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Johnny Mercer Resigns

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Johnny Mercer Resigns

Old 21st Apr 2021, 10:19
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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So, the Guardian says he was sacked and then, in the same piece, says he resigned. Which is it? It cannot be both.
Right, so they're two different things with two different sets of ramifications.
No need for this semantical diversion...ORAC has explained perfectly (and provided references).

Bottom line, he was sacked.

As for the "principle" of the thing...these are investigations into alledged serious crimes.

There used to be a popular "sticky" in this forum...for many years.

Here is a headline quote from it:

"Justice has no expiry date" - John Cook.

Or is it one rule for us; one rule for them?

Personally, there is a bit of devils advocate in my words above...my sympathy naturally resides with the soldiers involved. But mainly because they are not (IMO) the true culprits even if crimes where committed. It is the politicians and senior officers that propagated the whole *****ed mess that I would like to see held accountable.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 10:34
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Richard Dangle View Post
No need for this semantical diversion...ORAC has explained perfectly (and provided references).

Bottom line, he was sacked..
There is nothing "diversionary" about the distinction between the two things because, if you review the thread, some are calling into question whether or not Mercer has shown integrity by resigning. It is therefore very germane to the conversation whether being sacked or resigning are the same thing!

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I do believe that both semantic and pragmatic meaning matters, particularly when someone's integrity and character is being judged.

Bottom line: glad you're happy with ORAC's view point, but please don't seek to tell others what they can and cannot post here.

EDIT: I see now that ORAC has cited Politco. This contradicts the previously cited Guardian. So, we're still no wiser.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 11:09
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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There seem to be two distinct issues here:
- Did Mercer act with integrity
- Should Historical events continue to be investigated.

It seems to me that whether he resigned or was sacked, he has acted with integrity. He believes that the historical cases should not be investigated and that Boris signed up to this. Regardless of whether he is right or wrong, he has decided not to bite his tongue to remain in office, and in my book that shows integrity.
As for whether the historical cases should continue to be investigated, things are less clearcut. IMHO they should not, for a couple of reasons, A) it seems to be a rather one sided process B) I seriously doubt that a better understanding of what transpired and why can take place after all of this time.
Reasonable people can differ on the latter point, but I do believe Mercer has acted with integrity.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 11:35
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Northern Ireland was always going to be a problem to Mr Mercer. He had very little support in Government. Remember, in January 2017 Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Mark Lancaster MP told Mercer and the rest of the Defence Committee that he supported Sinn Féin's position on the Military Covenant, as applied to Northern Ireland. (That is, it doesn't apply). Mercer took the job knowing he had that hurdle to overcome. He tried, but failed. I wonder if his successor will try?

Richard Dangle quoted John Cook, above. It is little known that at least one of the Mull of Kintyre RUC widows is still harrassed and door-stepped by security and plod, seeking to acquire evidence that can be used against troops.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 11:40
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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falcon900 I fully endorse your sentiments above but add that in my opinion the Government should act now not kick the can down the road for the umpteenth time.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 11:41
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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I suspect a lot of people here, who never served in Northern Ireland, fail to understand the resentment felt by veterans who saw murderers in the IRA given a free pass whilst British troops - serving their country in a small war in their own country - were accused of atrocities left, right and centre to try to appease the same mobs who supported those murderers.

Well done Johnny Mercer for sticking two fingers up to Boris' lies.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 11:54
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I suspect a lot of people here, who never served in Northern Ireland, fail to understand the resentment felt by veterans who saw murderers in the IRA given a free pass whilst British troops - serving their country in a small war in their own country - were accused of atrocities left, right and centre to try to appease the same mobs who supported those murderers.

Well done Johnny Mercer for sticking two fingers up to Boris' lies.
Well said. As a veteran of two tours there and with family still in the Province the [email protected] we have taken over the years for doing our jobs at the government’s behest beggars belief. Whilst we stand back and watch wholesale pardons for some of the worst atrocities.
BoJo has bottled this. And kudos to Johnny M for having the balls to stand for his principles.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 12:44
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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In legal terms, have any murderers had a free pass? Be clear, In my violently strong opinion, NO soldiers should be tried for operating under the ROE and the orders they were given. I'm interested to know if the term, 'free pass', is a pardon; or an opinion that murderers have been 'let off'. It matters.

CG
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 13:07
  #29 (permalink)  
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In legal terms, have any murderers had a free pass?
The saga of the On the Run letters....

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-26359906

County Donegal man John Downey was to go on trial charged with killing four soldiers in the 1982 IRA Hyde Park bombing.

However, he cited an official letter he had received in 2007 saying: "There are no warrants in existence, nor are you wanted in Northern Ireland for arrest, questioning or charging by police. The Police Service of Northern Ireland are not aware of any interest in you by any other police force."

The judge ruled that Mr Downey, who denied any involvement in the bombing, should not be prosecuted because he was given a guarantee he would not face trial.

Mr Justice Sweeney heard from Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly that 187 people had received letters assuring them they did not face arrest and prosecution for IRA crimes.

The Northern Ireland Office issued the assurance on receipt of information from the PSNI, but while they soon realised he was still wanted by colleagues in Scotland Yard over the Hyde Park bombing, the letter was never withdrawn.

The Crown Prosecution Service had argued that the assurance was given in error - but the judge said it amounted to a "catastrophic failure" that misled the defendant.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 14:44
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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All this anguish could have been avoided if the letters had said "at the present time". they did not and that lack was not accidental , it gave the politicians an opportunity to say that had acted. The judge could have noted that the letters did not exclude subsequent action but chose not to, why not?
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 14:59
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Why not? because its a political manoeuvre from start to finish - by not being precise they kept both sides at the table. It was deliberate omission but not recorded anywhere as such

thats the way deals are done in these situations.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 16:39
  #32 (permalink)  
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After the decades of apartheid and human rights abuses, even the South African government realized you couldn't deal with the post-conflict issues using the existing justice infrastructure and set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC at least allowed the wronged to be heard and the wrongdoers to admit their roles - on both sides of the equation. Either prosecute everybody, or prosecute nobody; but to leave these individuals hanging out there to dry while actual terrorists are running around like senior statesmen is galling to say the least. The fact that these Squaddies have been abandoned by the same Government indecision and fudging that caused them to be there in the first place 50 years ago should be a surprise to nobody.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 17:32
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Two's in View Post
After the decades of apartheid and human rights abuses, even the South African government realized you couldn't deal with the post-conflict issues using the existing justice infrastructure and set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC at least allowed the wronged to be heard and the wrongdoers to admit their roles - on both sides of the equation. Either prosecute everybody, or prosecute nobody; but to leave these individuals hanging out there to dry while actual terrorists are running around like senior statesmen is galling to say the least. The fact that these Squaddies have been abandoned by the same Government indecision and fudging that caused them to be there in the first place 50 years ago should be a surprise to nobody.
Spot on, the analogy with the South Africa situation.
The war in Northern Ireland was a similar situation, a dirty war, with the front line people daily in impossible situations. Putting them in jeopardy decades later while the responsible leaders bask in public acclaim is egregiously wrong.
England's leadership has never seen the need for a TRC, to everyone's loss.
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 18:03
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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The guy is a muppet looking to make a name for himself, and he has been found out.

Let's be perfectly clear .. he wanted forces involved in NI to be given protection under the "Overseas Operations Bill" ... there is no way on this earth that was ever going to happen .. the number of folks, including many on here, who would have overloaded the "outrage bus" with cries of "NI is not an Overseas Territory, Boris splits the UK" or similar would be huge.

Yes forces in NI need the same, or probably better, protection .. but that would have to be in a Bill that was for UK based operations, as, as far as I remember, NI is still a part of the UK. So why was he not advocating that rather than throwing teddy out of the cot ?
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Old 21st Apr 2021, 18:16
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Simply never understood how the so-called ‘comfort letters’ could ever be legally interpreted as a ‘guarantee’ against future prosecution. AFAIK, there is no such mechanism in British Law.
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 07:15
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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There aren't any guarantees under English law as Parliament can change the law to suit itself - remember the good old days when they could just pass an Act of Attainder and simply declare you guilty?

On the other hand there is such a thing as precedent and it's clear those letters were issued as part of the Good Friday Agreement settlement.. They didn't offer a lifetime exemption for any crimes but only for the ones pre the Agreement - they were a condition of the deal. Tear up the letters and you could tear up the whole deal.

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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 09:14
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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So in that sense, it seems to me that Mercer is right to take a stand here. If the crimes of terrorists were effectively ‘wiped’, then the misdemeanours of all parties pre the GFA should have also been similarly treated, in the manner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in SA.
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 09:52
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Omega V6 ........Yes forces in NI need the same, or probably better, protection .. but that would have to be in a Bill that was for UK based operations, as, as far as I remember, NI is still a part of the UK. So why was he not advocating that rather than throwing teddy out of the cot ?

I Think you'll find that that's what he wanted:.....I made promises on your behalf that we would not leave them behind and would walk through simultaneous legislation for them.
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 13:53
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by toratoratora View Post
So in that sense, it seems to me that Mercer is right to take a stand here. If the crimes of terrorists were effectively ‘wiped’, then the misdemeanours of all parties pre the GFA should have also been similarly treated, in the manner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in SA.
I agree one size suits all in cases like this - but ask whoever negotiated the deal why not
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Old 22nd Apr 2021, 14:11
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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I agree one size* suits all in cases like this - but ask whoever negotiated the deal why not
By the time the deal was done, it was a Brexit-style 'anything for a deal' situation. It wasn't a negotiation, it was a question of, 'what will it take for SF/IRA go along with it.' They were never going to agree for a 'British Army murderers get let off' clause. In my view...

CG

* assume you meant 'rarely' to be in there?
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