Somebody’s been doing some good work! Security at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) passed a photo of part of some CCTV footage showing Health Secretary Matt Hancock having a snog with his mistress, Gina Coladangelo, last month, in breach of his own social distancing guidelines, to the Sun. Gina is a non-executive director at DHSC, an appointment which in itself raises questions, since Hancock’s friendship with her goes back to their days together at Oxford.
Hancock faced a storm of criticism this weekend, not because of his adultery, but because of the snog. Understandably he’s being accused of double standards, having told everybody else they couldn’t hug. His explanation, in effect, that this was a twin standard not a double standard, was not widely accepted and he resigned on Saturday. The new Health Secretary is that nice man Sajid Javed.
Things looked terminal for Hancock the moment the Prime Minister expressed his full support. Some of those who called for Hancock’s resignation went around saying that he should go because he’s useless, but those people were seriously confused. Sacking a Cabinet Minister because he’s useless would set a dangerous precedent.
The first Tory MP to call for Hancock’s scalp was Duncan Baker, to whom I have copied this column as a courtesy. He is widely respected and it was difficult to see how Hancock could hang on after his timely intervention. Like Gina Coladangelo’s marriage Hancock’s political career is now on the rocks, although he may have a future in the fast food industry.
The odd thing is that no one who called for his resignation even hinted at the huge scandal which will ultimately bring down the NHS, the failure to treat patients dying of Covid. How much did Hancock know about the effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and Ivermectin? Obviously he’s not a doctor, otherwise he would never have been made Health Secretary, and as a Cabinet Minister he could plausibly claim ignorance and stupidity, but even so it’s difficult to believe that he did not know that tens of thousands of people were condemned to die dreadful deaths on his watch from a treatable disease.
The Defender incident
Although Matt Hancock is a hypocrite, no offense intended, at least he’s not a war criminal. The same cannot be said, sadly, about whoever committed a Crime Against Peace this week by ordering the British Daring class guided missile destroyer HMS Defender to violate Russian territorial waters south of the Crimean Peninsula.
Presumably these maniacs were annoyed at President Putin’s diplomatic triumph in Geneva last weekend and were hoping to provoke the Russian Navy into sinking Defender. There can no question of Defender having accidentally crossed Russia’s maritime frontier, nor any question of Defender’s captain, Commander Vince Owen, having decided to commit an Act of War on his own volition. Like that other nice man Generaloberst Fedor von Bock, who invaded Poland, he was only following orders.
The Laws of War are perfectly clear. It is an Act of War to send an armed warship into the territorial waters of another state in peacetime without the express invitation of that state. Anyone who gives such orders is liable under customary international law, reinforced by the judgments of the International Military Tribunals which tried German and Japanese war criminals after the nominal end of World War II (obviously Germany carried the war on covertly) to be executed, nicely of course.
The Ukrainian and Foreign Office claim that the Crimea belongs to the Ukraine makes about as much sense, frankly, as Adolf Hitler’s claim that Danzig belonged to Germany. The Crimea is part of Russia.
The Russian government and military authorities are to be commended for their responsible and restrained behaviour. Defender was very properly warned that she was violating Russian territorial waters and given a fair opportunity to withdraw.
President Putin, who is somewhat brighter than poor old Boris Johnson, thankfully (it’s a bit like comparing a Mig-25 with a Sopwith Camel) no doubt swiftly appreciated that Defender’s crew were being used as pawns by the Cabinet Office, Number 10 and the Foreign Office. Commander Owen may think that he owes dear old Pooters a crate of vodka, by which I mean the good stuff.
The decision to have Defender violate Russian territorial waters was clearly not taken by the Cabinet. I doubt that even the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, who is obviously not in control of British foreign policy, knew that Britain was trying to start a war with Russia, a nuclear armed power with serious armed forces, last week. Was there even a discussion at Cabinet about committing an Act of War against the Russian Federation in gross violation of international law? How many members of the Cabinet are capital war criminals?
The one positive to emerge from this fiasco is that the PM and the Cabinet Secretary may have to be executed, no offense intended. The PM is nominally in charge of the government and ultimately has to take the can when the British Armed Forces commit a war crime, even if he didn’t expressly authorise it. Since the Cabinet Secretary is in actual charge of the government and has a veto on all government decisions his name is bound to come into the frame.
Obviously Simon Case and Boris Johnson could not be executed in Britain. Our legal and political systems are simply too weak to hold out of control maniacs trying to start wars to account, let alone execute them. Russia however has both a fully functioning legal system and the death penalty.
Only a few weeks ago the proper Belarusian authorities were able to bring a renegade political criminal to book when Ryanair decided to fly him through Belarusian airspace. A number of opportunities might present themselves to the Russians to nab Simon and Boris. They can’t stay in the UK forever.
If he is executed over the Defender affair, which would be a matter entirely for the proper Russian authorities, Simon Case would become only the second Cabinet Secretary to be executed. Because the first, Sir Jeremy Heywood, was executed extra-judicially (unsurprisingly, given that the UK lacks a functioning legal system) no one knew that he was about to die.
Although his death, which came not a moment too soon with respect, was the cause of national rejoicing, nobody had time to organise street parties. It would be different this time around. Commander Owen however should not be executed. It would be as unfair as the charging of Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz, a decent man with respect and a fine German officer, with war crimes in 1945.
Derek Chauvin’s sentence
The 22 ½ years sentence passed by the highly political Judge Cahill on Officer Chauvin for the non-crime of restraining a known felon violently resisting arrest with the utmost respect was savage and an affront to justice. Let’s be clear about it – George Floyd brought his death upon himself by taking a lethal dose of fentanyl and deciding to resist arrest when in no physical condition to do so.
It’s also clear that the obsession of Minneapolis Police Department with global warming, a non-issue, also contributed to the felon Floyd’s death. That’s because they ordered hybrid vehicles from Ford which appear to have the nasty habit of turning on the gas engine to charge the battery without intervention from the driver.
I may be wrong about this, but it seems to be the most logical explanation for the engine being on. Minneapolis police officers clearly have not been trained about the dangers of CO poisoning from hybrid vehicle exhausts. Floyd’s head should not have been positioned near the vehicle’s exhaust but it’s doubtful that the officers even appreciated that the engine was running, let alone that the exhaust was pushing out lethal levels of CO.
America’s justice system is so broken that rationality may not prevail on appeal but it should. Judge Cahill’s handling of the trial was a disgrace, no offense intended. The man himself should be forced off the bench for his egregious bungling of the trial and his manifest pro-prosecution bias. As it is he joins a select but unimpressive group of political judges, which includes Judge Roland Freisler, Judge President of the Nazi People’s Court, a judge so bad with respect that he could have been appointed to the European Court of Justice, ideological successor to the People’s Court. Sleazebags like Freisler and Cahill, no offense intended, bring the very concept of justice itself into disrepute.
Corrupt Minnesota Attorney-General Keith Ellison also has to go. The entire prosecution legal team should be disbarred for misleading the jury. The UK-US Extradition Treaty has to go. There is no way that any British citizen should ever again be forced to face American justice. (I was right by the way about dictator Joseph Biden lying to Boris Johnson about reviewing the Sacoolas case – nothing has happened, and nothing’s going to happen either.)
Of course the American legal system is so far gone that nobody will lose their job or their law license. In order to do that you have to tell the truth about the November election!
American prosecutors, sadly, are a disgrace, save in Texas. Almost to a man and a woman they are unprofessional, unethical and dishonest. Very few of them would have looked out of place in Nazi Germany, where the prosecutors were the scum of the earth, no offense intended, even worse than the CPS. How do these people even get a law degree in the first place?
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.