World view – Friday

Thursday GMT

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For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

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10 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  3rd May 2019

    An interesting week or so in politics in the UK, and none of it really related to Brexit.

    1. Today are the local elections in much of the UK, (not my borough in London, we had ours last year). It is expected that the Conservatives will suffer a massive defeat as a protest against Brexit, but with the Brexit party not standing in many local elections, and very few pro Brexit candidates this may not happen. Some are spoiling their ballots, but I see this as pointless. These elections are about local issues – potholes being fixed, council estates being kept in good condition, street lighting, bin collection etc. These elections are not, and should not be, about national matters. The Lib Dems tried that in London last year and got defeated in almost all boroughs they stood in.

    2. A Labour MP was convicted last year of perverting the course of justice when she lied about who was driving her car when she was snapped by a speed camera and refused to pay the fine. She first claimed it was her brother, then claimed that it was some random Russian guy (who was in Russia at the time of the offence). She was sentenced to several months in prison (3 I think), did about 3-4 weeks, and got out on an electronic tag. This was not a long enough prison sentence for her to automatically be kicked from Parliament, however, after much pressure Labour kicked her out of the party (she is a huge Corbyn supporter which may explain why it took time to kick her out). Despite being kicked out of the party she remained in Parliament as an MP. A few months back it was announced by the Speaker that a recall petition would be put in place against her, 10% of her constituents needed to sign it for her to be kicked out of parliament and a by election be held. The petition was to run for 6 weeks, (it began on 19 March), ending yesterday. The MP has become the first MP to be kicked out of her job by a recall petition, 27% of eligible voters in her constituency signed the petition. The by election is set for 6 June.

    3. Whilst on firsts, another one occurred yesterday – and again by a woman. Penny Mordaunt has become the first ever woman Secretary of State for Defence, replacing Gavin Williamson. So, why is Gavin Williamson no longer the SoS for Defence? Well he was sacked last night by Theresa May. A week or so ago the National Security Council held a meeting to discuss Huawei, in that meeting the PM said that Huawei would be granted the contract to build some of the infrastructure for the 5G network. A number of Cabinet Ministers in the meeting expressed concern and tried to talk her out of it, she refused. The announcement was going to be made to the public in June or July, however, someone in the meeting leaked the information to a journalist. The Cabinet Secretary held an enquiry, going so far as to demand all members hand over their phones for examination. Last night Theresa May confronted Gavin Williamson and said there was enough evidence to name him as the leaker, and asked him to resign – he refused. He claimed his innocence (as you do) and stated she would have to sack him, so she did.

    This leak has other issues surrounding it, not least as to whether the person who leaked the information breached the Official Secrets Act. Even though the information itself was not classified, the meeting was, and to leak information on what was discussed in the meeting is a breach of the Official Secrets Act. The Government consider this issue closed with the sacking of Gavin Williamson, however, the opposition are calling for a police enquiry. The irony is that if a worker at one of the intelligence agencies had leaked the information and an enquiry (and police investigation) was called for, the opposition would be the first hailing the individual a whistleblower. I guess whether someone is a whistleblower or a criminal is dependent on their politics.

    In general many are happy with Penny Mordaunt’s appointment. She is a member of the Royal Navy Reserve, is the daughter of a former member of the parachute regiment, and has in the past been the Minister of State for the Armed Forces. She is generally respected as being able to do her job well – whatever it is, and is considered very knowledgeable on defence matters.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  3rd May 2019

      May has refused Williamson a copy of the report she claimed justified his sacking. Natural justice apparently flouted. Seems likely we haven’t heard the end of this.

      Reply
  2. NOEL

     /  3rd May 2019

    The 5G is interesting. The Act says it’s only offence if the information is damaging.
    What’s damaging about the world knowing that the UK response to Hauwei is no different to most countries denying involvement in the core.

    Reply
    • NOEL

       /  3rd May 2019

      Ahh didn’t factor this.
      “But The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that May approved granting Huawei permission to build up “non-core” elements of Britain’s next-generation telecommunications network. “

      Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd May 2019

    Conservatives getting massacred in local body elections. Down 420+ seats. Labour also down 60. Theresa May’s miraculous expertise – losing elections while keeping her job.

    Reply
    • Kimbo

       /  3rd May 2019

      The Bill Rowling of British politics?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  3rd May 2019

        Unfair to Bill.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd May 2019

          Honestly, May is unprecedented in my experience. I cannot recall any political leader making a worse mess of their leadership.

          Reply

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