Is A Coup in Hand?
Not long ago, a powerful minister faced a comply-or-die decision. In his case, the Prime Minister demanded he fire his advisors and so support the centralisation of power. Out of loyalty, the minister challenged the instruction. Unmoving, the PM insisted and, on a point of principle, the minister resigned.
You might wonder if the centralisation of power is worrying? You might ask, how will we citizens benefit? Most importantly, what’s in it for the political leadership?
Vote Leave hmm …
- Boris Johnson and Michael Gove fronted Vote Leave which broke UK electoral law. It begs a question about the legitimacy of the project?
- Furthermore, Vote Leave colluded with BeLeave and splashed naughty-cash (the Electoral Commission said Vote Leave funnelled £675k through BeLeave).
- Nor should one forget the small matter of the DUP Ulster money that the Electoral Commission decided it was ‘not in the public interest‘ to investigate. Not in the public interest? Who are they to decide? Was this a political fix?
- It’s also worth noting that for breaching electoral law, Vote Leave paid a £61,000 fine, and the UK Electoral Commission reported them to the police.
- On top of that, The Electoral Commission fined the founder of BeLeave £20,000.
- The Crown Prosecution Service received a report from the police in October 2019. What happened next? All in all, what culpability taints Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Cummings?
- It is worth noting that Dominic Cummings was found to be in contempt of Parliament and angered people.
Is the Vote Leave team still operational? It seems yes is the answer and Johnson, Gove, Cummings, the Warner brothers and apparatchiks are the old team in a new setting.
If the team goes on … (is this a coup by any other name)?
- “Faculty”, an IT business, supported the Vote Leave campaign. Its CEO is Marc Warner. Recently Faculty gained around seven government contracts, worth approaching £1 M. Is more to come?
- Then there’s Ben Warner (a data scientist) and the brother of Marc Warner. They say Ben Warner works for Dominic Cummings as a Data Scientist and government adviser. Are you surprised he did data modelling for the Conservative party’s oven-ready general election campaign? Oven-ready means it’s all over bar the cooking.
- Currently, Ben, Marc, and Dominic work or have contracts with the UK Government. How were the contracts awarded? Were they tendered formally? Were advisor roles advertised? Is it worth mentioning public interest as opposed to ideology?
- You’ll recall that Dominic Cummings and Ben Warner attended SAGE meetings. Marc Warner of Faculty reportedly attended one too.
- Depending on your point of view, you may feel that having IT experts attend Scientific Advisory Groups makes sense. Alternatively, you may have thoughts about track record, the abuse of power and manipulation.
- Then, of course, there is the resignation of Sajid Ravid? Firstly, firing his advisers was the price of keeping his job. Secondly, even if a speck or two of mud adheres to his banking credibility and the sub-prime scandal, at face value, he stood up for himself.
- Who is boss in the British Government, the PM or someone else?
Is it okay to give partisan (unelected?) people vast influence in government, hiring and firing employees and politicians?
Are the best interests of British citizens at the heart of the changes? Is something less pure in hand? Is it possible the UK may be harmed for years to come? Will changes happen at the right time or in a chaotic, unprepared and incompetent, CoVid19 manner?
Is this the same old ineffective Westminster bubble letting a coup happen?
- Fire advisors.
- Fire civil servants.
- Remove ‘the whip’ fromPoliticians.
- Give expertise-free cronies huge contracts without a tender.
What do you make of it? Are you happy?
Is it fair to wonder if the UK’s Seven Principles of Public Life matter any more? What do you think?
© Mac Logan