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Author: CycleFree

A Corrections Column

A Corrections Column

There are some well-worn memes doing the rounds following the ECHR decision yesterday on deportation flights to Rwanda. Many contain a number of factual errors and so, like the very busy editor of the Guardian’s Corrections section, let’s shed some light on these. The government’s policy has been declared illegal by European judges. No, it hasn’t. There will be a full court hearing in the English courts in three weeks time to assess the claims made by various appellants that…

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The Policeman and The Lawyer

The Policeman and The Lawyer

Two public servants: both in the autumn of their careers; both “Sirs“; both in the legislature; both facing important decisions. How are they approaching this and how are they being treated? The first is Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, between 2011 and 2017. His time as Met Commissioner was not, it is fair to say, an unalloyed success. During his time in office, the Met launched two high-profile investigations into sex abuse cases: Operation Yewtree and Operation Midland….

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In Other News ……

In Other News ……

Before we get to that, a brief thought on the PM and his amendments to the Ministerial Code. At the heart of most scandals is a conflict of interest: putting your own personal interests ahead of those you should take into account. The PM is ultimately responsible for the Ministerial Code and its enforcement. How is that supposed to work when it is him accused of breaching it and he is under investigation? He should not be judge and jury…

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A jeu d’esprit

A jeu d’esprit

So many opinions. So few facts. In the spirit so ably demonstrated by our PM over his life, let’s apply a little fiction to our current politics. Vanity Fair – updated for our times Boris: Truly the Becky Sharpe of our age. Determined to achieve the highest position in society he can, no matter what the cost to others. Cunning, sharp and ruthless. But attractive too and a shape-shifter – adapting his persona to whatever is needed to get him…

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Never Again

Never Again

Here we are, nearly 6 months on from that tearful resignation by poor inaptly-named Allegra. Since then we have had the PM’s Captain Renault-like shock at the revelation of parties at No 10 during lockdown, leaked photos, apologies to the Queen, an internal investigation, an off-then-on police investigation, numerous apologies to Parliament, accusations of lies to the Commons, a PM and his Chancellor paying a fine after being served with an FPN over attendance at a birthday party in Cabinet,…

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The human factor

The human factor

Another maternity scandal, this time a long-standing one which has, according to this story in the Sunday Times, been going on for ca. 50 years. Pregnant women suffering from epilepsy have been given a drug – sodium valproate – which (while effective at controlling epilepsy) is teratogenic, causing life-changing physical and neurological deformities to children. Its effects on the unborn child have been known about for some time but it continues to be prescribed. The risks were known to the…

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It looks as though the lockdown bandits think they can tough it out

It looks as though the lockdown bandits think they can tough it out

Feeble CON MPs haven’t the bottle to stop them The PM and Chancellor are going to brazen it out. That much is clear. An apology, a reference to all the other much more important work that needs to be done, Ukraine, a hope that MPs and voters are weary of it all, the happy coincidence that Parliament is not sitting, and so on. It is likely to work for now, even if opinion polls show a certain amount of buyer’s…

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Not the sharpest tool in the Tory box

Not the sharpest tool in the Tory box

Even the strongest supporters of jury trials accept that sometimes juries get it wrong. Or, rather, the prosecution and defence cases and/or the conduct of the trial were so poor that the jury could not help but come to the wrong (guilty) verdict. So there is nothing wrong – if you believe that a miscarriage of justice has occurred – to campaign for its overturning. If people, including MPs, had not done this – many infamous miscarriages of justice (from…

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