News that Boris Johnson is to face a private prosecution, charged with Misconduct in a Public Office, brought by one Marcus Ball, has been met with considerable disquiet by both the political establishment and the media generally.
That politicians are not happy is entirely unsurprising; anything that calls them to account – in whatever legitimate form it takes – is always unwelcome as far as any politician is concerned. On the other hand, from the point of view of the ordinary citizen (of voting age or not) it may not be a bad idea. For far too long politicians have held sway over those who give them their jobs without any kind of accountability so from that point of view alone, Mr. Ball’s actions are indeed very welcome.
Whether or not it is a matter of Law and a court appearance is another matter. The case against Boris Johnson is as a result of the Brexit fiasco - the problems over the UK leaving the EU arose because of two things; the first was the court case brought by Gina Miller forcing the Government to bring before Parliament its plans for Brexit. The second, and as a direct result of that court case, is the behaviour of those politicians. It has enabled a significant number of them to actively try and prevent the will of the majority of people who cast their votes from being carried out. And that is one step along the road to the destruction of democracy in the UK.
We also feel bound to ask; is there any significance that there have now been two court cases brought, privately funded, by two people opposed to Brexit – Gina Miller and Marcus Ball – against Brexit itself and somebody at the forefront of it?
As to the validity of the case against Boris Johnson, did he deliberately, knowingly, and with malice aforethought, tell lies during the referendum campaign of 2016?
Only he knows that. But if the principle of bringing before a Court of Law any politician who might have lied is correct – and we doubt it is - then we await with interest further cases against almost all current and past members of the House of Commons.
We won’t hold our breath.