Wednesday, 25 September 2019

All heat and no light


So parliament is back in session, almost as though nothing happened. And for all the actual use they are, nothing might as well have happened. It's been a day of preening, gloating and virtue signalling in Westminster with the opposition showing all their worst qualities, once again attempting to police language, once again invoking the corpse of Jo Cox, conveniently forgetting that she was just another "progressive" trougher with anodyne banal PC europhile views who'd have jumped ship to the Lib Dems by now along with all the other losers.

But for all the remainer hyperventilation over prorogation one should remember that parliament, in effect, has already nullified the 2016 referendum by reclaiming the right to decide if we leave or not. It has refused to ratify a withdrawal agreement, voted down every alternative mode of exit and seeks to prevent leaving without a deal. The power to decide, therefore, has been stolen from the people by a rogue parliament that won't submit to an election. It is they who suspended democracy.

The likes of Miller and Maugham can't stop Brexit in the courts (much though they would like to) but everything they do is geared to frustrate the process to buy MPs time to overthrow the referendum. Protectors of democracy they are not. They're just showing us that politics can be bought if you can afford it.

As to where that leaves us, it looks like Johnson will probably have to ask for an extension as per the Benn Act (as was the situation before prorogation). There won't be a new deal to vote on it's difficult to see Johnson resurrecting the withdrawal agreement. Parliament is going to have to force it - if they can. Your guess is as good as mine. But unless and until they ratify a withdrawal agreement, no deal remains the legal default and a further extension beyond the next, I reckon, will simply not happen. This process will have run out of road. If there isn't a successful conclusion to the Article 50 process by January then it's game over.

But then there's the possibility of a general election in any extension, where it looks like Labour has just committed electoral suicide in announcing a unilateral policy of freedom of movement for all along with ending all immigration detention - flinging the borders wide opening and giving all incomers a vote. Nobody in their right mind is going to vote for that. It really says something about the state of intellectual collapse in the Labour party that they thought for a moment that was a winning idea.

So with this singular act of electoral and perhaps existential self-obliteration, and with the Brexit party starting to piss off leavers with their ill directed hostility to Johnson, it could very well be that Johnson walks the next election. But then that could also be the reason why parliament will do absolutely anything to avoid an election. Remain is done for if Johnson gets his own mandate.

At that point, it seems like the only thing the desperado remainers can do is attempt to form their own absurdly named "national unity government" which has virtually no chance of succeeding. In fact,now that I think about it, it would be quite comical if they did somehow manage to suspend Brexit and rig a referendum. All they would succeed in doing is pissing off every single leaver and anyone who calls themselves a democrat. Eventually there would have to be a general election where a Tory party could sweep to power on a promise of leaving the EU. The remainers seem to think stopping this attempt at Brexit buries the issue. It really doesn't. Brexit is here to stay and that's all we'll have for politics until the matter is settled.

On the whole Brexiters ought to feel quite buoyant. The main reason remain lost the referendum was primarily their lack of self-awareness. It was always going to be won by the side least despised by the public. And they just don't learn. Tonight when we get more finger wagging from Labour miscreants over prickly language, with Yvette Cooper asserting that "The language Boris Johnson uses is designed deliberately to escalate tension, division & hatred" I can only really say to them that it's remainer behaviour that escalates tension, division and hatred. It's the arrogance, the hubris, the narcissism, the inanity, the grandstanding, the stupidity and the hypocrisy. If they don't like the language, it's for them to have a shred of self-awareness.

It would seem that prorogation and the supreme court ruling has played out well for Boris Johnson in allowing him to massage the people versus parliament narrative. Public patience is at an end and even remain voters are starting to tire of underhanded shenanigans from remainers. Johnson may be cornered in parliament but he is winning the propaganda war in the country, with approval ratings exceeding those of his counterparts.

In any case, though, it does not look like we are going to get a sensible outcome to any of this. The Tories have dubbed the Benn Act a "surrender act", implying that the act takes no deal off the table thus rendering his attempts to secure a deal inert. But again this is the leverage delusion in believing that no deal will bring the EU round at the last minute - despite there being no signals whatsoever to suggest they will. Coupled with his impossible demands based on "alternative arrangements" that fall foul of EU law, there is no chance of success in this round or in any possible extension.

If there is anything to be said for leaving without a deal it is that it's a reset button on the negotiation process, but at unimaginable cost. Brexiters may win this battle but there are more to come and the damage done by this state of all out war ensures Johnson will not have an easy ride of it. This victory may end up tasting as bitter as defeat when the EU is dictating what happens next when the penny drops that no deal cannot stay no deal. That's when the ultra Brexiters have to face the music for what they have done.      

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