Tag Archives: summary

Labour’s new ‘summary expulsion’ system will only be used on ‘clear cases’ – as decided by whom?

Jeremy Corbyn: He has put himself in an extremely difficult position by trying to pander to the backstabbers accusing Labour of “institutional anti-Semitism” – and his new offer on disciplinary procedures is unlikely to help.

The details of the new system to speed up expulsions of Labour Party members accused of anti-Semitism are deeply disturbing.

Apparently the procedure put forward by Jeremy Corbyn yesterday (July 22) would mean that high profile cases and those that seem, on the face of it, to be extreme would go to a panel of NEC members plus the general secretary.

This panel would be advised by an independent barrister who is an expert in discrimination law.

And it would only be activated in “clear cases”.

As defined by whom?

I have no doubt that there are still people in the Labour Party who would describe my case as “clear anti-Semitism” – even though there wasn’t a single particular of it that fits any accepted description of that offence!

Remember: This is the organisation that wrongly expelled me for suggesting that British Jews are more loyal to Israel than the UK. A commenter on This Site had claimed that most British Jews identify with that country in some way. I asked: “If Jews in the UK identify with the state of Israel, why aren’t they Israeli citizens?“ This is the line used by the party to expel me. But later in the conversation I stated: “How about applying the most simple answer: They aren’t Israeli citizens because they don’t identify with the state of Israel, to anything like the degree required. Possibly because they actually disagree with the actions of the Israeli government.” My Labour Party accusers would certainly have read those words – but ignored them in order to frame me as an anti-Semite. That is the problem here.

Steve Walker, over at Skwawkbox, may be optimistic about this (see link below), but he has not been through the process.

Any panel dealing with any particular case needs to be provably impartial – that is, its members must not be affiliated to any part of Labour that is unsympathetic with the defendant’s own political views, nor should they be part of any organisation with sympathies to Israel or Zionism (or hidden sympathies to the same, as with the Jewish Labour Movement).

No panel should be allowed prior site of the details of any case it is to handle.

And the Labour Party’s case should not include instructions to any panel that it is to find a defendant guilty whether the evidence indicates this or not.

Would a defendant be present at meetings of such a panel? Or would they simply be informed that this organisation had kicked them out? This would violate the right of any accused members to defend themselves.

The addition of the right of appeal (which I didn’t have after my case was heard) is a good sign – but who would handle such an appeal and in what manner?

The devil is indeed in the detail – but from the details on offer so far, this arrangement is just as diabolical as the last and I can see no justice in it.

Source: Excl: how Labour’s new ‘summary exclusion’ will work – if approved by NEC | The SKWAWKBOX

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.

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It’s contempt, then: Government failure to provide legal advice on Brexit to Parliament triggers proceedings

Geoffrey Cox: The Attorney General deliberately refused to provide Parliament with the documents it had demanded, making it impossible to judge either that advice or Theresa May’s Brexit agreement.

The Conservative government is facing contempt of Parliament proceedings after publishing a 43-page – redacted – summary of the legal advice provided to it about its Brexit agreement with the EU, rather than providing all the advice it was given to MPs.

As the Humble Motion approved by Parliament unanimously on November 13 was for the full advice and not a summary that has been edited to remove anything critical of the government, Mrs May’s administration may face contempt proceedings as early as this evening (December 3).

There was a possibility that the Tories could fend off such proceedings, if Attorney General Geoffrey Cox were to announce a u-turn by the government during his oral statement on the matter this afternoon.

But he did not.

Instead, he simply commended his 43-page summary – he called it a “commentary” – to the Commons.

He said: “The matters of law can only inform the political decision” and that, in the time available “it is impossible to cover each and every matter of law that arises over 585 pages” of the withdrawal agreement.

It seems to This Writer that if the government’s top lawyer hasn’t had time to consider all the implications of an international agreement of such seismic importance as this, he should have demanded an extension until he had been able to do the job properly. Anything else is incompetence and he admitted as much at around 4.30pm today.

Failure to bring the full legal advice before Parliament is therefore also failure to show what information was not provided to the Tory government. Without that, it would be impossible for Parliament to support Mrs May’s deal.

Without it, the advice provided on the customs union, the Northern Ireland border backstop, Gibraltar or whatever else is meaningless and Labour is right to launch contempt proceedings.

Mr Cox said MPs only had to ask him for information and they would receive it – but this assumes that he is in possession of such information and he had already admitted that he had not had time to consider all the angles.

Not only is the government failing in its duty to agree a reasonable deal that is the best possible for the United Kingdom, it is holding Parliament in contempt by refusing to allow other MPs the means to analyse the deal that has been agreed – alongside the legal advice provided by Mr Cox – and identify failings that must be corrected for the protection of us all.

We should be grateful to Mr Cox for making it clear that Mrs May’s Brexit agreement must not be passed by Parliament under any circumstance.

But his behaviour towards MPs is utterly unacceptable and the government must be held to account for it.

Contempt of Parliament should not be a trivial offence. If it is proved, then the guilty party could face expulsion from the House of Commons. So it will be interesting to see who will face Labour’s proceedings.

Mr Cox would seem the obvious target – but he has been constrained by the choices of others. Most notable among these is Theresa May, who has recklessly pushed her lumbering, clumsy Brexit juggernaut through Parliament and the EU at breakneck speed.

Shadow Solicitor-General Nick Thomas-Symonds said the Attorney General’s statement was entirely unacceptable.

He said there were differences between the legal positions leaked to the press over the weekend – and why did that happen? – and the political decisions of which Mr Cox spoke.

And he pointed out that the Humble Motion passed on November 13 demanded the final legal advice to cabinet, not a commentary.

“Isn’t the reality of the situation that the government does not want MPs to see the full advice for fear of the political consequences?” he asked.

That certainly seems to be the case.

Not only has Mrs May’s government deliberately committed a serious Parliamentary offence; it has torpedoed its own deal.

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This is how the ‘annual tax statement’ SHOULD have appeared!

We all owe a debt of thanks to Richard Murphy, over at Tax Research UK. He has broken down the information in George Osborne’s misleading ‘annual tax statement’ into its component parts and then put a new version together, under categories that more accurately describe the spending concerned.

Then he turned the information into a handy pie chart – similar to Osborne’s but with one major change:

This version is accurate.

Here it is:

141105richardmurphy1

Let’s just compare it with Osborne’s…

141105osbornetaxsummary

Big difference!

The most interesting to Vox Political is the perception gap between Mr Murphy’s calculation of the total proportion of tax spent on unemployment benefits – 0.67 per cent – and Osborne’s ‘Welfare’ heading, which constitutes 24 per cent of spending.

Talk to most people about ‘Welfare’ and they’ll think you mean unemployment benefits – so the Osborne chart will make them think that government spending on the unemployed is no less than 36 times as much as is in fact the case.

When a government minister exaggerates the facts by that much, he might as well come out and admit that he’s lying to the people.

Mr Murphy wrote: “This is the statement George Osborne would not want you to see because it makes clear that subsidies, allowances and reliefs extend right across the UK economy. And they do not, by any means, appear to go to those who necessarily need them most. The view he has presented on this issue has been partial, to say the least, and frankly deeply misleading at best.”

He wrote: “Add together the cost of subsidies to banks, the subsidy to pensions and the subsidy to savings (call them together the subsidy to the City of London) and they cost £103.4bn a year – more than the cost of education in the UK.

“It’s also no wonder house prices are so distorted when the implicit tax subsidy for home ownership is £12.6 billion a year.”

He also pointed out that unemployment benefits cost only half the amount used to subsidise personal savings and investments.

For full details of Mr Murphy’s calculations, visit his article on the Tax Research UK site.

Mr Murphy tweeted yesterday: “Almost every commentator now agrees that Osborne is going to spend a fortune sending out tax statements that are wrong. Why not cancel now?”

He won’t unless he’s forced to; he has a political agenda to follow.

That is why Vox Political launched a petition to achieve just that.

If you haven’t already, please visit the petition on the Change.org website, sign it, and share it with your friends.

While you’re at it, feel free to share the infographic, created to support the petition:

ztaxleaflets

Please also read yesterday’s Vox Political article on Osborne’s ‘annual tax summaries’, if you haven’t already.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Sign our petition to kill Osborne’s ‘tax statement’ propaganda sheet

141104taxleaflet2

[Image: Daily Mirror.]

Remember when the Transparency of Lobbying, Third-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act (otherwise known as the Gagging Act) was passed, in January this year? Vox Political warned that it marked the end of free speech and free protest in the UK.

The article showed that the new law means you may no longer link up with others to protest government actions in any meaningful way – as such action may breach Liberal Democrat and Tory government-imposed spending limits. Your personal complaints will be deemed unrepresentative of the people.

In that article, this blog asked why the government has launched its attack on free speech and free protest, and suggested the following: Perhaps it wants to control the information you receive, on which you base your voting intentions?

This week we received confirmation of that theory – or at least, some of us did.

The ‘tax statements’ being sent out to Income Taxpayers by the Treasury – on the orders of George Osborne – are nothing less than party political electioneering, being carried out using those taxpayers’ own money rather than the Tory Party’s funds. The leaflet is worded in a very carefully-chosen way that betrays a clear intention to mislead readers – most particularly about the amount of our Income Tax that is spent on ‘welfare’.

To illustrate the extent of the problem: We cannot say this is the same as social security, as – according to the terms of the leaflet – it isn’t. Apparently a quarter of our money is spent on ‘welfare’, which is then broken down into bizarre categories like ‘social protection’ – including, alongside social security, personal care services which nobody has defined as ‘welfare’ until know, and the pensions of retired mandarins, colonels and lowlier public servants who will be appalled to hear their hard-earned retirement provision re-labelled as ‘welfare’, according to The Guardian‘s editorial on the subject. David Cameron’s pension would be defined as ‘welfare’, according to this categorisation.

Meanwhile, state pensions have been defined as being paid from an entirely different source (they aren’t), in order to safeguard the Grey vote from the indignation that – clearly – this piece of politically-prompted propaganda is intended to stoke.

The fact is that – as the Mirror points out – Income Taxpayers put a lot more than 12p in every pound towards pensions, and a lot less than 24p in every pound towards working-age benefits.

Here are another couple of tricks – possibly the nastiest of the lot: Firstly, the leaflet does not make it clear that ‘welfare’ payments are made to people who have a right to them “because of family or medical circumstance, or indeed a record of national insurance contributions”. The impression foisted on the reader is of “unearned handouts to the poor”, according to the Guardian editorial.

Secondly, the leaflet as a whole does not mention the contribution of VAT payments to the national purse. This is because the government has cut Income Tax (irrationally – it has a huge deficit and debt to pay off but has reduced its own income). The thinking behind this is that people will think they have been allowed to keep more of the money they have earned. But the same government has increased VAT, meaning that – in fact – people are being taxed more heavily!

What is the intended result of all this deception? It is as Vox Political described, back in January:

“You would be led to believe that the governments policies are working, exactly the way the government says they are working.

“You would not have any reason to believe that the government is lying to you on a daily basis.

“You would be tranquillised.

“Anaesthetised.

“Compliant.”

What a relief that nobody believes that filthy liar Osborne – even his own backbenchers!

This is how they see him – offering empty promises as a ‘carrot’ to encourage voters to support the Tories.

Osborne’s behaviour is so appalling that this blog has started a petition, calling on the government to withdraw these propaganda sheets that pretend to be official government information – and apologise for ever releasing them in the first place.

It is on the Change.org website, please sign it by clicking here.

Other blogs on the ‘tax summaries’ are available from Virtual Gherkin and Same Difference.

We must not allow this abuse of public authority – and public funds – to take place.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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