Archives for posts with tag: Grant Shapps


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,459

Thursday 09 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It is at least unfortunate that we have three of the worst characters possible representing the Tory case for leaving the EU, at worst it is wilful manipulation to swing the referendum in favour of staying in the EU.

Priti Patel makes her case that leaving the EU would enable her to attack employment protections and, “halve the burdens of the EU social and employment legislation”. On the face of it that firmed my feeling that I should be voting to remain in the EU, forgetting for a moment that to pull a stunt like that she would be acting undemocratically, without consultation and against our best interests, in short, she’s being her usual self, a petty dictator. That’s not an argument to remain in Europe.

Moving right along, let’s have a look at Boris (BoJo the clown) Johnson. In a street speech that was more a pantomime piece than anything else, in reference to someone saying ‘bananas’ (A shill? A plant? An idiot?), Johnson claimed that the EU prevents Britain from selling bananas in bunches of more than 2 or 3 and that they must not be excessively bent, unlike him. It was a claim so self evidently false I wondered why the crowd didn’t plant him head first in a water butt? This wasn’t an argument for Brexit, it was a temptation to vote for anything other than the idiot, but even if I voted remain, we’d still be stuck with the idiot.

Michael Gove’s central argument for Brexit is for, “a galvanising, liberating, empowering moment of patriotic renewal”. It was Samuel Johnson who said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”, meaning just the kind of jingoistic, flag waving, nonsense that Gove was spouting. True patriots are those who protect democracy, as Tony Benn did all his life, who want to end wars and serve the cause of peace, the kind of people who demand that Tony Blair faces the Hague for his illegal invasion of Iraq, an invasion that Gove supported regardless of his later change of heart. Let’s also remember that Gove gave away our schools to privateers, demanded our children learn by rote and alienated almost the entire teaching profession. This man is hardly a friend of Britain or Brexit.

Your own claim that leaving the EU could herald another Europe wide conflict, was the other side of this sordid mess, senseless fear-mongering in a world riven by conflict that the EU has been powerless or useless to prevent. What matters is the we the people are able to hold power to account. Europe has done nothing to prevent the excesses of the worst government in UK history. You ignored the findings of UN special investigator Raquel Rolnik into the despicable bedroom tax. Rolnik was branded by Grant Shapps as, an “absolute disgrace”, dismissing her as “a woman from Brazil”. Iain Duncan Smith called her a  “strange woman” and accused Labour of indulging in “little gimmicks with people from Brazil.” That’s the contempt you have for us. This fight isn’t about the EU, it is about the people of this country who must fight against Tory extremism and a supranational organisation that offers no protection for ordinary people from neoliberalism and the interests of elite criminals and greedy financiers putting profits before people.

Who let the cats out? Priti Patel suggests we could lose half our EU work rights after #Brexit


31_july_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,164

Friday 31 July 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It’s really quite novel reading about you speechifying around the world. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, they say, and you do rise to each and every occasion.

Only yesterday I wrote about your speech in Birmingham about Britain being an open, diverse, welcoming, successful multi-racial, multi-faith democracy and yet today your response to the few thousand people in Calais, many fleeing humanitarian crises, was to accuse them of being a dehumanised ‘swarm’.

Today I read that you’ve promised that Britain will play a ‘leading role’ in tackling international wildlife crime and Grant Shapps has written to the Zimbabwean authorities to condemn ‘barbaric hunting’. Yet it is you who wants to repeal the UK ban on fox hunting which sees foxes torn apart in the most bloody and barbaric way possible.

Your speech in Singapore is to cover acting to stop corruption, ‘as we did with in Britain with our Bribery Act in 2010’, yet only today I read that Sajid Javid is inviting companies to comment on whether the tough anti-corruption measures in the act are ‘a problem’ despite Transparency International reporting that 89 per cent of companies surveyed in your Government’s own research consider the Act has had no impact on their ability to export.

Do you actually understand or have any concept of what reality means? Perhaps you are blighted with that very common disease of being a people pleaser, saying whatever suits the moment and to hell with anything that might resemble the truth or reflect the reality on the ground. Or is it that your training in dark arts of PR just means you simply have no care or concern for anything resembling the truth, just doing and saying whatever suits your purposes?

Whatever your purposes they have nothing to do with diplomacy (the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations) which often has to deal with unpalatable truths without causing undue offence or sparking international incidents.

Back home we have to deal with you and a government that is not so much economical with the truth as knowingly lies through its teeth on everything from austerity to health to making work pay to caring for the sick and disabled and those most in need. In Birmingham you decried those taking action and seeking redress for policies which cause ‘poverty and hardship’ on the grounds of what you dismiss as, ‘grievance justification’. The process of law is precisely to resolve grievances and determine whether they are justified or not. Cutting legal aid sorted out that little problem then, eh? I wonder what they really make of you in foreign parts? They’re full of furriners you know… swarms of ’em.–people-6165167