Tuesday 24 September 2019

Inglorious Revolution: a coup in England by the Deep State


I assumed that the appeal to the Supreme Court on the legality of the Prime Minister's advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament was an open and shut case. I was sure that the Court would not try to rule illegal a prorogation, which is an entirely political decision taken by the monarch on the Prime Minister's advice, comparable with decisions before the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 to call an election. 

But the way in which the Court asked in detail about the consequences of ruling the advice illegal makes me think they will decide against the Government. So, according to a story in the Observer on Sunday, do many English lawyers.

If the Court finds for the complainants this would be entirely in keeping with the judicial activism of this wretched court and a final feather in the absurd cap that the ever so liberal Lady Hale designed for herself when the court was created.

It is not irrelevant that the Supreme Court judges wear suits and ties (women excepted), unlike when they were Law Lords, wore wigs and met amidst the Pugin architecture of the House of Lords. The British Supreme Court is part of the Europeanisation and Americanisation of British politics. 

Even its name is a historical travesty. The "Supreme Court of Judicature" used to mean collectively the County Courts, High Court and Court of Appeal.

The judges dress and look like bureaucrats or politicians and behave like European judges. Over the years they have used their power, in the words of former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption, who once advised Sir Keith Joseph on the subject of the working class birth rate and is presumably still a Tory, to ‘entrench a broad range of liberal principles’ without any say by Parliament or voters.

Lord Sumption said that the claims of liberalism are
‘no different from the claim of communism, fascism, monarchism, Catholicism, Islamism and all the other great isms that have historically claimed a monopoly of legitimate political discourse on the ground that its advocates considered themselves to be obviously right’.
Liberalism is a political religion but its enthusiastic adherents on the bench, in academia, and the EU do not realise it.

It is impossible for the Court to know what was in the Prime Minister's mind when he advised the Queen to prorogue Parliament or what was in hers. 

A decision against the Crown would be another step in what is in effect a constitutional coup. The Speaker would then, in defiance of precedent, give law making powers to the Remainer dominated House of Commons to withdraw Article 50. But if the Crown wins, the coup will continue anyway in the House of Commons, which has already passed the Benn Act against the will of the Government, which chose to advise the Queen to give it Royal Assent.

The European Court of Justice, in an entirely political decision (as most of its decisions are), ruled that the UK can withdraw her Article 50 application. The Speaker will probably give the House of Commons the power to instruct Her Majesty's Government to do so. 

Is this constitutional?

Anything the Supreme Court and the Speaker rule is constitutional.

Boris Johnson cannot call an election and probably should resign but that would mean Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister withdrawing Article 50 and ordering a new referendum. 

Boris will instead certainly use the Queen's Speech as the Tory election manifesto and cling to office but not to power, until he is allowed an election. But by then will it be too late for him to win?

All the British left and centre-left parties now want the UK to remain in the EU. The Labour Party Conference wants a second referendum and decided yesterday that foreigners resident in the UK will be allowed to vote in the referendum. 

A second rigged referendum with the electoral rolls will lead to a vote to Remain. 

Only the Conservatives, the Brexit Party and UKIP want to implement the referendum result which all parties promised to do at the last general election.

The only obstacle is the Tory Government which wants to do a deal with the EU since it cannot take us out with no deal. If such a deal is essentially Mrs. May's agreement is this better than staying in?

Yes if we want to remain in what Mrs May's agreement calls a 'customs space' and will effectively be a customs union, which is the only logical way to avoid customs levied in Ireland. 

Olly Robbins conceived of the backstop as a bridge to such a deal. A great deal of regulatory alignment with the EU is necessary and perhaps complete alignment is. 

A customs union with the EU is exactly what Jeremy Corbyn wanted but he led the Labour party into the lobbies against it for partisan reasons, just as Harold Wilson led it to vote against joining the EEC, though he wanted to, and John Smith voted against the Maastricht treaty that he thoroughly believed in.

Perhaps Mrs, May's agreement is the least bad deal now, or perhaps copying and pasting the Swiss deal would be better though this would mean free movement of EU nationals. As the Swiss Ambassador in London said, his country is in permanent negotiation with the EU over customs and the best way to treat the EU is never to join in the first place.

But would Mrs May's deal suitably disguised pass the House of Commons now that Remain MPs feel they can stay in the EU? And if it does will it destroy the Tory party or save it?


  1. The EU needs a reform, as much is clear. There cannot be a common legal framework with country specific legislatures, no common currency without joint fiscal policy. That aside firmly believe in the need for a form of European Union.
    Withdrawing article 50 may be an embarassement to the country, but in recent months UK politicians have staged a soap opera of political intentions and measures.
    One says each country has the government it deserves, true also for my own. Democracy is flawed in essence because it relies on the political education of its people. Nevertheless unity in my opinion remains the best way.

  2. More like...

    'Inglorious Devolution'

    Definition of devolution in English:
    2.1 Evolutionary degeneration.

  3. Under the "deal" of Mrs May the regulations of the European Union continue to, de facto, have legal force INSIDE the United Kingdom (as British law will be "harmonised" with them) - this means that we will not really have left the European Union. As for the "Supreme Court" - an openly political body, the Americans have long experience of the courts being political and have ways to (over time) change courts by appointing more conservative judges. In Britain we have no influence over who the judges are - it is a despotism by the "liberal" establishment.

    We must have a GENERAL ELECTION (by whatever means necessary) and the first order of business of the new Parliament must be, after getting out of the European Union, to sweep away these unelected bodies - "Ofcom", the "Electoral Commission" and (yes) this "Supreme Court" thing.

    1. I don't know what Ofcom is but I agree with you about the "Electoral Commission" and "Supreme Court". Let's repeal all laws passed since Mr Major, as he then was, left office.

    2. Let's repeal all laws passed since Mr Major, as he then was, left office.

      I'm inclined to think that we need to get away from the idea that the purpose of government is to pass legislation, and that the more legislation it passes the more successful the government. Most new laws are a bad idea.

      Maybe governments should concentrate on governing within the laws of the land rather than changing the laws all the time.

  4. AKL, what on earth do you mean by "unity remains the best way"? When a nation has two sharply conflicting visions of its future, then one of them needs to be chosen. Unity will only return slowly by the losing side accepting the outcome.

  5. This was an obvious case of abuse of power. Yes, the PM has the prerogative to prorogue parliament ahead of the Queen Speech, and yes there is no limit specified for how long parliament can be suspended, so technically Boris could have suspended parliament for 10 years - but the lack of clear limits does not mean that the prerogative can be abused as a weapon for the government to escape parliamentary oversight. It is about the spirit of the law, not only about the letter of the law.

    Other than this, as we have seen with the other Boris, when he took on the Russian parliament, or with Clinton when he took on the Republican-led Congress in the 1990s - politically a president/ prime minister has the upper hand in a war with the legislative branch and usually prevails.

    The government leader has big advantages - the ability of speaking with a single voice, the ability to control the public agenda, etc. Boris can still prevail in the big politics, but he is making serious mistakes in micro politics and he cannot govern.

  6. the coup will continue anyway in the House of Commons, which has already passed the Benn Act against the will of the Government, which chose to advise the Queen to give it Royal Assent.

    Most of your argument seems to be quite valid but this bit is the bit I have difficulty with. Doesn't the legitimacy of the Government depend on the Prime Minister being able to command a majority in the House of Commons? If he does not command such a majority can his government really claim to be the Government? Shouldn't a prime minister who can no longer command a majority in the Commons resign?

    The Supreme Court is of course an entirely mischievous and wrong-headed concept that should never have been allowed to come into existence. And I agree that it is entirely a political entity, and a vicious one.

    Boris Johnson cannot call an election and probably should resign but that would mean Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister withdrawing Article 50 and ordering a new referendum.

    Wouldn't that be the least destructive solution? Any other solution is likely to leave the issue as a running sore for a generation to come.

    Boris obviously has to go. He's a man who would cheerfully bring the nation crashing down around his ears in order to further his career. A country can survive having a fool as prime minister and it can survive having a knave as PM but can it survive having a PM who is both a fool and knave?

  7. Interesting piece. Shame about the title.

    1. I am sorry I ruffled your anti-Trump feathers. The CIA did want to topple Trump. Was Watergate a Deep State coup that succeeded?