1. Exquisite Tweets from @SimonFRCox

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    May's #1 is "look like a fighter".
    So winning is a problem - bc it ends the fight. We know this from her Home Office days. Thread. 1/n

    Peter Walker @
    Hang on, did Theresa May just claim the tough EU talk on Brexit is a deliberate plot to affect the election result? Does she mean that?

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    SimonFRCox

    Simon Cox

    In 2011 May claimed immigration judges were acting illegally, incl blocking man's deportation bc of his cat. 2/ theguardian.com/politics/video…

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    Simon Cox

    I asked Home Office if they challenged these 3 decisions: they said yes - but in 2 cases accepted deportation was wrong. May had mislead 3/

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    Simon Cox

    May #1 aim wasnt changing judge behaviour. It was "look like a fighter". Her staff leaked 3 cases to press. And she "took on the judges" 4/

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    Simon Cox

    Psychology teaches: fighting "poverty" or "disease" is never as interesting for onlookers as fighting a *human* enemy.May always has one 5/

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    Simon Cox

    How did May *fight* immigration judges? She changed rules on human rights cases: she reinterpreted what the Human Rights Convention says 6/

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    Simon Cox

    May's lawyers *must* have told her: changing rules wont get what she claimed to want, bc ECHR trumps immigration rules 7/

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    Simon Cox

    May acknowledged this saying: "if my rules dont change judges, I will ask Parliament to make a law." She wanted the image of "fighter" 8/

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    Simon Cox

    Immigration judges did what she knew law required them to do. Tory press claimed they had "defied" her: telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/im… 9/

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    Simon Cox

    So, May delayed by 2 years her supposed strategy of narrowing human rights defenses for migrants. Why? 10/

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    Simon Cox

    Exh. 2: Othman's case. Aka Abu Qatada. May said his deportation was her top priority. But she took 3 years : why? 11/

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    Simon Cox

    Othman opposed deportation to Jordan bc he wd be tried based on statement from a man who'd been tortured before giving it (& later died) 12/

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    Simon Cox

    2008: UK Court of Appeal blocks deport: illegal to risk conviction based on torture. 2009 House of Lrds reverses en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Qatad… 12/

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    Simon Cox

    Othman applies to European Court of Human Rights, so he's still in UK (locked up) when Cons win 2010 election & May becomes Home Sec. 13/

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    Simon Cox

    May has 2 options.

    Fight case in ECHR.

    Get Jordan to not use torture evid, removing factual base for Othman's ECHR case & deport 14/

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    Simon Cox

    May fought Othman's case. For 2 yrs. She lost (no surprise: UK courts had disagreed). So *then* she got Jordan to not use torture evid 15/

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    Simon Cox

    And Othman left, voluntarily. Everything suggests she cd have got that result 3 yrs before. Why didnt she? 16/

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    Simon Cox

    Was it bc May wanted to win legal pt in ECHR for future cases? Maybe: but House of Lords was on Gov side. So hardly a priority 17/

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    Simon Cox

    Maybe May wanted to help Jordan convict Othman on the murder charge. (Without the crucial torture evid he was later acquitted). 18/

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    Simon Cox

    But May's *claimed* priority was to get Othman out: not abstact legal pts or Jordanian conviction. She chose to delay getting Othman out 19/

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    Simon Cox

    Keeping Othman in UK served May's need for enemies: him and his lawyers. Bad people she can battle for the British. 20/

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    Simon Cox

    Enemy #3 Human rights lawyers asking courts to get Gov to investigate claims of UK Army murder & torture in Iraq independent.co.uk/news/uk/politi… 21/

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    Simon Cox

    Enemy #4. UK Human Rights Act. Not a person so less good as enemy. For a decade+ Cons have promised to repeal & replace HRA. May is key 22/

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    Simon Cox

    Just like Obamacare, Tories have been unable to write an alternative to HRA. Bc they know any will look worse to voters. 23/

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    Simon Cox

    But delay in the change she "wants" is never a big problem for Theresa May.

    So. Long. As. People. Think. She. Is. Fighting. 24/

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    Simon Cox

    Theresa May has repeatedly said she wants HRA repealed. And repeatedly failed to publish any detailed plans. (Sound familiar?) 25/

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    Simon Cox

    Enemy 5#. Non-EEA Migrants. May wrote the rules for 6 years. She headed up department that implements them. She said she wanted fewer 26/

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    Simon Cox

    May set target number for migrants: completely of her own choosing. Which she missed, completely.

    Why set a target you can't hit? 27/

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    Simon Cox

    May makes rules she cant uphold or enforce, and sets targets she can't hit. Why?

    Fighting is a great excuse for not delivering change. 28/

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    Simon Cox

    So long as May was battling migrants, lawyers & judges, media show her in heroic light. Strong! Doughty! Fighting For You! /29

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    Simon Cox

    When pols stop fighting: bc they've won, or given up, or (ssh) compromised, then voters ask "what difference has this made to me?" /30

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    Simon Cox

    Enemy No 6. Remainers & EU27. See the anger. See the personalisation. See the "fighting talk". See the lack of a plan.

    Classic May. 31/

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    Simon Cox

    May doesnt want to talk about her past (that would encourage analysis).She doesnt want to talk in detail about future (encourage debate) 32/

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    Simon Cox

    May wants voters' minds on her present fight - & present enemy. What/who ever that is. Today its Juncker. Tomorrow - she'll find one. 33/

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    Simon Cox

    May's success depends on Tory press (& TV following) clever selection of real human enemies - as proxies for wars on terror& migrants. 34/

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    Simon Cox

    Today:

    Abstract enemy - Brexit
    Human avatar - Juncker

    See how angry she makes people. One can almost feel the spittle from this tweet 35/

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    Simon Cox

    May's actions arent entirely performative. Her policies *do* break up families of British citizens - and of refugees & migrants 36/

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    Simon Cox

    May could have brought confidence to the lives of maybe 3 million people who have made UK their home. She didnt want to. 37/

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    Simon Cox

    But IMO, May has *always* put "having a fight" above "making effective decisions & policies". She fears the end of fighting. 38/

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    Simon Cox

    May will always be looking for a fight. To distract us from the importang things she's doing - or failing to do. We must remember this. 39/

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    Simon Cox

    When May attacks democratic instits & human rights we shd oppose. But smartly: always thinking how to avoid helping her distract. End. 40/40

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    SimonFRCox

    Simon Cox

    PS. Why doesnt May want to debate? Because she will come across as a poor fighter. Bad for image.

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    Simon Cox

    PPS. Why choose Juncker as enemy when she's fighting election vs Corbyn?

    Bc she "fights for nation" (& cant win)
    twitter.com/_simonbarnett/…

    SimonFRCox

    Simon Cox