The law is not an ass

Well this is fun. If you define fun as the UK being mired in the biggest constitutional crisis in living memory. Which if you’re the sort of person who’s been arguing for years that Scottish democracy can only be guaranteed with a written constitution in an independent state is quite a good definition of fun, come to think of it. No one can now seriously argue that the UK provides Scotland with a political security and stability that independence couldn’t offer. There are spinning plates being supervised by a drunk man on an acid trip that are more stable and secure than the UK’s political system.

Never mind the rugby, constitutional law is far more entertaining. Sitting in the Supreme Court with her statement brooch, Lady Hale dropped a mic that was the same size as the Prime Minster’s ego. Boom. The effect of her ruling was simple and devastating. This is a Prime Minister without a majority or a mandate who unlawfully suspended Parliament in order to escape democratic scrutiny. And it’s not on.

The Supreme Court has made a ruling that went further than most expected. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously. It refused any avenues for further appeals. No one had expected that the ruling would be so emphatic in its condemnation of the Government. Before the case was heard, there was a lazy assumption on the part of the metrocommentariat that of course the UK Supreme Court would take the same decision as the English High Court and overrule those uppity Scots. How dare those Caledonians imagine that they can impinge upon the mighty High Court.

However as the case in the Supreme Court progressed, it became clear that the Government had no serious case other than the overweening entitlement of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and the belief that goes down into his bones that laws do not apply to him. No one could be found to make a sworn statement to the court that the reason for the prorogation was the one that the Prime Minister had claimed. The government’s sole argument was that this was a matter for Parliament and not the courts. However as the Supreme Court has ruled today, prorogation is not a matter for Parliament. Prorogation is something which is imposed upon Parliament from above. Parliament cannot hold a Prime Minister to account for proroguing it since prorogation means that Parliament is not sitting.

We are now in the incredible position of having a Prime Minister leading a minority administration who has been found to have acted unlawfully in his attempt to silence opposition. He broke the law in order to undermine the basic principles of democracy. Any other Prime Minister would resign immediately after such a ruling, but this is not a normal Prime Minister. This is a Prime Minister with a brass neck that even those tribal women from South East Asia would marvel at.

The court went even further than merely saying that the Prime Minister had acted unlawfully, and ruled that the prorogation was not merely unlawful, but that it was null and void and had no effect. It was, as the court says, as though the paper signed by the Queen ordering the prorogation was blank and contained no order at all. The court clearly made this ruling because the judges did not trust the Prime Minister to act appropriately if they had kicked the decision back to him, so they took it out of his hands. This was a court determined to prove that the law is not an ass but that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is.

The Speaker of the House of Commons has made a statement saying that Parliament will sit again tomorrow.  Today’s ruling means that it is now impossible for the Prime Minister to ignore the law obliging him to ask the EU for a further extension to Article 50. The Supreme Court has ruled firmly and unequivocally that he has to obey the law exactly as the rest of us do. As Joanna Cherry said on the steps outside the court, this ruling proves that neither the Prime Minister nor the Monarch is above the law.

He’s only had the top job for a couple of months, and in that short space of time he’s managed to lose every single vote he’s faced in the Commons, lied to the country, lost his majority, broken the law, and abused his power. But apart from that, he’s doing really well.

Speaking on Sky News, the Prime Minister said that he strongly disagrees with the decision. People convicted of crimes often disagree with the guilty verdict, it doesn’t make them innocent. He repeated his determination to leave the EU on October 31. He has refused to resign. He insisted that there was going to be a Queen’s speech, which suggests he plans to prorogue Parliament again. He seemed to think that he was going to carry on regardless even though his strategy has clearly failed. This is a stiff upper lip that has numbed his brain to reality. The Prime Minister’s hubris and arrogance are dangerous. He still thinks that it’s not him that’s wrong, it’s the court. He still thinks that he can ignore the law.

We have a Prime Minister who is unfit for office. If somewhere deep down in that blawhardery that passes for his persona there is an atom of honour and self-respect, he’d resign immediately. But there is no hope of that. This is a man who lied and cheated his way into office, who made the decision about whether to back Brexit solely on the basis that it was better for his career. You can’t shame the shameless. Lyin’ Bastert Johnson is the epitome of all that is wrong with British politics and the British system. He’s what you get when privilege is more important than talent, when connections count for more than ability, when entitlement is more influential than principle. He oiled and schmoozed his way into power, coasting on a carpet of deceit as he charmed the charmless Conservatives. They thought he was on their side, but the only side he’s ever really been on is his own.

The great flaw of what passes for a British constitution is that there’s very little that anyone can do to punish this creature of contempt, this Dolos of deception. Consequences are for little people. If he refuses to resign, Parliament could pass a motion of no confidence in him, which would give opposition MPs two weeks to cobble together a makeshift coalition with the goal of preventing a no deal Brexit. They will certainly seek to take action to prevent him from proroguing Parliament again. They may even seek to impeach him. Parliament tomorrow is going to be interesting. Get the popcorn, the British state is the biggest disaster movie on show.

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39 thoughts on “The law is not an ass

  1. I hate to piss on anyone’s parade but.

    Johnston just got exactly what he and his crew wanted that’s why he’s smiling ,

    Corbin must now agree to a general election that he is guaranteed to lose ,Johnston has been asking for one and Corbin must now oblige,
    The time available is limited and it looks like the election will be held on the same day as we exit the EU , as there is only one legal bill in force at present we leave on the date Borris promised and know one can do a thing about it .

    Game set and match to the guy playing the fool while everyone’s looking the other way . Well that was some hand of poker he played , this guy is no fool .

    • I disagree with your analysis. Corbyn doesn’t have to agree to anything. There could be a vote of no confidence, but that will only pass if the opposition parties can agree on a caretaker government – which is now a lot more likely than it was before. There won’t be a General Election until after 31 October. Johnson has lost control of events and has now got very little room for manoeuvre.

    • It is depressing that you admire these tactics.

      Johnson and his team have repeatedly demonstrated their contempt for long held constitutional conventions, adopted by the Westminster Parliment, to protect itself from tyranny.

      Defenistrating Parliment, they thought, would neatly bypass those checks. Only the Law stood between his faction and absolute power.

      I doubt he expected the court’s decision today, after the English High Court refused to rule on the prorogation. Johnson and Cummings didn’t give a toss for the Scottish Inner Court’s deliberations.

      But even given the absolute blithering incompetence he and his “team” have shown in the last six weeks, it hasn’t dented his appeal to an electorate that has disappeared down the twin rabbit holes of conspiracy theory and xenophobia. In fact, his appeal has grown. On this we agree.

      Unfortunately for us all, this only demonstrates there is a significant minority of the UK electorate who still buy into the sham that autocrats are their best hope for democracy.

      Even hell, it seems, can’t mend some people. Only radical change will do for these folks.

      It is my own hope that independence will be the radical change we shall choose for Scotland. England can and should have its Brexit.

      The UK is a basket case, with no hope anywhere on its limited horizons. We should accept that it has had its day and move on.

      • Yes. We could be caught in the long grind of WA Brexit negotiations before much longer. Rather than theorising about whether a magic wormhole to the EU could open up for us we should say that the UK isn’t good enough. It’s been failing for years — and it’s getting worse. Whether our own deal is with EEA/EFTA or EU it has to be better.

  2. “The Speaker of the House of Commons has made a statement saying that Parliament will sit again tomorrow. He’s only had the top job for a couple of months…” This gives the misleading (accidental, of course) that you’re referring to the Speaker of the House.

  3. Johnson, the tories and other extreme pro-brexit types are going into overdrive to bolster and bag the English nationalist vote. And when that English nationalist vote delivers… Scotland better be well on the way to exiting this so-called united kingdom.

    Absolutely no point anymore in Scotland trying to work with moderate England; there will be no such thing to work with.

  4. Great article Paul. More hellish publicity for LBJ and Westminster being broadcast right around the world, but more so for us across Scotland. The term shell shocked is being used often. Shell shocked no doubt because the SC supported the Scottish CoS judges. Imagine that, lol. Who knows what will happen next? One thing for sure is that a GE is looming whereby the SNP should do well, followed by Indyref2 which we’ll win. Taking everything into account, twist and turn over the last three years, we have to be extremely thankful that Nicola Sturgeon, our First Minister, has managed to “keep the heed” and refused to jump the gun.

    The BBC is broadcasting the Cherry speech but as expected has edited any mention of the Scots/Scotland.

    Joanna Cherry unedited speech:-

    • The tone of the BBC Scotland presenters on the radio is to treat this with a degree of disdain, that it is really just a storm in a teacup, that it won’t achieve much,nothing to get excited about …..

      Meanwhile here are some data out of context to show Scotland is pure bad ….

  5. Fear not Tories everywhere. Doris is safe. We’ve found a scapegoat; Geoffrey Cox, Attorney General is alleged to have told Doris that what he did was all legal and above board. Phew, That was close.

  6. You’re on the ball with the watercooled keyboard all right, and on the button with the synopsis.
    Predictably the “Remainer Establishment Conspiracy” shit throwing competition is in full swing in comments sections, “What happened to Our Laws and Our Sovereignty” or somesuch will doubtless be prepped for the DM’s morning edition, with a supplement containing perverse european linkage with photos of all 11 justices, X is known to play “Stéphane Grappelli” etc..
    What I found particularly amusing is how the Beeb and English broadsheets seem to be sidelining the significance of the Cherry case (plus 70 odd cross-party) in preference to lauding Gina Miller, an amusing contrariness given that without the CoS judgement, the fate of her appeal may have been less certain.
    Swinson trying to capitalise politically from the verdict despite zero support of it will sink in as the crass opportunism it is, but I’m willing to bet Bercow is having a quiet chuckle at Parliamentary Sovereignty restored on his watch before retirement.
    As you rightly said tomorrow in Parliament may prove “interesting”….

  7. “AWAY YOU GO !”

    If there was any honour in the Conservative party they’d do the decent thing. So. Don’t hold your breath.

    “Away you go” – Bozo, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Dominic Cummings and oh-so-many other ‘morally-challenged’ Tories.

    – Michael Palin, Pass the Port – ‘Roger of the Raj’ – Youtube –


    Without honour in the Conservative party, someone’s going to have to ‘help them’ – off a cliff. Step forward Jeremy Corbyn. No, Really !

  8. In Brighton the conference hall erupted into a mass orgasm as JC took to the stage and ladled in to Boris Johnson.

    And then he went for the money shot.
    All the goodies that Labour/Militant/ Momentum/ Gang of Four/ Red Tories have promised down the years all rolled into one big bundle.
    But not, lest I forget, abolishing the House of Lards or scrapping Trident.

    Richmal Longjohns will hold a Press Conference on his return, setting out all the juicy ‘transformational’ policies that Corbite’s Government of Power To The People will introduce right away, but mainly in Brexit England..

    No Prescription Charges; no tuition fees; free care for the elderly…..ah, but there’s more.

    Rathbone Limpwrist can be seen enthusiastically cheering the proposal to run Crossrail ‘across the North’ (that’s England for those not up to speed) from Liverpool to Hull and on to Newcastle.
    Carboot thanked Labour in Wales for introducing free prescriptions, but no mention of Scotland. Indeed there was no mention of Scotland in his barnstorming Prepare for Government hoorah, apart from Wales and Scotland getting more money, for, who knows what.

    South Wales, Swindon, and Stoke will get Battery Factories. Cheers from the Scottish Branch Manager.

    Labour will transform Health, Education, and, erm, the Police, in England.

    Nothing to see here,Scotland.

    97 publicly owned wind farms, Down There?

    Labour’s policy on Brexit?

    They’ll negotiate on the same terms as the SNP Deal, which David Davis threw in the bin in January 2017,but no mention of Freedom of Movement, and this New WA put to a vote in a Second Referendum, but not you, Scotland, you will be forbidden to have second thoughts on anything.

    Nationalise Rail, Water (sic) Energy, and Ra Wurkirs getting a 10 % share in Companies, scrap the Blue Tory Trade Union laws, and zero hour contracts.
    Momentum on the march.

    God help England.

  9. I was very surprised by the Supreme Court decision
    but does it change Scotland’s chances of independence ?
    I don’t think so
    Battle lines have been drawn between the brexiters and the remainers neither side will be put off by the Supreme Court decision

    I think the support for Scottish independence was boosted by those moving from NO to YES because they want to remain in the EU and they do not see england remaining in the EU
    Will the Supreme Court decision change them ?
    I don’t think so

    Politicians in Westminster cannot agree on a way forward with brexit
    But there is one thing they will agree on and that is they will do everything they can to prevent Scottish independence

    A lot to happen yet

  10. I think we should watch carefully the reactions of the Brexiteers in England. They are already erupting in fury at the Establishment judges trying to thwart ‘their’ Brexit. When their own institutions are held in contempt and wealthy chancers like Bawjaws are seen as their champion, we really have to worry at such distorted perceptions being so widely held.

    Certainly the media are acting like a megaphone for these views. How many times have we seen the MSM with their carefully selected vox pops, broadcasting the unthinking mantra, “Just get on with it?” As if “it” wasn’t a bus hurtling towards the cliff with them inside, roaring on the mad Etonian driver.

    I don’t understand English voters on this matter since I don’t know England very well but something must have happened to cause former miners to abandon their previous hostility to Tories, based on bitter experience and to consider a privileged old Etonian head banger someone to be trusted. I know it has a lot to do with feeling abandoned by politicians of the left but still, this is like a kind of collective madness to turn to the likes of Johnson, Farage & Cummings etc., as saviours.

    It has happened before, of course, that there have been supposedly functioning democracies overturned due to discontent in their populations being manipulated by ruthless operators to install dictatorships. (Rather like the ‘shock doctrine’ of the CIA applied in many countries, from S. America to Iraq.) But first you have to demolish trust in politicians and institutions and there is almost an unholy joy of part of their electorates in helping the right-wing politicos destroy the very structures which had been put in place to protect them. The harm that Brexit will cause will be tragic and generational.

    I don’t think I will be able to enjoy any popcorn just yet. I’m hoping for independence though I don’t think conspiracies will come to an end with that. It’s either a long, rocky road with potholes or it will happen almost suddenly.

    • Quite rightly, Joanna Cherry QC MP and Gina Miller were front and centre all over the TV stations.
      Miller has suffered 2 years of abuse in the Dead Tree Scrolls and online, and coupling her with a Jock is all the Brit Nat Knuckle Draggers need.

      It is quite deliberate.
      Yet Corbyn and Swansong are taking the credit, sort of.

      It’s all the Jocks’ and the woman with the dark skin’s fault if it backfires on them.
      Twa big lassies did it and ran away.

  11. The only reason that Scotland has been listened to by Westminster,and then only after a confirmatory decision by their Supreme Court,is because it has a Separate legal system within the UK state.
    Delighted to hear Joanna Cherry refer to our High Court as Scotland’s Supreme Court,unlike the English press.
    Once the dust settles,it will be clear to most Scots that Westminster no longer represents our interests,if they ever did.
    The concept of the Crown in parliament has now been exposed as simply allowing the PM of the day to do what he/she wants bypassing democratic accountability.
    At least in this case the courts have acted to limit that action but all can now see how undemocratic the UK system of governance really is.
    Scots take note.

  12. I think there is an application before the COS where they have been asked to order the PM to write to the EU requesting an extension, failure to carry out the order would see the Court actually sending the letter themselves. In all the excitement I haven’t heard this mentioned.

  13. Sometimes it’s not about using parliamentary or legal process to affect change with other more…. mmm….intransigent parliamentarians or institutions directly. Sometimes it’s about setting precedents. Sometimes… it’s maybe about using those processes against themselves and making a population (or significant demographics) take notice.

    Worth a thought folks. 😎

    • Agreed, there is a legal precedent that it is not enough for justice to be done – it must be seen to be done.

      I don’t know if the court result will substantially change the likelihood of a no deal brexit timetable.

      But it did hold power to account and show them up – on the international stage (in a way that we never could when it was an IndyScot issue) to be a complete shower of incompetent, corrupt, bampots.

      And sometimes you just have to fight the good fight – very well done to Cherry and her team, and the SC Judges (who have been extremely brave, in my opinion).

      • Mornin’ Daisy. 🙂

        Seems the 1689 CoR was cited in the case judgement. An act of the parliament of Scotland. (whistles nonchalantly)

        Precedent and public record… 😎

  14. It is worth remembering that the High Court of england and wales decided that what B Johnston and his government were doing was okay they said it was not a question of law it was all just politics.
    The Supreme Court said the exact opposite.
    The Supreme Court was unanimous 11-0

    How come the High Court of England and Wales was unanimous too 3-0 ?
    it’s not as if the High Court of england and wales judges were lowly judges
    if there is such a thing ,
    they were
    Lord Burnett of Maldon lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
    Terence Etherton Master of the Rolls
    Dame Victoria sharp president of the queens bench

    Something more than legal questions was answered here with this debacle

    Yes we all know of the red lines that divide our politicians

    I suggest there are similar red lines that divide our law Lords

    • It may of course that the High Court reached that decision knowing it would be appealed thus sending it to the Supreme Court for a definitive decision which could not be appealed. Who knows?

      I have noticed that the UK Government in general does not have a great record of winning its cases in the Supreme Court and this is another one that has not gone its way.

    • I believe the High Court ruled it was not justiciable rather than cleared Johnson of anything, but did give leave to appeal. This follows the principle that political affairs are not for the Courts to consider, a blanket approach Johnson and Cummings relied on to play this game of manipulating parliamentary process.
      The CoS ruled it justiciable, and found against Johnson on the basis of the evidence provided, and as the most senior scottish court, it’s reasoning could not then be ignored by SC.
      The SC concurred and ruled against HMG’s appeal and upheld Miller’s appeal (over-ruling the High Court’s tradition and practice), but crucially, for this particular prorogation.

  15. I was very surprised but pleased at the judgement. I didnt even watch it live as I was so convinced the court would bottle it or at best fudge it. Well done Joanna Cherry and Gina Miller.I keep hearing that line from the song I fought the law and the law won in my head.Probably that song will always remind me of LBJ In the end what good will come from this judgementb particularly as Labour are a shambolic disgrace at the moment remains to be seen.

    • Brill, what a stushie that would cause, or even ask Nicola as leader of what is the only competent gov in UK. Industrial sized stushie.

    • Indeed, airbrushed from the start by deftly editing out Cherry’s Court of Session and Scottish Law references from her video statement, the only media channel to do so.
      Since then rapid demotion on her statement, despite being widely featured elsewhere.
      The Cherry et al case and the verdict of CoS was upheld by the Supreme Court, and fair play to Miller for her continued fight for democracy despite all the bile thrown at her, but without the CoS Cherry verdict, her High Court judgement might not have been overturned, something the Beeb are at pains to ignore.
      The “nobile officium” case is an onerous one to prove, but could set the ground for rapid remedy should Johnson flout the Law later, and both Courts have proven they are prepared to intervene to ensure Parliamentary democracy is maintained.
      That message has been rammed home to Johnson et al in no uncertain terms, their cards are marked…

  16. Aye the English nats (brexiteers) will be fuming but it’s the Brit nats (remainers, one nation yoons) that are in a quandary now. In England, the Boris and the People vs Parliament (or rather England vs Parliament) show is about to explode into mayhem. Worst case scenario for the Brit Nats.The English nats will happily blame the scotch, but the Brit nats and media chums will be worried – they now have to decide whose credit/fault it is. Stick it on the SNP and it makes themselves look useless, but to try and pinch the credit will only further infuriate the English nats.What to do eh? My heart bleeds for them. 🙂

    • Yep, the “Establishment V People” tactic is straight from the Weimar Republic playbook, but that could go pear-shaped with the manipulators part of the establishment, riots are not so easy to control, and all it takes is one nutter.
      The manipulators may believe that Brexit delivered and diminished propaganda will see public anger disappate, but they may be in for a very rude awakening. For some Brexit has become the Crusades part deux, the last one lasted 400 years.
      The problem may be a very English one, but there are also Scots who swallowed the same bile, and this ultimately will affect us even when free and independent.

  17. The Beeb really have surpassed themselves in ignoring the pivotal Scottish angle in promoting Gina Miller as the champion of democracy, the only reference to the Cherry case and the CoS judgement summarised in a single line – “She initially lost her case, but in Scotland, a separate legal challenge succeeded, with judges taking the view that the suspension was unlawful”.
    Given the hoohah in the English press on the CoS judgement the week before, the British habit of re-writing history will soon be written before the event transpires…

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