In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk

The Parrot Speaks of the Democratic Covenant


A private prosecution has been taken out against Boris Johnson MP, for claims he made during the 2016 EU referendum. After 3 years of preparation, it had its first hearing in private a few days ago. For an example of the Press coverage, see…/boris-johnson-could-be-challenged-in-court…

Essentially, if the judge agrees that there is a case to answer, Mr Johnson will be charged in open court with lieing during the campaign, and therefore of “misconduct in public office.” This is a crime in the UK and if proven, is punishable.

All MP’s in the House of Commons have to swear to follow a code of conduct called the “Nolan Principles” which include an obligation and commitment to “tell the truth.” However, while the Leader of the Party to which a transgressor belongs is empowered to sack that person if he/she is found to have broken his/her oath, those powers are discretionary and “in-house”. The transgressor is not answerable under the law. So, if this case were to be pursued and Mr Johnson found guilty, it would create a precedent and would change our politics.

The stanza above is the latest in a series that now numbers over 80, which offer a sort of running commentary on the Brexit process. The stanzas are modelled on a sixteenth century poem by John Skelton, written in rhyme royal and apparently from a place of sanctuary in Westminster. It was called “Speak, Parrot.”