Today’s decision by Britain’s Supreme Court is shocking but not remotely surprising. Essentially a cabal of Remainer Establishment stooges in gold-braided judicial robes voted, nem con, to raise their middle fingers to British democracy and to punish Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his temerity in trying to deliver Brexit.
Ostensibly, the court’s ruling concerned the legality of Johnson’s prorogation of parliament.
In reality, it was yet another power play by the Remainer Establishment which for over three years now has done everything it possibly can to frustrate the democratically expressed wish of the British people to leave the European Union.
Other wreckers in the Remainer Establishment have included: John Bercow, the dwarfish Speaker of the House of Commons; Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England; the Archbishop of Canterbury; former Prime Ministers Theresa May, David Cameron and John Major; several leading Conservative MPs including Sir Nicholas (“Did I ever mention that my grandfather was Winston Churchill?”) Soames; the majority of parliament; most of the Civil Service; the BBC; the City of London; the corporations; the City law firms; academe; etc.
Today it was the senior judiciary’s turn to swing the wrecking ball.
Parliament, which is dominated by Remain-voting MPs, had been consistently frustrating Boris Johnson’s attempts to strike an exit deal with the European Union, making his democratically mandated job of delivering Brexit all but impossible.
Boris Johnson briefly suspended — ‘prorogued’ — parliament, so that his government could get on with performing its number one most urgent task unimpeded and, they say, introduce new domestic legislation through a Queen’s speech.
Well that was the plan, anyway.
But Speaker Bercow had other ideas. In the four days in which parliament did sit before its prorogation, the Speaker abused his power to give the Opposition control of the parliamentary agenda and to railroad through a bill that normally could never have been passed in so short a space.
This bill effectively made it a criminal offence for Boris Johnson to deliver a proper, full, No Deal Brexit.
No Deal was — and is — Boris’s best bargaining chip in his negotiations with the intransigent EU which, given half the chance, will impose the harshest terms exit terms possible on the UK in order to prevent any other of its prisoner nation-states trying to escape.
EU Prez: UK’s Experience of Leaving EU Will Serve as a ‘Deterrent’ to Others https://t.co/lr97iLmviR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 11, 2019
By removing this bargaining chip, parliament removed any incentive the EU might have to produce a ‘deal’ sufficiently attractive to Conservative voters – most of whom are considerably more hardcore on Brexit than Boris Johnson’s government is.
So Boris is now stuck in a terrible bind. Another part of his plan — probably cooked up by his Machiavellian strategist Dominic Cummings — was that Britain would leave the EU, deal or no deal, on October 31. Shortly afterwards, he’d find a way of engineering a general election, which the Conservatives would win with a thumping majority.
But the leaving on October 31 bit looks increasingly unlikely because of the deal parliament has now more or less made impossible.
And the thumping majority looks unlikely too because if Johnson goes into an election not having delivered the Brexit he promised — even through no fault of his own — then a significant proportion of his votes may get hoovered up by The Brexit Party. This, in turn, would run the risk of splitting the Brexit vote and ushering in a reign of terror by Jeremy Corbyn’s Marxist opposition.
At the moment, though, even the notion of a general election is academic. That’s because the complexities of the Fixed Term Parliament Act — one of the many stupid legacies of David Cameron’s coalition with the Liberal Democrats — means that Johnson can only engineer an election via a vote of No Confidence in his own government. The Labour opposition refuses to oblige him with this No Confidence vote because its MPs know that many of them will lose their seats and secretly fear the British public deeply disagree with them. So currently, it’s stalemate.
Now, if you didn’t know this already, you’re in a position to understand what is so shockingly anti-democratic about today’s Supreme Court decision.
In one sense it’s trivial to the point of meaningless: Boris’s prorogation of parliament didn’t achieve its purpose so it doesn’t much matter now that the prorogation has now been rendered unlawful — meaning that parliament will go back to ‘work’ (LOL!) tomorrow.
In another sense, though, it’s a constitutional disaster. The Supreme Court is a very unBritish and very recent institution — a hangover from the Tony Blair era, established as recently as 2005 — designed to realign Britain’s old-established legal system with the more modish (as Blair would have seen it) and EU friendly Continental model. With this decision, it has peremptorily arrogated to itself the most extraordinary powers to meddle in areas hitherto considered beyond its purview.
It is, as Peter Hitchens has noted, a form of judicial activism.
Peter Hitchens @ClarkeMicah is absolutely correct. A committee of lawyers has engaged in an act of US-style judicial activism without any of the scrutiny or oversight built into that system. Their legal reasoning is virtually non-existent and reveals totally political motives.
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) September 24, 2019
In the US there are checks and balances to this kind of judicial activism, with potential Supreme Court candidates being scrutinised on issues like their character and political bias.
The 11 justices of the Supreme Court are subject to little such scrutiny. Hitherto, Britain’s political and legal institutions have been run and regulated on the basis that their denizens will act in good faith, rather than – like the Supreme Court today – like activists for their preferred political cause.
This is very worrying for the future of British democracy.
As Brendan O’Neill rightly points out at Spiked, it is close to tyranny:
What we have seen emerge via this judgement is a borderline tyrannical layer in British politics. A layer that stands above everyone and everything, including the government itself. A layer of unrepresentative, unaccountable individuals who have now presumed the authority to strike down actual government decisions. This instantly weakens any future government’s claim to moral and political authority and their basic ability to relate to parliament, to negotiate treaties, and to act on the will of the people. The precedent set today is that any of that might potentially be subject to the higher, apparently wiser judgement of politicised courts. It is an outrage.
It is staggering just how political, how uninhibited, the judgement was.
Today, social media is more bitterly divided than I’ve ever seen it.
On the one hand, Remainers are exulting over what they see as assertion of the primacy of parliament by wise judicial authorities acting selflessly in the public interest.
On the other are Brexiteers — that’s the majority of British people, by the way — sick to the craw of what they see as yet another Establishment coup against the purest, most direct democracy we’ve ever tried in this country, a referendum.
Britain is now in thrall to a shadow government. The official, democratically elected one headed by Boris Johnson has been hamstrung and sidelined by a nebulous and utterly unscrupulous Remainer Establishment which has used every dirty trick in the book to stop Brexit happening. It legislates from the backbenches free from scrutiny and refuses a general election that would allow the British people to pass judgement on a Parliament spectacularly out of step with the country.
The only good thing to come out of this is that the people’s hatred of the liberal elite which makes up that Remainer Establishment will grow stronger than ever. Britain can never be free or fair until that Establishment is dismantled and consigned to the dustbin of history. And it will be. Sure, the Remainer Establishment may have clawed and wriggled and squirmed its way into yet another short term victory.
But its days are numbered.