Miscarriage of Justice

I am reading the Secret Barrister’s first book, I provide a quote,

“In the Crown Court, I have prosecuted many appeals from the magistrates’ court of unrepresented defendants and have lost count of the number of cases where there has been a conviction that is completely wrong in law, or completely wrong in evidence, the fact of which only emerges upon close inspection of the papers. “

The Secret Barrister

If the courts get it so wrong, and when we examine the Labour Parties rules …. …

Let’s have an enquiry into Russian Money in British Politics

I received this email yesterday; The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Hold a public inquiry into Russian interference in UK politics”.

Government responded:

The UK has a robust process to protect against foreign interference, led by the intelligence and security agencies. There are no plans to alter this approach or initiate a public inquiry.

It is, and always shall be, an absolute priority for the Government to protect the UK’s democratic processes against foreign interference. The Intelligence and Security Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of state threats, including potential malign interference. We keep those assessments under constant review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence. As new information emerges, the Government will always consider the most appropriate use of any intelligence received, including whether it might be appropriate to make that intelligence public. Given this long standing approach, there are no plans to initiate a public inquiry into Russian interference.

Interference in democratic processes is an international issue, affecting not only the UK. That is why the UK Government will continue to call out and respond to malign activity, including any attempts to interfere in our democratic processes, alongside our international partners including the Five Eyes countries and NATO.

Protecting and promoting a flourishing democracy is a cross-cutting challenge and requires coordinated action. That is why the Government is bringing forward a package of legislation that delivers ambitious reform. Our National Security legislative proposals will give the intelligence agencies and law enforcement the tools they need to tackle the diversifying and evolving threats we face. Our Online Safety Bill proposes a range of measures that will help protect democratic discourse, such as forcing companies to tackle illegal misinformation and disinformation, and by tackling online abuse. Our Elections Bill contains a range of reforms, including strengthening rules on ineligible foreign campaign spending. All of this legislative work is supported by the cross-government Defending Democracy programme, which brings together expertise and capabilities from across Government departments, the Security and Intelligence Agencies and civil society to ensure UK democracy remains open, vibrant and secure.

Cabinet Office


😲 😨 😡

Words fail me; although I could have saved them a lot of words by just saying “No!”. …

What is to done about the Ukraine in the UK

What is to done about the Ukraine in the UK

Writing a piece on the invasion of the Ukraine is taking longer than I expected, the big issue is now quite simple, Russia should not have invaded the Ukraine; it’s a war crime and yet the response of British politicians has been, on the whole juvenile, selfish, narcissistic or cowardly. The rest of this article, overleaf looks at the glacial pace of the imposition of sanctions, the corrupt receipt of Russian money, the dreadful defence policies, and a failure to welcome refugees. In addition, I mention the need to offer solidarity to the nascent Russian ant-war movement. I also call out Starmer's über factional and misplaced response. Use the "Read More ..." button for the rest of the article ...

Top European Military, I don’t think so.

Top European Military, I don’t think so.

Boris Johnson alleges that the UK is the strongest military power in Europe, or Western Europe anyway. It’s not true, France spends more and has more of most things and more people. Just another lie.

This was made using nationmaster,com, France has more of everything except Attack Helicopters and Submarines which are likely to the result of different doctrines. I selected the categories as the most suitable to tell the story, which is about capability i,e, I have not dropped anything to skew the result. I am surprised that the French have four aircraft carriers …

European food, will it go or will it stay?

European food, will it go or will it stay?

I mixed in some French mustard with my scrambled eggs this a.m. and strangely it reminded me of the first time I ate it, the mustard not the eggs; in France on my exchange. It reminds me of how much food in England has changed, via the influence of foreign holidays and EU imports. I can’t remember the first time I ate garlic (or garlic flavoured food) but it wasn’t served at school or at University and was hard to find in the green grocers. I mean probably in France, chez Mary. The rest of this post, brings back comments reviewing Back in Time for Dinner and reminisces about my first Kebab & Curry ...

Steps towards a closer relationship with the EU.

I have just viewed the video, pointed at by this post on Brexit Watch.

He talks about the obvious, and the splits in Labour’s current leadership. He talks about the hardening of Labour’s views on a US vs EU trade deal, the transition from Thornbury to Symons-Thomas. He mentions the poll lead and its historic size although notes we lost in 2015, partly because the neo-liberals in the party sabotaged Miliband’s attempts to differentiate ourselves. In response to the question what do we do short of a single market, he states we need to be in it, even if we disguise the fact. Lots of facts on how trade is down the toilet and that the best levelling up policy would be to regain, non-tariff barrier free access to the single market. This would help manufacturing which remains the single largest source of R&D expense and permit a levelling up agenda, and an anti-climate change investment. He mentions that rejoining the single market would massively ease the problems of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Luke calls for Labour, presumably after it comes to Government, to renegotiate the TCA to synchronise regulation and citizenship, and make revised settlement on security & crime. The TCA has strict level playing field clauses and so there is little benefit to the ‘sovereignty’ of Brexit; he alleges that Labour’s leadership will not accept anything called free movement, despite the fact that we have a common travel area with Eire; and so he proposes to negotiate a liberal visa scheme, revising the income qualification and removing employer sponsorship; we need an immigration policy that recognises we need young workers as well as bring some skills to come here. . I am not sure that Starmer will go that far or that fast, with Reeves and Nandy in key roles in the Cabinet, although Lammy holds the Foreign Office, it seems we are back not so much to constructive ambiguity, more an attempt to constructive silence.

These are my version of today’s demands on the Labour Leadership although I believe that we will have to rejoin the single market to solve the Northern Ireland problem, but neither Labour nor the country are quite ready for that. It’s our task to change that.  …

Impunity and contempt in Government.

Impunity and contempt in Government.

Is it worse under Johnson? The short answer would seem to be “Yes”. None of the controls on Governments are law, they are all based on conventions and Parliamentary Sovereignty means that they are not permanent. (The recent habit of previously prohibited retrospective legislation and emergency parliamentary/legislative schedules also strengthens a Govt. and thus a Prime Minister’s hand.) But, it’s the shamelessness of Johnson and his Government which is the danger to democracy.

Respect for Parliament and politicians had been damaged by the expenses’ crisis but the Brexit referendum and its aftermath further damaged Parliament’s political legitimacy often at the hands of MPs who showed extreme cowardice in the face of the tumbrils pulled by UKIP’s donkeys.

The British people were fortunate that the decision to order the longest prorogue in modern times was able to be overturned by the courts even though the government argued that they didn’t have the power. Parliament also ripped up a further control when the SNP1 voted in 2019, to agree an election for reasons of sectarian advantage and fatally undermined the fixed term parliament act.

Since the election, there have been number of breaches of the ministerial code, involving money, influence or vote buying. This article from Yorkshire Bylines, dated March 20, details breaches by 11 cabinet members. There have also been an egregious corruption of the procurement process where they are now being pursued by the good law project, with the crowning glory the pursuit of the £37bn spent on a track and trace system that has never worked. The ‘levelling up’ initiative, once called Regional Policy is also the subject of both controversy and legal review being characterised as pork barrel politics.

 The current troubles aka partygate were started by Johnson and the Tory Whips’ attempts to rewrite what limited controls remained to save Owen Paterson, once the MP for Shropshire North from sanction for lobbying. The list of breaches is so long that Transparency International are calling for the Ministerial Code to be made law. This government has also has a series of breaches by most publicly Cummings and Hancock, of covid safety regulations culminating in today’s heavily redacted Grey Report, cataloguing 20 inappropriate events while the public could not visit relatives in care.

This impunity is reflected in policy making by Priti Patel as Home Secretary, not only did May kick her out for off-piste foreign policy and breaches of the ministerial code, she was taken to tribunals for bullying and the Home Office is being sued by its own watchdog for breaching the withdrawal agreement as it applied to EU citizens in the UK. This impunity was also shown in the trade negotiations led by Lord Frost with the threats to break the agreement in contradiction to international law and the threats to void the Northern Ireland Protocol.

There is a culture of impunity running through this government, underpinned by Parliamentary Sovereignty, a fake definition of national sovereignty and a party majority in the Commons reinforced by what would seem an unwillingness of the police or other regulators to investigate crimes committed by govt. ministers.

We have no basic law nor it would seem today a police force willing to pursue wrong doing in Whitehall.

ooOOOoo

This was originally written as part of a longer article, but I have decided it doesn’t fit in that article and so here we are.


[1] The SNP gave Johnson a 50% majority in the House, and were quickly followed by the LibDems and then Labour split with many of them voting for the election. There is an alternative view that the FTPA transferred the power to call an election from the PM to parliament and parliament just decided not to go through the vote of confidence, the requirement for a supermajority and a waiting period. …

Again I want your support.

Again I want your support.

AEIP is running its election for its national committee. I am standing again, I hope to continue the work I have been doing in ensuring that the truth about Brexit is known. This is what I said on their candidate statement pamphlet. What i said last year is still relevant. Please vote for me if a member, the ballot links are in your mailbox.

I got on ... thank you

My short statement is overleaf ...

A note on Data Protection Officers

A note on Data Protection Officers

Data Protection Officers roles were revised by GDPR and the member state implementations. Here is a reminder for those that need it.

Article 37 states that a processor or controller requires a DPO if it is a public authority, if it requires regular sys systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale or if it processes special data.

A DPO may work for multiple companies, but Article 38 requires the DPO to be adequately resourced and supported.

The DPO must be appointed on the basis of professional qualities and, in particular, expert knowledge of data protection law and practices and the ability to fulfil the tasks specified in the GDPR Article 39.

Article 38 states that the DPO must be involved in in all issues which relate to the protection of personal data, be properly resourced to perform their duties and to maintain their professional expertise, not receive instructions on the conduct of their duties, not be dismissed for doing their job, and report to the highest levels of management.

The tasks of the role are defined in Article 39, the job is to advise the highest levels of management on their obligations, to monitor compliance including the assignment of responsibilities,  training and operations’ audits, to assist and monitor the data privacy impact assessments, to cooperate and act as a contact point for the supervisory body, in the UK, the ICO.

I have used the EU text as the source of my summary and is reproduced overleaf/below ...

This post was originally posted at linkedin.