Invicta National Academy

Tory philosophy includes the directive that if something is necessary for the well-being of the public then it is the role of the Tories to ensure a few exploiters get rich from it.  Where there is need, there is Tory corruption.

Hundreds of multi-million pound untendered contracts for a variety of products and services for management of Covid-19 pandemic continue to be handed to a cornucopia of businesses, most of which are either recruitment companies or else subcontract all requirements of their contracts to others.  The cost to the public of each contract is significantly greater than costs of products or services incurred by the recipient of each contract.  Huge profits are being taken by businesses with no expertise related to their respective government contracts.  Many of the businesses have connections to Tory MPs and many are donors to the Tory party.  It is corruption on a scale unmatched in the history of the UK.

One consequence of the pandemic is closure of schools and subsequent need for online learning for pupils.  Ineluctably, Tories’ management of out of school education is a shambles.  Laptops provided for children for home learning were infected with malware.  The supplier of the laptops, Computacenter, is owned by a six-figure donor to the Tory party and the cost of each laptop via the contract was twice what it costs normally.

It is the Department For Education’s (DfE) responsibility to ensure children are taught.  In the context of school closures, it is DfE’s responsibility to provide access to online learning for all children.  It failed to do that.  Education Secretary Gavin Williamson failed to do his job. 

Williamson’s incompetence is a smokescreen for corruption.  He is listed as a ‘Supporter’ of private online tutoring business Invicta National Academy that supplies lessons in selected subjects (Mathematics and English) for primary school children.  Sian Norris reported for Byline that Invicta altered its description of people now called ‘Supporters.’  Prior to being contacted by Byline they were called ‘Sponsors.’  All ‘Sponsors’/’Supporters’ and both of the company’s co-founders have close ties to the Tory party and include MPs, councillors and parliamentary candidates. 

Invicta was created because of the need for online learning due to the pandemic.

During the summer of 2020 and as a direct result of of COVID-19, Invicta Academy was set up with the sole purpose of helping the children of the United Kingdom catch up on missed learning.”

Co-founder Stephen James – former Tory parliamentary candidate, Deputy Chairman Political & Campaigning at Folkestone and Hythe Conservative Association, and founder of Conservative Friends of Education –  observed inadequacies of online learning provision during the pandemic and, rather than blaming the culprits (and his good friends) in the Tory government, he chose to blame teachers’ trades’ unions.

The unions are basically saying ‘do not live teach’, and they are not for it because they see it as extra workload for teachers.  It just seems that for every solution, they come up with a problem, which is a real shame.  The profession deserves better than the unions.” Stephen James, quoted in Stephen James in Mail

James’ criticisms of unions were, of course, an invention.  He knew who was to blame but his political allegiances and profit margins for his business motivated him to attack teachers. 

Many of Invicta’s courses appear to be free to use but there is a lack of clarity of funding for Invicta including the reactive decision to rebrand ‘Sponsors’ as ‘Supporters,’ and only initial courses are free.  Its 11+ Preparation Price List stated that 

We are also dedicated to levelling up the 11+ playing field so that children from all socio-economic backgrounds have the same chance of passing the test.  Therefore, a proportion of our 11+ places will always be reserved for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend free of charge.  Please visit www.InvictaFoundation.com to find out more.”

The link to Invicta Foundation does not work and the Charity Commission stated that Invicta Foundation no longer exists.

Among Invicta’s financial ‘Sponsors,’ who remain listed as ‘Sponsors,’ are Richard Oldfield, chairman of Oldfield Partners PLL, a global investment business that advises people with money how to increase their wealth via others’ work, and Tory councillor Rory Love.

Williamson, like all of his Tory cabinet colleagues, uses any crisis as potential source of profit for himself, his political colleagues, his business associates, his friends and his family.  That is ingrained Tory philosophy.  It is immutable. 

James is an opportunist and a Tory loyalist.

StephenJames
Stephen James

Final word from children’s poet Michael Rosen:

If the government were serious about home learning during lockdown, they would have hired strings of experts in our fields – writers, scientists, historians, geographers etc and got us to talk directly on zoom to different ages of students for twenty to thirty minute chunks.” Michael Rosen, 25th January 2021

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Invicta National Academy

My Life My Say

Former Tory councillor Stephen Canning used his skills as “a result-driven communicator” to write a glossy CV describing himself as “versatile,” “experienced,” “strong,” “exceptional” and “strong” (again), with a “leading role.”  He “consults across the world on strategic communications” means he is, according to himself, good at advertising and good at persuasion.  If true, such ability says nothing about the veracity of what he communicates.  

StephenCanning

The key facet of Canning’s persuasion is he persuades potential employers that he is good at persuasion.  That is normal for people in his profession.  As he persuades more people to employ him (briefly) as a persuader his CV grows with more examples of employment of persuasion and that persuades more employers to hire him to persuade.  His roles include public presentation – speeches, media interviews, etc. – that help to promote Canning.  Crucially, he never has to prove that what he does is useful to his employers.  His profession is guided by manipulation and is no benefit to society.  

One of Canning’s recent additions to his CV is “trustee” of My Life My Say (MLMS), a cross-party organisation that encourages young people to focus on “traditional forms of democracy” rather than political protests, demonstrations, pickets and strikes. 

MLMS claims it “seeks to represent the views of young people to stakeholders and decision makers at a local, national and international level” restricted by “a mission to empower young people to participate in democracy.”  MLMS “values” are “linked to the people, causes and movements that are pro-democracy and politically progressive.”

At Democracy Cafés young people express opinions and observations, in a civil atmosphere, to MLMS staff who, later, pass on the views to politicians and others.  MLMS’s description of its Democracy Cafés reads like an extract from an archetypal science fiction story of a controlled utopian society.

Democracy Cafés kick off with an icebreaker to create a comfortable, friendly atmosphere.  Then, our trained facilitators gather people around tables and host the session, guiding the discussions at their [respective] table.  The facilitators then rotate, giving participants the opportunity to explore a variety of topics.  The event lasts approximately two hours.

Working together with the London School of Economics (LSE), we have developed a research methodology for these events to ensure that they are more than just a ‘talking-shop’ and we are able to gather invaluable insight to help support decision-making.”

Rotating facilitators guiding discussions in a friendly atmosphere under direction from the (very conservative) LSE is the opposite of young people engaging in politics.  It is smothering of political engagement.  

The ethos of Democracy Cafés assumes a lack of prior knowledge of political issues, and potential solutions, by both participants and facilitators.  MLMS assumes young people attending the events would not have been able to use didactic reasoning to accurately connect cause and effect of political decisions by government and the lives of young people before being facilitated to do so.  If facilitators need a Democracy Café in order to learn about daily issues in young people’s lives then the former are not capable of conveying adequately young people’s concerns to “stakeholders and decision makers.” 

Politicians know how their decisions adversely affect young people.  The politicians don’t care.  Provision of a conduit between young people and government via MLMS facilitators will not change government policy unless a change was already planned.  

MLMS claim there exist other positive consequences for young people who attend Democracy Cafés.

MLMS identified twenty-one different life development and employability skills ranging from leadership to critical thinking, that a young person gains from participating at one of our Café events.  These include public speaking, critical thinking, debating, teamwork and many other key transferable skills, to support and empower young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

A meeting and a controlled facilitated chat in a coffee shop does not transform anyone so fully.  The pertinent mendacious point in the quoted paragraph above is that the acquired “skills” would “empower young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”  MLMS’s intent is for people to infer that absence of such skills is the reason that anyone from a “disadvantaged background” remains disadvantaged; that is, MLMS absolve the government of blame for societal inequities despite the Tories being responsible for overcrowded schools, for the lack of financial support for ‘A’ level students, for the huge debts incurred during a university degree, for the abject lack of useful apprenticeships, for extremely low minimum wage, for the gig economy, for the lack of job security, for the lack of affordable homes, etc.

The Common Futures Forum (CFF) “gathers young people, world leaders, visionaries, policymakers and academics annually to establish a new approach to economic, political and community life.”  

CCF is another vehicle for politicians and “decision makers” to pretend that they were unaware (before attending CFF) of how their decisions affected young people, particularly financial decisions and climate change decisions.  

CFF provides invaluable insight for decision makers to help improve their knowledge and understanding of youth issues and how policy affects young people.

By claiming prior ignorance, politicians and others restrict themselves to responding only to what is said at a controlled politely facilitated MLMS event.  Thus, they avoid any effective change.

Also at CFF are “lab sessions” that “are designed to test out new and innovative ways of democratic engagement, debate facilitation and discussion tools.”  Useful modes of debate have not been bettered since the first civilisations.  It is unclear why MLMS thinks it discovered “new and innovative” updates on millenia-old practices.

Some of the people at MLMS are sincere about what they do and their reasons for doing so and some of the work MLMS does is useful – for example, explanations of how parliamentary and electoral structures work, but MLMS is not a substitute for understanding how and why governments act as they do and how that impacts on young people, and it is not a substitute for effective political activism.  Its insistence on civility and “we make politics fun” is a form of censorship.

The most prominent endorsement on the MLMS website is I have long been a supporter of MLMS, both the thinking behind it, and the people involved.  Your support will go a long way in building the leaders of tomorrow.”  That endorsement came from Mr. Forty-Five Minutes: Alastair Campbell.

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My Life My Say

Robert Jenrick, planning permission and statues

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick understands his responsibilities to oiling the Tory corruption machine.  In 2020 Tory supporter and former owner of the Express newspaper Richard Desmond saved £45,000,000 by avoiding Tower Hamlets council’s Community Infrastructure Levy because Jenrick fast-tracked Desmond’s planning application for property development on the Isle Of Dogs; the planning permission was granted by Jenrick just twenty-four hours before the levy was applicable.  Two weeks later Desmond made a £12,000 donation to the Tory party.  When exposed, Jenrick reversed his decision but tried to hide any documentation or details of communication about the corruption.  He was forced to release the details.

(Update: On March 17th 2021, two days after Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government approved a planning decision in favour of Bloor Homes to build hundreds of homes on rural land in Hertfordshire, Bloor donated £150,000 to the Tory party.)

A few months before 2019 general election Jenrick ensured the Towns Fund was allocated to marginal constituencies and to predominantly Leave-voting areas as a bribe to voters.  His own constituency received money from the Towns Fund.

In January 2021, via a salaried article in tax-dodging Telegraph newspaper, Jenrick stated the government’s intent to protect outdoor statues.  Over the last year statues in public places of racists, colonialists, imperialists and slave traders were defaced, damaged, toppled and, in the case of Edward Colston, thrown into the river.  Destruction of statues is driven by similar but opposite intent as erection of statues.  In any epoch, prevailing political philosophy demands either the construction of an idol of (usually) an historical figure symbolising victory or dominance or its destruction to indicate rejection of the subject of the idol’s symbolism.  Coherent anti-racism in Britain in 2020 encouraged direct confrontation with symbolism of many existing statues. 

Edward Colston in the river

Jenrick’s piece in the Telegraph was worthy of a Guido or Breitbart commentary or a UKIP press release.  Screaming extreme-right Gits such as Laurence Fox, Darren Grimes or Julia Hartley-Brewer would be proud to have written it.  His second sentence included a Soviet Union reference; his argument descended intellectually from that point. 

He lied about who, in previous centuries, decided to erect political statues – he said they were “erected by public subscription.”  Non-political statues were often erected in response to public demand, but almost all political statues in Britain were built and placed in public locations by governments or councils.

Jenrick claimed “previous generations” had “different understandings of right and wrong.”  The erectors of statues of mass-murdering racists and colonialists knew the objects of their idolisation were genocidal criminals with no regard for human life.  Governments, councils and business societies who commissioned statues such as that of slave trader Colston were fully aware that what his type did was “wrong.”  Equally, opposition to the people being honoured with a statue and to the erection of their statue was driven by similar anti-racist, anti-imperialist and humane philosophy as today.  Jenrick’s “previous generations,” on boths sides of the political divide, understood what was “right” and what was “wrong.”  Jenrick’s epoch-dependent claim typified conservative excuses for tolerance of prejudice and racism. 

It is illegal to vandalise, damage, remove or destroy a statue whether the statue is publicly owned or privately owned.  Prosecutions are in progress (January 2021) regarding the dumping of Colston’s statue in the river Avon in Bristol.  That is, laws exist to deal with direct action against statues.  Jenrick’s proposed change to the law would prevent elected councils from making decisions on whether any statue should be removed from public view.  He wants councils to seek planning permission to remove a publicly-owned statue from a public place.  By imposing the requirement for planning permission the government will be able to override any decision by a council.  Jenrick’s record revealed he is the last person to be trusted on assessment of planning decisions.

Jenrick wrote lazy abusive terminology as an alternative to considered argument.  His opponents were called a “flash mob,” “town hall militants,” “a baying mob” and “woke worthies.”  On the other hand, centuries of colonialist destruction and mass murder were dismissed as a “deep, rich, fascinating and yes, often complex, past” and “uniquely rich history.”  Statues of perpetrators were described as “historic monuments” and “heritage assets.”

A deceptive theme Jenrick used was a deliberately false argument that removing statues hides history: “We should not try to edit or censor our past” and “we won’t allow people to censor our past or pretend we have a different history to the one we have.”  He pretended he was concerned about erasure of knowledge of bad British history and claimed removal of statues (and re-naming of buildings and streets) would assist that erasure.  “[Removal of statues would] distort our past rather than educate, inform and unite people.”  The hollowness of the veracity of his argument was obvious.

Jenrick doesn’t care about statues.  His announcement of action to combat automatonophobia was partly to indulge in the basest mode of pseudo-patriotic claptrap as a tool of division and partly to usurp the authority of elected councils as well as general time-wasting of news space to lessen coverage of Tories’ dual calamities of Brexit and Covid-19 pandemic management.  He is another performing clown and is as corrupt as he can get away with.  He is crass.

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What did Trump do as president?

Weeks of whingeing, crying and inciting waned to leave an orange husk whose only friends are the desperate. 

Trump will continue to spout his lies, his victimhood and his rousing of the rabble but he cannot make decisions that directly harm the lives of others.  A plethora and variety of legal actions might be taken against him and his awful family but that is not of use to the American people.  From today (January 20th 2021) Trump is once more just a screaming self-publicist, a conman, a thief and the most financially indebted person in the history of civilisation.

What did he do as president?  Not the words, the abuse, the childish meltdowns, the support for racism and white supremacism, the relentless lies, the law-breaking, the treason, the nurtured petulance and the abject opposition to humanity, what did he do or change?  The answer is not much at all.  There is no president of USA who did as little as Trump in four years.  He had no plan.  He couldn’t care less about people.  He couldn’t care less about legacy.  

Trump did not do what he said he would do when trying to win votes in 2016.  The border wall between USA and Mexico was not built, the health system was not changed and industry did not return to the country. 

There are no Trump achievements beneficial to the people of USA.  The few changes he made are all negative and destructive:

  • He gave the wealthiest a huge tax cut
  • He removed environmental protections for the most beautiful regions of USA and, simultaneously, stole land from native Americans
  • He made it near impossible for women to have abortions in some states
  • He installed fanatical extremists in the Supreme Court
  • He went on a killing spree of federal executions

Trump’s ineptitude is so deeply ingrained that he couldn’t even organise a South American right-wing military coup properly and, a few months after the attempt, the people of Bolivia elected a government that shared the socialist philosophy of the government the USA had removed.

Only dopey Etonian Boris Johnson is as callously reckless and stupid in management of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis as Trump was.  Four hundred thousand deaths of American people from Covid were of no interest to him.  He actively encouraged sheer idiocy.  He didn’t care.

Trump is a product of the USA.  His fame was bought, his wealth was partly inherited and mostly stolen.  He created a worthless brand and got other people to pay for it.  Legal and political structures allowed him to thrive, in business, on television and then in politics.  His rise was a consequence of America’s version of democracy and of its constitution.  Trump as president was not an anomaly, it was an inevitability. 

For Trump, being president of the USA was a tool to aid his grift.  Post-presidency, everything Trump does or says will be connected to making money out of his tenure as president.  The American dream embodied.

What did Trump do as president?

List of Tories’ daily misrepresentations of effects of Brexit

Below is a list of some of the Tories’ misrepresentations of effects of Brexit.  Many of the claims describe something that has nothing to do with Brexit.  

The claims are listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent at the top of the list.  The list is added to whenever a new claim is made.

Claim: EU rejected Tory proposals for mutual ease of access for touring musicians between UK and EU.
Fact
: EU offered a visa-free system for musicians similar to agreements it has with other non-EU countries but Tories rejected it.

Claim: British fishing industry will benefit from Brexit.
Fact
: Fish exporters to the EU face delays and confusion regarding permits and other documentation needed.  The cost of documents coupled with delays for perishable fresh fish has forced many fishing businesses to cancel their exports to the EU.

Claim: Free ports will create jobs.
Fact: Free ports allow major corporations to dodge tax and to operate outside of regulations on workers’ rights and health and safety regulations.  There are free ports in the EU.

Claim: Brexit allowed pulse fishing to be banned.
Fact: EU banned pulse fishing.  Tories’ Brexit deal with EU forced the UK to ban it.

Claim: Brexit allowed removal of VAT on tampons.
Fact: Membership of EU did not preclude removal of VAT on tampons.  Other EU member countries abolished taxes on tampons earlier.  Tories have voted against removal of such taxes during various Tory governments since 2010.

Claim: No delays to freight traffic via Channel Tunnel and port of Dover.
Fact: There are severe restrictions on volume of freight traffic allowed to enter Kent.  Hauliers require a Kent Access Permit to enter the county with fines imposed for those without.  As a direct consequence of severe restrictions on freight traffic, shops and supermarkets ran out of fresh vegetables and fruit most of which are imported into the UK during the Winter.  Lorry drivers were given an incorrect postcode for a lorry park and went to a small village in Kent using roads unsuitable for large vehicles.

List of Tories’ daily misrepresentations of effects of Brexit