Brexit, for once some facts.

flecc

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At last PMQ (01-Dec), BJ avoided to answer a simple question (was it true that you guys had a party last year while the country was in lockdown?) with a simple yes/no not because he does not know the answer but because he knows the consequence if he answered yes. Consequence that he should have thought of last year before allowing it. That's the point, he just did not think then it's important but it is now. Johnson is a liability.
I think everybody should cool down on this issue since it is not at all clear that any law has been broken. Such as I've seen indicates no law was broken.

It was apparently a staff party.

As such all Downing Street staff, Johnson and cabinet members could attend. So could any civil servants from other locations having any vague connection with what they do in number 10.

The law on mixing only applied to households, not to workplaces, simply because it couldn't be applied there since mixing is essential to functionality:

Service engineers come in to maintain and repair office and factory equipment.

Postal and courier staff enter large offices to go to the postrooms with sacks of mail.

Cleaners from other companies enter offices to clean while staff are still present on overtime or shift working.

As I've said twice, this is a non-event. All those who work together in that location will have constantly touched surfaces that others touched thoughout the working day, as well as being close together all the time.

To say they cannot get together there at a later point in time is ridiculous, especially when there is no law saying they can't.
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flecc

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Two otherwise very similar cases would probably see a police officer given a higher sentence because they committed the crime while obligated by their oath to uphold the law.
As you've shown, they are not at all similar.
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oyster

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I think everybody should cool down on this issue since it is not at all clear that any law has been broken. Such as I've seen indicates no law was broken.
I prefer to defer to Adam Wagner's assessment:

Adam Wagner, a top barrister who has analysed Covid rules, said organisers of such a bash could have faced a £10,000 fine under laws that were in force at the time

In one sense, we can never be sure a law was broken until a court decides that it was.
 
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Woosh

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I think everybody should cool down on this issue since it is not at all clear that any law has been broken. Such as I've seen indicates no law was broken.

It was apparently a staff party.

As such all Downing Street staff, Johnson and cabinet members could attend. So could any civil servants from other locations having any vague connection with what they do in number 10.

The law on mixing only applied to households, not to workplaces, simply because it couldn't be applied there since mixing is essential to functionality:

Service engineers come in to maintain and repair office and factory equipment.

Postal and courier staff enter large offices to go to the postrooms with sacks of mail.

Cleaners from other companies enter offices to clean while staff are still present on overtime or shift working.

As I've said twice, this is a non-event. All those who work together in that location will have constantly touched surfaces that others touched thoughout the working day, as well as being close together all the time.

To say they cannot get together there at a later point in time is ridiculous, especially when there is no law saying they can't.
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I disagree. Johnson went on TV the day before and also on the day that the alleged party took place to repeat the government message: do not hold parties and repeated 'this message is vital'.
More than 500 covid deaths were reported on that day.

 
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flecc

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Johnson went on TV the day before and also on the day that the alleged party took place to repeat the government message: do not hold parties and repeated 'this message is vital'.
That is not the law. Most of the trouble and misunderstandings have resulted from ministerial utterings.

When ministerial orders have been subjected to examination by the courts they are frequently overturned, law simply can't be made up on the hoof without reference to parliament as Hancock and Raab were doing.

Wagner is talking nonsense, the fines for so called offences under covid regulations have been falling by the wayside without being paid. They'll never be paid.

We have the twin nonsense of Hancock ordering £10,000 fines and a police force changing one down to £400 because they thought it silly. All of that illegal, because Hancock overreached his powers by an immense margin and the police simply cannot change a sentence because they feel like it.
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Woosh

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That is not the law.
as I understand, parliament delegated the practical implementation of covid regulations to ministers, so what BJ announced on TV on the 17-DEC-2020 and 18-DEC-2020 can be enforced by police.
I am pretty sure that the two police guarding the door of No 10 that day (18-DEC-2020) knew pretty well the situation.
 
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flecc

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as I understand, parliament delegated the practical implementation of covid regulations to ministers, so what BJ announced on TV on the 17-DEC-2020 and 18-DEC-2020 can be enforced by police.
Until challenged in the courts, as I said, then often overturned due to the orders breaching existing law. It's very clear that many of the covid ministerial orders were unlawful and cannot stand.
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Zlatan

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Nice analogy. You, however, are utterly (and increasingly) desperate for us to discuss and prosecute the policeman (starmer) instead of the criminal. And as ploys go its a bit too obvious.
No, I am not. I, m pointing out Starmer's failings in his attempts at being in opposition.
Ranting about alleged, disputed, none prosecutable historic offences is not a priority.
And as I keep telling you I am not defending Boris, he doesn't need helping from Starmer's attacks.
But, I agree, I am against Starmer and this current version of Labour. Afraid this episode clearly demonstrates their ineptitude. But that in no way defends any government actions. That's your leap into fantasy in your juvenile attempts to insult me.
 
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jonathan.agnew

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No, I am not. I, m pointing out Starmer's failings in his attempts at being in opposition.
Ranting about alleged, disputed, none prosecutable historic offences is not a priority.
And as I keep telling you I am not defending Boris, he doesn't need helping from Starmer's attacks.
But, I agree, I am against Starmer and this current version of Labour. Afraid this episode clearly demonstrates their ineptitude. But that in no way defends any government actions. That's your leap into fantasy in your juvenile attempts to insult me.
You do make assumptions. But fwiw I've as much faith in starmer as in any other millionaire lawyer ostentatiously rebranding himself as a working class hero. Unfortunately the Tories and its unthinking support base have via brexit brought us to a place where Labour had to ditch principle for expedience and provide a neocon in drag as a way to appeal to it.
 
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Zlatan

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Think we are starting to agree on something.
Starmer isn't popular and his stance on not prosecuting alleged child abusers is in conflict with his view on prosecuting Boris over historic petty offences.
I wonder why he feels CPS let those children down??? After all he was in charge of it at time.
Don't think Labour suffered through Brexit.... More through Blair and subsequent over reaction called Momentum /Corbyn. Way before Brexit.
Again, perhaps unwittingly, you are being ironic. Labour supporters refuse to accept the fact that the most anti EU mp in our recent history was Jeremy Corbyn. Research his history on voting around EU proposals. Yet, every time Boris and his supporters get "blamed" (or credited) for Brexit.
Had Labour won the last GE we would still have left. Labour manifesto for that election is conveniently (or sensibly) forgotten.

Then, you can come back in here and blame Boris (voters/supporters) for Brexit.. But yet again an utterly pointless argument.
We are where we are.
We should be taking government to task on current, relevant, important issues.
If you think we should rejoin... Find a party /leader to represent those views, rather than expressing outrage to those who voted to leave. It really is old hat now.
 
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Woosh

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I wonder why he feels CPS let those children down??? After all he was in charge of it at time.
Don't think Labour suffered through Brexit.... More through Blair and subsequent over reaction called Momentum /Corbyn. Way before Brexit.
admit it... you are worried about the prospect that KS comes good at the next election.
For all the time I have been here in the UK, the only time when things actually worked was the Blair years.
Now there is a prospect of Blair Version 2, it's a no brainer really.
 

flecc

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The Downing Street party subject is dead, Boris has changed the subject.

Now it's the very popular with the public subject of enforcing stricter drug laws.

Won't do any good of course, but that isn't the point.
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flecc

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For all the time I have been here in the UK, the only time when things actually worked was the Blair years.
By bankrupting us in two ways, continuous living on borrowing and passing infrastructure costs to future generations through the private sector via such failures as Carillion.

Now there is a prospect of Blair Version 2, it's a no brainer really.
Indeed for those with no brains and very short memories.
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Woosh

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By bankrupting us in two ways, continuous living on borrowing and passing infrastructure costs to future generations through the private sector via such failures as Carillion.
By bankrupting us in two ways, continuous living on borrowing and passing infrastructure costs to future generations through the private sector via such failures as Carillion.



Indeed for those with no brains and very short memories.
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who's got the short memory?
When Blair got elected (1997), national debt was 40.4% of GDP.
When he left (2007), national debt was 36.4%

Don't even talk about national debt in the Johnson's years.


In 1997, public sector debt as % of GDP:

  • 1997/98 – 40.4% of GDP
  • 2007/08 – 36.4% of GDP
  • 2010/11 – 60.0% of GDP.
  • May 2019 – 82.9% of GDP

 

flecc

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who's got the short memory?
When Blair got elected (1997), national debt was 40.4% of GDP.
When he left (2007), national debt was 36.4%

Don't even talk about national debt in the Johnson's years.


In 1997, public sector debt as % of GDP:

  • 1997/98 – 40.4% of GDP
  • 2007/08 – 36.4% of GDP
  • 2010/11 – 60.0% of GDP.
  • May 2019 – 82.9% of GDP

You're leaving out the debt transferred to the future via PFI. That's where many of Blair's improvements came from, not paying for them at the time. Blair was just like the majority of the public, living on credit cards with ever growing ignored balances.

I'm not arguing about Johnsons even greater debt increases.

In both cases the debts mainly arose from our economic failure from 1950 on, continuing to the present and all fundamentally through political failure.
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Woosh

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You're leaving out the debt transferred to the future via PFI.
Can you put a number to it?
Compare that number to what Gordon Brown and the conservative party inflicted on this country then we can see who are the best PMs in the last 50 years.

Sure, we can discuss the subject.
 

Woosh

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In both cases the debts mainly arose from our economic failure from 1950 on, continuing to the present and all fundamentally through political failure.
Two PMs are outstanding: John Major and Tony Blair. The rest are pretty poor performers.
One thing was true then and will remain true for the foreseeable future though, to gain power, you need to win over middle England. That could not be JC, that's why BJ got elected.
 
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flecc

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Two PMs are outstanding: John Major and Tony Blair. elected.
Not for me, maybe ok for middle of the roaders.

Both were useless on the economy, Blair by passing debt to the future and Major for leading us into a second very deep recession in 1991 which took years to climb out of.
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Woosh

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Blair by passing debt to the future
The PFI was a tory creation, John Major started it in 1992*, Blair did not start it, he only continued it.

May I remind you that back then 1997, zero interest rate was only an academic subject of discussion.
At the end of Gordon Brown's time, public finances were still OK.
We have to wait until 2008/2009 for the USA to start 'quantitative easing'.
Passing debt to the future started in Cameron's time, more or less entirely a conservative government's doing.

*Hammond closed PFI in 2018.
 
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