Politics

Exceptionalism and Entitlement

01 August 2021 Financial Times published revelations on Johnson’s and Party’s finances.

Peter Oborne is fundraising to establish a website “which will record, sift and analyse the numerous lies, falsehoods and misleading statements of Boris Johnson and his colleagues. The website will also chronicle the role of the British media in aiding and abetting the culture of mendacity in Downing Street.

Ahead of the 2019 general election we set up a website to make a record of the exponential rise in public lying by government ministers and spokespeople which followed Boris Johnson’s appointment as prime minister in July 2019. It was a full time job. However, we were obliged to give up that work at the end of 2019 because it was too time consuming and expensive in terms of resources and money.

Since then, we estimate that Boris Johnson and his senior colleagues have been responsible for a further 300 to 400 false or misleading statements and lies. We have been keeping a loose record of these lies but we now want to scrutinise them more carefully and then publish a record of them. This means bringing the earlier website up to date. This will involve a serious amount of work by a committed team of journalists and researchers. Once we are up to date, we aim then to keep an ongoing record as each new lie, falsehood or misrepresentation enters the public domain. We will be holding to account not just the prime minister and senior colleagues, but also journalists who either fail to question or repeat these lies without scrutiny. We will give full credit to those journalists and others who expose government lies. We will also record and expose lies of opposition politicians.”

29 July 2021
Sky Ministers ‘abused’ taxpayers’ cash by paying for polling of Labour figures during COVID crisis
A Cabinet Office contract with Hanbury Strategy – founded by a Vote Leave ally of Dominic Cummings – worth £580,000 and struck in March last year is currently subject to a legal challenge after it was awarded without competition.
The government spent taxpayers’ money on opinion polling of senior Labour figures at the beginning of the COVID crisis, according to newly-released documents.

2020

21st  October George Monbiot in The Guardian The government’s secretive Covid contracts are heaping misery on Britain. Bypassing the NHS and handing crucial services to corporate executives has led to the catastrophic failure of test and trace. more Meanwhile,the FT reports: Pakistan demands UK send ex-PM Nawaz Sharif home to be jailed.Former leader has been in London for nearly a year after temporary release from prison on medical grounds

14th October Dominic Cummings must start to pay council tax on Durham lockdown bolthole
Valuation Office Agency ruling also means family will escape 20 years of back taxes on the property. Dominic Cummings’ family must start to pay council tax on the bolthole he escaped to with his wife and child at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, a Government agency has ruled. However, they escaped nearly 20 years of back taxes on the property, on the family’s farm in Durham, which could have left them with a bill running to several thousand pounds. In June, Durham County Council found there had been “historical breaches” of planning and building control regulation during the construction of the property and the conversion of another into two homes. At the time, the council said it could not take enforcement action against the family because of a time limit on such measures and referred the matter to the Valuation Office Agency. The agency’s ruling means that, from this month, the Cummings family will have to pay three separate council tax bills for the homes at North Lodge instead of the one bill they have been paying until now, The Guardian reported. John Hewitt, the council’s director of resources, said: “The current single assessment [for council tax on North Lodge] will be replaced with three entries in the rating list going forward. These changes will be implemented with effect from October 4 2020, which is the date we have been instructed to apply the changes from. “The day on which the rating list is to be amended is a matter for the Valuation Office Agency.” A spokesman for the Valuation Office Agency told The Telegraph: “We treat all taxpayers equally and we value domestic properties in line with legislation. We cannot comment on individual cases.” A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment.  DT

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