Saturday, October 19, 2019

Meanwhile, Across the Pond

Another bad day for Boris Johnson. He presented his "deal" with the EU to the Commons only to see it derailed. A last minute amendment allowed by outgoing Speaker John Bercow blocked today's vote. The amendment passed 322 to 306.

It seems Parliament expected the blockage would send Boris back to Brussels to seek another extension. Boris doubled down declaring that he would not negotiate another delay with the EU. He's playing "my way or the highway" in a very high-stakes game of constitutional chicken.

I wonder what Theresa May is thinking? She had a deal, better in some ways than her successor's, and it was voted down again and again. Boris and company sent May packing, promising to negotiate a better deal with the Euros. It didn't work out that way. The Europeans held firm on Ireland and offered, instead, a customs border, an aquatic border running down the Irish Sea.

So, if Boris won't go back, cap in hand, to ask for another extension and his nerve holds for the next 11 or 12 days, the default option is "hard Brexit."

Things are getting tense. They're calling out the cops. Shadow home secretary, Dianne Abbott, got a police escort home.  House leader, Jacob Rees-Mog, and his 12-year old son, left Westminster with a police escort as a mob shouted "traitor."

On Monday, Scotland's Court of Session, will resume hearing an application for an injunction to order Johnson to apply for an extension as stipulated under the Benn Act.  Bercow says he'll sign the extension request letter if Johnson ignores the Scottish court.

I think what they need now is another Gunpowder Plot. This time, one that works.


Anonymous said...

Well, BoJo has now technically complied with the Benn Act:

Boris Johnson has sent a request to the EU for a delay to Brexit - but without his signature.

The request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, which says he believes that a delay would be a mistake.

No word yet on how long the courts will take to arrange a hearing, but it should be quick given the time constraints. Since when did conservatism become synonymous with lying, bad faith acts and generally behaving like a spoiled child?


The Mound of Sound said...

Interesting question, Cap.

In Canada, I'd mark the transition at the rise of the Reform Party under Manning and Harper's subsequent extermination of the Progressive Conservatives.

In the States it surely goes back to Bush/Cheney and the elimination of old school, patrician Republicans.

Perhaps the rot in British conservatism set in gradually with Margaret Thatcher.

Every now and then when these rightwing nutjobs go on a bender I see what I can find in Edmund Burke's writings. It's the sort of thing that can leave you craving two fingers of single-malt on the rocks.

Anonymous said...

This may be my own bias, but it seems that the worst asshats have no legal training. People like Reagan, Dubya, Trump, Harper and BoJo come to mind. When the Con race came down to Bernier or Scheer, I knew there was going to be a circus either way. Studying business, economics, political science, classics or drama doesn't seem to produce the same respect for what's possible within the laws and rules.



John B. said...

Legal advice is available to all those asshats. There's a problem when they're too stupid to take it. Of course, the smartest guys in the room will always think they know better, dismiss the advice and then find some kids to agree with them and bring in Arthur Hamilton.