Vote Down Purgemaniac David Evans at Labour Conference

If you’re left wing and in the Labour Party you must be wondering how much longer that’ll be the case for, because under the management of Starmer’s appointee to the post of General Secretary, David Evans, the biggest purge of members, aside from those already driven away by the right wing lurch of the Party under Starmer and Evans, has been underway for months and has only accelerated recently in response to fears Evans might not get confirmed by conference in his role. Purgemania. If we’re to save the Party from these unconscionable fools, we need to make sure that comes to pass. David Evans has to be sent packing and at conference, delegates will have the power to do just that.

Acting General Secretary David Evans tenure has been marked by control freakery and diktat, combined with repeated acts of self harm and epic examples of gross incompetence against the Labour Party and its wider movement. The man is not fit for the office he holds and since assuming it, he’s acted as if he was safe and secure in that role, but actually he is still yet to be formally ratified and accepted by the Labour movement and therefore, his position is vulnerable. Normally the act of conference ratifying the Party leader’s chosen candidate for this post is a formality, but with a leader as weak and disliked as Keir Starmer and his Gen Sec selection a man who has made himself incredibly unpopular in a very short space of time, this vote has become the main focus of Labour Conference this year for a great many people.

For months Team Starmer had been trying to rig the delegates attending Conference to ensure a right wing majority was appointed to ensure Evans gets ratifed. This hasn’t worked out as well as they had hoped, so for all the purging of members that has been going on for several months, this process has recently been accelerated to remove as many awkward people for the weakest most pathetic reasoning they can possibly find. Some Conference delegates have found they’re being put through extra checks, others are finding themselves being sent NOI’s Notices of Investigation into alleged misconduct, or are being auto excluded, a process not confined to delegates, but happening to members around the country for the crime of being left wing, the crime of being socialists, the crime of standing against Starmer and Evans. The trouble is, this has exposed gross examples of incompetence. The Party sent a notice of investigation to the Chair of Young Labour Jess Barnard, who immediately got her legal team involved and this was quickly removed and told it had been an administrative error. She had been sent it at 1am in the morning, just what kind of outfit still has people sending purge notices out at that time? David Evans evidently. Just yesterday we learned that even Labour MP’s aren’t safe from this mistreatment as Jarrow MP Kate Osborne also got sent a letter. Again she got her legal team involved and this was quickly claimed to be in error. Just how incompetent can you get, but this raises a bigger concern because leading figures in the movement such as these with their legal representation can get these things hurriedly dismissed, but for the wider Labour membership? No chance. How many of them are getting rolled over on and who is reporting them? Should right wing members be rolling over on left wing comrades, that’d be the political equivalent of scabs crossing a picket line, if Labour staff are being employed to sift through social media in order to build cases against members of their own party, that’s a gross misappropriation of funds and resources, but would explain why the Party seems to have so little time to attack the Tories and little wonder why Johnson’s recent polling blip over his National Insurance rise already seems to have been recovered from. Normal due processes for this has been circumvented to suit the agenda of Starmer and Evans as they wreck our membership and any chance of electability we have. We already know of other cases such as that of former PPC Pamela Fitzpatrick and Labour List’s Sienna Rogers who reported on an investigation letter being sent to her house for somebody else, who had never lived there and was no longer a member anyway! Just gross errors that shouldn’t happen in a competently run organisation. They’ve gone completely rogue.

The Trade Unions, the backbone of our movement have taken notice too. Unite has already said it will instruct its delegates to Labour Conference to vote against David Evans. The Bakers Union will almost certainly do likewise and may even vote to disaffiliate from Labour completely afterwards. Just yesterday in light of what has happened to Kate Osborne, who, as a former postal worker has close ties to them still, the Communication Workers Union has said it will instruct its delegates to vote against David Evans ratification and Matt Wrack of the Fire Brigades Union, only recently reaffiliated under Jeremy Corbyn has today stated he fully expects that his union will vote against David Evans appointment too as well as consider disaffiliating once more due to Starmer and Evans dire behaviour. Aside from this there’s a left wing NEC on the right wing controlled Unison union ready to cause problems going forwards and the GMB are going to review their funding to Labour to ensure they are still getting value for money from its members. On top of that Momentum members who are delegates have been instructed to now vote against Evan’s appointment as have member delegates of the CLPD, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, which actually shouldn’t be much of a surprise all things considered! In addition to that left wing Labour MP Jon Trickett put out on Twitter that the executive of his own CLP had unanimously voted not to endorse David Evans, making Trickett the first Labour MP to position himself against the acting Gen Sec’s formal appointment. These are huge problems for a Party that inherited over £13m when Jeremy Corbyn stepped down, but has been taken to the verge of bankruptcy by Starmer and Evans, forced to court donors and deliver whatever these wealthy individuals might want in return rather than work for the interests of its members and the British people.

All delegates have a responsibility to the movement to act now. Starmer and Evans have a track record of representing little aside from their own ideological desire for entrenched control of the party. Starmer promised unity and has gone back on that and considerably more. He’s demonstrated he’s about as trustworthy as Boris Johnson all things considered. David Evans is a Blairite who has imposed dictatorial instructions on Labour CLP’s, abused the Party rulebook to rule motions out of order and to do as he generally pleases. He’s acted like the job was already his and the party his personal fiefdom. It isn’t. He and Starmer need to be sent a message they cannot ignore. We need 50.01% of members to vote against David Evans appointment. We need delegates to vote to fire him as he has done to a quarter of party staff he can no longer afford to employ through his and Starmer’s mismanagement. I’m recommending each and every delegate going to Labour Conference ensure they cast their vote to vote down David Evans appointment. We need someone not only competent but credible running the Party and it’ll send a message to Keir Stalin that we’ve had enough of his abuse of position and of the party and he might want to consider his own too. We’ve a slim chance of sending Evans packing, but it’s a real chance. It’d be a great start to rebuilding a left alternative in this country so we need to make sure everyone with a say in that knows to take it.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Universal Credit cut goes ahead.

Moving the same people around shows the sheer lack of talent and for Johnson rewarding loyalty is more important than any discernible competence. Musical chairs. Moving people around who are useless whilst getting rid of a few you’d never heard of.

The whole thing was a timed distraction as drooling establishment journalists pored over who was in and who was out in varying states of euphoria depending on who was losing a trusted source and who’s had survived. It was timed to distract from the biggest cut to social security in British History and it worked – the intended cut to Universal Credit being voted through that evening was by and large even on social media, buried.

The Tories intended cut to Universal Credit, what they are terming the withdrawal of the uplift was passed last night. £1040 a year taken away from the poorest, often working households given this extra money to help with the additional costs of the COVID crisis. It came in in March of last year and has helped keep many afloat with children at home, work uncertainty and of course the uncertainty of whether or not you’d contract the virus and need to isolate. It is another evidenceless act of cruelty from Johnson’s regime that they’ve done this, but for him it probably brings back happy Bullingdon memories of burning £50 notes in the faces of the homeless – here he’s been able to burn a virtual twenty in the face of 5.5 million families every single week. I’m sure he’ll sleep like a baby at night.

The fact is the COVID crisis is still ongoing as much as Johnson might wish to pretend its not. So much stock has been put in a vaccine that loses efficacy over the course of several months that he feel the country can get back to normal and keep on opening up, ignoring the fact 200 people died yesterday alone and those figures, along with hospitalisations and positive cases are on the rise too as we head into a winter period, so where is the justification on withdrawing this money? Need to pay off those ministers you actually sacked? £17,000 a piece they get, 17 families worth of annual Universal Credit uplift each and many of them have just moved to a new post just to rub salt in the wounds.

Its not like this is the first instance of the Tories doing away with restrictions that make no sense either. The most vulnerable were required to shield for the longest time and then this was again, completely done away with overnight, so much stock being placed in that vaccine. When double vaccinated people are losing their lives still because the vaccine was never 100% effective and always needed to be taken in conjunction with other social mitigations, its little wonder despite the good the vaccine is capable of, we’re still seeing rising cases. All this the poorest families, 40% of whom are working already, so seeking more work may not be a solution, are having to deal with on worse incomes.

The UN special rapporteur on poverty has also implied that human rights law may have been broken to force this through. I’m sure Johnson will get human rights hater, now the new justice secretary Dominic ‘Afghanistan can wait, I’m off for a swim in the closed sea’ Raab to fix that little detail given half a chance, but it is damning that once again we’ve been seen to flout our human rights obligations and to be doing so against our own people and over social security. Previously it was people like the original minister for death Iain Duncan Smith the UN were getting heated with, but this cut is so bad Smith had actually spoken out against it himself!

But the very fact the UN have attacked the Tories over regressive cuts to the poorest incomes, particularly while not asking the rich to pay more shouldn’t give anyone any hope that that’ll change anything. Somebody would have to be willing to take the UK government to an international court of law over it and so far nobody has seemed very willing. Not when we were an EU member for example certainly not now that we’re out.

The fact is the uplift, entirely spent within the economy, helping to support it, made all the difference. Thousands more people now face the choice between heating and eating. The reliance on foodbanks is going to increase significantly as Energy bills are due to rise by an average of £139 per year this winter. As I mentioned before 40% of Universal Credit claimants are in work and many of those face that National Insurance tax increase as well as this cut and rising energy bills. A Trussell Trust survey has indicated that 20% of Universal Credit claimants, that’s 1.2 million people expect they’ll have to skip meals and fractionally more, 1.3 million say they will not be able to afford to heat their homes and perversely it’ll be mostly those in the colder north of the country disproportionately affected by this. All whilst we’re still in the COVID crisis! Another 900,000 are expected to rely on foodbanks to help feed them as well. All so the richest and most able don’t have to pay a penny more, though some have said they’d be prepared to. Fact is, Johnson isn’t prepared to let them or make them. It’s the poor, non-Tory voting ordinary working classes being oppressed again, by an Old Etonian born with a silver spoon. It is class war, make no mistake about it.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Labour Party suspension of Young Labour Chair jumps the shark.

The Labour Party has truly demonstrated what an utter cesspit it has become under Keir Starmer and David Evans in the wake of so many suspension letters being sent out, often at a ridiculous hour, midnight or 1am, designed to cause maximum distress to people unable to act at that time, or to start their day with. Young Labour chair Jess Barnard was one such recipient, a fantastic advocate for the party, someone who genuinely wants to make a difference, someone who has a particular interest in mental health awareness and has spoken of her own struggles publicly. So what did Labour do? Chose to send her a suspension letter at 1am in the morning on Suicide Prevention Day for, of all things, standing AGAINST transphobia.

The Labour Party has become a regime of diktat under the current leadership, flouting the rulebook in order to impose orders to not discuss certain topics, block no confidence motions in the leadership, block solidarity motions with some of those already suspended and meting out suspensions for the most ridiculous reasons, such as those given against people who had ever had anything to do with proscribed groups at a time before they were proscribed, leaving the Party open to legal challenges as it has. You’d think given Starmer, as he always likes to remind us being the former Director of Public Prosecutions, he’d know when he’s doing something legally stupid, but perhaps he, or Evans really don’t care as long as they can keep purging socialists, keep driving more members away, so the party, in as dire a state as it is, remains in their control. Above all else, this is about control.

So it is that we come to Jess Barnard, the elected Chair of Young Labour, the representative body within the Labour Party to represent members below the age of 27 – a weird figure, but there we go – who has herself been targeted for suspension.

Jess has found herself on the wrong side of the Labour leadership, but hasn’t let that stop her from doing what she feels is right and that means highlighting causes the leadership would rather not and it has invited pile-ons from right wing supporters of the Labour leadership, most recently for inviting the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to speak at the Young Labour event at Labour Conference.

She’s also found herself on the wrong side of the right wing press with Murdoch Times scribbler Oliver Kamm going as far as to derangedly accuse Barnard of wanting a second holocaust for Young Labour’s advocacy of Palestinian rights. Thankfully, there are journalists out there who will write factually, such as the Skwawkbox, who has covered this story in detail. No support from the Labour leadership whatsoever, they’d already cancelled Young Labour’s rulebook mandated Conference of their own, so you can see how much regard the leadership have for young members – about as much as they have for members full stop. This Labour leadership would rather have rich donors.

However at 1am in the morning of Friday the 10th of September, she found herself presented with a suspension letter for challenging transphobia – I repeat, she was challenging it. Not defending it. It is indefensible to defend hate speech of any form after all, identifying as trans is a protected characteristic, but that is not what Jess Barnard was doing and was not what she’d been issued with a suspension letter for. She was challenging transphobia in a twitter exchange with a right wing Labour Councillor and had been issued with a suspension letter for it. It was on Friday. Suicide Prevention Day. Often such letters, knowing they cause significant distress, particularly to long time members are supplied with contact details for the Samaritans. I don’t know if that was the case with Jess, but my goodness, can you imagine if anyone sent suspension letters that day was?

Here are the tweets in question, where Jess makes reference to TERF’s, an acronym standing for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, emphasis should be on the first two words since as I said before, identifying as trans is protected in law. I also fail to see what is so feminist about behaving this way towards such people either. The label fits the behaviour, Jess had done nothing wrong, in fact if its not obvious in the first tweet it is with the exchange with the councillor where she is clearly defending the rights of trans people and not attacking them.

To her credit, Jess went straight to the NEC and also got her legal team involved. Lo and behold, later that day the suspension order was rescinded. The claim from the Party is that this was sent in error, but the Communication Worker’s Union General Secretary Dave Ward hit the nail on the head when he sent a tweet saying the Labour Party disputes process is in disarray. It is not an error to hunt through somebody’s tweets, compile an investigation document, attach it and send it. This is clearly factional and wrong.

Of course he’s right, a fair amount of work goes into investigating anyone to the point a suspension is warranted, but you get the feeling they’re being doled out like sweets, especially when they’re being sent out for standing up for a protected characteristic! Are we the Transphobe Party now? It’d be good to get a statement from Starmer on this, but he’s been too busy tweeting about tennis to show interest in this or show Young Labour’s top representative an ounce of solidarity.

It had been suggested that all of this was the work of a rogue senior official with a vendetta against Barnard, but again, the work involved shows that is a risible, weaselly excuse. She was targeted for her beliefs, which are not in keeping with the current leadership even if they are in keeping with the party ethos and she’s not alone. Another example publicised in Evolve Politics this morning shows a Labour member, who shared one of that publications tweets relating to supporting a 4 day working week and championing free broadband has been suspended on the basis that they’ve shared racist content. Free broadband isn’t a protected characteristic last time I looked and I’ve yet to meet someone who self identifies as broadband who might be offended! Something has got to give and with Labour Conference just around the corner, things may well be explosive. A lot of hurt and upset is being caused by these often hilariously stupid suspensions, that sadly the people affected do not find funny at all. Exposed for being based on absolute idiocy, on factional vengefulness as they have in this and many other instances is incredibly damaging to the party’s reputation, its electability and we need a change. That change has to come from the very top.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Can migrants be sent back to France by Priti Patel?

Can migrants arriving in the UK, or attempting to get here be sent back to France? Priti Patel the home secretary, who’s favourite nursery rhyme is ‘I’m a little despot, short and stout’ seems to think so. Does she honestly ever bang on about anything else? Well I’ve got some news for her, since incredibly, she doesn’t seem to know, or rather her own inbuilt dislike of people fleeing warzones or poverty appears to dominate her thinking.

Firstly, referring to these people who may be trying to get to the UK as all being ‘migrants’ is a media spin tactic and one Patel embraces, since it implies these people do not need to be here, they just want to come here, no doubt to ‘steal our jobs’, or other common refrains to that effect. I had no idea Brexit was a migrant! It is racist baiting rhetoric from racist right wing sources and that should be condemned by anyone with an ounce of sense.

The fact is these people may be coming here for a whole host of reasons, but put yourself in their shoes for one moment and imagine how desperate their plight may well be, if they’re prepared to try and cross the channel from France to try and find a better life for themselves, particularly if its families with young children. We’ve all seen the pictures of rescues at sea, we’ve all seen the horrific images of when these crossings go tragically wrong, so just think about that. A great many of these so-called migrants are in fact refugees and that’s a major, but often omitted difference.

Now sorting out refugees from migrants happens when these people arrive and seek asylum. Nobody can be turned away when they apply for asylum it is law that they have every right to remain here whilst their application is reviewed. Sadly under the Tory regime we are enduring, they’re not doing a great job of this. We are not supposed to send people back to unsafe destinations, yet it happens. For years, the Tories have been sending people back to Afghanistan under the pretext it was safe, when actually it was only under occupation by Western forces. How did that work out?

While the rest of the world takes tens of thousands of legitimate refugees from there now, we’re only taking 5,000 a year over the next 4-5 years. How I wonder will those in the years long queue to come here survive in the meantime? We said the same thing over Syria, Theresa May as Home Secretary pledged to take 20,000 Syrians over 5 years too. Target was missed and government attitudes have not changed, in fact they’ve only hardened further. Every legal means of coming here to seek asylum have been removed, so whilst the Tories can do nothing about international law regarding people seeking asylum once here, they’ll make it as difficult as possible to get here to start with. and so we come to that question of France.

Can we turn people around and send them back to France? The answer is no. I’ll repeat that again for the serially inept Tory MP Helen Whately who was doing the media rounds on this this morning, the answer is no. It is a violation of international maritime law – if you find someone in trouble, you have to rescue them. Can you order them to turn around? Not if it is unsafe to do so and when many of these people are arriving in small boats and dinghies, attempting to cross one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, it is beyond doubt that they are in danger and should be rescued. Our rescue services can only bring them here, the RNLI for example, so it is dependent upon who exactly rescues such people as to where they end up taken.

Now when it comes to Priti Patel, she’s got serious form for this. She’s already attacked the RNLI for daring to rescue people and has threatened them with legal action if they don’t stop rescuing people and bringing them back here. It is their remit, they will not leave people at sea to die no matter how much she might want that and fair play to them – her attack on them led to a massive upsurge in donations to the RNLI, which operates as a charity and I’m sure such donations were indeed very welcome.

Nonetheless, Patel as recently as July paid the French £55m to increase their border patrols to stop people leaving France and heading here. With the best will in the world however, we’re talking massive stretches of coastline on both sides and you simply won’t catch them all. Sure there’s a safety aspect to stopping them leaving, if they can be stopped for their own safety they should, but it is impossible to stop the most determined from trying again and some will inevitably make it. Of course if this country provided a legitimate means of coming here to seek asylum, they wouldn’t need to take such desperate measures, so perhaps think on that as you ponder the realisation Priti Patel would rather throw tens of millions of pounds at the French to stop tiny boats leaving France, typically at night, often overcrowded, rather than provide a safe route to asylum.

Of course the other concern is that if you want to return people to France, you kind of need France’s permission to do so. They’ve refused. They won’t enable Patel to violate maritime law or endanger lives, as our border force are instructed to actually turn boats around. Our government would face legal action if they did so, so much as once.

Priti Patel has a problem with migrants. It never ceases to amaze me that her own parents came here as refugees in the 70’s from Uganda, that she has such a hardline stance against anyone wishing to come here and seek asylum from another country. The fact is her desire to turn boats around would be illegal, France will never accept these people back anyway in order to safeguard their lives, something our government refuses to prioritise. The RNLI thankfully will and it remains to be seen if Patel follows through on threats to target them for doing so. Anyone once here can claim asylum, it is for them to make their case for that, with the odds stacked against them even if they’re fleeing a warzone, such is the state of that system under the Tories. Our government are spreading racist, divisive rhetoric and desperate people fleeing goodness knows what shouldn’t be scapegoated by despotic little madams like Patel, or anyone else.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

The National Insurance Lie: A Tax on Work not Wealth.

A manifesto is a roadmap for how a political party wants to run the country during the next parliament. It is their mandate to rule. However, we’ve seen it before and we’ve seen it again now, these promises, these manifesto pledges are not binding. They should be, they are what gives a governing party legitimacy, but having broken 3 of his manifesto pledges in one day, and inflicted more hardship on low paid workers rather than taxing the rich, Boris Johnson’s government should no longer be legitimate as they seek to tax work instead of wealth.

Is he going to call a General Election now that he’s shredded his mandate to run the country? Of course not, Boris Johnson has a massive majority and can do what he likes, however the question of breaking manifesto pledges is a big deal because it means he lied to the country in order to get elected. It’s not like Keir Starmer can exactly force the matter on that point either, given that he lied to the Labour Party to get elected leader himself, his 10 pledges have long been ditched and he’s done nothing but attack his own party, but he’s also failed to offer any alternatives and again that’s the case here, crowing that the Tories can no longer call themselves the low tax party, but failing to offer a plan of his own, not even to tax the wealthy, which, ironically, even the wealthy are calling for! It’s pathetic and the public will warm to him no more over this, than they have over anything else.

The attack on National Insurance is a vile one. The Tories promised it would not be raised and they’ve done it anyway. Work is the route out of poverty they’ve said for years, a lie as it was then, but now its even more dishonest, as they tax work instead of wealth. Johnson might well be blaming the pandemic for needing to do this, but when his plans will bring in and estimated £36bn, most of which is going to the NHS in actual fact, not social care, so it doesn’t even fix the social care crisis anyway, you can’t help but think hang on, Test and Trace cost £37bn – you didn’t put up any taxes to pay for that? and you’d be right, because taxation to pay for stuff is a myth when we as a sovereign country with our own currency can print however much cash we need for whatever we need it for. That is exactly how test and trace was paid for – numbers typed into a spreadsheet – magic! You start being charged national insurance before you even start paying income tax, meaning the lowest paid and often that means the youngest workers on the most rubbish of minimum wage are getting clobbered by this. These are people scraping by, many won’t even be able to do that, relying on foodbanks and working to earn their poverty and not working their way out of it as so many Tory mouthpieces have promised before. Now even more will be affected adversely. The money they spend goes straight into the economy as they spend what they get on food, on utilities, on essentials all the things which keep our economy going unlike the wealthy who just hoard their wealth, which does absolutely nothing to help the economy. By removing some of what little cash they have, it reduces their spending power and is harmful to the economy, this is why so many have said this national insurance rise will actually damage the economy – reducing spending power shrinks the economy, we have to spend for it to grow. Further compounding this will be the withdrawal of the £20 Universal Credit Uplift, Energy bills set to rise £139 a year, furlough ending combined with COVID spiking which we know will disrupt work, we’ve seen it before now so things are looking very scary indeed for those on the lowest incomes. National Insurance is also only paid on earnings and profits as well so anyone making money from annuities, investments, or property rental evades it completely, along with anybody on whatever wage still working past retirement age. Anyone earning over £50K only pays 2% national insurance instead of 12% as well! It is a wicked tax, unfair on so many levels that amounts to an assault on the poor and the young and this 1.25% hike makes it even worse.

It could’ve been so different, but the way to pay for this is to hit those with the broadest shoulders and when UK billionaires have added more than £100bn to their wealth in the last year, why can they not foot the bill? Many are calling for it! One third of what they’ve added to their wealth in the last year would raise what Johnson is projecting, it doesn’t even have to touch what they had before, so why can they not pay it? As it stands 2.5 million households look set to lose an average of £1,290 a year in the next tax year. All families that can most ill afford it. It is a depraved move by bottom feeding, money grabbing, big bucks worshipping maggots for whom greed is their God and the wealthy shielded from paying their share.

A 10% tax on the wealth of everyone who has more than £100m would raise £69bn – is that not fairer? It legitimately would fix social care as well as inject more cash into the NHS though it remains to be seen if it’s the NHS or private contractors running former NHS services who actually benefit. Why are the poor having to pay for the rich? Why is work being taxed instead of wealth? There is no other way of viewing this and the Tories are prepared to betray their voters, betray their mandate to rule to do it.

But it’s not even the only example of pledge breaking that day. By apparently having to do this to pay for social care, Johnson’s manifesto commitment to a plan for social care during the 2019 election campaign has been proven to be a lie.

If pensioners who wouldn’t be hit by the National Insurance clobbering thought they were protected, they’d be wrong as Johnson has decided to scrap the pensions triple lock for a year. Anyone really think it’ll ever be put back into place? Only right before the next election as a sweetener, you can bet on it, that or a promise to reinstate it, but why honestly would you trust a Tory manifesto ever again after this?

How about after you have to sell your house to pay for social care? Yes, even with all these cuts, all these shattered promises, you’ll still have to stump up up to £86K to pay towards your social care. The Tories promised nobody would have to sell their homes to pay for social care, but who has that kind of cash not locked up in their homes? £86K is a cap on costs and kicks in after the first £100K of a homes value, but when the remainder of the property value is divided up as an inheritance, a wealthy homeowner sat in a half million pound property is going to leave a damn sight more to their family than the owner of a house somewhere in the red wall who’ll leave scarcely anything behind at all. Again, it’s war on the poor, it’s a class war. Protect the wealthy, guard their wealth, hammer the poor, they either don’t vote for us or don’t vote at all anyway. The poorest people across the board are paying so the richest don’t have to. This is what happens when you elect an elitist fool without the faintest idea of what life is like for ordinary families, not that he’d give a damn if he did, he only thinks of himself after all. Johnson doesn’t give a damn that he’s broken so many promises and wrecked his mandate, he is a serial liar that couldn’t lie straight in bed and anyone believing a word he says is a fool. The question now is, are we going to just take it, or are we going to do something about it?

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

October Lockdown: Blame the Tories not the NHS!

Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister and seemingly Boris Johnson’s go-to guy to promote whatever twaddle he wants broadcasting on the days news programs has said that an October firebreak – another lockdown in other words might be needed if the vaccine booster rollout is not done well – as ever with Zahawi you have to read between the lines.

The booster rollout, as with the vaccine rollout is being overseen by the NHS, so guess who will cop the blame?

While COVID restrictions have been all but completely done away with in schools, the biggest vectors of transmission, Nadhim Zahawi implies it’ll be booster jab failures, not their stupidity in lifting restrictions that’ll be to blame. They’re going to scapegoat the NHS if we let them.

Now it should be said the department of education, led by former fireguard salesman and professional stupid boy Gavin Williamson have said this isn’t true, that they are not planning a firebreak around the October half-term, but given it’s the Tories we’re talking about here, I’d read that as needing a firebreak sooner than that, I’ll give it 4 weeks after all schools have reopened as they will have by the end of this week.

We have had over the course of this pandemic, a need to wear masks, a need to social distance, a need for contact tracing, a need for isolation, a need to support families at home from work and from school to reduce the spread of the virus, an acknowledgement eventually that this virus is airborne, a need for those who’s health makes them particularly vulnerable to shield and of course the vaccine rollout, yet what we have now is a return to the point before we acknowledged the airborne transmissibility of the virus, we’re back to hand washing, of catching coughs and sneezes, shielding went ages ago, support to stay at home from work ends at the end of the month, families are being threatened with all sorts to coerce their children back to school, despite no need for masks, no contact tracing, no bubbles, no social distancing, at this moment in time, still no news on vaccinations from the government,  nothing. You will get notified if your kids class has a nits outbreak but not a COVID outbreak, there is only one logical conclusion to draw from this and that is the determination of this government to intentionally infect our kids. Herd immunity is still order of the day despite 18 months of absolute failure. The Good Law Project have recently stated that the department of education could be in breach of the law over this, I should think they damn well were.

Already as not all schools have returned over 41,000 new cases have been reported just yesterday along with nearly 1,000 new hospitalisations and over the last week we’ve seen nearly 800 deaths. Johnson recently said 1000 deaths a week was acceptable to him to open the country up, a man who apparently almost died of this virus himself does not care if you or a member of your family dies instead. What is he keeping the country open for? In who’s interest is the country being run for if we are so expendable to him? Clearly it isn’t being run in the interests of the people.

The danger with continuing on this self destructive path is that people will get fed up with it. Already on social media the voices saying we won’t do it, no more lockdowns, we must resist this, we must disobey, are getting louder and louder, cheered on by the typically odious far-right blue-tick mouthpieces that always seem to get involved with such behaviour. The longer the government fails to take a realistic stance on this, the harder its going to be to enforce it, until it becomes unenforceable and things become catastrophic.

As for the booster rollout, it has emerged recently that the protections offered by the vaccine’s wanes with time, with a worst case scenario of falling to just 50% efficacy in those vaccinated first, the elderly, by the time winter gets here, hence the need for boosters. How often are we going to need boosters? As new variants consistently keep appearing, how will they impact the booster rollout? By the time you roll out boosters to younger people, will older people need doing again? How will the NHS keep up with this, when its underfunded and understaffed as it is? Which brings us conveniently back to Nadhim Zahawi’s not so veiled finger pointing – in all likelihood they won’t be able to with the schools reopening with no mitigations driving the next COVID spike. The Tories will again point at the NHS as unfit for purpose – bear in mind the massive success of the initial vaccine rollout was down to the NHS – they’ll bring in more private firms and make a convenient scapegoat of them, aided and abetted by their friendly media outlets.

We’re facing another COVID lockdown. It’ll be driven by the schools having reopened with little to no mitigations worth their salt, the government having done nothing to make them safer all summer either and the onus will be put on the NHS to rollout boosters as the perceived pushback against what is going to come from their incompetence. Vaccination on its own without other mitigations isn’t enough. The NHS is being set up, don’t fall for it.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

National Insurance rise to pay for social care persecutes the youngest and poorest.

So Boris Johnson is proposing a National Insurance rise to pay for social care. Now as a Socialist I’m certainly not against higher taxation to cover necessary costs, things any of us may rely on in the future, but who is actually paying here and more importantly, who isn’t?

The Tories plan to raise National Insurance to pay for the increasing cost of social care according to numerous reports and to do so they’d be breaking not one but two manifesto commitments they made going into the 2019 General Election. Not only were National Insurance increases ruled out, but they clearly stated they had a plan for social care at the time, a plan Boris Johnson had refused to set out then, has refused to set out for 2 years now – the utter waste of oxygen stood on the steps of Downing Street after election and repeated the lie that he’d fix social care and probably pissed himself laughing after the door closed – and with this latest announcement it would seem that this social care plan really was a pack of lies from a career liar.

So they’ve broken a pledge or two, big deal you might think, I’m busy, I haven’t time to be worried about you and your leftish whinging because social care needs paying for after all and you’d be right, it does need paying however the fact the Tories will say stuff to get elected and then not mean it should be a concern to us all, that manifesto pledges are not binding is a big problem in the UK, because it betrays trust, wrecks faith in our electoral system, is acting in bad faith on the part of those doing it, and ends up promoting apathy amongst voters which is bad for democracy. But y’know, you’re busy! They’re busy too, rigging the system against you and there’s more coming down the road! But I’m not going to get into those particular issues here and now, the issue I’m going to focus on here is social care needs to be paid for and this is how the Tories are thinking of finally doing it, unless of course they don’t and just use the money for something else, that trust issue, it doesn’t just go away. Now many of you will be familiar with the fact that National Insurance Contributions show up on your payslip along with income tax and these are both deductions you pay anyway. Many of you might not begrudge paying a bit more and yes, I would agree with that, however the choice to charge more national insurance and not more income tax is a relevant one because of who it actually affects.

National Insurance is paid by businesses, the self-employed and employees who earn over £9,568 a year and it goes to pay for certain social security benefits like state pensions, statutory sick pay, maternity leave and gives you an entitlement to additional unemployment benefits should you need them, its supposedly an insurance policy against ill health and falling on hard times, hence the name, but it is basically just another tax. Now £9,568 a year is not a lot, you start paying National Insurance when you could be earning as little as £797 a month, a really low wage and that matters if you’re going to be asked to pay more of it to pay for Social Care, all while your energy bills are rising, your rent is rising, food prices are rising if you can actually find what you want these days and now they want to hit you with this too! They really do hate the poor. If you’re self employed it’s even worse, you start paying National Insurance on profits of just £6,515 a year – £540 a month! Now Income Tax on the other hand doesn’t start to be charged until you’re earning £12,570 a year, so you can see this National Insurance hike would be targeting the very poorest paid people in the country, hardly the sort of people you imagine that should be paying extra for social care in a fair society, they’re scraping just to get by and finding it harder by the day. Now because it goes to pay for your state pension, when you reach state pension age you stop paying it, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve retired – you may keep working, but you still stop paying National Insurance at age 66. So whereas the poorest paid and this typically is the youngest workers on the crappiest levels of minimum wage anyway, would face increasing national insurance costs to pay for social care, the oldest workers, those aged over 66, wouldn’t pay it at all and would not contribute whatsoever to the increased cost of social care and that’s true regardless of how much they earn. The other ridiculous thing about National Insurance is if you earn more than £827 a week, over £43,000 a year, the level of National Insurance drops from 12% of earnings to just 2%, so if you’re on a very nice wage above this level, are pretty well off all things considered, the less of a percentage of your earnings are taken through National Insurance. So far its looking like a bit of a scumbag move isn’t it! Well I’m not finished yet!

National Insurance is also only charged on earnings. If you rent property out, you don’t get charged it on the money you make, if you own a business and get an annuity from that, you don’t get charged for the money you make, if you’re rich and have lots of lovely investments bringing in more cash for you, you don’t get charged for the money you make. All in all, National Insurance itself, is actually a very unfair tax because of who it targets and how they are targeted.

Therefore, to raise this particular tax to pay for social care is a political move by utter bottom feeders, its seriously regressive as it compounds that inbuilt, inherent unfairness. It discriminates against the poorest paid, it discriminates against the youngest workers, it is an attack on the young because it is not a proportionate tax across all ages in society.

Raising the needed revenue with an increase on income tax would be far fairer across all demographics, all revenue streams, would be based on actual income and not discriminate against you based on age and earnings. It would be charged against older, better paid workers more rather than attacking the poorest paid and the youngest in work, but the point needs to be hammered home again and again that the most unfair aspect of our society when it comes to income and wealth is that the very wealthiest in society – the UK billionaires added £100bn to their wealth last year, more wealth than they could possibly spend in their lifetimes and that huge sum, let’s say it again, is in addition to what they already had. No matter what they spend therefore, they never even dent their capital. They can therefore afford to pay more than anyone else without any impact to their daily lives whatsoever and yet a wealth tax to address the rampant inequality in this country never gets addressed by this government. The playing field needs to be levelled, but with a government more intent on taxing the youngest and poorest workers into poverty and an opposition party leadership, incredulously still calling itself Labour, spending the entire weekend hand-wringing over whether to oppose this blatant attack on them – newsflash Starmer, you mug, its bloody obvious! What the hell took you so long? What chance is there of that?

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

The Tories will blame our kids for COVID

So education secretary Gavin Williamson, the Tories answer to Frank Spencer has been putting it out there that kids mustn’t get carried away when they return to school, in order to be able to return to normal, get their education and not promote another COVID surge. Has he ever met a child?

This is buck passing on an industrial scale by Gavin Williamson – if COVID cases rise then it’ll be the kids fault according to him. Nothing to do with the fact he has removed all mitigations in schools ahead of their return despite still being in the grip of the pandemic, still being Plague Island and cases already on the rise around the country. 300 under 18’s are getting hospitalised each week, 14,000 kids are getting infected daily, thousands developing long COVID with little understanding right now as to the long term consequences of developing this additional complication.

Schools have been closed for 6 weeks, that’s 6 weeks that the government could’ve been implementing ventilation measures, air scrubbing measures, all ahead of kids returning to school. They could reintroduce mask wearing, social distancing, but no, we’re back to the whole hand washing routine again, once more skirting over the fact this is an airborne virus and with the more infectious Delta variant now dominant, this is an even greater issue than it was before. The biggest hand washing exercise is the Tories washing their hands of this issue, to our detriment.

Williamson has also laid the blame at the feet of parents if they send kids in ill. Well, the tests we do at home are not particularly accurate anyway, so relying on them is asking for trouble full stop, but besides that, if kids have to be kept at home and families have to isolate again, what financial support is there to help people stay home? Your government is removing it all! There’s no more shielding, furlough is due to end at the end of September, it has already been reduced. No more additional measures for the immunosuppressed, no more special measures or support for those most vulnerable. No more contact tracing, no bubbles, no isolation for close contacts. You’ll literally be better informed if there’s an outbreak of nits in a class than a case of COVID. There’s a complete abdication of responsibility for this pandemic in government right now. The ONS is reporting that 1 in 40 school age children are infected.

Mask wearing and social distancing should never have been rolled back on, we’ve seen 160,000 people in this country die since the pandemic began and still it doesn’t seem to be enough for the Tories. Johnson has decided a 1000 deaths a week is a price worth paying and with Delta infecting younger people more readily, we are already seeing this demographic driving infection and yes, we’ve had 2 individuals in the age 10-19 bracket tragically die of COVID in the last week. Other countries are vaccinating over 12’s, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is still dragging its feet over this, they’re still not committed to offering a second jab to 16 and 17 year olds, which I’ve still seen no evidence to support, given we’ve all known from the start these vaccines are given over 2 shots. But the fact remains we’ve a government still set on herd immunity rather than zero COVID, still believing its better to try and live with this virus rather than invest in ventilation and vaccination in the biggest vectors of transmission we have – our schools.

Given they’re already pushing blame onto others they know what is going to unfold. I mentioned Johnson’s 1000 deaths a week before, but with English schools still to open, we’ve seen over the last 7 days there have been 805 deaths. We’re already nearly at that point. The schools reopening without any mitigations, I daren’t contemplate how bad things will get this time around. Talk in recent days has already turned to the need for vaccine boosters because we know on their own the vaccines are not enough, they aren’t 100% and with each variant that pops up, another variant of Delta has been identified off the back of the recent Boardmasters Festival in Newquay for example, the vaccines become less effective at blocking transmission and preventing serious illness. Yet we’re now being advised if we’re double jabbed, we don’t need to isolate.

When this all blows up again over the course of the next month, do not let the government get away with blaming others, with blaming you or your kids. They want to move on and get back to normal, but without dealing with COVID properly, as other nations have done; without a proper plan for Zero COVID, we’re never going to be able to return to normal because we cannot live with this virus. We’ll be playing catch-up permanently as it continues to evolve, locking down every few months, our kids education being messed around still and no, it will not be our fault, or our kids. The blame must sit squarely with the Tories and their fault refusal to do what they need to and put people before profit.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

New hospital lies from the Tories

Earlier this week we had the spectacle of new health secretary, Mr irreversible, there’s no going back Sajid Javid, a man with an attitude of ‘if you get covid just walk it off’, a chap with all the empathy & bedside manners of Skeletor, sat on a train to Cumbria saying he’s off to open one of 48 new hospitals. Except he wasn’t.

The whole opening new hospitals schtick that the Tories have been whittering about for a long time now has always failed to materialise and even the additional Nightingale Hospitals opened to deal with increases due to COVID were a scam with no additional staff to run them, they were a political stunt and nothing more. Sadly, PR is more important to the shambles running the country than actually running the country and so Javid’s stunt was readily exposed – by doctors at the very hospital Javid was heading for – a hospital that has very much existed for the last 20 years!

What Javid was off to open was a new unit, a new cancer unit. State of the art yes, a great thing for the hospital and if they’d been honest about it, would have reflected well on the Tories, but instead they went with the enormous fib that it’s a brand new hospital! Worse, when the lie got exposed people will naturally have dug down into the detail and it was quickly picked up on by left wing Labour MP Jon Trickett that the unit was actually ordered in 2017, so actually had nothing to do with Johnson or his team whatsoever.

Trouble is, this is just one example of a very dishonest set of claims regarding new hospitals. Hospitals who have had their layouts changed, had a unit replaced, had a refurb, been merged are all being called new hospitals when that is anything but the truth and most damningly, the government is demanding the NHS implicate itself in this lie by backing the government up and saying they are new hospitals too – they’ve issued guidance on it!

The guidance demands that, and I quote ‘the schemes named in the announcement are not all identical and vary across a number of factors, however they do all satisfy the criteria we set of what a new hospital is and so must always be referred to as a new hospital.’

Now there is a paragraph doing some exceptionally heavy lifting! They vary across a number of factors, yes they do, they are all changes to existing hospitals, but therefore still not new hospitals. ‘They satisfy the criteria we set of what a new hospital is’. Well what criteria is this then? The criteria of, we promised in our manifesto that we’d build 48 new hospitals by the end of the decade and of course we lied about that, we are Tories after all, so lets try and spin our way out of this one! That is essentially what this all is, an exercise in spin to make it look like they’re doing something they actually aren’t and as for the criteria?

Well here you are, here’s a box of plasters, lets call it a new hospital shall we? Here’s a tubular bandage, another brand new hospital, here’s some hearing aid batteries an other hospital there and look, I’ve got my very own NHS trust!

This is literally as honest as any of the claims the Tories have just made and the saddest part of it is, is they’re getting away with it because this story has been woefully underreported because most of our mainstream media, particularly the right-wing rags have not picked it up. Once more it is small, alternative media outlets that have exposed this.

The thing is, for all these supposed new hospitals, many have seen bed reductions, where mergers have taken place, services across the board have been reduced, our health service capacity has been reduced over 11 years of Tory rule and its all happened at the worst possible time. A report out today published via the Lancet Infectious Diseases Medical Journal – so not Tory spin, but proper scientific research, has shown you’re twice as likely to be hospitalised by the Delta COVID variant, than the original alpha strain. We’re already seeing cases of COVID rise, particularly in places where schools have already returned and where there have been large gatherings, Newquay for example here in Cornwall is riddled with COVID right now off the back of Boardmasters, Deaths are already back above 100 a day nationally and apparently Johnson considers 1000 deaths a week an acceptable number to keep the country open. How sick of him to put a value on human life – you can bet he wouldn’t value his own as such. If one of these 1000 a week was a member of your family would you consider their death to be for the good of the economy? The vast majority of schools haven’t gone back yet, the government has put no mitigations in place in them despite them being shut for weeks, so you know what is going to happen next.

If you voted for the Tories on the back of their promise to build 48 new hospitals, you were lied to. They want the NHS gone, the pandemic is giving them cover to do it since the additional strain its under excuses their claims that it is unfit for purpose. Fact is they’ve underfunded it, underequipped it and understaffed it for 11 years and just as we may all need it most, it’s at its lowest ebb. It’s what the Tories always do, the NHS has never and will never be safe in their hands, so stop voting for them.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Sharon Graham wins!

It’s not very often these days that I get to report some good news for a change, but at last the Unite the Union General Secretary election appears to be over and seemingly from out of nowhere Sharon Graham has won it.

She’s exploded what a lot of people felt. That she had no chance, that she should’ve stepped down when Howard Beckett did, that only one left candidate should run else we risk letting the right winger, laughably referred to by the lamestream media as a centrist – centrist to them, he won’t rock the boat – win.

I’m guilty of surmising the same, I’ll admit it. I was from the start an advocate of Howard Beckett, was devastated when he stood down, but understood why, that under the appallingly bad First Past The Post system the Unite election was taking place under, the risk of Gerard Coyne winning with the left vote apparently split, was a clear and present danger. I’m a Community member, I’d be slung out under a Coyne leadership along with thousands of others. This was after all why Howard stepped down, I understood why he got behind Steve Turner, who had the most nominations and that left many wondering why Sharon wouldn’t step aside.

Of course anyone wanting to stand should be able to, that’s good for democracy, but under such an unsuitable, archaic system, the right is favoured in such circumstances and this really needs to be addressed.

However as things have turned out that has not been the case. the two left candidates have come first and second so despite a split, the right winger still came last! Rupert Murdoch’s candidate, Keir Starmer’s candidate came last, the Labour To Win candidate came last and the right is kept out of any controlling role in our Union.

Sharon Graham ran a clever campaign, she got her data together and she’s reaped the reward.

As for Steve Turner’s campaign, behaving like the heirs apparent to the crown of McCluskey has blown up in their faces. Even with the support lent by some of Beckett’s supporters it wasn’t enough. Many would not be persuaded to back another candidate after their favourite bowed out, but without them, Steve Turner, the guy who got the most nominations, would certainly have come last, only just pushing Gerard Coyne into third place. The whole, ‘Steve got the most nominations, so the left must rally around him’ myth has been busted. The nominations process has always been a poor indicator and those defending this argument were just plain dishonest, just playing to their favourites and for many big name mouthpieces as my Socialist Telly colleague Steve Walker of Skwawkbox has laid out in recent articles, some supposedly lefty commentators have been left with reputations well shredded over this. The left is strong, a surprise has been sprung, I wish Sharon Graham well and look forward to seeing what she’s got in store for us.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

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