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UK Politics Hamsterwheel Mk III

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UK Politics Hamsterwheel Mk III

Old 20th May 2020, 08:02
  #2901 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Politico:

So … maybe Trump was right?

“Hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug being taken by Donald Trump as an unproven protection against coronavirus, is being bought in bulk by the U.K. in case it does turn out to be an effective COVID-19 treatment,” the Guardian’s Rajeev Syal reports.

“Ministers are seeking 16 million tablets in packets of up to 100 as part of a £35 million contract put out to tender on Friday. The drug is being tested by government scientists, health officials said. They are securing additional supplies so it can be distributed among the population if required.”
Trump might be right or wrong but one thing is sure, he is a damn good "snake oil salesman"........ Sounds like the Conquest of the West again...
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Old 20th May 2020, 08:56
  #2902 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Politico:

So … maybe Trump was right?

“Hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug being taken by Donald Trump as an unproven protection against coronavirus, is being bought in bulk by the U.K. in case it does turn out to be an effective COVID-19 treatment,” the Guardian’s Rajeev Syal reports.

“Ministers are seeking 16 million tablets in packets of up to 100 as part of a £35 million contract put out to tender on Friday. The drug is being tested by government scientists, health officials said. They are securing additional supplies so it can be distributed among the population if required.”
This is no different to the large sums spent on tests that it turned out didn't work, or the even larger sums being spent putting a vaccine into mass production before it's been tested and evaluated. It's about getting ahead of the market, perhaps a lesson learned after the PPE problems. The government policy seems to be to buy stuf in advance, just in case it may turn out to be helpful, and just write that cost off if it turns out that it isn't. Probably a sensible approach, given the way that the international market for anything associated with this disease has turned into a bear pit.
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Old 20th May 2020, 09:14
  #2903 (permalink)  
 
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A view of the discrepancy of Germany vs UK cases/deaths is discussed in this BBC programme from 14th May:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3cszl3c
Note: No UK experts were roused from their slumbers to make this. All the experts interviewed were German. And they make some very good points.
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Old 20th May 2020, 13:04
  #2904 (permalink)  
 
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I was waiting patiently for today's newspaper extracts in JB to include the results of the YouGov poll in the Times, but they seem to have escaped our usual reporter's attention.

In less than a fortnight, support for Boris has dropped by 7% and for Starmer has increased by 5%. Still a long way to go of course, but I expect the trend is giving Conservative HQ a well deserved headache. We may at last have the promise of a real Opposition.
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Old 20th May 2020, 13:16
  #2905 (permalink)  
 
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Sally - Given ORAC's somewhat partial sources, it's not surprising. KS seems to have missed an easy open goal, however, in not responding to the oaf's jibe about 'feigned ignorance'. The obvious riposte has to be along the lines of "better to feign ignorance than to display it". The Little Englanders' Messiah is demonstrably out of his (limited) depth when deprived of his bully-boy, Yah!, Boo! supporters.
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Old 20th May 2020, 13:17
  #2906 (permalink)  
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but they seem to have escaped our usual reporter's attention.
I e been out sunbathing in the park. Lots of lovely vitamin D......

Will that be the poll with a Conservative 15% lead Over Labour or the one with Boris with a 12% lead over Starmer as best PM?

As with shares they go up and they go down - but well over 4 years till the next election so not the highest priority.

Did you note that the government introduced the next Boundary Change Bill on Monday? The changes should give a swing of about 30 seats to the Conservatives - and hence forth all changes will be automatic with no votes in the HoC so no opportunity for political games as by the Lib-Dems over the previous one.
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Old 20th May 2020, 13:40
  #2907 (permalink)  
 
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Did you note that the government introduced the next Boundary Change Bill on Monday? The changes should give a swing of about 30 seats to the Conservatives - and hence forth all changes will be automatic with no votes in the HoC so no opportunity for political games as by the Lib-Dems over the previous one.
That gloating snippet is such an offence against the principle of representative Democracy, in that it sums up all that is corrupt about the so-called universal suffrage we constantly hear touted!! The political power brokers take over the 'system' and arrange matters to suit their desire for influence and the stupid, uncomplaining 'voters' accept it. Not only accept it, but accept the lying claims made by the politicians that the country's populace are able to take 'their' Government to task!! What exactly does it take for the population to realise that they have little or no say in the governance of their country? When will this farce be shown for the con-trick which it is? Certainly not as long as ORAC, and the sources he or she so assiduously quotes, remains able to gloat over the disenfranchisement of large areas of the country's voters. Disgrace doesn't even start to describe it!
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Old 20th May 2020, 13:50
  #2908 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
Did you note that the government introduced the next Boundary Change Bill on Monday? The changes should give a swing of about 30 seats to the Conservatives - and hence forth all changes will be automatic with no votes in the HoC so no opportunity for political games as by the Lib-Dems over the previous one.
That gloating snippet is such an offence against the principle of representative Democracy, in that it sums up all that is corrupt about the so-called universal suffrage we constantly hear touted!! The political power brokers take over the 'system' and arrange matters to suit their desire for influence and the stupid, uncomplaining 'voters' accept it. Not only accept it, but accept the lying claims made by the politicians that the country's populace are able to take 'their' Government to task!! What exactly does it take for the population to realise that they have little or no say in the governance of their country? When will this farce be shown for the con-trick which it is? Certainly not as long as ORAC, and the sources he or she so assiduously quotes, remains able to gloat over the disenfranchisement of large areas of the country's voters. Disgrace doesn't even start to describe it!
Actually it looks like a long overdue adjustment so that each constituency has roughly similar population levels, plus a reduction in the number of MP's, a good saving on the public purse.

https://boundarycommissionforengland...k/2018-review/

Why was a review being carried out?

The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended in 2011) required the four Boundary Commissions for the UK to carry out a review of constituencies and to submit final reports to Government in September 2018. Parliament specified that the 2018 Review must reduce the number of constituencies, and therefore MPs, in the UK, to 600. It asked us, as an independent and impartial body, to consider where the boundaries of the new constituencies in England should be, ensuring that every new constituency (except two for the Isle of Wight) has roughly the same number of electors: no fewer than 71,031 and no more than 78,507.

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Old 20th May 2020, 13:52
  #2909 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Watching Boris's bluff, bluster and downright waffle at PMQs had me wondering: "When will the knives come out of the drawer for sharpening at Tory HQ"?
It was interesting to see the Speaker threatening to show Hancock the door!
Anyway, it is obvious that these trace/track staff are obviously pouring out from under a hidden stash somewhere. From 1,800 to 19,000 to 21,000 to 24,000 all within a matter of days, so no doubt Boris will get his 25,000. And then those 25,000 will be fully up, trained, running and bashing out 250,000 contacts made per day by June 1st! Bring it on!
Turning to the NHS staff who, being bloody foreigners, have to pay this NHS supplement, Boris mentioned this brings £900 million to the coffers and where, he whined, would that money come from otherwise?
Here's a suggestion; take another look at how this government is giving out contracts to random organisations/companies with a total disregard to the normal competitive rules. So far at least £1 billion has gone out of the exchequer in this way. £1 billion is greater than £900 million. And, to rub salt into the wound, these organisations are so good at what they are being so richly paid for, they are perfect! Perfect in the sense of a lab in Northern Ireland, having a couple of hundred million put their way (Well done Owen Paterson!), they failed to be ready on the date they were due to be bashing through thousands of tests per day. The result being for the RAF having to drag one of their Bae146 out of Northolt, make 2 shuttle runs to Belfast to collect the 50,000 samples to Brize Norton, where presumably a Deliveroo courier popped them on his bike and got them to Stansted in time to catch their flights. (probably more accurate to call this a "FedEx flight".
Serco are apparently not able to recruit and train hordes of contact tracers on time, despite the government paying 2 companies for this single job, with Deloitte "overseeing" Serco. (Ironic; a firm of bean counters "overseeing" the operation that has been involved in this sort of business for decades (the business of rent-a-body).
And of course, the business of buying in tons of PPE that presumably will attract an additional fee when they are sent for waste disposal.
But don't any of that get in the way of seeking to finance the NHS via extraordinary fees levied on those who can probably least afford it!
Let the poor pay! I say. Oh no, it wasn't me, it was Boris saying that.
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Old 20th May 2020, 18:54
  #2910 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flyingbadge View Post
Actually it looks like a long overdue adjustment so that each constituency has roughly similar population levels, plus a reduction in the number of MP's, a good saving on the public purse......snipped by me
I don't believe the MP reduction is happening now, just the boundary changes which is a shame but if the population keeps going up the way it is we may need more MP's in a few years time!
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Old 21st May 2020, 07:42
  #2911 (permalink)  
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Back to China......

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c...hina-r0s9ww8mn

Companies protected against takeover attempts from China

Governments that may have “ulterior motives”, such as China, would be prevented from taking over struggling British companies under new legislation, Boris Johnson said yesterday.

The prime minister told MPs he would introduce measures to “ensure that we protect our technological base”. His spokesman said later that he had been referring to the National Security Investment Bill, a piece of legislation that was included in the Queen’s Speech and will be brought to the Commons in the coming weeks. The bill could pave the way for the government to buy out struggling companies that are involved in national security, to stop them falling into the hands of foreign governments.

Richard Drax, the Tory MP for South Dorset, raised concerns during prime minister’s questions about China “buying up defence-related companies that are going bust during this pandemic”. Mr Drax said that France was carrying out “a root-and-branch review of its defence supply chain” in response to the concerns and asked whether it might be “wise” for Britain to do the same. Mr Johnson said Mr Drax was “absolutely right to be concerned” and that he would hear “a lot more about that in the next few weeks”.......

A briefing published with the Queen’s Speech in December said that the National Security Investment Bill would strengthen the government’s powers to “scrutinise and intervene” in takeovers and mergers involving British companies. The document said that the legislation would address “the risks that can arise from hostile parties acquiring ownership of, or control over, businesses or other entities and assets that have national security implications”. It will seek to introduce a notification system through which businesses can flag transactions with potential security concerns, and add conditions to transactions or block them if necessary.

The legislation will also include sanctions against those who fail to comply with the regime, and a safeguarding mechanism for businesses to appeal against decisions. It is intended to bring UK policy in line with its Five Eyes security partners, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Germany and Japan have also recently strengthened their powers to scrutinise and intervene in company takeovers........


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Old 21st May 2020, 08:25
  #2912 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Watching Boris's bluff, bluster and downright waffle at PMQs had me wondering: "......
Turning to the NHS staff who, being bloody foreigners, have to pay this NHS supplement, Boris mentioned this brings £900 million to the coffers and where, he whined, would that money come from otherwise?...
.
When I heard the £900m I thought that was per year. Apparently it is the total for last four years. It is estimated that to exempt NHS workers from abroad from this charge would cost around £35m .

Thankfully one Conservative MPs can see this is wrong
"The Conservative chairman of the Commons public administration select committee, William Wragg, announced that he would support the fee exemption for NHS and care workers."
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52750065


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Old 21st May 2020, 08:26
  #2913 (permalink)  
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French navy escorting illegal immigrants into British waters in the Channel.

https://order-order.com/2020/05/21/f...ritish-waters/
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Old 21st May 2020, 08:38
  #2914 (permalink)  
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POLITICO:

CORONA IN WESTMINSTER

The House of Lords is still sitting today, however, and it’s Lib Dem peer Christopher Fox who’s in the firing line this morning. In a genuinely jaw-dropping scoop the Telegraph’s Anna Mikhailova reveals Fox — a front bench spokesman for business, no less — has “furloughed himself” from his PR firm Vulpes, of which he is the owner and sole employee. “Accounts filed with Companies House show Lord Fox has access to more than £100,000 cash in his Vulpes bank account,” Mikhailova reports. “Instead of using the money to tide the business over, he furloughed himself and has already received his first month’s wage subsidy.” Fox has also continued to accept his £162 daily allowance for his work in the Lords, she says, as well as his taxpayer-funded wages.

Asked whether he plans to repay the furlough money, Lord Fox said: “That’s not something I’ve given much thought to at the moment, because I’ve been working about 14 hours a day on legislation.”

The Lib Dems have declined to comment.........
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Old 21st May 2020, 08:44
  #2915 (permalink)  
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POLITICO:

NOT CORONA BUT: Boris Johnson will find out today if he faces a criminal investigation into his close relationship with American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri while he was mayor of London, the Guardian reports. “The Independent Office for Police Conduct is to reveal its long-delayed decision on whether to investigate him for possible criminal misconduct over his friendship with Jennifer Arcuri,” the paper says. “The watchdog will make the announcement at noon, after spending months on a scoping exercise into whether the prime minister has a case to answer.”

Update: No investigation And no case to answer.

Last edited by ORAC; 21st May 2020 at 10:42.
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Old 21st May 2020, 09:01
  #2916 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Brewster Buffalo View Post
When I heard the £900m I thought that was per year. Apparently it is the total for last four years. It is estimated that to exempt NHS workers from abroad from this charge would cost around £35m .

Thankfully one Conservative MPs can see this is wrong
"The Conservative chairman of the Commons public administration select committee, William Wragg, announced that he would support the fee exemption for NHS and care workers."
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52750065
Spot on! And the 4 year figure was available to the Downing St lies unit as it came from the House of Commons library.
If an immigrant is coming here to take on a job at the helm of a bank and earning a salary in the millions with all manner of other benefits tacked on, fair enough! In fact let them pay 4 or 5 times that fee. But to impose it on NHS workers , many of whom will be on minimum wage is unthinkable. Bear in mind, the fee will be payable up front, while they are applying for their already expensive visas and this will probably put them in debt to some loan shark back on their home turf.
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Old 21st May 2020, 10:53
  #2917 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
POLITICO:

NOT CORONA BUT: Boris Johnson will find out today if he faces a criminal investigation into his close relationship with American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri while he was mayor of London, the Guardian reports. “The Independent Office for Police Conduct is to reveal its long-delayed decision on whether to investigate him for possible criminal misconduct over his friendship with Jennifer Arcuri,” the paper says. “The watchdog will make the announcement at noon, after spending months on a scoping exercise into whether the prime minister has a case to answer.”

Update: No investigation And no case to answer.
Now there's a surprise.

CG
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Old 21st May 2020, 11:45
  #2918 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
French navy escorting illegal immigrants into British waters in the Channel.

https://order-order.com/2020/05/21/f...ritish-waters/
That Mr Farage is an excitable chap, isn't he? The Border Force vessel he refers to in the early part of his piece is in fact the Dover lifeboat "City of London 2".
Not to worry, he has mistaken the French vessel too. That is a French Coastguard vessel, not the French Navy.
Never mind, I hope his mates enjoyed their fishing!
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Old 21st May 2020, 12:28
  #2919 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
POLITICO:

NOT CORONA BUT: Boris Johnson will find out today if he faces a criminal investigation into his close relationship with American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri while he was mayor of London, the Guardian reports. “The Independent Office for Police Conduct is to reveal its long-delayed decision on whether to investigate him for possible criminal misconduct over his friendship with Jennifer Arcuri,” the paper says. “The watchdog will make the announcement at noon, after spending months on a scoping exercise into whether the prime minister has a case to answer.”

Update: No investigation And no case to answer.
That rather distorts what they said. Relevant extract:

“While there was no evidence that Mr Johnson influenced the payment of sponsorship monies or participation in trade missions, there was evidence to suggest that those officers making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions thought that there was a close relationship between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making. “Our review established there was a close association between Mr Johnson and Ms Arcuri and there may have been an intimate relationship.

The GLA code of conduct which applied at the time meant that, even if the relationship was intimate, Mr Johnson had no obligation to include Ms Arcuri’s business interests in his own register of interests.

However, under the broader Nolan Principles of Public Life, our reviewsuggests it would have been wise for Mr Johnson to have declared this as a conflict of interest, and a failure to do so could have constituted a breach of these broader principles contained within the GLA 2012 Code of Conduct. As this does not amount to a potential criminal offence, this is now a matter for the GLA to consider.
Full IPCC press release here
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Old 21st May 2020, 14:49
  #2920 (permalink)  
 
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On the BBC News earlier, in a report on Boris and Ms Arcuri, something was mentioned to the effect that Assembly members may have had the impressin there was an intimate relationship between the pair and this may have inhibited their coming forward to challenge some of the decisions taken in respect of her junkets etc.
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