In 2001, the then Labour Government pledged to eradicate child poverty by 2020, but 20 years later, predictions claim more than five million children will be living in deprivation by the end of 2021. Of course, Labour couldn’t fulfil the pledge since they were voted out in 2010. If voters thought the Tories would sort it out they now know otherwise!
It was shocking to note all the reports ended in the same way. The presenters informed us that they asked for an interview with a Tory DWP spokesperson but no-one was available despite being given 12 days notice. It was the same each time.
History has shown us time and again that the Tories are not interested in these issues. When Tory Amber Rudd was in charge at the DWP she avoided a key disability debate to have Christmas drinks. When Theresa May was Prime Minister she avoided the same debate in favour of Christmas drinks. Meanwhile Hancock’s department prefers to spend more taxpayers money trying to fight the release of what he was doing instead of attending the key disability debate. Collectively this shows the contempt Tories have for such important issues.
Matt Hancock sank to new lows today when he claimed there was never a PPE shortage during the pandemic. Doctors and MPs condemned the UK health secretary as “deeply insulting” on Tuesday after he insisted that his team had delivered protective equipment for frontline NHS staff in the “teeth of a pandemic”.
Perhaps he should tell that to the nurses who were forced to wear bin bags because of the PPE shortage. Perhaps he should tell the NHS staff who were told to wear aprons instead of protective gowns.
Shortly after the bin bag story broke, the chief coroner curiously issued ‘guidance’ to his underlings not to blame Tory PPE shortages when considering the deaths of NHS staff.
We asked the Department of Health and Social Care to provide us with Hancock’s evidence, if it exists.
In its article on 24th November 2020, the Independent reported that inside the Cabinet Office exists an ‘Orwellian’ unit which shares information about journalists and sends edicts out to other departments ordering them to protect certain information.
This could explain the actions of the Department of Health and Social Care. They are presently risking a summary court judgment of Contempt for refusing to release what Secretary of State Matt Hancock was up to that he couldn’t be present in a key disability debate. We already found out then Prime Minister, Theresa May, missed it so she could have Christmas drinks!
It could also explain the failure of Department for Work and Pensions to provide various pieces of key information. They are already under criminal investigation for trying to conceal or destroy it.
The Tories have been trying to water down the Freedom of Information Act since 2010.
The Information Commissioner has been informed.
The findings are potentially huge as they could lead to further criminal investigations into multiple Government departments. If it turns out they’ve been trying to conceal or destroy information to prevent release, it can lead to a prison term for those responsible under Section 77.
Currently the Department for Work and Pensions can apply to access the bank account activity of any claimant they suspect of benefit fraud. The Tories are thinking about changing this though. They want to monitor the bank accounts of every person on Universal Credit regardless of whether they’re suspected of benefit fraud.
For anyone not specifically on Universal Credit, don’t think you’ve escaped attention yet, because once they get access to the above they’ll inevitably want to see the accounts of all other benefit claimants too!
For those not on benefits saying “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear“, we have something for you to think about. After being given access to all of the above, why stop there? Why not give HM Revenue & Customs the power to monitor the accounts of every UK citizen? For the moment, just like the DWP, HMRC can only apply for access to accounts of those they suspect of fraud – and they don’t appear to be doing a good job of that according to the Annual Fraud Indicator figures we’ve read.
The above reflects how little the Tories are doing to claw back public money stolen by their chums committing tax fraud (shown in red), and procurement fraud too (shown in yellow), compared with benefit fraud (shown in purple). If you’re wondering why there isn’t a more recent Annual Fraud Indicator, there used to be a government department dedicated to producing one of these guides almost every year, but the Tories abolished it. Our guess is the facts are a bit too inconvenient for their poisonous mantra.
You may be interested in this Freedom of Information request we submitted to the DWP about the matter. We think it would cost more public money to do it than it would save.
Where will it all end?
There will still be some people who don’t have a problem with any of this, but we think it wouldn’t stop there either. Do you really want government departments being able to create their own spreadsheets with your personal financial information and make judgments about what you’re spending your money on? Donating to feed hungry kids? We know already the Tories don’t like that. Think of the ways they could take out their revenge if they don’t approve such bank transactions.
With their record of leaking information there would be nothing to stop it ending up online for all to share. We’ve already seen how the likes of Iain Duncan Smith’s home address was shared online. Do you really think your details would be any safer?
On 10th November 2020 it was reported that they carelessly left the details of 6000 benefit claimants online for everyone to see.
Throughout this Covid-19 pandemic, accusations have been made by various NHS staff members countrywide that they’ve not been supplied with enough PPE to keep them safe.
We’ve had cases of: NHS doctors lacking PPE being ‘bullied’ into treating Covid-19 patients. NHS staff forced to use bin liners because of failures to supply them with enough PPE. NHS staff gagged over PPE shortages. There have even been reports of NHS staff being asked to sacrifice themselves due to a lack of PPE.
Even the coroners investigating NHS staff deaths from Covid-19 have been ordered not to consider the PPE shortfall as a factor in these deaths.
Doctors have launched a High Court challenge against the Tories over their refusal to hold a public inquiry into the PPE shortage.
With all of that in mind, we asked the Department of Health and Social Care for records of what PPE it delivered to which hospitals and when over a three-month period. The request was refused because it exceeded cost limitations. We tried various ways to get this information, so far without success. Despite it clearly being in the public interest to see records telling us if the Tories really weren’t delivering enough PPE to keep staff safe, the public interest apparently doesn’t matter when cost limitations are exceeded. Even when deaths are involved.
Without serious intervention, there is absolutely nothing in place to prevent the Department of Health and Social Care from effectively destroying evidence that it potentially allowed NHS staff to die without sufficient protection. We think that stinks.
Some time ago we asked the Tory DWP to provide a list of electronic items such as USB pen drives it owned that were subsequently lost or stolen from 2018 onwards. After ignoring the request for as long as possible, they only bothered to respond after being ordered by the Information Commissioner to do so.
When they did bother to respond it was to tell us the information isn’t stored in a proper way so they can’t readily provide it.
This means it has no central record of everything it has lost containing personal claimant data.
This is a shocking admission. They have bits of the data stored all over the place because they can’t be bothered to keep proper records centrally.
Back in June, the Tories desperately wanted to make the public think they were doing something about Covid-19.
Downing Street said the Government was working closely with Apple and Google. Health Secretary Hancock claimed “We’ve agreed to join forces with Apple and Google” on this so-called ‘world-beating’ contact-tracing app.
There was just one small problem. Apple didn’t know what they were talking about. The company took the unprecedented step of revealing the UK Government hadn’t spoken to them about any of these things.
With that in mind, we asked the Prime Minister’s Office to provide evidence they were working closely with Apple and Google. They didn’t have any.
So then we asked the Department of Health and Social Care for evidence. Guess what? They didn’t have any either. They stated Hancock did not have any meetings with Apple or Google!
The Tories have been rumbled yet again for telling lies.
The Prime Minister’s Office and the Department for Health and Social Care were invited to comment.
Several weeks after being invited to comment, the Tory Department for Health and Social Care demonstrated its inability to cope by replying with this asking for the message to be re-sent. We therefore gave them a second opportunity to respond.
New Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey this week claimed “Voters have lost faith in us”.
It’s easy to see why when we take a look at his voting record.
He’s clearly no friend of disabled people and is happy to see them struggle to make ends meet.
He’s no friend of the low-paid – almost always voting for a higher VAT rate.
He’s no friend of freedom-of-speech as he voted to suppress it during elections (gagging law).
He voted to sell off our forests.
He’s clearly a fan of fracking as he voted against regulating it further.
He wants people to pay higher rail fares.
He voted to privatise Royal Mail.
He almost always voted to restrict legal aid making it impossible for poorer people to get justice.
Basically he’s a Tory in yellow. He’ll have to change his ways before people start trusting him.
Did you hear those Tory claims that they had been “working closely” with Apple and Google to create a contact-tracing app?
Unfortunately for the Tories, Apple took the unprecedented step of exposing them as liars.
Downing Street had claimed the government “worked closely with Apple and Google” (on the contact-tracing app).
“We’ve agreed to join forces with Google and Apple, to bring the best bits of both systems together,” Mr Hancock claimed.
The problem is Apple doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
We asked the Prime Minister’s Office and Hancock’s Health and Social Care dept to provide evidence they ‘worked closely with Apple and Google‘. We suspect they won’t produce any.
On top of that we’ve asked them to provide records of who they paid off for their ditched ‘world-beating’ app.