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#TheWeekInTory (Wed to Sun)

1. Let’s start with the milder corruption: it was revealed Matt Hancock tried to block 400 homes and a primary school near Newmarket racecourse, after receiving at least £65,000 in donations from horseracing bigwigs who opposed the scheme
2. And then Robert Jenrick, the Housing Minister, overruled his dept and planning officers to rush through planning permission that saved Richard Desmond a £45m fee. Desmond is a billionaire pornographer, former-Express owner, and (subsequent to this) a Tory donor
3. The Tory Manifesto says: “we will offer more homes to local families, enabling councils to use developers’ contributions via the planning process”

4. The lost £45m was the “developers’ contribution”. One of Britain’s most deprived areas lost it. A billionaire kept it.
5. And then, I'm sure coincidentally, Desmond donated £12,000 to the Tory Party the next week. A bargain – only 0.02% of the £45m he saved

6. So this week Jenrick denied he had done anything wrong

7. Unfortunately, he had already admitted his actions were “unlawful” on 29 May
8. And then the business minister said voters could “raise their concerns at Tory fundraisers”

9. So now have to donate to the Tory Party before we can complain about the Tory Party doing illegal things for their donors
10. In Coronavirus news: Boris Johnson announced more relaxations of the lockdown, saying he would “trust the British public to use their common sense”

11. 48 hours later a major incident was declared on the South Coast, as 500,000 people common-sensibly crowded the beaches
12. Boris Johnson said he “would not hesitate” to bring back lockdown if the rules on social distancing weren’t observed

13. 48 hours later, he hasn’t brought back lockdown

14. Then the govt announced councils would have the “power and resources” to enforce local lockdowns
15. But council leaders wrote to the govt to explain that they don’t actually have the legal powers to do this

16. And then 8 out of 10 councils in England have declared they are at risk of bankruptcy, having absorbed cuts of between 26% and 50%
17. Health leaders, including the presidents of Royal Colleges of Physicians, Nurses, GPs and Surgeons wrote to the govt asking for an urgent review of preparations for a second wave

18. The govt declined to do a review
19. And then the WHO warned of global shortage of oxygen and breathing equipment

20. So naturally, the govt opened pubs and cinemas

21. Then, after a month of not telling us the daily test numbers, the govt went a step further and cancelled the daily briefings altogether
22. UK Statistics Authority issued a 2nd official warning about the “trustworthiness” of the govt’s figures

23. Association of Medical Research said 74% of clinical trials had been put on hold in 2020 due to cuts

24. So we spent £900k painting a flag on Boris Johnson’s plane
25. And then it was revealed the govt spent £12m on the “world beating” contact app that didn’t work

26. If you paid the average £50,000 programmer salary, £12m buys 320 programmers

27. The German app code is open-source, and the free repository for it lists 34 programmers
28. The UK has repeatedly declined to use the free German App

29. Boris Johnson claimed in Parliament that "no country in the world has a working contact tracing app”

30. There are working contact tracing apps in: Angola, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh...
... Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Rep, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Malaysia, Morocco, N Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, NZ, Poland ...
... Qatar, Russia, S Africa, S Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Vietnam. That's 42 countries.

31. The gov declined to publish its report on food and medicine shortage risks from no-deal Brexit, which surely bodes well.
32. Boris Johnson said Brexit must be delivered, as we have a “democratic duty” to listen to the people

33. A report this week found 9m voters – most thought likely to oppose the Conservatives – will vanish from the electoral roll when new Westminster seats are drawn up
34. When the govt (breaking pre-election promises) merged the Dept for International Development into Foreign Office 2 weeks ago, they said there would be no cuts to overseas aid

35. This week the Treasury asked govt depts to find "a minimum of 30%" cuts, including overseas aid
36. The govt continued to decry the removal of statues connected with slavery, as this might “diminish public knowledge of British history”

37. Govt cuts led to the closure of 773 public libraries, and I suspect many of them contained books about British History
38. The Minister for Arts said the govt was “committed to supporting the Arts Sector in through crisis”

39. Emergency funding for the arts (converted into £)

- France £6.3bn
- Germany £900m
- Canada £295m
- Italy £221m
- NZ £90
- Spain £68m
- Ireland £18m
- UK £0
40. In 2019 the govt committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050

41. A year on a report found at the current rate, the govt would hit its target by the year 3650, which is 1500 years from now, a mere 1470 years too late

42. This week it reached 38°C in the Arctic
43. The govt said it would “fairly and courageously to maintain law and order” in the light of the #BlackLivesMatter movement

44. And then the govt announced it wants to abolish trial by jury in order to address a 41,000-case backlog caused by its own cuts
45. It's Friday. Not even very late Friday. There are 2 more days of this week to go.
Amongst those trying to hold this govt to account are @GoodLawProject, which uses donations to bring cases that lead to a fairer society and uncover political corruption.

If you have a spare £5, please consider helping them. Much appreciated.

goodlawproject.org/membership/
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