“I would like to make it absolutely clear that I am not attracted to arcane procedures such as the prorogation of Parliament. As someone who aspires to be Prime Minister of a democratic nation I believe in finding consensus in the House of Commons”.
So which lickspittle Quisling, enemy of the people, treacherous Brussels running dog and snivelling wretch who wants to thwart the will of the people wrote that? Arch Remoaner Ken Clarke? Perhaps the traitor Bercow? What about that Euro rat Dominic Grieve? Nope. None of them. It was our beloved Boris pitching for the One Nation vote. With Johnson life’s a pitch and a promise isn’t even just for Christmas.
So what has happened to the men and women of principle in the cabinet? Sorry, I didn’t mean you to choke on your cornflakes. The people I am alluding to are Michael Gove, Matt Hancock, Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan. They all vehemently opposed prorogation. And now? Silence. Are they really going to spout the party line that this is nothing to do with shutting down Parliament and everything to do with allowing MPs to go to their party conferences. I suppose the answer will be yes. And the well modulated, entitled drawl from Mogg trying to convince us that any opposition is a confection of ersatz rage doesn’t cut much mustard either. Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, these people have sold out their country for a mess. Yet, the British sense of fair play is kicking in already. 47% of the public compared to 27% are against this outrage against parliamentary democracy. And there will be two million signatures on the petition by the end of the day. Who knows what the number will be tomorrow.
The other party line is that this is to show Brussels that we mean business. I suspect that they are not exactly quaking in their boots.
Probably the most troubling outcome of this clusterfuck omnishambles is the departure of Ruth Davidson. One of the most talented and effective politicians to emerge for years. Johnson ignored her advice about sacking David Mundell and about his visit to Sturgeon. He has abandoned the Scottish Tory party and will destroy the union. By sheer force of personality she secured the election of twelve extra MPs. They are now doomed. But.......it leaves her free to fight a Westminster seat and perhaps one day lead her party back to tolerance, pragmatism and common sense.
So what can be done? I may be wrong, but I can’t see judicial review of the Prime Minister’s advice getting very far. It could start a rather dangerous precedent. I can’t see a vote of confidence getting very far either. Too risky. The only answer is legislation. The numbers are there. And there is just about the right amount of time.
The truth is that nobody knows what will happen except that the Speaker will allow Parliament to have a meaningful say. It’s his job to protect the rights of backbenchers against the over mighty executive. I wish him well.