality commission.” Protesters cited the need to remove Boris Johnson’s adviser Mirza, “because she has cast doubt on the existence of institutional racism and condemned previous inquiries for fostering a ‘culture of grievance’,” which Tory Martin Docherty-Hughes brought the PM’s attention at Prime Minister’s Questions as if it were a glowing attribute! In his convoluted pseudo question he asked, “…So I wonder: can the Prime Minister tell us today, does he agree with Ms Mirza that previous inquiries have fostered a ‘culture of grievance’ within minority communities?” To which outrageous assertion the PM replied, “I am a huge admirer of Dr Munira Mirza, who is a brilliant thinker about these issues…” Johnson tried to claim that what the BLM protesters wanted was an inquiry to dredge over the same ignored issues Tories would never rectify.
In reality, what the protesters are still crying out for is an end to the procrastination over the copious evidence of measures that required urgent implementation years ago; the recommendation of the past eight ignored inquiries into various aspects of racial inequality and injustice do not require further analysis. These protest should not end until we see a concrete plan of action to start actually taking long-overdue positive changes, but Johnson just ordered a few more gallons of whitewash. The Guardian reported that, “At Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park in west London on Saturday, protest organiser Imarn Ayton called for Mirza’s removal and told attendees that giving her the role was a grave mistake before thousands marched on Parliament Square.” Mirza was depicted as “…a woman who does not believe in institutional racism – she has argued it is more of a perception than a reality.”
The continuing protests are overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations. According to an Article in the Skwawkbox, in early BBC news reports of the deadly attacks in Reading appeared to suggest that they were linked to a Black Lives Matter protest in the park earlier in the day. Although these random stabbings bore all the obvious hallmarks of a lone terrorist attack it has taken almost 24 hours for the incident to be designated as such. It certainly looks as if the establishment are keen to portray the BLM movement as a violent insurrection targeting statues and monuments with vandalism. The Guardian noted that, “Protesters chanted ‘Munira Mirza must go’ as they marched through central London. But there was no repeat of the events of last Saturday, when far-right counter-protesters congregated, purportedly to defend statues, and clashed with police. It led the prime minister to condemn the violence as ‘racist thuggery’, adding: ‘Racism has no part in the UK and we must work together to make that a reality’.” Try apologising!
The stunning photo capturing white counter protester Bryn Male being carried to safety over the shoulder of Patrick Hutchinson, in a gesture infinitely more powerful than any angry retaliatory punch, perfectly encapsulated the peaceful intent of Black Lives Matter protesters. Another Guardian Article reported that, “Hutchinson and friends had attended an anti-racism protest in London on Saturday with a view to protecting younger allies from far-right counter protesters. He has told how he stepped in when he became aware of a man involved in a confrontation outside the Southbank Centre at Waterloo.” In his humility they note that, “The 49-year-old has been keen to stress that he protected the counter-protester by working with his four friends – Pierre Noah, 47, Jamaine Facey, 43, Chris Otokito, 37, and Lee Russell, also 37 – who formed a protective ring as Hutchinson moved the man away.”
They add that “Hutchinson has told the Guardian he wanted the image of moment in which he and his friends acted to carry the wounded man to safety to be a unifying one. ‘I hope it’ll change the minds of those who are sitting on the fence, who aren’t sure about this whole thing. I hope it can galvanise us as human beings and bring us together.” Reports in several newspapers describe Male, the rescued man, as an abusive rowdy football hooligan who at 55 should know better than to incite trouble According to the Guardian, it has been confirmed that he was a “former officer at British Transport Police” and they said, “Bryn Male, who has yet to speak publicly about the events of the weekend that led to Patrick Hutchinson being hailed as a hero, worked in the London area for British Transport Police and was latterly a detective constable. He retired from the force in September 2014…”
In stark contrast the BLM protests where people of all ethnic backgrounds have been drawn together in solidarity seeking equality, “>the Canary Article entitled, “As far-right fascists rampage through London, the establishment’s emboldening them further” highlights the problem of systemic racism. They report that, “On 13 June, hoards of angry far-right protesters stormed through central London, allegedly to protect statues and monuments from Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists. The marches quickly descended into disorder, with video footage emerging of white men behaving violently, and kicking and throwing punches at the police. Journalists were also reportedly attacked. But the response from police and the establishment to their violence has likely emboldened them even further.” Describing a, “two-tier system based on race,” they note that, “Large crowds of white men were recorded marching, swearing, and making Nazi salutes. Video footage showed violent scuffles between a group of white men and the police in Parliament Square. Yet reports emerged of Met Police ‘indiscriminately’ arresting Black men in the evening on 13 June…”
Beyond the disproportionate targeting of peaceful anti-racist protesters that might give the false impression of a protest brawl for which both sides were equally responsible according to the Canary the mainstream media are also complicit in this deliberate misinterpretation of the reality on the ground. They emphasize that such distortions provide “A space for fascism,” Elaborating the reports about far right agitators they say, “Perhaps more disturbing than the marches themselves is the legitimacy that they’ve been given by the press and certain influential bodies. Apart from the far-right being benignly referred to as ‘counter-protesters’, the Metro initially called them ‘anti-antifascists’. It later changed this to ‘far right protesters.” They also report that, “a journalist at the Telegraph decided to video record and amplify a speech from Britain First leader Paul Golding. This is the same man who was found guilty under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act on 20 May. Yet he’s seen speaking freely in public without any police in sight.”
Our monuments are well defended from vandalism by the police whose job it is to protect any property that is under threat, so there was no excuse for the far-right racist thuggery in faux defence of statues, undeserving of our reverence. I remarked in my Post only the other day that, “these radical extremists find support among Tory MPs for whom it’s far more important to shield the bronze and plaster icons of Imperial rule and jingoistic subjugation of the global south than it is to safeguard the hard-working, loyal and dedicated living decedents of those poor exploited people among our key workers and the heroes of our NHS still dying from Covid 19!” I would like to adorn Churchill’s statue in the full PPE so desperately needed by our NHS staff as it would cause no ham for Winston to don a gown, face mask and visor: only them might Johnson and his Tory ditherers realize where the urgent need for Government ‘protection’ really lies. Do you think the penny might just drop? I doubt it with this dangerous Tory cabal.
At PMQs last Wednesday the Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns had said, “Following the disgraceful events of the last week, with folks defacing national monuments, including Churchill and Queen Victoria, and offending the memory of hero PC Keith Palmer, what will the Prime Minister do to uphold British values and carry out the rule of law?” We do not need to harm Winston’s hairless bald head, but he needs relocating to a museum where the full details of his illustrious past can be judged in appropriately balanced contrast with the atrocities he perpetrated that should shame us all. The recent spotlight on Churchill is a good thing as it has sent the curious on a frantic Google search for all those inglorious deeds that have been so studiously airbrushed out of our country’s history books. During the war years a desperate people needed a hero so Churchill got the job. David Olusoga commented that the Covid 19 crisis has provided the time to read and really learn about our past. There are a few corrections to be made!
If I had my way Churchill would be removed from our five pound notes; I call them ‘Blue Bigots’ and I resent their inclusion in our currency. As I wrote in my last Post, “Who might be less controversial, more inclusive and universally acceptable by the entire British public as a worthy replacement for Winston Churchill on that venerated plinth in Parliament square? What truly heroic figure from the devastating years of world war trauma, adored as much by the veterans who fought in Burma’s jungles as the worried wives they left behind to endure the blitz? Please not another towering man of endless brutal conflict and cruelty, but instead a noble woman of compassion and strength, whose commitment and courage took her to the front line unarmed, not carrying the bandages to heal wounded bodies, but blessed with the powerful voice that soothed desolate, fearful and tormented minds. Even a firmly committed pacifist could rejoice in her contribution to preserving the flagging morale of our embattled people in our darkest hour; I speak of course of Vera Lynn.”
They could build speakers into the base of the plinth with the ability for a £1 donation to charity to trigger that spirited rendition of her most memorable song, “We’ll meet again.” The donations could help to support Homeless Veterans, but wait, surely we must recognize that ‘Homeless Veterans’ is a ghastly oxymoron. Why are these former soldiers left abandoned to sleep on our streets? Because they become expendable soon after the Government has finished exploiting the fervour of patriotism that compelled them to join up seeking adventure at a tender age of naivety where we do not even trust them to vote. The Cenotaph and other glorious war memorials that the Tory Government is prepared to go to such lengths to protect are as sacred as our national remembrance day that has now morphed into an extended poppy month! The rituals are not so much a respectful veneration of the sacrifice of those who fought and died, but a vital jingoistic PR stunt to recruit the next generation of cannon fodder ready to fight in another futile foreign conflict.
Where are the memorials to humanitarians and selfless aid workers who have died overseas or the courageous journalists who have died while reporting foreign conflicts or domestic rioting? The Government does not recognize their sacrifice as much as that of the animals killed in battle for whom there is a statue; we can only glorify war. The Canary reported that the, “Protesters chanted “Munira Mirza must go” as they marched through central London, but in fairness the ridiculous inquiry itself must go as it just creates further space for inexcusable Tory Government procrastination and a further opportunity for victim blaming for which they are so accomplished. They want to exploit the Black Lives Matter protests as a distraction from their shambolic policy disasters, but every intervention leads to another embarrassing blunder like Dominic Raab’s insulting comments about taking the knee. They still haven’t fired Dominic Cummings for violating the lockdown rules they still expect the rest of us to abide by.
Boris Johnson and his Tory Government are hopelessly out of touch are not listening so we must keep reminding them of the really important priorities. Ditch the inquiry and start taking immediate action on Windrush, Grenfell the report David Lammy presented, all eight neglected reports. Commit to full transparency by releasing the Russian Report and make Dominic Cummings submit to committee scrutiny by appearing to answer questions before he is sent packing. Protect vulnerable people especially those in the BAME community and provide regular adequate supplies of PPE for NHS and key workers while relegating archaic statues to our brutal imperialist past to museums. Start telling the truth in Parliament and to the media and stop manipulating our BBC. It is hopeless expecting any of these things to materialize which is why it is so vitally important that we fully investigate the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and remove this toxic Tory Government from power. Keep protesting: DO NOT MOVE ON!June 22, 2020 at 00:08 #55472Clark
Kim, you wrote:
– “I have discovered that there are others who are engaged in similar activities and sometimes the stumble upon the forum. We need to create a repository for this information so that it is all collected in one place. The space to exhibit all of this data extends beyond the capacity of this Forum, but there are other possibilities as outlined by our Moderator.”
I have a request and a suggestion.
Please link to the moderator’s comment.
Keep contributing your writing here, but start another forum just for evidence, links, etc., keeping it really concise. Better to have it all collected somewhere online rather than nowhere; it can always be copied to another location later.June 22, 2020 at 10:35 #55482SA
I think what you are doing is splendid and I like your style of writing and commenting and the hard work you put in it. It is a running commentary of what is happening and the gross incompetence of this government. Cracks are beginning to show within the tory party. But what I find completely exasperating is that despite all of this, the opinion polls still show a tory lead of 4%. We can argue about the validity of this but in general, and seeing how people are behaving, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the fundamental problem here is how to inform and educate the population. The MSM being controlled mainly by billionaires and the BBC being the mouthpiece of the government rather than a public interest broadcaster are the two main issues here.
A relatively more trivial matter is the statement of Raab regarding ‘taking the knee’. This statement has significance at many different levels depending on how you look at it. It was an attempt to deliberately either trivialise or misinterpret the symbolism behind the gesture. By relating this to ‘The Game of Thrones’ he is pandering to something that a majority of people could relate to, popular culture, whereas few of the general population would probably know the true meaning and origin of the gesture. It would be inconceivable to think that Raab is so uninformed and that his briefing is so poor, that he did not understand the meaning of the gesture. But let us further examine his words and what they mean in the twenty first century.
‘I’ve got to say on this taking the knee thing – I don’t know maybe its got a broader history but it seems to me to be taken from the Game of Thrones – feels to me like a symbol of subjugation and subordination rather than one of liberation and emancipation.
‘But I understand people feel differently about it so it’s a matter of personal choice.’
Pressed on whether he personally would take the knee, Mr Raab replied: ‘I take the knee for two people, the Queen and the Mrs when I asked her to marry me.’
He says that taking the knee is a sign of subjugation and subordination, and expects then that we all, or at least himself make this gesture to another human being, in this case the queen. It is shocking to hear a politician talking about this subordination and subjugation of all of us to the queen. In fact it underlines the very basic weakness of a so-called democracy that is based on a monarchical archaic system. He also completely misunderstands the gesture of men kneeling to propose. Hopefully if they do that, do they want to be subjugated or dominated? He does not seem to allow for other feelings such as love or respect or whatever.
Raab’s whole speech was an attacks on the demonstrators. I am not sure whether he has succeeded or not in this diversion.June 23, 2020 at 10:01 #55553Kim Sanders-Fisher
Clark – SA – Clifton – Thank you all for your valuable support. I have cut and pasted all of the Posts on both of the Elections Aftermath Forums, three Blog pages in the original Forum and six so far in our current one. I am meticulously examining all of these Posts to find out who has important data and also to try to create a list of Links; tagging entries with markers for an easier search capability. There are a number of contributors who have stated that they have discovered Twitter Posts from people claiming to have accumulated data, sometimes for just a single constituency, but other times for a whole string of constituencies. It is so hard to locate anything meaningful among the blizzard of truncated sound-bites on Twitter; I still find it impossible to contact anyone who has Posted there. Anyone who becomes aware of potential data sources on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere please make an effort to contact them as they might be persuaded to collaborate to aid our campaign.
One of the most Important Links for you all to examine is the one that contains the Dunoon Unit Report as it provides valuable hints about what can be ascertained from the data. The first red flag they noted was the percentage of returned postal votes, which in some areas was as high as over 96%: well beyond the realm of probability. The register is reviewed and updated once a year and in any given year a number of the eligible voters on that list will have either moved home, become too elderly and incoherent to respond, have gone to prison or just died. They then calculated percentages for each of those categories erring on the side of the minimal numbers of voters to be eliminated within that one year cycle. The number of postal votes has expanded rapidly since being made more widely available; it used to be predominantly disabled and elderly voters.
The Scottish Referendum result data produced anomalies that were well beyond the statistical realm of probability and therefore were most likely accounted for by vote rigging. This was all done by people who didn’t claim to be mathematicians or statisticians like Clifton, but I think the conclusions that they drew were extremely valid. The video presentation of this gives a quick insight into what was accomplished with their project, but the difficulty that remained was getting the police to then investigate further. The timing of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, at the very bitter end of the postal vote registration renewal cycle, was such that the maximum amount of invalid postal votes would have gone out, so was that intentional? I think that if we can match their impressive data analysis with our data number crunching goal before the crash-out Brexit deadline, then we could potentially approach the EU Court, because the end result of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election will strip millions of European Citizens of their rights.
I also believe that due to the chronic mishandling of Covid 19 the public are extremely disenchanted with the Tory Government right now and they are highly motivated to take action in terms of civil unrest and acts of disobedience. The propaganda war waged before, during and after the Covert 2019 Rigged Election was fully supported by the BBC and all of the mainstream media, it was even begrudgingly accepted as a valid result by the alternative media outlets, so it will be hard to turn this around, but not impossible given the current level of public anger. Imagine the fury of the people in the so-called “Red Wall” constituencies, who have been told for months that their “borrowed votes” for Boris got him elected, when they discover that their votes were actually stolen! These are the very same places now facing heavy unemployment and those being hardest hit by the Covid crisis.
We have to proactively change the narrative, but the really good news is that, in their sheer desperation, people are becoming a lot more receptive to that change, especially among that young highly vocal group of Black Lives Matter protesters. This is especially important at a time when Johnson and other Tories are trying to double-down on their divisive tactics, offensive language and belligerent attitudes. Johnson has appointed the very worst possible person to lead a completely redundant inquiry into every area of racial inequality while stubbornly ignoring the recommendations of eight previous inquiries. Prioritizing the defence of statues over the lives and life chances of British people, the message that those, like Cummings, who are within their elitist circle are above the law and now Raab trying to turn a mark of respect into a symbol of subjugation are all recent examples of toxic messaging.
Raab’s obnoxious display of ignorance might have seriously backfired as even more people will start looking up the origin of the gesture; Language Log showed a graph of recent Google search hits. Did Raab not realize that attempts made by Trump to tarnish this powerful act of protest, by suggesting it was an insult to the Star Spangled Banner anthem, the American flag and US service personnel, had failed miserably? Linking it to subjugation and revering the head of our most elite family, the Queen, Raab expects us to grovel rather than bow to the British monarch! Much of what is written about the history of “Taking the Knee” focuses on the NFL players protesting racial injustices in the US. One commenter wrote, “According to an interview I’ve just seen with Kaepernick, he got the suggestion from a Vietnam vet. Taking a knee was a way to honour a comrade who’d been killed; as per the ‘military tradition’,” Another wrote, “Eric Reid himself noted in an editorial for the New York Times on Monday: We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.”
It is reassuring to know that if Johnson’s Machiavellian manipulator is driving this effort to control the messaging, he is doing a thoroughly abysmal job of it and he’s probably making the Tory brand even more toxic. We must negate every Tory comment and catchphrase, but while I’ve create some memorable slogans for the slug-fest ahead, I need to get them out there. I am totally inept when it comes to Social Media, Twitter, Whatsapp, any app for that matter and I’m not on Facebook; Clark this is why my Petition is languishing unnoticed and starting a new one elsewhere is pointless without better contacts. I am seriously intimidated by some of these platforms and I doubt I could cope if I tried to interact using them. However, these platforms hold the key because right now the Government is about as inept at blocking the pervasive use of these Social Media sites as I am in utilizing them. If you are any better equipped to deal with accessing these sites please pitch in and help spread the word and contact the people who claim on Twitter to have accumulated the very data Clifton is seeking.
The utter disbelief fuelled by my reliance on logic and my critical scrutiny of the multiple suspicious anomalies that underpin the so-called “Landslide Victory” claimed by Boris Johnson have not been enough to convince a professional investigative journalist to delve into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election just yet. For me the truth is painfully obvious: “If it walks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck it’s not a Giraffe!” However, when these suspicious anomalies are backed up by the data that clearly shows results beyond the statistical realm of possibility that vote rigging must have accounted for the unexpected result, then there is the basis of a news story with massive implications. This highly sophisticated election rigging is going on all over the world under the strict control of the global elite; if it is blasted wide open here in the UK the perpetrators will be exposed and hopefully they will fall like dominos.
Beyond the investigative component we will need to create a powerful groundswell of public support and that will require massive Social Media engagement in order to not become drowned out by the Government propaganda claims that this is just a conspiracy theory perpetrated by disgruntled leftists. That will require the support of high profile alternative media outlets like Novara Media, the Canary and Skwawkbox as well as fired up individuals like Twitter maven Rachael_Swindon and the team at Led by Donkeys. I keep repeating certain catchphrases in the hope one will land well with one of these highly vocal alternative thinkers, that is why I constantly write about the December vote as the “Covert 2019 Rigged Election.” Just close enough to Covid 19 to create a strong association between the two inextricably linked crisis situations: if the public did not think that Tory “landslide victory” posed a major threat to our lives and our way of life back in December they are surely waking up to the disastrous consequences by now!
Key words and phrases provide the media with what is known in journalistic circles as “a Hook” with which to grab public attention. I learned this many years ago when my friends sailing a boat back to Europe via the Red Sea, ran aground off the coast of Somalia and the crew were all thrown in jail. I worked with the press to help keep their plight in the news so that the British Foreign Office took notice and we finally got them out. Although I didn’t succeed in getting the funding I needed, I used that media knowledge to get varied news stories printed on a regular basis every couple of weeks when I was trying to gain sponsorship for my International Women’s Team to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race. Now the publicity platforms have changed dramatically, but the Hook concept is still valid.
Changing the narrative requires getting the public to switch from being sucked in by Right Wing propaganda of a “Tory Landslide Victory” to the sordid truth of the “Covert 2019 Rigged Election;” from the cruel lie about “Borrowed Votes” to the despicable reality of the “Stolen Votes;” from Boris Johnson’s fake promises about “Levelling Up” to the harsh probability of the Tories acting true to form and “Decimating Down.” Their dire reluctance to support the free school meals for poor children over the summer was a bitter taste of unpalatable Tory driven deprivation to come. There must be a few shock headlines about the “Slaughter of the Sheeple” and the “Holocaust in Care” to make the public put the Government’s catastrophic failures over Covid 19 into the appropriate perspective as we continue to expose the ongoing pursuit of “Herd Immunity,” which clearly a deliberate act of Genocide! Perhaps it requires an entirely new word: is the Tory Government committing “Covicide?” Keep using these terms and they will start to trend!
When approaching doubters there are certain premises that are absolutely irrefutable. The fist is that our UK Elections are wide open to fraud on an Industrial scale. Looking at our Elections from the perspective of an observer of the legitimacy of foreign elections, Craig Murray articulated the reasons for this really well in a Guardian Article over a decade ago. This has been widely acknowledged and well documented by top Judges and MPs on both sides of the political divide. it was because of the rock solid foundation of this argument that my Internet Petition for an Investigation targets increasing the powers of our toothless Electoral Commission: “Rescue our Watchdog!” The Electoral Commission is not the only so-called watchdog whose effectiveness and legitimacy is in severe peril; Tory Government policy has deliberately neutered all scrutinizing bodies to eliminate or dramatically reduce accountability; this now includes their next major target our Judiciary! “A Watchdog that cannot watch is just a dog!”
Another irrefutable fact is that the people who have inadvertently or deliberatey blurted out their inside knowledge of the postal vote results before Election Day were either bluffing or were passed on Intel that came from a central source of information; a fact that would solidly confirm vote rigging. To fool the public with the ruse that there was widespread vote sampling is to promote the ludicrous assumption that literally hundreds of trusted Returning Officers right across the country were prepared to break the law and risk a jail sentence to get an early insight into the results as elaborated on in the video presentation about the “Defending Democracy Report.” Considering this obvious criminality you would have thought it was a lot safer to claim the “spouting bullshit” defence? This fact needs to be more widely understood by the public so that intense pressure is brought to bear on the authorities to question those, like Laura Kuennsberg, who broke the law by openly disclosing results ahead of time on TV.
We need to stop stroking the egos of global despots like Trump, Johnson, Bolsonaro and so many more trying to emulate them in a trend towards authoritarian dictatorships led by so-called “Strong Men,” who are in reality just pathetic, insecure “Man-Baby’s” who have managed to bully and cheat their way into power. The eminently narcissistic Boris “Man-Baby” Johnson craves the attention of an adoring public, but a chorus of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” could still seriously unhinge him at any public appearances! Johnson, who prefers to be called just “Boris” as it gives a false impression of friendship, has sought to name things after himself, but we could make this annoying, critical and a lot less flattering. Johnson’s prolific bullshit becomes “Boris-shit;” conveniently rhyming with the Boris bike you have the “Boris Spike” when there is an inevitable significant uptick in Covid cases due to his incompetence
The “Bilious Boris Bubble” of vomit worthy sycophants infecting number ten includes his putrid puppet master the repugnant “Herd Nerd” Dominic Cummings who has yet to comprehend the reality that he’s now become the walking dead. Cummings’s equally fragile ego has been so mortally damaged by his much ridiculed association with the pseudo science aspect of Herd Immunity that he felt compelled to go back and edit portions of the illustrious outpourings on his Blog. This is a raw wound for the Herd Nerd and we need to keep scratching it until he retreats to his Durham bunker. As I’ve said many times in my Posts, I believe that if mounting public pressure gets him fired, Dominic will not go quietly. Craving revenge, Cummings’s personal desire to prove that he was the mastermind behind the Covert 2019 Rigged Election could provide the crucial evidence we require to bring down this Government. Herd Immunity has resulted in the UK record of highest death toll in Europe, but his eugenics philosophy and the power to reinvent our Governance under his control is extremely dangerous: we must keep pushing for his removal.June 23, 2020 at 23:29 #55684Clark
Kim Sanders-Fisher, June 23, 10:01, comment #55553:
– “I have cut and pasted all of the Posts on both of the Elections Aftermath Forums, three Blog pages in the original Forum and six so far in our current one. I am meticulously examining all of these Posts to find out who has important data and also to try to create a list of Links; tagging entries with markers for an easier search capability.
Excellent work Kim. Thanks. I have contacted a friend of mine with an interest in the use of FOI requests; he’ll be happy to send one, as will I.
– “It is so hard to locate anything meaningful among the blizzard of truncated sound-bites on Twitter…”
Yep, that’s exactly what I find. Well put.
– “I still find it impossible to contact anyone who has Posted there.”
So far as I know, the only way is to make a Twitter account and join in (euch). But it’s so noisy I’d expect I’d be ignored.June 23, 2020 at 23:35 #55685Clark
SA, June 22, 10:35, comment #55482:
– “..what I find completely exasperating is that despite all of this, the opinion polls still show a tory lead of 4%”
A friend’s partner called for a “Boo for Boris” as a counterpoint to “Cheer for the NHS”. One of their neighbours physically attacked them until he was restrained by his brother. England is becoming fascist.June 25, 2020 at 00:21 #55784Kim Sanders-Fisher
In our valiant battle to save our fragile Democracy from inextricably morphing into the ‘Dominicracy,’ controlled by eugenicist, Herd Nerd Cummings manipulating our narcissistic part-time PM, Boris ‘Man-Baby’ Johnson through authoritarian chaos, we have not a second to lose between now and crash-out Brexit. In my latest Internet search, prompted by Twitter contact names sent to me by Ell, I just found a rather incriminating video clip of an iphone recording posted by “For The Many” with a dig at the Dom, “You can’t amend your wife’s appearance on Radio 4 though,” dated 25/04/2020. Cummings’s wife wrote an article pretending they had never left London; she also made a deceptive fiction fantasy broadcast. Her portrayal of how dutiful domestic bliss with husband Dominic was marred by Covid 19, is an elaborate fabrication as she fails to mention that exhausting 260 mile road trip to Durham! Cummings broke the rules, he lied to the press and he then tried to trick us all into accepting his offence: he needs to go ASAP and can he please take this corrupt Tory Government out with him!
Clifton – A batch of data is on its way… Thanks to Ell who sent the following really useful Links. The first Link takes you to the site: “Git Hub” for data posted by Alex Stacey who was right on the case sending out FOI Requests in December. Although he is not still actively collecting data, Stacey has made his work available for others to pick up right where he left off. I am contemplating two things, firstly can somebody make contact with Alex Stacey via Twitter and secondly is he still receiving FOI data even though he has stopped sending out requests? Once FOI has received the information requested it is in the public domain and we should still be able to access other data that is sent to him; it would help if he could give us a heads up when new data is available. Listed as, “Postal Vote Data from the 2019 General Election - obtained with Freedom of Information Requests.” Stacey wrote, “Note: This isn’t being worked on any more. If you want to build on the data, just fork this repo and go ahead.”
He went on to modestly explain, “There has been some interest in postal vote data from the General Election in December 2019 so I started compiling some of it via Freedom Of Information requests. It’s far from complete (there’s data for about 160 of the 650 constituencies currently) but I’m publishing it in case it is of use to any researchers or other interested people or in case people want to help compiling it. Some of the data is messy and hard to process. I’ve done my best but it’s a work in progress and I don’t make any guarantees that it’s free of errors. I welcome contributions from anyone that wants to help by adding or checking data.” He goes onto post Links directly to the accumulated data saying, “The data can be viewed here or downloaded here;” I have imbedded both of the Links. The data could set us free; I will leave the number crunching in Clifton’s capable hands.
On the 31st of January Alex Stacey posted an Article on Medium entitled, “Was the Postal Vote for GE2019 Rigged? Here’s the data” described as, “A story about conspiracy theories, freedom of information, elections, and British democracy.” In the article Stacey explains, “I heard about anomalies and apparent prior knowledge of postal vote results. The Electoral Commission were not able to answer my questions. So I sent 300 Freedom of Information requests to local councils and have been compiling basic postal vote data here. There is huge variation in how different constituencies run the vote; I’ve had written admission of rule breaking. The system is wide open to abuse and we shouldn’t accept the lax and haphazard way our elections are observed. It’s also unclear what role private companies play in assisting elections.”
Stacey took note of the inappropriate announcements made by Laura Kuennsberg and Tory MP Raab regarding the postal vote that they should not have had or shared knowledge of according to Electoral Commission’s rules. In the piece he writes that he of the explanation given for this, “Apparently, in most constituencies, observers attend the postal vote opening event and they try to see the results of the ballots and tally them, then they report the info back to HQ. This practice is forbidden in the official rules. The ballots are supposed to be face down and no tallying is allowed, but apparently is standard wide-spread practice. And nobody seems to care.” It is simply amazing that so many of the public are gullible enough to have accepted that these ‘observers,’ under the watchful eye of Returning Officers throughout the country, have universally agree to break the law knowing that any person not in agreement with this would risk them being prosecuted and facing a possible jail sentence!
Stacey looked at Lord Ashcroft’s stats based on a poll that appeared to show a dramatic increase in the postal vote, “from 17% of the vote in 2017 to 38% of the total vote in 2019.” There has been scepticism over the accuracy of that poll and we can only know the true numbers by making these FOI requests because the Electoral Commission will not publish data until later in the year. What motivated Stacey to take a closer look at the postal votes? Probably the troubling information about the extent of outsourcing of Postal Vote Management to Idox and their subsidiary Halarose, that was acquired just before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and dissolved shortly after the vote, plus the potential conflict of interest of Tory MP Peter Lilley due to his ties to Idox. He claimed, “I wrote to IDOX asking for more info on their role in the election. They didn’t reply.”
He would not be alone in assuming that the appropriate place to target with his first ever Freedom of Information request regarding election results would be the Electoral Commission asking; I am sure many other people have made the same mistake. Despite their speedy reply he admits being baffled when the redirected him to contact his local authority. I too was totally astounded when the person I called at the Electoral Commission was unable to tell me which constituencies in the UK outsource electoral services and what private companies were involved. How could the Electoral Commission possibly claim to protect the integrity of our votes if they didn’t even know who was handling the ballots? As Stacey put it, “The organisation that oversees the fairness of elections don’t have the postal vote count data available. If there was massive abuse of the postal vote, they would have no idea at this stage that it happened.” I say, “A Watchdog that cannot watch is just a dog!” We really need to “Rescue our Watchdog!”
Stacey goes on to detail his personal efforts and the specific questions he asked of the 300 local councils he targeted with FOI requests. He wanted answers to four questions: “How many people were registered to vote by post in your constituency? How many postal votes were received? How many postal votes were marked as invalid? What was the result of the postal vote by party?” He reported that within the standard 20 day time frame many councils had responded so he had, “managed to get the numbers for about half of the 650 constituencies in the UK.” It should be of public concern that according to Stacey, “Some councils (around 10%) refused to provide the info, stating that the Electoral Officer is not bound by FOI.” The convoluted excuse for this shocking lack of transparency is an utter disgrace to our democracy; he was told that, “a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act as the Electoral Registration Officer’s role falls outside of the legislation.”
These opaque councils should be named and shamed for the devious explanation used to justify their non-compliance. Stacey revealed what they wrote, “The registration of electors is governed by the Representation of the People Act 1983 as amended. Under Section 8 of the Act, the council must appoint an officer of the council to be the registration officer for any constituency or part of a constituency coterminous with or situated in the council’s area. Any appointment as Electoral Registration Officer is separate to any other appointment and, although appointed by the council, the Electoral Registration Officer’s responsibilities and duties are personal. ‘An example of this is that the register of electors is deemed to be the property of the Electoral Registration Officer, not the local authority. The Electoral Registration Officer does not carry out the duties on behalf of the local authority but in his own personal capacity’.”
What this effectively means is that your council tax is being used to pay for your personal data to be entrusted to an unaccountable private individual for whom there is no oversight or recourse. Surely this represents a clear violation of the data protection laws in this country and it should be challenged. The trouble is that too many people are prepared to accept the increasing Government divestment to unaccountable private companies and individuals so when a FOI request for public information like this receives this type of brick wall reply the scrutiny goes no further. The rush to privatize everything has created the ultimate utopia for the wealthy elite under a Tory Government as we are denied access to the inner workings of core services that used to be accountable to the public. It facilitated the deniability that will probably see no one charged with corporate manslaughter for the sickening death toll at Grenfell Tower and absolve the Government of responsibility for stripping away the safety regulations that would have saved lives.
Stacey noted that, “About 13% (39 in total) failed to reply to the FOI in the given time,” which makes me wonder if there are any further replies containing data, that arrived after he had completed the data sheets posted online, that we might still gain access to? There may be some confusion over his understanding of what constitutes an invalid vote and at what point it is deemed invalid. Understandably confused by the discovery that, for some truly inexplicable reason, postal votes are mixed in with regular ballots before the count, he relays how certain councils, “…go through the postal votes to remove invalid ones before they are mixed with the others. Everyone seems to do it a bit differently.” There are actually two points where a ballot can be rendered invalidity; the first is when outer envelope “B” is opened and the voter’s details are checked to see if everything is correct for that ballot envelope to be included in the count. The second shouldn’t occur during an opening session as ballots are not allowed to be examined, but spoiled ballots are discovered on the night of the count.
Stacey’s questions had been framed before he learned of the regulation on mixing the ballots so he did not gain access to the results obtained by each party within the postal votes. This is such a counter-productive rule that deliberately precludes being able to gain a comprehensive assessment of potential industrial scale fraud within our voting system that this well recognized flaw should have been eliminated over a decade ago when Craig Murray highlighted it in his Article in the Guardian. In light of these facts Stacey was surprised to receive, “this reply: Wyre Forest Freedom of Information, Worcestershire Regulatory Services” sent on the 10th of January 2020 his first three questions on the numbers were answered as follows: “A: 12,733; B: 11,152; C: 325.” When he read the result of the Party breakdown as, “D: Davis — Green Party — 492,Garnier — Conservative Party — 7342; Lunn — Labour Party — 1710; Miah — Liberal Democrat — 1224; Rejected — 51” he concluded that “…so at least some of them count the postal votes before mixing them. This is clearly against the rules published by the Electoral Commission.”
Stacey deduced that, “It’s clear that Lord Ashcroft’s figure of 38% postal vote is not representative. Some are high — as high as 55% of the total vote — and some are as low as 10%.” However, he was concerned over the mixing of votes saying of the crucial party breakdown within the postal votes, “we don’t know the counts in the postal vote.” He went on to elaborate on the implications of that in the most extreme case, “So, in a constituency that had 55% of the total vote by post, if somehow every single vote was for one party, we would never actually know that. Nor would the Electoral Commission. At this point, I’m wondering if the Electoral Commission actually have any sort of clue about what’s going on. I suspect their roll is less about overseeing elections, and more about reassuring the public that they are overseeing elections.”
Stacey concluded by sharing his other concerns about the UK Electoral system’s serious flaws that, in his opinion, potentially had a far greater impact on the legitimacy of the Governance of our country; they included Gerrymandering of constituency boundaries, media manipulation and our unelected House of Lords. All very valid points that do not negate the importance of demanding a full investigation that might expose Industrial scale fraud in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. He was obviously disillusioned by what he had discovered, commenting that, “But the fact that the oversight of the actual voting process is so lax, and that someone like me with no political background can spend a few hours sending out emails and find clear evidence of rule-breaking — and rule-breaking that the Electoral Commission is unlikely to even find or report, is worrying and points to a need for better observation and more transparent management of our elections if we’re going to continue to tell ourselves that we live in a democracy.”
In disgust Stacey noted, “Don’t follow me if you want more political writings, because I’m done with it. …but politics can jog on.” In the information sent by Ell she highlighted another website suggesting a search on “What Do They Know” where she said “FOI requests re postal votes turned up 179+ results. There will be many more as I know Alex did 450 or more so it may be that the search term will need to be changed ‘postal voting’ Ge2019 stats etc.” When I visited the Link I discovered that there were a large number of FOI requests made regarding the results of the EU Referendum as well as the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, but this data may reveal equally damaging fraud as well. I have started fishing around the Twitter posts to find further indications of political disenchantment and activism; the data collectors are still out there, but hard to locate unless you know how to navigate the site. We cannot afford to be complacent; we must not move on: I’ve gone fishing…June 26, 2020 at 02:38 #55832Kim Sanders-Fisher
Payback is hell, but it ain’t Tory policy to pay back at all. The momentous anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush with its cargo of willing workers from the Caribbean eager to help Britain rebuild the mother country shattered by two World Wars passed rather uneventfully. There was nothing much to celebrate for those who were targeted by Theresa May’s “Hostile Environment policy, despite promised compensation and another resounding chorus of “Lessons Learned;” most are still waiting for a payout and the Government has just recently announced yet another inquiry to find out what the appropriate lessons actually are. Those applying for the restoration of their stolen citizenship are being fobbed off with “settled status” and another five year wait; Those expecting this Tory Government to pay compensation are finding the process and the paperwork just as Kafkaesque as the bogus requirements of their desperate struggle to avoid illegal detention and deportation.
The Home Secretary Priti Patel cannot have relished the task of fielding questions in the Commons regarding how the Home Office is dealing with the Windrush Compensation Scheme under her stewardship. She began her statement by acknowledging the celebration of Windrush Day, the previous day and the huge contribution to the UK made by those who arrived aboard the Empire Windrush in the 72 years since as well as “many thousands of others who made similar journeys, and their descendants.” Patel went on to say, “Yet as we all know, they were the very people who went on to suffer unspeakable injustices and institutional failings spanning successive Governments over several decades.” After telling the House she had apologised she said that “on the 19th of March, I made a statement after I received the long awaited Windrush lessons learned review from Wendy Williams.” She then doubled-down on reminding us that, “I have apologised for the appalling treatment suffered by the Windrush generation.”
Patel continued, “The review was damning about the conduct of the Home Office and unequivocal about the ‘institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the…race and the history of the Windrush generation’ by the Department. There are serious and significant lessons for the Home Office to learn in the way it operates.” Tory Governments don’t have a credible track record when it comes to ‘Lessons Learned;’ this hackneyed phrase is Tory code for: ‘bury under the rug!’ She said, “I and the permanent secretary are currently reviewing its leadership, culture and practices, and the way it views and treats all parts of the community it serves.” Ah, there’s another word the Tories love sadly their concept of ‘review’ is an open invitation to endless delay and procrastination.
Always expect the exact opposite when an MP uses the word ‘clear;’ it would be helpful if the word was avoided or banned from political debate. Patel claimed, “I was clear that when Wendy Williams published her lessons learned review, I would listen and act. I have heard what she has said, and I will be accepting the recommendations that she has made in full.” That assurance will come back to haunt her as she pledged to, “come back to update the House before the summer recess on how we will be implementing the recommendations.” Despite her insistence of “working tirelessly to support the most urgent cases and those most in need…” opposition MPs were keen to remind her of the chronic delays. She would have to rely on her Tory colleagues to faun on her over the belated efforts of her department; well practiced at PMQs Tory ‘stroking’ to invite a self-congratulatory response is not worthy of being documented here.
Patel outlined the timeline saying, ”In April 2018, the Home Office set up the Windrush taskforce to ensure that those who needed documentation immediately could get it. A month later, the Windrush scheme was launched, providing free citizenship to those eligible for it. The Home Office has a dedicated vulnerable persons team in place to provide immediate support to people suffering with a range of vulnerabilities, including the financial hardships and destitutions that have been well documented. The team also administers the urgent and exceptional payments scheme, which provides immediate financial payments. To the end of March this year, the team has made 35 payments, totalling more than £46,000.” Considering the immense scale of the Windrush scandal and the crippling range of its damages the paltry amount of compensation actually paid out in the past two years was jaw dropping.
Reassuring the House that “Work is continuing unabated…” Patel resorted to the typical language of patronage saying that, “So far, more than 12,000 people have been granted documentation by the Windrush taskforce, including more than 5,900 grants of citizenship, and the compensation scheme continues to make payments to compensate the losses and impacts that individuals suffered as a result of not being able to demonstrate their lawful status.” You cannot ‘grant’ citizenship to someone who is already a citizen as acknowledged by her admission of “their lawful status.” As repeated multiple times in her responses Patel insisted that “The scheme was set up and designed with the backing of Martin Forde QC, in close consultation with those who were affected by the scandal.” Although she announced extension of the scheme “until April 2023 to give those who need our help as much time as they need to apply,” this implied that the Government wanted a lot more time to torment and procrastinate over payments.
After talk of “continuing to process individual claims as quickly as possible,” Patel reverted to that red flag of Tory ‘clarity,” saying “But let me be clear: it is not a blanket one-size-fits-all scheme. It was deliberately designed with community leaders and Martin Forde QC so that the claimant is at the heart of each and every claim.” Patel was inviting the opposition to blame Martin Forde QC or the victims themselves for the delays rather than her not-fit-for-purpose Home Office. She said, “Cases deserve to be processed individually with the care and sensitivity that they deserve, so that the maximum payment can be made to every single person.” In reality this is in accordance with standard Tory policy a painfully slow and humiliating process with compensation begrudgingly paid only when it cannot be avoided. Stating, “I simply will not call for targets when it comes to dealing with claims.” She belaboured the point about “dignity and the respect” that is so classically totally absent from any program implemented by a Tory Government.
Patel elaborated on the, “very wide range of categories—far more than any comparable compensation scheme.” The list was a shameful incitement of the racist policy of the ‘Hostile Environment’ her Government had implemented, from immigration fees to loss of earnings, withheld benefits and the impact of homelessness and destitution. She said, “Overall, it covers 13 separate categories. Assessing claims in this way is ultimately beneficial to those who are making them, but it takes time to assess them and it takes time to get it right. While claims are being processed in full, many interim and exceptional payments have been made to make sure that people have access to money—to the funds that they need now.” Going on to say that, “The rate of claims has already increased significantly in the past few months: as of the end of March, more than £360,000 had been awarded, and further offers have been made of approximately £280,000.” Considering the number of people involved, the duration and extent of their suffering this was a drop in the bucket.
Whenever Tories want to sound like they are offering the moon they start with the words ‘I can confirm’ Patel said that, “more than £1 million has been offered in claims so far,” forgetting that she had already told us that the amount offered was, “approximately £280,000.” She was preaching to the choir when she said, “Now is the time for more action.” Patel claimed that, “Anyone who needs help or support to make a claim will receive it. The Home Office has funded Citizens Advice to provide free independent advice and support, and has hosted or attended more than 100 engagement and outreach events throughout the United Kingdom. As Members know, my door is always open, so I urge Members of the House to ensure that their constituents’ cases or concerns are raised immediately with me and my team so that they are progressed and resolved.” She then talked of launching a digital engagement programme so that outreach can continue despite the current social distancing measures and splashed the cash with “a £500,000 fund for community organisations to run outreach, promotional and support activities to increase awareness.”
Acknowledging that there were “a range of other issues and injustices affecting the Windrush generation and their families,” she boasted of yet another review saying, “Yesterday, I announced a new Windrush cross-Government working group, which I will co-chair with Bishop Derek Webley. The group brings together community leaders with senior representatives from a number of Government Departments to address the challenges faced by the Windrush generation and their descendants, spanning programmes on education, work, health and much more.” She enlisted our racist PM in her ongoing program of procrastination.
Saying of the Windrush generation, “No one should have suffered the uncertainty, complication and hardships brought on by the mistakes of successive Governments,” Patel demonstrated she was eager to share the blame with other parties. “Now is the time for more action across the Government to repay that debt of gratitude and to eliminate the challenges that still exist for them and their descendants.”
Speaking glowingly of “celebrating the enormous contribution the Windrush generation and their families have made,” Labour’s Nick Thomas-Symonds said, “Many faced appalling racism, were locked out of jobs and homes, and were subject to terrible abuse in the streets.” Connecting with the recent demands for change he said, “We may have hoped that all aspects of that had been consigned to the past, but 70 years later we have seen an incredibly strong reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement’s call for change here in the UK and little wonder. Compounded injustices over generations have created deep frustrations and hurt. The brave testimonies black people have shared about the impact racism has on their lives and their family histories has underlined that there is an undeniable case for action. Addressing unfairness and injustice begins at the door of the Home Office, with the appalling mistreatment of the Windrush generation.”
Thomas-Symonds described the Windrush scandal as, “a cause of national shame and the Wendy Williams lessons learned review is a damning indictment. It exposes callousness and incompetence that caused deep injustice, while making clear the impact of jobs lost, lives uprooted and untold damage done to many individuals and families. The review sets out 30 important and urgent recommendations, a number of which speak to a deeply worrying culture that has been allowed to develop over the past 10 years. Expressing shock he said, “Frankly, it is shameful that one of the recommendations called for the Department to develop ‘a clear purpose, mission and values statement’ rooted in ‘fairness, humanity, openness, diversity and inclusion,’ and that such a statement was not in place already. There are also recommendations which show the work required on issues relating to race and the need for better community outreach and engagement. It is, frankly, shocking that it took a scandal on this scale to bring such core failings to light.”
Despite welcoming the Home Secretary’s accepting all 30 recommendations, Thomas-Symonds was alarmed by the delays saying, “…the reality is that we need yet another statement before the summer recess before we even move towards implementation, when this report has been available since March. I welcome the commitment to appointing Bishop Derek Webley as co-chair of a cross-party working group, but that cannot be a substitute for action.” He hit the Tory Bovernment with a reality check saying, “The truth is that we have to see far more in the way of action from this Government to give the impression that they actually take this issue seriously. That is why we will be looking very carefully at the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Williams review. As with the Lammy review, I am afraid that the Government too often call for reviews; they are too slow to act and too slow to right the wrongs.” All review and no do is the Tory mantra!
Thomas-Symonds was scathing in his rebuke, “The Government’s Windrush compensation scheme managed to compensate just 60 people in its first year of operation. The Home Secretary talked about more progress today, but she must know that that rate of progress is just too slow, given the number of years that have elapsed since the scandal first came to light and the fact that the scheme has already been in operation for over a year. It is little wonder that the reception was so bad for the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of yet another review on racial inequality, when the case for urgent action and the steps needed are abundantly clear. The reality is that, yet again, the Prime Minister was found wanting; in an important national moment, it is always words, not action. The anniversary of Windrush is an opportunity to celebrate and thank the Windrush generation, but while injustices persist, this is not enough. To ensure that such a national scandal never happens again, surely the Home Secretary must accept that the time for action is now.”
Patel Responded defensively claiming she had been, “unequivocal on the change that is required at the Home Office.” She then made the rude assumption that her opposition counterpart had not bothered to research her previous statements to the House by saying, “When I made my original statement following the publication of the ‘Windrush lessons learned review,’ the hon. Gentleman was not in his current role, so he would not have heard the full statement that I gave then, or the answers that I gave to the many questions.” Thomas-Symonds had no opportunity to correct her as she continued saying, “I apologised for the absolutely appalling scandal that took place and I will continue not just to apologise but to ensure that the Home Office in particular learns the lessons and fundamentally changes its culture, the leadership and the way in which it treats people, and becomes far more representative of the communities that it serves. I said that back in March and I will continue to say it until the Home Office fundamentally shifts its own way of working and ultimately learns the lessons.” Tories never learn lessons!
Patel continued with that familiar plea for unquestioning cross-party support and more time to dither saying, “Of course, that will take time. There is no silver bullet to do this overnight, but the first step that we can take is to ensure that we continue to work together collaboratively across our society and across Government to tackle the injustices that were suffered.” To this Tory Government ‘Collaborative’ is ‘my way or the highway!’ She added, “The hon. Gentleman referred to the compensation scheme, and I agree: the payments and the way payments have been made have been far too slow. I am not apologising for that at all. I have outlined in my statement that it is right that we treat each individual with the respect and dignity they deserve.” The ability to treat people with respect and dignity is not a Tory attribute; the public know all too well the opposite is true. Patel noted that she had invited MPs to visit the Home Office to “spend some time with our casework team in order to understand the complexities of the various cases.” These are bespoke cases, and each one is handled in a sensitive way. The Tory track record indicates the opposite.
Patel insisted that, “when offers of payments are made to individuals, those individuals have a period to consider the payment they are being offered,” claiming that they could decline the offer and request a review which would not be conducted by the Home Office but by HMRC, an independent body. Stressing that “it takes time for HMRC to do the review, but that is the right approach,” she said, “It was agreed with Martin Forde and the individual stakeholders who were consulted before the scheme was set up.” This was yet another attempt to offload any responsibility for grindingly slow progress and constant delays, but she then tried to alter the focus saying that, “recent events have shone a spotlight on a whole range of injustices across many communities in our country. The Prime Minister’s new commission is very much looking at how we can level up and at how we can address and tackle those injustices.” She had to dredge up that redundant new inquiry and beg for Opposition MPs to “work in a collaborative and constructive way to move forward on these issues.” That means no scrutiny, no criticism as the Tories accept no responsibility.
Gushing with undeserved compliments, Tory Bob Seely commended the Home Secretary for her, “typically robust, no-nonsense approach of taking control of this issue and for her personal dedication to righting the wrongs of the past, which is extremely important. I welcome the cross-Government working group. Can she confirm that the work of this group will complement the race equality commission, headed by the highly competent Munira Mirza?” The grotesquely unsuitable appointment needed reinforcing. Like the can that got the cream Patel was lapping it up saying, “My hon. Friend is absolutely right. That commission is absolutely complementary to the work that we are doing with the Windrush lessons learned review. We must look at all these issues in the round, in a consistent way, to develop the right approaches so that we can work together and solve the root causes of many of these issues and social injustices.” ‘In the round’ is another favourite Tory expression epitomizing their acceptance of mediocrity.
The SNPs Joanna Cherry is always a strong speaker and this debate was no exception. She was direct in her apportioning of the blame saying, “The Windrush scandal brought shame on the United Kingdom and shame on the Conservative Government, who caused it to happen. Make no mistake about it, Mr Deputy Speaker, what happened was a direct result of the hostile environment policy. The Government must know that and yet, before dealing with Wendy Williams’ recommendations, they have pressed ahead with plans to extend the reach of the hostile environment policy to European Union citizens in the immigration Bill. I am concerned that, in today’s statement, the Home Secretary does not unequivocally commit to the sort of root and branch review of the hostile environment policy recommended by the lessons learned review.”
Cherry continued her attack saying, “It is all very well to agree that black lives matter, but actions speak louder than words, and the reality is that many of this Government’s immigration policies continue to have disproportionate impacts on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. If the Home Secretary does not carry out a root and branch review of the hostile environment policy, this will continue. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has correctly identified that policies such as the right-to-rent scheme, which outsource the enforcement of immigration control to untrained members of the public, cannot be adequately reformed in such a way as to avoid the sort of discrimination that we have seen result. It is these policies that have resulted in real suffering for people from the Windrush generation and beyond, with people losing their jobs, unable to rent their homes and denied hospital treatment, including for serious diseases such as cancer.”
Cherry asked, “Can the Home Secretary tell us, in direct terms, that she will be carrying out the review of the hostile environment that was recommended by Wendy Williams? Wendy Williams said that the review should approach the measures of the hostile environment individually and cumulatively and demonstrate a plan to mitigate any particular cohorts impacted. She said that the review must be carried out with reference to equality law and the public sector equality duty. There have been calls for the right-to-rent scheme to be paused in the meantime and for the Government to consider pausing all other hostile environment measures until their effectiveness and impact can be evidenced. Will the Home Secretary state unequivocally for the record that this review of the hostile environment policy will happen, and will she give us a timescale today? Will she tell us whether the measures, such as the right-to-rent scheme, will be paused pending the outcome of the hostile environment policy? Finally, if assisting victims of the Windrush scandal is so complicated, why not extend legal aid t the lawyers who are trying to help them? That would be far more effective than inviting Members of Parliament into the Home Office.”
Patel acting the bruised Tory as if it was not well deserved said defensively, “I am sorry that the hon. and learned Lady takes that tone. We have resourced third-party organisations, stakeholder groups and citizens advice bureaux to provide outreach and help and support. She may have constituents who have suffered from Windrush injustices, but I appreciate that she does not want to take up the offer to work in a constructive manner to find justice for her constituents.” Patel was trying to insinuate that Cherry was unwilling to work on behalf of her constituents. It was now time to hit back with wholesale whataboutery she accused Cherry of, “selectively quoting and reading from Wendy’s report—a set of measures that evolved under Labour Governments and the coalition and under Governments covering decades. The root causes can be traced back to legislation from the 1960s and 1980s, much of which is complex. I appreciate that the hon. and learned Lady has not fully read the report and is quoting selectively.” It was insulting Cherry to suggest she had not read the report and she responded by demanding Patel, “Answer my questions.”
There was never going to be a response to Cherry’s direct questions/ Patel replied evasively, “As I have said, I will return to the House to outline how we will be implementing the recommendations from the lessons learned review.” The scathed cat really craved a bit more cream and the compliantly obsequious Tory MP Brandon Clark-Smith was next to respond drawing rather loud laughter from the relatively empty chamber for saying, “The UK has always welcomed those from other nations, and we can rightly be proud of our open and inclusive society.” He claimed the right to this broad statement by saying that, “I speak as somebody who is married to one such person who emigrated here to work for our fantastic NHS.” This was followed by a rather standard invitation to indulge in self-congratulatory bragging as is so common with Tory non-questions.
Yvette Cooper weighed in for Labour welcoming Patel’s, “commitment to accept all of Wendy Williams’ recommendations, but also ask her about the compensation scheme, because she did not include the latest figures in her statement? She will know that in our Home Affairs Committee report on Windrush two years ago, we raised four personal cases of injustice. Sadly, two of them have since died without receiving anything at all. I have heard from several people who were told in January that their case was near finalised and was in quality assurance, but have had no progress since, including Anthony Williams, who served in our armed forces for 13 years, and Andrew Bynoe, who was made homeless as a result of the Windrush scandal.” Cooper asked, “Does the right hon. Lady accept that keeping people in hardship and waiting in limbo like this compounds the injustice that they have already felt? Will she tell the House how many cases have now received payments? What proportion are still outstanding? Is it true that that is still over 90%? How many people have been waiting more than a year? Will she increase the staffing of the compensation unit, so that we can urgently get people support and compensation for the injustice that was so wrongly meted to them?”
Patel couldn’t dodge the specifics of a couple of high profile cases so she agreed to give them her personal attention, she claimed, “I am reviewing all the claims myself, and I have here a bundle of individual claims that Members have raised with me directly. I have been specifically told by the permanent secretary overseeing this at the Home Office that additional resources are not required for the Windrush compensation claim team. I check that every single week. These claims take time, for the reasons that I have outlined.” Despite the appallingly slow response times Patel was willing to accept that her not-fit-for-purpose Home Office did not need additional resources!
Labour’s Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi said, “The immoral Windrush scandal occurred because of the Tory Government’s hostile environment policy. Despite hon. Members and community organisations demanding justice for more than two years for the tens of thousands of victims, of the mere 1,275 people who have claimed compensation thus far only 60 payments have been made, and 529 people have had to wait for more than a year. Does the Home Secretary concede that this neatly sums up the attitude of the Government and the contempt in which they hold long-suffering individuals? Just like with the hapless victims of the deadly Grenfell fire tragedy, this callous Government have no intention whatever of delivering full, proper and timely justice for those who have been so unconscionably wronged.” Not Grenfell as well; Patel responded curtly saying, “I dispute and disagree with the hon. Gentleman’s tone and his comments. I am not sure whether he has read Wendy Williams’s review; I do not think so.”
Joanna Cherry piped up demanding she, “Cut the constant ad hominem comments! Patel was getting riled snapping, “Would the hon. and learned Lady let me respond to the question from the hon. Member for Slough (Mr Dhesi),without intervening? It was time to spread the blame around, cited the report she said, “contains quotes attributed as far back as 2009—to a previous Labour Government—on the hostile environment. There are many quotes with regard to members of the then Labour Government who expressed a desire to make the UK a hostile environment, including wanting to make those living here illegally ever ‘more uncomfortable’ and the need to flush out illegal immigrants. That is the type of language that, right now, we should not be using.” It was shameless whataboutery at its worst; she was not going to tolerate any targeted criticism of the Tory Party, she added, “I am very sorry that he has chosen to politicise the issue in such an unhelpful and unconstructive way.”
Labour’s Kate Osamore cut to the chase when she said, “If anyone wants to see a masterclass in institutional racism, they should just go and watch “Sitting in Limbo”, a shocking BBC drama based on the experience of my constituent Anthony Bryan, who was wrongfully detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation. Even with that treatment, he has received only a partial payment from the compensation scheme. Will the Home Secretary publish the criteria used by the Department to determine compensation claims? Will she announce a deadline by which all compensation will be paid up in full?” The part of this film I found most shocking was when Bryan was expected to prove paternity of his own children! Patel responded, “The hon. Lady refers to a dreadful programme that was aired just 10 days ago which, as she says, involved her constituent. I understand that an interim compensation payment has been made to her constituent and he has accepted it. I am sure that her constituent has discussed the process around the actual claim itself. I would be very happy to share the criteria—I think they should be in the public domain—and the hon. Lady is very welcome to come into the Home Office to discuss any details”
Tory Gary Sambrook thanked the Home Secretary, “for inviting Bishop Derek Webley, a well-respected Birmingham church leader, to engage as co-chair of the working group.” It was that last bit of cream Patel needed as the gruelling debate drew to a close, she described the Bishop as, “exactly the type of leaders we want to work with. I will continue to work with anybody who wants to make a difference and who leads the community…” she waffled on ending the session with, “to ensure that we provide the justice that individuals are looking for.” The justice people are looking for would see Patel and her wretched Tory cabal removed from office. We will not see peace or justice until the Covert 2019 Rigged Election has been exposed, fully investigated and we are able to restore democracy in the UK. If this goal cannot be accomplished before we lose the protection of the EU and the court of Human Rights we will all be stripped of our Human Rights and the authoritarian Tory dictatorship will take decades to remove.June 27, 2020 at 02:37 #55882Kim Sanders-Fisher
I felt compelled to respond to Craig’s recent Post on the demise of DfiD; I wrote an earlier Post myself on this subject as Foreign Aid and the situation in the Developing World are subjects I feel really passionate about having worked as a Medical volunteer and once trained with the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to fulfil future assignments. For me the Covert 2019 Rigged Election was not confined to the dystopian nightmare we see unfolding under Boris Man-Baby Johnson in the UK; I knew there would continue to be devastating consequences overseas if we remained under Tory oppression. I firmly believed that Corbyn would drastically alter UK Foreign Policy; away from supplying arms to foreign despots to suppress their citizens or kill and maim children from Gaza to Yemen. So much was possible in proactive peace building as we worked towards a more collaborative green agenda without Trident or a dodgy deal with Trump. I was devastated by the stolen vote, but I am certainly not giving up the fight for justice.
I saw firsthand how much charitable money was squandered when I went out to Aceh Indonesia as a Medical volunteer after the Boxing Day tsunami. I was careful to organize an effective placement not just arrogantly hop on a plane; I joined “SHEEP,” a small Medical affiliate of Walhi, a local environmental charity. Paying my own travel, I came well prepared to hit the ground running with my own Hammock-Tent, a Ketadine water filter and other survival kit. The well funded NGO teams commandeered any of the local houses that were still habitable, retrofitted them with AC units and paid local workers to cook, clean, provide security and drive them around in monster vehicles. When a second major earthquake hit, these intrepid Aid Workers all wanted to be transported to the new epicentre on Nias, but mollycoddled by the UN they were no better prepared than a spare pair of boxers and a toothbrush!
For the six months I was there I remained “NGZero,” an underfunded Maverick, First Assisting in Surgery at the only Hospital left standing in Meulaboh which was closest to the original epicentre. While I stayed in the disaster zone the whole time, only leaving to renew paperwork; most UN and Aid workers were sent to Bali for R&R every six weeks. The volunteers who set up the Internet hub at the UN camp were there well before I arrived so we had excellent communication. However, most of the highly paid charitable Functionaries were not fulfilling practical roles, but doing managerial paperwork and endless assessments that could just as easily have been completed in a fancy office in London or New York. I remember thinking it was really weird to see UN staff and Aid workers strolling along the wood walkways between the UN tents clutching an open Laptop and conversing with the screen, but that was back in the very early days of Skype. An Australian with WHO conducted a comprehensive assessment of Cut Nyak Dhien Hospital where I worked. Although I frequently referenced his work in my appeals to other NGOs, none of the recommendations he made were actioned at the time.
This redundant assessment process was repeated multiple times during my time as a volunteer in Indonesia. At Cut Nyak Dhien Meulaboh Hospital we were seriously short of basic supplies, but although the existence was extremely frugal it was an intensely rewarding experience. I have a picture of our team scrubbed into Surgery wearing those thin, flimsy, see-through, cover gowns, a similar gown covering the back table and another used as a patient drape. Using our precious sutures to within a couple of inches of the swage was a new skill requirement. As the volume of Surgical cases decreased I started focusing my attention on trying to access that seemingly bountiful Aid money to acquire much needed supplies and equipment or fund EMS training for our local staff. I even tried to get a small number of AC units in order to properly seal the sterile core of our two operating theatre Surgical suite, but I had no luck as the creature comforts of foreign staff prevailed.
One day the UN and NGO staff organized an emergency drill out at the UN Camp while my Indonesian Navy Surgeon mentor and I were in the Internet café tent. The patient was supposed to have a serious head injury, but managed to jump down out of one of those high UN vehicles and compliantly lie on a soft stretcher to be rushed across the field. In the US he would be on a backboard with a C-Collar until a c-spine injury was ruled out, but we didn’t have a single backboard or C-Collar in the whole of Meulaboh, something I reminded the UN of after the excursive. The teams ran around barking orders into their fancy walky-talky radios until the chopper arrived to evacuate the patient. My Surgeon friend looked on in amusement, at one point he said “Why they don’t listen to us?” Later I tried to discreetly explain to one of the more pragmatic UNDP functionaries that their mock evacuation was like conducting an abandon ship drill without a life raft; they looked a bit foolish.
The second quake made me think seriously about our Emergency Preparedness, both at the Hospital and in the community. I put together a totally unsolicited proposal that I audaciously presented to the head of WHO in Banda Aceh. Later I was stunned to see an email where he discussed if I could be “taken on,” not as a fully fledged WHO recruit, but possibly paid at the level of a local Doctor. I had not asked for any salary but, despite the ego boost, it was a bit of an insult to local Doctors as I was not a qualified MD; it epitomized the disingenuous way the UN and foreign NGO staff treaded the local professionals. All the Medical staff that I worked with, both local and volunteers, were Indonesian and I really learned to respect them. They were highly intuitive Doctors not reliant on fancy equipment as it was not available; they had good practical skills and were also very resourceful with what little they had. Still all of the sector meetings with the exception of UNDP were in English only.
It was truly heart-warming sixteen years after my secondment following the devastating tsunami that took so many lives, to now look up Cut Nyak Dhien Hospital on the Internet and discover that an NGO I had specifically targeted in an appeal to renovate the facility did actually follow through a few years later. On the Antara Koh Website it said that: “In July 2007, Antara Koh (I) Pte Ltd was awarded the contract by Singapore Red Cross Society to be the Main Contractor to rebuild and upgrade 17 buildings of the Cut Nyak Dhien Meulaboh General Hospital. The upgraded capacity of the Hospital is 146 beds and 2 operating rooms.” I was becoming so disillusioned by the money squandering of major NGOs while the only Hospital languished in desperate need of basic supplies that when I was given time to make a pitch at the morning meeting at the UN Camp I really let rip. Several organization offered support and the one I thought showed most long-term investment promise was the Singapore Red Cross team.
In his June 24th 2020 Post entitled, “Do Not Mourn the White Saviours of DfID,” Craig Murray elaborates on the corrupt slush fund diverting charitable donations to the wealthy elite. I contributed the following lengthy comment offering my thoughts on the subject:
“As this toxic Tory Government lurches from one disastrous plan to the next I have been contributing regular comments on the 2nd Elections Aftermath Discussion Forum where I expound on the Covert 2019 Rigged Election with the dire need to investigate what happened and remove this corrupt Government from office ASAP. Only a few days ago I wrote about the demise of DfiD saying, ‘The Boris Johnson wrecking ball swung into action today with him announcing an extremely poorly timed merger. In a Canary Article that spells out the implications of yet another disastrous plan for gross mismanagement they report that, ‘The prime minister has announced he is to scrap the Department for International Development (DfiD) in a merger with the Foreign Office.’
I think the Foreign Aid budget should be maintained as a ring-fenced source of funding, but my concern over this latest harebrained scheme wasn’t because I thought our Foreign Aid budget was being spent wisely on vital projects, but because I fear it will become a lot more like the unhealthy coercive control model used by America to exploit countries in the Developing World. I saw firsthand how much charitable money was squandered when I went out to Aceh, Indonesia as a Medical volunteer after the Boxing Day tsunami. There were far too many highly paid NGO functionaries who expected to be mollycoddled in a disaster battered combat zone while they conducted masses of redundant assessments, many of which were never actually used.
Which country offers effective Development Aid with the minimal demand for pay-back? Without a doubt I would have to say Cuba. With their impressive program of Medical Diplomacy, they have supplied and trained doctors all over the globe and the world’s largest Medical School is in Havana. There are aspects of the Cuban model we should consider emulating in terms of increasing our positive impact overseas. I admit I did a ten country ‘Needs Assessment of Anaesthesia Care in sub-Saharan Africa’ in 2009, but it stimulated my design work and seeing the damage done by our morally bankrupt policy of scavenging Medical Personnel from countries who can ill afford to train them prompted me to devise a more collaborative solution.
Well before the disastrous Brexit vote I was busy writing up a set of proposals for “Collaborative Circular Migration.” The first I worked on involves setting up mutually beneficial Medical Training programs, in stable countries where the cost of living and tuition is low, with UK and locals paired throughout their training. Another involves a concept for “Mentorship Diplomacy;” encouraging people to retire overseas offering part-time skills training via VSO. A third targets a Collaboration involving so-called “Economic Migrants”” in an “Earn, Learn and Return” scheme. Craig some time ago I sent you copies of these proposals; I wondered if you ever had a chance to read them as, given your extensive experience overseas, I would be really interested in your opinion on the viability of these concepts.
A Charity I still support is SCI Foundation, formerly the “Schistosomiasis Control Initiative,” out of Imperial College London. They provide vital humanitarian Healthcare solutions at genuinely low cost with a program targeting the eradication of parasitic diseases in Africa. Recommended as a top charity for International Development by GiveWell, who provide a break-down of how the donated money is spent by each charity listed. SCI manage to devote the maximum of donated funds to practical work on the ground to get a lot accomplished on a modest budget. When I first donated just 50p could treat 2 people once a year for 7 Neglected Tropical Diseases so I save 50p coins! I still poke around charity shops for unusual items, but they are getting so up-market now.
I think we can agree that it is not the Foreign Aid itself that is so pernicious, but the way it is corruptly allocated to divert huge sums of money back into the greedy pockets of our wealthy elite in the UK. I believe that in reality there is a massive unpaid debt that we owe to almost every single one of the commonwealth countries that we plundered in the name of the British Empire. I used to think that a progressive socialist Government here in the UK might be persuaded to implement the “Collaborative Circular Migration” proposals that offer a fair, mutually beneficial solution for the management of migration that would render Brexit totally redundant. Since the Covert 2019 Rigged Election I have been trying to fight back to get this injustice overturned before we sink into decades of Tory dictatorship under Dominic Herd Nerd Cummings after he forces crash-out Brexit on his puppet, Boris Man-Baby Johnson. Procrastinate at your peril as the PM directs his “Covicide” cull and “Democracy” morphs into “Dominicracy;” Take Action and Join our Forum.”
Although I read Craig’s Posts on a regular basis, I have not posted a Link to my languishing online Petition or back to this Forum in quite a while. Is everyone out there single-mindedly obsessed with Covid 19 or are the intelligent readers of this Blog now ready to accept the Covid 19 and the Covert 2019 Rigged Election are inextricably linked causes? The horrific consequences of the Tories “Slaughter of the Sheeple” policy agenda, compounded by a disastrous crash-out Brexit, cannot be derailed without exposing the corruption of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and removing this dangerous Tory Government before they are able to solidify full dictatorship. Extricating Cummings from his unelected stranglehold on power is priority one as I am convinced he holds all the evidence of the stolen vote and could potentially release that crucial evidence out of spite if he is ousted. I will continue to track down useful Links, data and information while I keep Posting here. Please do not give up the fight: DO NOT MOVE ON!June 28, 2020 at 08:18 #55933Kim Sanders-Fisher
When Boris Johnson insisted “We’re all in this together,” there was a collective sigh of cynicism as most of the UK population were painfully aware of the chasm between the wealthy elite, like our privileged PM, and the rest of us, who just get to choke it down. The Dominic Cummings scandal was a blatant opportunity to rub our noses in it and force us to accept the grotesque inequality for which this Tory Government is emblematic. We cannot allow time, distance and distraction to let the Herd Nerd Cummings off the hook; each time this tactic works for Johnson it places him and his cronies another notch above and beyond the law, public scrutiny and accountability. The Black Lives Matter protests are still ongoing as the rage has not been satiated by Johnson’s convening yet another inquiry. The PM must be dragged kicking and screaming to a full apology for his racist remarks as well as – fire Cummings. However, it’s not only the wealthy elite that must finally come to terms with Britain’s racist past, because we were all in it together!
The guilt of gold might hide a less than glittering past. Families of the rich, even those no longer so fortunate who know a direct ancestor had money, should summon the courage to determine the source of that wealth. As Slave Owner Colson’s statue was toppled in Bristol I cheered, however, an ominous curiosity took hold: had a similar figure cast a shadow over my own family. It’s fine to say you support ethnic diversity; refugees are welcome; that Black Lives Matter and you are disgusted by prejudice, I even have two sisters and a brother who are half Ghanaian, but would I dare to look on that registry of people who were compensated for their loss of exploited humans in bondage? My surname as a child was “Court” taken from the French “A’Court;” there was also mention of a Baron, a tell-tale sign of privilege that bothered me in this regard. I looked up “Court” – the first person listed was “Charles Ashe A’Court Esq.;” that he was related to the Baron I was told of just confirmed my worst fears: 174 poor souls on St. Kitts!
I am not pure; I feel deep shame, as kith and kin are found to blame.
It was not right; it was not me, but Slavery’s injustice I must now see,
Acknowledge history, our bloody past; Reparations must come at last,
Black Lives Matter is not a game; A scream of rage, collective shame!
There is no question in my mind that I was meant to know this wretched fact about my ancestry, to feel the torment of guilt over a reality I had trouble processing, but perhaps that was the unique importance of my discovery. I don’t doubt that many more people would find a similar connection if they dared to look among the names listed on UCL’Legacy of British Slave-Owners website. The impression I got from the program where David Olusoga highlighted the database of claimants uncovered by UCL, was that slave-ownership was not confined to the super rich. It was possibly as ubiquitous as the modern day pension pot and acquired for much the same reason; slaves were considered a sound investment at the time. As horrific as that statement might sound, it is the bedrock of our prosperity as a nation and we have reached a point where we need to come to terms with it. Perhaps a few more of us should dare to seek the truth with the well deserved shame, sadness and regret that it bestows.
The teaching of British history requires a radical review with text books rewritten to reflect the truth and the BBC investing in a lot more of the type of programming championed by David Olusoga in his documentary ‘Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners.’ This reality check would help both young and old to grasp the grisly truth of our colonialism and what building the British Empire realistically entailed for those we conquered. Honesty in our education is key to a fuller understanding of our virtually universal collective indebtedness to the countries and people we once plundered, exploited and enslaved. The realization that we all share a portion of this guilt would help us to realistically reframe what we so disingenuously call “Foreign Aid” as if we as former colonizers were benevolently dispensing largesse among the needy out of genuine compassion when in reality we have yet to compensate for the past. It would be far harder to justify trying to eliminate or exert conditionality on this money if it was recognized as debt repayment.
“After the abolition of slavery, Britain paid millions in compensation – but every penny of it went to slave owners, and nothing to those they enslaved. We must stop overlooking the brutality of British history” writes Kris Manjapra in a Guardian Article entitled, “When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity?” He tells us that, “On 3 August 1835, somewhere in the City of London, two of Europe’s most famous bankers came to an agreement with the chancellor of the exchequer. Two years earlier, the British government had passed the Slavery Abolition Act, which outlawed slavery in most parts of the empire. Now it was taking out one of the largest loans in history, to finance the slave compensation package required by the 1833 act. Nathan Mayer Rothschild and his brother-in-law Moses Montefiore agreed to loan the British government £15m, with the government adding an additional £5m later. The total sum represented 40% of the government’s yearly income in those days, equivalent to some £300bn today.”
Manjapra writes, “You might expect this so-called “slave compensation” to have gone to the freed slaves to redress the injustices they suffered. Instead, the money went exclusively to the owners of slaves, who were being compensated for the loss of what had, until then, been considered their property. Not a single shilling of reparation, nor a single word of apology, has ever been granted by the British state to the people it enslaved, or their descendants. Today, 1835 feels so long ago; so far away. But if you are a British taxpayer, what happened in that quiet room affects you directly. Your taxes were used to pay off the loan, and the payments only ended in 2015. Generations of Britons have been implicated in a legacy of financial support for one of the world’s most egregious crimes against humanity.”
So why is so little known of this transaction? The writer explains that, “The fact that you, and your parents, and their parents in turn, may have been paying for a huge slave-owner compensation package from the 1830s only came to public attention last month. The revelation came on 9 February, in the form of a tweet by HM Treasury: ‘Here’s today’s surprising #FridayFact. Millions of you have helped end the slave trade through your taxes. Did you know? In 1833, Britain used £20 million, 40% of its national budget, to buy freedom for all slaves in the Empire. The amount of money borrowed for the Slavery Abolition Act was so large that it wasn’t paid off until 2015. Which means that living British citizens helped pay to end the slave trade’.” That fact is truly sickening and needs to be rectified. The article stated that, “The tweet, which was hastily deleted, had the stench of British historical amnesia and of institutionalised racism.”
This Guardian article goes on to report that, “A few days later, the historian David Olusoga wrote: ‘This is what happens when those communities for whom this history can never be reduced to a Friday factoid remain poorly represented within national institutions’.” Manjapra elaborates, “This is how we know the scale of slave ownership of the so-called plantocracy, the super-rich of their age: men such as John Gladstone, the father of prime minister William Ewart Gladstone.” The sums were massive and the names well known, “The Gladstones were paid £100,000 – the modern equivalent of about £80m – in compensation for 2,500 men, women and children they regarded as property. Also in the records of the Slave Compensation Commission are the ancestors of George Orwell, Graham Greene, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Gilbert Scott and David Cameron – all owned slaves and received compensation.” We are told that, “All of this information is publicly and freely available” on the UCL project’s website.
Manjapra notes that, “Someone at the Treasury wisely deleted the tweet within hours. Yet its inaccuracy shows what happens if we as a nation focus on abolition but stay largely silent on the centuries of slave-trading and slave-owning that predated it. It is what happens when those communities for whom this history can never be reduced to a Friday factoid remain poorly represented within our national institutions.” Manjapra criticizes our focus on the white liberators that marginalizes the heroic struggle of the oppressed as in one major uprising he documents. “Shortly after Christmas 1831, an audacious rebellion broke out in Jamaica. Some 60,000 enslaved people went on strike. They burned the sugar cane in the fields and used their tools to smash up sugar mills. The rebels also showed remarkable discipline, imprisoning slave owners on their estates without physically harming them.” This civilized humanity was met with excessive violence by the British Jamaican Government, who killed, “more than 540 black people in combat, and later with firing squads and on the gallows.”
On my first Trans-Atlantic passage aboard sailing yacht Hurricane bound for Recife, Brazil, I would have crossed that horrific grave yard of the middle passage without any knowledge or realization of the unspeakable body-count lying in the depths below. In the frustration of the windless doldrums, slave ships judged how many to sustain and who to sacrifice as worthless! At 21 I was too busy being initiated as a Shellback for ‘crossing the line’ (the equator), enduring the macabre tradition of honouring King Neptune while we remained becalmed. The windless doldrums prompted the jettisoning of live “cargo” to reduce the weaker mouths to feed and water on the grisly passage to a violently oppressive life of servitude. Still in blissful ignorance if the truth, I sailed from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, South Africa, without the slightest understanding of what apartheid meant as a reality for the oppressed majority. The UK education system sustains the propaganda of Empire; this must now change for the British to learn humility and humanity.
The British are unforgivably slow to learn humility and humanity. In a Skwawkbox Article entitled, “Unite’s Beckett slams ‘disgrace’ of Labour’s abstention on ‘Windrush’ Immigration Act – pays tribute to 6 MPs who stood against it and pledges to renew their fight,” it documents that the wrongly maligned Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and his closest allies were among the rebels. The celebration of Windrush Day this week should not be allowed to wash away proper acknowledgement of the injustices that were suffered by the Windrush Generation or indeed obscure similar prejudice experienced by our citizens from other parts of the commonwealth. The Canary report that the London Mayor has demanded change, “Sadiq Khan: Windrush legacy must see end to ‘Hostile Environment’ for immigrants.” The Guardian Article, “The Windrush review is unequivocal: institutional racism played its part” states that, “Inspector Wendy Williams pulls no punches in her assessment of the ‘hostile environment’ policy – and the anguish it caused.” I would like to see Columbus Day renamed ‘Atonement Day!’
Some nights ago I watched “Sitting in Limbo – pre Watershed version,” described by the BBC as, “A shocking drama inspired by the Windrush scandal. After 50 years in the UK, Anthony Bryan is wrongfully detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation.” At the beginning of the film it said that, “In 2012 David Cameron’s Coalition Government formed a Ministerial team that became known as the “Hostile Environment Working Group.” Theresa May, functioning in her role as Home Secretary back then, is shown at a podium announcing that, “the Government will soon publish the Immigration Bill, which will make it easier to get rid of people who have no right to be here.” For Jamaican Anthony Bryant and so many others like him who were brought to the UK from the Caribbean as children shortly after WWII, it was the beginning of a Kafkaesque nightmare that almost saw him separated from his family and illegally deported. The film made me weep and I felt deeply ashamed of being British.
The film ends with Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to the nation in which she said, “This year marks the seventy years since some of the first to arrive in the UK aboard the Empire Windrush. The London Evening Standard carried a photograph of the Windrush steaming past the White Cliffs of Dover; above it was the headline ‘Welcome Home.’ The fact that Britain has always been their home makes the treatment that some members of the Windrush generation experienced in recent years so very wrong. It should never have happened and we are putting it right.” This film could not have been aired at a more opportune time, because those who do not belong to targeted minority ethnic communities need to understand why the protests on our streets are not just in solidarity with ‘Black Lives Matter’ in the US, but in recognition of the racial discrimination that is ongoing and very real here in the UK. Right before the film’s credits went up the following disgraceful details appeared on screen:
• In April 2018, it was revealed that in 2010 the Home Office destroyed the landing cards of thousands of Windrush Immigrants.
• Later that year the Home Office admitted that they were responsible for wrongly detaining at least 850 people between 2012 and 2017.
• In 2019, 83 members of the Windrush Generation were confirmed to have been deported, despite having the right to live in the UK.
• At least 13 of these people died before the Home Office acknowledged the mistake.
• The Home Office revealed in May 2020 that there had been1275 applications to the Windrush Compensation Scheme. Of these, only 60 had received any compensation.
• On the 1st June 2020, Anthony received an offer of compensation for just one part of his application: unlawful detention.
Although she was belatedly forced to apologise to the Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, at the Commonwealth Summit that she would have much preferred not to attend, in defiance of damning reports on the Windrush scandal fully exposed in the press Theresa May remained determined to dodge any accountability. With a cowardly elitist arrogance, that was to become the Tory norm with regard to totally ignoring justified calls for resignations, she adamantly refused to step down as PM: unashamedly allowing Amber Rudd to fall on the sword that should have pierced her truly gutless frame! In contemptuous disregard for their wanton abuse of public trust, members of the Tory Party have perfected the art of dishonourably clinging to the power and plunder bestowed on them by prestigious Government appointments.
On occasions when the BBC and right-wing media are unable to discredit or drown-out a serious scandal and a token gesture of remorse becomes necessary, but removal from a key Ministerial role will be considered purely temporary in any Tory Government; Patel’s clandestine meetings with Israeli officials while ‘on holiday’ did not stop Johnson from appointing her Home Secretary. When ‘Failing Grayling’s’ gross incompetence costs the tax payer millions in misspent funds, he wasn’t removed in disgrace and it didn’t exclude him from being offered another chance to squander the budget. If a Tory Minister makes openly racist remarks no apology is required; to the Tories forcing the public to tolerate your obscenely abusive insults is a classic sign of strong leadership! When the PM or any Tory Minister is caught out telling blatant lies in parliament; they just double-down on the deception; as Boris Johnson seeks to emulate his political hero Donald Trump, accountability has become a relic of past integrity and British gentility.
Sign the Petition: “Windrush: never again” appealing to Boris Johnson and Priti Patel – Home Secretary to, “Implement and accept all recommendations from The Windrush Lessons Learned review, and do more to protect survivors so this never happens again.”
We seriously need to draw a line in the sand; the ongoing ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, like a bright beacon of hope, are showing us the way. Fearless individuals are letting this Government know that we are not afraid to take to the streets in protest, despite the infection risk that Covid 19 might pose. We have shown that we will defy the order to send children back into schools that the Government’s shambolic policy dictates despite lack of the necessary preparation to prevent the spread of infection in overcrowded classrooms. We can and we must resist being forced onto crammed public transportation with protective masks an afterthought. We can and we must resist being forced back into unsafe work environments and coaxed into mass gatherings and taking reckless risks on beaches or in parks. The Government should start to worry now as they must realize there will be significant pushback from here on in; those outdoor street protests are a lot less risky that running the gauntlet of packed public transport to get to work.
The increasingly outraged public need to maintain this strong momentum of protest because it will make Governance impossible without serious concessions. We need to see more than just the removal of a handful of offensive oppressive statues; real “heads must roll” starting with the unelected puppet master who arrogantly broke the rules he help draft to constrain the rest of us: Dominic Herd Nerd Cummings has to go. Cummings should never have been allowed to defy the select committee requirement to answer questions that might unravel a few of the illegal anomalies that have warped UK voting since he targeted the British public with weapons grade PsyOps in campaigns of disinformation and downright lies. To then reward this criminality with a privileged position literally controlling our UK Prime Minister was an outrage. I can only hope that if he is ousted, in a fit of narcissistic ego-driven revenge, he might decide to drag this entire corrupt Tory Government down with him by exposing details of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election.
We must demand that the chaotic era of Trump inspired racist and misogynistic insults, constant lying and zero accountability will no longer be tolerated. The hidden segment of the recent Public Health England Report on disproportionate deaths from Covid 19 in the BAME community must be released in full to satisfy the reasonable demands of so many “Black Lives Matter” protestors. Most of the Windrush victims remain uncompensated; many of the Grenfell Tower survivors have not been rehoused and no one has really been held responsible for either of these scandals, despite the decimation of the London Fire Service being the direct result of Boris Johnson’s staggering incompetence as London Mayor. But why stop there? Before the December vote there was the “Russian Report” that Johnson insisted on keeping under wraps; what might that reveal about foreign influence and the dodgy money that helped leverage this corrupt Tory Government into power? This alone might open up the possibility of a far wider investigation into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election.June 29, 2020 at 08:10 #55974Kim Sanders-Fisher
Despite the mainstream media treating Keir Starmer with kid gloves, or perhaps at least partially because of it, the progressive Left of the Labour Party are getting seriously worried that their new Leader is intent on reversing all the progress of the Corbyn years and steering the Party back to the neoliberal support of Tory policy. This quest for the mediocrity of the mythical ‘centre ground’ will not rally support for Labour in preparation for an Election in five years time that is highly unlikely to materialize once this corrupt Tory Government has solidified their dictatorship following crash-out Brexit. Unless we can fully expose the fraud that facilitated the Tory stranglehold on power with the Covert 2019 Rigged Election we are destined to suffer decades of oppressive authoritarian rule with future sham votes to appease the masses. Kerry-Anne Mendoza reveals the facts in the video “Keir Starmer Unmasked;” stoking the fake anti-Semitism fire by sacking Rebecca Long-Bailey his only token Left appointment is welcome news to the PM.
Keir Starmer is enabling the Tories agenda with his crusade to destroy the Left and offer only weak or futile opposition to Boris Johnson as he takes a wrecking ball to our democracy At the last Prime Minister’s Questions Starmer began his feeble attempt at scrutiny by saying, “Yesterday, the Government announced the next stage of easing lockdown restrictions. If that plan is to work – and we want it to work–we need an effective track, trace and isolate system. The Prime Minister promised that a world-beating system would be in place by 1 June. The latest figures from yesterday’s press conference hosted by the Prime Minister show that 33,000 people are estimated to have Covid-19 in England. The latest track, trace and isolate figures show that just over 10,000 people with Covid-19 were reached and asked to provide contact details. I recognise the hard work that has gone into this, but if two thirds of those with covid-19 are not being reached and asked to provide contact details, there is a big problem, isn’t there?”
“On the contrary,” said Boris Johnson, refusing to concede there was a problem, he started to paint a fantasy picture of his ‘world-beating’ system with Starmer as an impressed cheer leader! He claimed, “I think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman has been stunned by the success of the test and trace operation. Contrary to his prognostications of gloom, it has got up and running much faster than the doubters expected. They are getting it done–Dido Harding and her team have recruited 25,000 people and so far they have identified and contacted 87,000 people who have voluntarily agreed to self-isolate to stop the disease spreading. I do not think the right hon. and learned Gentleman would have predicted that a few weeks ago. I think he should pay tribute now to Dido and her team for what they are doing.”
It was an elaborate ploy, but Starmer remained unimpressed, he pointed out that, “The Prime Minister just has not addressed the question I put to him. I was not asking about those who have gone into the system–the 10,000–or those who have been contacted; I was asking about the two thirds of the 33,000 with covid-19 who were not reached. That is a big gap. The Prime Minister risks making the mistakes he made at the beginning of the pandemic–brushing aside challenge, dashing forward, not estimating the risks properly. If two thirds of those with Covid-19 are not being contacted, that is a big problem. If we do not get track, trace and isolate properly running, we cannot open the economy or prevent infection from spreading, so let me ask the question in a different way. What is the Government’s strategy for closing the gap between the number of people with Covid-19 and those going into the system–not what happens to those who go into the system?”
The Skwawkbox just released a timely warning of, “R’ rate rises in every English region but one – before Johnson’s lockdown changes,” but stark reality does not deter the PM’s sick agenda to cull the most vulnerable, economically inactive, in a ruthless ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple.’ Boris Johnson dug out an obscure word to baffle those watching from beyond the Chamber, saying, “I hesitate to accuse the right hon. and learned Gentleman of obscurantism. He is misleading on the key point. The number of people with Covid in this country is, of course, an estimate.” The Speaker called “Order,” – “Inadvertently misleading,” quipped the PM, but the Speaker interjected again calling, “Order,” and then telling Johnson in no uncertain terms, “Prime Minister, one of us is going to have to give way and it will have to be you. Obviously, no hon. Member misleads or ever would, whichever side they are from.”
Johnson was like a dog with a bone insisting, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman is inadvertently giving a false impression of what test and trace is doing. The 33,000 cases in the country is, of course, an estimate. NHS test and trace is contacting the vast majority of those who test positive and their contacts and getting them to self-isolate. It is a formidable achievement. Yesterday, the right hon. and learned Gentleman was kind enough to say that he supported our policy and our programme–I seem to remember him saying that loud and clear yesterday. Today–as I say, I understand the constraints of the profession in which he used to work; I know how it works–he seems to be yo-yoing back into a position of opposition. Which is it: is he supporting what we are doing or is he against it?” The Prime Minister was trying to ask the questions as if he was not the one facing opposition scrutiny at PMQs.
Starmer said, “The figures I have, which the Prime Minister says are inadvertently misleading, are the slide at his press conference yesterday and the slide at the Government’s press conference last week–the latest figures. They are the two figures. I do support the next stage of the operation, but the Prime Minister is wrong to reject challenge. Sixty-five thousand people have lost their lives because of covid-19. The Prime Minister should welcome challenge that could save lives, rather than complaining about it.”
Starmer continued by stating, “Another risk to this plan is if local councils do not have the powers and resources to implement local lockdowns. There is a report today that eight out of 10 councils face bankruptcy or cutting services, with many of those in the north-east and midlands, where, as the Prime Minister knows, there are the worst affected areas for Covid-19. The real concern among council leaders is that they do not have the powers or guidance to implement lockdowns quickly if needed. The Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council said it would be ‘interesting’ for central ‘Government to confirm what is meant by the local lockdown’ – including – ‘clear guidance as to those powers and what is expected of us.’ Can the Prime Minister tell us when local authorities will get the guidance that they need?” It was an omnishambles beyond the scope of a simple answer at PMQs.
Johnson was going to have to bluff his way through this, but bluffing was a skill he really excelled at, “Everybody understands,” he claimed, “we have seen it already, across the country – that when there are local outbreaks, for instance in Weston-super-Mare or in GP surgeries in north London, there have been local lockdowns and local crackdowns. We have a very effective cluster-busting operation, which is designed to ensure that we keep those outbreaks under control. Local councils understand how to do it, with the local resilience forums backed up by the joint biosecurity centre. That is how it works and that is how it is going to work, and it is a very effective way of keeping this disease under control. I am not going to pretend to the right hon. and learned Gentleman or to the House that this thing is beaten or that the virus has gone way, because clearly that is not the case. We have to remain extremely vigilant, and local councils will be supported in doing their vital work in implementing local lockdowns.”
Starmer launched his next line of attack, “May I now turn to the app? This really matters because unless someone with Covid-19 can name and identify everybody they have been in contact with, the app is the only way of tracing unknown contacts. My hon. Friend the Member for Hove (Peter Kyle) made precisely that point yesterday. He gave the example, ‘How on earth do you trace everyone in close contact at a seafront or in a park without an app?’ Up until last week, the Government maintained that the app was ‘critical’ –another of their slides– but at the weekend the Health Secretary downplayed the app, saying it was only ever additional support. So which is it: critical or not?”
Johnson wanted to start asking the questions to put Starmer on the spot, he said, “I wonder whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman can name a single country in the world that has a functional contract tracing app – there isn’t one. What we have – and what, I am afraid, has left the Opposition slightly foundering – is a very successful NHS test and trace operation, which yesterday they supported. Yesterday, they said it was good enough for this country to go forward with step 3 of our plan, but today they are yo-yoing back again and saying that it is not good enough. They need to make up their mind. They need to get behind NHS test and trace, support it and take the country forward together.”
Starmer answered, “Germany. It had its app working on 15 June and it has had 12 million downloads – I checked that overnight. Twelve million – it is way beyond. The Health Secretary said that we would have the app by mid-May – presumably that was on advice. The Prime Minister said that we would have it by 1 June, but now Government Ministers say that it will not be ready until the winter. We have spent £12 million on this. Other countries are ahead of us. When are we going to have a working app?” Keep bluffing Boris, refute what he says, “I am afraid that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is completely wrong, because no country in the world has a working contact tracing app” Johnson claimed. He needed a rapid re-spin on that app, pretend the objective was always clear…
The PM continued, “I have always been clear – we have always been clear – that the app would be the icing on the cake. If we can get it to work, it will be a fine thing, but there is not one anywhere in the world so far. What we do have is a fantastic NHS test and trace operation that is already up and running, that is going to get better and better, and that will be indispensable to our future success.” If the PM could bully Starmer into supporting it, he shares the failure, “I think that he should support it and, by the way, that he should make it much clearer that he supports our programme going forward. Since the right hon. and learned Gentleman mentions Labour councils and support for Labour councils, perhaps he might clear up the position of yesterday and say once and for all that Labour councils should now be encouraging children in their areas to go back to school. We heard some warm words from him yesterday. Can he now confirm that he wants all children who can go back to school to go back to school this month?”
The PM had laid himself open to Starmer’s attack, “Yes. The only U-turn here was the Education Secretary on 9 June, who ripped up the Government’s plans to get children back into school before the summer break. There is a theme to these exchanges. Last week, I asked the Prime Minister about two claims about child poverty. He said that absolute child poverty and relative child poverty ‘have both declined under this Government’. [Official Report, 17 June 2020; Vol. 677, c. 796.] On Monday, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner ruled that the Prime Minister’s answer was ‘mostly false’. The Prime Minister also said that there are 400,000 fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010. On Monday, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner ruled that that was simply ‘false’. He has been found out. He either dodges the question or he gives dodgy answers. Mr Speaker, no more witnesses; I rest my case. Will the Prime Minister do the decent thing and correct the record in relation to child poverty?”
The PM couldn’t possibly admit the truth, he just had to keep bluffing, “I am happy to point out to m’learned friend that actually, there are 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty and 500,000 fewer children falling below thresholds of low income and material deprivation. This Government, as he knows, are massively increasing universal credit with £7 billion more to help the poorest and neediest families in our country. We are getting on with it. We are taking the tough decisions. He still cannot make up his mind.” It was utter codswallop; he’d get called out, but who expected him to tell the truth? Keep banging on about the schools, “Talking about child poverty, the single biggest determinant of a child’s success is whether he or she goes to school. The right hon. and learned Gentleman still will not say whether children should go. I think it is absolutely infamous for him to come to the House one day and say he supports the programme and then, the next day, not to confirm that he wants kids to go to school now.”
Tory Ms Nusrat Ghani had an important question on mariners, she asked, “Seafarers, global key workers, have given us goods from food to medicine during covid, but that is now under threat. Some 400,000 mariners are stuck on board their ships due to the failure of countries to agree crew changes. The United Kingdom is the world’s leading maritime nation, and we are home to the International Maritime Organisation, which gives us a unique responsibility. Will my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister agree to meet the Chamber of Shipping to marshal the global community to help to get our seafarers home and ensure that free trade continues to flow?” Johnson respectfully replied, “My hon. Friend knows a great deal about the subject whereof she now speaks. We remain fully committed to the welfare of all seafarers, regardless of their nationality. We ask all states to do the same. I look forward to discussing that in person with her.” She had given the PM the chance to look in control, magnanimous, he was grateful.
SNP Leader Ian Blackford began, “I am sure the whole House will join me in passing on condolences to the family of the three children who sadly lost their lives in a house fire in Paisley last Friday evening, Fiona, Alexander and Philip Gibson – such a terrible tragedy. This morning, we heard growing concerns from medical experts about the real risk of a second wave of covid-19. At the same time, experts at the Fraser of Allander Institute outlined the scale of the economic challenges ahead, with a raft of redundancies and business closures if financial support is withdrawn. They warned that measures that risk a second wave of the virus would delay recovery in Scotland until 2024. The health and economic emergency requires an unprecedented response. On Monday, the Scottish Government’s advisory group on economic recovery, led by independent business leaders, published its initial analysis to secure a strong recovery. Will the Prime Minister welcome those efforts to find a way forward out of this economic crisis?”
A simple request, Johnson was relived to say, “Yes, indeed. I would be only too happy to study the documents to which the right hon. Gentleman refers.” Blackman had another request, saying, “I am grateful to the Prime Minister for that answer, and I am glad that he agrees that we need to take every action to study and aid the economic recovery. I am sure he is aware that the Scottish advisory group has called for an accelerated review of the devolved fiscal framework. Crucially, it has supported a significant increase in access to capital to stimulate an investment-led recovery in Scotland. Scotland can make different choices and invest in a strong recovery, but we can only do it with the necessary financial powers. Our First Minister and our Finance Secretary have already made a request for more borrowing powers. Will the Prime Minister implement the recommendations of those business leaders and give the Scottish Parliament the economic powers it needs to fuel a recovery in the wake of the pandemic, or will he put Scotland’s economic recovery at risk?”
More money, he could start bragging about impressive sums announced that might never materialize, more bluffing was needed. The PM said, “I respectfully remind the right hon. Gentleman that, as part of our UK campaign against the Coronavirus, Scotland has so far received £3.8 billion in Barnett consequentials – a fact that I am sure is seldom off his lips in his discussions with SNP colleagues. We will continue to invest massively in Scotland because Scotland, like the whole of the UK, benefits from being part of the oldest and most successful political partnership anywhere in the world. I congratulate the SNP, by the way, on its U-turn –which could be copied with advantage by our friends on the Opposition Front Bench – on education and getting all kids into school.”
Liz Saville Roberts speaking for Plaid Cymru raised the problem of Covid 19 outbreaks in three Welsh food factories and the paltry sick pay offered to UK workers compared to similar incidents in Germany where “employees get sick pay worth 100% of their salary.” She asked, “Will the Prime Minister now commit to local furlough-like schemes for self-isolating workers?” The PMs was evasive in his answer, bragging of existing schemes and saying “if we have to move back—obviously we do not want to—to local lockdowns, or indeed a national lockdown, nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing. So there is the right hon. Lady’s answer.”
Labour’s Jessica Morden revealing that, “In order to access benefits quickly, people with unpredictable terminal conditions, such as motor neurone disease, are having to prove that they have six months or less to live, and they risk losing their benefits altogether if they live longer than three years. A year has now passed since the Government announced their review into access to benefits for terminally ill people, but there is still no progress. When are the Government going to act?” How can you remove the desperately needed benefits from a person who, just like Steven Hawking, beat the cruellest of odds? The PM bragged about the Tories most discredited benefit saying, “We have massively increased our spending on Universal Credit, but the hon. Lady raises an important point about access to benefits for terminally ill people,” but pledged a written reply. Such perverse situations should never arise in the first place, but in too many instances they are a conscious part of the Tory agenda to torment, abandon and cull the disabled.
The Skwawkbox Article with a Video: “Starmer’s response to Johnson’s lockdown easing – no mention of 65k deaths or high virus incidence” demands a more robust opposition belting out, “The clue is in the job title, Keir. People are still dying, for God’s sake oppose!” They report, “Labour leader Keir Starmer responded to Boris Johnson’s declaration that the coronavirus pandemic is basically over – with a well-done for trying his best and a promise of support.” No wonder Starmer is winning accolades from the fawning Right-wing press; he is a welcome gift at a challenging time. If Starmer had been emphatic that Cummings warranted immediate removal the PM would not have had such an easy time retaining his toxic puppet master, but instead he has unleashed ruthless unwarranted discipline on Long-Bailey. Starmer’s scrutiny is badly misdirected to harm progressive Labour; there will be no investigation of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election on his watch unless there is a major revolt on the Labour Left; we need it now!June 29, 2020 at 13:01 #55977Clark
The government and the opposition are both using 10,000 and 33,000 as the number of people reached by track-and-trace, and the estimated number of people currently infected.
The 10,000 figure seems roughly consistent with the current average of around 1,000 new cases detected daily, and an infection period of around ten days.
However, the 33,000 figure of total currently infected, detected or not, seems grossly at odds with the estimate from this model:
…which estimates some 190,000 currently infected. Even its lower bound is about 50,000, well above the 33,000 figure. Another predictive model:
…estimates over 6,700 new infections daily, detected or not, with a lower bound of over 4,800. Again taking a ten day infection period, these translate to 67,000 and 48,000 currently infectious, again both higher than the government figure.
I also have anecdotal evidence of suppression of figures imposed by management at a local hospital.
I will try to look into other mathematical models later today, but these initial indications suggest that figures are being suppressed.June 30, 2020 at 00:52 #55983Clark
Apparently, the following are the estimates / projections that the government is using:
Hopefully I’ll get some better information tomorrow. But even from the government’s own hopelessly optimistic figures, 70% of infections are not detected, so I can’t see track-and-trace being practical.
Take a look at Figure 1 in the current latest release, comparing the bars for “25 May to 7 June” against “8 June to 21 June”. It looks as though infections are now increasing, but the commentary immediately above says:
– “When analysing data for the four most recent non-overlapping 14-day periods (Figure 1), these estimates suggest the percentage testing positive has clearly decreased over time since our first measurement on 26 April, and this downward trend has now flattened. The confidence intervals overlap with the previous two time periods. This suggests that the actual number of individuals testing positive in the period 8 June to 21 June could be higher or lower than in the two previous periods. We therefore do not at this point have evidence that the current trend is anything other than flat.”
…and that is so; the confidence intervals (the black I-shaped lines of varying height) do overlap considerably, so wait and see, but my guess is that the infection rate is rising.
Meanwhile, the WHO says ‘the worst is yet to come’ and the coronavirus pandemic is ‘speeding up’ because some countries aren’t taking it seriously enough:July 1, 2020 at 00:34 #56015Kim Sanders-Fisher
Clark – You are absolutely right that the Tory Government are trying to fudge the numbers and I am glad to see you are keeping on top of the documentation of this. It does not seem to bother Boris Johnson that the excess death figure is up over 65,000 now and is far more like the realistic total number either killed by the virus or through the collateral damage resulting from our NHS targeting Covid as described in the brilliant article “the Hammer and the dance.” This is the intended pattern of control and release spreading the impact of a colossal death toll out over many months in successive waves as described in the video presentation in this Skwawkbox Article. Another Skwawkbox Article exposes the complete sham of their traffic light system of so-called alert levels that they completely ignore and totally disregard “the Science!” They reported the climbing numbers right before the easing of lockdown restrictions was announced and the Skwawkbox Article on the ramping up of morgue capacity offers a stark warning to us all.
Boris Johnson was absolutely desperate to detract from the consequences of his shambolic Coronavirus policies and the chaotic lockdown messaging that the ‘Herd Nerd’ in his own advisory team so blatantly failed to adhere to causing such universal public outrage. He was eager to trumpet his ambitious “shovel ready” Boris-Shit in the hope that such impressive new fantasy promises will obscure the horrendous reality when ‘Get Brexit Dung’ (not a typo) morphs from the much touted ‘sunny uplands’ of generous free trade deals and cheap goods to a festering pile of hapless crash-out horseshit as we become selectively ostracized for our spectacular global irrelevance. Both domestically and internationally Johnson is determined to prove that an Englishman’s word is no longer his bond, but we should be content with castles in the air and constant deception on the ground. Johnson said, “When you’re in a hole as big as this, the only option is to keep digging! Johnson has not hit rock bottom yet, but he is certainly working on it.
The real news was all about Leicester having to re-impose lockdown in response to a huge surge in new Covid 19 cases, a real whopper of a ‘Boris Spike’ with an infection rate three times higher than surrounding cities and towns, accounting for a full 10% of all new cases in the UK and an alarming 6 – 10 Hospital admissions a day. The high number of teenagers and young people testing positive has necessitated renewed closure of schools; that will put a dent in Johnson’s broken-record PMQ rants about getting kids back to school! They knew what was developing at least 12 days ago so it was impossible to postpone announcing it any longer, but alas it was such an inconvenient time to have a ‘Boris Spike’ in Covid 19 cases just before his glorious 4th of July celebrations on US Independence day to honour his American hero Donald Man-Baby Trump. But then the Donald was dealing with his own batch of serious resurgences as were other similarly reckless leaders worldwide like Jair Man-Baby Bolsonaro in Brazil; sadly this would seem to be a consequence of ignorant denial and arrogance shared by the Man-Baby global idiots.
Leadership is about setting a strong example that the public are prepared to emulate. When high level officials flaunt regulations they devised to curtail the personal freedom of the entire population they need to step aside. Only when they want to cling on to their privileged position do we hear an apology or a really feeble excuse like the one offered by Dominic Cummings. But apologies and bogus excuses are just not good enough, because when the public trust is violated no one feels obliged to follow the rules. On the 15th of June the BBC Reported that, “The mayor of Leicester has apologised for ‘an error of judgement’ after it was revealed he broke lockdown rules twice by visiting his partner. Sir Peter Soulsby admitted visiting Lesley Summerland and staying at her house overnight before government guidelines allowed it.” Did he resign? Hell no, and I am sure he takes zero responsibility for the increased infection rate in Leicester, but poor examples have consequences and this just reinforces why Cummings must go.
If you feel as strongly about ousting Dominic Herd Nerd Cummings as I do there is a new Petition gaining traction on the Internet with over 35,700 signatures already: “SPECIAL ADVISERS DON’T DESERVE SPECIAL TREATMENT!”
Speaking to BBC Radio Leicester, the widower said the couple had been separated for five weeks but then “Lesley became ill” with a recurring condition that was not related to coronavirus. He said he spent three nights at her home at the end of April – the peak of the pandemic so far in the UK. “He apologised for the error of judgement and admitted” and he realized “it was setting a very bad example,” However, he then added: “I don’t think anybody would claim that there was anything in my behaviour that ran any risk whatsoever of spreading the virus.” He also said, “It can be certainly interpreted as against the spirit of the lockdown, if not against the regulations.” He said he had been “ready to apologise” unlike “some of the high-profile people who are far more influential in setting policy about this than I am.” Disgraceful considering that the BBC said, “In March, Sir Peter reiterated government advice by telling residents to stay at home and only go to work if their job was considered essential.” …So, do as I say, not as I do!
Boris Johnson suffered humiliation back when as London Mayor his Garden Bridge turned into a massive waste of public funds that had to be scrapped after costing London taxpayers dearly. The PM really doesn’t have much luck with bridges; his concept for building one between Scotland and Ireland drew derision from the public, especially after it was revealed that the build spanned a munitions spoils ground! Today he was forced to accept yet another ‘bridge building’ failure when Greece wisely became the first country to decline participation in the Tory Government’s fantasy ‘Air-bridge’ scheme. In reality the chronically belated quarantine restrictions at UK airports were obviously only implemented very recently to prod tourist destination countries into making a rash decision to protect an industry crucial to their economies. Do countries who managed to get Covid under control really need to risk a new spike courtesy of tourists from Boris’s chaotically out of control Covid EU hotspot? Watch this space other countries will bail!
With a better informed public now obsessing over the genocidal decisions of his wartime hero, Johnson might just have decided to ditch Churchill for FDR; a more palatable champion of the post 1930s US Stock Market crash. As America emerged reeling from the severe deprivation of the Great Depression, Roosevelt committed to investing in huge infrastructure projects to get people back to work. He initiated over 35,000 programs of public works including the Hover Dam, but Johnson is bragging about a modest six billion to maintain and improve Hospitals and schools, upgrade long neglected roads and bridges. The PM has also pledging to plant 75,000 trees a year; just do not mention the environmental assault on our ancient woodlands, destroyed to complete his white elephant HS2! He has targeted 29 roads and 101 town centres and he pledged to rebuild 50 schools, that’s all aside from those 40 new Hospitals. BBC Political Editor Norman Smith described the level of funding as “breadcrumbs in the way of cash.”
If FDR had followed the Tory Austerity model the USA could never have advanced as rapidly as they did or managed to realize the well distributed general prosperity it achieved by the seventies. In Britain too, following the devastation of WWII the progressive path towards recovery required massive investment to rebuild the homes destroyed in the Blitz, not savage cuts to public spending. FDR didn’t just invest in infrastructure he introduced Banking reforms, created social security, brought in higher pay and better working hours laws that boosted the trade union movement. In England after the war it was time to reward those who had fought the Nazi scourge to secure a better future with one of the finest British achievements ever accomplished: the formation of the NHS. The so-called ‘American Dream’ of doing a little bit better than your parents was proving possible here too, but neoliberal capitalist greed has shattered that dream and put decades of progress into a punishing reverse of increasing inequality and destitution.
None of the bold programs instituted by FDR sound in the least bit Tory or Johnsonian; despite his hype about ‘levelling up’ we are all bracing for the Tories to act true to form targeting the poor, the weak and the most vulnerable as they ‘Decimate Down!’ The PM has pledged to offer young people either guaranteed apprenticeship training or a work placement. In reality the current Tory concept of ‘apprenticeship’ is an ultra low paid or unpaid exploitership; their idea of a ‘work placement’ is a minimum wage, zero hours contract job, in fact just a cruel euphemism for indentured servitude. He has promised a shakeup in the planning regulations to speed up approval to turn disused shops into homes. However, Tory Government evisceration of ‘red tape’ has already created thousands of totally unliveable matchbox sized dwelling for the working poor who must readily accept unsafe conditions like those that led to the Grenfell fire. We can expect this stripping away of safety provisions to rapidly accelerate after crash-out Brexit.
Johnson says he wants to, “Put his arms around parts of the country that have felt disconnected and unloved!” I would dread the grisly prospect of a Boris bear hug stifling the life out of me; with the Tory track record, that sounds really painful! Keir Starmer sounded distinctly unimpressed by all of Johnson’s expansive pledges, saying of the New Deal there was, “not much new and not much of a deal” as he claimed the PM was just re-announcing his campaign pledges. Well we have certainly been there before with the Tories, Cameron was going to get thousands of houses built and Theresa May was going to rescue those who were “Just About Managing;” did they deliver? No, we are expected to just move on. In response to Boris Johnson’s quip about Covid, “It’s like a shark out there circling around us,” Norman Smith remarked, “the difficulty is when you have a shark on your tail it’s hard to think about anything else.” We must be the shark on the Tory tail, demanding that Cummings is fired, demanding an investigation into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election to expose the truth, demanding accountability and justice. DO NOT MOVE ON!July 1, 2020 at 13:01 #56053Clark
Got it. There are three classes of testing:
* Pillar 1: swab testing in Public Health England (PHE) labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need, and health and care workers
* Pillar 2: swab testing for the wider population, as set out in government guidance
* Pillar 3: serology testing to show if people have antibodies from having had COVID-19
The Pillar 1 results are published, Pillar 2 are not. For Leicester:
Kim – “…as we become selectively ostracized for our spectacular global irrelevance”
…and for being an infection hot-spot. This government may think it is prioritising the economy at “some” expense to the people, but this is folly; the people are the economy, and damage to either is damage to the other.July 2, 2020 at 12:37 #56075Kim Sanders-Fisher
Clark – This information is rapidly evolving and not showing this Tory Government in a positive light despite Boris Johnson’s desperate efforts to distract talk of our imminent release from lockdown restrictions on July 4th and expansive pledges to, “build, build, build!” He came under serious fire again at Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday which I will report on in a later post. The Skwawkbox Article entitled, “Video: UK government failing to disclose 90% of local positive tests” exposes the shocking fact that, “‘Pillar 2’ data being withheld for local areas, missing 90% of cases in Leicester area.” Another Skwawkbox Article is equally damning regarding the link between schools and the spread of infection in Leicester. They report that, “Howard Beckett is right – the link is obvious, with school transmission studies in France and Germany showing clearly how fast the virus can spread within and from schools – and Hancock was warned, as was his boss. Now he is exposed – yet again – as arrogant, useless and lethal.”
In a recent Byline Times Article entitled, “Johnson’s ‘Science Super Power’ Ignores the Basic Principles of Science,” a writer animalised as the “Secret Scientist” elaborates on “the paradoxical scientific ambition of the Prime Minister and his complete disregard for science itself.” They point out how, “In his ‘bounce-back’ speech yesterday, the Prime Minister spoke avidly of his ambition to make the UK a ‘Science Superpower’ – ironic given that, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has demonstrated a blatant disregard for some of the most basic principles of science: transparency, quality assurance and collaboration.”
Byline Times describes the dedication and frenetically demanding pace of research and analysis focused on Coronavirus since its emergence with multi-disciplinary projects demonstrating an exceptional level of collaboration between those in diverse areas of the scientific community. They say that, “Their efforts to curate open data sets and promote situational awareness stand in stark contrast to those of the Government, for which obfuscation appears to be the modus operandi of choice. Independent scientists and statisticians have continuously called for transparency around both decision-making and data-sharing.” Relaying how the UK Statistics Authority chair, Sir David Norgrove had written to the Government twice highlighting data shortfalls, they say despite warnings from Scientists that, “the lack of transparency is ‘impeding’ their efforts to understand the epidemiology” and that, “the Government appears to continue to distort data to show itself in the best possible light.”
Alternative news sites flagged up how the number of people tested disappeared from daily reports over a month ago when the Government had felt under pressure to meet a pledged goal; this data never returned with the lame excuse of possible double-counting offered as a reason. According to the writer, a retrospective revamp of the prior daily figures saw, “thousands of tests removed from the cumulative total.” There has been no commitment to sorting this out and displaying correct data at future briefings which are now becoming less frequent. While the Tory Government revelled in the self-importance of these excellent daily PR stunts in the early stages, they have become a lot less manageable of late with tougher scrutiny from the press with a multitude of serious flaws and failures exposed.
Byline Times reports that, “In direct contradiction to Scientists warning that the proportion of positive tests remains a key metric in understanding the trajectory of the virus, the Health and Social Care Secretary has claimed that the key denominator “does not add anything” and ‘is not meaningful’. In reality, in conflating completed tests with unprocessed tests, duplicate tests on the same person, and tests that may never have been done, it is the obscure ‘number of tests’ figure that it is meaningless.” The most recent furore to erupt is over the number of people testing positive in the community with lack of access to the ‘pillar 2 data’ which is the component the Government decided to outsource to private companies reporting to the commercially run Test and Trace system.
Panorama just aired a documentary on featuring the commercially run test sites and it was a real eye-opener. There were people administering the test who admitted having had the most minimal of training and not feeling in the least bit supported by anyone on site with clinical expertise. There PPE was limited to a ‘dinner lady’ style apron, gloves and a very basic face mask with the same kit used for an extended period administering tests to multiple people. Every time you turn on the TV this cursory level of kit is on display while in comparison filming overseas shows testers in white full cover jumpsuits, but then supposedly our science is so much better than their science. There have been numerous reports from the people tasked with the track and trace role who have complained about the pitifully low number of cases they have been asked to contact; they feel frustrated that their services are not being utilized, but the Government tries to spin this as indicative of the success of the program.
Despite the lucrative contracts handed out to consistently unreliable private companies, in many ways it seems that our NHS and local authorities are left to do all the heavy lifting in terms of keeping on top of the data and dealing with Covid in general. The article states that, “Public Health England and NHS hospital labs for staff and patients – are now publicly available on a local level, the overwhelming majority of tests are conducted under ‘pillar 2’. In some areas, ‘pillar 1’ data appears to account for as little as 10% of new cases, meaning that local figures may underestimate the true burden by 90%, with no obvious flags accompanying their publication.” They refer to reporting from the Financial Times, “full ‘pillars 1 and 2’ data are being shared with local public health bodies – but not with local councils or local primary healthcare teams. Following the recent spike that lead to the local lockdown in Leicester, its Mayor Peter Soulsby said he had to wait weeks to receive full local data.”
Byline Times say, “If outbreaks are to be pre-empted, the data from commercial laboratories need to be fed into local authorities and primary healthcare teams in real time. Ideally, complete real time local figures would also be made publicly available via the Government’s new Coronavirus data dashboard. As it moves towards a greater reliance on individual judgement, real time population-adjusted hotspot maps would allow individuals to make informed decisions about the risk in their local areas, enabling them to adjust their behaviours accordingly. In the absence of such data, trust and compliance is likely to continue to plummet.” They elaborate on the other type of testing being done to test past exposure to the virus, but warn that “blood tests for antibodies (‘pillars 3 and 4’) have been conflated with nose-and-throat swab tests for active infection (‘pillars 1 and 2’). The distinction is important given that the antibody tests aren’t as informative for monitoring and modelling outbreaks in real time.”
Byline Times stress shortcomings including significant delays in reporting and, “Under ‘pillar 1’, for example, the extent to which positive active cases are primarily patients or staff is unclear, as is the date on which they were swabbed. Under ‘pillar 2’, the proportion of unreturned postal home test kits remains elusive. Under all pillars, the number of void and inconclusive tests is anyone’s guess. Whilst the new dashboard also includes key metrics on healthcare use by COVID-19 patients (hospitalisations and ventilator beds), it does not provide local-level metrics or offer numbers on availability.” Whenever a particular piece of data appears likely to cause embarrassment to the Government or might challenge the speed of their rush to unlock the slide containing that data is omitted from briefings, for example, “Figures for the number of hospitalisations nationally” have gone AWOL.
Byline Times assert that, “Against core principles of scientific integrity, for this Government, data appear to serve a public relations purpose rather than a public information purpose. The aim appears to be to show the largest possible number of tests conducted and contacts traced and, at the local authority level, the smallest possible number of Coronavirus cases.” Examples of this deceptive strategy are obvious, “The Health Secretary’s end-of April target of 100,000 tests was only met by the conflation of tests that had been carried out with tests posted out. His early June statement that 85% of contacts had been traced in the first week of the Test and Trace system ignored up to 75% of new cases that were simply not fed into the system. A more accurate estimate of the figure, based on data from the Office for National Statistics, is 25%.”
When Boris Johnson is challenged at Prime Ministers Questions over the abysmal failure of his Tory Government to get the Covid 19 crisis under control, he just lies and bluffs his way past the established facts. This latest fiasco is emblematic of the deceptive nature of this Tory Government who simply cannot be trusted to put the most urgent priorities of public safety above allocating lucrative contracts to elitist cronies and revelling in their own self-aggrandizement. Johnson has not created a “world beating” track and trace system as it remains a failing enterprise; rather than establishing a “science Superpower” he’s creating a “Disinformation Super Highway!” The more that is exposed about the way this Tory Government is chaotically running this country into the ground while conducting a “Slaughter of the Sheeple” the more urgent their removal becomes. It is not too late to Demand an Investigation into how they stole the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; we must not gig up trying to seek justice as the stakes are now dar too high. DO NOT MOVE ON!July 3, 2020 at 12:35 #56091Kim Sanders-Fisher
Who will ever forget that Tory propaganda segment on Newsnight after Corbyn demanded caution and evidence in the Skripal Red Flag incident: the Kremlin backdrop and a red tinted image of Jeremy with his hat altered to look like a Russian Bolshevik cap? The Tories have a bad habit of falsely accusing the opposition of misdeeds they are far more guilty of committing themselves; like the distraction over fabricated Labour anti-Semitism from an openly racist Tory PM! The Daily GasLamp just jogged my memory: what happened to that strategically buried Russia Report we should have had a chance to scrutinize before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election? At a time when dodgy deals over planning permission and donations to the Tory Party have opposition MPs calling for Robert Jenrick to go, a heads up on the hornets’ nest of cash for favours was well timed. The Daily GasLamp posted the demand, “Release the Russia Report – MP pressures Johnson over Russia Report” with information gleaned from the Business Insider.
“The wife of a former Putin ally has donated £325,000 to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives as he continues to sit on a report into Russian interference,” reports the Business Insider: “The wife of a former minister in Putin’s government has become the biggest ever female donor to a political party in the UK. Lubov Chernukhin, who is married to ex-Russian finance minister Vladimir Chernukhin, gave £325,000 to the party in the first quarter of 2020, according to the latest Electoral Commission data. This reportedly included £45,000 for a game of tennis with Boris Johnson. Johnson is under pressure to release a report into Russian interference that was completed in October. A Conservative party spokesperson said all donations are ‘properly and transparently declared’ and ‘comply fully with the law’.” If the British public knew all the sordid details they would be in uproar; it just stinks!
The Guardian was also hot on the trail with the headline, “Russia report: UK MPs condemn ‘utterly reprehensible’ delay.” Noting the, “unprecedented underhand behaviour” they say that, “The government’s apparent refusal to release a report into Russian infiltration in the UK and to delay establishing a key scrutiny committee has been condemned as… ‘utterly reprehensible’.” What is considered so unprecedented is that, “The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has not met since before the general election in December – its longest break since it was established in 1994 – and critics say the government has sat on the committee’s report into Russian interference for nine months.”
According to the Guardian, “The former chair of the committee Dominic Grieve said the report had been sent to Downing Street on 17 October and was ready for publication once it had been signed off, a process that usually takes up to 10 days.” They report that, “The Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael, said: ‘Given the prime minister has for nine months sat on the intelligence committee report into Russian interference of our democracy, his decision to delay nominations to the committee raises serious ethical questions’.” He also said, “It leaves the public in little doubt that Boris Johnson is avoiding the truth about the Tory party’s funding connections to Russian oligarchs.” The Guardian state that, “Thirty cross-party MPs wrote to the Prime Minister earlier this week urging for the reconstitution of the committee, saying the refusal to publish the report raised serious questions about the ‘transparency and integrity’ of the democratic process.”
It said: “According to the Hansard Society, ‘at nearly six months, the time taken to appoint the ISC on this occasion has now exceeded that taken to appoint the committee after every previous general election since the committee was established in 1994’. It is untenable for you to continue to block the publication of the Russia report. The situation is an affront to democracy.” The Guardian note that, “The ISC is one of the most important committees in parliament, overseeing seven agencies and departments involved in UK intelligence.” They also say that, “The Scottish National party’s Ian Blackford, a former member of the committee, has accused the government of ‘repeatedly and intentionally failing to establish parliament’s intelligence and security committee to escape scrutiny on important security matters’.”
Crediting the Times they relay that, “the holdup to the formation of the intelligence watchdog can partially be explained by the removal of a provisional member, Tory MP Theresa Villiers, by No 10 for disloyalty. She defied the party whip on an amendment that would have banned the import of chlorinated chicken in any US trade deal.” Despite her defiant vote being totally immaterial to the outcome, Johnson was determined to crush even the slightest rebellion among the ranks; this was vital as he moved closer to solidifying his dictatorship. This is seriously unhealthy politics at its very worst with political designations determined not by talent, but in a desperate response to Johnson’s chronic insecurity. With an appointment designed to maximise this complete lack of credibility, Boris Johnson selected the totally incompetent former Transport Secretary, Chris ‘failing’ Grailing, to bring his disaster power into play as Chair of the committee serving with former Security Minister John Hayes as a slightly more logical choice.
In another stunning ‘misappointment’ Johnson has removed the highly respected Civil Servant Sir Mark Sedwill. In the Guardian Article, “Replacement of Sedwill with Frost ‘highly unusual’, says Labour” they report, “Previous national security advisers have been civil servants rather than political appointees. Labour has criticised what it called the government’s ‘highly unusual’ decision to replace Sir Mark Sedwill as national security adviser with a political appointee who has little direct experience of the role, before a parliamentary question on the issue. After a series of former top officials condemned Sedwill’s departure as a sign the government was undermining the impartiality of the civil service, Labour secured an urgent question on the choice of a new national security adviser.” They say, “Sedwill holds that role, as well as being cabinet secretary, the most senior post in the civil service, but will stand down from both jobs during the summer, following weeks of briefings targeting him.”
The Guardian report that, “The search for a new cabinet secretary will begin next month. But Boris Johnson has already said the new national security adviser will be David Frost, who is currently the government’s chief Brexit negotiator with the EU. While he was formerly a long-serving diplomat, Frost has little direct experience of security matters. Also, unlike Sedwill and all other national security advisers since the role was created in 2010, Frost is not a civil servant but a political appointee. Gus O’Donnell, a former cabinet secretary, warned on Monday that political appointees were ‘more likely to be yes men,’ when speaking to the BBC.” The Guardian say that, “Frost will also be made a peer,” but that Downing Street were unable to say, “whether he would take the Conservative whip or speak in the Lords.” So an unelected Brexiteer not only taking charge of a top security role he is unqualified to fill, but also potentially vaulted right into our undemocratic second chamber of Government.
The astonishment and criticism was not confined to the opposition as members of the Tory Party spoke up too. Despite the deference that any former Prime Minister might show towards criticizing the decision of a successor, Theresa Minister took the opportunity of the urgent question debate to register her disapproval of the politicizing of this key role. BBC News reports say that, “Mrs May, who appointed Sir Mark Sedwill to both roles when she was PM, told MPs that during her nine years as a member of the National Security Council, she had ‘listened to the expert, independent advice from national security advisers.’ She asked Mr Gove how Mr Frost’s appointment squared with remarks he made in a recent speech on civil service reform on the need to ‘promote people with proven expertise.’ ‘Why is the new national security adviser a political appointee with no proven expertise in national security?'”
The BBC noted that, “Former Foreign Secretary Lord Hague has added his voice to those concerned at Mr Frost’s appointment, saying it had ‘raised eyebrows’ and possibly ‘sharpened daggers’ within the defence and intelligence communities.” In his weekly column for the Daily Telegraph, the former Tory leader said that,“while the ex-diplomat was ‘highly capable,’ the role was better suited to someone with first-hand experience of security operations. Warning about the danger of US-style politicisation of senior government roles, he added: ‘If we want the most promising people to serve the country, they have to come from varied points of view. All of us who have dealt with US administrations have witnessed the nightmare of changing long lists of officials when a new President comes in, leading to extended vacancies, loss of expertise and serious damage to diplomacy’.” This Tory Government is choosing to emulate the most dysfunctional components of US governance.
In reality the removal of Sedwill and the entire nature of the appointment of his replacement is integral to the grand design of the unelected puppet master Dominic Cummings who is in untouchable and unaccountable control of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This latest development serves to emphasize the extreme urgency of making sure that Cummings is fired as quickly as possible before he is allowed to completely dismantle our democracy. It must also be realized that David Frost already has an active role leading the sham Brexit negotiations, which amounts to backtracking on previously agreed UK pledges and frustrating the entire process with non-negotiable demands until the point of no return leads to a disastrous crash-out Brexit. The fact that his new role is set to begin in August, several months before the scheduled end of the agreed Brexit transition period tells you all you really need to know about this Tory Government’s intentions which definitely do not include going down to the wire for a last ditch deal.
As the furore over politicized appointments evolves, the contentious issues of Cummings, his role, why he wasn’t fired? Plus blocked access to key reports remains. In the Byline Times Article, “The Empire Strikes Back – London Still the Target of Putin’s Corruption and Repression” they report on the efforts of Donald Trump to readmit the Russian Leader to the Washington G7 Summit despite possible postponement of the autumn event due to Covid 19. Russia’s annexation of the Crimea resulted in exclusion from the G7; since then several attempts by Trump on behalf of Moscow to gain readmission have met with consistent opposition by the other Government leaders including PM Boris Johnson and Canada’s Justin Trudeau. Byline say that, “Russian political exiles agree with these Western leaders and emphasize that any Russia’s inclusion in exclusive political clubs not only provides internal legitimacy to the Kremlin but also supplies it with the tools to undermine western democracies and persecute its own dissidents.”
One of the ways that the Kremlin exerts an unhealthy foreign influence over UK democracy is through Russian donations to the Tory Party. Byline Times focus on the plight of Russian exile Olga Litvinenko, noting that she was, “no relation to the former FSB agent and whistleblower Alexander Litvinenko assassinated in 2006,” and that she, “currently lives in London and has experienced the efforts of the Russian system to ‘get to her’ abroad. In 2010 Olga abandoned Russia together with her four-month-old son, Misha, in the wake of a conflict with her father, the Rector of the Mining University in Saint Petersburg, Vladimir Litvinenko, who is believed to be a close friend of Vladimir Putin, and three times headed his electoral headquarters in Saint Petersburg.” They note that, “Olga already had a daughter at the time, Ester-Maria” and that due to her ‘disobedience’ Olga said her father, “simply took custody of the girl and tried to get her son, as well. Fearing to lose her second child, Olga went to Poland in 2011.”
Byline relay how according to Olga, Vladimir Litvinenko falsely declared that she, “had been kidnapped which permitted him to freeze her accounts in Russia and confiscate her property. Six of her assistants on the City Council were convicted under various criminal statutes,” Olga declared that these were all fabricated crimes, but there was worse to come in retaliation for her success in May 2020 when she, “managed to prove in the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) that the Russian authorities violated the principles of property protection by seizing her property in Saint Petersburg in connection with a ‘kidnapping case’.” Within days of this verdict they report she, “received a summons to appear before an Investigative Committee in case of the murder of a certain A.N. Livshits.” In a Manifesto commitment, prior to the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, this Tory Government pledged to remove the UK from the ECHR, which no doubt would win the wholehearted approval of their Russian pay masters.
According to Byline Times, “Olga Litvinenko emphasizes that the fabrication of criminal activities and the attempt to arrest and extradite political exiles, to exploit Interpol, is not the only way the Russian authorities violate international law.” She had told them that, “Now more countries understand that Russia can produce fabrications even on economic grounds that in fact conceal political persecution. However, there are international agreements of mutual governmental assistance on civil and family matters that have also been ratified by Moscow. Russian authorities do not hesitate to exploit them to ‘punish’ those they find objectionable – for example, trying to take away property or children.” The valid concern is that, “the more Western countries accept Russia as a full member of the ‘European Club,’ the fewer reasons they have to refuse to enforce the unjust decisions of Russian courts,” quoting Olga on the fears of the political exile. However, there was more to reveal about Russian attempts to manipulate politics in the UK.
According to Byline, “Olga Litvinenko also notes that various Russian oligarchs are actively trying to turn Great Britain into a hub for money laundering and the promotion of Moscow’s interests.” They focus on the pre-election scandal over the Tory Government’s success in suppresing what they describe as, “a secret intelligence report on Russia’s alleged attempts to influence elections and the referendum on leaving the EU,” saying, “the Times claimed that the report mentions nine Russian Conservative Party donors, and named three of them. The others have yet to be published.” Byline noted that, “According to Olga Litvinenko, her father is one of the people lobbying for Russian interests in the UK.” She had told Byline Times that, “There is now lobbying in London for the commercial interests of a company in which my father Litvinenko holds an interest, FosAgro. My father received shares of this company at about the time the former owner of this company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was arrested and sent to prison.”
Continuing her damning revelations that could potentially be exposed if we gained full access to the Russian Report, Olga said that, “…in 2019 at the Russian Embassy in London, the Institute for Materials, Minerals, and Mining… signed a cooperation agreement with the Rector of the Mining University of Saint Petersburg – Litvinenko.” The Byline Times interview with the daughter of Vladimir Litvinenko also mentions that her father was one of the beneficiaries of the annexation of the Crimea, having officially received property on the peninsula. “It was for the annexation of the Crimea that Russia was expelled from the G7. However, Vladimir Litvinenko, as one of the actual participants in the occupation not only was not placed under sanction, doesn’t hide the fact that he is creating special structures intended to bring western technology into Russia in violation of existing sanctions. One might only imagine how much all of this activity could grow should Russia be re-admitted to the ‘Big Seven’,” Olga had told Byline Times.
We urgently need to put pressure on this corrupt Tory Government to release the Russia Report as the more evidence that leaks out the further it compromises the legitimacy of their claim to office. We need to uncover the truth about “Russia’s alleged attempts to influence elections and the referendum on leaving the EU” before Boris Johnson and his Machiavellian puppet master achieve crash-our Brexit. I expect that Cummings speaks Russian as he lived there for three years, but we cannot find out while he remains totally unaccountable and refuses to submit to Parliamentary scrutiny. The unelected PsyOps manipulator controlling our PM is potentially dictating appointments as well as policy, beyond discipline or adherence to the law; could the situation be any more dangerous for our democracy? The Jenrick scandal demonstrates exactly how the wealthy elite cling to power; all these issues and the Covert 2019 Rigged Election need to be fully investigated and the corruption exposed to oust the Tories; do not give up and DO NOT MOVE ON!July 4, 2020 at 12:17 #56115Kim Sanders-Fisher
It was a triple podium Covid PR stunt Friday afternoon as Boris Johnson was keen to talk up his magnanimous gesture of easing lockdown on Saturday the 4th of July. No doubt Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Valance and Chief Medical Officer Chris Witte were both ordered to stay strictly on message in full support of the PM. Johnson wanted to lull the people of the UK into a false sense of security that would be so necessary if he was to successfully launch his second wave mass cull of the elderly, weakest and most vulnerable of the Sheeple. After completing the mundane details, dull statistics and other announcements Johnson was really savouring the culmination of his presentation, “Let me end by looking forward to this weekend.” He said, “Tomorrow, there will be moment of remembrance for those whose lives have tragically been lost before their time. And at five PM on Sunday the NHS’s 72nd Birthday we can all come together to clap those who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to help the nation get through this Pandemic.”
Yes, before the celebrations we would take a moment to reflect on all those who had died needlessly due to his gross ineptitude and the warped eugenics policy of ‘Herd Immunity’ that Dominic Cummings had persuaded him to adopt. It was important that the public were encouraged not to dwell on the delayed lockdown, the ‘Holocaust in Care,’ the failure to provide adequate PPE for NHS staff and Carers who had contracted the virus while treating the sick and so many other Tory Government failures. Truth be told these scandals were not just the simple mistakes of arrogance and poor judgement, but the conscious projection of a glorious Tory vision of reducing the burden of caring for the ‘economically inactive.’ The Social Safety Net of the UK’s bloated state was an increasing burden threatening to reduce the excessive wealth of his elitist Tory benefactors. Corruption costs big money and those Tory donors were the people who had stumped up the funds to make his Covert 2019 Rigged Election landslide victory a reality.
A new Canary Article reported that, “After thousands of coronavirus deaths in care homes, government announces regular testing programme for staff and residents.” They relay that, “Staff and residents in care homes for people over 65 or with dementia will be regularly tested for coronavirus (Covid-19) from week beginning 6 July, the government has announced. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced a new social care testing strategy on 3 July. As part of the strategy, staff will be tested weekly, while residents will receive a test every 28 days. This is in addition to intensive testing in any care home facing an outbreak or at increased risk of a flare-up, the department added.” At the end of April the Independent Reported that, “Nearly a third of all care homes in England have reported a confirmed or suspected outbreak of coronavirus.” If Public Health England had statistical data showing “more than 4,500 care homes across the country may have been affected by the virus,” why did it take so long to act?
The accolades Johnson offers to Healthcare workers and the effusive praise for our NHS does not dispel the sickening truth that NHS staff were brutally abandoned and let down by this Tory Government. As time passes more evidence has emerged exposing the callous indifference and disregard for life shown by towards frontline staff that needlessly took so many precious lives. A recent Skwawkbox Article reveals one more aspect of their deliberate deception. The shocking report says how the, “Tories said EVERY piece of expired PPE for front-line was tested and safe. 85 MILLION had to be withdrawn or destroyed – not just inadequate, but themselves danger to health.” Skwawkbox highlight that, “a Channel 4 investigation revealed at least 85 million pieces of protective equipment were inadequate – and worse. In spite of Tory promise only 49 pieces had been tested out of millions and many were an active health hazard.”
The public were anxiously dreaming of a potential end to the misery he had inflicted upon them; Johnson wanted them eager to recklessly join mass gatherings and spend money. He said, “I know everyone will be looking forward to the relaxation of national restrictions. As lockdown eases we should focus on supporting the livelihoods of business owners and their employees up and down the country all of whom are opening their doors for the first time in more than three months. They are our local restaurants, hairdressers, libraries, museums, cinemas, and yes, pubs. They are also our hotels B&Bs, indeed much of our tourism industry, all these businesses and their workers have put in a heroic effort to prepare their venues for this reopening to work out a way to trade that keeps their customers safe. But the successes of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them and ultimately the economic health of the whole country, is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly. We must not let them down.”
Johnson callously continued, “Lockdown only succeeded in controlling the virus because everyone worked together and we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together again. Because we’re not out of the woods yet. The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that. If it starts running out of control again this Government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions. Anyone who flouts social distancing and Covid secure rules is not only putting us all at risk, but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal so as we take this next step our biggest step yet on the road to recovery I urge the British people to do so safely. Remember don’t gather in groups of more than six outside or two households in any setting keep your distance from those outside your household two metres if you can, one metre with precautions if you can’t; wash your hands lets all stay alert, control the virus, save lives and enjoy summer safely.”
There questions came thick and fast, first about the risk of a second wave: one of the advisors remarked that “winter may work to our disadvantage” the other talked of creating a “Covid secure society” the virus was “suppressed” and we needed to “keep it suppressed.” Johnson chimed in saying, “we have therapeutics” and “drugs will get better.” He then spoiled the hopeful delusion by bringing up that ailing, failing, outsourced contact tracing service, saying confidently, “we have NHS test and trace, but we cannot be complacent.” Few shared his exuberant confidence let alone felt complacent about the risks! The BBC’s Alex Forsyth asked the PM about “Super Saturday;” what was the priority “Health or the Economy?” Turning to the advisors, she asked, “are you comfortable with the pace?” Amid Johnson’s effervescent babble a solitary nugget of data hit me as still quite shocking, but it didn’t bother the PM as he let it slip: “we are down to just one in 2200 people infected…. we think that this is, is the right time!”
There was criticism for the leaders of the devolved administration who had called his latest quarantine arrangements ‘shambolic;’ Wales and Scotland were not yet towing the line. “Were we going at too fast a pace?” Johnson’s compliant Scientific Advisors were on the spot here, one said cautiously that there were, “really serious risks, either side of the path we are on there were risks…” Not wanting to deluge on Johnsons parade they needed to warn the public, we had to “balance the risks… there wasn’t a risk free next step.” An ITV presented asked the PM to offer a fuller explanation of his vague appeal for people to “use their judgement;” Johnson stressed an undefined hope that people would just, “enjoy summer safely,” whatever that meant? Andy Bell from Chanel 5 asked about quarantine, “was there ever a justification for the blind quarantine.” In a telling answer one of the advisers said, “it makes a difference if it is from a country with an infection rate higher than ours.” No shit Shirlock!
Someone asked about, “SAGE comments on Super spreaders;” here both of the Advisors focused on the risk of “lots of people coming together from different households in a confined space… a crowded indoor environment” and they stressed the need to “maintain social distancing.” There was an obscure question about what posed a danger in cricket. Apparently this had been asked of Boris Johnson earlier in the day and had left him ‘stumped.’ One of the advisors stepped in to rescue the PM saying with the game itself “spitting on the ball” was a problem and general mingling indoors after the game. Johnson pledged to restore cricket by next weekend; it was so taxing being a world beating, world leader. There was a question about children returning to school and it was time for him to obsess over the subject and blame the unions, he was “determined to get all kids back to school…” How else could he boost Covid transmission? The Canary reported the latest Government strategy, “Schools told to keep children apart in year group ‘bubbles’ on full return in autumn.”
Then Kate Proctor of the Guardian had to go and ask awkward questions including one that seriously challenged his integrity and even-handed judgement. She asked, “You have said that you won’t hesitate to slam on the brakes if the pubs reopening doesn’t quite go to plan, would you consider completely shutting pubs if you can see in a few weeks that this isn’t working; is that the kind of handbrake measure you are referring to?” A devastating second question was sure to put Johnson on the spot, “…your father travelled to Greece against non essential travel advice, Dominic Cummings seems to have broken the spirit of the lockdown rules by travelling to county Durham. Why should the public obey all the rules that your putting out right now about the pubs re-opening when it does feel as though those close to you flout the rules?”
Boris Johnson felt seriously challenged on an issue he had officially put to bed; other people were still angry over Cummings and wanted him to go, but now his own father had transgressed and it had reignited the anger over those who were seemingly exempt from following any rules. He would tackle the last question first, at speed and then move on quickly to detract from this contentious issue. His voice dripping with resentment he replied: “Well thanks very much Kate, well first of all on, on er, you know on er, the episode in Durham, the Durham police made it very clear that they weren’t pursuing that. I er, make it er, a normal practice not to comment on er, the movement or doings of, of my family.” His hesitance and embarrassment were obvious, but he had skimmed over the point made and survived the barb. So that was that issue settled; why couldn’t everybody please just let it go and move on? Perhaps because there were expectations of most people obeying the rules; He and his cronies were above the rules, end of!
Johnson confidently launched into a less controversial direction, saying, “but what I can tell you is that, um actually when you look at what the British public have done over the last er, three months it has been a phenomenal effort to follow the guidance and get this thing under control. And people have worked together and they’ve done and absolutely heroic job that’s why we’ve got incidents running so much lower than it was only a few weeks ago, it’s because of the collective effort of the British public. We’ve got to keep that going now.” Singing the praises of the public he was back on safe ground. He lacked the self awareness to recognize the hypocrisy of not even acknowledging the appalling example his chief advisor and his own father had set to a Covid weary public who were still doing their best to abide by his irrational and constantly shifting regulations. They had to understand that these rules were for the plebs, not the privileged elite; they were supposed to have moved on from the Cummings debacle!
Johnson shifted to the question of pubs, saying, “I don’t want to close all pubs at all if we have a further outbreak but what I I’ve tried to say, you want to close all pubs in the country er, er, I don’t want to get back to another national lockdown of any kind we want to deal with local outbreaks with local lockdown measures and were greatly assisted in our ability to do that by the test and trace operation you’ve seen it working in Kirklees, in Ashford, Western super mare and we’ve had to do a big one now in Sheffield but that is the approach that I want to take but you know obviously we have to retain all measures in reserve.” Johnson droned on for as long as possible regarding the pubs hoping to wash over the question of Dominic Cummings and his father’s breach of the rules before shifting rapidly to the next questioner without inviting a comeback.
The Canary Report that, “Boris Johnson’s father Stanley has been criticised by MPs after flying to Greece despite government advice urging against non-essential international travel. The 79-year-old arrived in Athens on Wednesday 1 July to visit his mountain villa. He shared a video of his plane landing in the capital on social media platform Instagram.” According to the Canary “He told the Daily Mail he was visiting the country on ‘essential business trying to Covid-proof my property in view of the upcoming letting season’.” This was at least as outrageous as driving sixty miles to ‘test’ your eyesight. He added: “The Greeks are trying to stop bulk arrivals from the UK but they were quite happy to have me coming in.” The Canary noted that, “…his trip has angered MPs, with shadow minister Rosena Allin-Khan tweeting: Most people have been following the guidelines and socially distancing – not everyone will get a holiday this year. Those closest to the Prime Minister have different rules though.”
The Canary reported that, “He also posted a picture of himself wearing a face mask, which appeared to be taken in an airport. Johnson flew to Athens via Bulgaria, the Daily Mail said, because the Greek government has banned direct flights from the UK until mid-July.” So, he not only broke the rules, he offered a blueprint for how to work around restrictions; what a terrific example to the public during a pandemic! They Canary reported that, “Labour MP Kate Osborne referred to the PM’s top aide Dominic Cummings, who breached lockdown rules in March while having coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms. She said: Dominic Cummings broke the lockdown rules now it’s @BorisJohnson’s father. One rule for the elite and another for everyone else it seems. They’re laughing directly in the face of people up and down this country. Shame. Labour’s Neil Coyle tweeted: Junior Johnson axes freedom of movement, undermining rights for 60 million Brits. Senior Johnson sneaks to his Greek villa during a global pandemic.”
A Canary Article exposes the Tory Government deception in a, “Warning of Covid 19 illusion amid fears of more local lockdowns.” For the BBC, Reporter Richard Bilton investigated, “the rapid expansion of our Covid-19 testing capacity and asks whether we have got the world-beating service the prime minister promised.” Watch the latest BBC Panorama Documentary: “Has Covid Testing Gone Wrong?” We cannot afford to be duped by snake oil salesman Johnson, lulled into a false sense of security and encouraged to follow the reckless examples of the privileged few this Tory Government fail to discipline for breaking the rules. We must continue to demand the removal of Dominic Cummings and some form of sanction against Boris Johnson’s own selfish father Stanley for flouting the rules. Accountability is long overdue, but if we continue letting MPs and the elite get away with anything the please we will see worse in future. The Covert 2019 Rigged Election needs Investigating ASAP so that we can rid the UK of this Tory scourge. DO NOT MOVE ON!July 4, 2020 at 13:47 #56116cimarrón
Like son, like father…
‘Johnson explained the trip saying he had to set up “social distancing measures” at the property. No such rules apply to private properties being rented out in Greece.’July 5, 2020 at 15:37 #56145Kim Sanders-Fisher
Cimarrón – This is becoming a recurring theme because of the Tory Government response to accountability in general, with their pledges and promises never kept, while blatant lying in office and grossly insulting people has been normalized in politics. Tories have amply demonstrate that an “Englishman’s word is no longer his bond,” as integrity and submitting to public scrutiny have become quaint relics of the past. At one time there was an unspoken rule, for generations those who transgressed, seriously let us down or brought their profession into disrepute, would resign, be fired or lose credibility to such an extent that their career is over. Whenever incompetent performance or reprehensible conduct of a person in a lofty position of trust, responsibility or indeed any position of visible public prominence, not just in the area of politics, but also theatrical and sports icons, there must be appropriate responsibility. This was once true; not anymore, the Tory Party have drastically changed what is the new acceptable norm.
I have absolutely zero interest in football, but when a team loses their edge, not winning any games, the Coach is held responsible and is promptly replaced. When high profile actors have been charged with rape or the sexual abuse of minors they are publically demonized and their career is essentially over. From the least relevant to the most significantly egregious we expect people to take appropriate responsibility for everything from poor performance and even minor lapses in judgement to corruption and criminal conduct. During my NHS retraining in the UK our ODP students ware warned that we should be cautious with regard to what we wrote online as a rash, controversial or offensive posts on Facebook could see us removed from the program for bringing our profession into disrepute.
In stark contrast not a single one of the several demonstrations of gross incompetence and ignorance that cost the British tax paper millions in Government funding saw Chris ‘failing’ Grayling removed from post. Each time he has failed to demonstrate the humility to apologize and resign; no, he expected to be allowed to stay on and fix his blunders or just cause more chaos through his ineptitude. Are the vagaries of football team’s fortune or the thoughtless inappropriate online posts of an NHS student more deserving of serious discipline than an incompetent, offensive or downright corrupt Tory Government Minister, accepting cash for favours, haemorrhaging public money or a PM inciting racial hatred by publishing insulting comments? The Tories want you to believe that the poor quality of coaching or the casual comment of a student should be more severely disciplined than far more serious transgressions by a City Councillor, a Government Adviser, an MP, a member of the Cabinet or ever the Prime Minister. Give them an inch and they will take a mile!
Several of the Cabinet Ministers who were forced out in response to public outrage have since been appointed to top positions in Boris Johnson’s current Tory Government. Priti Patel lost her job for freelancing her dodgy influence with Israeli officials while ‘on holiday;’ but Johnson appointed her to one of the four top Ministerial roles, that of Home Secretary. I have already had a rant on this issue when expounding on the Windrush scandal in a previous post, I wrote, “Theresa May remained determined to dodge any accountability. With a cowardly elitist arrogance, that was to become the Tory norm with regard to totally ignoring justified calls for resignations, she adamantly refused to step down as PM: unashamedly allowing Amber Rudd to fall on the sword that should have pierced her truly gutless frame! In contemptuous disregard for their wanton abuse of public trust, members of the Tory Party have perfected the art of dishonourably clinging to the power and plunder bestowed on them by prestigious Government appointments.”
But, the Conservatives were so determined to break the mould that now, under the disgraceful example of this Tory Government doubling-down on what they can get away with, the elite, the most privileged people of wealth or prestigious connections to public office are demonstrating their utter contempt for society as a whole. Boris Johnson’s refusal to admonish or publically condemn the rule breaking selfish conduct of his father Stanley Johnson is seen by the general public as an endorsement of the abuse his wealth was so easily able to finance. Stanley did not even attempt to behave discreetly and keep his journey to Greece quiet; he shamelessly posted pictures online and bragged in an interview to the press further rubbing our noses in it. Like father like son.
The scandal involving Robert Jenrick is still rumbling on as other dodgy deals might yet emerge, especially if we gain access to the Russia Report, but the PM is eager to have us just move on. In a recent post I wrote, “At a time when dodgy deals over planning permission and donations to the Tory Party have opposition MPs calling for Robert Jenrick to go, a heads up on the hornets’ nest of cash for favours was well timed. The Daily GasLamp posted the demand, ‘Release the Russia Report – MP pressures Johnson over Russia Report’ with information gleaned from the Business Insider.” The squeaky wheel gets oiled and the British public must be loud, forceful and unrelentingly demanding that disgraceful Troy ‘time and distance’ tactic end now. We will keep protesting, demanding accountability and full public scrutiny; we will not accept hidden files remaining buried and disreputable appointees left in place to continue causing harm through their appalling corrupt and selfish conduct. Jenrick and Cummings must go!
Johnson really thinks the Dominic Cummings scandal is over and done with, but we cannot let it go and the more recent breach of the regulations by the PM’s own father must target the importance of the negative impact of such glaring examples of inequality in the UK. The one rule for them, another for the rest of us, is not going away and we shouldn’t let it. We need progressive MPs to recognize the urgent demands highlighted by ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters that we will not accept the increasing inequality in our country. We need to put an inordinate amount of pressure on our representatives to keep raising the issue of Cumming removal. Achieving this one goal could potentially bring this Tory Government crashing down as I firmly believe that Dominic Cummings was the mastermind behind the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and he’s proud of it. He holds all of the critical evidence capable of fully exposing the corruption that could bring down this Government; if he is ousted his ego will compel him to rat on the Tory Party!
Time and distance will not erase the public perception of injustice and corruption so it must become a regular demand, week on week, until it’s a constant buzz in the media and too embarrassing for Johnson to ignore. The message right now is that Johnson, all Tory MPs, Advisors and appointees are above the law; this is a perfect prelude to decades of dictatorship! Following the as yet still totally unchallenged success of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election there is an even greater need for a strong opposition; without it we will descend into fascism with little or no resistance. It is not too late to demand a full investigation of the highly suspect vote that propelled this Tory Government into office with the claim of a “landslide victory” through “borrowed votes” of disillusioned Labour supporters. The progressive Left must regroup to strengthen their resolve as tenacious resistance is vital; constructive support for a dangerous and corrupt Tory Government is unacceptable and there’s no time for procrastination. DO NOT MOVE ON!July 6, 2020 at 15:28 #56181Kim Sanders-Fisher
Johnson began Prime Minister Questions on Wednesday by giving our favourite political football a swift kick. His determination to race ahead with the easing of lockdown restrictions has NHS staff bracing for the inevitable ‘Boris Spike’ rolling down the road at top speed. The resurgence of cases in Leicester was not enough to deter his wholesale enthusiasm for getting phase two of the Herd Nerd’s vile eugenics program underway. Cummings remains in post so the ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple’ will proceed as planned, eliminating the ‘economically inactive’ and a few targeted minority groups. Johnson’s glowing praises for NHS workers are shallow words to all the staff who felt so despicably abandoned by this callous Tory Government when they repeatedly begged for adequate PPE supplies as they lost valuable colleagues to Covid 19. The PM had basked in the glory of his Nightingale vanity project, facilities converted at huge profit to his elitist palls but, with no staff to man them, they remain barely used white elephants.
The Tory Government who froze their wages has no shame and the PM who cheered when Nurses were denied a fair pay rise still fails to recognize the hypocrisy of his ‘Clapping for Carers.’ Johnson drew together his next hit on the NHS scheduled to be launched on the day before the anniversary of the inauguration of our NHS. His bluster was unstoppable as he said, “May I start by commending the Together Initiative for organising this coming Sunday what will hopefully be the nation’s biggest ever Thank You Day to mark the birthday of the NHS? It will provide the perfect moment to thank not just our amazing NHS and care workers, but also those key workers who have helped in the national effort throughout our fight against Coronavirus and, indeed, all those across the country who have gone the extra mile for their local communities in these challenging times. I am sure we can agree across this House that the NHS represents the very best of us, and that we will always be there to support it.”
tHEN fellow Tory Richard Graham chimed in saying, “Today is the 72nd anniversary of the NHS and a good moment for us all to appreciate the immense role of the NHS in all our constituencies…” He went on to hype-up Boris Johnson’s ambitious infrastructure and building pledges, in reality a ‘New Steal’ from Labour, only temporarily on offer to placate the masses and distract from the inevitable misery of rampant unemployment and deprivation that will hit the poor the hardest. Graham had his own pet proposal to pitch for an eco park and green energy park plus a “shovel-ready” cycleway project; as if Tories actually understood environmental protection and the looming climate crisis; they will always revert to: “get rid of all that green crap!” But it was just the kind of resounding supportive praise this narcissistic PM so desperately craves and Johnson was ready to reciprocate in the ‘stroking,’ thanking his hon. Friend.
It was time for a more challenging real question, but Keir Starmer started calmly with a subtle dig, perhaps alluding to the paradox elaborated on above, he said, “May I, too, celebrate the birthday of the NHS, as we all will this Sunday, particularly at this time?” Starmer seized the opportunity to attack the weakest link of this shambolic Government’s delayed action plan for Leicester caused by the obsessive centralization of data to stoke the profits of crony capitalism. Going straight for the jugular he asked, “At the daily press conference on the 18th of June, the Health Secretary said, “There’s an outbreak of Covid-19 right now in parts of Leicester”, yet it was only on Monday evening this week that the Government introduced restrictions. That is a delay of 11 days, during which the virus was spreading in Leicester. Why were the Government so slow to act?”
This had been deeply embarrassing for the Government and Johnson needed to muster his ‘Boris-Shit’ and bluster to spin his way out of this with the pretence of decisive action. He said, “Well, actually, the Government first took notice and acted on what was going on in Leicester on 8 June, because we could see that there was an issue there. We sent mobile testing units – four more mobile testing units – shortly thereafter. We engaged actively with the authorities in Leicester, with public health in Leicester and with everybody responsible in Leicester in the way that we have done with other areas that have had similar issues. Unfortunately, in Leicester, it did not prove possible to get the results that we have seen elsewhere, so on Monday we took the decision, which I hope the right hon. and learned Gentleman approves of, to go into lockdown in Leicester. I have been absolutely clear with the House and with the country that we are going forward. We have made huge progress, but, where necessary, we will put on the brakes. We acted decisively, and I think it was the right thing to do.”
Starmer was about to drop the starkest of truth bombs as the discrepancy in reported test results between pillar 1 and 2 was simply staggering. He said, “I do support the Government’s decision of Monday, but I think the 4,000 businesses and 160 schools that are now shut might take some persuading that the Government acted quickly enough. One of the problems in Leicester was that the local authority had only half the data. It had data for pillar 1 Covid tests–NHS and care worker tests, and tests in hospitals–but not for pillar 2 tests, which are the wider tests in the community. That may sound technical, but it meant that the local authority thought there were 80 positive tests in the last fortnight when the real figure was 944. The local authority was given the real figure only last Thursday, so there was a lost week while the virus was spreading. There are now real fears of further local lockdowns across the country. Can the Prime Minister give a cast-iron guarantee today that no other local authority will ever be put in that position again?”
The truth was not about to set him free, but Boris Johnson has always felt really comfortable lying, so he claimed, “I am afraid the right hon. and learned Gentleman is mistaken, because both pillar 1 and pillar 2 data have been shared, not just with Leicester, but with all authorities across the country. We did in Leicester exactly what we did, for instance, in Kirklees, Bradford, Weston-super-Mare or other places where very effective whack-a-mole strategies have been put in place.” When scrambling for who to blame, it was standard Tory policy to coapt the whole House and blame the victims. True to form the PM said, “For reasons that I think the House will probably understand, there were particular problems in Leicester in implementing the advice and getting people to understand what was necessary to do. But, let’s face it: we have had to act and the Government have acted. He wants to know whether we will act in future to ensure that we protect the health of the entire country, and I can tell him that we will, absolutely.”
Starmer couldn’t let the lie stand, he had to clarify, “I spoke to the Mayor of Leicester this morning, and I know the Prime Minister spoke to him yesterday, and he was absolutely clear that he did not get that data until last Thursday – I doubt he told the Prime Minister something different yesterday. The Prime Minister cannot just bat away challenge; these are matters of life and death, and people’s livelihoods. For example, last week, my hon. Friend the Member for Hove (Peter Kyle) asked the Prime Minister, ‘How can seaside towns be expected to cope with the likely influx of visitors to beaches and parks during the hot weather?’. The Prime Minister replied, ‘Show some guts’.” Too many of us fail to realize that to create victims ripe for blame the Tories must ramp-up their seriously bold prodding! Did Starmer really expect a humble admission of guilt when he asked, “Two days later, Bournemouth beach was closed; there were 500,000 visitors and a major incident was declared. Does the Prime Minister now regret being so flippant?”
He had been proud of his Churchillian “show some guts” incitement which succeeded in sending the Sheeple flocking to the beach; foolish blame worthy victims to fuel the next ‘Boris Spike!’ Johnson criticized, “I really think the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not distinguish himself by his question, because I was making it absolutely clear that as we go forward with our cautious plan for opening up the economy, it is very, very important that people who do represent seaside communities, places where UK tourists will want to go, should be as welcoming as they can possibly be. That was the message that I think it is important to set out. But it is also vital that people behave responsibly. That is why the scenes in Bournemouth were completely unacceptable and it is why we stick to the advice that we have given. I made it absolutely clear that if people are going to travel to the seaside and take advantage of the easing of the lockdown, they must observe social distancing, and it is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that that is the case.”
Starmer proceeded with his attack saying, “The Prime Minister must understand why this is of such concern. There is a nationwide lifting of restrictions this weekend, without an app, and without clear data for local authorities or the world-beating system we were promised… I do support it, but I am not blind… I support the easing of restrictions but, unlike the Prime Minister, I am not blind to the risks, and I do not think anybody else should be. Last week, I pointed out to the Prime Minister that two thirds of people with Covid-19 are not being reached and asked to provide their contact details. The Prime Minister, typically, said it was all a stunning ‘success’. The updated figures now show that things have got worse; of the 22,000 new cases of Covid infections per week in mid-June, just 5,000 were reached and asked to provide details. So now three quarters of people with Covid-19 are not being reached. How does the Prime Minister explain that?”
Through no fault of the workers involved the Government outsourced track and trace staff are sitting idle while local authorities are doing all the heavy lifting; Johnson will not admit to that. Instead Boris proceeded to brag and tout big numbers to impress. He said, “As the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows very well, the test, track and trace operation is reaching huge numbers of people and causing them to self-isolate in ways that I do not think he conceivably could have expected a month ago when the system was set up. It has now reached 113,000 contacts who have undertaken to self-isolate to stop the disease spreading, and that is why the number of new infections has come down for several days running to below 1,000, and the number of deaths continues to come down. That is a great achievement on the part of the entire population and their willingness to support test and trace.”
Starmer tried to press his point saying, “If the Prime Minister cannot see that three quarters of those with covid-19 are not being contacted and asked for their own contacts, that is a real gap in the system. He cannot just brush it away by referencing those that are contacted. It is a real problem and it is growing; it is going to have to be addressed. The Prime Minister did this at phase 1, brushing away serious concerns.” It was time for another line of attack, he continued, “I want to turn to the Prime Minister’s speech yesterday, if I may. Amid the normal bluster, there was a really striking line in that speech. The Prime Minister said: ‘We…know the jobs that many people had in January are…not coming back’. I fear that this is the equivalent of the line in the Prime Minister’s speech of 12 March when he said: ‘I must level with you… Many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.’ We know what happened next. That is why there needs to be a laser-like focus on protecting jobs, so how many jobs does the Prime Minister think yesterday’s announcement will protect?”
First Johnson needed to establish the false impression that Starmer was not in favour of the job protections he put in place. The PM said, “ The right hon. and learned Gentleman might first pay tribute to the work of this Government in protecting 11 million jobs throughout this crisis. He might draw attention to the fact that we have supported huge sectors of the UK economy at a cost of £120 billion. I am not going to give a figure for the number of job losses that may or may not take place, but of course the risk is very serious, as he rightly says.”
There was no way Johnson was going to quantify the massive unemployment disaster that lay ahead, so what did Starmer expect to accomplish when he asked a question that was bound to elicit copious bragging from the PM over Government projects that may never transpire? There would be more than enough Tory MPs ready to bolster Johnson insatiable ego with non-question ‘stroking’ that easily got the PM spouting fake promises of prosperity, without Starmer joining in the stroking process! Johnson was on a roll with his reply, “That is why we are proceeding with the new deal, the fair deal for the British people, which will be not just massive investment in our national health service – £34 billion in our NHS – and £14 billion more into our schools but an investment in infrastructure going up to £100 billion. We are going to build, build, build and deliver jobs, jobs, jobs for the people of this country.”
Perhaps Starmer had elicited the PM’s bragging to set a trap and Johnson raced right into that trap! Starmer hit him with the facts, “The reality is that the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday was investment equivalent to less than £100 per person across the United Kingdom – 0.2% of GDP. Not much of his announcement was new and it certainly was not much of a deal. Meanwhile, as the Prime Minister was speaking, Airbus announced 1,700 job losses, EasyJet announced 1,300 job losses and T. M. Lewin and Harveys announced 800 job losses. That was just yesterday. There was nothing in the Prime Minister’s speech for the 3.2 million people in hospitality or the 2.9 million in retail. Next week’s financial statement could be the last chance to save millions of jobs. Will the Prime Minister start now by extending the furlough scheme for those parts of the economy that are still most at risk?”
Johnson’s illusionary bubble of generosity just burst, but realizing that he was in a hole, he kept digging furiously, saying, “Let me repeat and remind the House that, overall, the package represents a £600 billion package of investment in the UK economy. The best single thing we can do is get our economy back to health by getting our people back into work and getting the virus defeated and under control, and the best thing that the Opposition could do is stop equivocating – doing one thing one week and one thing another week – and decide that they emphatically support ending the lockdown and emphatically support kids being back in school rather than being bossed around by the unions. We are the builders; they are the blockers. We are the doers; they are the ditherers. We are going to get on with it and take this country forward.” Johnson was trying to sound Churchillian, but his message was falling flat; they had all heard similar hype and empty promises from the Tories before, ho hum!
The furlough scheme had served its purpose well, conveniently spreading the massive Covid driven unemployment crisis out more evenly over several months to reduce public alarm, avoid spooking small businesses while siphoning Government money towards favoured Corporate cronies and major Tory donors. In addition a number of high wage employers had realized there was a great opportunity to move from furlough, to redundancy, to rehire for lower wages and curtailed benefits all under cover of the scheme. The Canary Reported that, “Boris Johnson has said there will be no further extension to the government’s furlough scheme. His comments come despite a fresh wave of job losses across the country. We’ve spent £120 billion supporting people, it’s a huge commitment… But I think people need to recognise that the particular restrictions that furlough places on you are not, in the long term, healthy either for the economy or for you as an employee.”
Also buried in Johnson’s blizzard of rhetoric he recklessly taunted the Labour Leader over caution from Teachers regarding a safe return to the classroom by saying Starmer should, “emphatically support kids being back in school rather than being bossed around by the unions.” It has already emerged that it was in fact a battle over Shadow Education Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey’s safety first, principled stand on Labour’s school return policy that caused Starmer to sack the only staunchly progressive Socialist in his Shadow Cabinet. Despite protestations that he was adhering to a zero tolerance policy on anti-Semitism this feeble excuse has been ridiculed and thoroughly debunked in a Skwawkbox Article covering her sacking. This has signified an unpopular lurch to the right in a bid to oust the entire Left wing faction of the Labour Party and banish them into obscurity, but despite accolades from the media and jubilation from the Tories, there are strong indications that Starmer’s clean sweep will seriously backfire.
In documenting verbatim the exchanges between Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer, the inadequacies of the opposition response are obvious. The admonishing tone of Starmer’s questioning fruitlessly invites a fulsome confession of serious wrongdoing and incompetence that a PM of Johnson’s extremely fragile ego is not going to provide. From examining Johnson’s duplicitous responses it’s clear that all this strategy has ever managed to accomplish is the provision of an open invitation for an extremely accomplished liar to reinforce and embellish his fanciful promises of massive funding and shovel-ready projects that will never reach fruition! Starmer and his team need to make an honest assessment of the validity of this strategy and significantly change tactics. I am not saying that Starmer shouldn’t criticise Johnson and his corrupt Tory cabal, far from it, but this skilled former Prosecutor’s approach must be to entrap the PM with his own rash statements. He must be forensic in exposing and prying open the damaging documented facts that Johnson is so successfully keeping hidden.
In the past when Starmer has announced that he will expect to see a particular piece of data, it puts Johnson on the spot, forced to produce it the following week. Repetition isn’t always redundant; the PM needs to hear that Cummings removal is still an issue and the Russian Report must be published. I must repeat, “Time and distance will not erase the public perception of injustice and corruption so it must become a regular demand, week on week, until it’s a constant buzz in the media and too embarrassing for Johnson to ignore. The message right now is that Johnson, all Tory MPs, Advisors and appointees are above the law; this is a perfect prelude to decades of dictatorship! Following the as yet still totally unchallenged success of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election there is an even greater need for a strong opposition; without it we will descend into fascism with little or no resistance.” Starmer is failing to provide strong opposition, hence the accolades from the BBC and far right media; the progressive Left must regroup to strengthen their resolve. DO NOT MOVE ON!July 7, 2020 at 15:08 #56219Kim Sanders-Fisher
The second I wake up the words start cascading into my conscious mind, driven by the desperation of our dire national plight. So many Brits are calmly sleepwalking into the solidification of this Tory coup, unaware of the full impact of the dystopian nightmare that lies ahead if we do nothing to derail their rapacious assault on our democracy. It started well before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, but it will be fully established once we are forcibly extricated from the EU in a chaotic crash-out Brexit. ‘Auntie’ has capitulated, the BBC has already been coapted into a Tory compliant mouthpiece; any mainstream media outlets that have yet to be coerced into reinforcing Tory propaganda are just sidelined and excluded access. I am fortunate to have time on my hands right now; I owe it to the people of our seriously endangered democracy, to use my time wisely in the pursuit of promoting protest and rebellion to seek justice by exposing the truth in the fast diminishing hope that we can eject this rabid Tory Government from office.
But wait, a glimmer of hope just emerged in a recent https://skwawkbox.org/2020/07/03/get-the-tories-out-labour-supporters-publish-new-book-on-socialist-social-media/ entitled “‘Get the Tories Out’ – Labour supporters publish new book on socialist social media.” They promote the new book authored and compiled by Andrew Godsell ‘Get the Tories Out,’ but this leading, well respected, alternative news outlet still accepts the myth of the ‘Tory Landslide’ victory in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. Getting Skwawkbox to rethink that defeatist stance is crucial to getting the Tories out! Describing the book they say that, “A group of Labour supporters has come together to produce a new book addressing what works and what doesn’t in social media activism to spread the real Labour message – and correcting the skewed Establishment narrative.” A press release by the group explains: “Get The Tories Out! is an impressive book of topical political commentary, written by a group of Labour Party members and supporters. This collection of short essays is rapidly gaining public attention, and independent media coverage.”
Sadly Skwawkbox continues to naively reinforce the Tory propaganda regarding the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, asserting that, “The Conservatives won the 2019 General Election, with a majority of 80 seats, while Labour were reduced to 202 MPs, the party’s smallest total since 1935. This was largely due to the loss of support in areas that voted to leave the European Union – with people disaffected by Labour’s switch to the second referendum policy.” This is not valid. Why would Labour members vote to reward the standard bearer of that controversial shift in policy by appointing him their Leader, if they believed it lost the election? Skwawkbox try to modify the widely accepted defeat by adding, “The scale of Labour’s defeat in 2019 is unparalleled in our lifetimes. Or is it? The significantly low level of seats masked the fact that Labour won 10,265,912 votes at the latest election, two and a half years on from 12,878,460 people voting for a radical programme, shaped by Jeremy Corbyn and a mass membership, during 2017”
Then Skwawkbox attempt to put the bad news into a more positive context for the accepted loss by introducing past comparisons, “The 2019 Labour vote total was higher than in three other elections in the current century – 2005 (Labour majority), 2010 (hung Parliament led to Con-Dem coalition), and 2015 (small Tory majority). Labour’s vote in 2017 had been exceeded in only four previous General Elections, those of 1950, 1951 (a defeat despite winning a higher popular vote than the Tories), 1966, and 1997.” However, I would contend that such comparisons are totally meaningless if the vote itself was rigged to give the Tories extra postal ballots in the precise amount necessary to take the exact number of marginal seats targeted through Dominic Cummings’s Voter Intention Collection System. VICS allowed him to precisely quantify and target where to steal votes for exactly 80 seats, just as he had promised and predicted. The best information on the Cummings plan is printed in the Daily GasLamp Blog which is a real must read.
Skwawkbox then very proudly announce Labour’s more impressive Election results, “The 2017 Election brought an increase in the Labour vote compared to the previous such contest of 3,531,187. This was the second largest gain of votes in Labour’s history. The biggest leap occurred in 1945, when Labour won power with 3,982,758 more votes than in the preceding election. With elections on hold during World War Two, the poll prior to 1945 had been held a whole decade earlier, taking us back to the 1935 result.” It’s highly likely that the 2017 Election was equally corrupted by stolen votes, but that the Tories miscalculated the extent of public support for Corbyn and the progressive Labour Manifesto. Shaken, the Tories knew in 2019 the media campaign had to be a lot more ruthless, the BBC would need to proactively support the Tory disinformation and the assault on postal votes would have to be targeted and comprehensive to win. Sadly the Tories achieved all of their corrupt goals and the truth has yet to be exposed.
While Skwawkbox assert that, “These figures suggest that talk of an existential crisis for the Labour Party is premature,” they still buy into the fallacy that the meaninglessly moronic “Get Brexit Done” message succeeded in haemorrhaged Labour votes to the Tories, by claiming, “Without the concern from 2016 leave voters that Labour was abandoning them…” There was no substance to this claim beyond the fanciful Tory media spin that the Labour Party made no real effort to combat! There is no question that the media onslaught was damaging, so for Skwawkbox to raise it as a factor was not an excuse, but a valid statement of fact. They wrote how if the Brexit impact had not, “combined with the massive mainstream media attack in 2019, Labour could have repeated the historically high vote of 2017. That vote had removed the small Tory majority in the House of Commons, when Theresa May, and her numerous Blue Tick supporters with ipads (who masqueraded as journalists), thought she was on course to increase it.”
Skwawkbox are correct to point out that, “The current crisis for Labour is largely a false construct from the opponents of our party. Sadly this narrative is being amplified by the misnamed ‘moderates’ in Labour. Their zealous nostalgia for Blairite Neoliberalism attacked the resurgent left during 2016, with the ‘Chicken Coup’ and ‘Labour Purge’, notorious failed attempts to break Corbyn and his supporters.” This is a good start as it will be vital for progressives within Labour not to buy into the prevailing concept that their enlightened manifesto was too radical, too ambitious, but most inaccurate of all too Socialist. It is important that left wing progressives are not coerced into thinking that Starmer’s swerve towards the illusive centre ground is necessary in order to make the party electable; it is not! Whenever I hear any talk of the proverbial ‘Centre Ground’ I am overwhelmed by a powerful image of the Monty Python team romping forward with their clip-clop coconuts in search of the Holy Grail; it really is that ridiculously fanciful!
In reporting Godsell’s objectives Skwawkbox said that following the 2019 defeat there had been “an enormous amount of positive activity… inspirational ideas about rebuilding support for the Labour Party and Socialism.” And they reported that many of them, “strongly believe the Tories will fail to deliver on empty pledges they made to win the Election.” While acknowledging that, “The Conservative Party have little or no interest in the working people” the talk yet again reverted to reinforcing that lie about lending the Tories votes to “Get Brexit Done.” They revealed that, “Months before Boris Johnson came up with his slogan, we were saying ‘Get The Tories Out.’ Actually we were often using #GTTO, one of the popular hashtags introduced by Rachael Swindon, a woman who has been a massive influence in putting the Socialist message into British social media.” It would be so incredibly valuable if we could manage to convince Rachael Swindon that the core premise of our demand for justice deserved her promotional support.
Skwawkbox report that “The strong advocacy of continued radical Socialism in the Labour Party, as the best way to challenge and defeat the Tories, gave Andrew Godsell an idea. He suggested, in January 2020, that we should capture some of this excellent content, in a cheap paperback. The response was very encouraging. In the next few days, excellent pieces were sent to Andrew, who put a summary of the developing plan on his Blog. Over the course of a few weeks, more pieces arrived. Meanwhile exchanges among the growing group of writers, via Twitter and email, produced new ideas for content, including some great memes to illustrate the book.” This is exactly the kind of grassroots movement we really need to promote the demand for a full investigation into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. The only stumbling block is that so many people remain convinced that the result was a valid ‘Tory landslide’ victory; they think that there will be a free and fair election to oust the Tories in five years time!
Skwawkbox report that, “Little more than a month on from the original idea, Get the Tories Out! was published. This enabled the book to be part of a debate on the future of our party, during the Labour leadership election then in progress. The plan was to produce an expanded, and updated, edition after the leadership contest concluded, and this arrived in June. It is a literal Labour of love, with the contributors offering their pieces for free, and a cooperative publication on a non-profit basis – hence the bargain price!” They say that, “The pieces in the book explain the experience and views of individual campaigners, who are working with others – both online and in the real world – to build the collective strength of our movement. Amidst the dark days of Boris Johnson’s Premiership, here are strong messages of hope, as we analyse the reasons for Labour’s historic defeat, and show the way that a radical mass movement can regain the political initiative from the Tories.”
So who’s listed among the books contributors? According to Skwawkbox, “Some of the authors are familiar figures on political Twitter, with Rachael Swindon contributing two chapters. We also have pieces by Wolfie, Chelley Ryan, Rick Evans, Gayle Letherby, and Elaine Dyson.” Andrew Godsell has been writing about politics and history for many years, with ‘Why NOT Trust the CONservatives?’ being his most notable book in this field.” The Skwawkbox editor admitted having, “found it a delight to read a lot of great material from emerging left Tweeters, deservedly building a good audience. Besides essays by twenty different authors, the book includes suggestions for further reading – dozens of Socialist and similar books, plus independent media websites and radical Blogs are listed.” Because they are hoping that increasing numbers of people will be enthused to read the book, and share their message, I have posted most of this promotional article here which I hope meets with Skwawkbox and the author’s approval.
I’ve a lot to learn about the modern Social Media communications medium so I think owning a copy of this book would be a good place to start. For those interested in buying the book it’s listed for sale on Amazon and details posted on the Skwawkbox include the ISBN, “The 148-page book is available in paperback form under ISBN 9798617341746 for a price of £4.99.” I was surprised to see a contact email address for Godsell which couldn’t possibly have been included without his express permission. Few dare to be so bold in these uncertain times, but they write that, “for more information contact Andrew Godsell on [email protected].” I have written a rather lengthy email to Godsell pitching our controversial position on the 2019 Election result. While I hope he will consider our perspective and possibly even visit this Forum; he might just get lost in the weeds of my email. I would appreciate as many other followers of this Forum contacting him with the type of brief, succinct message for which I am not renowned.
All of the contributors to this book will have been in contact with Godsell by email so he will have contact information for all of them. Obviously he cannot pass on contact information without consent; I wouldn’t dream of asking this. However, he could communicate with all of the writers on our behalf and at least alert them to our efforts and our perspective on the election. The major thrust must be centred on the well established fact that our Electoral System is wide open to Industrial scale fraud. This fact was obvious over ten years ago and still hasn’t been addressed. A massive nationwide campaign sowing the seeds of doubt threatens the legitimacy of the Government and puts all future votes under a cloud of suspicion. The unexpected result and unacceptable anomalies in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, the public outrage over Covid mismanagement and the impending crash-out Brexit will put pressure on the Tories if they do not subject the electoral process to full scrutiny; after December scrutiny will be abolished in the UK!
We have a unique opportunity to corral the support of a group of people who excel in mass communication with a wide audience of well established followers who respect their input. We must change the narrative dominated by relentless Tory propaganda, the focus on accepting defeat, hand-wringing and trying to make the incomprehensible Tory ‘landslide victory’ appear credible. This group of progressive influencers could be encouraged to increase the pressure on this Government to release the Russia Report, fire Dominic Cummings and Robert Jenrick as urgent priorities. Protesters on the street are angry when another inquiry becomes an excuse to shelve important issues almost indefinitely. The Tory Government must start implementing the recommendations of the many reports that have been ignored and people must be held to account for serious failings. The importance of investigating the Covert 2019 Rigged Election will at least expose the flaws in our system, but it might just bring down this Tory Government.
DO NOT MOVE ON!July 8, 2020 at 14:50 #56290Kim Sanders-Fisher
With the furore over sidelining the UK Parliament regarding Article 50 in 2017 outraged citizens were asking questions on Quora: Could the UK become a dictatorship within the next few years? Is the UK losing its democracy? Is it turning into a dictatorship? Could the UK ever become a dictatorship? What steps would someone need to take? What ways would it be possible for Britain to become a dictatorship? Back then it was really hard to imagine a Prime Minister more ruthless and ambitious than the architect of the ‘Hostile Environment,’ but a far worse PM than the hapless Theresa May was to assume control of the toxic Tory Party when her thoroughly incompetent Foreign Minister Boris Johnson came to power. He lacked more than just any credibility for providing strong leadership, his track record as London Mayor was a shameful taste of things to come, when he was selected by the pitifully small Tory membership. What has changed politically between then and now and are we now inching closer to Dictatorship?
Among the replies posted back in 2017, UK Voter Simon Crump wrote that, “There is a well-established method of transforming a democracy into a dictatorship. The first step is obviously to get yourself elected as some kind of premier, be that president or prime minister. The nature of modern democracy is that there will be strict limits on the powers of such posts, so your next step is to extend those powers. You exploit some real or imagined national emergency to justify assuming more control on the basis that swift and decisive action is required.” The Tories never let a good crisis go to waste and the Covid 19 Pandemic is no exception!
Crump declared that, “…the goal is to circumvent parliament and eliminate it from the decision-making process.” That priority will be far easier to solidify once Johnson has achieved his crash-out Brexit and the EU Court cannot intervene. He asserts that, “The final step is to undermine the independence of the judiciary so that it cannot overrule the executive.” This ominous pledge was in written into Johnson’s Manifesto. The Tory power grab will use ‘Statutory Instruments’ the so called ‘Henry the Eighth’ powers to circumvent Parliament with changes to UK laws receiving little scrutiny and only debated after they are already in place. Crump says that, “Having done all this, the dictator simply accumulates more and more executive power until they can make important decisions on their own without the approval of any other branch of government.” This could and probably will include stripping the devolved Governments of powers that they have right now; Johnson’s stolen majority would allow him to get away with all of this.
We need to learn the lessons of history because a repetition of the past is almost too terrifying to be contemplated, but it all started with an election. Crump reminds us that, “This is more or less how Hitler rose to power in the 1930s. He was elected as chancellor (i.e. prime minister), then persuaded his president to sign the Enabling Act of 1933, which allowed him to make executive orders without consulting the Reichstag (i.e. parliament). The Act limited his extended powers to a period of four years, within which time of course Hitler passed more laws to extend the period indefinitely. You can also make comparisons with the way Vladimir Putin has established himself as the only politician in Russia of any real significance, and the first days of Donald Trump’s presidency have already demonstrated his enthusiasm to use his surprise win and control of both chambers of Congress to sign executive orders and arrest dissenting journalists.” Putin just managed to gain support for a lengthy extension of his ability to remain in office!
Crump continued, “May exploited the chaos of the EU referendum to become Prime Minister in an ultimately uncontested leadership battle within the Conservative Party. Despite its complete lack of legal substance, she then presumed that the referendum gave her unlimited power to adopt a hard-Brexit position that she had previously rejected and invoke Article 50 without consulting parliament. When the Supreme Court advised her that this was illegal, proto-fascist newspapers like the Daily Mail ran headlines referring to the judges as traitors and ‘enemies of the people’. Having attempted to grab executive powers she did not have and then successfully turn 52% of the public against the principle of an independent judiciary…” When Crump writes, “The stage is set for you to establish a cult of personality, suppress opposition through the use of lies, legal threats and physical intimidation, and rule until you become so infirm you have to pass power over to a close family member,” one has to wonder if he knew what was coming down the pike!
In August 2018 UK Voter, Andrew Williams offered an interesting and controversial perspective when he wrote that, “The UK is not a democracy as some wrongly assert. A democracy is direct consensus of the people. I can’t think of any examples of a current democracy. We have our dictator: HM the Queen. Yes, she appoints her underlings the Lords, and the Commons to carry out day-to-day affairs, but she is still our supreme ruler. The Monarchy in the past has declined to give royal assent to Acts, and even our current Monarch has effectively ‘blocked’ or ‘vetoed’ legislation. Secret papers show extent of senior royals’ veto over bills. What is the difference between a monarch and a dictator? One has had power passed to him over such a long family lineage that we don’t question it any more, one has not had his origins masked over time yet. They both have the support of the military. Both rule at the point of a gun. Neither is elected.” This is a valid point and why the Labour left want the Monarchy to have a purely ceremonial role.
Williams boldly asserts that, “We should become a Constitutional Republic. We would then have guarantees that cannot be easily revoked by Acts (like happens now, with one previous privilege being taken away on a relative whim). Needing consent of a majority of our States (either counties, or constituent countries) – which is difficult to get the consent of the people to revoke a guaranteed right – is a stable form of Governance.” While I agree on the need for a written Constitution I do not support Williams claim that, “The USA is an excellent model. The people have inalienable rights, and the right to defend themselves against their Government, so know exactly where they stand. Even the most egregious bills could be passed, and the people would still maintain a minimum set of rights, and have the physical force available to take out their Government.” The infamous Second Amendment to the US Constitution established the citizen’s right to bear arms; there is a massive proliferation of guns! I lived in the US for twenty years; there are many flaws in the system, hence Trump is in office.
Sean Keeley, answered as a “former Parliamentary Intern at House of Commons (2015-2016)” He wrote, “Well any country could become a dictatorship. It is an interesting question because the Royal Prerogative has questioned only just recently at the Supreme Court. Because the UK has no constitution, what we would consider to be one, (an amount of documents and laws that have passed) can be changed easily by an act of parliament, if the Prime Minister wanted to become a crazed dictator it would be hard, but I guess the first step he/she would take is to make sure they have a really big parliamentary majority in the House of Commons and maybe start filling the House of Lords with his/her party, that means now the Prime Minister can get some legislation through easily. Or even abolish the House of Lords, but he/she would have to get the support of their MPs…” All parties try to stuff the House of Lords with their undeserving cronies; as an unelected second chamber it remains an affront to democracy.
Keeley then wrote, “One of the core principles of the UK political system is parliamentary sovereignty, parliament can overrule anything with legislation, literally almost everything. However because MPs have a conscience – and this is the important part – the Prime Minister can’t just get anything through the House of Commons, even though the Government usually have a very very strong Whips Office, Whips are also MPs so they will have their own views.” Stunned derision, not all MP have a conscience! He continued, “But still it would be very hard to convince the House of Commons to do anything that might inhibit their chance of personal re-election. Then of course he/she will have to contend with the House of Lords, they more so vote on conscience as they have a weak whips office.” The PM has established a zero tolerance policy for dissent in his Tory Government; no independent thinking, briefing or voting decisions are allowed; I doubt the unelected ‘Vermin in Ermine’ are uniformly guided by conscience.
UK Voter Rinaldo Fezzato wrote that, “People should not think it couldn’t happen because I think it’s nearly happened before. A dictatorship of any kind is always based on military force. The Nazis got into parliamentary power because of an army of thousands of Brownshirts financed by big business. He then got the army onside and set up the SS and got rid of The Reichstag altogether. During the General Strike in 1926, the Tory Government mobilised the army, turned Hyde Park into a massive military camp ready to take over London and machine guns set up on the high buildings in Glasgow and elsewhere.” I am uncertain of the extent of military intervention at this juncture, but the Worker’s Liberty site offers a detailed documentation of the events. Fezzato also writes that, “The Government bureaucracy hate a Labour Government. MI5 and the CIA bugged their own Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. Meanwhile the Treasury cooked the books to make it look as if the UK was in economic crisis had to seek a loan from the IMF.”
Fezzato continued, “I believe that the military and state bureaucracy were prepared for a coup in the ‘name of Queen’ if someone like Benn were to become Prime Minister. They would certainly have had American support. They were OK with Blair because he had turned Labour into a soft Tory party anyway Blair himself became George W’s poodle. I think when Corbyn become PM he will find MI5 and Government bureaucracy – including the Treasury working against him and secret plans made ready for a military takeover. The idea that such a thing ‘could never happen in good old Britain’ is nonsense. It could happen in any country just as the Americans intervened to overthrow a legitimately elected Communist Government in Chile and set up a military dictatorship. The main purpose of all armies is not to protect countries against foreign enemies but to protect the ruling class from its own people.” This was written back in August 2017, a genuinely hopeful time of wistfully imagining of “when Corbyn becomes PM!”
Jeffrey Richardson, answering as, “a Prison Monitor, Museum Guide, History Reader, Economist,” wrote, “It would be easier for a PM to do this if they had gained fame before entering politics, say as a reality TV star.” I would add, perhaps a ridiculous clown caught on a zip-wire or a golden haired naughty boy darling of the elderly. “After this the next steps would go something like this…” He provided a disquietingly accurate list of what Boris Johnson has accomplished in just a few short months:
1. “Create an empty slogan that appeals to people’s sense of better past but without being specific about policies; something like ‘Make Britain Great Again’.” ( Boris Johnson used ‘Get Brexit Done’)
2. “Demonise the independent media and promote yourself and your party as the only source of real news.” ( Bully the BBC into functioning as your mouthpiece and only grant interviews or press access to compliantly supportive media! All done.)
3. “Tell big lies openly and brazenly.” ( Boris Johnson really excels at this one; he tells an unbelievably massive lie or makes an impressive pledge, then keeps doubling-down on the lie or false promise until people think it’s true! He never admits that he was mistaken, let alone wrong; he never apologise for disinformation, broken pledges or gross insults.)
4. “Make yourself the focus of everything so that anything that you consider good that happens is your achievement.” (- In contrast blame anything that goes wrong on the victims, the opposition or the most convenient scapegoat at the time! Boris Johnson’s ego is boundless; he craves public adulation, but is oblivious to ridicule. The narcissistic PM named the ‘Boris Bike’ after himself, but the ‘Boris Spike’ in Covid 19 cases he might not be so keen on!)
5. “Surround yourself with sycophants and family members who owe their positions solely to you.” ( Boris Johnson’s ego is so fragile needs his MPs the media and the general public to constantly fawn over him. However, he will ruthlessly throw them under the bus if they embarrass him, criticise him, refuse to support his votes or just outgrow their usefulness and he needs a scapegoat to take a hit over his latest disaster screw-up! )
6. “Politicise the criminal justice and legal systems. Make sure all the key roles are filled by your supporters.” (Johnson has pledged to essentially neuter the Judiciary, eliminate Judicial Review and make Judges political appointees. He also intends to remove the UK from the European Court of Human Rights despite it being a separate entity from the EU.)
7. “Partner with Russia to get the help of its army of hackers in subverting elections and communicating your message.” ( Do not forget those Russian Oligarchs and the huge sums of money they donate to support the Tory Party. This huge slush-fund keeps Boris Johnson clinging to power for the small price of a few games of tennis, subverting Human Rights and helping Putin to destroy European unity! )
8. “Reward the very richest in society so that you are backed by their resources.” ( There will be plenty of Tory controlled largesse and lucrative contracts to satiate the financial demands of major Corporations. The Covid crisis has just made the awarding of these deals without competitive bidding, adequate scrutiny or Parliamentary oversight a lot easier. The Government bail-outs to wealthy cohorts come with ‘no strings attached,’ staff can be fired and rehired for less, profits can still be siphoned offshore and payment of UK taxes will not be mentioned. Tax revenues can be squeezed out of the working poor at a later date as their benefits and basic services are cut yet again.)
9. “Foster a cultural war so that your supporters consider your opponents to be immoral and not true citizens.” ( Another area where Johnson and his Tory cabal excel; demonizing a peaceful lifelong anti–racist campaigner as an anti-Semitic, terrorist, Soviet spy and an existential threat to the security of the nation. This while the Tories refuse to apologise for blatant racist remarks that incite violence and sell weapons to dangerous foreign despots to victimize or kill their civilian population and drop bombs on school children beyond their borders!)
10. “Create and exploit distrust towards immigrants and minorities.” ( Boris Johnson has perfected the art of ‘othering,’ not content to limit his targeting to just immigrants and minorities; he will demonize the poor, those who are out of work, the disabled, unmarried mothers, illegitimate children and anyone he feels like flinging insults at on a whip. In creating a society where everyone has someone to hate, his Tory Manifest also pledged to criminalize the Roma population.)
Richardson writes, “Worryingly this could work;” sadly almost of this has already been accomplished or is right on schedule to be enacted within the coming year. The above list resembles the classic makers of a country heading towards dictatorship, but too many of us in the UK are failing to recognize these dire warning indicators as we continue sleepwalking into the dystopian Tory nightmare being crafted by an unelected Chief Advisor, Cummings, who we have every right to extricate from a position of extraordinary power.
Robert Cameron wrote, “Hypothetically: If he/she commanded a clear majority in the House of Commons, they could pass a bill abolishing elections and giving the government power to act and legislate unhindered.” The Tories accomplished this with the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. He goes on to say, “If the Lords held it up, more compliant peers would be appointed.” Stacking more failed MPs, miscreants and toxic Tory elitists into the packed House of Lords to join the ‘vermin in Ermine’ is an ongoing project, but his next premise is well off the mark, “If the Queen refused to sign, there might be an election on this platform. If won, the Queen would probably abdicate.” He admits that, “The point here is that this is all extremely unlikely, as is a military coup (100,000 troops to suppress substantial proportion of 65 million people is a tall order, even if all obliged).”
Robert Cameron continues, “Governments are repeatedly trying to accumulate unaccountable powers by delegation or appeal to prerogative powers (the fuss over article 50 is just a spectacularly brazen example). They are challenged, often by members of the ruling party. Ultimately, we would only become a dictatorship if a majority voted for it.” In our present situation I would say that it wasn’t that the majority voted for it, but that the majority were conned into believing that they had voted for authoritarian Tory rule in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and therefore too many British people have failed to realize that the UK is now on the path to dictatorship. He admits that, “Once allowed, it might need revolt to get rid of.” In reality the ousting of a dictator takes decades of resistance, but he naively adds, “Usually, even governing parties manage to get rid of leaders who get delusions of grandeur. Our politicians still have at least remnants of respect for principle over partisanship. When they lose that, you get Erdogan.” Johnson has already established his, ‘my way or the highway’, control of MPs; no question we have now got Erdogan!
Like the ominous ghost of Christmas past these Quora opinion comments on the risk of the UK descending into dictatorship loom large over our current rapidly deteriorating democracy. The roadmap to dictatorship has always been a well recognized catalogue of steps that should be sounding a deafeningly loud claxon horn warning right now before it is too late to derail the freight train to a dire fascist future. We must alert the wider public to this existential threat to our dwindling democracy and it starts by aggressively combating the Tory propaganda of ‘borrowed votes’ stolen in a fake Tory ‘landslide victor’ at the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. We must get the public to recognize the sickening reality of this deception and demand Cummings submit to Parliamentary questioning under oath or face jail. Cummings immediate removal from post, release of the Russia Report and a Comprehensive Investigation into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election will delegitimize the propaganda and get this corrupt Tory Government ejected from office. DO NOT MOVE ON!