To those of my fellow Brexiteers running round like headless chickens today clucking that “the sky is falling! The sky is falling!” I have a simple question: “What did you think was going to happen?”
Did you think John Bercow was going to acquire a conscience, squash his inner malign, attention-seeking dwarf and suddenly realise: “Wait! I’m the Speaker of the House. My job is supposed to be impartial!”?
Did you think the Tory Remainer rebels were belatedly going to appreciate that being a Conservative generally doesn’t entail selling your country down the river to a corrupt, sclerotic, declining, socialistic superstate, allowing its weird foreign judges to make your laws and accepting whatever other Carthaginian terms your enemy wants to impose on you?
Did you think a Remain dominated parliament – puffed up with inflated notions of its sovereignty because it once read a quote in the Daily Mail by someone historic called William Lenthall, so out of touch with the people it serves that it might as well be based in Ouagadougou, terrified of a general election because none of them is capable of learning how to code – was just going to roll over and let Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg walk all over them in their bespoke top boots?
Anyone who actually thinks this clearly hasn’t been paying attention this last three years.
‘Parliament Has Betrayed the People’: Brexiteers React to Remainer MPs Taking over the Commons https://t.co/6D1ehQp6kR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 3, 2019
So, quick reminder: in June 2016 17.4 million of us – more than have ever voted for anything in British history – voted to leave the European Union.
And, ever since, all those people I mentioned above have been doing their damnedest to thwart it in every conceivable way.
Last night in parliament was just more of the same. We Brexiteers needed the vote to go one way; Remainer parliament voted the other way – and then crowed about it like it was really significant. This claim was in turn endorsed by the Remain-dominated media and swallowed by one or two impressionable Brexiteers.
I’m sure it won’t be the last thing that doesn’t go our way either. Today and tomorrow and in the next few weeks, all sorts of other constitutional stuff will happen and be dissected in some detail by political news editors who really get off on this sort of thing because it makes them feel knowledgeable and important.
But my view is: so what?
My prediction is that in a few weeks’ or months’ time we’ll look back on this era in our political history as of one of unfathomable lunacy and near-total irrelevance.
We’ll remember names like Rory Stewart, David Gauke, Philip Hammond, Oliver Wetwin and Sam Gyimah only when the pub quizmaster reads them all out at the end and we kick ourselves that the only one of the list of rebels we got is Nicholas Soames – and only then because he was Winston Churchill’s grandson.
We’ll look back on these losing loser irrelevances in the same way we do when we look at footage of dungareed harridans chaining themselves to the perimeter fence at Greenham Common airbase back in the 80s. At the time, they dominated the news headlines for months on end. Now we can’t even remember what it was they were protesting against — missiles, was it? — or whatever they were trying to achieve.
But whatever it was, they never did achieve it. All that discomfort, all those cups of camomile tea, all that sisterly chanting – it was all a complete waste of time which they would so much better have spent losing a bit of weight, putting on something a bit more feminine, and trying to land themselves a husband whose children they could raise and whose shirts they could iron.
All right, I admit my views on this have been coloured slightly by the most brilliant piece I read in the Sunday Telegraph at the weekend by the Cambridge professor Robert Tombs.
I urge you to read it too because it will give you great hope by putting the recent shenanigans in parliament into their historical context.
Bottom line: parliament is not sovereign – the people are.
Also: you meddle with the people’s will at your peril. It may take years to sort itself out – only with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 did Britain finally iron out most of the problems had erupted in the Civil War nearly 50 years earlier – but eventually it will.
Whatever legal and constitutional theory has said throughout the ages – often in a desperate attempt to catch up with events – it is popular consent that has always conferred legitimacy, whether symbolically (as in the acclamation of monarchs at their coronation) or really, as in the landmark upheavals of our history.
…It has never been legitimate for parliament to overrule the popular will.
Look at the polls: the Conservatives are riding high; add the Brexit Party’s supporters and what you have is an overwhelmingly strong coalition for hard, real, meaningful Brexit. In the country at large, in other words, outside the Westminster Bubble, people are looking with a mix of horror and embarrassment at the antics of those of their alleged parliamentary representatives who are blocking Brexit and thinking: “Well they certainly aren’t representing me!”
So, courage mes braves! We’re on the right side of history. And the longer the other side prance around making pillocks of themselves and crowing about how well they’re doing, the more the decent, sensible majority are going to be irked by their preening prattishness – and will boot them off the political stage for all eternity.
As Snap Election Looms, Nigel Farage Throws Boris Johnson a Lifeline with a Catch https://t.co/bkDe4WqeVe
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 3, 2019