A new poll shows Keir Starmer’s Labour is ‘behind the most corrupt’ government in a lifetime

Kier Starmer’s Labour Party are now 14 points behind the Tories, according to new polling. A YouGov poll for the Times has the Tories up two points to 43% and Labour down five to 29%. The Greens and Lib Dems are both up two points. Westminster voting intention: CON: 43% (+2)LAB: 29% (-5)GRN: 8% (+2)LDEM: 8% (+2)REFUK: 3% (-) via @YouGov, 12 – 13 AprChgs. w/ 08 Aprhttps://t.co/iLUFQC28FB pic.twitter.com/MBO4Y10HGc — Britain Elects (@BritainElects) April 16, 2021 As Patrick Maguire points out, this is only one poll and it comes directly after lockdown has been eased, but: nonetheless it is the kind of result that will make Westminster sit bolt…

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Government ministers accused of failing to take steps to tackle sexual assault in schools

As an inquiry is launched into an increasing amount of sexual abuse allegations in schools, ministers are said to have ignored requests for greater monitoring powers. The Guardian reported that the chief inspector of Ofsted asked for more powers to check “potential safeguarding issues” in independent schools in 2018 and 2019. The requests were ignored. Since then, more than 14,000 allegations of sexual harassment and assault in schools and universities have been shared on the website Everyone’s Invited. There are stories from both private and state schools. Ofsted is heading an inquiry into how sexual harassment is dealt with by schools, as MPs said ministers hadn’t taken the issue…

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Tory government refuses to give details of its renewed NHS contract with this ‘Big Brother’ firm

The Johnson-led government is refusing to publish further details of an NHS contract with a US firm. This firm has been embroiled in controversies relating to intelligence gathering for several years. More transparency needed Palantir was co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel. Thiel is a board member and major investor of Facebook and was a member of Donald Trump’s transition team. In the UK, Palantir has been awarded a £23m extension of its NHS datastore contract, but this was scrutinised by openDemocracy. This resulted in the government reportedly agreeing “not to extend Palantir’s contract beyond COVID without consulting the public”. openDemocracy also said that the government agreed “to engage…

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Things that no longer exist (according to UK government)

We need your help ... The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads. Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion. We have been fighting against an…

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Distracting from government cronyism and incompetence

We need your help ... The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads. Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion. We have been fighting against an…

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Doctors’ union urges government to tackle ‘unacceptable’ social inequalities

Doctors have urged the government to tackle social inequalities in the UK as a matter of “moral and economic” urgency. The British Medical Association (BMA) has said ministers must prioritise making the Universal Credit uplift permanent. It’s also called for investment in mental health and child support services as lockdown restrictions ease in the coming months. More deaths because of health inequality Coronavirus (Covid-19) “exposed and exacerbated existing health inequity” in under-funded regions. This led to more deaths in these areas when coronavirus hit, according to the BMA’s report published on 25 March. The union represents doctors and medical students in the UK. It said “the nation’s health…

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Tory minister’s remarks on new UK oil drilling plan may be the dumbest thing ever uttered by this government

It’s difficult to think of anything more dumb than planning to find new sources of dirty oil and gas when the planet is ecologically collapsing because of dirty oil and gas. That is unless your name is Kwasi Kwarteng. And the Tory business and energy secretary’s associated remarks have outstripped even that proposal itself in sheer absurdity. A message to the world… As scientists warned that the climate crisis could mean regular wildlfires blazing across Britain in the not-too-distant future, the government made an upbeat announcement. In what can only be described as the policy equivalent of dancing on its own citizens’ future graves, ministers cheerily explained that…

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A year of government coronavirus incompetence

One year ago yesterday, on 23 March 2020, the prime minister announced a full national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). A year later, the UK remains under many restrictions, as one of the worst-hit countries in the world. Even as the vaccine programme looks as if it’s rolling out successfully, calls have increased for an inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic. Before lockdown even began, Boris Johnson had already missed several COBRA meetings about the virus, missed chances to join EU PPE schemes, axed widespread testing, and shaken hands with coronavirus patients despite being advised not to. Starting from that foundation, here’s a…

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The BBC flag furore distracts from a government thriving on lies and corruption

Samuel Johnson famously said: “patriotism is the the last refuge of a scandalous government”. Conversely, the ridiculing of patriotism is an essential ingredient of a free society. But that freedom is constantly tested. On Thursday 18 March, BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt interviewed UK government minister Robert Jenrick. Behind Jenrick was a large Union Jack flag, and on his wall hung a photo of the Queen. At the conclusion of the interview, Stayt – known for his dry and often sarcastic wit – quipped to Jenrick: Robert Jenrick, thank you, I think your flag is not up to standard size for government interview measurements. I think it’s just…

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Calls for Government to reform ‘unfair’ laws on ‘sleep-in’ carers after ruling

The government has been called on to urgently reform “out-of-date and unfair” laws on payments for “sleep-in” carers, after the Supreme Court ruled they are not entitled to the minimum wage for their whole shift. The night watch In a landmark ruling on 19 March, the UK’s highest court dismissed an appeal by a former Mencap support worker against a previous ruling that carers are only entitled to the minimum wage when they are required to be awake for work – and not while asleep. Lawyers representing Claire Tomlinson-Blake, who was supported by the trade union Unison, argued carers who work so-called sleep-in shifts are “like a nightwatchman”.…

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