In your court, Johnson
The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court to find that Johnson had unlawfully prorogued parliament rather puts our beleaguered prime minister in the dock, although sadly not one in the Old Bailey. Parliament is the highest court in the land—it’s the only place that can change the law, not merely interpret it. Therefore Johnson should face MPs tomorrow in a prolonged session which needs to examine in detail his legitimacy in the office he holds. A close examination is required, perhaps with extra time. But would he face it? Perhaps this is his Norway moment—where we find he is no Churchill (we knew that already) but a pale imitation of Chamberlain whose understanding of his chief European interlocutors is woefully absent. Cummings perhaps also should be summoned to the bar of the House for interrogation. Although he probably prefers to remain in the shadows (lest people discover he is not quite the genius he thinks he is) he should be exposed to the full glare of the nation. What was it Cameron was so fond of saying? ‘Sunshine is the best disinfectant.’ Whilst I’m at it, we could also hope that this moment kickstarts a deeper conversation about how the establishment works. The role of the so-called Privy Council deserves attention, as does the power of the Queen’s closest advisors (our non-existent constitution does suggest that the prime minister is chief amongst her advisors, but what of Her Majesty’s own coterie of establishment lackeys?).
A word of praise to Gina Miller, whose appeal against the High Court’s ruling was successful today. She must be everything the Daily Mail, et al hates: a black immigrant woman who made a success of herself when she landed on her feet in the City! How dare she? I imagine she’ll probably need police protection after this latest victory.
Now we’ll have to wait and see how Johnson responds. The Brownshirts in our neo-fascist media (eh? Come on . . ) will be egging him on to burn down the Reichstag (dearie me, don’t overdo it!) sorry, the Palace of Westminster . . . (that’s better).
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