There has been much change in a short time.
Sadly Parliament, now prorogued, has still failed to fulfil it’s duty of ensuring the UK leaves the European Union, as was promised and passed to Statute three years ago. It’s failure does however continue to entertain. amuse and simultaneously confound and confuse the civilised world with it’s incessant convolutions, conspiracies, intrigues and more recently, the nefarious, even disloyal activities of it’s Honourable Members in consort with their European counterparts. With a cast of some 650 and a further supporting troop of some 850 Noble Lords gyrating in the wings it should perhaps be reasonable to expect a stellar performance – for our Country that is, rather than the tawdry, murky underworld it actually presents to incredulous friends and uncomprehending Nations. Witness the incredulity of our Australian friends alone. Instead there is a comedy. A black comedy. No ballet depicting the ‘Mother of All Democracies’ in the calm, controlled, image of beautiful swan gliding serenely across the world stage. Rather an image closer to a precocious pre-pubescient adolescent warts and all an image more to be denegrated than admired.
Parliamentary democracy was a virtue which has been regularly eroded by successive Governments for years – at least the last 50 years to my knowledge. Deceit has been a habit for far longer. The antics of the last three years could well be sounding if not the death knell of democracy, then at the very least that of any remnant of faith the British people have left in our MP’s and our Parliamentary system. A system which is in dire need of reform; as probably is also the Party system and without any shadow of doubt in our MP’s, where public opinion at already at rock bottom. These latter have brought it on themselves. They must relearn the mantra that it is ‘the people who are sovereign’ – not our local rep, not their party, not Parliament. Until that is accepted there will not be, cannot be, any possibility of democracy in Westminster. It will remain an old building of scheming men and women at odds with the modern world, chuntering away wasting time, money, years and precious opportunities on scoring Phyrric victories off each other. In venting their venom on each other they – our MP’s – have themselves created public bewilderment, confusion and above all distrust. The business world and our street wise were baffled when Teresa May tentatively took No Deal off the table. They were dismayed now our Representatives plotted to finally remove it, and so ceding control of negotiation to Brussells. It is unheard of in any negotiations to throw away any advantage in advance of an amiable agreement being reached – even if there is/was no intention to actually use it. Those decisions have cost our Country and our upcoming generations dearly. Parliament’s head for business is on a par with Government’s skill with money.
If that is the set way of Politicians we will be clearly better off homing them on an isolated island, remote from the real world. In that way we may achieve the reforms essential to regaining stability and a proper, real, democracy cleansed of all the contaminants – at least for a time.
In the meanwhile there is wreckage to be cleared. Massive wreckage. The people decided that Britain would leave the EU. It was promised and passed in statute, Although no specifics were written down it remains fact that leave means not tied down to foreign control – ie to leave, to be free, in rule, in law, in decision making. Having made a botch of the job, sadly, it still leaves only our discredited Parliament to resume this interesting conundrum. At this time we have debarred ourselves from Leaving No Deal, we cannot stay with ties (a democratic decision) and the EU refuse to let us leave without ties. A fine Parliamentary pickle! A Gordian knot! Parliament cannot unpick it – it needs a sharp sword.
Personally, I think if they fail that will be the absolute end to democratic faith in our Parliamentary system as it now exists. Let’s see just how good they are – perhaps.
One further thought strikes me. Mr Speaker last week likened himself to an Umpire – Dictionary definition “an official who supervises a game to ensure the players keep to the rules and who settles disputes arising from play”. However this ‘Umpire’ last week publically declared he is prepared to break the rules. This calls into serious question how much or how little reliance can be entrusted to any rulings made. Which will be fair impartia; based on rules or broken rules? And with what recourse? I recall a number of recent Parliamentary challenges to the Speaker’s rulings but none were amended. In a case of such supreme importance as will shortly be affecting Great Britain – and us all – it is not good enough to entrust such adjudication to anyone, anyone who has already pronounced a preparedness to abandon the rule book, our great Nation and the great people who made it so, deserve the absolute right that this possibility be removed, absolutely. This possibility must be removed if the Nation is to be satisfied.
Dear Sir, if space will permit, I would like to tender my appreciation of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s indoor version of the traditional Elton Wall Game as demonstrated at the prorogation of Parliament. The adult version was a more educational and entertaining alternative to the juvenile outdoor version. I trust the team suffered no ill after-effects.