Author Archives: Simon Pike

James O’Brien on Boris Johnson defending Dominic Cummings

James O’Brien was so incensed by Boris Johnson’s defence of the indefensible actions by Dominic Cummings that, on Tuesday, his day off, he broadcast his thoughts on LBC. It is extremely powerful. You should listen to it.

 

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‘High Risk Vendors’ and Government eavesdropping

Last Tuesday, Parliament debated the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property), Bill. Well, actually, it didn’t. Several Tory backbenchers and a Labour shadow Minister hijacked the debate with amendments seeking to exclude ‘High-Risk Vendors’ (by which they mean Huawei) from UK telecoms networks. They did not provide any evidence to support their concerns, and the speeches sometimes bordered on a witch hunt.

Robert Harrison and Paul Reynolds have both written balanced and insightful articles on Huawei for Lib Dem Voice. The Government currently proposes to limit ‘High-Risk Vendors’ to the access network, and 35% market share. In a comment on Paul’s article, I explained how the 5G standards are designed to prevent any eavesdropping within the access network.

There is a well-documented case where an equipment supplier has been compromised by a foreign Government so that it could intercept the secret communications of other nations. But this is neither Huawei nor China: the company is Crypto AG, and the foreign Government is the USA.

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An invitation to join the Tories

Yesterday I received an email invitation to join the Conservative Party from Helen Whately MP, its Vice Chair for Women.

From: Helen Whately MP, Conservative Party Vice Chair, Women
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 9:37 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Don’t stand for this

Today at Prime Minister’s Questions Jeremy Corbyn called Theresa May a ‘stupid woman’.

This is just the latest in a long line of misogynistic behaviour from Corbyn and his top team.

Jeremy Corbyn ‘mansplained’ to the Prime Minister on International Women’s Day, called for women only train carriages and has a Shadow Chancellor who called a female MP a ‘b****’ and said

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How to leave the EU without invoking Article 50

 

It is generally assumed that the first step for the UK to leave the EU is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. In his article on 10th August, Paul Walter described how “Invoking Article 50 could be a disaster for the UK”. The referendum represented a democratic decision of UK voters that needs to be respected, but invoking Article 50 might not be the only way to do this.

Article 52 of the Lisbon Treaty states “The territorial scope of the Treaties is specified in Article 355 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.” Article 355 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that the treaties “apply to the European territories for whose external relations a Member State is responsible”. However, it contains exceptions and special provisions for numerous territories of UK, Denmark, Finland, France and the Netherlands.

The European Communities Act of 1972 is “An Act to make provision in connection with the enlargement of the European Communities to include the United Kingdom, together with (for certain purposes) the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar”.  Therefore, Gibraltar is distinct from the United Kingdom, in relation to its membership of the EU.

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Vote Labour in the local elections if you do not care about your community

ppb 2106

Lib Dem Party Election Broadcast April 2016

Yesterday evening (Monday), Labour aired its party election broadcast for the local elections next Thursday. I know this because it said so at the beginning of the broadcast: I certainly could not have guessed this from its content.

This broadcast was entirely devoted to knocking the Tory Government, without any mention of the work of local councils. This single message of the broadcast was summed up by Jeremy Corbyn at the start: “This Thursday’s elections are a chance to send a message to David Cameron and his Government. It’s become increasingly clear – they simply cannot be trusted. They certainly cannot be trusted to make sure that the richest their fair share of tax…”

In contrast, the Lib Dem election broadcast on 20th April was entirely devoted to the work of local councillors, serving their communities. Tim Farron summarised this excellently: “You have the opportunity to use your vote to support somebody who will make a difference for your community, work hard, keep in touch and get things done all year round. Who won’t just disappear the day after they’ve got your vote, and not show up for another four years, but will be committed to your community. Because that is what the Liberal Democrats are all about.”

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 18 Comments
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