Tag Archives: referendum

Russia report: If Russian influence over the UK is ‘the new normal’, shouldn’t someone be charged with treason?

Bosom buddies: Boris Johnson with Russian industrialist Alexander Temerko. All perfectly innocent?

Now we can all see why Boris Johnson did not want the so-called ‘Russia Report’ released before the general election last year.

The report – released today (July 21) by Parliament’s new Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) – shows that successive Conservative governments have welcomed Russian oligarchs “with open arms”, giving them access to political figures “at the highest levels” – and made absolutely no attempt to investigate Russian interference in referendums and elections; in fact, the Tories “actively avoided” doing so.

This has led, the report states, to the growth of an industry of “enablers” who are “de facto agents of the Russian state”. The report does not explicitly state that these enablers include Conservative government politicians, but its assertion that Russia had access to “the highest levels” of political figures certainly suggests that this is the case.

And the fact that Russia has influence “at the highest levels” seems to have made it almost impossible to organise a response.

The report refers to the defence of UK democratic processes as a “hot potato” over which no government organisation wanted to take the lead in conducting an assessment of Russian interference.

In its response to the report today, the Tory government has said it has seen no evidence of interference in (this is the example it gives) the Brexit referendum. It seems clear that there is a good reason for that: nobody was looking. The government has said it sees no reason to conduct a retrospective investigation into such interference, which looks like a tacit admission of guilt in the light of the report. Committee member Stewart Hosie said, “That is meaningless if they haven’t looked for it.”

The ISC states that “social media companies must take action and remove covert hostile state material. Government must ‘name and shame’ those who fail to act”. The latter demand seems unlikely to happen as it seems clear that the Tory government does not want to do anything.

One reason for that may be the fact that the Tories have been delighted to welcome Russian money and the oligarchs who owned it, “providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London ‘laundromat’.”

It is unlikely that Russia actually interfered in the mechanics of voting in general elections or the Brexit referendum; the UK’s paper-based voting system “makes actual interference with the mechanism difficult” – but “we should not be complacent about other forms of interference”.

The report states that Russian influence seems to have been exerted prominently in the social media, whose bosses had no interest in preventing it.

It states: “There have been widespread allegations that Russia sought to influence voters in the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU: studies have pointed to the preponderance of pro-Brexit or anti-EU stories on RT and Sputnik, and the use of ‘bots’ and ‘trolls’, as evidence.

“The actual impact of such attempts on the result itself would be difficult – if not impossible – to prove. However what is clear is that the Government was slow to recognise the existence of the threat – only understanding it after the ‘hack and leak’ operation against the Democratic National Committee, when it should have been seen as early as 2014.

“As a result the Government did not take action to protect the UK’s process in 2016. The Committee has not been provided with any post-referendum assessment – in stark contrast to the US response to reports of interference in the 2016 presidential election. In our view there must be an analogous assessment of Russian interference in the EU referendum.”

In their statement, the Tories have made it clear that they will not conduct a retrospective investigation: “The Intelligence and Security Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by Hostile State Activity, including around potential interference in UK democratic processes.

“We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence, including during democratic events such as elections and referendums.

“Where new information emerges, the Government will always consider the most appropriate use of any intelligence it develops or receives, including whether it is appropriate to make this public. Given this long standing approach, a retrospective assessment of the EU Referendum is not necessary.”

This is hardly encouraging, given that the ISC report makes it clear that the Tory government has deliberately avoided looking for Russian interference.

Labour has delivered the weak-ass response that we have come to expect from Keir Starmer’s sub-Tory party, courtesy of Lisa “I wouldn’t disclose plans to sell off the NHS” Nandy.

“The report is very clear that the Government has underestimated the response required to Russia and it is imperative we learn the lessons from the mistakes that have been made,” she said. “The Labour Party calls on the Government to study the conclusions of the report carefully and take the necessary steps to keep our country safe.”

Fat chance! And she knows it. The people of the UK needed a much more robust response, calling out Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his extremely strong ties with Russians – he plays tennis with them in return for donations to the Tory Party, remember – and demanding a full-strength investigation into connections between Conservative government members past and present and Russians in the UK – both private citizens and representatives of that country’s government.

I’ll say it again, for clarity:

What we need now is a comprehensive and independent investigation by law-enforcement agencies into connections between anybody who has been a member of a Conservative government over the past 10 years (including members of other parties who have allied with the Tories – the DUP and the Liberal Democrats) and Russians in the UK who have been here either as private citizens or as representatives of that countries government. Did – and do – these relationships pose a threat to the UK’s security and to its democracy?

And if so, should those who have created that threat be arrested and charged with treason?

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The preposterous Geoffrey Cox: his ranting exposed the hidden reasons for shutting down Parliament

Geoffrey Cox: Arrogant blowhard.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox was brought to the House of Commons to answer questions about the Supreme Court’s decision that his advice on the prorogation of Parliament was entirely wrong.

But he seems to have spent much of his time at the Dispatch Box ranting about Brexit and challenging the Opposition parties to support a general election – just to get him and his boss Boris Johnson off the hook.

Why would anybody want to do that?

He started by saying that the government accepts the judgement of the Supreme Court that Parliament should not have been prorogued without any reason – and certainly without any good reason. He claimed the government acted in good faith and in the belief that their approach was both lawful and constitutional.

He justified this claim by reminding MPs that “these are complex matters, on which senior and distinguished lawyers will disagree. The divisional court, led by the Lord Chief Justice, as well as Lord Doherty in the outer house of Scotland, agreed with the Government’s position, but we were disappointed that, in the end, the Supreme Court took a different view. Of course, we respect its judgement.”

But he did not rule out the possibility that the Boris Johnson administration would try to prorogue Parliament again.

It was when Rory Stewart asserted that the Supreme Court had made a “profoundly conservative” decision to support the sovereignty of Parliament, and that it was for the Commons – “the only directly elected representatives of the people” – to determine the form in which Brexit takes place that Mr Cox lost his rag.

“This Parliament has declined three times to pass a withdrawal Act to which the Opposition had absolutely no objection,” he said. “We now have a wide number in this House setting their face against leaving at all. When this Government draw the only logical inference from that position, which is that we must leave therefore without any deal at all, they still set their face, denying the electorate the chance of having their say in how this matter should be resolved.”

Of course this is not true, and as a lawyer Mr Cox must have seen the falsehood in his argument.

If MPs were against leaving the EU at all, then it is not logical to infer that the UK must leave without a withdrawal agreement – in other words, on the worst possible terms.

Still, we may welcome the admission that Boris Johnson’s government is working to achieve a “no deal” Brexit – and has been working towards it since before it tried to prorogue Parliament.

And Mr Cox must also know that Labour policy is to give the electorate a chance to decide whether to support a future withdrawal agreement or remain in the EU, in a future referendum that the Conservatives have consistently refused to let voters have.

Then he launched into the rant that has become so well-repeated on TV and in the social media:

The simple fact is that the current UK Parliament isn’t dead at all; it has another three years to sit until its time is up.

Boris Johnson – thanks to people like Mr Cox – is in a mire entirely of his own making. Thanks to their joint mistakes, they are faced with a simple choice: achieve a Brexit deal by October 31 or, failing, beg the EU for another extension so they (or someone else) can achieve one in the future.

If they are forced into the latter option, then Jeremy Corbyn may support a general election – because the Conservatives will have shown the electorate that they are entirely unworthy of support.

Parliament is, therefore, performing exactly the role it is intended to carry out – holding the government to account.

The simple fact is that Mr Johnson and his cronies are now in a position where they cannot force the UK into leaving the EU on terms that benefit only themselves and their business partners; those terms must be transparent and they must have the support of MPs who have the well-being of their constituents at heart, rather than the possibility of boosting their own bank balances by selling off vital services like the NHS to Donald Trump’s United States (for example).

Journalist Paul Mason drew the obvious conclusion:

Exactly. From this we may also infer that the intention has always been to silence your elected representatives until the “no deal” Brexit – that Mr Cox has admitted the government wants – had been achieved. Then Mr Johnson wold have called an election in the belief that voters would support the prime minister who had actually managed to take the UK out of the EU, no matter what form that departure took.

An immediate election would also be advantageous to him in that it would deprive voters of the chance to experience the consequences of Mr Johnson’s “no deal” Brexit before making their choice.

Now, stuck between a rock and a hard place, Mr Johnson and his ministers – including Mr Cox – can only rail at the other MPs who are forcing them to do what the nation requires, falsely accusing the Opposition parties of cowardice in refusing to approve a general election while a “no deal” Brexit is still achievable.

All things considered, we have many reasons to be grateful to Mr Cox; he has given the game away and no member of the government can now deny that it has been caught, disgracefully trying to silence democracy.

But the manner in which the Attorney-General put his case was arrogant and provocative. No wonder Labour’s Barry Shearman was infuriated:

Dr Jennifer Cassidy tweeted: “If you watch anything today, watch this. Barry Shearman, usually a calm figure speaks with the fury, frustration and anger that millions of us feel.”

Oh – and there’s one more pearl from Mr Cox’s appearance before Parliament: He said the 2016 EU referendum is not binding on the government; there is no need to go through with Brexit at all.

Here’s what he said: “The law in relation to the referendum is that it was not binding upon this Parliament. It was binding in every moral sense upon those who promised the British people that it would be implemented, but it was not binding as a matter of law.”

Yes.

This is welcome as it will shut down, once and for all, the argument that has raged about it ever since the result became known.

So, ultimately, this arrogant blowhard has done us all a great service.

He has admitted that Boris Johnson has spent his entire period as prime minister trying to dodge democracy, in a bid to force a “no deal” Brexit with its unwanted consequences onto the public, based on the result of a plebiscite that has no legal binding whatsoever.

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Tom Watson can say what he wants; Jeremy Corbyn sets Labour policy on Brexit

At odds over Brexit: Tom Watson (left) and Jeremy Corbyn.

Let’s have a bit of clarity about Labour Party policy on the European Union and Brexit.

It is that, after Boris Johnson has been prevented from taking the UK out of the EU without any withdrawal agreement at all, Labour wants a general election at the earliest opportunity.

The intention is that this would result in a Labour – or Labour-led – government that would go back to the EU27 to negotiate a new withdrawal agreement.

This agreement would then be put to the people of the UK in a second referendum, alongside an option to remain in the EU.

It has been suggested that if Labour fails to get the deal wanted by party leaders, it will advise people to support remaining.

Tom Watson can say whatever he wants but it won’t change party policy; he is simply trying to cause mischief.

So his speech today (September 11), calling for a referendum before an election, is meaningless.

It’s a valid position, sure – one could argue very reasonably for a referendum before an election, because it would end an issue that has split voters across the UK, bringing us all back together to vote on the other issues affecting us, that have suffered a lack of publicity and debate due to Brexit.

An opposing argument may be that having a general election first would give a resulting Labour government a mandate to hold the negotiations and the second referendum it plans; this course of action would be approved by the public.

I think the latter approach is better. Don’t you?

Source: Brexit: Labour deputy Tom Watson calls for referendum ahead of election – BBC News

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After lying about Corbyn in the #EUreferendum campaign, where was Jo Swinson during #StopTheCoup? ON HOLIDAY.

This is damning.

Did you notice, during social media coverage of yesterday’s (August 31) #StopTheCoup demonstrations, that took place across the whole of the United Kingdom and involved hundreds of thousands, if not more than a million people, that some used the hashtag #WheresJoSwinson?

Well, now we know.

She was on holiday.

And, as some say, the optics are really bad because of her lie about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the EU referendum:

Would you like it from another source?

https://twitter.com/crashingbore123/status/1167913221971275776

And one more:

Now, there’s nothing wrong with going on holibobs every now and then (if you can afford it these days!) but some times are inappropriate.

MPs have just had a lengthy summer break. As leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ms Swinson knew that the result of the Conservative leadership election was likely to put someone in charge who would make changes that require a concerted show of opposition from, well, the Opposition.

But when the moment came, she was nowhere to be seen.

What a hypocrite. Liberal Democrats must be cringing with humiliation.

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Swinson lied again about Jeremy Corbyn and the responses should bury her career

Jo Swinson: A recent Liberal Democrat campaign stated “Bollocks to Brexit”. As this image shows the last two words may be removed to show what the Lib Dems are talking now.

Jo Swinson keeps trying to get us to listen to her lies about Jeremy Corbyn – and she keeps getting what she deserves in return.

The latest idiocy from the leader of the party soon to be known as the Lib Dims is a claim that Mr Corbyn – one of the most active campaigners for remaining in the EU during the run-up to the referendum in 2016 – didn’t campaign to remain.

The responses were – well, see for yourself:

Supporters of Ms Swinson’s lie were given short shrift too.

Ms Swinson soon disappeared beneath a mountain of evidence.

Even Liberal Democrats have started to turn against Ms Swinson:

(And if you want to see her voting record, read it here.)

It will be hard for the Liberal Democrats to come back from this blatant lie with any credibility for her campaign to undermine Mr Corbyn.

She could give up now, and get behind his plan for a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Boris Johnson and his ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Or she could make way for a Liberal Democrat leader who will.

She knows, now, that what she can’t do is lie about Jeremy Corbyn.

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Here’s why Corbyn is right to say he’d allow Scotland another independence poll

Good politics: If offering Scots the chance to vote for another independence referendum allows this to happen, then by the time they get to vote, Scots may not want it.

Of course Jeremy Corbyn is right to support the words of his shadow chancellor, and to correct the leader of Scottish Labour. If Scotland wants another independence referendum, it should have one.

The principle behind this is very simple: Westminster should rule England and the other countries of the United Kingdom by consent.

Also, of course, if you’re the Labour leader it doesn’t hurt to offer your colleagues in other political parties – like the SNP, for example – something they want when you’re asking for their help with something you want, like support in a vote of “no confidence” against a Tory leader you both want to remove.

Am I right?

Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed he believes Westminster should not block a second referendum on Scottish independence, but said he opposed the breakup of the UK.

Corbyn implicitly endorsed remarks by his close ally John McDonnell last week where he said a Labour government would not obstruct a fresh independence vote if there was sufficient support for one in the Scottish parliament.

Holyrood cannot hold a referendum without being given the powers to do so by the UK parliament.

Source: Corbyn: Westminster should not block second Scotland poll | Politics | The Guardian

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Nigel Farage complained about Von Der Leyen election win – but should have checked the numbers

A milkshake on his suit: But is it better or worse than having metaphorical egg on his face?

Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen has been narrowly elected president of the EU Commission following a secret ballot among MEPs, the BBC reported.

She was confirmed by a margin of 383 votes to 327. She needed the backing of 374 out of 747 MEPs to win.

Among those who weren’t impressed was Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party.

This Writer has a nagging concern that the real reason for his disdain may be the fact that he has spent decades claiming that members of the Commission are unelected.

But worse was to come for the hapless Brexit braggart, as Georgina Lee explained:

Struggling to comprehend the significance?

Well, the Leave faction won the EU membership referendum in 2016 with – guess what? – 51.89 per cent of the vote.

What was that you were saying about “no legitimacy” again, Nigel?

Source: Von der Leyen elected EU Commission head after MEPs vote – BBC News

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Tick tock, Tory Theresa, is your time up?

On her way: She’s managed to dodge the bullet for nearly two years, but is she about to resign at long, long last – putting US out of her misery?

It’s looking bad for Theresa May. She may be ousted on the eve of the European Parliament elections she promised we wouldn’t have to hold.

After the disaster that was the introduction of her third (and final?) attempt to get an EU Withdrawal Bill passed by Parliament, it seems she may be facing a full-scale Cabinet revolt and demands for her resignation.

Apparently Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt and David Mundell (he’s Secretary of State for Scotland, by the way) have all requested meetings with Mrs May, but have all been rebuffed.

It seems Penny Mordaunt is also saying she can’t support the new Withdrawal Bill. Reporters are saying it’s an indirect way of telling Mrs May to go, while being able to say that they never overtly demanded it.

The sticking-point seems to be the promise related to another referendum.

Meanwhile the Tory backbench 1922 committee is meeting with the Chief Whip, Julian Smith – to discuss rule changes that will allow an immediate vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May’s leadership.

Tory MPs are openly telling the broadcast media that she has to go – and not the usual suspects, either. Here’s Tom Tugendhat:

And here’s Tim Loughton:

Former Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb has also said she should resign as soon as possible.

We are told there will be no statement from 10 Downing Street this evening.

Judging from past form, that means there will be a statement from 10 Downing Street this evening.

It’s all very disappointing for This Writer.

For once, I don’t have any popcorn in the house.

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Labour WILL support a ‘public vote’ referendum says Corbyn as he launches EU election campaign

Jeremy Corbyn took the opportunity to make a clear statement about Labour’s Brexit policy – and take a jab at the Tories – in his speech launching Labour’s campaign for election to the European Parliament.

He attacked populist right-wing parties that are trying to play on petty-minded prejudices that Brexit has brought out, and criticised those who positioned themselves as either “Remain” or “Leave”-supporting parties.

And he re-stated Labour’s mission statement to end austerity, invest in the UK’s economy and communities, and raise wages and living standards.

He said: “Labour agreed to talks [on Brexit with the Tories] because we believed it was the right thing to do to see if we could get a better deal… So far in those talks, there has been no big offer, and the red lines remain.

So if we can’t get a sensible deal, along the lines of our alternative plan or a general election, Labour backs the option of a public vote.

That is a huge statement of intent. It answers criticisms that his party has been wavering on the subject.

But you can be sure his critics will still be banging the same drum tomorrow. As I type this, the BBC’s Norman Smith is asking Mary Creagh if there is any chance of Mr Corbyn backing another referendum, as though he did not say as much in his speech, less than an hour previously. Some people just won’t pay attention to what’s going on around them.

He said Labour’s alternative plan for Brexit – rejected for tribal reasons in Parliament – would “end the chaos caused by the Conservatives and let us focus on the other big issues facing our country.”

He said it would “restore pride and prosperity to parts of our country that have been neglected for too long. That neglect was, I believe a major reason behind the vote for Brexit in the first place.”

In contrast, he described the Conservative government’s actions as “botched” and “damaging”, and the government itself as “disintegrating”.

He said the Tories had delivered “three years of the Tories spending more time arguing with themselves than negotiating with Europe.

“What the Prime Minister finally cooked up led to the biggest government defeat in parliamentary history.

“It wasn’t until that damaging deal had been defeated three times and the Government had already missed its own deadline for leaving that the Prime Minister finally admitted she needed to compromise.

“It’s difficult negotiating with a disintegrating government with cabinet ministers jockeying for the succession, rather than working for an agreement.”

Indeed.

Mr Corbyn took the opportunity to re-state Labour’s position, that the party was trying to find a way to unite the people of the UK, rather than perpetuating the damaging division caused by the Conservatives.

He said: “What’s needed is a bit of understanding. Understanding of why so many people felt so frustrated with the system that they voted to leave. And understanding of why so many others believe that staying in the EU is the only way to protect our open and diverse society.

“What kind of society do we want to be? And on that people can find so much common ground. Labour, and only Labour stands on that common ground in this election.”

He said: “The injustices in our society are deepening. Those injustices aren’t to do with backstops, implementation periods and all that obscure jargon.

“They’re about whether your children will go to a school that can afford the basics or one that has to send begging letters to parents; whether your relatives will be treated quickly and safely on the NHS or wait in pain and distress for months; whether your parents will get a helping hand in old age or be left isolated and afraid; and whether we as a country can end the burning injustices in our society that Theresa May once talked of but did nothing about.”

Pouring scorn on the attitudes of the Tories and other right-wing parties, he said: “We need solutions, not scapegoats.

“When you blame your neighbour rather than the powerful for problems with the health system or for overcrowded classrooms or for a lack of housing you’re letting those responsible off the hook.

“You haven’t trained a doctor or a nurse, you haven’t opened a new school, you haven’t built a house; you haven’t secured a penny of extra investment.

“All you’ve done is fuel an atmosphere of division and nastiness.”

Relating this to the EU, he said: “We are the part of the great majority who reject the politics of smear and scapegoating.

“The biggest issues facing us like tax avoidance and the power of multinational corporations are international issues that demand international solutions. And the biggest issue of all the climate and environment emergency that threatens everyone’s future cannot be averted by one country alone.

“To transform our country and tackle injustice, inequality and the climate crisis we need to unite the overwhelming majority of people and take on the privileged and powerful.

“Labour will address the inequalities that helped fuel the Brexit vote by investing in our communities and people ending austerity and creating a fairer society.

“And we will lead the fight against racism at home and across Europe wherever and however it arises.

It is Labour that wants to bring our country back together.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Guest post: Why are politicians determined to honour a corrupted referendum?

This is a question that has bothered me considerably so I am delighted to host Tony O’Malley’s article asking why our political parties are determined to ignore the “lies, misrepresentations, cheating, illegality and probably criminality” of the 2016 EU referendum.

He says he understands left-wing members of the Labour Party have advocated that it is time to “move on”.

The problem is that we can’t. The whole of the UK is in stalemate over the issue.

Perhaps the reason for that is the insistence that we accept a corrupted result and “move on”, despite knowing that doing so will harm us.

Here’s Mr O’Malley [all boldings are mine]:

I have always considered myself a passionate believer in socialism, the internationalism of the Labour movement and Jeremy Corbyn.

I am also a litigation solicitor, who is now ‘retired’ due to various disabilities and health issues. In a prior career, I was a Registered General & Mental Nurse. I had been a member of the governing body of a major independent trades union & professional organisation (RCN), and I had the privilege of being the first ever elected U.K. President of the European Nursing Students Organisation. I have always fought tirelessly for justice for nurses, and especially for student nurses, as I consider them the future of a most noble profession and central to the delivery of high quality care and compassion in our renowned health service.

I voted Remain in the 2016 referendum. For me, it was an easy choice, though I did recognise that much institutional and policy reform was likely to be required if the EU, and the multiplicity of it’s constituent parts was to function better for the people of our continent, and thrive going forward. For quite some time now, I have been raising issues and queries with Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, Jennie Formby, Keir Starmer, and others. These many digital communications have sought early answers to the question of what was our party’s position with regard to the disturbing findings of the UK Electoral Commission about the running, result and supervision of the 2016 EU referendum. Sadly, I have not yet received any responses whatsoever, to any of my many attempts to engage in good faith with Labour politicians and officials who need to explain to me how political expediency now appears to have become so legitimate.

Whilst certain aspects of the actions by Leave campaign groups still remain under investigation by the National Crime Agency, there is already ample evidence in the public domain which reveals that the referendum result cannot be seen as the ‘will of the people’, because of the lies, misrepresentations, cheating, illegality and probably criminality which infested the whole sorry exercise. The courts have stated that, had the referendum not been legally constructed as being that of an ‘advisory’ referendum only, then they could have overturned the result because of the many serious concerns that have already been expressed and which would have been anathema to our long-standing principles of democracy and fair play.

David Cameron’s Conservative government really messed up when they committed, in a leaflet, to honouring the referendum result, when no such power for them to do so existed within the legal structure of the plebiscite.

In all other aspects of our society, we firmly and consistently adhere to the ancient principle that ‘cheats should not prosper’. The penalties for cheating in sport, business, academic testing and in many other areas of human endeavour, generally involve the complete loss of any advantage that the cheater obtained through their disreputable actions. In sport, for example, the winner’s medal would be forfeited if their performance could be shown to have been enhanced by illicit substances or done by any other breach of the rules. If I cheat in a college or school exam, then it should reasonably be expected that I do not receive the benefit that such cheating had given rise to! Nobody would realistically object to a race, match or other competition being re-run, or the prize being awarded to a non-cheater, if cheating was considered to have polluted the integrity of the initial event. This universal reaction is so uncontentious that it barely merits further debate.

Why is it then, when it comes to the widespread cheating and illegality that has been revealed in respect of the 2016 EU referendum, that politicians, the MSM and large sections of our civil society, can choose to close their eyes, and discard their moral compasses on the basis of shallow and temporary political expediency?

I have sadly witnessed a number of voices on the left of our political spectrum recently stating that it is time to ‘move on’ in respect of this unresolved issue. This response has shocked me to my core. If the Labour movement doesn’t stand for justice, then I’m afraid it doesn’t stand for very much!

How would the Hillsborough families, the Grenfell families, the Windrush families, the Orgreave families, the Palestinians and more, have reacted to the statement that it was ‘time to move on’, when their grievances and quest for justice remained unresolved after the long passage of time?

The truth is that it can never be acceptable to sacrifice our core beliefs, as we apparently appear to be doing in this shameful situation. Once you let that genie out of the bottle, it can can never be returned there. A precedent becomes set, that in certain circumstances we can give a nod and a wink to the flouting of the rule of law.

That abrogation of our core beliefs and principles will no doubt visit us again, and again, in forms not yet identified, but with potential unfathomable consequences for the Labour movement and our society.


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