Disarray – Brexit politics this morning

 

This is a health warning: watching yesterday’s “events” in the House of Remain Harlots and the reports thereof in this mornings MSM is extremely painful! The idiocy of our MPs truly hurts.

Regarding the result of last evening’s votes and the preceding debates my doubts about the mental equipment of most MPs, especially those on the opposition benches, has been confirmed. It is abysmal. 

Yesterday (here) I wondered if the MS reporters had been watching the same event in the HoC as so many friends, colleagues and I did. The first write-ups last evening showed that they can’t have done, given the way their bias shone forth.

We reported in yesterday’s column already that the effect of voting on the two motions – the Deal and the Programme Motion – had been explained across the MSM. So what was the reason for this outcome and what will be the consequences?

Before I wade into reporting on the general impression of yesterday’s parliamentary session, here are the results: for the first motion, to accept ‘The Deal’, warts and all: AYES: 329 – Noes: 299

That win for Johnson was achieved even without the votes of the DUP. Let that sink in: the Commons voted for Johnson’s deal, the ‘WAIB’, as it is officially known: the Withdrawal Agreement Implementation Bill!

Next the Commons had to vote on the Programme Motion, the timetable for reading and debate so that on Thursday (tomorrow) the HoC could vote on the Third reading, with the Bill then going to the HoL.

The result was  Ayes: 308 – NOES: 322 – and that was that. The business plan had thus to be redrawn and we were treated to another session with Jacob Rees-Mogg. More on that below.

You can read a reasonable, non-paywalled and updated report of the whole thing here. The paywalled ones in The Times and the DT are unanimous: it was ‘defeat’ snatched from the jaws of victory and was the fault of Johnson because he didn’t give enough time for the poor MPs to properly scrutinise the Deal:

“After winning the first vote with a reassuring 30-strong majority, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory 15 minutes later when MPs voted 322 to 308 against the expedited timetable. It came after MPs had started complaining they had not been given enough time to scrutinise all 68 clauses following the publication of the 110-page document at 8.15pm on Monday night.” (paywalled link)

This assessment is solely based on the hours-long screeching from the opposition that they needed more time which the MSM accepted without questioning.

This WAIB, as we all know and as they must have known, is in essence May’s WA with lipstick on, a WA they had already voted on three times. I wonder therefore if the poor dears had actually read that thing when they were given it nearly a year ago. Surely they didn’t reject it without having read it – surely not!

These votes were preceded by statements from Johnson and Corbyn and an ensuing debate. In his statement Johnson hinted that, should he lose, he’d ‘pull’ the deal and go for broke, i.e. get a GE. He seemed to calculate that, with the support of the SNP he could reach the majority demanded in the FTPA

Given the reluctance of Labour to face a GE they overlooked that. Or rather: they didn’t notice because the atmosphere in the Chamber was such that Johnson could barely be heard. Speaker Bercow allowed the heckling and braying to go on nearly unchecked. If someone from Mars had watched yesterday’s debate he must’ve thought that Johnson was public enemy No 1 and that surely it would be ‘off with his head’ next.

We heard incessant demands for workers’ rights and for an ‘economic impact assessment’. The DUP suddenly found many supporters from Labour for their plight. Of course, the demand for ‘more time’ went unabated. Some Lab MPs (all female) and the Green MP screeched they would support The Deal but only if a clause for a 2nd referendum was included.

At that point it wasn’t clear if Johnson would win that vote, but at least those MPs seemed to have understood that voting for the deal and the Programme Motion meant they could insert amendment after amendment during those scrutiny debates planned for today and Thursday.

That fact was obviously lost on the majority who voted to scupper the Programme Motion. They seemed to think that now Johnson must get an extension, oblivious to the fact that this extension is in the gift of the EU – just as they were oblivious to the fact that the deadline of the 31st of October is not an ‘artificial’ one manufactured by Johnson to thwart their dreams! Time and again it was made clear to them that this date was set by the EU, to no avail. 

What is it about the Remain lot that they are so eager to deliver our country to the EU? Are they happy that Donald Tusk can now say:

“Mr Tusk said on Monday that EU leaders will not permit a no-deal Brexit whatever the circumstances over the coming days or weeks. “We should be ready for every scenario, but one thing must be clear, as I said to Prime Minister Johnson on Saturday, a no-deal Brexit will never be our decision,” he told MEPs.” (link, paywalled)

Savour this: “The EU will not permit a No Deal” … While the MSM are now speculating about what this all means – will there be a GE? Will there be ‘No Deal’? Will Johnson now go and ‘die in a ditch’? – there were a few stray clues in remarks made by Johnson and later by Rees-Mogg. One had to listen very carefully though.

In his statement before the votes, Johnson said that, should he win both votes, the government would stop ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ immediately, saving money for other projects. That sank without a trace in the ocean of heckling, shouting and braying.

After the votes, and after congratulating the HoC for actually voting for a deal he said the legislation for a deal would now be paused and that Operation Yellowhammer would now be intensified. That remark again sank without a trace. You won’t find it in the MSM either.

Johnson then left and Jacob Rees-Mogg rose to table the business for the next days as the planned debates had now been scuppered. Firstly, this occasion ascended to a delightful theological debate between the Speaker and JRM:

“John Bercow, the Speaker, said the Brexit deal was now “in limbo”, but Mr Rees-Mogg retorted: “I think theologically speaking it was reported that Pope Benedict XVI abolished limbo, so I do wonder whether the Bill is not in the heaven that is having been passed, nor in the hell of having failed, but it is in purgatory where it is suffering the pains of those in purgatory.” (paywalled link)

I can only assume that most MSM people had already left the Chamber after that point. A pity because the ensuing debate showed yet again that the Remain Harlots didn’t know what they had voted for, nor did they apparently know the Rules of the House. MP after MP rose to demand that JRM just go and set up a new timetable – all they wanted was more time! That they can now debate the Queen’s speech they desired to do only last week and can look forward to a nice weekend was suddenly irrelevant.

Suddenly all they wanted was to talk about the Deal – which is now impossible because according to ‘teh rulz’, a committee needs to decide to bring the bill back. Only then can a new Programme Motion be set up. That rule (see here) was created by Mr Blair, to stop the long sessions and speeches and make Parliament ‘woman-friendly’. Thus we now have ‘four minute speeches’ and no proper, long debates well into the night. Mind you, given the calibre of our MPs, especially the wimminz MPs, I think that has to be a good thing.

In an attempt to out-JRM JRM, Speaker and opposition MPs tried to engage him in what limbo or purgatory really meant, even trying to impress him with quoting Dante. When Mrs Beckett rose to have a go, I heard one MP cry from the back “don’t even try it”. Indeed, she better had desisted. She was elegantly skewered by the Master.

Meanwhile, friends and colleagues were debating online on what had happened, with the inevitable quip: “the bill is not dead – it’s just resting… pining for the fjords…” Generally, it looked to us as if Government might be going for a ‘No Deal’. One hint seemed to be in the answer by JRM to Peter Bone who asked him if the vote today meant the deal was now dead and that we leave on WTO terms. Replying very cryptically JRM didn’t confirm nor refute.

After JRM left the chamber the confusion, the dismay and disarray of the MPs was even more pronounced. An observer wrote:

“This last half hour in HoP has been delicious viewing. A Mogg masterclass. He’s tied the Remainers up in knots and they are in a state of abject confusion. The opposition didn’t realise that voting against the Programme Motion would kill the whole thing. They thought it would get them more time but failed to know the ways the procedures work. JRM knew. The more I think about this the more I think it was a trap that the Remoaners walked straight into.”

To round this up, here’s what the indefatigable Sir John Redwood writes this morning:

“The only way forward from here that might deliver a good Brexit on time is to leave on 31 October without signing a Treaty, offering a free trade deal as we leave. I have been trying to get the government to do this for sometime. Maybe more will now see trying to compromise with a Remain Parliament by offering a watered down Brexit does not work.“ (link)

This is where we are this morning: disarray in the HoC, misunderstanding or ignorance in the MSM, silent plotting in No 10, the EU sharpening its claws – and nobody knows what will happen next: a GE? A ‘No Deal Brexit’?

Expect more skulduggery in the next days and

 

KBO!

 

Photo by benzdouglas

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