The catalogue of horrors continues…

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We have great pleasure in sharing @RussIncheshire’s regular twitter thread.

#TheWeekInTory is a monster because they’ve been, well, even busier than usual, the scamps

1. The dictionary definition of Honour is, “the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right”. Keep that in mind as we tackle the Honours system

2. Boris Johnson gave lifetime appointments to his own brother, and to the editor of the Telegraph, the newspaper which provided Johnson with his most obsequious coverage

3. Theresa May’s husband was knighted for “political service”, although an ITV investigation found “a brief stint as chairman of Wimbledon Conservative Assoc was as close as he got to politics”. But he was named in the Panama Papers, which is credentials enough for this govt

4. But more political than Ian Botham, an anti-immigration cricketer who bafflingly lives in Spain, and now has the power to affect our laws

5. And Claire Fox, who backed IRA bombings, never apologised, is now able to influence terrorism laws for the rest of her life

6. Also, arise Lord Alexander Lebedev, son of a KGB spy, and the man who threw an “anything goes party” for Boris Johnson which Tory cabinet ministers said made Johnson “a security threat” and “open to Kompromat” (Google that word)

7. Half the new Lords are leading campaigners for Brexit, and as such are viscerally opposed to unelected power and sprawling bureaucracy. They join 808 unelected members of parliament. There are only 650 elected ones

8. And in an already spiffing week for democracy, the govt set up a council to investigate ways to prevent courts from ruling ANY govt action is unlawful, even if it is literally unlawful

9. And now stats news, and the Office for Statistics Regulation said the PM repeatedly used poverty stats “selectively, inaccurately and, ultimately, misleadingly”

10. Then the ONS revealed the UK had the worse excess death rate in Europe

11. So Johnson hailed Britain’s “massive success” on Covid19, and I wondered how things could get worse…

12. Hello, Iain Duncan Smith! Two weeks after the cost of IDS’s Universal Credit rose by a £1.4bn, the Lords found it was “not fit for purpose” and needed £8bn more

13. The cross-bench Lords committee found Universal Credit “has led to an unprecedented number of people relying on food banks”

14. Dominic Raab saw this as an opportunity, and posed, smiling, at a food bank that specifically illustrated massive government failure

15. In Oct 2019 IDS voted to accelerate the passage of the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically so it wouldn’t have to face parliamentary scrutiny

16. In Mar 2020 IDS voted for the Withdrawal Agreement. Wait for it…

17. This week IDS apparently got around to reading the WA, saw it would cost £160bn, and demanded it be renegotiated.

18. He said the details were “buried away, unnoticed by some”, which is kinda why we needed time to scrutinise it, but Iain will be Iain

19. Iain being Iain has cost the country £170 billion this week alone, in return for a future that is demonstrably worse

20. Small change, but it was also revealed it will cost £1bn to replicate the chemical industry safety regime that we got for free from the EU

21. Oh, and £170,000 loan to a “sex party company”, which honestly, barely raises an eyebrow compared to the rest

22. And now Covid, and a study found Dominic Cummings’ Durham adventure “was a key factor in the breakdown of a sense of national unity” that cost lives

23. A cross-party group of MPs said the failure to close airports in March was “inexplicable” and “a serious mistake” that led to thousands of deaths, and ever-so-slightly worryingly, they could not identify anybody in govt who was making decisions

24. The govt’s top coronavirus expert, who attempted to persuade the govt to lock down, revealed he has never met Boris Johnson, our PM, who said he was “taking personal responsibility” for lockdown and Covid policy

25. Dido Harding, head of the Covid App, said “I absolutely don’t accept that this is failure, it’s the opposite”. It cost £13m, which is £12.3m more than the functioning Irish app. And then it was abandoned because it didn’t work

26. She also leads Test + Trace. A report found contact tracers “making only a handful of calls every month and occupy their time with barbecues and quizzes”

27. Test +Trace contacted only 50% those at risk, so local councils set their own up in 2 weeks. They’re tracing 98%

28. The govt announced a lockdown for Britain’s 2nd largest city-region not via a PM announcement, but via a tweet at 10pm, 2 hours before it began

29. Directors of public health were not informed before the lockdown, and no procedures were in place for implementing it

30. A SAGE subcommittee said there was “a high risk of widespread urban disorder” requiring military intervention, and a decision to reopen pubs would “complicate these problems and introduce entirely new ones”

31. The govt opened pubs

32. The govt said extremely vulnerable people should stop shielding

33. The govt said shielding was essential to stop the spread of Covid

34. The govt said people should return to work in offices

35. The govt said people should increase their isolation

36. The govt said it would isolate over-50s

37. The govt said it would not isolate over-50s

38. The govt said you can’t meet other families in your home

39. The govt said you can meet other families in pubs

40. The govt said pubs might have to close so we can open schools

41. The govt said pubs would be spared Covid-19 restrictions

42. The govt said it would be “as good as over by Christmas”

43. The govt said we should “not delude ourselves this will go aware in a few months”

44. The govt said it was abandoning its pledge to conduct regular testing in care homes

45. The govt said it wasn’t abandoning its pledge to conduct regular testing in care home and oh god, kill me

46. The PR firm responsible for creating a false Labour manifesto website and a renaming the Tory twitter page “factcheckUK” then tweeting falsehoods was granted a £3m Covid-19 communications contract. There was no tender process

47. A report found only 45% of adults have even a “broad understanding” of the lockdown rules, which is hardly surprising when the PR firm’s major experience is false news

48. Only 26% of emergency funds for small charities had been allocated, and even less actually paid

49. After introducing quarantines on returning tourists, Dominic Raab said “you cannot be penalised in this country lawfully for following the rules”

50. It was later admitted that employers can penalise employees who quarantine, but the govt hadn’t known this. The actual govt

51. It was revealed UK negotiators “only engaged with Brexit issues [the single most important political business since WW2] in the last 2 weeks”

52. The PM’s father said Johnson was “living in cloud cuckoo land” about getting a free trade deal without meeting EU standards

53. The OECD showed the number of UK citizens emigrating to the EU has risen 30% since the Brexit vote

54. The report concluded “These increases in numbers are of a magnitude that you would only expect when a country is hit by a major economic or political crisis”

55. Polling shows a drop in Tory support by expats, and pinpointed “the implications of a hard Brexit” as the primary reason

56. Random Tory MP news: a Tory MP said the “vast majority” of people breaching lockdown rules were from minority, and specifically Muslim, backgrounds

57. But a study found 80% of infections in locked-down areas were in the white British community and said this should be “a warning to the complacent white middle class”

58. In 2019 the govt promised a “transparent and independent appointment strategy” for top Whitehall jobs. This year, 44% of those appointed to top Whitehall jobs are close personal friends of Michael Gove, which might just be one of those absolutely incredible coincidence things

59. More Gove: the NI politician John Hume died, and Gove praised his “integrity and wisdom” in helping to create the Good Friday Agreement

60. Gove wrote a 58-page pamphlet opposing the Good Friday Agreement and said those involved in the GFA were akin to “appeasing the Nazis”

61. A Tory MP was arrested for alleged rape, and not only did the party not suspend him, it was revealed the chief whip and Jacob Rees-Mogg both knew about it for at least a month and did nothing

62. The effortlessly brilliant Liam Fox appears to be a major cause of Russian hacking of British politics, after it was found he was highly likely to have used unsecured personal email for classified govt business, and got 451 pages of it nicked

63. Jeremy Hunt, who is worth £14m, and once explained bogus expenses claims by saying he forgot about 7 houses he owned (and which of can honestly say we haven’t forgotten about 7 houses we own) boasted of using £50 of taxpayer’s money to buy fish and chips

64. The govt announced it would employ an official PM’s spokesperson at a cost of £100,000, even though Whitehall rules about civil servants explicitly forbid it, and the rules explicitly say the PM must answer questions personally

65. Boris Johnson said of Black Lives Matter, “I hear you, and I understand”

66. And then this week the govt refused to even begin a review into possibly introducing more black, Asian, and ethnic minority history in schools

67. It’s Wednesday. Two more days to go, and then we begin another #TheWeekInTory for me to catalogue, assuming I don’t shove my head through a bacon-slicing machine first

keyboard head smash GIF

Frustratingly I left an important number out of a tweet.

The drop in Tory support from expats is 60%


Since you’re here –

@MAGsaveslives is an amazing charity that de-escalates and de-arms conflict, rebuilds communities, provides prosthetics and education, and is frankly just wonderful.

If you can spare a dime in difficult times, spare it for them. Ta

Originally tweeted by Russ (@RussInCheshire) on 05/08/2020.