Pissing about with Purdah – Can Boris use Purdah rules to force no-deal during dissolution? #DitchSpatches 

Boris is a bellend
Boris is a bellend
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The idiots who are running the country #BUMMINGS

The idiots who are running the country #BUMMINGS

#DitchSpatches (If my tongue was any more in cheek, it would burst out, throwing saliva across the room).

Monday, 28th October 2019.

The day started well, apart from the confusion as to why the fuck I had dreaming about Rory Stewart during the night, everything was just great. On the dream… it was a weird one, I kept calling him ‘Neville Chamberlain’, although in my dream-state I thought Neville Chamberlain was the main character from the BBC’s Sitcom ‘Yes, Minister’. I may have been following politics too much lately. (Send help, caffeine or large amounts of money).

Following Boris Johnson’s tabling of a motion for an early general election (under the Fixed Terms Parliaments Act) at the end of this week, MP’s seemed to have gone home to plan their next moves, and it was not until Sunday (as expected) when we heard about the plans of the Liberal Democrats and SNP, to change the date of any proposed election to the 9th of December, as opposed to the 12th December General Election that Boris and his team were demanding.

To be honest, at first, I thought this plan which had been hatched by the Lib Dems and SNP was a bit of a cynical plot to try and take control over how any General Election would happen (and potentially use Wrecking amendment to stop a General Election) but in reality, the mechanics of this change of date to the 9th of December was to remove any gaps in time, or ‘wriggle-room’ (as Swinson called it) , where Boris could force Brexit legislation into law whilst Parliament is dissolved.

Boris Johnson - found dead in a ditch -Boris is the Yamcha of british Politics! #Brexit #StopBrexit #flextention

Boris Johnson – found dead in a ditch -Boris is the Yamcha of british Politics! #Brexit #StopBrexit #flextention

This does raise the question ‘is this even possible’? Could Government use the Purdah period and rules to force a No-Deal Brexit into existence, or are the SNP and Lib Dems right to fear the invisible demon that is preparing to rip theirs, and everyone else faces off in the name of Brexit in the coming days?

When Parliament is dissolved for a General Election, Government enters what is known as the ‘Purdah period’. The instituteforgovernment.org.uk  describes the Purdah period restrictions describe this better than I ever could, so please the shameless lift of these Purdah facts from the Institute for Government, which is a great SOURCE of Parliamentary process that avoids having to scour the internet for Erskine May quotes (which can be like looking for Magic mushrooms in Spring…a non starter!).

During the election, the Government continues to govern and ministers remain in post. However, there are a number of restrictions in place. The main ones are:

  • Ministers are supposed to “observe discretion” in initiating new policy or action of “a continuing or long term character”. Such decisions are supposed to be delayed until after the election, unless they are unavoidable, or delaying them will be detrimental to the national interest or waste public money.
  • Government activity – including arm’s-length bodies and other public bodies – should not compete with the election campaign. This means that announcements and government communications are also restricted.
  • Government resources are not allowed to be used for party political purposes.
  • Ministers need to ensure that the political impartiality of the civil service is maintained.

So, Purdah. let’s break some of these points (not rules!) down, and try to work out if the Yellow Coalition is right to be worried. The first thing we have to find is was whether the guidence which surrounds the Purdah Period is set in law, or if this is more good old fashioned convention-based (precedent) politics. Thankfully, for both the sake of sanity, this is a question that has been heavily debated in the past.  In 2017 (found via the Thompson Reuters Database), the question of whether Purdah is set in law, or just another case of this classic British politeness. I won’t harass readers with waves of boring legal blog content and the ruling it describes, so in short, Purdah IS NOT Law … It is Convention.

Blog on Purdah being Convention or Law http://publicsectorblog.practicallaw.com/high-court-confirms-that-purdah-is-not-a-principle-of-law/

I know everyone is now asking the question ‘Does it really matter if something is only convention and not law?’. In short, yes, it matters greatly. In the last few months of UK’s political farce, we bore witness to the supreme court flexing its muscles by ruling that the PRIME MINISTER acted in an unlawful manner when he made the Queen unlawfully prorogue parliament for 5 weeks. This case and its ruling were only possible as legislation was involved. In the case of Purdah rules and their ‘convention’ (created through precedents) though, there is no rigid legislation in place, which means there is STILL that ‘wriggle-room’ for Boris and his boss Dominic Cummings, to again try and abuse the parliamentary mechanisms to get the no-deal outcome they seem to be pissing their posh-boy pants over!

Next, I felt that to work out if Purdah could be abused by Boris’s Government, I would need to take the point of view or someone who works in the BUMMINGS (Boris and Cummings) administration, who has been tasked to look for ways around the laws and conventions of the House of Commons (for simplicity sake, using the Purdah guidence from the institute for the government as the Purdah ‘rules’).

Right off the bat, in the first point, we are told is that during Purdah”Ministers are supposed to “observe discretion” in initiating new policy or action of “a continuing or long term character”. Such decisions are supposed to be delayed until after the election, unless they are unavoidable, or delaying them will be detrimental to the national interest or waste public money“.  As I am wearing my ‘pro-Boris hat’, the line which says “unless they are unavoidable, or delaying them will be detrimental to the national interest or waste public money” leaps off the screen at me. With this line, Purdah tells us that Ministers should be avoiding enacting any ‘NEW’ policy which affects society in the long term, or if it wastes public money.  This first part of the Purdah rules could be all team BUMMINGS needs, as it should be pretty easy to argue that date is unavoidable and that further delay would waste the public money.

(It is also worth noting that it is literally impossible for a ‘date’ to be unavoidable without a god-like control of time and space. The Benn Act thankfully may have stopped the date being an issue.).

The only other point worth looking at (from the 5 above) is the comment that Ministers need to ensure that the political impartiality of the civil service is maintained“, and this is another point I feel could be exploited. Historically, during Purdah periods, there has not been any gigantic issues that have managed to cross-party lines in the way Leaving the EU has. Whilst it is fairly obvious to many that the Majority of the supporters of Brexit tend to lean towards right/far-right of politics, we should never, EVER forget that there are millions of people on the LEFT who also voted to leave, voting for their own reasons that had nothing to do with the political shitstorms that were created by Farage or Boris and Goves ‘Leave.EU’ campaigns.

The Conservatives may have taken ownership of Brexit, but that will never change the fact that Brexit was NOT a party political issue.  It is the apolitical nature of Brexit which does create a small window of opportunity for the Conservatives to again, try and abuse the conventions of the house of Commons to get their own way! (IE the No-Deal Brexit that Boris’s billionaire backers have bet A-LOT of money on!)

Boriss Billionaire backer Crispin Odey - here comes the money

Boriss Billionaire backer Crispin Odey – “here comes the money”

As we are coming up against my make-believe word count, so I feel that its time to wrap this shit-stained political gift up. The question of the day was ‘Were the SNP and Lib Dems right to NOT trust the Prime Minister and the boner he currently has for dissolving Government, yes, hell yes, HELL FUCKING YES!  To say ‘they are right to not trust BUMMINGS’ would be a HUGE understatement which could only be likened to telling someone that “Hitler only killed a few people”, “The sun is a quite warm” or “Boris Johnson is a competent Prime Minister”.

In the last few months, we have seen BUMMINGS (Boris and Cummings) try and blag their way around every convention, and even law, they think they can blag while dodging scrutiny like a junkie trying to avoid a dealer they are owed a grand too. The levels which Boris has sunk to in his quest to push Brexit through, have gone past angering, past farce, past pathetic and past embarrassing, stopping at the ‘complete bellend’ end of the scale. We have a Prime Minister who has no shame, and possibly no sense of self-awareness, and it is because of this we cannot trust Boris Johnson or anyone in his team.

Boris is a bellend

Boris is a bellend

*NEVER FORGET: September to December is Magic Mushroom season in the UK! If you cannot identify mushrooms then please, dont even think about it, we have enough Dead people in the UK at the moment!.

 

 

 

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