Gazette column - 26/9/19

Misleading the Queen, some would say lying to her, is a crime that in the past would've seen the offender locked in the Tower but we dragged Tory charlatan Boris Johnson to Parliament.

Oh to be a fly on the wall next time Johnson goes to see a monarch who will be furious he treated her with contempt, abusing our venerable head of state to play his silly political games.


What is it about Conservative posh boy Old Etonian Prime Ministers when first David Cameron angers Buckingham Palace by bragging he engineered a royal intervention in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum then Johnson deceived her to secure Parliament's suspension?


The disloyalty is appalling, careless breaches of confidence and manipulating the Queen showing the stomach-churning contempt of Tories unfit to rule.


The unanimous Supreme Court ruling restored the rule of law and a sovereign Parliament. It wasn't about stopping or scrapping Brexit. Tories can't be above the law, allowed to break it when they wish.


The judgement illustrated how out of touch these arrogant, aloof Conservative bullies are as they make life harder for many people here on Tyneside and in Britain.


I popped recently into Hebburn Helps to see the brilliant team of volunteers in the Foodbank, led by inspiring founders Jo Durkin and Angie Comerford, who save from hunger those abandoned and dumped on the scrapheap under the Conservatives.


The people freely giving their time and often money too to help others, including folk at South Tyneside Key Project and Churches Together, are a lifeline from destitution for struggling Geordies.


The Tories can't avoid responsibility for high demand over the summer for help from Foodbanks when more families visited to stop kids going hungry, school dinners not served when schools were shut.


I applaud the marvellous people who work and generously donate to Foodbanks, displaying a great community spirit, yet I know they agree with me that it shouldn't be necessary.


Decent wages and a social security system leaving nobody behind would mean no rocketing 300% rise in those relying on charity to avoid starving since 2010 when the Conservatives, with the support of the Liberal Democrats for five years, imposed an austerity fatwa and squeezed wages until purses and wallets were empty.


Research by the excellent Child Poverty Action Group found even families with two parents working full-time on the minimum wage are £49 per week short of what experts define as a basic, no-frills living standard.


A lone parent grafting full-time on the minimum wage is £74 per week short, even a reasonably paid job leaving them £56 per week short of an adequate income because of the high cost of childcare.


Universal Credit's a nightmare when claimants are forced to wait penniless up to eight weeks before a first payment of Universal Credit so those losing jobs through no fault of their own are punished as if they're criminals.


Johnson doesn't just mislead or lie to the Queen. These Tories pretending life's fine are conning and whacking working people even harder.


Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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