Editor’s comment: please note that this is a straight repro of a twitter thread, unedited!
To start off #TheWeekInTory, some good news —possibly because it’s got nothing to do with Tories.
19AUG20: The 1st polar bear to be born in UK for 25 yrs will move from its Scottish home to an English Park.
Hmm. That might make a good metaphor for something more political…
1.#WorldHumanitarianDay began tragically when the body of a 16yr-old Sudanese refugee trying to cross the Channel with a friend in a dinghy rowed by shovels washed up on a French beach.
2.Priti Patel responded with invective against criminal gangs, bypassing compassion & concern
3. Surprisingly, Gavin Williamson was still in his job, as #ExamShambles rumbled on…
4. Publication of the 1st DfEd Board minutes for 2yrs showed exams weren't discussed at the June meeting — raising the question, why hadn't #IncompetentUKGovt prepared better?
5. Ofqual revealed it had warned DfEd of the potential for *erratic outcomes* from the algorithm, but was put under pressure by the Minister on grade inflation.
6. At the end of the day, Gavin Williamson still hadn't resigned or been sacked.
7. Public First, run by Gove/Cummings pals, was given £3m in contracts without tender for #COVID19 comms
8. PF faked a Starmer clip, rebranded Con Twitter page as a fact-checker & set up a fake Labour website in GE2019, so we now have a #FakeNews outfit in charge of health comms
9. Steve Bannon was arrested on board Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui's yacht for defrauding the "We Build the Wall Fund".
10. Lashings of schadenfreude… and speculation. Will Bannon cut a deal and sing? Who will be the next domino to fall? To be continued…
11. Govt has spent £56m on contracts without tender to 16 private consultancy firms.
12. One firm, McKinsey, is earning £14k/day for 6wks to define the *vision, purpose & narrative* of the replacement for Public Health England.
You'd think they'd do that before breaking PHE up.
13. Liz Truss-IEA meetings were removed from the Transparency register & marked *private*.
14. IEA DG Mark Littlewood used the "we've been friends for years" excuse, which isn't an excuse if one of you is UK TradeSec & the other heads a ThinkTank trying to influence Govt policy
15. Labour on Truss/IEA: "Truss appears to be evading rules designed to ensure integrity, transparency & honesty in public office"
16. Russian activist Alexei Navalny was in a coma after suspected poisoning. His wife wasn't allowed to see him, but later transferred him to Berlin
17. The Greenland ice sheet lost a record 1m tonnes of ice per minute in 2019.
No wonder Trump is eyeing it as the location for a sister resort to Mar-a-Lago. He enquired if he could swap Puerto Rico for Greenland, because, in his words, Puerto Rico was dirty & the people poor.
18. It was announced BTec results, due for release today, would be delayed until August 28th, because —algorithm woes.
19. At the end of the day, despite yet more #ExamShambles, Gavin Williamson still had not resigned or been sacked.
20. After his Times Radio damp squib, it was announced that Rupert Murdoch was teaming up with Andrew Neil & man of the Paypal Nigel Farage to launch a new Brit News channel in 2021 modelled on Fox News.
[Nobody tell'em the demographic they appeal to is unlikely to pay for news]
21. Good news! Thx to campaigning by pressure groups, Keir Starmer & Labour MPs, the Govt did another U-turn. Hurrah! The eviction ban has been extended by 1mth + period of notice for eviction during winter months extended to 6mths.
22. Not enough, so campaigning continues.
23. PM's secret staycation location was revealed. He cut the holiday short after being found by a Daily Mail reporter
24. Tories launched an attack on the SNP in the press, accusing Ian Blackford of the leak, but the DMreporter denied it was him. Still no apology to Blackford…
25. Bletchley Park said 1/3 of its staff were facing redundancy as the Trust that manages it struggled to cover a £2m shortfall.
26. People called on Big Tech to save Bletchley, as none of them wld exist without its pioneering work. The next day Sunak dropped the *Facebook tax*.
27. Confidence in the Govt's £10bn #TTT system was rocked by an exposé into wastefulness. A contact tracer said they hadn't made 1 call in 12wks on full pay.
28. Stats show outsourced firms Serco & Sitel (paid £200m between them) miss 46% of test contacts in England.
29. Private Pike struck again: Ministers *privately* (but not so privately it wasn't leaked to the press) warned of a shortage of 6,000 public buses needed to get children to school in England.
30. At the end of the day, Gavin Williamson still had not resigned or been sacked.
31. When banned Far Right group Britain First discovered the Home Office was putting up recently arrived refugees in 12 local hotels, it went ballistic.
32. Clips were streamed of individuals, some convicted of terrorist offences, storming down corridors and terrorising guests.
33. Far Right protestors have circulated lists of hotels to target on social media & swamped websites with negative reviews of the hotels in question. Police have been called to several incidents in various places.
34. Radio silence from Patel on the behaviour she has inspired.
35. It's worth repeating an extract of the 15AUG20 Letter to Patel from Windrush survivors & others:
"The pattern of ignoring expert advice, failing to engage with civil society and branding migrants as criminals replicates Home Office failings that caused the #WindrushScandal."
36. The WHO announced children over 12 should wear face-masks.
37. The UK Government said masks are not recommended for use by primary and secondary school pupils.
Savvy people started to run a book on when #IncompetentUKGovt would U-turn…
39. In Ireland, Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary + the Seanad Deputy Chair Jerry Buttimer resigned when it emerged they'd attended a parliamentary golf club dinner held in violation of social distancing rules.
40. Lockdown breakers Cummings & Jenrick still refuse to resign.
41. Keir Starmer attacked #IncompetentUKGovt for putting school return at risk "after a week of chaos, confusion and incompetence".
42. Boris Johnson countered by announcing he would take control of schools following #examshambles.
What could possibly go wrong?
43. Ofqual revealed the Royal Statistical Society had offered help to Ofqual design its algorithm, but refused to sign Govt's non-disclosure agreement.
44. Gavin Williamson defended his staycation the week before #ExamShambles & not being there to learn from Scotland's mistakes.
45. Meanwhile Chris Whitty admitted re-opening schools cld push R above 1, necessitating local lockdowns, but the harm being done by keeping kids out of school is greater.
46. The Sun leaked a Cabinet Office presentation on No-deal. It's worse than Yellowhammer.
48. Nigel Farrago went into meltdown. Never mind that it's not ALWAYS played at the proms, or indeed that the Cons cancelled it at one of their conferences…
49. Suddenly dozens of Tory MPs who'd been so quiet during #ExamShambles that you could be forgiven for thinking they must have died, woke up & jumped onto Nige's bandwagon.
50. Later in the US a white cop shot a black man in the back 7 times in front of his kids #JacobBlake ⬛️
51. Nicola Sturgeon, who still does a #COVID19 briefing & takes questions from the press EVERY DAY, announced masks would be worn in communal areas in Scottish schools.
52. Alok Sharma confirmed on TV that Govt was sticking to its no-mask policy in English schools.
53. Oliver Dowden said, "Confident forward-looking nations don't erase their history, they add to them." Meanwhile the Tory party is busy re-writing its history.
54. The BBC reinstated Rule Britannia for #LastNightOfTheProms, but music only, as there's no audience to sing along.
55. The Finnish conductor leading #LastNightAtTheProms suffered abuse & death threats after Farage tweeted,"So the BBC may drop RuleBritannia+LandofHope&Glory from the Proms because the Finnish conductor is too woke. Why not drop her instead?"
Is this the country we live in now?
56. Ofqual's Sally Collier resigned in place of Gavin Williamson, as Govt ministers & SpAds have no accountability and absolute impunity for all their cock-ups & rule-breaking.
57. Meanwhile Boris Johnson learnt he was resigning in 6mths time when Cummings's pa-in-law leaked it.
59. Labour asked to waive capital limit rules, as for Windrush & Grenfell victims
60. The PM pitched up in fetching red overalls at a shipbuilding firm in Devon & waded into the #RuleBritannia culture war his party is revelling in, instead of, you know, governing.
61. He inspired @tom_newton1234's witty quip
Britannia rules the waves
Johnson waives the rules
62. Still, Johnson hadn't said a word abt #ExamShambles . On TV a headmaster begged, if there's to be another screeching U-turn, please do it now, while we've still got time to prepare.
61. Later the Govt U-turned on masks in schools. Gavin Williamson is still in post.
62. David Davis popped up to opine on EU trade deal negotiations. TL;dr —keep playing chicken, lads; the EU will cave at the last!
A stopped watch is right 2x/day. David Davis has never been right yet on Brexit & he's not this time.
Here's Cummings on a *stopped watch* occasion
63. Germany scrapped plans for Brexit talks at the EU Ambassadors' summit due to lack of progress. Separately, Michel Barnier lamented how much time the UK had wasted over the summer.
64. Someone call a taxi for David Davis.The German car manufacturers aren't coming.
65. The Sun leaked PM might appoint world-beating misogynist Tony Abbott as trade envoy. Mike Rahn, former Aussie high commissioner, "Britain asking Tony Abbott to run its trade negs. would be abt as credible as Oz asking Gavin Williamson to take charge of its education system."
66. Gavin Williamson remained in post.
67. Former Australian PM Rudd reacted to the Abbott news: "Is the UK joking? This is the man that called climate change “absolute crap”, likened climate action to “killing goats to appease volcano gods” & repealed Australia’s carbon price."
68. Shadow TradeSec Emily Thornberry spoke up for women, unlike the actual Minister for Women —but more of her anon.
She's disgusted the PM wants "this offensive, leering, cantankerous, climate change-denying, Trump-worshipping misogynist" to rep our country overseas." #GoEmily
69. As to trade, Govt had better take a closer look at food security. We grow 85% of our wheat here and import the rest from France & Germany, but #BBC reported the UK wheat yield is the worst for decades (too hot at planting, too wet at harvest). The price of bread could soar.
70. To recapitulate, this winter the Govt expects:
—COVID19 wave II
—deepest recession ever
—price hikes for staples like bread
& on top of all that, it wants to inflict no-deal Brexit on us.
Aren't Govts supposed to work in citizens' interests?
71. To complete the scapegoating for Gavin Williamson's epic failures, the Education permanent secretary Jonathan Slater was fired after 35 years of dedicated service.
72. *Despatched by Dom* roll-call:
73. Tory MPs like Desmond Swayne & Charles Walker started to complain about "govt by edict".
74. All Tory MPs backed the Coronavirus Bill granting the Govt emergency powers for 2YRS (in other countries, it's weeks or months & has to be renewed). Govt is now abusing those powers.
75. PM gave an awful speech to bored kids in Leicestershire. Finally he sort of apologised for #ExamShambles, but not really,'cos he lied abt it being the fault of a "mutant algorithm".
76. He was upstaged by the books behind him,selected by an aggrieved librarian when she quit.
77. The Home Office sank to a new low when it released an anti-migrant clip with inflammatory language undermining the #RuleOfLaw & whipping up hatred of those who practice it.
78. After public uproar, the HO agreed the clip violated CS Code & eventually withdrew it.
80. Horton pressed Truss for a comment on the mooted appointment of Tony Abbott, but cogent answer there came none.
81. Truss's evasion is bad news for women, as she's the Minister for Women, but looks to be prioritising her job as Trade Secretary.
82. One day, this conflict of interest will be a case study —just when women most needed their minister to stand up for them, she was AWOL.
83. Ed Davey was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats. The two candidates immediately pulled together with a call for unity in the party.
84. Let's hope all progressive parties can now get on with building an alliance that can defeat this kleptocratic kakistocracy of a Govt.
83. We started with a tragic story abt a drowned refugee, so let's end on a happier one: Banksy has funded a refugee rescue boat,captained by activist Pia Klemp.
84. The boat is painted magenta & white,with a depiction of a girl in a life vest holding a heart-shaped safety buoy.
85. Remember when Eddie Izzard ran all those marathons back-to-back? Every #TheWeekInTory is a marathon, it's unbelievable how much shite they chuck at us, and there's never any respite.
So be good to yourselves this bank holiday weekend, and come back ready to take them on.
Photo credit: Chris Orange
Russ always finishes his #TheWeekInTory threads with a link to a worthy crowdfunder. Here's the one for the Good Law Project's case against Michael Gove & others for dodgy procurement.
•thread-break at 55 (I appear to have tweeted 55 2x; the one not in the thread is going viral🙄)
•messing up the numbers at 83-84; last 3 points shld be 85,86,87
Twitter threader doesn't work in reply mode!