After those attempting to stop alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his chief polecat Dominic Cummings allowing the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal had published the bill that they are intending to use as the instrument of prevention, the Pundit Establishment, having duly studied the text, began to pronounce upon it. One of their number pronounced wrongly. And continues to do so.
You're desperate, Dan
To no surprise at all, the pundit getting it totally wrong, and declining to consider that he has done so, is the Mail on Sunday’s not even slightly celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges, who concluded “We’ve seen some crazy stuff from Remainers over the past few days. But they can’t seriously be proposing a bill that will allow the EU to unilaterally impose and dictate the length of a further Brexit extension”.
This was because, crazy or otherwise, they weren’t. Desperate Dan had misinterpreted Clause 3(3) of the Bill. David Allen Green, who knows a little about this legal malarkey, attempted to put him straight. “You have to ask yourself, [Dan Hodges]: Are those 2.2k Likes so precious to you that you will not delete this false statement?”
Hodges was not for listening (no change there): “I'd actually prefer it if you could just answer my question David. You took the decision to start tweeting about me, so it would be good if you could respond”. Green had seen enough. “Just delete the false tweet. This is not an exchange you can win, as your initial tweet is false. The extension cannot be unilaterally imposed, and you know it. For once, don't double down or try to bully an opponent into submission, own your mistake”. Ouch!
Hodges now took out his king-size onion and played the victim in no style at all: “David, with respect, I've tried to engage. I'll leave others to judge who's been doing the bullying here. Given your supporters are now accusing me of being a rapist I think it's best if we draw a line. You have a good day”. What an intercoursing drama queen.
Green tried one last time to cause Desperate Dan to see sense: “This is false at law [Dan Hodges] Please correct or delete, even with all the RTs and Likes. Bill does not say that. Your tweet is simply factually incorrect”. And Jolyon Maugham was on hand to show why. “Here's what 3(3) says. In essence, the Bill enables Parliament to reject an extension to a date proposed by the EU”. So it does. Hodges is plain flat wrong.
So how has he got it so badly, and indeed basically, wrong? Ah well. Yesterday afternoon, under the heading “Read The Rebels’ New Anti-Brexit Bill”, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog told readers “In the last few minutes Hilary Ben has Tweeted the rebels’ planned Brexit bill forcing the PM to extend A50 and avoid a No Deal Brexit … Section 3, Paragraph 1 has already caught the attention of Brexiteers, as it would mean the EU can choose the length of the extension – without a limit – and the Prime Minister must agree to it”. The post was timed 1741 hours.
The screen shot presented by The Great Guido did not include Clause 3(3). But their post also included the full text, for anyone prepared to scroll through it. So Hodges had no excuse, but 13 minutes after the Fawkes post went live, off the end of the pier he went.
Never, but never, take the Fawkes blog on trust. You’re bang to rights Dan. Say sorry.
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