Ian Dunt Profile picture
16 Nov, 49 tweets, 5 min read
Jacob Rees-Mogg, looking rather chastened, is currently up in the Commons rescinding the motion he himself aggressively promoted a couple weeks ago parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/1b…
Extraordinary. Mogg: "The tragedy that afflicted Mr Paterson coloured and clouded our judgement - and my judgement- incorrectly. And it is as simple and as sad as that."
Nonsense of course, but telling just how desperately they are wheeling backwards under fire.
Tory MP Christopher Chope, whose refusal to nod the motion through last night triggered this debate, stands up. "I'm very grateful to him for facilitating this debate." Lots of laughter on the Labour benches.
Chope, Paterson's last ally standing, not making it easy on Mogg. Says Mogg during the first debate said concerns had been made about the Paterson case, including about witnesses etc. "What is the current view of my rt hon friend about this case?"
Mogg dodges desperately, refusing to be drawn on the case.
Thangam Debbonaire for Labour: "Where to start."
Debbonaire has one of the finest minds and certainly the finest name in the Common. But she also has probably the best dress sense.
Interesting btw, given how empty the Tory benches are, to see Theresa May sitting there.
Debbonaire calls on Mogg to apologise to the House for the damage done to parliament on the basis of his actions.
"Standards matter. Scrutiny matters. An independent system of holding everyone in public life to account matters."
"How did we get to the point whee the PM has to clarify that the UK is not a corrupt country. How did we get here?"
Theresa May: "I hope that this is going to be the last opportunity for this House to do the right thing... and I trust that no member of this House is thinking o doing anything other than supporting this motion."
Oh yeah, she;s going in knives out. "Passing this motion is a step in the right direction, but it will not undo the damage.. Damage has been done to all members of parliament and parliament as a whole."
"Owen Paterson broke the rules. The attempt by members of this house, aided and abetted by the govt, under cover of reform of the process, effectively to clear his name, was misplaced, ill judged and just plain wrong."
May taking absolutely no prisoners here.
John Redwood is looking at her like monkeys look at visitors to the zoo.
Pete Wishart, SNP: "The leader of the House's [Mogg] position is totally and utterly untenable. You can't come to this House and say one thing passionately... and then come back and say the exact opposite. To think you'll get away with it is beyond reason."
Bill Cash is up, God help us all. Will he mention Magna Carta? The Bill of Rights? The fucking Declaration of Independence?
It's like watching A Few Good Men performed by dogs.
His gotcha is that standing order 155 says the standards commissioner "shall, I repeat shall" appoint an investigatory panel to assist the commissioner if requested by the standards committee.
He is "astonished by how few people have read or understood this". In fact, it is irrelevant, because the committee did not request it.
Natural justice. DRINK.
Cash is asked which actual fact in the case is contested. Cash says the public safety point on carcinogenics in ham and bacon. In reality, this has nothing to do with it, because the case operated regardless of the public safety point Paterson was raising.
Paterson could have declared in the emails. He could have asked other MPs to raise it. He could have given up his positions and raised the points. He did not.
He did it. He fucking did it. "We as members are exceptionally excluded by article 9 of the Bill of Rights from judicial review."
I swear he'd cite the Rights of Man if it wasn't French.
Chope is up. He says this is a "major constitutional decision for the House and I think it;s absolutely right we should be having this debate today rather than this issue go through on the nod yesterday."
He's not regretting fucking rien.
Absolutely livid attack on Chope from a fellow Tory MP. "How much time does he want to give. Is it ten hours, 15 hours? When will it be enough?"
Chope: "Should I express shock or outrage at what my rt hon friend has said. Clearly in time she;s been referring she hasn't applied her mind to the principle issue."
This is hilarious.
Chope couldn't be doing a better job for Labour if they invented him.
Chope now refusing to give way, getting a lot of abuse for failing to do so.
Tory MPs now on their feet repeatedly shouting "will he give way". Desperately trying to shut him up.
Chope says this is an instance of mob rule.
I doubt if even he knows what he's talking about. I must admit I feel a little sorry for him though. He looks utterly friendless.
Jess Phillips: "I normally have to say that thing 'it's an honour to follow the honourable gentleman..."
She criticises Chope for how he spoke to Tory MP Alicia Kearns. "I found the tone you spoke to one of your colleagues slightly unacceptable, as a woman i these proceedings. I've had call to find some of the tone of the gentleman problematic in the past, so nothing new there."
She then goes on to defend him. "He is standing in this Chamber defending a position and being barracked for that position. It was the government's position 13 days ago, so it is slightly unusual."
Phillips is just brilliant. "he was able to access legal representation all the way through. Not just legal access, let;s face it. Paterson has considerable better access to law and silks and fancy lawyers than most people in this House."
"Let's not pretend he was completely and utterly blindsided by this process and that it wasn't handled fairly. It absolutely was."
Tory MP Mark Harper, who I'm not a fan of, but he stood firm when pressured to vote with the govt a fortnight ago. He trashes the pro-Paterson arguments, including that the committee did not consider Paterson's personal tragedy. In fact, they did & showed leniency because of it.
Chris Bryant, chair of the standards committee. "I confess I am still completely mystified why the PM decided to move heaven and earth to prevent Owen Paterson from being sanctioned."
"I would just like to praise a lot of the new Conservative Mps who have shown far greater insight over the last few weeks than many of their longstanding colleagues."
Sorry - have to duck out to do an interview, will do a quick summary of what I missed later on.
Oh cool - I didn't miss shit. The government motion U-turning on the government's amended motion from two week's ago (keep up at the back) was passed without the need for a vote.
So that's it. Sanctions imposed on Paterson, although it;s kind of irrelevant now given he's standing down. Still. The government managed to take a bazooka and apply it to its own foot for two weeks.
So, at the end, all of Paterson's friends deserted him. Not even one solitary figure prepared to shout no and trigger a division.

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More from @IanDunt

16 Nov
I suspect this will be a minority opinion, given the woman next to us fell asleep and most people leaving the cinema seemed bored silly by it, but I absolutely loved Eternals.
I didn't admire it, or like the ambition or anything like that: I straight-up loved it. Really cared about the characters, was awed by the scale of it, found the ideas really interesting, and thought it had some of the best action scenes in a Marvel movie.
Also, if you're a DC fan who hates most of their movies, it's really easy to see the Justice League in it. Richard Madden is the best Superman for years, Lauren Ridloff the best Flash, and Angelina Jolie was made to play Wonder Woman.
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5 Nov
I mean, if this is true we're surely in game-changer territory. This is as big as the vaccine.
There is another story to be told about the pandemic, which is about the triumph of science and common endeavour. We should probably talk about it more, and perhaps we will when the immediate horror is further behind us.
I was listening to a podcast about the mRNA vaccine the other day and that shit is pure sci-fi. Extraordinary to live in a world where it exists.
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5 Nov
I wonder if this week has done anything to convince the doom-mongers on my side of things about how wrong and unhelpful it is to catastrophise everything.
I see countless tweets about how we never had a functioning standards system. But if that's true, why do you think the government is so intent on destroying it?
And what do you think it does to the people who diligently and independently work to maintain scrutiny and probity for people to act like they don't exist or don't matter?
Read 4 tweets
4 Nov
Quite extraordinary to hear Mogg say that he "fears last night debate conflated the individual case with the general concern". It was a motion on Paterson. Mogg largely ignored it and focused all his attention on the amendment for stitching-up the standards system.
He now says they'll go and try to think up a cross-party way to do this - presumably creating a committee which does not have an in-built Tory majority. Good. But Paterson remains, saved from his punishment by the amendment Mogg himself backed and the govt whipped in support of.
Ah no - turns out they really are U-turning hard as fuck.
Read 4 tweets
4 Nov
Contemptible. Stone has done nothing wrong. She carried out an inquiry into an MP without fear or favour and rightly found her had broken the rules. And yet the government protects the corrupt MP and calls on the investigator to resign.
It's sickening. A downright moral decay.
Why go after Stone? Well, funny story there. You may remember a little trip to Mustique which Boris Johnson took in 2019. Kathryn Stone concluded he broke the rules because he hadn't "fulfilled conscientiously" requirements to register donations.
Read 5 tweets
3 Nov
What we're seeing today is an attempt to kill the system of standards in public life. Nothing less.
PMQs starts on the Paterson issue. Johnson says "paid lobbying... is wrong". But then: "That is not the issue in this case. it is not."
This is already a completely unacceptable thing for the prime minister to have said. That is precisely what the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found in her report and the cross-party Committee on Standards agreed with.
Read 63 tweets

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