The biggest loser

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, September 10th, 2019 - 21 comments
Categories: boris johnson, conservative party, uk politics, uncategorized, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:


For the past three years us political pundits have looked at America and wondered how bad a basket case it has become.  And how those mistakes would never be repeated elsewhere.

Well Britain has gone all hold my warm ale for me and are trying to make the United States look well run and competent.

Boris Johnson has just lost his sixth vote in six days in Parliament.  He should be more careful.

The no deal brexit law has passed and has been given the royal assent.  And Parliament spited him by not declaring no confidence in his Government, knowing that this would result in him getting his desired election.

And the speaker Jonathan Bercoe has caused outrage by insisting that the majority in Parliament should actually determine what happens in the United Kingdom.

Who ever heard of such insanity?

Unfortunately Bercoe has decided to announce his resignation as speaker.  But not before he has described Johnson’s actions as an act of executive fiat.

And Johnson is trying to stop the full release of documents and social media messages between Government MPs even though Parliament has ordered it.

From the Guardian:

… Johnson moved to stop parliament sitting for five weeks and repeatedly refused to countenance any delay to leaving the EU, even though the bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 31 October passed into law on Monday and MPs refused him a general election before that date.

Johnson was also defiant about parliament’s vote, by 311 to 302, for him to publish Operation Yellowhammer documents detailing the government’s no-deal Brexit plans, after a leaked version from early August warned of possible food and medicine shortages.

The motion, brought by former Tory MP Dominic Grieve, also directed Johnson to disclose messages relating to the suspension of parliament sent by his senior adviser, Dominic Cummings and various other aides on WhatsApp, Facebook, other social media and both their personal and professional phones. Grieve said he had information from public officials that such correspondence contained a “scandal”.

But Downing Street sources suggested Johnson’s advisers would resort to legal action rather than hand over their communications. Any refusal to comply could put them and the government in contempt of parliament.

This is not going to end well.  A right wing executive refusing to abide by the rule of law or a Parliamentary majority is going to threaten Great Britain’s democratic system.

I suspect this will end up in the Courts.  Bring popcorn.

21 comments on “The biggest loser ”

  1. Dukeofurl 1

    I know you are being ironic

    "And the speaker Jonathan Bercoe has caused outrage by insisting that the majority in Parliament should actually determine what happens in the United Kingdom. Who ever heard of such insanity?"

    There is that pesky problem with a referendum for Brexit and the election that followed where the 2 main parties policy was for Brexit and both increased their vote.

    Bercow should stick to being an impartial and nuetral speaker. The other day we saw him allow Hilary Benns private members bill ( No Brexit without a deal) a free pass to be considered. As in NZ that overides the Government deciding the order of Business

    (d) at 3.00 pm, the Speaker shall interrupt any business prior to the business governed by this order and call a Member to present the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill of which notice of presentation has been given and immediately thereafter (notwithstanding the practice of the House) call a Member to move the motion that the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill be now read a second time as if it were an order of the House;

    As for the motion to disclose the governments communications.
    Its NOT a law they have passed at all
    Bercoe seem to be in league with Grieve
    “(1) Mr Dominic Grieve proposed that the House should debate the matter of prorogation
    with imminence of an exit from the European Union and that an humble Address should
    accordingly be presented to Her Majesty.
    The Speaker put the application to the House.
    Leave was refused by the House,
    but the assent of not fewer than 40 Members
    standing in support was obtained.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      I did not describe the requirement to hand over the information as a law but rather an order. The record of proceedings states:

      "that she will be graciously pleased to direct Ministers to lay before this House, not later than 11.00 pm Wednesday 11 September, all correspondence and other communications (whether formal or informal, in both written and electronic form, including but not limited to messaging services including WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Facebook messenger, private email accounts both encrypted and unencrypted, text messaging and iMessage and the use of both official and personal mobile phones) to, from or within the present administration, since 23 July 2019 relating to the prorogation of Parliament sent or received by one or more of the following individuals: Hugh Bennett, Simon Burton, Dominic Cummings, Nikki da Costa, Tom Irven, Sir Roy Stone, Christopher James, Lee Cain or Beatrice Thompson"

      The language is quaint but I presume that if the information is not provided it is a contempt of Parliament.

      • Dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Thats just a 'convention of parliament'

        "That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that she will be graciously pleased to direct Ministers to lay before this House ..

        Guess what Bercow changes the rules to suit his agenda, why not Johnson.

        (Ive been getting Bercow spelt wrong )

        After all The Queen utterly acts on the Advice on the PM surely….. or he resigns and recommends an election , which is what he wants

        Remember ALL the Queens reserve powers are exercised by the PM, even down to appointing a new Archbishop of Canterbury.
        Johnson can tell the Queen “not to direct”

        Trying to run around theses things by using the Courts is just publicity stunts.
        The Judge in Scotland plus a 3 judge panel of the Lord Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls and President of the Queens bench unanimously rejected the attempt to stop Prorogation

        Its essentially a political question , I think the word is non justicable.

        • Hanswurst

          Guess what Bercow changes the rules to suit his agenda, why not Johnson.

          I think you may have that statement the wrong way around.

          • Dukeofurl

            Theres is no doubt Bercow has changed the rules

            1)Motions that dont have leave are still allowed- when it suits Bercow

            2) A private members bill the other day was given precedence over government business

            3) A debate was allowed under SO24 , which then turned into a substantial motion to get the Queen to command all private communications be released ( with in 2 days)

            Meanwhile Johnson has put in a request to proroge, which is his right. This is one of the longest sessions of all time between prorogations. Other UK PMs have used prorogation for political purposes as I have described .

            Another more recent exercise was in Canada which was for 2 months , and that was called by Harper to prevent the opposition parties from voting a no confidence in his budget and minority government and taking power themselves.

            • Hanswurst

              1)Motions that dont have leave are still allowed- when it suits Bercow

              I assume that refers to your bolded bit above about forty standing members. That is the threshold provided by SO24, should (initial) leave be declined by the house, and thus part of procedure. It's not about its suiting Bercow.

  2. Dukeofurl 2

    More info on Standing Order 24 , which Bercoe has used to allow the remainers to take control of Parliament


    This is untested ground, Maddy Thimont Jack, senior researcher at the Institute for Government, told Euronews.

    SO24s are typically used to trigger a debate on a subject that was not on the parliamentary schedule but what MPs will likely try and do Tuesday goes far beyond that,

    “Normally [an emergency debate] is an opportunity for MPs to have a debate on something. What MPs are going to try to do is table a substantive motion. To use an emergency debate in this way is completely unprecedented,” she said.

    A minority taking control of parliament and using standing orders to wreck havoc with the governments timetable with the collusion of a non neutral Speaker .

    Reading the Guardian wont give you the full background as they are hyper partisan and more interested in their world wide news wire than a balanced view

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    The election vote wasnt a 'Non confidence' one ( which is a simple majority) rather it was a 'Motion that an early election be held' – which requires a 2/3 majority of the 650 Mps ( whole house) not just those present.

    The Motion for an Early election has replaced the previous PM discretion under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

    Boris hasnt yet played the the No Confidence option for an Early election ( which has a time delay clock of 14 days.)

  4. Cricklewood 4

    It was always going to be a mess and parliament is kicking the proverbial can down the road again. They wpuldnt approve Mays deal and I doubt better will be negotiated.

    There needs to an election fought on some clear leave remain lines at let the cards fall where they may.

    All in all there shouldn't have been a referendum, but alot of people in the North in particular voted for Brexit are deeply unsatisfied with the status quo these are traditional left voters as I understand it. Calling them dupes or idiots isnt a way forward they have genuine concerns probably around neolibrilism if you get to the nub of it and the referendum was an opportunity to stick it to the 'man'

    I wonder if the parliamentary/big city left have started looked down on ordinary working class forgetting where their roots are based and coming across as we know what is best for you. I'm sure the sentiment lead to the rise of Corbyn.

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      This is how the EU works in any challenge to its Power

      Norway voted against joining the EU , but the political elite did so anyway under a sort 'dont belong ' but are totally covered by the EU anyway.

      Which is what they are doing to the UK over the 'border' with Northern Ireland – its such a piffling problem as most Irish-UK trade travels directly with the mainland. The UK would be bound in a customs union util they happy with the 'border arrangements' After the UK -Irish war in 1922 , the Irish were given full rights to live and work in all the UK.

      The Irish rejected the EU Treaty of Nice in 2001 and for their troubles had a second referendum forced on them to correct their 'mistake'.

      Wise heads about how the EU really works know that a last minutes of the last days is often how it works.
      EU not getting its UK ‘divorce’ contributions and a hard Brexit will concentrate the Minds of Germany, France, Netherlands and Ireland who will come through with a real solution.

      Previously Mickey you said not paying the divorce deal was breaking a contract. However the ‘contract’ was conditional on Parliament approving Mays deal.
      The UK would be liable for say 5 bill pounds on a hard exit and say 35 bill on a exit with a deal ( The EU does it budget 5 years at a time , so most of the money there is for longer term commitments)

    • Dukeofurl 4.2

      Shouldnt have been a referendum ?

      They had one previously after they joined , 1975 promised by Harold Wilson and the EU won.

      So is it only referendums that go against the EU that need a revote.

      Thats what happened in Norway , they made them vote 2x against joining and look they belong to EU in all but name

      Strangely enough while other countries have had many referendums about increasing EU powers Britain hasnt done so – because they were afraid of losing ?

      in 2005 There was supposed to be referendums approving "Constitution for Europe' ( ie even more powers) but after the French and Dutch voted against the proposal was dropped …but not forgotten

      The central tenets were these areas of exclusive EU control

      customs union;

      those competition rules that govern the internal market;

      eurozone monetary policy;

      conservation of marine biological resources (the Common Fisheries Policy); common commercial policy;

      the conclusion of certain limited international agreements.

      You can see its about forcing greater neo liberal EU control

      Its no wonder Goldman Sachs is a favoured post EU job for many of its politicians.

      Who will snap Junckers up come December ?

  5. Chris T 5

    As much as I think Johnson is a joke, the one I think looks the bigger idiot in all this is Corbyn.

  6. riffer 6

    Forgive my ignorance if this is not possible. These times are somewhat unprecedented.

    Is it possible for a Tory member to call a motion of No Confidence in the government and engineer a new election that way?

    Or is there a law against this?

    • Craig H 6.1

      The Fixed Term Parliament Act would make that harder.

    • Dukeofurl 6.2

      Losing a vote of confidence by a simple majority is still possible however there is 14 days time period allowed to both prevent 'accidental losses' and more likely after an election for a new government of different parties to form without a new election.

  7. Drowsy M. Kram 7

    Over three years ago, 51.9% of referendum votes were cast in favour of 'Brexit'. More recent UK polling suggests that public opinion has shifted slightly but significantly.

    Tory PM Cameron misjudged the mood of the people, and the level of public mis-information and voter manipulation that might occur. May misjudged the mood of parliament, not to mention the EU to which the UK still belongs.

    Johnson's enthusiasm for Brexit, deal or no deal, suggests it will be a nice little earner for some – Arron Banks personally donated 8.4 million pounds (!) to the Leave campaign. Fully expect 'Brexit' to claim at least one more Tory PM's scalp as events 'unravel'.

    Irregularities have been alleged in the conduct of the referendum campaign.

    On 11 May 2018, the UK Electoral Commission found against Leave.EU, which ran a separate campaign to the official pro-Brexit group Vote Leave, following its investigations into alleged irregularities during the referendum campaign. Leave.EU's co-founder Arron Banks has stated that he rejects the outcome of the investigation and will be challenging it in court.

    In July 2018, the UK Electoral Commission found Vote Leave to have broken electoral law, spending over its limit. Also, the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee released an interim report on Disinformation and ‘fake news’, stating that the largest donor in the Brexit campaign, Arron Banks, had "failed to satisfy" the Committee that his donations came from UK sources, and may have been financed by the Russian government.

    Some Brexit referendum campaigning put me in mind of the scaremongering about MMP.

    Peter Shirtcliffe, chairman of Telecom New Zealand at the time and leader of the Campaign for Better Government, said MMP "would bring chaos".

    "Want a good reason for voting for MMP? Look at the people who are telling you not to…"

    Ahh, the terrible chaos of NZ's MMP system, compared to FPP in the UK.

    • Marcus Morris 7.1

      Well said DMK. The electoral system in the UK is a hang-over from a bygone age. Tony Blair let the British people down when he reneged on an agreement with Lib Dem Paddy Ashdown to set in motion a path to proportional representation.

  8. Formerly Ross 8

    Suspending Parliament is a red herring as Parliament would have been in recess anyway. Last year there was a recess bewtween 13 September and 9 October. This year its marginally longer due to the suspension: 10 September to 14 October. But not all of those days were sitting days anyway. It’s been estimated that betweeen three and eight sitting days will be lost.

    • Dukeofurl 8.1

      Thats right . But headlines screaming 'putsch' make great clickbait

      Atlee had to use the prorogation for political purposed in 1949 when faced by obstruction from the house of Lords from his 1949 Parliament Act which restricted its powers

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