The Week In Tory

This is my archiving of the Twitter Hashtag #theweekintory tweet threads created by @RussInCheshire.

I don't claim credit for any of this... I'm just saving it in a more convenient format that I can look back on and sob.

I've not edited the text, so any spelling, grammar and number errors come from the originals. I have removed any animated gifs though, as I fucking hate them.

For each thread, I'll link back to the tweet that started it, so you can follow it that way, if you can be arsed. Obviously I can't which is why this page exists...


The Week in Tory - Posted 17.05.2020

... back to the top

The Week in Tory (Cummings special) - Posted 27.05.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    1. Dominic Cummings, one of the few men to have ever been found in contempt of Parliament, moved onto contempt for everything

    2. When the story broke, and he was accused of doing things that look bad, he said he didn't care how things looked

    3. Then ministers said press outrage meant nothing, only the opinion of the people mattered

    4. Then polls showed 52% of people wanted Cummings to resign

    5. So Cummings decided to show the public some respect, by turning up 30 minutes late to make his explanation

    6. He began by saying he wasn't speaking for the govt, which must be why he was in the Rose Garden of 10 Downing Street

    7. Then the self-styled "enemy of the Islington media elite" said his wife, who works in the media, had been ill in their house in Islington

    8. But she was only a bit ill, so he popped home, got himself nice and infected, then went back to Downing Street for meetings with lots of vitally important people in the middle of a national crisis

    9. But then he got ill too, so then it was suddenly important

    10. Sadly he couldn't get childcare in London, even though 3 immediate relatives live within 3 miles of his London home

    11. So because he was carrying a virus that can cross a 2 metre distance and kill, he immediately locked himself in a car with his wife and child for 5 hours

    12. He then drove 264 miles without stopping in a Land Rover that gets maybe 25 MPG

    13. Then the scourge of the metropolitan elites made himself extra-relatable by describing his family's sprawling country estate, multiple houses and idyllic woodlands

    14. He explained that he'd warned about a coronavirus years ago in his blog

    15. Then it was revealed he actually secretly amended old blogs after he'd returned from Durham

    16. And anyway, if he'd warned years ago, why was he so massively unprepared and slow to react?

    17. Then he said he was too ill to move for a week

    18. But in the middle of that week, presumably with "wonky eyes", he drove his child to hospital

    19. Then he said that to test his "wonky eyes" he put his wife and child in a car and drove 30 miles on public roads

    20. Then it was revealed his wife drives, so there was no reason for the "eye test", cos she could have driven them back to London

    21. Then it was revealed the "eye test" trip to a local tourist spot took place on his wife's birthday

    22. Then cameras filmed as he threw a cup onto the table, smirked and left

    23. And then it emerged his wife had written an article during the time in Dunham, describing their experience of being in lockdown in London, which you'd definitely do if you weren't hiding anything

    24. A govt scientific advisor said "more people will die" as a result of what Cummings had done.

    25. Boris Johnson said he "wouldn't mark Cummings " down for what he'd done.

    26. The Attorney General said it was ok to break the law if you were acting on instinct

    27. The Health Minister said it was OK to endanger public health if you meant well

    28. Johnson said Cummings' "story rings true" because his own eyesight was fine before coronavirus, but now he needs glasses

    29. But in an interview with The Telegraph 5 years ago, Johnson said he needed glasses cos he was "blind as a bat"

    30. Michael Gove went on TV and said it was "wise" to drive 30 miles on public roads with your family in the car to test your eyesight

    31. The DVLA tweeted that you should never, ever do this

    32. Then ministers started claiming Cummings had to go to Durham because he feared crowds attacking his home. The streets were empty because we were observing the lockdown.

    33. And then a minister finally resigned

    34. Steve Baker, Richard Littlejohn, Isabel Oakeshott, Tim Montgomerie, Jan Moir, Ian Dale, Julia Hartley Brewer, 30 Tory MPs, half a dozen bishops and the actual Daily Mail said Cummings should go

    35. The govt suggested we can ignore them, because they're all left-wingers

    38. And if the guidelines were so clear, why were people being stopped and fined for driving to find childcare in the first place?

    39. Then a new poll found people who wanted Cummings sacked had risen from 52% to 57%

    40. Cummings is considered the smartest man in the govt

    41. And in the middle of all this, in case we take our eye off it: we reached 60,000 deaths. One of the highest per capita death rates worldwide.

    42. We still face Brexit under this lot.

    43. It's 4 years until an election

    44. And it's still only Wednesday

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 06.06.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    1. The govt reduced the UK-wide coronavirus alert level on the advice of the “Joint Biosecurity Centre"

    2. Matt Hancock revealed the “Joint Biosecurity Centre” doesn’t exist yet

    3. Boris Johnson said he was “very proud” of the UK’s response

    4. After previously telling us facemasks were essential, then not essential, then essential, then not essential, then essential, then not essential (6 U-turn) the govt said facemasks were, actually, essential

    5. But not until 15th June. 2 weeks more of them being not-essential

    6. And then NHS leaders revealed they hadn’t been consulted on any of this

    7. The govt announced dentists were returning to work the following day

    8. And then dentists said they also hadn’t been consulted about this, or even warned it was happening

    9. The govt announced it was relaxing the lockdown nationally, because it said the R level (infectivity rate) had fallen as low as 0.7

    10. Within 2 days the R level had risen back above 1 in much of Northern England, but the govt has not reintroduced local lockdowns

    11. The gov justified relaxing the lockdown because we would have a “world-beating Test and Trace” in place by 1st June

    12. And then the next day, the head of the Test and Trace programme revealed it would not be operational until Sept

    13. The following day it was revealed an "urgent Test and Trace programme" was recommended by experts in February, but not acted upon until May

    14. Boris Johnson announced he is personally taking charge of the coronavirus response, a mere 138 days since the first UK case

    15. The head of Outbreak Modelling at Imperial College said he was shocked that Covid-19 was still “spilling out of hospitals and care homes”

    16. It was revealed advice was given to the govt on 24 Feb that there should be “no discharges to care or residential homes”

    17. The Italian Health Minister has reported that Boris Johnson had told him UK govt policy was Herd Immunity

    18. The govt and Boris Johnson continue to deny the policy has every been Herd Immunity, even though Boris Johnson went on TV and advocated it

    20. The most comprehensive World Health Organisation study to date found the risk of Covid infection doubles if the 2-metre rule is reduced

    21. Then Boris Johnson went on TV to say he wants to reduce the 2-metre distancing rule as soon as possible

    22. Matt Hancock tweeted that he was proud we reached a 200,000 test capacity

    23. The next day he said he was proud of a lower 171,000 tests

    24. If you get a nasal, throat and antibody test, that counts as 3 tests, even if it’s 1 person

    25. So 171,000 tests = 57000 people

    26. At that rate it will take 1,175 days to test the whole UK. That’s 3 years and 3 months.

    27. And almost 75,000 tests had to be redone because of problems in UK labs

    28. Boris Johnson repeated he was “very proud” of the UK government's response

    29. The govt said it would not open playgrounds, because children from different families meet there

    30. The govt said it would reopen schools where - yes - children from different families meet

    31. 44% of England’s schools did not trust the govt advice enough to re-open

    31. The govt announced people could now meet in socially distanced groups in gardens, but under no circumstances could anybody enter the houses of friends and family

    32. The govt said homeless people should “move in with friends and family”

    33. Parliament stopped digital voting, leading to a 1.3 km long queue of MPs, right down the road and into a local park, waiting 90 minutes to do one vote.

    34. MP’s often vote 8 times per day. Under the new system, this means they will do nothing at all except stand in queues.

    35. No provisions had been made for extra security, or to protect those vulnerable to Covid-19.

    36. Within 24 hours a cabinet minister was ill and needed to be tested. He said he tested negative.

    37. It was later reported around 1/3 of tests produce false-negative results.

    38. Only 12% of Britons say Parliament needs to physical voting, and there have been absolutely zero instances of voting irregularities under the digital

    39. The House Of Lords continues to vote using the digital system

    40. The Minister for Mental Health objected to Pier Morgan's criticisms, and tweeted "could you please avoid wherever possible calling people 'completely mad'”

    41. And then it was revealed some time earlier, she had called people on Twitter “window-lickers”

    42. A Tory MP breached guidelines by going to a barbeque during the lockdown, attended by the deputy chairman of Spectator, the Brexit Party chairman, and journalist Isabel Oakeshott.

    43. All three of these defended Dominic Cummings, who is, incidentally, still not sacked

    44. The govt criticised Chinese food standards and lack of transparency, which it said first caused, and then exacerbated coronavirus

    45. And then the govt voted to lower UK food standards, and refused to publish a report on excess coronavirus deaths

    46. In Jan the Environment Secretary said “we will not be importing chlorinated chicken, we will not be importing hormone-treated beef” as part of any future trade deal

    47. The govt said it would import chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef as part of a US trade deal

    48. In a single day the UK had 359 Covid-19 deaths, which was 45 more than the other 27 EU countries *combined*.

    49. Boris Johnson, joint-leader of the Brexit campaign, announced he would start a “charm offensive” to get EU workers to return to the UK

    50. Sir Paul Nurse, former President of the Royal Society, described talking to ministers about coronavirus as “like talking to a blancmange”

    51. Boris Johnson said for a 4th time he was “very proud” of the UK govt's response

    52. We still have 24 hours of the week to go

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 09.06.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    I'm having a few days off, so here's an early #TheWeekInTory

    Don't worry. They've been busy.

    1. The govt said “we will work around the clock to ensure nobody goes hungry as a result of this crisis”

    2. Four days later the govt ended free meals for the poorest 1.3m children

    3. The govt ruled that teachers must wear face-masks on public transport whilst travelling to school “for safety reasons”

    4. The govt then ruled that teachers must NOT wear face-masks in schools

    5. Matt Hancock said he was “100% guided by the science”

    6. A leading govt scientist said the failure to enter lockdown sooner “has cost a lot of lives”

    7. Matt Hancock said that bit of science was wrong

    8. The govt said nurses had received a “significant pay rise” in response to Covid-19

    9. Nurses have not been awarded a pay rise since 2018

    10. The govt said “a protective ring had been thrown around care homes”

    11. The head of Outbreak Modelling at Imperial College said Covid-19 is still “spilling out of hospitals and into care homes”

    12. The govt said “we have now managed successfully to offer tests to every care home”

    13. National Care Forum found 13% of care homes had not been tested, and 43% had tests which were void due to testing infrastructure problems

    14. Boris Johnson said the lockdown would "remain until the R rate falls below 0.7"

    15. The govt announced “R rate is below 1 in each region of the country”

    16. In some UK regions, the R rate was recorded as 0.98

    17. Serco was granted the contract to do contact-tracing, despite having been recently fined £1m for multiple failures on a previous govt contract

    18. The Health Minister responsible for the contract is a former Serco lobbyist

    19. Boris Johnson said “decisions will be taken with the maximum possible transparency”

    20. The detailed reasons for Serco’s fine have not been revealed, despite a 6-month freedom of information battle

    21. The govt said the testing and contact-tracing system would be “world beating” and ready on1 June

    22. It wasn't, and won't be ready until Sept

    23. The former govt chief scientific advisor said it’s “not fit for purpose” and would miss 80% of contacts with the virus

    24. Boris Johnson acknowledged the “incontrovertible, undeniable feeling of injustice” behind #BlackLivesMatters

    25. Boris Johnson has previously (sub-thread):

      a. Referred to Commonwealth citizens as “picaninnies”

      b. Described black people as having “watermelon smiles”

      c. Called the people of Papua New Guinea “cannibals”

      d. Suggested reinstating the British Empire in former colonies

      e. Said “Islamophobia seems a natural reaction”

      f. Stated that the UK must accept “Islam is the problem”

      g. Referred to Muslim women as looking like “bank robbers” and “letter-boxes”

      h. Recited a racist poem in Buddhist temple, and had to be stopped by the British Ambassador

      i. Called Africa a “blot” and said “the problem is that we are not in charge any more”

    Back to the main thread...

    26. Boris Johnson said racism in the UK “cannot be ignored”

    27. Two years after the Windrush scandal was revealed, only 60 of the 1,275 victims have yet received compensation

    28. Boris Johnson said “I will not support or indulge those who break the law”

    29. Dominic Cummings is still in his job. So is Housing Minister Robert Jenrick, who unlawfully approved a £40m property development for a Tory donor.

    30. The Attorney General tweeted Cummings breaking the lockdown was not be a crime because he acted on “instinct”

    31. The Home Secretary said she “understood the instincts” of #BlackLivesMatter protesters, but they had to face justice

    32. The govt said destruction of a slave-trader’s statue by #BlackLivesMatter was “vandalism and completely unacceptable”

    33. When Boris Johnson joined the Bullingdon club “the whole culture was to exert vandalism - they had to have their room smashed to pieces”

    34. The govt (which promised an “oven-ready” deal on Brexit) said the deal had stalled

    35. The govt (which said there were no down-sides to Brexit) agreed with the IMF that No Deal would mean a permanent 5% cut to GDP

    36. The CBI said Covid19 left companies with “almost zero” resilience to No Deal

    37. It is reported Boris Johnson shouted “Christ!” when told No Deal, on top of Covid, would lead to 3.5 million job losses

    39. The govt refused to extend the transition period to avoid No Deal

    39. In January, Boris Johnson agreed a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and called it a “fantastic achievement”

    40. Boris Johnson now says the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement he agreed is “defective” and wants to change it

    41. Britons receiving German citizenship rose 2,300% last year

    42. Boris Johnson said “I want to share all our working, our thinking, my thinking, with you, the British people.”

    43. The govt is now facing a legal challenge from doctors and other health workers, because it refuses to order and inquiry into PPE shortages

    44. And we still haven’t seen the report into Russian interference with the Brexit campaign

    45. Boris Johnson said he is taking “direct control” of the handling of coronavirus (it is not clear who has been in control for the previous 132 days of the outbreak)

    46. It was reported Boris Johnson takes naps for as much as 3 hours per working day

    47. The UK govt now has the joint-lowest approval rating worldwide for how they have managed coronavirus

    48. The govt said in March that a coronavirus death toll of 20,000 would be a “good result”

    49. The ONS said excess deaths from coronavirus reached have now officially reached 64,000

    50. Boris Johnson’s personal approval ratings have fallen 40% in 40 days

    51. Boris Johnson said he was “very proud” of the govt response

    52. It’s still only Tuesday

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 17.06.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    An early #TheWeekInTory (Sun to Tues), but things are moving crazy fast

    1. Last week the govt said “we will work around the clock to ensure nobody goes hungry as a result of this crisis”

    2. Then 4 days later the govt ended free meals for the poorest 1.3m children

    3. So Marcus Rashford called for meal vouchers for hungry children during school holidays

    4. But Boris Johnson’s spokesman said “the MP understands the issues” and refused to change the policy

    5. So Rashford continue to campaign for meals to be provided

    6. But Boris Johnson refused to do this as it would cost £115m to feed all those children

    7. EasyJet got £600m in April

    8. And the govt is spending £900,000 painting the PM’s plane with what cabinet sources called “an Austin Powers-style union jack”

    9. Meanwhile, the Housing Minister admitted he knew he was breaking the law when he saved a billionaire Tory donor dodge £50m tax, - half the cost of feeding 1.3m children

    10. And then Boris Johnson then said he hadn’t even heard about Rashford’s campaign, and did a u-turn

    11. But then a Downing St spokesman said Boris Johnson HAD heard about Marcus Rashford’s campaign

    12. And then Boris Johnson said he had DEFINITELY heard about the campaign all along, but didn’t offer any excuse why he still thought it was OK to let kids go hungry

    13. In March, student nurses nearing the end of training were asked to forego exams and volunteer to fight Covid19 on the front line

    14. This week their contracts were dropped, so from July they have no work, no pay and no qualification

    15. And their July wage won’t be paid

    16. Last week Boris Johnson said that after and 64,000 excess deaths, he would take “direct control” of Covid19

    17. He immediately missed his own deadline for a review of the 2 metre distancing rule, and it was revealed he hasn’t attended a Cobra meeting for over a month

    18. In one of last week’s best U-turns, Boris Johnson said immigrant NHS workers wouldn’t need to pay a $400 surcharge to use the NHS

    19. This week a study found 95.4% of immigrant NHS workers are still paying the surcharge

    20. Horse-racing became the first major sport to return

    21. Matt Hancock is MP for Newmarket, and received tens of thousands of pounds of donations from racehorse owners, trainers, and Jockey Club bigwigs

    22. The Jockey Club board includes Dido Harding and Rose Paterson

    23. Rose Paterson is the wife of Tory MP Owen Paterson. The Jockey Club's biggest event, the Grand National is sponsored by Randox Health, to which Owen is an advisor. Randox was granted a £133m contract for testing kits without other companies being given the chance to bid

    24. And Dido Harding was put in charge of the Covid-19 track and trace app, which most developers (and I am one) reckon could be done in 3 weeks, and has now taken 5 months. Its development cost is the highest worldwide, and described by scientists as “not fit for purpose”

    25. Meanwhile campaigners are seeking a judicial review into why a pest control company with no experience of producing PPE and assets of just £19k was granted a £108 million PPE contract. It doesn't appear, at first glance, that Chris Grayling was involved.

    26. Bob Stewart MP, a leading Brexiter, asked in Parliament for his “French Speaking dogs” (!) to continue to have freedom of movement after Brexit, something humans don’t get

    27. Michael Gove said he would aim to ensure dogs keep freedom of movement - but replied in French

    28. The EU launched a website to help travellers see coronavirus status, so we can travel safely and open up tourism

    29. The UK declined to contribute data to the website

    30. In the UK, 94% of tourism staff are not currently working, and tourism earnings are down 98%

    31. As other nations relax their lockdown, Britons are forbidden from entering multiple European countries due to our high infection rates

    32. After 3 weeks without a single Covid19 case, New Zealand reported 2 infections – travellers from the UK, obviously

    33. It was revealed Matt Hancock failed for 11 months to respond to a report calling for an immediate injection of cash for social care, highlighting the risks of infections in care homes months before Covid19

    34. At least 12,500 people have died of infection in care homes

    35. Two of the govt’s most powerful civil servants have said there were no economic preparations for a possible global pandemic in the years leading up to the coronavirus outbreak, despite a 2016 simulation that prompted demands for a plan.

    36. On Sunday Matt Hancock said there were "only" 36 recorded deaths, proving we are “winning”

    37. Next day there were 233 recorded deaths. Matt has not commented on the winningness of this

    38. The UK has 0.9% of global population, and 10% of the confirmed cases of Covid19

    39. The govt said local councils would be responsible for “local lockdowns”

    40. And then local councils had to explain to the govt that councils have no legal powers for local lockdowns, and even if they had, 26% has been cut from their budgets since 2010

    41. Sadiq Khan asked for emergency funding to fill a £493m hole in his budget

    42. Ministers anonymously accused him of “typical Labour mismanagement”

    43. A group of Tory councils said they are about to go bankrupt

    44. Ministers anonymously didn’t say a thing about that

    45. An IMF report found a No Deal Brexit is now “a highly likely outcome” and that it will reduce UK GDP by 5% permanently

    46. So Boris Johnson made a video celebrating Brexit as an opportunity to sell Penguin Biscuits to Australia. So we can all relax.

    47. In response to the urgency and importance of #BlackLivesMatter, the govt immediately pledged to never, ever remove the statue of Churchill that nobody had suggested removing

    48. And then, after a few days, Boris Johnson promised a new commission on race equality

    49. There are currently over 600 recommendations from previous commissions on race equality between 2010 and 2020, which the govt hasn't implemented and has no published plans to implement

    50. Then the govt appointed Munira Mirza to head the commission. She has previously called anti-racism a “neuroses”, written that “institutional racism is a myth”, “the UK has no problem with racism”, and that race equality “fosters victimhood”.

    51. And then the former Tory party chair said the new commission was “designed be a whitewash”, and warned it would “find the answer they want to hear – there is no such thing as racism”

    52. It's Tuesday. Not even late Tuesday.

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 22.06.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    Part 2 of #TheWeekInTory (Wed to Sun)

    1. The actual Paymaster General suggested we spend the International Aid budget on a new yacht for the Queen

    2. And the actual Foreign Secretary said “taking the knee” was an act of subjugation, and was taken from Game Of Thrones

    3. And then actual Health Minister was filmed breaking social distancing rules in Parliament

    4. And then the actual Care Minister said student nurses didn’t need financial aid as they volunteered to fight Covid 19 as they “are not deemed to be providing a service”

    5. And then the actual Culture Secretary said theatres could reopen if we had musicals in which nobody was allowed to sing

    6. Sub-thread of quotes from anonymous Tory MPs and Ministers this week:

      a. “If we were in normal times you would be hearing talk by now about removing the prime minister. It is that bad”

      b. “Boris may have to go”

      c. “It’s all gone for a ball of chalk”

      d. Gavin Williamson deserves to be sacked and the No 10 operation is “totally dysfunctional”

      e. “There’s a feeling the basic level of competence isn’t there in No 10”

      f. “Cummings is the only thing they’ve actually dug in over. Everyone and everything else is expendable”

      g. “Boris and Cummings are great at campaigning but rubbish at governing”

      h. “[Boris] is not a politician, he’s a brand, and one day he’ll just walk. He’ll just get up one morning and take the brand somewhere else”

      i. “Public will conclude [will] that we are a useless shower of incompetents who were asleep at the wheel”

      j. The cabinet are “nodding dogs”

      k. “No one seriously thinks that this cabinet is the first 11”

      l. Boris Johnson’s absence due to illness made “To be honest, not much [difference]”

    And now onto App news...

    7. In March the WHO recommended all countries launch a Track and Trace app

    8. Apple and Google developed one and made it freely available to any country. Dozens of countries use it without any issues

    9. But the UK decided to build its own “world beating system”

    10. Apple and Google said the UK’s approach was impossible

    11. 300 app and technology experts condemned the UK plans

    12. But the govt ignored that, put the wife of a Tory MP in charge and gave her £11m, almost 3x the average budget for any Track and Trace app worldwide

    13. The UK app planned to collect your data, which could be sold to any private business for 20 years

    14. The govt promised the App by mid-April

    15. Then the govt promised it by Jun 1

    16. Then the govt promised it by Sept

    17. Then the govt promised it “for the winter”

    18. Then it was revealed the govt had asked Apple for access to their proprietary code, to which Apple said no, because the app breached international privacy laws

    19. Then the WHO said lock-down measures should not be relaxed until Track and Trace were in place

    20. But the UK govt replied that manual track and trace would work fine

    21. And then it was revealed the UK's manual track and trace service missed between 30% and 80% of contacts

    22. After a trial of the App, a report showed it worked just 4% of the time on Apple devices and missed 25% of connections on Android

    23. And then, finally, the govt announced it was abandoning its “world beating system”

    24. Matt Hancock said he had long been aware of “technical blocks” in the UK app

    25. Then Matt Hancock said we had long been working on both Apps, but didn’t explain why we only tested the one he "knew wouldn’t work" on the Isle of White

    26. Matt Hancock said he would now create a “hybrid system”, and had spoken to Apple about it

    27. Apple and Google said nobody had spoken to them, and it was still impossible

    28. It was reported the UK app developers had tried to block rival apps, and called them “the enemy”

    29. It was reported the scripts given to manual contract tracers didn't even match the app

    30. MIT Technology Review described the UK’s contact tracing and app development as a "fiasco" and “a masterclass in mismanagement”

    32. The Welsh govt released a report saying systemic racism is amongst the reasons BAME people have a higher Covid death-toll

    33. The UK govt continues to refuse to release its own report, or implement more than 600 recommendations from previous reports into systemic racism

    34. It was reported the govt strategy on BlackLivesMatter is to “declare a war on 'woke'”

    35. It was reported Boris Johnson wanted Chris Grayling on the Intelligence Committee. I've checked. There's only one Chris Grayling, so they must mean him.

    36. MPs condemned an “utterly reprehensible” delay in releasing the Russia Electoral Interference Report

    37. Dominic Raab said he hadn’t read it, but he knew it exonerated the govt

    38. Nobody had formally accused the govt of anything that needed exoneration

    39. A report showed 26,000 patients were released from hospital into care homes without testing, leading to at least 16,000 deaths from Covid19

    40. The govt defended this by saying it “wasn’t illegal” to negligently spread a pandemic in care homes

    41. WHO reported a record 24-hour increase in Covid19 cases

    42. German reported the R-level increased from 1 to 1.8

    43. The largest ever study found cutting social distancing 1m doubled the rate of infection

    44. The UK continues to press for relaxation of social distancing

    45. After one of last week's best u-turns, free school meal vouchers are to be distributed for poor children

    46. But they can’t be spent at Aldi, Lidl or Co-Op, the 3 cheapest supermarkets, so they don’t offer good benefits to poorer families

    47. In May 2019 the UK declared a "Climate Emergency" and said we must reduce travel and trade closer to home

    48. In June 2020 the UK announced it would stop negotiating deals with the country next-door, and trade with Australia and New Zealand instead

    49. So Boris Johnson announced a great new trade deal with New Zealand

    50. Immediately afterwards the govt issued a statement saying it will have “close to zero” benefit to the UK

    51. Michael Gove said border controls Boris Johnson agreed “should not be implemented”

    52. It was reported Boris Johnson signed the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement without having read it, or understanding what it meant

    53. Boris Johnson said Brexit discussions would go “to the wire” of the December deadline

    54. The next day Boris Johnson said there was “No sense” dragging trade talks on beyond the summer

    55. Boris Johnson claimed in Parliament that child poverty had fallen and “400,000 fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010”

    56. In fact there are at least 800,000 more families in poverty, a rise of 38%

    57. Boris Johnson’s car was in an actual car-crash in Downing Street. Metaphor.

    58. And that's edited highlights. I genuinely had to remove half a dozen things cos I reached the thread limit.

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 26.06.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    1. Let’s start with the milder corruption: it was revealed Matt Hancock tried to block 400 homes and a primary school near Newmarket racecourse, after receiving at least £65,000 in donations from horseracing bigwigs who opposed the scheme

    2. And then Robert Jenrick, the Housing Minister, overruled his dept and planning officers to rush through planning permission that saved Richard Desmond a £45m fee. Desmond is a billionaire pornographer, former-Express owner, and (subsequent to this) a Tory donor Russ

    3. The Tory Manifesto says: “we will offer more homes to local families, enabling councils to use developers’ contributions via the planning process”

    4. The lost £45m was the “developers’ contribution”. One of Britain’s most deprived areas lost it. A billionaire kept it.

    5. And then, I'm sure coincidentally, Desmond donated £12,000 to the Tory Party the next week. A bargain – only 0.02% of the £45m he saved

    6. So this week Jenrick denied he had done anything wrong

    7. Unfortunately, he had already admitted his actions were “unlawful” on 29 May

    8. And then the business minister said voters could “raise their concerns at Tory fundraisers”

    9. So now have to donate to the Tory Party before we can complain about the Tory Party doing illegal things for their donors

    10. In Coronavirus news: Boris Johnson announced more relaxations of the lockdown, saying he would “trust the British public to use their common sense”

    11. 48 hours later a major incident was declared on the South Coast, as 500,000 people common-sensibly crowded the beaches

    12. Boris Johnson said he “would not hesitate” to bring back lockdown if the rules on social distancing weren’t observed

    13. 48 hours later, he hasn’t brought back lockdown

    14. Then the govt announced councils would have the “power and resources” to enforce local lockdowns

    15. But council leaders wrote to the govt to explain that they don’t actually have the legal powers to do this

    16. And then 8 out of 10 councils in England have declared they are at risk of bankruptcy, having absorbed cuts of between 26% and 50%

    17. Health leaders, including the presidents of Royal Colleges of Physicians, Nurses, GPs and Surgeons wrote to the govt asking for an urgent review of preparations for a second wave

    18. The govt declined to do a review

    19. And then the WHO warned of global shortage of oxygen and breathing equipment

    20. So naturally, the govt opened pubs and cinemas

    21. Then, after a month of not telling us the daily test numbers, the govt went a step further and cancelled the daily briefings altogether

    22. UK Statistics Authority issued a 2nd official warning about the “trustworthiness” of the govt’s figures

    23. Association of Medical Research said 74% of clinical trials had been put on hold in 2020 due to cuts

    24. So we spent £900k painting a flag on Boris Johnson’s plane

    25. And then it was revealed the govt spent £12m on the “world beating” contact app that didn’t work

    26. If you paid the average £50,000 programmer salary, £12m buys 320 programmers

    27. The German app code is open-source, and the free repository for it lists 34 programmers

    28. The UK has repeatedly declined to use the free German App

    29. Boris Johnson claimed in Parliament that "no country in the world has a working contact tracing app”

    30. There are working contact tracing apps in: Angola, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh...

      ... Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Rep, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Malaysia, Morocco, N Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, NZ, Poland ...

      ... Qatar, Russia, S Africa, S Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Vietnam. That's 42 countries.

    31. The gov declined to publish its report on food and medicine shortage risks from no-deal Brexit, which surely bodes well.

    32. Boris Johnson said Brexit must be delivered, as we have a “democratic duty” to listen to the people

    33. A report this week found 9m voters – most thought likely to oppose the Conservatives – will vanish from the electoral roll when new Westminster seats are drawn up

    34. When the govt (breaking pre-election promises) merged the Dept for International Development into Foreign Office 2 weeks ago, they said there would be no cuts to overseas aid

    35. This week the Treasury asked govt depts to find "a minimum of 30%" cuts, including overseas aid

    36. The govt continued to decry the removal of statues connected with slavery, as this might “diminish public knowledge of British history”

    37. Govt cuts led to the closure of 773 public libraries, and I suspect many of them contained books about British History

    38. The Minister for Arts said the govt was “committed to supporting the Arts Sector in through crisis”

    39. Emergency funding for the arts (converted into £)

      - France £6.3bn

      - Germany £900m

      - Canada £295m

      - Italy £221m

      - NZ £90

      - Spain £68m

      - Ireland £18m

      - UK £0

    40. In 2019 the govt committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050

    41. A year on a report found at the current rate, the govt would hit its target by the year 3650, which is 1500 years from now, a mere 1470 years too late

    42. This week it reached 38°C in the Arctic

    43. The govt said it would “fairly and courageously to maintain law and order” in the light of the #BlackLivesMatter movement

    44. And then the govt announced it wants to abolish trial by jury in order to address a 41,000-case backlog caused by its own cuts

    45. It's Friday. Not even very late Friday. There are 2 more days of this week to go.

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 30.06.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    This episode of #TheWeekInTory is just stuff since Friday

    1. Ineptitude alert: due to Brexit the UK is leaving the EU’s Galileo satellite scheme, which is vital for satnav

    2. Independent experts said developing our own satellite system would cost around £4bn

    3. So instead, the govt announced £500m investment to make existing satellites to do the job

    4. But they are too close to earth to be used for GPS positioning, so cannot work

    5. A space policy expert said “The fundamental starting point is, we’ve bought the wrong satellites”

    6. Democracy news: it was reported “PM wants Brexiteer to head Civil Service”

    7. But the Code of Conduct says Civil Servants “must not act in a way that is determined by party political considerations”

    8. Then Michael Gove gave a major speech about the need to decentralise govt

    9. And the next day the Cabinet Secretary was sacked, so that Dominic Cummings could centralise more power

    10. A replacement – David Frost, a Brexiteer - was appointed, and will now be Cabinet Secretary, National Security Advisor and simultaneously lead Brexit negotiations

    11. The former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell said “I’m worried about the appointment” as it was “made without any due process”, and Frost “doesn't have much background in security”. He said “it shows an erosion of civil service impartiality”

    12. Public safety news: 3 years from Grenfell, the National Audit Office found only 14% of dangerous buildings have had their cladding removed

    13. The UN warned the UK may breach international law over its failure to remove combustible cladding from high-rise buildings

    14. Days after corruption allegations against Robert Jenrick & Matt Hancock, it was revealed developers backed by Johnson as London Mayor donated almost £1m to the Tory Party

    15. If you take away some of the letters and add different ones, “donation” is an anagram of “bribe”

    16. And now, onto Covid. On 1 June the govt said “we will work around the clock to ensure that nobody goes hungry as a result of this crisis [Covid19]”

    17. This week govt data revealed 7.7m adults missed meals, and 3.7 used food banks during the crisis

    18. Senior police officers warned govt that lifting the lockdown was “total madness”

    19. The next day the govt lifted the lockdown

    20. The day after that, a major incident was declared as 500,000 people crowded beaches, and illegal street parties broke out across the country

    21. Priti Patel said “I want to make sure our police are absolutely resourced”

    22. Since 2010, Tories have cut 21,000 police officers, 23,000 police support workers, and shut 600 police stations

    23. Trading Standards, which investigates fraud, also had 70% of its budget cut

    24. The Home Secretary said the public “shouldn’t take liberties” with the rules and “the full weight of govt powers” could be called upon to ensure guidelines are followed

    25. I've looked into this, and Dominic Cummings is still in his job. So, remarkably, is Robert Jenrick

    26. Matt Hancock said “a protective ring had been thrown around care homes” by the govt

    27. A report this week showed the risk of Covid-related deaths in UK’s care homes is 13-times higher than in German care homes

    28. The govt told parliament there are sufficient supplies of PPE

    29. The next day govt confirmed that the phrase “200 pieces of PPE equipment” refers to 100 pairs of gloves

    30. UK Statistics Authority issued a 2nd official rebuke about the trustworthiness of govt data

    31. To address the financial crisis caused by Coronavirus, the PM pledged a £1bn school building programme over 10 years

    32. This is 1/7th of the cuts to school budgets since 2010

    33. The Blair govt increased school budgets by £12bn in 3 years, which is 40x as much per year

    34. A SAGE scientific report said fully reopening schools without substantial improvements in the performance of the test-and-trace system could risk a new surge in cases of Covid-19

    35. So the govt announced it would fine parents who didn’t send their children to school

    36. Boris Johnson compared himself to Roosevelt and promised a £5bn “New Deal” to boost the economy, and said “this is what the times demand”

    37. Roosevelt’s New Deal expenditure was up to 40% of US GDP at the time

    38. Johnson’s £5bn is slightly less: about 0.2% of UK GDP

    39. PM promised £100m for 29 road projects - around £350k per road

    40. The Manchester Airport bypass alone cost £280m

    41. And then it was revealed Johnson’s “New Deal” is not new at all, it just brings forward money already promised in previous budgets. So... Old Deal.

    42. The govt refused to rule out tax rises to pay for the coming crash

    43. Then Boris Johnson explicitly ruled out tax rises for the rich, saying we should “clap for bankers who make the NHS possible”

    44. So if the rich aren’t being taxed, that means… oh, it’s you and me again

    45. On 24 June, Jeremy Hunt wrote an article in the Telegraph urging the govt to do mass testing of NHS and Care staff to prevent a second wave

    46. On 24 June (the same day) Jeremy Hunt (the same Jeremy Hunt) voted in parliament against mass testing of NHS and Care staff

    47. The WHO said “a second wave of Covid 19 is a highly likely outcome” and advised all nations to begin preparations for one

    48. The govt declined to do a review into preparations for a second wave, even when one was recommended by the Royal Societies of Surgeons, Nurses & GPs

    49. BMA reports 1 doctor in 7 is planning to quit after the current crisis subsides

    50. Over 22,000 EU-national staff already quit the NHS after the Brexit vote

    51. Tories cut £1bn from NHS training budget from 2018 to 2023, so there aren’t enough trainees to replace them

    52. And, to end on a cheery note, researchers in China discovered a new type of swine flu capable of triggering a pandemic.

    53. So far, there's no confirmation that Chris Grayling is involved in Chinese pig-farming

    54. This is just 4 days. My previous #TheWeekInTory was worse

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 09.07.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    1. Boris Johnson nominated Chris Grayling to chair the Intelligence Committee

    2. Yes. Chris Grayling.

    3. Matt Hancock said “I'm really pleased that the Domestic Abuse Bill has been passed” 12 hours after he voted against it, so maybe it's catching

    4. A Sage official govt scientific report said test and trace must be improved before schools were re-opened

    5. The following day the Education Minister said he would fine parents who didn’t send kids to schools. Test and Trace is still not working.

    6. In March, Govt advice said we must “urgently discharge all hospital in-patients who are medically fit to leave”, including elderly patients returning to care homes

    7. As a result, 25,000 patients were discharged into care homes without a coronavirus test

    8. Which is why, as of June 20, there were 19,394 deaths in care homes

    9. Deaths in UK care homes are 13x higher than those in German care homes

    10. So - quelle surprise - this week Boris Johnson blamed those deaths on care home workers. Charmer, isn't he?

    11. Boris Johnson attempted to explain this by saying nobody knew about asymptomatic infections

    12. But on 11th March (before govt advice about discharging to care homes) Matt Hancock said scientific evidence showed the amount of asymptomatic infection was “very significant”

    13. So they knew. And they did it anyway.

    14. And now they’ve moved onto pubs

    15. Senior police officers warned govt lifting the lockdown was “total madness”

    16. The chairman of the Police Federation said “it is crystal clear that drunk people won’t socially distance”

    17. The Texas Medical Assoc published a table of the 47 riskiest activities – the most high-risk was “going to a bar”

    18. So the govt tweeted “Grab a drink and raise a glass, the pubs are opening” on the day figures showed we had the 3rd highest confirmed death-toll in the world

    19. Boris Johnson said “Anyone who flouts Covid rules isn’t just putting us all at risk, but letting down the rest of us”

    20. And then Boris Johnson’s father broke the rules to go to his villa in Greece

    21. And I’m sure I don’t need to mention Dominic Cummings

    22. But it's OK, Mark Francois mentioned Dominic Cummings for you, warning a giggling General that "Cummings is going to come down and sort you out”

    23. That’s the Dominic Cummings who is an unelected bureaucrat, and and ran a Brexit campaign against unelected bureaucrats

    24. Brexit also promised an end to red tape, and Boris Johnson insisted “emphatically” that border checks in the Irish Sea would not happen

    25. So imagine my surprise when, this week, the details of the additional red tape and Irish Sea border checks were revealed

    26. The International Trade Secretary said the plans “risk smuggling, damage to the UK’s international reputation and legal challenge from the WTO”

    27. And then she said we aren’t ready for Brexit

    28. So the govt let the deadline for extending Brexit slip past. Oh good.

    29. Boris Johnson denied No Deal, but said we would have an “Australian-style” deal

    30. The EU coughed and said “We do not have a deal with Australia”

    31. ONS figures showed No Deal will cut UK economy by 9.3%

    32. That’s on top of the predicted 14% slump caused by Covid 19

    33. To save money the govt announced it would stop free parking for NHS staff, which annoyed NHS staff and saved almost nothing

    34. Hours later the govt unannounced that particular idea, and denied it had ever said it. Reassuringly competent, isn’t it?

    35. More competence: the govt announced a new policy of sanctions against regimes engaged in Human Rights violations

    36. Literally the following day, the govt announced it would resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite acknowledging Saudi war crimes in the Yemen

    37. But at least they’re on the ball about PPE we need to, yknow, stay alive

    38. Except the govt is facing a string of legal challenges about why it awarded multimillion-pound PPE contracts to, let’s say, strange choices, which I list below:

    39. A £108m contract awarded to a sweet wholesaler with no experience of PPE and total assets of £18000 (about the price of a mid-range Kia Stonic)

    40. An £18m contract for PPE awarded to an employment agency with total assets of £332. Not a typo. A company worth £332 got £18m

    41. A £24m contract for PPE awarded (and paid upfront!) to a pest-control company with no experience of PPE

    42. A £250m contract to a “a London-based family office” involved in “offshore property” and “currency trading”, and which shares an advisor with Tory Minister Liz Truss

    43. And in every case: no bidding process

    44. And finally, having come into office promising 50,000 new nurses, this week it was revealed nursing recruitment is down 5%. There are already more than 40,000 UK vacancies for nurses, and WHO is warning Covid has “only just started”

    45. Don't be too downhearted. It's only Thursday. They could turn it all around in the next 24 hours. You wait and see, it'll be amazing.

    Use #TheWeekInTory to find previous reassuring installments

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 15.07.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    1. The govt relaxed the rules on eating in restaurants, as long as the restaurants followed the guidelines

    2. To promote this, the Chancellor posed for a photo-op serving customers in Wagamama, whilst breaking the guidelines

    3. Having told us, since 3 Feb, that masks were: useful, not useful, recommended, not recommended, essential for health workers, not essential for teachers, useful in “small spaces” but not on buses, and then on buses but not in shops, the govt had its most spasmodic week to date

    4. (Coincidentally, it was revealed the govt awarded, without tender, a £3m “coronavirus communications operation” contract to 2 right-wing campaigners, which seems quite a lot for the, ahem, operation described above)

    5. This week the gov said masks worked in SE Asia because there is a “culture of wearing them", but “we in Britain don’t need to wear them”

    6. A virus is an inert, non-living, sub-microscopic entity, so it's a stretch to expect it to adhere to our cultural norms

    7. Michael Gove said masks wouldn't be mandatory in shops, and Britain could rely on “common sense” and “basic good manners”

    8. The next day Michael Gove was photographed displaying "common sense" and "basic good manners" by not wearing a mask in 2 separate shops

    9. Inevitably, Boris Johnson said masks would be mandatory in shops, a mere 163 days since his govt was first recommended to make them mandatory in shops

    10. But they weren't mandatory for 12 more days

    11. 77 people died yesterday. At that rate, another 12 days is 924 deaths

    12. And Matt Hancock ruled out masks in offices, which are some of the the enclosed spaces we've needed to wear masks in since 11 May

    13. The govt promised local Covid tests would be completed with 24hrs by 1st of July

    14. A report found just 5% were completed within 24hrs

    15. And then the PM dodged a question on whether he’d even read last week’s report on preparations needed for a second wave of coronavirus that could kill 120,000 people.

    16. But he gained a nice tan over the weekend, so he’s clearly focussing on the important stuff

    17. And the Health Minister, also on his A-game, didn’t know about the 2017 report on our poor pandemic preparedness (spoiler!) til he saw it the Guardian in May 2020

    18. Meanwhile the UK opted out of the €2bn programme to have advanced purchase of a vaccine, cos it's European

    19. Which brings us to Brexit, and the govt bought a huge plot in Ashford, Kent, to act as a customs clearance centre

    20. This customs clearance centre is to handle all the friction caused by the “frictionless trade” Boris Johnson could “absolutely assure you of" in 2016

    21. David Davis, who negotiated the Withdrawal Agreement and then voted for the WA was surprised at the contents of the WA and wants it renegotiated

    22. Not to be confused with Dominic Raab, his successor in the role, who actually resigned in protest at his own actions

    30. This entirely avoidable £15bn cost was announced in the same week a report showed the number of British children admitted to hospital with malnutrition doubled in the last 6 months. So it’s possible we could spend that £15bn a bit better

    31. The govt stopped describing No Deal Brexit as “No Deal Brexit”, and rebranded it “leaving on Australian terms”

    32. Ireland, which is still in the EU and still broadly sane, reminded the UK that the EU doesn’t actually have a deal with Australia, so... yeah.

    33. And the OBR said the cost of No Deal would be 9% of GDP. Permanently.

    34. Liz Truss said it was OK, we could sell lamb to New Zealand

    35. The Farmer’s Union said NZ lamb is half the price of UK lamb, so NZ wouldn’t buy it, and 95% of UK sheep farms would fail

    36. Other fun food news: with No Deal, beef will cost 48% more, cheddar 57% more, oranges 12% more, and rice 16% more

    37. So the gov handed out £10 vouchers to get people to eat in restaurants (at the same time as ending the free school meals programme for 1.6 million children

    38. Restaurants warned their prices would rise 30% under No Deal, so spend those vouchers quick, folks. Ideally on a starving child.

    39. And then the Govt spent a further £93m to tell you to prepare for a Brexit they assured us would be cost-free and painless

    40. More from the party of fiscal responsibility: the cost of rolling out Universal Credit rose another £1.4bn

    41. And the IFS said the much-vaunted jobs retention scheme was “badly timed and poorly targeted”, with most of the £9.4bn being spent on jobs that are already safe

    42. But some money is going where it was wanted: without being put out to contract, a £840,000 contract to 2 friends of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings

    43. And £25m for “biological and chemical protection garments” to a company with no employees, no assets, and no turnover

    44. But it’s fine, cos there probably won’t be any care workers to protect, since Priti Patel excluded them from her new immigration system

    45. She also blamed the Covid outbreak in Leicester on “cultural sensitivities” preventing local govt from checking min wage enforcement

    46. Min wage enforcement is the job of central govt, which you’d hope somebody in govt would know

    47. But she also didn’t know the correct assessment for people entering the country with Covid19, which you’d think was kinda her thing, after a 10 years of obsession with borders

    48. Mind you: details can be tricky. The PM told Parliament our Test and Trace programme is “as good as or better than” any other system in the world

    49. 2 hours later, Downing Street had to admit what we all know: it really isn’t. Not even close.

    50. But finally, some good news: Chris Grayling officially failed his intelligence test. Always leave them laughing Chris, but most of all: always leave.

    51. It's only Wednesday. How much more #TheWeekInTory is ahead of us?

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 21.07.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    #TheWeekInTory is a misnomer: this just covers the last 5 days

    1. Matt Hancock told Parliament lockdown started on 16th March, the day SAGE told them to, so all those unnecessary deaths didn’t happen

    2. But lockdown started on 24th March, and all those unnecessary deaths did

    3. The govt announced a “New Deal” for infrastructure, with £600bn of new money

    4. Turns out, only 0.8% of that is new money

    5. The £34bn “new money” for the NHS was actually announced in 2018

    6. The govt then announced £3bn of additional funding for a possible second wave

    7. That’s less than half the £8bn NHS England said it needed just to stand still, which hasn’t happened

    8. Matt Hancock said wearing a mask is mandatory

    9. Downing St said wearing a mask ISN'T mandatory

    10. So Gavin Williamson cleared it all up by saying they're both right ????

    11. England’s Chief Nurse confirmed she was dropped from briefings cos she refused to back Dominic Cummings

    12. A poll found public trust in UK gov ability to manage the pandemic is lowest worldwide, and I nearly fainted

    13. The govt cut the budget to end FGM by 84%

    14. A Tory MP texted his intern to ask for “no strings” fun “pweeease”.

    15. She replied that she was having a “bad mental health day”

    16. He said maybe if she thought of “fun times” with him, she’d feel better. Nice.

    17. Brexit: and now we’re back in control, it was confirmed the govt cancelled the Huawei 5G project because Donald Trump told them to

    18. The Institute for Govt found 61% of businesses have made no preparations at all and that “Britain is fatally ill-prepared” for Brexit

    19. The business secretary said “Seamless trade is vital for our economy, boosting business, supporting jobs, and ensuring consumers get the best deal”

    20. He was talking about England and Scotland. He still thinks abandoning seamless trade with the EU is a great idea

    21. The govt used its majority to vote against protecting the NHS from being sold

    22. The govt used its majority to vote against protection of agriculture and food standards

    23. The govt used its majority to vote against parliament having oversight of any trade deals

    24. And now corruption news, and we’ll start small: Robert Jenrick, who you might remember from previous episodes, was in charge of £25m regeneration scheme

    25. 60 of the 61 constituencies helped were Tory seats with small majorities, or Tory targets at the general election

    26. Only 2 towns had Tory majorities over 10,000. One was Jenrick’s own seat

    27. It was reported the Irish tracing app cost £773,000 and works

    28. The contract for managing our “world beating” app was given to the wife of a Tory MP, cost £13m in 4 months, it didn’t work

    29. Even if you paid £50,000 to each programmer for 4 months work, £13m buys 260 programmers

    30. The successful app used by Germany – which is open source – lists 17 programmers

    31. Did we hire 260 programmers? If so, why? If not, where is the rest of the money?

    32. Also, the govt admitted its “world beating app” broke the law

    33. A leaked govt report found our “world beating” trace system is failing

    34. Serco traced 59,000 contacts in 6 weeks, which is less than 1 contact per tracer per fortnight. They got £10bn for that

    35. But the govt claimed it was a success because it managed to find an outbreak in its own call centre

    36. Russia report news: The govt attempted to suborn parliament by fixing the appointment of Chris Grayling to chair the Intelligence Sub-Committee (ISC)

    37. It failed, so suspended the MP who did get the job

    38. The ISC said the reasons given by the govt for delaying the report were “simply not true”

    39. As the ISC released the report, the govt announced a pay rise for 900,000 workers. Were you distracted? Me neither

    40. The report confirmed Russian interference in the Scottish Independence referendum

    41. The report “reveals that no one in government knew if Russia interfered in or sought to influence the [Brexit] referendum, because they did not want to know”

    42. The ISC demanded an inquiry into Russian interference in Brexit

    43. The govt immediately said no

    44. I’m sure this is a coincidence, but this week it was reported the largest political donor in British history is a Russian Socialite who has paid £1.7m to the Tory party

    45. She paid £160,000 for game of tennis with Boris Johnson

    46. She paid £30,000 for dinner with Gavin Williamson. I know, it’s baffling

    47. The company she runs has assets of £23,000 and liabilities of £8.4m, so it’s a mystery where all that donated money is coming from.

    48. And finally: it was reported that the UK doesn't even have enough palettes to transport goods after we leave the EU, cos we've been relying on theirs until now, and have neither the wood nor the treatment facilities required to build enough of our own.

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 29.07.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    1. The govt launched a “Fix your bike” voucher website

    2. It broke in less than an hour

    3. The govt said we should all lose weight

    4. The govt is still issuing vouchers to help us buy burgers

    5. It was revealed the govt spent £400m buying a bankrupt satellite company, OneWeb, to replace the Euro GPS system we lose due to Brexit

    6. Months before, a study by MIT found that OneWeb’s tech is 6x less efficient than the EU solution: the worst of the technologies studied

    7. In June the govt merged the Dept for International Development into the Foreign Office, and said the move "guaranteed there would be no cuts in International Aid"

    8. This week the gov cut International Aid by £2.9bn

    9. And the govt quietly granted permission for your health records to be given to Palantir, a controversial data-mining company said to have worked with Cambridge Analytica on Brexit

    10. It did both these things the day parliament broke up, so there couldn’t be any questions

    11. But in answer to questions about the Russia Report, the gov’s suggested solution is to (I'm not making this up) to ask Russia to tell us who their spies are

    12. Ex-Russian intelligence staff say 85% of their work is not spying, but “political funding and misinformation"

    13. Which brings us to: Funding and Misinformation news

    14. Since 2012, the Tory party has had almost £3m in donations from members of Putin’s cabinets

    15. 14 current govt ministers have received donations from individuals or companies connected to the Russian leadership

    16. Priti Patel said the Russia Report could be ignored because it was now 9 months old and “out of date”

    17. The govt delayed the release of the report for 9 months, and the reasons given were described as “simply not true” (aka "misinformation") by the Intelligence Committee

    18. Now Covid news, and Matt Hancock boasted he had met the targets on his “Six tests” on Covid 19

    19. Full Fact found 4 of the 6 targets were missed, one target couldn’t be met because it had never been defined, and 1 “relied on a definition [that] does not reflect practice”

    20. The cross-party Media & Culture Committee found that the gov’s support for arts was “vague and slow-coming” and “jeopardised UK culture”

    21. The cross-party Public Accounts Committee found there was an “astonishing failure to plan for the economic impact” of Covid 19

    22. It also said the policy of discharging patients into care homes was a “reckless and appalling policy error”

    23. It called the govt “slow, inconsistent [and] negligent”

    24. The chair of the Committee said “A competent government does not run a country on the hoof”

    25. More on-the-hoof news: the gov quarantined tourists returning from Spain because Spain was a danger

    26. The day before, Spain had 2 Covid deaths. Britain had 114

    27. The transport secretary was on holiday in Spain, so was effectively trapped by his own dept’s decision

    28. Which brings us to Brexit, and a report from London School of Economics showed a WTO Brexit will permanently shrink 16 out of the UK's 24 industry sectors by up to 15% each. Permanently.

    29. A Tory MP tweeted "(thumbs up emoji) WTO here we come!"

    30. Another pro-Brexit Tory MP with a grasp of what's to come tweeted “my strong advice is: take the opportunity to live abroad”

    31. Dominic Cummings tweeted that leaving the EU "could be an error”

    32. And now PPE contracts, so prepare to begin eternal screaming:

    33. £252m to Ayanda Capital, registered in Mauritius for tax purposes. PPE not delivered

    34. £186m to Uniserve. PPE not delivered

    35. £116m to P14 Medical Supplies, with assets of just £145. PPE not delivered

    36. £108m to PestFix, with just 16 employees. PPE not delivered

    37. £107m to Clandeboye Agencies, a sweet wholesaler. Yes, a sweet wholesaler. PPE not delivered.

    38. £40m to Medicine Box Ltd, with assets of just £6000. PPE not delivered.

    39. £48m to Initia Ventures Ltd, which registered itself as “dormant” in March. PPE not delivered.

    40. £28m to Monarch Acoustics, which makes shop furniture. PPE not delivered

    41. £25m to Luxe Lifestyle, which has no employees, no assets, and no turnover. PPE not delivered

    42. £18m to Aventis Solutions, which has total assets of £332. Not a typo, £332. PPE not delivered

    43. £10m to Medco Solutions, incorporated just 3 days after lockdown, with share capital of (not a typo) £2. PPE not delivered

    44. In all, approx £1bn to inexplicable suppliers for PPE that hasn’t been delivered

    45. The gov still polls well for economic competence. Go figure

    46. Meanwhile a Nuffield Health study found after 10 years of "chronic underinvestment", UK is at the bottom of the league table for health resources; and diagnostics and surgery by the NHS will take 4 years to return to pre-Covid levels. But £1bn for non-existent PPE

    47. The gov’s “world beating” test-and-trace programme was described as “scandalous” by the British Medical Journal, and found to miss its 80% target in every Covid hotspot announced this week

    48. And finally, Boris Johnson refused a public enquiry into gov handling of Covid 19

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The Week in Tory - Posted 05.08.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    #TheWeekInTory is a monster today because they’ve been, well, even busier than usual, the scamps

    1. The dictionary definition of Honour is, “the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right”. Keep that in mind as we tackle the Honours system

    2. Boris Johnson gave lifetime appointments to his own brother, and to the editor of the Telegraph, the newspaper which provided Johnson with his most obsequious coverage

    3. Theresa May’s husband was knighted for “political service”, although an ITV investigation found “a brief stint as chairman of Wimbledon Conservative Assoc was as close as he got to politics”. But he was named in the Panama Papers, which is credentials enough for this govt

    4. But more political than Ian Botham, an anti-immigration cricketer who bafflingly lives in Spain, and now has the power to affect our laws

    5. And Claire Fox, who backed IRA bombings, never apologised, is now able to influence terrorism laws for the rest of her life

    6. Also, arise Lord Alexander Lebedev, son of a KGB spy, and the man who threw an “anything goes party” for Boris Johnson which Tory cabinet ministers said made Johnson “a security threat” and “open to Kompromat” (Google that word)

    7. Half the new Lords are leading campaigners for Brexit, and as such are viscerally opposed to unelected power and sprawling bureaucracy. They join 808 unelected members of parliament. There are only 650 elected ones

    8. And in an already spiffing week for democracy, the govt set up a council to investigate ways to prevent courts from ruling ANY govt action is unlawful, even if it is literally unlawful

    9. And now stats news, and the Office for Statistics Regulation said the PM repeatedly used poverty stats “selectively, inaccurately and, ultimately, misleadingly”

    10. Then the ONS revealed the UK had the worse excess death rate in Europe

    11. So Johnson hailed Britain’s “massive success” on Covid19, and I wondered how things could get worse...

    12. Hello, Iain Duncan Smith! Two weeks after the cost of IDS’s Universal Credit rose by a £1.4bn, the Lords found it was “not fit for purpose” and needed £8bn more

    13. The cross-bench Lords committee found Universal Credit “has led to an unprecedented number of people relying on food banks”

    14. Dominic Raab saw this as an opportunity, and posed, smiling, at a food bank that specifically illustrated massive government failure

    15. In Oct 2019 IDS voted to accelerate the passage of the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically so it wouldn’t have to face parliamentary scrutiny

    16. In Mar 2020 IDS voted for the Withdrawal Agreement. Wait for it...

    17. This week IDS apparently got around to reading the WA, saw it would cost £160bn, and demanded it be renegotiated.

    18. He said the details were “buried away, unnoticed by some”, which is kinda why we needed time to scrutinise it, but Iain will be Iain

    19. Iain being Iain has cost the country £170 billion this week alone, in return for a future that is demonstrably worse

    20. Small change, but it was also revealed it will cost £1bn to replicate the chemical industry safety regime that we got for free from the EU

    21. Oh, and £170,000 loan to a “sex party company”, which honestly, barely raises an eyebrow compared to the rest

    22. And now Covid, and a study found Dominic Cummings’ Durham adventure “was a key factor in the breakdown of a sense of national unity” that cost lives

    23. A cross-party group of MPs said the failure to close airports in March was “inexplicable” and “a serious mistake” that led to thousands of deaths, and ever-so-slightly worryingly, they could not identify anybody in govt who was making decisions

    24. The govt’s top coronavirus expert, who attempted to persuade the govt to lock down, revealed he has never met Boris Johnson, our PM, who said he was “taking personal responsibility” for lockdown and Covid policy

    25. Dido Harding, head of the Covid App, said “I absolutely don't accept that this is failure, it's the opposite". It cost £13m, which is £12.3m more than the functioning Irish app. And then it was abandoned because it didn’t work

    26. She also leads Test + Trace. A report found contact tracers “making only a handful of calls every month and occupy their time with barbecues and quizzes”

    27. Test +Trace contacted only 50% those at risk, so local councils set their own up in 2 weeks. They’re tracing 98%

    28. The govt announced a lockdown for Britain’s 2nd largest city-region not via a PM announcement, but via a tweet at 10pm, 2 hours before it began

    29. Directors of public health were not informed before the lockdown, and no procedures were in place for implementing it

    30. A SAGE subcommittee said there was “a high risk of widespread urban disorder” requiring military intervention, and a decision to reopen pubs would "complicate these problems and introduce entirely new ones”

    31. The govt opened pubs

    32. The govt said extremely vulnerable people should stop shielding

    33. The govt said shielding was essential to stop the spread of Covid

    34. The govt said people should return to work in offices

    35. The govt said people should increase their isolation

    36. The govt said it would isolate over-50s

    37. The govt said it would not isolate over-50s

    38. The govt said you can’t meet other families in your home

    39. The govt said you can meet other families in pubs

    40. The govt said pubs might have to close so we can open schools

    41. The govt said pubs would be spared Covid-19 restrictions

    42. The govt said it would be “as good as over by Christmas”

    43. The govt said we should “not delude ourselves this will go aware in a few months”

    44. The govt said it was abandoning its pledge to conduct regular testing in care homes

    45. The govt said it wasn’t abandoning its pledge to conduct regular testing in care home and oh god, kill me

    46. The PR firm responsible for creating a false Labour manifesto website and a renaming the Tory twitter page “factcheckUK” then tweeting falsehoods was granted a £3m Covid-19 communications contract. There was no tender process

    47. A report found only 45% of adults have even a “broad understanding” of the lockdown rules, which is hardly surprising when the PR firm’s major experience is false news

    48. Only 26% of emergency funds for small charities had been allocated, and even less actually paid

    49. After introducing quarantines on returning tourists, Dominic Raab said “you cannot be penalised in this country lawfully for following the rules”

    50. It was later admitted that employers can penalise employees who quarantine, but the govt hadn’t known this. The actual govt

    51. It was revealed UK negotiators “only engaged with Brexit issues [the single most important political business since WW2] in the last 2 weeks”

    52. The PM’s father said Johnson was “living in cloud cuckoo land” about getting a free trade deal without meeting EU standards

    53. The OECD showed the number of UK citizens emigrating to the EU has risen 30% since the Brexit vote

    54. The report concluded “These increases in numbers are of a magnitude that you would only expect when a country is hit by a major economic or political crisis”

    55. Polling shows a drop in Tory support by expats, and pinpointed “the implications of a hard Brexit” as the primary reason

    56. Random Tory MP news: a Tory MP said the “vast majority” of people breaching lockdown rules were from minority, and specifically Muslim, backgrounds

    57. But a study found 80% of infections in locked-down areas were in the white British community and said this should be “a warning to the complacent white middle class”

    58. In 2019 the govt promised a “transparent and independent appointment strategy” for top Whitehall jobs. This year, 44% of those appointed to top Whitehall jobs are close personal friends of Michael Gove, which might just be one of those absolutely incredible coincidence things

    59. More Gove: the NI politician John Hume died, and Gove praised his “integrity and wisdom” in helping to create the Good Friday Agreement

    60. Gove wrote a 58-page pamphlet opposing the Good Friday Agreement and said those involved in the GFA were akin to “appeasing the Nazis”

    61. A Tory MP was arrested for alleged rape, and not only did the party not suspend him, it was revealed the chief whip and Jacob Rees-Mogg both knew about it for at least a month and did nothing

    62. The effortlessly brilliant Liam Fox appears to be a major cause of Russian hacking of British politics, after it was found he was highly likely to have used unsecured personal email for classified govt business, and got 451 pages of it nicked

    63. Jeremy Hunt, who is worth £14m, and once explained bogus expenses claims by saying he forgot about 7 houses he owned (and which of can honestly say we haven’t forgotten about 7 houses we own) boasted of using £50 of taxpayer’s money to buy fish and chips

    64. The govt announced it would employ an official PM’s spokesperson at a cost of £100,000, even though Whitehall rules about civil servants explicitly forbid it, and the rules explicitly say the PM must answer questions personally

    65. Boris Johnson said of Black Lives Matter, “I hear you, and I understand”

    66. And then this week the govt refused to even begin a review into possibly introducing more black, Asian, and ethnic minority history in schools

    67. It’s Wednesday. Two more days to go, and then we begin another #TheWeekInTory for me to catalogue, assuming I don’t shove my head through a bacon-slicing machine first

... back to the top

The Week in Tory - Posted 13.08.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    1. The govt said they had to "balance the nation’s health with our economy", and in that respect, they have succeeded: both are evenly balanced as the worst in the G7

    2. So Boris Johnson went on holiday. See if you even notice.

    3. Britain’s death toll, pretty much the worst per-capita in the developed world, rose again to the levels it was 2 months ago

    4. Fortunately, the govt solved those deaths by the simple expedient of publishing the figures on a different website and not telling anybody

    5. A mere 6 months into the Covid-19 crisis, the govt advertised for a "Head of Pandemic Preparedness" with a salary of – honest to god – less than mine. And I do colouring-in for a living.

    6. In Feb the govt said "nobody will go hungry as a result of Covid-19"

    7. The FSA said 7.8 million Britons had skipped meals or eaten unsafe food as a result of skyrocketing “food insecurity” since the outbreak

    8. So the govt is planning to stop the furlough scheme to force us to go back to jobs that don’t exist

    9. Britain’s GDP fell 21%, more than twice as much as Germany or the USA, and even more than Spain, which we keep telling ourselves is doing terribly, whilst avoiding mirrors

    10. And an IFS study showed UK can expect to be permanently 9% poorer if we have no Brexit deal by Nov

    11. So naturally, Liz Truss paused a £14bn trade deal with Japan over concerns for the fate of Stilton, which is 0.007% of the deal. But she’d made a big deal over Brexit saving Britain’s vast and vitally important Stilton industry, and everything else comes second

    12. Liz Truss suggested increasing the speed limit to 80mph could be the solution to all our economic woes

    13. And then The Express – yes, them – suddenly discovered the USA favour a deal with the EU over a deal with the UK because, and this will shock you, the EU is much bigger

    14. Boris Johnson insisted the central Test and Trace system was "still world-beating" after it traced only 56% of cases

    15. Local councils set up their own tracing in Lancashire, Liverpool and W Yorkshire and traced 98%. "World-beating" isn’t even beating Blackburn council

    16. NHS Providers said Test and Trace is “not fit for purpose, let alone world class”

    17. A month after knighting Sir Tom for raising £32m, the govt gave 10x as much to company valued at £100, and with no expertise in producing PPE, for 50m masks we can’t use

    18. By one of those massively rare coincidences that happen 9 times out of 10, the owner is a close friend Liz Truss

    19. And then it was revealed the govt didn’t just sign one inexplicable contract with a useless and inexperienced supplier: they had at least 20 contracts

    20. One of the contracts is for £108m, paid to a pest control company with assets of just £18,000. The company is now using money from that contract to threaten legal action against a lawyer who asked what it is doing with the money. I kid you not.

    21. Education news, and in the beginning, the govt opposed adjusting A-level grades

    22. Then top fireplace salesman and irony no-fly-zone Gavin Williamson said “The danger is that pupils will be over-promoted into jobs that are beyond their competence”

    23. And then the govt introduced a “moderating” algorithm to adjust grades

    24. Then the Tories told the Scottish govt to abandon its own adjusted grades

    25. And when the Scottish govt did Tories had asked, the Tories said it was a disgrace and they should resign

    26. Then multiple Tories called for Gavin Williamson to do exactly the same thing

    27. The Assoc of Headteachers said the govt’s handling of this is "a rolling disaster"

    28. Things are moving fast. But not as fast as the contents Gavin Williamson’s small intestine

    29. The govt’s algorithm awarded twice as many grade increases to pupils from private schools as it did to state schools.

    30. And an Education Policy Institute report found wealthy pupils get 1/3 more funds from the "levelling up" budget as poor pupils get

    31. Scrupulous honesty news: property developers gave the Tories £11m in the last year, and then, miraculously, the Tories relaxed rules on planning permission

    32. Amongst the regulations they tried to scrap was the one requiring dwellings to have at least 1 window

    33. Robert Jenrick said "you can trust me on housing", 3 weeks after he admitted wrongdoing in helping a Tory donor avoid £45m tax

    34. To be fair, he then denied admitting wrongdoing, even though he had admitted it on camera, and that's always the mark of a man you can trust

    35. The Royal Institute of British Architects said the reforms were "shameful" and would "lead to a generation of slum housing"

    36. Housing charity Shelter said the reforms "will mean the end of affordable housing" and force more than 1m people onto housing waiting lists

    37. But Priti Patel said Syrian refugees were the real cause of our national housing crisis

    38. She asserted that people claiming asylum in the UK was illegal, which it absolutely is not, under any circumstances, ever

    39. Then she appointed an excitingly-titled "Clandestine Channel Threat Commander" tasked with, amongst other impossible things, pushing migrant boats back out to sea, in direct contravention of international law and British Navy regulations

    40. A leak from inside the MoD said Patel’s plans were "completely potty", "inappropriate, impractical and unnecessary” and had "more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese". I’ll put them down as a 'maybe'

    41. Priti Patel then had an argument about this with some ice-cream

    42. James Cleverley, a hugely successful one-man campaign against nominative determinism, joined in, but confused "virtue signalling" with "obeying the law"

    43. Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh had a solution: "We should never have lost Calais in 1558. Why not take it back?"

    44. Then Sir Edward, a vocal, life-long Brexit fan, said we should pay the EU to manage migration for us, but it has been very warm, and he does look like a man who has been in the sun far too long

    45. Speaking of Brexit, it was revealed Tate and Lyle, Tory donors and No Deal cheerleaders, will gain £73m if we get No Deal, because they can import more of the very unhealthy sugar they supply

    46. So obviously, the govt started a TV campaign telling us to stop being fat

    47. The govt condemned the Russian state, which said it had a vaccine that hasn’t been approved by regulators

    48. And then it was revealed UK’s much-vaunted 90-minute rapid Covid test has not been approved by regulators

    49. The govt said children would be safe if we re-opened schools

    50. And then Boris Johnson said he would "bulldoze schools" in which there were Covid outbreaks, which seems a smidge excessive if Covid can’t spread in schools

    51. The govt said there was no evidence any children had caught Covid in school. Schools are closed, so it would be difficult right now, but let’s not try to apply logic any more

    52. An international study found pupils over 12 are just as susceptible to Covid-19 as any adult

    53. Scientists called for routine testing of teachers and pupils

    54. The Schools Minister said no because, I’m sorry, I have no idea why the Schools Minister said no, and neither does he. People asked. He didn’t have an answer.

    55. And then Immigration minister Chris Philp asked if he could re-record a live interview, after he forgot what country he was from

    I’m sure it’ll be fine.

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The Week in Tory - Posted 18.08.2020

    Original thread begins at this tweet.

    It’s Tuesday, #TheWeekInTory is already 80 points long, and I’m very sorry you have to read it.

    And even more sorry I had to write the bloody thing.

    Anyway, here goes.

    1. The govt announced quarantine for people returning from France

    2. It waited until everyone had made travel plans, then brought the policy forwards 24 hours

    3. And then an MP using the name “Grant Shapps” helpfully told everybody the wrong date for the start of quarantine

    4. Irony’s own Bermuda Triangle, Priti Patel, said migrants were only coming here because the French are all racist and Germans torture people

    5. Days after MoD said Patel’s plans for channel protection were “completely potty”, the Navy refused to send warships into the Channel

    6. And the UN said her ideas were “very troubling” and would cause “fatal incidents”

    7. The govt proceeded with plans to end the furlough scheme, after think-tanks predicted would cost 2 million jobs

    8. Universal Credit requires £11bn extra investment to make it cope with current levels of claims, and here come another £2m

    9. So naturally, the govt made applications for Universal Credit “online only”, after removing 4000 computers from libraries and job centres since 2015

    10. The govt claimed 90% of homeless people were helped off the streets, but data actually showed rough-sleeping rose sharply

    11. So govt will scrap the ban on evictions in 5 days’ time, predicted to cause 220,000 extra people in England to become homeless just as winter starts

    12. The National Residential Landlords Association said the ban on evictions was “an unnecessary hindrance to our members”

    13. 28% of Tory MPs are landlords, and I'm going to mark that down as "an incredible coincidence" and ask no further questions

    14. News of unnecessary hindrances brings me to top fireplace salesman Gavin Williamson. He started the week modestly, with a cheery pledge to starve 175,000 children of immigrants, by stopping their free meals while their families cannot legally work or claim benefits

    15. All the way back in the mists of time (in May) the govt instructed Ofqual to tell teachers to spend hours per-pupil creating estimated grades, which were reviewed and approved by headteachers

    16. But then toothsome mantis Gavin Williamson decided teachers know less than quickly-written and badly-tested software does, and commissioned an algorithm to invent grades for this year's students, based largely on totally different students from different years

    17. The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) offered to help assess the outcome of the algorithm after staff at Dept for Education raised concerns. But the govt put barriers in the way which would prevent the RSS from operating properly for 5 years. So they couldn't help.

    18. Gavin Williamson is on record instructing Ofqual to design a system that could not allow grade inflation

    19. But this week, in a wildly unpredictable turn of events, he blamed Ofqual for - brace yourself - designing a system that did not allow grade inflation

    20. But private schools did get grade inflation, an average 8x the increase state schools got

    21. On average, 40% of state schools results were downgraded, and in Northern England it was as high as 84%

    22. In some subjects, 98.9% of results from private schools were inflated

    23. The Times reports the govt still plans to use the algorithm for GCSE’s, but will not downgrade any results, only upgrade them: which only benefits private schools

    24. And then a maelstrom of policy changes began: first, students were barred from appealing against results

    25. Then they were permitted to appeal results, at a cost of £113 per exam

    26. Then it was announced schools would pay the fees, even though schools are not only closed, but broke, having had £7bn cut from their budget by Tories

    27. And then it was announced the appeals would be free, even though Ofqual has no facilities to handle that number of appeals

    28. And then they cancelled the appeals program completely

    29. All that appeals stuff happened in just 48 hours

    30. When Scotland used the algorithm, it led to a crisis and had to be abandoned, and Tories called for the Scottish Education Minister to resign

    31. Regardless, the UK govt implemented the algorithm that had just been proven to fail, and seemed surprised when it failed

    32. The Minister of Innovation said A-Levels don’t matter as much as “grit and determination”, and his failure at Harrow “taught me how to hustle”. He is the 5th Lord Bethan, and “hustled” his way to a hereditary peerage as a result of his Dad dying. Good hustling, dude!

    33. Gavin Williamson said there would be “No U-turn, no change”, which I think he got from a sign outside a toll-booth on the M6

    34. Boris Johnson said, “be in no doubt about it, the exam results that we've got today are robust, they're good, they're dependable for employers”

    35. The Daily Mail – yes, even them – reported the govt only changed its mind after the headmaster of Eton – yes, even them – complained about the unfairness

    36. The UK Equalities Watchdog warned it would intervene because the algorithm results were discriminatory

    37. Gavin Williamson claimed he only spotted the flaws “at the weekend”, but hours later it was revealed the Commons Education Dept warned him of all these flaws and dangers, in person, and then in a report sent to him on 10th July

    38. On the steps of Downing St the day he became PM, Johnson said “My job is to make sure your kids get a superb education, wherever you are from. I will take personal responsibility. The buck stops here”.

    39. Boris Johnson is busy “glamping”, so in his absence it was decided the buck stops at the head of Ofqual, who simply followed ministerial instructions; and at Gavin Williamson’s permanent secretary, who was unceremoniously sacked for doing what his boss told him

    40. Meanwhile, Williamson felt the best use of his time was to pose for a photo with little on his desk but a cup, a seemingly empty file, and a whip (for reasons that bewilder, but are in keeping with his apparent background as a mildly disturbing minor Addams Family character)

    41. Winston Churchill’s grandson, a Tory MP, said of Gavin Williamson “what could have been in the Prime Minister’s mind that led him to appoint so mere, so unreliable, so wholly unsuitable a man to one of the most important jobs in Government”

    42. A Tory MP said “It was as clear as day that there would be an issue, given what happened in Scotland, yet they fucked around”

    43. A poetic Tory MP said the govt was “wanking into the void”, and if that’s not the name of a band by midnight, what’s the point of anything?

    44. There are now calls for Ofqual to be abolished and replaced with something that will probably be worse, but as yet no news on which unqualified but vaguely aristocratic Tory MP’s wife will run it. I'll keep you posted.

    45. Meanwhile, Gavin Williamson had promised to provide laptops to disadvantaged students during the lockdown, but only half the required laptops were delivered, and 27 Academy Trusts got just 1 laptop each, to be shared between over 2000 students

    46. After the stunning success of this bit of Artificial Intelligence, the govt announced plans to boost Whitehall AI spending by £200m. The money will go to Faculty AI, which has links to [checks notes] a Mr Dominic Cummings, resident of Whitehall and Specsavers in Durham

    47. Rumours that the govt has an algorithm that turns every minister into Chris Grayling are unfounded

    48. Chris Grayling – I mean, Gavin Williamson - now has to persuade parents that he’s competent enough to make schools safe for their kids to return. Good luck with that, Gav.

    49. The govt had 5 months to plan and execute one exam policy affecting 335,000 students

    50. The govt now has 4 months to plan and execute over 2000 Brexit policies affecting 67 million of us, and every business in the country. Brace, brace.

    51. On the subject of Brexit, this week Boris Johnson said there would only be a customs border in the Irish Sea “over my dead body”.

    52. The same Boris Johnson signed the Withdrawal Agreement that creates a customs border in the Irish sea

    53. Trade Secretary and part-time punchline Liz Truss promised “I will consign these unfair tariffs to the bin of history” when she makes her stern demands in a trade deal between USA (world’s biggest economy) and UK (2% of global trade). I bet the USA is shitting itself.

    54. Meanwhile, after Liz Truss sang the praises of a potential deal with NZ (value: 4% of the trade we will lose with a No Deal Brexit) the NZ deputy PM said “Britain is not match fit for trade talks” and was “beset with inertia”

    55. Boris Johnson promised “lower costs and a bonfire of red tape” as a result of Brexit

    56. So imagine my shock when this week the govt pledge £355m to help companies in NI deal with “a new wave of red tape”

    57. The govt scrapped Public Health England in the middle of a pandemic. Cos that’s what we need. Not testing. Just a new sign over a door. .

    58. It then appointed Dido Harding to the replacement organisation, even though the replacement organisation didn’t exist at the time

    59. Some notes on Dido Harding, in case you're unfamiliar with her impressive record of failing upwards

    60. The Evening Standard – a Tory-supporting paper – wrote of her “Dido Harding's utter ignorance is a lesson to us all”

    61. She ran the programme that spent 15x the worldwide average building a tracing app that she was told wouldn’t work, unsurprisingly didn’t work work, and which it then scrapped without publishing accounts of where that £13m went

    62. She runs Test and Trace, described as “not fit for purpose, let alone world-beating” by the chair of NHS Providers

    63. Her £100m Test and Trace programme traced only 56% of cases, compared with Blackburn council, who traced 98% without a penny of new funding

    64. She is a Tory peer, married to a Tory MP, who is adviser to a group that campaigns for the defunding, break-up and sale of the NHS; and if you wanted that, putting somebody famous for "utter ignorance" in charge would be a good first step

    65. She’s on the board of The Jockey Club, which is based in Matt Hancock’s constituency and gave tens of thousands in donations to Matt Hancock, and then coincidentally got dispensation to stay open for 180,000 unwitting fans when the Covid 19 outbreak began

    66. A major Jockey Club sponsor is Randox, to whom her husband is an adviser, and which coincidentally got a £133m contract to produce testing kits without any other providers being allowed to bid for the work

    67. Her husband – get this – is a “Govt Anti-Corruption Champion”

    68. More govt anti-corruption, and Serco got a £108m contract, just months after it was fined £2.6m for buggering up a previous contract. The minister awarding the contract? A former Serco lobbyist. Chief exec of Serco? A Tory MP.

    69. Meanwhile, Medical Examiners have been instructed not to make public the results of investigations into hundreds of deaths of NHS workers who didn’t have PPE

    70. The value of utterly useless PPE rose from a mere £50m last week to £300m this week

    71. And who got the contracts for useless PPE? A company part-owned by a friend and advisor to Liz Trust. Did I say Trust? I meant Truss. Definitely not Trust.

    72. Meanwhile, Sajid Javid, employed full-time as an MP, also took a job at banking giant JP Morgan; cos if the last 10 years has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no danger in MPs or bankers not fully concentrating on what they’re doing

    73. The Royal Society issued a report saying relaxing the lockdown early would “inflate deaths and deepen recession”

    74. So obviously, the govt relaxed the lockdown in Leicester

    75. The Chief Exec of the care home charity CIC said the care sector was “being left to prepare for a second wave alone” as it has received no advice or assistance from govt

    76. 10% of care home residents died of Covid in the first half of this year. Not laughing now, are you

    77. Weeks after it was proven Russia was regularly attempting to pervert UK democracy, a report found “an ongoing risk of cyber security incidents within Cabinet Office due to the vulnerability of legacy IT systems”, and Michael Gove is directly responsible for fixing it

    78. Michael Gove was found to use an insecure email account under the name “Mrs Blurt” (and boasting of blurting as a way of deterring spies is, shall we say, novel) to discuss govt business with Dominic Cummings. So I don’t have terribly high hopes

    79. The govt continued to focus on the big stuff, by converting a privy council room in number 9 Downing St into a TV studio it dubbed “the best in the world” – but then again, isn’t everything in this list?

    80. The “best in the world” studio isn’t big enough to fit socially distanced journalists, the PM hasn’t even got an official spokesman, and Civil Service regulations prevent one from being appointed but the govt hadn’t realised that

    It’s Tuesday. We have 3 more days of this week to go.

    I'll be here again in a few days, and in the interim I will accept gifts of good single malt whisky, or heroic doses of laudanum

... back to the top