“The last time we were in territory like this it was decided by civil war.”
One thing I love about British constitutional historian and national treasure David Starkey is that he’s never knowingly understated.
Another thing I love about Starkey is that he’s always right about everything.
So I think we should take very seriously his damning verdict on the disgraceful decision by Britain’s Supreme Court that it had the right to meddle in affairs which, for centuries, have been left to parliament.
As he told LBC’s Iain Dale:
“They are inventing completely new law. This is dangerous.”
“The events since the referendum have broken the English constitution…Shattered it into pieces. This is an act of utter vandalism.”
He’s expressing what many of us in Britain feel — look at the response of Sun readers — but can’t so easily articulate: this sense that our country, whose laws and traditions and customs were once the envy of the world, no longer belongs to us; that it has been taken over by alien forces who certainly don’t give a damn about us but don’t even seem to have any grasp of what it is that made Britain so special.
And that is indeed exactly what has happened.
As Starkey puts it:
“The Supreme Court is an alien graft on our constitution…What it decided does not correspond to the existing state of English law.”
The United Kingdom, as we know, does not have a written constitution. Our law — in England, at least; Scotland is different — goes by precedent. English Common Law is a living, breathing thing. It shifts subtly over time, as the world changes, but it is rooted in custom — and respect for custom.
Ditto our traditions, such as the horsehair wigs traditionally sported by judges and barristers. This isn’t — as lefty loons and Conservative “modernisers” might have it — because we’re addicted to pointless archaism. It’s to symbolise that individuals wearing these wigs are not representing personal interests but the majesty, rigour, and impartiality of the law itself.
This used to be the case also, with the ancient attire traditionally worn by the Speaker of the House, reflecting 700 years of parliamentary history. Until recently, his or her uniform included knee breeches, silk stockings, buckled court shoes, a wig and a gown with a long train.
Guess which Speaker put paid to all that nonsense, claiming that he felt “uncomfortable” in court dress.
Yes, that’s right. It was the malign dwarf creature John Bercow who bears most responsibility for the fact that the Speaker of the House now dresses like the grotesquely overpaid chancellor of some low-rent university.
Let’s repeat it: an over-promoted nobody, despised by most of his Conservative colleagues for being such an annoying, jumped up little tic, felt “uncomfortable” wearing traditional garb and decided that this was good enough reason for him to be able to scrap centuries of tradition so that he could feel a bit more comfy in the workplace.
What Bercow did to the Speaker’s court dress outfit he also did, of course, to the constitution: wrecking it, rendering it unrecognisable, subverting it to suit his own personal prejudices.
Historian: 'Absurd' MPs Using Parliamentary Sovereignty to Deny National Sovereignty https://t.co/EG7hq88P41
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 14, 2019
This also is the story of Brexit itself, and of the fault-lines it has exposed in an increasingly divided Britain.
On the one hand, are those of us — the Brexiteers — who are rather proud of our country and its traditions and its history.
On the other are the Remainers who — while of course playing lip service to all the above: heaven forfend that anyone should accuse them of being unpatriotic or disloyal or treacherous — find Britain’s past all a bit embarrassing and in urgent need of modernisation.
No-one embodied this Remainer attitude better than that arch constitutional wrecker Tony Blair, whose most stupid remark ever — and also his most blatant lie — was his infamous claim:
“Britain is a young country.”
Tell that to the millions of tourists who flock to Britain every year precisely because it’s not a young country: because it has heritage and architecture and pageantry dating back many centuries.
As Peter Hitchens often says — check out, for example, this podcast we recorded — Tony Blair was much, much more radically left-wing than he pretended to be.
It was Blair, of course, who created the Supreme Court — which was only established as recently as 2009.
I don’t know much about the current 11 justices who reached yesterday’s Supreme Court decision. (Nor, for that matter, does anyone else — which is part of the problem. Who the **** are these people?).
One thing we can fairly safely bet on though, is that not one of them is a Brexiteer. These are Blair’s people. “Human rights” people. People who it’s not unlikely — not naming any names, Lady Hale — were promoted not so much because of their intelligence, wisdom, impartiality, or raw legal talent but because they pushed the right, identity-politics-compliant “gender” buttons.
A trio of extraordinary women have today changed the course of British politics in a fundamental way: Gina Miller, Joanna Cherry and Lady Hale. Wherever you stand on Brexit or Johnson, you’ve got to be impressed
— Robert Peston (@Peston) September 24, 2019
One part of the country — embodied by Peston’s idiot tweet — lives, breathes, eats this fashionable, politically correct drivel. These people are what David Goodhart calls the “Anywheres” — shiftless, rootless metropolitans with so little love for the nation-state that they would far rather that decision-making was surrendered to supranational powers such as the European Union or the United Nations.
The other part — the majority; the “Somewheres” as Goodhart calls them — loathes and despises the woke modernising agenda that the likes of Tony Blair, John Bercow, David Cameron, Theresa May, Mark Carney’s even more annoying wife, and so on, are trying to inflict on us.
There can be no meeting of minds between these groups because they are wired so differently: one side is proud to be British; the other, for all that they may protest otherwise, is embarrassed to be British.
This fault line has always been with us to a degree.
As Orwell once famously wrote:
“It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true, that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during “God Save the King” than stealing from a poor box”
But not since the English Civil War of the 1640s, arguably, has the fissure that divides Britain ever been quite so wide and deep.
The more the minority Remainer Establishment carries on with its trickery, its cheating, its lies, its double-dealing, its canting, its hypocrisy, and its shenanigans, the more the majority of us will loathe it with every fibre of our beings.
We’re all too angry and determined now to accept anything but total victory.
And when we do finally crush our enemies, see them driven before us and hear the lamentation of their women, well, I doubt many of us are going to be able to spare one tear of pity. Rarely in history have bastards so totally had it coming to them!