I’ve just made a pretty big claim, some might say an extraordinary claim and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Just what makes me imagine that this society, this land of my birth is becoming the very thing we opposed not only in wartime but on British streets as well?
This is the land of Cable Street, of Brick Lane where thousands of anti-fasciststook to the streets to oppose Mosley’s Blackshirts and Griffin’s National Front.
It’s the land of the Levellers, the Chartists, of Magna Carta and the Battle of Peterloo where working class artesans gathered peacefully to hear speeches against an oppressive British government and were massacred, by order of that government and the king, at swordpoint by local yeomanry and cavalry soldiers.
So, before we get too smug about our anti-fascist national credentials we should also bear in mind that in each of those other famous conflicts the police, the establishment and the government sided with the fash.
The people in power followed the money, as they often do.
And in recent years that money has been in the hands of far right donors, think tanks and agitators from Breitbart to Cambridge Analytica, from Eugenicist Dominic Cummings to disaster capitalists like Arron Banks and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
I remember hearing Mark Jenkinson, back when he was just a candidate for election talking about MP sleaze and the gravy train of MP expenses. He was rightly outraged (or so it seemed) at the way that some of our nation’s elected parliamentarians were treating the public purse as though it was their personal magic money tree. If elected, Jenky assured us, he would never treat the taxpayer funded expenses pot like that.
Well… let’s see how sincere he was, shall we?
In his first year as an MP he ranked 20th out of 650 MPs which means he claimed more than fully 630 of his peers. That’s quite high, weighing in at a whopping £61,197.82. The justification for this massive claim on the public purse was that he was a new MP, setting up a new office and he lives a long way from London. I have some sympathy with that. Setting up a new office is expensive – but lots of the new ‘red wall’ tories have had to do that and many of them live just as far from Westminster as Jenky does. And that’s before we consider the Scottish MPs, many of them are newly elected too and they all live further from Westminster so that doesn’t really wash.
But let’s not labour too much on the past. We’re another year on and surely, without a new office to set up Jenky’s expenses will be lower. Won’t they?
Newly released figures show that far from dropping down the rankings of high expense claimants, Mr. Jenkinson has risen from number 20 to number 6. His most recent figure is £35,164.16 in this financial year. And we’re only 4 months in. There’s less travel because of Covid and presumably no new office set up costs to include there so it’s interesting to note that over £17,000 has gone on office expenses.
And this is the guy who voted against feeding hungry kids last Christmas!
Follow the link in the description below if you’re interested in the not very specific details. It’s interesting reading, more by its lack of detail than by its clarity but hey ho – that’s MP expenses for you.
Sincerely, thankyou all from the bottom of my heart for what you have done (and failed to do) about working class children during this pandemic.
Not only have you voted TWICE to deny help for hungry children whose parents lost their incomes because of the Pandemic. Not only did you claim TWICE that there wasn’t the money to pay for such help at a cost of less than 1% of the money you ‘Spaffed’ up the wall on Dominic cummings’ mate’s failed ‘Track and Trace’ programme. Not only did you demonstrate your incredibly skewed priorities but also… and this is the best bit…
You revealed to a struggling nation just how bestial, how selfish and how corrupt you really are. A handful of MPs, including you, Mark Jenkinson MP, my own constituency’s incumbent made some remarkable claims about abuse of food parcels without a modicum of evidence or a hint of plausibility. It may be, of course, that you, Jenky and your monstrous mates were telling the truth but many of us are extremely skeptical, to say the least. And skeptical we will remain until sufficient evidence is produced to support your outrageous claims.
But here’s the kicker – to top it all off, your own dear leader, the one who got you to show your true colours in the first place, U-turned in the face of public pressure… TWICE
Let’s face it… you’ve been well and truly screwed by the very man you looked toward to save you. You have been the architects of your own downfall, choosing this most ridiculous of hills to die on, to throw away your credibility by denying the people a paltry sum for massive social gain, not to mention political goodwill. That goodwill might have been yours but has gone instead to a footballer – a brown footballer at that!
Thankyou all so very much. Especially you Jenky – you’ve shown the people of Workington exactly who and what you are. A self-serving monster!
Thankyou for revealing your true selves – warts and all.
Now get back under that rock you crawled out from.
This government has refused to assist struggling families to feed their children. Using the most spurious of excuses from fantasy drug deals to callous, Victorian child-starving notions of the undeserving poor, the government would have us believe that the best response to an adult’s poverty is to punish the children who depend upon them.
This shameful philosophy literally leads to children starving, a slow and painful process that was all but eradicated in UK prior to the return of the tories in 2010. These people have systematically starved unemployed, disabled and low-waged citizens for over a decade now. The issue is bigger than just Christmas and it’s been around for a lot longer than Covid-19.
And yet we’re expected to subsidize MP’s meals even as our own working class children go hungry.
If you think that’s unfair, I urge you to sign the petition to remove public subsidy from all Houses of Parliament restaurants and bars. After all, if the government won’t feed the children of poor people then it has no business buying pies for the likes of Mark Jenkinson MP, with his fantastical tales of dealers trading heroin and crack cocaine for a few stale orios and a large tin of spaghetti hoops!
Did you expect lots of lazy days out with the family, sitting picnicking by a lake or hosting a neighbourhood barbecue in the garden?
Did you spend a small fortune stocking up on disposable barbecues and paper plates back in the day?
Don’t despair. Someone’s found a use for them, after all.
Tory MP, Mark Jenkinson represents a constituency with some of the worst poverty in the whole of UK. Many of his constituents are unemployed whilst others, earning only minimum wage to start with, have seen their incomes further reduced through furlough and now worse. Many have lost their jobs altogether. West Cumbrian hardship is as bad as it ever was. For many hard-working people it’s like the 1980s all over again.
So how did Jenky choose to represent the good people of Workington and surrounding towns and villages? He voted not to help feed their kids!
That’s right. He voted not to help feed their kids.
If you’re as disgusted as I am you may approve of the sentiment expressed here by one Marypost resident who put all those extra plates to good use. What an interesting and fun way to get rid of all that unused clutter from the summer that never was.
What will you do with your unwanted disposable paper plates?
Please, Mark… May the kids have something to eat this Christmas?
On Wednesday night the Conservative MP for Workington, Mark Jenkinson, faced a Test of Character. In these difficult times, low paid and poor families are struggling more than ever to make ends meet. Many people have already lost their jobs, redundancies are on the rise and there will be worse to come. Many have seen their incomes reduced initially to 80% and now to 67% while being on furlough.
Loss of earnings will obviously hit hardest for the lowest paid and most vulnerable in our society. With winter coming many families will face hard decisions about what they must go without in order to get by (if indeed it is actually possible for them to get by). Official figures for child poverty in this country have risen by 600,000 while the Conservatives have been in power. Figures have surged by 100,000 in just the last year (no doubt the covid-19 crisis has played a significant part in this).
Recognising this situation, the Labour Party proposed a motion in Parliament to extend a scheme to provide free meals (to qualifying children) in non-term times until next Easter. It is a very modest, short-term measure. Surely not much to ask??
During the 2019 election campaign (and since), Mark Jenkinson, made much around the ‘levelling up’ soundbyte. He inferred that he would personally support policies that reduce the massive wealth disparities in this country by bettering the lives of people at the very bottom of the economic pile. This is indeed much needed given the brutal attack on the welfare system during the last 10 years of Conservative austerity that has seen the incomes of the poorest reduce but incomes of the richest increase.
So, given an opportunity to support even the most modest ‘levelling up’ scheme, you’d think, if sincere, that he would be a fervent supporter?However, on Wednesday, Mark Jenkinson, was briefed by his party leadership on what to say, what to think and how to vote on the amendment. Mark Jenkinson obediently voted against the motion that would have brought some small relief to struggling families. In justification; on Wednesday night he merely posted verbatim from his party briefing diktat. On Thursday he merely shared a ridiculous and inaccurate post by the extreme right wing MP, Ben Bradley.
Mark Jenkinson has no words of his own to justify his hypocrisy in voting against the extension of free school meals.
So, here it was; A Test of Character. Mark Jenkinson had a straightforward choice. To vote in the interests of those he claimed that he would support. Or to obediently, docilely follow orders.
It’s become a familiar trope of the far right over the last decade to claim that all Muslims are rapists – child rapists at that. Paedophiles. This is because of the grooming gang scandals in places like Rotherham, Derby, Greater Manchester and Oxford. Presented as they were with genuine, actual scandals that really did happen the country’s racists and neo-Nazis lost no time in distorting the facts even further to fit their vile, discriminatory agenda.
So what exactly are those facts? Well…
It’s true that in these and other towns across UK gangs of men conspired together to groom and abuse vulnerable girls, many of whom were below the age of consent and almost all of whom were plied with drugs or alcohol, raped whilst unable to consent, either through intoxication or youth and intimidated into silence before being trafficked around and repeatedly hired out for non-consensual, even forced sex with older men. Several were beaten and threatened with death or serious injury and many continue to suffer psychologically as a result of their traumatic experiences. This is a matter of public record.
It’s also true that the majority of men involved in these grooming gangs were Asian, Muslim and predominantly of Pakistani origin.
It’s also true that the authorities showed remarkable reluctance to confront the issue and there are many sworn affidavits testifying to the fact that girls were either not-believed or even blamed for having ‘asked for it’, as though an under-age girl can ever ‘ask for it’ in any meaningful way. Sex with a minor is, after all, statutory rape whatever her particular, immature judgement might be. Children are children and they need to be protected, often especially from themselves and always from adult sexual predators.
So there we are, those are the facts and they’re particularly sordid facts, to boot.
As a result, far right flag-shagging rabble-rousers from Katie Hopkins and Tommy Robinson to Paul Golding and Nigel Farage jumped on their discriminatory band-waggons and descended on the towns, especially Rotherham where the scandal first broke, denouncing all Muslims which they tended to define as brown people and non-white taxi drivers and generally using the scandals to whip up religious hatred.
They characterised Muslim citizens as vermin much as the Nazis had characterised the Jews. They denounced anyone who objected as paedophile sympathisers or even as paedophiles themselves.
Lots of people were taken in by this scam, not least because of the abhorrent nature of the crimes concerned and the characterisation of the victims as white, Christian girls which boosted their fantasy agenda of racial and religious warfare. But let’s take a closer look, shall we?
I’m not about to defend the actions of these predominantly but not exclusively Asian men. The crimes were and will always be repugnant and it is right that they are serving long prison sentences as a consequence. And this is equally true regardless of religion or of skin colour. There were a number of white Christians among the gangs and they’re no less guilty for that. All of those who participated in the grooming and abuse of these young women and girls are equally culpable. And there’s the rub.
All the perpetrators are deserving of punishment. But their families and neighbours are not. Just as not all white Christians are paedophiles, neither are all brown Muslims. There is an issue with some sections of the Pakistani community, a problem which the British Pakistani community is well aware of and is actively seeking to eradicate. This isn’t unlike the problem that exists with some sections of the white Christian community in North America where girls as young as 8 or 9 are still formally and informally ‘married’ to older men.
In both cases the practice is cultural, rather than religious. Yet we wouldn’t accuse every resident of Kentucky’s Appalachian mountains of paedophilia any more than we should blame every Muslim of Pakistani origin. Pakistan is a huge country and cultural practices vary enormously across the regions.
Crime is committed by criminals and every demographic has them. I’m not going to get into extensive whataboutery here but it’s worth thinking just a little about the hard work going on in the mosques to eradicate child sexual exploitation and contrasting that with the letter sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to every Roman Catholic diocese worldwide ordering clergy to cover up child abuse within its ranks, to move offending priests to other parishes where they would be free to abuse more children and to refuse to cooperate with local police. A few short years later cardinal Ratzinger became Pope benedict XVI.
The Church of England and the Methodist churches have each had their own paedophilia scandals but nobody complains that all Anglicans, all Roman Catholics or all Methodists are paedophiles. Why is that then?
I think it’s because it’s obvious. I also think it’s because British people have no cultural reason to discriminate against members of our own, traditional religions. Actually we have no reason to discriminate against other religions either except that certain flag-shagging fuckwits see it as a useful peg to hang their racism on. And there’s the rub.
There’s nothing especially unique about Islam when it comes to child sexual abuse. All the major religions have issues with that. In fact, you might argue that Islam is doing more than most to eradicate it. It’s only of interest to these ‘crusaders’ of child protection when it’s brown people doing the abusing though so Islam gets it.
If the likes of Robinson, Farage, Hopkins and Golding really wanted to eradicate child sexual exploitation they’d begin with the Roman Catholics but that’s hardly their aim. It’s brown people they dislike. Abused children can go hang, for all they care.
A few days ago Mark Jenkinson MP, my MP I’m not at all pleased to say, had a go at teachers for complaining about risks from Covid19. Today, on the same Facebook page where he attacked our local teachers, without a word of explanation he warns of the dangers of Covid to young people.
I would love for him to explain to me how these two posts relate to each other but I can’t imagine my question will be answered. Engaging reasonably with the electorate just isn’t Jenky’s style.
When Covid19 first made it into the news I was as concerned as most people but not dismayed. I had faith in the government to do what’s right and in fact, didn’t criticise the shower of shit we have in Downing Street until April. I saw my role as a good citizen to get behind the government, propagate positive messages abut hand-washing, social distancing and generally support the national effort to keep people alive and not too worried.
I did criticize a bit but that was reserved not for Boris and his cabal of criminals but for hoarders and spivs. Not until April did I start openly criticizing the way the government was handling the pandemic, putting British lives at unnecessary risk by ignoring the advice from the rest of the world.
The reality was (and is) that 10 years of Conservative government failures to prepare for the inevitable contagion, a contagion that the government’s own exercise highlighted was not sufficiently prepared for, has left us woefully under-resourced to meet the challenge. My own MP, Mark Jenkinson (more about his spurious attempts to discredit nurses later) insisted there was no problem. As his more senior colleague (everyone’s more senior than Jenky), Matt Hancock had claimed it’s our fault, we nurses for actually using the stuff we’re given. Of course we’ll run out if we use it… and only once too! That’s what ‘disposable’ means, Matt. It’s to do with infection control, a rather important aspect of dealing with a pandemic like Covid19, as it happens.
A large part of the reason why we went into this crisis so unprepared is because of 10 years of conservative cuts on the health service.
A large part of the reason why we went into this crisis so understaffed is because the tories have spent the last 10 years abusing the workforce. A workforce that now, after risking their lives to care for the sick and the dying are expected to pay for the shortcomings of this despicable bunch of bastards. As if we haven’t given enough already.
A large part of the reason that we went into this crisis so under-resourced was because when everyone else was buying up PPE, ventilators and other equipment we were still being told to sing happy birthday by our Prime Minister who made a song and dance about shaking hands with hospitalised Covid-19 patients. What an example to set!
Then, to add insult to injury, Jenky hired people to travel 35 miles during lockdown to go door to door posting his pointless propaganda like so many typhoid Maries merrily spreading the virus as they went. It seems that nothing can get in the way of a tory MP’s self-agrandisement – not even the risk of killing his own constituents!
And it was Dominic Cummings who stole the headlines in early June with his now infamous ‘Durham Dash’. Conservative MPs across the land frantically toed the party line, desperate to placate constituents with thinly disguised platitudes and non-sequeters, posted en masse without the slightest thought or apparent concern for the impact such patronising authoritarianism might have on their recipients.
Needing a distraction and still ignoring scientific advice the government began a new offensive. This time they were attacking the teachers, hoping to make them the next scapegoat because of their reluctance to return to over-crowded classrooms full of covid19. Unfortunately for them, the nation had already seen through the same tactic when Hancock tried to blame health care professionals and were having none of it. The clear message was that the government didn’t care a jot about children, despite their protestations. A decade of abandonment, not to mention their recent decision to cut off lone child refugees in Calais showed just how little concern they have for anyone’s children but their own (well, except boris who doesn’t even know how many kids he’s got). No, this was all about the money – about freeing up parents to get back to work and die of Covid just so long as they can keep their betters in profit.
Technically they kept their manifesto promise. Actually they made it toothless and a travesty. Shame on this gaggle of Tory goons who see the problem so clearly, had a mandate from the electorate to fix it and polluted the solution they had promised us with extreme nationalism, racism and petty greed instead!
This weekend saw a huge protest in support of Black Lives Matter. The protestors were highlighting a range of issues, of course but with one central demand so far as I can tell. They want the British government to grow a set of bollocks and forthrightly condemn Trump’s administration for allowing, even inciting the murder of black people on US streets. They want the killing to stop both here and abroad and they want our government to stand up and be counted as part of the cure – instead of passively negotiating trade deals with a country whose record on human rights abuses is so blatantly bad it isn’t even surprising any more.
Yesterday some men and women whose children won’t return to their private centres of education until September at the earliest, told the plebs to send their kids back to school. This is so that the plebs can return to work so that business owners can continue making money from the sweat of other peoples’ brows. Money for the wealthy is much more important than the lives of a few thousand oiks and chavs, after all.