Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has come back from the USA doing his best impression of Catherine Tate’s Lauren character if she’d gone to Eton. Look at my face. Do I look bovvered? Or more exactly bothahd. But just like Lauren, the joke is that we all know he’s extremely bothahd indeed. As bothahd as his new best pal Donal Trump, who discovered yesterday that an impeachment investigation is to be opened up against him. Yesterday was a bad day for wannabe authoritarians.
A normal Prime Minister who had been found to have broken the law in order to abuse his power and silence Parliament unlawfully would resign. A normal Prime Minister would then take early retirement and would never disgrace themselves by appearing on so much as the pages of the local parish newsletter ever again. Hell, never mind a normal Prime Minister, a normal human being with a functioning capacity for moral judgements would do so. Anyone who has ever come as close to an understanding of shame as the distance of the radius of Boris Johnson’s ego – which is a distance measured in thousands of light years – would have resigned immediately. But none of this applies to this Prime Minister or this government. They’re not merely law breakers, but they’re shameless law breakers.
The priority for the Prime Minister is to get through the next few days. In order to do so he’ll probably throw a few of his cabinet colleagues and advisors under his Brexit bus, starting with Attorney General Geoffrey Cox. The Prime Minister was in hiding as Parliament reconvened, so it fell to Geoffrey to boom a semblance of a defence like a failed repertory actor auditioning for King Lear. Which was only right and proper seeing as how this government is a tragedy. It was as though someone had forced a Brian Blessed impersonator to have a shave.
Geoffrey had given the Government legal advice saying that the prorogation was lawful and that anyone saying otherwise was saying so for political reasons. As he made his statement to the House, the Attorney General notably refused to rule out a further prorogation of Parliament. However Geoffrey was forced to give a humiliating statement to a deeply irked Parliament saying that if he had to resign every time that he lost a legal case then he’d never have had a legal practice. It’s just a pity that he serves under a Prime Minister who won’t resign under any circumstances at all, not even after he’s been found to have broken the law in an attempt to abuse his power and silence Parliament. A Prime Minister who is now hell bent on making Geoffrey the fall guy for a decision made by Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his advisor Dominic Cummings. Geoffrey’s learning a painful lesson in the truth that if you lie down with the morally incontinent, you end up covered in piss.
Geoffrey isn’t going quietly, and he certainly wasn’t going to be made to feel as though he or his government had done anything remotely wrong, even though the highest court in the land had ruled they’d broken the law. He’s going to subject us to his orotund perorations some time longer. If he has to resign, he orated like a bank manager with a side hobby in Widow Twanky doing Shakespearean recitations, then why don’t all the judges whose findings differed from that the Supreme Court have to resign as well.
Warming to his self-righteous theme, he called the Parliament a disgrace, said that it was cowardly, growing increasingly red faced as he tried to deflect from the essential point of the day, that he’s the fruity voice of a government of liars and cheats. “This Parliament is a DEAD parliament it should no longer sit, ” he pontificated, “It has no moral right to sit on these green benches!” It was like being lectured on the morality of shoplifting by a armed bank robber. Shame is an alien concept to these people. Not even being found to have broken the law can make them admit to being in error. He had all the defiance of a child caught with their hand in the sweetie jar, denying that they were stealing sweeties. All that is happening here is that Geoffrey and his shameless bunch of cabinet colleagues are demonstrating is that the British tradition of honourable gentlemen and women acting honourably is even more dead than Geoffrey thinks this Parliament is. There’s more life in a dodo than there is in the ability of the British political system to hold power to account.
Of course what Geoffrey knows as well as the rest of us is that the reason that the opposition is refusing to move a motion of no confidence in the Government is because no one trusts Lyin’ Bastert Johnson not to try to get around the law requiring him to request an extension to Article 50. This is a government of proven law breakers. The opposition parties have no intention of allowing him to have an election on his own terms. They’re not going to let him go to the country until he’s been seen to have broken his promises not to ask for an extension and to have left the EU on 31 October come what may.
Assuming that the Prime Minister can indeed get through the next few days, which is highly likely since the opposition parties have every interest in keeping him squirming, then what are the options?
He can try and get a deal. There’s about as much chance of that happening as there is of Geoffrey Cox addressing Parliament in the voice of Karen from Will n Grace, which would at least be appropriate as she’s possibly the only person who could rival this Government for shamelessness. So far he’s still not put forward any proposals that meet with the EU’s objections, and nothing remotely realistic that can substitute for the Northern Irish backstop. Even if he could get a deal, the only deal that would be acceptable to the EU is a deal that neither the DUP nor the ERG is going to accept, and he’s now facing a Parliament which isn’t disposed to do him any favours at all. A deal before 31 October isn’t going to happen. We know it’s not going to happen because the Prime Minister is insisting that it’s what he’s going to do.
He can ask the EU for an extension. Despite certain noises from parts of the EU, it’s highly probable that it would be granted. The EU is no more disposed to look kindly upon Lyin’ Bastert Johnson’s career ambitions than most of the House of Commons is, and they know that if he has to ask for an extension he’ll go into the next General Election with a very much reduced chance of winning it. Brextremists will be calling the Prime Minister all the same names that the rest of us have been calling him for months.
Alternatively he could of course ignore the law and refuse to ask for an extension. The Supreme Court has shown that it is perfectly prepared to challenge him. He could be found in contempt of court and face fines or even prison. But even that wouldn’t prevent an extension being requested. Parliament could authorise someone else, such as the Speaker, to do so instead. Alternatively the Scottish courts could order that a court official could step in under the power of officium nobile and do so in the Prime Minister’s place.
It’s quite likely that the Prime Minister will try to prorogue Parliament again. Geoffrey Cox and the Prime Minister himself refused to rule it out. However it’s also likely that Parliament will take steps over the next few days to ensure that option is not available. They could do so by passing a bill saying that Parliament could only be prorogued if Parliament voted in favour of it. The numbers are not on the side of the Government. The next few days are going to be characterised by all sort of machinations, manoeuvres and counter manoeuvres.
There is of course always the option for the Prime Minister to resign, to admit his guilt, and to leave public life. That would be nice, but it’s not going to happen. This Prime Minister is certainly the worst and the most completely useless in history. He even makes Theresa May seem competent, but he’s going to have to be prised out of office. Resignation is about as likely to happen as Gordie Broon’s federalism fairy is to fly over the chamber of the Commons and wave her sparkly wand, delivering a jobs first Brexit and full fat federalism for all.
Finally, there is always the option that Boris Johnson could go and die in a ditch. This is certainly the option which most of Scotland would look most favourably on. We’d even volunteer for digging duties, although there’s no need. This is a government which is good for one thing only, and that’s digging its own grave.
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