Suspension of disbelief

Now I know that Ken Livingstone is a bit of a prat. Well, maybe quite a lot of a prat. But suspended for four weeks for being rude to a tabloid journalist? Ridiculous.

It’s another example of mission creep in the application of laws. When the Standards Panel system was set up under the Local Government Act 2000 I suspect that most thought it would be dealing with serious accusations of financial misdeeds and such like. After all, that’s what the government said at the time. Instead it has been used as a means of harassing political opponents. Or bizarrely persuading people to harass themselves (I do find this very odd).

Meanwhile, some at least in the Labour Party have realised this is all frankly crazy. In response the standards board went into Scottish child mode (as in “It wasnae me – he made me dae it”).

I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.
Woodrow Wilson

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