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If you have an overwhelming urge to explore the weightier theological ideas, this is the place to seek fellow-travellers.
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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Tue May 28, 2019 10:28 am

:praying:

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Post by Ernest » Thu May 30, 2019 6:20 am

Each day brings a surprise.

Now Boris Johnson is to be summoned to court to answer charges of Misconduct in Public Office as an MP and in his former role as Mayor of London.

It is alleged that he lied consistently about how much the UK paid to the EU, saying that £350 million was being paid to the EU every week, which could be used for the NHS.

The individual bringing the case (with crowd funding support) alleges that this amounts to abuse of his position as both Mayor and as an MP. Using both to raise his already high public profile and using his position for this purpose amounts to a criminal act.

Boris denies everything, but the Magistrate found there might be a case to answer and published his reasons for issuing a summons. Boris has to attend the court where he will be sent to Crown Court (unless the case is dismissed) for trial.

It is an interesting allegation, which could have severe consequences for his and his ambition if found proved. But I would question the motives behind it? Is this someone keen to delay brexit or someone with a grudge. It has taken three years to come to courts, so he is obviously determined to go forward with it.

But what about all of the others in public positions, politicians and others in public life, who are alleged to have lied to the public, both on the remain and leave sides. Are they too to be targeted?

I recall many people who said things during that campaign, which I doubted as political positioning, or just the normal adjustment of truth,we expect from politicians during any campaign, often promises that are never kept. Were they lying, or just mistaken? We accept perhaps the political lies are part of the process, but truth is the victim when we allow it to continue unchallenged.

If we pilloried every politician who ever told a half-truth to the public on the campaign trail, the prisons would be full and nobody would ever stand for office and for Public Service.

This case sets a dangerous precedent, the least of which is for politicians who tell untruths, that they will be targeted by individuals who don''t like what they have said, perhaps for spurious reasons, or just for the publicity value of doing so.

Deliberately misleading the electorate to achieve a political goal could be dangerous for them all in the future if this case goes through. Setting a precedent for future political campaigns.
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Joe Parrish
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Post by Joe Parrish » Thu May 30, 2019 10:32 am

:votive2: Praying for the United Kingdom and its politicians :votive1:
Peace and blessings,
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Joe Parrish
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Post by Joe Parrish » Thu May 30, 2019 10:33 am

:votive2: Praying for the United Kingdom and its politicians :votive1:
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Joyce
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Post by Joyce » Thu May 30, 2019 11:41 am

There's no sign the Crown is taking over the prosecution, which is what usually happens when a private prosecution looks as though it has some basis. I can see why you're worried this might be the thin end of a wedge, Ernest. Whatever the outcome of the case you're referring to it can't help but have put ideas in the heads of sore losers and trouble-makers. It's a good way of distracting people from running the country.
Even a Party in government hasn't got a crystal ball or a magic wand. Opposition Parties don't have as much information as government ones. Speculation is all they have. The intention to mislead is always going to be a very difficult thing to prove in most cases.
A problem is often how something is reported. One has only to listen to the news at 9 am and compare it with what has been said by a cabinet minister at 8.25. Often there's little resemblance; frequently his or her words are twisted; and at its worst the report comes out as saying the opposite.The public can easily get outraged over something that's not really factual.
On the other hand, Tony Blair did tell blatant lies about a cause involving poor children that was very close to me at the time. I heard him saying it many times, it wasn't a secondhand report. And he knew better. When he got in it was first thing he dealt with in Parliament. It was cold-hearted and mean, life-changing for families I knew, squeezed in just before a parliamentary recess. When David Cameron, as leader of HM Opposition was answering questions on a phone-in, a lady asked him if he intended to restore the status quo ante if he won the next election. His answer annoyed me to the core. He had believed the lies without checking the position,although was easily verified, and said he wouldn't. Couldn't be bothered. He knew less than I did. I wouldn't say he was lying, just lazy.
It's the job of Her Majesty's Opposition to root out and criticise false promises and incompetency when HMG gets things wrong,or even when there's real wrongdoing. It shouldn't be left to members of the public,but when it is, I wouldn't like to see a curtailment of the freedom of private citizens to raise funds and whistle-blow if they think our representatives aren't doing what they should.
Trouble is, there's a lot of unpleasantness getting stirred up on the internet these days. I never knew there was so much ill-intent in the world.

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Post by Ernest » Fri May 31, 2019 7:09 am

Interesting Joyce.

I sometimes wonder if politicians are given training on how to avoid the truth behind their utterances. :blink:

It's one thing to make promises in a Manifesto and than to realise once in power that it would be impossible to implement. But deliberate avoidance of the inconvenient truth is something that I despise.

And politicians are masters of artifice and double speak. Particularly those with ambition for power. Boris is one such. :devil:
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Post by Joyce » Fri May 31, 2019 9:22 am

I'm glad I have no say in who becomes the next PM. I can't believe so many are queuing up to take on such a burden at a time like this. It's barely three years since only two women and no men were showing any interest in the job at all. The only explanation I can think of is that they think they can make a better fist of it than a vicar's daughter. I can only echo Francis Urquhart on that matter.

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Post by Joyce » Fri May 31, 2019 9:23 am

I'm glad I have no say in who becomes the next PM. I can't believe so many are queuing up to take on such a burden at a time like this. It's barely three years since only two women and no men were showing any interest in the job at all. The only explanation I can think of is that they think they can make a better fist of it than a vicar's daughter. I can only echo Francis Urquhart on that matter.

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Post by Ernest » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:20 am

I suspect that many who have put their name forward are just wishful thinking. But one of them will become the next PM. Two of whom, Mr Johnson and Mr Gove who were involved last time around, should not be chosen in my view.

As for the rest, I don't know enough about them to comment with any nuance of truth. I am surprised that the Chancellor has so far, not thrown his hat into the ring? While not a shining star, he has proven the most sensible among those in senior roles in dealing with the practical issues of Brexit.

Perhaps he doesn't possess the personal ambition or thrust of personality. A follower, rather than a natural leader?

Whoever is selected for the poison chalice has a huge task in front of them and I would not be surprised if they don't decide to revoke article 50 to gain more time or to reverse Brexit altogether. Alternatively, put the proposed deal to the Public in a General Election, which would be a disaster for everyone, and could end up with both major parties decimated and the possibility of Mr Farage in 10 Downing Street. Now that would be a disaster indeed.
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Post by Ernest » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:25 am

Today Mrs May resigns as leader of the Tory Party and the race starts for her successor.

I fail to understand why we are not having a General Election, because we will have yet another PM who doesn't have a mandate from the whole of the UK, just from a tiny elite who claim to be Tory and have paid their membership fees. Surely the taxpayer deserve better?

But the whole mess that is Brexit has been brought on us by a Former Tory PM who cut and run when his gamble blew back in his face. Now as Mrs May fades into the sunset, we can assess what all of this has cost so far.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has costed it at £97 million, despite only £ 67 million being allocated for the purpose. Apparently this is due to the Government having to pay external consultants as they didn't have the required expertise in house.

This has to be a criticism of the Civil Service's ability to train the right people to do this work, and a consequence of having been in the EU for a long time, where the negotiations were basically done by their Civil Servants. Where were the British interests among this, surely people were involved from the UK as well as other EU countries? On the face of it, is would seem not to be the case, or we would have people trained and capable to negotiate for us.

And the hidden cost of the lost of businesses, lost of investment in the UK, and a blind rush for a Brexit which it seems (from what Parliament has decided so far) to be unsatisfactory so we are in a holding pattern, hoping against hope, that we can negotiate a package favourable to us, before the next Exit date of October 2019.

On the evidence that I have seen, if we are not to have a General Election, we should cancel Article 50 and remain until a consensus of the whole country is able to decide on whether we should stay or leave, and it is patently obvious to me that despite the EU Elections and the success of the Brexit Party, that the majority now favours remain.

It will take something dramatic to change the majority mind. Yes, people voted to leave, and most who did so, had inadequate information to make an informed decision and were manipulated by the campaign with almost False News on the scale of Mr Trump.

The Bye Election in Peterborough demonstrates that the support for the traditional two party government is now dead and we will have a hung parliament, which would mean parties having to act in coalition to govern, which might not be a bad thing.

If we had proportional voting, the choices would make a difference and we could oblige parliament to actually work together rather than the current situation of conflict politics.

But all is up for grabs, I hope and pray that my predictions are not right, but I seen no evidence that I am wrong at the moment. :votive1:
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Post by Caroline » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:38 pm

Best not to make assumptions about why other people voted as they did. Let's not join in with suggesting that either side is ignorant - or anything else.
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Post by Ernest » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:12 am

The fashion parade of potential Tory Leaders is underway.

I would not vote for any of them, but the choice remains with Tory MP's and the Tory Party country wide to decide between the final two.

I wish that it could be quicker as everything in Government is on hold without any decisions being made on any sort of legislation, let alone the European Question.

We can hope and pray for an outcome with a candidate who will not promote further division, heading for an exit without a deal from the EU - at least that is where my prayers lay at the moment.

But how can we hope and dream for such a unity solution when Parliament is so divided as well as the wider electorate.

Now, after Pentecost we can only ask "Come Holy Spirit, Come" as we wait for inspiration and commnonsense to prevail.
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Post by Joyce » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:24 pm

"I fail to understand why we are not having a General Election, because we will have yet another PM who doesn't have a mandate from the whole of the UK, just from a tiny elite who claim to be Tory and have paid their membership fees. Surely the taxpayer deserves better?"

There is no convention of re-electing parliament just because a governing party changes its leader. All organisations, including The Church,sports clubs,village hall committees, and political parties have their own methods of electing the leader. Her Majesty traditionally chooses the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons as Prime Minister but there is no law that says she has to. When there has been a hung parliament or a coalition government she has had to make a choice personally. Fortunately she is a renowned constitutional scholar in her own right.
Constitutionally there is no such thing as electing a Prime Minister. His or her name is on the ballot paper in one constituency only. You can only vote for him or her if you live or have a postal or proxy vote there. Usually a leader is chosen from among sitting, elected members of parliament, but I remember a PM who didn't have a Commons seat when he took office. Whether to take the personalities of leaders into account when casting one's vote is entirely up to the voter. When I first qualified for a vote the names of parties weren't on the ballot paper. We all have our own reasons for voting - or even not voting - the way we do. Eligibility to vote is nothing to do with whether or not one is taxpayer by the way.
The decision to end a parliament before its five years are up is since 2010 made by Parliament itself. It's no longer a simple matter of the PM toddling across to the Palace. A new Prime Minister may feel he or she wants a personal mandate, but there surely must be more official, legal grounds than that before inflicting another general election on the country ? I'm afraid I honestly wasn't paying attention when they did it. It's only happened once so it remains to be seen whether they'll ever want to do it again.

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Post by Ernest » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:26 am

I agree with your thoughts.

I just feel frustration at how Parliament is conducting itself and how the supposed ruling party is so divided among themselves that there appears little hope of a resolution to the situation we find ourselves in.

I know we talk about democracy and one person and one vote, but the most recent expression of public confidence in the EU elections shows how divided the country is alongside Parliament. I have no confidence in any single party being able to resolve the situation which is why I believe that a general election is needed. We might end up with a coalition, which isn't the best situation, but many EU countries have been governed perfectly well with a coalition of parties for generations.

The Last coalition seemed to work, having to compromise on policies seems perfectly reasonable to me, so why not go for proportional representation used by the devolved parliaments within the UK since devolution.

So, I repeat, "Come Holy Spirit Come" because we need the inspiration and peace that only can come from with it. :cross:
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Post by Joyce » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:39 pm

:votive1: :votive1:

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Post by Ernest » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:59 am

By this Thursday, we will know, which two candidates are to go forward to the Tory Party members to decide who will be our next PM.

My prayers are that they will have the wisdom to elect a unity candidate not one who is determined to exit the EU without a deal. :votive2: :votive2:
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Post by Ernest » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:32 am

Coming back to this once again.

Am I the only one finding the campaign by the two candidates totally demoralizing and the promises being made more and more outlandish?

It seems to me that both candidates are living on different planets to the rest of us, while the country goes down the pan faster in every day.

I am really worried that Mr Johnson will win by default and will try to take the country our of Europe without any sort of deal, and his performance does nothing to inspire confidence.

HM the Queen seemed to aim at them when speaking to a meeting in Scotland on Saturday of Scottish politicians saying that debate and cooperation is the key to consensus politics, which has been missing across the board in the past three years, but particularly in the past 12 months or so.

Still praying for commonsense and consensus to prevail, albeit I fear my prayers might be in vain.... :votive2: :votive2:
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Post by Caroline » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:15 am

A No Deal Brexit has to remain as an option for the sake of the negotiations - don't forget that such an outcome really isn't in the EU's interests any more than Britain's. I don't believe that either candidate wants that outcome, but if they rule it out they really cannot negotiate with any force. The threat of no deal is the only thing that is likely to make the EU work at making a deal.
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Post by Joyce » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:07 pm

I remember when Mrs Thatcher used to be accused by BBC interviewers of being 'difficult' when standing up for the UK against the rest of the EU. She'd bat her eyes and say, 'How can I be difficult ? I only want the best deal for Britain. There are nine of them and only one of me.'

We have no reason to think there is even another deal available, but supposing for a minute there might be : whoever's our PM it's twenty seven to one now. Every weapon in the armoury is going to count.

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