Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

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Aardvark
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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by Aardvark » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:45 am

Lots of talk about the ambassador's resignation and the part Trump and Bozo played but sweet FA about finding out who leaked the info. Am I right in saying that civil servants at this level have to sign the official secrets act? And if so the leaker should/could be charged with treason, or maybe just slapped on the wrist like they do with most criminals these days. Having said that, someone on the radio this morning said it is likely that a hundred people could have had access to the email between the ambassador and the F.O. If that is the case the system needs a major overhaul given the potential importance of this correspondence.
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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by Fitter » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:18 am

"Having said that, someone on the radio this morning said it is likely that a hundred people could have had access to the email between the ambassador and the F.O. If that is the case the system needs a major overhaul given the potential importance of this correspondence"

If that many people had access to his email, maybe the ambassador should have been a bit more guarded and diplomatic about the contents, after all, he is a diplomat!
Stuff like that should be whispered in someone's ear over a G + T in the bar or expressed at a private meeting - not emailed.

Quite apart from the fact that the US National Security Agency monitors all incoming and outgoing emails - didn't he know that?
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AbendagoT (Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:45 am)
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds: That England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself”.
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Ally
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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by Ally » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:27 am

The civil service undermining democracy is not new. There have been several instances where the civil service, despite being supposedly politically neutral have acted dishonestly against the Scottish government to the advantage of the UK government and the conservative party.

I was interviewed for entry to the civil service in 1975. What a stuck bunch of self important pricks that panel was. By the end of the interview they and I were left in no doubt about how we felt about each other.

Me to a rude passport checker: Are you a civil servant?
Him: Yes.
Me: Ironic isn't it?
Never in the history o' calming doon has a Scottish person being telt tae calm doon, ever calmed doon.

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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by jsks » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:14 am

The Official Secrets Act applies to all citizens whether they have signed it or not.

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Ally
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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by Ally » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:46 am

I'm not disputing that but why then the necessity to sign?
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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by tim17 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:29 pm

I've been with a client this morning who knows KD and is a retired Ambassador himself, he is appalled at the way he's been treated and thinks this could change the way overseas senior civil servants are viewed by their host country, whilst not going into great detail he did admit that he had to send regular updates on the political landscape of each country he was posted to which often shaped government policy but he was always confident that he would have had the full support of the UK government at all times.

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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by jsks » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:01 pm

Ally wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:46 am
I'm not disputing that but why then the necessity to sign?
I've no idea. It strikes me as an oddity.

I don't have to sign any forms promising not to speed or telling me I can't burn down Westminster but if I did either of those things I'd still be liable to prosecution
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Ally (Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:01 pm)

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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by exile » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:34 pm

jsks wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:14 am
The Official Secrets Act applies to all citizens whether they have signed it or not.
So why no prosecution against the editor and author of the story?

There are things that I know that are not common knowledge, but I would have no idea if they were under the umbrella of the Official Secrets Act or not; however I think the same defence could not be used by the above two; and yet no action taken - yet.

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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by Sidandus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:53 pm

I understood that it’s thought a Brexit supporting civil servant leaked the emails to undermine Kim Darroch and bring about his resignation so that BJ could put his own man in place, presumably a Brexit supporter which Darroch isn’t. Seems a bit presumptuous that assumption is that BH will be PM. Apparently the emails could be easily viewed within the FO office on the general terminals. However, the person who accessed them should be relatively easy to identify through the data history on the terminals so hopefully this will be resolved quickly. Whoever accessed them does not seem to have done it on an isolated occasion, but over several occasions and compiling a cache of them. Which suggests pre-meditated scheming. MPs are pushing for criminal charges to be brought against the guilty person.

Civil servants no longer sign the OSA as their employment contract, which the civil servant signs, specifies they are covered by it. @Ally - I was a Civil Servant as is my daughter. Some departments are more precious than others, but most of us joined to provide a public service and feel we were doing something meaningful and which made a difference. We’re not all bad and some of us are quite nice!

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Re: Is it the end of democracy in the U.K.?

Post by Ally » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:08 pm

I'm sure. I've no issue with civil servants per se. I've got little tolerance for incivility.
Never in the history o' calming doon has a Scottish person being telt tae calm doon, ever calmed doon.

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