Tuesday, 10 September 2019

"Protests as five-week Parliament suspension begins"

From the BBC:

Parliament has officially been suspended for five weeks, with MPs not due back until 14 October.

Amid unprecedented scenes in the Commons, some MPs protested against the suspension with signs saying "silenced" while shouting: "Shame on you..."

Zero sympathies from me.

Rumours - well-founded as it turns out - that Johnson would suspend Parliament if he couldn't get his own way started circulating three months ago, before he'd even won his party leadership contest and thus by default (or by tradition or by custom, but with no particular legal force) become Prime Minister.

MPs have therefore had plenty of time to organise a vote of no confidence. It appears that they were incapable of agreeing on who would be the replacement PM. By default, it would have to be a moderate Conservative MP who is a Remainer (of which there are plenty) or at least in favour of a soft-ish Brexit (of which there are also plenty).

The template for this is the Chamberlain-Churchill handover. Technically, the Norway Debate was not a vote of no confidence, but it is accepted as having had the same effect. A majority of MPs from all parties had more or less agreed beforehand that Churchill - who was a Conservative MP, just like Chamberlain - would replace Chamberlain as PM. The whole thing took three days start to finish.

Today's MPs have been fannying around for three months and achieved precisely nothing. Corbyn had the mad idea that he might be PM; Lucas thought there should be an all-woman government and heck knows what Swinson wanted. Not exactly serious grown-up debate, in other words.


Lola said...

A mess. But why?
I think it is because Leave / REmain is a binary choice. In a Parliament that is majority Remain and put in power a PM manifestly not up to the job and a useless negotiator. Possibly with the real hope that Brexit could (will?) be stopped. Anyway, May failed. The WA she 'negotaited' is appalling, for all sorts of reasons not in the least as it leaves (sic) all pwer for further negotiation to secure a real workable Brexit in the hands of the EU, who really really do not want the UK to Leave and is we do, must, for its own internal reasons, must seek to have control over the UK post Brexit.
The 'weak leader' meme (i.e. May) always ends up with factionism, where allsorts of people bid for power to further their own agnedas meaning that few of them have universal appeal. It less civilsed time it all descends into a bloodbath. And the last strongest man standing gets it as those he has not yet killed chicken out. Luckily (so far) this has not happened here.
Furthermore none of them (IMHO including Johnson/Cummings) have any clue about the realities of a 'No Deal' Brexit as an opportunity for the EU to inflict maximum damage on the uk - entirely vindictively. N.B I don't 'blame' them for this. It's all they can do. but at the end of thr day Johnson/Cummings may be the least worst option. And MP's might be thinking that.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, you think the remainer MP majority leave Johnson as PM because he's guaranteed to mess up? Wow.

Bayard said...

L, I still think May is a Remainer fifth columnist, who negotiated that rotten deal deliberately.

M, yes, give him enough rope....

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, you "think" she is? But why negotiate such an insult of a deal? Did she really hope that MPs would nod it through?

Bayard said...

No it was designed to be rejected. The Establishment plot goes thus:

1. Get their stooge, May, into power.
2. Get her to rule out the sensible options at the "soft" end of the scale like joining EEA/EFTA.
3. Get her to negotiate a deal that nobody will accept, thus alienating the centre of the Leaver movement.
4. May now resigns, allowing the "hard" wing to take over.
5. Get their ambitious dupe, Johnson, into power to make a complete bollox of a hard Brexit and firmly identify the hated Tories with Leave in the minds of the electorate.
6. Having alienated almost the entire Leave-voting electorate, hold another referendum where Remain wins by a landslide.
7. Trebles all round for the Establishment and back to business as usual.

Physiocrat said...

Things look different from outside the UK (I am in Sweden). The EU's idea of inflicting damage on the UK is to make its own consumers and manufacturers of UK products pay more and experience customs delays, queues at ports and airports and other gratuitous inconveniences. A customs spokesperson appeared on Swedish TV a few weeks ago to explain that it would be illegal to import cheddar - this from an organisation which is unable to check the flow of explosives and weapons into the country.

The EU's tariff barrier already afflicts those INSIDE the EU close to the eastern boundary; these have turned formerly important regional centres such as Daugavpils in Latvia into ghost towns, cut off from their local suppliers and customers just across the border in Russia and Belorus.

The same effect after Brexit will be moderately troublesome in Scandinavia, as most goods can be sources alternatively from Germany and other nearby countries, though Sweden's flourishing microbrewery industry will have problems in replacing the high quality Essex barley which is preferred.

Hardest affected, however, will be the Irish Republic, which obtains such a high proportion of its imports from the UK; customers will either have to fork out for the EU tariffs or pay the extra transport costs to bring the goods from Europe.

None of this has received much attention because of the prevailing mercantilist viewpoint which stands in the way of coherent debate and policy making. It is strange how a long discredited seventeenth century theory of economics has returned to dominance.