Watching Westminster burn

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that proroguing the Parliament was unlawful.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has issued a sensational and damning ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted illegally in suspending parliament for five weeks.

There were immediate calls for Johnson to resign – something he has refused to do.

In further dramatic scenes outside the court, Scottish parliamentarian Joanna Cherry, who had initiated the court action on behalf of 75 politicians, said the court ruling showed that both parliament and the monarchy were not above the law.

The dramatic constitutional battle that has played out in Britain’s highest court has resulted in the biggest upheaval of parliamentary rules in four centuries and British parliament can now be convened immediately.

The ruling is that parliament is not prorogued, and therefore parliament can continue sitting.

Magnificent.

We now have a situation where the Parliament will not deliver on the will of the people. That same Parliament will not dissolve itself and allow for a general election. The UK courts are now as politicised as they are in the US.

What we are witnessing is the exposure of the moral and democratic bankruptcy of representative democracy.

Having your MP disregard your preferences and vote their wishes and preferences under the representative democracy model is not a bug, it is a feature. It is just now, with the stakes being so high, that the absurdity of representative democracy is becoming obvious.

Representative democracy was a good solution to a problem of high transportation and communication costs in the late 18th and early 19th century. It is no longer a good solution. The technology to enable direct democracy is now available and is becoming more sophisticated.

Read all about it. Book length discussion here.

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121 Responses to Watching Westminster burn

  1. 2dogs

    the absurdity of representative democracy is becoming obvious

    100% correct.

  2. mh

    Enoch Powell was right when he stated that EU membership would always be the biggest issue facing the UK.

    There is no bigger national issue than national sovereignty.

  3. RobK

    Direct democracy seems inevitable on a range of issues, especially in more localised governments.
    I’m not convinced it will be any kind of panacea, other than dispatching some lower order issues more quickly.

  4. HP

    I am not sure why “Science” is up there by the spaceship.

    Scientists these days are in the carriage, snuggling up to politicians lobbying for some of the $$ in that box. And the closest they’d get to a spaceship is drawing one on a (government funded) blackboard.

  5. Tel

    I’m not against the idea of direct democracy … but sadly, the technology is unavailable to achieve this.

    Paper ballots with human counting and supervision of all parties is the only known system that is remotely unhackable (and even then not completely perfect unless voter ID can be verified and double-voting blocked, neither of which is done in Australia).

    A hybrid paper/electronic system would be better … such that the paper ballots do their normal task, but the electronic system simply identifies all the people on the voter roll and flags that they have voted plus the approximate time of the vote … not the vote itself! This way double-votes are much more difficult. The electronic system could also assist with voter ID, preventing fraud.

    There’s a number of conflicting requirements applying to voting that are extremely difficult to satisfy:
    * Must be private (secret ballot) and that is not optional private … needs to be compulsory private so as to prevent either sale of votes or standover tactics.
    * Must be exactly one vote per citizen.
    * Must be simple and easy to explain how it works, in order to convince people that it does work.
    * Must be auditable and provide mechanisms to demonstrate the validity of the outcome.
    * The process must be transparent with no “black-box” components (i.e. zero trust).

    If you don’t think that’s difficult then you have not studied it properly.

  6. Arnost

    The technology to enable direct democracy is now available and is becoming more sophisticated.

    Two things to that. A) the technology would prevent dead people voting and B) as you can see with Brexit getting up in the first place and the Brexit party winning the EU elections – people get it wrong all the time.. so can’t have that.

  7. C.L.

    What we are witnessing is the exposure of the moral and democratic bankruptcy of representative democracy.

    Yes we are. That’s exactly what this is.
    Throughout the West, the “consent of the governed” is no longer required. Elites – hand in glove with the media and routinely protected by stacked courts – are now unaccountable autocrats.

  8. Ubique

    It’s time for the population of the north of England to descend on London in their millions and make their demands clear to the anti-Brexit establishment. People power will test the arrogance of the Green-left establishment.

  9. Delcon

    We now have a situation where the Parliament will not deliver on the will of the people. That same Parliament will not dissolve itself and allow for a general election. The UK courts are now as politicised as they are in the US.

    Everybody calm down.
    The British people voted for Brexit.
    It was democracy which allowed them to vote for Brexit.
    It was democracy which ensures that MPs state their commitment to Brexit.
    It is democracy which brought to Britain a PM Boris Johnson, who is highly committed to Brexit.
    It is *not* democracy, but stupidity to prorogue Parliament because they don’t bend over to your wishes.
    It was stupid to elect a Remainer in the form of May to lead Britain through Brexit.
    It was stupid for David Cameron to resign before ensuring a smooth transition of power.
    What we are witnessing is not the failure of democracy.
    The Tories have only themselves to blame.

  10. pbw

    I agree with everything except the conclusion. The result will not be direct democracy. It didn’t work for an extended period in Athens, and we have had a taste of how a modern version would work in the social media debacle.
    The end result will be the same as always when democracy – direct or representative – fails: oligopoly, autocracy or tyranny. When the plebs, LIVs, or whatever you want to call them, realise that everything is descending, or has descended, into chaos, will back a man with the gall to bulldoze a way through to some sort of stability.
    Heaven help us.

  11. C.L.

    And right on time there are “calls.”
    “Calls” for Johnson to resign forthwith.

    This is laughable:

    In an eviscerating judgment President Lady Hale said the Prime Minister’s decision to ask the Queen to shut down the Commons for five weeks was ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’.

    In a revolutionary ruling, Lady Hale said: ‘The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions’, adding: ‘Parliament has not been prorogued’.

    And in an extraordinary attack on the PM’s motives, Lady Hale added: ‘The effect upon the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme. No justification for taking action with such an extreme effect has been put before the court’.

    It was Johnson who frustrated democracy was it?

    Hale’s legal career is not very impressive. Mostly academic and family court – though she has been given a slew of ‘first woman to do something or other’ baubles.

  12. C.L.

    You left something out, Delcon. It’s kind of important; I’ll show you where:

    The British people voted for Brexit.
    It was democracy which allowed them to vote for Brexit.
    It was democracy which ensures that MPs state their commitment to Brexit.
    **********HERE**********
    It is democracy which brought to Britain a PM Boris Johnson, who is highly committed to Brexit.

    Brexit was stymied – effectively, it was banned. Which is to say, the will of the people was banned.

  13. Nob

    The ecstatic babbling by the UK media has to be heard to be believed.

    Excitedly waffling about The Law and Constitution which they didn’t give a rats arse about 5 minutes ago.
    And still wouldn’t if it was for Climate Emergency or some such bulldust.

    It’s clear that they believe they are stopping Brexit.

  14. Infidel Tiger

    Delcon is a Hi Alanist.

  15. Nob

    “Direct democracy” by internet would be a disaster.

    Rule by Twitter mobs , end of the secret ballo, (Australia’s gift to the world), and power delivered back to the traditional MSM.

  16. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    In an eviscerating judgment President Lady Hale said the Prime Minister’s decision to ask the Queen to shut down the Commons for five weeks was ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’.

    She is a cancer.

    It has never been unlawful for a PM to give the sovereign advice.

    Nor can it ever be.

  17. Delcon

    Brexit was not stymied. It was delayed.
    It was delayed by a party which, because of whichever reason, which I would say possibly was political correctness but maybe it is not relevant whether I’m right or wrong, they had poor leadership.
    No one turned their back on Brexit.
    Your frustrations over the fact that three long years after the vote, they have yet to deliver it, should not lead you to determine they have turned their back on it.
    They are doing their best. It might not be much, but they are trying, IMO.

  18. Bruce of Newcastle

    As I mentioned on the OT a retired Supreme Court justice told the BBC in an interview at the end of August that the proroguement was lawful.

    Now the Supreme Court says it isn’t. One of them can’t be right.

  19. JC

    Hale’s legal career is not very impressive. Mostly academic and family court – though she has been given a slew of ‘first woman to do something or other’ baubles.

    and

    She is a cancer.

    Just give it some thought. Over the years, how many times have we criticized the judiciary? A lot.

    The judiciary in the Anglo world is infested with these leftwing parasites.

  20. Zyconoclast

    Boris can’t have the judges arrested and held until after 31 Oct?

  21. None

    What we are witnessing is the exposure of the moral and democratic bankruptcy of representative democracy.

    So instead of calling for hanging the politicians, Sinclair promotes his mates’ book.

    History has shown “direct democracy” does not work. Neither does utopianism. *sigh*

  22. Delcon

    Zyconoclast
    #3166587, posted on September 24, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Boris can’t have the judges arrested and held until after 31 Oct?

    Yeah, let’s have the Government branch of power not just try to prorogue the 2nd branch of power, namely Parliament, but also arrest and lock up the 3rd branch of power, namely the judiciary.
    Three cheers for the Cats and their unwavering commitment to the democratic principle of Separation of Powers.
    And I am the Hi Alanist, IT?

  23. Knuckle Dragger

    Over the centuries of its existence, the Poms have had, among others;

    The Good Parliament;
    The Long Parliament; and
    The Rump Parliament.

    Today, we seem to be witnessing the Treasonous Parliament.

  24. Arnost

    Direct democracy can only work when you have a fully informed electorate. Assuming you can achieve this (there are ways … like where the right to vote must be earnt) then in a tokenised blockchain world – there is no reason why elections could not be safe, private and secure.

  25. Oh come on

    The monarch must act unilaterally as her executive is effectively hamstrung. If the Queen isn’t willing to intervene in a crisis such as this, what’s the bloody point of having her? There must be an election immediately.

  26. Arnost

    Yeah, let’s have the Government branch of power not just try to prorogue the 2nd branch of power, namely Parliament, but also arrest and lock up the 3rd branch of power, namely the judiciary.

    You kinda missed a biggie – the separation of powers exists to limit power and ensure that the will of the people is paramount.

    If the people / individuals in these three branches fail in that – they MUST be turfed. Bring our the tumbrils.

  27. Oh come on

    Three cheers for the Cats and their unwavering commitment to the democratic principle of Separation of Powers.
    And I am the Hi Alanist, IT?

    You idiot, Delcon. The judiciary has just trampled all over the executive. But you get all prissy about the separation of powers because someone proposes a response?

    Incidentally, you do sound like a Hi Alanist in your sarcastic comment about “the Cats”. You’re either a Hi Alanist or a Numpty type.

  28. Arnost

    If the Queen isn’t willing to intervene in a crisis such as this, what’s the bloody point of having her?

    As I said in the other thread – Boris should waltz into parliament after he has his meet with Trump, and prorogue it again. I’d bet that Betty would be only too happy to take her Prime Minister’s advice again.

    Oh yeah – and prorogue the sucker to 31 Oct …

  29. Lazlo

    It is a strategy of The Project (the EC) to gradually move power away from the people to the unaccountable elites: Brussels, the UN, etc. A means for doing this is to empower the judiciary over the executive, which is the American model.

    Meanwhile, Boris currently scorching in New York on Sky.

  30. Oh come on

    This is an interesting situation, however. There are six weeks until Brexit. The remain establishment is in full panic mode and is now throwing everything it has with the hope of preventing Brexit. I think it’s fighting a losing battle, but we shall see.

  31. C.L.

    Direct democracy can only work when you have a fully informed electorate.

    You can never have a fully informed electorate. Different people apprise themselves – or don’t apprise themselves – of facts about affairs of state according to their own free will. Some are invincibly ignorant and some will never care. The question is not the education of the voters but the sovereignty of voters as measured by the legally bound fulfilment of their wishes by courts, executives and legislatures. Today, voters are routinely ignored via the trickery of identity politics. The latter is a fake, ersatz version of democracy whereby politicians serve interest groups and win plaudits in the media for doing so – provided the interest groups are left-wing.

  32. classical_hero

    Shut up Delcon, you are talking rubbish.

  33. Knuckle Dragger

    The judiciary at the highest level is hopelessly compromised.

    The Parliament refuses to act on the will of the people, and will not go to an election.

    Civil wars have started with less. The sovereignty of your own nation is a tremendous incentive to nail your colours to the mast.

  34. None

    The judiciary in the Anglo world is infested with these leftwing parasites.

    As I keep saying. All felons. Well, 99.9% of them are.

  35. Delcon

    The British People were asked a question. They gave an answer. Not everyone liked this answer.
    The British Parliament were asked a question. They gave an answer. Not everyone liked this answer.
    The British High Court were asked a question. They gave an answer. Not everyone liked this answer.

    You guys seem to think that the system works only when the answers given are to your taste. You make about as much sense, when you criticise the High Court and Parliament for not giving you the answer you like like those fuckwits who criticised the British People for not voting “correctly” in the Brexit vote.

  36. Oh come on

    It is the party conference season in the UK at the moment. The Labour Party is in the middle of its conference, whereby its delegates have adopted policies based on the belief that neither Stalin nor Hitler went far enough.

  37. Oh come on

    Delcon, classical hero is right. You are talking utter rubbish.

  38. Delcon

    classical_hero
    #3166628, posted on September 24, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Shut up Delcon, you are talking rubbish.

    Stalinism summed up in seven words.
    Are my arguments annoying you?
    Get fucked, classical_hero.

  39. Arnost

    You can never have a fully informed electorate. Different people apprise themselves – or don’t apprise themselves – of facts about affairs of state according to their own free will.

    Sure … same with EMH – but it still works. All you need is a bit of skin in the game.

  40. Oh come on

    The British people were given a choice on whether to remain in the EU or to leave. They voted to leave. In the election in 2017, 500 out of 650 MPs who were elected to that parliament ran on a party manifesto that promised to leave the EU with or without a deal. They overwhelmingly voted to trigger Article 50 which meant Britain would be leaving the EU on the 29tb of March, with or without a deal. Now we have that same parliament doing whatever it can to prevent the direct and indirect will of the majority from being enacted, and refusing to settle the matter at a general election.

    Delcon, if you think this is a satisfactory state of affairs, there really isn’t much to say to you. You’re crackers.

  41. dover_beach

    You idiot, Delcon. The judiciary has just trampled all over the executive. But you get all prissy about the separation of powers because someone proposes a response?

    Indeed, the court has no business interfering in what is essentially a political matter.

  42. C.L.

    Delcon is just putting an argument, folks.

  43. Knuckle Dragger

    This is simple. Or should be.

    If you have a Parliament that steadfastly refuses to do the will of the people, after it asked the people its opinion on a matter, then that Parliament has demonstrated its uselessness.

    If you let a Parliament continue to do whatever the hell it wants, despite the people very clearly saying they want something else, then there can be no other conclusion to draw than that the Parliament is acting against the wishes of the people it claims to represent.

    And from there, it ends very badly.

  44. Arnost

    You guys seem to think that the system works only when the answers given are to your taste.

    Wrong again. I would suggest that the majority of posters here – and abundantly evidently most conservatives – accept the majority decision in an election. We however seem to think that the system does not work when (also abundantly evidently) the leftards refuse to accept democratic decisions and fight tooth and nail to overturn that.

  45. Delcon

    OK, I am convinced. We should have a Parliament and judiciary which follow the will of the people, instead of giving answers which can be interpreted by the government as inconsistent with the will of the people.
    Only one last question remains, I suppose:
    Do we now adopt the Chinese version of system of government, of the North Korean one?

  46. Arnost

    Indeed, the court has no business interfering in what is essentially a political matter.

    Indeed and besides – the motion to adjourn is always in order.

  47. Arnost

    Only one last question remains – are you drunk much?

  48. dover_beach

    Indeed and besides – the motion to adjourn is always in order.

    Quite.

  49. Lazlo

    Delcon

    The British people voted to leave the EU.
    The Parliament voted overwhelmingly (including the Labour Party and the Lib Dems) to invoke Article 50 notification to leave the EU.
    All the same major parties, in their manifestos, went to the 2017 election promising to implement Brexit.
    The Supreme Court (not High) has made an unprecedented decision to intrude in the political process, much to the joy of the elites, but it is not going to make any difference.

    It is not a question of “not everyone liking the answer”, but a bunch of lying politicians doing all they can to stop Brexit because they hold the British people in contempt.

  50. Knuckle Dragger

    Delcon,

    Why is this difficult? The Parliament asked a question of its people, the people gave a clear answer, and the Parliament told the people to piss off because they know best.

    Is it because they somehow know better? Because if that’s the answer, then they really shouldn’t have asked the question in the first place.

  51. Delcon

    I don’t remember *ever* posting here a single post which replied to a political position with a personal attack on another poster. (I did abuse the crap out of posters who got personal with me first, I concede.)
    Maybe it’s just a question of me brushing up on my debating skills.
    I will try to do better in the future. In the meantime:
    Fuck you, Arnost. (This debating tactic is easy!)

  52. twostix

    The UK “Supreme Court” is a fake court cobbled together five minutes ago by the Blair government.

    It has no mandate or standing. It can safely be ignored and abolished.

  53. Knuckle Dragger

    What Lazlo said.

    His is better.

  54. Lazlo

    Mega-rich, Remainer hedge fund parasite Gina Miller currently on Sky saying it is nothing to do with moving power to the judiciary.

  55. C.L.

    The Daily Mail’s use of the word “revolutionary” for this decision is apt.
    And it rhymes with the revolutionary perversion of the rule of law in the Pell appeal.
    Same tactics, same bugmen.

  56. twostix

    This woman has signed the death warrant for Blair’s bolshevik inspired “supreme ultra mega huuuuge” court.

    It’ll never recover from this, barely ten years in and it shits itself in the middle of a party.

    Hilarious.

  57. Nob

    Direct Democracy is effectively satirised in The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer by Peter Cook et al.

    Government by opinion poll.

    http://www.british60scinema.net/unsung-films/the-rise-and-rise-of-michael-rimmer/

    Wiki:

    Rimmer then gains ultimate control by requiring the populace to engage in endless postal voting on trivial matters. At last, exhausted, they acquiesce in one final vote which passes dictatorial power to him.

    Hated by The Guardian but it skewers everyone equally in a way that we seem to have forgotten how to do.

  58. Infidel Tiger

    An unwritten Consititution and a phoney Supreme Court, all overseen by perverted bugmen. What could go wrong?

  59. Delcon

    Did the High Court Justices say in their decision that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful, that their goal was to sabotage Brexit? I’d go out on a limb and suggest: no.
    Did the Parliament MPs say in Parliament that their vote against an *early* election, that their goal was to sabotage Brexit? I’d go out on a limb and suggest, again: no.
    No one said anything about trying to stop Brexit.
    Has it occurred to you that this is just your *interpretation*, and that, based on your *interpretation* and nothing more, you suggest arresting the judiciary, dissolving Parliament, civil war and what not?
    Has it occurred to you that just you not liking the speed that Brexit is progressing, actually does not mean *at all* that anyone is actually trying to stop Brexit?
    Maybe it is not the British Parliament and the High Court who are out of touch, but your misguided, unsubstantiated misinterpretation of what’s going on?

  60. Infidel Tiger

    Maybe Alan could tell us under what circumstances a rump parliament can be prorogued.

  61. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Hale was a law lord anyway and likely would have been the President of the Lords of Appeal eventually instead of the President of the SCUK.

    At least she is removed from the formal legislature with the creation of the SCUK.

  62. Lazlo

    You are right twostix. A man on Sky is confirming that the UK Supreme Court was only established in 2009, and is now exercising its unearned power to re-write centuries of constitutional precedent. Ghastly, second-rate judicial activists taking control.

  63. dover_beach

    Yes, yes, none of this has anything to do with Brexit. We are misinterpreting the situation.

  64. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Demarchy

    Sortition
    Participation
    Recall voting
    Veto plebiscites
    Subsidiarity/confederalism
    Civil rights
    Black letter constitutionalism
    Classical republican virtue

    It’s better than one alternative they use in the UK, as outlined by IT.

  65. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    I still do not understand how this was ever “justiciable” – that is, NO party has legal standing because no one else but a PM advising the Queen, can prorogue Parliament or not. There is no legal question unless the Queen or Prime Minister is somehow illegitimate.

  66. Arnost

    I will try to do better in the future. In the meantime:
    (xxx.)

    Asking for a friend – what are your personal pronouns?

  67. Lazlo

    Again, it is the Supreme Court, not the High Court, do keep up.

    Why did the Parliament vote against an election? Because the Remainers know they would be out of a job. Get real.

  68. Knuckle Dragger

    ‘Did the High Court Justices say in their decision that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful’

    Yes.

  69. Infidel Tiger

    Tim Shipman
    @ShippersUnbound
    ·
    3h
    The judgment makes clear that a prorogation for 4-6 days for a Queen’s Speech is entirely in order – and that is surely what Boris Johnson will now do

    Do it BoJo.

  70. Lazlo

    Frank, it becomes a legal question because someone (an extremely rich someone) asked the judges. Turkeys and Christmas..

  71. Delcon

    dover_beach
    #3166711, posted on September 24, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Yes, yes, none of this has anything to do with Brexit. We are misinterpreting the situation.

    Yes you are, IMO.
    These decisions relate to unusual, or extraordinary *processes*, namely prorogation of Parliament and early election.
    Neither Parliament, nor the High Court, stop the Tories from coming up with an acceptable deal (or no deal) to implement Brexit. They just stopped the Tories, who in three years failed to come up with a united, reasonable position, as was their job to do, to implement Brexit, to now try to break every rule in the fuckin rule book to compensate for their own failures. It is entirely a Tories failure. Not the Parliament’s, not the the High Court’s.
    The executive branch of government failed to do a job it was supposed to do and had the power to do.
    So now, the blame falls on the other two branches of government. It’s not their fault. It’s entirely the government’s fault. They should wear it. If that means that BoJo has to eat crow over his failure to deliver Brexit by 31st of October, let BoJo eat crow.

  72. dover_beach

    I still do not understand how this was ever “justiciable” – that is, NO party has legal standing because no one else but a PM advising the Queen, can prorogue Parliament or not. There is no legal question unless the Queen or Prime Minister is somehow illegitimate.

    I was thinking the same thing.

    The judgment makes clear that a prorogation for 4-6 days for a Queen’s Speech is entirely in order – and that is surely what Boris Johnson will now do.

    On what ground? What law/ convention deals with prorogation?

  73. Arnost

    Maybe Alan could tell us under what circumstances a rump parliament can be prorogued

    Wins the internet.

  74. twostix

    You are right twostix. A man on Sky is confirming that the UK Supreme Court was only established in 2009, and is now exercising its unearned power to re-write centuries of constitutional precedent.

    That’s literally why it was created.

    Blair’s government was the most radical government since the civil war.

    This, today, is the first fruit of the harvest on this front.

  75. dover_beach

    These decisions relate to unusual, or extraordinary *processes*, namely prorogation of Parliament and early election.

    There is nothing extraordinary about prorogation and calling an early election, and they are political choices, not legal ones.

  76. Infidel Tiger

    On what ground? What law/ convention deals with prorogation?

    The whole cloth judgment just made by this faux court has now made this ruling.

    How incredible that a fake court instituted by arch remainer Blair would stymie Brexit. No one saw that coming.

  77. Knuckle Dragger

    ‘three years failed to come up with a united, reasonable position, as was their job to do, to implement Brexit, as was their job to do’

    ‘reasonable position’

    Reasonable for who? The British who voted for out? The elitist wankers that blocked the process for those three years, and who would certainly have vested interests in unelected Eurotrash? And who would still do so, given the opportunity?

    You’re overcomplicating it. The Poms were asked if they wanted out. They said yes. The ruling class didn’t expect the vote to go the way it did, and are telling the people to get fucked.

    Everything else is window dressing, except the newly-minted and about-to-be-defunct Supreme Court covering itself in its own shit.

  78. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Imagine if this got appealed to the ECHR and the ECJ.

  79. Louis

    You can null and void the advice of the Prime Minister all you want, doesn’t affect the decision (exercise of power) by the Queen to prorogue Parliament.

  80. Lazlo

    I think you may not understand the basics Delcon. BoJo will not ‘fail to deliver Brexit’. Brexit will be delivered by BoJo simply by doing nothing.

  81. Delcon

    ‘three years failed to come up with a united, reasonable position, as was their job to do, to implement Brexit, as was their job to do’

    ‘reasonable position’

    Reasonable for who?

    I don’t know. I’d start with “reasonable for themselves”.
    The Tories themselves were unable to agree for three years on what they want to do.
    They had the numbers. They just needed the unity and leadership to agree *among themselves* what they want to do, and that would have been done. Neither the Supreme Court, nor the Parliament at large, could have stopped the Tories from implementing Brexit if they knew what they were doing.
    Instead, the silly buggers put Theresa May in charge, and the rest is (miserable) history, as they say.

  82. Arnost

    Brexit will be delivered by BoJo simply by doing nothing.

    I think that WAS the plan. But the Supreme Ct decision puts the kybosh on that. I think that Boris will try to force a no confidence motion against himself. If he loses, then (I believe) it’ll force an election. And that now can’t take place until essentially after Brexit date. And unless Nigel throws a big spanner into the works- which he’ll comfortably win by the last polls.

  83. Knuckle Dragger

    From a poster’s link at the OT relating to Ursula von der Leyen, former Kraut foreign minister and soon-to-be EU President:

    ‘She calls for “a change in rules so that the EU could act even without the unanimous consent of EU member states” and asserts: “To be a global leader, the EU needs to be able to act fast. I will push for qualified majority voting to become the rule in this area.”

    And further — and perhaps most ominous of all — she intends to ensure the primacy of EU law over the national laws of EU states.

    This is a mere glimpse of what the Remain movement seeks to establish for Britain. It is the abandonment of 1000 years of glorious history and liberty and, if they succeed, a voluntary submission to a future that will be designed by a Franco-German suzerainty.’

    Does anyone really think the Parliament is acting in the country’s best interests by acquiescing to this?

  84. Arnost

    Imagine if this got appealed to the ECHR and the ECJ.

    Genius.

  85. Lazlo

    Agree with that Delcon, they were a waste of space but, they did have the entire Whitehall and Brussels bureaucracies working against them. That is really hard to fight if you take a ‘reasonable’ approach. You can only blast them out of the water, like Maggie or Boris.

  86. JC

    This is a mere glimpse of what the Remain movement seeks to establish for Britain.

    The top may, but I don’t believe for a second the average British Remainer punter would even have a clue. Don’t assume that because you’re politically aware, other people are. They just aren’t. Considering the impact government has on our lives, it’s truly shocking to me how few people are much aware.

  87. dover_beach

    The Tories themselves were unable to agree for three years on what they want to do.

    This wasn’t unique to them. UK Labour had the same problems. It is hard to come to an agreement when you have those in your party that can never be appeased. Many Remainer MPs said one thing to their Brexit electorates and then reverted once returned. The entire process has been stymied from pillar to post. Nice country you had there.

  88. Lazlo

    Arnott, sorry, the Supreme Court decision is irrelevant to Brexit.
    As it stands, the UK will automatically leave the EU on 31 October.
    Should there be a vote of no confidence or a decision for an election (both of which Labour has been avoiding, because they would lose) there is no way it could happen before 31 October.
    Likewise a second referendum cannot happen before then.
    The only thing Parliament can do now is revoke the Article 50 notification, which they will not do, because they will lose their jobs.

  89. Arnost

    The other thing with the ruling. They used weasel words. What is unlawful? (From the BBC):

    There’s a difference between unlawful and illegal. Illegal means something is forbidden by a law, whereas unlawful means it’s not authorised by law because no such law exists.

    This actually falls into a gap in the poop-fight between prescriptive and proscriptive laws. [laws that say you can’t do something (and everything else is fair game) vs laws that say you must do something (and can’t do anything else)]

    The precedent here is now that it is illegal to do something EVEN IF there are no laws covering it!!!

    A very brave new world indeed.

  90. Lazlo

    Sorry, typo, didn’t mean to call you a biscuit..

  91. Arnost

    The only thing Parliament can do now is revoke the Article 50 notification, which they will not do, because they will lose their jobs.

    I think that the Labour (and rebel) plan is to get EU to agree to extend, force Boris out and have someone more “solid” (like Theresa) there again. Only with a very soft Brexit can they say we were right all along and so hope to keep their jobs.

    Otherwise they are dead men walking .. and why they refuse an early election.

  92. Arnost

    🙂 – been called a lot worse! Cheers!

  93. None

    Lizzie should send in the army.

  94. a reader

    I’m in the UK and heard some types who I would’ve expected to be Remoaner types trying to come up with solutions for Boris to make it happen. There’s a chance

  95. None

    This is why I don’t buy newspapers anymore. On the front page of the Australian. The idiot air and reporter can’t tell the difference between illegal and unlawful. Either that or they are an out and out propagandist.

    Boris Johnson is flying back from New York to attend parliament after the Supreme Court ruled prorogation was illegal and void.

  96. Tapdog

    Interesting tussle between parliament and an apparently activist judiciary.

    The argument that makes most sense to me is that the UK Supreme Court should not even be expressing a formal opinion as to whether or not Johnson acted lawfully in proroguing Parliament. If there is to be a discussion about it then it is for the Parliament itself to resolve in accordance with its own procedures.

    I hope BoJo walks back in and prorogues it again. That way lies a confidence vote, election, and likely acquiescence of Parliament (finally!) to the result of the 2016 referendum.

  97. Diogenes

    I read the full judgement, and they use the argument that Parliament is Supreme because of the 1608 Act passed by parliament and the government & crown are beholden to parliament. A circular argument if ever I saw one

  98. min

    Civil violence will be the result of Brexit issue according to a Professor of Political Science and International Strategy with whom I was speaking a couple of weeks ago . Title not correct as I have not looked it up.

  99. Zatara

    In an eviscerating judgment President Lady Hale said the Prime Minister’s decision to ask the Queen to shut down the Commons for five weeks was ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’.

    Even if the advice wasn’t ‘proper’, and it most certainly was, advice isn’t action. It doesn’t matter what the PM advised. The Queen directed that the Parliament be prorogued and nothing the Court has done, or can do, changed that IMO.

    So this extra-constitutional leftist Supreme Court made a meaningless ruling that the PM’s advice was unsound. What they didn’t have the cojones to do is address/attack the actual order to prorogue nor the person who made it, the Queen. Why? Because they would never have survived that as an institution.

    It is long past time for the Queen to tell the Parliament to sit down, shut up, and do what she and the voters told them to do. Or get out of the royalty business.

  100. Crossie

    The technology to enable direct democracy is now available and is becoming more sophisticated.

    The technology may be there and becoming more sophisticated though not to advantage the populace but to enable cheating.

  101. Diogenes

    Further to my last I cannot understand how the SC came up with the judgement given that they acknowledge;
    1. this session was longer than most sessions
    2. there was little legislation to be considered (they explain how the process works) or that would lapse as a result of the prorogation
    3. Whilst it was on the long side, it was not unprecedented given points 1 & 2
    4. Turd John Major gave evidence that 5-6 days are required before the Queen’s Speech to get the thing written, therefore as the Dear Old Queen is to give her speech on Oct 14 , Boris could quite happily and lawfully prorogue parliament around Oct 7 ie in 2 weeks. The SC said they had no evidence as to why they might need longer (DUR – maybe there was a lot legislation required to be considered as a result of Brexit , with or without deal – DUR)

    As the UK has no formal constitution this really feels like a ‘feelz’ decision

    The judgement (24 pages) https://regmedia.co.uk/2019/09/24/unprorogue.pdf

    Also typo the act was 1668 not 1608

  102. Crossie

    When the plebs, LIVs, or whatever you want to call them, realise that everything is descending, or has descended, into chaos, will back a man with the gall to bulldoze a way through to some sort of stability.
    Heaven help us.

    Yes, heaven help us, we are repeating the Weimer Republic disintegration but at a much slower rate. The German people learned the hard way that feckless politicians or the highly motivated ones without principle still end up in disaster.

    A resolution is coming but what kind? Will we have a soft landing or a crash landing? Greta Thunbergs of the world are a symptom not the remedy.

  103. Slim Cognito

    I’m not sure if this has been raised before.
    My understanding is that is is the Queen who has power to prorogue parliament. The Prime Minister only has the power to request it.
    If that is true, it was the Queen who prorogued parliament, not Boris. The court may find that Boris’ reasons were not valid but what they are actually saying is that the Queens decision was not valid.
    BTW, I haven’t read the decision but this is the impression I get from reporting.

  104. Tapdog

    …..what they are actually saying is that the Queens decision was not valid

    Maybe the Supreme Court in a fit of hubris, decided to push against the boundary of its jurisdiction.

  105. Percy Popinjay

    Hitchens on the stinking hastily cobbled together anti-democratic wankers’ collective that is the UK’s so called “supreme court”.

    Until we leave the EU, our actual Supreme Court is, as it has been for many years, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

  106. mh

    How incredible that a fake court instituted by arch remainer Blair would stymie Brexit. No one saw that coming.

    Tony Blair was hand picked by globalists from a young age to forward their world government agenda.

  107. mh

    Peter Hitchens

    There’s no such thing as ‘The Supreme Court’ , and the body that wrongly calls itself this should stay out of politics

    Actually, there is no such thing as the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. They can call it that if they like, but the title is a fiction. There is nothing supreme about it.

    Until we leave the EU, our actual Supreme Court is, as it has been for many years, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

    But if we ever manage to escape from the EU, then Parliament is a far higher court than this self-important assembly of lawyers in suits.

    Keen observers of the ridiculous hearings of the past few days will have noticed the bare, almost republican room in which the court meets, less grand than some council committees I have attended.

    The judges – and the lawyers appearing before them – do not wear the traditional robes and wigs which say so loudly that those who don them are serving the law, and are not just politicians or bureaucrats.

    The nasty thing has been grafted on to our free constitution by Blairite revolutionaries – many of them Left-wing lawyers.

    They had long planned a slow-motion putsch against conservative Britain. For this tiny, self-important group of men and women realised that they had an astonishing power.

    They were allowed to decide what the law meant. And nobody could challenge them.

    This was bad enough when they took advantage of the vague wording of ‘Human Rights’ charters.

    They used this to invent all kinds of rights for those members of society they favoured and wished to help.

    In the same way, they abolished the former freedoms of those who had been in charge before.

    No need to storm the Bastille or capture the barracks and the railway station. Just issue a judgment, and abolish the morals and customs of ten generations in an afternoon.

    For example, like it or not, state schools are going to teach children about homosexuality. This is now the law.

    That use of the law to change our culture and morals was revolutionary enough. That brilliant mind, and former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption, recently warned this would ‘entrench a broad range of liberal principles’ in the foundations of the State.

    Democracy would then be almost powerless to remove or limit them.

    He then accused his fellow lawyers of being so sure they were right that they claimed a monopoly on deciding how the country should be governed.

    He warned, with astonishing brutality, that such a belief is ‘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’. Crikey.

    The readiness of the courts to hear legal actions against the Prime Minister’s suspension of Parliament is a whole new outrage. Personally, I think Al Johnson’s action was a shabby trick (though it failed to work).

    But the idea that the courts should have anything to say about proroguing Parliament is absurd.

    There is no law, no precedent. Within our constitution, Prime Ministers can do this sort of thing and often it will be right and necessary.

    You might as well get the Supreme Court to rule on whether the red wines of Burgundy are better than those of Bordeaux. The judges could have a lot of fun examining the matter. But their opinion, at the end, would be worth nothing.

    And so we see from the ‘evidence’ presented at this gathering of learned kangaroos. It’s all opinions.

    I’m all in favour of opinions. I express lots of them. I wish my opinions influenced politicians and judges, and the people. But opinions are not laws, and they are not facts.

    Ten thousand brilliant legal brains could not read Mr Johnson’s mind or prove that he misled the Queen, and Her Majesty is certainly not going to give them any evidence on that score.

    I just hope the ‘Supreme Court’ will have the sense to recognise this and throw the whole thing out. But in such frightening times as these, I can’t be sure.

    Our whole tradition of fair, wise government is tottering, and I am not convinced it can survive these games.

  108. mh

    Peter Hitchens

    There’s no such thing as ‘The Supreme Court’ , and the body that wrongly calls itself this should stay out of politics

    Actually, there is no such thing as the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. They can call it that if they like, but the title is a fiction. There is nothing supreme about it.

    Until we leave the EU, our actual Supreme Court is, as it has been for many years, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

    But if we ever manage to escape from the EU, then Parliament is a far higher court than this self-important assembly of lawyers in suits.

    Keen observers of the ridiculous hearings of the past few days will have noticed the bare, almost republican room in which the court meets, less grand than some council committees I have attended.

    The judges – and the lawyers appearing before them – do not wear the traditional robes and wigs which say so loudly that those who don them are serving the law, and are not just politicians or bureaucrats.

    The nasty thing has been grafted on to our free constitution by Blairite revolutionaries – many of them Left-wing lawyers.

    They had long planned a slow-motion putsch against conservative Britain. For this tiny, self-important group of men and women realised that they had an astonishing power.

    They were allowed to decide what the law meant. And nobody could challenge them.

    This was bad enough when they took advantage of the vague wording of ‘Human Rights’ charters.

    They used this to invent all kinds of rights for those members of society they favoured and wished to help.

    In the same way, they abolished the former freedoms of those who had been in charge before.

    No need to storm the Bastille or capture the barracks and the railway station. Just issue a judgment, and abolish the morals and customs of ten generations in an afternoon.

    For example, like it or not, state schools are going to teach children about homosexuality. This is now the law.

    That use of the law to change our culture and morals was revolutionary enough. That brilliant mind, and former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption, recently warned this would ‘entrench a broad range of liberal principles’ in the foundations of the State.

    Democracy would then be almost powerless to remove or limit them.

    He then accused his fellow lawyers of being so sure they were right that they claimed a monopoly on deciding how the country should be governed.

    He warned, with astonishing brutality, that such a belief is ‘no different from the claim of communism, fascism, monarchism, Catholicism, Isl amism 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’. Crikey.

    The readiness of the courts to hear legal actions against the Prime Minister’s suspension of Parliament is a whole new outrage. Personally, I think Al Johnson’s action was a shabby trick (though it failed to work).

    But the idea that the courts should have anything to say about proroguing Parliament is absurd.

    There is no law, no precedent. Within our constitution, Prime Ministers can do this sort of thing and often it will be right and necessary.

    You might as well get the Supreme Court to rule on whether the red wines of Burgundy are better than those of Bordeaux. The judges could have a lot of fun examining the matter. But their opinion, at the end, would be worth nothing.

    And so we see from the ‘evidence’ presented at this gathering of learned kangaroos. It’s all opinions.

    I’m all in favour of opinions. I express lots of them. I wish my opinions influenced politicians and judges, and the people. But opinions are not laws, and they are not facts.

    Ten thousand brilliant legal brains could not read Mr Johnson’s mind or prove that he misled the Queen, and Her Majesty is certainly not going to give them any evidence on that score.

    I just hope the ‘Supreme Court’ will have the sense to recognise this and throw the whole thing out. But in such frightening times as these, I can’t be sure.

    Our whole tradition of fair, wise government is tottering, and I am not convinced it can survive these games.

  109. sabena

    The particular problem with the judgment is that the Court held in effect that the onus of proof was on the Government to show that the prorogation was lawful,rather than on the plaintiffs-see paras 55-61 of the judgment.The Court also failed to take into account the practical effect of the prorogation-namely that only 4 sitting days were lost.The Court’s finding that the circumstances were exceptional is contradicted by the fact that the Parliament has already had ample time to consider the matter and voted down the only withdrawal agreement 3 times.

  110. dover_beach

    Put to one side the extraordinary requirement that the government had to show that the prorogation was ‘lawful’, everyone of those other considerations are not for a court to decide, the are rightly the prerogative of the executive.

  111. stackja

    UK voters can decide at sometime what they want. Democracy or not.

  112. None

    Do remember that Lizzie is still commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces.

  113. Up The Workers!

    “UK voters can decide at sometime what they want. Democracy or not.”

    The UK voters have already decided what they want with the referendum result three years ago, mandating Brexit – only the result of that democratic exercise didn’t suit Adolf Corbyn and the totalitarian members of his goose-stepping Jack-Sandled Parliamentary Gestapo, who evidently believe that they out-rule the British people.

    What’s the point of having a vote if the pollies ignore it and do what they like?

  114. James Hargrave

    Prorogation was used in a dodgy fashion in 1948/9 to pass (using the equally dodgy means of the 1911 Parliament Act) the 1949 Parliament Act. Perhaps the bag woman Hale would now like to decide whether that was justiciable and void all legislation passed subsequently using the 1949 Act.

    Heaven knows what mischief she and her collection of extras from Trial By Jury would make if let loose ona written constitution.

  115. Dr Fred Lenin

    The globalist left elitists have turned it into the Westmonster System ,the really do believe they wont be punished for their criminal behavior if they dont allow an election for a couple of months , deluded !the people wont forgive their arrogance . I can see them all as exiles in a crumbling fourth reich ,desparate exiles with no influence or power , bit like the old royal stuarts bludging on the pope ,maybe they will bludge on the present argy lefty pope in the vatican .

  116. CL:

    Yes we are. That’s exactly what this is.
    Throughout the West, the “consent of the governed” is no longer required. Elites – hand in glove with the media and routinely protected by stacked courts – are now unaccountable autocrats.

    I have bought a stack of popcorn to munch on as I watch rampaging mobs run through the Houses of Westminster, somewhat like the East Germans and the deconstruction of the STASI HQ.
    Nothing else will satisfy.

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