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Sunday 13 September 2020

Suella Braverman - Credibility Absent

How, the question keeps being asked, did alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals come to table the Polecat Enabling Act, more prosaically called the Internal Market Bill, given that it proposes breaking international law? And, more and more, the answer comes back to one politician - Suella Braverman.

Ms Braverman, previously known only for her clumsy exhumation of the anti-Semitic Nazi-era conspiracy theory of “Cultural Marxism”, was for some reason promoted to Attorney General earlier this year. She has said the bill is OK. However, as early as last Thursday, the Guardian noted that Scotland’s chef law officer disagreed.

Legal advice contained in a three–page letter marked ‘official - sensitive’, seen by the Guardian, summarises the legal opinions of the government’s three law officers, whose role includes ensuring ministers act in accordance with the law. The letter appears to show that Richard Keen, the advocate general for Scotland, advised that ministers would be breaching the ministerial code if they defied international law”, they reported.

Then, at the weekend, it got worse. Ms Braverman attended the annual general meeting of the Bar Council yesterday. This time, it is the Guardian’s Sunday sister paper, the Observer, that has the news: “The attorney general … was on Saturday accused of sacrificing the UK’s reputation, sidelining legal advisers and bypassing the ministerial code during an extraordinary confrontation with some of the country’s top lawyers”.

And it got worse still: “Five QCs confronted the attorney general during Saturday’s meeting, telling her that a crime which broke the law in a ‘specific and limited way’ - the phrase used by the Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, when he announced the move - was still a crime”. Then came the real bombshell.

She was also confronted over why she had sought advice on the measures from three pro-Brexit legal figures, including one junior barrister who had worked with the Vote Leave campaign, rather than relying on senior government lawyers. She refused to disclose the advice she had received, but said that seeking external opinions was not unusual”. It’s OK, because Vote Leave, who broke the law, say it’s OK. Ri-i-i-ight.

Small wonder two former Prime Ministers have sounded the alarm: John Major and Tony Blair, in a joint statement, warned of damage to the Good Friday accords and added “This has wide-ranging ramifications. It will not only make negotiation with the EU more difficult, but also any trade negotiations with other nations, including the United States. Once trust is undermined, distrust becomes prevalent”. See also the opinion of Speaker Pelosi.

Ms Braverman has most likely been appointed for one reason, and one alone: she can be bent to the will of chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings and his Brexiteer pals who have ridden into Government on his and Bozo’s coat tails. She has, as part of thus bending, approved a bill that sprays the UK’s international credibility up the wall.

Problem is, that affects everyone else. Because it’s not a game. We have someone in the pilot’s seat that can’t fly the plane. You know what comes next. This will not end well.

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Anonymous said...

It's depressing to see Tory MPs mounting a more effective opposition to the bill than Keeves. All we get is mealy-mouthed platitudes like “Labour is prepared to play its part in making that happen. If the government fixes the substantial cross-party concerns that have been raised about the internal market bill, then we are prepared to back it”. He knows very well that Johnson has no need for a bill that does not break international law in "a very specific and limited way”.

David said...

This is the calibre of our Attorney General.
"Suella is also happy to accept instructions on hackney carriage/ taxi licensing."

Anonymous said...

Did you really think they wouldn't keep pushing the greed envelope?

David said...

Thw calibre of our Attorney General
"Suella is also happy to accept instructions on hackney carriage/ taxi licensing."

Worth reading Nick Cohen in the Observer, not often I say that, but for once he got through an article without blaming everything on Corbyn.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the link. I followed it and now I can't get images of Braverman's expertise on "complex issues relating to ... lap dancing" out of my head.

Jonathan said...

The destination is clear, a complete and utter breakdown of the UK economy and it's social structures.

Cummings has long wanted to 'rework' British society for his own illegitimate ends.
I suppose what I am trying to say, he wants a return to a more feudalistic society akin to the Tory party's favourite donors home country Russia, where laws that are made for the people do not apply to the 'elite', political opposition is suppressed and assainated brazenly.

With this strategy the Polecat and his enablers are pursuing is extremely dangerous, no trade deals with the EU and the loss of their biggest prize a US Trade Deal..

Anonymous said...


If you have the misfortune of reading his blog, you'll find Cummings' motives are even more batshit than that. He's a disaster theorist so wants to engineer catastrophes as, according to his inability to distinguish causation from correlation, great technological advances are made then.

That he's managed to convince Gove and Johnson that this is compatible with economic libertarianism demonstrates, as I've always maintained, free-market ideals are nihilistic. Unfortunately, the rest of us have to suffer the proof.

Jonathan said...

Thanks, I have read his blog, it's totally batshit crazy.

How he convinced The Fool and The Gove is really quite simple.
They enetered into a Faustian bargain, get us Brexit and you have have whatever you want.

rob said...

Isn’t she just the UK version of William Barr, Trump’s attorney general?

Selected to do a job of making sure that legal threats from opposition go nowhere.

Just a pity for them that she is not as efficient as Barr. And even his work is starting to unravel as more and more of the Mueller report is unredacted.