Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Tory MPs Vote to Break the Law & the PM Seems at Death's Door

Last night 340 Tory MPs voted to break international law by backing the shambolic Internal Markets Bill which would throw the Prime Minister's "oven-ready" Brexit deal in the bin. That would be the Brexit deal Johnson forced his MPs to vote for in December, sacking rebels in the process, before changing his mind when reality hit home. What a complete joke.

The Prime Minister was savaged by Ed Miliband who demonstrated he's far better at leading the opposition than Mr Brylcreem, Sir Keir Starmer, and given how poorly Miliband performed in 2015, this does not bode well for Labour, but that's another story.

Johnson, clearly in the grip of "long Covid", ravaged and disoriented by post-viral fatigue, was only only able to gawp like a drooling, barely-sentient zombie of a PM whose vocabulary does not extend beyond flatulence, grunts, and hysterical soundbites as Ed Miliband pointed out: "Either he wasn't straight with the country about the deal in the first place or he didn't understand it."

In all fairness, Johnson probably never read his oven-ready Brexit deal - he just wanted to play Prime Minister and be Brexit hero, maybe even get his pale, clammy, flustered face on a bank note. Brexit was supposed to be his Churchillian moment, but however this transpires, the history books will remember a shambles of leadership through not one, but several national crises, a man who really should've been on his sick bed and would've been out of his depth even in good health, let alone when he looked ready to keel over.

Twenty years from now, Boris Johnson will not only be reviled for the chaos that he is imposing on our nation, but he will be a running joke and people will be aghast we could ever have voted such a man into power. Indeed many of us already are aghast, but we're known as "cranks".

"For the first time in his life it's time for him to take responsibility," Miliband insisted. The mothers of Johnson's many children would advise us not to hold our breath. 

The problem here is that although Miliband's impressive parliamentary performance was an embarrassment for the government, that's all it really was, and it will likely make no difference. The Tories will most probably get their way and court action now offers the most realistic hope of stopping them. Nicola Sturgeon is understood to be looking very closely at this option, but ultimately her goal is a clean break from this joke of a union - and who can blame her? If I was Scottish, I'd want to be well shot too.

A Threat to an Already Flawed Democracy

The Internal Markets Bill would give ministers the power to change aspects of the legally-binding EU Withdrawal Agreement whenever they want, in other words ignoring rules already enshrined in law. Combine this with their efforts to criminalise protest and move towards mass surveillance and we are looking at serious threats to an already flawed democracy, although not necessarily Johnson dictatorship. I'm not sure the PM can be bothered and will probably hand the reins over to human-worm hybrid Michael Gove at some point, if Gove doesn't knife him in the back first.

Only a fool or someone who has never read a history book would discount the possibility of Tory dictatorship, or at the very least, a severely compromised form of democracy. Indeed, some might argue we are living in an oligarchy right now in which the public only have a vague influence on the future direction of our country. Britain certainly falls short of being a full democracy, which is why we have a woman in Buckingham Palace who does nothing for a living and wears a £4 million hat.

The right wing always grab as much power as they can, usually in the name of "national security" or the "will of the people" and right now, they are probing our flawed democracy for weak spots at every opportunity, but sadly, the leader of the opposition is much too polite to point this out. It is, of course, much more important for the leader of a socialist party to stop the rise of socialism - and Sir Keir is doing an admirable job in that regard - he really is earning his knighthood.

Only two Tory MPs - Sir Roger Gale and Andrew Percy - voted against the Internal Markets Bill, but I refuse to heap praise on the pair for even a microsecond. They are Tories, after all, and call me cynical, but whatever their motivations, I seriously doubt the national interest was among them. Tories always look out for themselves, so no, Gale and Percy are not heroes, not in my view. They're just two Tories who happen to be on the right side of a vote for a change.

Last night, Johnson could easily have been mistaken for heavily-inebriated, rather than stupefied by panic and ill-health, and the unmistakable look of terror in his eyes, like a rabbit in the headlights as Miliband's truth bombs raced towards him, suggested part of him wants to be gently put out his misery, rather than see his reputation splattered on the tarmac by reality.

Johnson knows he's out of his depth, but alas, the Prime Minister has dug himself into a hole even the ever-supportive Rupert Murdoch would struggle to dig him out of. He will haemorrhage support after this, and a further power grab may well be the only way he can hold onto power, if he truly wants to keep it. But I suspect he'd far rather jet off to Mustique with his latest mistress and let Cummings do the work, and this may well be the plan actually.

There is a decent chance Johnson will not be in charge for the 2024 general election, but don't doubt for one second the Tories will somehow replace him with worse - after all, they are on a decade-long roll. Following the incompetent Cameron and emotionless Maybot, they somehow managed to find even worse in cuddly Boris and they will certainly find worse again, even though we appear to have the worst possible representative out of 66.65 million people. 

I'm unsure even Michael Gove could surpass Boris Johnson's awfulness, but unless he's up to that job, his party will quickly look elsewhere for their next calamity. Fuck, I'm half-expecting them to drag Thatcher from her throne room in hell and put her shambling corpse in charge of the post-Brexit, super-pandemic apocalypse. I look forward to her deregulating the rat meat industry and privatising breathable air.

If Johnson passes his disastrous Internal Markets Bill (and he probably will), then he will shatter our international reputation, but he knows his "oven-ready" Brexit deal was a threat to the union and completely unworkable, being so foul, rancid and chlorine-drenched that not even a government as undignified and immoral as this one could continue to pretend otherwise. 

Johnson could easily be remembered as the prime minister who ended peace in Northern Ireland or broke up the United Kingdom, and could plausibly be remembered as both, but on the plus side, he may well cement his party's grip on little England and keep the Tories in power indefinitely. It's just there won't be much left that's worth ruling over and he probably won't stick around to clean up his mess. Britain is now an undeveloping country.

The PM's only other option (apart from resignation) is to admit the only workable Brexit is the one proposed by Jeremy Corbyn in 2019 which he pretended would be so terrible. That would be the same Brexit the Starmerists and Lib Dems ensured did not happen because they did not want Corbyn to become interim PM. Of course, centrists would now jump at the chance to pass that bill, but they felt the peace-loving jam maker posed more of a threat to the nation than Tory dictatorship. The centrists own this mess too. 

Only the First Hurdle

It's barely worth mentioning, 30 other Tory MPs (or as I call them, cowards) abstained on last night's vote. They lacked the courage of their convictions and sat back as the Prime Minister's buffoonery began shredding what remains of our international reputation. However, it's worth pointing out this was just the first hurdle for the bill and Parliament will look at it again, next Tuesday, meaning there is the tiny possibility of abstainers finding their backbone and either forcing amendments or voting against the bill. I'm not holding my breath that they'll make the slightest difference though, especially given MPs voted against a Labour amendment to reject the bill entirely. Clearly they want this one to pass more or less as it stands. 

If I can grudgingly give credit to the woeful Boris Johnson (or more likely Dominic Cummings) for one thing, it's that he takes no nonsense. He reminds his MPs they are supposed to be soulless, bloodsucking parasites whose sole purpose of existence is to asset strip the nation, and if they hesitate, not to save their people but their own political reputations, he simply sacks them, just like he sacked Winston Churchill's grandson, Nicholas Soames, last December. Of course, he welcomes them back with their tails between their legs if they agree to toe the line in future. He still needs their support for now.

In some regards, the Johnson-Cummings monstrosity makes an effective dictatorial double-act, and I'd be lying if I denied wishing Corbyn had shown the same ruthlessness towards Labour rebels back in 2019. If he had, we might not be sliding into neo-fascism; our Tory masters aided and abetted by forensic non-opposition from a knight of the realm. Wouldn't that be nice?

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email: r.d.hale@outlook.com