Bullying In The House, Brexit Impasse, The KKK, & More

UK News roundup 19/10/2018

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Bercow Must Go: Bullying Scandal

The House of Commons has been hit with accusations of a bullying scandal within its ranks, including sexual harassment claims against MPs. Speaker John Bercow has been pushed to resign both for a perceived failure to deal with this behavior, as the man supposedly in charge of this kind of stuff, but also for accusations of bullying pit against him. Although he strenuously denies the claims, long-serving MPs, including Sir Kevin Barron, see his role as untenable.

The allegations of bullying come from reports by Dame Laura Cox, who interviewed more than 200 people working in the House of Commons. Reports included inappropriate touching such as stroking and groping and intimidation. Bercow himself has only been accused of bullying, including demeaning and mocking.

 

Theresa May Talks At An Impasse STILL

It seems like we’re hearing the same thing every week as it pertains to Brexit negotiations. The only difference is each time is that time is running out, and each round of saber-rattling becomes more and more desperate.

The EU is insisting that with any deal, there must be an enforced customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. They are not prepared to make exceptions and are gearing themselves for a “no-deal.” On May’s side, she may not be willing to cave on this since she’s bound to destroy her own government if she did. The Tory backbenchers would find it unacceptable and call for the Prime Minister’s resignation.

I’m still of the belief that a lot of this so-called Brexit “shambles” is manufactured and plainly avoidable. The only thing stopping a smooth transition from a federal system to independence is the stubbornness of the Feds. Of course, the remainers love it because it’s more proof in their eyes that Brexit was a bad idea and the sky will fall in if it goes through without some concession.

A “no-deal” would, in fact, be better than the Checquers deal, which might actually be worse than staying within the European Union. Other than that, I think we’ll be fine. Chicken Littles aside, I am quite optimistic about a post-Brexit Britain.

 

Hate Preacher And The KKK Dude

I used to think the Ku Klux Klan was the reserve of spotty Americans these days, but I stand corrected. There are at least one of these nutters that reside in Britain. He is part of a literal Nazi group, not Nazi in the imaginations of lefties, but actual Nazi group called National Action, that was “banned” in 2016.  He recently posed with his newborn baby, whose middle name is Adolf, wearing full KKK regalia. What a sport.

What is more common are Islamic “hate preachers” that are often permitted to reside in the country despite the law. Anjem Choudary, a preacher who is half-way through a five and a half year sentence for “inviting support” for the Islamic State, will be moved to a probation hostel and kept under close observation. Choudary’s the former head of group al-Mouhajiroun, whose members were involved with Khalid Masood, responsible for the Westminster murders last year.

It’s difficult to know what to do about cases like these where finally the moniker of “hate speech” is justified. The man literally promotes the use of violence yet is not directly involved in violence. It seems a stretch to say that his preaching qualifies under freedom of speech – it is a great deal responsible for the rise of the English Defence League, a no-messing-around ethnonationalist group.

The Old Bill says these probation hostels offer “a structured re-entry into the community” for these folks. Justifiably, critics could argue why these people, who show no signs of stopping, should be allowed back into the community at all. As a libertarian, I have to admit I’m stumped.

 

Dear Government: We Know How The Internet Works, Thanks.

Credit to Hugo Rifkind in The Times, who is against the journalist consensus in resisting this urge to regulate the internet out of existence. The internet is one of the safest spaces you can be in. After all, you can just turn it off if something is bothering you. The worst “the excesses of the Tech Giants” can do to you is send you an advert, from which you can accept or ignore. Intervening in the internet risks sullying everything that is great about it.

We are already burdened by excessive regulation on the internet as it is. The “opt-in” porn law also prohibits dating apps, which means I can’t use them at my parents’ house (Dad, could you switch on the porn, please?). The latest EU copyright legislation will inhibit all content creators no matter what.

Above all, I’m glad Rifkind can recognize, as so few do these days, that there is a separation between preferred behavior in the private sphere and law. Some things you wish to happen, and they don’t all need to happen by state decree. Just leave people alone, and we might be able to look after ourselves.

You can read more from James Smith on Think Liberty here.

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