Do you believe that politicians should be legally responsible for remarks when in a public office?

(Jane Williamson) #1

If you do, you might like to look at justiceprosecution.
This is a private prosecution being brought by Marcus Ball, a young man with a background in not for profit start companies, mainly in the education sector.
After much research by himself and his eminent legal team, they have decided to prosecute Boris Johnson, not because he is a Brexiteer, but because they have the most amount of evidence against him due to his habit of opening his mouth and writing more articles than others.
Also because his comments were made when he held two public offices, MP and Mayor of London.
Marcus Ball points out that it is exceedingly difficult to ask the police to pursue MP’s because of the amount of influence they have.
Of course, they are protected in the House, but why should they be exempt from the consequences of lying to the electorate whilst campaigning for our votes?
I am contributing towards this as I am convinced that this type of behaviour has gone on for far too long and should be stopped now.
I invite you to join me.

(anon53589976) #2

Jane, this applies to all politicians. So where does one start and where does one end. They will always squirm their way out of tight corners. They should also be held judicially responsible for their actions or lack thereof moreso than what they spout.

(Jane Williamson) #3

Yes, but taking this action now is a very good start.

(Michael Archer) #4

And union officials and most multinational companies.

(Jane Williamson) #5

You start with this case and when the others realise they have to be truthful we will have made a difference.
If you are happy to hide behind saying it is too prevalent, then you are really saying, “I am happy to let this go on” .
I’m not and this young man is fighting for us all and deserves our support.

(Peter Goble) #6

Wouldn’t it be devilishly difficult to prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that a politician had made a statement with the intention to deceive? And who would be put up as the poor idiot who could make a convincing claim that he/she had been intentionally and feloniously misled, and had suffered materially and demonstrably therefrom, m’Lud. I rest my case, m’Lady.

I think BoJo would summon up a fruity verdict on such a barrowload of unfragrant codswolloperitudinous humbuggery. :joy:

(James Trotman) #7

A great idea which deserves support but I think there are 2 major contributory issues with this whole scenario. Firstly, it appears to me that the relevant qualifications of our politicians are poor in many cases! In every other field one is expected to be degree qualified and have a clearly progressing career in that field to be considered for more senior roles. The selection criteria for our m.p’s seems to be more along the lines of a “popular good egg”. Clearly inadequate in todays technical environment. I would hope that more qualified individuals would not spill out some of the ignorant drivel to which we are subjected. Secondly, i think that the entire onus should be on the M.P. to get their facts correct and clearly backed up by recognised sources, before they open their mouths. IF it subsequently emerges that the statement made is incorrect, then a price should be paid based upon the consequential severity of the statement.

(Jane Williamson) #8

It is not just that he made the statement with the intention to deceive.
In BoJo’s case he has used the same argument backed up by totally different figures,
If he is wanting to be believed he has to be truthful with the data he uses to back up his argument.
No one is taking away the main thrust of a person’s argument or belief, just if they want to use that to convince people to vote for them it needs to be demonstrably valid, which quoting different sums on different days is not.
If you choose to be interviewed multiple times as well as writing articles in the daily press, you should maintsin a coherent position to be believed.

(Peter Goble) #9

Politics is governed as much by values as it is by facts, and these two are inevitably intertwined. All of us, including people with impeccable scientific qualifications, higher degrees and Fellowships etc. interpret facts in terms of the value that they choose to attribute to those facts.

Facts do not exist in a value-neutral environment. Most reputable scientists acknowledge this to be a valid proposition.

“Doctor” Liam Fox and Dr Sarah Wollaston are both experienced medical clinicians with reputable professional graduate qualifications, but their value-positions on private medicine are diametrically opposed. They interpret the same “facts” on morbidity, service provision and healthcare funding in conflctual terms. Packing parliament with technocrats will make not a jot of difference IMO.

Politics is a messy human endeavour that operates in a messy human way, because life itself is unruly, messy and unpredictable. Science has contributed hugely to human flourishi g but also hugely to human misery, environmental degradation and wanton destruction via war and tbe prosecution of violence across the globe and throughout human history. Beware of what you wish for.

(Timothy Cole) #10

Didn’t George Osborne say that unemployment would increase massively if the UK voted Leave, I take it he should be prosecuted as well?:grinning:

(Peter Goble) #11

George gave his opinion, he didn’t cite a fact.

Not a crime to opine. Yet. :cry:

(Mat Davies) #12

Stating that the referendum was all of a sudden “binding” when it legally was not was an outright lie and I have no issue with that person being prosecuted.

(Peter Goble) #13

The Court would therefore have to judge if there were a distinction to be drawn between “(much) binding (in the marsh)” [Murdoch & Horne v Great British Public 1954] and “legally binding” and I doubt the CPS would have the balls to send that to court, m’Lud. My clerk will advise you of my fee. Next!

(Jane Williamson) #14

This is a private prosecution and is mainly based on the differing amounts of money BoJo said and wrote about that we sent to the EU and never saw again.
Also the battle bus.
The CPS is not involved in this prosecution and he is not being accused of any remarks about the legality or not of the Referendum.
The CPA seems to be taking an inordinate amount of time in doing anything about those who have been charged with overspending and other financial irregularities in the Referendum and Chris Grayling is no longer Justice Secretary!

(Jane Williamson) #15

Well a very highly acclaimed Criminal Law Chambers thinks otherwise Peter.

(Timothy Cole) #16

He was the chancellor of the exchequer and as such his opinion/prediction/forecast (call it what you will) mattered and could easily have persuaded people to vote a certain way.

(Peter Goble) #17

Crossed wires, I think, Jane. My fault, I should have made it plain my own “learned opinion” was in the matter of George Osborne’s statement on the likely effect of Brexit on unemployment, not Boris’s Blunderbus. I tip my wig to My Learned Friend. :pensive: (look no wig)