Here’s another instance of the Tories attempting to silence Left-wing bloggers and online critics. Today’s I newspaper for the 18th December 2014 has a story on page 4 about Grant Shapps being accused of trying to shut down The Political Scrapbook. Shapps used his lawyers to try to bully the blog, sending it three letters threatening to sue because of two stories it published about the Tory chairman. The same firm of lawyers acting for Shapps also sent a letter threatening legal action on behalf of another, unnamed Tory MP, who was also the subject of a blog post. Despite the threats, neither Shapps nor his unnamed colleague have followed up with legal action.
This isn’t the first or only time politicians, of both the Left, Right and Centre, have tried to close down their critics through threats of legal action. There have been any number of cases of…
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Groovmistress posted this comment on Tom Pride’s piece about the Jobcentre sanctioning a young woman simply because she was pregnant.
The whole set-up in the Jobcentres is geared to putting the “client” in their place, making them feel inferior and, in my experience, the “officers” take pleasure in acting the role of strict headteacher (“stand there”, “don’t cross the line”, “don’t answer back” etc) doling out punishment at any opportunity. Many of these “officers” are not highly trained professionals (I have known a few personally) and quite obviously relish their power. They are not there to help us, their mission seems to be to do whatever they can to sanction, disallow a claim or just make our lives very difficult.
I was once sanctioned and money stopped, because I “missed an appointment”. I had an appointment at the jobcentre for 1pm on a Monday. On the Saturday before I received…
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A 15th century law court
One of the commenter’s to Mike’s blog, Vox Political, R. Jim Edge, reported an appalling miscarriage of British justice. The comment is on Mike’s post, reblogged from Pride’s Purge, about the death of a mentally ill man, Mark Wood, from starvation. Wood had been sanctioned by Atos, and this exacerbated his mental illness. He developed an eating disorder, and refused money his family gave to spend on food. He died weighing just over 5 stone, with a body mass index of 11.5. The full details are on Pride’s Purge and the Void. R. Jim Edge commented
Its going to get worse, just this week in Chester a woman who stole some groceries from TESCO because she had had her benefits stopped was (and this is the good bit) fined £30 and ordered to pay £80 compensation to tesco.
This is actually a…
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It’s farewell to your centuries-old right to free speech today, after your Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs won their bid to get the Gagging Bill passed by the House of Lords. It won’t go back to the Commons because the Lords made no amendments.
While you, personally, will be allowed to continue complaining about anything you want, you will no longer have the ability to link up with others to protest government actions in any meaningful way as such action may breach Liberal Democrat and Tory government-imposed spending limits. Your personal complaints will be deemed unrepresentative of the people.
You will still be able to have your e-petition on the government’s website – if you win enough signatures to have it debated in Parliament – ignored by the Tories and Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons.
The Liberal Democrats and Tories have even managed to rub salt into the wound…
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