There is, in some respects, a de facto decriminalisation going on, and has been for about a decade – largely because of a much broader use of avenues like pre-charge warnings, so people are arrested, but not eventually charged. Sometimes.
And this is where my views on drug policy have *cough* evolved a lot over a long time, because we really need to write a brutally frank reality check on who tends to get the benefit of the doubt and who gets their lives blown apart under de facto decriminalisation. Trump's America isn't the only place where The War on Drugs looks a lot more like a War on Poor and Brown People.
Shouldn't parties be explaining to voters how they're going to make it so their MPs and Ministers can't get away with the kind of stuff that Barclay's being accused of?
Thing is: If MPs and Ministers want to be shot of staffers, Parliamentary & Ministerial Services and the State Services Commission can explain the legitimate and lawful way to do it in excruciatingly granular detail to anyone who's interested. That's their job, and they do it well.
"Don't go Full Nixon on staffers, stonewall Police investigations, monster complainants into going away and keeping quiet, then lie your arse off about all of it" shouldn't need explaining. Neither is the basic concept that MPs and Ministers are not exempt from the law. Any of it.
Gorgeous - have you ever considered branching out into Soviet-era bus stops? Between them Christopher Herwig and Peter Ortner (link to German language website) have spent just shy of twenty years documenting bus stops ranging from brutalist socialist realism, through atomic kitsch to what I can only describe as acid-infused ethnographic gingerbread house.
Just in case things aren't surreal enough for your taste, Fresh allegations Todd Barclay invented complaints against the staff member he secretly recorded
"I had received complaints about the conduct of a staff member from members of the public and I referred the matter to Parliamentary Services," Mr Barclay told the NZ Herald in March.
"As the legal employer of support staff, they acted as they deemed appropriate and embarked on a disciplinary process.
"It is an employment matter and as I've said in the past I can't go into details through the media.”
However, a letter from Parliamentary Services's general manager David Stevenson, cited by the Newsroom, says no such complaints against Ms Dickson were ever lodged with them.
"Parliamentary Service has neither received any complaint about you [Dickson] nor has it carried out any employment investigation or taken any disciplinary action against you,” Stevenson's letter said.
I've worked for an MP, and believe me Parliamentary Services are efficient to a fault. . If you're going to drag it into a political scandal, you better have all your receipts. It sure as hell will.
Why is [he] being allowed to remain?
Because as David Slack (not exactly a water-carrier for this government or National) just pointed out on Morning Report, because National has a constitution and processes around candidate selection and de-selection. And Bill English is no more able to unilaterally sack a duly elected MP who has become a political liability than Helen Clark was when Taito Philip Field turned into a sleaze magnet.
Seems like a big job/responsibility for unpaid Board members
If you dig a little deeper into the website, the KCTMO is run by a fifteen member board, four of whom are appointed by the Kensington and Chelsea Council, and three "independent members" who are required by law to have relevant experience and skills. They're also responsible for a three member executive team, and I guess if they aen't up to the job they're paid to do, we're going to find out in heart-breaking detail soon enough.
I don't have a copy of the Management Agreement between the Council and TMO sitting in front of me, but I really hope the resident board members don't end up getting thrown to the wolves. You don't have to be paid to be more than competent at often huge jobs, as the many many organisations dependent on volunteers right here can attest.
I realise the Queen's not going to go over to Downing Street and relieve Theresa May of the keys to the nation. But Britain can not and must not go on like this.
No, they can't -- and even if the Queen kicked off a constitutional crisis in a fit of justifiable rage, it wouldn't answer how ministerial responsibility for housing standards got split three ways (which is a recipe for disaster) and why none of them seem to have been talking to each other. Nor would I want to be anyone in the Kensington & Chelsea Council or Greater London Authority who literally has their names on the sign-off for the multi-million-pound renovations of Grenfell Tower.
Yes, Russell, you're right that this is political. But if I was a public housing tenant in the UK today - no matter who control my local council - I'd be praying everyone wakes the fuck up and starts paying attention to the politically unsexy, never makes the papers stuff about consents processing and regulatory management that tends to get buried at the bottom of sub-committee agendas.
Lives really can literally depend on them.
Even Theresa May was diminishing any sort of responsibility here with what I thought was a very wishy-washy statement about maybe investigating something in a while and maybe learning something from it.
Uh, OK. I know Theresa May doesn't have many friends around here, but IDK what anyone could have said to make anyone happy. Corbyn, May and Sadiq Kahn all seem to be getting it in the neck for somehow "politicizing a tragedy" while not being political enough. I know we're on a 24 hour news cycle blah blah fucking blah, but it is really that hard to literally let the ashes cool and the dead be counted?
But in a way, Trump's feeble account of the decision is worse. He has done the same thing, swinging wildly against phantoms, on the matters of NATO and trade agreements, but this seems on a new level.
I'd argue this is exactly what happens when you put a cowboy New York oligarch in the White House who hasn't served a single day as a public servant who can't rip up a treaty as easily as you stiff a contractor. (And yes, I looked up the North Atlantic Treaty, which the United States signed and ratified in 1947. Article 5 is not a suggestion, or a vague recommendation the United States can dip out of when the President is having a bad day.)
I'll just leave this here:
Some of them are definitely human: one responded with telling (and amusing) indignation to my customary greeting, “How’s the weather in St Petersburg?”, demanding to know whether I was racist against Russians. You blew your cover there, dude.
Aw, damn… the only time I regret dropping the “report and block” hammer and missing that. Even then, they’re rather easy to detect – I wonder if they understand (or much care) it only takes a couple of clicks to reveal a string of identically worded replies obviously triggered by a keyword.