We publish this image courtesy of John Hart
I watched yesterday’s proceedings in the HoC. It was a sad spectacle – sad not just because the Remainers won ‘that’ amendment – Amendment A, see the list of amendments here – but because it demonstrated to the Nation how, for the sake of Remain, our elected representatives thrashed our Referendum vote, our constitution, our democracy.
Yesterday (here) we described that Ms May’s proposal for the Statutory Instrument to extend Article 50 was unconstitutional. It was obvious to me, having followed the debate in the HoC for as long as I could stand it, that, with a very few honourable exceptions, none of the MPs were even aware of this issue.
Worse was that their ‘performance’ again was not about the May ‘deal’ or amendments but about ‘my constituency’ and about ‘Project Fear’. I write ‘performance’ advisedly because this was not a debate.
Even worse was the spectacle of the Chamber emptying immediately after Ms May had spoken and left. Brexit and how to achieve it, surely a vital issue for this Nation, was unimportant. They had made up their minds already, they didn’t need to hear the few objections to that ‘Letwin Amendment’. The whole thing was a total waste of time.
Next, let’s look at what our beloved MSM made of it. First of all, to add to the confusion, it’s about the ‘Tory Rebels’. If you assume that this means the ERG because, after all, they’ve been described as hardcore rebels for weeks now, then you’d be wrong. ‘Tory Rebels’ are now the ones who voted against the May government by voting for that Lewin Amendment. Here’s a non-paywalled report.
It was and is striking that the MSM totally disregarded the contributions by Tory and DUP MPs which came in the first half hour or so after Ms May had presented her ‘plan’. So here are the links to the most important ones – do watch them:
- Sir Bill Cash – whose pointed question has now sunk below the MSM horizon. Ms May could not answer his question at all but simply faffed around.
- Nigel Dodds DUP – watch Ms May smirk – but: proper answer she gave none.
- Owen Paterson – just the text. As far as his Remain colleagues were concerned, he might as well have talked to the wall. His comment went in one ear and out the other, never mind the monetary implications for our country.
- Crispin Blunt – who was both blunt and crisp. Ms May’s answer shows her at her ineffectual ‘best’: her BRINO way or No Brexit.
- Finally, the journalist Andrew Lilico tweeted this scathing resume.
I wonder if it occurs to the Remain Tories and to Ms May and her BRINO cabinet that being congratulated by the enemy, Mr Corbyn, for this Brexit-wrecking vote means they did wrong (paywalled, here). Probably not: in the face of averting Brexit, there are no enemies except Brexiteers …
Given the enmity towards the proper Brexiteers, the ‘hardcore ERG’ and the DUP, who. in the eyes of the Remain MSM are alone to be blamed (as opposed to Ms May, Whitehall and the rest of them) here are some remarkable bits of information in The Times (paywalled):
“Relations between Mrs May and the DUP, on whom she relies for her Commons majority, deteriorated yesterday as the party reacted angrily to suggestions that the collapse of Stormont could be to blame for a delay to Brexit. […] Nigel Dodds, the DUP Westminster leader, accused the prime minister of inventing a reason for delay and criticised what he said was a “fundamental” lack of preparation for leaving the EU without an agreement with Brussels. Sammy Wilson, the DUP’s Brexit spokesman, also accused Mrs May of using the Irish border as an excuse for failing to achieve Brexit. […] Mrs May also risked inflaming tensions further by warning that the government would have to reimpose direct rule in Northern Ireland from Westminster in a no-deal Brexit.”
That, in my humble opinion, was a huge error by Ms May – but she doesn’t seem to care about the DUP any longer.
Next, our ‘Project Fear’-addicted MSM have now homed in on a possible GE, see e.g. here. This is no idle speculation when you read this report on John McDonnell ‘demanding’ that Treasury staff be retrained in left wing ‘economic theories’. As if that were necessary!
While the Cabinet has shown itself incapable of preparing for Brexit or of standing up to Ms May’s WA, they did find the time to ‘wargame’ a possible GE, as The Times (paywalled) reports:
“Cabinet ministers yesterday “wargamed” how they might call a general election to break the Brexit deadlock. In an emergency meeting ministers debated whether they would have any choice other than to call an election if the UK were forced into a long Brexit delay or a softer Brexit. […] “It’s not just scaremongering, it’s the only way out of this,” said a source.”
And there you have it: rather face a GE than concede that the No Deal Brexit is the only solution! The following is also instructive, showing how far the Cabinet debate is ranging:
“The cabinet even discussed the circumstances under which Jeremy Corbyn could become prime minister even without an election. Under the provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the government losing a vote of confidence in the Commons does not necessarily lead to an election. Instead there is a two-week period in which others can attempt to form a government that commands a majority of the Commons.” (same paywalled link)
And then there’s this:
“The party political calculations played out despite some ministers’ concerns that civil servants were ensuring that official minutes recorded partisan debate to insulate themselves from blame in a future inquiry into Brexit.” (same paywalled link)
Well, if Whitehall civil servants are already trying to find cover for their backsides, then electoral armageddon is definitely on the cards: the endgame for May’s government has begun.
This is where we stand on the ‘day after’: Remain in the HoC, the Cabinet, Whitehall and 10 Downing Street have achieved their aim: ‘no deal’, no Brexit, tinkering around the edges of the WA while posturing like demented peacocks, and Corbyn in the offing.
17.4 million votes? Forget it. Parliament ‘taking control’? Control of what?
Unless the ERG and DUP step up to the plate and bring this government down, this is it.
Unless there’s a judicial injunction in the form of a Gina Miller Mk II, this is it: the grand Brexit stitch-up.
Since the MPs, Ms May, the government have trampled democracy under their EU-provided jackboots, might we now see civic unrest? And would that help? The first truckers of that slow-go protest on Friday have already had their collars felt by Plod. Knife-crimes they cannot deal with – but protests: oh yes they can.
In old-time reckoning, it would have been 3 days to Brexit.
In new, EU-time reckoning, it’s 16 days to Brexit – if it ever happens.
We must KBO!