George Freeman’s lefty remain tent has become so broad it now apparently covers environmental extremists. His ‘Big Tent Ideas Festival’ has announced it is “unbelievably excited” to be “partnering with Extinction Rebellion”.
They’ll be in our #EnviroTent proposing that the UK’s current net zero target of 2050 needs to be revised to 2020/2025
— Big Tent Ideas Festival (@BigTentIdeas) August 12, 2019
But just last month the think tank Policy Exchange published a paper on the group by Counter Terrorism experts which outlined that Extinction Rebellion:
There is no doubt that Extinction Rebellion is an extremist organisation. What is Government Minister George Freeman playing at..?
Guido can shed some new light on the curious case of the disappearing 1922 Committee Chairman – Graham Brady has finally resurfaced several weeks after disappearing without trace following his bizarre decision to ‘recuse’ himself from the Committee to launch his own abortive leadership bid. Not a single MP came forward in his support, Guido can’t even remember him making the case for himself…
Now Brady has popped up in the foreword to the latest Policy Exchange paper by Lord Bew on the Irish backstop, calling for the next Tory leader to drop the backstop. As Brady points out, the only Brexit option to ever command a majority in the House of Commons was the deal with his amendment calling for alternative arrangements replacing the backstop. The EU are the ones chasing unicorns if they think a deal with the backstop is ever getting through…
Sayeeda Warsi is unhappy about The Times splash this morning, claiming “this article makes disturbing & disingenuous claims about British Muslims APPG report Islamophobia Defined. This is the latest in a line of attacks from the same sources which until now I have ignored as usual silly boy games but this is dangerous and needs challenging”.
She then goes on to have a go at the Policy Exchange think-tank:
As for Policy Exchange and their now two reports on @APPGBritMuslims report #IslamophobiaDefined
They have zero credibility on any initiative designed to protect British Muslims.
Much on this incl this from the University of Bath https://t.co/VvXoQ8XpWm
— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) May 15, 2019
The report Baroness Warsi cites here is The Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion written by David Miller – then of Bath University (now Bristol). The report was written “with the aid of a grant of £5,000 from The Cordoba Foundation”. The Cordoba Foundation was identified by former PM David Cameron as a “front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. The Government’s 2014-5 Review of the Muslim Brotherhood similarly described the Cordoba Foundation as being “associated with the Brotherhood”. Miller’s report is quite simply not a credible academic source.
Miller is a conspiracy theorist who is on record as having promoted the idea that chemical attacks in Syria were a false flag – perhaps involving British intelligence in some capacity – designed to force Western intervention in the country’s civil war. Miller has also defended the comments which led to Ken Livingstone quitting the Labour Party (about Hitler supporting a Jewish homeland) – he was suspended from the Labour Party over these comments before being subsequently reinstated. He has called the concept of Israel a “racist endeavour”. He even accused the Government of “state propaganda” over its reaction to the Skripals’ poisoning in Salisbury.
Miller’s suspiciously worried about the influence of “ultra-zionists” and the Israeli government:This should come as no surprise. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Islamophobia, which produced the highly problematic definition that Baroness Warsi is so desperate to promote, itself took evidence from and cited the work of Professor David Miller. No wonder the government is looking to formulate a better working definition of ‘Islamophobia’…
Remain voting crossbench peer Lord Bew, whose contributions to the Good Friday Agreement were acknowledged in his appointment to the Lords, has accused the Irish Government of ‘weaponising‘ the Northern Irish peace process.
“UK Government has allowed the Irish Government to weaponise the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in a way that prevents compromise on the Backstop”
Lord Bew, who voted Remain, has written a briefing note for Policy Exchange in which he argues that the Northern Irish backstop endangers the peace process and has been predicated on a “partial reading of the Good Friday Agreement” which does not take into account the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
He argues that in order for the Good Friday Agreement to be respected, and peace preserved, it is crucial that “the Backstop is made temporary – in explicit and legally binding terms.” Something for MPs on all sides of the house to think about…
Devastating argument from Policy Exchange this morning. Sir Stephen Laws QC – who was until 2012 the Government’s most senior lawyer on legislative and constitutional matters – says don’t assume that MPs could engineer a change to the law to postpone or cancel Brexit without persuading Government to acquiesce and participate in securing the change.
Attempting to change the law without the Government’s participation, he argues, could jeopardise fundamental constitutional principles based on centuries of history, especially if the Speaker dispenses with or ignores a rule that gives Government complete control over increases to public expenditure.
Sir Stephen Writes:
“If the Speaker chose to allow this rule to be dispensed with or ignored, that could have unpredictable, and potentially horrific, constitutional consequences. It could raise a question whether the Government would be entitled or might feel required to reassert its constitutional veto by advising the Queen not to grant Royal Assent to the Bill.
How should the Monarch react to such advice? The answer is not straightforward and the prospect of it needing to be considered in a real life political crisis is unthinkably awful. It is a sacred duty of all UK politicians not to involve the Monarch in politics. They have a constitutional responsibility to resolve difficulties between themselves in accordance with the rules, and so as not to call on the ultimate referee.”
If the Speaker and Dominic Grieve are going to vandalise the constitution and overturn established parliamentary conventions, don’t expect the government to just roll over. The Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will be studying this argument closely as no doubt will the Brexit sympathetic Queen. Bercow is only the Prince of Parliament, though he might not want to believe, the Queen still outranks him constitutionally. Grieve isn’t as clever as he thinks he is…
Former Northern Ireland First Minister Lord Trimble has lashed out at the Irish Government, accusing them of undermining the Good Friday Agreement with their conduct in the Brexit negotiations. Trimble, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his instrumental role in securing the Good Friday Agreement, accused Leo Varadkar’s Government of “riding roughshod over its terms and violating its spirit”.
Writing in the foreword of a new Policy Exchange paper, Trimble says that Northern Ireland is at risk of becoming an “effective EU protectorate” without the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly, which “would be an appalling breach of the principle of consent, which runs through the Agreement”.
However the two sides try to dress it up, there is no disguising the fact that the backstop as the EU is currently proposing would fundamentally alter the status of Northern Ireland within the UK. The EU’s rhetoric about respecting the GFA is hollow as long as they keep trying to push it through…