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This topic contains 45 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by The VFM Addict 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #33733

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps

    Boris Johnson Charged with Criminal offence of Misconduct in Public Office!

    I wish I had known about this, I would have happily contributed a couple of quid to the crowd funding of his prosecution. Unfortunately I fear that he will wriggle out of jail as he will probably make a case of it being mere political dissembling and hyperbole just like TBLiar.

    That said I really hope a legal precedent is set to discourage future politicians from the same offence.

Viewing 20 replies - 21 through 40 (of 45 total)
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  • #33822

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict
    Forumite Points: 1,711

    It has to start somewhere, we don’t put up with this behaviour anywhere else. If it’s just ignored it’s going to get worse and worse. It’s a massive trust issue. Some sort of official standards authority, like that applied to advertising etc. but that doesn’t yet exist. If it had been a published article they’d have to print a retraction, not ramp the same lie up and up. Saying that the courts would get jammed so ignore it wouldn’t be applied to an increase in other misdemeanours, the cry would be for more resources to deal with the problem. If the politicians can’t keep themselves honest then maybe there must be a mechanism to do so.

    Actually, Dave, that is exactly what happens all the time.   The CPS/Police raise charging standards and when there are prosecutions courts set precedents by imposing increasingly lighter sentences such that the CPS can argue even more strongly next time that prosecution wasn’t in the public interest.   At the same time Regulators, like the Information Commissioner’s Office, the first tier arbiters with the prerogative to construe what the Regulations mean.   As with CPS and Charging standards they set their own bars for taking action higher and higher.

    About 5 years ago elected to lay an Information before a Magistrate’s Court to commence a private prosecution.  The District Judge who considered the Informantion refused to issue summons including in his reasoning that the trial list was running at 10 weeks in that area.    I immediately lodged application at the High Court for permission to appeal for judicial review of that decision on the basis that such was not a factor the DJ was entitled to rake into account.   Permission refused – The DJ was entitled to apply to a potential private prosecution the same tests the CPS apply when considering if a prosecution should continue.   The DJ was entitled to, as part of the Public Interest stage, consider load on the judiciary.    Which I guess sums it all up.     There are also dozens of high authority judgements  (Court of Appeal and HoL/Supreme Court) where the court reached decision X in part, and stating it was in part, because a decision to the contrary would open the floodgates to a sea of prosecutions.

     

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    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

    #33824

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 3,394

    So we do nothing and legitimise the telling of deliberate and ever bigger lies by our politicians? How can that be acceptable when we don’t allow it in all other parts of society? There must be a way of holding them to account in the same way we do others.

    Surely that is the way you “drain the swamp”, not just throw more alligators in there?

    #33829

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 6,508

    The general public needs to be protected from ‘fake news’ coming from authoritative sources, and we need meaningful standards of behaviour by those in public office.

    If I accept that the CPS have the right to act in an ex-Judicial manner by ruling on the law (which seems to me to be stretching their powers), then I would argue that it makes it even more important to bring Bojo to trial to test what criteria should be met before allowing any future trial of such individuals. If necessary it should go to the Law Lords to rule on meaningful standards.

    #33834

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 4,581

    IMO British law and the justice system needs to be overhauled. We have centuries of laws which are no longer meaningful or relevant today. The flipside is that some lawmakers and lawgivers are making up the rules to suit their own or others’ purposes and interests.

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

    #33836

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict
    Forumite Points: 1,711

    “Drain the swamp” is not about new laws etc.  It never could be because it is those in the swamp that set the laws, isn’t it?   And Turkeys don’t vote for……………..

    The only way to drain the swamp is for the electorate to do so via the ballot box.   But up until now Joe and Joanne Public couldn’t be bothered to.   They moaned about MP X or MP Y taking the p with his expenses then voted the leech back in come next election.  Only the public can drain the swamp but must take action to do so or it just won’t ever happen.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

    #33838

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 3,394

    But they are mostly all as bad as each other and they come back in the end. Even Hamilton managed it although the more popular in their parties will be parachuted back to a safe seat asap.

    Perhaps they need to be barred from office like company directors can be banned.

    #33841

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 6,508

    ‘Drain the swamp’ in this case is NOT about new laws but using existing laws to ensure standards of conduct are enforced by an impartial body. As we do not have a written constitution to protect us, we have to rely on the cumbersome process of legal precedence and that is what we need in bringing disreputable public officials to heel.

    #33844

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict
    Forumite Points: 1,711

    ‘Drain the swamp’ in this case is NOT about new laws but using existing laws to ensure standards of conduct are enforced by an impartial body. As we do not have a written constitution to protect us, we have to rely on the cumbersome process of legal precedence and that is what we need in bringing disreputable public officials to heel.

    So you have confidence in the judiciary acting to dis-empower the establishment do you?  I can’t see that happening myself.   As regards Hamilton that was exactly the point I was making.   Joe Public screams about abuses by politicians but then does little to stick by its guns.    Until Joe has the courage of his convictions and sticks by them then one is simply throwing a leech from the swamp walking away and letting it slither back.     I do agree with comments that there should be a means to bar those who offend the greatest but in reality there already is.    If the offence is that great then a hefty prison sentence will result and there’s always the option of ‘recall’ even in lighter cases.   That’s full circle though because again as I said only Joe can drain the swamp and be diligent to ensure it doesn’t re-fill.

    Oh I forgot to say just in case not everyone knows, Misconduct in Public Office can only be tried before a jury so it is, unlike Magistrates’ decisions, Joe Public calling the shots.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

    #33855

    dwynnehugh
    Participant
    @dwynnehugh
    Forumite Points: 1,393

    I think this trend is very worrying.  I’ve have just read on the BBC website of a student that sued her university for getting a first in what she called a ‘mickey mouse’ degree where the university had stated with this degree there was a potential to earn. The Co. Court threw her case out and it has now come to notice that the university insurance company has paid out £60K contrary to the request of the university itself. The student views this as a victory.

    Where will this end??  Are we in future to see every political / person being interviews having to be accompanied by their solicitor or will ‘Questiontime’  and similar progs only be run on pre-submitted and edited question and replied  in a similar vein?

    I think and I HOPE  this will never get to court as it has a much much wider implication for all who answer questions / are interviewed on TV. Perhaps we may also need to remember that once used such legal process may well be used against members of the public / trades unions et al.

    The more you meet people the more you understand why Noah took animals instead of humans

    #33859

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 3,394

    So we just ignore it and let them say anything they want anytime they want without fear or favour?

    This isn’t about the speculation on the future or policies etc. it’s about specific provable lies being told, exactly the same thing we hold others to account.  If a car manufacturer claims they will be making a car that will do 1,000 miles per gallon that’s fine. If they say this car does 1,000 miles a gallon and it doesn’t, or they took deposits on that basis that’s the sort of thing we’re on about. Deliberately misleading people, not your normal Question Time back and forth.

    Case in point our Metro Mayor campaigned saying he would stop a specific contentious housing development and gained a lot of votes from people in that area on the back of it. Because “housing” came into his remit it seemed plausible and he was taken at his word. Once in office it turns out he didn’t have the powers to do so nor any influence in that area.

    If that had been someone selling a product or attracting investment they would be in trouble sharpish. We don’t put up with that so why do we put up with politicians? As I said that I thought the judiciary was not the right place for it but in the absence of anything else you have to start somewhere.

    #33860

    dwynnehugh
    Participant
    @dwynnehugh
    Forumite Points: 1,393

    I think that most people in the UK will, by now, have realised that ‘politician, honesty, integrity and truth’ will never ever be found in the same sentence – which is probably why the UK has so little regards for its elected members.

    When you open a can of worms, you need to know where the worms will stop.

    The more you meet people the more you understand why Noah took animals instead of humans

    #33862

    Bob Williams
    Participant
    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 4,581

    Politicians do detestable things.

    They become detestable and are detested by the citizenry.

    They develop an attitude that Millwall supporters will recognise: “No one likes us, we don’t care.”

    And they don’t. Care, that is. About what they are supposed to care about.

    If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?

    What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.

    If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.
    --- Robin Williams

    #33866

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 6,508

    “So you have confidence in the judiciary acting to dis-empower the establishment do you?”

    This is one of the reasons that our legal and political systems are (more or less) separated.

    Unfortunately without a written Constitution that is our last line of defence in protecting the public from political abuse. As there have been a number of cases where foreign Judges demonstrate such integrity I do not see why our Judges would not do the same. I would hope that our Judges similarly have the capability of acting dispassionately and putting the public interest ahead of that of politicians.

    #33963

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict
    Forumite Points: 1,711

    As I said, Ed, “So you have confidence in the judiciary acting to dis-empower the establishment do you?”    The District Judge was wrong to grant summons in the BoJo case the High Court has ruled.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

    #33966

    Dave Rice
    Moderator
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 3,394

    You see this is why we can’t have a general discussion. You will insist on taking a “robust” position and then claim others are taking an opposing one so you can have an argument with them. You can then crow when things turn out your way or ignore it if they don’t.

    The point being made was that politicians should be held into account in some way and at least it’s started. The High Court were asked for clarification from a more junior one, they have given their answer.

    There seems little point in having a general chin wag about what could happen next as it will only be turned into an opportunity for confrontation.

    #33968

    Ed P
    Participant
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 6,508

    At this time we do not know WHY the case was thrown out, however it obviously was not a vexatious claim as Bojo received no redress for his costs. i.e. a Scottish Law type decision.

    #33969

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict
    Forumite Points: 1,711

    Dave, my post was clearly to Ed, but as usual you took the opportunity to get personal and take a pop at me.   Yet again you get personal when I had in no way have attacked you.    I had said to Ed earlier that you can’t expect the judiciary to act.    That is exactly what has happened.

    If you could see through your animosity to me you would reread all that was said in this thread I was clear that I agreed with the sentiment that something needs to be done.   We are not in disagreement regarding that.   I agreed that something needs to be done about the quality of politicians we have.    I just don’t believe that can be achieved by expecting the judiciary to bring the current ones into check.    You simply can’t apply the “trading or advertising standards” model to politics as your earlier posts suggest should be done.

    My point was that only the electorate has the power to change the calibre of our politicians at the ballot box.    Sadly I see little sign Joe Public can be bothered to do that.   If Joe could then Neil Hamilton would surely not have resurfaced and hold the elected post he now does.    Similarly if BoJo lied in the way those who sought his conviction held he had then surely Joe Public won’t elect him again.    But we both know they will and far from remotely even as PM.   You can’t lay such at the feet of the judiciary only at the feet of Joe Public.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

    #33970

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict
    Forumite Points: 1,711

    At this time we do not know WHY the case was thrown out, however it obviously was not a vexatious claim as Bojo received no redress for his costs. i.e. a Scottish Law type decision.

    That’s interesting.  Although when a case is verbally ruled on and the reasoning handed down at a later stage it is usually only after such that petitions for costs are considered.   It seems BoJo’s lawyers did argue that the prosecution was politically motivated and vexatious but, and this interests me, that an essential component of the offence was that the abuse of trust was in secret.    I can’t subscribe to the latter.  No case law I have ever seen, and there is only such because its not a statutory offence merely a common law offence, suggests such must be in private.    For example, a PC was convicted of the offence for failing to intervene in an assault he was witnessing.   That is plainly not in private.    So BoJo’s lawyers had I believe very little prospect of having succeeded with the ‘secret’ argument.   That brings us back to the proposed prosecution being vexatious.   Can’t wait to seen the handed down notes of reasoning not least because I’ve been looking at launching a MIPO private prosecution myself re a NHS official.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

    #33971

    dwynnehugh
    Participant
    @dwynnehugh
    Forumite Points: 1,393

    According to the 6pm BBC News the High Court dismissed the action by stating that it was their opinion that the offence of “Misconduct in a Public Office” had never been tried in the form of a political campaign and the legislation was never probably envisaged to that end.

    Once that can of worms is opened, you must know how far they will travel.  Too often in UK law we see ‘mission creep’ – and that is bad law.

    The more you meet people the more you understand why Noah took animals instead of humans

    #33977

    The VFM Addict
    Participant
    @thevfmaddict
    Forumite Points: 1,711

    That’s the BBC fouling up again.   There is no ‘legislation’.   MIPO is not a statutory offence never having resided in any legislation.    It a common law offence.  In other words it derives purely of case law and age old precedent.     I suppose that the Divisional Bench (i.e. the two judges of the Queens Bench Division who heard the judicial review application) could hold that it has never been previously used is respect of political campaigns hence no common law precedent but that is not a binding call and they would have to give leave to appeal their decision.    So if ‘boy prosecutore’ can get enough crowdfunding this could go first to the Court of Appeal and as their decision equally could not be binding it not deriving of principle already established by highest authority, potentially even go after that to the Supreme Court.     This is the stuff or which lawyers’ personal wealth is built………LOL     A nice case with no previously ruled, applicable, binding high authority.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Here's hoping the Mad Tangerine of the West and the Mad Monk of the East stay friends or we're all in trouble

Viewing 20 replies - 21 through 40 (of 45 total)

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