Des Browne

How did we end up being ruled by this ghastly little spiv?

Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, has gone to the High Court in an attempt to prevent coroners criticising the Ministry of Defence at military inquests.

Coroners are one of the most ancient parts of our legal system and they exist for a very specific reason. To find out why someone died. If the MoD were responsible for said death then it is their duty to say so: that\’s actually what they are for.

Or in Year 11 is criticism no longer allowed?

13 thoughts on “Des Browne”

  1. Criticism of the government should be treason – hence the current attempts to revise that law.

    Criticism from people within the government payroll is dishonest, dishonourable and punishable by death (or, worse still, having your laptop taken away). We won’t be seeing ‘Civil Serf’ for much longer. The Cape Wrath gulag is calling.

  2. I’ve just heard James Phillipson’s father on the Today program.

    Although obviously distressed, he spoke calmly and clearly about this issue. He’s meeting the Minister this afternoon, and all he wants is an apology for what was described by the Coroner as the “…failure by the MOD to provide basic equipment [to enable the job to be done]…”

    He said that if they don’t get an apology they’ll take civil action, not for the money, which would go to a charitable trust fund, but to force the Government to admit they did not provide our troops with the equipment to be able to do the job they’d been sent to do.

    I hope this scumbag Government does the right thing; but I very much fear they wont.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    As much as I hate to agree with these scum bags in power, this is clearly a grab for power by the judiciary. I agree that coroners traditionally look into every homicide or suspicious death. Not every one because there are too many. But since when do they look into every death in Iraq or Afghanistan? Did Wellington get asked about every single dead soldier at Waterloo? I think not. The Judiciary is not content with the ECHR and otherwise tipping the constitutional balance in their direction, they want to veto foreign policy as well. It is outrageous that they should attempt to prevent the British government carrying out a policy they were elected on (even if they are scumbags and it is a dumb policy). It is obvious that the claim the MoD did not provide the right equipment is NOT a judgement for the coroner but for the voters and the Parliament.

    This is a putsch by legal means. It is what brought the Americans Roe v. Wade and other forms of judicial activism. Hang the judges too.

  4. “It is obvious that the claim the MoD did not provide the right equipment is NOT a judgement for the coroner but for the voters and the Parliament.”

    Not so; the job of the coroner is to establish the circumstances surrounding the death. In this instance, the most significant circumstance was that the MoD failed to provide adequate equipment.

  5. “I hope this scumbag Government does the right thing; but I very much fear they wont.”

    That’s like hoping bears will stop shitting in the woods. Without even building them a toilet.

  6. It might be worth having a look at what inspires certain coroners (there is one particular one that has been making clearly political statements and disregarding evidence). A power grab by the judiciary, as someone pointed out above, is no more desirable than a government arrogating more powers for itself. Some people need to see things from more than one side.

  7. “So Much For Subtlety” – I believe it is to do with the relatively recent (1 Apr 92) partial (?) removal of Crown Immunity from the MOD. Prior to that there was no standing under English law for a coroner to hear a case regarding the death of a soldier in wartime.

  8. I see this as the next step to what Blair/Falconer did to the system of magistrates courts. These have been carved up so that they are now mere agents of the executive and have little to do with the administration of justice. There is no appeal to a magistrates decision and the entire process is controlled by the Clerk to the court. If one wants justice, the only appeal is to the High Court, and who can afford that?

    The same people are continually attacking the inefficiency of the “trial by jury” system and that wont last much longer, whereupon we’ll have the full “1984” agenda and no treason as an offence.

    Game set and match!!

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Ian Bennett – “Not so; the job of the coroner is to establish the circumstances surrounding the death. In this instance, the most significant circumstance was that the MoD failed to provide adequate equipment.”

    Not in Iraq it is not. The Courts have gradually eroded Sovereign Immunity, but to have some jumped up Wig challenge British Foreign Policy remains outrageous. War overseas is the business of Governments, Parliament and the voter. Not the judiciary. There is nothing more to say. This beak might be right. The MoD might have screwed up Royally. It is irrelevant. It is not for a coroner to challenge and change British Foreign policy.

  10. It is outrageous that they should attempt to prevent the British government carrying out a policy they were elected on (even if they are scumbags and it is a dumb policy).

    Why? Only a halfwit would trust the average voter to make policy above the average judge (clue: halfwits blethering about democracy and how lovely it is…)

  11. “Why? Only a halfwit would trust the average voter to make policy above the average judge (clue: halfwits blethering about democracy and how lovely it is…)”

    That may or may not be true but we do not happen to be living in a system where judges decide policies or, at least, they should not be. Judges of all description are there to interpret the law.

  12. You do know that they’re changing the rules for inquests, don’t you?

    The change is that they will be able to hold them in secret, without a jury, and using government-cleared lawyers only, if (ministers deem that) “national security” might be at risk?

    Sounds good, doesn’t it?

    Do you think we would ever have heard of David Kelly under these new rules? Let alone all these soldiers…

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