Brexit

The talks and negotiations.

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Re: Brexit

#8021  Postby minininja » Jun 07, 2019 2:29 pm

According to this from the beeb, it looks like there's unlikely to be any progress with anything until late July. At which point we'll no doubt return to having no progress with Brexit until the end of October.

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Re: Brexit

#8022  Postby Thommo » Jun 07, 2019 4:39 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48554853
The High Court has thrown out an attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson over claims he lied during the 2016 referendum campaign by saying the UK gave the EU £350m a week.


That didn't take long.
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Re: Brexit

#8023  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 07, 2019 5:02 pm

Thommo wrote:
The High Court has thrown out an attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson over claims he lied during the 2016 referendum campaign by saying the UK gave the EU £350m a week.


That didn't take long.



Quick decision to throw it out, but apparently it's going to take some time to come up with reasons for doing so! :lol:
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Re: Brexit

#8024  Postby BlackBart » Jun 07, 2019 5:03 pm

Didn't act dishonestly or improperly, he was merely spectacularly balls-out wrong. Prime candidate for leader of the Tory party then. :coffee:
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Re: Brexit

#8025  Postby Thommo » Jun 07, 2019 5:40 pm

BlackBart wrote:Didn't act dishonestly or improperly, he was merely spectacularly balls-out wrong.


I wouldn't read that much into it. It seems that what he has (allegedly) done does not meet the threshold for misconduct in public office. It might be a lie, it might even be misconduct, but those things alone aren't illegal.
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Re: Brexit

#8026  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jun 07, 2019 5:47 pm

The old boys club closed ranks.
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Re: Brexit

#8027  Postby Thommo » Jun 07, 2019 5:50 pm

I doubt it.
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Re: Brexit

#8028  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jun 07, 2019 5:51 pm

No? Dont be so naive.
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Re: Brexit

#8029  Postby tuco » Jun 07, 2019 6:05 pm

BlackBart wrote:Didn't act dishonestly or improperly, he was merely spectacularly balls-out wrong. Prime candidate for leader of the Tory party then. :coffee:


Indeed. Can't prosecute for that. Also, the argument that it was "politically motivated" cannot be refuted. All in all, it really could not end up any other way. 300k wasted.
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Re: Brexit

#8030  Postby Thommo » Jun 07, 2019 6:09 pm

Well, there are a number of good reasons to doubt the leap of faith to that conclusion, aside from a general reluctance to side with easy prejudice - sure Johnson is objectionable and an old boy, but that says remarkably little.

A few of the reasons:
Firstly, it seems unlikely that Lady Justice Rafferty is herself an old boy and part of the network.

Secondly, a general attitude of scepticism towards unevidenced claims.

Thirdly, the particulars successfully argued by Johnson's lawyer and accepted by the judges:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/c ... 48736.html
"In drawing upon freely-available public statistics for the purpose of a political argument, Vote Leave, and those who supported and spoke for that campaign, were clearly not acting as public officials, nor exercising any public power,” he added.

"They made no claim to special knowledge of the sums expended by the UK, they exercised no official power in promoting that message and the assessment and publication of the level of the UK's total EU spending formed no part of Mr Johnson's official duties."

Mr Darbishire said the offence of misconduct in public office had never been used for statements made in political debate, adding: “It is abundantly clear that this prosecution is motivated by a political objective and has been throughout.”

Seem very persuasive - the case has clearly been brought selectively, and in a domain in which the offence (which is ambiguously defined, but narrow in some aspects of its definition) has never been brought before.

Fourthly, prior to this decision there has been a large amount of consternation among political and legal experts about the intrusion of the law into political campaigning, often from serious people with well reasoned arguments.

ETA: Reply to last post but one.
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Re: Brexit

#8031  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jun 07, 2019 6:47 pm

It is called the old boys network.
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Re: Brexit

#8032  Postby ronmcd » Jun 07, 2019 7:18 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:It is called the old boys network.

Yes, but that has nothing to do with the valid reasons the High Court threw out the case. Even if it had gone further, the CPS would likely have taken over the prosecution and stopped it.

The CPS do not want politicians prosecuted for political lies, exaggeration, and ... well, politics.
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Re: Brexit

#8033  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jun 07, 2019 8:08 pm

Do you really believe that? Sorry I am slightly more cynical. Johnson belongs to the untouchables in UK society. Like the club that him Cameron and few others belonged to, which I often still think that Brexit was the ultimate prank they played but that IMOHT and we will never know. A bit like Trump in some ways; rich bored kids. A very dangerous breed.
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Re: Brexit

#8034  Postby ronmcd » Jun 07, 2019 8:54 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Do you really believe that? Sorry I am slightly more cynical. Johnson belongs to the untouchables in UK society. Like the club that him Cameron and few others belonged to, which I often still think that Brexit was the ultimate prank they played but that IMOHT and we will never know. A bit like Trump in some ways; rich bored kids. A very dangerous breed.

It's irrelevant what you or I think about Johnson, or Cameron, or Trump. Or Sturgeon, or Alistair Carmichael.

Making political claims, right, wrong, honest, dishonest, cannot become a criminal act.

For one thing, there aren't enough courts in UK for all the cases that would follow this precendent.
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Re: Brexit

#8035  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jun 07, 2019 10:15 pm

Maybe it is about time. We have them for parties.
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Re: Brexit

#8036  Postby Matt_B » Jun 07, 2019 10:16 pm

Parliamentary Privilege, or some variant of it, exists in most legislatures for a similar reason.
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Re: Brexit

#8037  Postby minininja » Jun 07, 2019 10:48 pm

It shouldn't need to be criminal, it just needs to have consequences for their political careers. Ideally this would be through a media that would adequately inform the electorate and hold the liars and bastards to account.

Unfortunately this is where the old boys network does still hold sway. So much of the British media is owned and edited by the same wealth and power that exists in and over right wing politicians, that there's little accountability and a huge amount of disinformation and diversion to balance it out. And even as print and broadcast media has lost influence to social media, even more money has been pumped into disinformation with astroturfing, paid for social media influencers, and highly targeted political propaganda ads.

The only solution I can think of is to legislate to give individual journalists more power over the content from media organisations, and give real teeth to an independent regulatory body that can hold them to account about publishing bullshit. Of course Boris and his ilk would never allow such legislation to pass if they had any way to stop it. And so it continues.
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Re: Brexit

#8038  Postby ronmcd » Jun 07, 2019 11:42 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Maybe it is about time. We have them for parties.

What parties? Parties that get out of hand, and guest #1 lamps guest #2 with a frying pan? Sure, those parties can lead to arrest.
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Re: Brexit

#8039  Postby tuco » Jun 07, 2019 11:46 pm

We are not informed? Respectively, those who want to be informed are not informed? That is nonsense. As I said pages ago, ideally there would be responsible voters who inform themselves. Nothing else can be done.
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Re: Brexit

#8040  Postby minininja » Jun 08, 2019 11:57 am

tuco wrote:We are not informed? Respectively, those who want to be informed are not informed? That is nonsense. As I said pages ago, ideally there would be responsible voters who inform themselves. Nothing else can be done.

I'm privileged with a good education, good critical thinking and research skills, and plenty of free time and the ability to check things out across multiple sources of information online, and I have a significant interest in politics. I still have a really hard time cutting through all the bullshit and diversion to try and find out and focus on what's true and what matters.

Just the other day the BBC ran a puff piece on a young woman that had spoken up in the audience of Question Time along the lines of "ooh isn't this interesting, a young woman that likes to party and post bikini shots on instagram but who also holds conservative and pro-Brexit political views, let's hear what she has to say" - without any questioning or critical challenge as if it was just a vox pop. It was only after people pointed it out on twitter that they acknowledged she's working as a social media influencer for Turning Point UK (a right wing political propaganda organisation with undisclosed funding sources and links to the American far-right). But that will have been missed by most of the people that initially saw the piece.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect individuals to be able to "inform themselves" from within a swamp of big-money disinformation, and just leave it as "there's nothing to be done". Democracy requires that at least the majority of the electorate be educated and well informed, and the media must play a big part in that, to hold power to account. But at the moment most of the media and the wealthy and powerful are the same people. Their publications exist to sell themselves with attention grabbing headlines and simplistic narratives feeding people's confirmation bias, and to persuade the public to vote for politicians that they have in their pockets. There needs to be significant reform, and democratisation of the media, if this is to change.

One of the reasons Corbyn became so popular amongst those on the left who take an interest in politics, is that he is the first major party leader in decades to refuse to court the media barons. It's in Labour's manifesto to bring about media reform. But that is also why so much of the media will stop at nothing to criticise and smear him and prevent him getting into government.
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