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posted on 2/4/2022 13:52The Week in Tory - Gramsci.

(courtesy of @RussInCheshire)

1. Grant Shapps (who has more identities than Jason Bourne, somebody else people would travel halfway round the world to punch) was ooooh, livid about P&O, and demanded workers be reinstated
2. He tweeted “P&O Ferries has ripped up 800 workers’ rights and hung them out to dry” 
3. P&O's owners pointed out that they’d told Shapps they were going to do this a year ago, and he’d implicitly given them the go-ahead for the sackings, telling them “you will need to make commercial decisions” that are best for P&O 
4. Boris Johnson told parliament P&O had broken the law – and he hates that kind of thing – so “We will take them to court to defend British workers”
5. This week the govt dropped plans to take P&O to court, leading experts to say “it looks like they've got away with it” 
6. Last month's relaxation of public health measures has been so successful that this week Covid infections reached a record high, and hospitalisations of older people are 15% up on the last Omicron peak
7. So obviously, from today free Covid testing has been scrapped too 
8. And funding for tracking Covid has been axed, cos if you don’t look, it isn’t really happening
9. When presented with the option of reintroducing basic public health measures, the health secretary instead went with advising primary school children to “socialise a bit less” 
10. The “protective ring” thrown around care homes was breached (again) as the cost of tests for visitors rises to £73 per month, and becomes voluntary
11. And then, to thank health staff for their work, sacrifices and avoidable deaths, Sajid Javid scrapped their free parking 
12. So sad news for the NHS, but fabulous news for Tory peer Michelle Mone
13. She was reported to have directly lobbied govt ministers to place orders for PPE from a company she was secretly involved in, via a tax haven - cos you wouldn't wanna pay tax on your profiteering 
14. The Mone-adjacent company bought PPE for £46m, then sold it to the govt at 3x the price, and pocketed the difference
15. And the PPE was never used cos it failed inspections
16. And it looks the PPE was somehow – surely by accident – issued with fake approval certificates 
17. And the entire thing had been negotiated between Mone and ministers using private email accounts, so there would be no papertrail
18. Govt guidelines forbid the use of private emails for govt business. But they also forbid illegal profiteering, and look where that got us 
19. Rosa Klebb tribute act Priti Patel didn't want to miss out, so made a “flagrant breach” of ministerial code by intervening to get a PPE contract for a company represented by her friend and former advisor
20. Startled turbot Michael Gove was involved in granting the contract 
21. That company’s profits jumped from £38m to £166m
22. After the last lobbying scandal – and I know it’s hard to keep track – the PM said he would “crack down” on the practice, and put a cap on MPs earnings from second jobs
23. This week he quietly scrapped those promises 
24. And so ex-social care minister Caroline Dineage immediately took a lucrative second job at a social care business owned by a Tory donor
25. The Met continued their Cosmo-questionnaire-based approach to crimefighting, and issued 20 fines for people involved in PartyGate

26. The fines coincided with the opening of the Covid Memorial wall, and also with the day Tory MPs chose to throw a jolly party for themselves, what larks

27. Tories entered the shindig via a line of mourners from Covid deaths, and not one Tory MP looked at them. Not one
28. Follicular fire-hazard Michael Fabricant, having experienced this, was moved to tweet his outrage – not about the flatly ignored mourners, but about the wine at the party being merely a “passable” House Merlot, and not up to his usual standards
29. On the way in he said “We’re going to have a lot of fun”

30. On the way out, clearly briefed by somebody smarter, such as the animal corpse on his head, he said it “wasn’t a party, just colleagues having dinner and drinks”, which is exactly what they just got fined for
31. Months ago, as PartyGate kicked off, Solicitor General Alex Chalk put it in writing that he would resign if there was “a scintilla of a suggestion” anyone had broken the law over Downing St parties

32. Alex Chalk has not resigned as Solicitor General. I know. I’m amazed too
33. Boris Johnson suggested the fines simply showed that he was being honest when had told parliament “There was no party and no rules were broken”

34. The ministerial code says “Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation”
35. Dominic Raab, the kind of Justice Minister you’d expect to find on Gumtree, admitted laws had been broken

36. Johnson listened politely, then said he would remain “pretty firmly on his position” that no laws were broken

37. And then No 10 said laws had been broken
38. But Johnson refused to admit laws were broken

39. To help out, the police said laws had been broken

40. No 10 then had some sort of episode, said “we do not formally accept laws were broken”, and began denying Raab had said laws had been broken. Which he had said. On TV.
41. No 10 then claimed the PM denying parties wasn't a lie, even though police had fined 20 people for those parties

42. Faced with a paradox hard for any mind to handle, let alone his, Raab said the PM’s bull**** was merely him “telling the truth, to the best of his ability”
43. And then, in a magisterial challenge to irony, Raab complained we “can’t believe a word that comes out of Putin”

44. So off to the NATO summit, where our world-leading PM, Sir Plankton Churchill, was ignored by everybody, and ending up alone, gazing forlornly at the ground
45. The govt boasted it had sanctioned 18 oligarchs, cos we don’t want dodgy Russian money queue-jumping honest visa-applicants

46. 8 of those 18 got into this country via the Tory policy of “golden visas”, using dodgy Russian money queue-jump honest visa-applicants
47. Rishi Sunak, the rejected first-draft of an Aardman sidekick who is pretending to be a chancellor, said “I want to make it clear that there is no case for UK business investing in Russia”

48. His family has a £727m stake in Russian business, but he blamed his wife for that
49. He said anyone blaming his wife should be ashamed, but at least he hadn't gone all Will Smith on their ass

50. He’ll go slap-happy when he finds out the ministerial code says ministers “must ensure no conflict arises between their public duties and their private interests”

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