Decided Only To Be Undecided?

Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government at King’s College London, writes

“MPs had three years to come up with an alternative to no deal – and they failed. Looking at the sorry performance of the House of Commons elected in 2017, it is difficult to avoid remembering Winston Churchill’s condemnation of the parliaments of the 1930s as being “decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent”. Parliament has shown itself not to be the solution to Brexit but the problem.

“But of course the objection to prorogation has less to do with the time lost than its alleged purpose, frustrating the will of parliament. That the prime minister has unreasonably used his prerogative power to advise the Queen will, no doubt, form the basis of an approach to the courts. Whether that approach succeeds or not, the political dilemma remains: that parliament has willed the end of Brexit without willing the means.

“In 2019, the Commons rejected the withdrawal agreement three times. The EU has responded that the agreement cannot be renegotiated. In logic, therefore, the only way to implement Brexit is without a deal. Since every member of the cabinet except for Priti Patel and Theresa Villiers voted at least once for the deal, they can hardly be blamed for the fact that a no-deal Brexit now seems the only logical alternative.

“The so-called left-behind think, with some reason, that the exam-passing elite does not listen to them. I think they are right”.

The appalling “leg over” John Major, just who does he think he is, writes

“I promised that, if the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament in order to prevent Members from opposing his Brexit plans, I would seek judicial review of his action.

“In view of the imminence of the prorogation, and to avoid duplication of effort, and taking up the Court’s time through repetition, I intend to seek the Court’s permission to intervene in the claim already initiated by Gina Miller, rather than to commence separate proceedings.

“If granted permission to intervene, I intend to seek to assist the Court from the perspective of having served in Government as a Minister and Prime Minister, and also in Parliament for many years as a Member of the House of Commons.

“I will be represented by The Rt Hon The Lord Gamier QC and Tom Cleaver, who will be instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP”.

Prorogation has historically been used by Attlee and Major, for political purposes. The move is even less surprising when taking into account the UK is currently enjoying the longest Parliamentary session ever since 1653, so a Queen’s Speech is long overdue.

House of Commons 18 March 1997 Simon Hughes MP “The Prime Minister yesterday made the uniquely personal decision not only to have a general election on 1 May and to dissolve Parliament on 8 April but that Parliament should be prorogued and sent away this Friday. [Interruption.] Is it not obvious that one of the reasons for that decision and for the unprecedented gap between prorogation and dissolution is that— [Interruption.]

“One of the reasons for that decision is that the Prime Minister knows that the report of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on cash for questions will be ready on Monday or Tuesday. That report will therefore not be seen by hon. Members in this Parliament and will be hidden until after the general election.”

Prime Minister Major “One of the reasons for making the announcement on Monday and arranging for Parliament to be prorogued on Friday was to give the hon. Gentleman time to finish his question. As for Sir Gordon’s report, I have no knowledge when it will be presented”.

Meanwhile, a Scottish judge

has refused to order a temporary halt to Boris Johnson’s plan to shut down the UK Parliament. A group of 75 parliamentarians were seeking an interim interdict – similar to an injunction – at the Court of Session ahead of a full hearing.

Their request was declined by Lord Doherty, who said he was not satisfied there was a “cogent need” for an interdict. However the full hearing will now be heard next Tuesday, rather than Friday.

Lord Doherty told the court that it was in the interest of justice, and in the public interest, that the case, which is opposed by the UK government, proceeds sooner rather than later. He said “I am not satisfied that it has been demonstrated that there is a need for an interim suspension or an interim interdict to be granted at this stage.”

2 thoughts on “Decided Only To Be Undecided?

  1. stodgey

    My God, the last few days have been an eye opener. The hysterical demonstrations in London, where apparently mature & intelligent people have collectively morphed into mindless teenagers on a turbo tantrum. There is a short film doing the rounds, of them demonstrating- and they happen upon a small group of about half a dozen brexiteers holding a large poster up. Up went the cry ‘fascists out, fascists out’ and the poster was ripped down. Really, really shocking.

    And the tweets from the luvvie set, including Gavin Esler, Stephen Fry, Gary Lineker, AA Grayling, Owen Jones, Hugh Grant, Kathy Burke and the deranged Paul Mason have plumbed new lows, even by their already subterranean standards. The worst tweet of the day though was someone who works as a councillor with vulnerable people and thought it OK to publish a picture of a Govt Cabinet Minister with his wife & kids next to a picture of Josef Goebbels with his wife & kids – then commented how similar they both were. It’s honestly staggering that a middle aged professional person could not only publish such an image – but then tried to defend it!

    One thing is clear I think. This is going the way of the miners’ strike in the mid eighties. Then, the divisions in communities were so bitter between those on strike and ‘scabs’ – the people who went back to work, that even today, those wounds still run very deep. Families were split, lifelong friendships were thrown in the bin and all contact was stopped then -and continue to this day.

    What I find laughable is the hardfaced cognitive dissonance of the remainers, harping on about Parliamentary sovereignty in one breath – and in the next, they are perfectly happy to shovel even more power to an unelected claque in Brussels.


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