29th April 2021
Regular readers of this blog will be aware that things are not well with the constitution of the United Kingdom, or with law and policy generally.
Regular readers will be braced for bad news – even without this blog’s frequent injunction of ‘brace brace’.
There are, believe it or not, some grounds for optimism.
The grand Cummings-Johnson project of pushing prime ministerial power as far as to could go is close to collapsing.
Cummings has gone, and Johnson has few remaining internal allies in government.
Indeed, Johnson seems quite isolated even within the government.
Other parts of the constitution are still twitching with indications of life.
For example: the house of lords, as with the Overseas Operations Bill, has ensured that certain proposed unpleasant provisions will not be enacted – resulting in a minister departing office.
And although few will have high hopes of various inquiries and investigations into what has and has not happened in Downing Street, at least those inquiries are happening and that they are, to a certain extent, beyond ministerial control.
The illiberal 2016 project does not – necessarily – have easy purchase in 2021.
Constitutionalism may still yet reassert itself.
To mimic Johnson – constitutionalists need not be doomsters and gloomsters.
One day – perhaps soon – the constitution of the United Kingdom will still be there, and Boris Johnson will not be.
Even if it is a close run thing.