‘Shambolic’ privatised ambulance service run by billionaire given ‘good behaviour’ payment

Pride's Purge

UPDATE: Unbelievably, despite its disastrous performance and despite having its contract terminated after just 7 months – Coperforma still trousered £16.2 million of taxpayers’ money and was given a ‘good behaviour’ payment:

Outrage as firm handed ‘good behaviour’ payment over failing service

In 2009 the Daily Mailtold its readers the UK would be better off if it was run by Tesco:

tesco mail

Well, we no longer have to wonder what the UK would be like if it were run by Tesco. Because the shambolic privatised Sussex ambulance service in disastrous meltdown at the moment is being run by a private company whose chairman is billionaire Tesco heir John Porter.

The company – Coperforma – is being paid £63.5m for this shambles:

Ambulance privatisation descends into ‘total shambles’

That chairman by the way would be John Porter – son of the infamous disgraced Tory council leader Lady Shirley Porter.

So back to the Daily…

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Addressing the myth of ‘Old Labour’

TheCritique Archives

by Martin Odoni

Just before Christmas, journalist and Labour campaigner Abi Wilkinson confessed in the Guardian to having temporarily ‘lost faith’ in her party’s current leader.

Though I was too pessimistic to publicly back [Jeremy Corbyn], a part of me started to wonder, what if? What if the conventional wisdom was wrong and it really was possible to win a general election from the left? What if the tide of hope that was sweeping the party could be replicated at a national level? … … … But I came back down to earth with a bang… there are several reasons for the struggles the party initially faced under Corbyn’s leadership. By the time of the 2016 leadership challenge, almost every committed Labour supporter I knew was in a state of despair – no matter what faction of the party they belonged to. A few kept their hopes up –…

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Jeremy Corbyn and Noam Chomsky receive the prestigious international MacBride Peace Prize

As Skwawkbox commented: “Had Theresa May or any other establishment lackey been awarded with a prestigious International Peace Award, can you seriously imagine the entire media would ignore it?”. Our media are shameful and disgusting.
“As a member of parliament in the UK he has, for 34 years continually taken that work for justice, peace and disarmament to the political arena both in and outside of Parliament. He has ceaselessly stood by the principles, which he has held for so long, to ensure true security and well-being for all – for his constituents, for the citizens of the UK and for the people of the world. Now, as leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition he continues to carry his personal principles into his political life – stating openly that he could not press the nuclear button and arguing strongly for a re-orientation of priorities – to cut military spending and spend instead on health, welfare and education.”
Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn

Politics and Insights

Jeremy Corbyn was awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize along with Noam Chomsky and Japanese anti-military base activists, yet the award received no coverage in the British media. It was International Human Rights day today. Corbyn made an outstanding speech in Geneva, but the UK media unbelievably appear to have vetoed what ought to have been headline news.

So it’s been left to a handful independent journalists and writers like me to report this event.

The International Peace Bureau presents the prestigious Sean MacBride Peace Prize to individuals, organisations or movements for their work for peace, disarmament and human rights. 

Sean MacBride was a founding member of Amnesty International, a hugely well-known and successful charity that was set up by…

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Skewed then skewered: Peston rebuked by Gardiner over reflex EU tweet


Tonight’s BBC documentary on the General Election was an object lesson in the media’s obsessions with the wrong thing, a phenomenon which made them completely ignorant of the ‘Corbyn surge’ groundswell that the SKWAWKBOX and others knew was coming. It was perfectly summarised in a tweet by Red Pepper magazine:

redpepper labsummerThe documentary was clearly hastily rehashed to try to reflect what actually happened – but failed, because it had spent so much time focusing on the wrong thing.

The non-entities.

You’d think, after all the egg on faces in June, that the ‘MSM’ would have learned at least something from that experience – especially ITV political editor Robert Peston, who has just published a book titled, WTF: What the F— happened and what happens next?

Sadly, it seems almost no one has learned the lesson.

Peston tweeted tonight on the topic of an EU amendment that was voted on in…

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Please support the SKWAWKBOX


journalism-as-it-should-beThe SKWAWKBOX has become one the most influential of the ‘new left media’, attacked and copied in roughly equal measure by mainstream media and journalists and with a significant impact on the UK’s political narrative, as well as bringing Labour Party supporters information they wouldn’t otherwise know about.

By design, we operate on a different model, offering all our content free of charge – we even pay extra for hosting to remove all ads, to ensure there’s nothing impeding the readability of the site. Getting good information out to people is the overriding priority.

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Tory backbenchers refuse to sit behind govt on UC debate

Disgusting, shameful Conservative government


As Universal Credit (UC) was debated again in Parliament on Thursday, Labour MP Barry Gardiner tweeted a remarkable observation from the Commons chamber:

bg refuseGardiner may not have been allowed to take a picture from within the chamber, but screengrabs of coverage on the Parliament channel were a different matter and showed it clearly.

The first image below shows the Tory benches before the UC debate began, with Tory backbenchers circled in red behind their front bench. The second shows the benches during the debate – empty of everyone except for a single oblivious, shameless or possible asleep individual:

backbench beforebackbench duringTory MPs being too embarrassed to sit behind their ministers ought to be a significant news item. Even bigger ought to be the fact that David Gauke, the DWP Secretary responsible for UC, didn’t even bother to turn up for the debate – again.

Ought to be – in a society…

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May ostracised by European leaders in Tallinn


Theresa May is in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, for a meeting with European leaders. They’ve either not noticed – or are deliberately ignoring her, as one Twitter user noticed:

As the tweeter observed, a picture paints a thousand words – and all one thousand appear to say ‘irrelevant’.

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