Monday, 23 January 2017

Gina Miller has wasted her money

The supreme court is expected to rule tomorrow. I predicted that the government would win it because they would be spectacularly incompetent to lose it. You can see why my reasoning was flawed. Even though I hold the government in particularly low regard I still seem to be overestimating their competence. From now on I will base any future predictions on the most stupid they could possibly be and leave room for them to make it worse.

What we are going to see though is endless tedious speculative rants on the outcome should the government lose - and I expect it probably will. As you know I have not invested too much energy in deciphering it because Brexit has taken on a life of its own. The court case has been skilfully sidelined and any vote on Article 50 is now going to be an administrative chore where the opposition won't put up much of a fight.

There will likely be a few high profile rebellions on the government benches but most Tories will fall into line. What we will see is more muddled thinking from Labour who still haven't understood the Article 50 process. All in all it's going to be a huge waste of time.

I still maintain the view that MPs have no need to wait on this court ruling in order for parliament to assert itself. It could have done so at any point and could have frustrated the government in any number of ways to force a vote. Because Labour has no coherent position on Brexit, with MPs not understanding the gulf between their personal interpretations of the vote and that of their constituents, all we can expect is mealy mouthed posturing.

This is actually a depressing day for parliamentary process because this is about the time we need an effective opposition. By all means parliament has no real right to stand in the way of Brexit but it should be organised and informed enough to be hauling the government over the coals for what is a deeply precarious Brexit position from the government.

Instead, Labour cling on to the customs union and the single market as a comfort blanket largely because they do not want the EU relationship to change. That prevents them from being able to a make a principled defence of it, and not knowing what each facet is they cannot speak with conviction or authority over the consequences of a botched withdrawal.

In that regard Ms Miller has wasted her money. She has invested a great deal of her life energy into giving parliament a chance to make a worthwhile contribution and now that it looks like she will get her way, they will likely squander it. More than likely the government will continue to cling to its deeply flawed idea of what is involved and nobody will be able to stop them from turning an opportunity into a shambles.

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