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

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  • #59910 Reply

    And in particular, of course, it means “Don’t get rid of the monarchy”.

    Everyone who repeats the phrase “unwritten constitution” unthinkingly is helping support the monarchy, nolens volens.

    #59955 Reply

    The unwritten constitution , together with state sovereignty being crown sovereignty, an unelected second chamber and a FPTP electoral system ensure that the ruling class will always continue to rule, even when ‘elected’ by a minority of the population. Where are these colour revolutions when you need them?

    #60072 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    SA & N – I can see my comparisons between the “Enabling Act” in Germany that facilitated Hitler’s rise to Dictatorship with the frightening consolidation of power under the Johnson/Cummings Tory Government has struck a raw nerve. We should be afraid, very afraid because it was only when I was compiling the information for that post that I realized Hitler had overcome far greater obstacles on his journey towards full dictatorship and how little stands in the way of a rogue Government here in the UK. Yes it is precisely that absence of a written constitution that leaves us so vulnerable here now. We have relied upon a simple ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ in a place where traditionally “an Englishman’s word was his bond.” We can no longer afford to wallow in this blissful ignorance; Johnson, Cummings and the current Tory cabal are not ‘gentlemen,’ or respectable ladies for that matter, and their word is worthless as evidenced by their willingness to break an International treaty that Johnson signed only a few short months ago.

    PsyOps allowed Cummings to creep inside the minds of society’s most vulnerable and persuadable, to warn them against thinking of self-preservation and survival in order to establish unquestionable support for the wealthy Tory elite. Do I really believe that this devious con trick was enough to cause a landslide victory for renewed Tory oppression? Obviously not, a massive incidence of Stockholm syndrome was highly unlikely, but the BBC and MSM pumped their propaganda. Cummings relied on stolen data to facilitate his coup without suffering the slightest protestation from opposing ranks. More data provided by private sector Track and Trace, Apps, and more, will help to build a far larger database for potential future exploitation which is covertly designed into the Governments corrupt Track and Trace program requirements. The system requests, not just the data needed for controlling the disease, but information that is saleable to US Healthcare Corporations and useful to those hoping to control all future elections.

    In 1991 I was contracted to deliver a sturdy Han Christian cruising yacht across the northern north Atlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Holland. One on my two selected crew was a young woman who had sailed with me to England on the US Women’s Challenge aboard ‘Inespal’ as we sought sponsorship to compete in the Whitbread round the world race. After a really fast crossing proving competitiveness of the newly designed and built boat, we still failed to secure a major sponsor for the team, but I was able to sail leg two of the 89/90 race aboard vintage Maxi ‘With Integrity’. On the trans-Atlantic my friend brought along a book that we both avidly read, fiercely vying for access when not on watch. This addictive page turner was Margaret Atwood’s haunting book “The Handmaids tale.” In the book it was an emergency situation that allowed the Gilead to seize control, but this scenario is no fluke of futuristic fantasy; it’s a well recognized opportunity for an authoritarian overthrow of legitimate Government to install dictatorship.

    In a Smithsonian Magazine Article entitled, “The True Story of the Reichstag Fire and the Nazi Rise to Power; When the German parliamentary building went up in flames”, Hitler harnessed the incident to seize power. It says, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s fire, conspiracy theories are sure to follow. At least, that’s what happened in Germany on February 27, 1933, when a sizeable portion of the parliamentary building in Berlin, the Reichstag, went up in flames from an arson attack. It was the canary in the political coal mine—a flashpoint event when Adolf Hitler played upon public and political fears to consolidate power, setting the stage for the rise of Nazi Germany. Since then, it’s become a powerful political metaphor. Whenever citizens and politicians feel threatened by executive overreach, the ‘Reichstag Fire’ is referenced as a cautionary tale.”

    The Smithsonian recount that, “Germany’s first experiment with liberal democracy was born of the 1919 Weimar Constitution, established after the conclusion of World War I. It called for a president elected by direct ballot, who would appoint a chancellor to introduce legislation to members of the Reichstag (who were also elected by popular vote). The president retained the power to dismiss his cabinet and the chancellor, dissolve an ineffective Reichstag, and, in cases of national emergency, invoke something known as Article 48, which gave the president dictatorial powers and the right to intervene directly in the governance of Germany’s 19 territorial states.” I find it somewhat ominous that the most worrying segments of the last Tory manifesto, including reinventing our Human Rights, all appear on page 48, but that is probably just a chilling coincidence.

    The Smithsonian tell how, “Following a stint in jail for his failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, Hitler poured his energy into attaining power through legal channels. He rose to the head of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis), and by 1928 the group’s membership exceeded 100,000. The Nazis denounced the Weimar Republic and the ‘November criminals,’ politicians had signed the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty forced Germany to accept responsibility for World War I, pay huge remunerations, transfer territory to their neighbors and limit the size of the military. Despite its considerable growth, the Nazi party won only 2.6 percent of the vote in the 1928 election. But then the Great Depression hit, sending the U.S. and Europe into an economic tailspin and shooting the number of unemployed up to 6 million people in Germany (around 30 percent of the population). The sudden slump caused massive social upheaval, which the Nazis exploited to gain further political traction.”

    The Smithsonian say, “By 1930, the Nazis won 18.3 percent of the Reichstag vote and became the second largest party after the Social Democrats, while the Communist party also grew to ten percent of the vote. The economic unrest of the early 1930s meant that no single political party had a majority in the Reichstag, so fragile coalitions held the nation together. Faced with political chaos, President Paul von Hindenburg dissolved the Reichstag again and again. Frequent elections followed. The Nazis aligned with other right-leaning factions and gradually worked their way up to 33 percent of the vote—but were unable to reach a full majority. In January 1933, Hindenburg reluctantly appointed Hitler as chancellor on the advice of Franz von Papen, a disgruntled former chancellor who believed the conservative bourgeois parties should ally with the Nazis to keep the Communists out of power. March 5 was set as the date for another series of Reichstag elections in hopes that one party might finally achieve the majority.”

    The Great Depression, mass unemployment and political instability increased the vulnerability that allowed Hitler to seize power, but there is no doubt he had a steep hill to climb. The far right was counterbalanced by the far left until the propaganda of the day was able to demonize the Communists by blaming them for the Reichstag Fire. The progressive Left in the UK is not a Communist Party, in fact it is no more radical than some other EU countries. However, the concocted scourge of fantisemitism has been used by the British propaganda spewing rags and the compliant BBC to demonize and discredit the Labour Party in an effort to imply that they are entirely unelectable. This was vital to convince the public that the unfathomable ‘landslide victory’ result of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election was legitimate, which I sincerely doubt and still requires serious Investigation. The commitment to ‘othering’ is another commonality with totalitarian regimes, the people need an enemy to scapegoat: migrants, remainers, the so called ‘hard left’…

    The Smithsonian say that, “Meanwhile, the Nazis seized even more power, infiltrating the police and empowering ordinary party members as law enforcement officers. On February 22, Hitler used his powers as chancellor to enroll 50,000 Nazi SA men (also known as stormtroopers) as auxiliary police.” If we think that here in the UK the Government could not mobilize a significant auxiliary police force we are living in la-la-land because the infrastructure for that force is already in place awaiting deployment right now. Both in the US and the UK there’s been an alarming rise in private security forces and the expansion of their use, companies like G4S that are running detention centres here is just one example. The use of private companies in all areas of public service requirement conveniently separates the Government from responsibility for their conduct which is an extremely serious concern. Privatizing Electoral Services and disempowering the Electoral Commission proved important factors in gaining control of ballots

    In the Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) Article entitled, “Britain’s private military and security industry examined” they elaborate on this armed capability. It says,“Britain has led this privatisation of modern warfare. It leads the world in providing armed contractors to ‘hot spots’, be it combating terrorism in the Middle East or fighting pirates off the Horn of Africa. Some of their biggest clients are governments; since 2004, the British state has spent approximately £50 million annually on mercenary companies. The total worth of the global private military and security industry has been estimated to stand somewhere between £69 billion and £275 billion a year. Many of these companies will serve whoever can pay – from wealthy private individuals to faceless corporations. It is easy for them to do so. Despite the size of this mercenary industry, the entire sector is marked by secrecy. Men trained in the arts of subterfuge and counter-intelligence dominate this sphere, and the result is an industry that operates from the shadows.”

    The Smithsonian recount how, “Two days later, Hermann Göring, Minister of the Interior and one of Hitler’s closest compatriots, ordered a raid on Communist headquarters. Following the raid, the Nazis announced (falsely) that they’d found evidence of seditious material. They claimed the Communists were planning to attack public buildings. On the night of February 27, around 9:00, pedestrians near the Reichstag heard the sound of breaking glass. Soon after, flames erupted from the building. It took fire engines hours to quell the fire, which destroyed the debating chamber and the Reichstag’s gilded cupola, ultimately causing over $1 million in damage. Police arrested an unemployed Dutch construction worker named Marinus van der Lubbe on the scene. The young man was found outside the building with firelighters in his possession and was panting and sweaty.” While he was tried, convicted and executed at the time there is considerable doubt that he was responsible and 75 years later he was exonerated.

    This was the golden opportunity that Hitler needed. The Smithsonian quote his response as, “’This is a God-given signal,’ Hitler told von Papen when they arrived on the scene. ‘If this fire, as I believe, is the work of the Communists, then we must crush out this murderous pest with an iron fist.’ A few hours later, on February 28, Hindenburg invoked Article 48 and the cabinet drew up the “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State.” The act abolished freedom of speech, assembly, privacy and the press; legalized phone tapping and interception of correspondence; and suspended the autonomy of federated states, like Bavaria. That night around 4,000 people were arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the SA. Although the Communist party had won 17 percent of the Reichstag elections in November 1932, and the German people elected 81 Communist deputies in the March 5 elections, many were detained indefinitely after the fire. Their empty seats left the Nazis largely free to do as they wished.”

    We are already seeing significant curbs to our civil liberties applied due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, but many decisions are totally inconsistent with logic. We need to ask why are schools, universities, workplaces, public transportation and places we can spend money deemed safe, while personal contact outside these designated areas is severely limited and criminalized as ‘mingling’? We need to resist volunteering information except on a genuine ‘need to know’ basis. Hitler did not have the massive advantage of our huge modern-day proliferation of security cameras and it is now much easier to keep tabs on people via their mobile phones and the Internet. Our personal and private data has a significant monitory value and it is being pried away from us under the guise of infection control with Track and Trace. For instance the control of Covid 19 does not require access to your credit history and we must resist increasing our vulnerability to the state that is now under the absolute control of this rogue Tory Government.

    Although the Covid 19 crisis could not have been anticipated well in advance the opportunity of causing unnecessary chaos by engineering crash-out Brexit had been carefully calculated. There is no intention to strike a deal with the EU because it would involve compromises and limit the chaos. We need to fully understand and be warned that for this Tory Government, the chaos is the end goal. Operation Yellowhammer has already laid out the need to deploy troupes on the streets to control food shortages and potential rioting after Brexit. The negotiations with the EU are a distracting sideshow that will be used to blame the EU for the disaster the Tories know will ensue. Meanwhile, the wealthy elite will be well prepared in advance and will cash in on hedge funds or manage their money offshore. Brexit will work very well for the most wealthy in our nation, but the working poor will become helpless victims of the new slave state under Tory Dictatorship with all the violent suppression needed to keep it in place long-term.

    The Smithsonian recount how, “Later that year, a sensational criminal trial got under way. The accused included van der Lubbe, Ernst Torgler (leader of the Communist Party in the Reichstag) and three Bulgarian Communists. As the trial in Germany proceeded, a different kind of trial captured the public discourse. Willi Münzenberg, a German Communist, allied himself with other Communists to undertake an independent investigation of the fire. The combined research resulted in the publication of The Brown Book on the Reichstag Fire and Hitler Terror. It included early accounts of Nazi brutality, as well as an argument that van der Lubbe was a pawn of the Nazis. Hitler’s party members were the real criminals, the book argued, and they orchestrated the fire to consolidate political power. The book became a bestseller, translated into 24 languages and sold around Europe and the U.S.” The controversy over responsibility for the Reichstag Fire rumbled on for many years but van der Lubbe was exonerated in 2008.

    The instigation of so many devastating conflicts and upheavals has later been proven to be based on lies. This should be the most important cautionary tale; should we believe the media or question their motivations based on who is paying them? I have no doubt that the fantisemitism smear campaign will be fully exposed in the near future, but will the revelations be enough to question the Tory Government using state funds to create this rabid propaganda? We need to remember that Hitler was also elected. Political prisoner Julian Assange encouraged Whistleblowers to expose the criminal activities of Governments who were working against the interests of their own people; he cannot be silenced as an example to gag investigative Journalists worldwide. There must be people who know the details of what took place in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and who was responsible, but discovering this in a few decades time will not rescue us from the dystopian nightmare of Tory Dictatorship: we need that Whistleblower right now! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60095 Reply

    Kim. This as you say sends chills down the spine. But now the methodology is very subtle. There isn’t even the need to suppress the media for example, they have now become part of the military industrial information propaganda complex. As you say we also now have privatisation of the state’s monopoly of violence, not only directed at criminals but against those who break the newly invented laws that criminalise dissent. The covid-19 emergency laws have certainly been a perfect godsend to our new corporatist state where money flows seamlessly from the taxpayer to the tory crony businesses with no checks and balances to prevent fraud on a massive scale. Meanwhile, the opposition is fighting yesterdays battles, not even against the government, but against the so-called extreme left (really the true labour party) of the Labour party. But the real problem is that the electorate have been sedated, and I am not sure how this happened. Part of it has been the extremely toxic Brexit fueled nationalism and partly the gradual shift in the MSM towards corporate and billionaire ownership. The government is practicing boiling the frog and the stupefied electorate vote for the oppressors. I do not doubt that some rigging took place to produce the so-called landslide, but there is a very solid vote for the Tories amongst the working class, who are also staunch royalists which allows for this to continue.

    #60202 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    What exactly does Priti Patel mean by defining a chance encounter with another group of friends on the street as “Mingling?” She’s trying to criminalize protest, our right to ‘peaceable assembly’ as well as prohibiting all forms of personal socializing. While school infections skyrocket, with children knowingly used as vectors to infect vulnerable elders in multi-generational households, colleges, workplaces and proximity to a cash register deemed safe; the pleasures of the wealthy elite were prioritized and preserved. Groups of up to thirty of the upper crust can wave their riffles in the air to indulge a favoured blood-sport of the toffs where few restrictions apply: one rule for them another for the victims of this Tory Governments eugenics ‘herd immunity’ cull. Targeting the ‘economically inactive’ with a renewed ‘Holocaust in Care’ the ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple’ will be as inhumanly brutal as their Grouse shoot! We cannot allow Patel to intimidate or silence us; rather than abandon protest we must be more innovative as we take it to a new level.

    The Government are hoping that tight restrictions on all gatherings and threatening huge fines will shut down all protests, at a time when they may well be expecting vastly increased civil unrest. Not everyone can make it to a demonstration; the most vulnerable will worry about the risk of using public transport, but is there an ingenious way around the restrictions? I have written before about my plan to make a loud cacophony of protest heard, “If we can no longer join protests without being punished and dispersed by the police we can chose a much louder and more effective alternative that no one need leave home to join. We bring the protest to the people’s doors, every single home in the UK; it will engage huge numbers throughout the country. When we clapped for Carers it was highly visible and the sound carried increasing the cumulative impact. Observing the “rule of six,” “Sound-off Saturday at Six” we would step outside to drum up a din, bang pots, shout slogans, sing protest songs, honk car horns, just make a lot of noise!

    We can see Tory Government restrictions as strangling our democratic right to freely protest or just an opportunity to move protest into a more inclusive participatory format where no one is excluded from taking part. Just to taunt the PM and his vile authoritarian cabal, Cummings, Hancock and Patel we should make a point of thanking them publically and profusely for inspiring us to become more creative while adhering to Social Distancing to remain well within the law as responsible citizens! We should generate a press release to announce this triumph offering our thanks for the new way forward for those wishing to express their protest views! I am a solutions oriented person with certain critical gaps in my abilities to publicize my opinions, ideas and potential solutions. I doubt that I have any regular cache of readers who might recognize large sections of this text as components of a previous post. But please do not be offended by this admitted repetition of information, as I feel it necessary to post right at the top of this new page.

    I wrote, “To fight the barrage of propaganda it’s an urgent and vitally necessary priority that we change a pervasive Tory narrative to disarm the dangerously hostile rhetoric of hate mongering on the far-right of our perilously endangered democracy. Cummings unleashed weapons grade PsyOps on unsuspecting and vulnerable ‘persuadables’ whose data was stolen by Cambridge Analytica and undoubtedly still remains in his grubby hands. For far too long we have gone into battle in this war of words and fake imagery without even the most rudimentary defence. Cummings is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin! Until the PM’s Machiavellian puppet master can be removed, we must disarm all the deceitful and damaging slogans and false promises with greater creativity in the language that we use and the slogans that we adopt until they become the dominant persuasive speech of our rebellion in the fight to rescue our democracy. As an innovator, there are few things more fun to invent than new words and slogans!”

    I wrote how, “Boris Johnson wants us to sing ‘Land of hope and glory’ as if British exceptionalism will be boundless after he makes a ‘Titanic success’ of crash out Brexit. His words, not mine; did no one remind him that the ‘unsinkable vessel’ sank just as ‘get Brexit done’ will morph into ‘Get Brexit Dung!’ The Brexiteers much touted ‘sunny uplands’ have become the looming ‘Dystopian Nightmare’ of hardship, deprivation and torment for the working poor and the newly unemployed subsisting on Universal Credit. As unemployment rises, more ordinary people in once secure jobs, will discover a Tory planed path to destitution and debt purposely built into what remains of our beleaguered social safety net. It is intentionally stressful and cruel, with unnecessary delays, punitive sanctions and paltry, wholly inadequate, provision: no longer fit for purpose.” Songs of Empire demand more realistic rewording for our neoliberal vulture capitalist age; sung to the tune of ‘Land of hope and glory’ with strong emphasis on the words ‘Drop Dead!’

    Lost hope and past glory, never to be free,
    Powerful privilege eternal, breads Tory cruelty.
    Poorer still and poorer, while on the treadmill set,
    Work until you – Drop – Dead – forever in their debt!
    Wealth made Tories mighty, it makes them mightier yet!

    I wrote of “watching Boris Johnson defend Empire in all its obscene excesses of blatant criminal plundering and subjugation.” I also ranted about the Hawkish PM, “he defends the memory of Churchill: the man responsible for the Bengal Famine and the first use of chemical weapons in Iraq against the Kurds that he despised as ‘savages.’ Why should we continue to sing ‘God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,’ when this represents ample reason to become an atheist? How could any merciful God genuinely endorse this cruel persecution under British rule? Boris is still trying to make that one fit.” Then I reworded yet another jingoistic Proms night favourite; “we sing: ‘Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rules the waves – Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.’ But in a cruel dystopian reality the 99% truly are slaves, due to chronic wage stagnation, zero hours contracts and an even more punitive payment system for younger workers that leaves them trapped unable to leave home. New words, Please…

    Cruel Britannia! Vile Tories rule the Slaves…
    Only by ousting Boris Johnson will lives be saved!”

    I wrote of the priority to save lives. “We know that the discredited eugenics policy of ‘Herd Immunity’ has been exposed as a mass slaughter of the weakest and most vulnerable in our society, the ‘economically inactive’ elderly, disabled, homeless, Gypsies and other ethnic minorities or simply those now out of work, but all surplus to capitalistic requirements and a ‘burden on the state!’ Never mind that this Tory Government destroyed their jobs and forced them into destitution, Tory Government policies are being designed to drive vulnerable sectors into danger as they ramp-up their ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple’. This time Herd Immunity will advance beyond the ‘Holocaust in Care’ using innocent school children as vectors to spread Covid to the vulnerable grandparents that poverty forces them to cohabit with. The rising death toll will be blamed on them, blamed on non-compliance, falsely blamed on obesity and diabetes, anything to deflect from the truth. In reality this is a deliberate Genocide we must call out as: ‘Covicide’!”

    I wrote, “Tell it like it is: ‘If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s not a giraffe!’ Tories drum home their deceptive messages over and over again until their expansive fake news becomes the latest hot topic news flash and blatant lies become the new truth. In reality a promise made by Boris Johnson is just a ‘Bromise’ that will never be kept; a Tory pledge is just… more ‘Boris-shit!’ The content of BBC news broadcasts is increasingly crammed to capacity with irrelevant drivel, laboriously spun like candyfloss into a voluminous, but handy distraction tool; this neatly obscures the harsh reality of a truly dire situation here in the UK. This pervasive tripe of vacuous spin, masquerading as ‘relevant news,’ is more appropriately referred to by me as: “Handyfloss!” If anyone ever dares to attack me as unpatriotic, I tell them that I am a ‘Peaceful Patriot of the Planet’ and I will defend the integrity and diversity of this unique ‘Blue Planet’ without fear, favour or fake boundaries of jingoistic nationalism.” Help promote: ‘#PPP.’

    I noted how “a perverse constraint on honesty and accountability in the Commons it’s forbidden for an MP to accuse another of lying in the Chamber, while the actual telling of horrendous lies and expounding on fanciful pledges has become the signature of Johnson and his corrupt Tory Ministers. We do not expect the PM or any MPs to tell ‘Porky Pies,’ we must demand honesty, by criminalizing this conduct, starting with a campaign to get ‘Porkies out of Parliament’ – ‘Scoop the POOP!’ We failed to prevent Johnson from doubling down on the lie written on the side of the Brexit bus and his ‘Bromise’ of huge sums to be reallocated to our NHS. Capitalizing on our lack of resistance he Bromised UK voters ’40 new Hospitals;’ highly unlikely to materialize unless US Healthcare Corporations fully privatize our NHS. There was that ‘world-beating’ Covid App that was scraped as a component of Tallyho Harding’s ‘world wanking,’ err, ‘ranking’ Test and Trace! We must aggressively call the PM out on his outlandish Bromises.”

    I created posters for highlighting Johnson’s complicity in the Grenfell Tower disaster after decimating the London Fire Department plundering the budget for cash to fund his vanity projects! After the Grenfell fire Johnson’s role as former Mayor, eviscerating the London fire service was ignored; there was no scrutiny from the BBC or Mainstream Media on this point in the run up to the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. In the Skwawkbox Article entitled, Video: Dowden testimony shows Johnson’s fire cuts worsened Grenfell. Johnson: ‘Get Stuffed’ they revel the shocking truth. “Dowden had classified the fire as a ‘ten-pump’ incident – needing ten fire engines to fight it, even at that early stage – yet he had only six, forty percent down on what he needed. The BBC showed it, but skated past its significance. On the day of the fire last year, the SKWAWKBOX showed that the Tories had closed no fewer than three fire stations just in the immediate vicinity of Grenfell Tower – and had . reduced firefighter numbers by hundreds.

    I say “The Tory claim of ‘landslide victory’ was in reality the ‘Seismic Sin’ of ‘Industrial Scale Fraud;’ before, during and still long after the Covert 2019 Rigged Election they are desperately trying to legitimize this by manipulating the Tory compliant BBC, tabloid press and alt-right media, utilizing an onslaught of further lies: urgently in need of correction. We can no longer accept a grotesque lie about the ‘borrowed votes’ when we know full well that they were in fact ‘Stolen Votes.’ We cannot let the Tories crow about their assault on Labour’s solid and impenetrable ‘Red Wall.’ We must persuade those who will soon discover the extent of this hideous con that, if we do not remove them from power, this Government will turn the north into another neglected ‘Tory Sinkhole!’ The sickening lie of Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ agenda is already being exposed with targeting of the exam results of disadvantaged students; but how many more examples will it take before the working poor realize that Boris’s real priority is ‘Decimating Down’!”

    I wrote, “Right now most of the major Governmental screw-ups consistently lead back to Dominic Cummings, yet he’s still remains in post: why? I believe he’s in a strong position to blackmail Boris Johnson and that if he is ousted he will drag the entire Tory Party down with him as he owes no special allegiance to the Conservatives. He is the supreme egotist, who believes that his master plan must dominate and be implemented in full. If he loses control of the PM there is no need for continued loyalty that will no longer revolve around him. He wants us all to know the full extent of his brilliant deception, but that’s the ultimate Tory weakness as he could easily spill the beans: why not if he is excluded from the program? [y deems reasonable to global justice advocates We must continue to demand his immediate removal; Cummings is the grenade, oust him and you pull the pin! Mr. D. Cummings, the ‘Herd Nerd’ soft brain behind the ‘hard rain,’ could have his name appropriately abbreviated to ‘Dummings!”

    I wrote of the need to, “ditch the futile defensive mode that has generated a truly obscene number of humble apologies over what is essentially ‘fantisemitism.’ The poison of fantisemitism allegations now stands a strong chance of being fully exposed as a cruel hoax that does nothing to protect the Jewish community from genuine prejudice or persecution and potentially incites both while sidelining other areas of ethnic and religious targeting.” This is the reason I say, “Jeremy Corbyn must be persuaded to go against his natural ‘turn the other cheek’ instincts and aggressively countersue John Ware. Lawyer, Mark Lewis of Patron Law is expecting to rake in megabucks with multiple large out of Court settlements. He is in for a rude awakening when Crowdfunded support for justice sees defendants robustly fight back: his ‘no win, no fee’ will become a no fee financial drain! When legal insurers are no longer prepared to accept the considerable financial risk of losing SLAPP cases this risk free back up plan will become untenable too.”

    I said, “Covid 19 still dominates the airwaves, hence the reason I write so frequently of its evil menacing twin as the “Covert 2019 Rigged Election.” We need this alternative description of the corrupt 2019 Election to become so deeply embedded in people’s minds that they no longer question whether there might need to be a full Investigation into the postal votes. As people live to regret the painful consequences of shambolic toxic Tory rule, ‘Get the Tories Out’ must become a national priority. We cannot allow our Electoral System to remain so vulnerable to industrial scale fraud again in future, but only complete exposure and clear realization of this critical weakness will secure change to ‘Rescue our Watchdog’ as people demand that ‘All Votes Must Count’ because: ‘A Watchdog that cannot Watch is just a dog!’ The frequent repetition of these slogans might seem tedious, but they make logical sense, they get an important message out there and they are absolutely essential to the new language of our robust fight-back.”

    I write “The Tory claim of ‘landslide victory’ was in reality the ‘Seismic Sin’ of ‘Industrial Scale Fraud;’ before, during and still long after the Covert 2019 Rigged Election they are desperately trying to legitimize this by manipulating the Tory compliant BBC, tabloid press and alt-right media, utilizing an onslaught of further lies: urgently in need of correction. We can no longer accept a grotesque lie about the ‘borrowed votes’ when we know full well that they were in fact ‘Stolen Votes.’ We cannot let the Tories crow about their assault on Labour’s solid and impenetrable ‘Red Wall.’ We must persuade those who will soon discover the extent of this hideous con that, if we do not remove them from power, this Government will turn the north into another neglected ‘Tory Sinkhole!’ The sickening lie of Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ agenda is already exposed with the targeting of the exam results of disadvantaged students; but how many more examples will it take before the working poor realize that Boris’s real priority is ‘Decimating Down!’”

    I also said that, “Until we remove this Tory Government, I do not believe that any of the most burning issues of the day will be addressed. From the criminalization of investigative journalism with the targeting of a prominent Whistleblower, to Extinction Rebellion, Grenfell Tower, Windrush, Black Lives Matter, humanity towards migrants, the persecution of Palestinians to our lethal arms trade bombing Yemen into oblivion will all be ignored. Covid 19 is a useful tool to help the Tories consolidate a new era of extreme oppression under the Johnson/Cummings Dictatorship; the hardship accelerated by crash-out Brexit will finalize the dystopian nightmare that lies ahead. Poor people will be hit with fines while the elite remain immune, but we must become more vocal and shout out loudly now, every one of us collectively in a safely separated chorus. Cummings remains a volatile wrecking ball ordering mayhem, but he is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin!” But he is not the only weakness of this Tory charade!

    What would be the result if there was a tremendous very vocal reaction across the entire country? Iy would seriously challenge the legitimacy of the fake Tory claims. The claims of a ‘landside victory’ manufactured by the media to prop the Tories into a position of power would be debunked. These rely on biased ‘push poles’ that have no basis in reality, but manipulate the vote. The louder, more widespread and more well publicised these nationwide protests became the more bogus such scams as ”will of the people” would become. The Brexiteers are an irate minority who have been given a megaphone, but massive people power nationwide can drown them out. We have to now seriously rebel to demand the truth about the Brexit deception and just reversal of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, Investigation, inquiry: regime change, jail time!” I believe the EU will step in to offer an uncorrupted vote if we can demonstrate fraud in the in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and the EU referendum as well. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60315 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    My body clock is now very seriously out of whack, so yesterday I fell asleep, woke up groggy and made an absolute mess of my post; typos, odd bits of disjointed orphan text, one repeated paragraph and missing sections that I will post another time. Sorry about that. I should have posted my ‘ready to go’ commentary on Wednesday’s PMQs instead as it represented a really awesome performance from Angela Rayner that put both Boris Johnson and our Captain of Capitulation to shame. I doubt Starmer will give his Deputy another chance to so spectacularly outshine him again anytime soon. Starmer made a pathetic appearance on the Andrew Marr show this morning that had me ranting at my Laptop screen in exasperation. However, there is talent in the wings; I hope you enjoy this take on PMQs…

    Boris Johnson opened PMQs by remarking, “Today marks 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower, a reminder to us of the beginning of an enduring alliance between our two nations. Around 35 million Americans today trace their ancestry to a Mayflower passenger, and I am sure that the whole House will want to join me in marking this historic anniversary.” Those who left these shores aboard the Mayflower were refugees escaping religious persecution; descendants who thrived in new found liberty will not regret that desperate passage to the new world! How many Brits will want to escape the Tory tyranny after crash-out Brexit? Using the classic distraction of a non-question, James Daly started PMQs with a rousing Tory appeal for self-congratulation and bragging. Callously ignoring how despicably Teacher have been let down and exposed to unnecessary danger through the unsafe forced reopening of schools, he made a pitch for thanking our beleaguered and dispirited Teachers on National Teaching Assistants Day.

    The PM deftly dodged the stark reality that over 1000 schools in the UK obviously weren’t Covid–secure, incurring outbreaks since reopening that forced closure. Gloating as he nodded approval Johnson replied, “I strongly echo my hon. Friend’s congratulations and thanks to teachers, and just say that I believe passionately in the tutoring programme we are launching.” He went on to tout his latest ambitious fantasy goal by bragging that, “We expect the first group of tutors to be supporting schools from November, with provision ramping up through the remainder of the autumn and spring term.” Standing in for the Labour Leader was his deputy, entering the fray for her first confrontation at the dispatch box. Angela Rayner defiantly refused to stroke the PMs insatiable ego, valiantly stating: “Many people in the Chamber will think that the battle of Britain is today, but actually we marked the 80th anniversary of those veterans yesterday, and I want to put on record our thanks to all those who fought for our country in the past.”

    Cleverly channelling a Corbyn tactic of presenting a personalized message from the public, Rayner identified a notable MP, absent from the Chamber saying, “I want to start by reading to the Prime Minister a message that I have received from a man called Keir. Keir was not able to go to work today and his children could not go to school because his family had to wait for their coronavirus test results, despite the Prime Minister’s promise of results within 24 hours. Keir was able to do the right thing and self-isolate and work from home, but other people are not in this position, and many of them are the very people who were getting us through this crisis, such as the care workers, who I used to work alongside before I was elected to this House.” It was a brilliant start and Rayner made a bold demand for specific information about which she knew the PM would be conspicuously ignorant. Confidently displaying contempt Rainer said, “The Prime Minister once earned £2,300 an hour; can he tell us the average hourly rate of a care worker in this country?”

    Johnson mumbled, fumbled and fell short, seriously taken aback by Rainer’s crisp and concise delivery as he tried to evade her points, finally he condescendingly blurted out, “I congratulate the hon. Lady on her elevation.” Boris Johnson continued to scramble for words, instinctivly wanting to stress that she was in a social and intellectual class beneath him. Seeking a way to return to his familiar tactic of bragging he said, “She speaks of the constituent Keir, and I can tell her that—allegedly, apparently—he has had a negative test, and I do not know quite why he is not here. But 89% of those who have in-person tests get them the next day, and we are working very fast to turn around all the test requests that we get. I think that most people looking at the record of this country in delivering tests across the nation will see that that compares extremely well with any other European country. We have conducted more testing than any other European country, and that is why we are able to deliver tests and results in 80% of cases where we know the contacts.”

    Clearly very rattled Johnson continued, “The hon. Lady asks about care homes, and I can tell the House that today we are launching the winter care home action plan. She is right to raise the issue of care homes, and we are concerned about infection rates in care homes, but we will do everything we can to ensure that care homes and their workers are protected. On the hon. Lady’s final point, I am proud that it is this Government who have instituted the national living wage to ensure that every worker in this country, including care home workers, is paid substantially more, thanks to the care and the work of the people of this country.” Rayner had announced just one of his own lavish fees in stark contrast to Care worker pay; how could he possible know what this abandoned sector of the working poor managed to subsist on while performing their vital role? It was a brutal “shame on you moment” as she looked blissfully amused savouring victory while the PM squirmed, deflated and badly mauled by the noble Labour lioness.

    Unable to turn his pathetic defeat into a convincing PR pitch Johnson sank back down onto the bench; this fierce rival would not so easily be tamed! Rayner was toying with her prey as she retorted, “Ah, he’s finished,” as if she had fully anticipated a more extensive stream of boastful drivel spanning the whole gamut of Tory fantasy promises. She announced, “The whole country will have seen that the Prime Minister does not know how much a care worker earns: that was my question. The shameful fact is that the average wage in social care is barely more than £8 an hour and half our social care workers earn less than the real living wage. On his first day in office, the Prime Minister said that ‘we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared.’ Yet still there is no sign of the plan, and the additional funding to prevent infection will run out at the end of this month. So will the Prime Minister commit today to give our social care sector the funding that it needs now to get through the looming winter crisis?”

    Forced to make concessions that might come back to haunt him in the near future, the PM replied, “The hon. Lady is asking an important point, and we are concerned about the rates of infection in care homes. Clearly, they have come down massively since we instituted the £600 million care home action plan. Tomorrow, we will be announcing a further winter care home action plan. It will not surprise her to know that we want to see a toughening up of the rules governing the movement of workers from one care home to another. We want to make sure that we protect care homes from further infections, and that is the right thing to do. I pay tribute to all the care home workers in this country for what they have done to help us bring down the disease. We will make sure, as we have done over the past few months, that they get the personal protective equipment that they need, that they get the guidance that they need and that they get the cash that they need, and that is what this Government are committed to doing.”

    With the ferocity of an angry lioness defending her cubs Rainer had launched a furious attack on behalf of our badly neglected Care workers and won submission from the arrogant Tory beast. Rayner proudly continued by accepting the PMs defeat, saying, “I do welcome the Prime Minister’s comments, but I must say to him, get some skates on it.” Johnson still needed goading; she warned, “Those care workers are still not getting the PPE they need. They are still not getting the testing they need. I urge the Prime Minister to get on top of this problem now before the winter crisis hits. The Prime Minister has put his faith in Operation Moonshot, but, meanwhile, on planet Earth, there were no NHS tests available for several high-infection areas, including for Tameside and Oldham in my own constituency. In July, the Government promised that there would be weekly tests in care homes, and they promised this for September, so can the Prime Minister confirm—yes or no—do all care homes in this country have weekly tests?”

    The PM said, “Yes, to the best of my knowledge, care homes in this country should get weekly tests for all staff members and tests every 28 days for the residents in the care homes. Of course the hon. Lady is right to express the frustration of people across this country about the massive demand there is now for tests—it has hugely increased. Everybody can see just in the past few days a colossal spike in the number of people who want tests and who want to ascertain whether they have coronavirus. What we are trying to do now is meet that demand at record speed. Just in the past couple of weeks, we have increased the capacity of our testing systems by 10%. We have four new labs that we are building in Newport, Newcastle, Charnwood and Brants Bridge. Just so she knows the scale of the ambition, we want to get up to 500,000 tests per day by the end of October. As I have said, that is a huge, huge number. I really do pay tribute to all those who are delivering it. I know that Opposition Members like to make these international comparisons, so I will just repeat that we are testing more than any other European country.”

    “Should:” is the qualifying word that portends yet more failed promises! Rayner said, “Well, Mr Speaker, I heard what the Prime Minister had to say, but I have to say to him that, yesterday, the chief executive of Care England said, ‘We were promised weekly testing for staff. That has not been delivered.; Time and again, the Prime Minister makes promises and then breaks those promises. In June, he told this House that ‘I can undertake…now to get all tests turned around in 24 hours by the end of June.’—[Official Report, 3 June 2020; Vol. 676, c. 839.] The Government have had six months to get this right and yet the Prime Minister still cannot deliver on his promises. The Health Secretary said yesterday that it would take weeks to sort the situation out. Well, we do not have weeks. The Government’s latest figures show that there was an average of 62,000 people tested per day, not 500,000. The Prime Minister has said that testing capacity is at 300,000, but the average is 62,000 a day. How does he explain this?”

    A slew of broken promises from the PM and the Tories constant failure to deliver, Rainer was well on top of her brief as the PM scrambled to cook the numbers and blame the public. Johnson defensively replied, “We have delivered on, as I say, the most thoroughgoing testing regime anywhere in Europe. We now have capacity; I think capacity has gone up from—sorry the number of tests per day conducted, not capacity, has gone up from 210,000 last week to 240,000 this week. Just to repeat the statistics, per thousand people, this country is testing 2.54, Germany 1.88, Spain 1.91 and France 1.89. In other words, we are delivering exactly what we said we would do. What is happening is that the British people, quite understandably, are responding to that system with a huge, huge surge in demand, so it is very important that everybody follows the guidance about when they should be getting a test—the guidance sent out by Public Health England, which has been sent to schools, and from NHS Test and Trace.”

    Rayner was blunt, “Once again, I see that the Prime Minister says that it is somebody else’s fault—it is the public who are using up the tests. These were the Government’s own figures and own targets that they failed on. The next time a man with covid symptoms drives from London to Durham, it will probably be for the nearest covid test. I want to move on to another very serious issue. Alongside the tragic stories we have heard of relatives dying alone in care homes and people not being able to say goodbye to their loved ones, we have heard from mothers who have had to give birth without the support of their partners or their families. The Health Secretary yesterday said that the new guidance had been issued, but even under that new guidance, many birth partners will not be allowed to join until the moment of established labour, leaving women enduring difficult labours or, even worse, traumatic and devastating miscarriages alone without support. Will the Prime Minister agree to meet with me and my hon. Friends and work with us to ensure that no woman is forced to give birth without the support that they need?”

    Rayner had skilfully dismantled the Boris Johnson blame game and swiftly moved to yet another new question. Why is the experienced Legal expert and professional negotiator Keir Starmer so easily stalled belabouring the same point with myopic fixation that so often accomplishes nothing but derision and duplicitous deviation to further boasts from the PM? Starmer’s technique is far from forensic, his cause-sick rants are nauseatingly frustrating to observe. Again the PM was forced to concede to Labour’s Lioness, saying, “The hon. Lady is absolutely right to raise the issue that she does, and I know that Members across the House will share her feelings entirely. I totally agree that birth partners should be able to attend the birth. That is why we changed the guidance in the way that we did. Of course, I am very happy to encourage co-operation between her and my right hon. Friends in the Health Department to take the matter forward. I perfectly understand the point that she makes, and she is entirely right.”

    Rayner replied, “I welcome the Prime Minister’s comments; I think that was a yes, but I will follow it up” she warned. “Thank you for those comments. Infections are rising. The testing system is collapsing. When you are the Prime Minister, you cannot keep trying to blame other people for your own incompetence. We have the highest death toll in Europe, and we are on course for one of the worst recessions in the developed world. This winter, we are staring down the barrel of a second wave, with no plan for the looming crisis. People cannot say goodbye to their loved ones. Grandparents cannot see their grandchildren. Frontline staff cannot get the tests that they need. And what was the top priority for the covid war Cabinet this weekend? Restoring grouse shooting. I suppose that is good news for people like the Prime Minister’s friend who paid for a luxury Christmas getaway to a Caribbean island and funded his leadership campaign, and just so happens to own two grouse moor estates. So Prime Minister, is this really your top priority?”

    Rainer had saver her most brutal savaging until last with an assault on Tory privilege and opulence in the height of a Pandemic contrasted by the real needs of ordinary people so meaningless to the wealthy elite. The PM tried to muster a defence by trotting out a well worn criticism. Totally failing to comprehend the hypocrisy of his words he replied, “While the Labour Opposition have been consistently carping from the sidelines throughout this crisis and raising, frankly, issues that are tangential, if not scare stories about what is going on, we are getting on with delivering for the British public.” Sure access to testing, lack of PPE the plight of Care workers a young mothers giving birth alone might seem “tangential” to the PM, but no the majority of the “British Public” were not pining for the return of blood sports! The public want to know that they will not be prosecuted for “mingling” if they dare to chat to friend the bump into while away from work; the grouse shoot is not a priority of the working poor, so get real Johnson.

    His massive misstep might have dawned on him as Johnson tried to bait the Labour Lioness now she could no longer maul him in the Chamber. Johnson defensively continued, “We are not only massively ramping up. She has not contested any of my statistics today about the extent to which this country is now testing more than any other European country. She has not disputed the massive acceleration in our programme.” He belatedly remembered she had posed a telling question, replying, “I will answer the substance of her question, thank you very much. We are getting on with delivering on the priorities of the British people: getting us through this covid crisis; delivering on making our country safer…” The PM then rambled on about questions never asked because it was time for his standard weekly Tory Party Political Broadcast to the nation from his pulpit in the House of Commons. Did we ask for this compulsory Tory PR spin? No! Should we have to suffer the PMs empty promises and boasts each week? No!

    Short of duct taping Johnsons mouth closed we are forced to suffer this onslaught week after week. Johnson continued his diatribe, “…bringing forward measures to stop the early release of dangerous sexual and violent offenders, which I hope she will support…” was this an answer to a question asked? No, but Boris Johnson blathered on in PR mode… “strengthening our Union, which in principle Opposition Front Benchers should support; and building more homes across this country and more affordable homes across this country, which she should support. That is in addition to recruiting more doctors and more nurses, and building more hospitals. I do not think anybody is in any doubt that this Government are facing some of the most difficult dilemmas that any modern Government have had to face, but every day we are helping to solve them, thanks to the massive common sense of the British people, who are getting on with delivering our programme and our fight against coronavirus. It is with the common sense of the British people that we will succeed, and build back better and stronger than ever before.”

    It was Tory Anthony Mangnall’s turn as cheer leader, chiming in with undeserved praise, “The Prime Minister is rightly levelling up across the country, giving that issue both barrels, but I know that the south-west has often been overlooked.” There was a price to pay for such homage and he wanted investment in digital and transport infrastructure for his patch to, “turbocharge opportunity and we will provide the growth that they need…” The PM, still licking his from the Labour Lioness’s savage mauling, needed ‘stroking’ to sooth his eviscerated ego. He rallied to say, “It is precisely because we believe in my hon. Friend’s vision, which I share…” and continuing with talk of “allocating considerable sums…” offering a hint of pay-back coming to this loyal MP, as he pledged to pencil in a visit.

    SNP Leader Ian Blackford broke the Tory back-slapping revelry: “In his previous life as a Daily Telegraph journalist, this Prime Minister wrote: ‘Devolution is causing all the strains that its opponents predicted, and in allowing the Scots to make their own laws, while free-riding on English taxpayers, it is simply unjust.’ So let me ask the Prime Minister two specific questions, which need two specific answers. First, does he still think that devolution in Scotland is unjust? Secondly, where does he believe full spending and decision-making powers over our NHS, education, infrastructure, economic development, culture and sport should be held—is it with Scotland’s Parliament or with Westminster?”

    The PM replied, “Obviously, there is a very considerable, and has been a massive, devolution of powers to Scotland, and the Scottish people had the opportunity to vote for more in 2014, as the right hon. Gentleman will recall, in a once-in-a-generation event. They chose decisively to reject that. I think he said it was a once-in-a-generation event as well. They now have the opportunity to vote to support the further devolution of powers in the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, and I hope that he will join us in the Lobby in support of that.”

    Blackford was not standing for such false assumptions as he replied, “My goodness, what nonsense. I never once talked about ‘a once-in-a-generation’, and the Prime Minister should withdraw that.” That wasn’t likely: he continued, “As usual, the Prime Minister is all over the place. He does not remember what he has written, he does not understand his own Brexit deal and he does not even know what is in the Internal Market Bill—I will tell him. Clause 46 allows this Tory Government to bypass Scotland’s Parliament and take decisions on the NHS, education, infrastructure, economic development, culture and sport—it is a blatant power grab. We all know what the Tory Back Benchers are saying behind closed doors: that the Prime Minister is incompetent, that he cannot govern and that they want him away before the next election. Scotland’s legacy will be in a being a fair, decent, law-abiding, independent nation state. Will the Prime Minister’s legacy be leading the UK to break international law and break this failing Union?”

    The PM tried to confuse, “I am not quite clear from that question whether the right hon. Gentleman is in favour of the Union or not. I take it from his hostility to me that he wants to support the Union. So do I. The best thing he can do is to support the UK Internal Market Bill, which buttresses a surge of powers transferred to the devolved Administrations in more than 70 areas. I should just remind him that in the recent coronavirus crisis £5.4 billion has been transferred to be spent in Scotland as a result of Barnett consequentials, and I am proud to say that 70% of the testing that has taken place in Scotland has been supported by the UK Government. If he is a convert to the Union, which is what I take from his question, that is just one of the reasons he should back it.” Tory Mark Logan stroked the PMs ego, “Please allow me to push back against what has just been said. The Prime Minister has done a stellar job in fending off economic depression right across the United Kingdom, including Scotland…” The PM replied with yet another round of empty boasts.

    Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey voiced concern: “Research by the Disabled Children’s Partnership shows that three quarters of families with disabled children had their care support stopped during lockdown. The Coronavirus Act 2020 is partly to blame, as it relaxed the duties to assess and meet the needs of disabled people. As the father of a disabled child and a patron of the Disability Law Service, I have seen legal advice that suggests that the Prime Minister’s Government broke international law when the Coronavirus Act reduced the rights of disabled people. So before the House is asked to renew the Coronavirus Act, will he meet me to discuss how we can protect the right to care of disabled people and act lawfully?” The ill-informed PM conceded, “First, I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on securing the leadership of his party. I must say that I am not aware of that particular allegation about the legal effect of the Coronavirus Act, and I would be only too happy to write to him very shortly to clarify the matter.”

    If Johnson had hoped to humble and humiliate with his standard routine of bluster, bragging and bullying he was caught seriously off-guard by the ferocity of his eloquent and articulate opponent, who displayed no nervous reservation despite her rawness at the despatch box. Finally, the opposition asking real questions that put the PM on the spot with ‘shame on you’ regularity instead of the pathetic, ‘who’s been a naughty boy then,’ ignored whining of the failed Labour Leader. My message to the Captain of Capitulation: pull another sickie Starmer and let our fearless and righteous Rayner ‘Labour Lioness’ roar. PMQs clearly highlighted the gross incompetence of both major party Leaders, but Rayner’s quip re going to Durham for testing reminded us that Starmer should have demanded the PM sack Cummings months ago. Until an Investigation or a Whistleblower exposes the truth about ‘fantisemitism’ smears and the Covert 2019 Rigged Election we must endure the pathetic Starmer v Johnson, Tweedle-Dum, Tweedle-Flee show. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60371 Reply

    It is astonishing that Boris should do away with privacy laws and data protection laws.
    “She speaks of the constituent Keir, and I can tell her that—allegedly, apparently—he has had a negative test, and I do not know quite why he is not here.”
    Surely if he has this knowledge he is not supposed to divulge it?

    #60458 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    SA – Your absolutely right, it certainly gives the impression that the PM spectacularly breached Sir Keir’s confidentiality, both in the House of Commons and on TV! Tweeting a cheeky ‘Moonshot’ of your bare bum to grab the PM’s attention, is that Obscene? No; it is a well deserved insult! What is truly obscene is the conduct of this Tory Government. ‘Obscene’ is the relentless squandering of public funds as Government scraps a £12m contact-tracing app after finding it doesn’t work on iPhones. Obscene is shutting down Public Health England in the middle of a Pandemic to scapegoat Government failures with no appropriate replacement planned. Obscene is paying McKinsey £563,400 for 6 weeks work to decide the “vision, purpose and narrative” of a new Public Health Authority in England so that the Tories can paper over the failure cracks! Obscene is paying an incompetent Oxford chum, serial loser Dido ‘Tallyho’ Harding, to head up a vital NHS program despite her zero experience in Healthcare! Obscene is the plan to squander £100bn in Covid funding on expanding testing to 10 million a day; the ambitious, ‘Operation Moonshot programme,’ using Tech that has yet to be invented!

    But that is just the tip of the Tory Government corruption and plundering iceberg! Under Covid 19 ‘Emergency Act” powers the Tory Government have become incredibly brazen about squandering funds, handed out to grossly inappropriate favoured companies, ignoring massive conflicts of interest, awarded without tendered any of the contracts. This represents an obscene abuse of power that has been getting steadily worse under Johnson, but ultimately Tory Government policy is now controlled by the eugenicist ‘Herd Nerd’ Dominic Cummings. According to the Financial Times, “UK government paid £1.7bn to private groups for coronavirus contracts.” This wanton splurge of state funds isn’t from the Labour Left, so often described as economically reckless; no, it comes from the Tories, who forced us to endure swinging cuts during a decade of ideologically driven austerity. At their ‘virtual’ Labour Conference, Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds, spoke harshly of the Tory Party’s, “caviller approach to public spending.”

    In a Byline Times Article, “Firm That Gave £400,000 to Conservatives Wins £93.8 Million Government PPE Deal,” they outline elements of this Government plundering. Sam Bright reports, “Another company with links to the Conservative Party has been awarded a massive PPE procurement contract. A company that has donated more than £400,000 to the Conservative Party since 2016 has received a £93.8 million Government contract for the supply of respirator face masks.” They reveal that, “Government documents show that Globus (Shetland) Limited won a contract, to be carried out between July 2020 and September 2021, for the supply of FFP3 respirators. This same company has donated hundreds of thousands to the Conservative Party in recent years, including £150,000 in 2019. The value of this contract is equivalent to the total revenue of Globus (Shetland) over the past two years. In 2019, the company turned over £50 million, following £45.8 million turnover in 2018.”

    Byline Times report that, “The contract was awarded without going to competitive tender. For its part, the company does appear to specialise in the manufacture of personal protective equipment (PPE), boasting on its website that it has 25 years’ experience in supplying ‘industry and healthcare’. This includes experience in manufacturing respirators. However, the firm also has a history of political financing, having made a series of donations to the Conservative Party since 2016. The size of these gifts increased significantly in 2019, up from £52,500 the previous year. Of course, the decision to award contracts rests with the Government, and several appear to have been handed to Conservative Party insiders. In total, it has been estimated that £180 million worth of PPE contracts have been awarded to individuals with links to the Conservatives, including £120 million awarded to a firm run by a Tory councillor. Globus (Shetland) Limited has been approached for comment.”

    This is hardly an isolated incident of inexcusable arrogance and abuse of the Covid 19’Emergency Act’ powers; a veritable ‘blank check’ approach toward rewarding donors for Tory Party support. Byline Times ask, “Where Has The Money Gone?” They say, “The Government has spent well over £5 billion on private sector PPE procurement contracts during the Coronavirus pandemic – desperately trying to plug a shortfall of equipment. However, there is growing concern about the way the Government has managed this spending: awarding contracts without competition, releasing scant details of the deals months after their completion, and failing to properly explain the due diligence procedures they undertook. As a consequence, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced pressure from parliamentarians to shed light on this huge Government spending splurge. At Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) last week, Rushanara Ali raised this subject directly with Johnson, who invited the Labour MP to explain her concerns in writing.”

    “Presenting several questionable contracts, including two revealed by Byline Times, Ali asked the Prime Minister to explain why normal procurement practices have been abandoned by his Government, and why the whole process of PPE procurement has been shrouded in secrecy. ‘We all understand the need for speed and scale of the emergency,’ Ali wrote, ‘but this does not mean the normal conventions of procurement should be ignored completely, and especially when such large sums of taxpayers’ money are involved.’ The Government’s approach has been to withhold detailed information about its PPE deals, while questions continue to be raised about the suitability of some suppliers. For example, as revealed by Byline Times earlier this week, in June the Government granted a £122 million contract for the supply of face masks to a company that had only been in existence for 44 days.” This should have been a priority PMQ attack levelled by the Labour Leader in a ‘forensic’ demand for factual information.

    Byline Times report that, “A similar situation also occurred in March, when the Government concluded a £43.8 million contract with a firm that had been listed as dormant on Companies House just a week earlier. For a party that has been historically and fervently opposed to wasteful public spending, it is now deeply ironic that the Conservatives are shelling out billions in taxpayer cash without proper scrutiny or competition.” They say, “Crisis or not, the public deserves to know how its money has been spent.” This has been an ongoing problem of gratuitous spending that has been called out time after time, but despite the outrage, Tories continue to exploit this national crisis to channel huge sums of Government money into dodgy deals with private companies. I believe I have highlighted this 11 July Canary article on questionable contracts before, but it’s well worth revisiting for another look at what was spent where in the procurement process. It shows that the Tories are just getting a lot bolder in their efforts to trouser more funds.

    In this Canary Article entitled, “The £5.5bn PPE scandal that goes to the core of government incompetence – and that’s just for starters,” they reveal more spending aberrations. They say, “A multi-million pound personal protective equipment (PPE) contract awarded by the UK government to a family-run investments firm has set off alarm bells. Recipients for similar contracts include a recruitment agency, a sweets manufacturer, and a business that specialises in pest control products. A Labour MP has raised questions about one of these contracts.” They say, “Litigation against the government has commenced. Meanwhile, The Canary has conducted its own investigation into these matters… what has been highlighted so far may well be just the tip of the iceberg.” They include a laundry list of obscene Government spending whisked through rapidly without tendering or necessary scrutiny in a way that represents a massive waste of state funds and inappropriate rewarding of favoured Tory supporting entities.

    The Canary report that, “Ayanda Capital Ltd (ACL), an investments firm that specialises in ‘currency trading, offshore property, and private equity and trade financing’, was awarded a contract by the UK government worth £252.5m to supply face masks. Yet their ‘business lines’ suggest no history that this ‘London-based family office’ produces or provides PPE. Although in its very prominent policy statement on modern slavery Ayanda does refers to supplies, but only in a general sense. Ayanda is run by former Kleinwort Benson director Tim Horlick. It’s owned by the Horlick family via Milo Investments, a holding company registered in Mauritius. Ayanda senior board adviser Andrew Mills is also an adviser to the government’s board of trade (which is chaired by international trade secretary Liz Truss).” The article exposes an entire network of wealthy elite individuals that all interconnect with potential conflict of interest accusations regarding their links to Tory Party funding.

    The article continues to uncover these links saying, “Horlick’s brother Richard is the non-executive director of BH Macro Ltd, an investment company registered in Guernsey. He’s also director of CCLA Fund Managers Ltd and chairman of CCLA Investment Management. CCLA Investment Management is under significant control by the CBF Church of England Investment Fund and the COIF Charities Investment Fund. As with many funds suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the CBF Church of England Investment Fund lost considerable ground in March 2020 but made a quick recovery in April. It was a similar story for the COIF Charities Investment Fund. inews raised the matter of the Ayanda contract with the government, but: When asked if the Department was aware when it awarded the contract that ACL’s ultimate holding company is based in a tax haven and of Mr Mills’s role with the Board of Trade, a spokesperson said it does not comment on individual company business operations.”

    But the Canary exclaim, there’s more as they go on to reveal the most incongruous examples among the PPE contracts awarded. “The government awarded PPE contracts to a number of firms that also appeared to have no history of sourcing or providing PPE that’s suitable for the NHS. For example:
    • Aventis Solutions, which was awarded an £18.5m contract to supply face masks. Aventis is an employment agency.
    • Clandeboye Agencies Limited specialises in nut and coffee products, chocolate, and confectionary. It’s based in the north of Ireland and was awarded a £108m contract to provide PPE. It also trades as Crunchcraving. The Good Law Project and EveryDoctor are seeking a judicial review in regard to the contract.
    • A £108m contract was also awarded to Crisp Websites Limited, trading as PestFix, a firm that specialises in pest control. The Good Law Project is suing the government regarding this contract and is seeking a judicial review. In an update, the government clarified that the PestFix award is actually £32m and covers isolation suits, though there are ‘a number of further contracts”.”

    After stating that “the firms quoted above are only the tip of the iceberg,” the Canary reveal their alarming list, showing the details of state funding spent, “as of 8 July, of all single-bidder contracts awarded by the UK government, with costs totalling just under £1bn.” Will justice be served and money recouped in a Judicial Revue over misappropriation of funds? We certainly must demand accountability, which is probably why the Tories are so eager to curtail Judicial Review! In a “Shocking £5.5 billion admission,” they say, “With regard to a possible legal challenge by the Good Law Project (GLP) and Every Doctor Ltd (EDL) to how the contract to PestFix was awarded, the government’s legal department stated: [PestFix] did not hold itself out as a manufacturer, but rather as an agent with the ability to source PPE stocks from producers in the Republic of China, where it had good contacts. It offered a range of products in substantial quantities, including isolation suits which could be available in as little as seven days.”

    The Canary report, “The government’s Legal Department also took the opportunity to provide a detailed rebuttal of the criticisms levied against the PPE procurement programme: Rather than focusing on the identity of the potential supplier, the validity of the offer was the key focus, thereby allowing smaller suppliers with strong contacts in PPE supply to offer the support the Government urgently needed. Equally, past experience in PPE supply was not considered a prerequisite, as other businesses (of whatever size) might also be able to leverage their manufacturing contacts to engage with foreign enterprises converting existing facilities to PPE production. While it was of course possible for DHSC to continue liaising with existing large-scale suppliers during this period (and indeed it did so, through NHS Supply Chain), the nature of the changed market conditions required the development of alternative sources of supply and it was appropriate not to impose unnecessary hurdles in the way of securing that objectives.”

    In a continuing attempt to justify their obscene expenditures the Canary say the Government added that, “…over 600 contracts for PPE have now been concluded with almost 200 different suppliers; these range in value from under £1 million to over £100 million, amounting to some £5.5 billion in total. Full details of all these awards will be published in due course. What makes this admission of £5.5bn shocking is that it dramatically shows the extent of the government’s lack of long-term planning.” They report that, “in a written question to health secretary Matt Hancock, Labour MP Justin Madders has requested that further details of the PPE supplies arrangement with Ayanda be published. More generally, he commented: The Government’s response throughout the coronavirus crisis has been to hand more and more contracts to companies with no expertise or a poor record of delivery.” This travesty occurred at a time when the Government repeatedly rejected and ignored experienced, reliable UK PPE manufacturers.

    Madders told the Canary, “From PPE to the test, trace and isolate system there have been a series of glaring failures from private companies who are found wanting on performance and value for money.” He also expressed concern over, “the very serious matter as to whether PPE is being manufactured under conditions of modern slavery. A Channel 4 News investigation revealed the shocking conditions in which migrant workers making PPE items in Malaysia were forced to work. They were employed by Top Glove, which has over 40 factories worldwide and supplies the NHS via Polyco Healthline. Similar allegations were made against Supermax, the European arm of another Malaysian firm.” This type of abuse flies under the radar when there is poor oversight of private companies, who are not themselves reputable manufacturers, but instead primarily focused on maximizing profits on cheap procurement deals during a time of crisis while dedicated Healthcare staff are risking their lives on the front line.

    The Canary claims that the real scandal was our diminished emergency stockpile and slow response. They say, “As regarding PPE preparedness, Labour MP and chair of the Public Accounts Committee Meg Hiller commented: What has emerged…is a shocking gap in the UK’s planning in this emergency. We saw all of this coming, for months and in fact years. We could have planned for emergency procurement too — in reality there should have been no need to resort to rushed awards of potentially dodgy contracts. It’s not good enough to say, as seems to be the official line now, that the future will judge. The pandemic is still active now, and we’re at risk of a second wave. Indeed, the real scandal is about not only how PPE contracts were awarded. It’s about the tens of thousands of lives that might have been saved had the proper equipment been available in the first place. These include the thousands of patients sent back to care homes where there was little or no PPE. Sadly, it’s a tragedy that’s still unfolding.”

    So when we talk about obscene we need to keep things in perspective. Compared to this Tory Governments continued reckless squandering of public money I consider a few raunchy bare bums to provide Johnson with a realistically attainable ‘moonshot:’ still, I doubt it will bring him down to earth. The extent of the scandalous misuse of funds is so vast that there must be people out with crucial information that needs passing on to fully expose this corruption. Due to the overwhelming level of pro Tory propaganda in the Media and spewed out by the compliant BBC people who might have compromising information do not feel empowered enough to come forward, just as those with evidence re stole postal votes in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election probably don’t feel they will be believed if they try to expose the truth. Are there any potential Whistleblowers out there? We need to forge a new narrative to create a positive environment where they will gain the courage to come forward with testimony for a full Investigation into the result. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60547 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    The Captain of Capitulation took to a lonely stage in Doncaster in front of the sign “Under New Leadership.” He carped on about how “We love this country,” trying to paint Jeremy Corbyn as an unpatriotic borderline traitor as he hammered home a vile, divisive, hateful, nationalistic UKIP/Tory inspired message. Nationalism is the perfect precursor for establishing the disgusting principals of alt-right Fascism and Sir Keir Starmer intends to be the ultimate enabler. He will endorse the Tory Party ‘othering’ when they select the scapegoats that best hide Tory incompetence as they both tout that selfish British exceptionalism of brutal past empire. This is a truly disturbing message that panders to the most hateful Brexiteers; we cannot follow this path: we must protest. I think Corbyn would endorse my unifying message as a “Peaceful, Patriot of the Planet.” We had a visionary leader in Jeremy Corbyn who was deprived of his rightful place as PM through the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, but we can still fight this injustice through protest.

    How was the Covert 2019 Rigged Election somehow justified as valid to the point where the public actually bought into the scam? A truly obscene amount of donated money bought political influence, enabling Tories to use their wealth to solidify their perpetual stranglehold on power. With all that money came grotesque corruption: I firmly believe that it funded the industrial scale fraud of Idox rigging of the postal votes, the PsyOps propaganda campaign to warp minds, which along with the deregulation and neutering of our compliance and monitoring organizations, left our democracy totally defenceless. We are capable of changing the narrative by grasping the opportunity presented by the Tory Government’s efforts to shut down protest by adopting a new, far more inclusive style of protest: Social Distancing in our regulated groups of six, right outside our homes, right across this entire country. We can collectively create a cacophony of noise on “Sound off Saturday at six” to protest our rage at this Government’s massive failings.

    The propaganda of right wing press and the compliant BBC will fall flat when the growing evidence of civil unrest is so observably confirmed on a regular basis. It is really hard to continue lying when the obvious evidence of anti-Government feeling is being so loudly demonstrated. Would this type of protest inspire the public and really catch on, even among Brexiteers? I believe that it would, just as “Clapping for Carers” caught on. Why? Because people are really frustrated, and confronted by new restrictions with threats of steep fines, as the Government seeks to blame ordinary people, the public still remember Tory special treatment of the elite; they remain angry that Dominic Cummings has never been held accountable. This protest stays within the strict new rules the Tories are seeking to impose to make sure we will still send children to school, attend college and continue working and travelling to work in cramped public transport, while they blame us for daring to speak to acquaintances on the street in seditious “Mingling.”

    We foolishly allowed Boris’s meaningless slogan “Get Brexit Done” to flood the airwaves and pervade the consciousness of far too many persuadable voters. It’s time to hijack that retched slogan and turn it into a disgusting point of ridicule as “Get Brexit Dung!” I created an online Christmas card featuring a pile of… Dung! It said, “Toxic Tory – Boris’s Well Polished Turd – Happy Horseshit – GET BREXIT DUNG!” It was sent prior to the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, but I lacked the Social Media skills to make it go viral. Do not give up on Brexit; as the disastrous inevitability of the Tory planned crash-out dawns on the public we need further protest. A “Get Brexit Dung” event would entail a mass Dung giveaway! Why not, it’s valuable fertilizer for the garden and we will need to start growing all our own vegetables if EU food imports are disrupted or become too expensive. It would require a well managed quantity of horseshit in an open truck, a few wheelbarrows to spread out, spades and possibly a few charity collection buckets.

    Don’t worry if you haven’t got a garden or you aren’t keen on the idea of collecting horse manure; you can still taunt the PM with an online card or tweet featuring “Get Brexit Dung.” For those who have been socially cleansed from the London neighbourhoods designated for ‘gentrification,’ with empty tax shelter apartments for sale to the global elite, resentment is entirely understandable. Even space for a window box to brighten the gloom of a cramped living space in Government allocated ‘temporary accommodation’ well removed from you circle of friends is not possible. Regular cards could be printed for sending to your MP or dear friends who will soon come to regret their misguided choice. When I discuss this with hard core Brexiteers, I try to stress that we were all ‘too trusting’ on both sides of the debate; it helps to diffuse angry rows. Christmas dinner is likely to be distinctly Dickensian this year as the reality of deprivation sets in; family get-together’s will be banned as we’re propelled into a deadly third wave of Covid infection.

    It should have been the political scandal that conclusively exonerated Jeremy Corbyn of all the toxic smears manipulated to deliberately scupper his chances of becoming PM; it should have thoroughly discredited the corrupt Tory Government before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, but it failed on both counts. The London Economic Article entitled, “Labour demand government explains £2m taxpayers’ cash funding infowars unit which smeared Corbyn and Labour.” was not the only paper to report on the Shadow Foreign Secretary’s attack on this injustice as she accused, “These Tories are using public money to subvert democracy.” They report that, “Emily Thornberry has responded to revelations today that around £2 million public money was funnelled to a charity in Scotland which posted disparaging stories against Jeremy Corbyn and other Labour figures. ‘It is one of the cardinal rules of British public life that official resources should not be used for party political purposes,’ insisted the Shadow Foreign Secretary.”

    According to the London Economic, “The Sunday Mail in Scotland uncovered the story when it was leaked documents showing a secretive infowars unit, funded with public money, engaging in social media campaigns, including social media attacks on Her Majesty’s opposition party. The Institute for Statecraft is ostensibly a small charity based in a run-down Victorian mill in Fife. But today’s revelations show that it ran a secretive programme called with absolutely no irony, the ‘Integrity Initiative’ – funded with £2m taxpayers’ money. The programme with funds channelled through the Foreign Office was used to attack figures around the world associated with Russia. It was run by ex-military intelligence operatives. Leaked documents passed to the Sunday Mail reveal the organisation’s Integrity Initiative is funded with £2million of Foreign Office cash and run by former military intelligence specialists to galvanise social media influencers against disinformation campaigns.”

    Despite the stated goal of countering disinformation the ‘Integrity Initiative’ are sorely lacking in integrity. They say, “the Sunday Mail found social media posts from the initiative’s social media account attacking Jeremy Corbyn, Seumas Milne and other Labour figures with smears. ‘It is one of the cardinal rules of British public life that official resources should not be used for party political purposes. So, it is simply outrageous that the clearly mis-named ‘Integrity Initiative,’ funded by the Foreign Office to the tune of £2.25 million over the past two years, has routinely been using its Twitter feed to disseminate personal attacks and smears against the Leader of the Opposition, the Labour Party and Labour officials,’ responded Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary. ‘this cannot be dismissed as something outside the Government’s control, given the application for funding agreed by the Foreign Office last year stated explicitly that it would be used in part to expand ‘the impact of the Integrity Initiative website…and Twitter/social media accounts’.”

    Thornberry put the Tories on the spot as the London Economic say she demanded to know the truth, “‘So the Government must now answer the following questions: why did the Foreign Office allow public money to be spent on attempting to discredit Her Majesty’s Opposition? Did they know this was happening? If not, why not? And if they did, how on earth can they justify it?’ The secretive programme tweeted from its official account newspaper reports that implied the approval of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour figures of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his actions.” A lot of the smears were petty jibes that were readily magnified out of all proportion and embellished in the Murdock press to then be featured on the BBC Paper Review as if they were genuine news items. One such smear “…for instance, retweeted a newspaper story that said: ‘Milne is not a spy – that would be beneath him. ‘But what he has done, wittingly or unwittingly, is work with the Kremlin agenda’.”

    London Economic say it’s been noted that, “…the Integrity Initiative had in the past tweeted about Conservatives’ questionable connections to Russian money. The Integrity Initiative has also been attacked for backing Ukrainian politicians with worrying far right links and The Sunday Mail found evidence of it orchestrating a Twitter campaign against a Spanish politician believed to be friendly to Russia that resulted in him not being given a government post.” However the real issue is that our Government should not be sponsoring any organization, let alone a registered charity, to meddle in domestic or foreign politics. This represented serious Government corruption on the very highest level, that in any credible democracy would have seen the corrupt Ministers involved, up to and including the UK Prime Minister, hauled away in handcuffs. Here in England it just reinforced the new reality that this Tory Government is above the law and we are well on our way along the dangerous path to full Tory Dictatorship.

    The London Economic report that, “When Labour MP Chris Williamson asked Minister of State Alan Duncan about Foreign Office funding for the initiative in a parliamentary question, the Tory minister responded: “The Institute for Statecraft is an independent, Scottish, charitable body whose work seeks to improve governance and enhance national security. They launched the Integrity Initiative in 2015 to defend democracy against disinformation. ‘In financial year 2017/18, the FCO funded the Institute for Statecraft’s Integrity Initiative £296,500. This financial year, the FCO is funding a further £1,961,000. Both have been funded through grant agreements’.” This might sound like a noble goal, but for one really serious flaw: according to the regulations governing the charitable status in the UK, engaging in political activity of any kind is banned. Fr this reason several people have complained with regard to their activity and demanded that the Institute of Statecraft be stripped of its charitable status.

    This whole row played out right before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and at that time the London Economic said that, “Today the Labour MP for Derby North reacted: ‘What the hell is going on? I tabled a parliamentary question recently and discovered the Foreign Office has given £2m of public money to a shady organisation that’s indulging in black propaganda against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.’ Chris Williamson MP added: ‘These Tories are using public money to subvert democracy. The irony of the govt’s response to my question about them funding this shady organisation is that they claim it’s ‘…to defend democracy against disinformation’.” They said that, “The Integrity Initiative responded: ‘The Institute for Statecraft is a charity – see its other projects. The IfS started the Integrity Initiative to highlight disinformation and malign influence across Europe. We are non-partisan and highlight relevant stories whoever they feature’.”

    The London Economic reported that, “Last month the organisation said it was hacked and documents posted online on Russian media. A statement on its website said: ‘The Integrity Initiative is a non-partisan programme of The Institute for Statecraft, a non-partisan charity which promotes good governance. The Integrity Initiative looks specifically at the use of disinformation and malign influence to undermine the values of democratic societies. ‘Since the programme was set up in 2015, the UK and the democratic world in general have continued to be targeted by disinformation activity, including in particular from Russia. For example, Russia put out various false stories about the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014, even after the official enquiry reported that Russia was responsible.” The Integrity Initiative has thoroughly blown its credibility by embellishing false flag incidents with dubious information to support the ongoing vilification of Russia by western powers.

    One fabricated false flag incident was the Skripal case, played out in the media in a dark tale of weird anomalies that consistently failed to make any logical sense. But the London Economic were taken in enough to report, “despite the UK government pointing the finger of blame at Moscow for the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in March 2018, supported by many countries and which led to a mass expulsion of Russian diplomats, the Russian authorities issued at least 47 different versions as to what had happened. In sharing information about such malign activities, the Integrity Initiative uses Twitter as a key method of sharing knowledge. This includes the usual Twitter practice of re-tweeting and liking tweets. However, at no time has the Integrity Initiative engaged in party political activity and would never take up a party-political stance. Disinformation and malign influence from rogue states and certain non-state actors are a threat to democratic values and transcend any party political cause.”

    There were some very shady dealers manipulating the vote from behind the scenes. There was a decent Panorama documentary exposing the dirty money financial dealings that are so pervasive in the “London Laundromat!” If a benefit claimant receives funds they are not entitled to we hound them to death, but tax dodgers and criminals supported by our banks never pay back a fraction of what they owe. The massive donations to the Tory Party from Russian Oligarchs to gain direct access for Government influence. They have stolen their vast wealth from the Russian people and they do not act in our best interests. A Zionist Israeli Government with an agenda of silencing all criticism of their apartheid regime exerted power over both major political parties through their powerful Israeli lobbies and the BoD. They hated Corbyn with passion for his support of the Palestinians, manipulating the propaganda over fantisemitism to discredit him and sabotage his electoral chances: Starmer has committed to doing their bidding.

    The Captain of Capitulation endorsed all of the worst Boris Johnson lies and con tricks starting with his unquestioning acceptance of the Cover 2019 Rigged Election fake ‘landslide victory’ and drivelling on with empty platitudes all the way to his reinforcement of fantisemitism. Starmer’s nauseatingly vacuous speech, preaching values, with no real policy substance; he even drummed home the PMs lies about ‘levelling up’ to help totally discredit his empty pitch. Tory ‘levelling up’ is in reality an excessive transfer of vast sums of money from the universally exploited working poor into the bulging trousers and bank accounts of the super wealthy elite. We must be honest with people that the real Tory agenda is a continuation of ‘Decimating Down;’ low wages, zero hours contracts with no job security and young people steeped in debt unable to leave home. Starmer even capitulated on his core principals over the EU, to endorse another Boris Johnson soundbite to ‘Get Brexit Done;’ we do not have to accept the reality of ‘Get Brexit Dung!’

    While Keir Starmer was busy embracing selfish, jingoistic ‘patriotism,’ denouncing his predecessor and hastily abandoning all the pledges that got him elected leader in order to consolidate his commitment to capitulation, the true visionary he was so eager to malign was demonstrating the genuine courage of conviction that is the hallmark of great leadership. In the Canary Article entitled, “Jeremy Corbyn and former heads of state demand freedom for Julian Assange,” they report that, “A number of former presidents, as well as former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, have urged the UK government to grant WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange ‘his long overdue freedom’. The list of signatories includes Argentinian president Alberto Fernández, former Brazilian presidents Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and former Bolivian president Evo Morales., It also includes former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, whose government granted Assange asylum in the country’s embassy in London in 2012.”

    Craig Murray conscientiously documenting the Assange case reported on day 13 that, “Mark Summers QC said that it went to the question of whether Wikileaks had performed a necessary act to prevent criminality by the US Government and enable justice. Lewis responded that it was unacceptable to the US government that allegations of torture should be made. At this point, Julian Assange became very agitated. He stood up and declared very loudly: ‘I will not permit the testimony of a torture victim to be censored by this court’ A great commotion broke out. Baraitser threatened to have Julian removed and have the hearing held in his absence. There was a break following which it was announced that el-Masri would not appear, but that the gist of his evidence would be read out, excluding detail of US torture or of US pressure on the government of Germany. Mark Summers QC started to read the evidence.” If Baraitser had thrown Assange out the wider press would have known of the reason he protested.

    Had the Judge made more fuss she would have unwittingly broadcast Julian’s words further and he was smart enough to know that as he desperately reached beyond the constraints of the bars of Belmarsh. It is our duty to put as loud a ‘megaphone’ as we can to Assange’s message so that the wider world fully realizes the enormity and potential impact on the investigative press of this US Government persecution of an innocent Whistleblower Journalist with this extradition hearing. Assange was never a criminal and he should not face trial in the US. America cannot just telescope its reach to foreign nationals acting overseas in order to ensnare them in a US justice system tailored to prosecute them under reduced rights just to hide US guilt of war crimes. Other countries will claim those same unjust rights as Brazil has already tried to. Sadly, it is only a matter of time before the Media coax our cowardly Captain of Capitulation into criticizing Corbyn’s support of Assange to offer his forensic, jingoistic opinion supporting US extradition.

    Is this the new direction for Labour ‘Under New Leadership” In a Skwawkbox Article with Video entitled: “Shadow Foreign Sec Nandy criticised for ‘Britain First’ radio interview,” they say, “Jingoism is no substitute for an actual policy platform to improve life for UK people. Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary has been criticised for a Radio 4 interview that effectively made ‘Britain First’ – the name of a far right hate group and the words shouted by the murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox – a Labour slogan.” They highlighted rgar, “Commentator Rachel Shabi identified the similarity just after Nandy had appeared on Radio 4’s Today programme: Lisa Nandy on R4 Today on what’s changed for Labour: ‘We stand up for Britain, we stand up for British people, we stand up for British interests and we will always put that first. Got it. From now on it will be Britain first’.” Lisa Nandi also appeared on Politics Live this morning touting the same toxic messaging; we will not beat the alt-right Fascist Tories by becoming more bigoted that they are!

    Shabi also tweeted, “Corbyn’s Labour was demonized for championing internationalism and an inclusive collectivism, supporting migrant and minority rights. Now it seems Labour is going out of its way to disassociate from those values.” Skwawkbox reprinted a number of the tweets as they said, “Hundreds of responses attacked Nandy’s – and by implication party leader Keir Starmer’s – jingoistic approach, with some referring back to the appalling anti-immigration mugs created by New Labour as it tried to out-Tory the Tories. Starmer’s excruciating conference speech, which Nandy’s appearance was meant to trail, attempted unconvincingly to tap into that same jingoism and will do nothing to persuade the leave seats that Labour lost last year that he is any different to the remain-obsessed referendum advocate that helped destroy Labour in many of its heartlands.” Starmer is ready to be led whichever way will keep the Media fawning over him as he moves into the designated neoliberal slot that suits the wealthy elite.

    Skwawkbox rightly say, “To even flirt with ‘Britain first’ rhetoric is an appalling betrayal of Labour values – and no replacement for pursuing the actual policies that will improve lives for everyone who lives in this country. But it seems Starmer thinks he can run away from those policies and make up for it in dog-whistle language.” However, it is a futile exercise to add a comment on their site that denies the ‘borrowed votes’ lie and the fake ‘landslide victory’ of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; you just get drowned out by abusive replies as they cling to their ‘crumbling red wall’ dishonour. What if millions of people came outside their homes in small groups “Sound off Saturday at Six” to make a noisy protest, just as they did clapping for carers, but a whole lot louder? People would realize that, no their neighbours hadn’t voted for the Tories; the propaganda lie would be debunked. It would create the environment where a Whistleblower might be believed exposing the truth needed for a full Investigation to Get the Tories Out! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60634 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    The grotesquely overblown build-up to Boris Johnson’s pathetically inadequate tinkering with Covid 19 restrictions was designed to serve a purpose dramatically removed from the Pandemic; it was a classic ‘Dead Cat’ distraction to divert our attention away from the exploding FinCEN scandal. Will closing pubs early make a difference, while most of the working poor must continue travelling on packed public transport to non Covid secure work places and sending their children to school to reinforce the vector pool? No, but it is not intended to quell the spread, as it targets the most deprived, the vulnerable elderly and disabled in a continuation of ‘Herd Nerd’ eugenicist Cummings favoured project for a ‘Herd Immunity’ cull of the ‘economically inactive’ and weakest members of society. A BBC Panorama special featured a general overview of this cancer of corruption that generates the money to steer politics and most MP away from enacting sweeping reforms to shutdown the London Laundromat: this dirty money runs the UK!

    It is a great pity that this highly respected BBC documentary series has let their brand become so severely tainted by allowing the sensationalist hack John Ware to produce his hatchet job on fantisemitism in the Labour Party. This will seriously harm the BBC when his smears are exposed in Court in the near future. In the Panorama Documentary entitled, “Banking secrets of the rich and powerful” Richard Bilton lifts the lid on the corrupt financial transactions that are so readily attracted to the city of London and UK territories overseas. In describing their presentation the BBC write that, “It’s the leak that reveals the secrets of British banking. Panorama uncovers secret reports that expose how banks have failed to tackle crime and how terrorists, money launderers and crime bosses are able to use the same banks as us. Reporter Richard Bilton also exposes the double life of the man who funded the Brexit Party, secret deals at the top of British football and the business deals billionaires would rather you didn’t know about.”

    It seems that even after the disaster of crash-out Brexit adds to the devastating impact of Covid 19 spiralling out-of-control, the filth flies will still be buzzing over the festering corpse of our corrupt dirty money capital: the ‘London Laundromat’. The Tories are well connected to access this grubby cash; it helps stuff Party coffers with donated bribes to gain undue influence: there is no incentive for this PM to ever shut it down! Buzzfeed News on “FinCEN” they report, “The FinCEN Files investigation is based on thousands of ‘suspicious activity reports’ and other US government documents that BuzzFeed News has shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and more than 100 news organizations around the world. It offers an unprecedented view of global financial corruption, the banks enabling it, and the government agencies that fail to stop it. Prior to this reporting, very few SARs had ever been revealed. The FinCEN Files encompass more than 2,100. Read what the investigation has uncovered.”

    The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project have a short, enlightening YouTube Video posted online. They say that, “London is one of the biggest financial centers in the world, and it is becoming an increasingly attractive place for criminals to hide their wealth, says David Clarke, the chairman of the U.K.’s Fraud Advisory Panel and former director of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Every month, businesses acting as ‘formation agents’ register thousands of new companies in the U.K. Some of these companies are used to commit serious financial crimes, such as money laundering and fraud. We spoke with Clarke about financial crime and how formation agents can enable illegal activity. The interview is part of an investigation by OCCRP, the Times, Finance Uncovered and more than 20 other media partners, into Formations House, a London-based formation agent that has registered companies for alleged and convicted criminals around the world. Read the full investigation here.”

    People are understandably resentful of the wealthy dodging their responsibility to society by using tax havens, but the pervasive shock, horror stories in the tabloid press would have you believe that our generous Government was haemorrhaging far more money to benefit fraudsters. What is the truth? Fullfact documented, “About £2 billion was lost to benefit fraud last year: In 2018/19 the DWP estimated £2.3 billion was lost from fraudulent overpayments of benefits. The figure has increased every year since 2013/14 (the last time it was estimated at £1.2 billion). That’s about 1.2% of all benefit spending, and just over half of all the money overpaid that year (£4.1 billion). However, some of the money lost through overpayments is reclaimed. £1.1 billion of the total £4.1 billion lost was reclaimed in 2018/19. Money lost to fraud can only ever be estimated. The DWP investigates a sample of benefit claims to identify overpayments and underpayments, and decides whether to count them as fraud, claimant error or official error.”

    Fullfact report that, “It’s tricky to put a number on tax fraud. In 2017/18 HMRC estimated the ‘tax gap’, money that should in theory have been collected in taxes but wasn’t, at around £35 billion , or 5.6% of the total estimated tax. Not all of that is due to fraud or deliberate evasion. £12 billion is attributed to tax evasion, avoidance and organised crime. The rest is due to ‘failure to take reasonable care’ by the taxpayer, errors, the ‘hidden economy’ and differences in legal interpretations. 40% of this ‘tax gap’ is due to small businesses, and the most common taxes are income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, and VAT. Again, these are estimates of the loss. HMRC also estimated that its compliance division collected £34 billion in 2017/18 that would have been lost ‘through fraud, tax avoidance, evasion and non-compliance’.”

    So how many people are on the case? Fullfact say that, “The DWP employs the equivalent of 1,400 full time investigators. As of July 2018 the DWP employed 1,405 full-time equivalent specialists to investigate benefit fraud. Data from 2017 suggests another 2,000 or so full-time equivalent staff may be doing related work. HMRC employs 26,000 staff in tax compliance. In February 2018 HMRC employed around 26,000 people ‘tackling all forms of non-compliance in the tax system’. The 300 figure may be a repeat of a claim we checked in 2016. Back then around 300 people worked in one team called the ‘Affluent Unit’; around 500 people worked in this team in 2017. The Affluent Unit investigated people with an annual income of at least £150,000 a year, or wealth of £1 million or more. A similarly-sized team investigated people with assets worth over £10m.” The real issue for me is when massive
    Corporations like Google get to negotiate a payment ‘deal’ of £138m to settle back-taxes; congenially settled over drinks no doubt.

    What really hurts ordinary citizens is the way DWP routinely treats members of the public as worthless scroungers who deserve serial harassment. When a member of the working poor has diligently paid into the system for years on end, but then, through no fault of their own, suddenly loses their job – as a low wage earner they might not have a reserve of funds to tide them over while they wait for a first payment. There is no legitimate reason why the process should take weeks or why emergency funds can be paid, but are taken in hefty chunks from the already paltry benefit when that’s paid. Then there are sanctions that trip up those who are struggling to find work in a way that is nothing short of punitive and demoralizing. Disability claimants are so unfairly evaluated that hundreds of people have died trying to prove their case. When there is an innocent mistake leading to overpayment, sorting it out is a torturous exercise even when the error is the fault of DWP. The wealthy negotiate down; the poor are ‘Decimated Down.’

    BBC News this morning featured a Report into misuse of Kenya’s Covid funds delayed The wait for answers for Kenyans – frustrated and angry at claims that hundreds of millions of dollars of Covid funds have been misappropriated – was meant to be over today with a report being published. But now the Auditor General says she needs more time for a full audit of KEMSA, the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency. KEMSA had told lawmakers that there was enough funding for Covid related equipment – but many nurses and doctors were still left without adequate protection. Doctors have also said the price being paid for protective equipment was set too high. The Kenyan Senator Sylvia Kasanga is the Chairperson for the Committee on Covid-19. At least they are investigating this misappropriation of funding. Here in the UK all of the exact same issues mentioned in the report are an acceptable part of the course for the totally unaccountable Tory Government. Covid 19 is another money making opportunity for the Tories, but the rip us off with impunity.

    In my last Post I wrote, How was the Covert 2019 Rigged Election somehow justified as valid to the point where the public actually bought into the scam? A truly obscene amount of donated money bought political influence, enabling Tories to use their wealth to solidify their perpetual stranglehold on power. With all that money came grotesque corruption: I firmly believe that it funded the industrial scale fraud of Idox rigging of the postal votes, the PsyOps propaganda campaign to warp minds, which along with the deregulation and neutering of our compliance and monitoring organizations, left our democracy totally defenceless. Numerous corrupt individuals, with money to burn acquiring influence to keep their illegal activities and the source of their great wealth hidden found a friendly and receptive home in the Tory Party. The unprecedented suppression of the Russian Report fuelled suspicions that wealthy Oligarchs were buying political influence at the behest of Putin while Corbyn was being smeared as a Commie spy!

    We knew the extent of Tory corruption way back before that catastrophic vote; why are so many still clinging to the Tory ‘borrowed votes’ lie? In a November 1st London Economic Article, printed before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, entitled, “Tories misuse taxpayers’ money on Government-funded Facebook ads targeting marginal seats,” we were alerted to the scandal. They reported that, “The Government has been accused of misusing taxpayers’ money to target voters in key swing constituencies with Facebook ads. At least 17 adverts promising up to £25 million investment in various towns across the UK went live on Tuesday — the day the General Election was announced. These ads paid for by the public purse appear on a My Town Campaign Facebook page run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and invite local people to have say over how the money is spent.” The scandal was reported on by several of the major news outlets including the Guardian, Daily Record, Huff Post…..

    London Economic report that, “MP Ian Lucas called the promotion an ‘outrageous’ misuse of public cash. He has written to Michael Gove demanding to know how data was gathered to target people; how much public money has been misused and whether there was any discussion about them breaking political purdah – the convention that civil servants must remain neutral in an election period.” A copy of Ian Lucas’s letter appears in the article that notes, “The Facebook ads are aimed at Tory target towns with MPs who have a majority of less than 5,000 votes. The adverts ran without a political disclaimer, so were taken down by Facebook shortly after 8.30pm on Friday evening after the scandal broke. They targeted voters in marginal seats, such as Newcastle-under-Lyme, which has a Labour majority of just 30 votes.”

    A Government spokesman told the Huff Post: “These posts were published before the election was called and Parliament has not yet been dissolved.” They claim that, “All towns selected were chosen according to the same selection methodology, including analysis of deprivation, exposure to Brexit, productivity, economic resilience and investment opportunities.” Among several other comments from Ian Lucas reported on by the London Economic, he is quoted as saying of the Toy Party: “They were put up on the day the Government indicated we would be having a General Election. To say the Government did not know is an insult to our intelligence. This is public money. This is taxpayers’ money. If the Conservatives want to run a political campaign, they should be doing it themselves with their own money. It’s entirely inappropriate to be using public money in this way. They are pretending these are public information ads but they are not.”

    “We need to know how they have chosen to target these towns. What do they mean ‘exposure to Brexit’? Surely everywhere is exposed to Brexit. ‘Where have they got this data from? Have they used the data from other Government-run campaigns — like Prepare for Brexit — and are now using it for political purposes?’ MP Ian Lucas who has investigated Vote Leave’s illegal campaigning in Parliament’s DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation, told The London Economic: ‘We know Facebook was used as a political weapon by Johnson, Cummings and Gove in the Vote Leave illegal campaign. ‘The same people are now using the same techniques in the 2019 General Election because we still have the same outdated electoral laws, despite all the DCMS Select Committee, the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner have said about essential reform being required’.” Cummings refused to appear before the DCMS to answer questions and was found in “Contempt of Parliament.”

    On the Parliament UK website it details the “Conduct of Mr Dominic Cummings” that should have precluded him from the role he took and still holds as Chief Adviser to the PM, but it seems Cummings is not just unelected and unaccountable he is above the law. It documents that, “On 28 June 2018 the House referred to the Committee of Privileges the matter of an alleged contempt of Parliament by Mr Dominic Cummings, campaign director of Vote Leave in the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. The allegation was that Mr Cummings had committed a contempt by refusing to obey an Order of the House that he should attend a meeting of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, he having previously refused to comply with an order of the Committee itself to attend.” No reason is given for his refusal to submit to the reasonable scrutiny expected of anyone functioning in the powerful position that he holds that has expanded to a stranglehold on control of the PM and the Government.

    The Parliamentary site further document that, “On 5 June 2018 the DCMS Committee published a Special Report concerning the conduct of Mr Cummings. The Committee reported that Mr Cummings had been first invited, then ordered by the Committee to attend it to give oral evidence as part of its inquiry into “Fake News” and that he had failed to comply with that order. The Committee set out its reasons for considering that the evidence it sought from Mr Cummings was relevant to its inquiry, and stated that his failure to attend ‘in our view […] constitutes a serious interference with the ability of this Committee to discharge the task assigned to it by the House’.” This is totally aside from his egregious behaviour with regard aggressive summary firing of Sonja Khan and his violation of Covid 19 lockdown restrictions that should rightly have seen him fired. We must continue to demand the removal of this dangerous political puppeteer if for no other reason: Cummings is the Grenade; oust him and you pull the pin!

    Speaking of Ian Lewis they said, “Last month he wrote in The London Economic about the extraordinary lengths to avoid scrutiny over Vote Leave offences that Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings have all gone to. The Conservative Party has significantly ramped up Facebook spend since former Vote Leave chief Dominic Cummings took charge of its communications strategy. The party has spent around £50,000 on Facebook ads in the past 90 days and you can see a record of the ads here: on Facebook’s social and political ad library. Vote Leave’s campaign director, Dominic Cummings – Boris Johnson’s top adviser – came under significant scrutiny for the use of targeted Facebook advertising during the referendum campaign. Several members of Boris Johnson’s advisory team previously worked on the official Vote Leave campaign, which relied on Facebook targeting to reach voters and is still being investigated by the Met police for illegal overspending.” The CPS refused to act so the case was dropped.

    The London Economic article was written when the scandal broke prior to the Covert 2019 Rigged Election flagging up just one area of desperately needed Electoral reform. A prominent Judge described the UK Electoral System as “wide open to Industrial scale fraud;” MPs demanded change while oversight from the Electoral Commission was further diminished by their inability to exercise any scrutiny over ballots ‘managed’ by private companies. “A Watchdog that cannot watch is just a dog!” The increasing privatization of Electoral Services has been delivered into the hands of one company with strong ties to the Tory Party, but when a highly suspicious ‘landslide victory’ result was announced no one asked questions and the Electoral Commission was powerless to act. Please sign my online Petition to “Rescue our Watchdog” as, “All votes must count;” it demands an Investigation of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election to expose the truth. Are there any potential Whistleblowers out there? Take courage, do come forward.

    I reiterate my assertion regarding the result: If there was a tremendous very vocal reaction across the entire country. This would seriously challenge the legitimacy of the fake Tory win. The claims of a ‘landside victory’ manufactured by the media to prop the Tories into a position of power would be debunked. These rely on biased ‘push poles’ that have no basis in reality, but manipulate the vote. The louder, more widespread and more well publicised these nationwide protests became the more bogus such scams as “will of the people” would become. The Brexiteers are an irate minority who have been given a megaphone, but massive people power nationwide can drown them out. We have to now seriously rebel to demand the truth about the Brexit deception and just reversal of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, a full inquiry with regime change and serious jail time! I believe the EU will step in to offer an uncorrupted vote if we can demonstrate fraud in the in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and the EU referendum as well. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60727 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Spot’ the new trend… Spots have infected the attire of MPs of all ‘stripes,’ but plaids also abound as we enter the season of gosh distracting ties! So, following the bold example of his fierce Labour Lioness deputy, did Starmer put Johnson on the spot… or not? Decisively not! After a Labour Conference speech that was shockingly abysmal, but eager to trash Corbyn and all the progress of the Socialist Left, the lumbering beast that burdens the opposition with his lily-livered leadership still limps on. Ready to cower and capitulate to earn the most meagre of media sound-bites in his decimation of all credible opposition, while Labour members desert in droves, Prime Minister’s Questions offered up yet another pathetic act of the ‘Starmite Marmite.’ Boris Johnson had his PR spin readily prepared for combating vague and repetitive questions, with his traditional added insult of “kiss my ring Keir” style taunting demand for support, from the feeble, certainly far less formidable opponent than he was surprisingly caught off guard by last week.

    Lee Rowley began with the standard Tory non-question incitement to self-congratulation from the PM saying, “Yesterday evening, in order to keep the spread of the virus as low as possible, the Prime Minister announced a series of changes that none of us ever wanted to see; and residents of my constituency are understandably concerned and anxious. Will he reassure us all, and my constituents in North East Derbyshire, that the primary focus of the Government remains protecting both lives and—just as importantly—livelihoods?” The Prime Minister eagerly replied, “Yes, indeed. My hon. Friend can certainly reassure his constituents that our purpose, and the purpose of the package that carried overwhelming support in this House yesterday, is to continue to drive down the R number while keeping businesses open and pupils in school.” Thankfully Johnson’s PR pitch was briefer than usual.

    Keir Starmer lumbered into position to ask a barely relevant question, “Three months ago today the Prime Minister said that Test and Trace could be a “real game changer” for us. He was backed up by the Health Secretary, who said: ‘Finding where the people who test positive are is the single most important thing that we must do to stop the spread of the virus.’ Yesterday the Prime Minister said the complete opposite. Standing at that Dispatch Box, he said: ‘Testing and tracing has very little or nothing to do with the spread or the transmission of the disease.’ [Official Report, 22 September 2020; Vol. 680, c. 822.] Both positions cannot be right. Which one is it, Prime Minister?” The PM cannot have felt even mildly challenged by such inconsequential hair splitting.

    Baffle with a conundrum of conflicting words the PM must have thought as he swiftly replied, “It is an obvious fact of biology and epidemiology that, alas, this disease is transmitted by human contact or aerosol contact. One of the great advantages of NHS Test and Trace—which, alas, we did not have working earlier in the pandemic because we simply did not have it in the spring—is that we now have the ability to see in granular detail where the epidemic is breaking out and exactly which groups are being infected. That is why we have been able to deliver the local lockdowns and it is why we are able to tell now, at this stage, that it is necessary to take the decisive action that we are taking and which I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman supports—he did yesterday anyway—to drive the virus down, keep kids in school and keep our economy moving. That is the point.”

    Starmer decided to waste another opposition question by repeating himself and not presenting a new one, “So why yesterday did the Prime Minister say: “Testing and tracing has very little or nothing to do with the spread or the transmission of the disease.”? Johnson gleefully replied, with his usual PR spin, “I hesitate to reprove the right hon. and learned Gentleman for a flaw that he sometimes seems to fall into, which is not listening to my previous answer. I gave a very clear answer. The answer, simply and sadly, is that it is an epidemiological fact that transmission of the virus takes place via human contact from person to person. Test and Trace enables us to isolate the cases of the virus in ever greater detail, which we were not able to do before. Thanks to the efforts of NHS Test and Trace, through many thousands of people, trainee nurses, doctors, young people and members of the armed services, we are not only testing more than any other country in Europe, but capacity today is at a record high. He should pay tribute to that work.”

    Starmer sounded hurt, “I listened to the answer that the Prime Minister gave to the questions; that is why I asked him the question, because yesterday he said the complete opposite of what he said today. Everybody who was in the Chamber, and everybody who reads Hansard, will see it. He talks about testing. May I remind the Prime Minister that last week, before the Liaison Committee, he admitted that testing currently ‘has huge problems’? Dido Harding said, ‘plainly we don’t have enough testing capacity’. The Health Secretary said that fixing testing would take weeks. Pretending that there isn’t a problem is part of the problem, Prime Minister.” Was Starmer trying to pit ‘Tallyho Harding’ with her long track record repeated failure against his incompetent Health Minister?

    Starmer continued, “Let us test what the Prime Minister’s explanation is—it is unclear. Is the explanation for the problems that we do not have enough capacity? He says, “Which problem?” The problem that he acknowledged one week ago before the Liaison Committee. Is the explanation from the Prime Minister that we do not have enough capacity because nobody could have expected the rise in demand? That is the Dido Harding defence. Or is it that we have all the capacity we need; it is just that people are being unreasonable in asking for tests? That is the Hancock defence. Which is it?” It was a tricky game of splitting hairs when in fact there were far more damning revelations made by the PM at the Liaison Committee, but his ‘forensic’ mind had missed the point.

    Johnson hastened to the rescue of a damsel in distress challenged by a cowardly knight, “The continual attacks by the Opposition on Dido Harding in particular are unseemly and unjustified. Her teams have done an outstanding job in recruiting people from a standing start, but this is not for a moment to deny the anxiety of those who want a test, which I readily accept. Of course we would love to have much more testing instantly. It is thanks to the efforts of NHS Test and Trace that we are not only at a record high today, testing more people than any other European country, but that, to get to the point that the right hon. and learned Gentleman raises, we are going to go up to 500,000 tests by the end of October. That is the work of Dido Harding and her team. What we want to hear—what I, frankly, want to hear—is more of the spirit of togetherness that we had yesterday. This is an opportunity to support NHS Test and Trace. This is an opportunity to get behind that scheme, to encourage people to believe in it and its efficacy. Instead the right hon. and learned Gentleman constantly knocks it from the sidelines.”

    Mr Speaker, “Sorry. I will just say to the Whip, the hon. Member for Halesowen and Rowley Regis (James Morris), that there is a little bit of rowdiness coming from the Opposition, but also from your good self—I would normally never have that from you. I want to be able to hear the Prime Minister. When I cannot hear him, I worry about the people who watch our proceedings. If you have further comment to make, please speak to me afterwards.” As sparkly occupied as the Chamber now is there is still heckling noise.

    Starmer stumbled on defensively, “The Prime Minister knows that my complaint is not with the NHS; it is with the Government. My wife works for the NHS. My mother worked for the NHS. My sister works for the NHS. So I will not take lectures from the Prime Minister on supporting the NHS.” His next question had the promise of a ‘bear trap’ for the PM; was he about to unleash forensic skills at last? Starmer asked, “The Prime Minister says we have capacity, he goes on and on about capacity. Let us test that. Three weeks ago, millions of children went back to school, that is a good thing. Then the inevitable happened. Kids get coughs, bugs, flu. That is what happens; it is in the job description. But there is no effective system in place to deal with it. Many cannot get tests quickly. Schools are allocated only 10 tests, and many wait days for results. The outcome is obvious: child and siblings off school; mum, dad or carer off work; and in some cases, all-year groups off school. How on earth did we get into this mess?”

    Johnson failed to spot the trap, and jovially said, “Come on: the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows perfectly well—or he will have read the advice from the four chief medical officers—that there is an exceptionally small risk to children of primary and secondary school age from this disease. He knows that children have a significantly lower rate of infection. That is all in the letter that they published today. But he also knows that we are doing our level best to get every child who has symptoms a test, and further, that thanks to the efforts of teachers in this country, and of parents and pupils, 99.9% of our schools are now back, in spite of all his attempts throughout the summer to sow doubt on the idea that schools were safe. The people of this country had more common sense.” In a Skwawkbox Article with Video evidence the report how, “after months of saying the opposite, Johnson admits virus passes ‘readily’ from children to adults.” Would the forensic minded Lawyer ensnare him in this trap?

    So how did Starmer respond, “That is such a poor defence.” Skwawkbox note that, “For months now, the Tories, with the eaer agreement of Labour’s current front bench, have justified their haste to return children to the classroom by insisting that children are safe from the worst effects of coronavirus infection – and that there is no evidence that children can infect adults. But Johnson has now confessed that by forcing children into clearly unsafe classrooms he is putting millions of vulnerable adults in their family circle at grave risk, making a mockery of the already-obvious sham of his new ‘restrictions’ that leave workplaces, schools, pubs and restaurants to act as vectors for the second wave.” Starmer missed the opportunity entirely, launching of in an entirely different direction he said, “The point is not whether the children have got covid, but that they have got covid symptoms and then they are off school. Contrary to the PMs claim, those not at school are not nursing ‘the sniffles,’ but have been instructed to self-isolate.”

    Opportunity missed, Starmer continued, “The Government’s own Department has shown that one in eight children are off school this week. That disrupts their education. Whether it is covid symptoms or other symptoms is not the point. If the Prime Minister does not see that, he is really out of touch with families and what they have been going through in schooling, day in, day out in the last few weeks. The reality is that losing control of testing is a major reason why the Prime Minister is losing control of the virus. As a result, he is phasing in health measures—restrictions that we support—but at the same time, he is phasing out economic support. Health measures and economic measures are now dangerously out of sync. Let me quote the director-general of the CBI: ‘there can be no avoiding the crushing blow new measures bring for thousands of firms… It is vital that all announcements of restrictions go hand in hand with clarity on the business support that protects jobs’. Why was that not announced yesterday?”

    Johnson launched into his standard routine of PR bragging, “Let us be in absolutely no doubt that the work that this Government have done to protect this country’s economy and support the jobs of 12 million people through the furlough scheme and overall expenditure of about £160 billion is unexampled anywhere else in the world,” He then threw in his usual contemptuous demand for praise that I now call the “kiss my ring Starmer” appeal. He fully expected, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman should pay tribute to the Chancellor and his work. We will go forward with further creative and imaginative schemes to keep our economy moving. That is the essence of our plan and proposals. The right hon. and learned Gentleman talks about our plans; he supported them yesterday. I hope he continues to support them. The essence of what we are saying is that we want to depress the virus but keep pupils in school and keep our economy moving. That is the single best thing we can do to support firms across the country.”

    Starmer meekly replied, “I am not asking about the support that was put in place in the past. We support that. I am asking about the support that is needed now, particularly in light of the restrictions that were announced yesterday. This is not theoretical. Yesterday, 6,000 jobs were lost at Whitbread, one of the major employers in the hospitality sector. The CBI, the TUC and trade unions, the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Governor of the Bank of England are all calling on the Prime Minister to stop and rethink, support the businesses affected, not to withdraw furlough. We have been saying it for months. When is the Prime Minister finally going to act?” He had managed to spit out another question.

    Johnson said, “These are indeed tough times and I have no doubt that many businesses and many employees are feeling a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty and we will do our level best to protect them throughout this period. But we will get through this by precisely the methods that we have outlined and that were agreed upon in the House yesterday. The reality of the Opposition position has been exposed—the cat is out of the bag—because the shadow Education Secretary said of the current crisis, ‘don’t let a good crisis go to waste’. That is the real approach of the Labour party—seeking to create political opportunity out of a crisis, out of the difficulties and dangers this country is going through, while we are taking the tough decisions to get the virus down, to keep our education system going and to keep our economy moving. The right hon. and learned Gentleman supported that yesterday. I hope that, in a spirit of togetherness and unity, he will continue to give it his support.” Ever the opportunist he nabbed that quote.

    The SNPs Ian Blackford attacked, “Last night, the Prime Minister and leaders of the devolved Governments announced restrictions aimed at stopping the number of covid cases reaching a predicted 50,000 a day by mid-October, but there are other major threats that we face this October. There is another set of numbers, all this is of the Tory Government’s own making—with 1 million jobs at risk if furlough ends early, a £30 billion-a-year bill to the taxpayer from a no-deal Brexit, and today we learn of 7,000 trucks queuing for days at Dover. If those numbers become a reality, the Prime Minister is leading us into another winter of discontent. Our First Minister has shown leadership on all fronts during this pandemic. However, the responsibility and powers for extending the furlough scheme lie with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. The Prime Minister must announce an immediate extension—no half-measures, no half-baked projects—of this vital and life-saving scheme. Will the Prime Minister show the leadership required and save the jobs?”

    A Canary Article had remarked that “PMQs was a waste of 12 minutes, until the SNP stepped in,” I totally agree; this is so often the case now! Johnson cynically retorted, “I notice that both the leader of the Scottish nationalist party and the Leader of the Opposition now support an indefinite extension of the furlough scheme. That is what he said. What we will do, as I have said throughout, is continue to put our arms around the people of this country going through a very tough time and come up with the appropriate creative and imaginative schemes to keep them in work and keep the economy moving. That is the essence of our approach.”

    Blackford replied, “That is so poor. What we are talking about is protecting the jobs of people today. It is not indefinite and nobody, nobody, Prime Minister, has asked for that. The first step to any recovery is admitting that there is a problem. Even the Governor of the Bank of England is telling the Prime Minister to stop and rethink. The solution for millions of people right now is an extension of the furlough scheme beyond October. The alternative is putting 61,000 jobs in Scotland at risk. Yesterday, the only reassurance the Prime Minister gave those Scottish workers was saying that he would throw his arms around them. I can tell the Prime Minister that the last thing those 61,000 Scots are looking for is a hug from him. They need the security of knowing that they can hoos ld on to their jobs and incomes for themselves and their families. Time is running out. Workers are facing the dole today. Will the Government instruct the Chancellor to extend the furlough scheme and stop 1 million workers being sold on to the scrapheap by this Government?”

    The PM replied, “What I can certainly tell the right hon. Gentleman is that the furlough scheme has already been extended until the end of October, and people should be in no doubt about that. As I have said before, we will continue to provide the best support we can possibly give to keep people in jobs and to get people into work, new jobs are being created, while suppressing the virus. I can imagine that he does not want a hug from me, but that was a metaphor. It is physically incarnated by the £12.7 billion of Barnett consequentials that we are seeing come from the UK Exchequer to support people across the whole of our country.”

    Oh please, not another Tory death hug, but it seems others are less repulsed by his offer. The Speaker chimed in with a cynical dig saying, “I suspect, Prime Minister, that you might get a hug from Andrew Bowie.” Yes, you can always count on another Tory MP to provide ‘stroking’ to sooth the PMs fragile ego But still, ‘a hug’ was a step too far as Andrew Bowie briskly responded, “I couldn’t possibly, Mr Speaker—not in present company. It is interesting that the leader of the Scottish National party went on jobs, given that on this side of the House, we voted this week and last to protect 500,000 jobs by enshrining Scotland’s most important market, our internal UK market, in statute. Why does my right hon. Friend think the SNP did not support that Bill?”

    Johnson turned on the charm, “I have absolutely no idea. It is totally baffling, because it is a Bill that underpins a massive transfer of powers back to Scotland from Brussels. About 70 powers and prerogatives go back to Scotland, which SNP Members would throw away again, as they would throw away again the entire beautiful, glistening haul of Scotland’s spectacular marine wealth by handing Scotland’s fisheries straight back to Brussels. That is what they want to do.” Scotland and the SNP won’t fall for such lies!

    Our solitary Green MP Caroline Lucas, asked, “Last week, a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds report noted that the UK has seen a lost decade for nature, with the Government failing to reach 17 out of the 20 targets they had signed up to. There is a major United Nations biodiversity summit next week. It is a vital moment to put this right and to show some real leadership. The EU’s biodiversity summit aims to protect a minimum of 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030, so will the Prime Minister commit now at least to match that goal of 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030 and deliver the funding via the forthcoming spending review?”

    Johnson aiming to charm said, “The hon. Lady simply cannot be unaware that the campaign to get the world’s leaders to sign up to a leaders’ declaration on biodiversity has been led over the past few weeks by this Government. She knows that, Mr Speaker. It is this Government who devised the charter. It is this Government who are leading the world in protecting biodiversity across the planet, and we will put in the funding. We pioneered the 30% idea, and we will certainly put in all the funding required.” Was that a yes? The PM had enjoyed such an easy ride, so a small concession was in order; or do women seriously intimidate the Johnson? Several of the other questions focused on the imminent ending of the furlough scheme and the urgent need to extend the program to protect jobs and stave off destitution. But the working poor are not a priority for this Tory Government whose planned ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple’ will cull the weakest from society. We need to Investigate the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and Get the Tories out! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60780 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    We should be really alarmed that this Tory Government still hasn’t abandoned Herd Immunity. In a Byline Times Exclusive entitled, “Scamademics? Right-Wing Lobbying Groups Reviving ‘Herd Immunity’ in the UK,” Nafeez Ahmed “reveals how a high-profile letter to Boris Johnson was based on ‘fringe pseudoscience’ and co-drafted by a Government advisor who downplayed the COVID-19 death toll. A pernicious but flawed narrative has come to dominate the public debate over the second COVID-19 wave. It is the idea that the science is somehow irreparably divided on what to do about the pandemic. This notion is encapsulated in two different letters sent to the Government by what the press has portrayed as two groups of esteemed scientists – one group supporting the reintroduction of social distancing restrictions, and the other criticising efforts to ‘suppress’ the Coronavirus. Widespread media coverage of the letter has suggested a deep-seated schism at the heart of the British scientific community about how to respond to the crisis.”

    Ahmed reports that, “In reality, the authors of the letter that is critical of a COVID-19 suppression strategy have numerous ties to Conservative and Republican Party lobby groups as well as to various agencies of the Government, including HM Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and the ‘Nudge’ Unit – ties which represent potentially serious conflicts of interest. The damage to public discourse has been done. Large segments of the public are convinced that the scientific community is fundamentally divided on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this is untrue. Worse, this group’s claims about the Coronavirus have no basis in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Instead, it represents what one top British epidemiologist has described as ‘a fringe group of scientists;, out of sync with ‘most of the public health experts in the world’.” In the article Ahmed takes an in depth look at both the scientific background and qualifications of the authors, as well as uncovering troubling conflicts of interest in their connections.

    Refered to as the “Let It Rippers” Ahmed lists the four as follows. “The main authors of that letter are Professor Sunetra Gupta (a theoretical epidemiologist at Oxford University), Professor Carl Heneghan (director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine), Professor Karol Sikora (consultant oncologist at the University of Buckingham) and Sam Williams (director and co-founder of the Economic Insight consultancy).” The credentials sound impressive, but their field of expertise bears scant relevance to Covid, so is less appropriate to any claimed authority to judge the Pandemic strategy. Ahmed says, “A version of this letter was published by the Spectator magazine on Monday under the title ‘Boris Must Urgently Rethink his Covid Strategy’. It criticised the current strategy of ‘suppression of the virus, until such a time that a vaccine can be deployed’ as ‘increasingly unfeasible’. The strategy, it claimed, is ‘leading to significant harm across all age groups, which likely offsets any benefits’.”

    Ahmed reports that, “according to Professor Stephen Griffin of Leeds University’s School of Medicine, who is also the Chair-Elect of the UK Microbiology Society’s Virus Division, the letter amounted to ‘little more than a thinly veiled return to a herd immunity strategy and the human cost for this has not changed since Spring, nor is it likely to – one only has to look across to countries like the US, Brazil and India to see this reality’. The first conflict of interest Ahmed exposes is that this is a, “Letter to Government – Drafted by Paid Advisor to the Government What neither the Spectator nor the original letter acknowledged is that one of the co-authors of the letter, Sam Williams, is a Government consultant who has worked with a range of government agencies including HM Treasury. From August 2018 to September 2020, Williams’ firm, Economic Insight Ltd., received a £2.3 million Government contract. It has worked with the Conservative-led Government since as early as 2013.”

    Ahmed lists contracts and research projects the firm was assigned by various Government departments, saying, “Under the tenure of his latest contract, Williams’ firm published a bizarre piece of research in late June, An Improved Measure of Deaths due to COVID-19 in England and Wales. The paper aimed to show that COVID-19 deaths in the UK were being massively overestimated (by as much as more than 50%) and that the lockdown had only killed 21,000 people. It claimed that the lockdown had produced more net deaths than the disease.”

    A bunch of dubious pseudoscience misfits are now calling the shots at number 10 in this toxic Tory cabal; Cummings has openly advertised for more weirdoes to join the team. Ahmed reports how, “The same lobbies that helped bring Johnson into power, many of which are climate science deniers, are doing their best to dismantle the already frayed and flawed structures of scientific advice informing the Government’s strategy. The paper, co-authored by Williams himself with two economists (from Loughborough and Sheffield Universities), received high-profile coverage from the health and science editors of The Telegraph, despite not being peer-reviewed or published in any scientific journal. Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College London, described Williams as ‘the author of the single worst ‘economics’ paper on COVID-19 I’ve read so far, which is a *very* high bar” and said that Williams ‘is *not* representative of economists’ views’.”

    Ahmed reports that, “Documents from the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) reveal that, back in March and April, the Government was about to commission ‘actuarial analysis’ to examine ‘health impacts associated with the economic consequences of interventions’ and ‘long-term impacts of interventions on health, including socio-economic effects on health’. Some of this ‘economic work’ was already being undertaken under the purview of the Treasury, the minutes showed.”

    “When Loughborough University was contacted to find out if it could throw light on the funding behind the COVID-19 study by Economic Insight Ltd., its press officers remained unusually reticent.
    Concluding that, Government Consultants appeared to have falsified the death toll,”
    Ahmed noted that, “Economic Insight’s website contains no further detail about why the company had suddenly decided to venture into the study of pandemic mortality rates. What is clear is that it conducted the research within the period of its active management consultancy contract with the Government.” But, “Neither Williams nor his economist co-authors Professor Karli Glass and Professor Anthony Glass (both of whom also signed Williams’ letter to the Government) have any experience whatsoever in conducting research on fatality rates.”

    Ahmed did more detailed fact checking turning to a reputable source, saying, “I sent their paper to D Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist and statistical geneticist at Barts and The London School of Medicine’s William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University. Formerly a senior staff scientist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Gurdasani co-leads the GeCIP project at the Department of Health & Social Care’s Genomics England. She has published widely in the peer-reviewed literature, including on the COVID-19 pandemic in The Lancet Global Health. To her, the Economic Insight paper on COVID-19 deaths ‘is pseudoscience’ as the ‘model or the premise doesn’t even stand up to basic scientific scrutiny’. ‘I can go into the many statistical issues with the model, but they’re too many to highlight really,’ added Gurdasani. ‘We can’t really model a pandemic trajectory with the sort of model that’s been used’.”

    Ahmed raised another alarming issue, warning of a problem with backers, “Funded by a Financier Linked to Trump’s Inner Circle.
    Sam Williams’ co-authors of the anti-suppression letter to Government also each have dubious potential conflicts of interest.
    Professor Carl Heneghan set-up and directs the Oxford COVID-19 Evidence Service, the ‘major benefactors’ of which are ‘Maria and David Willetts’. The latter are regular donors to both Cambridge and Oxford Universities (largely via the Ferraras Willetts Foundation). Maria Willetts made her wealth in finance, serving her last position as President of Chase Capital Partners in New York, but now has direct ties to senior figures in US President Donald Trump’s inner circle.”
    This represents a disquieting ‘America First’ agenda in a strong position to exert undue influence over key policy decisions in UK politics.

    Ahmed reports with regard to Willetts that, “She sits on the board of Oxford University’s Rothermere American Institute (RAI) alongside Christopher B. Burnham, a former official in the George W. Bush administration who went on to join Trump’s Transition Team and in 2019 was appointed to the Pentagon’s Defense Business Board. Burnham is also co-founding chairman and CEO of Cambridge Global Capital, which holds major investments in private healthcare.” If that doesn’t sound alarm bells it certainly should as we try to defend our precious NHS from US Healthcare Corporations. “Another of Willetts’ colleagues at the RAI is Mary Jo Jacobi, a former senior aide to President Ronald Reagan who went on to join President George Bush’s Cabinet. She was later appointed to the Government’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments up to 2017, and now sits on the Foreign Office’s Wilton Park Advisory Council.”

    Ahmed claims that, “They represent what one top British epidemiologist has described as ‘a fringe group of scientists’, out of sync with ‘most of the public health experts in the world’. Heneghan’s Oxford COVID-19 Evidence Service publishes regular updates on the pandemic – many of which offer sceptical takes on issues such as death toll calculations, but none of which can be considered a reliable part of the scientific literature. Each entry is essentially self-published by Heneghan and contains the following disclaimer at the end: ‘… the article has not been peer-reviewed; it should not replace individual clinical judgement and the sources cited should be checked… The views are not a substitute for professional medical advice’. Sadly, this important notice has not made it into the Spectator’s print-outs of Heneghan’s arguments. In fact, I was not able to find a single peer-reviewed study by Heneghan about COVID-19 in the scientific literature.”

    What of the other co-authors? Ahmed describes one as a “Republican Shill,” explaining that, “As an oncologist, Professor Karol Sikora lacks field-specific expertise in understanding COVID-19. This might be alleviated if he had published some relevant original research in the scientific literature. Unfortunately, he hasn’t. But he does have an illustrious record of lobbying on behalf of the Conservative Party. For instance, he founded the Doctors for Reform group – a free-market pressure group which was accused in 2004 of being ‘supported by the Conservative Party’, according to the British Medical Journal. In 2009, he was paid to appear in US adverts for the Republican Party created by a lobby group, Conservatives for Patient Rights, which attacked the NHS and President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms. That year, he was caught out lying to Parliament’s Health Select Committee by claiming, falsely, that he was a professor at Imperial College for 22 years.”

    Our precious NHS is a key prize in danger of being gobbled up in an UK – US Trade deal so we must fight tooth and nail to defend it. it will be tough enough with the Tories in charge of the negotiations; such influences are alarming. Ahmed says, “In 2014, he called for elderly cancer patients to be denied expensive drugs in favour of younger patients. Two years later, he turned up on the editorial board for an anti-NHS report commissioned by Conservative MP and former Environment Minister Owen Paterson, authored by Kristian Niemietz of the right-wing libertarian Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), part of the Tufton Street network of lobbyists receiving vast amounts of ‘dark money’ from US special interests linked to Trump. He also conveniently failed to declare his personal conflicts of interests in the privatisation of cancer care in relation to this report. He went on by taking to BBC News to describe the NHS as ‘the last bastion of communism’. Naturally, he saw no need to mention any of this in his letter to the Government.”

    Noted that the, “‘Herd Immunity’ Model was promoted by MOD’s Go-To PR Agency,” Ahmed pointed out further toxic connections. “The other figure behind the letter in question is Professor Sunetra Gupta. She is the co-author of two Oxford University studies this year which used mathematical modelling to claim that Britain was well on its way to achieving ‘herd immunity’ – the point when sufficiently large numbers of people contract COVID-19 and become immune, thus preventing its further transmission. Neither of Gupta’s studies has been peer-reviewed nor published in a reputable scientific journal, but both generated considerable media coverage in the Financial Times, the Sun and ITV News. Based on these papers, Gupta has repeatedly claimed that, as early as May, a large degree of ‘herd immunity’ had already been achieved, such that the COVID-19 crisis is ‘on the way out’ – a notion that appears to be obviously disproved by actual events, yet somehow continues to be taken seriously by parts of the press.”

    Ahmed said, “In July, Gupta’s colleague Heneghan made similar claims citing Sweden as a brilliant example of achieving higher levels of immunity by allowing the virus to run through the population. ‘It means we are at the end of the first wave of excess deaths and we are now back to normal,’ Heneghan declared. As a team of top Swedish medical scientists wrote in The Lancet, the reality is that Sweden’s strategy resulted in the country experiencing one of the highest COVID-19 fatality rates in Scandinavia, with scant evidence of ‘silently acquired herd immunity’. ‘Maybe the way to counter it now is to say, actually, not only is it a good thing for young people to go out there and become immune, but that is almost their duty,’ she enthused in an interview during the summer.”

    Ahmed said, “She later complained to the Evening Standard that her team has ‘found it difficult to publish our work in mainstream journals’ blaming the scientific consensus. Sadly anything that deviates from the consensus has been met with criticism, not simply of the science, but we’ve been labelled as saying things that are dangerous.’ The scientific community arguably rejects Gupta’s work because of its quality.” It is vital to make a significant distinction between groundbreaking new research that challenges consensus and work that fails to demonstrate sufficient evidence to be considered credible. The whole point of peer-review is to insure that well respected experts in the scientific field have an opportunity to evaluate the evidence presented in a paper to determine the legitimacy of the resulting claims made by the authors. Those who attempt to totally circumvent the peer-review process do so for a reason: their theories do not hold up to scientific scrutiny and must then rely on sensational press coverage.

    This Byline Times article tries to correct this credibility imbalance by consulting genuine experts for an unbiased appraisal based on the evidence presented by authors who are still, “Flogging A Dead ‘Herd Immunity’” argument. Ahmed approached, “Professor Tim Colbourn about its claims. Colbourn is Associate Professor of Global Health Epidemiology and Evaluation and head of the UCL Institute for Global Health in London. He said that the model’s entire foundational assumption was demonstrably wrong and did not track with actual data on infection, which he claimed Gupta and her colleagues had ‘not even checked’. William Hanage, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, similarly said that Gupta’s model is based on ‘a lot of assumptions about severity, for which the true numbers are just not known’.”

    Ahmed says, “Professor Gupta’s second paper was published in July and claimed that ‘herd immunity’ might be achievable if only 10% of the population acquires the virus, after which it would fizzle out. Gupta went on record to express her belief that this means that ‘herd immunity’ may have already been achieved in London and New York.” This assumption is dangerous, Ahmed reports, “Apart from the fact that the virus is manifestly not simply fizzling out, Dr Gurdasani told me that the biggest problem with the new model is that it lacks sufficient empirical corroboration.” There is a dangerous trend here when certain scientists who appear to have another ‘agenda,’ due to malign influences and the priorities of self-serving funders, manage to hijack “the science” and are given equal time in the Media despite their lack of credibility.

    Ahmed warns that, “Gupta’s theory was able to receive massive publicity with support from a PR agency, Sugrue Communications. The firm has direct ties to the Ministry of Defence and the so-called ‘Nudge’ Unit – the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team, the director of which, Dr David Halpern, played a key role in pushing the ‘herd immunity’ strategy inside Government, as well as to the public. Gupta, Heneghan, Sikora and Williams did not respond to request for comment, including to a question about whether a politically-connected PR firm was providing them with assistance. Since I first covered the role of Sugrue Communications in promoting Gupta’s work, the firm has deleted all mention of its COVID-19 PR work from its website. Damage to public discourse has been done. Large segments of the population seem to be convinced that the scientific community is fundamentally divided on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this is untrue.”

    “As Dr Gurdasani remarked, this is ‘a fringe group of scientists, many without any expertise in public health or epidemiology who are advocating one view (‘herd immunity’), with most of the public health experts in the world advocating another’.” There are disquieting parallels in this distraction from the consensus Ahmed speaks of what, “has been done to great effect by fossil fuel lobbies in relation to climate change, the letter fiasco seems to demonstrate that the British public is under sustained assault from a secretive information war, conducted by vested interests with myriad connections to various points of leverage inside the Boris Johnson administration. The same lobbies that helped bring Johnson into power, many of which are climate science deniers, are doing their best to dismantle the already frayed and flawed structures of scientific advice informing the Government’s strategy.” These are the same lobbies which have urged Johnson to exploit the COVID-19 crisis as a mechanism to gut public health infrastructure while privatising key areas of the NHS, predictably paving the way for a second wave.

    Ahmed reports, “Indeed, there is unambiguous evidence that someone at the highest levels among the Prime Minister’s advisors is actively seeking to influence his thinking by leveraging this pseudoscience. Hours before Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance held their Government press conference this week on the new COVID-19 measures, Gupta and Heneghan had gone to Downing Street to brief Boris Johnson personally about how to respond to the rise in recorded cases. Yet having published nothing in the peer-reviewed literature on COVID-19, neither Gupta nor Heneghan can be properly considered scientific experts on the pandemic. Why, then, did someone within Downing Street insist on inviting them to brief the Prime Minister himself, no less?”

    Ahmed declares that, “scientific consensus, as reflected in a recent study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, suggests that the only viable way forward is to establish a robust national test, trace and isolate programme on the basis of a strengthened public health infrastructure. ‘…COVID, public health, wellbeing and economic recovery are inextricably linked,” said Dr Stephen Griffin. “This must be enabled by efficient, rapid testing and tracing, and by a clear public health guided message on appropriate, targeted measures to interrupt transmission… The UK must reinvest in its existing public health infrastructure and the NHS.” This is a well proven strategy that has worked for countries that have now got Covid under control and returned to a degree of normalcy. We cannot be distracted by Johnson’s frequent crazed dictates, driven by an underlying commitment to Herd Immunity. This Tory cabal cannot be trusted, have lied and defrauded us with the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; it must be Investigated to get them out ASAP! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60781 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Sorry, In my just Posted segment I neglected to include the Link to the excelent Byline Times Article I was featuring: “Scamademics? Right-Wing Lobbying Groups Reviving ‘Herd Immunity’ in the UK,” by Nafeez Ahmed. The original is a lengthy article, but well worth visiting the site to read and explore other excelent articles.

    #60826 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    This Tory Government has long since given up on bothering to have their latest Covid dictates make any logical sense to intelligent individuals with the masses subdued under fearful control using the compliant BBC and alt-right Media. There is no point in hiding the disastrous details of Cummings’s massive destructive shake-up that will crush descent as it sweep over this nation the second tour lying PM no longer has to pretend he is negotiating a Brexit deal with the EU. A willingness to break an international treaty obligation was the natural progression after Johnson succeeded in proroguing Parliament; despite being overruled there were no consequences so he does not feel bound by UK law. Covid 19 has just facilitated the breakneck pace of forcing through damaging legislation with the superficial pretence of Parliamentary approval. Johnson believes he is unstoppable and totally above the law, but his evil controller has all the power and could easily be his downfall. Cummings is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin!

    The lockdown restrictions are so illogical that they appear obviously punitive and designed for a targeted resurgence of infection using our school children as vectors and offloading the blame for wilfully negligent incompetence onto youth noncompliance. A Skwawkbox Article reveals that, “After months of saying opposite, Hancock admits children in danger of severe ‘long COVID’ and can infect relatives. So why don’t Tory measures address it? Children and young adults are in danger and so are their vulnerable relatives. But kids are still in school and uni – and with no masks in class Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared on BBC News this morning and admitted that the Tories’ claims that there is little evidence for the young suffering serious COVID complications or that they transmit the coronavirus to older people are false.” Skwawkbox have been repeatedly posting on the rapidly increasing infection rate forcing school enclosures or sending large numbers of pupils home to self-isolate after a Covid infection outbreak.

    Skwawkbox report that, “Hancock said that students and children can suffer debilitating ‘long COVID’ symptoms for months after infection – and can easily infect vulnerable relaives: But for months the Tories have justified their haste to push children back into school by insisting that children are at almost zero risk of serious COVID-19 – and that there is little evidence that they transmit the virus to others. Their claims flew in the face of scientific evidence, but the Tories have just blown their own argument out of the water. Yet they are pressing ahead anyway and their new restrictions change nothing significant in those settings, while infection rates (now at the highest rate in the whole history of the UK pandemic), hospital admissions and deaths rocket exponentially and the UK is on the verge of replicating the catastrophe of the first wave.”

    This same admission was made by Boris Johnson when he faced questioning from the Liaison Committee as reported in another Skwawkbox Article with Video evidence that shows how, “After months of saying the opposite, Johnson admits virus passes ‘readily’ from children to adults.” Skwawkbox note that, “For months now, the Tories, with the eager agreement of Labour’s current front bench, have justified their haste to return children to the classroom by insisting that children are safe from the worst effects of coronavirus infection – and that there is no evidence that children can infect adults. But Johnson has now confessed that by forcing children into clearly unsafe classrooms he is putting millions of vulnerable adults in their family circle at grave risk, making a mockery of the already-obvious sham of his new ‘restrictions’ that leave workplaces, schools, pubs and restaurants to act as vectors for the second wave.”

    This follows months of taunting and bullying in the Commons to coerce Starmer, the weak willed, easily led Captain of Capitulation, to repeatedly and unquestioningly endorse the return of children to school classrooms without addressing the key danger of rapidly increasing the infection rate without a functioning Track and Trace system in place. The misguided Labour Leader even went to the extraordinary length of summarily firing Rebecca Long Bailey on a pretext due to her support for the totally legitimate cautious reservations expressed by the Teachers Union. This is highlighted in the Skwawkbox Article entitled, “Excl: Long-Bailey sacked after massive row over schools return – as news emerges that Starmer’s support for return has seen infection rate double,” as they explain how the, “Pretext for sacking will be pro-Corbyn tweet but reality is far different.”

    Skwawkbox reported, “Rebecca Long-Bailey has been sacked after a massive internal row over the Labour leadership’s support for Boris Johnson’s back-to-school push – after a doubling of school infections followed even Johnson’s abortive plan to push children and teachers back into the classroom. Howard Beckett, whose union Unite had warned both the Tories and Labour that it was too soon, tweeted the new figures;” his tweet was printed, included a startling graph. They say, “The pretext for Long-Bailey’s sacking will be her supportive tweet about a pro-Corbyn article by actor Maxine Peake, but the Skwawkbox can reveal that, according to sources inside the party, a huge row over Labour’s support Johnson’s recklessness was the real trigger for the sacking. Long-Bailey qualified her tweet not long after putting it out, but a Labour source told Skwawkbox, before news of the sacking, that ‘RLB is in trouble – and it’s not the tweet that’s the issue’, before outlining the major argument that was the real reason.”

    Back on the 3rd of April in a Byline Times Article entitled, “The Coronavirus Crisis – Herd Immunity Infected UK Policy But Who Was Patient Zero for this Toxic Transatlantic Idea? Peter Jukes finds more evidence that the origin of the disastrous concept can be traced back to the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings and his US links.” Jukes reported that, “The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has finally put a stake through the heart of what dominated UK Government policy on the COVID-19 pandemic for at least two months – the aspiration towards ‘herd immunity’. As has been explained extensively in these pages, herd immunity is an immunological concept which has never been discussed or deployed in public health programmes in the absence of a vaccine for 50 years.” They realistically noted that, “A vaccine for the Coronavirus is at least a year away by all estimates.”

    Jukes claims that, “Hancock, one of the first to dismiss the idea of herd immunity within days of it being announced as Government policy on 12 March, explained the massive flaw in the reasoning on Friday.” Quoting Hancock’s interview that day it does appear that he wasn’t onboard with Cummings eugenics pseudoscience, “In a typical coronavirus, one of the six existing coronaviruses, immunity lasts a minimum of a year, and for some diseases can last up to a lifetime,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. ‘But we don’t know that yet. Because this disease is only four months old, it’s impossible to know how long that will last. So, that is a really important scientific question that we don’t yet know the answer to.’ So here you have it: not only was ‘herd immunity’ a novel, untried concept in the absence of a vaccine, the underlying science over ‘natural’ immunity was not there. We just do not know how long antibodies against the Coronavirus persist. Yet, this very concept was used to justify delay for many weeks.”

    “UK Herd Immunity Approach ‘Very Catastrophic’ – Says Trump’ Jukes reports his early intervention that was later followed with denial.” Jukes said, “This is not just a technical or scientific point. The concept of ‘taking it on the chin’ and letting the virus run wild was at the heart of Government policy for more than two months. The Financial Times reported on Friday that Government insiders believed Downing Street ‘wasted a lot of time’ by previously accepting that Britons should be exposed to COVID-19 in order to gain ‘herd immunity’. The knock-on impact of this time-wasting is a shortage of ventilators for critical care, a lack of personal protective equipment for frontline medical staff, and the absence of a rigorous testing regime to track and combat the virus – all three of which are potentially catastrophic failings that can probably be traced back to the early days of the pandemic. For many weeks, according to the Imperial College model, the Government firmly believed that they could 60% of the UK’s population to become infected.”

    Even US President Donald Trump has taken to mocking the British policy. “A lot of people were saying ‘let’s just ride it out’,” he told a press conference on Tuesday. “They were looking at that concept in the UK, remember? They were very much looking at it. All of a sudden they went hard the other way because they started seeing things that weren’t good… Now Boris has tested positive and I hear – I hope – he’s going to be fine. But in the UK they were looking at that.”

    Back then Jukes said that even “Trump, who had been following a very similar policy himself for the past two months, doesn’t mention the phrase ‘herd immunity’ though he was clearly referring to it when he said ‘they have a name for it’. ‘It would have been very catastrophic I think if that had happened,’ he added. Meanwhile, both Britain and the US have COVID-19 fatalities rising on a steeper curve than Italy at the same stage of the pandemic – and with the advantage of at least two weeks preparation.” Jukes felt compelled to ask, “Is there more in both countries’ laissez faire attitude to the pandemic in the early days than a shared ideological opposition to Government intervention?”

    Trying to explain a toxic connection, “Enter: Dominic Cummings,” Jukes asserts that, “There is a well established transatlantic alliance between key figures in Boris Johnson’s Government and the team around Donald Trump. I’ve documented some of the key meetings and connections around Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer and the Young Britons Foundation. DeSmog has exposed the many financial connections between US corporations, right-wing foundations and the network of opaquely funded think tanks and lobby groups in the UK, particularly those associated with Matthew Elliott and his ‘Tufton Street’ network. Elliott was reported to be advising the Johnson administration and, of course, was a key figure in the successful Vote Leave Brexit campaign, whose members now dominate the British Government. This network of think tanks and lobbyists have successfully derailed climate change legislation and many of the same claims of ‘hoax’ and excessive intervention have been deployed over COVID-19”

    Even well before the Covert 2019 Rigged Election it was becoming widely recognized that Dominic Cummings, an unelected Chief Special Adviser to Boris Johnson, was exerting a very unhealthy control over the newly appointed Prime Minister. Cummings reckless modes operandi was to unleash radically disruptive and often distructive, crisis’s to shake up a Governmental system of which he did not approve. Jukes reports that, “The Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings was a pivotal figure in the ‘herd immunity’ strategy according to Byline Times sources close to the COBRA emergency committee, and an extensive account of the last few weeks by Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times. Though Number 10 has denied that Cummings said anything approaching ‘protect the economy and if some pensioners die, too bad’, there is no denying the multiple reports that Cummings was the main figure driving herd immunity. So where did Cummings and his team come up with the novel if disastrous concept?”

    Jukes points out that, “The comparison with Trump’s policy is more than just coincidental. According to the Imperial College team tasked by the UK Government to come up with strategies for the pandemic, they were sharing data with the US. One of the key proponents of the laissez faire attitude that informed the Trump administration was Richard A. Epstein, a senior fellow of the Hoover Institute and a New York University professor who wrote an influential paper on 16 March called Coronavirus Perspective in which he said that ‘progressives think they can run everyone’s lives through central planning’ and claimed that only 500 people would die from the virus, which he then revised to 5,000.” The early April article notes that, “As of Friday, the US has recorded 6,095 fatalities;” since then their high fatality rate has got a lot worse as has our own here in the UK with the highest death toll in Europe due to this Tory Government’s shambolic handling of the crisis.

    Jukes reports that, “In a revealing and fractious interview with Isaac Chotiner of the New Yorker, Epstein not only confessed to the flimsy evidence for his figures and modelling, he also made the baseless claim that the Coronavirus was evolving into different less virulent strains. Throughout the interview, Epstein boasted of 40 years knowledge of ‘evolutionary theory’ suggesting some kind of co-evolutionary ‘adaptation’ was happening between humans and SARS-CoV-2 which would solve the problem without much intervention. (There is no evidence for this in such a short timescale). Epstein belongs to a group of libertarian thinkers who are often described as ‘evolutionary economists’. Cummings is clearly an admirer of Epstein and been influenced by his thinking. In 2004, while running his short-lived libertarian think tank the New Frontiers Foundation, Cummings invited Epstein to London to give a lecture on the EU constitution.”

    According to Jukes, “Epstein wrote a follow-up essay, for which Cummings wrote the preface, the next year. In 2013, in his 237 page-long paper Some Thoughts on Education and Political Priorities, Cummings expressed his own fascination with evolutionary ideas in economics and developed the notion that computer science and ‘genetic algorithms’ could combat ‘bioterrorism or pandemics’ using ‘artificial immune systems’ and ‘agent based models’. Cummings directly quotes another New York University professor, Joshua M. Epstein, and his 2009 paper Modelling to Contain Pandemics which discusses the “classical epidemic modelling” of the 1920s which revealed ‘the threshold nature of epidemics and explained ‘herd immunity’, where the immunity of a subpopulation can stifle outbreaks, protecting the entire herd’.” The ‘Herd Nerd’ as I now call him is now trying to deny culpability for instigating and driving this catastrophic early policy decision now that it has gone so abysmally wrong.

    According to Jukes, “Given his seven year interest in this, it is hard to avoid the evidence that Cummings is the source of the herd immunity error. Meanwhile, the emphasis on data modelling at the expense of public health interventions matches an ideological antipathy to socialised healthcare clearly shared across the Atlantic. Richard Epstein’s misleading estimate about COVID-19 fatality rates was echoed by former MEP Daniel Hannan, a close colleague of Cummings, in the pages of the Daily Telegraph in the UK a few days later when he claimed that modelling only projected 5,700 deaths. Hannan has co-authored books calling for the dismantling of Britain’s National Health Service and described it as a ’60 year old mistake’ on Fox News. Beyond the ideology and the neo-Darwinian basis of their modelling, what else was shared during the early days of the pandemic to explain the reckless negligence of both the British and American Governments? Only an eventual public inquiry will suffice if we are to find out”

    The Cummings wrecking ball continues to smash out democracy in order to solidify control for his Tory puppet Boris Johnson in the Dictatorship that will swiftly follow our crash-out Brexit from the EU. Dominic Cummings has already seriously crossed the line by not submitting to questioning by the Liaison Committee and being declared in Contempt of Parliament. This offence should have rendered him ineligible to function in the lofty role to which the PM elevated him, but no! Then he violated the lockdown restrictions that he was instrumental in devising for the entire population of the UK to follow. But there was no admission of guilt, no reprimand and Boris Johnson insisted he must stay in post. Dominic Cummings represents the single most destructive force threatening what remains of our endangered democracy; he is downright dangerous and he has to go ASAP! There is a rapidly diminishing window of opportunity for us to seize control of this unruly jugenaught of disaster and depravation before it is too late to avert Dictatorship.

    Dominic Cummings, an unelected Special Adviser, was placed in charge of all the other Special advisers to this Tory Government. That reward was incentive enough for him to engineer the corrupt theft of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, with ample additional reward in the chaotic aftermath of that disastrous vote. However, Cummings would not have been so foolish as to actually trust an unscrupulous, cheating, serial liar like Boris Johnson not to throw him under the bus after he had served his main purpose. The Herd Nerd knows all the critical details of exactly how that fake ‘landslide victory’ was accomplished; that is sufficient Kompromat to blackmail the PM into protecting his position. He owes no loyalty to the Tories as he’s not a party member; without the considerable perk of being in a position to dictate policy for the entire country through his control of the PM there isn’t any reason not to expose critical evidence that, even before a full Investigation, would have Johnson and the Tories thrown out of office and possibly jailed! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60886 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Just nine months on from the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and the media have started to ditch the pretence that Boris Johnson is actually in charge as PM; repeatedly the unelected manipulator, who helped steal an 80 seat fake ‘landslide victory,’ hits the headlines in obvious control of every single radical Tory policy shift, most of them damaging. In the Guardian Article entitled, “Dominic Cummings’ data law shake-up a danger to trade, says EU” they warn of how, “proposed rewriting of data protection rules said to put vital cooperation in doubt.” They say that, “A radical ‘pro-tech’ plan championed by Dominic Cummings to rewrite Britain’s data protection laws is endangering future cooperation with the EU worth billions to the British economy, Brussels has warned. The government’s newly published national data strategy, promising a ‘transformation’ long sought by Boris Johnson’s chief adviser and the former Vote Leave director, has sparked concern at a sensitive time with the continued flow of data between the UK and EU member states in question.”

    The Guardian report that, “The European commission is currently examining whether the UK’s data laws will be in line with the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) and law enforcement directive after 1 January 2021, allowing the movement of data vital to the law enforcement agencies but also the banking, health, entertainment, insurance and tech sectors. Downing Street hopes that positive ‘adequacy’ decisions can be made by Brussels before the end of the year when the transition period ends. The government estimates that EU exports to the UK of data-enabled services were worth approximately £31bn in 2017 while UK exports of data-enabled services to the EU were worth around £80bn in 2017. But EU sources said the government’s consultation paper published on the same day as the controversial internal market bill had exacerbated existing concerns over the UK’s approach at the end of the transition period.” This is not the time to spook the EU if they want a deal, but the Brexiteers need a harmful crash-out Brexit disruption to complete their coup!

    The Guardian say that, “Amid the uncertainty, on Friday British officials were due to explain the intentions behind the government’s stated pledge in its strategy paper to remove ‘legal barriers (real and perceived)’ to data use, encourage international sharing and deliver a ‘radical transformation of how the government understands and unlocks the value of its own data’. EU officials said the two key issues standing in the way of a positive decision were the use of data by the UK intelligence services and the potential ‘onward flow’ to countries such as the US. ‘While the UK applies EU data protection rules during the transition period, certain aspects of its system may change in the future or be implemented in a manner that differs from the approach of the EU such as rules on international transfers,’ an EU official said. ‘These aspects therefore raise questions that need to be addressed’.” It seems obvious to me that the Brits have no intention of negotiating anything; all they want is to blame the EU for crash-out Brexit.

    The Guardian report that, “The official added that there was particular concern over the future rules ‘governing access to data by UK national security authorities’ in the light of a recent ruling by the European court of justice.” In addition to leaving the EU the Tories have pledged to exit the European Court of Justice ASAP. They said, “In July, the Luxembourg court made the transfer of personal data to the US from the EU almost legally impossible due to the intrusive nature of surveillance programmes undertaken by the US intelligence agencies and the lack of redress for EU citizens. Brussels is expected to seek assurances that the UK will recognise the implications of the ruling on its own treatment of European citizens’ personal information. Legal challenges to an adequacy decision would be expected in Brussels should the British government fail to offer failsafe safeguards, EU sources said.”

    According to the Guardian, “Ross McKenzie, a partner at the Addleshaw Goddard law firm, said the government was ‘walking a tightrope’ by indicating the desire to make a major move away from the EU’s ‘gold standard’ GDPR while also seeking to illustrate that it was in line with its regulatory intentions. He said: ‘It is a surprise to me that the government has been so bold in the strategy paper. The European commission will be thinking: ‘What on earth do you want to change?’ But the UK cannot be a world-beating data economy unless we have ‘adequacy’.” With all of the Media articles I read, I get the distinct impression that very few of their Journalists have woken up to the fact that the Brexiteers are deliberately trying to spook the EU and they fully intend to crash-out without a deal, which will be spun to the UK public as an ‘Australian deal’ like Hobson’s choice of no choice at all!

    The Guardian report that, “Two years ago, Cummings, who championed vast data collection by the Vote Leave campaign during the Brexit referendum campaign, described the EU’s GDPR as ‘horrific’. ‘One of the many advantages of Brexit is we will soon be able to bin such idiotic laws,’ Cummings wrote. ‘We will be able to navigate between America’s poor protection of privacy and the EU’s hostility to technology and entrepreneurs’.” Cummings’s own track record on respect for the privacy of peoples data is abysmal; he used the stolen Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data to target persuadables with weapons grade PsyOps fearful messages to get them to support Brexit. We should be extremely concerned about this new Track and Trace App and other schemes capitalizing on Covid 10 to get us to relinquish our data to dubious private companies, who will be able to sell it on without our consent. After outsourcing all of these services the Government can back away from any liability when our data goes astray.

    According to the Guardian, “‘Those comments haven’t gone unnoticed,’ said one diplomatic source. Without a GDPR adequacy decision, businesses will be forced to organise individual agreements, known as standard contractual clauses. Industry insiders say the extra costs will be crippling for many small and medium-sized enterprises. A government spokesman said: ‘We are a global leader, committed to high data protection standards. Protecting the privacy of individuals will continue to be a UK priority. The EU’s adequacy assessment ascertains whether UK data protection standards are ‘essentially equivalent’ to the EU’s’.” But Cummings doesn’t care about sacrificing SME’s, causing unnecessary additional job losses as he drags them under with his warped ideology. His greed for unfettered access to our data prevails as traditional standards of decent practice do not matter to a man who has no conscience regarding his own destructive powers. So another Cummings wrecking ball swings towards us due to his total selfish failure to see beyond his own personal priorities.

    In the Independent Article entitled, “Dominic Cummings and his technology push does not hark back to a past era, it’s a delusional mess. For now, we must conclude that they are no replay of the 1970s, but something even less appealing, writes Tom Kelsey, Dominic Cummings believes that Britain could lead in the fourth industrial revolution like it led in the first. The only thing in our way, so we are told, are the EU’s state-aid rules.” Apparently he thinks that, “If only Britain was free of them, Britain could soon foster the ‘trillion-dollar tech companies’ that the nation has otherwise missed out on. Unfortunately, the details of such a strategy – if they exist – are being aired because of the general desire to build national tech giants having emerged as a key explanation for why it would be impossible to strike a trade deal with the EU.”

    What the Independent are presenting as Cummings strategy will undoubtedly channel more public funding into the hands of private benefactors and Tory supporting Corporations in a particularly high-stakes round of “public risk for private profit!” Cummings, a firm supporter of the pseudoscience of eugenics, has a really unhealthy fascination with AI, data harvesting and controlling the masses through the use of weapons grade PsyOps: the surveillance state on steroids! Kelsey reports that, “we can, however, piece together something of the Cummings view of where state-funded science should be heading. He wants to use the state to take long-term risks that private investors would shy away from, with civil servants spotting the new technological breakthroughs yet to come. Earlier in the year, the government announced the establishment of a new ‘blue skies’ science research agency, modelled on the American Advanced Research Projects Agency. This was Cummings’s brainchild.”

    Kelsey says, “It has been rightly criticised. The US relationship with high technology stems from very distinct historical advantages. The Advanced Research Projects Agency enjoyed huge budgets, partly rooted in the spectacular spending of the military industrial complex at the height of the Cold War. The US also had a vast internal market for its technologies. None of this, particularly not the cash, are going to be magicked into existence by leaving the European Union.” According to Kelsey, “Where the criticism has gone wrong is in saying that if Cummings gets his way, there will be a return to the bad old days of the 1970s, of trying to ‘pick winners’, but producing ‘lame ducks’.” He feels, “This is unfair on the politics of that much maligned decade. The 1970s was in fact defined by greater realism about British technological strength and witnessed a backing away from its more spectacular investments. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the British state took long-term, high-tech risks as trying to leapfrog the United States.”

    As an example Kelsey cites, “Concorde and British-designed nuclear reactors, the central technocratic efforts of the age, were promoted as world beating, but resulted in economic disaster. And crucially, they were effectively cancelled during the 1970s. Concorde’s economics were so hopeless that even its manufacturers wanted to develop a new one, but these plans were rejected, so too the calls for a long production run. Beyond the prototypes, only fourteen were built, rather short of the hundreds that were originally envisioned. The ministerial supporters of British-designed nuclear reactors advocated them precisely on the grounds that it was better to have a slower build-up of atomic energy in favour of coal. Few now believed that they would challenge American dominance in the field. The nationalisations of the 1970s, Rolls-Royce and British Leyland, in particular, were less about technological development and more desperate defensive moves in the face of crisis, especially rising unemployment.”

    Kelsey points out that, “For many within Whitehall, two key lessons had been learnt: it was hard to take on the United States, the scientific and industrial powerhouse of the day, and win; and that the state should stay clear of funding ambitious schemes on the edges of technical possibility.” That sounds like an apt description of the latest ‘world-beating’ announcement from Number 10, touting the impressive potential of ‘Operation Moonshot’ if they can just invent the technology at warp speed to make it happen for a cool 600bn! I groaned in disbelief. Kelsey says, “What Cummings is proposing, or at least what we know of it, is stranger than the productive disillusion of the 1970s, or the radical techno-nationalism of the post-war decades. After all, Britain emerged from the Second World War with plausible claims to world leadership in aviation and civil nuclear power. Britain today is not in the same position of comparative technological strength. Moreover, it now not only competes against the US, but China and the EU too.”

    Kelsey reports, “Cummings is also not talking about the rebuilding of the manufacturing base, but investment in very select high-tech fields that take his fancy. This is something new; a fascination with glamorous tech, but without a broader commitment to a national economy. A desire for a state-backed ‘British Google’ alongside an indifference to damage to the manufacturing industry that leaving the customs union would bring. A decision to put $500m (£388m) into the unlikely to be profitable satellite company OneWeb, while allowing the semiconductor firm ARM – one of Britain’s few national champions – to be sold to the United States. Yes, it was already in Japanese hands, but a government serious about industrial strategy might have looked for a way to bring it into UK ownership. Perhaps if Cummings were to spell out his plans, they might make more sense, but for now, we must conclude that they are no replay of the 1970s, but a new, more incoherent political-economic mess.”

    So who did we allegedly vote for as PM in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, Johnson or Cummings, his warped eugenicist side kick? It seems there is no area of policy making that the Herd Nerd doesn’t consider urgently requires him to cause destructive mayhem reinventing the wheel! The New European report on, “’Dominic Cummings pictured arriving at Downing Street with letter on missile and space programmes,’ he was pictured with an archive letter from one of the leading figures of the US missile and space programmes as he entered Downing Street. The document, from former US air force general Bernard Schriever, appears to rail against the ‘blizzard of legislation’ around defence procurement and accused the system of ‘inhibiting technological innovation’. Cummings is known to have a keen interest in defence spending and has previously hailed General Schriever, who died in 2005, as a ‘phenomenally successful’ manager for his work on rapidly deploying intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).”

    According to the New European the vintage, “letter carried by Cummings was written in 1986 to David Packard, who carried out a review of defence spending for President Ronald Reagan. ‘I strongly believe that the wise and timely application of technology to provide qualitatively superior weapons, second only to people, is the most important ingredient to our national security,’ General Schriever said. Cummings was pictured with the document ahead of a cabinet meeting and while a major defence review is taking place in the UK. Defence secretary Ben Wallace has said Britain’s armed forces will be reshaped to be ‘fit for tomorrow’s battles, not fighting yesterday’s’. The minister warned that the UK’s enemies had ‘studied our vulnerabilities’ and adapted more quickly, meaning a ‘step change’ is needed to adapt to the threat.” It would seem no one has briefed the almighty malicious one regarding a slightly more pressing crisis than the type of weaponry we might need to fight the next totally unnecessary overseas intervention!

    Cummings is like a belligerent spoilt child throwing regular “I want” tantrums to demand immediate attention for his niche priorities or indulge his vindictive fantasies to remove those who do not grovel to his overinflated ego. He is a horrendously dangerous loose cannon dismantling key structures and dispatching seasoned Civil Servants to make way for his whack job sycophants. Johnson has allowed the Cummings wrecking ball to precipitate failure after failure, until we barely have a functioning Government; the wanton plundering of public funds squandered has reached epidemic proportions while not tackling or controlling the Covid 19 Pandemic! Cummings must go ASAP; this is an urgent priority. If he could no longer dictate to the PM he might blow the whistle in revenge, exposing crucial evidence that would overturn the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, force an Investigation of the vote, drive the Tories out of office and hopefully see the PM and key politicians behind bars on corruption charges. Cummings is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #60986 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    The wanton propaganda that forced the British public to believe in the corrupt Covert 2019 Rigged Election result, as a legitimate Tory ‘landslide victory’ as supposedly ‘borrowed votes’ accounted for the collapse of Labour’s Red Wall, remains unchallenged. Now with their Tory enabling Trojan Horse leading the ineffectual, hollowed out, ‘flopposition,’ the push poles are touting a modest Labour gain, in an effort to convince the public that a continued lurch to the right will insure potential electability in a fake ‘free and fair’ election in four years time. This is another ‘sunny uplands’ fantasy the Tories want us all to believe, while they steadily utilize the chaos of Covid 19 and a crash-out Brexit to solidify their Dictatorship as the sole enduring feature of British politics for the next three or four decades! We cannot afford to be so complacent, or keep ignoring the powerful warning signs, because Dictatorships really do take decades to remove. Forget a future fantasy election; we urgently need to protest loudly right now before it is too late.

    Will the students conned into indebtedness, paying the highest tuition fees in the world, now trapped in costly halls accommodation by contractual obligation, forced to stay put while they settle for distance learning, have the courage to revolt over the relentless abuse of their rights? Few job prospects will remain for those who graduate, steeped in debt to take unpaid apprenticeships as a last option for talented youth trapped in the UK. Will the British people try desperately to emerge from the ongoing tyranny of this authoritarian Tory oppression and exploitation in thirty or forty years time by finding the courage to follow the example of modern day Belarus? This disaster must be derailed right now in the few months left before the brief window of opportunity slams shut; act now and we do not have to wait decades to assert or reclaim our rights. We need to organize that alternative ‘Sound off Saturday at Six’ protest from every home across the UK and relentlessly keep protesting loudly in solidarity until we: “Get the Tories Out!”

    The Blairite Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh’s parting salvo on yesterday’s Politics Live was particularly vomit worthy; she made Brexiteer Baroness Fox sound courteously measured in contrast! She was determined to trash the remarkable legacy of Corbyn’s progressive politics in a way that I found so deeply offensive I was left raging at the screen. The powerful self-sabotage drive of the Labour Party by MPs like McDonagh that helped fuel the ‘fantisemitism’ smears to oust a hugely popular and iconic Labour Leader will be exposed if and when the SLAPP cases reveal the truth in Court: bring it on I say. Her toxic TV rant was a strong indication of the depths to which the Tories faithful Trojan horse is prepared to drag the Labour Party down with his vile ‘Starmite Marmite’ promotion of ‘Britain first’ patriotism. Do not allow the Captain of Capitulation, who lied and made false promises just to grab the Labour Leadership, to continue enabling the Tories unchallenged: Starmer must be challenged and removed to restore opposition.

    There is no doubt that we are heading into a very dark period in UK history but, terrifying as it is to draw parallels with what occurred during the Nazis rise to power, we cannot afford to remain complacent about this serious threat to our democracy. Although my harping on about how the steps this Tory Government are taking demonstrate a strong move in the direction of authoritarian Fascist Dictatorship, I am not alone in drawing these logical conclusions. In the Daily GasLamp Post entitled, “Fear will unlock Fascism,” they say that the, “Conscious evolutionary entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den ‘Dragon’ Rachel Elnaugh speaks out about what she believes is currently unfolding, both in the UK and globally and her fears of the drift towards fascism.” An Explanatory Video is available on the Daily GasLamp where, as the mother of five boys, Elnaugh shares her fears for the future, urges us all to resist and not become paralyzed by fear.

    The Daily GasLamp report that, “When asked about being a “Conscious evolutionary entrepreneur”, she is quoted as saying, “…capitalism is fundamentally about scarcity and really about putting money ahead of all other considerations. As we move into this new era, we’re seeing that businesses that aren’t just about profit but are also very much about people and about the planet are really coming to the fore… a much wider idea of success than just money. We’re seeing a massive change and we’re also starting to unravel some of the programmes of capitalism like scarcity. For example, with renewable energy, the sun never stops shining, the waves and the wind never stop. There’s so much natural resource to tap into that I think this deep programme of scarcity is being unravelled and uninstalled.” That all sounds really positive, but the wealthy, capitalist elite are not about to cede control without a fight.

    The Daily GasLamp feature Rachel Elnaugh, “In her latest video, she warns that the establishment is using the covid-19 pandemic to attack people and the planet. She urged everyone to actively resist encroaching fascism. And the key was to resist being fearful. See her video below where she states:
    • Covid-19 is a planned event
    • The rich are behind this planning – including eugenicist Bill Gates.
    • Fear is the key to ensure compliance and establishment of a Command & Control society
    • It will be policed by digital signatures (administered by vacinne and nano-particles), high speed networks (that will sense you as you move) and drone policemen.
    • Brexit and GE2019 was a PsyOps.”
    (Read excellent GasLamp posts explaining Cummings’s PsyOps campaigns.)

    The Daily GasLamp warn us that, “The Johnson Government is changing the law to allow unlicensed vaccines to be mandatorily administered to the population by untrained personnel with no liability on Big Pharma. This is discussed in detail in this video.” They have included an investigative video where they identify a proposal for ‘consultation’ that offered an extremely limited opportunity to submit input. Regarding scrutiny the documents presented tout a so called ‘independent body’ that turns out to be the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates foundation’ funded by, the Gates Foundation. In the race to production and profit, the Government intends to foist an unlicensed vaccine on the fearful and trusting public. Big Pharma will face zero liability for complications and unforeseen consequences caused by an unlicensed vaccine with the same liability exemption extended to untrained service personnel who will administer it, but watch the video…

    In the same disturbing article the Daily GasLamp say, “Covid 19 is a Bioweapon.” The include another video featuring, “Spiro Skouras interviews the author of the US Biowarfare Act, Professor Francis Boyle, who confirms that covid-19 is a bioweapon (as discussed previously on the Daily Gaslamp) and uncovers four separate studies which he claims confirm as ‘smoking gun’ evidence the virus known as COVID19 was weaponized.” Even if you do not believe this ‘escaped from a Lab’ theory, the sheer proliferation of these dangerous Bioweapons Labs in the US and around the globe is terrifying. They point to the West African Ebola outbreak emanating from a US run Lab in that location, just as there was a similar Bioweapons Lab in Wuhan. The political cover for the existence of these Labs is supposedly to create defensive agents to neutralize or eradicate such weapons, but they are in fact developing high tech bioweapons.

    The Daily GasLamp draws the following conclusions, “So picking up some threads…
    • Brexit and GE2019 was a pysop
    • No-one is discussing the origin of Covid-19. The best theory of its origin is Theory Number 4: The USA made it happen. Especially in relation to the agenda being pushed because of the exposure of the Gates-Epstien-Eugenics link. It was a planned event!
    • Which puts more credit to the notion that Covid-19 was in any case Man-Made confirmed by bioweapons expert Professor Francis Boyle.
    • Even if was “all natural”, it is still all a rich-man’s trick being exploited to further a eugenics agenda.
    Resist and Don’t be fearful.”

    A series of Byline Times Exclusives on “Sagegate,” peel open the lid on the can of worms that represent the SAGE Advisory Group Meetings with an in depth analysis of what exactly went on entitled, “How Government Neutered Science to Save the Economy and Chase the Ghost of Herd Immunity.” Arriving at some truly shocking revelations, “after a comprehensive investigation into five months of SAGE documents,” Nafeez Ahmed documents how, “The UK now finds itself in the worst of all worlds.” The catastrophic failures are laid bare, the dodgy agenda and malign influencers, Dominic Cummings and others are exposed and the horrendous results are plain for all to see. Ahmed reminds us that, “With nearly 70,000 excess deaths due to the Coronavirus, the country’s COVID-19 death rate has been the worst of all the G7 countries. Simultaneously, its economy is likely to suffer the worst economic damage of any developed country, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).”

    The mayhem of failed strategy is far from over if we continue to allow this Tory Government, under the influence of Cummings, to complete their ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple!’ Ahmed asks, “How did we get here? To find out, I reviewed newly released documents from the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) to see if they could explain the decision-making process that led the country into this dire state of affairs. What I found was some crucial failures – which have largely been ignored by the mainstream press. The minutes of SAGE meetings identify three fundamental breakdowns in the Government’s decision-making process which have yet to be rectified.”

    Ahmed identified, “The first is an ideological obsession with protecting the economy at the cost of lives – rooted in an unswerving assumption that protecting public health automatically means putting the economy at risk. There has been a constant implicit concern that public health and economic prosperity operate at odds in some sort of zero-sum game. The second is a point-blank refusal to ever seriously consider trying to suppress the Coronavirus, which appeared to dovetail with the assumption that allowing it to run through the population would facilitate ‘herd immunity;’ despite not a shred of scientific evidence behind this idea. For months, the Government seemed ready to accept that at least 500,000 people could end up being killed as a result of this strategy, but was unwilling to reconsider its approach.”

    Ahmed documented which of those crucial SAGE meetings were attended by, “The Prime Minister’s chief strategist, Dominic Cummings.” Of equal concern to us, “The third is an insistence on rushing to lift lockdown restrictions prematurely and haphazardly, against consistent scientific advice – a decision that seems to have been made with the input of the Treasury. Within just two weeks of restrictions being put in place, the Government began exerting pressure on SAGE to identify ways to lift them. Despite SAGE repeatedly warning that lifting restrictions too early without a robust test and trace programme would lead to a resurgent epidemic and renewed deaths, the Government went ahead and did so anyway.”

    Ahmed claims that, “Not a single mainstream media outlet has investigated the SAGE documents in detail so the bigger picture of the Coronavirus crisis in the UK remains little understood. But an integrated analysis of the SAGE material dated from February to June throws unnerving new light on how a fatal cocktail of economic ideology; scientifically groundless speculations about herd immunity; and an arrogant failure to pay attention to successful best practice strategies around the world led to catastrophic outcomes.” Over the next few days I will feature each of the three segments on what transpired in these SAGE meetings and who was exerting unscientific influence and pressure on the conclusions drawn. At every stage the name of Dominic Cummings keeps popping up. Cummings remains the most dangerous influence on this Tory Government driving a wrecking ball through decades of civilised and rational conventions, ousting experienced Civil Servants, axing departments and driving failed policy decisions.

    There is no question that Dominic Cummings was an inappropriate attendee forcing SAGE in the direction of accepting his warped eugenics pseudoscience ‘Herd Immunity’ agenda. Despite being found in contempt of Parliament and breaking a lockdown law he designed and put in place for others to abide by, Cummings has never been sanctioned or reprimanded by the PM. We must ask why he still remains in his unelected Chief Advisory post unchallenged? I firmly believe Cummings has serious Kompromat on the PM and the Tory Party with regard to the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and how the postal votes were stolen. I am sure that there are other potential Whistleblowers out there who could blow this whole case wide open, but Cummings has all the vital details that could force a full Investigation. Would the Herd Nerd ‘sing like a bird’ if he no longer had the power to control the PM and dictate to the country? I think he might… Cummings is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61065 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Is the PM getting used to dictating, just getting the people of our country used to following his increasingly authoritarian dictates or both? MPs, even those on the Tory backbenches, are becoming alarmed by the total lack of debate over any of the restrictions that appear random, illogical and are introduced suddenly without warning or scrutiny. This reckless Government seem determined to consistently ignore WHO with isolation times initially set at only a week, despite evidence that 14 days symptom free was the norm everywhere except the UK. Finally 14 days is accepted here with no explanation as to why the change was made. With no consideration of the transport logistics, the sudden overnight call for people to return to work led to crammed tubes in the Capitol with commuters ignoring social distancing and with no obligation the wear masks. It was less than two weeks after Boris Johnson had announced that people should no longer work from home, that he was insisting everyone who could work from home should.

    So many of the decisions made appear deliberately designed to ‘inadvertently’ spread infection rather than suppress it, as if the ‘Herd Immunity’ strategy is still being forced on our population by covert means. Other measures are bought in with unnecessary delays to implementation, but some just don’t make sense at all and there appears to be no scientific evidence to back them up. There are concerns that latest dictate, closing pubs at ten PM, has seen large crowds gathered on the street at closing time and all boarding public transport at the same time. making the spread of infection worse. Of course this closing time rule does not apply to bars in the House of Commons, where the elite who rule us are exempt from rules they make for us. Restrictions target the poor, who cannot work from home and must commute to work; while work is essential, the ‘rule of six’ inhibits purely social interactions. However the ‘rule of six’ doesn’t apply if you want to go grouse shooting with a modest party of thirty of your wealthiest cronies. With steep punitive fines for rule breaking plebs it’s ‘Six of the Best’ for all the rest!

    By far the worst obscenity of last week was as Rishi Sunak lowered the boom on the working poor, refusing to extend the furlough scheme, guaranteeing that many of them will be unemployed going into a tough winter, he somehow scraped the funds together to be a lot more gracious with the Queen. The Canary Article entitled, “Rishi Sunak ‘can’t save every job’, but he can save the queen,” said it all! “On Thursday 24 September, Rishi Sunak released his Winter Economy Plan, intended to protect jobs and businesses from the impact of the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Disappointingly for some, the chancellor’s announcement revealed that the government won’t be extending the existing furlough scheme. Instead, the plan is to implement a ‘Job Support Scheme,’ but only those working at least a third of their usual hours will be eligible for support. This will likely leave countless workers, who are currently on furlough, on their own, with no support from the government, and at the brink of destitution.” ‘God save the Queen’ and sod the rest of us!

    The Canary report that, “During the announcement, Sunak declared resignedly that he ‘can’t save every job’. But for those whose livelihoods have been hit hard by the pandemic, this statement might have stung a little less if, only a day prior, the Treasury hadn’t disclosed a bailout package for the Queen.” Grotesque inequality as privilege protects the wealthy elite so, immune from hardship, they can decide our fate. Among Twitter comments Lester Holloway wrote, “As Rishi Sunak tells workers they’ll have to forego a third of their income, the government promises the Queen she won’t lose a penny.” They say, “Following Sunak’s economy plan announcement, people quickly made the connection… there was outrage.” Anne Lairs was less polite, “I see Johnson is gonna bail out the Queen due to the loss in estate portfolio ???? When the fuck are we gonna stop being a nation of forelock tuggers and start thinking of the people who’ve kept this country going thro this pandemic the working class who do shit work 4 shit wages”

    According to the Canary, “It turns out that as a result of loss in income from her properties during the pandemic, the Treasury will ‘provide the estate with extra money to meet any shortfall in profits and make sure the Queen’s sovereign grant remains at its current level’.” This is what Tories really mean by ‘levelling up;’ it’s exactly what they always do: extract money from the working poor to pass on up to the filthy rich. We must make it abundantly clear that we understand their real agenda of ‘Decimating Down’ or they will keep that Tory boot permanently on our necks! They note that, “…where an act of god (the pandemic) didn’t spare royal investments, Sunak was still on hand to save the queen. Commoners be damned…” has she no awareness or is she just devoid of a conscience? Cultic Witch tweeted, “Lizzie Windsor’s investments have crashed and wm says they’ll bail her out with tax payers money. People are homeless and losing their jobs fgs!!” “Then again, for the Tories, bailing out billionaires is entirely on brand.”

    JDBlack tweeted: “’I can’t save every job’ says Sunak. Meanwhile, as our children rummage in bins for food, the Tories can use OUR money to bailout the Royal family.” The Canary noted, “Fyi — Forbes estimates the monarchy is worth around £72.5 billion. Queen to receive government ‘bailout’ ‘This royal bailout will be tough to stomach for people who love the Queen but have lost their jobs,’ says Tax Justice UK. What happens now? For weeks, unions and MPs, among others, have been putting pressure on Sunak to extend the furlough scheme. Despite this pressure, ‘Dishy Rishi’ delivered a rescue package that will be limited at best, and catastrophic at worst. It’s difficult to imagine what the winter will be like for the many people facing unemployment, evictions, and food poverty. None of which the queen will ever have to worry about. So it’s telling that the Tory government is still on hand to bail her out. Yet again, the priorities of this government are clear for all to see.” This corruption of privilege is emulated globally.

    For months we were hoodwinked into believing that the PM was ‘following the science;’ a look at SAGE minutes is revealing. In the First of a series of Byline Times Exclusives on “SAGEGATE: Part One,” they uncover, “Treasury and Downing Street Advisors Intervened to Delay COVID-19 Lockdown. Nafeez Ahmed reveals how outside pressure weighed on SAGE to prioritise ‘supply chains’, the ‘wider economy’, ‘workforce’ and ‘business.’ Documents published by the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) throw light on how overarching concerns about the economy derailed efforts to suppress the Coronavirus, resulting in a worst-of-all-worlds scenario: maximum fatality rates combined with the worst economic performance. One of the most consistent themes that emerges from the minutes of SAGE meetings is how the Government repeatedly expected its scientists to account for the economic impact of lockdown restrictions, even though SAGE was not doing any economic modelling.”

    Ahmed reports that, “The minutes reveal that economic modelling of the potential consequences of social distancing measures was being conducted by other Government departments such as the Treasury and the Actuary’s Department. This evidence emerges in the context of a Government decision, from the outset, to refuse to consider the goal of suppressing the Coronavirus as a viable option.” So did they attempt to avoid the Inevitable? “The SAGE minutes confirm that the Government at no time considered attempting to prevent the Coronavirus from becoming endemic in the UK. They also show how social distancing measures were constantly and repeatedly pitted against economic considerations. In fact, on 3 February, the main concern was protecting UK ‘supply chains’ rather than enforcing early restrictions that could have helped to prevent the virus from entering the country.” The decision to allow football fans from the Covid hotspot of Madrid to flood into Liverpoole for a football match was unforgivable.

    According to Ahmed, “The SAGE minutes at the time said that preventing ‘imported infections’ would have required ‘draconian and coordinated measures’ at the border and that ‘stopping travel would also have other impacts, including on supply chains’. Almost all social distancing measures that were later adopted were dismissed out of hand. The minutes show that SAGE had assumed that reducing imported infections by more than 95% would only delay the onset of the epidemic in the UK by about a month, rather than preventing the bulk of it. But this assumption was false and at odds with progress being made elsewhere. While the UK was refusing to close borders over fears about ‘supply chains’, other countries such as New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore were doing the opposite and successfully managed to suppress the virus within a shorter time-frame.” This obsession with supply chains seems incongruous when you consider the critical impact their crash-out Brexit will have on vital food and medical supply chains.

    Ahmed says, “The next day, the Government’s scientific advisors seemed to agree that the spread of COVID-19 in the UK would be inevitable and that the focus was not to prevent this spread, but to merely ‘delay’ it in order to improve ‘NHS readiness and ability to handle cases’. Meanwhile, almost all social distancing measures that were later adopted were dismissed out of hand. School closures, the banning of public gatherings, shutting down public transport and other measures were described as ‘probably relatively ineffective’. But the SAGE documents suggest that this dismissal was less the result of science and more from being compelled by the Government to consider economic factors.” This total lack of consideration for the inevitable expediential spread of the virus is proof that the pseudoscience of unvaccinated ‘Herd Immunity’ was being heavily relied upon by the Government.

    According to Ahmed in the early stages there was, “No Social Distancing Modelling, Earlier released SAGE documents relating to school closures showed that SAGE had put forward ample evidence of their effectiveness based on preliminary literature reviews of existing scientific literature. Early action, it was acknowledged, could potentially reduce an epidemic by as much as 60%. But, somehow, this data ended up being filtered out of SAGE’s final recommendations to the Government. The SAGE minutes suggest that this was because of the constant insistence from the Government that the ‘economic consequences’ of such social distancing measures needed to be accounted for. SAGE had also never been requested by the Government to do specific modelling of social distancing measures until much later.” When the Tory Government was finally forced into lockdown, it was too little too late.

    Ahmed remarked, “Given the Government’s reliance on modelling to formulate its strategy, the failure to have detailed modelling in place for social distancing strategies three months into the crisis is damning and suggests that such preventive measures had not been given serious consideration. As the journalist Stefan Simonowitz has observed, ‘the failure to do epidemiological modelling for lockdown until mid-March” meant that the Government had guaranteed it would not receive ‘any alternative ‘design options’. Meanwhile several other SAGE documents prior to March made explicit reference to how social distancing measures would have negative impacts on the economy.” The Tory Governments policy for engagement with SAGE appears to rely on asking the wrong questions to obtain answers that were compatible with the pre selected policy of Herd Immunity.

    Ahmed reported that, “By 11 February, SAGE attendees made clear that they expected ‘widespread transmission’ in the UK and that the virus would peak two to three months after this. However, at this time, the Government was already planning to put an end to contact tracing. The minutes show that Public Health England (PHE) would work with a SAGE sub-group, the infection modelling team (SPI-M), to ‘develop criteria for when contact tracing is no longer worthwhile’. The same document shows SAGE advising that the Government ‘should plan for impacts on the NHS and also on the wider UK workforce’. The Government was, in other words, weighing up public health against wider economic concerns.” This revelation demonstrates that a perfectly acceptable functioning Contact Tracing system was already doing the essential work that local Public Health teams do extremely effectively all the time when challenged by tracing STD infection contacts or determining the source of a contamination cluster in the community. The decision to shut this down and later award a private contract to an unqualified provider was unconscionable!

    Ahmed says that, “Two days later, the SAGE minutes were even more explicit about the role of economic considerations in Government reluctance to implement early social distancing. Following a discussion of why there was no point in attempting to prevent transmission of the virus across the UK, the document referred to the option of school closures to delay either the first wave of the epidemic or its peak. It then added: ‘Either would have impacts on schools, other services and the wider economy.’ The minutes went on to call for SAGE to revisit the effects of school closures at the next meeting, including on ‘workforce consequences’. Notably, the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings’ top advisor in Downing Street, Ben Warner, attended this SAGE meeting.” Since this data was already available regarding school closures it was also well known before they were forced to reopen, but Cummings’s overriding consideration was getting the working poor back to their poverty wage menial jobs.

    Ahmed reports that, “Such concerns were reiterated on 23 March, the SAGE minutes for which revealed that analysis of the ‘economic consequences’ of social and behavioural interventions was to become a separate Government research programme in itself. ‘Given the clear links between poverty and long-term ill health, health impacts associated with the economic consequences of interventions also need to be investigated,’ the SAGE minutes recorded. The Government was keen to find evidence that the lockdown itself would be a major cause of death. In a section titled ‘Excess Deaths Planning’, the SAGE minutes state: ‘Actuarial analysis is required to estimate the number of deaths caused indirectly, including those caused by the social interventions… In due course, analysis of the effects of the interventions on other causes of death should be undertaken.’ Towards the end of the month, this goal was reiterated even as SAGE was already under pressure to explore how to lift the restrictions just put in place.”

    Ahmed noted, “On 26 March – three days after the lockdown began – SAGE was tasked with shifting attention to ‘future phases of the epidemic’ during which the Government would ‘release current measures safely and advise on long-term issues’. The SAGE document dated 31 March further confirms that economic modelling was feeding into Government decisions and scenario planning – and would continue to do so. Discussing future SAGE research priorities, the minutes recorded that ‘[The Treasury] provided an update on economic work being considered elsewhere’. The minutes also noted that among further questions to be studied by SAGE was the issue of ‘long-term impacts of interventions on health, including socio-economic effects on health’. Attempting to model the deleterious economic impacts of the social distancing measures appears again and again over the ensuing weeks.”

    Ahmed reports that, “On 2 April, even as SAGE warned the Government in no uncertain terms of ‘a danger that lifting measures too early could cause a second wave of exponential epidemic growth’, the minutes refer to an ongoing programme of Government economic modelling that was being conducted separately to SAGE. The integration of such modelling appears to have been discussed at this meeting. The minutes record the results of that discussion: ‘SAGE agreed it is not advisable to combine epidemiological and economic or secondary health effect analysis in a single model.’ To their credit, the SAGE scientists had resisted the idea proposed at the meeting that the Government should be making its public health decisions using a single model that would combine public health issues with economic modelling.”

    According to Ahmed’s analysis of the minutes, he revealed that despite the damage being done, “Nevertheless, that modelling was still going to continue elsewhere, including with support from the Actuary’s Department: ‘A group led by Ian Diamond and John Aston – and including NHS, HO [Home Office], Government Actuary’s Department – is considering longer-term impacts on overall health from the interventions as part of its work on excess deaths.’ Formerly part of the Vote Leave campaign’s data science team, Ben Warner had attended both this and previous meetings where this economic dimension was mentioned explicitly. In the last meeting, Warner had been joined by another senior Government official Vanessa MacDougall from the Treasury. MacDougall is Director for Economics and Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, advising ministers on ‘the outlook for the UK economy and the evidence base for macroeconomic and microeconomic policy development to support UK growth and productivity’.”

    Ahmed reports that, “Less than a week later, SAGE was again asked to ‘consider direct and indirect health impacts of measures, both on COVID-19 cases and more widely (e.g. postponement of other NHS care, and socioeconomic effects).’ Consistent with previous minutes, this work would not be done by SAGE, but by a ‘subset of SAGE participants and other experts’. To date, the Government has not published these economic models. But it seems difficult to avoid the conclusion that they played a key role in its COVID-19 strategy. The SAGE minutes confirm that the Government did not ‘follow the science’. Neither social distancing nor test and trace were modelled for their public health ramifications by SAGE until mid-March. Data on NHS capacity, too, only hit the Government’s radar around this time. Why was this scientific research hamstrung for months as the Government watched COVID-19 sweep through the country?” To the public it appeared less like “following the science” and more like ‘following the money!’

    Analysing the content of these SAGE minutes paints a devastating picture of failure due to relentlessly pursuing the wrong goals by asking the wrong questions of the scientific experts, ignoring valid priorities and incorporating non-scientific economic modelling, all to deceive the public as they touted their pre-selected agenda. Dominic Cummings and his cohort of eugenicist whackos were so determined to validate their Herd Immunity cull of the ‘economically inactive’ and most vulnerable in a ruthless ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple’ that they exerted pressure to override the ‘science’ of SAGE. Cummings remains in post despite his transgressions and the damage he has done; delivering that ‘landslide victory’ of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election provided sufficient Kompromat to blackmail the PM. We must Investigate the vote to expose the truth, delegitimize this Tory Government and force them out of office as there is no other way to derail the impending Herd Immunity Covicide. Cummings ids the grenade’ oust him and you pull the pin! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61159 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    The new Tory MPs are getting flack from constituents angered by the increasingly arbitrary lockdown restrictions imposed by the PM. In an Express & Star Article entitled, “Tory rebels may not get Covid powers vote but concessions brewing.” They say that, “Reports suggest an amendment demanding more scrutiny on Covid-19 social restrictions is unlikely to be put to a Commons vote. MPs may fail to get a vote on an amendment giving them more say over future coronavirus restrictions despite rebels having enough support to inflict a damaging defeat on the Government. The House of Commons will vote on Wednesday on whether to renew the powers in the Coronavirus Act, but there are calls for ministers to consult Parliament before introducing new curbs on people’s freedoms. Boris Johnson is under pressure to give Parliament the opportunity to debate and vote on future restrictions, with more than 50 Tory MPs signalling they could rebel on the matter, forcing ministers into crisis talks to ward off a revolt.”

    They say, “according to reports in both the Guardian and the Times, there are question marks over whether Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will put Sir Graham Brady’s amendment – which has enough support to overturn the Prime Minister’s majority – to a vote. A constitutional expert told the Guardian the circumstances of this week’s vote – which does not create new legislation but instead gives a choice over whether to continue an existing law – means Sir Lindsay would be unlikely to allow any amendments. The act clearly envisages the vote as a yes-no question,’ Dr Hannah White, deputy director of the Institute for Government, told the paper. ‘It doesn’t envisage, ‘yes, but’.’ The binary choice envisaged in the legislation means the Speaker would ‘probably be justified’ in not selecting the amendment, Dr White added.”

    If still in post, former Speaker John Bercow surely he would have overruled an idiosyncrasy of our ancient Parliament by deviating from convention to accommodate common sense and good governance. Express & Star note, “The Times also reported ministers were ‘confident’ Commons procedure would prevent a vote but that the rebels, which could number as many as 80 according to the paper, could instead be satisfied with a pledge to give more scrutiny over new rules. Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Chief Whip Mark Spencer and Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg met Conservative MPs in an effort to address their concerns. Former minister Steve Baker, one of those who signed up to Sir Graham’s amendment, was at the ‘cordial and constructive meeting’. ‘I hope and expect we will reach a satisfactory agreement,’ he said. Mr Baker has likened some of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions to George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, specifically referencing a ban on singing and dancing.”

    The Express & Star say that Matt Hancock told MPs he strongly agreed that the House required an appropriate level of scrutiny, but they quoted him saying that, “the Government had to have the ability to act quickly where necessary.” They say, “one possible concession on the table is for MPs to be granted a retrospective vote on new coronavirus powers five sitting days after they are laid in Parliament, rather than the current wait of four weeks. The Prime Minister has already committed to ‘regular statements and debates’ on coronavirus in the Commons and promised that MPs will be able to question the Government’s scientific advisers more regularly.” Be in absolutely no doubt that this unscrupulous Tory Government will ruthlessly exploit any and all of the quaint idiosyncrasies of our decrepit Parliamentary system to avoid scrutiny and break the rules of basic decency and just practice that have been adhered to for hundreds of years. They say that ‘an Englishman’s word is his bond,’ but Johnson thrives on deception!

    Speaker Sir Lindsey Hoyle rose to read his much anticipated statement before PMQs. He said, “I wish to make a statement about this House’s scrutiny of delegated powers during the pandemic, and on the selection of amendments to the motion relating to the Coronavirus Act 2020 later today. The way in which the Government have exercised their powers to make secondary legislation during this crisis has been totally unsatisfactory. All too often, important statutory instruments have been published a matter of hours before they come into force, and some explanations why important measures have come into effect before they can be laid before this House have been unconvincing; this shows a total disregard for the House. The Government must make greater efforts to prepare measures more quickly, so that this House can debate and decide upon the most significant measures at the earliest possible point. The use of made affirmative statutory instruments under the urgency procedure gives rise to particular concern.”

    Regarding the actions he was prepared to take Hoyle said, “I will give very sympathetic consideration to applications for urgent questions or emergency debates in such cases, requiring Ministers to come to the Dispatch Box to justify the use of such powers.
    I hope that all hon. Members will have a chance to express their views through substantive amendable motions on scrutiny of delegated powers, or on the operation of the Coronavirus Act 2020, or both. I turn now to the motion to be considered later today, which invites the House to make a narrow, binary choice as to whether the temporary provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 should or should not expire. Unfortunately, as it is only a 90-minute debate as a proceeding under an Act under Standing Order No. 16, I am disappointed that I cannot give additional time to discuss the issues. I know some Members will be disappointed.”

    Hoyle continued, “When I became Speaker, I made it clear that I would take decisions on matters relating to procedure guided by professional advice. I have concluded, on the basis of advice that I have received, that any amendment to the motion before the House risks giving rise to uncertainty about the decision the House has taken. This then risks decisions that are rightly the responsibility of Parliament ultimately being determined by the courts. Lack of clarity in such important matters risks undermining the rule of law. I have therefore decided not to select any of the amendments to the motion. As I hope my earlier comments show, I have not taken this decision lightly. I am looking to the Government to remedy a situation I regard as completely unsatisfactory. I now look to the Government to rebuild the trust with this House and not treat it with the contempt that they have shown.”

    How this Tory Government warped ‘the science’ is exposed in the second of a series of Byline Times Exclusives on “SAGEGATE: Part Two,” they uncover, “Herd Immunity was Imposed on Government’s Science Advisory Group On Dominic Cummings’ Watch.” Nafeez Ahmed investigates, “how the adoption of the outlandish policy, which would have led to half a million deaths, coincided with the presence of Boris Johnson’s controversial chief advisor. The minutes of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) not only confirm that the Government did not at any time give serious consideration to the possibility of suppressing the Coronavirus, they throw new light on its fascination with the idea of ‘herd immunity’. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficiently large number of people in a population have obtained immunity, preventing a virus from being transmitted onward. Usually, it is achieved purely as a result of vaccination, but in some cases scientists agree that it can build up naturally over time.”

    Ahmed recalls, “The SAGE minutes which I have delved into provide compelling circumstantial evidence that, contrary to official denials, herd immunity was a central Government strategy – even though SAGE scientists were not able to offer any scientific justification for it at all. On 13 February, the same day that the Government wanted to consider the impact of school closures on ‘the wider economy’, SAGE minutes reveal that it decided to establish another sub-group, SPI-B (Scientific Pandemic Influenza – Behaviour), ‘to provide behavioural science advice via SAGE throughout this incident’. A cross-section of behavioural scientists at SPI-B would later advise the Government to use herd immunity as a way to justify an emerging policy of ‘shielding’ the elderly and vulnerable, while allowing the rest of the population to get infected with the Coronavirus.”

    Ahmed reports that, “Until mid-March, the SAGE documents confirm that the Government continued to expect that the virus would achieve ‘sustained transmission’ in the UK, while simultaneously refusing to implement any measures that might prevent that from happening. On 18 February, for instance, the SAGE minutes conclude: ‘When there is sustained transmission in the UK, contact tracing will no longer be useful.’ The Government was not trying to prevent people getting infected and dying, but to keep this at a level which would not collapse the healthcare system.” What is unforgivable is that instead of reverting back to the well established highly efficient local Test, Track and Trace system when the Tory Government finally heeded WHO appeals to “test, test, test” they recklessly awarded responsibility for this to costly private contractors with no experience in the field.

    Local authorities have years of experience implementing Track and Trace to identify and halt the spread of STDs, but also when food poisoning or other contamination events. To complete the sabotage of legitimate efforts they are dismantling Public Health England in the midst of the Pandemic and placing serial failure, Dido ‘Tallyho Harding,’ in charge of inappropriately outsourced services, but I disrupt the time line. According to Ahmed, “The Government also displayed a particular interest in understanding the scale of asymptomatic cases in the UK – which was of direct relevance to the herd immunity strategy. While it is easier to track the number of people showing symptoms, if more people had become infected without showing symptoms, this would suggest a wider degree of transmission – giving an indication of progress in achieving herd immunity. Accordingly, the SAGE minutes called for efforts to ‘better understand asymptomatic cases’ through more ‘comprehensive swabbing of returning global travellers’.”

    Ahmed reported that, “By 27 February, in a meeting attended by Dominic Cummings’ Downing Street advisor Ben Warner, SAGE updated its assumptions for a reasonable worst-case scenario. It said: ‘80% of the UK population may become infected, with an overall 1% fatality rate in those infected.’ It also added that: ‘Only a proportion of those infected will experience symptoms’. Though seemingly innocuous, this is a crucial observation because the Government appeared to believe that a much larger number of people were asymptomatically infected, consistent with the hope that its strategy was potentially heading towards achieving herd immunity. But it also seemed to have accepted that doing so would come at a huge cost. The Government’s working assumptions indicated an expectation that as many as 500,000 people could die with COVID-19.” Their acceptance of this is truly staggering!

    Ahmed says that, “Just a week earlier, Government figures produced by the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) had advanced an even worse figure of up to potentially 1.3 million fatalities. Those figures, updated by SAGE on 27 February, showed that the Government estimated that some 37% of people infected would be asymptomatic.” It is really shocking that, “Despite the Government’s own figures suggesting it was on a path to a colossal scale of death, social distancing measures were not implemented until weeks later when the Government realised that NHS capacity would be overwhelmed. The Government was not trying to prevent people getting infected and dying, but to keep this at a level which would not collapse the healthcare system.”

    They document that, “In early April, Byline Times obtained leaked recordings of a confidential Home Office call showing Rupert Shute, Deputy Chief Science Advisor, telling staff that ‘we will all be exposed to it [COVID-19] at some point.’ According to the ‘current modelling we are working on, 80% will get it – of that, a large portion won’t notice that they have it,’ he said. ‘Another substantial portion will have very, very mild symptoms. And a small portion will have a very significant reaction.’ What SAGE was describing as a ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ was being actively pursued by the Government as a strategy two months after it was first discussed in February.” In reality it is believed that at best Herd Immunity just went underground as a covert agenda.

    Ahmed reports that, “The events that followed those February SAGE meetings over a particular three-day period in early March are pivotal. The documents show that the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings played a direct role in the SAGE meetings during which a herd immunity strategy ended up determining the Government’s ‘cocooning’ approach to social distancing. On 3 March, SAGE finally began discussing the impact of ‘potential behavioural and social interventions on the spread of a COVID-19 epidemic in the UK’. However, the only tangible measure that was put forward was ‘social distancing for over-65s’. The following day, a group of Government behavioural science advisors called for a strategy focused on isolating only ‘at-risk groups’ while allowing the rest of the population to acquire ‘immunity’.”

    Ahmed declared that, “The idea of ‘immunity’ was not based on scientific research within SAGE, but was described by members of the SPI-B group as a public messaging strategy to help quell confusion about a Government policy of ‘not applying wide-scale social isolation at the same time as recommending isolation to at-risk groups… One view is that explaining that members of the community are building some immunity will make this acceptable.’ On 5 March, the SAGE minutes confirm that the Government decided to adopt this approach. The meeting during which this was cemented was attended by Cummings, Warner and David Halpern, head of the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team (known as the ‘nudge unit’). The minutes show that the attendees agreed on recommending ‘social isolation (cocooning) for those over 65 or with underlying medical conditions to delay spread, modify the epidemic peak and reduce mortality rates’.” The public were shocked by the callously cruel reality of the Tory approach!

    Ahmed reports that, “Consistent with the SPI-B advice relayed the previous day, the Government was simultaneously advised to avoid other social distancing measures such as banning large public gatherings, limiting social interaction in public spaces and school closures. Instead, it was agreed that the focus would be solely on ‘cocooning of older and vulnerable patients’, though this would ‘start later, and would have to continue longer’. By 10 March, SAGE was warning the Government that the country was just four to five weeks behind the situation in Italy. Despite this, it continued to insist that the Government should not suppress the Coronavirus on the grounds that doing so would make a second wave inevitable. The following day, Halpern told BBC News that by the time at-risk groups ‘come out of their cocooning, [the plan is that] herd immunity’s been achieved in the rest of the population’. Throughout this period, no scientific evidence about herd immunity was discussed or ratified by SAGE.”

    In what is referred to as, “The end of an unworkable idea, Ahmed noted that, “It was only later that the Government began to realise that its previous sanguine approach had allowed the Coronavirus to become far more endemic at a far faster rate than previously anticipated – in a way that could overwhelm the NHS. A little less than a week on, it was clear that the Government was grappling to keep up with the pace of events and, suddenly SAGE advice switched to calling for stronger social distancing measures, which had previously been deemed ‘ineffective’. ‘On the basis of accumulating data, including on NHS critical care capacity, the advice from SAGE has changed regarding the speed of implementation of additional interventions,’ read the minutes from 16 March. ‘SAGE advises that there is clear evidence to support additional social distancing measures be introduced as soon as possible’.” Sadly we are reminded of ‘closing gates’ and ‘bolting horses;’ Covid was leading in the Grand National!

    At this point according to Ahmed, “It was also clear that SAGE appeared to be particularly confused about the efficacy of these social distancing measures because the Government had not asked the group to model them – until now. The minutes noted that ‘further analysis and modelling’ of potential school closures and many other social distancing interventions was required for the Government to make its next decisions.” But, Ahmed says, “this raises an obvious question: why hadn’t this analysis and modelling been done much earlier? These minutes can be read as an inadvertent admission that, until this time, the Government’s scientific understanding of the efficacy of social distancing measures was lacking in substance and inadequate to underpin its policy decisions. The same applies to the ‘herd immunity’ approach, which appeared to remain of key interest even as the lockdown proceeded.”

    Ahmed reports, “On 26 March – three days after the lockdown began – SAGE minutes recorded that the Government also ‘needs to know more about immunology and its implications’. In the same meeting, it was tasked with shifting attention to ‘future phases of the epidemic’ during which the Government would ‘release current measures safely and advise on long-term issues’. It was only by around mid-April that SAGE began to seriously process scientific data on immunity. What it found decisively challenged the idea that ‘herd immunity’ could work as a viable strategy. A series of meeting minutes from this period show that SAGE belatedly conceded that there was “no evidence pointing to high levels of population immunity in this stage in the pandemic”; that it was unclear how long immunity lasted; and that therefore the idea of opening up the economy via mass distributing of immunity passports for people recovered from the Coronavirus was premature.”

    Ahmed concluded, “By the end of April, SAGE had driven the final nail in the coffin for the herd immunity fantasy. But, instead of a positive change of direction, this led to a dangerous new phase in the Government’s strategy.” A while ago a Skwawkbox Video warned of turning Covid “on and off like a tap.” I sincerely doubt the harsh scolding of Speaker Hoyle in the Commons will deter Johnson or Cummings, from driving a wrecking ball through the remnants of our democracy. The PM is being directed to test the boundaries of what this corrupt Tory cabal can get away with. Cummings remains in post without sanction for past transgressions; the PM and his entire cabinet are further distancing themselves from scrutiny despite repeated serious mistakes. Do not accept the ‘landslide victory’ of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; we must Investigate the Vote to expose the truth, delegitimize this Tory Government and force them out of office as there is no other way to derail the impending Herd Immunity Covicide. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61311 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    The news out of the US is sending shock waves around the globe as President Trump has tested positive for Covid 19. Now yet another world leader recklessly dismissive of the virus has succumbed, following the lead of Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro, the message should be clear; take the threat seriously or ignore it at your peril. Trump taunted Biden about mask wearing during the Presidential debate, but could he have been close enough to Biden to pass on the virus and what of his meetings with his Vice President Mike Pence? Political aids and Journalists will be carefully analyzing those put at risk over the past few days to judge the total impact on the Republican team, but Trump could do a lot worse than cancelling his rallies. Trump is at increased risk of a poor Covid prognosis due to his age, obesity and even his gender, but will the disease even put a dent in his arrogance? If Pence is also infected he’s younger and fitter, but the real worry for Republicans is that if both men fall, next in line is Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

    This latest development creates a lot of uncertainty at a volatile time, but all reckless decisions over Covid will have an impact. In the Third and final of a series of Byline Times Exclusives on “SAGEGATE: Part Three,” they uncover how, “Cummings & Johnson defied Scientific Advisors by lifting restrictions without robust track and trace. This third part of Nafeez Ahmed’s investigation shows how public health was sacrificed to ideology as the lockdown was eased. Less than two weeks after social distancing restrictions were finally brought to help tackle the Coronavirus crisis, Boris Johnson’s Government tasked its Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) to figure out how rapidly they could be lifted.” Ahmed notes that, “The SAGE documents I have delved into confirm that the Government was warned by SAGE in no uncertain terms that, if lockdown restrictions were eased too early without a robust ‘Test, Trace and Isolate’ system in place, this would lead to a resurgence of the virus, with a high risk of new deaths.”

    Relying on SAGE minutes Ahmed reports, “Throughout May, SAGE was preoccupied almost entirely by the Government’s goal of lifting restrictions. Doing so was described as ‘desirable’ from both a behavioural and ‘economic’ perspective. On 1 May, SAGE called for the establishment of a national test and trace programme, and urged the Government to benchmark it against ‘best international experience’, citing South Korea and Germany as prime examples. But, those countries’ test and trace programmes had been established months earlier – as early as late January. The SAGE minutes confirm that it had taken the UK Government nearly five months to decide that it needed to adopt such a scheme, during which it had actually abandoned contact tracing even as others were increasing its use. ‘The ability to test and release contacts is desirable from a behavioural (and economic) perspective,’ the minutes read. ‘However, there is currently insufficient evidence as to how this could be done effectively’.”

    Ahmed reveals the truth describing a wilful blindness over Track and Trace, saying that, “In reality, there was no lack of evidence on testing and tracing. Plenty of it had long been available from other countries’ best practice strategies – the Government had simply failed to ask SAGE to obtain it. The documents shows that the Foreign Office and Cabinet Office were only requested at this meeting to compare ‘international test and trace strategies’ and that a paper would be produced for SAGE’s consideration by the end of the week. The fact that this knowledge was not already available to the Government is astonishing. Nearly half a year into the pandemic, the Government had neglected the only approach with the potential to suppress the Coronavirus.”

    Ahmed reports that, “SAGE insisted that the Government should wait to allow infections to get to their lowest possible point before lifting restrictions – which it did not do. SAGE’s new emphasis on testing was put to the Government repeatedly with vigour and urgency. The idea of ‘app-based tracing’ was also touted and it is clear from the minutes that SAGE was being asked to take into account ‘modelling’ to explore how a contact tracing app might work alongside manual tracing. Notably, both the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings and Cummings’ advisor Ben Warner were present at this meeting. This is significant as the latter is the brother of Marc Warner, co-founding chief executive of Faculty AI. The previous month, Faculty had been contracted to build the Python interface for the Oxford University model that would underpin the design of the NHSX contact tracing app.”

    Ahmed says that, “For the rest of the month, SAGE kept warning the Government that the drive to rapidly ease restrictions was fraught which tremendous risks that, if done without a proper national test and trace programme, would inevitably see a resurgence in the virus and new waves of death.” Byline Times include a link to another of their articles entitled, “’Vote Leave firm tied to Cambridge Analytica ‘configured’ NGSXContact Tracing App,’ which is a cause for serious concern. Despite this, the test and trace system the Government went on to establish was simply not fit for purpose and restrictions were lifted anyway. As early as 5 May, SAGE warned that a “more extensive relaxing of measures across a range of areas’ is ‘highly likely to push R above one (high confidence)’. R is the ‘reproduction number’ and designates the number of people each newly infected individual is likely to infect in turn. SAGE also noted that ‘effective monitoring’ at the ‘local level’ is needed to ‘identify and respond to any outbreaks’.”

    Ahmed notes, “Yet, as the June-July COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown in Leicester demonstrated, the Government has failed to build local guidelines, capacity and legislative authority for monitoring and rapid response at the local level.” SAGE was insisting on Contact Tracing, too little too late. Ahmed says that, “Government officials who became regular fixtures at the SAGE discussions from 5 May onwards included Ben Warner and the Treasury’s Deputy Chief Economic Advisor Vanessa MacDougall. MacDougall’s primary function is to advise the Government on how to improve economic growth and productivity. Her attendance at all the ensuing SAGE meetings about easing restrictions directly suggests that the Government’s lockdown exit strategy was driven by economic considerations, rather than public health concerns. Perhaps that is why the Government appears to have ultimately ignored SAGE’s consistent advice.”

    Ahmed reports, “On 7 May, SAGE provided its initial assessment of the Government’s ‘bubbles’ strategy, the idea that households could begin tentatively meeting other households. The plan would be to allow more complex and different types of ‘bubbles’ as a way of easing restrictions. But SAGE was sceptical. ‘Introducing bubbles alongside other changes could reconstruct extensive networks, particularly when combined with an increase in contacts in other settings,’ it said. ‘These networks could enable transmission through the population.’ In future meetings, SAGE continued to underscore the necessity of a robust test and trace programme before easing restrictions, including the capability for ‘extensive and rapid testing’, particularly for those ‘at highest risk’ of infection and transmitting the virus to others.”

    Ahmed says that, “During this period, the Government established a new agency, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), to support local monitoring and rapid response. While SAGE welcomed the development, it noted that it ‘remains concerned about the lack of a monitoring and test, trace, and isolate system in place’. By mid-May, SAGE’s advice to the Government on the lifting of lockdown restrictions was unequivocal: restrictions should not be eased without a proper test and trace system in place that would enable rapid, targeted, local responses to potential outbreaks. ‘Active contact tracing should be a pre-condition of introducing bubbling,’ it warned. Social bubbles can ‘create significant unwanted effects’, particularly in the short-term. Further easing of restrictions should not be done without ‘effective outbreak surveillance and test and trace systems’.”

    Ahmed noted, “These systems were supposed to be supported by the JBC, but it lacked capacity and expertise on ‘how to identify local outbreaks, the required pace of testing, what NPIs [non-pharmaceutical interventions] could be implemented in response (and how quickly), public messaging, the potential for outbreaks indefinable by local geography… and variation in regional capacity’. To help with this, SAGE was ready to offer ‘ongoing rapid support and advice to JBC’. It is not at all clear whether the JBC ever acquired these desired capabilities in any meaningful way. By 19 May, SAGE had doubled-down on its call for better systems to be in place before lockdown restrictions were eased. It noted that ‘an effective Test, Trace, and Isolate system will be necessary (but not sufficient on its own) to allow further substantive adjustments to distancing measures without pushing R above one’. Other measures needed would include hand hygiene, hand sanitising points, face coverings, alongside other ‘supporting systems and infrastructure’.”

    According to Ahmed, “SAGE also set out its reasonable worst-case scenario for lifting the lockdown: easing restrictions from 1 June would push R to 1.7 for four weeks. The reversal of this easing would bring down R to 0.7, before it ‘returns to 1 for the rest of 2020’. The scenario was based on assuming that multiple systems would fail, such as the ‘failure to quickly identify increasing incidence and failure to respond in a timely manner’. Today, compelling evidence shows that the Government’s test and trace system is a shambles. The Independent SAGE group led by former government Chief Scientific Advisor Sir David King has said that the current system fails to detect as much as 80% of contacts of an infected individual because it uses a top-down ‘centralised’ system rather than a ‘local-first’ approach. The Cabinet Office was clearly not happy with SAGE’s worst-case scenario. SAGE had been asked by the Government to review it ‘again’.”

    Ahmed warns, “The Government has also refused to invest in building local public health infrastructure and decentralised capacity to support a viable national test, trace and isolate system. Instead, it has opted to dish out contracts to giant conglomerates with no relevant track record, such as Deloitte – with disastrous public health consequences. Under Deloitte’s Government contract, for instance, the company is not even required to report positive test data to Public Health England or local authorities. What, then, is the point? But the Government has always known that a viable test and trace programme would have to be based on local capacity.” The need to support local capacity for Test, Trace and Isolate was a no-brainer because local authorities all over the UK have a long history of successfully performing this function in a regular basis to contact and inform sex partners of people treated for STDs, plus they track down the origin of contamination and food poising outbreaks, but now they were being callously sidelined.

    Ahmed reports that, “On 21 May, SAGE issued its most serious and prescient warning about the Government’s approach to lifting restrictions. Due to the challenge of scaling-up local capacity, SAGE again urged the Government not to rush into easing restrictions: ‘If the test, trace and isolate (TTI) system begins operating when there is a relatively high level of incidence and prevalence of COVID-19 in the population, the system could very rapidly become overwhelmed’. The Cabinet Office was clearly not happy with SAGE’s worst-case scenario. SAGE had been asked by the Government to review it ‘again’, but came back reiterating that the model ‘predicts a rise in R to 1.7 due to a lack of rapid detection of increased incidence in the population’.”

    The Government were consistently asked to build on reliable existing NHS capacity, which would have kept local authorities better informed for a rapid response. Ahmed notes that, “SAGE called for ‘flexible localised capacity planning’ within the NHS to enable public health responses to a rise in R and then warned that, without that capacity in place, ‘other scenarios, such as a rise in R to 1.2, could be more difficult to detect and, over time, lead to a gradual increase in hospitalisations and deaths’. The group went on to make clear that opening schools would also increase the risk of driving up the epidemic: ‘Either social bubbling or opening both primary and secondary schools had the potential to recreate significant transmission networks, which would have a large effect on the epidemic.’ Similarly, opening up retail would require significant environmental changes such as distancing, hygiene measures, ventilation, along with strong ‘enforcement mechanisms’ to ensure compliance.” The arrogant Tory Government wasn’t listening.

    According to Ahmed, “SAGE also anticipated that botched messaging around lifting restrictions would signal to the public that social distancing was no longer important. Without appropriate messaging, ‘multiple, simultaneous changes to current restrictions’ could lead people to stop adhering to remaining measures, which would have ‘large, unintended, negative consequences’. Finally, SAGE insisted that the Government should wait to allow infections to get to their lowest possible point before lifting restrictions – which it did not do: ‘The lower the number of infections at the point when measures are lifted, the better this would be in terms of managing the epidemic.’ This would create a situation of ‘fewer people being infected, becoming ill and dying’. If, however, the contact testing and tracing system is overwhelmed this would require ‘re-imposition of significant NPIs’ to regain control of the epidemic.” It was as if the PM wanted to fuel Cummings’s desire to deliberately eugenically cull targeted segments of the population!

    Despite what we have been told by Boris Johnson about “following the science” Ahmed reports that, “In its rush to reopen the economy, the Government ignored precise and urgent warnings from its own scientific advisors. This included ditching the two metre distancing recommendation, despite SAGE’s advice in early June to uphold ‘at least 2m separation where possible… Current evidence suggests that 1m separation carries 2-10 times the risk of 2m separation’. The SAGE minutes suggest that the continued inadequacy of the test and trace infrastructure may end up locking Britain into an approach that oscillates between the new ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ – R remaining at or shortly above one for the rest of the year and dipping just below one.”

    The conclusion drawn by analysts suggests an unnecessarily high ‘genocidal’ death toll. Ahmed says, “As analyst Mark Thomas of The 99% Organisation has argued from preliminary modelling of these scenarios, they would mean that COVID-19 deaths continue well into 2021 amidst periodic but belated local lockdowns with a fatality rate between 110,000 and 250,000 people over a longer duration. This will mean the country never really emerges out of lockdown, businesses continue to suffer, and the Coronavirus continues to run through the population and kill people – all because the Government refuses to attempt to decisively stamp it out. This investigation has brought some clarity to our understanding of how the Government has presided over the worst British public health catastrophe since the 1918-20 flu pandemic. The Government delayed social distancing for as long as possible, then lifted restrictions as soon as it could – all without ever intending to try to eradicate the virus.”

    According to Ahmed, “This dovetailed consistently with economic modelling commissioned by the Government external to SAGE, but which clearly played an instrumental role in its COVID-19 strategy. The Government failed to properly research and model the details of social distancing as well as the panoply of test, trace systems until months into the pandemic. One of the reasons it did so, it seems, is because of a macabre fascination on the part of some officials and advisors with the notion of ‘herd immunity’, despite a complete lack of scientific evidence on its viability. The Government rode roughshod over scientific advice warning ad nauseum that lifting restrictions too early, too quickly, and without locally-rooted national test and trace capabilities in place, would restart transmission of the Coronavirus and sleepwalk the country into a renewed slow-burn public health disaster.”

    Ahmed says, “Instead, the Government has continued to privilege centralised cronyism and excessive privatisation, whilst refusing to invest in the decentralised local capacity that has been proven to work in best-case examples such as South Korea and Germany. At key points in these processes, particular individuals stand out for their involvement in SAGE meetings at which some of the most pivotal decisions were discussed: Dominic Cummings, Ben Warner and Vanessa MacDougall.” Ahmed notes, “This has all been justified by the Government by its claim that it simply ‘followed the science’. In reality, the Government was cherry-picking and manipulating the science to pursue an incoherent chopping and changing of strategies, with no real scientific foundation at all, beyond the overriding assumption that protecting the economy would require sacrificing public health, or vice versa.”

    Ahmed logically concludes that, “The irony lost on the Prime Minister’s A-team of herd immunity fantasists is that it is their own abject incompetence that has sacrificed both the economy and public health on the altar of laissez-faire ideology.” The Skwawkbox Article entitled, “Video: the Tories are still pursuing herd immunity – just using a new graph” shows their intention to, “suppress and release the virus… on and off like a tap! The suppress and release plan still means letting virus spread, with huge loss of life – just in a series of peaks instead of one.” The Tory Dictatorship is gathering steam, they will exert their oppression and subjugation by manipulating Covid 19 to take advantage of fear, destitution and despair. The Tories have consistently lied to the British people claiming to “follow the science” and “do the right thing at the right time” while in reality that repeatedly ignored the warning of SAGE and the globally accepted guidance of WHO to deliberately endanger our people, putting lives at risk for a warped ideology.

    The enlightening analysis of all the SAGE minutes exposes a devastating and ruthless agenda that this Tory Government remain determined to pursue regardless of how many innocent people have to suffer and die. Cummings and his cohort of eugenicist whackos were intimately involved in driving this sick agenda, determined to validate their Herd Immunity cull of the ‘economically inactive’ and most vulnerable in a ruthless ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple.’ Cummings did exert pressure to override “the science” of SAGE, but he remains in post despite his transgressions and the damage he has done. By delivering that Tory ‘landslide victory’ in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election he gained sufficient Kompromat to blackmail the PM. We must Investigate the vote to expose the truth, delegitimize this Tory Government and force them out of office ASAP as there is no other way to derail the impending Herd Immunity Covicide. Cummings is the grenade’ oust him and you pull the pin! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61369 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    The Tory track record is really spotty, performance at PMQs is spotty too; while points of Covid infection spread, control is way off the mark, spot checks for Covid, hey go to Durham? A blotch on the Tory reputation, the subliminal message is quite dotty, but do not put this PM on the spot by peppering him with pointed questions, as Tory ties once again distract debaters with a daft deluge dots! Boris Johnson expected the whole House to join him in “expressing our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Sergeant Matt Ratana,” the Croydon police officer killed in the line of duty. He also drew the attention of MPs to, “the start of Black History Month. For generations, countless people of African and Caribbean descent have been shaping our nation’s story, making a huge difference to our national and cultural life…” These words had a distinctly shallow ring coming from Johnson, a man widely recognized for bigotry, who has not had the courage and common decency to even apologise for his own seriously offensive racist remarks.

    The uncertainty of what will happen in the US now Trump has tested positive for Covid was not yet the dominant news item when
    Kier Starmer echoed the PMs sentiments in “sending my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sergeant Matt Ratana.
    This was a truly appalling incident, and I have to say that every time I contemplate the circumstances, I shudder, and I suspect I am speaking for a lot of people when I say that. It reminds us of the huge debt that we owe to all our police officers and of the risks that they take every day to keep us safe.” He then asked for information Johnson would not have even bothered to contemplate and was therefore guaranteed a non-answer padded out by a short period of PR bragging. Starmer’s first question was, “More than 16 million—around one in four—people are now living under local restrictions. In recent months, 48 areas in England have gone into local restrictions, but only one has ever come out and stayed out—Luton. Why does the Prime Minister think that is?”

    Johnson loves questions like this as they offer a golden opportunity to brag and because he has a chance to reinforce his assertion of who is to blame: it was failure to obey his dictates, not the lack of access to tests or the inadequacies of a costly, centralized Tract and Trace service run by an incompetent private provider led by serial failure ‘Tallyho Harding’. He replied, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman is absolutely right to draw attention to the importance of local lockdown measures. I can tell him and the House that since I last updated the House, he is absolutely right to say that there is now a serious and growing problem with the resurgence of the virus, which is why we brought forward the package of measures that we did last week. The reason for the success of Luton is that local people pulled together to depress the virus—to follow the guidance. That is the way forward for the entire country, that is what we did before, in March and April, and I have no doubt that that is what we are going to do again.”

    Starmer asked a related question, “When local restrictions were introduced, the Prime Minister described them as a “whack-a-mole” strategy. That implies that at some stage the mole goes down and restrictions are lifted, but in fact, in some lockdown areas infection rates are still going up, and in towns such as Bradford, Bury and Oldham restrictions have now been in place for months. For many of those communities that are affected, things feel like they are getting worse, not better, so I ask a question on their behalf: what is the Prime Minister’s strategy for bringing these places out of restrictions so that they can see their families again?” This might well illicit another blame game response from the PM who is taking no real responsibility for his policy failures.

    Johnson replied, “Nobody wants to impose restrictions of this kind, whether in Bradford or anywhere else in the country. We work very closely with local authorities to ensure that we have the right mix of the approach that we adopt. Frankly, when we have the virus going up in the way that it now is in some parts of the country, we have to take strong local action. One important difference between the way the virus is behaving this time and how it behaved in the spring is that it does appear, at the moment, as though the illness is more localised. That is why we need direct local action of the kind that we are taking, in addition to the strong national measures that we announced last week, which the right hon. and learned Gentleman supported and whose effect we hope to see in the coming days and weeks.” The emphasis is always that somehow a high level of obedience will overcome systemic Tory policy failures.

    In reality local engagement has been sadly lacking with local leaders discovering that restrictions at the last ditch just as they come into force with no additional support offered to enable implementation. Starmer attacked Johnson’s own confusion saying, “One of the major problems, as we have seen in the last 24 hours, is widespread confusion about the local restrictions, and I do not just mean the Prime Minister not knowing his own rules. Having sat opposite the Prime Minister at PMQs every week, that did not come as a surprise to me. But let me quote to him the Conservative council leader in Bolton, who said that the Government’s handling of restrictions was ‘breeding resentment’ and: ‘It’s become too complex, too complicated…People feel very let down, they feel frustrated…very forgotten’. If the Prime Minister does not understand the rules and his own council leaders are complaining about mixed messages, how does the Prime Minister expect the rest of the country to understand and follow the rules?”

    Enlist ‘the people’ to support your chaos and hit back hard… The PM replied, “Actually, I think the people in this country do understand and overwhelmingly follow the rules, in spite of the Leader of the Opposition’s efforts continually to snipe from the sidelines and to undermine what we are trying to do. On the restrictions in the north-east, I cleared that matter up as fast as I could: it is very clear that people should not mix indoors either at home or in a hospitality setting and should avoid socialising outdoors. We need to apply that in the north-east, because that is where the virus is spiking. I think people do understand why we are doing that; I think people get it. I think people want us to defeat this virus, and they want to see us doing it together. Sometimes the Leader of the Opposition backs the Government, sometimes he snipes from the sidelines. May I ask him to be a little bit consistent and show some support. Let’s hear him try to instil some confidence in the British people in the measures that he supports.”

    Annoyed, Starmer remarked, “The idea that anybody who asks the Prime Minister a question at Prime Minister’s questions is undermining the Government effort is wearing a bit thin.” Why was he criticizing his champion enabler? “We have openly supported the restrictions, but it is perfectly reasonable to ask why they are not working. I spoke to the leader of Newcastle City Council yesterday. He said the other big problem, apart from Government messaging, is the lack of economic support being provided to local communities under restrictions. Newcastle City Council indicates that by the end of the year 10,000 jobs in hospitality will have been lost. Many businesses are forced to stay closed. Prime Minister, but for these extraordinary restrictions, these are viable jobs. These businesses are doing the right thing. Why have the Government decided that these jobs are not worth saving?” It will be interesting to see how many of the lockdown areas unsupported by the Government just happen to be Labour run Councils?

    Johnson started by extolling the virtues of one of his creepy ‘death hugs,’ replying, “As I have said repeatedly, we are putting our arms around the whole of the UK economy. We will do everything we can to save every job. I must say that I saw the Labour leader of Newcastle and I was rather surprised by his comments because, to the best of my knowledge, they were calling for the measures that we put in. The best way to protect our jobs and our economy is to continue to work together, to comply with the measures, to drive down the virus, to keep our children in education—which is an absolute priority for this country—and to keep the economy moving. That is what we want to do. That is the strategy; that is the approach that the Leader of the Opposition supported last week. He now both simultaneously attacks and does not attack the restrictions. Which is it? He has got to make up his mind. If he supports the Government’s policy—if he supports these restrictions—will he say so now?” The PM questions the questioner; he just didn’t get it, Starmer grovelled to Ware’s Whistleblowers and the BoD, why couldn’t he do more grovelling at PMQs?

    The Captain of Capitulation was a committed Tory enabler, but Johnson pulled this stunt every week to try to wind Starmer up. Indignantly Starmer reminded him that he, “supported the restrictions, I have done so every single time the Prime Minister has introduced them; he wells knows that. Because of the restrictions, lots of people’s jobs—in Newcastle, it is 10,000 people’s jobs in hospitality—are at risk. I support the restrictions, but the question I asked the Prime Minister is: can the economic support go in for those who will lose their jobs? He did not answer that. There are 10,000 people who wanted an answer to that last question, because they are going to lose their jobs by Christmas. Prime Minister, you really should have answered it. The reality is that the Chancellor has made a political choice to reduce economic support just when the new health restrictions are coming in.”

    Starmer continued, “If the Prime Minister does not accept that from me, maybe he will listen to the following example from the Chancellor’s own constituency. This is a business owner. Prime Minister, you might want to listen to what he has to say: “We own a wedding venue in Richmond, North Yorkshire. The Chancellor’s latest plan “does nothing to help us…We cannot employ people to work events which the government are not allowing to take place. Our events team are therefore looking in the face of redundancy as we simply cannot afford to pay wages when events are in lockdown…The jobs are viable if only the Government would allow us to return to work.” He goes on to say: “My events team are talented and fantastic and it is an insult to suggest their jobs are not worth saving.” This is not about supporting restrictions, Prime Minister; it is about what the Prime Minister has to say to those who are at risk of losing their jobs and businesses. What, on behalf of the Chancellor, does he say to that business owner?”

    Speaker, Lindsey Hoyle interjected with a word of warning directed at Boris Johnson, “Order. May I just say that it is very important to remind everybody that it is Prime Minister’s questions, not Opposition questions? Prime Minister.” So glad he made that point. The PM said, “I am very grateful, Mr Speaker. I think the answer is very clear. Last week, the Labour party supported the package—the winter economic plan—that the Chancellor put forward. I think most people, looking at the £190 billion that we have invested in supporting our people across this country, will recognise that. The furlough plan alone is far more generous than any other European country. I think most people around the world can see that the Government are putting their arms around the people of this country and helping them through it. We will help. Oh no!” Not another Tory death hug from papa bear Boris!

    Johnson continued, “I know that the wedding sector has had a particularly tough time, and of course I feel for the gentleman in Richmond in Yorkshire to whom the right hon. and learned Gentleman refers, who wants his business to go ahead, but the best way forward for him and for all other businesses in the country is if we all pull together now, get the virus done, and keep the economy moving. In the meantime, yes of course this Government are able to supply the support that is needed, which by the way is only possible because we have had a prudent, sensible, one nation Conservative party in power over the past 10 years. The Labour party would have bankrupted the country.”

    Starmer said, “It is refreshing to hear the Prime Minister try to dig the Chancellor out of a hole for a change, but I do not think that will wash. The Prime Minister just does not get it. The problem with his argument is this: these are viable jobs, Prime Minister, but for the restrictions. The vacancies for new jobs just do not exist and the training scheme the Prime Minister announced yesterday does not start until April. There is a gap here, and the Prime Minister should not be so tin-eared to those whose jobs are at risk.” After added criticism, he asked one last question, “Finally, tomorrow marks the start of Black History Month. As well as celebrating the huge contribution black people have made to the UK, we must also reflect on the present, and the structural inequalities and discrimination that sadly persist. For example, black women in the UK are five times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth. That is truly shocking. Will the Prime Minister commit to addressing that and launch an urgent investigation into the issue?”

    The PM tried to suggest Starmer was clueless saying, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman knows full well that the Government have launched an urgent investigation into inequalities across the whole of society. We will certainly address them in a thorough going way. I am amazed that he seems ignorant of that fact, absolutely amazed. It is a quite extraordinary state of affairs. Johnson then reverted to his painfully familiar broken record “is he with us, or against us” tactic to cause confusion and deliberately detract from the question asked. The right hon. and learned Gentleman’s general line of questioning is that one moment he is supporting the restrictions, the next moment he seems to be opposing them. One day the Opposition are theoretically marching side by side with the rest of us trying to defeat coronavirus, the next minute they are off in the undergrowth firing from the sidelines.”

    So far, no chance to weaponize the worst Labour quote of the week. Johnson let rip, “I must repeat it: it was the hon. Member for Stretford and Urmston (Kate Green), the shadow Education Secretary, who really revealed what Labour is all about. She said that this was a ‘good crisis’ that they intended to exploit. We see this as a moment for the nation to come together, and that is what we are doing.” Johnson had the gall to criticize Labour for “exploiting the crisis” while the Tories were siphoning public money to the Tory elite on an obscene scale. Time for the PMs standard PR pitch, “We are taking the tough decisions that will take this country forward: not just the lifetime skills guarantee, which the right hon. and learned Gentleman was kind enough to mention, but the huge investments we are making in the NHS, in our policing, in affordable housing. This is the Government and this is the party who are taking the tough decisions to take this country forward, while, I am afraid, once again all they want to do is snipe from the sidelines.”

    Defending a dram Tory MP David Mundell, “Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is essential that the iniquitous tariffs the US has placed on Scotch malt whisky be removed during the current presidential term? So that that can happen, will he commit the Government, as a matter of urgency, to reaching a bilateral agreement with the US on the Airbus-Boeing dispute?” The PM replied, “I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for raising that important matter, which I have raised several times myself with President Trump and others in the US Administration. We will continue to take a very robust line. It cannot be right that American consumers should continue to pay over the odds for Scotch, or that this discrimination should continue. We will fight it every step of the way.”

    SNP Leader Ian Blackford reiterated the previous condolences to the family of the murdered police officer, “Our thoughts are with Matt’s family, friends and colleagues” he said, applauding “the efforts of our police and all our emergency services, who do a wonderful job keeping the rest of us safe.” Blackford also associated himself “with the Leader of the Opposition’s remarks on Black History Month and the responsibility we all have to eradicate inequality;” he had discreetly avoided any mention of our racist PM in this regard. He asked, “Yesterday, the Scottish social attitudes survey revealed that just 15% of people trust the UK Government to work in Scotland’s interest. Last night, Scotland’s MPs voted overwhelmingly against the Tory power grab Bill, but the Prime Minister forced it through anyway, in the biggest attack on our Scottish Parliament in the history of devolution. If the Prime Minister cares to listen—it is not a difficult question—why does he think the people of Scotland have no trust in him or his Government?”

    The PM retorted, “I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman is completely wrong in what he says about the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill. Perhaps the people of Scotland deserve to hear from him a clearer account of what it does. After all, the Bill, which I believe the Leader of the Opposition supports, actually devolves power back to Scotland—it gives power back to Scotland. Not only does it enable Scotland to take back control of its spectacular fisheries but it opens up markets for Scottish agriculture around the world. I can tell the House that today is an historic day: after 23 years in which every successive Government have failed, this Government have managed to lift the ban on British beef in America. Scottish beef will be going to the United States, thanks to the efforts of the British Government. That is a fact of which the right hon. Gentleman might, with advantage, inform his electorate in Scotland.” Nice try Johnson, but Blackford and the Scotish people are not so easily duped by your lies and subterfuge.

    Questioners were often baffled by Boris’s replies. Blackford said, “I do not know what that was, but it certainly was not an answer to the question. After that performance, it is little wonder that trust in the Government is at 15% and falling. Here we go again—yapping, bumbling, mumbling, but no answer. Since he cannot answer a straight question, I will tell the Prime Minister ….” The Speaker called, “Order. I expected the Prime Minister to be heard; I certainly want to hear the leader of the Scottish National party.” Even with the greatly reduced numbers now attending at any one time the PMs still managed to kick up a din.

    Blackford was grateful for the intervention and said, “Thank you, Mr Speaker. We are very used to Scottish voices being shouted down by Tories in this place. A Tory Government who casually and arrogantly break international law and break devolution have shattered any remaining trust in this broken Westminster system. Last night was a defining moment. If the attack on devolution fails to gain the consent of the devolved Parliaments in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, will the Prime Minister withdraw the legislation, or will he force it through against our wishes? Is not the Prime Minister demonstrating yet again that the only way to defend our Parliament and its powers is by Scotland becoming an independent country?”

    In tin-ear mode, determined not to listen let alone answer with respect, the PM said, “I think the right hon. Gentleman demonstrates once again that his ambition is simply to foment grievance where no grievance should exist. All the Bill does, in fact, is devolve power back from Brussels to Edinburgh; it gives powers back to Edinburgh, which he should welcome. More important than the powers is the fact that the people of this country are not really interested in wrangling between parties. What the Bill does is protect jobs, protect growth and protect trade in the United Kingdom. That is the most important thing and that is why he should support it.”

    A LibDem priority returned as Munira Wilson chided Johnson, “The Prime Minister has reportedly said that improving the lives of disabled people is a personal mission, but his Coronavirus Act 2020 has watered down the right to care for the most vulnerable—particularly the disabled, children with special needs and those struggling with mental ill health. How does renewing the Act today in full stack up with his personal mission, never mind his conscience? Will he finally commit to working across parties to replace these draconian laws to ensure that we protect our most vulnerable and safeguard our liberties?” The PM made an excuse for the negligence as he pretended to take note “We are making sure that everybody in our society gets all the protections they need. I am aware of the easements in the Care Act 2014 that the hon. Lady refers to. It was necessary to put them in temporarily, and we now need to make sure we give everybody the protection that they need. That is what this Government will do.”

    The new LibDem Leader, Sir Ed Davies, who has a disabled child posed a similar question re this neglected and abandoned cohort at the last PMQs. It is certainly a valid cause to champion as this Tory Government has cruelly ignored the damning findings of the UN Rapporteur regarding the Human Rights of the disabled in the UK. Governance of a county should be judged by the treatment of its most vulnerable citizens and this Tory Government were already setting a shocking example before the Covid crisis, but they are getting worse while spouting lies about ‘levelling up!’ In reality vast sums of money are being moved from the working poor ‘up’ to the wealthy elite, so we must stop endorsing this Tory lie. The Covert 2019 Rigged Election ‘landslide victory’ was a massive lie that needs to be fully exposed in an Investigation of the result, but the fight-back starts when the public refuse to buy into the lies. The cruelty and inhumanity of this Tory Government will only come to an end by exposing the truth and removing them from office. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61410 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Few in the US or among global Leaders feel at liberty to honestly say Trump had it coming; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi came closest to uttering the rebuke he so richly deserved after putting so many lives at risk. In the Gist Podcast, “Hoisted By His Own Petard,” Mike Pesca comments on how “Donald Trump tests positive for the very virus he’s steadfastly claimed is a “hoax.” Of Trump’s mask strategy it says, “In the interview, Mike is joined by David Priess, COO of the Lawfare Institute, an organization and online magazine which focuses on national security issues. Priess posits some worst case scenarios in light of President Trump contracting Covid-19, the unexpected vulnerabilities and uncertainties that lay ahead, historical norms of disclosure for a president, and the ultimate Continuity of Government Plan – the election. Priess is a former CIA officer, and author of The President’s Book of Secrets and How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives.”

    UK hypocrisy is no better as an Ampgoo.com Article entitled, “Tories ‘shameless’ for demanding SNP MP resigns after ‘throwing ring of steel around Cummings’” shows by highlighting the arbitrary disciplinary standard this Tory Government wants to apply to the rules that they devised. They say, “Critics have branded Tory MPs hypocrites for their different responses to Margaret Ferrier and Dominic Cummings’ violations of coronavirus rules. Tory MPs calling for Margaret Ferrier’s resignation for violating coronavirus rules have been labelled ‘shameless’ after failing to do so for Dominic Cummings. Ferrier has ‘unreservedly’ apologized after travelling to the House of Commons with symptoms, participating in a debate and taking a train trip to Scotland after testing positive for COVID-19. The actions of the SNP MP who was suspended from the party were described by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, as ‘absolutely unacceptable’. Sturgeon said she made Ferrier ‘crystal clear’ that she should resign as a MP.”

    Ampgoo point out that, “Ferrier faces further calls to resign from opponents and SNP politicians and could face a £ 4,000 fine for first contact with others if she should have isolated herself. Tory MPs have themselves come under fire from critics who accused them of hypocrisy after calling for Ferrier’s resignation. However, they did not request it when Boris Johnson’s special adviser Cummings broke coronavirus rules earlier this year. Dr. Tooting Labor MP Rosena Allin-Khan said: ‘It’s ridiculous to see Tory MPs tweet about Margaret Ferrier building a fortress around Cummings! Pure comedy.’ Former Attorney General Nazir Afzal added, “There has to be nothing short of resignation. For all Tory MPs who call for it but cast a steel ring around Cummings, you have neither credibility nor shame.” This could be used as a renewed opportunity for the public to demand the resignation of Dominic Cummings for his flagrant rule breaking now that we fully understand the detrimental effect this has had on public confidence.

    Ampgoo report that, “When asked about the different reactions Ferrier and Cummings had to Sky News on Friday, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said, ‘Well, Dominic Cummings made a statement following the events in which he was involved. He denies breaking the rules and, as you know, he accepted his answers and answered questions from the press at the time.’ He added, ‘I’m not here to discuss individual cases or to defend the behavior of any particular person’. Speaking to Times Radio, Jenrick refused to comment on whether he regretted helping Dominic Cummings when he travelled to Durham with COVID-19 symptoms, simply saying, ‘I am unable to talk about isolated cases’.” The offence Cummings committed was equally reckless and put lives at risk. His return to Number 10 after both he and his wife were displaying symptoms was a risk to Downing Street staff, but driving 260miles while severely compromised not only put the safety of his family at risk, it risked other drivers on the road who could have been killed or injured if he had caused an accident.

    According to Ampgoo, “Ferrier had heavily criticized Cummings’ violations of the coronavirus rules. The SNP itself was also criticized on Friday after it was suggested that the party knew of Ferrier’s diagnosis the day before it was released on Thursday evening. Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who resigned from Johnson’s administration over Cummings lockdown moves, said ‘the public deserves clear answers. We now know that the SNP was informed on Wednesday that Margaret Ferrier was being tested after she had already ridden back to Scotland from London on public transport while infected with the virus,’ he said. ‘These acts not only violated the law, but also put lives in danger. ‘We need to hear from Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford exactly when they knew and why they kept this information secret from the public for hours or even days’.”

    Ampgoo report that, “SNP spokeswoman insisted the party didn’t know until Thursday that Ms. Ferrier had taken a test before her trip to London. ‘Ms. Ferrier informed the SNP on Wednesday when she was in Glasgow that she had tested positive,’ she said. ‘The head whip of the SNP immediately informed the parliamentary authorities. The SNP did not find out until Thursday that Ms. Ferrier had been tested before her trip to London and had returned to Glasgow knowing she had got a positive result’.” We should not compliantly demand that all non Tory violations are met with the strongest disciplinary consequences while Cummings is allowed to remain in post despite his rule breaking. After constructing the limitations that apply to the rest of his selfish conduct set the tone for selective noncompliance. Ferrier should agree to go on the clear understanding that Dominic Cummings will be fired by the PM.

    There is ample reason for us to want Cummings removed from his post ASAP due to this unelected Chief Adviser to the PM’s unhealthy control over Boris Johnson and his ongoing toxic interventions in every area of Government, taking a wrecking ball to our democracy. In a Byline Times Article entitled, “Trump, Cummings & Cambridge Analytica The Digital Threat to Democracy,” Tom Scott documents, “how new revelations about voter suppression in the US raise urgent questions about psychographic targeting of UK voters and plans to strip citizens of data protection rights. The UK government issued a curious press release a few days ago to announce that the former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, had been disqualified as a company director for seven years for offering ‘shady political services’. These included ‘bribery or honey trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns”.

    Scott reports that, “Tactfully, the release didn’t mention Cambridge Analytica’s key role in the Brexit referendum campaign, or that a sister company of Cambridge Analytica, AIQ, was paid by Dominic Cummings and Vote Leave to target UK voters, placing 1.5 billion ads on their Facebook pages in the days leading up to the 2016 referendum. Were voter suppression tactics used by Brexit campaigners and perhaps also in Boris Johnson’s 2019 election campaign? Many of these ads – which were entirely invisible to the Electoral Commission – contained outright disinformation about the EU. Cummings himself has boasted about how they swung the result for Leave. Nor did the government’s press release mention the fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had met with Nix as Foreign Secretary in 2016 – a meeting whose purpose Johnson has claimed he ‘can’t remember’, though Fraser Nelson of the Spectator has reported that it was ‘to try to learn about, and improve links with, Team Trump’. Just the sort of thing anyone might forget.”

    Scott outlines, “AI-Generated Voter Suppression,” saying that, “The connection between Team Trump and Cambridge Analytica was indeed intimate, as has been underlined by Channel Four News reports this week of the way that Nix’s company helped the Donald Trump presidential campaign suppress the black vote in key marginal states during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Significantly, the DCMS committee took evidence that Cambridge Analytica’s pitch to Leave.EU had included the offer of targeted voter suppression techniques. Leaked data from Trump’s campaign team reveals how millions of black citizens were profiled as likely Democrat voters, with the help of software – and, it seems certain, illegally obtained Facebook datasets – supplied by Cambridge Analytica. They were then subjected to micro-targeted Facebook ads designed to instil distrust of Hillary Clinton.”

    Scott explains, “The object was not to encourage them to vote for Trump but to deter them from voting altogether. He says that, “in states such as Wisconsin and Georgia, this appears to have been highly effective: in many predominantly black wards, voter turnout in November 2016 was around 20% lower than in the presidential race four years earlier. In an extremely narrow race, this was to prove a decisive factor. There has been already been substantial fallout from Channel Four’s revelations in the US, with many African Americans outraged to learn how Trump’s campaign had actively sought to disenfranchise black communities. There may well be legal consequences for members of Team Trump, too – not least for Brad Parscale, who had acted as digital media director for Trump’s 2016 campaign and was overall campaign manager for his 2020 presidential bid until July 2020.” Why are we so compliant and cowardly when it comes to scrutinizing our own highly suspicious, unexpected, Tory fake ‘landslide victory?’

    A new Greg Palast Book entitled “How Trump stole 2020” documents the voter suppression techniques in play in the US right now and how to foil them! In describing his book Palast rants, “I watch these smug jerks and I’m ill … because I know something they won’t tell you.” He then delivers a few shocking facts to the American people: “In 2016, no fewer than 5,872,857 ballots were cast—and never counted. Does it matter? In Detroit, 75,355 ballots were never counted because of 87 broken scanning machines. And Trump supposedly won Michigan by 10,700 votes — really/” He discovered that, “no fewer than 1,982,071 legal voters were denied the right to vote. Told to get the hell out of the polling station. Can you guess their color?” It is naive to think this Tory Government, obsessed with breaking all the rules, would not use the same dirty tricks to disenfranchise British voters, dissuade then from voting, spoil or steal their ballots. The Covert 2019 Rigged Election was won through industrial scale fraud and we need t expose the truth.

    According to Scott, “Parscale had testified under oath to a Congressional committee that he had not participated in efforts to suppress the black vote in 2016, a statement now shown to be false. He is already in legal hot water, having been detained earlier this week following an armed stand-off with Florida police, called by his bruised and battered wife. It’s not clear whether Parscale, a long-term Trump family associate, knew that the Channel Four News story was about to break, or whether this may have contributed to his agitated state. But reverberations from the story may well reach higher still. The overall architect of Trump’s digital campaign was Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and it was Kushner, along with Parscale and the now jailed Trump-Russia felon Paul Manafort, who invited Cambridge Analytica to work on Trump’s presidential bid.”

    Scott elaborates on, “The Vote Leave Connection to Cambridge Analytica” reporting that, “In the UK, these revelations should prompt urgent questions not just about exactly what services were provided by Cambridge Analytica and associated companies to Brexit campaigners, but also about the increasing vulnerability of the democratic process to manipulation by unscrupulous digital operatives. As Vote Leave’s campaign director, Dominic Cummings spent 98% of his campaign budget on digital advertising and voter targeting. In fact, he overspent on Vote Leave’s legally allowed budget by illicitly funnelling £675,000 through BeLeave, another pro-Brexit group. Altogether, Cambridge Analytica’s Canadian sister company AIQ took payments of nearly £3,657,000 from Vote Leave and associated campaign groups. Correspondence seen by former Labour MP Ian Lucas indicates that Vote Leave frontmen Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were well aware of this illegal overspending.”

    Scott reports that, “The bulk of this money went to AIQ, which as Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie has described, was set up ‘to service SCL and Cambridge Analytica projects” (SCL is Cambridge Analytica’s parent company). AIQ used software and datasets supplied by Cambridge Analytica, the ‘shady political services’ provider set up by far-right guru Steve Bannon and presided over by smooth-talking Old Etonian Alexander Nix. In March 2018, data breach specialist Chris Vickery was able to gain access to an insecurely guarded online data warehouse set up by AIQ, giving insights into the range of digital tools used by the company and showing its hand-in-glove relationship with Cambridge Analytica.”

    Scott adds that, “Vickery described what he found to Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee set up to investigate disinformation and fake news: “a set of sophisticated applications, data management programs, advertising trackers, and information databases that collectively could be used to target and influence individuals through a variety of methods, including automated phone calls, emails, political websites, volunteer canvassing, and Facebook ads”. Vickery also gave the committee a diagram that clearly laid out the relationships between AIQ, Cambridge Analytica and the Trump and Brexit campaigns. (Source: Final Report of DCMS Committee Investigation into Disinformation and Fake News, 2019)”

    Scott examines the connection between Cambridge Analytica and Leave EU reporting that, “The DCMS Committee report strongly suggests that AIQ used Facebook data illicitly acquired by psychometric specialist Dr Alexander Kogan and sold on to Cambridge Analytica to target voters in both the US and the UK: ‘AIQ had the capability to use the data scraped by Dr Kogan […] Dr Kogan’s data also included UK citizens’ data and the question arises whether this was used during the EU referendum. We know from Facebook that data matching Dr Kogan’s was found in the data used by AIQ’s leave campaign audience files. Facebook believe that this is a coincidence, or, in the words of Mike Schroepfer, CTO of Facebook, an ‘effectively random chance’. It is not known whether the Kogan data was destroyed by AIQ’. But Vote Leave was not the only Brexit campaign group assisted by Cambridge Analytica or associated companies.”

    According to Scott, “Nix has boasted about how his company ‘supercharged’ Leave.EU’s Brexit campaign, a claim backed up by former Cambridge Analytica insider Brittany Kaiser. Kaiser was even on the speaker platform at Leave.EU’s launch in November 2015, where she was introduced in glowing terms by campaign frontman Richard Tice: ‘We have Brittany Kaiser from Cambridge Analytica, a world leader in target-voter messaging using specialist non-traditional techniques.’ Later, in their contradictory evidence to the DCMS Committee, both Nix and Arron Banks of Leave.EU attempted to deny Cambridge Analytica’s involvement. Significantly, the DCMS committee took evidence that Cambridge Analytica’s pitch to Leave.EU had included the offer of targeted voter suppression techniques. This, as Brittany Kaiser has testified, was an absolutely standard part of Nix’s pitch – she even recorded him making it to a prospective client. Asked during this pitch about the company’s work on Brexit, Nix replies: ‘We don’t talk about that.’ To which Kaiser adds, ironically: ‘Oops – we won’!”

    Scot poses the question, was this “Water Under the Bridge? Were voter suppression tactics used by Brexit campaigners and perhaps also in Boris Johnson’s 2019 election campaign? Some of the ads microtargeted on UK voters by AIQ suggest strongly that they were indeed used in 2016. Many of these were not designed to enthuse people with the idea that Brexit would bring any positive benefits, but rather to fill them with fear and distrust of the European Union. Voters known to be concerned with animal welfare, for instance, were shown ads suggesting (falsely) that the EU endorses bull-fighting, while those concerned about the environment – a group that might otherwise be seen as likely to support EU membership – were told that “the EU stops us speaking up to protect polar bears”. The aim seems to have been to undermine any inclination such individuals might have felt to go out and vote for continued EU membership.”

    Scott proclaims that, “All of this is much more than water under the bridge. Alexander Nix may be barred as a company director – having allegedly taken $8 million out of the company shortly before it filed for insolvency, but the people who worked for Cambridge Analytica and AIQ are still working on political campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic, using the same set of psychographic targeting techniques and the same, or enhanced, datasets.” He says that, “the people who employed these companies to use their dark arts on US and UK voters have faced virtually no consequences. In fact, Dominic Cummings now exercises unprecedented powers as Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser. Disturbingly, Cummings is now reported to be using these powers to advance a scheme to remove the data protection rights currently enjoyed by UK citizens under the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR).”

    Scott refers to it as, “Cummings’ Data Grab” saying that, “GDPR is widely seen as the current gold standard in data privacy and it offers the best available legal means to protect voters from illicit data-gathering and microtargeting of the sort used by Cambridge Analytica and AIQ. It was GDPR that enabled US citizen Professor David Carroll to sue Cambridge Analytica to obtain the personal data that it held on him, and it was the company’s refusal to hand it over that led to a successful prosecution by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. Carroll never managed to obtain his data from Cambridge Analytica before the company collapsed, having wiped the hard drives that would have contained it. But this week, Channel Four News was able to show him his individual data file from the Team Trump leak – one of some 200 million such files it had built up on US citizens.”

    Scott reports that, “It contained an astonishingly detailed profile, including everything from the car he drives and the investments he’s made to his reading, internet browsing habits and the charities he donates to. This was accompanied by a psychographic profile assessing personality traits such as conscientiousness, neuroticism, extroversion and openness. Carroll was in no doubt that this had been assembled using data and tools provided by Cambridge Analytica. It was the information he had been seeking for four years. We should be in no doubt that similar files exist for many millions of UK citizens, and as Professor Carroll told Channel Four News: ‘Every voter has a right to see this.’ If Dominic Cummings gets his way, it is unlikely that voters will be able to assert any such right in future. For digital surveillance and voter manipulation specialists, ‘democracy dies in darkness’ is not so much a warning as an aspiration.”

    Johnson has allowed the Cummings wrecking ball to precipitate failure after failure until we barely have a functioning Government while the wanton plundering of public funds squandered has reached epidemic proportions without tackling or controlling the Covid 19 Pandemic! With the ongoing revelations regarding illegal use of data Cummings cannot remain in contempt of Parliament and must appear before DCMS. We have a perfect opportunity to put intense pressure on the PM to demand the removal of Cummings at the same time as Ferrier is expected to quit; we cannot allow more Tory exceptionalism and immunity from accountability. At the point where Cummings can no longer dictate to the PM, he might just blow the whistle in revenge, exposing crucial evidence that would overturn the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, force an Investigation of the Vote, drive the Tories out of office and hopefully see the PM and key politicians behind bars on corruption charges. Cummings is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61450 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    While, due to his unwavering dedication and stamina, readers of Craig Murray’s Blog have been kept reasonably well informed about the salient points pertaining to the Assange extradition hearing, a Canary Article has just filled in the gaps with an account of the extraordinary efforts taken to exclude external observation. The article entitled, “Journalism on trial: an eyewitness account of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing” truly puts our country to dire shame with regard to Human Rights and Justice denied. If a ‘Kangaroo Court’ of such extreme injustice succeeds in ramming through the extradition of Julian Assange this radically unlawful overreach of extensive US power will effectively have managed to set several other extremely dangerous precedents. Not only is Journalism itself on trail with freedom of the press in peril globally, Whistleblowers will be in mortal danger as their Human Rights being abolished, but also the UK Justice system will be so deeply corrupted that we will regress into a prior century of barbarism.

    The Canary start out by relaying the gist of what this crucial hearing is all about reporting that, “Throughout Septembe, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been the subject of a major extradition hearing in the Old Bailey Criminal Court, London. Assange is accused of violating the US Espionage Act on 17 counts and of one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime. This would be the first time that a US or extraterritorial publisher is indicted under the Espionage Act for the publication of official secrets. If extradited, and later convicted, Assange could serve up to 175 years in prison.” They reveal that, “The Canary was in the Old Bailey for the final days of the most important press freedom case in recent history” and describe the proceedings as, “the most closed open court imaginable” focusing the remainder of their shocking article on the exceptional lengths to which the Court System and the presiding Judge were prepared to go in order to hide this excessive injustice from public scrutiny.

    The Canary report that, “After two days in the public gallery of the Old Bailey, it was possible to compile a full page of concerns regarding access to the court. It was, without exaggeration, perhaps the most closed open court imaginable. The public gallery was in a courtroom adjacent to where the hearing was taking place. Only five people were permitted access, meaning the public was effectively removed from observing the proceedings.” This is not the first and it certainly won’t be the last time that the Pandemic is manipulated as an excuse to curtail civil liberties and promote injustice in a way that makes no logical sense. “The five-person limit was apparently due to coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions. For the most part, however, social distancing was not enforced once inside. In any case, the public gallery had 33 seats, making the limit of five seem needlessly restrictive and arbitrary.” They note other equally absurd restrictions: “No phone, no laptop, no water permitted inside, and nowhere inside the building to leave them.”

    The Canary revealed that, “This, however, was a drastic improvement on the first week of the hearing, during which only two people could access the public gallery. The remaining seats were for ‘VIPs’, whose identities were at the time unknown, and who never turned up. The seats were thus left vacant. The public gallery itself was farcical. The proceedings were shown on a small television screen mounted to a wall some 20 feet away. It was often difficult to tell who was speaking. The camera didn’t capture the entire court, so a large part of the room was out of shot. This included the thick glass box inside which Assange was sitting. For independent court monitors, this was particularly concerning given they were unable to tell whether Assange could adequately follow the proceedings. In a preliminary hearing in February, Assange had complained: ‘I am as much a participant in these proceedings as I am watching Wimbledon. I cannot meaningfully communicate with my lawyers’.”

    According to the Canary, “When Assange did appear on screen, he looked tired and dejected. For the past month, he has been woken up at 5am in his cell at Belmarsh maximum security prison. He’s then strip-searched and transported to the Old Bailey in a van, which his partner Stella Morris has described as an ‘upended coffin’.” Craig Murray has also remarked on what appeared to be a deliberate barrier to allowing Assange access to his Lawyers during the proceedings and his difficulty even hearing what was going on. On a couple of occasions Craig documented an outburst from Julian as he endured the torment of witnessing the injustice of the proceedings and the Judges biased rulings. He was threatened with removal, but his most notable outburst was when Judge Baraitser wanted to sideline the testimony of a torture victim. Assange, risking being removed from the Court, could not contain his outrage and blurted out, “I will not permit the testimony of a torture victim to be censored by this Court!”

    The Canary describe a litany of unnecessary impediments to basic observation of the hearing that collectively seem quite bizarre, “A television on wheels sat under the mounted television in the public gallery, but it was inexplicably never used to accommodate public viewing. Meanwhile, the audio was at times so poor or muffled that it was impossible to make out what was being said. This, again, was an improvement on weeks prior. Those who spent time in the public gallery during the first weeks of the hearing faced numerous obstacles to monitoring the case. These included bitter temperatures, a loud buzzing noise coming from an overhead light, and consistent technical difficulties. At times, the court’s security staff failed to inform those waiting outside that proceedings had begun, so the public gallery remained empty. This, of course, begs the question: if a limited selection of the public could watch the hearing via video link from inside the court, why couldn’t the wider public do so from outside?”

    The Canary document the exclusion and the ridiculous justifications given for such restrictions saying, “Magistrate judge Vanessa Baraitser objected to remote viewing ‘in the interests of justice’ since, unlike in a court, she could not control the behaviour of outside observers. This has no basis in reality: the behaviour of those remote to the court would have precisely zero impact on events inside the court.” Even more concerning they report that, “Just as the public was arbitrarily shut out, Baraitser also revoked remote access for some 40 legal observers including representatives from Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders. Remote access, claimed Baraitser on the first day of the hearing, would compromise ‘the integrity of the court’; it had been granted ‘in error’.” I have to wonder if such a ruling would ever have been made in any case in the recent past as this could mark another dangerous precedent in the disgraceful erosion of British Justice.

    The Canary say, “Reflecting on these conditions, Rebecca Vincent of Reporters Without Borders declared: I am not exaggerating when I say I have felt more welcome, respected, and able to do my job as an NGO observer in more professional conditions at a prison campus in Turkey than I have at Woolwich Crown Court or the Old Bailey Court in London. I am embarrassed for my country. Vincent later told The Canary: This case has been by far the most difficult to monitor of any case that I’ve ever monitored in any country… Ultimately it started with the judge refusing to recognise or accommodate the role of professional NGO observers as any different from the public. From the start, we were left to compete for extremely few places in the public gallery. If democracy has to be seen to be demonstrated, we are in a very sorry, worrying place indeed. In the words of John Pilger, what happened in the Old Bailey over the past month was not an example of due process – it was ‘due revenge’.”

    The Canary report, “On the morning of 30 September, the court heard that US officials considered ‘kidnapping or even poisoning’ Assange while he was stationed in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It also heard that privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers were spied on by UC Global. UC Global is a private Spanish security firm which collaborated with US intelligence services. In any normal hearing, this could have sufficed to have the case thrown out. When Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, CIA agents broke into his psychiatrist’s office and stole privileged files. They did this in the hope of finding information they could use against Ellsberg. Once this was known, Ellsberg’s case was thrown out of court. However, evidence of individuals plotting to poison or kidnap Assange was read into the hearing as if the case revolved around a parking ticket. There was no cross-examination of witnesses nor testing of the evidence. It simply dissolved into thin air.”

    Reporting on one of the most shocking revelations exposed during the hearing the Canary journalist was stunned by how it was received by the Judge. They note that, “Former consul to the Ecuadorian embassy in London Fidel Narvaez spoke with The Canary about the evidence of spying: This invalidates any judicial case, because there is no way that a person who was being spied on in his private conversations with his lawyers – talking about his legal strategies, documentation from the lawyers were stolen, their electronic devices were spied on – there’s no way that Julian Assange is going to have a just case in the United States. So that should be enough reason not to extradite him.” Even if the Judge rules in favour of extradition this could and certainly should be blocked by our Home Secretary on these grounds, but right now that duty remains in the hands of rabid Tory Priti Patel who will undoubtedly seek to support the US Military Industrial complex: Assange desperately needs our protests!

    The Canary describe, “A chillingly casual conclusion,” saying, “Over the final days of the hearing, the defence also noted the public importance of WikiLeaks revelations of torture in Guantanamo Bay and extrajudicial drone strike killings in Pakistan. In the face of overwhelming documentation of official crimes and wrongdoing, the judge plainly looked bored. Other witness testimonies, which might have taken a day of examination, were rushed through in less than half an hour. Noam Chomsky’s historic testimony was delivered, without discussion, in just four minutes.” Craig Murray has printed Chomsky’s witness statement in its entirety as part of his daily reporting of this case on Day 21. The Canary remark on the attitude of the Judge, “Is there anything else I need to receive or hear about?’, Baraitser asked on the afternoon of Thursday 1 October. She appeared eager to wrap the whole thing up.”

    The Canary report that, “The defence requested time before issuing closing statements, partly because it remained unclear – after four weeks of proceedings – what the full nature of the charges against Assange were. At the eleventh hour before the hearing began, the prosecution had issued a second superseding indictment, for which the defence was given no time to prepare. Court adjourned at 4:25pm, less than two hours after opening. It was a chillingly casual conclusion to a case of such magnitude.” These superseding indictments were an intentional attempt to torpedo the case as is painfully apparent from reading Craig Murray’s account of the proceedings. The Canary note that, “It is ironic that the court seemed to go to such lengths to prevent public access, given the corporate media barely seemed to care about the case anyway. The lack of media presence both outside and inside the Old Bailey was remarkable. The press annex was not at capacity – at times, it was half-empty.”

    The Canary single out one paper for additional criticism saying, “The Guardian requires particular scrutiny given the prosecution has relied on past statements of former and current Guardian employees as evidence for extradition. Throughout September, the Guardian published just 11 articles on the Assange extradition hearing. During July, the Guardian published 33 articles on Johnny Depp’s libel case – more than one per day. Showbiz, it seems, is three times more important than the fate of journalism itself. Alan MacLeod, writing for FAIR, said the Times, Le Monde, CNN, CBS, AP, AFP, and MSNBC also offered meagre coverage of Assange’s hearing. Journalist Glenn Greenwald concurred that: media outlets, including by the way the Intercept, have completely ignored these proceedings… Basically, we’re relying on kind of independent bloggers to do it.”

    The BBC were equally derelict in their duty to inform the public. The Canary say, “Meanwhile, Daniel Sandford, the BBC’s home affairs correspondent, suggested on Twitter that he found the hearing tedious. On 29 September, he claimed that “I have been in a few hearings, and it is slightly repetitive at the moment”: It’s a pity this BBC correspondent grew tired of observing a foreign power persecute a UK-based journalist for revealing war crimes. Indeed, the BBC News Twitter account has not bothered to mention Assange since 7 September – the first day of the hearing. Vincent responded frankly to Sandford: I find this disappointing, Daniel. Repetitive or not, the public needs to know what is happening in these proceedings.”

    The Canary offer a pertinent quote from the author of this site, “Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, concluded that: ‘The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population’.”

    The Canary describe how, “The process is the punishment,” saying, “Whether Assange is extradited or not (and it’s crucial to the future of journalism that he isn’t), his treatment over the past decade – at the hands of the UK, US, Swedish, and Ecuadorian governments – will have a chilling effect on journalism. Assange has suffered solitary confinement, degrading treatment and, according to UN expert on torture Nils Melzer, psychological torture. All without being convicted of any crime. Journalists in possession of US classified documents may look to Assange and worry that their lives will be destroyed should they reveal information that is clearly in the public interest.The process, in other words, is the punishment. Even if Assange wins his battle against extradition, he has already lost many years of his life to arbitrary, cynical punishment.”

    “As clinical psychiatrist Lissa Johnson told The Canary: ‘Julian Assange’s extradition hearing has served as a vehicle through which to extend and exacerbate his psychological torture, through abuse of his fundamental human rights. That abuse has been so significant that the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute has issued a statement saying that Julian Assange’s treatment has been reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal’.” The Canary insists that, “The fight must continue,” They report that, “The judge will make her decision on 4 January 2021. It’s a verdict which will have tremendous and historic ramifications for the future of journalism. As WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson announced outside the Old Bailey: we cannot change the past, but we need the truth about the past. And we can also change the fate of Julian Assange. The fight must continue – first for Assange’s freedom, and then for prosecuting the criminals that he exposed.”

    In his most recent Blog post on, “How a police state starts,” Craig Murray documents the latest repression to quell protest over the Julian Assange case. He writes that, “On Saturday a small, socially distanced vigil of 18 people for Julian Assange at Piccadilly Circus was broken up by twice that number of police and one elderly man arrested and taken into custody. The little group of activists have been holding the vigil every week. I had just arrived to thank them and was astonished to see eight police vans and this utterly unnecessary police action. There could not be a clearer example of ‘Covid legislation’ being used to crack down on unrelated, entirely peaceful political dissent.” Craig was questioned by police and later on he was disturbed in his hotel room in the middle of the night by someone he did not recognize as one of the hotel staff asking him when he was leaving; an inexplicable intrusion that he believes was unjustified harassment connected to the details he gave to police.

    Consortium News have posted the Video of the RT interview with John Pilger entitled, “The Hell That WikiLeaks Exposed Is Now Being Imposed on Assange.” John Pilger, the legendary journalist and filmmaker, who attended the Assange hearing, spoke to Afshin Rattansi on the RT show “Going Underground.” A Consortium News Interview with John Pilger entitled, “Eyewitness to the Agony of Julian Assange,” the veteran Investigative Journalist exposes the ill treatment of Assange here in the UK. They say, “John Pilger has watched Julian Assange’s extradition trial from the public gallery at London’s Old Bailey. He spoke with Timothy Erik Ström of Arena magazine, Australia.” Ström asks, “Having watched Julian Assange’s trial firsthand, can you describe the prevailing atmosphere in the court?”

    Pilger replies, “The prevailing atmosphere has been shocking. I say that without hesitation; I have sat in many courts and seldom known such a corruption of due process; this is due revenge. Putting aside the ritual associated with ‘British justice’, at times it has been evocative of a Stalinist show trial. One difference is that in the show trials, the defendant stood in the court proper. In the Assange trial, the defendant was caged behind thick glass, and had to crawl on his knees to a slit in the glass, overseen by his guard, to make contact with his lawyers. His message, whispered barely audibly through face masks, WAS then passed by post-it the length of the court to where his barristers were arguing the case against his extradition to an American hellhole. Consider this daily routine of Julian Assange, an Australian on trial for truth-telling journalism. He was woken at five o’clock in his cell at Belmarsh prison in the bleak southern sprawl of London.”

    Pilger continues, “The first time I saw Julian in Belmarsh, having passed through half an hour of ‘security’ checks, including a dog’s snout in my rear, I found a painfully thin figure sitting alone wearing a yellow armband. He had lost more than 10 kilos in a matter of months; his arms had no muscle. His first words were: ‘I think I am losing my mind’. I tried to assure him he wasn’t. His resilience and courage are formidable, but there is a limit. That was more than a year ago. In the past three weeks, in the pre-dawn, he was strip-searched, shackled, and prepared for transport to the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, in a truck that his partner, Stella Moris, described as an upended coffin. It had one small window; he had to stand precariously to look out. The truck and its guards were operated by Serco, one of many politically connected companies that run much of Boris Johnson’s Britain. The journey to the Old Bailey took at least an hour and a half. That’s a minimum of three hours being jolted through snail-like traffic every day.”

    Pilger describes how, “He was led into his narrow cage at the back of the court, then look up, blinking, trying to make out faces in the public gallery through the reflection of the glass. He saw the courtly figure of his dad, John Shipton, and me, and our fists went up. Through the glass, he reached out to touch fingers with Stella, who is a lawyer and seated in the body of the court. We were here for the ultimate of what the philosopher Guy Debord called The Society of the Spectacle: a man fighting for his life. Yet his crime is to have performed an epic public service: revealing that which we have a right to know: the lies of our governments and the crimes they commit in our name. His creation of WikiLeaks and its failsafe protection of sources revolutionised journalism, restoring it to the vision of its idealists. Edmund Burke’s notion of free journalism as a fourth estate is now a fifth estate that shines a light on those who diminish the very meaning of democracy with their criminal secrecy. That’s why his punishment is so extreme.”

    Pilger continued, “The sheer bias in the courts I have sat in this year and last year, with Julian in the dock, blight any notion of British justice. When thuggish police dragged him from his asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy—look closely at the photo and you’ll see he is clutching a Gore Vidal book; Assange has a political humour similar to Vidal’s—a judge gave him an outrageous 50-week sentence in a maximum-security prison for mere bail infringement. For months, he was denied exercise and held in solitary confinement disguised as ‘heath care’. He once told me he strode the length of his cell, back and forth, back and forth, for his own half-marathon. In the next cell, the occupant screamed through the night. At first he was denied his reading glasses, left behind in the embassy brutality.” He said, “Books sent to him by a friend, the journalist Charles Glass, himself a survivor of hostage-taking in Beirut, were returned.” He added, “The governor of Belmarsh has been awarded the Order of the British Empire.”

    Consortium News report that, “There are few records of the proceedings. They are: Craig Murray’s personal blog, Joe Lauria’s live reporting on Consortium News, and the World Socialist Website. American journalist Kevin Gosztola’s blog, Shadowproof, funded mostly by himself, has reported more of the trial than the major US press and TV, including CNN, combined.” Pilger commented that, “The dissident artist Ai Weiwei came to join us one morning in the public gallery. He noted that in China the judge’s decision would already have been made. This caused some dark ironic amusement. My companion in the gallery, the astute diarist and former British ambassador Craig Murray wrote: ‘I fear that all over London a very hard rain is now falling on those who for a lifetime have worked within institutions of liberal democracy that at least broadly and usually used to operate within the governance of their own professed principles.”

    Of the trial Murray wrote, “It has been clear to me from Day 1 that I am watching a charade unfold. It is not in the least a shock to me that Baraitser does not think anything beyond the written opening arguments has any effect. I have again and again reported to you that, where rulings have to be made, she has brought them into court pre-written, before hearing the arguments before her. I strongly expect the final decision was made in this case even before opening arguments were received. The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population.”

    It is our duty to ‘megaphone’ the truth of this grotesque that the state wants to keep under wraps. There was sound reasoning behind Assange risking being thrown out of Court for his impactful outburst, “I will not permit the testimony of a torture victim to be censored by this Court!” Assange knew that if Judge Baraitser removed him from the Court it would create an ‘incident’ and that stark punctuation within the proceedings would at least be noted by the appallingly apathetic press. Julian picked his battle wisely because his knew that the sidelining of testimony from a torture victim epitomized the cruellest injustice secretly perpetrated by the US and the most vital mission of WikiLeaks to expose the horrific truth. Assange was not prepared to ignore the evidence of US extraordinary rendition, torture and casual slaughter of innocent civilians go unreported and he will pay a massive price for his Journalistic courage in this British Kangaroo Court and in an American Supermax jail if he is unjustly extradited to the US!

    I have said this before and feel compelled to repeat it yet again here, as strongly as we all feel about this case it remains one of the collective injustices perpetrated by a thoroughly corrupt Tory Government that seized power in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election.
    We cannot give up the fight as too much is at stake, including the fate of Julian Assange that would have been radically different under a Corbyn led Government; I worry that Keir Starmer would readily do the US bidding. Within Craig Murray’s coverage of the extradition hearing, I was interested to read about secure drop boxes for Whistleblowers as used by many Journalistic outlets as I now think it would be worth setting up a secure drop box dedicated to exposing Tory Government leaks on the rigged vote and the relentless massive misappropriation of public funds. Anyone who knows how to do this and can rope in an Investigative Journalist in case evidence is forthcoming, please elaborate on how this is accomplished and who might be interested in getting involved.

    We cannot allow Covid 19 restrictions to extinguish all protest; we must be creative and find another way. I have suggested weekly noise making protests outside our homes confined to our groups of six or less in a similar way to the way in which “Clap for Carers” captured the imagination and frustration of the entire nation. A ‘Sound of Saturday at Six’ protest would not violate any restrictions or risk arrest plus people could video their demo to post online. If we can prove the Covert 2019 Rigged Election was corrupt and an Investigation proves that the result invalid, we would have more cause to appeal to the EU for intervention than Belarus! As a former Whistleblower myself Julian’s fate is one of the many things I care passionately about, but I fear that none of our most serious concerns will have a just outcome without removing this Tory Government from office. We on a dangerous path to Dictatorship; I feel powerless to help Julian Assange in any other way than my efforts to dislodge this corrupt Tory Government.

    #61471 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    The Assange hearing will not be decided until after the New Year, but in the interim we must keep it in the news. In our desire to get the virtually unreported real news right out there in the public domain we should look to unlikely advocates of our cause and a broader range of publications, but why? We must go beyond ‘preaching to the choir’ when trying to convert others to a progressive way of thinking. The controversial issue of the Assange extradition is just one example. In a Tweet that Peter Hitchens posted over a year ago he wrote, “I’d be ashamed if I did not protest against the imprisonment of Julian Assange, who for all his faults is not a violent criminal, in Maximum Security Belmarsh Prison.” Why is Hitchens intervention so important? Because when you are talking to someone of a different mindset who is not so supportive, being able to name drop someone who is definitely not an avowed ‘leftie’ and an article printed in a paper they routinely turn to for an often warped perspective on ‘the news’ is rather useful.

    Peter Hitchens wrote interesting Mail Online Article on Julian Assange entitled, “My defence of Julian Assange – a man I abhor.” He admits to disliking him, “yet he argues extraditing the WikiLeaks boss to the US violates British sovereignty, threatens press freedom and is nothing less than a politically motivated kidnap.” After saying, “I can’t stand Julian Assange. He is almost everything I do not like. I doubt we would get along if we spent an evening together…” he is adamant that, “I am wholly, furiously against the attempt by the United States government to extradite Mr Assange from this country, now under way at the Old Bailey. I think it is wrong in principle. I think it is clearly a political case and should be rejected on those grounds alone, if there were no others available.” While Mail Online has a slightly different outlook from the tabloid Daily Mail they are still in the same general camp.

    Another unlikely outlet to focus on the Assange saga was tech magazine Computer Weekly who featured UC Global’s spying, but Julian Assange revolutionized the interface between IT and Journalism. In a Computer Weekly Article entitled, “FBI seized ‘legally privileged’ material from Ecuador Embassy, claims Julian Assange’s lawyer,” Bill Goodwin reveal how, “The US struck a secret deal with Ecuador to seize WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s property from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London days before his arrest. The haul included legally privileged documents, says his solicitor.” Goodwin reports that, “The US struck a secret deal to seize computers and documents, including legally privileged files, belonging to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange days before he was evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy. Three days before Assange’s arrest on 11 April 2019, the Office of International Affairs asked Ecuador to seize all evidence from the embassy and hand it over to a UK-based FBI officer to transfer to the US.”

    Goodwin reports that, “The disclosure follows evidence that legal meetings between Assange and his London-based solicitor, Gareth Peirce, who represented him in the extradition hearings last week, were secretly placed under surveillance. Assange’s defence lawyers argue that the seizure of legally privileged communications from the embassy are an abuse of the legal process. This ‘constitutes the most serious breach of one of the most fundamental safeguards known to the common law’, they argue in written submissions. The US Department of Justice sent a ‘highly confidential’ request to Ecuador in anticipation of Assange’s imminent arrest, according to evidence disclosed last week. The request dated 8 April 2019 required Ecuador to seize Assange’s files and property from the embassy and that “these evidences be handed over to a representative of the UK FBI to hand over the property to the USA”.

    Looking at the time line Goodwin says that, “Assange was ousted from the embassy and arrested three days later after the president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, withdrew asylum status from Assange. The rooms in the embassy were sealed and staff told to stay away for a week, but it later emerged that the seals had been broken and replaced with seals marked ‘for judicial purpose’, according to Peirce’s witness statement. Security guards were able to access the rooms, and a consul official took an inventory of items in each room of the embassy, which has not been disclosed to Assange’s lawyers, she said. An Ecuadorian intelligence agent and an embassy official sent USB sticks found in the embassy by diplomatic pouch to Ecuador. When Assange’s solicitors, Birnberg Peirce, collected Assange’s possessions over a month later, they found all the legally privileged material missing apart from two volumes of supreme court documents and several pages of loose documents.”

    According to Goodwin, “The missing items included a plastic bag of ‘legal documents’ dated between 2008 and 2010 and documents marked ‘legally privileged’ that were identified in a press photograph released by the Ecuadorian government. Carlos Poveda, a lawyer representing Assange in Ecuador, attempted to recover the documents from the Ecuadorian authorities in December 2019. He was allowed to inspect five files, each containing 100 pages, which were said to be a record of the items taken from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Photographs in the files showed that the seals placed on the door to the front room of the embassy, which was used by Assange, and the computer room, had already been broken. Other photographs showed folders, portfolios and notebooks, some clearly marked ‘WGAD (UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention)’, ‘Pompeo’ [the US secretary of state]’ and ‘legal planning’ had gone missing.”

    Goodwin Reports that, “Proveda was told that that the material was the subject of a mutual legal assistance request from the US and that no copies of the material would be kept by Ecuador once the documents had been sent to the US. US prosecutors argue that any legally privileged material in its possession would be the subject of review by a ‘taint team’ and would be excised by the prosecution before a trial. The UK government said in legal submissions that The United States Code of Federal Regulations ‘require the [US] government to employ specific safeguards to protect the attorney-client privilege and to ensure that the investigation is not compromised by exposure to privileged material relating to the investigation or to defense strategy’.”

    Goodwin says that, “According to Peirce’s written evidence submitted to the court, the private company responsible for security at the embassy, UC Global, secretly recorded legally privileged meetings between Assange and his legal advisors. On one occasion, photographs were taken of a file belonging to Assange’s Spanish lawyer, Aitior Martinez, when he left the room for a private consultation. UC Global security staff replaced CCTC cameras in the embassy with cameras capable of recording conversations Anonymous witness statements by two former UC Global employees claim that the senior Spanish lawyer representing Assange, Baltasar Garzón, was followed and photographed and that his offices were burgled after the idea was mentioned by David Morales who ran UC Global.”

    Goodwin claims that, “Potentially more significantly for the London extradition case, UC Global allegedly surveilled meetings between Assange and his solicitor Gareth Peirce on 6 December 2017, 19 December 2017 and 14 January 2018. Peirce said she had seen surveillance material related to the meetings but disclosed no further details in her evidence. UC Global replaced CCTV cameras in the embassy with cameras that could record audio in late 2017 (see video below). Footage seen by Computer Weekly shows that on 14 January 2018, Peirce was recorded on CCTV surveillance accompanying Assange’s Spanish lawyer. They were seen walking through the kitchen area of the embassy, apparently heading in the direction of the ladies’ bathroom – one area in the embassy that Assange believed was unlikely to be bugged. There is no sound on the footage.”

    “Peirce said in her witness statement that she was wholly unaware of the surveillance at the time. ‘I do not comment here upon my own reactions to the discovery, but comment only generally that there has prevailed, as a consequence, an exceptionally high level of anxiety and fear that legal interviews with Mr Assange are continuing to be monitored,’ she said in the statement.” Goodwin writes, “The surveillance has had a chilling effect on the ability of Assange’s legal team to prepare for the extradition proceedings. ‘This fear, triggered by the clear evidence that had been taking place over a number of years, has had a chilling effect upon preparation for these extradition proceedings,’ she said. Spain’s national court in Madrid is investigating allegations that UC Global founder Morales had a side deal to supply surveillance material from the embassy to ‘American friends,’ alleged by two former UC Global employees to have links with US intelligence, following a criminal complaint filed by Assange’s Spanish lawyers in July 2019.”

    The article includes a Video produced by Computer Weekly managing editor (technology) Cliff Saran. Goodwin reports that, “UK prosecution lawyers argue that the surveillance allegations are “wholly irrelevant” to the case. The charges against Assange relate to events between 2009 and 2011 – five years before surveillance took place, and therefore have no impact on the case against Assange. They said in written submissions that there is ‘nothing in the defense case to show any privileged materials gathered in the embassy are deployed against Assange in his extradition’.”

    Goodwinn reports that, “Peirce said in her written evidence that the US seizure of legally privileged evidence from the embassy had made it difficult for Assange to reconstruct the activities of WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011 the general timeframe of allegations filed by the US. Had Assange been notified in 2011 of the allegations against him and his extradition, she said, he would have had access to computer records, phone records and communications with WikiLeaks partners, and those of his immediate associations, over the history of control and access to encrypted data. ‘Almost none of that data is now available,’ she stated. Peirce said some of Assange’s closest advisors have died, including Michael Ratner, president of the US Centre for Constitutional Rights, barrister John Jones QC and Gavin McFadyen, a respected figure of huge importance to both WikiLeaks and Assange. Without access to the records in the embassy, Assange has been unable to reconstruct records of his conversations with them, she said.”

    Reverting to the timeline, Goodwin says, “Belmarsh Prison only agreed to allow Assange to view electronic material provided by his lawyers on a computer in January this year, Peirce states in evidence. The prison apologised that it had misunderstood Assange’s needs, following requests for assistance over the previous six months. The US Department of Justice has not suggested it will return that material “even though attention has been drawn to the existence of recordings that could play an evidential part in the extradition hearing”, said Peirce. US prosecutor Gordon Kromberg said in a witness statement that ‘no privileged communications will be used against Assange in criminal proceedings’. He said that if the fruits of any surveillance in the embassy exist, they will not be reviewed or used by prosecutors and that any use of privileged materials against Assange would be barred by US law.”

    The Computer Weekly Article includes a detailed Timeline of events headed, “How the US obtained Julian Assange’s possessions from the Ecuadorian Embassy:”
    “19 June 2012: Assange takes refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge, London.
    July 2012: Assange appoints Spanish lawyer Barlatsar Garzón to coordinate his legal advice from lawyers in multiple countries.
    18 August 2012: Ecuador offers asylum to Assange.
    2015: UC Global, a company with headquarters in Spain, is appointed to provide security services to the Ecuadorian Embassy by the Ecuadorian government.
    6 December 2017: A meeting between Assange and his solicitor Gareth Peirce is subject to surveillance.
    19 December 2017: Another meeting between Assange and his solicitor Gareth Peirce is subject to surveillance.
    21 December 2017: Assange meets the head of the Ecuadorian intelligence agency, Senain, Rommy Vallejo. They discuss a plan to help Assange escape from the embassy by giving Assange diplomatic status. Assange and Vallejo speak quietly while Assange activates a white noise generator to make it difficult to record the meeting. UC Global staff listen to the meeting at the door.
    22 December 2017: The US issues an international arrest warrant against Assange.
    14 January 2018: A meeting between Assange and his solicitor Gareth Peirce is subject to surveillance.
    20 October 2018: Photographs are taken of Assange’s Spanish lawyer Aitor Martinez’s file when he leaves the room for a private consultation. The incident occurred when Assange gave evidence by video link to an Ecuadorian court for a protective order against the actions of Ecuador and the US.
    8 April 2019: The US Department of Justice informs Ecuador that it anticipated that Assange would be arrested imminently. It requests that Ecuador seized Assange’s property and that ‘these evidences be handed over to a representative of the UK FBI to hand over the property to the USA’. A document headed “Highly Confidential from the Deputy Director’s Office of International Affairs” gives directions on preserving evidence and for it to be handed to the FBI in the UK for delivery to the US.
    11 April 2019: Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno withdraws asylum status from Assange. Assange is removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy and arrested.
    11 April 2019: Assange’s solicitor, Gareth Peirce, makes repeated requests to the Ecuadorian Embassy to recover legally privileged material left in the building. The Embassy does not respond.
    17 April 2019: The Ecuadorian prosecutor formally requests authorisation to access the embassy and seize evidence. According to an Ecuadorian inventory, the evidence seized includes a “plastic bag with legal documents from 2010 to 2018”.
    9 May 2019: The UN special rapporteur on privacy writes to the Ecuadorian authorities requesting to be present to monitor the requested seizure of property from the embassy, but is refused.
    20 May 2019: The Australian Consulate is informed that a judicial request had been received to transfer Assange’s property to Ecuador.
    Assange’s solicitors, Birnberg Peirce, later collect Assange’s possessions and find that all legally privileged material is missing apart from two volumes of Supreme Court documents and several pages of loose documents.
    Photographs released to the press show files and other material marked legally privileged which were not given to Birnberg Peirce.
    20 May 2019: A former employee of UC Global emails lawyer Aitor Martinez, who worked at Barlatsar Garzón’s law firm, claiming to have information on UG Global. In subsequent meetings, two former employees disclose evidence of illegal surveillance conducted in the embassy and hand over a large volume of emails, video and audio recordings, documents and files.
    12 June 2019: Material seized from the Ecuadorian Embassy is transferred to Ecuador.
    5 July 2019: Two former UC Global employees give witness statements before a notary alleging surveillance in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
    29 July 2019: Baltasar Garzón’s law firm files a legal complaint in Spain against David Morales, owner of UC Global, alleging breaches of privacy, breaches of attorney-client communications and money laundering. UC Global is accused of criminal breaches of privacy and breaches of attorney-client communications.
    7 August 2019: The Spanish court begins an investigation into allegations of illegal surveillance by UC Global.
    17 September 2019: David Morales is arrested and his home and the headquarters of UC Global searched.
    16 December 2019: Assange’s lawyer in Ecuador Carlos Poveda inspects five files, containing 100 pages, said to be a record of what had been taken from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to Ecuador.
    Photographs in the file show that the seals had already been broken in the front room of the embassy, where Assange stayed, and the computer room. The photographs show folders, files and notebooks, some of which are clearly marked ‘Pompeo”, ‘WGDA (UN Working group on Arbitary Detention)’ and ‘legal planning’.
    Poveda is informed that the material is the subject of a mutual legal assistance request from the US, and that no copies of the material will be kept by Ecuador once it is sent to the US.
    Poveda makes an application to the Ecuadorian court to prevent the transfer of the data, raising the issue of legally privileged material.
    Poveda asks for a copy of the list to be made available for extradition proceedings in London, which was refused.
    January 2020: Belmarsh Prison agrees to allow Assange to view material provided by his lawyers on a hard disk, on a computer, following requests over the previous six months. Belmarsh apologises that it has misunderstood Assange’s needs.”

    Goodwin states that his source is: “Witness statements from solicitor Gareth Peirce and Computer Weekly research.”

    As pointed out earlier, “Julian Assange revolutionized the interface between IT and Journalism;” now many News outlets host a ‘secure drop box’ dedicated to receiving leaked or even highly classified information. Whistleblowers have a safe place to expose the information our Governments would rather we did not see or know about. The Assange verdict could put all of that in jepody with a threat from US overreach that other countries will eagerly emulate. We need Whistleblowers to expose the corruption that stole the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, reveal the illegal data mining that fuelled the weapons grade PsyOps that warped that vote and Brexit so that both are discredited, Investigated and invalidated. We should establish a secure drop box and find a professional Investigative Journalist to work with us because until this Tory Government is removed from office there will be repeated injustices, blatant squandering of public funds and dangerous policy making as Johnson/Cummings continue their ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple.” DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61495 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    An Article in the Wire caught my attention, “To Preserve ‘the Human Experiment’, a Global Coalition of Progressive Forces Takes Shape.” Not a second too soon I say… So what was this all about? It said that, “At the Progressive International 2020 Summit, intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and Yanis Varoufakis laid out the threats posed by free-market fundamentalism, climate catastrophe and rising authoritarianism.” I find this group of individuals truly inspirational so, at this time a crisis, as rabid authoritarian regimes seem set to dominate our future with austerity, exploitation and oppression, hearing about this summit was like a shining ray of hope piercing the smothering blanket of doom. We do not just need to expose the truth about the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and remove this Tory Government from office; we need a viable progressive opposition which is being stifled out of existence by Starmer because the neocon elite are determined to convince us that, no, we really don’t want a progressive agenda.

    Hard Right regimes are solidifying their control; only a consolidated global effort will establish viable alternatives. The Wire report, “At the time of its launch in May this year, the Progressive International (PI) had scheduled its inaugural summit for September 2020 at Reykjavik, where Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir had offered to host it. The COVID-19 pandemic obliged the organisers to shelve that plan, however, and they settled for a virtual summit instead, which took place over the September 18-20 weekend. The summit brought together some of the most prominent public intellectuals, academics and activists of our time and deliberated over three broad themes: recognising the serious threats to ‘the human experiment’ posed by an evil triad of free-market fundamentalism, climate catastrophe, and rising authoritarianism; the need for a worldwide coalition of progressive forces to fight this triple menace; and the shape of a just society of free human beings which only can preserve the human experiment.”

    Describing the event the Wire say, “Three keynote addresses – by Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis and Naomi Klein respectively – foregrounded these themes. Lively panel discussions – in which Cornel West, Aruna Roy, John McDonnell, Nanjala Nyabola, Vijay Prashad, Carola Rackete, Ece Temelkuran and others participated – grew around these talks to bring new perspectives to bear on these themes. Over half a million viewers from across the world logged in to be part of the summit. Speaking for myself, it was a greatly enriching experience. Also deeply inspiring, for one realised that even as some of us have begun to think of the dream of a sane and just world as an idle one, there are a great many capable people around the globe who are committed to making that dream come true.”

    The Wire report that, “The PI took shape out of an open call given in December 2018 by the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) and the Sanders Institute to all the world’s progressives – individuals as well as collectives – to unite in a common transnational front to fight for radical democracy and social and economic justice. Set up in 2016, DiEM25 is a pan-European political movement for reforming the institutions of the European Union with a view to creating an egalitarian post-capitalist society. Its founders are Yanis Varoufakis, Greek economist-politician, and Srecko Horbat, Croatian philosopher.” The Sanders Institute is a non-profit think-tank established by members of the Bernie Sanders family. I have been receiving emails from DiEM25 for some time and I was not surprised to see Sanders name attached to it, his brother is a fellow Green Party member and friend of mine, but it is hard to imagine our wretched future here in the UK after the Johnson/Cummings cabal achieve their crash-out Brexit.

    There are growing concerns that the upcoming US Election is being rigged through mass disenfranchisement, but in reality a Biden win would deliver a continuity of neoliberal policies and block all of the basic needs ordinary US Citizens are crying out for. Sanders was out manoeuvred by the DNC and cheated out of the Democratic nomination yet again. There is a concerted attempt to bury all of the Socialist policies of Bernie Sanders and the progressive left by insisting they are too radical; I fear big money will continue to corrupt politics even if Biden, who I absolutely detest, made it to the White House. The Wire describes the need, “To counter anti-democratic forces” saying, “The call was premised on the understanding that the forces arrayed against democracy and justice had already forged an (informal) alliance among themselves. The years following that call – 2019 and 2020 – have shown why such a common international front against exploitative and authoritarian national governments is the crying need of our time.”

    To elaborate the Wire contend that, “This period saw stirring mass protest movements sweep over many parts of the world: Delhi to Paris to Beirut to Portland (Oregon) to Santiago. And yet these movements seldom achieved their full objectives, thanks to a strong push-back from the regimes in power in the countries concerned. The anti-Muslim riots of February 2020 in Delhi are a case in point. Instigated, if not actually organised, by the Hindutva ecosystem of which the Indian government is a part, these riots were clearly designed to suppress wide-spread protests against the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). And though there is strong resentment against the government’s hounding of the activists resisting the CAA, it is undeniable that the protests have been stymied for now. Clearly, the Indian government felt greatly emboldened by the anti-democratic political culture that has taken hold of many countries around the world.”

    The Wire explain, “The lesson here seems to be that social and political movements challenging the establishment must no longer remain isolated ‘national’ episodes; that they need to reach out to other progressive movements in other geographies, pooling experiences and resources, confronting what Noam Chomsky calls the ‘Reactionary International’ with a truly international comity of progressive collectives. (The crises they contend with – climate catastrophe, threat of war and deteriorating democracy – are also all international issues.) It is in this spirit of solidarity that the PI has been conceived as a worldwide coalition of disparate social and political movements aiming ‘to build a shared vision of democracy, solidarity and sustainability’. It was felt that the whole diversity of collectives we see in our lives today – trade unions, green initiatives, gender-equality advocacies, rights activists, other social movements, and of course political parties – needs to be represented in the coalition.”

    The Wire say that, “Building such a coalition is no doubt a high ambition, but no higher, PI’s founders believe, than the present crisis demands. Given this background, it is not difficult to see why the battle-cry the PI has settled on is ‘Internationalism or extinction’. Noam Chomsky’s keynote speech dwelt on this theme at some length. ‘We are meeting’, he said, ‘at a moment of confluence of crises of extraordinary severity, with the fate of the human experiment quite literally at stake’. He pointed out how the US and the UK, both great powers, have not only rejected international law and international conventions, but are also actively undermining the international order by abandoning the Paris climate accord and the Iran deal (the US) and the European Union (the UK).” While people were correct to point out that there are serious flaws within the governance of the EU we were in a position to alter or abandon those defects without Brexit, but we no longer have a say and we will soon lose EU protections.

    The Wire report that in Chomsky’s speech he had, “Starkly, he reminded us that (t)he hands of the Doomsday Clock were first set shortly after the atomic bombs were used in a paroxysm of needless slaughter… Every year that [US President Donald] Trump has been in office, the hands have been moved closer to midnight. Two years ago they reached the closest they have ever been. Last January, the analysts abandoned minutes, turning to seconds: 100 seconds to midnight. They cited the growing threats of nuclear war and of environmental catastrophe, and the deterioration of democracy.” Donald Trump is volatile, unpredictable and warped by personal ego and vengeance, but Biden will usher in another group of war mongers just as Obama installed Clinton, plus he has not committed to banning fracking worried about losing one sector of votes, but eager to disown the progressives. I see no real change of direction unless he too caught Covid and by some miracle Sanders took his rightful place as the Democratic contender.

    Staying with Chomsky the Wire say that, “Trump has been pushing relentlessly for war with Iran, a reckless adventure with likely calamitous consequences. The Middle East remains a tinderbox even otherwise, and warmongers like Benjamin Netanyahu can start a conflagration at any time. Chomsky said Trump has continued his demolition of the arms control regime …. while also pursuing development of new and even more dangerous weapons….In his dedicated commitment to destroy the environment that sustains life, Trump has opened up vast new areas for drilling, including the last great nature reserve. Meanwhile, his minions are systematically dismantling the regulatory system that somehow mitigates the destructive impact of fossil fuel use,….(their policies being) doubly murderous in the course of a severe respiratory epidemic.”

    He continues with, “Chomsky believes that though COVID-19 is exacting a terrible cost from humanity, eventually there will be some kind of recovery from the pandemic. ‘We will not, however, recover from the melting of the polar icecaps, or the exploding rate of arctic fires that are releasing enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere…’. It doesn’t help that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has actively encouraged the destruction of the Amazon rain forests, or that Narendra Modi has recently notified an environment impact assessment that, when written into existing legislation, will open the door to all manner of environmental abuse. These countries have also handled the pandemic poorly – proving to be ‘utter disasters, notably the US, followed by Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Modi’s India’. There is a Link to a related Wire Article on Modi entitled, Also Read: Why Modi Will Prefer a Trumpian World Order, Rather Than a Biden-Harris Presidency.”

    The Wire continues, “Indeed, Chomsky talks about two radically opposite perspectives on the crises confronting humankind today. The first is “taking shape under the leadership of Trump’s White House, a ‘Reactionary International’ comprising the world’s reactionary states”. (Besides the US, he mentions Brazil, Egypt, ‘the Gulf dictatorships’, Israel, Hungary, and India, ‘where Prime Minister Modi is destroying India’s secular democracy and turning the country into a racist Hindu nationalist state, while crushing Kashmir’.)” They say, “it is against this ‘Reactionary International’ that the Progressive International must pit itself. The two Internationals have sharply contending images of a post-COVID-9 world. Chomsky etches the contours of these two mutually exclusive worldviews with a remarkable sureness of touch, as we shall see presently.”

    Supplying so background to the origin of this decline the Wire report that, “The roots of the Reactionary International stretch back to the neoliberal assault launched on the world’s population in the early 1980s, with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher leading the charge. First, the idea of ‘government’ was discredited, pushing every important economic decision out of the ambit of public control into the sphere of private power which, being unaccountable to the public, is focussed solely on self-enrichment. The public sector began to shrink dramatically and powerful oligarchies stepped into the breach, squeezing public resources dry. Next, labour movements were systematically undermined, disarmed and, where possible, delegitimized. This opened the door to a sharp concentration of wealth in only a few hands, alongside stagnation for much of the population: in the US in 2020, 0.1% of citizens hold 20% of the national wealth, ‘twice what they had when Reagan was elected’.”

    The Wire elaborate further, “Massive tax cuts for the rich, touted as the sure recipe for ‘growth’, also did their bit here. (In 2018 in the US, ‘billionaires … paid less in taxes than steel workers, school teachers and retirees’. Trump, a billionaire himself, paid all of 750 dollars in income tax in the two years following his election.) Reagan, who claimed taxation was ‘robbery’, smoothed the path to tax havens and shell companies and loosened tax enforcement very significantly, ‘expediting massive robbery of the general population by the very rich and the corporate sector’. ‘Free markets’ led to increasing monopolisation and cartelisation, with reduced competition and innovation, ‘as the strong swallowed the rich’. This neoliberal economic model soon hardened into an orthodoxy, to be mindlessly picked up by an ever-increasing number of national governments. Widening inequality, hunger, misery and hopelessness were inevitable results.”

    The Wire conclude their report on Chomsky’s assessment of how we arrived at this horrendous situation by explaining how this ushered in the so called ‘populists’, saying, “In turn, these gave rise to widespread anger, resentment and contempt for political institutions, but the primary economic reasons remained hidden from view by effective propaganda facilitated by a corporatised media establishment. The circumstances provided fertile ground for demagogues (Trump, Modi, Victor Orban et al) who presented themselves as the Messiah even as they carried on with essentially the same economic policies as their precursors, the ‘liberal’ establishment. These mavericks successfully deflected all blame for the widespread misery to convenient scapegoats: China, immigrants, Muslims/blacks, ‘anti-nationals’, ‘urban Naxals’ and whoever else happened to fit long-standing prejudices.”

    Moving on the Wire comment on how, “Yanis Varoufakis’ keynote expanded this perspective, locating it in the burgeoning crisis of global capitalism in the mid-2000s when real investment began to significantly lag available cash and savings. As capital stagnated and ordinary citizens’ living standards declined steeply, governments everywhere had to resort to increasingly more anti-democratic politics.” Speaking from his own bitter experience in Greece, Varoufakis said, “progressive causes were snuffed out one by one – in Greece, in Latin America, in the US, in India – the discontent of the masses had to find political expression, leading to ‘strongman saviours‘ who, like Mussolini in the inter-war years, promised to look after the common man left behind by the liberal establishment.” In reality these so called strongman saviours are incredibly weak and insecure, but their access to wealth keeps them in place.

    However the Wire explain how Varoufakis sees through their façade saying, “the supposed antagonism between the liberal and the nationalist-authoritarian establishments is illusory when it comes to the brass tacks of economic policy.” This is as true between the Republicans and Democrats in the US as when Starmer returned the Labour Party to ‘Tory Light.’ Varoufakis says, “The fake opposition between the two variants of the (establishment) …. threatens humanity by trapping us in a business-as-usual agenda that destroys life prospects and wastes opportunities to end climate change. Progress is possible only by refusing to fall into this trap, by not agreeing that the only alternative to Trump is Joseph Biden, or that only the Indian National Congress can provide a viable substitute for Modi. The PI needs to take on the challenge of the twin establishments by evolving ‘a Common Programme and an Uncommon Collective Action Plan allowing for local interventions that are part and parcel of a global campaign’.”

    The Wire report that, “Varoufakis suggests some action plans against multinational corporations that routinely get away with violating workers’ rights. These can be globally-coordinated ‘local’ actions which look insignificant at the micro-level (like boycotting the Amazon website for a day) but can translate into large costs for a corporation. But, more importantly, the Common Programme – which should be in the nature of an ‘International Green New Deal’ – needs to be worked out by drawing upon many already-available Green New Deal ideas that different organisations are already working with. To be able to really address the aspirations of the vast majority of the world’s population, however, the programme must build in the vision of a ‘post-capitalist economic democracy’ which will feature markets for goods and services but will keep labour out of the reach of ‘pure’ market forces.”

    The Wire say, “Varoufakis proposes a solution to this apparent quandary: resort to the principle of ‘one-employee-one-share-one-vote’ by granting workers ‘a non-tradeable one-person-one-share-one-vote’ in the business enterprise, which will make them employee-partners rather than mere employees. As unimaginably radical as it sounds today, this idea was quite familiar to the early anarcho-syndicalists, who wanted to remove the distinction between wages and profit and make the workplace democratic. This may be a somewhat distant dream today, but Varoufakis believes it is worth striving for.” The PI will remain a work-in-progress for a while, but its initiators – widely respected political and social activists, public intellectuals and academics – are convinced that it has not come one day too soon. It looks forward to a world of justice and peace, with all available energies and resources harnessed to serving human needs rather than the demands of a tiny minority.”

    “As Noam Chomsky reminds us, the fate of the human experiment may well depend on whether initiatives such as the Progressive International can get on their feet quickly.” With Corbyn we had at last acquired a progressive left here in the UK; we cannot let the Tory propaganda machine eradicate that hard won achievement manipulating their Tory Trojan horse Starmer against the interests of ordinary citizens. We must change the narrative to expose the corruption that stole the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, reveal the illegal data mining that fuelled the weapons grade PsyOps that warped that vote and the Brexit referendum so that both of these results are discredited, investigated and invalidated. By establishing a secure drop box and finding a professional Investigative Journalist to work with us we must fight for this Tory Government to be removed from office or the repeated injustices, blatant squandering of public funds and dangerous policy will continue as Johnson/Cummings pursue their ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple.” DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61514 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Boris Johnson took the stage Tuesday for the Tories’ virtual Party Conference here is a portion of the lies, propaganda and utter drivel spouted. He said, “Good morning conference, I want to begin by thanking you for everything you did at the election, pounding the streets in the middle of winter, prodding leaflets through the letterbox and into the jaws of dogs, to save this country from socialism and to win this party the biggest election victory in a generation.” Nice try on rewriting history, but most of us remember the reality of low-key Tory campaigning, candidates that didn’t even bother to show up for Hustings, while Boris dodged interviews, got booed on the street, had to be shielded from the public and hid in a refrigerator! The only reason we do not have a progressive Socialist Government stemming the Covid death toll with safe strategies, practical policies and strong support is that Johnson and Cummings, his evil puppet master, used industrial scale fraud to steal a fake ‘landslide victory’ in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election.

    After a few corny lines about the adoring fans he’d hoped would be cheering him on in Birmingham he thanked those enduring his waffle on zoom. In reality most know how to tune him out or switch off when the BBC try to ram Tory rubbish down our throats but Covid saved you the embarrassment of facing angry protesting Brummies sick of your shambolic leadership. Then, with a nod to the hard core anti-immigrant bigots he claimed that his Government was, “working night and day to repel this virus, and we will succeed, just as this country has seen off every alien invader for the last thousand years.” Priti Patel is still working on sourcing the most economically feasible place to offshore unwanted asylum seekers concentration camp from hell! Johnson issued yet another reminder that we must all obey senseless Tory rules, but we are blamed for his failures either way: “we will succeed by collective effort, by following the guidance and with the help of weekly and almost daily improvements in the medicine and the science,”

    He evoked his magic shield “the science” and spoke of , “next time we meet it will be face to face and cheek by jowl;” it made me ill to think of such close encounters, like a Tory ‘death hug!’ Johnson gave a fleeting mention to, “the energy and self-sacrifice of the NHS, the care workers, the armed forces…” But he didn’t want to dwell on those he had let down and abandoned so badly it had needlessly cost lives. Johnson even had the gall to throw in the, “boundless devotion of captain Tom Moore;” he said, “We have lost too much. We have mourned too many,” without thinking to apologise for the excessive carnage his delay, inaction, lack of preparation and arrogant blundering had caused. He was trying to sound Churchillian as he spoke of, “events of this magnitude – wars, famines, plagues,” he mentioned plague twice within a few short sentences, but all I could think of was the very worst plague we so urgently need to get rid of, the one currently infesting Downing Street.

    Johnson talked of “all we have been through” as if the chronically badly catastrophe that had led the UK to suffer the highest death toll in Europe with probably the worst economic impact to boot, was none of his responsibility. But with an appalling track record of mismanagement and wanton squandering of public funds siphoned off to Tory chums he wanted us to believe we should expect a brighter future as we careen towards his calamitous pet project, crash–out Brexit. In referring to these cataclysmic events he said, “They are more often than not the trigger for an acceleration of social and economic change, because we human beings will not simply content ourselves with a repair job.” He was building up to his new punch line as he said, “We see these moments as the time to learn and to improve on the world that went before. That is why this government will build back better.” That is the new lie that we will hear over and over till we puke. The reality will be more like: “Batter, Beggar, Britain” as we beg for trade deals.

    In a pathetic effort to emulate Trumps fake invincibility Johnson’s ego is so fragile he felt the need to rebuke those ho do not fawn over him and shower him with praise. In an effort to dispel any rumour of weakness he declared, “of course this is self-evident drivel, the kind of seditious propaganda that you would expect from people who don’t want this government to succeed, who wanted to stop us delivering Brexit and all our other manifesto pledges…” No Johnson we are all fully understand that there will be a no-deal crash-out no matter how much damage is deliberately infected on the ordinary citizens of this country by arrogant Tory ideology. Man-baby Johnson has become such a shameful object of ridicule he actually challenged, “critics of my athletic abilities in any way they want: arm-wrestle, leg-wrestle, Cumberland wrestle, sprint-off, you name it.” He is sounding more like man-baby Trump every day and the UK is becoming a global laughing stock.

    Boris admitted to being overweight before his seriously overdramatized run-in with Covid; this enabled him to divert blame for the high death toll on ‘fat people.’ Johnson tried to use his renewed personal fitness in some obscure metaphor regarding the health of the country. He said, “We had a record number of people in jobs. We had record low unemployment;” without acknowledging that most were in chronically insecure pittance pay jobs. He boasted of “growing exports” that will shrink drastically due to Brexit then a boast that I find deeply offensive. He said, “the only reason as Rishi Sunak pointed out in the last few months that we have been able to cope with the cost of the pandemic, to look after jobs and livelihoods in the way that we have, is that in the previous years we had sensible conservative management of the public finances.” A decade of unconscionable ideologically driven Tory austerity has increased inequality, child poverty, homelessness, food banks, desperation, destitution and death; what a great track record!

    He then listed a few of the chronic failures of governance as if he had not been a serving member of that failing Tory Government and their decade of human misery! He deftly disowned failures, “deficit in skills, inadequate transport infrastructure, not enough homes people could afford to buy, especially young people.” Young people cannot even afford to leave home before turning thirty, they are so poorly paid and saddled with debt; many live with parents or in cramped temporary accommodation and yes they do feel let down and abandoned by the Tory Government of Johnson and his elitist cronies that continue to relentlessly exploit them. Johnson then dredged up World War 2 and “a vision of the post war new Jerusalem” as he bragged of, “reform our system of government, to renew our infrastructure; to spread opportunity more widely and fairly and to create the conditions for a dynamic recovery that is led not by the state but by free enterprise.” Install a Dictatorship is far more likely at ‘Singapore on the Thames.’

    They say if you are going to tell a lie, tell a really big one; it was giant whopper time for lying toad Johnson and he was on form. Realizing that his “40 new Hospitals” pledge had lost its punch so Johnson up the ante with an even more incredulous pledge; there would now be 48 new Hospitals. He asked us to “Count them” as if there was evidence of this fantasy pledge. Claiming that eight were being built right now, probably roping in the temporary ‘Nightingale’ facilities, hoping that the partially built Hospital abandoned by the crash of Carillion would not spring to mind. He spoke of 50,000 new Nurses, but failed to mention that 14,000 of those who have recently returned to the NHS have done so temporarily just to help out in the Covid crisis. The Tories removed the Nursing Bursary requiring Nurses, Midwifes, ODPs and Paramedics to go into debt while augmenting NHS services during their demanding unpaid apprenticeship.

    Boris Johnson launched into a spate of bragging issuing his expansive boasts about “the scrabble for vaccines, for therapies” and “doubling our funding for all types of revolutionary scientific breakthroughs, with a national Advanced Research and Projects Agency” and although admitting governmental neglect again he behaved as if the Tories had not been in power for the last miserable decade. He made the baffling statement, “We will fix the injustice of care home funding, bringing the magic of averages to the rescue of millions,” no details given. Johnson then vaguely alluded to the catastrophe in Care by mentioning, “Covid has shone a spotlight on the difficulties of that sector in all parts of the UK,” injecting that shallow slogan, “build back better” saying, “we must respond, care for the carers as they care for us,” but again no details were given.

    Bizarrely he next referred to fighting crime as, “a matter of basic hygiene.” Without the slightest mention of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, the scourge of racially profiled policing and elimination of youth services during a decade of Tory austerity cuts. Instead Johnson boasted of “20,000 officers out on the street,” who will basically replace officers cut from police departments right across the country seriously gutted by Tory cuts. The population has increased in the past decade so there will still be proportionately fewer officers on the beat than there were before the Tories decimated their numbers. Johnson touted tougher sentences, describing the, “whole criminal justice system from being hamstrung by what the Home Secretary would doubtless and rightly call the lefty human rights lawyers and other do-gooders.” Despite this snipe at progressives the UK has more behind bars than anywhere else in the EU, Johnson’s US contacts will have told him private, ‘for profit Prisons’ are a huge free labour gravy train.

    Ignoring the impact of the lack of youth services, opportunities, and insecure work driving extreme poverty and desperation of utter hopelessness under brutal Tory policies, Johnson boasted that, “Town by town we are rooting out the county lines drugs gangs that are causing so much misery” falsely declaring his “agenda is basic social justice.” He then tossed in his disgraceful “levelling up” lie, a PR pitch that disguises removing money from the pockets of the working poor ‘up’ to stuff the trousers of the wealthy elite. He moved on to another public sector that continues to take a serious hit under the Tory agenda of ‘Decimating Down’ our schools with Teachers continuing to desert the profession in droves. A long promised raise in per pupil funding might help to correct the damage done so far by the Tories, but with the privatised Academy system, funding is siphoned off by overpaid CEOs. Providing “one on one teaching” require recruitment of a lot more Teachers even if the PM does make good on a “£30k starting salary.”

    Touting an inspirational approach to removing the barrier between “Further Education and Higher Education” Johnson spoke of equalizing the access to funding, which sounds like a sneaky way to scoop all training programs into the big profit business of keeping young people permanently in debt. But in a confusing contradiction he then offers “free training for adults without A-levels in vital skills…” As current jobs are eliminated in the aftermath of Covid, will those facing relentless brutal bullying under Universal Credit be forced into incurring huge debts to retrain? Just what is the toxic Tory catch in Johnson’s “lifetime skills guarantee?”

    We have learned from past experience how long the Tories are prepared to dabble in Green policy thinking after Cameron hastily ditched “that Green crap” after hoodwinking the public. We should not fall for the same hype twice, Johnson remains committed to fracking. The current trend requires paying lip service to “the green economy, the green industrial revolution” and connecting that hope to creating “hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs.” With his typical arrogance and a distinct lack of knowledge on the matter Johnson proudly announced becoming a ‘world leader’ ambitiously touting how, “offshore wind will be powering every home in the country.” Wind power, “wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding,” he quoting his own disowned scepticism of the technology as if uttered by someone else he blathered on about how his “floating windmills,” would provide, “fifteen times as much as the rest of the world put together.” No audience was cheering him on now; we have all seen the PMs hot air disappear in a puff of smoke.

    The brain farts of this Tory air head are boundless as he touts British exceptionalism, “As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind.” Criticizing an unidentified silent enemy with, “They forgot the history of this country,” he said, “It was offshore wind that puffed the sails of Drake and Raleigh and Nelson, and propelled this country to commercial greatness.” Nationalism, past Empire, that was all inspiring stuff; a very British version of the bigoted, ‘me first,’ Trumpian rhetoric. He boasted creating “conditions for individuals and for companies to flourish, with a high-skilled low-crime economy, and if there was a physical audience in front of me now I would solicit cheers by shouting out the details of our revolution in transport infrastructure…” To satiate the narcissistic ego of this chronically insecure PM, it would not be the first time that Johnson has openly solicited praise from the audience during a speech.

    Ignoring the failures after inappropriate contracts have been awarded without tender to Tory cronies for personal enrichment during the Covid crisis, Johnson was emphatic as he said, “we must be clear that there comes a moment when the state must stand back and let the private sector get on with it.” The plundering would continue unabated! After disingenuously referring to public funding as “uncle sugar the taxpayer” he incorrectly stated that “It isn’t the state that produces the new drugs and therapies we are using.” In reality a massive amount of the funding does come from the Government, but he was correct in saying, “It isn’t the state that will hold the intellectual property of the vaccine, if and when we get one.” It’s the same corrupt Tory model of huge public risk to enable massive private profit. From the rush conversion and costly equipping of Nightingale Hospitals that were barely used to the Test and Trace App that sank without trace Covid presented a golden opportunity for the wealthy Tory elite to milk the system.

    After praising his likely successor, Johnson said, “Rishi Sunak the Chancellor has come up with some brilliant expedients to help business to protect jobs and livelihoods” but he didn’t want people to “draw the wrong economic conclusion” as “he has done things that no Conservative chancellor would have wanted to do except in times of war or disaster.” He spoke of how they were “forced by the pandemic into erosions of liberty that we deeply regret, and to an expansion of the role of the state, from lockdown enforcement to the many bail-outs and subsidies” saying they, “go against our instincts” but acceptance was necessary with, “no reasonable alternative.” He then targeted Labour who “regard this state expansion as progress, who want to keep the state supporting furlough forever, keep people in suspended animation… and spending almost half our national income.” The Tory spin of “build back better” touts “becoming more competitive, both in tax and regulation,” beware of the unregulated tax haven of ‘Singapore on the Thames.’

    He dangled the tempting home ownership carrot that had worked so well for Margaret Thatcher, but is meaningless for the vast majority of young people who lack the job security and wage capacity to even leave home for scarce, costly rental accommodation. Living with parents past the age of thirty is the norm in the UK, but the homes Johnson is talking of building are not to house the working poor languishing on housing lists they are for the children of the elite. The Tories will make a new home more affordable with a fixed rate mortgage and a low deposit, so that the only people paying extortionate rent to live in poorly maintained hovels are the enslaved permanently in debt now unemployed disposable poor! He pledged, “We will transform the sclerotic planning system. We will make it faster and easier to build beautiful new homes without destroying the green belt or desecrating the countryside.” This will result in the building of even fewer of the council houses that are so desperately needed.

    With a stunning lack of self awareness Johnson, the obscenely wealthy Tory member of the multi home owning elite, chose to attack Labour MPs who, “…may have million pound homes in North London, but they deeply dislike home ownership for anyone else,” as evidenced by… well nothing really! Not content with this insanely disproportionate message Johnson then puked up that cringe-worthy “levelling up” lie; accusing Labour of wanting to level down! Touting exceptionalism he said, “We are proud of this country’s culture and history and traditions; they literally want to pull statues down, to re-write the history of our country, to edit our national CV to make it look more politically correct. We aren’t embarrassed to sing old songs about how Britannia rules the waves” We just need to be honest and contrite about the exploitation and cruelty of slavery and empire. I have no doubt the PM has stirred hateful nationalist feelings in plenty of anti-immigration bigots, but it was shameful to see Labour’s, Kier Starmer, fall into lockstep!

    Nationalism was not acceptable north of the border, despite the Tory betrayal of their anti-Brexit vote, Johnson had no intention of letting the Scots escape the vanishing democracy of the isolationist UK. The concept of “Global Britain” as a respected “outward-looking country” proudly independent in defiance of internationally recognized Laws, globally accepted conventions and treaties is frankly delusional. Tory Government decisions to ignore the UN Rapporteur’s report on abuse of the disabled, continue in violation of an International Court decision on Diageo Garcia and more recently the treatment of Julian Assange had already damaged our reputation for diplomacy. But Johnson is prepared to violate an agreement he signed with the EU that will compromise the Good Friday accord and he now wants to give the green light to torture and Human Rights violations committed by our troupes overseas. Under the corrupt Leadership of Johnson/Cummings the UK is fast becoming a hard-Right Dictatorship and a rogue Fascist state!

    Johnson boasts of, “next year we will lead the world in the G7, and at the cop 26 summit in Glasgow, with three great campaigns to bring the world together, to heal the world, tackling the virus, tackling climate change, and global free trade.” With zero credibility due to the highest Covid death rate in Europe and the crash–out Brexit failure as an example of your ‘diplomacy’ credentials, I doubt many will listen to our failing PM! In a disquieting statement Johnson said, “We believe in our fantastic armed services as one of the greatest exports this country has,” along with our lethal weaponry for sale to the world’s cruellest despots no doubt! Ignoring the sick reality of our toxic exports, Johnson embarked on an escapist ‘sunny uplands’ nirvana fantasy saying, “…I want you to imagine that you are arriving in Britain in 2030, when I hope that much of the programme I have outlined will be delivered, and you arrive in your zero carbon jet made in the UK and you flash your Brexit blue passport or your digital ID…”

    Johnson slid down the rabbit hole into the land of delusional PR spin of, ‘make the people believe’ so they will not comprehend the dystopian nightmare scenario that lies ahead where, far from flashing their ‘little England blue bigot passport to travel, they will be trapped in near slavery here as the pathetic ‘Prisoners of Mother England!’ I will not dignify Johnson’s rambling litany of lies and false promises by documenting them here. Johnson touts his “48 new hospitals” that number could easily swell if the PM continues to slip in the polls, to placate environmentalists he includes “millions of trees” in his elusive wonderland. But, the UK will continue careening towards the looming Titanic Iceberg of Brexit as the PM remain committed to a reckless crash-out without a deal: he describes his “excitement and verve” at this chaotic prospect! After touting the “free trade” now in jepody as Johnson goes on to casually mention, “free ports,” which are essentially unregulated spaces to stash the plunder stolen from our exploited population.

    Johnson reassures the hard-Right bigots, saying, “Yes, you will see a country that scrupulously controls its own borders,” but he claims, “is more cosmopolitan… welcoming scientists and artists and people of talent from around the world;” essentially a toxic program of: Scavenge, Exploit and Deport! Johnson describes the British people as “unblinkered” despite the Cummings weapons grade PsyOps program of warped disinformation propaganda! Echoing Trump, Johnson brags of the UK as the “greatest place on earth” delusional about how, “even in the darkest moments we can see the bright future ahead!” The light is shining very brightly for the wealthy one percent, but despair and destitution lie ahead for the exploited working poor after Johnson completes Cummings’s ruthless eugenics ‘Herd Immunity’ cull. We must expose the truth about the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, Investigate the stolen Vote to delegitimize this corrupt Tory Government, hold them to account for the damage done, and immediately remove them from office. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61516 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Tory MP Sir David Amess kicked off Prime Ministers Questions by indulging in a blatant self-serving plug for his own, soon to be released book, which I will not dignify by promoting here. This really was a disgraceful example of a Tory abuse of privilege in the Chamber during a televised period specifically designated for necessary scrutinizing of the Prime Minister. He boldly reassured his Tory cronies the dubious contortions that now increasingly pass for democracy, were all documented within its pages. In order to make his brazen advertising pitch tangentially relevant to the important business of PMQs in the Chamber, Amess deftly segued over to testing the mettle of the PM with regard to Brexit. Framed as a typical “Does my right hon. Friend agree…” non-question, he first defined the core goal of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, saying it, “was categorically about ensuring that the result of the 2016 referendum is implemented in full?” Finally he asked the PM if he would, “confirm that he intends to see that happen?”

    The PM readily conceded saying, “I can indeed.” In a tacit approval of his colleague’s use of the Chamber for free TV advertising he obligingly added, “I congratulate my hon. Friend on his new book,” before reinforcing the deceitful pledge of his own pet project; crash-out Brexit, despite the catastrophic damage he knows it will cause and the severe hardship it will inflict on ordinary working people. He said, “I assure him that this country has not only left the European Union, but that on 1 January we will take back full control of our money, our borders and our laws:” knowing that an extraordinary level of power would soon be entirely in his hands! Keir Starmer chose to focus on the current crisis saying, “This is a crucial moment if we are to gain control of the virus, yet for eight days nearly 16,000 positive tests were missed by the Government. That means that about 48,000 contacts were not traced. As of yesterday, thousands had still not been reached. Does the Prime Minister accept that this very basic mistake has put lives at risk?”

    If Starmer was hoping for humble contrition he really should know by now that such tactics will always be ignored by Boris Johnson who routinely deflects all blame. The PM replied, “This is certainly a problem that we have fixed. The computer glitch and error to which the right hon. and learned Gentleman refers has been addressed. All the 16,000 people he refers to have, in fact, got their positive test results and should be self-isolating. As soon as we became aware of the missing data, we brought in 800 people to chase up those index cases, and we continue to chase their contacts. I think it will be for the reassurance of the House and the country that the missing data points do not, now that we look at them, change in any way our assessment of the epidemiology, the spread of the disease. That is why we continue with our package to suppress the virus not just nationally but locally and regionally.”

    Starmer was determined to make another attempt at exposing the flaw to solicit contrition and guilt, “This is not just a technical issue; it is a human issue. The attempted reassurance by the Prime Minister just does not wash. In Greater Manchester, some of the missing cases date back to 18 September. That is two and a half weeks ago. There are three very serious consequences: first, it is now much harder to reach the contacts of the 16,000 people after so long; secondly, even if they are contacted successfully, for many the self-isolation period has already expired; and, thirdly, important decisions on local restrictions were made using the wrong data. Some £12 billion has been invested in this system, and yet a basic Excel error brings it down. No wonder it has been described as “intergalactic” incompetence. Why, at this crucial moment, did it take so long to catch this error and address it?”

    The PM curtly replied, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman cannot have it both ways; he cannot call it a human error and a basic Excel error. Let me just remind the House and the right hon. and learned Gentleman of what I just said. The crucial thing is that, yes, of course there has been an error, but the data points—the cases—that we are looking at do not change the basic distribution of the disease. It is very important for people to understand that. That is really what he was, I think, trying to drive at. Although the cases are considerably up across the country this week on last week, the seven-day statistics show that there are now 497 cases per 100,000 in Liverpool, 522 cases per 100,000 in Manchester and 422 in Newcastle. The key point there is that the local, regional approach combined with the national measures remains correct, I think, because two thirds of those admitted into hospital on Sunday were in the north-west, the north-east and Yorkshire. That is why, I think, that approach continues to be correct.”

    Shaming the PM, Starmer said, “The Prime Minister says that it does not alter the basic distribution, yet thousands of people have been walking round when they should have been self-isolating. It patently has an effect on the basic distribution. If this was an isolated example, I think the British people might understand, but there is a pattern here. On care homes, protective equipment, exams, testing: the Prime Minister ignores the warning signs, hurtles towards a car crash, then looks in the rear mirror and says, ‘What’s all that about?’ It is quite literally government in hindsight. Today it is 100 days since the first local restrictions were introduced. 20 local areas in England have been under restrictions for 2 months. Prime Minister, in 19 of those 20 areas, infection rates have gone up. In Rossendale and Hyndburn they have gone up tenfold. Yet all the Prime Minister has to say is, “It’s too early to say if restrictions are working.” But it is obvious that something has gone wrong here, so what is he going to do about it?”

    As is so often the case, the PM deviated from the question, “As the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows, we are continuing to provide support, with £5 billion of support for the north-west and north-east for the lockdowns, the extra restrictions, that they are experiencing. We will continue to support all areas across the country that have to go into local measures. Two weeks ago, I set out that strategy. I said that we would go forward with the national measures such as intensifying the rule of six, making sure that we reinforced the rule of six. Two weeks ago, the right hon. and learned Gentleman supported it. In fact, I think he went on the Nick Ferrari show saying, ‘I support the rule of six—yes I do.’ Yet last night the Labour party abstained on the rule of six. He asks what we are doing to enforce local measures; he cannot even be bothered to get his own side to support them himself.”

    Starmer was going to spell out his last question despite knowing this tactic always fails to solicit an answer from Johnson, “For the Prime Minister’s benefit, let me take this slowly for him. We support measures to protect health. We want track and trace to work. But the Government are messing it up and it is our duty to point it out. Let us get back to the questions, because these are not trick questions; I have the figures here, Prime Minister. In Bury, when restrictions were introduced, the infection rate was around 20 per 100,000; today it is 266. In Burnley, it was 21 per 100,000 when restrictions were introduced; now it is 434. In Bolton, it was 18 per 100,000; now it is 255. The Prime Minister really needs to understand that local communities are angry and frustrated. So will he level with the people of Bury, Burnley and Bolton and tell them: what does he actually think the problem is here?”

    The PM still didn’t reply, he said, “The problem is, alas, that the disease continues to spread in the way that I described to the House earlier. The figures that the right hon. and learned Gentleman gives are no surprise, because they are fundamentally a repetition of what I have already told the House. What we are doing is a combination of national and local measures which one week he comes to this House and supports, and from which, the next week, mysteriously, he decides to whisk his support away. He cannot even be bothered to mobilise his own Benches to support something as fundamental as the rule of six, which he himself said only three weeks ago that he supported. He cannot continue to have it both ways. Does he support the rule of six, yes or no?”

    Johnson was yet again trying to turn PMQs into Opposition questions; frustrated, Starmer said, “Yes. But if the Prime Minister cannot see and hear local communities when they say that the infection rate has gone up tenfold under restrictions, and he does not realise that is a problem, then that is part of the problem. There is a further cause of anger… Prime Minister, if you actually listen to the question, we might get on better—which is the lack of clarity about why particular restrictions have been introduced. For example, in the Prime Minister’s own local authority of Hillingdon, today there are 62 cases per 100,000, yet no local restrictions, but in 20 local areas across England, restrictions were imposed when infection rates were much lower. In Kirklees, it was just 29 per 100,000. Local communities genuinely do not understand these differences. Can he please explain for them?”

    Johnson replied, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman has heard from me and heard repeatedly from the Government why we are bringing in differentiated local restrictions. I have just given the figures for the north-east and the north-west. I wish I could pretend that everything is going to be rosy in the midlands or, indeed, in London, where alas we are also seeing infections rise, but that is why we need a concerted national effort. We need to follow the guidance. We need ‘Hands, face, space’ and people to get a test if they have symptoms and to obey the rule of six. I think it quite extraordinary that the right hon. and learned Gentleman just said that he personally supports the rule of six while allowing his entire party to abstain.” Despite the Tory Party majority, Labour’s gutless abstention on key issues is an embarrassment and a disgrace; the message to the public is, just don’t bother voting! In a Canary Article entitled, “PMQs just exposed Starmer’s complete lack of principles” they elaborate on the abstention issue.

    The Canary say that, “it seems Starmer could tell his MPs to vote against the 10pm rule. But this is particularly damning given the bills he’s asked MPs to abstain on. What a shame he couldn’t do the same over, say, the potential torture and murder of people by UK government actors? The covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) bill has hit the news this week. LabourList said it: aims to give legal protection for a previously secret power, ‘the third direction’, allowing MI5, police forces and other specified public bodies to authorise agents and informants to commit criminal offences. Amnesty UK has warned that ‘this bill could end up providing informers and agents with a licence to kill’ and stressed that it ‘does not explicitly prohibit MI5 and other agencies from authorising crimes like torture and killing’.” Even the equivalent US legislation rules out torture and murder. Why did Labour abstain?

    Ignoring the abstention issue and still not making the slightest bit of headway, Starmer responded by essentially pressing the same point, “The Prime Minister cannot explain why an area goes into restriction, he cannot explain what the different restrictions are and he cannot explain how restrictions end. This is getting ridiculous. Next week, this House will vote on whether to approve the 10 pm rule. The Prime Minister knows that there are deeply held views across the country in different ways on this. One question is now screaming out: is there a scientific basis for the 10 pm rule? The public deserve to know and Parliament deserves to know. If there is a basis, why do the Government not do themselves a favour and publish it? If not, why do the Government not review the rule? Will the Prime Minister commit to publishing the scientific basis for the 10 pm rule before this House votes on it next Monday?”

    Johnson replied, “The basis on which we set out the curtailment of hospitality was the basis on which the right hon. and learned Gentleman accepted it two weeks ago, which is to reduce the spread of the virus. That is our objective. That is why we introduced the rule of six, which again he supported only two weeks ago,” he boldly taunted, “yet last night the Opposition abstained and today they are withdrawing their support for other restrictions. What kind of signal does that send to the people of the country about the robustness of the Labour party and its willingness to enforce the restrictions? That is not new leadership; that is no leadership. We are taking the tough decisions necessary, imposing restrictions, which we do not want to do, locally and nationally to fight the virus to keep young people and kids in education and to keep the bulk of our economy moving. At the same time, we are getting on with our agenda, our lifetime skills guarantee and our green industrial revolution, by which we will take this country forward and build back better.”

    The Tory MPs have obviously been primed to keep repeating the PMs worthless catch phrases so John Stevenson obliged saying, “Two of the Government’s central policies are levelling up and housing.” After making a very targeted pitch for his constituency of Carlisle and Cumbria to get “further infrastructure investment” he stressed the “capacity for increased housing development,” with a “garden village to the south” appealing again to that fake “levelling up agenda” and to reduce “strain on housing in the south of England,” he suggested that in moving “parts of Government Departments out of London to the provinces” Carlisle would be a better location than Manchester or Leeds and would the PM consider it. In a reply that had us speculating over a possible affair… Johnson said, “I have spent at least one very happy night out in Carlisle, and it is a wonderful place. I will certainly look with interest at my hon. Friend’s suggestion. We have an ambitious programme to disperse and to unite and level up across our country.”

    SNP Leader Ian Blackford raised an issue never on the PMs radar, saying, “This week is Challenge Poverty Week, and I would like to thank all the organisations across Scotland and the United Kingdom that are helping families through the most difficult of times. Their dedication and commitment should inspire every single one of us in the fight to end poverty. With mass unemployment looming, having the right social security measures in place to help families over the long term is vital. The Chancellor has so far refused to commit to make the £20 universal credit uplift permanent, which means that 16 million people face losing an income equivalent of £1,040 overnight. Will the Prime Minister now commit to making the £20 uplift to universal credit permanent?”

    Callously deflected the question sideways to frame it as an endorsement of UC the PM said, “I welcome the right hon. Gentleman’s support for universal credit, which the Conservative party introduced. I am proud that we have been able to uprate it in the way that we have, and we will continue to support people across the country, with the biggest cash increase in the national living wage this year. The result of universal credit so far has been that there are 200,000 fewer people in absolute poverty now than there were in 2010. I know that he was not a keen supporter of universal credit when it was introduced, but I welcome his support today.”

    In exasperation Blackford responded, “One of these days, the Prime Minister might consider answering the question.” Blackford was not about to let the PM off the hook, so he clarified, “it was about making the £20 increase permanent. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has painted a clear picture for his Government: strip the £20 universal credit uplift away, and 700,000 more people, including 300,000 children, could move into poverty, and 500,000 more people could end up in severe poverty—more than 50% below the poverty line. The Resolution Foundation has called the £20 uplift a ‘living standards lifeline’ for millions of families during the pandemic. Challenge Poverty Week is a moment for all of us to take unified action against poverty. The Prime Minister has an opportunity here and now. Will he do the right thing, will he answer the question, and will he make the £20 uplift permanent?”

    The answer was no, but the PM said, “I do not want in any way to underestimate the importance of what the right hon. Gentleman is saying. It is vital that we tackle poverty in this country. That is why this Government are so proud of what we did with the national living wage. We are putting another £1.7 billion into universal credit by 2023-24. If that does not give him the answer he wants, he can ask again next week. We will continue to support people and families across this country, and we will continue to spend £95 billion a year in this country on working-age welfare. But the best thing we can do for people on universal credit is to get this virus down, get our economy moving again and get them back into well-paid, high-skilled jobs—and that is what we are going to do.”

    This same important issue was raised by Labour MP Steven Timms who suggested a vital compromise saying, “The Government were right to increase universal credit by £20 a week to help families with the extra costs of the pandemic but, at the moment, that increase is due to be removed next April. The Prime Minister has declined today to commit to making it permanent, but will he at least agree with me that it would be unthinkable to cut everyone’s benefit before the pandemic is over?” Once again the PM tried to turn the request into an endorsement of the dysfunctional Universal Credit system, but his reply might indicate that the Government will succumb to pressure on this, as he said, “Of course, we keep all these things under constant review, but I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman joins the Opposition in support—and approval now—for what the Government have done with universal credit.”

    Tory MPs were keen to parrot the shallow Tory slogans paraded at Tory Conference earlier this week, trying to cram ‘levelling up’ into their obscure “does the Prime Minister agree with me…” non-question mutual stroking interventions that have reduced PMQs to a televised Tory Party Political Broadcast. Several Opposition MPs expressed concern over the need for an extra extension of the furlough scheme in areas that are forced back into lockdown, but Starmer should have demanded to know why Tory areas with high infection rates were not as restricted as Labour areas with fewer Covid cases. Starmer and the PM have settled into a routine role play; Starmer with pathetic appeals for contrition taking precedence over more robust scrutiny and Johnson just ignoring and evading only to turn the tables demanding justification and answers from Starmer or launching into another tediously repetitive PR pitch. Despite access to fact checking Johnson repeatedly lies for the TV cameras, but he cannot be called a liar in the Chamber.

    Keir Starmer’s farcical opposition is so ineffectual that even without his stolen majority Johnson could trample all over the hollowed out shell of the Labour Party. It was encouraging to see that the Unite Union have reduced the amount of financial support they will contribute to the Labour Party, but I fear other special interest groups may negate the impact of this decision. Keir Starmer is being caught out and recognized as the toxic Trojan horse, destructive force he represents, and law suits could still expose the smear campaign of ‘fantisemitism’ paving the way for Corbyn to return. We so need a Whistleblower to provide the crucial evidence to destroy the credibility of that fake Tory ‘landslide victory’ with an Investigation to overturn the result of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election so that we can Get The Tories Out! I believe that Cummings might turn Whistleblower if his position controlling the PM was to become untenable. Cummings is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin! We must fight to remove both Party Leaders. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61526 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    The dangerous authoritarian trajectory of this Tory Government warrants justified extreme alarm; they placate the public with ‘take back control’ rhetoric, only to solidify a chokehold on democracy to establish a Dictatorship. In a Guardian Article entitled, “Boris Johnson is using the Covid crisis as a pretext for a power grab” activist Gina Miller warns us that, “Under cover of the pandemic, his inner circle is sidelining elected MPs and pushing through laws with no scrutiny.” She says, “The coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a cover for Boris Johnson’s government to seize powers that are without precedent during peacetime. I am becoming more convinced over time that some in his government and advisers saw the virus early on not only as a health crisis, but also an opportunity to push ahead with their plans to diminish parliament’s sovereignty, row back on the rule of law, and hollow out our hard-won rights. Ultimately, the aim is to solidify more power in the hands of the prime minister and a select few of his inner circle.”

    Referring to our current Tory Government, Miller claims that, “Their direction of travel was obvious before the pandemic hit, a year ago Johnson tried to shut down parliament, but under cover of Covid-19, it is now bold and blatant. As one of only three countries with an unwritten constitution – New Zealand and Israel being the others – the UK has always been vulnerable to a group of unscrupulous individuals coming into power who would not fear stretching the rules, protocols and parliamentary instruments to their limits, and seek to establish an authoritarian state. They have now arrived, and with Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the house, dusting off ancient Henry VIII powers, statutory instruments, as well as carving out new powers contained in the EU Withdrawal Act and Coronavirus Act, he is systematically going about the task of disenfranchising our elected MPs.”

    Miller reports that, “Events have always been a problem for prime ministers – as Harold Macmillan attested – but they have played into Johnson and his advisers’ hands. Public unease about his response to the coronavirus is now palpable – instead of showing strong leadership and competence, he still appears to be in campaigning mode, more concerned about being seen to take action regardless of the merits.” She says, “with MPs muzzled, his coterie are able to bypass requests to publish data, modelling and the scientific evidence behind their pandemic strategies – or any studies into the impact of a no-deal Brexit. Some MPs are finally beginning to recognise that in this new political world they are surplus to requirements, and as a result we have seen a few attempts at rebellion over the past few weeks.”

    According to Miller, “There had been anxieties for years about the use and limited scrutiny of secondary legislation (laws created by ministers without parliamentary votes), but this is now the government’s modus operandi. Since 28 January, 256 of these statutory instruments related to coronavirus have been laid before parliament, an astonishing 122 of which breach the 21-day rule giving MPs time to scrutinise them. Foreign secretary Dominic Raab told the virtual Conservative party conference at the weekend that Brexit is about taking back control of our laws and our sovereignty. Whether the UK gets a deal or not (I believe a deal will be achieved due to fears over further damaging a coronavirus-impacted economy), the transition period ends on 31 December – which means that, between now and then, the government could lay another 250-300 statutory instruments, without parliament having to pass any act.” I don’t share Miller’s optimism over a deal as I believe a no-deal crash-out was always part of the plan!

    Miller sounds the alarm, saying, “What they could sneak into these terrifies me because, however politically sensitive and controversial they are, MPs will be unable to debate, scrutinise and vote on them. I knew only too well, long before the pandemic, the lengths our government would go to put itself above our domestic law. But to trash Britain’s international reputation for law and order – by inserting sections into the internal market bill that attempt to put the country above international law, and outside the scrutiny of parliament or UK courts – has ramifications that should worry us all, no matter what our political allegiance. Raab also said that ‘the days of being held over a barrel by Brussels … are long gone’, but, with MPs voting to extend ministers’ executive powers for another six months under the Coronavirus Act, what about the barrel our own government is now holding us over?”

    Gina Miller is a businesswoman and transparency activist, she led the legal action that prevented Boris Johnson from proroguing parliament and she has been keeping tabs on the situation ever since. She says, “In the years that followed the 2016 vote to leave the European Union, I was often invited to look ahead to what life would be like when the UK had to go it alone; but never, in my worst nightmares, could I have imagined the dystopian state of affairs we find ourselves in now. Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker, issued an unprecedented rebuke to the government for treating the House of Commons with ‘contempt’. I only wish he had gone further and asked Rees-Mogg why MPs are being denied the opportunity to participate in debates, and why online speeches are banned. Added to that, a freedom of information request I submitted confirms that a successful voting app, which was used in early May, has been sneakily discontinued – so we now have a dysfunctional, disfranchised House of Commons.”

    Miller warns, “I also have my suspicions about the true motives underlying the government’s review into the appointment of judges and access to judicial review. On Twitter, Geoffrey Cox, the former attorney general who acted for Boris Johnson in my court case against his prorogation of parliament, posted a scene from the film ‘A Man For All Seasons’ which tells of Thomas More’s stand during another period of tyranny in British history. More was urged to bend the law to his own ends but declined. In the clip More uttered these words: ‘This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast and if you cut them down do you think you could really stand upright in the winds that would blow then?’ Cox and I have little in common, but we can both see only too well that the direction we are heading is a profoundly dangerous one.” A while ago I wrote a post comparing our current situation in the UK with the Nazis rise to power in Germany; I was shocked to discover that Johnson now faces fewer obstacles to Dictatorship than Hitler!

    Previous I wrote regarding a comment I made to Craig Murray’s post where I read about another alarming facet of our fast eroding freedoms. ‘Bayleaf’ reported that, “Re. the plundering of personal data, the UK government has quietly used the Coronavirus Act 2020 to authorise the ‘Retention of Fingerprints and DNA Profiles in the Interests of National Security’.” This too was done using a Statutory Instrument, so bypassing any parliamentary scrutiny. What other mission creep towards a harsh totalitarian agenda has whistled by us unnoticed as the public was wilfully distracted by the compliant BBC and Mainstream Media offering bucket-loads of ‘Handyfloss’ on safe bets for holiday getaways no one can afford? The Handyfloss on the minutia of Jonny Depp’s dirty dobie was sickeningly copious during weeks of tawdry hearings, but Assange extradition determining the ultimate demise of press freedom globally and the criminalization of investigative journalism to obscure atrocities committed by an all powerful state goes unreported.

    The US are seeking to set a new president for increasing their global overreach, intimidation and control with the Assange trial. In his grotesquely biased Kangaroo Court Hearing at the Old Bailey the US claim that as a non-US Citizen Assange does not have the US first Amendment right to free speech and the Americans have already violated his Attorney Client Privilege spying on him during his time in the Ecuadorian Embassy. There is no question that Assange is most definitely a political, one of many reasons why his case should be thrown out, but we cannot trust Home Secretary Priti Patel to block his extradition if this Court rules against him. The US are now trying to strong arm the International Court of Human Rights to evade charges of war crimes, but the UK is equally guilty of trying to sideline justice regarding accountability for extraordinary rendition, torture and past war crimes. A strong alliance with the US while they continue to function as a rogue state is not a healthy trajectory for the future if any free country.

    In another alarming Guardian Article entitled, “The UK government is attempting to bend the rules on torture” Nicholas Mercer elaborates on, “The overseas operations bill promises to end ‘vexatious’ prosecutions of soldiers,” but he warns that, “it is far more sinister than that!” The Guardian describe, Lt Col Nicholas Mercer as a, “senior military legal adviser to the 1st Armoured Division during the Iraq war of 2003” so he can certainly speak with authority on this issue. Mercer says that, “It is ironic timing that the overseas operations bill returns to parliament next week, not long after questions of international law dominated the political agenda. This government has already, brazenly, admitted that it is prepared to violate international law with the internal market bill. It is now proposing more of the same with an issue that has received less attention.”

    Mercer says that, “The way in which the egregious overseas operations bill violates international law isn’t complex or arcane. It seeks to introduce what has been termed a ‘triple lock’ against the prosecution of British soldiers acting overseas. This triple lock includes a presumption against prosecution, a five-year statute of limitations and the requirement of consent from the attorney general before any prosecution can be brought. It undermines international humanitarian law while shielding the government against what may be wholly deserving claims. The so-called triple lock will effectively introduce a statute of limitations for the offence of torture. Torture has been absolutely prohibited under international law since 1948 and is enshrined in legal instruments such as the UN convention against torture, and the Geneva conventions of 1949. Despite this prohibition, the government now seems prepared to try to amend those terms with the overseas operations bill.”

    Mercer reports that, “The former chief of the defence staff, field marshal Lord Guthrie, has co-signed, along with Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Dominic Grieve, a letter to Downing Street making their views on the legislation clear: ‘We find it disturbing that the government’s approach … creates a presumption against prosecution of torture and other grave crimes (with only rape and sexual violence excepted) after five years. We believe that the effective application of existing protocols removes the risk of vexatious prosecution. To create de facto impunity for such crimes would be a damaging signal for Britain to send to the world.’ The absolute prohibition on torture is designed to prevent states trying to bend the rules. However, the overseas operations bill does just that. This could not be clearer and has already been pointed out to the government by the UN Rapporteur on torture. As such, I do not believe that any current or former defence chief could support it and clearly Lord Guthrie is the first to say so publicly.”

    According to Mercer, “There is, however, another potentially more sinister explanation for the proposed statute of limitations and that is the potential culpability of not individual soldiers, but the British government itself. When the overseas operations bill was being drafted, the offence of torture was, quite properly, excluded from the provisions. Somehow it found its way back in, but it is not clear who took this decision or why. As we now know from various public inquiries, the British army used unlawful interrogation techniques in Iraq and Afghanistan, which breached the UN convention on torture. If this bill passes into law, the government will have effectively legislated to protect itself from those allegations. Most gravely, this includes the offence of rendition which, as well as being a form of torture, is also a grave breach of the Geneva conventions.”

    Mercer warns that, “While the government seeks to shield itself from blame, however, soldiers may well find themselves in the international criminal court, whose jurisdiction will be triggered if the British government chooses to avoid prosecuting them. At the inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, a 26-year-old hotel receptionist beaten to death by British soldiers in Iraq, Sir William Gage blamed the ‘corporate failings’ of the Ministry of Defence for the death and said that that the British army should ‘uphold the highest standards’ under international law. Rather than take heed of those comments, Britain has decided to water them down. Our soldiers are rightly expected to live up to those standards, even as it seems those who govern do not.” The Guardian report that although, Lt Col Nicholas Mercer “was senior military legal adviser to the 1st Armoured Division during the Iraq war of 2003,” they say, “He is now an Anglican priest.”

    So where does the Captain of Capitulation Tory enabler, Keir Starmer and his new Labour Opposition team stand on this issue? In a Canary Article that I highlighted in a previous post they report that, “it seems Starmer could tell his MPs to vote against the 10pm rule.” This pertains to the futile pub closure regulations, they say “this is particularly damning given the bills he’s asked MPs to abstain on. What a shame he couldn’t do the same over, say, the potential torture and murder of people by UK government actors? The covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) bill has hit the news this week. LabourList said it: aims to give legal protection for a previously secret power, ‘the third direction,’ allowing MI5, police forces and other specified public bodies to authorise agents and informants to commit criminal offences.”

    The Canary report that, “Amnesty UK has warned that ‘this bill could end up providing informers and agents with a licence to kill’ and stressed that it ‘does not explicitly prohibit MI5 and other agencies from authorising crimes like torture and killing’. Essentially, as the Guardian reported, the: bill confirm[s] MI5’s right to let informants commit crimes in pursuit of intelligence material. Or, as the Morning Star summed up: Even the equivalent legislation in the United States rules out torture and murder, yet nothing is ruled out in this Bill. We are assured only that law-breaking will be limited to specific, internally approved cases.”

    The Canary describe abstaining as “the centrist way” saying that, “On Monday 5 October, there was a vote on the bill in parliament. Starmer, though, had told his MP’s to abstain. But 20 MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn, voted against the bill.” Repeatedly, with so many of the controversial issues Parliament has debated and voted on in the past, Jeremy Corbyn has always been on the right side of history. They say, “Starmer’s decision caused outrage: But Labour abstaining on massive issues is nothing new. Starmer previously sacked Nadia Whittome from the front bench for not abstaining (and voting against) another bill. Centrist leaders have a track record of forcing MPs to abstain. Not least during repeated votes on welfare issues. The CHIS bill has still got more stages to pass through. The Canary will be publishing more analysis on the implications of the bill. But Starmer’s whipping on it sums up his leadership entirely: devoid of principle and pandering to right-wing rhetoric.” We desperately need a credible opposition.”

    When I wrote about Boris Johnson’s rambling Tory Party Conference speech, I was struck by his concept of “Global Britain” as if he expected accolades for his lies, failures and perversions of the law. To imagine that a respected “outward-looking country” can be proudly independent while in defiance of internationally recognized Laws, globally accepted conventions and treaties is frankly delusional. This Tory Government’s decisions, to ignore the UN Rapporteur’s report on abuse of the disabled, continue in violation of an International Court decision on Diego Garcia and more recently their treatment of Julian Assange, has already damaged our reputation for diplomacy. But Johnson is prepared to violate an agreement he signed with the EU that will compromise the Good Friday accord and he now wants to give the green light to torture and Human Rights violations committed by our troupes overseas. Under the corrupt Leadership of Johnson/Cummings the UK is fast becoming a hard-Right Dictatorship and a rogue Fascist state!

    Risking being thrown out of Court, Assange indulged in one highly impactful outburst, yelling from his glass box, “I will not permit the testimony of a torture victim to be censored by this Court!” He knew that if the Judge ordered him removed from the Court it would create an ‘incident,’ a stark punctuation within the proceedings, that would at least be noted by the appallingly apathetic press. Julian picked his battle wisely realizing that the sidelining of testimony from a torture victim epitomized the cruellest injustice secretly perpetrated by the US and the most vital mission of WikiLeaks to expose the horrific truth. Despite the massive price Assange might well be forced to pay for his Journalistic courage he was not prepared to ignore the evidence of US extraordinary rendition, torture and casual slaughter of innocent civilians go unreported, atrocities in which our own Government is complicit.

    I am compelled to repeat myself yet again here: as strongly as we all feel about the Assange case, it remains just one of a growing number of collective injustices perpetrated by a thoroughly corrupt Tory Government that seized power in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. It is our duty to ‘megaphone’ the truth of these grotesque injustices and demand a full Investigation into the stolen vote. We desperately need a professional Investigative Journalist chasing down leads and a dedicated WikiLeaks style drop-box in the hope of encouraging a Whistleblower to come forward and expose the truth regarding the stolen Covert 2019 Rigged Election and the continual ongoing misappropriation and plundering of public funds by Tory Ministers to buy the loyalty of cronies. Public funds used by this Tory Government to pay Integrity Initiative to destroy electoral integrity by creating damaging propaganda targeting the opposition would, in any viable democracy, have the perpetrators jailed on corruption charges: thet must be removed from office ASAP! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61542 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    This Tory Government is moving steadily towards the end game of establishing an authoritarian fascist police state under the full Dictatorship of easily manipulated egotist Boris Johnson, but controlled by Dominic Cummings. The majority of the population are sleepwalking into this dystopian nightmare, while the few who recognize the dangers are railing against the increasing injustices, trying to derail the ghastly plan before it is too late, but some have already given up the fight. The sense of impending doom grows as the pace of change is picking up, but we cannot afford to give up because in a few short months all resistance will be a deadly endeavour. The UK public has been so easily distracted by the haphazardly constructed rollercoaster of Covid 19 that they have overlooked the other fast approaching disaster of Brexit. The crash-out scenario was an intentionally planned crisis to solidify the Tories totalitarian rule, a chance to deploy troupes to quell rioting and subdue all resistance in the destitute oppressed population.

    Stark warnings abound, the Canary Article entitled, “Undercover soldiers: how the spy cops bill could bring the war on terror home,” exposes the UK’s steady advance towards becoming a police state. They say, “Most of the debate around what’s been dubbed the Spy Cops bill has focused on the UK police and security services. The covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) bill will allow state security agencies to break the law. This focus is entirely justified given the human cost of undercover cops operating with relative impunity in political movements over the years. But it isn’t the whole story. Less commented upon is the fact that one of the named beneficiaries of new proposals is the British military. It seems likely that special forces units on domestic counter-terrorism duties could use the new legislation. Although it’s hard to fully understand the implications without disclosure on the matter which is unlikely given covert military units and activity are exempt from freedom of information requests under national security rules.”

    The Canary highlights the danger posed by what they refer to as “Secret Soldiers” saying, “The units in question would include the Special Reconnaissance Regiment, or SRR. Founded in 2005, and far more secretive than its SAS and SBS counterparts, SRR was officially the first special forces unit to accept women into its ranks. Unlike the SAS it remains extremely secretive, having not been subjected to the rafts of memoirs and movies by and about former members. What little we know is that it has operated in most major UK warzones, that its role is focused on surveillance over force, and that it’s operated in the north of Ireland. It was in the north of Ireland that the unit was put into effect, often with deeply violent results. The concept of undercover soldiers resulted in the creation of highly controversial plain-clothed units like the Force Research Unit, the Military Reaction Force, and 14 Intelligence Company.”

    The Canary report that, “While designed as a way to expand military surveillance operations beyond Ireland and the UK, the SRR was also centrally involved in a 2005 counter-terrorism operation which resulted in the ‘mistaken identity’ killing of Brazillian worker Jean Charles de Menezes in Stockwell tube station in south London on 22 July 2005, just weeks after the ‘7/7’ London Bombings. Having been followed from a block of flats in nearby Tulse Hill, de Menezes was chased on to a tube train, pinned down, and shot eight times by armed officers. After numerous appeals by his family and the case reaching the European courts, judges ruled there was inadequate evidence to charge any officer with breaching human rights. The Met Police were, however, charged for breaking health and safety laws. The military made very little comment on the issue but Whitehall sources did confirm to the press at the time that soldiers had been involved in tailing de Menezes.”

    The Canary point to the reality that forces initially trained and destined for use overseas could very easily be brought, “Home to roost,” deployed on the streets of the UK. They note that, “Policing in the UK has already become highly militarised though not yet to the degree that the US has seen with military hardware and paramilitary-style tactics adopted on a major scale. Some have argued that this is evidence of the violence we’ve inflicted abroad through the War on Terror coming home to roost. The CHIS bill could be read as another step along the way. Moreover, these new measures must be seen in the context of a wide range of authoritarian legislation and other proposals. These include:
    • The Overseas Operations Bill, which would make soldiers immune from prosecution.
    • The so-called Snoopers Charter, which would criminalise journalists.
    • The extradition case of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange case.
    • Home secretary Priti Patel’s scheme to intern desperate refugees on remote islands or in prison ships.”

    The Canary point out that, “Just as concerning is the fact that the Tories have a substantial majority in parliament and that Keir Starmer’s largely supine opposition has, with the usual honourable exceptions, offered only lukewarm resistance to dangerous legislation. This new bill could give military units, with a far more aggressive approach than even the Met Police, effective carte blanche to break the law. It should concern anyone committed to human rights and the rule of law.” These changes bought into law by the fabricated Tory majority in Parliament under the guise of necessity in a crisis situation will pave the way for the shocking authoritarian crack down that lies ahead. People are already feeling the pain of forced unemployment with inadequate support that leads to destitution. Former Labour strongholds, cities in the north of England are being targeted with severe deprivation while this deceitful Tory Government continues to tout its propaganda of ‘levelling up;’ we need to wake up to the truth of ‘Decimating Down.’

    Sadly I have just noted that one outspoken online Blog critic is talking of giving up the fight. The Daily Gas Lamp have provided a wealth of extremely valuable information, particularly on the issue of the weapons grade PsyOps so eagerly adopted by the master manipulator Dominic Cummings and the illegal data mining of Cambridge Analytica. Anyone who has not yet visited this insightful Blog should take a look at the material uncovered and exposed on Gas Lamp and add a comment; perhaps we can persuade the author to continue his efforts at least for a sort while longer as it is a real public service available to us during these troubling times. On the 8th of October the author warned of his intention to quit in a ‘Last Post’ ominously entitled “Game Over!” We cannot afford to lose such a valuable critic.

    In the Daily Gas Lamp Post sadly they report that, “This is probably the last post of the Daily Gas Lamp. The fact of the matter is that we – the 99% – have lost. It’s Game Over. It is the epitome of George Orwell’s vision of the future: a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” The evidence that has led to this conclusion is then listed below.
    “The Government is planning on shipping asylum seekers to Ascension Island. The unemployed will be next. And there will be a lot of unemployed… the Tories are happy to dump all sorts of employment sectors: arts&culture, manufacturing industry, retail, farming – under the bus!
    • They are decriminalizing torture – the bill has already passed its first reading.
    • The same bill allows many agencies of the state to break the law including a license to kill for undercover agents
    • The government already has complete control of media, not just the right wing newspapers, but also the TV news channels and regulators are now under political control. Gaslighting will be the least of our future problems.”

    The Gas Lamp warn of the rapidly increasing threat saying, “Capitalism is going to kill us, kill the planet – even the Pope says so. Many other commentators are making the point that the Government is exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic. But not that this is a natural pandemic.” Although it seems likely that Covid 19 was engineered in a lab, I am not totally convince that its release was carefully planned. These toxic bio-warfare labs exist all over the globe and their deadly experiments escape from time to time to cause devastation and global panic. I think that certain key figures would have been better prepared to personally navigate the crisis if the release had been planned; certainly Trump will have a hard time trying to sell the legitimacy of his stolen election to the US public.

    The Gas Lamp claims that, “This is all part of a plan by eugenicists that has been going for decades. I’ll make this simple. (See previous Daily GasLamp posts for evidence).
    • The Covid-19 virus is man-made.
    • The pandemic was planned and deliberately released in China.
    • It was designed to impact the West in 2020 to impact the Presidential elections. What comes next will be painful regardless whether it is Biden or – heaven forbid – Trump (he is quite capable of stealing the election.)
    • In the meantime, the UK election was rigged to bring in this corrupt Tory Government
    • This explains the “incompetence” of the Tory government – they weren’t being incompetent, they just didn’t care – they just wanted to sow fear, confusion and make a ton of money for themselves and the Tory Party donors.
    • Billionaires are making a fortune, the people that run the country are being shafter. We are being pushed into a techno-medical fascist state.
    • In the UK, even the opposition is ‘controlled’ and new laws are being brought in to completely control life and liberty. There will be no consequences for the government and there will be no safety nets for anyone not of the ‘right sort’. Do-gooders need not apply.”

    The Gas Lamp then apologises for giving up the fight writing, “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but this is it: Game Over!” We cannot give up the fight as too much is at stake. I do not believe that we have reached ‘Game Over’ yet. The protest from northern Labour Mayors demanding that the Government must compensate those who are being forced out of work is a start. The Tories set minimum wage was already below the required living wage so reducing that amount by a third would be deliberately driving people into destitution. Tory constituencies with higher infection rates are not being forced into the same crippling levels of lockdown. Last week’s Sunday Times reported on the inappropriate discrepancies, “No coronavirus lockdown for top Tory constituencies” noting that, “Leaked emails reveal that wealthier seats and new blue strongholds are being spared the harshest restrictions.” Does this spell rebellion with full recognition that the Tories never had any intention of ‘levelling up’ and are now actively ‘Decimating Down?’

    The most powerful tool in this Tory Government’s hands right now is their propaganda through disproportionate control of the BBC and the Mainstream Media. It is only what is written by progressive Journalists in rebellious alternative media outlets and activist Blogs, who can change the narrative that is driving the population like lemmings to the cliff edge in complacent acceptance of their authoritarian Dictatorship. Exposure of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and a full Investigation into the stolen vote would totally delegitimize this Tory Government and drive them out of office. However, the lies that were used to sell the fabricated result to the British people will never be challenged until the entire fabric of their deception is torn down when the majority of the UK population realize they have been conned. It is sad to see Gas Lamp quit, but I will not give up writing because we need to convince possible Whistleblowers that there is a safe space where they will be believed and their evidence will be taken seriously and acted upon. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61547 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    I just stumbled upon a YouTube presentation from a group called “Unlock Democracy” who make a bold assertion, with which I wholeheartedly agree, that, “Free and fair elections are fundamental for a healthy democracy. Giving the independent elections watchdog more power, not less, can crack down on attempts to undermine elections.” I intend to contact them regarding our dire concerns over the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and my Petition to fully Investigate the Tories dubious ‘landslide victory’ claim to power. Even for organizations and individuals who remain convinced that nothing untoward occurred in the December Election it’s an undisputed fact that the system is wide open to industrial scale fraud. Did that occur with this last vote; we cannot be certain that it did not and we will never find out if the Tories get their way and prevent us from ever challenging the result. It is in the Tories best interests to preserve the insecure Electoral System and reduce rather than increase the powers of the Electoral Commission.

    Add your name to demand a Democratic future and join Unlock Democracy. I explored the Unlock Democracy Website and was able to, “Sign up to support our principles for change.” They say that, “It’s clear the public wants change after the pandemic,” but they admit that, “politicians are pushing the same old meek solutions in an unprecedented situation. We can only ensure politics reflects our hunger for change by transforming our politics.” They appeal for people to, “Add your name: in support today and get involved in shaping the campaign over the summer.” Yes, sadly the summer came and went in a miserable Covid blur of concern and haphazard restrictions, but what now for this grass roots organization?

    Unlock Democracy state their, “Principles for a democratic future
    1. We demand the right to an accountable government that we can effectively scrutinise. The government’s handling of the pandemic has revealed just how little power we have to hold them to account when they get things wrong. This has to change in the future.
    2. We demand the right to decide any big reforms to our political system together, no to politicians doing it on our behalf. In the past major changes to our political system have been decided by politicians, not those of us affected by them. In the future, no major changes should be made on our behalf. Instead we must be active participants in these decisions.
    3. We demand the right to exert accountability over those trying to distort our democracy. From secret lobbying to bankrolling parties, corporate interests have distorted politics by muscling out the public in decision making. We must stop profiteers and corporate interests distorting democracy.
    4. We demand the right to define what democracy means to us. The definition of democracy has been narrowed to simply voting for who rules us every few years. Democracy can and should mean much more than this. We need a national conversation to decide what democracy means to us for the 21st century.
    5. We must build a political system resilient for the future. The pandemic could be just a taster of the shocks coming our way like the climate crisis. We need to decide how we will ensure a just political system manages those challenges, and will survive them intact.”

    Unlock Democracy outline the following, “What We Want: We want a democratic society that centres equality and justice for all, and a political system that reflects and upholds the values we collectively share. We want our democratic society protected by a new and codified constitution that is built and owned by the people.” We should bear in mind that the reason we are so vulnerable right now is that the UK does not have a written constitution; along with Israel and New Zealand it is one of the very few modern democracies in this precarious position. The system of gentlemen’s agreements and archaic conventions has only survived this long because those in power were prepared to play by an unwritten set of rules. However the current Tory Government have demonstrated that they are not to be trusted as they are prepared to run roughshod over such conventions and ever bend or break the law if it suits their purposes and keeps them in power: consequently the UK is careening towards fascist Dictatorship.

    Elaborating on the faults and failings of the UK system Unlock Democracy state the following, “We Believe: The government is overpowerful and overcentralised. A small handful of people are empowered by an archaic unwritten constitution that lets them do whatever they want. We have a pay-to-play political system. Access and influence can be purchased, meaning the more money you have the more power you wield.” They remind us that, “Our electoral system is unfair,” as “First past the post disenfranchises millions of people from having power in the voting booth. It produces politicians that don’t represent us and aren’t accountable to us. The status quo benefits those who currently hold power. Politicians aren’t willing to change the system because they benefit from it.” The stolen majority of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election has gifted the Tories with unstoppable power to strip away every last vestige of accountability and right now the weakened Electoral Commission is under attack: we must “Rescue our Watchdog!”

    Unlock Democracy’s, “Purpose and Constitution regulates how we operate and sets out principles behind our work. The purpose of the organisation, as laid out in the constitution, is as follows: Unlock Democracy argues and campaigns for a vibrant, inclusive democracy that puts power in the hands of the people.” Their ambition is noble and long overdue, but is this achievable without exposing the rampant corruption of this current Tory Government to remove them from power? They goal is to, “seek a democratic participative process resulting in a written constitution that serves and protects the people. That constitution would define the roles of, and relationships between, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. It would determine how, and to what extent, power is shared between representatives at local, national and United Kingdom levels, and with international organisations. It would enshrine basic liberties and human rights for all.”

    What do they stand for? “Unlock Democracy Campaign:
    • For fair and open elections
    • For transparency in public decision making
    • To ensure that power is exercised as close to people as is practicable
    • To empower individuals and their communities to have a greater say over the decisions that affect them
    • For democratic accountability of all elected representatives, government and public bodies
    • For universal human rights for all
    Unlock Democracy Promote:
    • A new culture of informed political interest and responsibility, paving the way for increased enthusiastic public participation
    • A pluralist democracy that is responsive to the problems and aspirations of all people, valuing and accommodating difference, diversity and universal human rights. Everyone has the right to live their life in dignity under the law, and free from fear.”

    Unlock Democracy declare themselves, “A non-aligned organisation, committed to working inclusively across the political spectrum. We seek to understand how democracy works in practice and to use evidence-based research to inform and develop policies. We stand against cynicism and disengagement, and for a living democracy with the people, all the people, at its heart. We want a democratic society: Right now, politics doesn’t work for most of us. Decisions are made for people and communities by the small handful of people that have political power. At elections we replace politicians, but the same corrupt system remains. Instead of Westminster handing down instructions, communities should have a say over their futures. Instead of serving the interests of corporations and the super-rich, politicians could work in the public’s interest.” Their Constitution can be downloaded from their Website.

    Unlock Democracy claim to be, “Building a movement of people from all corners of the UK who will demand a democratic society that centres equality and justice for all. We demand that the values we collectively share are enshrined in a new constitution that is built and owned by all of us.” This will provide a vital protection that cannot be stripped away by an election victory as our basic Human Rights are in grave danger of being ‘redefined’ or dismantled right now. They state that, “The new constitution will set out what rights and freedoms should be protected, and what the government can and can’t do in our name. This new constitution will be written by and for the people as part of an inclusive, deliberative, and above-all democratic process, including a constitutional convention. We demand that the new constitution permanently rebalances and decentralises power. If we want a democratic society, we need to start with a democratic political system. Together, we want to rewrite the UK’s entire political system.”

    Unlock Democracy say that, “Today, it’s hard to make our voices heard in politics. If we’re united, we can win change.” In stating what they hope to achieve they say, “We want a new constitution for the UK that replaces the unwritten, Westminster system of gentlemen’s agreements.” In defining the new Constitution they sat it, “would:
    • Set out the rules for how our government works.
    • Sets limits on what elected representatives can and can’t do.
    • Set out how Westminster deals with the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    • Secure citizens rights so that they can’t be overruled by the government of the day with a majority of one.
    The details would be decided by a citizen-led constitutional convention, and be put to the public to endorse. We believe this process is critical to rebuilding trust in our politics, and permanently rebalancing power so all of us have more say.”

    Unlock Democracy pose the question, “How do we get there?” They propose, “A constitutional convention,” and go on to explain what this entails. They state that, “A constitutional convention is where a group of people meet with the express purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing one. They have met in Iceland after the financial crash, and recently in Ireland to consider big changes such as legalising abortion. Unlock Democracy wants to see a citizen-led convention, given the access to experts and the resources needed to do the job.” This is a bold undertaking, but it has a strong track record of success as shown in the two examples cited.

    Unlock Democracy explain how this is set up, who contributes and how it works saying, “Members of the convention should be randomly selected citizens and be representative of the UK’s population. Public debate, discussion and consultation should be widespread. There needs to be a maximum of 200 people in the convention. It should provide ample opportunities for individuals or groups to present their perspective and/or provide evidence throughout the process. Any proposals about the future of the UK must also have a majority of each national group within the convention. Once the process has finished, we want to see the new constitution put to a referendum.” That would need to be a free and fair referendum as opposed to one warped by the toxic intervention of powerful lobby groups, Giant Corporations, wealthy donors buying influence or dangerous manipulators like Dominic Cummings using weapons grade PsyOps!

    Unlock Democracy ask, “What difference would it make? Protecting our rights MPs can take away our fundamental rights at any time with a majority of one, and there’s no real limit to what the government can do in our name.
    • In 2016, MPs passed the Investigatory Powers Act, “The most intrusive surveillance law ever introduced in a democratic country” according to Liberty.
    • In 2018, a small majority of MPs voted to scrap a swathe of our rights in the EU Withdrawal Act. Politics isn’t done with us, it’s done to us.”

    Unlock Democracy say that, “It’s time for us as a nation to decide what our fundamental rights should be, and protect them from overzealous governments. Letting communities decide local services The UK is one of the most centralised countries in the developed world. Councils and communities have very little say in how much money they raise to spend on local services. For the last 8 years, Westminster has forced Councils to impose enormous cuts to local services. Without proper powers to raise money from elsewhere, local government increasingly has few genuine choices to make. Libraries have been closing across the UK, while schools and social services are under unprecedented pressure. We want to see a system where instead of Westminster passing down orders, communities and citizens have a genuine conversation about local needs, with the powers needed to deliver.”

    Unlock Democracy cite a striking example with the decisions over Fracking, saying, “Over the past few years, Westminster’s attitude towards fracking has ridden roughshod over local democracy. This highly controversial practice has been rejected repeatedly by local councils. But the government kept changing the rules to help the industry get around local wishes. Although the government has now put fracking on hold, central government shouldn’t be able to change the rules of the game. A new constitution could give councils protection from interference Westminster from interference.”

    Unlock Democracy tout important, “Campaign Wins
    • We won our campaign for tough new rules for lobbying in Scotland: It goes much further than Westminster’s bogus lobbying register. Virtually all lobbyists have to register, disclose who they are talking to and what about.
    • We helped push the Electoral Commission to investigate a ‘dark money’ trust in Scotland: We wrote to Westminster’s Commissioner for Standards, requesting an investigation after inconsistencies in Conservative MPs reporting of donations from the Scottish Unionist Association Trust.
    • We saw off attempts to rig party funding in favour of the Conservatives: Changes to funding rules would have meant draconian a crackdown on trade union donations, with millionaires left free to carry on funding their favoured politicians.”

    Unlock Democracy appeal to the public to, “Transform democracy – sign up for updates! Stand with us to transform democracy – sign up for email updates today! We’re building a community united by our belief in achieving equality and justice, through the empowerment of all people in the UK. This health and economic crisis has shaken the foundations of our political system. Threats and opportunities are emerging rapidly, and we need to ensure society’s response to these is democratic to their core. We need people like you to stand with us. Get updates from the campaign today!”

    Nothing illustrates the urgent need got this better than understanding the intention of this Tory Government concerning the future of the Electoral Commission (EC). As I have said before, “A Watchdog that cannot watch is just a dog,” but, not content with hobbling the EC to the point where it is a virtually worthless regulatory body, they now want to abolish it altogether! In a Canary Article entitled, “We face a quiet threat to the independence of our elections. We must be vigilant,” they elaborate on the Governments plans. They report that, “The Electoral Commission (EC) is soon to be reviewed by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Its independence could be under threat’.” The Canary warns that, “this means our democracy is also threatened. The last decade has seen Britain’s electoral landscape move from the cash for honours scandal, various expenses scandals, to the recent flurry of elections and referendums that have come under scrutiny with accusations of electoral fraud and dodgy campaign finances.”

    The Canary claim that, “It’s little wonder that public confidence in politicians and the election process is so low. But removing the independence of the EC will not instil greater confidence” and further say, “The electoral commission needs reform, not abolition.” While I concur with the Canary that the answer to the defences warrants radical reform including greater empowerment rather than abolition, I believe the problems are far greater than the Canary cite in this article as they failed to mention the rapid increase in the privatization of Electoral services. The EC have openly admitted that they have no power of scrutiny over these private companies like Idox who ‘manage’ huge numbers of postal votes entirely unregulated. Idox, the exact same company that has your name and address, your date of birth and an electronic copy of your signature, deciding when your ballot will be mailed to you and if it will be accepted, have also created a special App for canvassers so Idox know exactly how you will vote!

    Idox, the company with the lion’s share of this critical industry, are well and truly in-bed with the Tory Party and we have every right to question their unhealthy influence regarding this process especially given the totally unanticipated highly questionable result after the Covert 2019 Rigged Election. The solitary reason this astounding result was accepted was the propaganda that ensued from the BBC and news outlets determined to sell the fake Tory win. The Canary say they “will be keeping a keen eye on the progress of this review in our mission to hold truth to power. This article is, therefore, the first in a series that will investigate this issue from all angles. We’ll keep pressure on political parties who could threaten the democratic process at a time when public confidence in politics is at an all-time low. The review is not expected until June 2021. The public consultation, however, has already been carried out and there are a number of issues to explore that hold politicians across the spectrum to account.”

    The Canary report on the threat, saying that, “The EC has been an independent body since 2001. It monitors elections and helps the election process happen. The EC was formed from the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA). The Committee on Standards in Public Life has announced a review of electoral regulation in the UK. And there are significant concerns that the Conservative government is looking to severely restrict or abolish the EC altogether.” They say, “Co-chair of the Conservative Party Amanda Milling warned that if the EC did not accept further scrutiny and reforms: and do the job it was set up to do then the only option would be to abolish it.”

    According to the Canary, “Fair Vote UK countered Milling’s comments by stating: Fair Vote UK agrees that the Commission needs to change – and we stressed this in our own submission to the review – but Milling’s main protests are disingenuous and circular in logic. Firstly, The Electoral Commission is accountable to Parliament, not Government. This is designed to ensure its non-partisan political independence. It reports to the Speaker of the House of Commons, is governed by the rule of law and is answerable to the Courts. Independent regulatory bodies of this type are a common part of the UK constitution.” The Canary verbalize the telling question, “Ask yourself, would an electoral regulator directly answerable to No. 10 be trusted as independent?” I think we all know what the answer would be…

    The Canary are keen to spell out the path forward, stating that, “The EC could well do with reform that hands them greater investigative powers. It is, for example, currently restricted by outdated election laws that don’t account for digital advertising from election and referendum campaigns. This is further compounded by low fines (something the Scottish government tried to remedy by increasing the maximum fine from £10,000 to £500,000 for campaigns that break rules during referendums). An inefficient relationship to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) also means that EC investigations run under massive delays.” In reality, no matter how powerful the evidence an investigation is automatically sidelined by the CPS. Clearly, there is room for careful reform of the EC in order to provide accountability for campaigning tactics during elections and referendums.

    In this article the Canary tries to offer a balanced picture by presenting information on the systems used overseas. They say, “In the West, there is a mixture of electoral models. Countries such as Germany, and Spain use a mixed model where independent regulators monitor elections. These recommendations are put into action by governments and monitored. Others, such as the US and Sweden use an executive model whereby branches of local government act on behalf of a central body. While the mixed model could be an option in the UK, are we really going to trust this government to carry that out? Discrepancies from Vote Leave and the Tory government itself during election seasons have shown that we cannot.” That has to be the understatement of the century! We must increase the powers of our Electoral Commission, remove the private companies with vested interests and fix our broken system, need to have another Election, with foreign observers to insure that this time around the process is fair.

    The Canary report, “A call to vigilance.” They say, “!Independent regulation is a deeply important part of a functioning democracy. The Conservative government’s slow privatisation of the NHS, its abject failure to implement an effective Test and Trace system, and the continuation of a hostile environment has shown that it cannot be trusted to hold the values of integrity and decency in its actions. Democracy is not a singular and stable entity unchanged by political upheaval. Democracy is a process that is vulnerable to manipulation and erosion. Democracy is something that we do. The suggestion of potentially abolishing the EC is a dangerous threat to democracy in the UK. It must be closely watched and resisted.” Under this Tory Government we are in imminent danger if seeing one of the oldest continuous democracies in the world, the so called mother of all Parliaments, destroyed, dragged down by a corrupt cabal of ruthless crooks determined to rule by Dictate. We cannot allow this to happen; we must Get The Tories Out! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61568 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    A real triumph against the rapidly proliferating power of the far-Right in the EU should have provided much needed reassurance, but instead it should serve as a stark wake-up call to the British people on the urgent need to halt an ominous march towards our own Fascist destiny here in the UK. The violence and corruption were laid bare in a Canary Article entitled, “Greek neo-Nazis provoked civil war, seven years later they’re finally declared criminals.” The Canary reveal that, “A Greek court has ruled that the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn (GD) is a criminal organisation and that GD supporter Yiorgos Roupakias is guilty of the murder of rapper Pavlov Fyssas. But there remain unanswered questions about the role of the police.” The Canary ask, “why earlier warnings that GD hoped to provoke a civil war in Greece as part of a ‘strategy of tension’ went unheeded?” We should be asking the same questions here; why do Tories ignore serious incitements to violence by the far-Right? Are they Johnson’s loyal stormtroupers?

    Regarding the situation in Greece, the Canary that, “The trial commenced in April 2015, two years after the murder of Fyssas. Specifically, the charges concerned an attack by alleged GD members on Egyptian fisherman and an assault on 20 trade unionists, as well as the murder of Fyssas. 18 former MPs were also charged with belonging to a criminal organisation – effectively accusing GD of being a criminal organisation. After the landmark ruling, thousands gathered to celebrate: Michalis Goudis Tweeted: The Athens Criminal Court has found the Nazi party #GoldenDawn guilty of operating as a criminal organisation. Its leadership found guilty of running a criminal organization. A historic verdict, a historic day for #Democracy in #Greece with thousands on the streets cheering.” They say, “Anti-racist activist Petros Constantinou commented: ‘It’s official. Golden Dawn is over,’ He added: ‘The mood here today is resonant of the celebrations we saw with the liberation of Athens from the Nazis’.”

    According to the Canary, “the criminal status of GD could have been dealt with years ago.” They say that there were clear “Early warnings,” the exact same early warning signs this Tory Government are systematically ignoring or manipulating in their toxic propaganda messaging. They say that, “In November 2012, it was reported that GD led a ‘mob of 150 people’ to attack migrants and their shops. In January 2013, GD supporters murdered Shahzad Luqman, a migrant worker from Pakistan. In September 2013, Giorgos Roupakias murdered anti-fascist rapper Fyssas. In the aftermath of Fyssas’ death, 69 GD members, including the senior leadership figures, were arrested. In November 2013, it was reported that two GD members were shot and killed.”

    The Canary report that, “In February 2013, an anarchist blog warned that Greece was experiencing a ‘strategy of tension’ scenario after far-right activists and police were arrested for allegedly conspiring to plot a massacre. It was reported that ‘266,000 euros, 3,000 dollars, 19 guns, a grenade, detonators and police clothing were found amongst what the Police have confiscated from the group’. The money was believed to have been part of the proceeds from bank robberies.” The Canary say that, warnings were confirmed when, “In April 2013, Vice journalist Yiannis Baboulias conducted an interview with investigative journalist Dimitris Psarras, who wrote a book on GD. In the interview Psarras agreed that GD were hoping for a civil war, resulting from a Greek version of Italy’s ‘strategy of tension’.” Has Boris Johnson, under the tight control of his dangerous manipulator Dominic Cummings, under the convenient cover of Covid 19, initiated a ‘strategy of tension here in the UK and will this escalate with crash–out Brexit?

    The Canary ask, “Do you think Greece is starting to see a ‘strategy of tension’ enacted? Golden Dawn trying to manipulate the public with fear? I believe it’s already happening. Golden Dawn’s strategy today is exactly that. Ilias Panagiotaros, one of Golden Dawn’s MPs, actually said ‘There is already civil war’ in an interview. They want to force the other side’s hand into committing similar violent acts, just like during the strategy of tension in Italy in the 70s.” They elaborate on the situation by asking, “So what you’re saying is not that it might happen, but that it’s definitely already happening?” Saying, “Definitely. Maybe not with the same intensity as Italy’s blind bombings in the 70s, but let’s not forget that Golden Dawn and Michaloliakos’s heritages both involve the Italians. Even recently, actually, the Golden Dawn magazine, Meandric, which they circulate internally inside the organization, ran a piece on Pino Rauti, one of the leaders of the neofascist Ordine Nuovo, the far-right group directly involved with the bombings in Italy in the 70s.”

    According to the Canary, “Vice added how GD leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos had: spent some time in jail in 1979 for illegally carrying guns and explosives. More recently, supporters of the party have been linked with murdering immigrants [link invalid] in the streets of Athens, casual violence against both immigrants and anarchists, and, in the tradition of their leader, arrested on more than one for carrying guns and explosives.” They say this was “GD’s modus operandi,” They report that, “In another interview in September 2013 by Greek Left Review, Psarras describes how GD, also referred to below as Chrysi Avghi (CA) – the Greek name for Golden Dawn, operates: A typical example of a pogrom was the two-week-long attack against immigrants in the centre of Athens in May 2011, using as a pretext the assassination of a Greek, Manolis Kandaris. Dozens of immigrants were wounded, some of them seriously, and one died.”

    The Canary report that, “Similar pogroms initiated by Nazis against immigrants occurred throughout Greece in preceding years – in 2004 for example after a soccer competition between Albania and Greece. Dozens of Albanian immigrants living here paid for Greece’s defeat in that case. As for lynching, it generally happens in the evening, with groups made up of many CA members (the ‘Phalanges’ or ‘Storm Divisions’), by isolating one or two immigrants and beating them until they lose consciousness. A very characteristic example took place in June 1998. In broad daylight, a group of 10 CA members armed with clubs and headed by Antonios Androutsopoulos, the organization’s number two man at the time attacked three left-wing student-trade unionists who were sitting in a café. They did not stop until they left one of them for dead. In the end the student survived after fighting for his life for several days. Similar attacks have occurred almost every evening, targeting immigrant workers, but we only hear of them when the victims dare to go to hospital.”

    According to the Canary, “Psarras also argues that many GD members avoided arrest because they had support from the police: the vice-head of CA was sentenced to a heavy prison term for the 1998 attack [on left-wing student trade unionists]. However, he had been able to hide out for 7 years before turning himself in to the authorities. The reason for all the impunity is that for years Chrysi Avghi had a special relationship with the police and in particular with MAT, the riot control police. The police used the organization to do its dirty work in repressing mass demonstrations. At the time of the last elections, it was demonstrated that a good part of the police voted for CA. This is also the reason for the authorities’ reticence in investigating Nazi aggression, Collusion?”

    The Canary say that, “A forensic study of the murder of Fyssas was conducted and it’s suggested police were present during the killing: In 2014, a leaked video indicated collusion between then New Democracy president Antonis Samaras and GD.” There is always shallow talk of lessons learned’ but in reality it us simply a call to ignore holding those responsive for past atrocities and totally unforgivable mistakes unaccountable for their actions despite greedy self-serving self enrichment on a truly obscene scale. The Canary states that, “Nazis should not be tolerated, but promptly dealt with in the courts… and if need be, on the streets, But that was certainly not the case with the Spectator, which appeared to support GD: Peter Jukes as the shocked Twiterati were notified that the Spectator’s editor Peter Jukes, ‘defends column supporting Greek far-right party Golden Dawn’.”

    The Canary report that, “Spectator editor defends column supporting Greek far-right party Golden Dawn” according to the Press Gazette, “The Spectator has come under fire for publishing an article appearing to support the Greek far-right party Golden Dawn. A blog by stalwart columnist Taki Theodoracopulos – titled “A fascist takeover…” They say that, “while the court rulings in Greece are to be welcomed, it must not be forgotten that it took seven years since the murder of Fyssas for justice to be done. That, too, is intolerable.” Sadly, in both the US and the UK far Right extremists are being tolerated and even encouraged by politicians who value their disruptive influence in stoking racial hatred and fear in communities to gain support for a radical agenda. These far-right movements evolve during periods of extreme social deprivation and political unrest when neglected or exploited sectors of the population are offered a scapegoat for their anger and resentment. In reality the fault lies with this Tory Government.

    Responding to criticism of the article that was printed in July 2013, on Twitter, Spectator editor Fraser Nelson said: “Our readers like diversity and well-written pieces that they disagree with. We have no party line.” In a later tweet, he added: “Every week, there’s at least one Spectator piece I disagree with so much I’d like it spiked… but the Spectator editor should be the last person in London to reach for the censor’s pen.” Writing on his Liberal Conspiracy blog, left-wing commentator Sunny Hundal asked: “Does the Spectator not have any limits to this broad church at all? Can one write a piece praising Hitler too?” It has taken years for this far-Right hate group, who even managed to get representatives elected to the Greek Parliament, to be called out and stripped of any fake claim to respectability, but that it has finally happened is a triumph for justice that we hope will be emulated elsewhere.

    Earlier this year an Article in the Independent entitled. “The far right is on the streets again, but this time it’s deep inside our Tory government too,” pointed to the dangerous escalation in far-Right interventions under the guise of protecting iconic nationalism.
    Sean O’Grady highlighted how, “A legitimate proud patriotism in the generation and its leaders who fought for freedom in the last war, including many people of colour from what was then the British Empire, is being perverted and stolen in front of our very eyes.” I detest all this nationalist fervour, prefer to think of myself as a ‘peaceful patriot of the planet’ and decry Churchill as a cruel, war mongering bigot, but I can see why the author found the situation ironic. He wrote, “There is the deepest of ironies in the statue of Winston Churchill, a man who wanted to extirpate Hitlerism from the face of the earth, being ‘defended’ by a bunch of thugs giving the Nazi – or, as they would have you believe, the ‘football’ – salute.”

    O’Grady commented cynically, “I note that Katie Hopkins, the Mother Theresa of the hard right, has issued this appeal on Twitter: “If you were paid to chuck Nazi salutes at the cameras yesterday in London, by ANY organisation, I would love to hear from you (and compensate you for your time).” He wrote of the Germans that they, “were quite fussy about the way the ‘Hitler Greeting’ was done – though understandably no provision was made for how it might be later performed beneath a statue of Churchill, ally of the Bolsheviks and corrupted emblem of democratic decadence as he was supposed to be. However, there’s no doubting the scenes of inchoate violent fascism on Saturday. These chaps were looking for a rumble, not a debate about Britain’s past and future. When Black Lives Matter protesters failed to turn up, they had to fight the police instead, WPCs included.”

    O’Grady reported that, “According to one eyewitness video doing the rounds on social media, where there were no coppers about they resorted to taking on the clear threat to British identity represented by some people having a socially distanced picnic on a sunny day in the park. Perhaps the young picnic-goers were socialists… in fascistic street-fighting terms, they’d deserve having their day out spoiled.” He noted, “Some say bodies such as the Football Lads Alliance, its splinter group the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, Britain First, and other far-right groups were involved in marshalling this angry mob, using the indignation and anger to infiltrate, recruit and radicalise.” O’Grady writes of “the hijacking by the far right of symbols of British national unity, and those of England” saying, “They are all now being culturally appropriated by people who think Adolf might have had a point.”

    O’Grady remarks on how, “if these symbols are allowed to become objects of racism, nationalism and fascism, it is no wonder they are attacked and burnt by anti-fascists. Yet the anti-fascists are taking the bait.” He says, “When Mosley’s fascists in the 1930s, and the National Front in the 1970s, used to march, deliberately and provocatively, through areas with a large immigrant population, they always carried loads of Union Jacks. Their manifestos were plastered in them. The old National Front leaders were such militant neo-Nazis that they’d dress up in Brownshirt uniforms and go on camping holidays together, where, around the fire of an evening, they’d discuss Mein Kampf, racial theories and who’d get what job in a future National Front cabinet.” He said, “Their leader, John Tyndall, like Oswald Mosley before him, used to try to ape Hitler’s oratorical style, with absurd results. When they weren’t being terrorised or beaten up by them, the British people rightly found these fascists quite ridiculous.”

    Such escapades sound benign, but the allegiance to a cause focused on targeting the Government’s scapegoats is a dangerous tool easily harnessed by those in power to do the dirty work of repression while the PM to distances himself from accountability for the violence. O’Grady recounts how, “Later on, the BNP and Nick Griffin put suits on and tried to sound more normal, but it was the same old poison, and the people could taste it. They too split and died. Traditionally, Britain’s far right said and did cruel things, but they were never really a threat to our democracy or tolerant way of life. Are they now?” He claims, “There’s no leadership and no political party,” I beg to differ and yes the situation is being politicised. He notes, “Nigel Farage is out and about counting the boats arriving on the south coast, tweeting and crying about ‘Brexit betrayal’. He left Ukip behind because it had become racist, but you wonder what his next gig will be… I wonder if even he could ride the tiger that is modern British nationalism.”

    O’Grady warns, “Far more likely, Boris Johnson will be doing the job for him. He is already tacking that way, with appalling remarks about how black people think of themselves as victims, a nasty echo of what he once wrote about the people of Liverpool. He wants to be the statue defender who stands up for Britain’s history, or his version of it. The Tory party today is already a kind of low-fat alternative to fascism which, with the complexities of the British electoral system, has usually managed to subsume the hard right into its own ranks and marginalise the remaining groups. It did so in the 1930s to the Moselyites, in the 1980s to the National Front, and again in the 2010s with the BNP and the atavistic nationalists in Farage’s Ukip and Brexit parties. Which sounds helpful, until you remember that you have to put up with a watered-down version of fascism running the country.” He rightly describes it as, “An elective dictatorship.” I think O’Grady’s ‘low-fat alternative to fascism’ is fast becoming the high Cholesterol killer Nazis!

    The Metro Article entitled, “Far-right group Britain First says 5,000 of its members have joined the Tories,” shows that Johnson’s toxic messaging is resonating with this dangerous faction of the far-right. They report that, “Britain First says two-thirds of its 7,500 members have joined the Conservative Party after being drawn in by Boris Johnson’s ‘firm stance against radical Islam’. The far-right group, whose leaders were jailed for Muslim hate crimes last year, added that the mass defection had taken place in the wake of the general election. Spokeswoman Ashlea Simon told The Observer they were attracted by the Prime Minister’s ‘hardline approach’ following the London Bridge attack in November. She added: ‘We will support a party that is willing to take a firm stance against radical Islam and it looks like the Tories are willing to do that. ‘The majority of our followers appreciate Priti Patel’s and Boris Johnson’s hardline approach’.”

    The Metro say that, “Tommy Robinson also claimed to have joined after declaring that ‘everyone should vote for Boris Johnson’ during the election. Britain First held a demonstration in Rochdale, opposed by anti-fascist groups. Britain First say they are highlighting concerns about child sexual exploitation in the town. The group said two thirds of its membership had been lured by Boris Johnson’s ‘firm stance against radical Islam.’ The anti-Islam group, an offshoot of the British National Party, reportedly claims that the 5,000 members want to form a far-right contingent within the Conservatives similar to Labour’s Momentum movement. However, Britain First’s actual size is disputed, with extremism watchdog Hope Not Hate estimating it to have a membership of only around 1,000.”

    The Metro report that, “A Conservative Party spokesperson previously said: ‘While we welcome new members from a wide variety of backgrounds, we are vigilant against those seeking to join the party who do not share our aims. ‘There is a process in place for local Conservative associations to approve members who apply to join, or to reject those who do not share the party’s values or objectives. ‘We support local associations with this work to ensure they can and do take action where needed.’ Britain First’s leader, Paul Golding, claimed to have joined the Tories before the party announced his membership had not been accepted. In March 2018 he was handed an 18-week sentence following his conviction for racially aggravated harassment, with deputy Jayda Fransen jailed for 36 weeks.” We must continue to expose the violence and decry the hate speech of these groups; the midnight hour for ‘Golden Dawn’ was one more victory against Fascism.

    In the US Trump has clearly signalled his approval of the violent tactics of far-right thugs on several occasions, notable in the recent election debate when he told the Proud Boys to “Stand by!” He can use their muscle to intimidate voters while denying any responsibility for the violence. Boris Johnson is taking note of the usefulness of Trumps strategy and we can be sure it will be used here as the country descends into desperate rioting precipitated by the deprivation of crash-out Brexit. In Greece it wasn’t the political agenda of the far-right that got them ousted it was their violence and criminal activity. To remove this Tory Government we will need to expose and Investigate the fraud of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and Tory corruption regarding misappropriation of public funds. Using such funds to pay a Charity to generate propaganda defaming the opposition to remain in power was illegal so was using stolen data to target persuadable voters with weapons grade PsyOps; that alone should have been enough to jail Tories! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61583 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    In the Canary Article entitled, “The government is legalising and extending this infamous spycop’s criminal actions; and you could be a victim,” they elaborate on a law about to be casually waved through our dysfunctional Parliament with scarcely a whiff of opposition. They, “Note: for almost 12 months during the Persons Unknown prosecution, the author’s home was placed under electronic surveillance by Special Branch. The author subsequently played a part in the closure of the 70-year-old blacklisting and espionage agency, the Economic League.” They say that, “The Tory government is progressing a bill to legalise the criminal activities of Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) who work with the police, MI5, and other state agencies. It passed its second reading on the 5 October, with Labour, under Starmer, mostly abstaining.”

    The Canary describe this bill as, “possibly one of the most dangerous bills to be put before the country in decades, legalising highly discredited practices.” This article gives extensive background to some of these practices and shows why “this legislation needs ditching, not amending.” So what exactly is this controversial legislation? “The bill provides for: an express power to authorise CHIS to participate in conduct which would otherwise constitute a criminal offence. This is not a new capability; the Bill provides a clear legal basis for a longstanding tactic which is vital for national security and the prevention and detection of crime. Bodies that can authorise agents to infiltrate or act as informants will include police forces from all four UK countries; police from MoD, Royal Military, Royal Navy, RAF, and British Transport; HMRC, the Home Office, and the National Crime Agency.”

    The Canary say that, “According to the College of Policing, CHIS can include: ‘victims, witnesses, suspects, colleagues such as local and field intelligence officers, community sources including community and race advisers, local councillors, religious leaders and members of the community’” The Canary note that questions are being raised, “Reprieve, the Pat Finucane Centre, Privacy International, the Committee on the Administration of Justice, and Rights and Security International have jointly criticised the bill. In particular, they point out: There is no express prohibition on authorising crimes that would constitute human rights violations, including murder, torture (e.g. punishment shootings), kidnap, or sexual offences, or on conduct that would interfere with the course of justice. The Bill relies on the Human Rights Act as a safeguard, despite the Government making clear that it does not believe that the Human Rights Act applies to abuses committed by its agents, even torture.”

    The Canary say Reprieve added: “the Bill provides for the unprecedented ‘legalisation’ of even serious crimes by covert agents. Authorised criminal offences committed by CHIS would be rendered ‘lawful for all purposes’. They also said: The Bill also bars survivors of abuses, such as the victims of the ‘Spy Cops’ scandal, from seeking redress through the courts, by protecting those who commit authorised crimes from civil liability forever. Licence to kill? But in a debate in the Commons, the solicitor general was keen to respond to the claim that the bill provides a licence to kill: covert human intelligence sources will never be provided with unlimited authority to commit all or any crime. They will never be provided with an authorisation that is contrary to our obligations under the Human Rights Act. The Bill makes that specifically clear. This is not a ‘licence to kill’ Bill.” These horrific laws will all be voted into place before the crash-out Brexit chaos tipping point where the Tory Government solidifies their Dictatorship.

    The Canary report that, “Home Office minister James Brokenshire explained how criminal conduct authorisation to a source: may be granted only where it is necessary for one of three statutory purposes: national security, the prevention or detection of crime, or in the interests of the economic wellbeing of the UK. He also said: We do not believe, however, that it is appropriate to draw up a list of specific crimes that may be authorised or prohibited.” They note that, “Labour’s Zarah Sultana disagreed and was forthright in her condemnation of the bill: This Bill must be opposed. It places no limits on the crimes that state agents can be authorised to commit. It does not prohibit torture. It does not prohibit murder. It does not prohibit sexual violence.”

    The Canary say that, “With regard to the last point, it’s known that some undercover officers (UCOs) formed long-term sexual relationships with women activists to provide cover. More than thirty women are believed to have been exploited in this way. For example, UCO Robert Lambert (cover name Bob Robinson) had relationships with four women and used those relationships to spy on animal rights and environmental activists. Within the article there are several revealing videos: one tells the story of Lambert’s son, fathered with ‘Jacqui’,” interviewed after he discovered the truth, that his father had been a spycop. These are truly shocking instances of “sexual and relationship abuse” that devastate people’s lives through a callous act of betrayal. Another video pertains to a number of women who were deceived and entered into relationships with undercover cops.

    The Canary report that, “Mark Kennedy (cover name Mark Stone) also exploited women to provide cover: with ‘Lisa Jones’ over six years; with Kate (‘Lily’) over two years; with ‘Naomi’; and with Sarah Hampton.” Both “‘Lisa Jones’ and Kate (Wilson) explain what happened in the video. The Met was forced to issue an apology to the women and a spokesperson added: it has become apparent that some officers, acting undercover whilst seeking to infiltrate protest groups, entered into long-term intimate sexual relationships with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong. However, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) ruled that no UCO would be prosecuted for ‘having non-consensual sexual relations with any member of the public’.” Once this latest Bill goes into UK Law this practice would become an acceptable undercover assignment with the women and children involved abandoned once they were no longer of use to an investigation.

    The Canary highlight that happens, “When infiltration goes wrong” Many spycops were identified by the Undercover Research Group and other researchers. Some were members of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), a Special Branch unit that infiltrated political groups between 1968 and 2008. Around 100 covert identities used by the SDS to infiltrate organisations have been identified. HM’s Inspectorate of Constabulary revealed that 3,466 undercover operations took place in England and Wales between October 2009 and September 2013 alone. These operations were carried out by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) – the successor to the SDS. It also found that by 2014 a reported 1,229 officers in England and Wales were trained as UCOs. Here is a searchable list of political groups and the known UCOs who spied on them.” It is important to note that this tactic was used to spy on progressive, primarily non-violent organizations who although disruptive, did not pose a threat to life.

    According to the Canary, “Kennedy was part of the NPOIU) – the successor to the SDS. He infiltrated and participated in the activities of numerous protest groups in the UK and across Europe (such as Scotland, north of Ireland, Irish Republic, Germany, Denmark, France and Iceland among other places). They included ‘Dissent!, Rising Tide, Saving Iceland, Workers’ Solidarity Movements, Rossport Solidarity, Climate Camp, Climate Justice Action and others’.” They say that, “Two of the protest actions Kennedy participated in were Operation Aeroscope and Operation Pegasus. The latter saw 29 protesters convicted of various offences in 2009 after they blocked a train carrying coal heading for the Drax power station, North Yorkshire. Aeroscope resulted in a pre-emptive raid by police of a meeting to plan the invasion of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station and the arrest of 114 protesters.”

    The Canary report that, “26 people were accused of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass and 20 were convicted, although not jailed. A further six of the accused, who were running a different defence and were therefore facing a separate trial, exposed Kennedy’s role in the action. The prosecution abandoned the trial when asked for more details about the UCO who played a part in ‘organising and helping to fund the protest’. Furthermore, it transpired the CPS knew all along of Kennedy’s role in the action and during the trial of the 20 it ensured that: Kennedy’s evidence was kept from court. Moreover, the Independent Police Complaints Commission later found that the CPS also knew about the activists’ plan, not only before it happened but before many of the activists themselves. Furthermore, Felicity Gerry, the prosecutor in the trial of the 20, had been informed about the existence of an undercover officer and had known Mark Kennedy’s true identity a week before any of the activists did.”

    The Canary reports that the, “Consequently, the 20 also had their convictions quashed. The activists who targeted Drax power station also had their convictions quashed as a result of Kennedy’s role. Here are extracts of transcripts the CPS had in its possession months prior to the Ratcliffe trial, but held back from the defence team: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Appendix. (Note: defendants’ names are redacted by this author for privacy purposes). Both the Ratcliffe and Drax cases were overseen by Nick Paul, based in the London CPS office that he shared with director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer. Starmer refused to accept that the problems Kennedy’s role presented was systemic, even though there was plentiful evidence to the contrary.” In an earlier Canary Article they discuss Sir Keir Starmer’s role in trying to marginalize and contain the scandal; for many Labour Party members this deception made him unfit to become the new Labour Party Leader as he cannot be trusted.

    So what is the extent of this undercover work and its impact of UK justice? According to the Canary, “COPS (Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance) claims: If the other 150 or so officers have similar tallies [as Kennedy], it means about 7,000 wrongful convictions are being left to stand. Even if we conservatively estimate just one false conviction per officer per year of service, it adds up to about 600. It may well be that spycops are responsible for the biggest nobbling of the judicial system in English history.”

    They say in, “Another example, In 2008, a group of environmental activists were arrested in France. Nine people, known as the Tarnac 9, were initially charged with terrorism. Essentially they were accused of participating in sabotage attacks against high-speed TGV train routes. They were alleged to have done this by obstructing power cables with horseshoe-shaped iron bars, that delayed 160 trains. A judge later ruled that they wouldn’t be tried for terrorism.” Who decides what qualifies as terrorism?

    The Canary report, “Detective chief inspector Richard May, of the UK’s NDEU (National Domestic Extremism Unit) provided assistance to the French prosecutors. It turned out the group had been infiltrated by Kennedy. One of the defendants, Julien Coupat, contacted a UK source for further information and the entire dossier (which concerns transcripts by Kennedy) was supplied. On page 27, dated 13 June 2008, Kennedy was instructed to: ‘put 5×5 on re Halpin visiting Julien at his Farm’. This is shorthand for 5x5x5 intelligence reports on page 20. ‘Halpin’ is Harry Halpin, a US citizen and core participant of the Undercover Policing Inquiry. On page 29 of the dossier, dated 4 June 2008, Kennedy confirms he received ‘concise instructions’ regarding Julien (Coupat), Halpin, and others. That information, including names of authorising officers, was relayed to the Tarnac support group by this author. In time, the case collapsed and all but one of the defendants, who was jailed for six months on a minor charge, were freed.”

    The Canary claim that, “It’s not all about UCOs; Intelligence is not only sourced by UCOs but other actors. For example, a report by Desmond de Silva QC into the murder of north of Ireland lawyer Pat Finucane in front of his children blamed ‘agents of the state’. Referring to the British army’s Force Research Unit that worked closely with the paramilitary UDA (Ulster Defence Association), SDLP MP Mark Durkan said: Between special branch, FRU and secret services we had a culture of ‘anything goes but nobody knows’.” They say, “there was the ‘black ops’ unit Zeus Security, managed by Peter Hamilton. Zeus was reportedly contracted by MI5 to spy upon environmental protesters who tried to halt the building of Sizewell ‘B’ nuclear reactor in Suffolk. Gary Murray explained that Hamilton was: a former member of Army Intelligence, where he held the rank of Major. Documents and tapes in my possession link this man to the highest echelons of British Intelligence.”

    According to the Canary, Murray added: “During my investigation I successfully recorded conversations with Hamilton admitting his services were being utilised by the Economic League. This author discovered that Zeus was financed by James Goldsmith (named in an unpublished version of ‘Spycatcher’ by former British spy Peter Wright as one of several persons who sought to ensure the Labour Party would not return to government). Zeus was owned by Antonio von Marx, Goldsmith’s nephew. Murray claimed that the murder of Sizewell B protester Hilda Murrell was conducted by ‘private investigators or security consultants acting on behalf of a government department’. Lord Chalfont joined the board of Zeus in 1981, but once his role was revealed (again, by this author) he was forced to resign his position as head of the Independent Broadcasting Authority.”

    The Canary report that, “There’s also the private operators. Chalfont was also linked to private surveillance operator Paul Mercer, who infiltrated various campaign groups. In 2007, Mercer was exposed for his role in monitoring the Campaign Against Arms Trade. His contract was via Global Open (GO), a private surveillance firm. GO included Kennedy and Rod Leeming (formerly of Special Branch). Between 1987 and 1991 Mercer served as the Conservative Borough Councillor in Charnwood. At a January 2011 meeting organised by think tank Policy Exchange, Mercer claimed to have ‘covered and having been on pretty well every major public order disturbance in London over that period’, including the Poll Tax Riots of 1990 and Mayday 2001.”

    The scope of activity that has justified spying is immense and we can be certain that as we progress towards Dictatorship it will get a lot more expansive. Tories determined to break the power of the Unions included identifying and blacklisting Union Organizers. The Canary report that, “During the Commons debate on the CHIS bill, MP Nick Thomas-Symonds referred to a Metropolitan police’s investigation into police collusion in blacklisting that concluded: on the balance of probabilities, the allegation that the police or special branches supplied information is ‘proven.’ Material revealed a potentially improper flow of information from Special Branch to external organisations, which ultimately appeared on the blacklist. Indeed, the Met admitted collusion and that thousands of its files on undercover policing went ‘missing‘ or were destroyed. The main blacklisting intelligence agency was the Economic League (EL), which has a long history of collaboration.” In the article this is depicted in a (diagram courtesy of Spies At Work).

    The Canary say that, “EL collapsed after activists published internal documents showing it was financially unviable. It’s estimated that at least 40,000 workers were blacklisted by several hundred companies subscribed to the EL. One victim was actor Ricky Tomlinson, who was previously a plasterer. He was secretly targeted by prime minister Edward Heath with the assistance of the Information Research Department (IRD), a Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) funded propaganda unit.” The article includes yet another Video of Tomlinson’s telling his story. What I found so shocking in his video presentation was the incredibly meagre and perfectly reasonable working conditions and basic safety measures the Unions were fighting for back then. This makes the extraordinary lengths employers used to intimidate, silence and blacklist Union Organizers in order to continue exploiting workers seem downright obscene. However, that is exactly where the Tories want to regress workers rights to after we crash-out of the EU.

    The Canary describe, “More blacklisting collusion; the EL’s successor was the much smaller Consulting Association (CA). More than 3,000 construction workers were targeted by that agency. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) suggested that police colluded in the Consulting Association’s blacklist, saying it was ‘likely that all special branches were involved in providing information’. Indeed, it’s known that detective chief inspector Gordon Mills of the NPIOU’s sister unit, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), met with the CA. Here is a leaked copy of notes from that meeting. As shown, the deployment of human intelligence sources can easily lead to relationship abuse. And infiltration can also result in miscarriages of justice. Such sources may also, wittingly or otherwise, provide information that can contribute to blacklisting of one sort or another.” The Canary conclude that for all of the reasons expounded here MPs need to, “Ditch the bill,” not just abstain and pout!

    The Canary have put a strong case for voting down this Bill saying that, “Despite government caveats, the CHIS bill is possibly one of the most dangerous to be put before parliament in decades. It should not be amended but ditched.” This bill will prepares the UK for the next stage of the authoritarian Dictatorial takeover that will be brutal and bloody, with the Tories still able to claim that we voted them in and therefore we must have approved of them using tough measures to deal with social unrest and restore law and order. Tories have conned us into believing in their fabricated ‘landslide victory’ in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; it gifts them a massive and unstoppable majority in Government. We must have the result fully Investigated to totally delegitimize their right to rule and oust them from office. The corruption of using public funds to pay a Charity to generate propaganda targeting the opposition and the strong probability that stole data was used to send weapons grade PsyOps to persuadable voters: that alone should be enough. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61588 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    This CHIS (Spycops) bill represents their Tory jackboot on your neck! It signals a disturbing return to being criminalized for fighting tooth and nail for the most basic paltry demands, the requirement of survivable wages, safe living and working conditions and for us all to be included in the democratic process and treated with humanity. What is at stake are the core rights hard won by Trade Unions and enshrined in EU Law, all too soon to be rapidly stripped away after crash-out Brexit. This gives the stamp of approval to the authoritarian excesses of the new Tory Dictatorship, but Labour “under new Leadership” is veering in the wrong direction; the Captain of Capitulation, Keir Starmer, will in his continuing demonstration of self-serving cowardice order Labour MPs into another noncommittal abstention vote. That will only succeed if we fail to persuade all MPs and certainly those in the Labour Party that this is a disgusting betrayal of the all sectors of our population and these cowardly abstentions will never be forgotten by voters.

    Earlier today referring to the Video of Tomlinson’s telling his story in my post I wrote that: “What I found so shocking in his video presentation was the incredibly meagre and perfectly reasonable working conditions and basic safety measures the Unions were fighting for back then. This makes the extraordinary lengths employers used to intimidate, silence and blacklist Union Organizers in order to continue exploiting workers seem downright obscene. However, that is exactly where the Tories want to regress workers rights to after we crash-out of the EU.” This is way the Unite Union has teamed up with Momentum to send a clear message to Keir Starmer regarding the Labour vote on this vital issue: The CHIS Spycops Bill must be voted down on Thursday’s third reading in the Commons and we must all do our part in supporting this demand by contacting our MPs. I received the following email containing a Link to a preformatted letter of appeal to be sent to MPs; I hope you will agree that this action is necessary.

    MOMENTUM report that: “In parliament, the Tories are trying to push through a bill that could have severe ramifications for trade union organising and campaigns for justice. The CHIS bill – otherwise known as the SpyCops Bill – would give power to undercover state agents to commit crimes as extreme as murder, torture and sexual violence in the pursuit of ‘preventing disorder’ and maintaining ‘economic wellbeing’. But now our movement is shifting into gear to resist it.” They include a Link to, “read more about our joint letter with Unite” and another Link to, “Click here to read the Guardian story.”

    Momentum explain that, “Our movement is fighting against a huge opponent – a system that is run in the interests of the rich and powerful and that values profit above all else. But everything we’ve ever won in this struggle has come from ordinary people deciding that enough is enough. That’s why when they attack our right to organise, we can’t abstain. But the Labour leadership is talking about doing just that. We can’t let it stand. The Labour party exists to defend the interests of the many – and in this case, that means fighting the authoritarian implications of this bill every step of the way. We need to mobilise to put pressure on our MPs to back essential amendments tabled by the Socialist Campaign Group. If those amendments are unsuccessful, then every Labour MP should vote against this hard-right Tory bill when it goes to a vote on Thursday. You can use Unite’s template in the Link below to quickly and easily send an email to your MP listing your demands.”

    Momentum have included a Link to: “Send an email to your MP demanding they oppose the SpyCops Bill.” This goes to the same Unite Union page as a second Link with space to enter your postcode in order to send an email message using their provided Template to help facilitate this process. Momentum have teamed up with the Unite Union for this campaign and they remind us that, “These are the moments when we as the labour movement can show our strength. If we stick together – Labour members, the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, and the trade unions can push the Labour leadership to take a stand.” They sign off by urging recipients to act as, “United, we can win, In Solidarity, Team Momentum.”

    The Unite Union are urging all their members to contact their MP and demand that they, “Block the SpyCops Bill.” Unite warn that,
    “The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill (CHIS), otherwise known as the SpyCops Bill, is currently being rushed through parliament. Its purpose is to provide the legal basis for the conduct of undercover agents such as police officers, but in reality, it will go much further. There has been a well-documented history of state surveillance of lawful trade union activity and justice campaigns in recent years, including links with the criminal blacklisting of trade union members. These revelations have been admitted by the police, as has the appalling conduct of undercover police in pursuing surveillance of legitimate civil society organisations, including anti-racist, family justice and environmental groups. These are still subject to a public inquiry.”

    Unite outline the reasons for their opposition to the CHIS Spycops Bill by stating that, “Our concerns about CHIS include:
    • It allows state agents to commit crimes to stay undercover.
    • There’s no limit to what crimes they can commit, including murder, torture or sexual violence
    • They can commit crimes to ‘prevent disorder’ or maintain ‘economic well-being’.
    • It threatens trade union activity and justice campaigns.
    • There is no provision for innocent victims to get compensation.
    • It allows a wide range of agencies like the Food Standards Agency to spy on people and commit crimes.
    • It does not protect human rights.
    • It lacks prior judicial authorisation to commit a crime.”

    Unite remind us of the urgency of our taking immediate action by noting that, “Amendments to the bill are being debated by MPs this week (Thursday 15 October) and Unite is concerned that this is not only being done with undue haste and insufficient scrutiny, but that it risks compromising and undermining legal proceedings through which the victims of previous criminal conduct by undercover agents, are seeking justice.”

    Unite have facilitated this urgent action offering, “Please use our tool below to email your MP today, to ask them to support the amendments submitted by the Labour front bench, that would establish vital safeguards and ensure that serious crimes such as murder, torture and rape would be explicitly ruled out, as would trade union infiltration and blacklisting.” They warn that, “If these amendments are unsuccessful then the Bill cannot be supported. In this case, please ask your MP to lobby the government to withdraw the Bill, and to oppose it at 3rd reading if it is not withdrawn.” There is a space to enter your Postcode in order to target your specific MP.

    Another brave Labour Lioness stands ready to enter the fray, proving that we do not need “stale, male and pale” elitists to drag us into the wilderness with their lack of courage in voting to protect our rights. Jeremy Corbyn is leading the revolt as Starmer once again fails to offer true Labour Opposition. The Captain of Capitulation repeatedly orders his MPs to abstain from voting. We didn’t come out to vote in the pre-Christmas cold so that MPs would be empowered to do nothing! The Covert 2019 Rigged Election was a fraud that we must continue to reject, expose and Investigate, but our enfeebled numbers do not need to be further weakened by the impotent lack of leadership offered by Starmer. Labour abstentions will facilitate Tory authoritarian rule for several decades to come if Labour allows this Tory Trojan horse to continue running roughshod over the will of our MPs to vote with their conscience in vigorously apposing tyranny. So Labour MP for Coventry South, Zarah Sultana rose to challenge the Tory imposition of injustice.

    Zarah Sultana said, “As I am making the final Back-Bench speech, I will not be taking any interventions, apologies.” She began by relaying a horrific true story from the time of ‘the Troubles’ in Ireland saying, “On 12 February 1989, Pat Finucane, an Irish lawyer in Belfast, sat at his kitchen table to have dinner with his wife and three children. As they ate, two gunmen burst through the door, entered the room and shot Mr Finucane 14 times. He was killed by a loyalist paramilitary group that, as the Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, admitted in 2012, was acting in complicity with British security services. Far from stopping Mr Finnigan’s murder, the Prime Minister described the ‘shocking levels of state collusion’—[Official Report, 12 December 2012; Vol. 555, c. 296] in Mr Finucane’s murder. His family are still owed a public inquiry into the murder.”

    Sultana continued, “Deeply troubling acts of state agents such as those in the Finucane case are not isolated. In 2010, it came to light that for 40 years, Britain’s police had run covert operations spying on thousands of civilians. More than 1,000 political groups were spied on. Overwhelmingly, it was left-wing, anti-racist and climate justice groups that were spied on, with just three far-right groups included on the list. The spy cops revelations have shown that police operatives deceived women into sexual relationships and even spied on grieving families seeking justice, including the parents of Stephen Lawrence.

    Sultana adroitly explained why, “This Bill must be opposed. It places no limits on the crimes that state agents can be authorised to commit. It does not prohibit torture. It does not prohibit murder. It does not prohibit sexual violence. Instead, all it requires is that authorising officers themselves believe that the conduct is appropriate, necessary by broadly defined criteria and meets requirements that may be imposed by an order made by the Secretary of State. Even the FBI expressly bans operatives from certain criminal conduct, but this Bill does not ban any type of criminal conduct for British state agents. The grounds upon which the authorisations can be granted are ill-defined and wide-ranging. They include not only national security but “preventing disorder” and to promote “the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.”

    Sultana warned of what was at stake, “That has rightly raised alarm bells for trade unions such as my union, Unite, and justice campaigns such as the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, who fear that these powers could be used to interfere with the legitimate activities of trade unions. The Bill grants these powers to a dizzying array of agencies—not just intelligence agencies and the police, but the Competition and Markets Authority, the Gambling Commission and the Environment Agency, just to name a few. The oversight for authorisation of potentially serious crimes is scandalously weak. There are no provisions in the Bill for warrants or independent judicial approval. Instead, authorisation will be granted internally, which means that incredibly serious crimes could be authorised with less oversight than is currently required for phone tapping or police searches.”

    Sultana noted that, “As the human rights group Reprieve has noted, survivors of the spy cops scandal have sought justice through the courts for abuses they suffered, but this Bill will block future claims being brought forward, since it outlaws civil action against authorised activities. That is utterly unconscionable. In the Bill’s defence, the Government claim that public authorities are bound by the Human Rights Act, and for that reason, the prohibition of crimes such as torture is guarded. In reality, that offers no protection against agent criminality, because in the Government’s view, the Human Rights Act does not apply to crimes committed by covert agents. The Government told the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in November 2019 that, in tasking agents, the state ‘is not the instigator of that activity and cannot be treated as responsible for it’. According to the Government’s own standards, the Bill will therefore not place any limits on the crimes that agents could be authorised to commit—not on torture, not on murder and not on sexual violence.”

    Sultana was then interrupted by Tory MP Mrs. Miller who requested, Will the hon. Lady give way? But Zarah Sultana stubbornly held her ground saying, “I must make progress. This Bill marks the latest step in a frightening descent into authoritarianism by this Government. In the past two weeks, they have proposed the effective decriminalisation of torture by British soldiers overseas, the shipping of asylum seekers more than 4,000 miles away to be imprisoned on Ascension Island, the ban on anti-capitalist teaching materials in schools and now this—licensing undercover agents to commit torture, sexual violence and murder. This descent into authoritarianism should be a concern to us all. It must be resisted.” Sultana’s speech was bold, impactful and succinct; it should by nagging the consciences of her less courageous colleagues on the Labour benches and those in the Shadow Cabinet of shame. This bright young Labour Lioness is one of the 2019 intake, surely one to watch with the courage to fearlessly combat injustice.

    A Reel News Video of Ricky Tomlinson speaking at “Voices of the Spied on” public meeting, University of London almost four years ago was included in the latest Canary Article on the CHIS Spycops Bill. Reel News say of Ricky Tomlinson, “before we knew him as Jim Royle or Brookside’s Bobby Grant – was a construction worker and trade unionist. In 1972 he took an active part in the first ever national building workers’ strike. Tomlinson was among 24 people arrested for picketing in Shrewsbury. Government papers now show collusion between police, security services and politicians to ensure these people were prosecuted. Six, including Tomlinson, were jailed. He is one of several high-profile figures who, despite concrete evidence of being targeted by spycops, has been denied ‘core participant’ status at the Pitchford Inquiry. Voices of the spied on: Ricky Tomlinson: Real News.

    Other Voices of the Spied on include several women deliberately targeted by Spycops who entrapped them in sexual relationships while hiding their true identity and the disreputable scope of their job assignment. Channel 4 interview a young lad who grew up not knowing that his father was an undercover cop and his attempts to form a relationship after discovering the truth. “BBC Panorama featured a program covering the abuse by undercover police officers on environmental campaigns” a 2018 RT News Report, “Victims launch legal action over undercover cops inquiry” and RT’s Going Underground Afshin Rattansi interviewed Rick Tomlinson in, “Dirty Tricks, Spying and Corruption: Ricky Tomlinson on the Shrewsbury 24 Papers Star of the Royle Family and member of the Shrewsbury 24, Ricky Tomlinson tells Going Underground why, 44 years on the government refuses to release the secret documents they have on him. Plus why he is not being allowed to participate in Lord Pitchford’s inquiry into undercover policing.

    In a 6th of October Evening Standard Article they reported that, “Labour civil war: Corbyn and Starmer in bitter dispute over ‘spy’ bill as MPs defy whip. Jeremy Corbyn has led a Labour rebellion against party leader Sir Keir Starmer over a controversial new bill that would allow undercover agents to legally commit crimes. The Covert Human Intelligence Sources Criminal Conduct Bill was put before MPs yesterday, though it will have to return for further stages on October 15. Sir Starmer had ordered his party via a whip to abstain from voting while the party pushed for amendments to be made. However, around 20 MPs are reported to have defied this order and instead voted against the bill. Jeremy Corbyn tweeted yesterday evening: ‘I have grave concerns regarding the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill. It could enable unnecessary and unlawful interference with the legitimate activities of trade unions, environmentalists, anti-racists & other campaigners. ‘We must always stand up for human rights’.”

    The Standard say, “Mr Corbyn was joined by a number of senior Labour members. Diane Abbott was one of the MPs who rebelled alongside Mr Corbyn. She said after the vote: “Pleased to have voted against the government’s #spycops bill. Abstention would have been wrong. ‘Labour Party has to stick to its values.’ Can’t be neutral on ‘undercover policing abuses.’ The bill was ultimately backed in this latest stage, however. Proponents say it will give ‘sound legal footing’ for undercover agents. Keir Starmer had ordered Labour MPs to abstain from voting. But critics are wary of what the bill would allow such agents to do, while also being vague in its scope.” They report that, “Such critics are not exclusive to the Labour party. Tory MP David Davis said the bill could “impinge on innocent people”. Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee Yvette Cooper called the bill “very vague and very broad”.

    The Standard report that, “Labour’s Apsana Begum, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said the bill could even clash against the Human Rights Act. She wrote on Twitter: ‘I’ve voted against government plans that would allow undercover state agents to commit even murder, torture, and sexual violence’.” In defence of the CHIS Spycops Bill they say, “The government’s security minister James Brokenshire has claimed the bill is not the same as a ‘licence to kill’, as it would enforce rules within the scope of the European convention on human rights. He said at the start of the MPs’ debate: ‘Let me be clear, there are upper limits to the activity that could be authorised under this bill and these are contained in the Human Rights Act.’ Despite the concerns, MPs voted in favour of the bill by 182 to 20.”

    Sadly, this clearly demonstrates that had Starmer encouraged Labour MPs vote against the CHIS Bill it would have been defeated. In the dystopian future ahead of us Starmer’s truly disgraceful cowardice will be used as a weapon against the Labour Party. The Standard note, “It is not the first time in recent weeks Labour has faced a rebellion over a bill vote. Three frontbench MPs were fired last month after they joined Jeremy Corbyn in voting against an armed forces bill. The party whip again called for MPs to abstain. Mr Corbyn was joined by senior Labour figures Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Rebecca Long-Bailey in defying this. One MP who voted against the law, Nadia Whittome, called the bill ‘anti-veteran, anti-human rights,’ and added it would ‘effectively decriminalise torture’.” We cannot condone Labour MPs failure to vote under an excuse of following the orders of new Leadership; these repeated abstentions on critical Human Rights issues demonstrate a dire absence of leadership: Starmer has to go! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61598 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Today marks a very dark day for the future of our country as this corrupt rogue Tory Government gains a license to kill UK citizens with impunity and our loyal opposition follows the demand of Captain of Capitulation Starmer to wave the new legislation through unimpeded. The Tories must be rejoicing tonight over selecting the right Trojan horse to lead the Labour party into hell destroying the Human Rights of ordinary citizens to among other disreputable missions, protect the financial interests of the filthy rich Tory elite. Starmer must have collected a high ransom for functioning as Judas, firstly in betraying the Labour Party membership by rewarding John Ware and his fantisemitism smear team for their perjury, his ongoing critical support of the PM’s dangerously shambolic Covid 19 policy and now his support of lethal legislature that puts innocent, law-abiding citizens at dire risk of harm. The removal of Starmer from the Leadership of the Labour Party should now be a very urgent priority to restore democratic integrity.

    In a Labour List Article entitled, “Voting down the CHIS bill would weaken national security and human rights,” Labour’s shadow security minister Coner McGinn, tried to defend the CHIS Spycops Bill. He wrote, “One of the many problems with losing general elections is that you don’t get the legislation or indeed much else you want. Many bills introduced by this government are nakedly political, divisive and deeply harmful to the national interest. In that bracket you find – amongst many others – the internal market bill, which openly breaks international law; the agriculture bill, which would lower food standards and harm our farming industry; and the immigration bill, which makes it harder to recruit staff for our NHS and care homes. Some, though, are necessary – particularly when concerning national security. But, of course, under a Tory government these bills will always be imperfect and written with fundamentally different priorities to a Labour government.” ‘Imperfect:’ Gutting our core rights and protections from Tory abuse more like!

    McGinn claims that, “The covert human intelligence sources (criminal conduct) bill, which returns to the Commons this week, is in this latter group. The CHIS bill addresses a vital issue: the need to provide a clear lawful framework for telite.he use of human intelligence sources, who often help uncover crimes such as far-right terrorism and child sexual exploitation. Any responsible government acting in the national interest would need to legislate to address this. The current status quo is unacceptable, as it means this happens without proper oversight and the formal protections offered by the Human Rights Act.” Which would be a valid point if the Tory Party hadn’t pledged to withdraw the UK from the European Court of Human Rights and ‘redefine’ the rights that we will retain in future that will undoubtedly be geared towards protecting Corporate interests and the expanding wealth of the elite.

    McGinn explains, “Since 2017, the security services have thwarted 27 terror attacks and in 2018 alone covert human intelligence sources helped disrupt 30 threats to life. But these sources cannot and should not operate without a clear legal framework that is legally enforceable, and that includes effective and necessary safeguards. That is the point this bill tries to address. Without the legislation, undercover sources will either be unable to operate – depriving our security services of a vital tool in disrupting terrorism and serious and organised crime – or continue to do so only by operating in the shadows. Neither outcome is in the national interest. Both are worse than this bill passing.”

    McGinn claims that, “The bill makes clear that any activity carried out by agents must be compliant with the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights – which explicitly outlaws torture, murder and sexual violence. This is a powerful, important and legally enforceable protection. It means agents cannot be authorised to undertake any activity that breaches the HRA or the ECHR – and that this can be upheld in court.” That might protect us until this Tory Government decides to abandon the jurisdiction of the Court exactly as pledged and rewrite our Human Rights Law. McGinn notes that, “Keir Starmer, who literally wrote the text book on human rights law and has represented those seeking justice in the very highest courts in the land on this issue, made that case incredibly powerfully to Labour MPs this week. However, we recognise the bill is far from perfect.” In his role at the CPS Sir Keir Starmer was strongly implicated in the Spycops scandal and his involvement could still be further exposed.

    McGinn touts the Labour intervention saying, “Our amendments would put in place stronger safeguards and strengthen rights for victims. They would also reinforce the existing legal position that legitimate trade union activity is explicitly excluded from the ambit of investigatory powers. We will also seek to improve the bill in House of Lords and use every opportunity possible to improve it throughout its passage through parliament.” All of the amendments were ditched, but without the necessary checks and balances you still abstained from casting a vote. Too little, too late now to regret your actions; this dangerous erosion of public protection from malign state actors will pass into UK law. It will be a war of attrition from here on in; how much influence will the House of Lords have now?

    McGinn seeks to reassure acknowledging that, “There have been concerns raised about the potential for this bill to interfere with the campaigns against burning injustices, such as the ‘spycops’ scandal, the appalling events at and surrounding Orgreave, the abuse and secrecy around the Cammell Laird shipyard workers and the Shrewsbury 24, and collusion on blacklisting.” He says, “That is why we have been pressing the government to be explicit in stating that this bill is in no way retrospective and cannot legally impede these campaigns for justice. On all these issues, the Labour Party led by Keir Starmer remains steadfastly committed to supporting those campaigns – many of which he has fought for throughout his working life. We also pressed and received a firm commitment from the government that this bill will have no business interfering in the lawful activities of our trade union movement, which is a cornerstone of our democracy.” Any assurances will be based on placing trust in a serial liar!

    McGinn also noted that, “Some people have raised the possible impact on addressing issues relating to the Troubles Northern Ireland and the pursuit of justice and truth, specifically in cases like that of the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane and many others involving state agents. This is something that is deeply personal to me and indeed Keir Starmer, and we place the utmost importance on it.” Yet more blind faith in the integrity of a serial liar… McGinn continued, “As I said at the despatch box when this bill received second reading, I do not need to be convinced about the consequences of the state exceeding its power in this arena. I saw the consequences of it, which is why I am acutely aware of the need the greater oversight and human rights protections in this bill. It’s also why I have been dogged in ensuring cast iron guarantees that this bill will not stand in the way of justice for victims.”

    McGinn felt he had made his case, but I question the naivety of his trust in a thoroughly untrustworthy Tory Government with a tracl record for abuse of power. He said, “In short, we must ensure that the security services have the powers they need to keep us safe – and we will also introduce proper oversight, scrutiny and legal safeguards alongside robust protection for victims. Given the opportunity that is what a Labour government would do: protect national security, strengthen human rights, support victims. But until then we have to deal with the legislation this government brings forward, and do so in a way that shows we are a responsible government-in-waiting. The covert human intelligence sources (criminal conduct) bill is imperfect, but voting it down would weaken national security and lead to weaker legal safeguards. That’s not a choice we will make.”

    The Independent Article entitled, “MPs vote against attempt to ban undercover agents from committing murder, torture and rape,” outlines those who took a conscientious stand and why. They report that, “MPs have voted against an attempt to formally ban undercover agents and informants from committing murder, torture and rape. The House of Commons rejected an amendment that aimed to limit the kind of crimes that can be authorised under a new law. The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill went on to pass its third reading by 313 votes to 98, sending the unamended legislation off to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.It would allow public authorities, ranging from police and MI5 to HMRC and the Food Standards Agency, to authorise agents and informants to commit crimes while undercover.”

    What is truly shocking is that according to the Independent, “The proposed authorisations would not only be issued in the interests of national security or preventing and detecting crime, but also preventing ‘disorder’ and in the ‘interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.” One can very easily imagine how such broad-ranging powers could be stretched to encompass all protests against the draconian authoritarian measures that the Government will require to subdue the rage of the increasingly exploited UK population. Environmental groups, animal rights activists and pretty much all organizations on the progressive left of politics will be aggressively targeted; we know this as these groups have already suffered significant abuses in the past. This law will protect the Arms Industry, Fracking companies, fox hunters and the Israeli Lobby trying to stop BDS and call out fantisemitism smears or for that matter anyone trying to challenge the wanton destruction of our environment and the rapacious Corporate elitist greed.

    The Independent note that, “An amendment tabled by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer would have stopped the authorisation of serious offences including causing death or bodily harm, torture, violating the sexual integrity of a person and detention. It was defeated by 316 votes to 256 on Thursday.” Sadly it was not enough for the cowardly wimp now in control of the Labour party to finally ‘grow a spine’ and support MPs who have voted with their conscience against the CHIS Spycops Bill. The Independent note that even, “Conservative former minister David Davis, who proposed a similar amendment, pointed out that allies US and Canada have ‘specific limits’ on the crimes their agents can commit. He said the amendments ‘would give the intelligence services the protections they need but stop short of giving them the carte blanche authorisation to carry out the heinous crimes in the name of the state that have happened too often in the past’.” But it sees all attempts to instil sanity were defeated.

    According to the Independent, “James Brokenshire, the security minister, told MPs that the bill would make authorised crimes ‘lawful for all purposes and no crime will have been committed’. But he denied that it was a licence to ‘commit any and all crimes’ because of human rights laws and codes of practice.” They say, “MPs also voted against an amendment that would have required authorities to apply for judicial warrants for criminal conduct authorisations, and set out the reasons why they were needed.” This means that future lawlessness would require less authorization that a wire tap or a search warrant. Adding to the frustration felt by those who vehemently opposed the CHIS Bill was the way that it was raced through Parliament. They noted that, “Several MPs complained that time to debate the law had been severely limited, amid accusations that the government was rushing the bill through ahead of potentially damaging findings in the upcoming Undercover Policing Inquiry.

    To the utter disgrace of the party under the cowardly Leadership of Keir Starmer, the Independent report that, “Labour whipped its MPs to abstain from the vote, prompting a flurry of resignations from Labour front benchers from the left of the party – including shadow financial secretary Dan Carden who resigned his post ahead of the debate. He told the Commons the bill ‘paves the way for gross abuses of state power against citizens’ and accused the government of taking the Labour leadership ‘for a rise’ with loose assurances.” Why more Labour MPs did not demonstrate this courage of conviction is an issue they must be confronted with by their constituents in the coming months as we descend into the tyranny, exploitation and deprivation of full Tory Dictatorship.

    The Independent point out that, “Officials have argued that the Human Rights Act must be considered in authorisations and would prevent the most grievous crimes, but several MPs questioned that assurance. Sir Bob Neill, a former Conservative minister and chair of the Justice Committee, telling the Commons: ‘If that’s the case, given the importance of the subject, why not put that on the face of the Bill?” Ominously he warned that, “should there be at any time a future government… that derogated from the Human Rights Act, it would be better to have that protection here’. Sir Bob also raised concern over the redress open to victims of authorised crimes, but Mr Brokenshire said the bill was not a barrier to judicial review or scrutiny by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.” The Tories have already pledged in their Manifesto to remove the UK from the International Court of Human Rights and redefine what our rights will shrink to in the near future’ the Tories also pledged to reduce the powers of Judicial Review.

    The Independent reported that, “Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, called for an amendment to prevent children and vulnerable informants being subject to criminal conduct authorisations unless ‘exceptional circumstances apply’. The government said the proposal was covered by separate guidance on the law but she called for it to be contained in the bill itself, adding: ‘It is right to see them as children first’.” They noted that, “Liberal Democrat former minister Alistair Carmichael suggested a series of changes to implement further safeguards, including to prevent crimes on economic grounds being authorised unless there is a national security justification. ‘If it’s decided we may be need a different governor of the Bank of England, can we authorise a Chis (Covert human intelligence source) to wipe him out?’ he asked.”

    The article reported that, “The independent chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Julian Lewis, asked for a commitment to oversight in the bill, which Mr Brokenshire said he intended to provide. His amendment, which was also defeated, would have mandated annual reports to the committee containing statistics on the number and category of criminal conduct authorisations by the intelligence services. The bill was drawn up after MI5 narrowly won an Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruling over the lawfulness of agents’ crimes, while a separate challenge over the use of children as informants and spies continues.” It seems all attempts to include appropriate safeguards were rejected; so the new Dictatorship will have unlimited powers to break the law and sanction others from a slew of different agencies to function as covert henchmen on their behalf. It will be noted in history as one of the key stages in the destruction of UK democracy and the loyal opposition stood by and did nothing to stop it!

    I have yet to see the numbers, but there was opposition from the Tory side too so how big of an impact did Keir Starmer’s forced abstention by Labour MPs make on this third reading of the CHIS Spycops Bill? Could the bill have been defeated with enough to tip the balance or is it just an issue that will burn in the moral conscience of Labour MPs when the authoritarian Tory Dictatorship rampantly abuses these new powers? As already noted, in the dystopian future ahead of us Starmer’s truly disgraceful cowardice will be used as a weapon against the Labour Party. We cannot condone Labour MPs failure to vote under an excuse of following the orders of new Leadership; these repeated abstentions on critical Human Rights issues demonstrate an absence of leadership: Starmer has to go! The legitimacy of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election must be challenge and Investigated as it has deprived this country of Jeremy Corbyn, a truly humanitarian Socialist Leader acting for the good of the British people: the Tories must go! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61601 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Although the massive Tory majority secured by Dominic Cummings in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election has made it possible for the Johnson/Cummings Government to radically dismantle our democracy by easily voting toxic Bills into UK Law it does not mean that the opposition should abstain from bothering to vote at all. All of the opposition MPs were voted into office to do a vitally important job, holding this rabid Tory Government to account, not sit on their hands. While the public have been understandably distracted by Johnson’s shambolic smorgasbord of Covid 19 ‘tiered’ shutdown restrictions, several extremely damaging pieces of legislation have been raced through the Commons at breakneck speed preparing the way for the impending solidification of the Dictatorship after crash-out Brexit. The Trojan horse now leading the Labour Party in the wrong direction Starmer may have used the order to abstain on the CHIS Spycops Bill as an excuse to purge every last vestige of left leaning support from front bench positions.

    It is clear that some who wanted to vote felt compelled to hang on or risk Labour losing all of the hard won progressive influence gained over the past few years of enlightenment, but it is not a good look and other political parties decisively put Labour to shame over the vote on this controversial Bill that will seriously endanger us all if it can’t be significantly amended in the Lords. The LabourList Article entitled, “34 Labour MPs break whip to oppose ‘spycops’ bill as seven frontbenchers quit,” reveals who took a stand on the vital issue of our Human Rights. Author Sienna Rodgers names “34 Labour MPs including seven opposition frontbenchers have broken the party whip today by voting against the covert human intelligence sources (criminal conduct) bill at third reading in the House of Commons. The government-proposed legislation, which authorises criminal conduct by bodies such as police forces to enable their work, was approved by MPs with 313 votes in favour and 98 against including the SNP and Lib Dems.”

    Rodgers notes, “The 34 Labour rebels, plus suspended Claudia Webbe, were nearly all from the left of the party.16 were elected for the first time last year. Geraint Davies, not on the Labour left, also defied the whip. The opposition party had whipped its representatives to abstain on the bill on the basis that the legislation is ‘far from perfect’ yet ‘necessary’ due to ‘the need to provide a clear lawful framework for the use of human intelligence sources’. Dan Carden resigned from the shadow Treasury team this morning in a letter to Keir Starmer, which described the third reading vote as a ‘matter of conscience’ on a bill that ‘sets dangerous new precedents’. Shadow education minister Margaret Greenwood also broke the whip. She was appointed as a member of Rebecca Long-Bailey’s team, but the leadership candidate was replaced by Kate Green after being sacked by Starmer.”

    Rodgers reports that, “Parliamentary private secretaries Nav Mishra, Kim Johnson, Mary Foy and Rachel Hopkins – all members of the Socialist Campaign Group – have also quit the frontbench to vote against, plus Sarah Owen, usually thought of as ‘soft left’. Both Mishra and Johnson were PPSs of Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner. Foy was PPS to Andy McDonald, Hopkins PPS to Marsha de Cordova and Owen was appointed Rachel Reeves’ PPS earlier this month. LabourList understands that Starmer met with MPs personally this week to urge them not to break the whip on the so-called ‘spycops’ bill, after concerns expressed over the abstention plans were not confined to SCG members. Sam Tarry did not resign today although he was expected to do so. LabourList understands that the decision was made not to quit after Starmer made a number of ‘concessions’ in a private meeting of MPs that was pivotal.”

    Rodgers reveals that, “A source on the Labour left said: “This afternoon a number of frontbenchers on Labour’s left, including Andy McDonald, Imran Hussain, Rachael Maskell, Cat Smith, Marsha de Cordova, Alex Sobel, Sam Tarry and Charlotte Nichols – took the collective decision to stay on the frontbench and use their roles to ensure the left has a stronger voice in future party policy.
    ‘They were also given clear assurances by the leader that the party will use its position to push forward union issues, and have more high-profile campaigning using opposition time from next week onwards’.”
    The problem with Keir Starmer’s clear assurances is that he has already demonstrated that he is not a man of his word and cannot really be trusted much more that our hapless PM. He made strong commitments to Labour Party members during the leadership contest that he would maintain the progressive agenda of the left, but the second he took control he stressed his ‘new Leadership,’ lurched to the right and ditched good policies.

    In his weak pledge to play catch-up, “LabourList understands that Starmer’s commitments included a clear statement that a Labour government is committed to reforming the bill that passes in line with the party’s amendments, and meanwhile to aggressively pursue amendments in the Lords. The leader also pledged to pursue legislation on wider concerns, particularly around trade union issues such as the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, and to put forward clear commitments and campaigning actions, for example a draft bill on an Orgreave Inquiry. One senior trade union official told LabourList: ‘My understanding is that a number of Labour MPs met with Keir Starmer before the CHIS bill vote, who gave several commitments. ‘Starmer also made clear that there is no ‘abstention strategy’, and that if there are no changes to the overseas operations bill the party will vote against it at the third reading’.” I think MPs who were taken in by Starmer should know better after seeing his track record in office; he cannot be trusted.

    Obviously many on the left of the Labour Party are coming to the same conclusion regarding their lack of influence moving forward. “Another trade union source, who strongly disagreed with the MPs who stayed, told LabourList: ‘The majority of the left no longer has faith that these roles carry any influence at all, and is scathing about those who chose to keep their jobs rather than back the people who put them there. In a House of Commons contribution to the debate this afternoon, referring to Neil Kinnock’s famous 1985 Labour Party conference speech, Carden said: ‘I fear my own party is being taken for a ride by this government’.”

    Cardin told Rodgers, “I tell you what happens: you start with the idea that legislating for something that operates in the shadows must be a good thing. You then engage in good faith with a morally bankrupt government arguing for vital safeguards. Once that government finishes stringing you along, you end up in the perverse situation of condoning laws that ride a coach and horses through our nation’s civil liberties and could even be used against the labour movement itself’. The former shadow financial secretary also told MPs: ‘The bill is written so badly and broadly that it’s effectively a license to criminally disrupt working people taking action to support themselves, their co-workers, their families. ‘We have seen this all too often in the past. The bill paves the way for gross abuse of state power against its citizens. And in Liverpool, we have a healthy suspicion of state power because we’ve felt its damaging force too often in the past.”

    Rodgers notes that, “Jeremy Corbyn highlighted the scandal of ‘spycops’ relationships with women engaging in legal activities. He said those targeted are ‘completely duped’, adding: ‘Does this bill protect women from that in the future? I think we all know the answer to that’.” She says, “Labour backbencher Stella Creasy did not vote against the bill, but raised concerns over the protection of children who become human intelligence sources and suggested the issue would likely be addressed in the House of Lords. She told MPs: ‘There may be exceptional circumstances in which a child may become an informant. It is right therefore that we have incredibly strict guidelines that put the interests of that child at heart when that happens’.”

    Rodgers goes on to list all of the courageous, “34 Labour MPs who defied whip to vote against CHIS bill: Diane Abbott, Tahir Ali, Paula Barker, Apsana Begum, Olivia Blake, Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Ian Byrne, Dan Carden, Jeremy Corbyn, Geraint Davies, Mary Foy, Barry Gardiner, Margaret Greenwood, Rachel Hopkins, Kim Johnson, Ian Lavery, Clive Lewis, Tony Lloyd, Rebecca Long-Bailey, John McDonnell, Ian Mearns, Navendu Mishra, Grahame Morris, Kate Osamor, Kate Osborne, Sarah Owen, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Zarah Sultana, Jon Trickett, Mick Whitley, Nadia Whittome, Beth Winter.” The voting public need to take note of who is really on their side and remember that Corbyn has never been on the wrong side of history!

    Writing collectively about several recent pieces of deeply disturbing legislation Jeremy Corbyn aired his concerns in a Tribune Article entitled, “Jeremy Corbyn: ‘It’s Time to Stand Up for Human Rights and Oppose the Spy Cops Bill’.” He warned that “By granting effective immunity to undercover agents who commit grievous crimes, today’s Spy Cops Bill places Britain alongside a global attack on human rights – and must be opposed.” He said, “The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill (CHIS) – described by campaigners as the ‘Spy Cops’ Bill – is currently being rushed through parliament and is due to be put to a vote this evening. I voted against the bill on its last reading and will do so again unless it is substantially amended.”

    Corbyn elaborates by saying that, “Concerns regarding this bill have been discussed widely in recent days but it is worth restating some of the key reasons why there is such broad, growing and impressive opposition across civil society. This alliance includes Liberty, Amnesty and other human rights organisations, trade unions, peace and climate justice campaigners, anti-racist groups and many others who simply want the right to campaign on important causes without police infiltration. These concerns include – but are not limited to – the CHIS Bill allowing state agents to commit crimes to stay undercover; no limit being placed on the type of crimes they can commit, which could include murder, torture or sexual violence; allowing the committing of crimes to ‘prevent disorder’ or maintain ‘economic well-being;’ as well as the lack of a provision for innocent victims to get compensation and a lack of prior judicial authorisation to commit a crime.”

    Corbyn stresses the very real danger inherent in the CHIS Bill saying, “In other words, this bill could put undercover police officers and security agents above the law, granting a range of state agencies the power to licence agents and officers to commit grave crimes. For this reason, former Labour Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald is among those to have asked why this bill does not follow the example of similar legislation in Canada in terms of excluding murder, torture and sexual violence from being legalised. Amnesty meanwhile have gone as far as to say ‘there is a grave danger that this bill could end up providing informers and agents with a licence to kill’.”

    In addition Corbyn also warns, “I am also greatly concerned that as it stands this bill risks compromising and undermining legal proceedings through which victims of previous criminal conduct by undercover agents are seeking justice. Furthermore, the bill risks pre-empting the findings of the Mitting (formerly Pitchford) Inquiry into undercover policing, which was set up in 2015 to get to the truth about undercover policing across England and Wales since 1968, and to provide recommendations for the future. It came after a range of revelations and reports concerning how over forty years undercover police had infiltrated more than 1,000 political groups. These groups included trade unions, environmental campaigns, animal rights organisations and family justice campaigns including the Stephen Lawrence campaign.”

    Corbyn highlights other pieces of toxic Legislation ripping through Parliament right now saying, “The CHIS Bill came to Parliament hot on the heels of discussion over the Overseas Operations Bill. The latter is also being rushed through Parliament, and it is an insult that more time has not been given to scrutinise, amend and discuss such important pieces of legislation. Myself and a number of Labour colleagues also voted against this bill, due to concerns that it both violates the rule of law and fails to protect the safety, wellbeing and rights of our military personnel. As Shami Chakrabarti has made clear, it will ‘immunise the Ministry of Defence from claims by the very veterans it has neglected and claims to want to protect.’

    Referring to the Overseas Operations Bill Corbyn points out, “Of particular concern is the fact that there would be a presumption against any criminal prosecutions of soldiers five years after an incident took place – including with regard to war crimes, even though these often take far longer than five years to be discovered. The bill also denies public transparency and accountability for military interventions, which is a serious matter considering the UK’s record in this area over recent decades. Liberty have therefore argued that if the Overseas Operations bill becomes law it will result in the effective decriminalisation of torture and many other breaches of the Geneva Convention.”

    Corbyn warn that, “These two bills come within a context of a potentially massive rolling back of our human rights under the Tories. In 2018, Tory MPs voted down including the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law after Brexit. Then their 2019 manifesto argued for ‘updating’ the Human Rights Act, which is cited in many judicial review cases brought by charities and NGOs against government policies, and also ensures that the European Convention on Human Rights is part of UK law. There have been reports this year of a growing mood within the Conservative Party to pull the United Kingdom out of the European Court of Human Rights as a follow-up to Brexit, and it is well known that Dominic Cummings and other prominent Tories have called for a referendum on this issue. It is clear from recent developments around Brexit that this government is prepared to break international law if it fits with its political priorities.”

    Corbyn rightly claims that, “All of this will also damage our reputation on a global scale – meaning that our condemnation of human rights abuse elsewhere will inevitably stand for very little. It will lining Britain up with extreme right-wing administrations that show little regard for human rights, following in the footsteps of Donald Trump in the US, Modi in India and Bolsonaro in Brazil. It is a threat to us all when our rights are curtailed. Now is the time to stand up for our core Labour values of human rights and civil liberties and against this Government’s divisive, dangerous reactionary political agenda and attempts to follow Trump in to stoking up a ‘culture war’.” Do we really want to join this band of rogue states?

    I have now seen the full tally of who voted against the CHIS Spycops Bill and who followed the Captain of Capitulation’s order to abstain. It was truly shocking to see how many Labour MPs disgraced themselves while all other opposition party MP took a stand. Despite early protestations only one Tory voted against the Bill. Presumably other Tories would have worried they would just be thrown out of the Party for voting with their conscience: this is the very epitome of Dictatorship. Starmer will have felt he won a victory in his fight to curtail the influence of the progressive Left; his ‘new Leadership’ threat is on course to eradicate all the fine policy shifts of the Corbyn years. Starmer has secured his own dictatorship against the will of the membership and the Party faithful must fight back hard to get rid of him. The Covert 2019 Rigged Election didn’t just give the Tories a majority to exploit, it eliminated any viable opposition. We must Investigate the result, expose the truth to delegitimize and remove Starmer and the Tories. DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61607 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Before Prime Minister’s Question Time, Speaker Lindsey Hoyle, wanted to be absolutely clear regarding the PM passing the buck. He said, “I wish to make a short statement. On Monday, in answer to a question from the hon. Member for Swansea West (Geraint Davies) about virtual participation in debates, the Prime Minister inadvertently, I would accept—said ‘I defer to you and the House authorities.’ [Official Report, 12 October 2020; Vol. 682, c. 40.] As the Prime Minister will know, decisions on the scope of virtual participation are for the House itself. All decisions have been made on the basis of motions moved by the Leader of the House. I know that the House of Commons Service would be more than happy to facilitate virtual participation in debates, if the House voted for it. If the Government wished to pass me the power, I would be more than happy to accept it, but the decision to bring forward the relevant motion is a matter for the Prime Minister and the Government he leads, not for me and the House authorities.”

    MP Mr Vara launched the PMQs scrutiny session with a typical Tory cheerleading non-question, saying, “During this pandemic, in my constituency of North West Cambridgeshire, I have seen a number of instances of ordinary citizens doing extraordinary work helping the elderly and vulnerable, and that has been repeated across the country in every single constituency, giving true meaning to the words ‘community spirit’. Would my right hon. Friend take this opportunity not only to acknowledge the fantastic work that has been done by so many people, but to give a huge thank you to each and every one of these unsung heroes of our country?” You would think this was a response to a resounding Tory triumph when the PM replying, “I thoroughly concur with my hon. Friend, and I congratulate all the volunteers for their spirit and the achievements they have delivered for the people of this country. I was delighted that we had a first chance to honour them in the birthday honours list at the weekend, or just some of them.”

    While we are all grateful for the work, sacrifice and volunteer efforts of the public, in reality this ‘community spirit’ demonstrates the resilience of the British in response to the most shambolic mismanagement of a serious health crisis in modern history. But beyond the accolades and awards, we should reward these efforts with decent levels of pay and adequate support for those forced out of work. But PMQs moved on to that familiar very irritating pattern of ‘Parliamentary Ping Pong.’ ‘Ping’… Keir Starmer went into bat saying, “On 11 May, the Prime Minister said that the Government’s covid strategy ‘will be governed entirely by the science.” [Official Report, 11 May 2020; Vol. 676, c. 36.] On 21 September, the Government’s own scientific advisers, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, gave very clear advice. They said that a ‘package of interventions’ —including a circuit breaker—would be needed to prevent an ‘exponential rise in cases’. Why did the Prime Minister reject that advice and abandon the science?”

    In betrayal of his constant claims of ‘following the science’ Pong… the PM batted back saying, “We will do whatever it takes to fight this virus and to defeat it, but since the right hon. and learned Gentleman quotes the SAGE advice, I might just remind him that, on page 1, it states: ‘All the interventions considered have associated costs in terms of health and wellbeing…Policy makers will need to consider analysis of economic impacts and the associated harms alongside this epidemiological assessment.’ The advice that I have today is that if we do the regional approach that commended itself to the House and, indeed, to him on Monday, we can bring down the R and we can bring down the virus. Will he stick to his position of Monday and support that approach?”

    Starmer knew his deviation from unchallenging support of the PM hurt the PM, Ping… he hit back by doubling-down on his original demand saying, “I do not think that approach goes far enough, and neither does SAGE. The Prime Minister talks of the costs. Since he rejected SAGE’s advice on 21 September, I remind him that the R rate has gone up, the infection rate has quadrupled and hospital admissions have gone from 275 a day to 628 a day in England. Yesterday, 441 covid patients were on ventilators and the number of deaths recorded was, tragically, the highest since 10 June. That is the cost of rejecting the advice. SAGE has a clear view on why that is happening. What is the Prime Minister’s view on why these numbers are all heading in the wrong direction?”

    Pong… The PM said, “I set that out very clearly in the House on Monday. The difference between this stage of the pandemic and March and April, as the House knows very well, is that the disease is appearing much more strongly in some parts of the country than others. In Liverpool, for instance, alas, the figures are now running at 670 cases per 100,000, against 33 cases per 100,000 in Cornwall. There are 540 cases per 100,000 in Newcastle, alas, against 32 in North Norfolk. That is why the three-tiered approach that we set out on Monday, which the right hon. and learned Gentleman supported, is the right way forward. We want to put in the most stringent measures necessary in the places where the virus is surging, in order to get it down where it is surging. That is the logical thing to do. Will he get on to his Labour friends in those parts of the north of England whom we want to work with to put those very stringent measures in place, in order to deliver the reductions that the whole country wants to see? Will he support those measures? He would not support them last night.”

    Ping… Starmer continued the volley of inept chiding of the PM, “I think the Prime Minister is behind the curve again. He probably has not noticed that this morning, the council leaders in Greater Manchester that he just quoted, including the Mayor and the Conservative leader of Bolton Council, said in a press statement that they support a circuit break above tier 3 restrictions—keep up, Prime Minister. The big problem the Prime Minister has, as the SAGE minutes make absolutely clear, is that his two main policies—track and trace and local restrictions—simply have not worked, and we cannot stand by. In July, the Prime Minister told me that track and trace, ‘will play a vital part in ensuring that we do not have a second spike this winter. Those were his words. Three months later, SAGE has concluded that track and trace is only ‘having a marginal impact on transmission’. It goes on to say, and this is the really worrying part, that this is likely to ‘further decline in the future’. So the PM ditched ‘the science’ we knew that.”

    Starmer felt it was necessary to spell out the reason for PMQ entails the asking of questions, demanding appropriate scrutiny, he scolded, “Let us not have the usual nonsense that anyone asking the Prime Minister a question about track and trace is somehow knocking the NHS. This is SAGE’s assessment—the Government’s own advisers. After £12 billion, let us have a straight answer: why does the Prime Minister think that his track and trace system has gone so wrong?” Does Sir Keir really think that the PM is going to admit that his worthless centralized Track and Trace program was just a money making scam for the Tory elite?

    The ‘Pong’ was becoming a rancid stench of decomposing questions ignored by the PM, but he defensively hit back, “It is thanks to NHS Test and Trace, which is now testing more people than any other country in Europe, that we know where the disease is surging. We know that it is regionally distributed, rather than nationally distributed, at the moment, and that gives us a chance to do the right thing. The right hon. and learned Gentleman wants to close pubs. He wants to close bars. He wants to close businesses in areas across the country where the incidence is low. That is what he wants to do, and he wants to do it now, yet he voted to do nothing last night—nothing—in the areas where the incidence is highest. He says one thing at 5 o’clock about calling for a national lockdown. When it came to a vote in the House of Commons to impose more stringent measures, he failed even to turn up.”

    Ping… Starmer wasn’t deviating from his core chide and challenge hit, “I know that, for someone who has been an opportunist all his life, this is difficult to understand, but having read and considered the SAGE advice, I have genuinely concluded that a circuit break is in the national interest, genuinely concluded. It is the failure of the Prime Minister’s strategy that means tougher measures are now unavoidable. That is SAGE’s view. SAGE has advised that a circuit breaker should act to reduce R below 1, should reset the incidence of disease to a lower level and should set the epidemic back by approximately 28 days or more. All three are vital, and that is why Labour backs it, so can the Prime Minister tell us what is his alternative plan to get R below 1?”

    The rancid ‘Pong’ was getting stronger as the PM dodged accountability and attempted to distract by reverting to his strategy of claiming ‘you had supported me now you don’t’ saying, “The plan is the plan that the right hon. and learned Gentleman supported on Monday. The whole point is to seize this moment now to avoid the misery of another national lockdown, into which he wants to go headlong, by delivering a regional solution. Opportunism is, I am afraid, the name of the game for the party opposite, because they backed the rule of six or he backed the rule of six and then refused to vote for it. I think at three o’clock, the shadow Health spokesman said that a national lockdown would be ‘disastrous’; at five o’clock, he was calling for it. Let us go back to the approach that he was supporting on Monday.” Had Johnson managed to confuse the issue enough to spread the responsibility around?

    Pong… The PM whimpered as he danced on the head of a pin trying to split hairs to avoid the inevitable decision he will be forced to make in a week or less; he was loath to hand Starmer a victory. He sounded pathetic as he whacked the ball across the net saying, “Let us try to avoid the misery of another national lockdown, which he would want to impose, as I say, in a headlong way. Let us work together—let us work together, as he was prepared to do on Monday—to keep kids in school, who he would now yank out of school in a peremptory way, keep our economy going, and keep jobs and livelihoods supported in this country. Let us take the common sensical regional approach, and will he kindly spell out to all his colleagues across the whole of the country that that is the best way forward, as indeed he did on Monday?”

    Ping… Starmer hit the sweet spot, “Following the advice is now, apparently, opportunistic. Presumably the Prime Minister will say the same to the leader of Bolton Council, a Conservative leader, who this morning said he supports a circuit break. I have just listened to what the Prime Minister said about his strategy to get R below 1, but I cannot think of a single scientist who backs it. He will know that the chief medical officer said on Monday that he, the chief medical officer, is—his words: ‘not confident, and nor is anyone confident, that the tier 3 proposals for the highest rates…would be enough’. That is tier 3 the highest tier. So why is the Prime Minister so confident that his approach will get the R rate below 1 so confident or is that no longer the Government plan?”

    Pong… the PM hit back, “I am afraid the right hon. and learned Gentleman is misrepresenting the position, doubtless inadvertently. Our advice is that, if the regional measures are tier 3 and at all levels were implemented in full with the support and the active co-operation of local leaders, as indeed we have seen from the leader of Liverpool city region, and I pay tribute to him and I thank him for what he is doing, and if we saw full and proper enforcement and if they were able to conduct proper local test and trace, with the support of the £500 million that we are giving, then yes, those measures would deliver the reduction in the R locally or regionally that we need in order to avert what none of us wants to see, what none of us wants to see, except now the right hon. and learned Gentleman, having performed this extraordinary U-turn, and that is the disaster, in the words of the shadow Health spokesman, of a national lockdown. We do not want to go there. We want the regional approach. He should co-operate with it.”

    Ping… A desperately defensive tap as Starmer tried to reassure to PM that he was still true to his commitment to capitulation, he just couldn’t resist getting the jump on the PM regarding the U-turn he will be forced to make anyway within a week so. He pleaded that, “I have supported the Government on all their measures so far, and I have taken criticism on it, but I think this measure is wrong and a circuit breaer is in the national interest. I have read the advice of SAGE and the Government have rejected it.” Then despite warning there was no new hit, “This is my last question, and I am sure the Prime Minister has his pre-prepared rant ready as usual, but we are at a tipping point. Time is running out. Maybe he can seize the moment and answer a question. This morning, The Daily Telegraph quotes senior Government sources saying the chances of the Prime Minister backing a circuit break in the next two weeks are about 80%. Is that right? If it is, why does he not do it now, save lives, fix testing and protect the NHS?”

    Pong… It was the PM’s last chance for game, set, and match as he focused on totally redundant argument of, ‘now you’re with me, now you’re not’ just to sew confusion, before MPs realized that the party Leader most likely to U-turn in the coming week was Boris Johnson. The PM hit back with, “The right hon. and learned Gentleman claims to be supporting the Government one day, and then performs a dramatic U-turn the next. He claims to support the rule of six one day, then pulls his support the next. He wants tough measures, and then refuses to vote for them. Everybody can see what he is doing. Labour have said it themselves. They see this as a ‘good crisis’ for the Labour party and one they wish to exploit.” Not quite, because none of the opposition parties have had the opportunity to trouser massive quantities of public money by assigning it to their donors and elitist chums the way the Tories have!

    Pong… The PMs last hit sent the ball bounding right out the door into the wild blue yonder with his meaningless prattle. He said, “We see this as a national crisis that we are going to turn around, and the way we are going to do it is—and I rule out nothing, of course, in combating the virus, but we are going to do it with the local, the regional approach that can drive down and will drive down the virus if it is properly implemented, and that is what I believe he should be supporting. He said he would support it on Monday. This is our opportunity to keep things going: to keep our kids in school; to keep our businesses going. That I think is what the people of this country want to do. This is our opportunity to do that, and to suppress the virus where it is surging. He refuses to accept that approach today. I hope that, not for the first time, he will change his mind and think the better of his actions.”

    SNP Leader, Ian Blackford warned, “Yesterday, the founder of BrewDog warned that ‘the end of the Job Retention Scheme will lead to a tsunami of unemployment’. BrewDog is just one of thousands of businesses across Scotland and the United Kingdom demanding that the Tory Government U-turn on their reckless plans to scrap the furlough scheme. There are just two weeks left to save people’s jobs and livelihoods, so in the next fortnight the Prime Minister has two choices: extend the full furlough scheme or inflict a tsunami of unemployment on our people this winter. Which is he going to choose?” The PM was emphatic replying, “As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the Chancellor has already unveiled the job support scheme, which will go through till next year. Those on low incomes will also have the additional benefit of universal credit, which again is going through, in its uplifted form—£1,000 extra per year—to next April at least.” Those on legacy benefits like the disabled on ESA have not received extra money.

    Blackford responded by showing his utter disgust for the PM, “My goodness. That really does show that the Prime Minister does not get it. Universal credit, is that really what the Prime Minister is saying to those that could be saved? People do not want to hear the boasting and the excuses that we get; they want action. These half-measures do not cover it. Thousands have already lost their jobs. The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that we have the highest rate of redundancies since 2009. We are heading towards a Tory winter of mass unemployment created by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. We know what the Prime Minister’s Tory colleagues are saying: the Prime Minister’s next job could be on the Back Benches; he just does not know it yet. If the Prime Minister will not U-turn on his plans to scrap furlough, does he realise that he will never, not ever, be forgiven for the damage that he is just about to cause to people up and down Scotland?” I must add, that would be right across the UK!

    The PM did not relent, “As I have said many times to the right hon. Gentleman, this Government are continuing to support people across the whole of the UK, with many billions of pounds in Barnett consequentials—at least £5 billion in Barnett consequentials for Scotland alone. But one thing I will congratulate him on is the Scottish nationalist party’s support for the tiered approach, which I think is still its policy, unlike the Labour party. At least it is showing some vestige of consistency in its normal gelatinous behaviour.”

    SDLP MP Colum Eastwood kept up the pressure, “By the weekend, Northern Ireland will be in an effective lockdown. Under the Chancellor’s new furlough scheme starting in November, a minimum wage full-time employee, a normal worker, will be entitled to £227 per week. I doubt that this Prime Minister could survive on that. How, and under God, does he expect ordinary decent workers to survive on that?” The PM stubbornly evaded the question saying, “I am proud of what the Government have done to raise the national living wage, which this Government introduced. What I can tell the hon. Gentleman is that whatever happens, a combination of the job support scheme and universal credit will mean that nobody gets less than 93% of their current income.”

    Virginia Crosbie continued the Tory tradition of ‘me first’ saying, “My constituency has the best nuclear site in the UK. Will the Prime Minister confirm to me and the people of Ynys Môn that he is 100% behind Wylfa Newydd?” The PM glowed as he replied, “Yes, indeed. I congratulate my hon. Friend on her fantastic campaigning for a nuclear future for Ynys Môn. She has no more fervent supporter in that objective than me.” Like the Tory commitment to fracking it’s proof the Tories will ditch ‘the Green crap!’

    Labour MP Matt Western focused on yet another Tory corruption scandal highlighting the fact that, “The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has a habit of hitting the headlines, and not always for the right reason. At the weekend, we discovered that his constituency had been awarded £25 million from the regeneration scheme and that that was approved by one of his own Ministers. The Secretary of State returned the favour by approving funding for that Minister’s constituency. We have one Department, two Ministers and tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. Does the Prime Minister think that the approval process is appropriate, or does he think that the public might be right in thinking that this all looks a bit grubby?” ‘Nothing to see here’ according to the PM, “All this was independently approved, but if the hon. Gentleman has some serious allegation to make against my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State then may I suggest that he has the guts to make it?”

    Labour MP Neil Coyle said, “Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister told me that he would support charities to be able to open covid-safe accommodation for homeless people this winter, but yesterday the Government announced a £3 million cut in the cold weather fund this year, despite higher covid-related costs. Will the Prime Minister at least guarantee that all Government funds can be used to cover anyone and everyone needing shelter?” The PM said, “Of course, we will make sure that local authorities get the support they need. As the hon. Gentleman knows, we have already put in an extra £3.7 billion into helping local authorities and, I think, a total of £28 billion into tackling the local consequences of covid. We will continue to support people throughout the country.”

    There were other interventions before the Tory Party Political Broadcast that is euphemistically called Prime Minister’s Questions ground to a close. It was the same old redundant fare of Starmer v Johnson Ping-Pong with the stench of betrayal getting stronger by the week. The Captain of Capitulation whining about the PMs failures trying to solicit an apology, but only now after weeks in lockstep with the PM finally offering a hint of opposition. Johnson turned every attempt at scrutiny into an insult of other people and a ‘now you’re with me now you’re not’ melee. All critics ignored, the standard Tory fawning was used to embellish the PMs boastful lies in his PR spin. Really vital issues are being rushed through Parliament like the CHIS Bill, while the public are distracted trying to fathom restrictions. We need robust opposition that requires removing Starmer over his betrayal of Labour members and the Tories over corruption that includes the Covert 2019 Rigged Election: expose, Investigate, and remove them all from office ASAP! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61618 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    In the summer the distraction tool pimped by the BBC and the media focused on ‘bums on beaches;’ where could we go on holiday without facing quarantine after returning to the UK. This non-news rubbish I called ‘handyfloss’ flooded the airwaves to detract from the grim reality of job losses and the prospect of reduced support on furlough before an inevitable redundancy. Now the handyfloss is an obsession over pub closing times and punitive localized lockdowns, necessary because the masses failed to unflinchingly obey the strict orders of the wealthy elite who are of course exempt from any curtailment of their unbridled privilege. The wrangling between Johnson and city Mayors over his policy to disproportionately punish Labour supporting northern cities through forced lockdowns, where minimum wage earners are expected to subsist on just two thirds of their income, was just a raucous distraction to obscure the stripping away of our human right with powers that allow police and other agents to function entirely outside the law.

    The necessary protective restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid 10 and limit its damage would be far less complicated if we first focused on logical evaluation of personal risk driving responsibility for individual behaviour within a strong framework of pragmatic national guidelines. This personal risk assessment is exactly what I did at the beginning of March; it included the following:
    • Personal Health Risk Factors: advanced age, underlying health conditions, comorbidities, gender and ethnicity are all factors.
    • Location risk: Living in London, any other major metropolitan area or within the regular commuting range of same, places with large Students populations, localities with a high propensity for overseas travel within the local population.
    • Contact & Proximity Risk: elderly housing or care facilities, multigenerational homes, overcrowded accommodation including Student Halls, frontline work assignments.

    From this it is possible to gauge your own potential risk and modify your personal conduct accordingly within nationally accepted regulations. Although you may feel that none of the first category applies to you, where you live, the personal circumstances of your accommodation or your work assignment might still put you at risk. Your ‘Contact & Proximity Risk ‘ is quite high if you cannot work from home due to a frontline job; the Tories know that wealthier Tory voters evade many of these risks. Nationwide risk will increase despite the Government imposed three tear unworkable plan that is really just a subterfuge. The Tories are relying on the children to act as vectors for Covid 19; despite the success of their planned cull they have kept their vile agenda under wraps. This is why the Tories are determined to keep schools open and have forced their Trojan horse Starmer to wholeheartedly endorse the plan. Meanwhile they distract and annoy us by closing pubs knowing those who can’t meet up can’t gripe or organize a protest.

    The Government could have created an online algorithm for people to self assess their own personal risk and modify their conduct to compensate. If they had done this in February, plus set up checks and restrictions at points of entry and invested extra money in local test and trace, that was already a well established function of local health authorities, we could have greatly restricted the few cases arriving from hot spots. We should have reassessed our stockpile of PPE and access to ventilators and made up for the shortfall by stocking up fast in preparation. If we had done these things we would not be in this mess, the UK would be like New Zealand. Despite the warped agenda of their news coverage the BBC have a global reputation for program excellence; they could have started putting together educational materials for at home schooling for all age groups. Children who do not necessarily have a computer still have a TV, but even if it wasn’t needed at all in the UK, such programs could have been sold to countries overseas.

    If the UK had acted swiftly following this tactic we really could have been ‘world beating,’ using our high tech sector to produce the supportive equipment and work on a vaccine, while we used caution to prepare and protect our entire population at the same time developing televised teaching materials well before we needed to close any schools. Instead influenced by ‘Herd Nerd’ eugenicist Dominic Cummings and warped by Corporate financial interests, an obsession with power and personal greed this rabid Tory cabal exploited the Covid crisis to plunder public money. Having seized control by fraud they enriched the wealthy elite by driving millions of the working poor into destitution while deliberately exterminating the elderly and disabled to reduce any future burden on the state. No tinkering around the edges over the restrictions is going to stem the carnage as they complete their ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple’ because that is their intended policy for the UK in the lead up to solidifying their Dictatorship after crash-out Brexit.

    Boris Johnson will now sell the snake oil of his crash-out Brexit, the ‘No Deal’ that the Tories had planned all along; promoting it as if it were some massive benefit for ordinary British people. Any negative consequences will be blamed on the intransigence and confected bad-faith negotiating tactics of the EU and the compliant UK Media will indoctrinate the people in this new propaganda. The reality is just as duplicitous as Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ lie while forcing the northern Labour strongholds into greater hardship and destitution as he ‘Decimates Down’ with the Tory boot of austerity and punitive wage cuts firmly on our necks. Two thirds of minimum wage will become fully established as the new normal wage throughout the entire country as the Tories dictate that this will be necessary for businesses to recover from the double whammy of Covid and this punitive EU stance on crash-out Brexit. All of this hardship will be portrayed as totally unavoidable and not the fault of bad governance as the economic divide widens.

    One phenomenon is a universally accepted consequence of destitution and starvation: those who are facing a slow death will riot and fight back. Johnson will not hesitate to use the full force of the military to assist police in quelling the masses, but he could also draft in a substantial private militia to function well beyond the normal restraints of our police and conventional forces; either way many will slaughtered. The UK is a global leader in the creation of ruthless private mercenary companies who have been deployed all over the world to suite the neo-con agenda. These operations have been shrouded in secrecy and act with impunity committing war crimes overseas; they stand ready to serve any paymaster without conscience; without doubt they could be used against protesters and innocent citizens in our country. The recent dangerous bills rushed through Parliament will expand their powers and increase their immunity from persecution as well as distance the Tory Government from accountability for their actions.

    I fear that the recent CHIS Spycops bill and the Overseas Operations Bill are a component of preparing to use brutal force against the population to subdue resistance; they are being raced through Parliament at speed. Because the UK has recruited and trained more private mercenaries than almost anywhere on earth there is a huge private army available to be rapidly mobilized to subdue our population if we rebel or protest against Tory authority. Focusing on the conduct of one rogue ‘security company, KMS, under the title, “The shocking story of UK mercenaries in Sri Lanka,” The Canary have posted a Video Interview. “Phil Miller, co-director of the new documentary Keenie Meenie, talks to The Canary about his film which exposes a shadowy British mercenary company involved in war crimes in Sri Lanka.” The Canary also post a Link to a far more detailed Declassified UK Article including the full Keenie Meenie documentary.

    The Canary posts a number of ways in which you can proactively “get involved: If you live in the UK and want to raise the issue of Keenie Meenie Services (KMS) with your elected representatives then here are some things to include:
    • Your local MP can ask the Foreign Secretary and Culture Minister to stop censoring files about KMS and release them in full to the National Archives.
    • If you live in London, your London Assembly Member can ask the Mayor for updates on the investigation into KMS by the Metropolitan Police war crimes team.
    • If you live in Scotland, your MSP can ask the Cabinet Secretary for Justice to stop Police Scotland from working with Sri Lankan officers.”

    They remind activists to, “Please keep your correspondence with politicians courteous and polite.”

    In the Declassified Article entitled, “Keenie Meenie Services – the most powerful mercenary company you’ve never heard of – was involved in war crimes in Sri Lanka for which its shadowy directors have never been held accountable” They report, “We began making this film in 2017 when UK Foreign Office files about Keenie Meenie Services (KMS) started to be declassified. This came 30 years after they were first written by British diplomats in the midst of Sri Lanka’s long civil war. These telegrams provided documentary evidence that British mercenaries had not only trained a notoriously violent Sri Lankan paramilitary unit – the Special Task Force – but that KMS pilots themselves flew helicopter gunships during operations. This happened during a period of constant aerial attacks on Tamil civilians in which hundreds of people were killed.”

    Declassified say. “This paper trail from one of the most secretive foreign policy episodes of Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister also provided long-hidden clues about the key players at the centre of this story. It named the mercenaries, civil servants and political fixers who knew exactly what was happening.” Lest we forget her proclivity for mercenary interventions the Guardian Article entitled, “Margaret Thatcher ‘gave her approval’ to her son Mark’s failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea” she condoned her own son’s illegal activity. They say in an, “Unpublished version of memoir by former SAS officer Simon Mann records Baroness Thatcher’s endorsement of plan to depose oil-rich country’s president.” This was revealed according to “the chief protagonist of the bid, former SAS officer Simon Mann. The former prime minister, whose son, Sir Mark, was convicted in a South African court of involvement in the attempted 2004 coup, allegedly told Mann at a meeting at her Belgravia home: ‘I’m sure it’s going to work’.”

    Declassified reporting on KMS in Sri Lanka say, “While some had long since passed away, we were able to track others down in a four-year journey that took us around the UK, Europe and across post-war Sri Lanka, an island still living under a heavy military presence. Behind the mercenaries themselves – with their close connections to Britain’s special forces and intelligence agencies – there was always the political power of Whitehall. The UK government had a permissive policy towards KMS, which allowed the company to operate in Sri Lanka with a veneer of plausible deniability. To this day, the Foreign Office is resisting full disclosure of its KMS archive. While Whitehall is hiding the past, another UK agency appears unwilling to learn from it. Our film shows how Police Scotland has been working with the exact same Sri Lankan paramilitary unit that KMS coached in the 1980s – a unit whose tactic back then ‘when fired upon while on patrol [was] to enter the nearest village and burn it to the ground’.”

    Declassified reveal that, “Scottish police have since trained the unit in ‘public order’ tactics and continue to offer Sri Lanka ‘community policing’ skills. However, there remains hope that the victims may see justice. The Metropolitan Police war crimes team recently launched an investigation into the activities of KMS in Sri Lanka. It is possible that some mercenaries may finally have to answer questions about their shadowy pasts, even if we were not able to speak to them for this film. Bringing criminal charges against anyone who was involved in KMS from this period would be a landmark moment. Although the UK has one of the largest private security industries in the world, no one has been convicted of mercenary offences by a British court in the last 150 years.” Will the Overseas Operations Bill effectively shut down any investigation into this and similar war crimes overseas? Worse still could we see equally violent tactics employed here in the UK against those who resist the oppression of the new Dictatorship?

    The auther, “Phil Miller is a staff reporter for Declassified UK, an investigative organisation covering British foreign policy. His book, Keenie Meenie: The British Mercenaries Who Got Away With War Crimes, is available to buy from Pluto Press. Lou Macnamara is a self-shooting documentary director. Lou co-directed documentary short Working Illegally (2015) which explores the UK’s privatised immigration detention estate. They are both directors of Yardstick Films.” We must tenaciously defend this courageous level of professional investigative Journalism that is under serious threat right now with the extradition hearing of Julian Assange also discreetly buried by compliant news reporters supporting the authoritarian will of this corrupt Tory Government. When war crimes, atrocities and injustices remain secret no one is ever held to account for Human Rights abuses which in turn will further embolden those considering the use of extreme force, extraordinary rendition, torture and summary executions in future.

    Way back in a December 2018 Open Democracy Article entitled, “Britain is the world centre for private military contractors – and it’s almost impossible to find out what they’re up to” they elaborated on the lawlessness of modern day mercenaries. They wrote that, “Yesterday, an American man was convicted for killing unarmed civilians whilst on patrol in Iraq. But he wasn’t a member of the US Army. When the incident took place, he was working for the company Blackwater. Last month, the Taliban carried out a lethal suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. But the compound they targeted wasn’t controlled by the army of any nation. It was run by G4S. According to the Islamist group, the British company constituted an ‘important base of occupying forces’, from which attacks against the Taliban were planned and mobilised.”

    Open Democracy report that, “G4S, one of the UK’s biggest private military companies, provides pivotal ‘operational support’ to Britain’s military in Afghanistan and such incidents bring back into focus the extent that private military and security companies are present, and sometimes directly involved, in combat. Since the ‘War on Terror’ began in 2001, billions of dollars have been made by men (and it is almost always men) working for private military and security companies (PMSCs) around the world. In the killing zones of Iraq or Afghanistan, Somalia or Yemen, such corporations have become central to undertaking roles traditionally reserved for national militaries.” However the name G4S is familiar to citizens here in the UK where they have been awarded an increasing number of Government contracts and have been accused of Human Rights violations in their treatment of asylum detainees. The old Keenie Meenie company KMS has morphed into a new entity ‘Saladin’ with the same directors and the same deadly mandate.

    Open Democracy warns that, “Britain has led this privatisation of modern warfare. It leads the world in providing armed contractors to ‘hot spots’, be it combating terrorism in the Middle East or fighting pirates off the Horn of Africa. Some of their biggest clients are governments; since 2004, the British state has spent approximately £50 million annually on mercenary companies. The total worth of the global private military and security industry has been estimated to stand somewhere between £69 billion and £275 billion a year. Many of these companies will serve whoever can pay, from wealthy private individuals to faceless corporations. It is easy for them to do so. Despite the size of this mercenary industry, the entire sector is marked by secrecy. Men trained in the arts of subterfuge and counter-intelligence dominate this sphere, and the result is an industry that operates from the shadows.” We should ask, what would it take, under Tory Government orders, for the latest priority ‘hot spot’ assignment to be the streets of UK cities?

    The project of shifting this country from a deeply flawed democracy to the full authoritarian Dictatorship of Boris Johnson as controlled by Dominic Cummings is nearing completion. They have abandoned all pretence of negotiating an EU deal after only played along with the concept in order to dupe the UK public, while running down the clock and ramping-up the assignment of blame to the EU for the inevitable failings and the horrendous consequences for ordinary working people here. With his disastrous mismanagement of the Covid 19 crisis, the PM has managed to keep the British public distracted from the reality of his deliberate targeting of the most vulnerable ‘economically inactive’ elderly and disabled sectors of the population he is actively trying to exterminate. For the working poor, the Tories will force wages down below subsistence levels using regional lockdowns; crash-out Brexit will just exacerbate this mass misery as we are all collectively brought to heel under the new Tory Johnson/Cummings Dictatorship.

    Dictatorships endure for decades and this one will be no exception, unless we derail their plan by removing them from office ASAP a lengthy dystopian nightmare lays ahead. The only way to avert this grisly scenario is to expose the industrial scale fraud of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and fully Investigate the result to render it invalid. That would delegitimize the Tories claim to power with their stolen ‘landslide victory’ majority in Parliament and could see the PM, Cummings and key Ministers not just removed from office, but also jailed for their illegal conduct. The Tory Government’s misappropriation of public funds paying the ‘Integrity Initiative’ to create libellous propaganda to discredit the Labour Leader and opposition party would be enough to warrant jail sentences in any valid democracy, but sadly the UK has already departed from that high standard of integrity. Evidence for this last deception already exists, but it is far from the only plundering of public money that must now be dealt with in Court to Get the Tories Out! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61649 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    I cannot help ranting about this latest assault on our Human Rights: CHIS! A Canary Article entitled, “Human rights clauses in ‘spycops’ bill are worthless, leaked document reveals” draws attention to the ongoing alarm over the controversial CHIS Spycops Bill. They say that, “A confidential police document seen by The Canary reveals that instructions to ‘spycops’, or undercover police officers (UCOs), regarding adherence to the Human Rights Act are not worth the paper they’re printed on. Similar instructions form part of the Covert Human Intelligence (CHIS) bill, heavily denounced by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The Tory government is progressing a bill to legalise the criminal activities of Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) who work with the police, MI5, and other state agencies. The bill passed its third reading on 15 October with Labour, under Keir Starmer, mostly abstaining. Meanwhile, in response to Starmer’s hardline stance, eight Labour MPs have resigned from front bench positions.”

    With regard to CHIS and human rights, although the Canary report that, “A government website summarising the bill states that: Any authorisation for criminal conduct must be necessary and proportionate and compatible with obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights’ there are still serious concerns. Confidential instructions issued to UCOs in 2009 specified that ‘Police officers must be fully conversant with Article 6 (the right to fair trial) and Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention of Human Rights’.” The Canary have printed “an extract from confidential police files included in UCO Mark Kennedy’s Operation Aeroscope dossier, and signed by him.” They contend that, “in the field, it’s another matter entirely. Kennedy routinely disobeyed these instructions to provide cover. He had long-term sexual relationships with a number of women, including with ‘Lisa Jones’ for over six years.”

    The Canary list several more examples showing that, “There were many other UCOs who disregarded these instructions in this manner too. For example:
    o John Dines (cover name John Barker) spied on several left wing groups while in a relationship with environmental campaigner Helen Steel.
    o Jim Boyling (cover name Jim Sutton) infiltrated animal rights and environmental groups. He formed a relationship with campaigner ‘Laura’ and fathered two children with her. He also had at least two other serious relationships.
    o Mark Jenner (cover name Mark Cassidy) had a relationship with ‘Alison’ and used her as cover to infiltrate a number of political groups.
    Indeed, more than thirty women have reported being exploited in this way. It can therefore be argued that the instructions in the CHIS bill for operatives to adhere to human rights legislation are meaningless. For there is no guarantee that a CHIS agent will obey such instructions.”

    The Canary report that, “On the same day the bill passed its third reading, police finally conceded that six of their UCOs spied on environmental activist Kate Wilson. One of the UCOs was Kennedy. The Met and the NPCC (National Police Chiefs Council) admitted to breaching Article 8 rights and that ‘the intrusion was even greater’.” They say, Wilson commented: “These admissions have wide reaching significance for the public at large. Over 30 women now know that they were deceived into intimate, sexual relationships with undercover officers. Many more people were subjected to similar infiltration by undercover officers. What happened to me was by no means unique, and hundreds of people will have had their rights violated in this way. These admissions mean it is simply not sustainable to say these operations were legitimate, proportionate, or lawful.”

    Calling the Government’s assurances “Disingenuous” the Canary say, “Regarding the bill, Howard Beckett writes in Labour List that the human rights stipulation is merely a device: Security minister James Brokenshire is hiding behind the legal requirement for compliance with the Human Rights Act (1999), which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights. But the government’s track record suggests this is being put forward in bad faith. Beckett went on to explain: Not only have many Tory backbenchers flirted with revoking the HRA altogether, the government’s legal defence team has previously argued that the state cannot be held responsible for the human rights compliance of individual agents once lawfully authorised, telling the [Investigatory Powers Tribunal], ‘the state, in tasking the CHIS… is not the instigator of that activity and cannot be treated as somehow responsible for it… It would be unreal to hold the state responsible’.”

    The Canary report, “Similarly, prior to the third reading of the bill, trade union leaders and 20 Labour MPs issued a statement regarding their concerns. Their list of objections includes: The reliance on the Human Rights Act as limiting the scope of what might be legally authorised, despite the government’s own previous reliance on a legal defence that the State cannot be held responsible under the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights for actions undertaken by individual agents.” They say that the, “Bill attacks workers and protesters,” as it offers, “Authorisation for a CHIS agent to participate in criminal conduct could be given:
    (i) In the interests of national security,
    (ii) For the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder, or
    (iii) In the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.”

    Strikes or any public protest, including acts of civil disobedience that might impinge on the financial interests of powerful Corporations, to prevent exploitation of people or the environment, would be fair game.

    The Canary report that, “In a damning speech in the Commons, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn queried the last example. He suggested the bill could target striking workers, who could also be subject to blacklisting. If CHIS agents are used to prevent strike action and/or assist in blacklisting, this could potentially be a violation of human rights. The protections in the CHIS bill, as with the instructions to UCOs, are arguably disingenuous, if not worthless. They equate to an attack on all workers and their livelihoods, and on political dissent itself.”

    According to the ‘Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance’ (COPS) Campaign Website, “On 8 July 2018, people targeted by Britain’s political secret police held a ‘people’s inquiry’ at Conway Hall in London. Exasperated by the state public inquiry’s bias toward secrecy as it drags on for years without even formally starting, the victims of spycops held this theatrical event to envision what an effective inquiry would look like. Marc Wadsworth’s testimony is shown here in full. A veteran anti-racist campaigner, in the 1980s he led the Labour Party’s black section, and in the 1990s he was leader of the Anti-Racist Alliance. Asked by Stephen Lawrence’s family to help build their campaign for justice, he was targeted by officers from Britain’s political secret police. He is a core participant at the Undercover Policing Inquiry. The people’s inquiry was part of a weekend of activities celebrating 50 years of progressive political campaigns achievements despite being infiltrated by counter-democratic police.”

    COPS say that full details of that weekend’s activities are still available on the COPS Campaign Website where you will find other videos for an overview of the People’s Inquiry, and for that day’s conclusions. Here is a list of “Recommendations following the Peoples Public Inquiry:
    1. Full disclosure of all names – both cover and real – of officers from the disgraced political police units, accompanied by photographs
    2. Release of the names of all groups suspected to have been spied upon
    3. Release of all personal files on activists
    4. Extension of the inquiry to all countries where the British spycops are known to have operated
    5. The appointment of a diverse panel with experience relevatnt ot victims to assist the chair in making decisions and judgements 6. Inclusion of children and young people who had contact with spycops as Core Participants in the Inquiry
    7. Urgent and immediate review of convictions where spycops had involvement in the cases & misled courts – 50 wrongful convictions have already been overturned and this is likley to be a fraction of the true total.
    8. The Inquiry must extend its scope to understand political policing and its impact on democracy. This must include a thorough investigation into racist, sexist, anti-working class, anti-democratic behaviour on behalf of the spycops and those that instructed them to operate in this manner. Such political policing and political policing units must be abolished.
    9. An urgent review into all undercover police activities to investigate whether the bad practice exposed by this inquiry has been extended to other areas of undercover operations
    10. Make available the necessary resources of the judge to be able to do their job in the available time
    11. Equalising of resources, the police are spending millions on stonewalling the inquiry, victims have almost nothing
    12. Increase the severity of penalties for non-compliance with the inquiry
    13. Investigation into collusion between police and corporate spies.”

    For more information on Britain’s political undercover police, see their website: campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com Find them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.

    In a RealNews Article entitled “Fund and Destroy: Tracking The Home Office Relationship with Spycops” Merrick Badger warns, “Few would have believed that anything like it happens in this country.” He reports, “Hundreds of campaigns, from trade unions to environmentalists to anti-racists to grieving families seeking justice, undermined. Undercover police officers spending years living a double life, integrating into targeted families and communities. Dozens of women abused in the most complete invasion of privacy it is possible for the state to enact. Astonishment and a desire to know the full truth of what happened is an understandable response. However, it ignores the bigger question, why? What made the authorities so paranoid? Who gave the orders? There’s no doubting that it was sanctioned, quite possibly directed, from the highest levels of government. London’s Metropolitan Police formed its intelligence-gathering Special Branch in 1883 to spy on Irish activists. It rapidly broadened its remit to other ‘subversives’.”

    Badger recalls, “In 1968, it did something new. London’s police had failed to anticipate the ferocious intensity of a demonstration against the Vietnam War. The crowd overcame the police and protesters got into the American embassy. It was hugely embarrassing for the government and, seeing the revolutionary stirrings across the Channel that year, they decided something must be done. Special Branch’s Detective Chief Inspector Conrad Dixon asked for ‘half a million pounds, twenty men and a free hand’. The government agreed, and Home Secretary (later Prime Minister) James Callaghan decreed that the Home Office would secretly directly fund the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS). Like other increases in state power of the time, such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act, such extreme policing was intended to be temporary but actually became permanent and increased its scope. The SDS was highly secretive. Most Met officers wouldn’t have known it even existed. Briefings were given orally.”

    According to Badger, “Comparatively little was written down and much of what was documented has been destroyed. The government also keeps its dubious dealings hidden and ensures that, if discovered, any miscreants can be plausibly denied and kept at arms’ length. A secret Home Office letter from 1969 talks of fears that knowledge of the SDS ‘could leak out and criticise the Home Secretary’ and one from 1970 worries about the potential for ‘acute embarrassment for the Home Office’. The Home Office stopped directly funding the SDS in 1989. There’s no surviving evidence of there being any accountability from that date onward. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Home Office weren’t told what was going on, and they certainly hadn’t lost interest in this type of political policing. A second unit was set up in 1999, once again with direct Home Office funding. The National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) had a bigger budget than the SDS and a national remit, deploying the likes of Mark Kennedy.”

    Badger says, “After the spycops scandal hit the headlines in 2011, the increasing flow of revelations forced the government to finally do something in 2014. A public inquiry was announced, and it would be preceded by an investigation into links between the Home Office and the SDS by ex-Audit Commission director Stephen Taylor. Curiously, the NPOIU was not included in his remit. Taylor spends the first half of his slender report listing places fruitlessly searched for documents, saying the ‘investigation did not identify any retained evidence available in the Department of any correspondence, discussions or meetings on the SDS for the 40 year period’ that the unit existed. Nothing, in the entire Home Office. Time and again he found reference to a file, catalogue number QPE 66 1/8/5, understood to have covered Home Office dealings with the SDS. It has disappeared. It would have contained material classified Secret or Top Secret, which would have strict protocols around its removal or destruction, yet there is no clue as to what happened to it.”

    Badger reports that, “They physically searched all storage facilities in the Home Office. It’s gone. Taylor can’t make allegations but rather pointedly said ‘it is not possible to conclude whether this is human error or deliberate concealment’. The only files found were a series of letters held by police. Just 48 documents for 40 years, either dealing with funding or the SDS’ annual reports to their paymasters. The absence of evidence is far from evidence of absence. Even the cautious and equivocal Taylor bluntly says ‘it is inconceivable that there would have been no discussions within the Department or with Special Branch… however, the nature of the SDS suggests these may not have been recorded, and if they were, there is no available record’. Nobody spends millions without wanting something for their money. SDS funding increased fourfold between 1980 and 1985, and it’s notable that the SDS expanded into new areas at the time, such as animal rights.”

    Badger contends that, “It beggars belief to suggest that this just happened idly and organically without serious discussion and subsequent reporting. Yet Taylor found no written evidence of the Home Office ever reviewing its financial control or value for money. The annual reports provided by the SDS include a list of all the groups targeted, monitored and infiltrated as well as intelligence gathered. In 1983 and 1986 the Home Office asked for more detail, which proves those reports were read. The reports from those two years show 48 and 63 groups targeted respectively. There can be no doubting that the Home Office knew which sort of political groups were being undermined. Today, aware of the outrage at spying on Stephen Lawrence’s family, the police continue to deny they specifically targeted family and racial justice campaigns (claiming this was ‘collateral intrusion’ from spying on groups allied with the campaigns).”

    However, Badger asserts that, “This is contradicted by the fact that both the 1983 and 1986 reports list justice campaigns as being spied upon. Such groups have always been targeted by spycops. The denials are an insult to our intelligence and an affront to justice. The 1987 report mentioned the arrest of two individuals ‘at great risk to an SDS officer’. This is thought to refer to Bob Lambert who had infiltrated the animal rights movement. In July 1987 he was part of a cell of three activists who planted incendiary devices in branches of Debenhams that sold fur. Lambert was to target the Harrow store, which burned down causing £340,000 of damage. He was publicly named as the firebomber four years ago (it’s something he denies, though has failed to say who else it could have been). He is currently under criminal investigation for it.”

    Badger recalls that, “The Home Secretary at the time, Douglas Hurd, read the 1987 report and is documented as expressing his approval of the SDS’ work. Although the Home Office stopped directly funding the SDS in 1989, there was further interaction with a Home Secretary. On 16 October 1993 anti-fascist groups held a march on the BNP headquarters in Welling, South London. Seven of the SDS’ ten officers were in relevant groups. One was in the BNP, guarding the building. Others, including Peter Francis, were in the anti-fascist crowd. Between the two sides were 5,000 uniformed officers, many in riot gear. That’s three separate lots of police on the streets, all licensed to fight the other two, which is exactly what happened.” This was total insanity…

    According to Badger, “Afterwards, Francis, who has since turned whistleblower – joined other SDS officers at their safe house in Balcombe Street, Marylebone where they were visited by the Met Commissioner Paul Condon who personally gave each of them a bottle of whisky. A surviving letter shows the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, was due to meet the SDS officers with Condon but was unable to attend. The targets of secret police reflect the establishment’s values, not any moral objectivity. Protests of all kinds are treated as a dangerous threat to be contained by force. An active desire for change is in and of itself a problem. As generations of activists up to and including today’s anti-fracking campaigners can testify, the casual beating up, fitting up and harassment of people who dare to voice dissent is the clear task of uniformed officers.” This imperative remains relevant to this day, but look how dangerously to the far-right Tory Government has strayed with a racist PM under eugenicist Cummings’s warped control.

    Badger warns, “It’s not just the secret police, it’s a policing culture that cannot distinguish between a threat to national security, a threat to corporate profit, a threat to government policy and a threat to police credibility. This is exactly why it was all so secretive. They needed to ensure the general public had no idea what was being done, how our protectors and elected representatives were running a counter-democratic campaign against us. They knew it was inexcusable and so ensured that, if it did get out, as few and as lowly people as possible would be held responsible. The truth exists but largely just in the memories of the perpetrators. The faltering public inquiry process may yet bring forth more whistleblowers. The Met admit that a lot of ex-spycops have great hostility to their former employers. If an officer gets scapegoated, they may well point up the ladder. Such hope relies on the integrity of the spycops, something they conspicuously lack.” New Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer in his former CPS role was hip-deep in this quagmire!

    Badger believes that, “as Peter Francis has shown, contrition is possible. Most activism is based on the idea that people can drastically change their lives to make a better world for others. We may yet come to know the truth.” I cannot help but dwell on the looming Orwellian consequences of the CHIS Spycops bill and the impact it will have in supporting the impending Dictatorship. The contrition of key people capable of turning Whistleblower is also perhaps our last hope to expose the industrial scale fraud of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and fully Investigate the result to render it invalid. The huge misappropriation of public funds, not just paying a charity to generate damaging defamation in order to seize power, but in awarding of worthless contracts during a national crisis while pursuing a policy of a negligent targeted ‘Covicide’ cull of the most vulnerable; these are serious criminal acts for which this Tory Government must be held accountable. Beyond immediate removal from office senior figures must be charged and jailed! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61661 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    I am still obsessing over the issue of the CHIS Spycops Bill because I fear it will have a profound impact on the authoritarian hell to which we will be subjected under the Tory Dictatorship. It is vitally important that we protest this incursion on our liberties and abuse of our Human Rights while we are still at liberty to protest as this bill will help remove such tights. In a Leftfoot Forward Article entitled, “New law may deny justice for spycops’ victims, Prem Sikka,” highlights the injustice the CHIS Spycops Bill will inflict on the women who were victims of undercover office’s abhorrent deception. Sikka starts out by asking, “How do we protect ourselves from terrorists, criminal gangs, human traffickers, arms smugglers and others, and at the same time protect and advance civil liberties? This tension is at the heart of the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill (CHIS) currently going through the UK parliament and the government’s draconian measures should worry all law-abiding people.”

    Sikka reminds us that, “The Bill authorises undercover agents to infiltrate groups and commit unlimited variety of criminal acts, with little public accountability.” In terms of justification for resorting to extreme measures of covert surveillance Sikaa elaborates that, “Clause 5 of the bill states that criminal conduct may be authorised if it is:
    (a) in the interests of national security;
    (b) for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder; or
    (c) in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.”

    This deceptively brief list is extremely broad and disquietingly vague in its definition of parameters; one can easily imagine it being stretched to encompass issues only tangentially relevant to these confines and there is little doubt this will occur. Almost all public protests and industrial action would warrant covert surveillance and I can imagine private security firms rubbing their hands in glee.

    Sikka reminds us that, “Subject to limits, the police have always been able to undertake covert operations. The Intelligence Services Act 1994 and its predecessors have long authorised security services to commit criminal acts in the course of foreign operations. However, CHIS authorises numerous agencies to commit criminal acts on British people.” Sikaa then lists the alarming number of forces or agencies that gain expansive covert surveillance powers under CHIS and the laundry list couldn’t be much longer, “These include military, police, intelligence services, HMRC, Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, Food Standards Agency, Competition and Markets Authority, Environment Agency, Gambling Commission, Home Office, Department of Health and Social Care, Ministry of Justice and numerous other government departments and bodies.” That is a pretty expansive list of potential future lawbreaking abusers who will in future not be held to account for targeting us!

    Shockingly Sikaa reports that, “The Bill does not impose limits on the variety of criminal conduct that might be authorised though the authorisation is expected to be necessary, proportionate and specific. Violent and sexual crimes can be authorised. The authorising officers need to conclude that the conduct is appropriate and necessary. Currently phone tapping or a property search requires a court warrant, but that would not be necessary under the Bill. No judicial approval is required for authorised criminal acts.” This strips away necessary safeguards that are currently in place to leave the public wide open to victimization, exploitation and abuse with no recourse to justice in cases where a gratuitous, overzealous undercover operation causes significant harm to an innocent individual.” This ‘no judicial approval necessary’ aspect of the CHIS Bill is really scary as it means that expansive list of agencies, including their unaccountable private contractors, can interpret what is necessary arbitrarily and at our ecpense!

    Sikaa reports that, “Undercover agents can be provided by private corporations, and can recruit women, children and vulnerable people to secure their objectives. There are few, if any, explicit constraints.” This legislation will give unlimited authorization to powerful Corporations to intimidate and silence public protest against their exploitation of workers and the environment. Sikaa stresses, “We all remember female environmental and animal rights campaigners who in the late 1990s were deceived into sexual relationship by undercover policemen. They considered that relationship to be abusive and rape. The CHIS Bill will not enable women to bring any legal action against the policemen. Indeed, it is likely to prevent the current litigation from going forward.” This is totally unacceptable. A number of these women have had children by these undercover officers only to have the contracted Spycop disappear without trace once their assignment objective was switched, abandoning all parental responsibilities.

    Sikaa brings up one horrific case dating back to ;the Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, saying, “In the late twentieth century, Northern Ireland was the site of an armed rebellion and many civilians died. Pat Finucane was murdered in 1989 by loyalist paramilitaries, with the complicity of security services. A report concluded that agents of the state were involved in carrying out serious violations of human rights up to and including murder. Former Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledged that there was ‘shocking state collusion’ in Finucane’s murder. His family are still awaiting a public inquiry and CHIS would prevent this altogether. If CHIS results in a criminal prosecution, the affected party may be able to challenge the legality of an authorised criminal conduct, but as the above examples show it may take years. It presupposes that the state agencies would cooperate. The big change is that acts now considered to be criminal would cease to be so in the future.”

    Sikaa ominously warns that, “The Bill introduces a total surveillance society where undercover agents can infiltrate homes, schools, universities, factories, offices, trade unions, political parties, civil society organisations and everything else. Their activities can lead to blacklisting of trade unionists, murder and exploitation of innocent people, but victims will have little/no protection or recourse against the authorities. Almost all of our emancipatory rights come from the actions of small groups of conscientious people who argued that fulfilling lives can be lived differently. Faced with silence and exclusion, the suffragette movement had to resort to violence to secure voting rights for women. Trade unions, campaigners against nuclear weapons and environmental degradation; people seeking jobs, disability, gender and racial equality and numerous reformers had to go against the status-quo, but could now become the subject of authorised criminal acts by state agents.” Now they can be targeted by a ruthless unaccountable state!

    Sikaa asks, “How would societies which conflate criminal acts with cries for social justice manage social tensions? Would they eventually implode? Other societies face security threats too, but have a more calibrated approach. For example, the US and Canada have specific limits on the crimes their agents can commit. These include prohibition to commit murder, torture and sexual offences. The UK government has refused such prohibitions. Tory government’s assurance is that the Human Rights Act 1998 would protect people’s rights, but it can’t be trusted. Its 2019 election manifesto said: ‘We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government’.” Reading between the lines of this alarming manifesto pledge it should be painfully obvious just whose ‘rights’ will be prioritized by the wealthy elite and who will be exposed to untrammelled exploitation and abuse by this Tory Government.

    Sikaa rightfully insists that, “The warning signs on the road to fascism are flashing red. The CHIS Bill is the latest act of a right-wing government to disempower citizens and centralise power in an authoritarian state. We have already seen illegal closure of parliament, threats to judges, TV/radio stations and critical journalists, and curbs on the use of anti-capitalist literature in schools. The Internal Market Bill has shown contempt for international law and more will come.” We cannot afford to ignore this significant warning of the peril to come if we do not derail the fascist Tory regime ASAP. Labour’s progressive Left must stand up to Starmer and boot him out as we need robust opposition. Rebelling against the Tory dictates would be easier if we delegitimized their claim to power so we must challenge the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, Investigate the incredulous result and stop the plundering of state funds by this corrupt Tory cabal by booting them out of office and charging their top instigators with the crimes they’ve committed! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61683 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Today we saw another limp performance of Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions after being almost totally MIA as Johnson dragged the Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to his knees over a tier three lockdown Starmer’s. As has become his standard routine Starmer wasted his PMQ quota of six questions, by belabouring the same point without advancing a new question; this is not ‘forensic’ questioning it is a forlorn enablement of this Tory Government with the Captain of Capitulation failing to provide robust opposition. After a string of abstention votes imposed on Labour MPs over massively important Bills with huge Human Rights implications, and his belated mention of Burnham and Manchester’s plight, people are wondering what he really stands for? During his time as Director of Public Prosecutions at the Crown Prosecution Service Sir Keir Starmer QC had a disgraceful track record of not protecting the most vulnerable and advancing measures that significantly undermined British Justice; he remains on that track.

    In a Medium Article Lucy Nevitt analyses his most significant failures while he was Director of Public Prosecutions, under Starmer she describe the CPS as “Shambolic,” saying that he was, “previously dubbed ‘an enemy to women’, proves he is unfit to serve as a member of parliament, let alone leader of the opposition.” In the piece that was published before he won Nevitt warns that, “In her role as Home Secretary, Priti Patel has already crafted the attack lines the Labour Party will face if Sir Keir Starmer becomes its next leader. After having been appointed head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in November 2008, Sir Keir’s half decade in the position oversaw cases as large and polarising as the Rochdale grooming gang scandal, mass sexual abuse scandals involving entertainment figures such as Jimmy Savile, and the John Worboys case. Patel noted Sir Keir has a complete ‘lack of interest in prosecuting horrendous crimes against women’, a statement hard to argue with when presented with his record.”

    According to Nevitt, “Arguably the biggest scandal during his time as DPP came right at the beginning of his tenure. A victim of the Rochdale Grooming gang had reported to Greater Manchester Police the sexual exploitation she’d been experiencing since the age of 15, including becoming pregnant by one of the men abusing her. When referred to the CPS, they decided that the victim was ‘not credible’ and that due to ‘insufficient evidence’ there was an ‘unrealistic prospect of conviction’. Victims continued to be plied with alcohol, drugs and gifts and were prostituted out to multiple men a night, multiple times a week for a further five years. In 2011, Nazir Afzal, who was then the chief prosecutor in the North West, reopened the case. The evidence previously deemed ‘insufficient’ by Starmer’s CPS, evidence which included DNA and eventually led to 47 other victims allegations, proved vital to securing the convictions of ten men.”

    Nevitt highlight the disgraceful abandonment of one of the grooming gang’s helpless young victims saying that, “One of the victims was still not seen as ‘credible’ enough by the CPS because, despite being abused herself, she had later assisted in recruiting other girls to be groomed.” This was hardly a surprising consequence given her impressionable age and lack of support, but it seems the CPS were oblivious to her plight, Nevitt says, “The CPS did not want to call her as a witness and had ruled it was not in the public interest to prosecute the men who had abused her, but they needed to use the victim’s evidence. The CPS chose to name this victim as a co-conspirator without informing her that she had been named on the indictment along with the men who had trafficked and raped her. This resulted in social services attempting to remove her child from her custody and the resignation of the Detective Constable overseeing the case resigning from the force, so that he could publicly criticise the CPS’s treatment of victims.”

    Nevitt explained that, “Local authorities had previously blamed their reluctance to prosecute on the fear of being perceived as racist due to the fact the perpetrators were of South Asian origin and the victims were mostly white British girls. This reluctance and inaction saw a rise in far-right agitation across northern England; a father of one of the victims even joined the BNP for a short period over frustration at the lack of action by authorities. After significant public backlash, Sir Keir was forced to apologise for the mishandling of the case, saying that prosecutors shouldn’t ‘shy away’ from the ‘issue of ethnicity’ which had to be ‘understood and addressed’, and that ‘a number of assumptions, myths and stereotypes’ about sexual violence had resulted in the previous decision to ‘no further action’ the case.”

    Nevitt pointed out that, “This response feebly indicated that the CPS needed to review how staff viewed sexual violence and the treatment of victims. Unfortunately, as later demonstrated by repeated failings on such issues, any internal review that may have gone on seems to have further embedded assumptions, myths and stereotypes within the institution. Retrospectively looking at Sir Keir’s language, it is quite clear now that his wording, though seemingly confident on this issue, lacked any substance.” This flaw is proving typical of Starmer’s bland proclamations and public demonstrations of support on various vitally important Human Rights issues that are not then underwritten by clear substantiate political statements or a bold voting record that is expected of a Leader. Indeed Starmer’s record of failures and accomplishments while Director of Public Prosecutions clearly demonstrates the unjust biases he has retained to this day which made him perhaps the worst possible choice among the Labour Leadership contenders.

    Nevitt reported that, “In 2009, whilst Jimmy Savile was still alive, police in Surrey and Sussex referred 4 cases to the CPS alleging that Jimmy Savile had abused 3 girls under the age of 16. Savile was interviewed under caution at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where one of the incidents allegedly took place in the seventies. Within the same month, the CPS had received the files from police, but dropped the case due to ‘insufficient evidence’’. It would later emerge after Savile’s death that he had abused up to 500 victims over a four-decade period. In 2012 Emily Thornberry, Sir Keir’s former opponent in the current Labour leadership contest, stated that she found it ‘deeply disappointing’ that the CPS was ‘presented with evidence of a clear pattern of sexual assaults by Savile and decided not to act’.” It is hard to understand how Starmer’s systematic failure to protect women and minors from harm was not raised as a strike against him, but he was the Mainstream Media pick for the ideal ineffectual opposition candidate.

    Nevitt then highlighted, “one of the most crucial cases is related to John Worboys, the black cab driver who spiked the drinks of scores of unsuspecting women before sexually assaulting them while they were unconscious in the back of his taxi. Worboys was convicted in 2009 of 19 charges against 12 women. It was suspected that there were over 100 more victims. But Sir Keir ruled not to pursue further charges. What is most interesting about the case is that Carrie Symonds, the current partner of Boris Johnson, was a victim of Worboys. If Sir Keir is elected Labour’s next leader elected, the party would face a situation where they would have not only failed to elect a woman leader, but they would also elected a man who oversaw the mishandling of a high-profile rape case involving the prime minister’s partner.” One would have thought that Boris Johnson would be more concerned about this flaw in his primary opponents track record, but as a hard core misogynist, having a weak opposition sparring partner was far more important.

    Although the abysmally low conviction rate for rape cases has been in the news lately no one is linking the former Director of Public Prosecutions to this worrying trend. However Nevitt reminds us that, “Sir Keir also oversaw the dramatic decline in the prosecution rate of rape cases as a result of the introduction of new guidance which led to police referring fewer cases to the CPS for charging decisions. The guidance saw an increase in the burden of proof from 50% to 60% which resulted in more complex cases that were more difficult to prosecute being dropped, with thousands of victims seeing their cases ‘no further actioned’ due to ‘insufficient evidence’ and an ‘unrealistic prospect of conviction’.” She notes that these were, “the same things the victims of both Savile and the Rochdale grooming gang were originally told, which points to systemic failures resulting in untold numbers of abusers walking free without ever facing trial.”

    Nevitt said, “A senior Met officer told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism that ‘referrals (to the CPS) had dropped as a result of policy change put in place in response to the CPS director’s 2011 guidance on charging’. This has contributed to the current crisis in the criminal justice system where campaigners have described rape as being ‘effectively decriminalised’. As a result, the End Violence Against Women and Girls Coalition and Centre for Women’s Justice have brought a judicial review against the CPS for their failure to prosecute rape cases. Sir Keir also failed to end the process of survivors who are disbelieved by authorities, or who withdraw their allegations from being charged for ‘false reporting’. The fear of false accusations is hugely disproportionate to the frequency of this occurrence. False allegations are extremely rare, ones that are labelled as ‘false’ often result in being true years later or are legitimate allegations that were withdrawn under pressure from the attacker, family and friends or the police.”

    Nevitt remarked that, “After Sir Keir’s resignation from the role, he called on the CPS to implement changes to how rape cases were investigated and even helped the Labour Party draw up a victim’s law outlining how it could be done. This was after he had the power to push for these changes himself within the institution. Instead he left deeply held biases and myths go mostly unchallenged, allowing for a culture of disbelief to continue, paving the way for the further decline of conviction rates.” This is typical of Starmer playing to the public for kudos after failing to take responsibility while in post; his actions are superficial publicity stunts with the sole priority of advancing his political career and no firm conviction to back up the measures he claims to support. “Survivors deserve support and justice, but Sir Keir reserved that for a small few choosing suspicion first and foremost, even in cases with multiple victims like the Rochdale grooming gang and Jimmy Savile scandals.”

    Nevitt claims that, “As shown when it comes to sexual violence, Sir Keir is not a man of principle, he won’t champion justice or stand up for human rights, he will actively deny you them. Sir Keir doesn’t believe sex crimes to be in the public interest to prosecute. Evidence of this is on public record for all to see. If Labour Party members ignore Sir Keir’s history at the CPS we risk sending a damning message that his previous judgements as DPP do not matter and by extension those victims who were let down don’t either.” The only reason these damning facts did not destroy Keir Starmer’s chances in the Leadership contest is that the right wing Media knew that as a compliant, enabling Trojan horse Starmer’s total lack of principals would be a huge asset to a smooth transition into Tory Dictatorship. By forcing all Labour MPs to abstain on the CHIS Spycops Bill Starmer is once again reinforcing his absolute disregard for the Human Rights of women in situations of extreme and persistent exploitation and abuse.

    But Keir Starmer is an equal opportunity let down and turncoat devoid of any moral compass. He pretended to champion the Left promising to keep progressive policies in place, but he has made a strong point of ditching everything the Labour Party fought so hard for under Jeremy Corbyn. He also touted his desire to unify the Party, only to selectively remove all progressive Labour Left influence including with his disgraceful firing of Rebecca Long Bailey on a flimsy pretext. Against the sound advice of Labour’s Legal team he betrayed the entire Labour membership by paying off the SLAPP Lawsuit filed by John Ware, thereby hardwiring unwarranted guilt for the ongoing fantisemitism smear campaign into the ‘fake news’ history of the Labour Party and driving an exodus anong the members. He failed to demand the removal of Dominic Cummings for his gross violation of lockdown restrictions and Keir Starmer has bent over backwards to enable Boris Johnson offering zero opposition to his shambolic Covid strategy.

    The once strident champion of calls for a ‘Peoples Vote’ that proved divisive among some Labour members, and was blamed as a contributing factor in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, has not been mentioned by Starmer since then. I do not understand how, if so many staunch Labour supporters ‘lent’ the Tories their vote, supposedly because they were so determined to “Get Brexit Done,” those Party members would have voted for the leadership candidate with the strongest anti-Brexit conviction? They would have still had membership cards or at least had time to join to show their anger towards Starmer, but sadly he won! That is just one of the still unexplained anomalies that discredits the legitimacy of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, which is why the result should be fully Investigated, because the fake Tory ‘landslide victory’ due to ‘borrowed votes’ has never made any logical sense. Now as the UK careens towards a catastrophically damaging crash-out Brexit the Captain of Capitulation, Keir Starmer has fallen eerily silent.

    The poorest people in the UK are facing the greatest hardship, but zero conviction Starmer now offers zero opposition to crash-out Brexit! In an Independent Article published back in 2017 entitled, “Brexit could cut wages by 30% over next two decades, says private equity boss Guy Hands,” they highlighted the winners and losers in Britain after we leave the EU. Quoted Hands they said, “Leaving the European Union will be bad for most people but good for his own multi-billion pound fund, he says.” They described Hands as, “One of the most high profile names in finance has said that Brexit is going to lead to dramatic economic upheaval which will be bad for most people but good for his multi billion-pound private equity firm.” They say, “Guy Hands, chairman of Terra Firma, one of Europe’s largest private equity groups, warned that the country will have to get rid of much of its social safety net and may see a 30 per cent decline in wages in real terms in the next 20 years to enable it to compete outside of Europe.”

    How does Hands see our post Brexit future playing out? It looks decidedly grim for most of us as, “Debt will command higher interest rates as more risk is ascribed to an independent UK, and immigrants from Europe will be replaced with workers from the Indian subcontinent and Africa, who may be willing to accept ‘substantially’ lower pay, he said.” UK citizens will not be competing with EU migrants on the level playing field of equal rights at work for equal pay. The numbers will not reduce, but those who come here from further afield have far more to lose making them more compliant with low wages and poor working conditions. The entire workforce will be dragged down to this lower level with Covid used as an excuse to help cover for the Brexit fiasco. The lockdown restrictions are helping to acclimatize the working poor to what will become the new normal of extreme poverty wages a third lower than the current minimum wage; people will be told this adjustment is necessary to help crippled businesses recover.

    The Independent report that, “Still, ultimately, the exit will be a good thing for the economy, Hands said.” Most savvy progressives now realize that, “good for the economy” is Tory code for healthy profits for major Corporations and the wealthy elite at the grim expense of grinding poverty for the vast majority of ordinary workers who will suffer unemployment, wage regression, debt and destitution. Without expressing the slightest degree of genuine regret Hands says, “The slightly sad thing is the people who voted for Brexit aren’t the people who are going to have to make these sacrifices.” Hands then added, “That’s not unusual for big, political decisions when people don’t fully analyse what the economic consequences are.” There is simply no excuse for the Tories ongoing deliberate deception or lack of opposition from Starmer as Labour Leader. Hands statement sounds like a disingenuous way of telling us we were all duped by dishonest politicians, which has become pretty much standard practice, but we are getting sick of it.

    Back in 2017 the Independent reported that, “that Prime Minister Theresa May said this month that the country would leave the European Union’s single market, pursuing a so-called hard Brexit and severing the bloc’s influence over the UK’s immigration and laws. She’s aiming to preserve tariff-free trade between Britain and the continent while securing the liberty to make new deals with other countries. Brexit will also present opportunities for buyout funds, Hands said. As interest rates go up, some businesses will go bankrupt, leading to buying opportunities, he said. ‘Sadly, and this is always one of the strange things about business, I think it’s probably a bad thing for the majority of people and bad for the country, but I think, for my business, it’s probably going to be good,’ he said.” We know that the selective restriction the Tories are imposing will accelerate bankruptcies. This is why Tory MPs are so eager to keep us duped with zero transparency over the catastrophic impact of Brexit; they will be laughing all the way to the bank!

    We are facing a crisis of Leadership on both sides of the political divide. The lying, dismissive narcissist Boris Johnson is too lazy and inept to run the country, but he is controlled by a far more devious eugenicist the ‘Herd Nerd’ Dominic Cummings. Meanwhile, masquerading as Leader of the opposition, our Captain of Capitulation the Tories faithful Trojan horse Sir Keir Starmer is equally deserving of removal from office. What will it take to rid us of both men? Starmer could easily be caught out by the exposure of the fantisemitism scam that he manipulated to his favour in betrayal of Party members or Labour could reach a tipping point of sheer disgust in his self-serving lack of moral fibre; he needs to ‘grow a spine’ fast. The Tories are so embroiled in corruption it seems impossible that they will be able to continue using their stolen victory to plunder the public purse and ‘Slaughtering the Sheeple’ while dragging the entire population into destitution under the excuse of Covid. These toxic tyrants have to go ASAP! DO NOT MOVE ON!

    #61690 Reply
    Kim Sanders-Fisher

    Johnson began prime Ministers Questions with a tacit admission of defeat against the Covid 19 threat as yet another Member of the Chamber has now tested positive for the virus. All he could say was, “I know the thoughts of the whole House will be with the hon. Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi). I am sure Members from across the House will want to join me in wishing her a speedy recovery.” It was not a great start! Labour MP Catherine West associated herself with the PMs sympathies, but then appealed, “My constituents are reeling from the 9% contraction of the economy since March this year. Unemployment has sky-rocketed and joblessness in Haringey is the highest in the capital. Unfortunately, we are at the same time facing the idea that there could be a congestion tax forced on an extra 4 million Londoners by this Government. These Londoners are already facing the double whammy of covid and financial ruin. Will the Prime Minister please immediately stop the imposition of this dreadful plan? I look forward to his answer.”

    It was to become the hallmark of this session of PMQs, former London Mayor Boris Johnson slagging off the current Labour Mayor during this weekly Tory Party Political Broadcast, where the PM gets to spew fabricated statistics and lies unchallenged on a regular televised event. He started spouting his fanciful web of lies saying, “I must respectfully inform the hon. Lady that the current Mayor of London had effectively bankrupted TfL before coronavirus had even hit and left a massive black hole in its finances. Any need to make up that deficit is entirely down to him. It is entirely his responsibility. Any expansion of the congestion charge or any other measure taken to improve the finances of TfL are entirely the responsibility of the bankrupt current Labour Mayor of London.” This statement was rapidly debunked as inaccurate during later analysis, but shallow liar Johnson is just targeting the rapid soundbite!

    Tory Rob Butler said, “People the length and breadth of the country have made many sacrifices over the last few months to try to suppress covid-19, but infection rates are increasing fast and Buckinghamshire may soon find itself in tier 2. Can my right hon. Friend tell the people of my Aylesbury constituency how long we would be expected to stay there, what additional help there would be for local businesses, and, crucially, what the route out would be?” A recurrent theme; the PM replied, “I hope I can reassure my hon. Friend by telling him that the incidence in the Vale of Aylesbury is in fact less than half the England average. The way forward for constituents in the Vale of Aylesbury and everywhere else is for everyone to keep following the guidance, observing the new restrictions and, obviously, washing hands, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and keeping a sensible distance.”

    Keir Starmer was to the point, saying “I thank the Prime Minister for his remarks about my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi). Prime Minister, how does an area which goes into tier 3 restrictions get out of those restrictions?” The PMs reply was equally brief as he said, “The simplest and most effective way for areas to get out of those restrictions is, of course, to get the R down to 1 or below, and I am very pleased to say that some areas are already having a considerable effect with the measures that they are taking.” Starmer did not attempt more than to just ask for a further clarification that he should have known would not be forthcoming, he said, “Can I press the Prime Minister on that answer? If the infection rate, R, in a tier 3 area has not come below 1, will it be possible in any circumstances for that area to come out of tier 3, if the R has not come below 1?” This was a wasted opportunity, dithering over the same worthless rebuttal to score points perhaps, but this is not robust opposition!

    The PM must have felt relaxed with this easy deniability question as he chose to meander all over the place with his response. He said, “Obviously, the R is one of the measures that we look at. We take a decision based on a number of things including the R—also, of course, rates of infection, rates of admission to hospital and other data. But the most important thing is for areas that do go into tier 3—and I am very grateful to local leadership in the areas that have gone into tier 3, because it is the right thing for them to do, the right thing for their constituents, the right thing to save lives—when they are able to make progress, then, of course, they will come out of tier 3. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman knows full well, the measures that are put in place are reviewed every 28 days.” The question successfully remained unanswered cloaked in superfluous waffle to disguise the deviation.

    Starmer replied, “I am now confused by the Prime Minister’s answer. If it is not the R rate under 1, what is it? Millions of people want to know the answer to that question. Millions of them are in tier 3 and millions more are likely to go into tier 3. They really need to know. On Friday, the chief scientific officer said that tier 3 on its own certainly is not enough to get the R rate below 1. On the same day, the Prime Minister himself said that there was only a chance of getting infection rates down.” Eyes were glazing over; where was this going? Starmer rambled on, “That goes to the heart of the issue in Greater Manchester and elsewhere. The widespread fear is that tier 3 is the worst of all worlds: it brings significant economic harm without getting the virus sufficiently under control to exit tier 3. So instead of being a solution, tier 3 is a gateway to weeks and weeks, or more likely months and months, of agony from which there is no likely exit. Can the Prime Minister not see the problem if there is not a clear exit?”

    The PM must have been really pleased with his great distraction ploy as it was working so well, he said “I am sorry, but I have made it absolutely clear that a part of the country going into tier 3 is in there only for 28 days; we will review it after 28 days. Areas that have gone into tier 3 are, I believe, already making progress, and areas where there are restrictions in place are also showing signs of progress. We are pursuing a local—a regional—approach, which is the sensible approach for this country. That is what the epidemiology supports. It is what the deputy chief medical officer supported last night. Again, I want to thank local leadership in Merseyside, in Lancashire, actually in London, in the west midlands and elsewhere for what they are doing. It is a bit incoherent of the right hon. and learned Gentleman to attack local lockdowns when he wants to plunge the whole country back into a damaging lockdown for weeks on end, and he has no clue about how he would propose to get the country out of that—does he?”

    Starmer had swallowed the distraction bait, hook, line and sinker; he meandered on, “I appreciate that there will be a review every 28 days, but if the R rate has not come below 1, then the infection rate is still going up, the numbers are going up, the admissions are going up, the numbers in hospital are going up and the deaths are going up. Is the Prime Minister seriously saying that he would take a tier 3 area out of tier 3 with the R above 1? I do not think so. Let me spell out what that means. On Friday, thousands of people in Greater Manchester, taxi drivers, pub and hospitality workers, people working in betting shops, the self-employed and freelancers, will either be out of work or face significant pay cuts. That is the reality on Friday in Greater Manchester. But their rent and their mortgage will not be lower; their food and their heating bills will not be lower, and that could last for months. Why can the Prime Minister and the Chancellor not understand that? They should stop bargaining with people’s lives, stop dividing communities and provide the support that is needed in Manchester.”

    The PM began to brag, “I am very proud that this Government have already given Greater Manchester £1.1 billion in support for business, £200 million in extra un-ring-fenced funding, £50 million to tackle infections in care homes, £20 million for Test and Trace, and another £22 million for the local response that we announced yesterday. Yesterday, the Mayor of Greater Manchester was offered a further £60 million, which he turned down, having had no encouragement to support it, I may say, from the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I can tell the House today that that cash will be distributed to the boroughs of Greater Manchester. I thank right hon. and hon. Members across the House, including my hon. Friends the Members for Heywood and Middleton (Chris Clarkson), for Bolton West (Chris Green), for Bolton North East (Mark Logan), for Bury South (Christian Wakeford), for Bury North (James Daly), for Cheadle (Mary Robinson), for Leigh (James Grundy), for Altrincham and Sale West (Sir Graham Brady) and for Hazel Grove (Mr Wragg) for the support that they have given in this matter.”

    A bit late to start trying to shame the Teflon PM but Starmer gave it a whirl, “This is a Prime Minister who can pay £7,000 a day for consultants on Track and Trace, which is not working; who can find £43 million for a garden bridge that was never built; but who cannot find £5 million for the people of Greater Manchester. I really think the Prime Minister has crossed a Rubicon here, not just in the miserly way that he has treated Greater Manchester, but in the grubby take-it-or-leave-it way that these local deals are being done. It is corrosive to public trust to pit region against region, mayor against mayor, council against council and ask them to trade away their businesses and jobs. We need a one nation approach to replace these endless local battles with clear national criteria and proper support for jobs. Labour’s motion this afternoon would do that. Why will the Prime Minister not support it?”

    It was time for more untrammelled bragging and downright lies, as Johnson replied, “I am proud of the one nation Conservative support that we have given to the entire country: £200 billion in support for jobs and livelihoods across the whole of the country already, and a further £9.9 billion now for the job support scheme. It is this Government who have cut VAT for business and deferred business rates. There is no other country in Europe where so much support and so much help has been given to the population to get through this crisis, and we will continue to do that. It is the height of absurdity that the right hon. and learned Gentleman stands up and attacks the economic consequences of the measures we are obliged to take across some parts of the country when he wants to turn the lights out with a full national lockdown, taking kids…” Closing schools would halt the spread. “That was his policy last week anyway, wasn’t it? Perhaps he could confirm that that is still his policy. Is that what he wants to do?”

    Starmer rolled out the stats while cautiously avoided mentioning any school transmission data, “At his press conference yesterday, the Prime Minister produced heat maps across the country showing that the infection rate was up in all ages and across all regions, and particularly showing regions that have been in the equivalent of tier 2 restrictions for weeks, if not months, moving into tier 3. If they are moving into tier 3, tier 2 has not worked, because if tier 2 had worked, they should be going into tier 1. So tier 2 goes to tier 3, and tier 3 has no end, because there is no prospect or confidence in the R rate coming below 1, and I do not believe that a tier 3 region will come out of those restrictions unless R is below 1 and while the numbers are still going up. So we now have a stark choice. By the way, Prime Minister, Cornwall is the only place, possibly with the Isle of Wight, where the infection rate today is less than it was in Greater Manchester when it went into local restrictions, so this idea that some areas are immune is wrong.”

    Without much conviction, he droned on, “there is a stark choice: carry on with the Prime Minister’s approach, which will lead to weeks and weeks and months and months of prolonged agony in everyone’s constituencies for millions of people in tiers 2 and 3, with no exit; or put in place a two to three week time-limited circuit break to break the cycle and bring the virus back under control. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, in part, have chosen that path. With half term starting this Friday, this may be the last opportunity for the Prime Minister to put in place an effective circuit break. The Prime Minister was too slow in the first phase of the pandemic; he is being too slow again. We cannot repeat this mistake. Will he act in the public interest and take the opportunity to put in place a circuit break this Friday?” Johnson would now pounce on the opportunity to rant against more lockdown not less…

    The PM could now pretend he was battling against a belligerent, intransigent opposition who wanted to inflict greater restrictions on the whole country, oblivious to the fact that this was a SAGE recommendation he was himself ignoring. He ranted, “We will do whatever it takes to get this country through the crisis, with or without the support of the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I have explained why I do not believe that his policy is the right one for the country, because it would involve closing schools and shuttering businesses, with all the psychological and emotional damage that a lockdown of that kind brings. He cannot say how many circuit breakers he thinks would be necessary. He cannot say how long they would go on. He cannot say how much damage they would do to the UK economy and to people’s mental health.”

    Pretending to take the moral high ground Johnson prattled on, “We, on the other hand, want to go on with our common-sensical approach, which is a local and regional approach, keeping kids in school and keeping our economy moving, because that is the way to get the whole of our country through this crisis together so that all the regions of the country, particularly those regions that are now, alas, under tier 3 restrictions, bounce back strongly together.” What the PM and Starmer both refuse to acknowledge is that the infection rate in our schools is the major factor driving the second wave of infection with asymptomatic children acting as vectors to pass the virus on to vulnerable elderly in multigenerational household living together in overcrowded accommodation. This is the main priority target group for the next phase of a planned Tory cull of the ‘economically inactive.’ This Covicide requires the Labour Party to ignore Teachers Union advice and support keeping children in school while they keep the statistics hidden.

    The SNP’s Ian Blackford said, “My thoughts are very much with the hon. Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi). I hope she makes a speedy recovery.” He then asked, “Next week, just as the pandemic is worsening, the Tory Government will scrap the furlough scheme in a move that will cause a wave of mass redundancies across the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, behind closed doors the Prime Minister is complaining that he cannot get by on his £150,000 salary. If the Prime Minister is finding life such a struggle, how on earth does he expect many workers to get by on just £5.84 an hour when the Tory cuts to furlough sink in?” Few are talking about it but the MP are about to get another above inflation pay rise so they have no concept of this level of poverty.”

    The PM deflected the question saying, “Actually, I am proud of what we have done to support people on low incomes throughout this period and, indeed, before. It was this Government who raised the living wage by record amounts, and we have just increased universal credit by around £1,000 a year. The right hon. Gentleman makes the point about furlough; as he knows, if universal credit is combined with the job support scheme that we have just announced, workers will be getting 80% of their existing salary. We will get this country through this crisis and we will continue to support people of low incomes throughout the period.” Johnson fails to mention the interminable wait just to get onto Universal Credit, pushing people into rent arears debt and releance on food banks, or the devastating hardship and misery this deliberately inflicts on the working poor.

    Blackford persisted, “I am afraid the Prime Minister just does not get it. Yesterday, we saw his total disregard for the people of Greater Manchester, a Tory attitude that people in Scotland are all too familiar with. Millions of families are struggling to get by and this Tory Government want to cut their incomes in the middle of a pandemic. It is clear that the Prime Minister has made a deliberate decision to let unemployment soar, just like Thatcher did in the 1980s. Time is running out. With one week left, will the Prime Minister finally U-turn on his cuts to the furlough scheme and invest in our communities? Or will he leave millions of people on the scrap heap?” The PM was indignant saying, “I really must reject what the right hon. Gentleman has just said, because it bears no relation to the facts or the reality of what the Government are doing to support people throughout the country. It is not just the £200 billion investment in jobs and livelihoods; we are also engaged in and will continue to deliver a colossal investment in education, health, housing and infrastructure that will deliver jobs and growth throughout this United Kingdom for a generation.”

    Tory Andrea Jenkins pitched a rallying cry in support of breaking a signed international agreement saying, “I congratulate the Prime Minister and his negotiating team on their strong stance in the negotiations with the EU. Does he agree that the EU’s position on fishing and the European Court of Justice demonstrates that it is not treating us as an independent state, that it is not acting in good faith to deliver a free trade agreement and that, in international law, the UK is therefore entitled to leave the withdrawal agreement and make its own arrangements regarding the UK’s internal market?” The PM was thrilled with this input supporting his lawlessness saying, “Whatever the effect of the withdrawal agreement, I can certainly assure my hon. Friend that the UK’s internal market, which I think everybody on both sides of the House values, is protected and upheld and by the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, which is currently going through the other place. It also, of course, protects the Good Friday agreement.” Another lie!

    There was another blistering Tory attack on the London Mayor “…£5.65 billion to keep TfL running…” with a snide comment about Unions, in reply to which Johnson lied by bragging of his sound record with TfL as Mayor! Then Labour’s Dr. Rupa Huq focused on the left behind, after acknowledging “Financial support packages, tackling homelessness… honouring Marcus Rashford,” saying beyond “what the Government have done on covid” she was concerned that “with winter set to bite and no end to the virus in sight, may I ask the Prime Minister to reconsider the arbitrary end to many of his schemes, which were set months ago when we knew so little? Three million self-employed people were completely left out of all of these measures, a number of whom are now set to face destitution when the minimum income floor ends next month. Furthermore, school dinners for 3,272 kids in his own seat and 2,016 in mine are in the balance. Can he start by voting with us tonight and make sure that that gong does not mean nothing?”

    The PM feigned understanding and sympathy, but swerved off track emphasizing the priority to “keep kids in school if we possibly can…” This is key to the Tory Government strategy of utilizing the children as vectors to infect older family members living together in cramped multigenerational households. This targeting of the vulnerable was particularly effective in culling the working poor in ethnic minority communities as the PMs Eugenicists master had designed for this phase of the Covicide cull. His Trojan horse in Labour offered limp resistance; as long as Starmer maintained his stagnant opposition Johnson could remain on track. We need to derail this Tory juggernaut before it reaches the end of the track with crash-out Brexit. How dare the Tories bang on about ‘levelling up’ while refusing to fund free school meals. We must delegitimize these lies and fully investigate the Covert 2019 Rigged Election to remove this corrupt Tory Government from power ASAP, before more kids go hungry and more vulnerable die of Covid! DO NOT MOVE ON!

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