Snowflake Dan Eats Humble Pie Over Brexit Party Leaflet Hoax

After sending the Caroles and Jolyons into overdrive for 24 hours (and the rest of Twitter into meme-making mode) with the claim that he’d received a Brexit Party leaflet directly inside his postal ballot, TV historian Dan Snow has now issued a grovelling apology for the obviously false insinuation. His claim just melted away…

Snow knew the game was up after New Forest District Council brutally quashed Jolyon Maugham’s conspiracising before putting out a statement with the obvious explanation that it was “likely that the leaflet was delivered on or around the same day as the postal voting pack, which is how this misunderstanding may have arisen”. Guido hopes Snow approaches his historical inquiries with a bit more critical thinking…

At least Snow had the good grace to share the statement himself, although not before the ‘Didn’t Happen of the Year Awards’ got involved, and issue a grovelling half-apology via the BBC where he admits that “of course it could absolutely be my fault and my own incompetence”. You didn’t need to be a celebrity historian to work that one out…

Carole’s Bitter BAFTA Barb at Channel 4

Channel 4 execs were busy celebrating their BAFTA victory last night for their Cambridge Analytica exposé, despite mysteriously failing to put any real scrutiny on the key person at the heart of it all. Sadly one person who wasn’t sharing the love was Pulitzer-nominated journalist Carole Cadwalladr, who bitterly complained:

“Its fine, lads. You take the BAFTA. I’ll take the abuse.”

Who knew that making legal threats and trying to use data protection laws against your own collaborators isn’t good for your working relationships?

At least Carole doesn’t have to commiserate on her own, famously successful Twitter lawyer Jolyon Maugham cruelly suffered yet another defeat at the hands of the law last Friday as a judge threw out his final attempt to stop the UK having enough medicines in the event of no deal Brexit. Poor old Carole and Jolyon just can’t get a break…

Bercow Stitches Up Parliamentary Votes Yet Again

John Bercow has cooked up yet another Speaker’s Stitch-Up Special with his selections for tonight’s second batch of indicative votes tonight. Bercow selected only four Remainer motions for MPs to vote on tonight. They are more or less identical to the ones which were all rejected just five days ago:

  • C (Clarke) – Customs Union – already rejected 272-264
  • D (Boles) – Common Market 2.0 – already rejected 283-188
  • E (Kyle) – Second referendum – already rejected 295-268
  • G (Cherry) – Revoke Article 50  already rejected 293-184

Bercow refused to allow any Brexiteer motions including John Baron’s Motion A on a unilateral right of exit from the backstop. Despite this previously securing a majority in the Commons in the form of the Brady Amendment.

To be fair Joanna Cherry’s is slightly different from the one rejected last time. It now also contains the bonkers provisions of launching a formal public inquiry to come up with a new kind of Brexit, which might then be put to the public in a second referendum to give the Government permission to re-trigger Article 50 and try to re-negotiate it with the EU months or even years down the line. If it sounds mad it’s because it is – it was literally written by Jolyon Maugham

Bercow is now busy tying himself in knots trying to explain why he refused to allow the Government to use a secondary motion to bring back a Meaningful Vote, but will allow Hilary Benn and Oliver Letwin’s secondary motion to bring back identical Indicative Votes twice in just four sitting days. Of all the institutions which have lost the public’s trust over their attempts to subvert Brexit, none have been damaged more than the Office of the Speaker…

Courts Reject Another Jolyon Lawsuit, Order Him to Pay £8,000 Costs

Can a man ever get tired of too much winning? This is a question Jolyon Maugham must ask himself every day. As his website proudly declares, “Good Law Project’s (and its Director, Jo Maugham QC’s) success in crowdfunded litigation is a matter of public record”. A public record which Guido is always happy to contribute to

Sadly, the Courts have cruelly denied Jolyon the chance to engage in yet more winning after his application for a Judicial Review against Health Secretary Matt Hancock was refused. Jolyon was trying to bring a lawsuit to derail the Government’s no-deal medicines planning. The Judge ruled that none of Jolyon’s four grounds were arguable, and ordered Jolyon to pay costs of £8,000 to the Secretary of State. All that winning can be a costly business – for your crowdfund backers…

The Government haven’t pushed this regulation through on the sly – the Commons actually debated this specific regulation on Monday night and Labour forced a division over it, with the Government winning 292 to 240. One Labour MP who didn’t vote against it was Jeremy Corbyn, it turns out the vegetarian Labour leader was too busy attending the British Kebab Awards to turn up to vote. Maybe Jolyon should launch a lawsuit against that too?

Judge Crushes Remainers’ Claims that Referendum Result is Invalid

In the froth of the last few weeks, the hapless antics of the tiny remaining cabal of diehard anti-Brexit lawyers have almost been overlooked, as yet another legal challenge to Brexit was crushed. Jessica Simor QC was judged wrong on more or less every argument she tried to make as she went down in flames Jolyon-style…

Simor tried to seek a judicial review of May’s triggering of Article 50, arguing that it was unlawful because it was “based upon the result of a referendum that was itself unlawful as a result of corrupt and illegal practices, notably offences of overspending committed by those involved in the campaign to leave the EU”. Simor’s initial case had already been rejected in December, she appealed against this on seven grounds. The judges hearing the appeal shredded every single one…

Simor’s first ground was that the referendum failed to comply with Common Law due to “corrupt and illegal practices” and therefore “could not properly be taken to express the democratic will of the people”. The judge said he was “unable to accept [Simor’s] submission as even arguable”…

The judge rejected any notion that any breaches of the rules affected the outcome of the referendum result, stating “there is simply no evidential basis for the proposition that the breaches, or any of them, are material in the sense that, had they not occurred, the result of the referendum would have been different.” The car crash attempt from the Oxford Internet Institute to try to “prove” that Vote Leave’s alleged overspending had already been dismissed by the original judge as “essentially speculative and based on propositions that were patently unsound.” The Carole crowd won’t enjoy hearing that…

To quote the Lord Justice Hickinbottom, “Ms Simor’s difficulties do not end there.” Simor submitted three other substantive grounds, trying to argue that May’s Article 50 notification was unlawful and that she was guilty of a “continuing failure to respond to the developing evidence of illegality in the EU referendum”, which were all also rejected by the judge as “unarguable”. Three further technical grounds were also dismissed. About as crushing a defeat as you can get…

The judge noted that “the Applicants clearly oppose the UK leaving the EU; and hold strong views to that effect”, before adding a warning that “Judicial review is not, and should not be regarded as, politics by another means.” Not that it’ll stop Jolyon & Co. taking gullible people’s money for his never-ending series of unsuccessful lawfare campaigns any time soon…

Jolyon Maugham Loses Battle to Dodge £1 Million Legal Bill Over £1 Uber Receipt

Guido readers will be dismayed to learn that luckless litigant Jolyon Maugham QC has suffered yet another crushing defeat at the hands of the law. This time a High Court judge rejected Jolyon’s attempts to cover his own backside against costs in his ludicrous case against Uber for not giving him a £1.06 VAT receipt. Jolyon says the case is about everyone paying their fair share of tax. Which is why the whole purpose of the case is to allow him to claim the VAT as a business expense and dodge the tax himself…

The judge rejected both Maugham’s ‘Protective Costs Order’ and his initial appeal, which would have limited Jolyon’s liability to just £20,000 if he lost the overall case, instead of being on the hook for Uber’s costs which could be over £1 million. The judge noted that the “named claimant has significant assets which he is not prepared, albeit for understandable reasons, to expose to the risk of an adverse costs order.” Too right – why should Jolyon have to give up any of his £400,000 annual net income while he’s pushing up Uber prices by 20% for everyone else?

More significantly, the judge said the fact that Jolyon had received “substantially more than 50% of the funding” from his case from the black cab trade, including one single contribution of £20,000, was very much a “relevant consideration” in the case. Jolyon never tires of talking about how he is acting in the public interest, the reality is that he is effectively now just acting on behalf of vested interests who want to push their competitors out of business and drive up prices for customers of their rivals

Jolyon has put out a statement on his website all but admitting defeat, complete with a comical line at the bottom insisting that Jolyon is not in fact a serial loser:

Sore much?

Jolyon Maugham Trousering £400,000 a Year Net

Jolyon’s most preposterous crowdfunded case has finally reached court, almost a full two years after the People’s Maugham originally convinced over three thousand suckers generous donors to donate £107,650 to his case seeking a £1.06 VAT invoice from Uber so he can claim it back as a business expense. That’s right, one pound and six pence…

Twitter’s most irritating Remoaner QC claims that the case could force Uber to cough up £1 billion in VAT payments according to his personal calculations, his own lawyer goes for the more conservative estimate of £200 million. Maugham is trying to add 20% to the cost of every single Uber journey, naturally the black cab lobby is delighted and is right behind his case. Not so much women who rely on Uber to get home from a night out safely and affordably…

Of course, Maugham has no qualms about making life more expensive for everybody else because as Guido can reveal from the official case documentation, Jolyon’s own personal income is a whopping £400,000 a year – net of expenses:

The hypocrisy of someone who is prepared to go to great lengths to repeatedly convince thousands of gullible members of the public of the importance of backing his futile vanity lawsuits while apparently not putting a penny of his own vast income behind them is truly staggering. Not to mention his repeated attacks on others who don’t divulge the identities of their donors. At least he’ll have been able to stockpile plenty of no-deal contingency quinoa with all that cash…

Jolyon Maugham on Anonymous Donors: Then and Now

 

Twitter lawyer Maugham has stuck his foot in it again with his spectacularly dog in the manger attitude to donor privacy. Back in May, Maugham was telling his followers what “good news” it was that an anonymous donor had agreed to give £100,000 to fund his campaign against Brexit. This weekend, Maugham demanded anonymous “puppetmasters” who donate to right-of-centre think tanks are identified and said “the BBC shouldn’t give them a platform until we know for whom they speak”. Jolyon’s anonymous donors: good, everyone else’s: bad.

Maugham’s Mystery £100,000 Donor

Twitter lawyer Jolyon Maugham is again trying to avoid being on the hook for his vanity legal proceedings. Court papers show that for the judicial review he launched against the Electoral Commission, Maugham has managed to persuade the judge to limit the costs he’d be liable for to £20,000, despite crowdfunding for the case and revealing that he had a secret donor who was willing to stump up £100,000 to guarantee any adverse costs.

Maugham has a history of using other people’s money to satisfy his own political agendas:

  • He raised £107,650 in an effort to sue Uber over a VAT receipt (which he suspended when he realised he might have to cover Uber’s costs personally)
  • £59,275 for a judicial review against David Davis (which he lost)
  • £70,000 when he went to the High Court in Ireland to reverse the Article 50 process (which he lost)
  • £76,925 to try to get the Scottish Court to ask the ECJ whether Parliament could unilaterally withdraw the Article 50 notification (which he lost)

In submissions to the High Court, Maugham claimed that the cost of the case would be £80,000, and the judge duly ordered that the Electoral Commission should be liable for £40,000 if they lose. This is despite Maugham admitting that he’d raised £62,492 by mid-May and had £27,290 left over from the Davis case which could be used, and revealing he had “received an email from an individual who will agree to guarantee any adverse costs up to the sum of £100,000, and her partner agreed a further indemnity of £2,000”. Tens of thousands of pounds worth of public money is going to wealthy middle class Remoaners to pursue a politically-motivated case…

Maugham has refused to make public the identities of his mystery wealthy backers. Jolyon revealed that a ‘private charitable trust’ has donated £5,000 to the Good Law Project, but guess what, these funders aren’t named either. Yet following the Charity Commission’s ruling that the Legatum Institute breached charity regulations, Maugham said that charities must “deliver the public good – not the ideological agenda of wealthy private donors”. If Maugham is such a bastion of transparency, why won’t he reveal the donors who are bankrolling his case against the Electoral Commission? What happened to his opposition to furthering the “ideological agenda of wealthy private donors”…

Jolyon Maugham Loses Again

Scotland’s top court has rejected yet another attempt by Remoaning lawyer Jolyon Maugham to reverse the referendum result. Maugham had wanted the European Court of Justice to rule on whether the UK could unilaterally withdraw its decision to trigger Article 50, and stay in the EU instead. The Court of Session in Edinburgh threw out Maugham’s bid, saying it was never going to happen:

“The option of revocation of the article 50 notice is contingent on other factors rendering it a live possibility. At present it cannot be said that it is a live practical question.”

A couple of months back Jolyon failed in his attempt to secure a judicial review against David Davis to get him to publish full versions of the government’s Brexit sectoral analysis. He really is the Eddie Izzard of the Bar…

Cummings Filing Formal Complaint to Bar Standards Board About Jolyon

Popcorn alert: Dominic Cummings is filing a formal complaint to the Bar Standards Board about Jolyon Maugham, the mad Remainer QC who he brands “a disgrace to the bar”. He writes:

It’s been suggested to me that I should put in a formal complaint about the lawyer @JolyonMaugham to the Bar Standards Board. His twitter feed alone is a disgrace to the bar. He has been guilty of at least reckless falsehood. Strikes me this would be a good public service so feel free to send evidence about him to my public email and I’ll send in a formal document with help from some barristers. Public debate is badly undermined when QCs spread bullshit on the internet.

And on this subject, it was noticeable that in the hearing over a judicial review on the Electoral Commission recently all three teams were criticised by the Court: Jolyon’s, the EC’s, and VL’s. The JR won’t effect Brexit at all but it will affect future conduct in elections and the debate about reform. As I wrote in my long piece on the referendum a year ago the rules about our elections are a joke and regulators are in an impossible position (e.g the latest flap over what counts as ‘coordination’). It would be in the public interest if all three teams upgrade their lawyers for the JR in the summer so these arguments are properly made and contribute to serious reform of the whole system. (I have zero role with VL and have not been a director since early 2016 so these decisions have nothing to do with me.) 

NB. I respect @JolyonMaugham’s right to free speech and to express his political views on Twitter. Please only send examples of things that can genuinely and reasonably be seen as misconduct for a barrister such as misleading people or deliberately mistating the law. I have no interest in his politics, just his integrity and professionalism. There will be a very strict test applied by my team about what we say. Just the facts please…

Let’s see if the Board share the view of his fellow silks that Jolyon is “the biggest c*** at the English bar”…

Complaints are also being filed to the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office about the Remain campaign. Guido also understands legal letters are going in to Bindmans, the ‘campaigning’ lawyers who held that parody press conference yesterday, and the three lawyers Clare Montgomery, Helen Mountfield and Ben Silverstone threatening them with action for defamation and libel. The understanding is that the press conference wasn’t legally privileged and they aren’t covered by the barristers’ mutual fund because it was outside of court. The day the lies caught up with the lawyers…

Remain Campaign Used Exactly the Same Spending Tactics As Vote Leave, Only Far Worse

There is a long list of reasons why Carole Cadwalladr’s claims that Vote Leave “cheated” on their spending during the referendum are wrong. First and foremost, the Remain campaign did exactly the same thing that Cadwalladr is accusing Vote Leave of, only far, far worse. Vote Leave gifted BeLeave £625,000. Yet in the month before the vote the Remainers set up FIVE new campaigns and funnelled a MILLION pounds into them so they could stay under the spending limit:

  • DDB UK Ltd registered as an independent campaign on 25 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. DDB UK Ltd received £191,000 in donations.

  • Best For Our Future registered as a permitted participant on 27 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. It received £424,000 in donations

  • The In Crowd registered on 10 June 2016, less than two weeks before the referendum. It received £76,000 in donations.

  • Virgin Management Ltd registered as a permitted participant on 3 June 2016, less than three weeks before the referendum. It received £210,000 in donations.

  • Wake Up And Vote registered as a permitted participant on 24 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. It received £100,000 in donations.

The Remain campaign did exactly the same thing as Vote Leave, only with more money and with five new campaigns. This renders Cadwalladr’s central charge against Vote Leave completely obsolete.

Reason number two why the claims about Vote Leave and BeLeave coordinating are bonkers. The lawyer championing the Cadwalladr claims, Jolyon Maugham, has called the validity of the referendum into question over alleged collusion among the Leave campaigns. Yet the various Remain campaigns coordinated on a much greater scale, holding conference calls every morning to coordinate their messaging, sharing data, suppliers and campaign materials, and coordinating spending. Cadwalladr and Maugham have completely ignored the fact that the Remain campaigns colluded on a much larger scale.

Reason number three, and the most obvious of the lot: how can Vote Leave reasonably be accused of cheating on spending when the Remain campaign spent far, far more and had the entire machinery of Whitehall behind them? Electoral Commission figures show the Remain campaign spent £19 million. The Leave campaign spent £13 million. The government spent £9 million of taxpayers’ money on Remain campaign literature. £3 million of this was spent on online ads and “digital promotion”. How can Vote Leave possibly be accused of cheating when the overall spending was so blatantly biased in favour of the Remain campaign?

As the Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman says:

The truth is the only people pushing Cadwalladr’s nonsense are ultra-Remainers who cannot fathom that the country wants Brexit, and have to believe that the Leave vote only happened due to some corruption or cheating. The facts simply do not bear this out.

Jolyon’s Failed Vanity Cases Cost Crowdfunders £350,000

Britain’s most insufferable lawyer Jolyon Maugham is taking a break from Twitter today and going to court in his latest attempt to stop Brexit. Maugham will petition for a judicial review against the Electoral Commission, arguing the regulator failed to investigate Vote Leave-BeLeave campaign donations. The Electoral Commission has already investigated the donations twice…

Speaking of donations, rather than putting his stupendous QC’s income where his mouth is – and, indeed, despite being a lawyer himself – Jolyon is using other people’s cash to fund the legal bid. He’s crowdfunded nearly £50,000. What can his donors expect for their cash?

Not much, if his form is anything to go by. In May 2017, Maugham went to the High Court of Ireland in an attempt to reverse the Brexit vote after Article 50 was triggered. The case was opposed by the Irish government and was struck out by Mr Justice Peter Kelly. More than £70,000 was crowdfunded…

Then, in February 2018, Maugham was involved in a similar case in the Scottish courts. Lord Doherty of the Scottish Court of Session ruled:

“I am mindful that demonstrating a real prospect of success is a low hurdle for an applicant to overcome. However, I am satisfied that that hurdle has not been surmounted. Indeed, in my opinion the application’s prospect of success falls very far short of being a real prospect…” 

A gentle judical admonishing of Jolyon’s grasp on reality. Crowdfunding for this failed case raised over £60,000…

As Guido reported, Maugham also tried to judical review David Davis over the Brexit sector analysis papers. Mr Justice Supperstone rejected permission, finding a simple (and free) FoI request was a suitable alternative. That failed judicial review was also crowdfunded: £59,275. When he loses, do people get their money back? “Any surplus funds will be held for the costs of other litigation”…

Jolyon, a specialist tax barrister, sued Uber to demand a 56p VAT receipt. When Guido says he sued we mean he suckered £107,650 from crowdfunders and cabbies to back this case. Vaingloriously making the claim in his own name he suspended the action when he realised that if he lost the case – a very real possibility given his less than stunning record – Uber would seek to recover their costs from him personally. Unwilling to put his own money where his suckers crowdfunders did, he pathetically said he was looking for an alternative claimant who didn’t have any material assets to take the risk. Not exactly brave leadership…Hapless Jolyon Maugham has therefore spent over a third of a million pounds (£350,000) of other people’s money vainly pursuing his agenda, entirely without success. All he has got for the money is gout. The crowd that backs him can afford to take the pain…

High Court Throws Out Maugham’s Case Against DD

Jolyon Maugham QC has failed in his attempt to secure a judicial review against David Davis to get him to publish full versions of the government’s Brexit sectoral analysis. The claim by Maugham and his Good Law Project was dismissed because versions of the analysis have already been published and the information can be sought in a less attention-seeking fashion via a Freedom of Information request. Mr Justice Supperstone concluded: “In my judgment, there is a suitable alternative remedy in this case”. Remember this is the same Jolyon Maugham who crowdfunded £100,000 to launch a High Court claim against Uber demanding a 56p VAT receipt. He’s great at wasting other people’s money…

10 People Who’ve Been Driven Mad By Brexit

For the past few months it has become clear that certain members of the politico-media bubble have been undergoing a Brexit induced breakdown. The Remainiac bug is spreading – even some Remainers who were previously worth listening to have started to sound like tin-foil hatted conspiracy theorists. It falls upon Guido to stage a public intervention for their own good. Our list does not merely include ultra-Remainers who might be irritating but have kept their marbles. These are the 10 people who have been truly driven off the deep end by Brexit…

  • AC Grayling – Where else to begin? Grayling has become Twitter’s nutty professor, every day pumping out increasingly unhinged anti-Brexit diatribes. Some highlights include labelling Brexiteers “vermin“, seeking a general strike to oppose Brexit, claiming “90% of informed opinion” is against Brexit, alleging other ultra-Remainers were being “silenced” by forces of the state, and arguing that the Tory government is “alt-right”. Grayling is alt-reality.
  • Andrew Adonis – Every day he tweets about “stopping” or “halting” Brexit, which he calls “self-mutilation”. Some of his more vitriolic attacks are reserved for fellow Remainers who he reckons have sold out, he claims for example that Brexit is being driven by a “David Davis-Keir Starmer axis”. Peak Adonis was when he wrote to Lord Hall demanding the BBC sack Andrew Neil. Remarkably he still has a government job…
  • Ben Bradshaw – Bradshaw has taken to tweeting out Louise Mensch blog posts citing “multiple sources with links to UK intelligence” who apparently say the referendum should be voided due to Russian intervention. Yesterday he tweeted that it was time for the Tories “to come clean about extent of Kremlin’s reach into heart of Government”. Friends don’t let friends retweet Louise Mensch. 
  • Carole Cadwalladr – Cadwalladr appears to genuinely believe Brexit was a Russian plot, she has claimed the Leave campaign used psy-ops to hoodwink voters and doesn’t appear to realise she is being elaborately trolled by Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore who have christened her “Carole Codswallop”. Last night she suggested lifelong Eurosceptic Michael Gove only backed Vote Leave on the orders of the Legatum Institute, who she reckons are agents of Putin. It’s so ridiculous even Newsnight have taken the piss. The Observer’s continued indulging of her conspiracy theories seems almost exploitative. 
  • Tim Walker – The waspish former diary columnist delights in dishing out snark, but thin-skinned Tim can’t take it when his conspiratorial babble is called out. The former Telegraph man turned freelancer and New European contributor reckons “Putin will continue to govern this country through stupid, weak, vain, greedy politicians so long as we, the people, are prepared to sit back and let him”. Cuckoo. 
  • Jolyon Maugham – Twitter’s most attention-seeking QC once said he considers it an honour that he is known as “the biggest c**t at the English bar”. Brexit has turned him mad as well as bad. Just read how nasty Maugham was to the genial Danny Finkelstein about Article 50. And who can forget the time he decided to set up a new political party to fight Brexit. Always a telltale sign of a Brexdown. 
  • Jeremy Cliffe – Talking of which, the Economist’s Berlin correspondent started The Radicals, seriously pledging to reverse Brexit, join the Euro, join the EU army and make Ken Clarke the next European Commission president. He quit the party after 12 hours following an all-staff internal email bollocking from his bosses. The Economist’s embarrassment was the happiest the FT newsroom has been all year. 
  • Liam Byrne – Byrne is partly responsible for setting off the Russia conspiracy theorists (and the Mail on Sunday), demanding a “US-style judge-led inquiry” in response to a Louise Mensch blog. He’s tweeted out crank articles quoting intelligence “sources” saying the referendum will need to be re-run. He’s in danger of going the full Bradshaw. And Liam, we really need to talk about the beard. 
  • Tom Brake – There has always been something of the night about Tom Brake, and the mood of parliament’s most humourless MP has not been helped by Brexit. When he’s not complaining to Bercow about Guido, Brake is making a fool of himself about Legatum. LibDem press officers play a game where they compete to put the most OTT lines into his press releases, knowing Brake will never tell them to tone it down. 
  • Alastair Campbell – Okay so he always was a few billion short of a trade deal, but Bad Al is really not taking things well at the moment. He calls Leavers “Brextremists”, compared them to jihadists and even launched into a xenophobic rant against Gisela Stuart. He’s not gone in for the Putin stuff to be fair. Though that’s possibly more to do with his own Russia Today appearances. 

Guido wishes them well and looks forward to their post-Brexit recovery in April 2019…

Joly-Gone Maugham Deletes Centre Party Plan

Twitter’s most learned troll, the insufferably pompous Jolyon Maugham QC, has quietly deleted his widely-ridiculed plan for a new centrist political party from his website. Maugham jumped the shark back in April, posting his vision for ‘Spring The Party’ on his personal blog. Everyone in SW1 just laughed – not least because the plan read like satire:

“Step One: Jolyon announces to The Maidenhead Advertiser that he’s standing. It filters out to the National Press. The website goes up, with a short biog, a teaser, a ‘register’ button and a ‘donate’ button.

“Step Two: We announce the festival and some acts.

“Step Three: We begin to release policies. What next There is a lot to do. But. If you build it, they will come.”

Hours later, Maugham backed down, having taken counsel from “friends in the music and creative industries” who apparently said the party couldn’t be launched in the “available time”. Now the plan has disappeared altogether, only accessible via web archive the WaybackMachine:

Exhibit A, your honour, the archived copy of ‘Spring The Party’…

Brexit Challenge Struck Out in Irish High Court

Jolyon Maugham’s Quixotic challenge to the progress of Brexit in the High Court in Dublin has been struck out. Jolyon’s plan was hard to comprehend, he was seeking a ruling from an Irish High Court Judge to refer issues in the case for determination by the Court of Justice of the EU. Why in Ireland? Because he knew he had not a hope in the English Courts.

He was seeking a reference on the grounds that his rights under the Anglo-Irish Common Travel Area Agreement and the Belfast Agreement were being compromised.*  In addition the “Irish people, and, in particular, in so much as the provisions of the Belfast Agreement and Common Travel Area will be affected and does so without seeking the views of the Irish citizens by way of referendum.” He was arguing that Irish voters somehow had a veto on the sovereign right of the British people expressed by the referendum. There was more of this nonsense line of argument in his claim

Guido understands from his sources in Dublin legal circles that the consensus view was that he was “p***ing in the wind”. This did not stop Jolyon crowdfunding £70,000 in fees, then dropping the fight as soon the Irish Attorney General indicated she would challenge the case on the grounds of jurisdiction. Jolyon folded claiming it would be too expensive to fight the matter. So the £70,000 of donor’s funds will be wasted without even a proper fight…

*The only people who claim there will be a hard border are remainiacs. No Irish party wants a hard border, not Sinn Fein not the Ulster Unionists. Nobody in the Dublin or Westminster governments wants or expects a hard border. There will not be a hard border. It is a figment of extreme remainers’ imaginations.

Jolyon Maugham Jumps the Shark

Twitter’s most pompous attention-seeking lawyer Jolyon Maugham has jumped the shark – he is setting up a new political party called “Spring“. The poor man has gone quite mad:

“Theresa May has an enormous majority. And is a relatively popular local MP. Nationally she is divisive. And Maidenhead voted overwhelmingly to Remain. Labour is non-existent in the seat. And it is not being targeted by the LibDems. For an independent, without a local infrastructure, the seat is in practice unwinnable.

But.

There are local pro-Remain groups. The seat has great symbolic value. And – most importantly – if we can inspire people with our celebration they will come again. They will come early, tomorrow. And knock on residents’ doors, and smile, and talk.

The celebration will lay the foundations for a new political party. The strength of those foundations are our metric of success. We will collect members. We will build a brand. And we will raise funding. Spring. A new start. A brighter future. Spring is a party of the radical centre. Solutions for the world today and tomorrow. Not yesterday.”

Jolyon has accidentally published his plan for electoral success, dripping in self-importance and referring to himself in the third person:

Step One: Jolyon announces to The Maidenhead Advertiser that he’s standing. It filters out to the National Press. The website goes up, with a short biog, a teaser, a ‘register’ button and a ‘donate’ button.

Step Two: We announce the festival and some acts.

Step Three: We begin to release policies.

What next: There is a lot to do. But. If you build it, they will come.

You’d need a heart of stone…

UPDATE: Jolyon has changed his mind:

I’m very lucky. I have some great friends in the music and creative industries. Serious people. “It’s a wonderful idea,” they said, “but completely impossible to execute in the available time.”

I have at last, with great reluctance, accepted they were right. And I will not be standing.

That de-escalated quickly…

Jolyon Maugham v Danny Finkelstein

Twitter’s most irritating lawyer Jolyon Maugham outdid himself on pomposity this morning during a spat with the Times‘ genial Danny Finkelstein. Jolyon began by sending Fink a link to his blog claiming the UK can still revoke Article 50 and Remain in the EU. When Danny pointed out the weakness of his argument, Jolyon responded with a level of arrogant sneering impressive even by his standards of hubris.

Non or very junior lawyers think as you do. That the law is an intellectual creature existing only in the abstract… you are not a lawyer.” 

Eeesh.

The even-tempered Fink calmly won the day, tweeting:

“He argues in an intolerable way and I can’t stick it for long. I end up thinking life is too short to be talked to like that. So  I go away but always come back later because he has arguments you need to grasp and consider. Only then he does it again and off I go. It’s quite dispiriting because it is so unnecessary.”

Even by the stuffed-shirt standards of the English Bar Jolyon is an über-arse. Danny speaks for everyone – including judges and fellow barristers – who has had the misfortune of engaging with Jolyon on Twitter or in court…

Labour’s Tax Expert Admits Error

jolyon

This morning on the Today Programme Ed Balls namechecked the blog of Jolyon Maugham a tax specialist QC, he estimated that Labour’s change to the non-dom tax rules would bring in an extra billion. Ed Balls referred to him again later as a “tax expert”:

Just now in the Q & A after his speech Ed Miliband also referred to Jolyon Maugham as an “independent expert” – he’s actually a Labour Party stalwart.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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Quote of the Day

Change UK MP Joan Ryan tells Change UK’s South West ‘rally’:

“Can everyone look at their hands please?”

*everyone holds out their hands in front them*

“That’s it, it’s there, the future is in your hands.”

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