Excl: Enfield councillor who failed to pass panel now dep to leader who altered papers to let him stand | The SKWAWKBOX

A series of exclusives by the SKWAWKBOX revealed the ‘irregularities‘ in the selection process for local election candidates – overseen by then-local campaigns secretary Nesil Caliskan – that ultimately led to right-winger Ms Caliskan becoming leader of Enfield council in London.

The councillors who elected her included a significant number who had only become council candidates via the irregular process she ran.

The skewed selection process also led, shockingly, to the deselection of all the borough’s black councillors and triggered a series of protests and calls for investigation across the Labour political spectrum – including half the council’s Cabinet – and the resignation of all of Enfield Labour group’s female officers except Ms Caliskan, amid accusations of bullying, intimidation and physical threats.

The national party was forced to step in, effectively putting Enfield Labour group into special measures.


Source: Excl: Enfield councillor who failed to pass panel now dep to leader who altered papers to let him stand | The SKWAWKBOX

Sanctioned for not being able to sign on on bank holiday Monday. Tears, frustration and rain.

The poor side of life

Today’s demo started rather hurriedly and to be honest I didn’t know if I was coming or going. This feeling was amplified because it was cold, rainy and my daughter was a bit fed up. understandable of course. But she soon settled down into our usual routine and all was well.


We are seeing a lot of new faces due to Stalybridge Jobcentre shutting. They don’t know us and what we are doing, and we don’t know them or their situations either. So we have to start from scratch, which at times isn’t easy.  But it’s a whole lot harder for them.

I started a conversation with a man who had been previously attending Stalybridge Jobcentre for his appointments. The first thing that he said to me was that he couldn’t believe how rude the front desk staff are at  Ashton Jobcentre, and how rude some of the advisors are also…

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Voter Suppression Is the Real Election Scandal

Yes the election could be rigged, but in the favour of Trump and not Hillary, as Trump makes out.

All voters should exercise their right to vote and if they are hindered in any way there should be a system in which there comments and complaints are taken seriously.

Stop Making Sense

Alice Speri reports for The Intercept:

The integrity of this year’s election is under attack — but not in the way Donald Trump claims it is. Ahead of last week’s final debate, the Republican nominee called the election “rigged” dozens of times — in at least 20 tweets sent in the course of a single weekend as well as at rallies across the country in which he called on supporters to show up in “certain areas” and watch the polls.

“And when I say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about, right?” he told supporters in Ohio. “Go to your place and vote. And go pick some other place and go sit there with your friends and make sure it’s on the up and up,” he encouraged supporters in Michigan. “The only way we can lose, in my opinion — and I really mean this, Pennsylvania — is if…

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Disabled musician ‘faces discrimination and abuse from other buskers’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

A disabled busker has been forced to complain to the police and his local council after being verbally abused by other buskers, and even being attacked by one of their children. Guy Stewart, an experienced singer, saxophonist and harmonica player, has been trying to establish himself in the city of Bath since moving to the area for family reasons. But he says he has faced discrimination and abuse from a small minority of buskers, who refused to allow him to play in the best slots in the city centre throughout the summer, and misled him about the system they used to share out the pitches. He said: “There are good pitches that bring in more money, but after a month of not being able to get even an hour on a good pitch I started to make further enquiries about how I could. “Due to my condition, I can only work up to three hours a day, so every minute counts. “I was told at least three different stories and after further questioning I was met with verbal abuse, intimidation and even an

Source: Disabled musician ‘faces discrimination and abuse from other buskers’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

He cannot talk, read or write, but Government want severely disabled Stuart Chester to fill in 20-page form to keep benefits


A SEVERELY disabled young man who is unable to talk, read or write and needs round-the-clock care from his mother is the latest target in Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms.

Stuart Chester, who has Down’s syndrome, epilepsy and autism and is unable to feed or wash himself, is being told by officers in the Tory minister’s Department for Work and Pensions to prove he is unfit for work.

The 25-year-old has been sent a controversial 20-page work capability assessment form to fill in that will investigate his fitness for work and whether he deserves his Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) benefits.

Stuart has been given a deadline of September 18 to complete the complicated and detailed document and return it to the DWP.

His mother Deborah McKenzie, 51, said receiving the form had caused her “undue stress” and said Duncan Smith’s plan to deliberately target…

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For speaking frankly about the NHS, I was first silenced and then pushed out

Original post from The Spectator



On 31 March, I walked out of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London for the last time, after 28 years as a consultant cancer surgeon. At the age of almost 69, I had given six months’ notice of my wish to resign my contract by Easter, but to remain on staff in order to complete a research project on malignant melanoma.

That request was initially considered favourably, then withdrawn after I wrote a series of articles in The Spectator and the Daily Mail about what I thought was wrong with the NHS. One, in which I said that ‘GPs are part of the NHS’s problem, not the solution’, triggered a particularly vitriolic response. Doctors demanded that I be punished and attacked me on social media. The Marsden caved. I was told I had brought the hospital into disrepute; that I had behaved irresponsibly. My offence was considered unforgivable and deserving of a ‘clean break’. There was to be no contract renewal.

What was so bad about what I wrote? I had said: ‘Despite the heroic efforts of individual doctors, too many GPs no longer try to provide an even remotely personal service, to offer appointments at a convenient time or to take effective responsibility for continuity of care… General practice, as structured, is an anachronism and not fit for purpose.’ I gave examples of how the treatment of most patients, those with long-term illnesses such as asthma and diabetes, could be transformed.

Others have put forward similar proposals. In a debate in the House of Lords, health minister Lord Prior said that the ‘cottage industry GP model is broken’ and that more care needed to be delivered through health units working together. Perhaps his words were more emollient than mine, but no objections from GPs were recorded; there was no lynching on social media.

Before I started writing articles, my standing at the Royal Marsden had been high. I was its lead surgeon between 2008 and 2013. In writing for The Spectator and the Mail, I was not in breach of my contract, which stated: ‘You shall be free, without our prior consent, to publish books, articles etc., and to deliver any lecture or speak whether on matters arising out of your NHS service or not.’

What, then, caused my downfall? The arrogant, vicious and bilious response of some GPs whose professional comfort was being challenged. The senior managers at the Marsden were not courageous enough to withstand the onslaught. Professor Azeem Majeed, who runs primary care at Imperial College London, wrote to my chief executive implying that GPs might not continue to refer patients to the Marsden unless action against me was taken. Other GP trolls posted an unprecedented volume of vitriolic abuse on Twitter and Doctors.net.

The net drew tighter. Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, emailed her 40,000-strong membership to denounce my article. Dr Lucy Gaden, a GP from Nottingham, started a petition to have me reported to the GMC for unprofessional conduct. An aggressive letter arrived from Imperial College stating that my honorary professorship was being withdrawn.

I was summoned to the medical director’s office at the Royal Marsden. He demanded that I resign, accept disciplinary action or take ‘gardening leave’. I refused, arguing that I had the right to free speech. I explained that I had never quoted the name of my hospital in any of my articles and that my clinical reputation was unblemished.

The director imposed ‘authorised absence’ until a further meeting. I was not allowed to attend the hospital, nor any of my five clinics during that time. I was not allowed to perform my operating lists during the next week, which included two patients with complex cancers. Was this action taken in the best interests of my patients? Hardly.

At the second meeting with the medical director, I was told that I could return to work but that I would have to sign a document from the medical director which included the following sentence: ‘I made it clear that it is important that you do not write any further press articles, or if you do, then you must show these in advance to the chief executive so that she is reassured that the content will not affect the Royal Marsden’s reputation by association with your personal views.’ The trust does not consider this statement a ‘gagging order’; indeed when The Spectator wrote an article about me calling it such, the trust threatened this magazine with legal action.

I delayed signing the document until a reminder arrived from the medical director. The message was clear: I’d been excluded once: if I did not comply, they could do it again. By this time I was in bad way. My resilience and self-confidence had been tested and even I was beginning to believe that I had committed a terrible heretical sin by writing the article. I signed the document.

I still believed that my contract would be renewed in order to continue with my research project. Ninety patients were involved in the trial, all of whom I had looked after for five years, and a further two years were needed to complete the research.Understandably, some of these patients feel abandoned. I was absolutely forbidden to write to them to explain the circumstances of my unexpected departure.

At a meeting with the chief executive and the chief operating officer in February, I was told there was to be no reprieve. They wanted a ‘complete break’. My last working day would be 31 March. With the help of an employment lawyer, I issued a bullying-and-harassment complaint against the chief executive and medical director. It was dismissed by the board chairman, who refused my request for an independent investigation.

Earlier this year, Robert Francis QC published his ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ review, which concluded that there was ‘a culture within many parts of the NHS which deters staff from raising serious and sensitive concerns and which not infrequently has negative consequences for those brave enough to raise them. I heard shocking accounts of the way some people were treated when they have been brave enough to speak up.’ So pressing are the concerns that in a recent editorial in the British Medical Journal, Dr Kim Holt called for a public inquiry to tackle ongoing problems with bullying, intimidation and reprisals in the NHS.

If the NHS can treat a senior cancer surgeon this way, what chance does a nurse or a junior doctor with grave concerns about the health service have?

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated   ………………’