Friday, February 24, 2006

What the hell? Suspending an elected representative from office for four weeks for making a foolish but hardly earth-shattering (and certainly non anti-semitic) remark that happened to offend someone? Does this mean I can get Tony Blair and Charles Clarke suspended from office for offending me EVERY SINGLE BLOODY DAY with their illiberal attacks on pretty much everything that used to make this country a place I could be proud to live?

Update: More ponderings - Livingstone's been done for "bringing the office into disrepute", an entirely subjective judgement. This will have set precedents - as could his appeal - as this is one of the first major tests for the Adjudication Panel for England (which was only set up five years ago), designed to rule over local government officers. If the ruling is upheld it could open the door to hundreds of petty suits against local government officials nation-wide, purely on the basis of people pretending to have been offended by something they've said. A handy new weapon in the party political warfare arsenal...

Plus, as the precise constitutional basis of the APE (heh - "ape"...) remains rather unclear - it works much like a court of law and its members are directly appointed by the Lord Chancellor - its decisions could potentially be used as precedents for other cases in areas of law outside its own jurisdictional remit. Especially when combined with the current government attempts to legislate against incitement to religious hatred and glorifying terrorism, where perception is all and it doesn't matter for hell what the intent is/was.

5 Comments:

Blogger Truth Seeker said...

Another point, why aren't people calling for this journalist to leave the newspaper, given the groups links to fascism?

Surely, if a man is to be jailed for denying historic events, then a journalist who has betrayed their history by working for a newspaper group like this one should be condemned; given that the journalist is Jewish, don't people feel that that particular journalist is betraying other Jews?

Where does history end, and where do you draw the line with these issues?

2/24/2006 04:00:00 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

You can't get Blair and Clarke suspended the same way because the Standards Board only applies to local politicians and not MPs...some people might call that a double standard, but not me, as I know that all our MPs are models of probity who need no one to oversee them, unlike those plundering wastrels in local government.

2/24/2006 06:17:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Nick - I know. Just wishful thinking... But I'm still intrigued to know just how far the implications of this could reach. Certainly it wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility to launch a load of silly attacks against councillors using this as a precedent?

I'll have to track down the precise wording of the ruling. Plus work out precisely where such a body as the APE stands constitutionally - it's a weird one...

(Either that or I should really have done that law conversion course all those years back so I'd simply know the answers to all these questions...)

2/24/2006 06:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Pete in Dunbar said...

Actually that appears to be exactly how the Standards Board is being used. Despite the hype that accompanied its introduction.

2/25/2006 10:52:00 am  
Blogger beatroot said...

I agree - elected representatives should only be removed from office by voters. It's a sign of the 'don't be offensive' times.

2/25/2006 12:39:00 pm  

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