Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…DWP paranoia

via Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…DWP paranoia

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Gauke breaks free Universal Credit helpline promise


gauke1David Gauke

AWOL DWP Secretary David Gauke has been under heavy fire for the grave failure of Universal Credit (UC) system, for his personal failure to appear in Parliament to defend his department’s performance and to answer to the Commons after the government lost votes – and for the gouging of poor UC claimants who call the UC helpline to find out why they have received no money for weeks on end.

The Tories have also been heavily criticised – after the House of Commons voted to reduce the waiting time imposed on claimants moved onto UC from six weeks to four – for only reducing it to five weeks in this week’s Budget.

So you’d think he’d make sure not to break his and the government’s word on something straightforward to do – and straightforward for others to check on.

But no.

On 18 October, Gauke responded to Labour…

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BBC forced to publicly correct after SKWAWKBOX exposes fake news


Earlier today, the SKWAWKBOX exposed false news broadcast last night by the BBC’s Newsnight programme. Newsnight claimed to show Jeremy Corbyn’s response to Philip Hammond’s Budget yesterday, but in fact showed a far less powerful clip of his response to the spring budget in March.

two corbynsCorbyn responding to Hammond’s budget, left – and a still from the footage shown by Newsnight

This afternoon, Newsnight issued the following tweet:

newsnight apology.pngNote that there is no apology, nor did the programme respond to the SKWAWKBOX’s press request for comment sent before publication of the exposé.

Social media activists have demanded that the BBC properly correct its ‘mistake’ by apologising in full at the top of its broadcast tonight, showing the proper clip in full, providing a proper explanation – and correcting its lasting record of the broadcast on BBC iPlayer.

It remains to be seen whether it will do so.

The BBC has…

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#Grenfell survivor ‘only passed 8 people on stairs all the way from upper floor’


The SKWAWKBOX had a long and traumatic conversation this evening with a businesswoman based near Grenfell Tower who has friends and employees affected by the terrible fire and has been working to provide support and shelter to them and others.

The woman, who wanted her information to be told but asked not to be identified, told this blog about families who survived and those that didn’t, about the contribution of police and council staff or the lack of it – and about fears that the real death toll could be even higher than the 150-200 that music stars Lily Allen and Saskilla told reporters about.

Her own words, unadorned apart from the removal of names and floor numbers, follow:

There are two children that we know really well who were in the block. One family got out, the father was able to shield their little girl and thank God…

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Video: Govt “puts ‘D-notice’ gag” on real #Grenfell death toll #nationalsecurity


This morning, Grime artist Saskilla told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that he had been told personally by one of the firefighters at Grenfell Tower that around two hundred bodies had already been identified at the scene of the terrifying blaze. The presenter attempted to pour water on the figure, but the musician insisted it was what he was told in person by the firefighter.

Last night, music star Lily Allen was pulled from an appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight after making similar comments and accusing the government of trying to ‘micromanage people’s grieving’:

Ms Allen was pilloried in the media. The confirmed death toll has increased incrementally since the fire and today rose to thirty.

At the same time, multiple sources told the SKWAWKBOX that the government has placed a ‘D-notice’ (sometimes called a ‘DA Notice’) on the real number of deaths in the blaze:

dnotice.pngIn effect, although…

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London’s fire engines sold off to old Etonian for just £2 (not satire!)

There are times I feel we are living through a bad satirical play.. One written by the Python team in a joint effort with Spike Milligan. Every new fact learned, every shocking oversight, seems to draw us further from any semblance of sensible reality…

Pride's Purge

(Not satire – it’s the UK today!)

The most amazing thing about London’s fire engines being sold off for £2 to a firm run by just one man* – a fellow old Etonian of David Cameron and Boris Johnson – is how nobody seems all that bothered by it.

Maybe most people haven’t heard about it.

Maybe people have got so used to our country being turned into some kind of banana republic, where everything’s owned by the leader’s circle of friends, that they don’t think it’s news worthy any more.

Or maybe people just don’t care about what happens to our essential services like fire, police, health?

I don’t know. But, maybe it should be repeated just one more time, just in case it’s the first reason.

London’s fleet of fire engines have been sold off to a private company for just £2. The company was only created one month…

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So. You want me to be happy?

So powerful.

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