1,197 comments posted · 277 followers · following 0

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Ekins, Stephen... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thank you - that is a valuable and leaned interpretation. It gives a lot for those making decisions to ponder over.

Ultimately the vote in the House of Common will be a political decision and based more on rhetoric than a cold legal analysis. It is likely that without the backstop the Withdrawal Agreement would be approved, more so if there were an assurance that there will be close auditing of the British right to participation in the budgeted projects to which the British taxpayer is being forced to contribute.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The legal advice row -... · 0 replies · +1 points

Erm, no. That is not the case. Legal opinions are confidential. It is evidence which is meant to be open, and even that is limited.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The legal advice row -... · 1 reply · +1 points

The Attorney General gave a confidential opinion to the Crown, not to the House of Commons, and like any barrister he has a duty of confidentiality. That duty is fundamental to the legal relationship as it permits frank matters to be spoken and frank opinions to be given. The House of Commons has no right to demand disclosure of that opinion any more than they could demand to open the files of a private person. If the Attorney General were to disclose his opinion without the consent of the Government, then the Bar Council might take action against him in his professional capacity.

If the House of Commons wants its own lawyer, they can hire one. It has plenty in its ranks already though, and each one capable of giving an opinion on the Withdrawal Agreement.

The article talks of sovereignty, but sovereignty belongs to the Queen in Parliament, not to one House. The House is persuasive, but may not command. It can summon witnesses like a court, but may not cast aside privilege, any more than any other court can. Parliament can only exercise sovereignty by passing an Act.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Nicky Morgan: The only... · 0 replies · +1 points

Norway Plus is the Backstop but applied to the whole of the United Kingdom and made permanent. It would leave us unable to make our own rules and seriously hampered in signing any meaningful overseas deals. It would a slight improvement on staying in, but like deciding to sail into the ocean only to stay within sight of the port

No. Not your way, not Norway, but our way.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Gove comes out ... · 0 replies · +1 points

If Michael Gove is right that it is not in EU’s interests for the backstop to remain, then that is to say that neither side wants it, and it can be disposed of in either of two ways.

It may instead be that someone is being disingenuous, or that the Commission is insisting on the backstop either as a juvenile punishment or, more logically, to keep the Irish government aboard, in which case the Sage of Aberdeen is right but the backstop may endure nevertheless.

From the perspective of Parliamentary mood (as far as I can tell from all I read), it is only the backstop which is stopping the agreement from being approved by the Commons.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Gove comes out ... · 3 replies · +1 points

If the Backstop is hated by both sides, then there is an obvious solution, though I doubt the European Commission would admit it. The House of Commons is to be asked to approve the Withdrawal Agreement, but they seem very unlikely to do so; but were they asked to approve such an agreement without the Backstop protocol then that would be another matter entirely. I would enjoy the sight of Keir Starmer being humiliated.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Starmer - If th... · 5 replies · +1 points

Keir Starmer has, and I regret having to say this, been acting as the European Commission's voluntary agent since he was appointed. He should not so easily use the word "contempt" as it describes to closely how he is seen.

Starmer is a lawyer, and he will know (a) that legal advice is confidential, (b) that a motion of the Commons is of no legal effect, (c) what that advice would have been anyway. It is a procedure to embarrass the Government (and would do so - I know what the advice would be too, and it includes things that must remain unspoken - which Starmer must also realise).

This has gone beyond political games. It now involves the upsetting of international relations, damming Britain's negotiating position and leaving us in an even worse position. There are ways to make a successful Brexit and gain all the prosperity that promises, but not if we have Keir Starmer reading out al the cards in the Government's hand before it has played them.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The number of Tory MPs... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yup, so the tactic of getting it through by ensuring that everyone is bored and disgusted with both sides is well on track.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Hath not a Muslim eyes? · 0 replies · +1 points

It was Jordan Peterson, no less, on Question Time the other week who said that if you have hate-speech laws, you should look at whom you are handing power to as judges of those laws. However here we are not looking at laws (yet) only how to define a term. (A very silly term in my opinion; "anti-Mohammedan prejudice" would be a better one.)

We have settled on a definition of anti-Semitism because we know where it leads. We have seen it beginning with crude caricatures, progressing through social stigma, legal exclusion, to broken windows and ultimately to scenes that are seared in our nightmares. It is an ancient evil born of wanting someone to hate, which uses caricatures which are not even representative of a section of the targeted group - libels involving imagined conspiracies. It is the sight of those ideas being dragged up from the depths which has put a focus on anti-Semitism and the need to fight that monster, yet again. Prejudice against members of other groups has its own characteristics and more care must be taken, to ensure that the focus is on protecting individuals and families, not protecting a philosophy.

5 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Hath not a Muslim eyes? · 0 replies · +1 points

The Report does not actually suggest a definition, as I read it. It is long on studies and reporting on others' definitions, but does not set anything out of its own, for all the talk of a "working definition". If I have just not seen it though, do correct me.

One plea: please, no pseudo-psychiatric words with '-phobia' in them.