Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity


What the hell? Suspending an elected representative from office for four weeks for making a foolish but hardly earth-shattering (and certainly non anti-semitic) remark that happened to offend someone? Does this mean I can get Tony Blair and Charles Clarke suspended from office for offending me EVERY SINGLE BLOODY DAY with their illiberal attacks on pretty much everything that used to make this country a place I could be proud to live?

Update: More ponderings – Livingstone’s been done for “bringing the office into disrepute”, an entirely subjective judgement. This will have set precedents – as could his appeal – as this is one of the first major tests for the Adjudication Panel for England (which was only set up five years ago), designed to rule over local government officers. If the ruling is upheld it could open the door to hundreds of petty suits against local government officials nation-wide, purely on the basis of people pretending to have been offended by something they’ve said. A handy new weapon in the party political warfare arsenal…

Plus, as the precise constitutional basis of the APE (heh – “ape”…) remains rather unclear – it works much like a court of law and its members are directly appointed by the Lord Chancellor – its decisions could potentially be used as precedents for other cases in areas of law outside its own jurisdictional remit. Especially when combined with the current government attempts to legislate against incitement to religious hatred and glorifying terrorism, where perception is all and it doesn’t matter for hell what the intent is/was.