Getting punched in the gob by Athena

It’s a quiet day in politics today. I say quiet, because all things are relative. Except Iain Duncan Smith, who is absolutely and not relatively a spaffpuffin. Anyway, these days we’re at such a fever pitch of delirium that quiet means the Prime Minister getting telt by the Irish Taoiseach with a nicely placed Classical jibe, losing a second vote on an early General Election, proroguing Parliament in order to escape scrutiny, and airing ways he might be able to get around the law obliging the Prime Minister to ask the EU for an extension to Article 50. And then some of the opposition announced that they’re taking steps to impeach the Prime Minister, and the Speaker John Bercow announced that he’ll be standing down on 31 October.

So yeah, quiet. It almost makes you long for the days when the biggest event in British government was Gordie Broon flinging a Nokia at someone. At least you could grasp the concept of Nokia chucking without wrestling with Ancient Greek mythology and the arcane procedures of the British Parliament and equally mythical British constitution. All it involves is picking up a mobile, and taking aim at Dominic Cummings’ head. This has a lot to recommend it as a way of out the current Brexshittery, but it’s unlikely to happen. Pity.

The Classical jibe, in case you hadn’t noticed, what with us all being comprehensive school oiks and not Etonians like Lyin Bastert Johnson, was when Leo Varadkar told LBJ that he’d have to make herculean efforts to get Free Trade deals in less than three years. Then he added that the Irish hoped to be his Athena in doing so. In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena was the ally of Hercules as he performed his twelve labours, but her most famous intervention was when she knocked him out so that he couldn’t do any more damage, because he’d gone mad. So that was LBJ telt, or rather ἐνῐσπών, which is telt in Ancient Greek. Or even atcóas, which is telt in Old Irish.

Even Ruth Davidson is attacking LBJ now. At least that’s what it says in the Herald. However on closer inspection “attacking” turns out to be the former ex no longer ran away to avoid responsibility manager of the Conservative branch office saying that the actions of Johnson could prove “short sighted”. Which is hardly Athena punching you in the gob with divine force is it. It sets a new standard for “attack”, and it’s possibly the first time that anyone has been attacked by a person who has already run away. Hint to Ruth, you’re supposed to do it in the opposite order.

Back in the House of Crazy that passes for a UK legislature, there’s to be yet another attempt today at getting the House of Commons to agree to a General Election at the time of LBJ’s choosing. It is highly unlikely to succeed, as the House of Commons has been channelling Athena since last week and has knocked out the Government’s majority on account of the Government going mad. The only question is the size of the defeat.

The Government has announced that Parliament will be prorogued today. They do actually have a window of a few days, starting today, in order to do so, but the few days that the Commons has been sitting have only resulted in yet more humiliation for Johnson. The Government thinks he has suffered enough. The rest of us think he hasn’t suffered anything like enough.

Plaid Cymru certainly don’t think he’s suffered anything like enough, and have decided to start impeachment proceedings against the Prime Minister if he ignores the law and refuses to request an extension to Article 50 from the EU. It’s unlikely to succeed, but would be richly amusing if it did. No Prime Minister has ever been impeached, and if LBJ did decide to ignore the law the remedy against him would most likely lie in the courts, not in an impeachment process.

The truth is that LBJ’s options are limited. He can ignore the law, but that will leave him open to court action. If he is found to be in contempt, which if he’d simply refused to obey the law is highly likely, then he could theoretically be sent to jail. However he could also be found personally liable for the costs to the UK that would be incurred by the no deal Brexit his illegal action had created.

The strategy which is being touted by the Government is the petulant toddler channelling the Grinch. The Prime Minister could write the letter asking for the extension as required by the law, but also write another letter saying that he didn’t really mean it and doesn’t want an extension. And then threaten that if it’s granted he’ll do his best to bugger up the EU’s Christmas. My money is on this one. It would be in character.

Alternatively he could resign, or he could call a no-confidence motion in his own government. Neither of these are politically good looks. The first simply means that Jeremy Corbyn or someone else would request the extension instead and then if the sky didn’t fall in and he didn’t turn the UK into a cross between Venezuela and a Mad Max movie, a lot of the fear factor would go out of the Tory warnings against a Corbyn government. Besides, a man who has spent his entire life scheming to become Prime Minister won’t want to become the shortest serving PM in history. This is a man whose ego trumps all other considerations.

The vote of no confidence does mean that a simple majority is required for an election. But there’s still no guarantee that the Government would win. A failed attempt by the Government to call a vote of no-confidence in itself would be an utter humiliation. Boris Johnson would become the Prime Minister who couldn’t even succeed in failing. However even if it did succeed it would mean that this would be the first government in history which won a vote of no confidence in itself. This would lead to the most rubbish election slogan in history, “Vote for me because I’ve got no confidence in myself.”

Finally he could try and persuade another EU government to refuse the extension. Although since the UK isn’t exactly flavour of the month in EU circles, and the British Prime Minister is regarded in a somewhat similar light to that scary clown who lives in the sewers, it’s difficult to imagine that any of them are going to oblige. It’s not like there would be anything in it for them sufficient to compensate for the grief they’d get from other EU governments. The EU doesn’t want to be seen to have forced the UK out.

John Bercow announced that he’s standing down. The Prime Minister couldn’t be arsed to turn up. Possibly he’s still trying to get up from the floor after being walloped by Athena. The Tories were as churlish about the announcement as it’s possible for a Tory to be, which is to say extremely churlish indeed. They’d already said that they were going to break with Parliamentary convention and put up a Conservative candidate against him in the election to come in order to make him lose his seat. But Bercow has got the last laugh, as by announcing his resignation now he’s ensured that the next speaker will be elected by this Parliament and not the next one. And as we all know the supporters of LBJ in this Parliament have no majority.

So that’s where we are today. Still mired in uncertainty. Still as stable as a drunk man balancing on one leg on a bridge railing in a gale. That’s the UK these days. How’s that security and stability that Better Together promised us working out for everyone?

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49 thoughts on “Getting punched in the gob by Athena

  1. Lest we forget, all these shenanigans flow directly from the fact that the 650 individuals elected to represent us at Westminster don’t actually represent our views on EU membership as expressed in the referendum of 2016. If they did we’d be out by now and nobody would be talking about politics (except us).

    • Really? – “Lest we forget, all these shenanigans flow directly from the fact that the 650 individuals elected to represent us at Westminster don’t actually represent our views on EU membership as expressed in the referendum of 2016”
      So far as I recall not one Scotland constituency voted other than remain, so which English constituency MP does not represent you and why?

      • That’s true as far as it goes but the decision to leave the EU was taken by UK voters not Scottish voters. That’s the choice we made at the independence referendum back in 2014. To put it bluntly, we placed our trust in English voters and English MP’s to represent us, look after our interests and take these important decisions on our behalf. No point in crying over spilt milk.

      • You didn’t answer the question to which English constituency you belong and why you feel your MP does not represent you?
        It isn’t a trick question, but your linkage of the advisory referendum of 2016 to the manifestos of the GE of 2017 is indeed a trick, but one you learned through repetition in MSM and promoted by such as Nigel Mirage.
        Political representation of 650 constituent parts of the UK form Parliament rarely is of one mind or reflect the identical electoral opinion, which is why votes are carried out to arrive at a “democratic” consensus in Parliament.
        Now this is key… US.
        US didn’t vote, you did. The collective decision of US at constituency level goes forward with your candidate to Parliament who by vote decide US democratically at National level. That you object to the outcome is not that it’s not democratic but does not coincide with your opinion.
        “To put it bluntly” we would no longer be in the EU from early 2019 had disaster capitalists and tax dodgers not decided to play games with democratic process to further their financial advantage, then employ a charlatan (Johnson) to somehow shoehorn their advantage doubtless for a fat fee.
        The majority of players in this financial/power game are people with both, and who do not intend to lose either, some of whom are right at home in Scotland. Your belief it it is about democracy rather than $ needs reconsideration 😉

  2. Thanks Paul for this bright spark in an otherwise gloomy day…..Loved the way that LBJ was hoist by his ain petard….and guid auld Bercow havin the last laugh.

  3. Pingback: Getting punched in the gob by Athena | speymouth

  4. It was wise of Bercow to retire as Speaker before the Tory attack dogs had their way with him, he always struck me as an honourable man attempting to keep Parliamentary democracy alive long beyond it’s overdue inhumation.
    The churlishness of the Government benches not standing in ovation while the opposition was without exception on it’s feet in applause said it all.
    My way or the highway.
    For Scotland the only choice is the low or high road…

  5. You’re on a roll this weather, Paul. Another great article. The voice of reason resonating from the mire of lying and manipulation. Thanks for that.

    LBJ …. six votes down in six days, lol. Maggie Snatcher lost four votes in 11 years.

    I picked up on the ”Athena” comment and of course LBJ did too giving a little smirk. I can’t wait to see him getting that knock out blow.

    You say, ”However he could also be found personally liable for the costs to the UK that would be incurred by the no deal Brexit his illegal action had created.” Love it. £billions I hope!

    I watched all of the opposition politicians give Bercow a standing ovation. Some Tories also stood / clapped and Bercow gave them a smile and a nod in response. Wee slimy, scowling Gove noticed this and his head was nearly severed from his neck as he twisted around to take note of the ”culprits.” Next on their hit list?

    On the subject of extensions, would Macron really throw the Clown a lifeline?


    Nicola Sturgeon:- “The Bill paving the way for the next independence referendum is already going through the Scottish Parliament, and before it completes its passage at Holyrood we will make the formal approach to Westminster for the transfer of power that will put a referendum beyond legal challenge.”

  6. Athena a creature of Greek mythology and Arlena a creature of Orange mythology,both carrying considerable clout and neither of which would I like to meet in a dark alley.
    BoJo is going to find out about Arlena’s clout when he tries to dump NI (again).
    BoJo’s last stand.

  7. It is uncannily like a pantomime version of The Producers where they are trying to lose (for tax avoidance reasons, sic) but where ‘Springtime for Hitler’ instead becomes a big comedy hit (sic again).

  8. Boris Johnson is not fit even to be an MP that could represent his constituents in a responsible manner never mind a Prime Minister that could represent the UK. A national embarrassment that the UK might never get over. Thankfully his rise to PM has absolutely nothing to do with Scotland and we won’t be held responsible.

    I think the International community are more likely to have great sympathy with our plight having to suffer him and the rest of his outrageous cabinet as our government. We can do something about that as soon as we’re ready to do so.

  9. Isn’t the logical and sensible course of action to dissolve the UK on 31/10 and hold elections for an English parliament next? Scotland and preferably a unified Ireland – perhaps Wales too – should decide where their national sovereignty lies. Most likely in Europe.

    Why should borders be an issue in Britain? Switzerland, Sweden all have borders with countries in the EU. Minimal disruption and no trade barriers. Technology – right?

    Abolish the Lords and maybe in time an advisory council for nations of the British Isles – and lets all get on with life, be good friends and have a laugh at how stupid we can all be, most the time. Or is that too simple?

    Aren’t there more pressing matters?

    • Keeping control of Scotland and Wales is more important to England than brexit .
      Northern Ireland they would let go if they had to but not Scotland and Wales .
      England believe this island is theirs , the whole island.
      If Scotland wales NI want free from England’s clutches they will have to fight for it .
      There are plenty of Scots welsh Irish in Westminster and the house f Lords who will fight against their own country to stop them breaking free from England .
      As you can see on these videos they sit there singing Scottish and welsh songs but not for Scotland or Wales, for themselves, ingratiating themselves with the English to send the message that they are from Scotland wales NI but support England’s control of all three.

    • We should not be partaking in this farce anymore, being there encourages england to think we support the workings of Westminster
      Clearly Westminster is corrupt

      • Agree, Tony. But the logical conclusion is the UK simply ceases to exist after 31/10. England and Wales chose to exit the EU – Scotland and NI voted to remain. The UK is a Union of nations – just like the EU. We can’t have ‘membership’ of both.

        I sincerely hope in the interim, the Scottish government are making suitable arrangements for an immediate transfer of sovereignty on or soon after the 31st Oct.

  10. Just caught up on last night’s WM antics, strewth, but well said Bercow before going to the Lords..
    Orchestration by JRM on leaving the Lords to ensure the bulk of Tories were absent from the Commons after Bercow’s return to formalise prorogation, only served to underline the pettiness of the government and it’s ministers.
    Much talk of sovereigntyRue Britannia right enough…

  11. As the owners of some so-called pro-Independence sites now actively encourage their supporters to undermine Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP, in turn diminishing our chances of acquiring our freedom, Barrheadboy proffers some practical advice in relation to the forthcoming General Election.

    Barrheadboy:- ‘The last mile.’

    …”We could in one day make Scotland, Tory and Labour free.

    To achieve this, every single one of us in every Scottish constituency must do the maximum to bring about the outcome we all desire.

    If you are not able to deliver leaflets or too nervous to knock on doors we need to find something else to do for the cause.

    Filling envelopes, making the teas and coffees for those that can deliver the leaflets.

    Stand at the street stalls or the train stations and hand out leaflets.

    Write a blog, post tweets and facebook pages encouraging others to get behind the effort to rid Scotland of the Westminster parasites.

    Do whatever you can in your own little way, even if that is just trying to convince a family member or a friend of the need to support the SNP for this final mile.

    Should we, as the polls predict win 50+ Westminster seats the crooks in London will struggle to oppose any independence referendum.”..

  12. Ha ha ha. Looks as though LBJ is doing an ”Athena” on himself. What a nutcase.


    The neverending stream (torrent) of cruel, callous, uncaring Tories.

    ‘New DWP Secretary Called For ‘Tax On Pensioners.’

    ..”After a backlash from pensioners, Thérèse Coffey MP defended her proposals, published in a paper for the Free Enterprise Group – saying “I do not regret writing what I did about National Insurance….Why should someone beyond the age of 65 get more take-home money…”.

  13. How the Tories with the help of the BBC altered the public perception of a deficit:


    The latest news from Prof John Robertson. News not reported by the BBC et al, for example mair oil. What a burden for Scotland to carry, eh. Take it off of our hands please England. Oh right you have already!

  14. Does anyone know if Andrea Leadsom runs a hotel in Torquay, if she’s married to a man called Basil and if she enjoys a round of golf with her friend Audrey?
    Can you book a room on
    Thank you.

  15. Apropos not very much, I liked a description of BoJo by one of the Irish Press referring to LBJ’s sartorial elegance (or lack of) as “Crumplestiltskin” and I can’t get this image out of my head.

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