5 September 2019
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
The terrible, no-good, very bad week of Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffle Johnson continued to be dreadful yesterday at the Palace of Westminster. His government's efforts to prevent passage of a bill to require a delay in Brexit unless a deal can be struck with Brussels on future relations failed. Then, his attempt for force a general election came acrupper, thwarted by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act of 2011. He now cannot withdraw without a deal nor can be overturn that decision with a new majority won at a general election. He has lost the first three votes of his premiership, and one wonders just how much longer this can continue.
The delay bill, a/k/a European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill, passed the House of Common with a majority of about 30. In the Lords, there had been a plan to talk the bill to death. Parliament will be prorogued next week so if Their Lordships delayed action until then, the bill would be dead. Instead, the first few votes in the upper chamber went so heavily against the government that the idea was dropped. Lord Newby who sits on the opposition benches in Lords, said, "There was a realization by those on the other side that this was more than usually stupid, and they were looking stupid, and we needed to find a way forward."
The bill should receive royal assent by Monday. This is the key to a new election. Labour continues to be both for and against Brexit as well as for and against a general election, The party voted for the delay bill and abstained in the call for the general election. The party line is that the delay bill must become law before they will grant Mr. Johnson a dissolution of Parliament lest he renege on the delay. So, there is a chance that after the delay bill receives royal assent a new motion to dissolve could pass.
Brexit Day, if the October 31 deadline is kept, is exactly 8 weeks away. During 5 of those weeks, Parliament will be prorogued, beginning next week. The House will sit again on October 14 with a new Queen's Speech, just 17 days from the deadline. Mr. Johnson has vowed to use the time available to get a new deal from Brussels, and he opined that the delay bill would cut the legs out from under his negotiating position. Yet Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn challenged him at Prime Minister's Question Time to define that position. There was no response. He has no solution to the Irish border problem, nor does anyone else.
The way forward is going to be a stumbling mess. The delay bill will become law. The Labour Party may vote for a general election, set for after the Halloween deadline. One expects another hung Parliament to result. Extension and delay will become a reality for 2020 if the politicos are not careful.
As a side note, or perhaps as an example of just what Brexit is doing to the nation, the Prime Minister's brother, Jo Johnson, has decided to quit as both a minister and MP. As a pro-Remain Tory, it is hardly a surprise that he was conflicted. However the depth of his dilemma is reveal in a tweat he sent, "In recent weeks I've been torn between family loyalty and the national interest -- it's an unresolvable tension and time for others to take on my roles as MP & minister."
Yes, things are so bad one almost feels sorry for the Tory government. Almost.
© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.