Skwawkbox

Cheerio

Excellent news to wake up to, though tinged with dread as to the identity of her successor. Surely to goodness, her replacement could not be any worse. Looking at the Tory Leadership candidates though does not inspire any confidence…

A General Election is growing ever closer and we can’t miss our opportunity to make a difference.

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The following article was taken from the SKWAWKBOX blog and can be accessed by clicking here.

MAY ANNOUNCES 7 JUNE RESIGNATION WITH TEARS, CLAIMING TO LOVE COUNTRY SHE ABUSED

May’s tearful exit cuts no ice

Comment

Theresa May has announced that she will resign on Friday 7 June, breaking down as she concluded her speech in front of Downing Street with that she has been serving “the country I love”. Her speech attempted to focus on her ‘achievements’ rather than her failures.

TV commentators immediately started talking about her dignity and empathising with her pain, but May’s tears cut no ice.

Here are just a few of May’s ‘achievements’:

She has been a PM who debased our democracy by making the abuse of democratic process for her own ends a routine thing and ran and hid rather than face votes in the Commons – yet who lost none of the arrogance she showed as Home Secretary when she became PM.

May was responsible for the awful Windrush scandal, yet let – and probably made– Amber Rudd fall on her sword so May could hold onto the keys to Downing Street, then slapped Windrush people in the face by bringing her back into her Cabinet.

She had known that Windrush folk were citizens, yet deported them anyway, denying compensation to many. And when a parliamentary vote threatened to expose the full extent of her involvement in the abuse of their rights, she whipped her MPs to defeat it and keep her shame hidden.

May promised the survivors of the Grenfell Tower horror they would be rehoused within weeks. Almost two years later, many are still waiting.

May was responsible for the horrific statement that asylum seekers should be deported first and appeal later – and covered up the rendition scandal that she personally oversaw.

May lied about the AIQ/Cambridge Analytica scandal – and still dodged answering even when exposed.

May knew about sexual harassment by Tory MPs long before it was exposed – and was responsible for a huge ‘loss’ of evidence against parliamentary child abusers.

May personally vetoed visas for NHS doctors from overseas, prolonging the suffering of NHS patients.

She binned the second part of the Leveson enquiry to protect her allies in the abominable right-wing press from the consequences of their involvement in spying on vulnerable people.

Worst of all, she has:

  • overseen the ongoing, inflicted collapse of our NHS
  • terrorised disabled and vulnerable people with cuts, sanctions and constant tests to remove their support
  • cut councils’ budgets so hard that they can no longer support many of the most vulnerable in our communities
  • pushed the number of children in poverty to well over four million
  • pushed fourteen million of our citizens in such desperate poverty that the UN’s special envoy for extreme poverty has just condemned it again and has said it could easily be solved if she had wanted to
  • continued and intensified policies that have seen the deaths – the ‘social murder‘ of at least 120,000 people
  • forced rape victims and domestic abuse survivors to prove their abuse or face loss of benefits and even homes

This is by no means an exhaustive list – it would be a huge undertaking to list all of her ‘achievements’.

No, Theresa May deserves no sympathy. Her tears cut no ice compared to the anguish of millions and deaths of tens of thousands in which she played a full and enthusiastic part.

And now she will be replaced by no less a horror, whichever Tory wins their leadership race – and the UK will be forced to suffer two unelected Prime Ministers in a row and the depredations they will continue to inflict.

Cry for the people, not for Theresa May.

QUESTIONS OVER GETHING CAMPAIGN AS ‘RESEARCH COMPANY’ GATHERING WELSH MEMBER DATA

The following article appears on the excellent Skwawkbox blog.

Questions have been raised about the campaign of Welsh Labour leadership candidate Vaughan Gething after the activities of a ‘research company’ came to light.

The company has been calling Welsh Labour members and identifying itself as Vaughan Gethin’s ‘team’ and would not identify itself, but when challenged has admitted it is an ‘independent company’ ‘gathering research’ for him.

When asked where the call is coming from, one caller told a member he was in the north-east, but the call showed a Cardiff ‘029’ prefix.

The company is asking members whether they have voted, intend to vote or have decided which candidate they will vote for – and is then asking members for their email addresses, claiming – if challenged – that it needs an address to ‘cross-match’ with Labour’s records and to keep in touch but will be passing the data, along with its ‘research’, to Gething and not retaining it.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Vaughan Gething early yesterday to ask:

You have apparently employed a company to call Welsh Labour members about their voting intentions in the leadership ballot. The company has been telling members that it’s calling from the north-east, even though calling from a Cardiff number and has been asking members for their email addresses, claiming that this is for ‘cross-matching’, and has said such data will not be retained by the company but passed onto you.

Please provide the following by return:

– which company is involved?
– why are they asking for members’ email addresses when the Labour Party will already have them?
– why do you intend to retain the data?
– who is funding the company’s activities on your behalf and what is the cost?
– how confident are you that their activities will not spill over into paid canvassing?

The spending limit in the Welsh leadership contest is £1 per member – a little over £24,000 in total, including donations in kind and any type of resource:

welsh spend limit

The Tories were at the centre of controversy when they used a Welsh-based company for ‘research’, which the Information Commissioner ruled had in fact been paid marketing or canvassing.

Gething has also set up a company to retain data gathered during the campaign:

gething data.png

One Welsh Labour member who had been contacted told the SKWAWKBOX:

I already had concerns about the campaign and the candidate. Vaughan’s campaign manager is a Progress supporter, he’s supported by Owen Smith and has accepted campaign contributions from a company convicted for illegal dumping, which his register of interests confirms. But it’s extremely worrying that he’s now paying a company that won’t identify itself to gather data he intends to keep even after the election.

There are serious questions to answer but will he answer them? How is this allowed and who is paying?

Vaughan Gething had not responded to the SKWAWKBOX’s request for comment by the time of publication.

The following article appears on the excellent Skwawkbox blog.

Julie Morgan for Deputy Leader #JM4DL #SaveWILG

Yesterday I was at Rhyl Town Hall for the Welsh Labour Deputy Leader Hustings between Carolyn Harris and Julie Morgan. I attended the meeting with an open mind but emerged as a staunch supporter of Julie Morgan.

Both candidates were asked a set of six questions that had been submitted before the hustings, including mine which asked where the candidates stood on the future of the Welsh Independent Living Grant. Harris was the first to  answer this and I was almost deafened by the sound of jaws hitting the floor when she claimed that we should trust the Local Authorities to sort the issue out. She received a frosty reception after this answer and all I could hear was a bundle of tumbleweed lightly skimming the surface of the stage.

Julie answered the same question by announcing that she would press for an inquiry into the matter and that the Welsh Assembly needs to recognise that it does not always make the right decisions. Queue rapturous applause.

Everyone at the SaveWILG campaign is rooting for Julie to become the next Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour as she is true socialist and really cares about disabled people and the future of independent living.

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I have included a link below to an interview with Julie Morgan that appeared on the Skwawkbox blog. It is a wonderful read.

The Labour Party in Wales is in the middle of a historic campaign to elect its first ever deputy leader. Both of the candidates are women, both from the broad left of the party – and both have served as MPs.

But only one supports the Welsh party switching to OMOV – one member, one vote – to empower Labour members in the election of their leadership, instead of the ‘electoral college’ system pushed through by the Welsh Executive in what many consider to be an attempt to protect the ‘centrist’-dominated power structure, which gives a handful of MPs and Assembly Members the same voting power as all Welsh Labour members.

To read this Skwawkbox interview with Julie in full, please click here 

 

Blood on their Hands

According to Wikipedia, Tanka (短歌, “short poem”) is a genre of classical Japanese poetry and one of the major genres of Japanese literature.

A Tanka consists of 5 lines and 31 syllables. Each line has a set number of syllables see below:

Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables
Line 4 – 7 syllables
Line 5 – 7 syllables

This is my 96th poem of 2017 and I am well on my way to putting together a collection of poems to reflect the struggles of disabled people in 21st century Britain. I would like to publish these poems in a book to be released in 2018, and I am close to finding a team of illustrators to help me add images to my words and create the type of book that I envisage.  I am speaking with students from Glyndwr University who are interested in collaborating with me on this exciting project.  More details when available.

Innocent lives lost

In a man-made tragedy

Tory cuts produce

A symbol of division

In kingdom once united

The Skwawkbox  is journalism as it should be. True, fair, accurate and in the public interest. There are many posts here on the Grenfell tragedy that should be read by everyone with an interest in human rights and justice.