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…
- Thread from 17.05.2020
- Thread from 27.05.2020
- Thread from 06.06.2020
- Thread from 09.06.2020
- Thread from 17.06.2020
- Thread from 22.06.2020
- Thread from 26.06.2020
- Thread from 30.06.2020
- Thread from 17.06.2020
- Thread from 09.07.2020
- Thread from 15.07.2020
- Thread from 21.07.2020
- Thread from 29.07.2020
- Thread from 05.08.2020
- Thread from 13.08.2020
- Thread from 18.08.2020
- Thread from 14.09.2020
- Thread from 21.09.2020
- Thread from 28.09.2020
- Thread from 01.10.2020
- Thread from 05.10.2020
- Thread from 08.10.2020
- Thread from 15.10.2020
- Thread from 20.10.2020
- Thread from 23.10.2020
- Thread from 26.10.2020
The Week in Tory – Posted 17.05.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
1 Accidentally made it illegal to drive to Wales
2 Made it easier to see other people’s parents than your own
3 Issued new advice that was officially ignored by Scotland, Wales, NI, and the councils of Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle.
4 Admitted there WOULD be a border down the Irish Sea, after a year claiming there wouldn’t
5 Said its ok for a child-minder to come into contact with your kids, as long as you "open a window"
6 Published advice that you can car-share, as long as the driver "doesn’t look left"
7 Announced £2bn investment, so we could use public transport again
8 Told us it’s our "civic duty" to avoid using public transport
9 Announced the PM would make a speech on Sunday, cos it had to be implemented Monday
10 Then, when challenged, said they meant Wednesday
11 Then said we must go to work
12 Then said we must not travel to work
13 Then said it was all explained in the published guidelines
14 Then had it pointed out to them in parliament that they hadn’t published guidelines
15 Blamed the public for not understanding the new rules
16 Then went on TV to explain the rules, got them wrong, and had to be corrected by Piers Morgan
17 Then went to parliament to explain the rules, STILL got them wrong, and had to be corrected by the opposition
18 Said we should wear facemasks
19 Then said we shouldn’t wear facemasks
20 Then said – again – we should wear facemasks
21 Clapped for NHS workers
22 Then introduced a 55% increase in the fee foreign staff pay to work for the NHS
23 Announced quarantine for new arrivals, a mere 73 days after being officially advised to quarantine new arrivals
24 Announced they had "only just started" recruiting people to do track and trace, a mere 110 days after being officially advised to urgently do track and trace
25 Issued a plan to open schools, which teachers said was unsafe
26 Then said doctors were brave, but teachers weren’t
27 Then had to watch as doctors said the teachers were right, and it wasn’t safe to open schools
28 Then announced tests for kids but not for teachers
29 Then had to have it explained on live TV that infected teachers can still infect kids
30 Scored 0% in a French poll of which govt was doing best for its people
31 Dropped 45 net approval points in UK opinion polling
And there are still 24 hours of this week to go
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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
The Week in Tory – Posted 14.09.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
#TheWeekInTory had to pause for a bit while I dealt with a poorly old mum. So this is actually about 3 weeks, very compressed
I dreaded coming back to this. I mean, honestly, where do you start?
1. Theresa May couldn’t agree a Withdrawal Agreement (WI) because – in news that will shock the millions who warned about this – it’s impossible due do without accepting EU rules, or harming NI, or breaking up the UK, or crippling the economy, or all of the above
2. Nevertheless, Boris Johnson agreed a WI from the EU
3. Then Tories voted to accelerate the Withdrawal Agreement through parliament, specifically so it wouldn’t have to face scrutiny
4. And Boris Johnson withdrew the whip – sacked – 21 Tories who didn’t support the delay
5. Then he won an election by promising the WI was “oven-ready” and “brilliant”
6. Later, in a massive shock, it was discovered the WI contains all the problems that prevented May from agreeing it
7. So the govt announced it would just break the law and ignore its own treaty
8. Each MP’s Oath of Allegiance includes “I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom… uphold its democratic values … and observe laws faithfully”
9. All 5 living ex-PM’s oppose this plan
10. Every living ex-Tory leader opposes it (except IDS, but c’mon, it’s IDS)
11. So now the govt which sacked 21 MPs for opposing the WI is threatening to sack any MPs who support the same WI
12. The actual Police Minister said it’s OK to break the law
13. The Lord Chancellor, Britain’s highest law officer, said it’s OK to break the law
14. The Attorney General, responsible for advising the govt on legal matters, said it’s OK to break the law
15. The Lord Chancellor and Attorney General are barristers, and the Bar Council guidelines say you will be struck-off if you “knowingly advise a client to break the law”
16. Same day, Foreign Secretary and irony no-fly-zone Dominic Raab said Iran “must comply with its legal commitments and treaties”
17. Gavin Williamson and Mark Francois were nominated for the MP Of The Year Award
18. This was the last known sighting of Mark Francois
19. Michael Gove said in a July speech “failures of policy and judgement”, are generating a “crisis of authority” and “Politicians like me must take responsibility for the effect of their actions”
20. Gavin Williamson is still in his job
21. But the head of Ofqual was sacked
22. And the most senior education civil servant had to stand down
23. In fact, resignations by senior civil servants are up 14% in a year
24. But 44% of new senior appointments are personal friends of Michael Gove, in one of those amazing coincidence things
25. Other amazing coincidences, a sub-thread:
a. Public First, a company led by Govt and Cummings associates, was handed a contract to help Ofqual with the exams fiasco. The contract wasn’t put out to tender
b. Gove appointed ex-girlfriend Simone Finn as adviser to Cabinet Office. Finn immediately paid her own company to “shake up the Cabinet Office”
c. Gove handed a contract (without tender) to PWC, a company that pays him £5000 per hour to give speeches
d. Gove gave £21k to Signal AI, a company associated with Gove and Cummings, to ask Tunisians what they think about Covid
e. Faculty AI, associated with Gove and Cummings, got £400k to analyse tweets by UK citizens. So if I vanish one dark night, tell my family I tolerated them
f. And another contract went to the cousin of Tory MP Tom Tugendhat to “analyse the awarding of govt contracts”, which is like a spiral, wrapped inside a Möbius strip, encased in a corkscrew, and tethered to a twat
26. Anyway, back to the fun: Home Secretary and Nurse Ratched cosplayer Priti Patel authorised “more painful” Taser guns, clearly anticipating more determined rioters
27. She then abandoned a deportation flight after it was found every passenger had leave to stay in the UK
28. Matt Hancock said we should get back to work as there is “little evidence” coronavirus is passed on in offices, having seen Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings catch coronavirus in their office
29. Then he voted for himself to continue to work remotely for 11 more weeks
30. Tories told us to lose weight
31. Then they paid us to go and eat out
32. Then they told us face-masks were essential
33. But not in schools
34. Then they were essential in schools
35. Then they told us to keep social distancing
36. Then they held a meeting of 50 PMs in a room with a capacity for 29
37. Then only 8 minutes later, they tweeted that the were updating advice to ban meeting in groups of 30
38. Then they banned you from meeting more than 6 people
39. But you can still go to the pub, 30 of you can attend a wedding or (more likely) a funeral, 30 of you get in a rugby scrum, and you can sit on a packed train carriage with 80 other people
40. Oh, and obviously, grouse-shooting is exempt. After all, what are we: French!?
41. And the new ban didn’t start for a week, and excluded the St Leger horse racing meet, where 3640 people crowded together making money for The Jockey Club; and isn’t it amazing that Matt Hancock is MP for Newmarket, where his major donors The Jockey Club are based?
42. So now the R number (which Boris Johnson was “absolutely committed to keeping below 1”) is at 1.7
43. Matt Hancock made a big deal of £60k compensation for families of NHS workers who died fighting Covid. The govt simultaneously stopped all their benefits
44. Hancock then started a scheme to financially support those forced to self-isolate, paying them up to (that’s “up to”) £13 a day
45. In preparation for the forthcoming homelessness epidemic, Tory councils voted to fine people £1000 for being too poor have anywhere to sleep
46. The govt said it was “ramping up to 150k tests a fortnight” 3 months after they claimed they were doing “over 100k tests a week”
47. Matt Hancock said he was changing the law to allow nurses to give flu vaccinations, unaware nurses already give over 93% of flu vaccinations
48. Then he launched a campaign to fight obesity, and immediately closed the agency responsible for delivering it
49. And then he advertised for a person to replace the head of Public Health England. The advert said no experience in health is required. In a pandemic.
50. The govt announced Operation Moonshot!, an exciting-sounding £100bn plan to test 10m people a day using technology that doesn’t exist, delivered by the people behind the PPE crisis, Brexit, Gavin Williamson, and Chris Grayling literally failing his own intelligence test
51. Meanwhile, we ran out of home testing kits
52. Then more shortages led us sending people on 500-mile round trips for a Covid test, in what experts have dubbed “the full Cummings Experience”
53. Six months after the first case in the UK, despite having diligently spent over £1bn on contracts with sweet suppliers and dormant companies with no employees, the UK still is not capable of producing a single piece of hospital-standard PPE
54. Researchers from King’s College London found Tories “employed overt disinformation” with “new levels of impunity” in the 2019 General Election
55. The govt was “formally warned for threatening press freedom” (putting us in the same classification as Russia) by the Council of Europe, which the UK co-founded in 1949 to protect human rights
56. It was then reported Boris Johnson plans to opt out of human rights laws
57. Meanwhile, a cross-party group of MPs is threatening to sue Boris Johnson if he continues to ignore calls for an enquiry into Russian interference in UK politics. People connected to the Putin regime paid £160k to play tennis with Boris Johnson
58. The leader of Scottish Tories tweeted “I would have no hesitation in voting against any legislation which would allow chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef. That’s a categorical assurance.”
59. He then voted to allow chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef
60. The govt voted not to implement the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower enquiry
61. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions was quoted as saying “it is not my job to worry about people starving to death in the UK”
62. The govt announced new Covid restrictions with a densely worded 10-page legal document, released at 11.38pm on Sunday night, just 22 minutes before police, hospitals, health officials, local councils, schools and businesses had to implement them
63. The document ends: “no impact assessment has been done”, surprising nobody familiar with Brexit
64. Environment news, and as a liveable world slips relentlessly from our grasp, the UK spent just £2000 – not a typo – tackling environmental damage to the British countryside
65. They spent £46m (2300 times as much) telling us to get ready for a Brexit that didn’t happen
66. And the Tory-appointed head of the Environment Agency endorsed proposals to weaken laws on the cleanliness of rivers, lakes and coastlines
67. Meanwhile the Fisheries Minister posed “catching mackerel” with a rod that had no line in a sea that has no mackerel, and I had to order a fresh barrel of satire
68. Nine months into Boris Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda, the gap between rich and poor pupils has grown 46%
69. And finally, because no list of abject failure is complete without him, Chris Grayling literally resigned from Intelligence
Thank you for coming to my TED talk. Please pick up your complimentary revolver on the way out, and remember to write a will.
The Week in Tory – Posted 21.09.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
#TheWeekInTory returns for the second time in 4 days
The weeks grow shorter, but the days last forever
Anyway: don your athletic support, lower your visor, drink heavily, and start with some comparatively minor corruption…
1. The consultant who advised the govt to look for “alternative arrangements” on the Irish Border is in line for a £200m contract if alternative arrangements go ahead
2. But to facilitate this, the govt has to break international law with the Internal Market Bill (IMB)
3. Nobody can tell us what the “alternative arrangements” are, but the IMB passed through parliament anyway
4. The UK’s highest-ranking law officer in Scotland resigned over the IMB
5. The UK’s special envoy on media freedom, Amal Clooney (yes, that one) quit over IMB
6. The former (Tory appointed) ambassador to USA said the IMB was “hugely damaging to our international reputation”
7. Those snowflake liberal Remoaners Toby Young, Peter Hitchens and Tim Montgomerie turned on the govt over IMB. As did every living former-PM
8. Joe Biden said there would be no UK/US Trade Deal if the IMB went ahead
9. Iain Duncan Smith said “we don’t need lectures” from Joe Biden
10. Trump’s special envoy to NI also said there would be no Trade Deal
11. Apparently, IDS does need lectures. Who knew?
12. Oh, and IMB also includes a provision allowing the govt to break absolutely any law, absolutely any time
13. Unrelated, I’m sure, but the number of “problem drinkers” in England doubled this year
16. So the govt cut funding to alcohol addiction services
15. Dominic Raab, whose job it is to understand the Good Friday Agreement, admitted he hasn’t read the Good Friday Agreement
16. His excuse is: “it’s not a novel”. True. Novels tend to be longer than 35 pages, aren’t vital to solving conflicts that killed 3600 people
17. The PM, who literally voted to break a deal he signed with the EU, said the EU was “not negotiating in good faith”
18. The next morning, NI minister and arch memo-misser Brandon Lewis went on TV and said “I believe the EU is negotiating in good faith”
19. It was revealed the Smart Freight System to handle post-Brexit trade won’t be ready until at least April 2021.
20. That’s at least 4 months without a freight handling system, during the time of year we rely on food imports the most
21. The Road Haulage Assoc said a meeting with Michael Gove to discuss border checks provided “no clarity” and was “a washout”
22. An official report says 2-day queues at Dover in January are “a certainty”
23. So the govt closed a Covid test site in Kent, to convert it into a lorry park, in what experts (well, me) are calling “the world’s shittest game of whack-a-mole”
24. The govt said people would be fined £1000 if they don’t self-isolate after getting a positive test
25. And then all tests ran out in the 10 worst-hit Covid hotspots
26. And then all home testing kits ran out, nationally
27. And then the website for booking tests broke, and just showed a series of error messages
28. And then the govt said the system was under strain cos people were asking for tests when they didn’t know they were infected
29. So [deep breath] you must self-isolate after getting a test that doesn’t exist, and you can only get a test if you already know the result
30. Naturally, honesty no-fly-zone Priti Patel went on Radio 4 and announced tests were available everywhere and there were “no problems getting tests”
31. Same day – same hour, in fact – Boris Johnson said the testing system “has huge problems”
32. Jacob Rees-Mogg, who simply cannot shut up about fish, said we should stop the “endless carping” about not being tested for a fatal infection
33. Boris Johnson went on national TV and announced a “£100bn moonshot” approach to Covid, which would test “10m people per day”
34. Three days later, in front of a Parliamentary Committee, said he “didn’t recognise” the figure of 10m a day
35. And it was reported his half-brother is on the board of the business that would get most of the £100bn budget, which I’m sure is just a massive coincidence
36. Officials branded the moonshot as “Moonfuck”
37. And then Matt Hancock had to ask other cabinet ministers to stop referring to him as “Matt WankCock”
38. Despite appearances, these are not 7 year old boys
39. Food news, and Tory MP Douglas Ross said “I have seen the difference free school meals can make, and I want to make sure nobody falls through the cracks”
40. Douglas Ross voted against free school meals
41. Boris Johnson said we cannot put punitive restrictions on food imports from the EU (to force them to give up on Ireland), or we will starve
42. And then, minutes later, he agreed with a Brexiter MP who said we SHOULD put punitive restrictions on food imports from the EU
43. Boris Johnson said “I venerate our civil service” after sacking the innocent heads of multiple departments to protect friends including Gavin Williamson and Dominic Cummings. And as a result, people leaving the civil service rose 14% in a year
44. Planning-ahead news: an international conglomerate pulled out of a £16bn power project because the govt hasn’t performed its part of the deal for the last 20 months
45. Funding cuts since 2010 meant the govt had to inject £700m to prevent further education going bankrupt
46. This week it was found the govt – which last week voted not to implement the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry – has also failed to deliver its promise to remove the same dangerous cladding from at least 2000 tower blocks. Sleep well.
47. And then the govt said files on Grenfell were “lost forever”, after a laptop was wiped. Cos everything is always stored on a single laptop. We all know this.
48. The govt runs G-Cloud, its own dedicated cloud backup service, which has been active since 2012. So… yeah.
49. At a committee in parliament, an MP read out the Covid test figures. Dido Harding, in charge of testing, said “I’m sorry, that’s just not true, I don’t know where that number is from”
50. It was from her own report. Page 8. In bold type.
51. Dido Harding said “nobody could predict” a rise in demand for testing
52. Govt scientists predicted it, and in a July report sent to Dido Harding – maybe it was a different one? – said “July and Aug must be a period of intense preparation for a Sept resurgence in Covid”
53. Oh, and standard advice says the NHS must always prepare for cold and respiratory infections to spike immediately after the return to school in Sept
54. Dido Harding wasted £13m on a “world-beating” testing app that cost £12.3m more than the German app, and didn’t work
55. She is now in charge of the test-and-trace service which has collapsed completely
56. So naturally, it was reported the govt wants to sack the head of NHS England and install Dido Harding instead. Let’s make the most of that successful record, eh?
57. In June the govt tweeted “grab a drink and raise a glass, pubs are reopening”
58. The PM said “it is your patriotic duty to go out and enjoy yourselves”
59. This week they said the public is responsible, and “people going to the pub fuelled the rise in Covid”
60. So the govt closed pubs at 10pm, cos it’s well-known viruses only pop out for last orders.
61. Matt Hancock said the govt “threw a protective ring around care homes”
62. A leaked document said care homes are now being asked to accept patients who are known to have Covid
63. Hospitals were banned from launching their own testing regime for staff and patience because… nope, nobody knows why. Just because.
64. There hasn’t been a meeting of COBRA (the govt’s committee for national emergencies, headed by the PM) since 10th May
65. As Covid infections surged, Matt Hancock said restrictions are increasing, and pointed to a chart showing the govt has “moved to alert level 3”. Level 3 is “a gradual relaxing of restrictions”. Not only can’t he remember his own alert system, he can’t even read it.
66. Despite travel restrictions, it was reported the PM flew off for a long weekend in Perugia, where his friend the Russian billionaire Evgeny Lebedev lives. He denies it, but the airport has his landing documents. So either he’s lying or… no, that’s the end of that sentence
67. In June the govt spent £500m on a GPS satellite system to replace the one we lose due to Brexit
68. In July it was reported “we bought the wrong satellites”
69. This week the govt cancelled the programme and began asking the EU if we can keep on using their GPS system
70. A cross-party committee of MPs found nurse-Ratched cosplayer Priti Patel “bases immigration policies on anecdotes and prejudice”
71. It found her dept has “no idea” what its annual spending achieves, and referred to “the wreckage that [Patel’s dept’s] ignorance caused”
72. She is one of the favourites to replace Johnson
73. This is because it was reported the PM is thinking of quitting because he’s worried about his personal finances: the poor man has to “pay tax”, “buy his own food” and “support 4 of his 6 children”. Oh, the humanity!
74. And Jonathan Aitken – look him up – continues to get privileged access to parliament despite a ban on MPs who have served more than a year in prison. Which he did. And it was hilarious.
75. And finally, because he always needs a guest appearance, Chris Grayling, the man who awarded a ferry contract to a company with no ships, has got a £100k appointment to advise ports
The Week in Tory – Posted 28.09.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
I was gonna leave #TheWeekInTory until Friday, but at their current rate it’ll be 1000 tweets long by then, and I’m worried about you, mate.
It’s OK to get drunk on at 5pm on Monday, isn’t it? Well, that’s my recommendation anyway. Here goes…
1. In June Boris Johnson said to Black Lives Matter protestors: “I hear you”, and acknowledged the “incontrovertible, undeniable feeling of injustice” that “we simply cannot ignore”
2. So obviously, 40 Tory MPs refused to take part in unconscious bias training
3. The govt shut pubs an hour early, seemingly under the impression coronavirus (an inert, sub-microscopic infectious entity with no brain or nervous system) can tell the time
4. The govt demanded we all follow the rules
5. The govt exempted House Of Commons bars from the rules
6. Health Minister Helen Whately said “people who get drunk and leave the pub to keep on partying should remember their responsibility for the nation’s health”
7. Helen Whateley, who is *actually* responsible for the nation’s health, was sober when she said this. Presumably
8. After 6 months of world-leading “throwing apps in the bin but taking the cash anyway”, the govt finally proudly released an NHS Testing App
9. It didn’t work with NHS tests
10. Or on 18% of phones
11. Or in Scotland or Northern Ireland
12. And a report said only 10% of the us will use it, cos we don’t trust Dominic Cummings with our data
13. Nor should we: the Data Commissioner said Cummings’ proposed changes to privacy law will see the UK barred from sharing global data, and cost the UK economy “up to £80bn”
14. Meanwhile the promise of 500,000 tests per day won’t be reached because, in news that should shock nobody, the govt failed to order enough raw materials
15. So the govt stopped releasing evidence of how many are being tested, cos if you don’t look at it, it isn’t real
16. The govt, which only weeks ago was demanding we go back to work or all get sacked, now demands we all stay at home
17. Them the govt said the reason the UK had the worst Covid response AND worst economy in Europe is because we are “freedom-loving”
18. And then govt freedom-lovingly banned schools from using any materials that criticised capitalism
19. Not content with this, they also banned schools discussing “victim narratives”, which is going to make it tough to maintain their national anti-bullying strategy
20. And then a leaked report said the govt was planning to freedom-lovingly deploy the military on the streets
21. Meanwhile, the govt announced only 24% of businesses have done any preparation for Brexit, and only 30% of cross-channel HGVs have the correct paperwork
22. The govt finally admitted what they’d been told repeatedly since 2016, and said Brexit would create 2-day queues of 7000 lorries at Channel ports
23. 7000 lorries (at the average 16.5m each) is 1155km. That’s a queue over 700 miles long. Every day.
24. To solve this, the govt announced a new internal border in Kent, helpfully relocating 700 miles of queues to London, Essex, Surrey and East Sussex instead
25. A month ago, Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh was demanding we “take back” Calais. Now we’re essentially abandoning Kent.
26. Because we only had 4 years to plan for this, our lovely new border will start on 1 January and be controlled by software that – and you should probably open a second bottle around now – won’t be ready until at least 4 months later
27. Oh, and border checks won’t be ready in Northern Ireland either
28. But we might not have a problem anyway: it was revealed there are just 2000 EU haulage permits for our 40,000 UK hauliers. That’s 5% of what we need, for any Govt Ministers struggling with the maths
29. And we don’t even have enough pallets for the goods we import, cos we currently rely on a supply we share with the EU, and have neither the wood nor the treatment plants, nor the required chemicals to make and treat our own
30. So now the govt has to make a 200m border, a mechanism for policing it, an internal passport system, software, admin, buy 38,000 permits and grow enough trees for 700,000 pallets. In 3 months.
31. It had 5 months to add up some A-Level results, and that went swimmingly
32. I’m sure supply-and-demand won’t force prices sky high, cos it never does when you have 5% of the food the nation needs and a govt which boasts about breaking the law, but it was also announced tariffs will add £3.1bn to the nation’s food bill in Jan 2021
33. As a mark of confidence, Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man and a leading Brexiteer, buggered off to Monaco
34. And an unnamed minister was quoted: “We are stuck in a bind. If we try to cancel Brexit we destroy ourselves; if we go ahead with it we destroy the country”
35. The London School of Economics reported the long-term cost of Brexit will be 2-3 times the cost of Covid
36. So Rishi Sunak cancelled the budget, cos once again, if you don’t look at it, it doesn’t exist
37. JPMorgan shifted £200 billion out of the UK and into Germany calling it “a result of Brexit”.
38. At least 22% of our entire national economy depends on international banks based in the City of London, so when the largest one fucks off, it’s a relaxing development
39. Theresa May said the govt’s bill to break international law is “reckless” and “risks the integrity of the United Kingdom”
40. The Attorney General, who takes an oath to parliament, the Queen and The Bar to observe the law, said she was “very proud” to be breaking the law
41. The UK is a signatory and legal guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to the island of Ireland after 3600 violent deaths. The Attorney General, who is sworn to maintain peace, says Brexit will break the GFA, and she is “extremely proud” of that too.
42. Turns out, the advisory Professor who told her she should go ahead and break the law and endanger peace in Ireland is the partner of Michael Gove’s special advisor. It’s amazing, these coincidences. Almost as if they don’t want to listen to anybody else
43. Speaking of which, Boris Johnson’s old friend and unfailingly irrumating backer (google it) Charles Moore, who has spent his life demanding the end of the BBC, and said the BBC causes “human misery worthy of Dickens” (does he mean Mrs Brown’s Boys?) is in line to run the BBC
44. And it was reported ex Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre, who shouts c*unt so much his meetings are called “the vagina monologues”, and whose paper is banned as a Wiki reference cos it lies so often, is going to be put in charge of Ofcom: ensuring decent and honest broadcasting
45. Oh yeah, and Boris Johnson tweeted “a free press is vital in holding the government to account”, which is probably why the people holding his govt to account are being replaced with his mates and cheerleaders
46. Tory MP and successful conscience-donor Andrea Jenkins got paid £25k from a thinktank that doesn’t exist
47. And because no list is complete without a disturbing nocturnal visitation from the smirking angel of death, Priti Patel was accused of incitement to racial hatred
48. Whilst Patel, Jenkyns and the Attorney General were busy redefining “the party of Law and Order” the rest of the govt took a wild swing at “the party of fiscal responsibility”, when it was revealed the govt has wasted £3,895,556,000 since March.
49. This includes unsafe testing kits; face masks that don’t work; broken tracing systems; useless antibody tests; cancelled ventilator challenge; and inexplicable contracts to sweet manufacturers and dormant companies with no employees, to provide PPE that never arrived
50. The govt, which insisted schools and universities reopened, said it was now vital to lock down students and prevent them from mixing in large groups
51. And then the govt said it was sanctioning class sizes of up to 60 which … remind me, is that more or fewer than 6?
52. Matt Hancock said “we’re giving up to 11,000 iPads to care homes to enable residents to connect with loved ones”
53. “Up to” is a bit telling, but even if it’s 11,000, there are 21,700 care homes in the UK. I guess they’ll just have to share. Goodbye forever, nana!
54. And finally, if you feel all alone in despairing at this: you aren’t. Belief in Britain as a “global force for good” has fallen 10% since 2019. I, for one, am shocked to the core.
The Week in Tory – Posted 01.10.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
IHey Russ, didn’t you just do #TheWeekInTory on Monday?
Yes. Yes, I did.
But you’re having to do another on Thursday?
I don’t make the rules. And apparently, Boris Johnson doesn’t either.
Anyway, here we go again…
1. Boris Johnson said “The rules are very simple”
2. Then he got the rules wrong
3. Then he said “the rules are confusing”
4. Then he said he’d fine anybody breaking the rules £1000
5. Then his dad broke them
6. Then Boris immediately didn’t fine him a penny
7. This week’s fabulous quote from an anonymous Tory MP: “[Boris Johnson] genuinely doesn’t give a flying fuck what the policy is, he’s never done the homework, so he doesn’t know anything. There really is no point in talking to the Prime Minister about policy at all”
8. To make life less confusing for Boris, the Tory MP for 1950s Jaguar showrooms, Desmond Swayne, suggested every pub should just make up its own rules
9. Mr Swayne refused to take unconscious bias training: said he didn’t need it
10. Last year he was caught wearing blackface
11. Mind you, a poll found 60% of Tory members are openly Islamophobic, so [shrug]
12. In March Rishi Sunak, the nicest Tory, said “Nobody will go hungry as a result of Coronavirus”
13. This week, Sunak rejected calls to end cuts to benefits for the poorest 300,000 children
14. Let’s move on to this week’s best bewildering assault on logic. The Tory leader of Herts Council (which presumably means he’s the best one they’ve got) said the govt should abolish local councils so that local councils could remain Tory. Read that twice. I had to.
15. Over 80 Tory MPs confronted Boris Johnson, concerned about increasing length of his shortcomings, and demanded a say in future policy
16. Then they voted for the Internal Market Bill, which removes their say over future policy
17. Theresa May said the Internal Market Bill, which also breaks international law, was “reckless and irresponsible” and “risks the integrity of the United Kingdom”
18. See if you can guess who didn’t vote against the bill. Go on, have a guess. Yep. Theresa May
19. Hard-line Brexit cheerleader and Beta-version human Steve Baker said on Radio4 “many members of the Tory party are seriously concerned about parliamentary democracy and the rule of law”
20. So obviously, the next day, he too voted to break the rule of law
21. And the Lord Chancellor, the Attorney General, and the Solicitor General for England and Wales all voted against a clause in the bill “requiring Ministers to respect the rule of law and uphold the independence of the Courts”, cos why would they? They’re only in charge of law
22. So the EU, the other signatory to the deal, launched a legal action to stop us breaking it
23. We now have 3 months to resolve this case so we can get a vital trade agreement
24. An Argentinian / EU trade dispute has been ongoing since 2012. That’s a bit more than 3 months
25. All of this is, of course, to let us Get On With Brexit, primarily, judging by the rhetoric, so we can save our fish; which must be why this week, heroic Boris Johnson, our very own Sir Plankton Churchill, quietly gave away our fishing rights for another 3 years
26. It was revealed Financial Services businesses operating in the UK have relocated $1.6 trillion in assets to the EU ahead of the Brexit deadline
27. For context, the UK’s GDP is $2.8 trillion. Fairly simple maths, I don’t need to point it out to you.
28. It was revealed UK data about terrorists and serious criminals would “legally, have to be deleted” in the event of No Deal, because it would become illegal for the EU to share the information with us. So we would no longer be able to track terrorists.
29. To avoid import tariffs on car parts, we spent this week attempting to pretend Turkey was actually British
30. Sadly, the EU owns a map, so yep: we’re paying tariffs on car parts
31. The car industry said this would mean £100bn in losses, and be “catastrophic”
32. Fortunately, this week the govt admitted it is preparing finances to support “around 4 million unemployed for a significant period of time”. The maximum unemployment benefit is £74.35 a week, so… sleep well.
33. However, whilst preparing for mass unemployment, the govt doesn’t see much value in spending a penny saving jobs in the £12bn arts and culture sector, because who needs London to remain a major global destination for millions of tourists who love our arts and culture?
34. Doesn’t matter: we’re not keen on foreigners anyway, as Priti Patel was keen to point out when she genuinely suggested we build machines to generate massive waves to drive them all back into the sea, like a modern-day Cnut. This is not a typo. You just think it is
35. Next, she suggested we ship migrants to uninhabited Scottish Island, until it was pointed out all the ones you can land on are inhabited
36. Undeterred, the cabinet’s favourite Rosa Klebb impersonator suggested building concentration camps for migrants on a literal volcano
37. This idea wasn’t rejected cos it’s insane – it was rejected because it’s expensive
38. And we need the cash for Deloitte, who we pay to run a national Test & Trace programme that doesn’t work, whilst simultaneously selling a programme which *does* work to local councils
39. Matt Hancock told the Commons the govt trial on the use of Vitamin D as a treatment for Covid “sadly, did not appear to show any impact”
40. There has been no govt trial on the use of Vitamin D as a treatment for Covid
41. But in seemingly good news – no, really! – we now have four times as many ventilators as we had when the virus first hit
42. Oh, hold on: we can only use one fifth of them because we forgot to train enough staff. That’s more like it.
43. The govt pressed on with appointing Charles Moore as Chair of the BBC, even though he was fined for refusing to pay the licence fee, and even though the Tory head of the Culture and Media Committee said Moore being appointed would be “beyond the pale”
44. Charles Moore said “The Korean sets up a grocery store, which the black then robs – that is the caricature. One explanation is that there really is something different about blacks”
45. And he can also “detect in black men an indifference to normal social constraints”
46. And finally, a leaked letter from the Cabinet Office Minister to all heads of department said governance was “infantilised” and “unacceptable”, so at least one person in Whitehall is aware of the things the rest of us have known for years
The Week in Tory – Posted 05.10.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
I was gonna do another #TheWeekInTory but, try as I might, I could not find a thing they’d done wrong since Friday.
No corruption. No ineptitude. No lies. No hypocrisy. Just a solid 96 hours of honest, decent and reliable governance.
Only kidding: it’s an absolute shit-show…
1. A report found the “Eat Out To Help Out” scheme cost £500m and didn’t do a single thing to improve the economy of the UK’s hospitality sector
2. However, it did help to double the number of infections, although they forgot how to count, so didn’t notice
3. As infections spiked, the govt briefly woke up and introduced local lockdowns
4. But predictably, the local councils responsible for implementing the new plans were given literally (not making this up) 5 minutes warning and no additional resources whatsoever
5. It was revealed absolutely not a single penny of the £1.58bn “Arts Rescue Plan” announced to great fanfare in July has actually been handed out to the artists or venues relying on it
6. So unsurprisingly, the country’s largest cinema chain had to close, costing 5,500 jobs
7. But thankfully Work and Pensions Minister Thérèse Coffey was on hand to reassuringly tell them they can all become Care Workers with “very little training” (I’m sure nursing is a doddle)
8. Slight problem: in June the govt froze millions in funding for training care workers
9. But it’ll be fine, won’t it? I mean, who needs to train care workers? We have plenty, don’t we? Oh, hold on: this week it was revealed care workers are caring for 2,400 families each, which is 10x the recommended number
10. Good News for Boris Johnson, as a poll of Tory Members found they think Gavin Williamson is even shitter than the PM
11. Bad News: they think every other Conservative MP is better than the PM, and only 28% of them think he’s up to the job. And that’s his fan-club.
12. So Boris Johnson went on a charm offensive (and did both), and promised to build 40 new hospitals
13. Seemingly he had forgotten – or hoped we had – that he also promised to build 40 new hospitals a year ago, and then … how can I put this? … didn’t
14. The 40 new hospitals have £3.7bn budget
15. Unfortunately, 40 new hospitals would cost at least £24bn
16. And there’s backlog of £6bn in maintenance and repairs, so the day it was launched the “new hospital fund” was £2.3bn short of building a single Lego Hospital
17. Last week Boris Johnson said the Covid rules were simple, then forgot them, then said they were complicated, then said he’d fine people breaking them, then didn’t fine his own dad
18. This week his own dad broke the rules for a second time and [tumbleweed]
19. So 6 days after the PM went on TV to assure us the lockdown rules were simple, the govt has announced it will announce some simplified rules. But not yet. Soon. In a bit. First we need another few levels of announcements about announcements, cos there’s no rush fellas.
20. I always try to find a supportive and approving quote about Boris Johnson from an star-struck anonymous Tory MP: this week, I have an embarrassment of riches
21. “It’s like ‘carry on coronavirus’, with Boris as Sid James and Matt Hancock as Kenneth Williams”
22. “I find myself bewildered at the clownish lack of professionalism in Downing St”
23. “If you drop something which is entirely ornamental [meaning Boris] it tends to lose its appeal”
24. “We’ve gone from eat out to help out, to drink up and piss off”
25. The Tories called loudly for the firing of the SNP’s Margaret Ferrier for travelling by train after being found positive for Covid
26. No word yet about them calling for the removal Tory MP Peter Gibson, who travelled 250 miles by train with Covid symptoms
27. Peter Gibson is part of the new “Red Wall” intake of Tory MPs, so presumably was keen to return to his constituency to inform them that 1/3 of them would be £1000 a year worse off due to govt cuts
28. It was revealed that 5 years after Tories pledged to end money laundering with the announcement “there is no place for dirty money in Britain”, absolutely no action has yet been taken, and the legislation has been gathering dust since 2015
29. But thankfully, non-corrupt ministers like Robert Jenrick, who takes “donations” (which are apparently different from bribes) from housing companies, are still doing the right thing, such as unlawfully overruling his own officials to grant a £50m tax saving to a donor
30. And a legal challenge was launched over a £580k contract to friends of Dominic Cummings, with no competitive tendering
31. Oh, and Matt Hancock takes “donations” from the horse-racing fraternity, and excluded the highly profitable Cheltenham Festival from the lockdown
32. The former Chief Scientific Advisor said Cheltenham Festival “probably helped to accelerate the spread” of coronavirus
33. Not that we’d know, because it appears a mere 227 days after the first case, the govt still hasn’t learned to import data into an Excel Spreadsheet
34. Any IT manager would tell you Excel is not the way to store the data of up to 67 million people – it is spreadsheet software for a max of 1 million records
35. 16,000 tests were lost, and over 50,000 potentially infectious people may have been missed by contact tracers
36. On 2nd June, Boris Johnson announced he would take “direct control” of Covid
37. So 125 days later, he couldn’t tell us the social distancing rules, how many records had been lost, or explain why 4 different lockdown regimes exist in Greater Manchester alone
38. But human spork Matt Hancock rushed out to say NHS Test and Trace are working hard, neglecting to mention the slightly awkward truth that NHS Test and Trace is not run by the NHS, but by a private business under the guidance of the effortlessly terrible Dido Harding
39. Highly effective private business Serco do our contact tracing, which is why some of its tracing staff report being so under-occupied they have managed to watch 3 entire series of The Good Place and play computer games all day for months, while 60,000 Britons died
40. I have no idea if the Queen has noticed her govt’s honesty, but this week she said “having trusted, reliable sources of information is vital”
41. We enter flu season under a govt you can trust, but who accidentally failed to send the flu vaccine to GPs for over a month
42. And the average hours for teachers increased from 53 to 70 hours per week, as they attempt to cope with endlessly shifting instructions
43. Teachers are also having to be cleaners in schools, as there is no additional money for adaptations to keep staff and students safe
44. As the govt prepares for 4 million unemployed in 2021, Rishi Sunak said he would introduce “job coaches”, and said 4 million of us being coached for *up to* 2 hours to do jobs that don’t exist would be “the first time that people will realise government could be helpful”
45. A report found “trust between ministers and staff is being severely eroded” by a 7-month delay in the bullying inquiry into Home Secretary and horcrux, Priti Patel
46. She then made a speech in which she voluntarily opted to define herself as opposite to those who “do good”
47. Possibly to distract from this, health minister Lord Bethell rushed out to claim Covid 19 would make us as proud as the Olympics
48. Covid 19 has killed about as many as you can fit into an Olympic Stadium, so maybe that’s what he meant
49. A quick detour into the magical, spinning world of gaffe-hamster Lord Bethell: last week he tried to distract from govt student cockups by claiming Covid 19 was predominantly caused by “late-night intimacy” and not by, for example, failing to trace infections
50. Earlier, Bethell tried to distract from govt A-Level cockups by claiming him failing A-Levels didn’t prevent him hustling to his lofty position (momentarily forgetting the hustling assistance he gained when his dad, the 4th Lord Bethell, hustled his way into a grave)
51. And finally, in an image that will haunt you, Matt Hancock announced he would only snitch on his neighbours if he was “watching them having an Animal House-style hot tub party”. Watching. He said watching. Matt Hancock. Watching.
The Week in Tory – Posted 08.10.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
The thing I regret most about #TheWeekInTory is the actual events.
But just behind that is the fact I called it #TheWeekInTory, when in reality I am having to do one every 2 days.
Anyway, grab a pint of Laudanum, hide any sharp objects, and dive in…
1. A few days ago Boris Johnson excitingly announced 40 new hospitals he’d excitingly announced only last year; and then he arbitrarily upped it to 48 hospitals, cos whatever
2. To show how serious he is, he allocated a budget that will pay for slightly fewer than 2 hospitals
3. I don’t want to put doubt in your mind, but he’s promised us a garden bridge, and airport on a floating island in the Thames, and a bridge to Ireland…
4. Anyway, he then promised to turn Britain into “a new Jerusalem”, one of the most violent and divided places on earth
5. Pledging to unify the nation, he decried lawyers as “lefty do-gooders”, hot on the cloven-heels of Priti Patel
6. The ex-president of the Supreme Court said by “undermining the rule of law” the govt “is going down a very slippery slope” towards “dictatorship and tyranny”
7. Boris Johnson then listed all the great things he was going to do in the coming [unspecified period of time], but mystifyingly forgot to mention “Operation Moonshot”, which was the £100bn centrepiece of his Covid strategy only [specified period of time] 25 days ago
8. Un-phased that his Grand Plans last less than a month, he promised wind-turbines would power all UK homes within 10 years
9. He’s only slightly out: a report the next day found at the current rate, the govt will not meet its low-carbon targets for [checks calendar] 700 years
10. And now onto led-by-the-science news: back in May, only 47 days after South Korea introduced mandatory quarantine and free tests with a 24-hour results, the govt introduced quarantine after arriving UK airports
11. But we made it voluntary
12. And then we paused it
13. And then we re-introduced it, but made it shorter
14. And then we added fines
15. But we didn’t tell anybody to police the system
16. And then we said it was all under review
17. And now we’re talking about maybe announcing something new in November
18. But in the meantime, a man operating under the name “Grant Shapps” floated the idea that passengers should have to pay for their own tests, cos nothing says Serious About Public Health like an 8-month delay before shrugging and saying “oh, do it yourself”
19. But first (cos he wouldn’t want to rush things) a mere 253 days after the first UK case, and after a barely-worth-mentioning 60,000 deaths, the govt is considering maybe setting up a task-force to think about quarantine and testing at airports
20. In charge of this Quest for The Truth is Matt Hancock, a forlorn Weeble who this week refused three times to tell parliament whether Serco are still being paid for all the tests they lost, which means they definitely are
21. Hancock bought 1m antibody tests which dept for evaluating tests has said “cannot be trusted”
22. He’s has already blown £30 million on antibody tests that were “not fit for purpose”. He learns from his mistakes, and that’s why he’s now making much more impressive mistakes
23. Rishi Sunak said the jobs of all actors were “not viable” and they should find a new career, using the govt’s shiny new careers website
24. Almost every person who uses that site is advised to become an actor. It’s the first recommendation in almost every case. No, really.
25. The UK arts sector generates over £23 billion a year and employs 370,000 people
26. The UK fishing sector generates under 1.4 billion a year and employees 24,000 people (7% as big)
27. Guess which one Rishi Sunak, the man in charge of the budget, says is viable
28. But some sound decisions are still being made: a company run by associate of a Tory peer got a £122m contract to provide PPE only 7 weeks after the business was founded, with no competitive tendering and, thus far, no PPE delivered. So that’s OK then
29. 250,000 businesses NOT closely aligned with leading Tories can’t access the loans the govt promised
30. But because the govt didn’t track the loans it did give out, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to get repaid for a few of them. Well, I say a few. £26 billion. Pennies, really.
31. A cabinet minister said “local lockdowns have no effect. I don’t know why we’re doing them”
32. Another cabinet minster said “there’s no science behind the 10pm pub curfew, it’s back of a fag packet stuff”
33. So the govt said they would introduce more local curfews on pubs
34. But obviously, they told the newspapers about this, but didn’t inform the actual councils responsible for delivering it. Cos why would you?
35. Oh, and obviously, poor areas of the country were found to be four times more likely to be locked down than rich areas.
36. Fraser Nelson, editor of Tory cheerleader The Spectator, said: “Around the world, no govt has been judged to do a worse job by its people, and no country has created as much debt: no matter how you look at it, we’re pretty much the worst in the developed world”
37. And the head of the UK Covid Task Force said that even if we develop a vaccine and somehow manage to order it correctly and get it delivered to the right address, vaccinating all of the UK “is not going to happen”, which is funny way to issue a few thousand death warrants.
38. Anyway, we’ve giggled enough at the dead, let’s move on to the homeless: official analysis of govt housebuilding plans shows it would cut affordable housing by 47%
39. Robert “Elwood” Jenrick defended this policy on the remarkable grounds that he was “on a moral mission”
40. And so, onto Brexit, and Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, who voted to build border checkpoints in Kent, and voted to build a 27-acre lorry park in Kent, and voted to build infrastructure to cope with 70-mile traffic jams in Kent, called on the govt to stop all this building in Kent
41. Feral pipe-cleaner Michael Gove said “things are still looking very positive” and that he thinks the UK now has a 66% chance of what he once called “the easiest deal in history”
42. However, the lead EU negotiator said “it is difficult to feel optimistic about a deal”
43. Boris Johnson, who has spent the last 4 years telling us the Human Rights Act is a terrible thing that Brexit will finally free us from, has been forced to promise the EU that he won’t rip up the Human Rights Act, cos we really desperately need a deal
44. Sadly, he also promised he’d stick to the Withdrawal Agreement, and didn’t. So the EU said the UK deciding to break international law “calls into question trust in future promises and negotiations”, which absolutely nobody saw coming, except for everybody.
45. With only 7 days to go until the deadline for a deal – no, really, 15th Oct is the deadline – the UK chief negotiator, who wants to amend state-aid rules, admitted “no extensive text on state aid rules will be admitted” by the UK
47. So we want the EU to scrap its rules, and replace them with a set of vague, airy concepts that we can’t even put into words, 4 years after we voted to do this idiocy, and a mere 27 years after the campaign to leave the EU began
48. But there finally some great news about Brexit: Daniel Kawczynski, top Tory bullshit-hoover, and graduate of the Shaggy school of denialism, proudly announced he’s been appointed Trade Envoy to Mongolia. So we’re saved!
The Week in Tory – Posted 15.10.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
Here comes another #TheWeekInTory, and I’m afraid it’s quite lengthy.
The positive we can take from this is that if you start now, you can probably get through the 2 bottles of gin you’ll definitely need before the end.
Uncork and begin…
1. Boris Johnson announced a new 3 Tier lockdown system, with the lowest Tier being “medium”, like at McDonalds
2. As part of the announcement, the Chief Medical Officer reassuringly said the plan wouldn’t work
3. The govt said “in all cases, we are following the science”
4. It was revealed the SAGE science committee told the govt to lockdown weeks ago, but that bit of science wasn’t followed very far
5. SAGE went on to say the govt’s “world-beating” £12bn Test and Trace system was having only “a marginal impact on transmission rates”
6. Dido Harding, head of Seemingly Everything, said Test and Trace would be “local by default” and be “highly efficient”
7. She then handed £12bn to Serco, which is highly efficiently charging us £7360 per day for consultants. To trace Covid infections. Which they aren’t doing
8. Serco’s CEO is the brother of an ex-Tory MP. His partner is a Tory donor. Serco’s ex-head of PR is now a Tory Health Minister
9. If you feel all this is a bit corrupt, you can complain to the govt’s Anti-Corruption Champion, John Penrose, who is married to Dido Harding
10. Meanwhile an investigation by the Good Law Project found PPE suppliers owned by Tory donors or associates were paid 30% more per item than similar businesses globally. I’m talling you: John Penrose. He’s your fella. He’ll get to the bottom of it, fo shizzle
11. And only 34 days since the announcement of Boris Johnson’s “brainchild”, the £100bn Operation Moonshot, it was quietly scrapped, along with (apparently) Boris Johnson’s brain and around 28% of his children
12. A Tory MP said Boris Johnson’s “personal skillset this doesn’t play to this. He’s not a details, manager type. He’s a picture painter”. On the side of wine-boxes, mostly.
13. Another said “I think it’s obvious this is a government happier picking fights than governing”
14. Another said Boris Johnson “prefers to get on with dog-walking” and “let’s Dominic do the work”
15. Chastened by reports local authorities were given only 5 minutes notice of previous lockdowns, this time the govt gave them … 7 minutes notice of the meeting to discuss it
16. Except some MPs didn’t even get that, and were only invited after the meeting had started
17. And the govt invited the MP for Sunderland, who had to inform them she was only of 3 Sunderland MPs. The govt was “surprised to be informed” of this
18. The dep Chief Medical Officer said the infection rate in the north “never dropped” meaning the relaxation of lockdown was at the expense of lives oop north
19. Then the govt said they would “devolve more decision-making” and “give more financial aid to local authorities”
20. But the aid is conditional on the “devolved” local authority doing what the govt wants, which is quite a novel a definition of “devolved”
21. So, following criticism, the govt briefed the press that it was going to consult more with regional govts
22. Literally 2 hours later, the govt briefed the press that Manchester was moving into Tier 3 restrictions. The Mayor of Manchester was not consulted (or even informed) about a decision he must implement, and which affects the largest city-region outside London.
23. A Tory MP, anxious about the lockdown affecting businesses over the party season, asked the PM “what can you tell us about Christmas”. Boris Johnson replied, “it’s a religious festival that’s been celebrated 2020 years”, which I’m sure helps us all
24. Matt Hancock insisted we all follow the science and adhere to the 10pm pub curfew that scientists say makes absolutely no improvement on infection rates
25. Then Matt Hancock broke that curfew, in a House of Commons bar
26. And then Matt Hancock said “The drinks are on me but Public Health England are in charge of payment methodology so I will not be paying anything”
27. In August, Public Health England was scrapped by [checks notes ] Matt Hancock
28. But prior to that, Tories imposed budget cuts of 5% to 10% on Public Health England for each of the previous 7 years
29. Unsurprisingly, it was reported that hospitals in the north of England would run out of beds within 7 days
30. The govt said “Hospital Trusts should consider cancelling all non-urgent treatments”
31. The govt then refused to drop fines it imposes on Hospital Trusts which cancel non-urgent treatments
32. So Matt Hancock announced the reopening of Nightingale Hospitals, which were closed last time because nobody could send patients to them, due to them not being staffed
33. They still aren’t staffed: Matt Hancock’s’ “urgent boost to nursing training” doesn’t start until 2021
34. Fortunately, the govt began a campaign to get ballerinas to retrain, and then scrapped the campaign 24 hours later
35. In June, Boris Johnson announced an “urgent” £1.57bn Arts Rescue Plan
36. A mere 127 days later, it “urgently” got around to paying out some of that money
37. Except by now the £1.57bn had become £257m, which is 16% of the plan they originally announced
38. Meanwhile, in news that will surely leave you all stunned and astonished, a month after work began on HS2 the budget for it has already risen a further £800m
39. Boris Johnson congratulated Marcus Rashford on the MBE he was awarded for his efforts to overcome the cruel policies of Boris Johnson
40. The Law Society raised concerns about the “dangerous rhetoric” of Home Office Minister and Mouth of Sauron, Priti Patel
41. The next day, a migration lawyer was victim of a knife attack, and senior lawyers said “Responsibility and accountability for this attack lies squarely at the feet of Priti Patel”
42. The Home Office announced plans to catch migrants in a big net and OH MY GOD
43. And then Lord West reassuringly said, “we need to deal with migrants in a concentrated place, a camp or whatever”. He didn’t mention whether Arbeit Macht Frei, but it’s still only Thursday, and who can tell what the remainder of the week will bring?
[ Open 2nd bottle now ]
44. Speaking of dates: today is 15th Oct, the absolute, immoveable deadline for trade talks that mighty, fearsome Boris Johnson laid down to the cowed and quivering EU
45. Talks continue tomorrow. Because obviously, duuur
46. This is the third absolute deadline imposed by the British that has been missed because the British have temporarily inverted arse and elbow
47. This didn’t stop Cabinet Office minister Lord Agnew from berating haulage businesses for not being ready for Brexit on 1 Jan
48. The Road Haulage Assoc pointed out we have only 1,668 of the 33,000 EU Haulage Permits we need on 1 Jan
49. Software to control our borders won’t be ready until 4 months after 1 Jan
50. And the govt is “still in the planning stage” of the “Kent Passports” we need on 1 Jan
51. And construction of Kent’s “world’s largest lorry park” is behind schedule, so probably not ready on 1 Jan
52. Fortunately the govt is well-prepared, and plans to install 1000s of Portaloos in Kent, the garden of England, to be used by lorry drivers trapped in 2-day queues
53. And our food standards will still be fine, as Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi tweeted “Our manifesto was clear. We will not compromise our animal welfare and food standards”
54. He then voted to compromise our animal welfare and food standards, as did the rest of the Tory Party
55. And then govt used an obscure rule to deny MPs a vote on whether to allow chlorinated chicken
56. Meanwhile, 20 years after North Sea Cod became so overfished the WWF declared it “economically extinct”, Tory MPs voted to reduce protections designed to let fish stocks recover
57. So, after Brexit, our current plan is to accept tariffs that will destroy our manufacturing sector, and border delays that will destroy farming exports and imperil food supplies, and destroy the farming sector … all so we can go and catch a fish that doesn’t exist
58. But at least we’ve now “got back control”, and therefore we can level up the playing field by implementing the govt’s landmark “digital tax” policy on giants such as Amazon
59. This week it was announced Amazon will be exempt from the digital tax
60. Speaking of tax exemptions, it was revealed Dominic Cummings has had a £30,000 council tax bill “written off” because he built the house illegally, so it doesn’t count as a real house, or summat. Sorry, my hurricane-force sarcasm briefly turned me more northern.
61. And on the subject of extreme dodgy dealing, let me direct your attention to Robert Jenrick, who set up the £3.6bn “Towns Fund” for the 101 most deprived town, and then gave the maximum grant of £25m to his own constituency, which is the 270th most deprived town
63. His explanation was that he, Jenrick, did not make the decision. It was made by a colleague, Jake Berry.
64. Jake Berry also got money for his constituency. By a dazzling coincidence, that decision was made by – you guessed it – Robert Jenrick
65. Finally: at a meeting led by Liam Fox, the TaxPayers Alliance (insanity-pushers to the Tory Party) advocated cutting pensions immediately because half of old people “won’t be around to vote against you in the next election”, and the other half “will have forgotten by then”
The Week in Tory – Posted 20.10.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
#TheWeekInTory returns, and I’m very sorry, but it’s a monster. The little scamps have achieved quite a lot in the – yep – FIVE DAYS – since the last one.
Let’s dive straight in with probably the most gobsmacking sentence you’ll read all year…
1. NHS staff were polled on whether, in recognition of their efforts to fight Covid 19, they would prefer to be given a badge or a snack box
2. It was reported 2 out of every 3 hospices will have to make redundancies. In a pandemic.
3. The govt published a poster: “We plan to cut all homeless people in half by 2025”, which is a bit severe even for Priti Patel
4. The govt insisted we all comply with Test and Trace rules, and then excluded restaurants in the Palace of Westminster from Test and Trace rules
5. In Sept Boris Johnson announced a £100bn “Operation Moonshot” to fix Covid “within months”
6. A month later it was leaked Moonshot was cancelled
7. The next day it was revealed the govt still pays over 200 private consultants up to £7000 per day each to work on Moonshot
8. So 2 days after it was cancelled, it was reinstated, but now Boris Johnson said it will “take time”
9. We’re still giving £100bn to private suppliers for a vaguely rapid thingy to do a hazily defined whatchamacallit that will happen too slowly to produce any useful results
10. In May Boris Johnson reassured a grateful nation that “nobody will go hungry as a result of Coronavirus”
11. He then denied food to the UK’s 600,000 poorest children
12. So Marcus Rashford ran a campaign to get the kids fed
13. Then Boris Johnson congratulated Rashford on the MBE he got for his campaign to overturn the cruel policies of [checks notes] Boris Johnson
14. And then 3 days later, Boris Johnson refused to feed the kids again
15. And then, (because let’s face it, allowing children to starve barely raises an eyebrow any more) the govt won a vote in parliament to prevent child refugees from being reunited with their families, because obviously that’s helpful to … anyone know who that helps? Anyone?
16. But the govt pressed ahead with helping British people to lose weight (by starving them), and it was reported the (obviously) private contract to provide emergency food-parcels is charging £44 for a box that costs just £19 at Aldi. And the govt one contains rotting food.
17. In Sept Boris Johnson said “a free press is vital in holding the government to account”
18. This week, govt scientists reported they are being banned from speaking to the press, due to “the difficult political landscape”, meaning silencing science is a purely political act
19. More media news, and it was revealed that following a long, noisy, mostly Lineker-focussed campaign to cut the wages of BBC staff, the Tories offered to increase the wage of the BBC Director General from £100k to £280k, but only if it could be Boris’s friend Charles Moore
20. In June the govt gave a contract for PPE worth £32m to Pestfix, a sweet warehouse with assets of £18,000. The govt paid 75% upfront, and the delivered materials turned out to be faulty
21. The govt has since awarded 5 additional PPE contracts to Pestfix, worth £313m
22. The govt is now being sued to find out why it’s covertly handing out almost £350m to a crisp warehouse for PPE it has proved it cannot supply, and Pestfix is using the £350m to pay lawyers to stop us finding out why it got £350m in the first place. Still no PPE.
23. And now, the latest update on Mark Francois…
Nope, that’s all I’ve got. Moving on…
24. Boris Johnson announced the new lockdown rules were “simple enough for anybody to understand”
25. He immediately got them wrong, telling the press separated parents could not see their children, convenient for a man who famously only acknowledges 57% of his offspring
26. Anyway, Johnson then said the rules were obviously too complicated, so he would overhaul them. Again
27. He said he’d liaise with local regions, and provide “improved financial support”
28. He then forgot to liaise with local regions, and cut their financial support
29. Boris Johnson said “whatever happens, nobody gets less than 93% of their current income”
30. People get a max 67% of their current income
31. The govt said it would “stop at nothing” to support people in Tier 3 areas
32. The govt stopped at £7.85 per person in Manchester
33. By contrast, Robert Jenrick improperly arranged a £25m gift to his own constituency – £237 per head, 30x as much as Manchester
34. And Boris Johnson paid £100k of public money for “IT advice” from Jennifer Arcuri, who this week admitted they were actually having an affair
35. Anyway, the Mayor of Manchester didn’t ask for such largesse, or even offer to pole-dance for the Prime Minister; he just asked for Manchester to get the same amount of money per person that is being given to Lancashire.
36. Boris Johnson said he “completely understands” why Andy Burnham objects to the settlement
37. And then Boris Johnson stopped understanding, and said Andy Burnham was “playing politics” and therefore he would impose direct rule on the region’s democratically elected Mayor
38. And in further boost to the govt’s support for regions, Daniel Kawczynski, Tory trade envoy to Mongolia and successful brain donor, called for the Welsh Assembly to be scrapped
39. Kawczynski then called for improvements to his local hospital to be scrapped. In a pandemic
40. And then, after many eventful years calling for Britain to leave the EU, and objecting to a (non-existent) plan for an EU Army, Kawczynski, a technically sane man, tweeted that we should “begin the process of creating an alternative EU” that is “predicated on defence”
41. Brexiters insist we can strike great deals around the world, and immediately failed in negotiations with Manchester and Wales
42. Which brings us onto Brexit: and Boris Johnson’s oven-ready deal has skipped the middle-man and gone straight into the toilet
43. This week the PM appeared on TV in the guise of a traumatised Shredded Wheat, and told us all we should get ready for No Deal
44. It was reported Boris Johnson was “startled by the EU insistence” that he sticks to the agreements that he, personally, insisted the EU signed
45. So the PM said we should walk away and have an “Australian-type deal with the EU”
46. It was quickly explained to the PM that Australia doesn’t have a deal with the EU
47. So Boris Johnson, now a master of detail, amended it to Canada-style deal next time he was asked
48. But then it was revealed the Canada/EU deal includes an arbitration mechanism that Boris Johnson has already rejected
49. John Redwood, a Tory MP and Vulcan, insisted all we want from the EU is the same thing Canada gets, such as protection of our fishing industry
50. Canada doesn’t have a fisheries deal with the EU
51. After a dizzying evening chasing reality in circles, it became an Australian-type deal again
52. The business secretary was asked the difference between No Deal and Australian Deal and had to admit: nothing
53. Brexiter Andrew Bridgen said we wouldn’t be limited to trading on WTO rules, we could trade on “WTO plus”, a thing that doesn’t exist
54. The Chairman of the Royal Inst for International Affairs said “it now seems likely that Brexit will lead to the break up of the UK”
55. The head of the CBI and head of the Fed of Small Businesses said the UK is not ready for No Deal
56. Tesco chairman said the UK will have months of food shortages after No Deal
57. British Pharmaceutical Society said there would be shortages of medicines if we have No Deal
58. Even William Shatner – yes, you read that correctly – got involved, explaining that Brexit means smaller overseas businesses importing into the UK have to pay £1000 just to file the forms to register for VAT, and therefore would likely stop trading with us
59. Reassuringly, the govt said it was “determined to continue to seek a deal”
60. And then the govt told the EU not to bother coming to London for more talks
61. And then multiple Tory MPs, each provided with real human brain, tweeted identical suggestions to “sod the EU”
62. Michael Gove, a quasi-sentient almond who last year said “Let no one be in any doubt how difficult and damaging [No deal] would be”, now went on TV and insisted the EU had to “make constructive moves towards a deal”
63. He then said, inside the same 2 minutes at the dispatch box in parliament, that talks had “effectively ended”; and then that the EU had taken the “constructive move” he demanded; and then that as a result, talks could now “intensify”. Wait for it…
64. And then he refused to restart negotiations anyway, cos honestly, what do words even mean any more
65. He claimed in parliament the UK would “do better” without the law enforcement cooperation we get from the EU, which made even Theresa May gasp “utter rubbish”
66. And then Michael Gove said we shouldn’t worry about the 12% unemployment the IFS predicts would be caused by a No Deal Brexit, because we can create lots of new jobs building enough lorry parks to obliterate Kent
67. I’m sure we’ll be fine, because the govt proudly announced a trade deal with Côte d’Ivoire, to which we sell 0.13% as much as we sell to the EU
68. The world-beating Test and Trace service sent hundreds of people to be tested at a testing site in Kent that doesn’t even exist
69. And then the world-beating app that is designed to give accurate information the public can rely on sent a series of incorrect and contradictory risk-level alerts
70. But good news: profits at Serco are expected to jump 18%, which I’m sure is your top priority right now
71. And on the subject of profit, Boris Johnson is rumoured to want to resign in March because his salary is too low. Which means in the middle of a Brexit crisis and a global pandemic, the Tory party will spend months fighting over which Dementor becomes the next leader
72. It’ll be Priti Patel, obviously, because this week she announced she, personally, would tell judges what constitutes “inhuman or degrading treatment” (being an expert) and they should no longer use the globally accepted UN Declaration on Human Rights
73. And now, unexpectedly, an all-bishops finale! The Archbishop of York was denied the traditional peerage on his retirement. I don’t know if you noticed – it’s hardly worth mentioning, really – but he’s the first black Archbishop we’ve ever had
74. The excuse given by the govt was that it “needs to limit the size of the house of Lords”, days after ennobling 36 peers including Boris Johnson’s brother, Ian Botham, and Claire Fox, an unrepentant apologist for IRA terrorism who just happened to support Brexit.
75. Five archbishops appealed to the govt not to breach international law, which seems like a reasonable thing to ask. It’s the law. Don’t break it.
76. Beta-version human and self-styled “Brexit-hardman” Steve Baker said “of course they entitled to these views”
77. And then Steve Baker went on to say if they have the views they’re “entitled to”, they should be thrown out of the house of lords; and the Church of England, which the Queen is head of, should be disestablished. A perfectly sane response to being asked to obey the law.
The Week in Tory – Posted 23.10.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
It is 4 days since the last one, and here’s another 69 items.
But as it’s the weekend, let’s start #TheWeekInTory with a frivolous and jolly story about our own govt deliberately starving hundreds of thousands of children…
1. In May, Boris Johnson promised “nobody will go hungry as a result of Coronavirus”
2. He then denied school meals to the 600,000 poorest children
3. So Marcus Rashford ran a campaign to get the govt to feed children, which – just think about that: he had to *campaign* for it
4. Then Boris Johnson congratulated Rashford on his campaign to overturn the cruel policies of, erm, Boris Johnson
5. And then 3 days later, Boris Johnson refused to feed those kids during school holidays
6. So this week Labour organised a parliamentary vote about it
7. And 322 Tories voted against feeding hungry children
8. Vicky Ford, the Children’s Minister (who you’ll be surprised to hear neither looks nor sounds like a ludicrous Dickensian villain) went ahead and voted against feeding children
9. Tory MP Jo Gideon voted against feeding children. Jo Gideon, in case you didn’t think things could get any more unbelievable, is also the chair of “Feeding Britain”, a charity that campaigns to end food poverty and hunger in the UK.
10. Tory MP Paul Scully waved away the grumbling parents of kids with grumbling tummies, and said “children have been going hungry under Labour for years”, seemingly forgetting Tories have been in power for a decade
11. Tory MP Ben Bradley, who once had to apologise for suggesting sterilising the poor, said feeding children will simply “increase their dependency”. On food. Yeah, wean the little bastards off it. It’ll do them good in the end, which will be around 3 agonising weeks.
12. At this point, pause to consider that MPs get their food and drink subsidised. A £31 meal in a parliamentary restaurant costs MPs £3.45. In 2018 this subsidy cost the taxpayer £4.4m. I can’t find any record of Tories like Ben Bradley voting against this.
13. Pressing on: Ben Bradley also said “Some parents prioritise other things ahead of their kids. Small minority, yes… but some do”. Yes, and a small minority of Tory MPs have been arrested for rape. Should we send them all to prison?
14. Also, Mark Francois voted (by proxy) to keep kids hungry. Not related to the previous item. Why would you think that?
15. Tory MP Nicky Morgan said the govt voted to starve 600,000 children cos a Labour MP called a Tory MP scum. And that’s not a scummy thing to do at all.
16. Tory MP David Simmonds said Marcus Rashford’s experience of poverty in secondary school “took place entirely under a Labour government”. Rashford was 11 when Tories came into power, making David Simmonds are rare example of an ad hominem attack on yourself
17. Simmonds then said Labour’s parliamentary vote was “all about currying favour with wealth and power and celebrity status”. He might be right – the govt managed to unify Gary Linaker and Nigel Farage in condemnation of their denial of food to kids
18. Brandan Clark-Smith (who voted to starve kids) demanded “more action to tackle the real causes of child poverty”
19. So at once, the govt cut minimum wage for furloughed people. They now get 2/3 of the money the govt says is the absolute minimum it is possible to survive on
20. And then it was revealed that low-paid workers who have to isolate due to Covid can claim £500. Yay!
21. But if they’re told to isolate by the govt’s contact tracing app, they can’t claim anything. Un-yay.
22. Long story short: the govt cannot spend £120m feeding children. But it can spend £522 on the Eat Out Scheme, which its own report said contributed “negligible amounts” to the hospitality economy, and Boris Johnson admitted drove up infection rates – especially in the North
23. Those infection rates caused the govt to move Manchester into Tier 3
24. So the Mayor of Manchester asked for a £90m support package (1/6th of the money the govt spent causing the problem in the first place)
25. The govt said no, £60m
26. The Mayor said, how about £65m?
27. The govt said no, £60m
28. The Mayor said ok, fine, we’ll take the £60m
29. And then govt offered Manchester £22m, and then went to the press and said the Mayor was “being unreasonable”
30. The negotiations were led by Robert Jenrick, who recently set up a fund for the poorest 101 towns, then awarded his town £25m even though it is the 270th poorest, and therefore not even eligible
31. £25m is £237 per person
32. Manchester gets £7.85 per person
33. Robert Jenrick gave Manchester (2.8 million people) £22m
34. Robert Jenrick gave Richard Desmond (1 person) £45m
35. The talks broke down when the govt wouldn’t spend an extra £5m
36. The govt plans to spend £7m vitally rebranding “Highways England” to “National Highways”
37. Manchester Young Conservatives tweeted “Boris has lied about helping us in the North. It’s time for him to go”. Don’t look – they deleted it. Suspect somebody had a word.
38. Meanwhile the govt said Manchester will get the £60m after all, and chaos continue to reign supreme
39. But that £60m is brief reprieve for the Tories of Manchester, as a govt report said Tory seats in the North of England (the so-called “Red Wall” seats) can expect to lose at least 4000 jobs *each* as a result of Brexit, even if we do get a deal. More if we don’t.
40. The govt rushed to begin its first airport Coronavirus testing, a mere 211 days after mandatory airport testing was begun in South Korea
41. South Korea has had 8 deaths per million
42. The UK has had 665 deaths per million
43. More airport news, as the govt finally accepted Brexit will cause “up to 8-hour delays at passport checks” and asked the EU to allow UK citizens to queue at EU-only lanes. Like we did when we were in the EU. But we aren’t now. So tough.
44. A senior diplomat said, “Having grown up in Brussels, Boris Johnson values the ability to travel freely to the continent”. You’d think Boris Johnson would foresee this problem when he led the campaign to stop that freedom.
45. The independent reviewer of Terrorism Legislation said the UK “will be increasingly unable to cope” after Brexit, as we lose access to EU data-sharing agreements
46. And a No-Deal end to UK/EU scientific collaboration will leave London with a £3bn annual deficit
47. In the space of 38 days, the govt announced the £100bn “Operation Moonshot” to solve Covid; then cancelled it; and then re-launched it again after it was found they’d accidentally continued to pay over 200 private consultants up to £7000 a day to work on it.
48. So this week, Boris Johnson said Moonshot would continue, but it’s goals “would take time”, which is the literal opposite of what he said it would do when it first announced it, and makes the entire thing absolutely pointless
49. And now it’s been admitted that Operation Moonshot would be quietly folded into the existing £12bn Test and Trace programme, and the £100bn has vanished. Apart from the bits the Serco consultants took for doing… nothing.
50. But Boris Johnson said the Test and Trace programme was “helping a bit”, and “a bit” is the least you’d expect if you’d spent £12bn
51. And then the £12bn Test and Trace programme fell to its lowest success rate so far, identifying only 60% of at-risk people
52. Local councils, with no additional funding, are tracing 98% of cases
53. A quick sweep though other epic successes you may have missed (or deliberately blocked out): Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch declared that it should be illegal to teach about inequality
54. The Cabinet Secretary said the report into “vicious and orchestrated” bullying by Home Secretary and Dementor Priti Patel “may never see the light of day”, cos if you have a report that vindicates you, you definitely sit on it as long as possible
55. And the appeals court unanimously overturned Priti Patel’s policy of removing people from the UK without giving them access to legal process or justice because – and I’m paraphrasing the judges here – what the fuck, Patel? What the actual fuck?
56. Undeterred, she announced plans to make rough-sleeping “grounds for removal of permission to be in the UK” and “denial of legal aid”. So if you’re too poor to have a home, you must pay for a lawyer or she’ll shove you in the sea
57. After an unnamed Tory MP said it “looks bad to be handing top jobs to your friend and old boss”, Charles Moore, Boris Johnson’s friend and old boss, withdrew as next BBC chair.
58. The new favourite is Richard Sharp, the – yep – friend and old boss of Rishi Sunak
59. You’ll be amazed to hear this: Richard Sharp is a major donor to the Tory party. These little coincidences keep on happening
60. The govt decided to prevent EU citizens from having physical proof of their right to live in their own home
61. Grant Shapps threatened to “seize control of Transport for London” to save it from financial ruin at the hands of Sadiq Khan, who – the bastard – achieved a mere 71% reduction in the debts caused by his noble predecessor, Boris Johnson
62. Matt Hancock, facts at his fingertips, told MPs from Yorkshire their constituents could go on holiday abroad
63. But not in the UK
64. And then that they CAN go on holiday in the UK
65. But can’t leave Yorkshire
66. He then said “I’ll get back to you” about the details
67. A cross-party report found “the UK’s foreign policy is adrift”, that it lacks “clarity, confidence and vision” and that Britain is “absent from the world stage”. All of which is very soothing, as we move into the govt’s proclaimed goal of a post-Brexit Global Britain.
68. And we can all relax: the govt is finally supporting culture in the UK, specifically the Nevill Holt Opera, which performs private operas, and is owned by Boris Johnson’s friend (and – jaw on floor! – Tory donor) David Ross, who is worth £700m so really needs the money
69. The Nevill Holt Opera only functions in the summer, so thank god it has been prioritised with £85,000 to “maintain operations” in October. And now, in honour of the opera, the fat lady can sing, cos I’m off to drink myself into oblivion. Join me.
The Week in Tory – Posted 26.10.2020
Original thread begins at this tweet.
Amazingly, this is my third #TheWeekInTory in 7 days, and if anybody wants to pay for me to go somewhere comparatively sane and relaxing for a week, I’m up for it.
I hear Mogadishu is nice.
Anyway, buckle up, here we go…
1. Previously on The Week In Tory: the govt campaigned for Brexit so we can “look after our own”, and then immediately voted not to
2. Instead they opted to let up to 900,000 children go hungry during school holidays, including – bless you Santa Johnson – Christmas
3. In July, when the govt lifted the original lockdown, Rishi Sunak, the nicest Tory, tweeted “I can’t wait to get back to the pub”
4. This week he voted to let thousands of kids starve, and as a result was barred for life from his local
5. Ben Bradley, a Tory MP and Al Murray character made of Lego, spent last week appealing for justice and opportunity for “working class white boys who have been left behind”
6. He then voted to deprive them of food
7. Then this stout defender of the working class said food vouchers for poor kids will just end up being used in brothels and crack dens
8. He said he knows kids living in these conditions, and yet, like a true humanitarian, he appears to have done absolutely nothing about it
9. He also overlooks the fact that the vouchers can only be used to buy food, and I’ve yet to find evidence that crack dens commonly set up a tuck shop
10. He then invited his critics to visit “one of the country’s most deprived schools, who’s Head agrees with me”
11. The school’s governors replied to say neither they, nor the Head, agreed with him
12. It’s Monday, and most experts estimate that by Wednesday afternoon, Ben Bradley will have dug himself a hole deep enough to see kangeroos
13. Tory MP Gary Sambrook said it was OK for kids to go hungry during holidays, because they’ve “been benefiting from free school meals during term time”. It will come as a shock to Sambrook to discover humans require food on quite a regular basis
14. Tory peer Baroness Barran went on radio and said Tories had done other things to help poor children, such as extra money for emergency Universal Credit
15. So the govt announced it was reducing emergency Universal Credit by £20 a week
16. Tory MP Selaine Saxby said if businesses help starving kids she “very much hopes they will not be seeking any further govt support”
17. Selaine Saxby consistently votes against measures to reduce tax avoidance, cos avoiding tax is the sort of govt support she’s fine with
18. McDonalds offered 1m free meals over half term, proving to the govt that it is possible for clowns to make moral decisions
19. At a Downing St press conference, the govt repeatedly declined invitations from the media to praise businesses providing meals to hungry children
20. Matt Hancock said local councils had been provided with “a huge amount of extra investment” to feed kids
21. Since 2010, Tories cut funding to local councils by 60%
22. The Tory council in Boris Johnson’s own constituency joined the campaign to give free school meals
23. Matt Hancock, a sentient teaspoon and ever-dependable master of detail, went on radio and said there had been “lines of communication” between Boris Johnson and Marcus Rashford
24. Marcus Rashford said there hadn’t
25. 2000 paediatricians condemned the govt
26. The Children’s Commissioner it was “like something out of the pages of Oliver Twist”
27. An anonymous Tory MP said it was a “political disaster” and he had “never known so many Conservative MPs and council leaders so angry”
28. Senior Tory MP Sir Bernard Jenkin said the govt had “misunderstood the mood of the country”
29. Tobias Ellwood, Tory MP and spine-donor, voted with the govt, but is now openly calling for the policy to change
30. Multiple Tory MPs have predicted a U-turn, which means at least the govt won’t go hungry over the holidays: it’ll have all those lovely words to eat
31. And then, cos they don’t know when to stop, the govt cut the laptop allocation for England’s most deprived schools by 80%
32. In a not-at-all-obvious attempt to distract attention, 112 Tory MPs (98% of whom had just voted to let children starve at Christmas) wrote to Keir Starmer to complain of the “widespread abuse” they received as a result of Angela Rayner calling one of them “scum”
33. They must have been unable to find a pen and paper when there was a 375% increase in Islamophobic incidents after Boris Johnson referred to Muslim women as “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”
34. They were probably having difficulty with a gummed-up biro when Boris Johnson called gay men “bum boys”. or said black people were “picaninnies with watermelon smiles”, or said in parliament that proven death threats against female Labour MPs were “humbug”
35. And perhaps they didn’t have an address for Home Secretary and Thor’s sister Priti Patel after she made an incendiary speech attacking “lefty” immigration lawyers, one of who was stabbed 4 days later by a far-right activist
36. Speaking of witch – tsk, me and my spelling – more than 800 lawyers and judges wrote to the govt demanding an apology from Priti Patel, and saying her “rhetoric and hostility” risks “undermining the rule of law”
37. After demanding local councils “build build build”, Michael Gove personally stepped in the oppose building in his constituency
38. There’s a fine line between spin and outright lies, and that is just one of many lines Michael Gove has caused to disappear
39. The govt confirmed it was going to start charging 20% VAT on PPE. In a pandemic
40. The govt said it would be fine, cos care homes can claim back the VAT
41. But the govt’s own advice says “Care homes … are unlikely to be able to recover any VAT on PPE”
42. Rishi Sunak said he would provide the NHS with “whatever resources it needs” to cope with the pandemic, which is why the NHS is £1bn short of funds needed to pay wages to the end of the year
43. SAGE said Test and Trace, the centrepiece of our Covid strategy, was “having only a marginal impact”
44. Test and Trace system achieved new heroic heights, as it was revealed of 268m records, just 104 cases had been pursued
45. Labour’s NHS IT System was described by Tories as “one of the worse scandals ever in terms of waste of public money”, costing £12bn over 6 years
46. By contrast, the Test and Trace system has spent £12bn in just 4 months and failed to meet a single target set for it
47. Tory MP Bernard Jenkin called for Dido Harding to be sacked
48. Matt Hancock said he had (finally) published the highly critical 2016 report into the UK’s lack of preparedness for a pandemic, which his dept had seen and then done nothing at all to act upon
49. Due to some terrible and entirely unpredictable oversight, the version he published was incomplete and heavily redacted, cos that’s exactly what you’d do if it wasn’t massively embarrassing
50. Only 211 days since South Korea started mandatory test and quarantine at its airports, the UK govt announced plans to do the same
51. Except unlike South Korea we’ll charge people for tests
53. Deaths per million in South Korea: 8
54. Deaths per million in UK: 665
54. It was then reported that Bankers and Hedge Fund Managers would be exempt from quarantine because obviously the virus, a non-living sub-microscopic entity with no brain or nervous system, will figure out how rich you are before deciding whether to infect you
55. Boris Johnson held a meeting with UK business leaders, and urged them to follow the govt’s guidance in preparing for Brexit
56. The govt hasn’t agreed a deal, so has not yet issued final guidance for preparing for Brexit
57. Then it was reported Boris Johnson won’t make a decision about whether to accept a Brexit deal until he finds out if Trump has won the election, because an important part of Taking Back Control is not being able to decide a thing until we find out what Donald is up to
58. Assuming the election happens cleanly (and Trump is involved, so god knows) this leaves businesses just 31 working days to implement a plan for the end of a 41 year period of stability, in the middle of a pandemic that most believe will be at the peak of its second wave
59. But huzzah! the govt announced a deal with Japan that was “even better than the one Japan has with the EU”
60. But whoops! the EU/Japan deal prevents either side from offering better terms to anybody else, and our deal with Japan is 5% of the one we lose with the EU
61. The former ambassador to USA (under both Tory and Labour govts) said the UK’s plans for handling a Joe Biden presidency are “profoundly clumsy and stupid” and that “Number 10 is absolutely clueless” about how to manage a post-Brexit relationship with the USA
62. Between them, the EU and USA account for around 60% of the UK’s total trade, so deliberately losing one, and then accidentally losing another is definitely a reason to be intensely relaxed about the whole thing
63. And that’s why, spurred by their stunning victory over UK trade, a group of Tory MPs led by Steve Baker, a scale model of C3P0 made entirely out of ham, is urging the formation of a “European Research Group for the pandemic”
Gas and air, please. In heroic quantities