As Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine dominates the news cycle, it’s important that the public is aware of what else is going on. So, here’s a round up of the stories the Tories probably would prefer you not to hear about.
the latest government figures showed a sharp 46% rise in new recorded UK cases week on week – to 346,059 over the past week – and a 12% rise in hospitalisations to 8,950.
Meanwhile, the number of people living with so-called long Covid continues to rise. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) puts the figure at 1.5 million people for January 2022. People protested outside parliament on 9 March over this:
— Laura 🗣 #ResearchLongCovid (@lautowns) March 9, 2022
But you’d be forgiven for thinking the pandemic is over. Because so far, the government is doing nothing to address rising hospitalisations and cases. Nor has it increased long Covid research funding since July 2021.
The Downing Street “partygate” scandal has still been bubbling away in the background. We now know that the Met Police has sent 80 people involved in it “questionnaires” – perfectly normal behaviour from the cops during a criminal investigation, of course. We wait to find out what the Met’s conclusion is.
But the real story here is Johnson. Because before Russia invaded Ukraine, it looked like his time as PM would barely last until May’s local elections. But since then, some Tory MPs seem to think he’s safe. Factor in Keir Starmer backtracking on Labour’s calls for the PM to resign – and it could well be that Johnson and co have gotten away with it.
Bills, bills, bills
Meanwhile, the non-elected and privileged House of Lords has actually been doing some good of late. Because its members have repeatedly scuppered various bits of nasty government legislation. Overall, it’s actually inflicted the most defeats on a government since the 1970s. Some of these include:
- Over 15 defeats on the Nationality and Borders Bill – including several around regressive human trafficking clauses.
- Removing parts of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (the so-called policing bill) – including amending the increase in stop and search powers on protestors.
- Overturning a part of the Health and Care Bill that would see poorer people hit by a cap on social care charges.
But not to be deterred, the government announced on 8 March it was making more changes to the Online Safety Bill. These include more rules surrounding social media, and a consultation on how advertising is regulated.
And as if that all wasn’t enough – we’ve got more Tory government NHS reforms incoming; the Guardian revealed charities had once again been shopping foreign born homeless people to the Home Office; the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) poured scorn on a petition calling for the £20-a-week Universal Uplift to be given to legacy benefit claimants as back pay – oh, and alleged ‘culture’ secretary Nadine Dorries’s braying during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) had to be seen to be believed:
PMQs what is this response? pic.twitter.com/Su4rVjKjKY
— Ellie #FBPE💙🌻 (@Ellie28507466) March 9, 2022
Governments have always looked to conceal news that is detrimental to them. It was a Labour government spin doctor who said during the 9/11 terrorist attacks that it was a ‘good day to bury bad news‘. Since then, governments have continued to use that as an MO. So, while some news events like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rightly take priority – we mustn’t take our eyes of the ball of what’s going on in the background.
Featured image via the Telegraph – YouTube and The Canary
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