Court and Rolled

I’ve often written about the parallels between Brexit and Trump’s election, and another has revealed itself over the past few days.

I haven’t followed the story too closely, but it appears the American Establishment is going into meltdown over a phone call Trump made to the Ukrainian president. Their Russian collusion narrative having failed, they’ve effortlessly switched to trying to impeach Trump over this phone call to Ukraine. In many respects, this is hardly news: the insane wing of the Democrats – which is most of them – have been banging on about impeaching Trump for months. They have no idea what for, and nor do they care; they just want to force him from office. The only newsworthy bit about this story is that Nancy Pelosi has finally been browbeaten into getting on board with it.

When it comes to Trump, the American ruling classes threw out the rule book a long time ago. The joint intelligence community and Democrat attempt to prevent him being elected and then unseat him after the event would have resulted in lengthy prison sentences or executions in pretty much every other country at any point in their history. They lied through their teeth about the Russia collusion and activist judges are ensuring every move he makes gets blocked. They don’t care about the law, nor who sees it. All they care about is removing Trump from office and they’re prepared to bring the whole house down on themselves to do it. In many respects, the rule of law no longer applies in Russia.

On our side of the Atlantic, our political classes are doing much the same thing. The other night the supreme court judges upended the British constitution to declare Boris Johnson’s proroguing parliament was illegal because they couldn’t think of a reason why he did it. If we cut through all the bullshit, a handful of judges – who are very much members of the ruling classes and share their interests – decided to kill off another attempt to deliver the Brexit which was decided via referendum in June 2016. So Britain now has a politicised supreme court like in the US, one which considers itself above the monarch. The ruling classes aren’t even pretending any more. They might as well come out and say Brexit isn’t happening because they don’t want it to. It would at least be more honest, and they might avoid adding a string of appalling precedents to the one they’ve already set by refusing to enact the result of a free vote. As with the US, Britain is no longer a country of laws. It is ruling class free-for-all.

With each passing month, the barriers between peace and violence get torn down one by one. There is only one place at the end of this road, and that is the sort of political violence you see in failed states with politicians, judges, policemen, and journalists all fair game. I don’t think it will happen soon, though. Instead, we’ll enter into decades of being ordered around at the whim of the ruling classes, who take ever more brazen liberties while tightening the noose around our own. And then a generation will arrive who won’t stand for it, and the blood will start flowing.

It won’t be Nancy Pelosi or Brenda Hale who pay the price of their contempt for the people and the law, nor even AOC or Gina Miller. It’ll be their grandchildren, assuming they have any, who will inherit their privileges but not their protections. Those clowns hanging onto the words of Greta Thunberg are right to be worried about their children’s futures, but not for the reasons they think.

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109 thoughts on “Court and Rolled

  1. I doubt whether it will be decades before there is a strong reaction from the general population because feelings are already running fairly strong.

    While Nigel Farage is not universally loved, he is an excellent ringmaster and does a good job of giving expression to an already widespread and growing sense of frustration and anger.

  2. I’m with TMB on this. I hope we will steer away from the course that ends there, but if not then I fear it will be a lot sooner than decades.

  3. You nailed it, I’ve always thought those who talked future violence and unrest were talking out their arses….now I think possibly sooner than you think.

  4. The tectonic plate crumbling underneath all of this is the unsustainable nature of the financing of most governments.

    Most governments spend more than they take in; they make financial commitments for pensions and healthcare that they can never honor; they print money in sophisticated ways to paper over the problems; they regulate their productive industries so heavily that they move to China, with associated loss of jobs & tax revenue (made worse by a negative multiplier effect); they politicize education such that many in the rising generation lack the skills to compete with Chinese workers; and they hide the resulting unemployment by demanding unnecessarily long credentialing processes, by growing direct & indirect government employment, and by lax criteria for “disability” status.

    Our Best & Brightest are failing. They are destroying the productive economy on which society depends. It would be nice to imagine We the People finally kicking out our failing Political Classes. But Venezuela’s current experience suggests Adam Smith had it right with his observation that “there is a lot of ruin in a nation”.

  5. Now we know why They took away all our weapons.
    The British are slow to anger, but have an innate sense of fairness: these corrupt judges & politicians will be brought to account soon by the law, whereas in the USA they would fear for their lives.

  6. Looking on the bright side, the previous three and a half years have flushed out in plain sight everyone who hates the country, it’s values, the system of checks and balances and who doesn’t like the idea that the population is sovereign, not some nebulous elite.

    If they ever pluck up the courage to ask you for your vote again, be sure to remind them that, from the Berlin Wall falling to German Reunification, only 13 months elapsed. If there is a will to do something, it will happen.

  7. Cant see the revolution being televised in my lifetime, that would get in the way of their neo-feudal plans which right now is to ramp up the velocity of the continued transfer of wealth to the haves. Plus people are not hungry enough to rebel. If we start seeing the level of lifestyle diabetes dropping off and emaciated folk rioting outside of KFC, then I will change my position accordingly.

    There may be tension our there, but who is to say that this is not created by them in order that they can bring in newer and bigger reforms to save us. Look at the last decade since the GFC, they had the choice then to reform the system, but they chose to continue with the one we are in now and what did we see happen since. Asset prices shot up, in a low inflation setting, the haves increased their assets ownership at the expense of the have nots. Iceland got out but are now well and truly back on the debt serving plantation.

    They need the state, and their money pumpers are going to give the banks more money to keep the whole thing functioning, the Europeans recently introduced the biggest money pumping exercise in their history, the US is about too, every central banks is talking about the lowest rates ever and QE is back.

    Its still about the economy stupid and we are about to witness yet another massive transfer of wealth to the elite, 70% odd of the people are now worse off since the GFC. You can either not get involved in it and go surfing and play the guitar which is fine, panic as they have planned and run around like a headless chooks as they fleece you , or play them at their own game by maintaining a cool hand and acquiring assets.

    I heard a part of Trumps UN speech which piqued my interest when he said something to the effect that the world does not belong to the Globalists, next minute they are attempting to impeach him.

  8. The other night the supreme court judges upended the British constitution to declare Boris Johnson’s proroguing parliament was illegal because they couldn’t think of a reason why he did it.

    FFS Tim, you’re usually much smarter than this. They declared it unlawful (not illegal) because

    a) it appeared to be a prima facie effort to prevent proper scrutiny of government actions by parliament through imposing a peculiarly long proroguing at a particularly significant juncture, and
    b) the government completely failed to offer any evidence contradicting point (a)

    …which is hardly surprising, given how many government advisers / commentators / bloggers / nutters were urging proroguing as a genius wheeze to force through Brexit without parliamentary scrutiny.

    11-0! That’s the Supreme Court version of “Do us a favour, we read the papers too”

  9. @Bardon,

    “I heard a part of Trumps UN speech which piqued my interest when he said something to the effect that the world does not belong to the Globalists, next minute they are attempting to impeach him.”

    I wonder whether the impeachment thing is actually a really Machiavellian move by Pelosi; she knows the current batch of candidates stand no chance in 2020 and, she’s not stupid, she knows there’s little chance of the impeachment finding anything but a large chance of it damaging the Biden family.

    What if she’s agreeing to impeachment to expose the extreme left of her party, at the cost of another presidential term, to bring the Democrats back to some level of sanity that might make them electable?

    Based on that theory, I put a couple of quid on Warren as candidate (@ $2.25) and Trump to win another term (@ $2.00) yesterday, to make things interesting.

  10. The Trump impeachment has virtually no chance of succeeding. I will cut and paste from two blogs since I don’t want my comment to await approval and be lost off in the comments as being near the front and not read/ignored …

    What Pelosi is doing is a masterful job at exercising a coup. Using a whistleblower report that no one has yet seen, and relying on a newspaper report that itself relied on third hand information to begin impeachment proceedings has me wondering of she hasn’t planned this all along.

    As Trumps approval numbers remain high at 53%, there is no Democrat challenger that is likely to win the Presidential election next year. With that in mind, the Democrat party cannot survive another 4 years of Trump placing judges in the Federal court system. Especially since Ginsberg is unlikely to survive until 2025. A 6-3 majority of Republican SCOTUS justices just can’t be allowed to happen, if you are part of the Democrat leadership.

    If the Democrats can put enough pressure on RINOs and on Republicans in Senate seats that are from tossup states like Maine, this impeachment may just be successful in the Senate. From there, I see one of two courses of action to follow:

    1 Impeach Trump, and immediately impeach Pence, which would place Pelosi in the Whitehouse. This, I think, is the least likely.

    2 Impeach Trump some time in January or February and watch as Pence takes over the Presidency for the last few months of the term. Since he doesn’t have the name recognition, his chances of beating any of the Democratic contenders is fairly low.

    Once the Democrats are in charge of both houses of Congress as well as the Whitehouse, they are free to enact full amnesty and register some 30 million former illegals as new Democrat voters within 30 days of inauguration. A gun ban will follow, as will every Socialist policy they can cram through in the first 100 days.

    It’s almost like it was planned and orchestrated for years.

    And a link to a blog entry that has multiple links which sets out what has happened and the relevant bits of the law etc. that they are trying to use against Trump:

    https://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2019/09/two-questions.html

    My advice to the Dimocrats would be “be careful what you wish for. If you set a precedent, then that can be used against you next time …”. But the ONLY thing a politician craves is being in power and they will do anything to gain power and hang on to it.

    As for the UK, then 99 years ago, the first Firearms Act 1920 was introduced under false pretences as an anti crime motion whereas the real reason was that the powers that be were cared witless about the Russian Revolution. It murdered Alexandra Feodorovna, the Czars wife who was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria via Princess Alice. Britain had over 4 million men under arms during WW1 and as there was no arms control prior to 1920,then that could not be allowed to happen there. The Metropolitain Police Commissioner wanted to confiscate all firearms and issue them to Tory supporters in the event of a revolution or civil disturbances. The papers and decisions were placed under a 60 year gag order and were not made available until 1981.

    So, yes, I agree with Ed P – you can’t own firearms because the Government doesn’t trust you. Compare and contrast with Iraq under Saddam Hussein where every household has a right to own an AK47 (or likely nowadays, an AK74) for self protection. Odd that an ogre and dictator like Saddam Hussein allows his people military weapons that they fire at weddings and other high holidays but the “free” west does not …

    Similarly, that is why Americans with an IQ higher than their shoe size and have the sense to come in out of the rain know that the 2nd Amendment is there to protect the people against the over reach of a despotic government.

  11. And then a generation will arrive who won’t stand for it, and the blood will start flowing.

    We’re completely d’accord on that one. It isn’t that “people” in general have had enough, it’s as you say, a new lot comes along, looks around, and asks “we’re putting up with this shit why, exactly?

  12. Tim,

    I’m a staunch Brexiteer, and probably a “no-dealer” as the only way to force the issues into the open, but I’m with Freddy Netzsche on the supreme court judgement. If you haven’t read it, you really should. It’s a masterpiece of clarity and reminds us of our very very long constitutional history. It’s here:
    https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2019-0192-judgment.pdf

    A couple of points worth noting, not in any particular order right now (I have to get out to work…) .

    1) From the judgement, it’s clear that the die was actually cast two years ago when Gina Miller won her first case. That caused Parliament to get in the way and it’s been impossible to negotiate since then.

    2) With this in mind, I think BoJo has massively phuqued up here. He’s misread the situation. He was hoping to get round Parliament by proroguing and has been busted. I can’t see any way he could have done so. In order to have avoided part of this judgement, he could have been clearer that Parliament was preventing him from doing his job and appealed to the people as the source of Parliament’s sovereignty, but he would have fallen foul of the Withdrawal Act (1) if he had done so. He has failed to point clearly at the real source of the constitutional crisis: that Parliament does not represent the people in this instance.

    3) No-one appears to have spotted one other interesting line in the judgement. It’s at para 41 on p16:

    “The first is the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty: that laws
    enacted by the Crown in Parliament are the supreme form of law in our legal system, with which everyone, including the Government, must comply. “

    That’s actually what this is about. Not the NI backstop, or a temporary hiccup in the flow of goods. It’s about whether or not the Crown in Parliament is the supreme form of law. As a member of the EU, it is not.

    I am now very concerned about where we go from here. Whilst this judgement is an affirmation that all branches of government are subject to the rule of law – which is a good thing – but unfortunately we have a couple of laws on the books now which make this situation absolutely impossible.

    The Conservative party is completely Phuqued.
    The Labour party was just about to implode when it appeared to be temporarily saved by the recall of parliament mid-conference. Grandpa Death is still at the helm and his minions are still out there and toxic.

    A GE could, possibly, have resolved this a week ago as BoJo could have played people vs Parliament, but this judgement utterly skewers that.

    I cannot see either side winning a majority – it’s going to be completely pot luck and then we’re still in the same rut. This is why I would have backed a no deal crash out. It seems to me that’s the only way to get past the current road block and let someone more sensible come in and start clearing up the fallout.

    One last point. My CFO was wandering about looking like a condemned man on the basis that we could now be more likely to see a Corbyn govt. My only answer to that is that every generation has to be innoculated against the likes of him. We may have to go through that pain to do so.

  13. Legal judgements at this level are very subjective. For those that are insisting that Tony Blair’s ‘Supreme Court’ has made the right judgement, I ask you whether you really think that this court, packed with staunch Remainers and progressive activists, would really have come up with exactly the same reasoning and judgement had the Remainers been in power and prorogued Parliament just as Boris did for the purpose of preventing Brexit.

    Pig’s arse they would have.

  14. There won’t be any violence, not on a scale that anyone would notice anyway. The history of police states is them getting on top and making sure everyone else is kept on the bottom. So long as the masses have enough money to afford the basics of a comfortable life, they won’t risk their own necks. You only see violence when commerce breaks down and people start to starve. It’s at that point, only when they having nothing to lose, do they start to take risks. The fat, comfortable and cowardly populations of the west won’t risk so much as a meal to stand against their own governments, let alone their lives.

  15. Freddy Netzsche is correct. I’m very surprised at Tim for falling for faux outrage from Brexiters about this.

    The Government’s official position, that BoJo repeated, was that proroguing Parliament had nothing to do with Brexit. Let that sink in. Okay, everybody accepts BoJo is a habitual liar, and it’s just one more lie (or ‘aspiration’) from BoJo, Gove, Raab etc… But that was the official position.

    The court’s decided that proroguing Parliament for the longest period since 1930 at a time of constitutional significance was exceptional, and being of constitutional significance was within its remit. It asked the Government to offer evidence supporting this constitutionally exceptional decision, and the Government offered none. The Government couldn’t offer anything because the actual reason for the decision was the one it was officially denying.

    The best defence it could make was that the decision to suspend Parliament was a political decision (tacitly admitting the reason was dishonest). Once the court decided it was a constitutional matter, the Government could either tell the truth or offer no argument, it chose the latter.

    Now people might think ‘oh well it’s just one more lie, and we’ve turned a blind eye to a shit load of others’! But this lie is different; it’s a constitutional matter. The ‘aspirations’ BoJo, Gove, Raab etc… spouted during the referendum campaign were political, their recent attempts at revisionism to reimagine those claims as the diametric opposite of what they meant at the time is also political matter. But shutting down Parliament for an unusually long period at a time of constitutional crisis is a constitutional matter not a political matter.

    I do think this is an example of people becoming desensitized to outright dishonesty from certain politicians, because our default awareness of them is they are so characteristically, persistently, unashamedly, dishonest that we see that dishonest as the normal or expected state of things. It’s a bit like how Derren Brown claims to be ‘honest’ about his ‘dishonesty’ at the start of his TV shows.

  16. @Hector Drummond
    You’re missing a crucial point here; the Govt’s official position was that proroguing Parliament was nothing to do with Brexit. So either you think the decision to prorogue was dishonest and therefore you basically agree with the court’s finding. Or, you believe the Govt official position and therefore the court decision is trivial and any Remainer bias is irrelevant. Surely there has to be some level of intellectual consistency?

  17. @HectorDrummond

    Completely agree but I have a minor quibble regarding the placement of the quotes around ‘Supreme Court’, may I suggest, “Tony Blair’s Supreme Court” as it is thoroughly his creature.

  18. FFS Tim, you’re usually much smarter than this. They declared it unlawful (not illegal) because

    a) it appeared to be a prima facie effort to prevent proper scrutiny of government actions by parliament through imposing a peculiarly long proroguing at a particularly significant juncture, and
    b) the government completely failed to offer any evidence contradicting point (a)

    But up until two days ago, (a) was not in fact illegal. John Major did the same thing: he prorogued Parliament for a particularly long time before the 1997 election to prevent it properly scrutinising a report on corruption in his government. But nobody then suggested that proroging Parliament in order to stop scrutiny of the government was illegal, because it wasn’t.

    And the High Court, including the Lord Chief Justice, two weeks ago agreed with that.

    The Supreme Court just made up a brand new law.

    What’s more they really made up two new rules: firstly, the rule that a prorogation which has the effect of stopping Parliament scrutinising the government needs a good reason; and secondly, and much, much more importantly, they made up the rule that the court can take it upon itself to invent such limitations on the exercise of prerogative powers, something which previously was only done by statute (there would have been nothing controversial about Parliament passing an Act which restricted the use of the power of prorogation, indeed, such a thing would be much less controversial than the Fixed-term Parliament Act and nobody claims that was illegitimate, massive turd floating in the middle of the constitution though it is).

    What is breathtaking, unprecedented arrogance is the court just up and giving itself the power to do what had previously only been done by Parliament, and make new rules about the exercise of prerogative powers..

    Imagine if we’d had a pro-appeasement Supreme Court in 1939, that had ruled the declaration of war with Germany to be unlawful because it lacked a good enough reason. That is the logical consequence of this ruling.

  19. The Supreme Court’s ruling is explicitly and expressly overriding our Constitution. We might not have a single document for our Constitution, but we do have recognised Constitutional documents as well as a sprinkling of conventions and tacit understandings.

    One of those Constitutional Documents is the 1689 Bill of Rights (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_1689) which clearly states “the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament”.

    That is what gives MPs the right to make slanderous comments in the House of Commons (e.g. Tom Watson) with no fear of prosecution.

    It also makes it extremely clear that Parliamentary procedures are a matter for Parliament itself ALONE and NOT this so-called “Supreme Court”.

    This is an example of unelected Judges who we didn’t vote for and cannot vote out of power taking political decisions and overruling our Democracy – the exact same complaint that was made against the EU itself.

    They are so determined to prevent Brexit they are prepared to burn down our Constitution, our Social Order and all respect for Democracy and the Rule of Law.

    This really is the start of a Civil War.

  20. I think Tim is wrong on the specifics of the ruling but absolutely spot on with the general message that we are in a civil war of the people vs the elite. The saving grace is that we do still have an electoral system. As the US Democrats have discovered, it is still possible for an infidel to get elected. Here in the UK our salvation can only come via a populist government with a majority deliberately and gleefully dismantling their shit and rubbing their noses in it.

  21. >You’re missing a crucial point here; the Govt’s official position was that proroguing Parliament was nothing to do with Brexit. So either you think the decision to prorogue was dishonest and therefore you basically agree with the court’s finding. Or, you believe the Govt official position and therefore the court decision is trivial and any Remainer bias is irrelevant. Surely there has to be some level of intellectual consistency?

    Why is whatever reason the government gives a court matter in the first place? Don’t you think that if things were the other way around that “Tony Blair’s Supreme Court” would say ‘”Nothing to do with us guv”, or, if forced to make a decision, they’d say “It’s all fine, it’s not for us to infer dishonesty”, or “Whether or not there’s any dishonesty is irrelevant, Parliament has been prorogued before, it’s no biggie”.

  22. Pingback: Try reversing it, then get back to me – Hector Drummond

  23. @S
    You’re missing the point. It’s not whether Boris had good reason, many believe he did have a good reason. But that reason is not the one he claimed. It’s the nature of this particular lie that has caused all the issues. People are getting outraged because they just accept Boris tells lies, because that’s what he does, and they don’t think his lies are a matter for the courts. But this particular decision had constitutional implications (The Pedant-General’s post above pretty much explains how he snookered himself), so once the court decided the Government’s decisions could be reviewed the Government had effectively tied it’s own hands.

    You can either believe Boris lied about the reasons for proroguing and basically agree with the court’s interpretation, or you can believe Boris told the truth about proroguing having nothing to do with Brexit and therefore it’s all trivial and nothing to be outraged about.

  24. To be clear, Pelosi has NOT started impeachment proceedings against Trump. She has announced an ‘inquiry into impeachment’. Something that has been going on for some time. It’s red meat to try and throw off the AOC brigade. Impeachment has zero chance of getting through the Senate, but a >80% chance of screwing Democrats. She may be an evil old bird, but she is a wily evil old bird.

    MJW, Freddie, et al.

    Politicians perform political actions for political reasons. Well i never! Colour me shocked.

    ‘Twas ever thus and the Supreme Court has made itself equally political and will rue the day it allowed itself to join the politicians in the mud and started to try and second guess political motives.

    And if the senior judge in the land – the Lord Chief Justice outranks all the members of the Supreme Court, even if their venue outranks his – believes that there is no place for the judiciary in this case, believing that the SC is wrong seems a pretty respectable position

  25. once the court decided the Government’s decisions could be reviewed the Government had effectively tied it’s own hands

    Which is the key. There is no precedent for a decision to advise the queen to prorogue Parliament being able to be reviewed. The court just up and decided to award itself the authority to review the government’s decision to so advise Her Majesty.

    The court decided that it could review this decision. That was wrong of the court. The court should have decided, as the High Court had, as the Lord Chief Justice had, that this was a political matter that was none of it’s business.

    You can either believe Boris lied about the reasons for proroguing and basically agree with the court’s interpretation, or you can believe Boris told the truth about proroguing having nothing to do with Brexit and therefore it’s all trivial and nothing to be outraged about

    No: I can (and do) both believe that Boris lied (though not necessarily that he lied to the Queen, as we don’t know what he said to her in private) and disagree that that is any business of the court’s.

    We have a tried and tested mechanism for dealing with politicians — yes, even Prime Ministers — who lie. It’s called an election.

    That’s who politicians are answerable to: the electorate. Not the courts.

    Or at least it was for centuries, until two days ago.

  26. @Hector Drummond
    You’re argument is basically the one the Govt relied on, that the dishonest use of prerogative powers in this particular way was not a matter for the courts. Constitutional law is an arcane matter I’m not qualified to speculate on, but the Supreme Court disagreed and the decision is pretty logical from there onwards.

    Some people are claiming the Supreme Court has exceeded its remit effectively created a new law checking the dishonest use of prerogative powers in this particular way. So theoretically the Govt could bring forward legislation permitting the dishonest use of prerogative powers, kind of ‘Boris-proofing’ the constitution, maybe sneak it through in uncontroversial bills.

  27. In both the A50 case and proroguing case the SC has basically said ‘parliament is sovereign’. The structure and even existence of the SC, the electoral rules, the entire establishment edifice are all able to be reworked by statute law. The only route the people have to defeating the establishment is via a parliamentary majority. And that implies an overtly populist party with a clear ‘rebalancing of powers’ manifesto.
    I’ll hold my bretah.

  28. We have a tried and tested mechanism for dealing with politicians — yes, even Prime Ministers — who lie. It’s called an election.

    That’s who politicians are answerable to: the electorate. Not the courts.

    Or at least it was for centuries, until two days ago.

    The availability of elections does not place the Government above the law. So it all comes down to whether (this) dishonest use of prerogative powers is subject to the law.

  29. The availability of elections does not place the Government above the law. So it all comes down to whether (this) dishonest use of prerogative powers is subject to the law.

    It does. And if you can point me to the statute that defines the law as regards this dishonest use of prerogative powers then I will believe it is subject to the law.

    But if there is no such statute, then it isn’t subject to the law.

  30. The supreme court was a Blairite trap set to serve as a catchall for the left in case a govt tried to undo the damage of the multiculti Europhiles. How anyone can consider it even remotely legitimate is beyond me. It was established as a weapon of last resort and needs to be dismantled asap.

  31. I believe they’re connected. The current establishment has strong links with most of the press and particularly TV. So, they’re cut from the same cloth. Their priorities aren’t necessary the people’s priorities, but the people didn’t know that.

    Like immigration in the UK only started getting traction because the people at Migration Watch started putting out content on the internet. They were called racists quite frequently, but stuck at it. The MSM were not covering these figures until it got to the point that they had no choice. They love rainbow nation stuff.

    The growth of the internet has created more and more platforms for opinions. Stuff you just didn’t know appears before you and rewires your political positions.

    That’s why we’ve got Trump, Brexit, Salvini etc. Everyone has realised the current liberal establishment isn’t serving them well. And the establishment has no real power. All those judges and civil servants are appointed by someone, who is appointed by someone and you follow it back, and it’s ministers handing out the money and power, and we can replace the ministers. And the more they fight, the better, as far as I’m concerned, because it’ll only bring forth an even bigger monster to destroy them.

    Like I’ve often said, the Euphiles could have gotten most of what they wanted if they agreed a Lisbon referendum back in 2007, maybe tweaked a bit of the EU and done a compromise. Instead, they’ve done nothing, nothing at all to compromise with Eurosceptics. They’ve exposed themselves as devious scum to everyone, including moderate remainers. We’re probably going to be leaving with No Deal because they couldn’t accept the version of the EU that a lot of the country wanted, so the rest of the country said bollocks to them.

  32. That’s why we’ve got Trump, Brexit, Salvini etc

    Maybe Trump and Salvini, but not Brexit. Because Brexit isn’t a modern phenomenon: you’d have got pretty much the same result if you’d asked the question of the British electorate any time from the beginning of the EU.

    If there had been a referendum on the Maastricht Treaty in the UK, it never would have been ratified (it was barely ratified in Parliament and John Major’s tricks to get it through were as dirty as anything Boris has done) and the UK would never have been in the EU to start with. That’s why there wasn’t one.

    In truth the 2016 referendum was just that referendum we should have had in 1992, delayed.

    So no, Brexit is nothing to do with Trump, Salvini, the growth of the internet, and so on and so forth. Those are modern phenomena of the inter-net age, but Brexit happened because over twenty-five years ago, Parliament fundamentally altered the UK’s constitution without seeking the electorate’s consent and against its will. That’s not a sustainable situation, and the bubble had to burst sometime.

  33. Most governments spend more than they take in; they make financial commitments for pensions and healthcare that they can never honor; they print money in sophisticated ways to paper over the problems; they regulate their productive industries so heavily that they move to China, with associated loss of jobs & tax revenue (made worse by a negative multiplier effect); they politicize education such that many in the rising generation lack the skills to compete with Chinese workers; and they hide the resulting unemployment by demanding unnecessarily long credentialing processes, by growing direct & indirect government employment, and by lax criteria for “disability” status.

    Gavin’s comment is about as concise and accurate a description of western governments and their suicidal tendencies as I’ve seen. Bravo.

  34. I’m amazed at how little focus there has been in the press about exactly why Hunter Biden was raking in money from Ukrainian gas companies, which is one of the main things this was all about.

    I assume it’s not called bribery if it’s a ‘job’.

  35. It seems that the term “Snowflake” can apply to the right wing too: The court says that governing should be done with the consent of parliament (and therefore the people) and everybody’s screaming about revolutions, rebellions and the death of democracy…

    Parliament represents the people. It is no more undemocratic to ignore the referendum result than it is to suspend parliament because it is making decisions that the PM doesn’t like. And I thought Brexiteers were all about the democracy…

  36. The court says that governing should be done with the consent of parliament (and therefore the people) and everybody’s screaming about revolutions, rebellions and the death of democracy

    Yes. Because the court has effectively said that in a fight between government and Parliament, it gets to pick the winner.

    That means it has set itself up an an authority above both. Because by definition if I can say which out of two sides wins, then I must be above both.

    So the court has declared that it, not Parliament, is the final authority on interpretation of the constitution.

    And unlike Parliament, and unlike the US supreme court, this court is not elected*, directly or indirectly, by the people.

    Yet.

    That’s why the disquiet.

    * The US supreme court is indirectly elected: the people elect the President and the senate, and together the President and the Senate elect judges to the US supreme court. The process is rather convoluted, but it is democratic.

  37. Interesting & informative discussion. Thanks, everyone!

    One more thought specifically about Brexit — the fundamental reason for this mess is that the people of the UK were, and still are, deeply divided. There was a recent poll that showed a narrow majority would now vote in favor of Remain — which is the kind of thing that can happen when the population is nearly evenly split.

    Leave/Remain is anyway a very coarse approach to a whole spectrum of views — those who want to walk away without a deal; those who want to leave with a negotiated deal; those who want to stay in the EU but reform it; those who really do believe in an EU super-state. And then there are those who are as skeptical about Parliament as they are about Brussels (with increasingly obvious good reason!), and those who simply don’t care.

    Until Brits can build a solid consensus on what they want to do, there is going to be a lot of unhappiness. And that unhappiness will not be ended either by leaving the EU or by staying in. Yet none of the UK political animals seems even to be trying to build that solid consensus. Stormy days ahead, regardless of the outcome of the current imbroglio!

  38. “if I can say which out of two sides wins, then I must be above both”

    Yes, it’s called checks and balances. But let’s continue that line of thought: Parliament can now propose legislation counter to the decision of the Supreme Court. By your logic, that puts parliament above the court, right?

    Also, since the court put the decision-making power back in parliament (which is led by the government), how can it possibly be elevating itself above either?

    Finally, Boris is a PM without his own mandate and without a majority. why on earth should he have the power to decide what is and is not democratic, but the highest court should not? It makes no sense to me.

  39. I fear some have missed the point, which is that on both sides of the Atlantic the law is selectively applied and, when that is not possible, the judges simply rule any way they like. Since the result of the referendum, the elites have engaged in a relentless lawfare, thwarting Brexit at every point and turn using fair means or foul. So Boris acted unlawfully, did he? Well, so did Mikhail Khodorkovsky but nobody sensible tries to claim his prosecution wasn’t 100% political. And why was this case even being heard? If the PM has acted unlawfully, does it really fall to Gina Miller – who is simply a paid patsy for Establishment Remainers – to bring the case to the Supreme Court? Who is she, and who elected her? As Hector points out, if it were not in the elites’ interests to bring a case, it would never have even been heard. The case simply wouldn’t exist because they’d not be paying a Gina Miller to bring it, and anyone not on the elites’ payroll would simply be ignored. In other words, the application of the law – even supposing they ruled correctly – is highly selective.

    And so what if Boris did act unlawfully? Is Parliament, which has blocked No Deal, voted down the only deal on the table, and is hell bent on dragging this farce out indefinitely acting in good faith? No, they’re not. So Boris came up with a way to break the deadlock and deliver what the people voted for, and all of a sudden it’s a matter for the Supreme Court which so happens to be packed with the friends of the people who hired Gina Miller. It wouldn’t matter what Boris did or didn’t do, they were only going to rule one way, and they will continue to do so until Brexit is dead and buried.

  40. It is no more undemocratic to ignore the referendum result than it is to suspend parliament because it is making decisions that the PM doesn’t like

    Firstly, that has happened several times in British history and nobody declared it unlawful. Secondly, the reason he suspended it was because Parliament refused to do its job by voting down No Deal while refusing to vote for a deal, and refusing to trigger a GE, thus leaving the country in permanent limbo for perpetuity. Parliament has utterly failed, in large part because dickheads like Cameron and Blair meddled to the point we now have a constitutional crisis which could not have happened before.

  41. It is not necessary for people to be starving before a civil war can start. The English Civil war, the American civil war, and the NI troubles are all counter examples. An over production of elites is a common cause- and we have 50% of each year group going to university where they are led to believe they are part of an elite.
    I do not believe the Supreme court’s decision was correct, partly because the High court, composed entirely of experienced common law judges found otherwise, partly because scarcely any member of the Supreme court has practised in English common law, none as a judge and finally because they included a phrase to the effect that this case turns on its own facts, a phrase otherwise used to indicate that no precedent is set. This leaves the court free to reverse the decision in a later case. It has, at least up to now, been used after judgement when an honest mistake has been discovered.
    Changing subject, the house can indict Trump for any high crime or misdemeanor it chooses- having bad hair in office will suffice, and it can be done in an afternoon if the house wills it. Remember an indictment is merely a formal accusation. That has the effect of bringing the matter to the Senate, where a 2/3 majority is required for removal. The Senate can move as quickly or slowly as it likes. Should the house impeach expect a very long, thorough Senate investigation, followed by exoneration unless the house has a spectacular slam dunk case. If the case is weak, or can be seen as a political hit job expect the public to be fully appraised, probably during the election campaign when the investigation will still be happening.
    In the unlikely event of Trump being removed, then the whole process has to start again with Pence. There is no chance of this being completed before the election, and in any case if Pelosi wanted the presidency why didn’t she stand, with the possibility of 4-8 years, rather than go this route with a remote possibility of a week or two?

  42. So Boris came up with a way to break the deadlock and deliver what the people voted for

    Boris said people were voting for lots of things but No Deal wasn’t one of them. The problem with shrugging one’s shoulders at dishonesty when it’s convenient is that you can’t really expect anything but dishonesty from what follows. Boris and chums never had any intention of delivering what they said people were voting for, I’m not even convinced Boris even expected to have to try and deliver it, let alone believing his own claims. But his approach of keep grifting in the hope it eventually pays off is looking increasingly desperate. His best shot now is to call a vote of no confidence in himself, he’s no more got a plan today than he had three years ago, and he needs a GE before a No Deal exit.

  43. Tim: “… on both sides of the Atlantic the law is selectively applied …”

    It has been that way for a long time. Hillary Clinton’s mis-handling of confidential e-mails remains unprosecuted. Bill Clinton has been credibly accused of multiple rapes and is clearly guilty of the abuse of female employees in the workplace — and he too remains unprosecuted. When law is applied selectively, it can reasonably be argued that it is no longer law; it is merely the stronger beating on the weaker. Sadly, we all get the government we deserve.

  44. Its odd, when Gordon Brown lied about offering the UK public a vote on the Lisbon Treaty, the courts said that lying was just peachy…………..

  45. Touching on a few of the points in Tim’s most recent…

    So Boris acted unlawfully, did he? Well, so did Mikhail Khodorkovsky but nobody sensible tries to claim his prosecution wasn’t 100% political.

    Certainly can’t argue with this, but surely all involved would like to think that courts in Britain, Brussels, Luxembourg & all of the EU really are better than Russia

    why was this case even being heard? If the PM has acted unlawfully, does it really fall to Gina Miller – who is simply a paid patsy for Establishment Remainers – to bring the case to the Supreme Court?

    Again, the details are important here. Gina Miller was appealing to the Supreme Court because her case had already been decided against in England. However the Scottish courts had decided in favour of the local plaintiffs, and it was the government that was appealing. Which is fine — two different legal systems, two different outcomes. This was going to the SC either way. (Who is behind Gina Miller, I don’t know and don’t really care — presumably if it weren’t her, it would be someone else.)

    Is Parliament, which has blocked No Deal, voted down the only deal on the table, and is hell bent on dragging this farce out indefinitely acting in good faith?

    I’m not sure “acting in good faith” is a meaningful concept for a collective body. It’s composed of individual actors, all doing their own thing. Whether what they are doing is compatible with what they promised their constituents, party organisers or conscience is an individual matter.

    So Boris came up with a way to break the deadlock and deliver what the people voted for

    Well no, and this is the crux of the matter. Because the people voted for two things:

    (i) Brexit in a referendum, but an ill-defined one with many soft/medium/hard variations
    (ii) Parliament in a subsequent general election

    The fact that the parliament hasn’t been able to form a coherent response to the Brexit demand doesn’t mean Boris gets to ride roughshod over the elected representatives of the people. That way madness lies.

    [and just to be clear, this is the opposite of a fisking … our gracious host has read the whole thread after his initial post, and summarised his reaction, and I am honing in on the points of most interest]

  46. Parliament has utterly failed, in large part because dickheads like Cameron and Blair meddled to the point we now have a constitutional crisis which could not have happened before.

    Yes 100%! The modern political class seems to have zero ability to think three moves deep

  47. Tim: “Parliament has utterly failed”

    That is the definite weak point about Brexit — it involves giving complete power over the UK back to that same failed Parliament. Brexit without reform in the governance of the UK is a recipe for tears. And there have been enough elections to make it obvious that mere shuffling of MPs is not a solution.

    An unfortunate feature of the Brexit debacle is that the hard-liners have totally dominated the debate — the No Dealers at one end and the Revoke Article 50 people at the other end. Both groups of hard-liners are probably small minorities — e.g., only 6 million people (13% of UK citizens) voted for the Brexit Party in the European elections.

    There probably is a genuine majority of people in the UK who fall into the camps of either (a) leaving with a negotiated deal or (b) remaining in an EU which undergoes significant reforms — positions which (setting aside the emotional angle) are not that far apart. But, in another demonstration of the utter fecklessness of the UK’s Political Class, no-one is even trying to forge a substantial majority out of those camps.

    The analogy with the Trump Impeachment nonsense is that the once-proud Democrat Party has been completely taken over by hard-liners who do not represent the real voting base of the Party. The difference with the UK is that President Trump is now explicitly positioning the Republican Party as the party of working people — trying to grab that Big Middle group of voters which hard-line Democrat extremists are abandoning. There does not appear to be any leader in the UK with similar smarts & insight.

  48. Certainly can’t argue with this, but surely all involved would like to think that courts in Britain, Brussels, Luxembourg & all of the EU really are better than Russia

    This isn’t about how good the courts are, rather which cases are brought to bear and which are ignored completely.

    The fact that the parliament hasn’t been able to form a coherent response to the Brexit demand doesn’t mean Boris gets to ride roughshod over the elected representatives of the people.

    But the elected representatives get to ride roughshod over the actual people.

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