Yesterday’s ‘performance’ in parliament was a shameful episode which should have the prime minister and his attorney general hanging their heads in shame. They won’t be doing so, of course, because it seems they have no shame. They have decided to engage the nuclear option – “Boris and the people against parliament and the establishment”; a very dangerous proceeding which could backfire badly, but the only strategy they appear to have left.
The prime minister says the supreme court was wrong. At least one other tory MP says the supreme court made new law. No. The courts, even the supreme court, do not make the law. Only parliament can do that. The courts interpret the law, but they can set precedents in interpretation under different circumstances. So, one may disagree with the interpretation of that law, but that does not mean the judgement is wrong. In this case, eleven senior justices were unanimous; hardly a marginal decision. And as an aside, surely a child of ten could see that proroguing parliament now, at a time of national crisis, and claiming that it has nothing to do with the EU departure, is just – let’s call it what it is – a damned lie.
Furthermore, it seems that the prime minister has implied that he might not obey the statute that says this country must not leave the EU without a deal. He is treading very dangerous ground there. If citizens decide to ‘pick-and-mix’ what laws they will obey and which they will ignore, anarchy reigns. And this is a tory prime minister, the traditional party of law and order.
I have called before in these posts for compromise and sober reflection on this most divisive of issues. The result of yesterday’s disgraceful scenes in parliament will only have the effect of entrenching extreme views in the country. If the prime minister has any shred of decency left he will reflect on the danger of this situation, and, for once, consider the well-being of the entire country – not just those who voted to leave – and seek a cross-party consensus on a compromise.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs