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#LabourManifesto: so good the Tories are STILL lying about it


mcd Tory lie stampedThe Tory PR machine, from CCHQ to its individual mouthpieces, are putting it about that the Labour Party is rowing back on its manifesto commitment to ‘wipe’ student debts:

mcd Tory lie

‘Promise broken’. The only slight problem with this claim is that Labour’s manifesto contained no such promise.

It did contain a commitment to end tuition fees immediately, including for students starting their studies in September this year. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, when the manifesto policy was announced, said:

The Conservatives have held students back for too long, saddling them with debt that blights the start of their working lives. Labour will lift this cloud of debt and make education free for all as part of our plan for a richer Britain for the many not the few.

We will scrap tuition fees and ensure universities have the resources they need to continue to provide a world-class education. Students will benefit

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Disabled claimants told: 2 yrs to get job or be sanctioned for a year


dwpp2The government is pressing ahead with the roll-out of its Universal Credit (UC) replacement to the benefits system in spite of huge delays and problems – and continuing problems so ingrained that foodbank use has increased sharply in every area where is has been implemented.

UC contains a draconian set of provisions, including a ‘Claimant Commitment’ (CC) – a set of imposed requirements to which the claimant has no right of appeal whatever. As the government’s guidance on CCs states:

There is no right of appeal if a claimant refuses to accept their Claimant Commitment and the requirements that have been set out in it.

A JCP adviser – who might be incompetent, inexperienced, bitter, have a personality clash with the claimant or just simply be having a bad day – is the final arbiter of whether a CC is reasonable and achievable, and even a patently bad decision…

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Hammond demands #DrWho pay-cut because ‘a woman can do it’


hammond nhsBBC sources tell the SKWAWKBOX that an enraged Phil Hammond stormed from the set of Sunday’s Marr Show demanding to speak to the producers of Doctor Who.

Hammond was reportedly fuming about the decision to cast Jodie Whittaker as the programme’s first female Doctor – without cutting the role’s pay.

whittakerDoctor Jodie Whittaker

Hammond – presumably traumatised by yet another ‘car crash’ interview on Marr, where he let slip that the Cabinet is tearing itself apart andrefused to deny that he had called public sector workers ‘overpaid’ – was reported to be raving that if playing Doctor Who was so easy even a woman can do it’ then there was no way he was going to let the BBC pay full rate for it.

hammond1Phil ‘Easy’ Hammond

Mr Hammond then appeared to suffer a complete collapse. Emergency services were called and he was taken away by a…

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Excl: Corbyn’s response to May’s ‘save me’ plea: we’ll send her our manifesto


As the SKWAWKBOX noted on Sunday, Theresa May made a mockery of her ‘ad nauseam’ line about which leader the British public would prefer at the Brexit negotiating table – by begging Jeremy Corbyn for his help:

may begsClearly she knows which side of the Dispatch Box the real ‘strong and stable’ sits.

But surely Corbyn won’t reach out a hand to save her from drowning in a cesspit of her own making – and one which from which she has shown little real intention of learning any humility?

Too right.

A spokesperson from the opposition leader’s office told the SKWAWKBOX:

If she needs help, we’ll be happy to send her Labour’s General Election manifesto. It contains some great stuff on how a real government, with the genuine best interests of the country and its people at heart, will negotiate Brexit.

As many of her colleagues already seem to want to use…

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Tory council head deleted whole Twitter to remove #Grenfell tweet. And these?


Nadia Cenci, the leader of the Tory group on Ipswich council who apologised for a tweet insulting survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire – but not for a similar tweet saying she had ‘stopped listening to them’ – subsequently deleted her entire Twitter account.

She told the Ipswich Star that this was

so that none of my tweets can cause any further offence.

Deleting your entire account because of one or two tweets about a particular incident? But ‘none of my tweets’ might be read as applying more widely.

It’s easy to delete a couple of tweets, so the SKWAWKBOX wondered what else she might have been tweeting about that she might not wish others to see now there was a spotlight on her account and couldn’t be sure of cleaning completely manually.

Fortunately for those curious about the matter, there are a number of archived versions of Councillor Cenci’s…

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Tory council leader insults #Grenfell victims. Wasn’t all she demonised


Tory Group leader on Ipswich council, Nadia Cenci, this week typified the victim-blaming of the survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster that the Establishment has been ramping up to divert public anger over its clear failings and responsibility for the tragedy and the decisions that led up to it.

Cenci wrote a tweet in which she agreed that Grenfell victims are ungrateful complainers and implied they should just shut up and be grateful they survived:

cenci tweetThis wasn’t the limit of her callousness. As the Ipswich Star observed, she had also tweeted that she had ‘just stopped listening’ to their plight:

cenci tweet 2.pngThe Ipswich Star also reported that Ms Cenci had ‘quit Twitter’ because of the outrage her comments had caused:

cenci star.pngBut she took her time about it. The main tweet above was sent on Thursday evening, but as the handy WaybackMachine archiving service shows, she was tweeting as recently as late…

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Tories warned 4 yrs ago of systemic fire risk – plan to RELAX planning regs


Lincolnshire councillor – both district and county – Charmaine Morgan sits on her council’s planning committee. In 2013, she wrote to the Tory then-Undersecretary of State for Planning, Nick Boles, to raise serious concerns about systemic problems with planning processes that were putting lives at risk.

At risk from fire.

Ms Morgan highlighted huge problems with the way that planning applications are assessed and approved:

  • that planning committees are not required by law to consult with fire brigade officers on the fire safety of buildings when considering applications
  • that this can result in inadequate water supply, lack of space for fire engines to access fire scenes and buildings too tall for firefighters to reach effectively – at least the last two of these were identified as deadly problems at Grenfell Tower
  • massive variations in the methodology and quality of planning application assessment between councils
  • that even where sprinklers are…

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