I noted this tweet from Robert Peston:
“Notwithstanding the ‘breach of international’ law” the cabinet secretary “has determined that ministers and officials are operating in accordance with their obligations under the ministerial code and civil service code”. Quite the most astonishing Whitehall statement! Help! pic.twitter.com/bBJrCOZKFE
— Robert Peston (@Peston) September 10, 2020
There is much that can be said about this, including the fact that the opinion does not come from the Treasury Solicitor, who has resigned over this issue, but is instead from the Cabinet Office and as such carries no legal weight. Politics is very clearly over-riding the law in this statement.
But more significantly, that political over-ride is resulting in the claim that ‘notwithstanding’ that the law has been breached civil servants and ministers are complying with the law, as required by the Ministerial Code, when very obviously that is not true.
And this matters. This is not just the usual lying that so much politics involves. This is outright, blatant and contemptuous corruption. It is, of course, the type of corruption common in a fascist state. It’s the sort of claim that deliberately breaks down the resistance of the administrator until they will undertake any task asked of them because they are told it is legal, even if it is very clearly not.
This, then, is not just astonishing, as Robert Peston notes, because that is a massive understatement of what it is: this is the act of a profoundly corrupt and now very obviously neo-fascist government, intent on disrupting order in pursuit of its own aims that are very clearly only capable of delivery by way of breach of the law and all reasonable ethical standards. Down this route there is totalitarian control. And with it comes the aggression that cannot help but lead to conflict.
The action of this government is the deliberate and flagrant breach of the required respect due to the sovereign status of another country inherent in the agreements that we have reached and signed. The pursuit of our supposed self-interest is, despite any claim made To the contrary, also an act of international aggression. I see it as akin to the reoccupation of the Ruhr in 1936. And the justification is as blatantly false as any used to support that.
It’s time the media said such things. What is happening on Northern Ireland is not an act to preserve the peace, as all aggressors claim in defence of their opening moves. Instead it is blatant international aggression. And that makes it profoundly dangerous, which is precisely why it has to be described for what it is.