“No great escape: Tory scales bins and fence to exit climate hustings”


(stock image – not the actual woman!)

Well, at least she turned up! Our Tory candidate is refusing to even attend Sidmouth hustings, preferring to shop in Exmouth and Budleigh!


(not Jupp, stock image)

“It is a common dilemma for any hard-bitten politician faced with a hostile crowd: how best to make a sharp exit to avoid embarrassment?

For one 63-year-old Tory councillor confronted with a less than receptive audience during a climate crisis debate the answer was to clamber over some bins and scale a fence.

Nancy Bikson was a last-minute replacement for Conservative prospective MP Maria Caulfield, who was too “busy” to attend climate hustings for candidates in the key marginal seat of Lewes, East Sussex, at a school on Monday evening.

Explaining that she was afforded little time to prepare for the event organised by local groups, including a branch of Extinction Rebellion, Bikson said she would not be sticking around for questions after making a short speech. She attracted groans from the crowd, with one man heckling her before she even began speaking, asking: “Why don’t you go now?”

Bikson said she cared deeply about the environment and that she “did her bit” but concluded, to further groans: “It’s all about us, there is no such thing as government. Government is just people.”

Though she eventually attracted polite applause, Bikson left the stage after other candidates made speeches and the event was opened to questions from the audience.

However, when she left via the fire escape she found herself outside in a dead end as the school gates wwere locked. Rather than trudged back through the packed hall to get out, she pondered her predicament for up to 45 minutes before opting to climb over the fence.

Bikson’s great escape would have stayed secret were it not for a 13-year-old girl who saw the incident unfold at Priory school.

The teenager, who does not wish to be named, said: “I left about an hour early and about half an hour after she [Bikson] left the stage. I came outside and I was about to cycle off and she was behind the gate next to our school canteen which was locked and said: ‘Excuse me, can you help me?’ She sounded quite desperate. I said the only way back out is through the auditorium and that she said she didn’t want to go back through the auditorium because of everyone.

“She said: ‘They all despise me … and they don’t want me to go back in there.’”

Explaining she felt sorry for the stranded politician, the teenager added: “I went back into the canteen to try and open the door from the inside [allowing her a route of escape] but it was locked. Then I got a caretaker. I said a caretaker is coming but she said: ‘Don’t worry, I’ll just climb over the gate.’ And she got up on the school bins and climbed over the gate. She’d been out there for a while.”

After hearing the tale, the schoolgirl’s mother, who runs a business managing composers, brought the councillor’s ordeal to wider audience, posting on Facebook: “Lewes Tory MP Maria Caulfield failed to show for tonight’s climate hustings. Her last-minute replacement left the hall before the questions, having first explained that she knew nothing about climate or the environment.

“She was spotted by my daughter 45 minutes later still trying to find her way off the premises without having to go back through the hall. She ended up climbing the fence via the bins. Ignominious.”

Biksonapparently admitted her actions later, telling the Evening Standard on Tuesday “It was only because there wasn’t any other way and I didn’t want to disrupt everybody. It was either that or sit outside for a couple of hours.”

But when the Guardian rang to get her version of events she was tight-lipped, replying: “I can neither confirm nor deny, thank you.”

Lewes was previously held by former Liberal Democrat minister Norman Baker for nearly two decades before being won by Brexiter Caufield in 2015. But the Conservatives only have a majority just over 5,000, meaning the constituency, which narrowly voted remain during the EU referendum, is in danger of being won back by the Lib Dems this month.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/03/no-great-escape-tory-scales-fence-and-bins-to-exit-climate-hustings-lewes?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Boris Johnson has threatened Channel 4 over his own absolute moral cowardice”

It seems a trip to Dart’s Farm (where he was today) was more important than the global climate emergency!

“We are too far down the rabbit hole now to even know if a line has been drawn. There are so many lines now it is as if all our little lives have been tapped out and cut up with Michael Gove’s bank card.

So we can only repeat, as a statement of fact, that today was the day when the prime minister began threatening to shut down actual TV channels for the crime of his own complete moral cowardice.

It is impossible to say whether we have already gone this far before. But this is where we are.

Boris Johnson refused to take part in Channel 4’s “leaders debate” on the climate emergency, just as he has refused to be interviewed by the BBC’s Andrew Neil, and also refused even to be interviewed about whether or not he has refused the BBC’s Andrew Neil.

Where his podium should have been, Channel 4 placed a melting ice sculpture. The Conservative party sent Michael Gove in his place.

There is some uncertainty over who refused to allow Michael Gove to take part. Was it Channel 4 themselves? Was it the other party leaders? Given the other party leaders have done interviews with Andrew Neil, and Boris Johnson is refusing, they can hardly be blamed for not being the enablers to Boris Johnson’s utter shamelessness for a second time.

Gove, naturally, has responded by telling Jeremy Corbyn he’s scared. A good time to remember Michael Gove, who is less a human being and more just the Oxford Union accidentally made flesh, also likes to claim that the referendum was all about making the UK more welcoming to immigrants.

Still, the actual grownups over at the Conservative Central Office have responded by launching a formal complaint with Ofcom, and threatening to have Channel 4’s public broadcasting licence revoked.

This is the country we are now.

Who knows, perhaps, once we’ve “taken back control of our own laws”, other people being sanctioned entirely for Boris Johnson’s own failings will be the standard run of things.

“Prime minister, we’ve had one of the mothers on the phone again. Says it’s your daughter’s birthday. You’ve forgotten. Again.”

“Whoops. Righto. What shall we give her? Custodial or will 100 hours’ community service do?”

Arguably, it was going this way three and a half years ago, when Dominic Cummings threatened ITV with legal action over including Nigel Farage in their EU referendum debate show, telling them there would be “consequences”.

There were, inevitably, no consequences for ITV. Dominic Cummings made a tit of himself, but see also proroguing parliament, the Supreme Court case, refusing to send the withdrawal letter – when a tit makes a tit of itself, there are no consequences either. It is already a tit.

By the time of the second advertising break, a puddle had begun to gather on the floor beneath the Boris Johnson ice sculpture. I am reliably informed the Boris Johnson ice sculpture has already prepared court documents to suppress the puddle’s existence.

By virtue of his own non-attendance, Boris Johnson had created quite literally the exact kind of mess he had himself shown incapable of clearing up from the floor of a flooded optician’s just three weeks ago.

So there you have it. Create a mess that you can’t clear up then blame someone else. Whatever else goes wrong, the metaphors can always be relied upon to write themselves.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/boris-johnson-ice-sculpture-channel-4-debate-michael-gove-leaders-climate-emergency-a9225416.html

Boris Johnson visited East Devon today rather than be at climate change debate

That’s it.

Made poor jokes he’s made everywhere else, mentioned the name of his candidate a couple of times, checked off his keywords, made promises he won’t/can’t/has no intention to keep and left.

End of.

Next stop – repeat.

Owl asked someone what Jupp is like. “Empty vessel,” he said sadly, “empty vessel”!

British capitalism “too extreme” and doesn’t work

“The UK has one of the most extreme forms of capitalism in the world and we urgently need to rethink the role of business in society. That’s according to Prof Colin Mayer, author of a new report on the future of the corporation for the British Academy.

Prof Mayer says that global crises such as the environment and growing inequality are forcing a reassessment of what business is for.

“The corporation has failed to deliver benefit beyond shareholders, to its stakeholders and its wider community,” he said.

“At the moment, how we conceptualise business is, it’s there to make money. But instead, we should think about it as an incredibly powerful tool for solving our problems in the world.”

He said the ownership structure of companies had made the UK one of the worst examples of responsible capitalism.

“The UK has a particularly extreme form of capitalism and ownership,” he said.

“Most ownership in the UK is in the hands of a large number of institutional investors, none of which have a significant controlling shareholding in our largest companies. That is quite unlike virtually any other country in the world, including the United States.”

This heavily dispersed form of ownership means none of the owners is providing a genuinely long-term perspective on how to achieve goals while also making money.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50562518

Johnson has hissy fit – refuses to debate climate change because one participant is a Leader, not an candidate

Johnson has previously refused to appear with Sturgeon – he really IS afraid of her! Sturgeon, although not a candidate IS the person who takes the big decisions in Scotland.

“Boris Johnson is refusing to take part in the first ever election leader’s debate focusing on the climate crisis, with Channel 4 threatening to leave an empty chair if the prime minister does not attend.

The broadcaster said Mr Johnson had yet to respond to a request to attend the hour-long Emergency On Planet Earth debate on Thursday.

It came hours after the UN published a report warning that countries would need to increase their carbon-cutting efforts five fold to avoid climate chaos.

Channel 4 has invited six party leaders to its climate debate, but so far only the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Scottish First Minister National party leader Nicola Sturgeon, the Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson, and the co-leader of the Green party Sian Berry, have agreed to take part.

It is understood that the prime minister is not willing to debate with Ms Sturgeon because she is not a candidate at the election, and it is not clear if a replacement will be sent.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-climate-change-debate-channel-4-general-election-un-a9218441.html