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1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Henry Hill: Welsh Tori... · 0 replies · +1 points

This comment appears to be in line with mine above. Alex Salmond was acquitted, but on one count the jury was not fully convinced by the defence but still not convinced of guilty. In finding the case 'not proven' on one charge against him, the jury was in practice weighing up the evidence on probability, though the term 'balance of probability' is only applied (sometimes) in Private Law trials.
'Not proven' verdicts are frowned on by judges and are now rather rare. So the fact that on one count Alex Salmond received that verdict suggests that the jury did find the case against him strong, but not beyond reasonable doubt. 'Not proven' has not been a verdict returned in any prosecution of a high-profile personality for a long time (can anyone remember an example). So that verdict against Alex Salmond is not going to be forgotten.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Henry Hill: Welsh Tori... · 2 replies · +1 points

One charge against Alex Salmond was found 'Not proven' by the jury. This verdict tends to mean that the accused is considered by the jury on the balance of probabilities to have carried out the offence, but that was not proved beyond all reasonable doubt. He was therefore acquitted, in English legal language, but the media reports (in England, but also on the BBC) that he had been found 'not guilty on all counts' were incorrect. Regrettably these reports where on-line have not generally been corrected. Crime reporters (if they still exist) in England are aware of the Scottish 'Not proven' verdict so one suspects that this particular form of news reporting is not now specialised in by journalists.

4 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The Patel backlash has... · 0 replies · +1 points

Sir Philip Rutnam was Permanent Secretary of the Department for Transport for five years, 2012-17, while HS2 was being prepared and promoted. Rutnam could have advised his Ministers to initiate public consultation on alternative alignments, or to agree to Petitioners against the HS2 Bill laid in 2014 being able to submit alternatives to Parliament. Sadly, coming from the Business Department, Rutnam did not know transport planning principles, and affected communities were given neither right.

Philip Rutnam supported HS2 Ltd, the DfT-owned company, in its arrogant and impositional approach to those affected by the project. He did nothing to make HS2 Ltd conduct its business better - it got worse during his time. It became a bureaucratic empire which concealed the ballooning costs. The undemocratic and unpleasant way that HS2 has been pushed through and its high costs are a legacy of Rutnam's time as Permanent Secretary of the Department for Transport.

5 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Johnson's sex problem · 0 replies · +1 points

Paul Goodman may like to establish whether all the newly-appointed Parliamentary Private Secretaries from the 2019 intake have actually made their maiden speeches. It would be very odd if someone was appointed a PPS before they had spoken in the House as a backbencher.
And if they all have, have the new PPSs made any other speech in the House on any substantive issue? A 'maiden' is where you have to praise your predecessor and speak well of your constituency. You don't use it for any political argument (and those who have done tend to be regarded as getting above themselves). So it does not constitute real political experience.
A look at Hansard for December to February should show the record of each new PPS.
PPSs can ask Written Questions and take some part in debates where their constituency interest is involved, so they are not limited like Ministers to only speaking for the Government.

5 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: The “worst de... · 0 replies · +1 points

Whatever the effect on the position of Britain and France in the Middle East, the 1956 Suez War established Israel's military power and reputation. It led to the UNEF patrolling of the Israel-Egyptian border and gave Israel a decade of peace to get itself moving as a modern economy. When in 1967 Nasser foolishly undermined the de facto status quo that was established under which Israel withdrew in 1957 of Israel from Sinai and Gaza, he was whopped and Nasserism collapsed even before he died in 1970 from a heart attack because of the strain he was under. Despite all the has happened since, Israel now stands as a major regional power. This can be traced back to its 1956 victory - one which it could only have won with British and French secret agreement.

5 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Is the Home Office sti... · 1 reply · +1 points

The Home Office is the subject of two excellent BBC documentaries made in the 2000-2010 period, 10 years apart, both made by Michael Cockerell:

'How to be Home Secretary' - 1999 (Jack Straw was in office)

'The Dark Department' - 2009 (Alan Johnson's arrival at the Home Office shown, Sir David Normington features)

Some of the film from 1999 appears in that of 2009, but both are well worth watching. Things haven't changed a further 10 years on. One hopes that Priti Patel has studied both these films carefully.

7 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Hunt condemns U... · 0 replies · +1 points

The US Government will probably offer very large compensation to the family who lost a son. $1-2 million. That is usually the way that US military and other authorities settle disputes where their personnel have caused losses and deaths. If this offer (plus payment of all legal costs) is made, will not the family accept it and agree to make no further claims?

7 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Damian Green: Enough o... · 0 replies · +1 points

If this weak article is all that can be offered to ConHome readers as defence of the current BBC and the licence fee, the case for major change is made.
An example of Damian Green's evaisions is the lack of any reference to the absurdly high salaries and the overstaffing by absurdly-titled jobs which are quite unnecessary. Licence-fee payers are paying for these huge salaries. If the licence fee were reduced or abolished and subscriptions introduced, BBC executives and presenters would be paid much less and there would be far fewer of them. It would be the best way to end the fat-cat culture of the BBC.

8 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Irish complacency is S... · 0 replies · +1 points

The effect of the large US companies parking money in Ireland to use the tax privileges they get there has a very distorting effect on GDP calculations for the country, which is small in population in comparison to the amount of money these companies deal in, in turnover and indeed their before-tax profits. This needs a good set of forsenic accountants and economists to work out what is the real GDP per head of Ireland once these companies and their wealth are taken out of the figures.

8 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - James Frayne: Seven no... · 1 reply · +1 points

That history is written by the victors is is an interesting and long-held view often expressed. It is often true, but not always. The example of history not having been written by the victors which is usually offered, correctly, is the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. The Franco Nationalists have not written its history - very much more written from the viewpoint of those who lost.

In British history there are more examples that one expects:
*The Civil War and the Commonwealth (by no means is history all positive about the Puritans and Cromwell)
*The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 - the portrayal of Bonnie Prince Charlie in our history is much more positive than that of 'Butcher' Cumberland and Culloden is not portrayed as a 'victory'.
*The Boer War 1899-1902 - usually written as a bad war which the British Empire only won by overwhelming force and some cruelty.
There are no doubt other examples.