They are locking the doors of Westminster Palace

10th September 2019

So the prime minister has done it.

Boris Johnson has now locked the doors of parliament for five weeks in the short lead up to the UK’s set departure from the EU.

Actually closed down parliament, so as to prevent his government being scrutinised by the people’s representatives.

Not much one can add to that, but it is so dark and sad a fact that it warranted a post just for itself.


17 thoughts on “They are locking the doors of Westminster Palace”

  1. In his resignation speech the speaker reminded us that parliament is “..a wonderful place, filled overwhelmingly by people who are motivated […] by their perception of the public good, and by their duty – not as delegates, but as representatives”. This distinction is so often forgotten by those acting as though democracy flows in an unmediated form through the “people”. Thats not the way we do things. Ours is a parliamentary democracy and its voice has been silenced.

  2. Morning David,
    Perhaps you could comment on the chances of Johnson legally wiggling out of the Benn amendment and refusing to request an extension of the 31 October 2019 cliff edge. I assume you have the full text. I would imagine he might simply elect to do nothing and it will require a mandamus* from a High Court to force him to act. Time is however extremely limited.
    Best wishes,

    *Not sure if the UK legal system uses this terminolgy

  3. What will happen if Miller et al. succeed in the Supreme Court? And how (if at all) does Parliament’s decision on Grieve’s bill feed into this? Dark days indeed.

  4. Notification of this blog post arrived in my email in inbox, in tandem with a government response to the ‘Don’t prorogue parliament’ petition. The latter email is an interminable spiel, apparently hijacked by Johnson and his goons, that briefly explains the prorogue, before morphing into a bizarre political spiel that mentions 20,000 additional police (presumably to supplement the troops who will be on the streets keeping order, post Brexit) and the NHS hospital upgrades (to accommodate the people who will fall ill as a result of being unable to easily obtain medication, flu shots, and so on, in a timely manner).

    We live in a representative democracy. What does one do when a portion of our elected representatives resemble, in appearance and behaviour, a gang of tooled-up warehouse burglars from an episode of The Sweeney?

  5. Thank you for posting this. I think it is important to record for posterity how many people see through the smoke and mirrors being wielded to what is in fact a gross constitutional affront.

  6. It’s dreadful what he has done. But please don’t use the “B” word: it makes him sound fun, amusing and friendly and plays off his TV persona as a light entertainer. Please only ever use Johnson.

  7. The fact that you felt compelled to make this short post speaks volumes. Whatever happens now, the Conservative Party will be forever changed and has lost its moral authority through the actions of its self-serving leader.

  8. “Not much one can add to that”, you say.
    I would add that this a coup d’état, however “soft”, however mitigated by overrated precedents and traditions.

  9. Where does this go from here? Is it a matter for judicial review of administrative action, given that the Prime Minister leads the Executive branch? Or does it fall for consideration as a possible contempt of Parliament, given that Parliament has expressly rejected leaving the EU without a deal? Or both?

  10. If this had been a third world tinpot dictatorship we would be recalling our ambassador. Very sad day, not because in and of itself it is likely to change an awful lot, Johnson has been denied the early election that would have allowed him to claim that backing him would have got us a deal – it wouldn’t, but he now has to get that deal, name that tune, before there can be an election and thus he is now having to try and find a solution to Brexit that he knows, at least in terms of keeping his red lines intact, doesn’t exist.

    Unless Cummings, the ERG and the DUP are prepared to accept sub-optimal, then there is nowhere to go and I look forward to watching someone Johnson, (and Cummings) who make me squirm, squirm in turn – that’s quite poetic – as can justice sometimes be!

  11. Responses from Mr William Shakespeare:
    “A fool think himself to be wise but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” Touchstone in As You Like It
    “Th’abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.” Brutus on Julius Caesar
    “If I lose mine honour, I lose myself.” Antony in Antony & Cleopatra
    “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Macbeth
    “Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.” Norfolk in Henry VIII

  12. It’s a dictatorial, thuggish, cowardly act by Boris Johnson, our so called Prime Minister & his so called Special Adviser, Dominic Cummings. If Dominic Grieve is correct, it was enabled by the PM being dishonest with the Queen regarding the reasons for suspension, in order to gain Royal Assent.
    I can only hope that when Parliament reopens, that the Chickens come home to roost and kick this narcissistic, despotic, toddler of a PM and his venomous adviser out, with charges to follow if necessary. That means there needs to be a concerted push to properly kill No Deal Brexit and request an Article 50 extension. Personally I would go for revoking the Article 50 notification, but I suspect we’ll need a Referendum or General Election for that.
    These are depressing times for our Democracy and Parliament. We have to push back and defend our rights now, more than we ever have in the last 40 years. Here’s hoping that John Bercow’s successor is as feisty, democratic and decent as he has been in the house. They’re going to have to be tough and fearless.

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