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Boris Prorogues Democracy

by Frank Schnittger Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 11:36:40 AM EST

Not content to have an unelected Head of State, an unelected upper House of Parliament, an unelected Prime Minister, an oligarch controlled media, and an arcane first past the post single seat constituency electoral system which can yield hugely disproportionate results and renders voting pointless in many "safe" constituencies, Britain's unwritten "constitution" also allows the Prime Minister to "prorogue" parliament to prevent it passing laws not to his liking, at a time of his choosing, for whatever period is his pleasure.

And this is the country which likes to lecture the rest of Europe about lack of democracy and accountability within the EU. British voters have just had the opportunity to elect their MEPs (via a proportional voting system) but cannot elect their Prime Minister, either directly or via their elected members of Parliament. They also have no say in the appointment of his cabinet - unlike the European Commission whose President must be elected by both the Council and parliament, and whose commissioners must be nominated by elected governments and approved by the European Parliament.

Boris has now chosen to prorogue Parliament for an unprecedented period from the 10th. September to the 14th. of October meaning there will in all probability be insufficient time to bring forward the legislative changes the opposition had been planning to prevent a no deal Brexit before the prorogation, and no time to vote no confidence in the Government afterwards, because of the 14 day period Boris can hang on as Prime Minister even after losing a vote of no confidence. The "mother of Parliaments" indeed.


In theory, Parliament could try to legislate against a no deal Brexit, force the government to seek a further A.50 extension, or to prevent a prorogation. However there is no certainty that Boris couldn't ignore any of these options. For instance Parliament could force him to ask for an A.50 extension, but not be able to force him to accept one even if it is offered. Boris can probably rely on the disunity of the opposition to produce no united, coherent response. There simply isn't time to craft a common approach. A vote of no confidence in the Government has already been ruled out by the opposition because of a failure to agree on who should lead an alternative administration, even in a temporary caretaker capacity.

It may be that outrage at his latest move will finally forge a united front among opposition PMs to take effective action, but I wouldn't be holding my breath. In the absence of an anti-no deal Brexit electoral pact, most independent MPs stand to lose their seats given the vagaries of the single seat first past the post electoral system. Self preservation is the first order of political action, and already independent MPs have been searching around for excuses not to force a general election.

It is not even clear what happens if the House of Commons does vote no confidence in the Government. Does that end the prorogation process? How can the 14 day period provided under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 to find an alternative Prime Minister operate if the House of Commons isn't even sitting to vote confidence in an alternative candidate? This act of prorogation is nothing less than an attempt to frustrate democracy but it remains to be seen whether UK democrats have enough self respect and principle to take effective action against it.

The descent of the UK into a post Brexit dystopian autocracy is proceeding apace. It gives me no pleasure to say "I told you so", but it looks increasingly likely that the EU will be well rid of the UK, no deal or otherwise. After all, membership of the EU is only supposed to be open to democracies.

Display:
Not content to have an unelected Head of State, an unelected upper House of Parliament, an unelected Prime Minister, an oligarch controlled media, and an arcane first past the post single seat constituency electoral system which can yield hugely disproportionate results and renders voting pointless in many "safe" constituencies, Britain's unwritten "constitution" also allows the Prime Minister to "prorogue" parliament to prevent it passing laws not to his liking, at a time of his choosing, for whatever period is his pleasure.

And this is the country which likes to lecture the rest of Europe about lack of democracy and accountability within the EU. British voters have just had the opportunity to elect their MEPs (via a proportional voting system) but cannot elect their Prime Minister, either directly or via their elected members of Parliament. They also have no say in the appointment of his cabinet - unlike the European Commission whose President must be elected by both the Council and parliament, and whose commissioners must be nominated by elected governments and approved by the European Parliament.

Boris Johnson has now chosen to prorogue Parliament for an unprecedented period from the 10th. September to the 14th. of October meaning there will in all probability be insufficient time to bring forward the legislative changes the opposition had been planning to prevent a no deal Brexit before the prorogation, and no time to vote no confidence in the Government afterwards, because of the 14 day period Boris can hang on Prime Minister before being forced to call an election.

It is not even clear what happens if the House of Commons does vote no confidence in the Government. Does that end the prorogation process? How can the 14 day period provided under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 to find an alternative Prime Minister operate if the House of Commons isn't even sitting to vote confidence in an alternative candidate?

The descent of the UK into a dystopian autocracy is proceeding apace. It looks increasingly likely that the EU will be well rid of the UK, no deal or otherwise. After all, membership of the EU is only supposed to be open to democracies.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 12:23:00 PM EST
Boris wants a No Deal Exit.  Most of the Tories seemingly want a No Deal Exit.  LibDems don't want a No Deal Exit but won't do anything to stop it.  Labour wants something never clearly expressed.

The Plot.

She thickens.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 01:27:54 PM EST
The Plot

She thickens thins

FIFY

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 07:33:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Plot.

She thickens sickens.

by rifek on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 11:23:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Queen approves Boris Johnson request to suspend parliament

Well ain't this interesting.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 02:18:03 PM EST
Seems like as good a reason as any to do away with the monarchy at the first opportunity. May as well dump the Lords, the aristocracy, and all the pompous knighthoods too, and institute a proper Constitution all in time for reopening a renovated Parliament. Or sooner.
by Andhakari on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 02:37:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If only. But, more likely, we will see Boris returned to a new parliament with a majority. The Queen plays Hindenberg to Boris's Hitler while the UK plays Germany. We never learn.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 03:19:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well the royal family is German anyway, and the only thing most Brits had against Hitler was that he challenged their hegemony... until they found out about that Holocaust thing, which was rather embarrassing. Still, shan't be a bore. Let's get on with dissing Jonny Foreigner (the Europeans). They're only a cover for the Fourth Reich in any case (Boris). Or is it the Soviet Union (Jeremy Hunt)? They're NOT BRITISH! And that's the point.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 03:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Much as I disapprove of monarchal systems, I think the Queen is probably blameless in this instance. She is bound by "convention" and is the servant of the PM, however much conventional wisdom would have it otherwise.

That said, if there is to be a second referendum on Brexit, they may as well include a referendum on abolishing the Lords while they are at it. A truly useless institution. At least the Royal family sell papers and bring in some tourism.

As for the constitution, don't get me started. Something seems to be unconstitutional until it isn't. Convention being set by precedent simply means you have to set new precedents to break old conventions. Boris seems to be able to do more or less as he wants, despite never having been elected by parliament in the first place.

And has there ever been a more spineless set of parliamentarians? There own self-preservation and a dislike of Corbyn seems to be the only things that can motivate them. They make the Weimar Republic look good.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 03:30:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't get what is "unconstitutional" about this. It's clearly allowed by the standard process, he's a new PM, the Queen went along immediately. Just because Parliament can't get its act together doesn't mean anything.

???

by asdf on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 04:56:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has called the suspension a "constitutional outrage" designed to prevent MPs from debating Brexit.

From BBC

Because apparently MPs have not been debating Brexit up to now.

by asdf on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 05:04:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's unconstitutional in intent. Proroguing Parliament for five weeks so it can't find its own solution to the most pressing problem of the day is very different to shutting it down for a week or so between working sessions.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 05:09:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's so annoying is that he is showing up all the opposition loud mouths for the spineless wonders that they are. They're afraid to provoke an election because independents and small parties like ChangeUK have almost no chance in the FPTP system, and Boris knows this.

It's "conventional" to prorogue parliament for a few days between sessions or after an election to allow a new government to set out its stall. I don't think it has ever been prorogued for 5 weeks in the middle of the biggest crisis in a generation or two. But without a written constitution which lays down the rules for this, Boris' action may just become a new norm.

The government can be voted down after a debate on the Queen's speech and this is generally held to be "the equivalent" of a vote of no confidence as it is a vote against an entire government programme. But is "equivalent to" a VOTC the same as a VOTC within the meaning of the the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011? Probably not, but who knows. Without precedents there are no conventions to apply.

A lot of what is happening is unprecedented and so what is constitutional is what Boris says it is... People may whinge and whine, but the courts are unlikely to intervene unless there is a clear breach of a statutory provision which are more notable for their absence.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 05:47:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you know about a million times more about this than I do, but my simplistic look at Wikipedia suggests the opposite: prorogation has been used specifically in cases of big political policy crises. This case sounds very much like the other cases listed.

Controversial prorogations

by asdf on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 05:53:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Four precedents are cited - 1628, 1831, 1948, and 1997, which gives you some idea of how rare this is. The first appears to have been an attempt by the King to limit the power of Parliament. The second was specifically at the request of the government to enable a general election to be held. The third an attempt by the government to reduce the power of the House of Lords, and the fourth was followed by a general election and a change of government.

What makes the current crisis unique is that it appears to be an attempt to reduce the power of the House of Commons relative to the Executive and specifically an attempt to frustrate the will of the House up to and including the holding of a VONC which could lead to a change of government or a general election or both. The UK is traditionally described as a Parliamentary democracy where the Parliament is sovereign. If this is allowed to go unchallenged, the UK will effectively become a Presidential system where the President doesn't even have to be elected.

It's as if Trump could become President of the USA once he had secured the Republican nomination because they controlled Congress at the time. No general Presidential election or ongoing Parliamentary oversight necessary. Parliament is reduced to a ceremonial adornment for set pieces like the Queen's speech while the real action on Brexit takes place elsewhere, or in this case, the inaction of a no deal Brexit.

It hardly looks like the prorogation of Parliament is going to make the EU any more disposed to giving Boris a deal it wouldn't give Theresa May. Now the EU can go all virtuous by saying it doesn't deal with despots who shut down their own Parliaments at crucial times...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 06:35:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
seems to me that the concept of a Constitutional Republic is getting a good trampling right now across the pond.

So, not sure what would be a good way to go

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 07:35:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the problems with the US Constitution stem from it being written by smugglers, slavers, and drug pushers in order to ensue bond holders got their money back during a time when a horse was the fastest land transportation.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 07:41:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and I note a bunch of slave owners declaring all men had the God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness has a certain Trump/Johnson-esque aura.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 10:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US system was a pretty radical departure from previous systems. It's got plenty of flaws, one of which is that it is almost impossible to dislodge it from the 18th Century.

There are plenty of other systems to choose from. But at least ours is written down, that is a pretty good first step.

by asdf on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 07:48:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"A well-regulated militia..." is written down, and the SCOTUS ignored that very well.  And corporate citizenship isn't written anywhere but Roscoe Conkling's fraudulent fever dreams, but it's now the law.
by rifek on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 11:31:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's be reasonable.
First, judicial branches of government possess no enforcement power. Executive branches do.

Second, the 10th Amendment. Whose idea was that?

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Assisted in a lot of states' and federal legislative sessions to fill in a lot of blank spaces over the centuries --not only corporate and gun regulation (hilarious routine about K-Mart in Dave Chapelle's latest Netflix showcase) but voting "rights," for example.

Personal voting "rights" aren't guaranteed by the constitution. These were created for and defined by the states. States' legislatures have caused a lot of constitutional CRISIS through the ages than "activist" justices.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 01:12:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like we have here in the USA? Tweedlededee/Tweedeledum Parties that just appeal to a different set of prejudices but are both controlled by the same "aristocracy" of billionaires?
by StillInTheWilderness on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 02:47:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A quick poll ...

    Mr Johnson insisted it was "completely untrue" to suggest he was shutting parliament because of Brexit. But a snap YouGov poll of more than 5,700 voters found that 47 per cent agreed the move was "unacceptable", against just 27 per cent who approved.

Brussels won't take kindly to Boris beyond Halloween '19  :-(  



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 04:31:11 PM EST
Nothing to say.

No deal brexit is a done deal. Cummings and Johnston will sail off into the sunset on their brand new yachts c/o the plutocrat banksters who will make a lifetime's bonanza plundering the UK economy.

I doubt boris will hang around for long after 31st October, he'll have done his job

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 07:44:29 PM EST
Pathetic. Next, will the USA reelect Trump?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 07:51:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps over the dead bodies of hundreds of thousands in Iran and around the world. After all America First means everyone else on the planet can take a hike...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 08:03:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We might, although it'll be tougher with what looks like a recession coming up.

We've also got a few centuries of post-empire "the brown people stole our prosperity" grist for whoever is president, dictator, or warlord, depending on how bad climate change gets. Even in the medium term most American liberals aren't actually egalitarian, so they're not going to be peaceful with their loss of status. We've got a near guaranteed stint of fascism coming up in the next few decades, the question is how long it will last.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 08:08:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am somewhat more optimistic. Read this:

Does anyone understand the 2020 race? This scholar nailed the blue wave -- here's her forecast

The good news is that so long as Trump is in office, negative partisanship gives Democrats an edge, as electoral realignment continues. Rather than fearing Trump's ability to repeat his 2016 upset, on July 1 of this year Bitecofer released her 2020 projection, which shows Democrats winning 278 electoral votes versus 197 for Trump, with several swing states too close to call. Bitecofer also isn't worried about the Democrats losing their House majority. On Aug. 6, Bitecofer released a preliminary list of 18 House seats the Democrats could flip in 2020, nine of them in Texas. The most significant threats that concern Democrats are actually golden opportunities, according to her model.

That's not to say Democrats don't have anything to worry about -- especially in 2022, when the tailwinds of negative partisanship may well be blowing in the other direction. But worrying about the right things, rather than phantoms, is the first step toward deal with them. So I sat down to talk with Bitecofer, in hopes of bringing some sanity and perspective to what is already a bewildering election cycle. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 09:10:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh I agree for this election. I just went on a short medium-term doom rant there. And in this more partisan era we're finally starting to see more leftists in federal office.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 09:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2022 is a worry.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 12:05:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been thinking a bit about post-imperial outcomes.

If look at modern Europe centered empires, we put the ones going through fascism in one pile (Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal), the ones going through strong man illiberal (but not fascist) rule in an other (Turkey post world war one, and Russia post USSR) and look at what we have left, I think it is basically Netherlands (lost Dutch East India during and in the direct aftermath of world war two), France (lost colonial empire in the decades after world war two), and UK (dito). The first two are arguable depending on whether you include the collaboratist governments during world war two, but if we limit ourselves to fascist movements with mainly domestic support, we have these three cases.

Can any conclusions be drawn from these three cases compared with each other empires to gain insight into how to stear a course clear of fascism? Maybe, but I am not sure what it would be. Though there is probably insights that can be had.

  • How hard it is to uphold liberal democracy when the upper class has decided against it. Thinking mainly about Germany and Spain here. Here there are worrying signs in the US, with op-eds arguing that Trump, Brexit etc are signs of to much democracy.

  • The role of troops with experience of wars in establishing dictatorships. Thinking mainly about Italy, Spain and Germany here. Not all veterans of course, not even most, but the kind that goes to Blackwater (or whatever they are called now).

  • The risks and rewards of running on pulling back the empire. Modern empires has advanced propaganda painting the empire as a force for good. Going against that can be hard, but the propaganda image can also be turned around in claiming that this perticular war is bad, as the locals wants us gone. If we look at France and UK in the 60ies and 70ies, pulling troops out and making peace comes with the risk of coup, but continuing colonial wars is unpopular (because empires in decline tend not to win) and creates the conditions for coups through hugh army budgets, veteran units, troop movements and exercises that can be used to start a coup and a general fear of the enemy that can be redirected internally. Over all, I would say that the right policy for a left wing government is to end the wars quickly upon entering government. Appoint generals who are at least sceptical of the war and give them a tight deadline for pulling out. Make peace and stability if you can, but pull out. Add a peace dividend and settle your veterans.
by fjallstrom on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 11:04:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me you are mixing a couple of unrelated things. Empires, and their assembly and disassembly, do not depend on liberal democracies.

The failure of the wealthy to support liberal democracy is, if you ask me, a tactical error; they refuse to acknowledge that the peasants will eventually revolt.

The collapse of empires is probably due to economics. It is doubtful that the UK make a net profit from India over that 250 year long project, for example.

by asdf on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 04:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know whether the UK made a net profit out of India, but it certainly impoverished what had been one of the richer countries in the world. Empires can be a net loss to both the conquered and the conquerors, I supposed, but the balance is heavily skewed in favour of the conquerors.

Most empires - I'm thinking Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Belgian, in particular, were little more than looting operations on behalf of their royal families and associated elites. They also created the military infrastructure and mindset useful to suppress any discontent at home and wage wars against rival empires for control of territories.

You could argue that the world wars were, in part, a response to a situation where a diminishing world had created a world of diminishing returns for the Imperial powers, and with no more "virgin" territory to conquer, they turned to trying to conquer each other.

The current battle between Trump, China and Europe can be seen in similar terms - diminishing world resoources mean that attacking each other is the only source of potential gain. Hell, what has the world come to when you can't even buy Greenland off the Danes? What's a few "Eskimos" or Greenlanders, or whatever they are called, between friends when there are resource to deplete?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 10:25:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenland lies on the east side of the predicted Northwest Passage when Global Warming really gets going.

Thus Trump's interest.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 05:56:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
lectures 1-20

UCLA Social Sciences | Manas

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 3rd, 2019 at 01:51:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know that imperial pasts really contain guides to future success for democracies. Certainly withdrawing from foreign entanglements is a good thing, but to cement a democratic future the government must be made to serve ALL of the people, not just the elites of wealth.

First, a putative reform government has to attain power. That is best accomplished by a credible charismatic leader who motivates previously unmotivated citizens to turn out and vote. Then that government has to deliver, starting with easing the economic pain the vast majority of the population experiences.

Second, recognizing that propaganda works and that rich man elite propaganda has led the country into the situation from which it needs to escape, use propaganda techniques to dispel the ideology that sustained the former, undemocratic regime. FDR and the New Deal did more of the hope aspects but did not adequately dispel the ideologies that supported fascism. Going after those who supported The Wall Street Putsch, including Prescott Bush, Bill Doyle, commander of the Massachusetts American Legion, the bankers, associates of JP Morgan Jr., who tried to recruit General Smedley Butler would have discouraged future such attempts.

Third, direct the legal apparatuses of the country to deal with any lawbreaking that can be found to have been associated with the previous regime. The most noxious vermin will quickly crawl back under their rocks and the most prominent will go to jail.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 05:06:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Members of the elite don't "go after" each other.  Look how Nixon, Bush, Clinton, and Bush were able to break the law and then walk away from consequences.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 07:38:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some things need to change. The USA is not the Roman Republic and neither were Nixon, Reagan or the Bushes Caesar. The US Senate is not (yet) the Roman Senate. I understand the fear of setting a precedent that one faction attacks the other faction when they get in power. That game was played with lawsuits in the Roman Senate. We do not want a similar dynamic in the USA. But neither can we let lawbreaking become the norm out of fear of partisan reprisal. It is a dilemma we must grasp by the horns and hope to vault over.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 06:37:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump is a symptom of a larger problem. One would have hoped that outright racism and economic folly and international trade suicide and unilateral treaty withdrawals would have drawn outrage amongst most republicans, but they are all, individually, so frightened of being a.) the target of Trump's wrath on Twitter and b.) the primary system that they are all going along quietly.

As to whether he can get re-elected, everybody I know who was a Trump supporter last time around is an even more enthusiastic Trump supporter now. No amount of information seems to sway them. And the electoral college turns out to be completely useless in practice.

(Note to UK when you are writing down your constitution: you can leave off the electoral college idea.)

The larger problem is that our system allows Trump to get elected. Now imagine a younger, more intelligent, educated, persuasive person--an actual stable genius--with the same sort of underlying personality.

by asdf on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 12:28:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't do it. Sorry. Not in my lifetime.

Defects here are congenital. Hence ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 01:15:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, A trend in early retirements is building in the House. Have you noticed? I'm not keeping score, but I smell alternative arrangements on the deck of the Titanic. Remember when they all faded to NO-PARTY campaign paraphernalia during Dubya's last term? Like a curtain backdrop for the "tea party" movement?

hmm, rear guard action. That opens a few more seats for DCCC and does nothing to balance the senate, regardless of POTUS 2020 outcome. Certainly does nothing to remedy the nutters Team Trump has installed in the inferior courts.

And retrenchment. If I were so motivated, I'd be monitoring (R) investment down (but not out) ticket in the states from now on. Plausible deniability of Team Trump will cloak the offensive for '22, '24.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 01:43:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Texas GOP is freaking out.

TX GOP number crunchers began predicting a 20% jump in  turnout over 2016 for the 2020 presidential.

Their numbers remodeled the Texas electorate and found some GOP seats would fall victim to their own gerrymander. Worse, even safe red seats could see a competitive challenger, preventing their donations from being generously shared with vulnerable members.



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:06:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2020 SENATE WHAT NOW?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on who the various state parties nominate.  If the DLC/Clinton people are still in charge they'll nominate some dork, as what happened in Kentucky in 2016, and lose


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:24:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Voters in Texas will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the election on November 3, 2020.

Has Cornyn "retired" or been indicted yet? No.
Dork endorsements thus far? M.J. "certified badass" Hagar, possibly Castro or Beto? Either of then quit POTUS yet?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 04:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
HOLD THE GOS PHONE ...

Georgia Republican Senator Will Retire This Year

The November 2020 ballot in Georgia will include a special election for the remaining two years of Isakson's term in addition to [David] Perdue's race for another six-year term.

It's a doubly tantalizing target for Democrats, who increasingly believe that Georgia, which has become less rural [?] and less white [?] in recent decades, due in part to the growth of Atlanta, stands on the verge of becoming a swing state after roughly two [!!] decades of leaning solidly Republican.

evidentally one POTUS = 2 chambers control by the GOP
It's an uphill battle for Georgia Democrats, who haven't elected a governor or U.S. senator since 1998. Bill Clinton was the last Democratic presidential candidate to win here, in 1992.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 05:17:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Republican Jim Sensenbrenner announces he won't seek reelection
Sensenbrenner won reelection [WI-5] in 2018 by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent over his Democratic opponent.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 01:52:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2020 CENSUS allocation and map draws WHEN NOW?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:21:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Texas GOP is freaking out.

As well they should. Orange County, CA, is their scary example. If you let a bunch of suburbanites into your state, they want liberal stuff like roads and schools and no crazy gun people in the grocery store. Colorado, historically a republican stronghold, has turned solidly blue despite some very conservative enclaves.

Bottom line is that the conservative strategy is self-defeating. If you let a bunch of developers have the freedom to do whatever they want, per libertarian philosophy, they build sprawling housing developments full of middle class voters who vote against conservatives. Oops.

by asdf on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One reason the GOP was wiped-out in Orange County was the increase in Asian population who don't give a damn about Southern White Values: bigotry, evangelicalism, racism, hatred of education, etc.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:26:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
uh huh. That's a strange way to spell Texass.

Could the other reason beeeee Team Trump's new SALT cap?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you're telling me Trump tax cuts aren't really helping the middle class, especially in blue states?  I'm shocked, truly shocked!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 05:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. White OC voters are telling you they "survived" the housing boom and bust and they want their mortgage and property tax deductions back.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 05:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DNC CPAs

< wipes tears >




Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 09:52:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
California Cohort of Petty Landlords

Orange County [FL] Property Appraiser Rick Singh
An Explanation of the "Save Our Homes" Amendment and Its Effects
< wipes tears >
Meanwhile in "southern California" man-bun country...
Trump's tax cut turns politics on its head in Southern California
Dems push for lower rate, while GOP leaders defend a code that raises bills for many: "Two former GOP House members who represented parts of Orange County in 2017 -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista -- voted against Trump's tax plan because it would boost taxes for many of their constituents."

Federal tax reform has helped, not hurt, Californians
"It's because the old federal system SUBSIDIZES California's state taxes, which are too high. Blame Sacramento, not Washington."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 04:10:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oil vs ag

DOJ | Houston, Texas Agrees to Implement Comprehensive Measures
$4.4M penalty split two ways.
Sewer spills put city under EPA scrutiny
zip code opposition?
Houston City Council OKs $2 billion consent decree overhauling sewer system
smells like jobs saved or created
Wastewater Consent Decree
"On July 16, 2019, this draft consent decree regarding the City's wastewater system was released to the public."
U.S. vs Dallass

"suburbanites" vs urbanites: That's how DNC is going to liberate Texass?
m'k.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Blue Screen of Death" Campaign 2022

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:25:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Johnny Issackson of Georgia has announced a December retirement for what seem quite legitimate health reasons. But this means both Senate seats from Georgia now must be defended by Republicans in 2020 and one again in 2022.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DNC gonna clone an Abrams, huh. She would have won if it weren't for that meddling secretary of state. What was his name? o. right. Kemp.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:52:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DNC was never really Abrams' friend, but they would like even one of her to run for the Senate.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 06:54:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know that. I know that. Does she know that?
< reckeless eyeballin' >
I don't know about that.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 05:52:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She don't care.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 06:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too soon to call that play.

Certainly, the DCCC isn't criticizing Team Trump budget deficit, attributable to DOD or TAX CUTS, the Fed, or tariffs. They're not deriding Team Trump aggression toward China or EU "allies." DNC doesn't do that kind of foreign policy since everyone but the "liberals" denounced (Obama) TTIP and TTP.

The chamber pot is quibbling about SUBSIDIES, not for "farm," food stamps, housing, or "climate" but for "border" controls. Riding the wave of faux prosperity may well leave them stranded on the shore of NEW! DNC voters come 2020 convention season.

Look, best Anyone Buttrump PR in 18 months.
Farmers' loyalty to Trump tested over new corn-ethanol rules
oil vs ag in the booth

Trump has three more quarters to pacify constituencies in states where the DNC has no back bench, and the POTUS nominees have no headline, countervailing "deals" to offer.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 02:41:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The underlying personality is severe narcissistic personality disorder. Less severe might make him more effective, but, for the very worst result, have someone who is a sociopath. The USA is fortunate to have had Trump - fortunate in the sense that his NPD is so debilitating as to make him ineffective and his own worst enemy. Trump demonstrates the serious vulnerability of the US electorate to such types.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 04:38:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And, as did FDR with his four terms, he opens up the possibility of some constructive re-arrangement of the American system after being kicked out of office next year.

Assuming the idiotic democrats don't run Ed Muskie Joe Biden.

by asdf on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 04:46:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the DNC is pushing the worst of their slime. They make even crazy Trump look good.
by StillInTheWilderness on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 02:50:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not entirely convinced.

The mistake was to do this too early. It gives the opposition time to get itself together politically, for legal challenges to be heard, for Bercow to get really really mad, and for popular opposition to organise mass protests.

And not incidentally, for the Queen to take action behind the scenes - if she chooses to.

The schedule for a VONC and pro-tem leader is now very tight, but it's still doable.

The obvious next step is to expect further outrageous attacks on democracy. Which will - of course - happen.

But so what? Johnson is vulnerable to attack from all possible directions now. Only one needs to succeed, and it's all over.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 10:35:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Stop the coup': Protests across UK over Johnson's suspension of parliament Guardian
Within hours of Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament, impromptu protests were being held in major city centres across the country, including in front of the Palace of Westminster in central London.

Demonstrations were scheduled to be held from late afternoon onwards in areas including Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Cambridge, Brighton, Durham, Milton Keynes and Chester.

Protesters gathered at Commons Green, just outside Parliament, and marched towards Downing Street. Organisers claimed the crowd numbered in the thousands.


Boris' Coup will not progress quietly.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 08:41:17 PM EST
Eh, protests are mostly pointless. Let them go on for a while, until they get boring and disappear from the news, then send in the riot police to break heads. Look at what's happening in HK right now, just after the media stopped paying attention.
by Zwackus on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 10:35:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italian party leaders 'close' to agreement on alliance   Guardian
Talks between the leaders of Italy's Democratic party (PD) and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) went on late into the night on Monday as they sought to thrash out an agreement on a potential alliance that could avert a snap election.

Giuseppe Conte, the outgoing prime minister, joined the meeting between the PD leader, Nicola Zingaretti, and his M5S counterpart, Luigi Di Maio, in a sign that Zingaretti has succumbed to M5S's demands to reinstate Conte.

The nomination of Conte, who last week ended an ill-fated coalition government between M5S and the far-right League, has been the main obstacle in the talks.

"It's close, but not set in stone," a source close to the discussions said before the meeting. "If Conte is nominated prime minister, then it could be in exchange for M5S losing some ministries to the PD." Di Maio might also be forced to step down as deputy prime minister in exchange, the source added.

Zingaretti declined to respond to questions about Conte's potential return after an initial meeting with Di Maio in Rome on Monday evening, but said: "We are on the right track. I'm optimistic about making this agreement. Creating a government is a serious thing - we are serious people - and we don't want [a government] that finishes after 14 months like the M5S-League one."


Maybe next Italy will show the way to fiscal sanity.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 09:01:21 PM EST
Suspending Westminster
A chara, - Boris Johnson has chosen to prorogue parliament for an unprecedented period from September 10th to October 14th, meaning there will in all probability be insufficient time to bring forward the legislative changes the opposition had been planning to prevent a no-deal Brexit before the prorogation, and no time to vote no confidence in the government afterwards, because of the 14-day period Mr Johnson can hang on prime minister before being forced to call an election.

It is not even clear what happens if the House of Commons does vote no confidence in the government. Does that end the prorogation process? How can the 14-day period provided under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 to find an alternative prime minister operate if the House of Commons isn't even sitting to vote confidence in an alternative candidate?

The descent of the UK into an autocracy is proceeding apace.

It looks increasingly likely that the EU will be well rid of the UK, no deal or otherwise. After all, membership of the EU is only supposed to be open to democracies. - Yours, etc,

FRANK SCHNITTGER

The last paragraph isn't really justified in the absence of the first two paragraphs the Irish Times has omitted.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 11:47:41 PM EST
John Bercow is itching to stop Brexit - and there isn't much the government can do to get in his way -  Independent
When Charles I arrived in the chamber of the House of Commons in January 1642, armed guards in tow, to arrest a group of MPs for treason, it was the speaker who stood in his way. Instead of giving up the so-called traitors, speaker William Lenthall rebuked the King and reasserted the power of the Commons, telling Charles, "I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this House is pleased to direct me."

The struggle for power between executive and legislature is not a new one. But the possibility of John Bercow taking the lead in the battle to stop Brexit offers the prospect of a modern-day stand-off, every bit as compelling as the one that took place in the months before the Civil War. It's not Jeremy Corbyn, Yvette Cooper or Ken Clarke who's best-placed to stop Brexit, but Bercow himself.
.....
So now will be the time for Bercow to push the nuclear button. I'm sure he will bend parliamentary procedure - or rip it up, depending on your viewpoint - to allow MPs to pass legislation requiring Johnson to seek an extension to Article 50, using a beefed-up version of the Standing Order 24 procedure, allowing for emergency debates. If there's a prospect of revoking Article 50 before 31 October, Bercow will ensure that there is time for such a law to pass.
Independent Minds Events: get involved in the news agenda

But today's events bring a more compelling prospect still. When parliament takes its five-week break - assuming MPs don't block this first - Bercow will relish the idea of leading a parliament in exile. He can play his final hand as speaker: opening up the doors of the Commons in the face of the prorogation, running his own chamber as an act of defiance against the government.

In doing so, we would face a constitutional crisis like no other seen in modern times, with a direct stand-off between the elected government on one side, and the speaker, standing for some (but by no means all), of the House of Commons on the other.

A second Rump Parliament?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 01:48:26 AM EST
So either Boris Johnson is intent on an unconstitutional process of implementing a no-deal Brexit, or John Bercow is intent on an unconstitutional process of preventing a no-deal Brexit, or Jeremy Corbyn is intent on an unconstitutional process of <something, TBD>. Maybe the system is broken?
by asdf on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 04:51:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(dusting off the ol' macro)
[System.Is.Broken Alert]
by Bernard on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 06:17:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not clear what the rules are for a vote of no confidence and the consequent 14 day period for a government to be given a confidence vote. To what extent do the pre-2011 conventions still apply?

We do not know because the UK has not so far gone through a vote of no confidence under the Fixed Term Parliament Act procedures.

The old conventions were fairly clear. A vote of no confidence was any vote the government designated as such or votes on a Queen's speech (government programme for a session of Parliament) or major financial issues (denial of supply). Passage of a vote of no confidence gave the incumbent Prime Minister a choice between resigning or calling a new general election

The Conservatives have clearly identified an interpretation of the conventions that have applied since 2011.

  1. The only effective way of voting no confidence was to use the Fixed Term Parliament Act procedure.
  2. The government was only obliged to provide parliamentary time for a vote of no confidence moved by the Leader of the Opposition athough the government could at its discretion allow time for someone else to move such a motion.
  3. The effect of passage of a vote of no confidence under the 2011 Act, was to codify the previous convention. The Prime Minister could either resign or stay in office for 14 days to try and convince Parliament to vote confidence in the government and if not hold a general election.
  4. If the incumbent Prime Minister decided not to resign there is no way in which an alternative Prime Minister can obtain an effective vote of confidence.

It is this last proposition which may be in dispute. However to disprove it may require the monarch to exercise the reserve power of the Crown to dismiss the incumbent and appoint a new Prime Minister. It seems more likely that a cautious monarch would accept the advice of an existing Prime Minister and let the people sort things out in a general election.
by Gary J on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 04:56:44 AM EST
Excellent comment which gets to the heart of the matter. The other complication: what happens to the 14 days if Parliament is prorogued in the meantime?

If I were Corbyn I would call a meeting of the main anti-no deal players - the same as the Church House meeting attendance plus a few Tory dissidents - and say the following, (having given everyone else a chance to let off some steam first):

  1. Attempts to find a legislative route to blocking no deal are like to fail because of insufficient consensus as to the best technical route to take, insufficient parliamentary time, and the ability of Boris to frustrate the intentions of the lawmakers, by defying conventions or setting new precedents if required.

  2. Attempts by dissident MPs to avoid a general election (because of the vulnerability of their seats) are likely to prove futile because Boris is likely to call a general election in any case, immediately after Brexit day, at the height of public indignation at any foreigner interference in Britain's freedom to trade with whoever it wants, where it wants, on its own terms, and without let or hindrance. (We'll show those Frenchies who's boss).

  3. Basically Boris can't be trusted to implement Parliament's will no matter how clearly expressed and all legal remedies will be moot by Brexit day.

  4. The main obstacles to Parliament acting effectively are (i) lack of consensus as to who would make an acceptable alternate caretaker PM, and (ii) the fear of individual law makers that they will lose their seats. Corbyn can address these concerns by (a) Proposing a small cross party sub-committee to come up with the name of a caretaker PM at least minimally acceptable to all, and (b) proposing an electoral pact whereby the  anti-no deal candidate best placed at the 2017 election (effectively including all current MPs) is given a clear run at the Tory candidates. (c) The election has to be held before Brexit day to ensure the Brexit party still exists to split the Leave vote and (d) all leaders present commit to campaigning for whoever that best placed anti-no deal candidate is to maximise, consolidate and unify the anti-no deal vote.

  5. Corbyn will remind the meeting that he, as Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, has the sole right to call a VONC but that he will only do so if assured of their votes and the success of the process. He will also remind them that as Leader of the largest opposition party any choice of interim PM has to be acceptable to him.  

  6. Finally Corbyn may claim (I don't know how sustainable this claim is), that as Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, he has the sole right of access to the Queen (other than the PM) to advise her that Boris has lost the confidence of the house, that their choice of PM has gained the confidence of the house, and that Her Majesty is constitutionally obliged to dismiss Boris and appoint their nominee as PM even if Boris refuses to resign.

  7. Basically nothing effective can happen without Corbyn, and he cannot be effective without the support of the dissidents and the rest of the opposition. An electoral pact is the only way to safeguard their individual and collective futures and ensure no deal doesn't happen. An A.50 extension is the only way to ensure a no-deal crash out doesn't happen, and getting rid of Boris is the only way to ensure an a.50 extension is sought, accepted, and implemented.

  8. An electoral pact doesn't imply any policy convergence or alignment on anything other than opposing a no deal Brexit. It doesn't imply an alliance or coalition after the election, but does require opposition party leaders present a united front to the electorate to ensure the anti-no deal candidate maximises and consolidates the anti-no deal vote.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:59:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it be interesting if (say) Corbyn, Bercow, Sturgeon, Swinson, Hammond and other party leaders plus whoever is the choice for interim PM had to march up to Balmoral to advise the Queen that Boris had lost the confidence of the House and that she should appoint their nominee as his successor?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 10:13:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That can't happen without the LibDems and the LibDems hate Corbyn.  In a way this is a 'Kindlier, Gentler" version of the Nazi take-over in Germany with the same dynamic: the two parties who could have stopped it hated each other more than their common enemy.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:19:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are also describing Italy. If not immediately now, at least when the PD/5* coalition eventually implodes and Salvini's goons win the elections.
by Bernard on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 06:40:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Serious question: what makes a PD/5* implosion inevitable or unavoidable?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 06:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5* has defined itself by the reject of "politics as usual" and most career politicians of past governments, including Matteo Renzi. PD is pro-austerity, 5* is anti-austerity; PD is relatively liberal on immigration, 5* is closer to Salvini in that regard; PD is dye-in-the-wool parliamentary democracy, 5* leans towards "direct democracy" via their Rousseau platform.

They hate each other. The only thing they have in common for now is their fear of Salvini's Lega eating their lunch if new elections are called now. Not the foundations of a solid and long lasting coalition.

by Bernard on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 07:19:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet it appears that both 5* and PD have recognized that the their other potential partner is better than the alternative of letting Salvini make significant electoral gains any time soon. Perhaps PD will move a bit towards 5* on anti-austerity, as relieving economic pressure on the bottom 80% would undercut Salvini, 5* can move towards PD on immigration, and they can compromise on making voter registration and voting easier. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 05:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An alternative arrangement might be for 5* to provide PD with its own version of Rousseau to use as they see fit.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 05:35:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 10:29:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"...and they can compromise on making voter registration and voting easier."
I don't understand this. Voter registration for everyone is automatic at 18. It's not the States.
On another note, the five-star party had its electronic vote and 79% voted for a coalition gov with the PD.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Sep 3rd, 2019 at 08:02:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A long series of IF statements all to be agreed in what, three days?
by asdf on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:25:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris is likely to call a general election

We keep hearing this, including in the media. Agreed, Boris would like this, but the Fixed-term Parliaments Act was passed to prevent governments calling snap elections whenever they thought it was to their advantage. The PM no longer has this prerogative. She/he must obtain the agreement of the Commons by a 2/3 majority.

Now, Corbyn may be raring to go for an election, and thus bring Labour votes behind a government proposal. He might also realize that he holds the key to election/no election. How about Boris continuing in power on a shoestring while the deleterious effects of No-deal begin to make themselves felt?

Boris's only other chance would be to bring about a vote of no confidence on himself. 14 days later, if no alternative majority was found, a general election would take place automatically. But, if an alternative majority came together, that one would blow up in his face. A lot would depend on how many Tories he really pisses off.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 11:57:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which puts Corbyn in the pivotal position. He can threaten the Tory and Independent dissidents that he will support a Boris general election call - thereby guaranteeing many will lose their seats - unless they provide him with a viable alternative, which is basically to support his nominee for PM in a "government of national unity".

I doubt the current dissident strategy of going the legislative route (basically to avoid a general election) is going to be effective, either through lack of parliamentary time,or because Boris will simply ignore whatever law they pass.

By mid-October, when it becomes clear the EU council has rebuffed all attempts at re-negotiation, again, the only alternative to a no-deal crash out will be a VONC and an alternative PM.

By then, the dissidents will also have lost all leverage on Corbyn. He can insist he becomes the caretaker PM, and they will have to decide which they hate most - no deal Brexit, or Corbyn as temp PM.

That should concentrate minds wonderfully.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 12:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you really think the typical British MP is capable of concentrating his or her mind, individually or collectively? The last few years have indicated otherwise.
Hunger and physical danger works pretty well to help focus fuzzy thoughts, but political and economic necessity seems to be a bit abstract for the well compensated MP.
by Andhakari on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 01:32:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The threat of losing their seats and associated emoluments in an imminent general elections usually works...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 03:43:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't this go the other way too, with proposals for a caretaker government to call an election? The caretaker PM would need 2/3 majority or lose a no confidence vote, with no replacement. So there could be a no confidence vote against Boris, followed by Corbyn who requests a A50 extension and then tries to call an election only for it to fail, Corbyn losing a no confidence vote and Boris voted in?

Tory remainers and soft Brexiteers plus the remains of CHUK would be the swing voters in this scenario, wanting to avoid both a no deal Brexit and an election.

by fjallstrom on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 11:50:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it only requires a majority of Parliament to confirm a new PM. Could be wrong.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 03:56:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Re item 4, the problem is again the timeline. All BoJo has to do is keep things stalled until 31 October.

to disprove it may require the monarch to exercise the reserve power of the Crown to dismiss the incumbent and appoint a new Prime Minister

When would this happen? Maybe at 11:00 PM on 30 October? And the new PM calls up <somebody> in Europe and asks for an Article 50 extension, and <somebody else> in Europe waves a magic wand and approves it in ten minutes?

by asdf on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 03:29:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Expert US reportage

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 01:47:32 PM EST
Scottish Tory Leader Quits in Blow to Boris Johnson's Election Chances
Ruth Davidson, who ran the party in Scotland for almost eight years and ranked among the U.K.'s most popular politicians, said the pressures of family life prompted her decision, but her differences with Johnson over Britain's protracted departure from the European Union loomed large.

"Having led our party through seven national elections and two referenda, I know the efforts, hours and travel required to fight such campaigns successfully," Davidson wrote in her letter she published on Twitter. "The threat of spending hundreds of hours away from my home and family now fills me with dread."

< wipes tears >
For his part, Johnson acknowledged that Davidson had been instrumental in the revival of his party's electoral fortunes in Scotland and credited her for her "pivotal role" in the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 07:05:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ruth Davidson resignation: Scottish Conservative leader steps down
does not drag Arlene the Paisley with
In a packed press conference at the McDonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh, it was revealed that Ms Davidson broke the news of her resignation to Boris Johnson in a phone call yesterday.
[...]
Ms Davidson has also been a vocal critic of Mr Johnson's "do or die" approach to Brexit, but today she said she was assured that he wanted to get a deal. And a party spokesman said that her decision was not as a result of the Prime Minister's decision to suspend Parliament, claiming she had been considering her position for around a year, and more so after the European elections.
< wpes tears >
"I asked him outright are you trying to get a deal or not? He categorically assured me that he was, that he believes his efforts in Biarritz [at the G7 summit] opened the door a crack. What would help further is for those who don't want no-deal is to back the deal this time."


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 06:59:03 PM EST
Her resignation dooms the Conservative party north of the border, where they currently hold several Westminster seats. Hers was a once in a geeneration voice and the Tory party nationally is much weaker for her going.

Equally, Johnston's prorogung has made an independence referendum inevitable and the SNP will win by  country mile.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 07:34:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clapper57 says: Well that was some fan fest at channel four news for Ruth Davidson tonight.

Greatly missed by the Tory party...how's that then...cause from where I'm sitting, her posse, come next GE, will be more than likely eliminated WITH or WITHOUT her at the helm of the branch office....and fine well yon madam knew it.

So she looked Boris in the eye...



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 11:48:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh, undoubtedly. But compared with any other tory in Westminster, she was an authentic voice and people liked her.

that said, I read a good article this morning suggesting that, even if her personal reasons for going were true, now might be a good time to be absent from front line Tory politics. Let all the others be coated in brexit slime and then re-emerge in 5 - 10 years as a lone voice of sanity to rally the troops.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 06:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
24 months ± 6 months

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 05:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Letter to the Editor:

"A Chara - UK opposition MPs are threatening to continue to meet in informal session when the House of Commons is prorogued. Given that attendance at such sessions would not require an oath of allegiance to the Queen, will Sinn Fein be attending those sessions to ensure that the DUP are not the only party representing Northern Ireland?"

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 08:24:15 PM EST
Suspending parliament: Why it couldn't happen in Germany
In Germany, the Bundestag, the country's equivalent of the House of Commons, "controls the government, and not the other way round.
[...]
The question of who is allowed to suspend the Bundestag is settled by Article 39, Paragraph 3 of the Basic Law: "The Bundestag shall determine when its sessions shall be adjourned and resumed."

"Apparently in the UK the constitution is still in a monarchical tradition," [University of Bielefeld Christoph] Gusy said.
[...]
What's more, the German government has no say over the length of the Bundestag's term, which is also enshrined in the Basic Law: "no sooner than forty-six months and no later than forty-eight months after the electoral term begins."

Suspending "parliament": Why it could  happen in USA
US Constitution, Art. II, Section 3.

[The President] shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

archived obscure law, ConLaw, and unimpeacheable Norms
10th Amendment
James Monroe's Seventh State of the Union Address, 23 Dec 1823, full text
US Congressional acts
Powerful, OBSCURE law is basis for Trump 'order' on trade
US Congressional acts
The Dictator and The Decider
"He's doing our work for us, in a certain respect," said the speaker of the House.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 08:28:06 PM EST
## Democracy is not well understood.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 08:31:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Proroguing parliament is unlawful abuse of power, court told
MPs seek interdiction in Scotland as challenges also filed in Belfast and London
Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue parliament is an unlawful abuse of power, a Scottish court has heard in the first of three legal challenges.

Aidan O'Neill QC, acting for a cross-party group of 75 MPs and peers, told a court in Edinburgh that the prime minister had trampled on more than 400 years of constitutional law by asking the Queen to prorogue parliament solely for political gain.
....
The hearing on Thursday morning was arranged at short notice in response to Johnson's decision on Wednesday to suspend parliament early next month. Two other legal challenges were urgently filed in Belfast and London on Thursday.

Doherty said he would rule on the application on Friday morning. If it is upheld, O'Neill believes Johnson will be forced to reverse the decision to prorogue parliament pending an appeal.
.....
The high court in Belfast held a hearing for an emergency injunction brought by Raymond McCord, a victims' rights campaigner who has argued that a no-deal Brexit would be a breach of the Good Friday agreement.
Sign up to our Brexit weekly briefing
Read more

"We are seeking an urgent injunction to compel Johnson to reverse his advice to the Queen to prorogue parliament," McCord's lawyer, Ciaran O'Hare, said after the 20-minute hearing.

Northern Ireland's lord chief justice, Sir Declan Morgan, interrupted his summer holiday to hear the prima facie arguments. He instructed O'Hare and the government's defence barrister to return on Friday at 10am for a full hearing with expanded legal arguments.

In London, Gina Miller, the campaigner who mounted a successful legal challenge in 2016 to Theresa May's attempts to use crown prerogative powers to invoke article 50, lodged papers seeking a judicial review, which is expected to be heard next week.

Three different suits in three different courts with three different legal theories. A favorable ruling on any one would produce problems for Boris.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 08:31:18 PM EST
Yes, but given the woolyness of the UK's unwritten Constitution, it seems any is unlikely to proceed. It is not exactly unusual for a PM to act "solely for political gain" and in the absence of any statute law the courts will be reluctant to intervene in a "political" decision.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 08:36:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem isn't political gain, it's political gain by shutting down the heart of government for an unheard of period in the face of all reasonable precedent.

This is not about ends, but means. And the means are wholly unacceptable to British democracy. The ends are a side issue.

It should be straightforward. But Doherty's record isn't encouraging. He tends to lean corporate and Establishment, so I'll be surprised if anything comes of this.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 01:18:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that is my point. The absence of a clear constitution or even statute law creates a vacuum which can be filled by precedent, convention, or just "Gentlemen's agreements" but which could also be filled by activist judges through case law. However Judges, and particularly senior judges, are selected on the basis that they are paragons of the establishment whose job it is to make sure no boat is rocked... They ARE the establishment.

Hence also the hostility towards the European Charter of Fundamental Rights - an excellent document which could put limits on the establishment's pursuit of its own self interest. Progress on human rights in the UK has generally only happened when public unrest and civil strife have put the establishment at risk, and some concessions had to be made to the rubes to keep the pitch forks at bay.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 10:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Petition: Do not prorogue Parliament
"Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled."
UK reacts angrily to Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament
It is not the first of its kind. A petition earlier this year asking the British government to reverse its course on Brexit received more than 4.5 million signatures in just three days. The request appeared to fall on deaf ears, with Wednesday's development only giving further weight to that notion.

archived People's Votes
no binding

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 08:43:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 11:52:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to wonder if, in the face of the protests we have seen and the polling, such as it is, if Boris is able to bring off a crash out of the EU and then calls an election, would the result necessarily be to his liking. It is hard to imagine anything that would motivate Remain voters more than what is happening now.
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:08:14 PM EST
The problem is that given the UK FPTP electoral system, 30% of the vote can be sufficient to win an overall majority provided the opposition is sufficiently divided. Presumably the Brexit party will fade away after a no deal Brexit as their whole raison d'etre will have been achieved. That would mean Boris could clean up on the pro-Brexit vote.

The other problem is that if Brexit results in considerable disruption, voters will be urged to teach Jonny foreigner a lesson that Britain will not be cowed. The Dunkirk spirit all over again. Only one candidate will be promising to "make a success of Brexit" and that would be Boris. Voters will hardly vote for someone who said Brexit will be a disaster.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:35:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  Lose the battle

  2.  Dump all your stuff

  3.  Run away

(Boy that's inspiring!)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 04:59:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't get it, do you?
Brave British Boys battling unBelievable odds
evading capture
being rescued by fishermen and part time sailors
the common people coming up trumps
living to fight another day
the precursor to D-Day
VE day
Churchill
Thatcher
Boris
Brexit!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 05:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While French troops got killed fighting to hold German divisons who wanted to attack British boys...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 01:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's not forget the Senegal troops were killed after the surrender for being untermenschen

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 03:09:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And French deaths to protect British troops in retreat don't count either...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 07:06:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not fair.

British troops were sacrificed to protect the beaches, the RAF was so weakened protecting the beaches that it nearly lost us the Battle of Britain.

PLUS, over 100,000 french troops were evacuated, most of whom were immediately re-patriated on the Atlantic coast, just in time to surrender. So of 300,000 troops saved, the sacrifice by troops of all armies and the RAF to protect 1/3 of that effort was wasted.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 09:25:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was little else the BEF could do but get out it.

The positioning of the BEF in Gamelin's deployment put them between the French Seventh Army to the north and Blanchard's First Army to the south so when the armies retreated it left the French Seventh facing elements of von Kuchler's 18th Army and and French First facing the 6th Army of von Reichenau with the BEF effectively squeezed out of the battle until the final days when elements of the BEF held the line from Nieuport to Bergues along the Bergues-Furnas canal.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 11:56:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it didn't help that Gamelin's conduct of the war was idiotic. He was effectively in overall command of the allies at this point, including BEF.

He holed himself up in a moated chateau far from the front with only one telephone line and no radio communication. When the german axis breakout happened at Sedan, he withdrew as much of his army as possible towards the defence of Paris, effectively abandoning northern France.

But yes, the BEF were left with little choice to get out while they still could

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 01:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In The Second World War (1949), Winston Churchill described the Allied defence of Lille as a "splendid contribution", which delayed the German advance for four days and allowed the escape of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk.[7] William L. Shirer wrote in 1969 that the "gallant" defence of Lille "helped the beleaguered Anglo-French forces around the port to hold out for an additional two to three days and thus save at least 100,000 more troops".[1] Alistair Horrne wrote in 1982 that the French defence of Lille enabled the BEF and the rest of the First Army to retreat into the Dunkirk perimeter and in 2013, Douglas Fermer wrote that the Battle of Lille diverted about seven German divisions during the evacuation of Dunkirk.
See also: Siege of Lille
The desperate resistance of Allied forces, especially the French 12th Motorised Infantry Division from the Fort des Dunes, had bought time for the evacuation of the bulk of the troops. The Wehrmacht captured some 35,000 soldiers, almost all of them French. These men had protected the evacuation until the last moment and were unable to embark. The same fate was reserved for the survivors of the French 12th Motorised Infantry Division (composed in particular of the French 150th Infantry Regiment); they were taken prisoner on the morning of 4 June on the beach of Malo-les-Bains. See also: Retreat to Dunkirk


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 12:51:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the more informed commentary! I think some of us were reacting more to the use of Dunkirk in the Brexiteer rhetoric of today rather than the military reality of yesteryear...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 2nd, 2019 at 08:10:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would certainly be the Leave voter's reaction. I was referring to the Remain voters, which seem to be the majority.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 07:36:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:09:12 PM EST
It might be advisable, as soon as possible, to pass a law that gives the Monarch the option of referring requests by the Prime Minister, such as prorogation, to the UK Supreme Court before granting or refusing them.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:40:02 PM EST
Why not just pass a law to give the House of Commons the power to set it's own sitting timetable?


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But allowing the Monarch to seek judicial review would be broader than just prorogation.
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 02:39:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be beneath the dignity of the Monarch to have to seek judicial sanction to exercise their prerogative to prorogue and much else. Best to maintain the fiction that the Queen has some discretion in this matter, when in fact the PM calls the shots.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 10:43:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To the contrary, it would enhance her dignity to have a real choice she could make.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 07:38:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 18th, 2019 at 06:08:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 A Chara - UK opposition MPs are threatening to continue to meet in informal session when the House of Commons is prorogued. Given that attendance at such sessions would not require an oath of allegiance to the Queen, will Sinn Fein be attending those sessions to ensure that the DUP are not the only party representing Northern Ireland?

And while they are at it, shouldn't Sinn Fein be challenging the oath of allegiance in the courts? After all, the Good Friday Agreement guarantees "equality of esteem"  to both Nationalist and Unionist traditions, and yet Nationalists are denied representation in Parliament through an oath which is inimical to their beliefs and identity.

Northern Ireland needs them to do their job at this critical time in our history. Varadker and Coveney can't be expected to do all the heavy lifting while critical decisions effecting Ireland's future are being made in Westminster.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 03:38:54 PM EST
by Bernard on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 07:55:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not the senator from the great state of ...Vermont, USA.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 04:31:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm one of the thousands of Yellowhammered civil servants working on no-deal preparations who had to prorogue their disbelief this week. We congregated around the screens of colleagues - subconsciously huddling together like emperor penguins - as we followed Twitter and various live-feeds reporting that Johnson had actually done what he repeatedly said he didn't want to do, what many of his inner sanctum insisted he would never do, and what his legal team repeatedly assured Gina Miller he certainly didn't intend to do.

None of us is in any doubt about what's just happened. This shutting down of accountability may be dressed up in the language of prorogation, and dignified by arcane royal pageantry. But it can't disguise the smirking, smug sense of reckless entitlement that stinks of the worst kind of Bullingdon Club blowout. This is constitutional vandalism, and everyone knows it.

Yes, yes, we've all got outrage fatigue. But I've genuinely never seen my colleagues so dismayed, so angry and - somehow worst of all - so disorientated. And after already enduring two rounds of Yellowhammer, that's saying something. What's going on?

There are very articulate civil servants...

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 04:56:37 PM EST

The chancellor, Sajid Javid, was not informed in advance
about the sacking of one of his senior advisers by Boris Johnson's strategist Dominic Cummings, it has emerged.

Sonia Khan, Javid's media adviser, was escorted from No 10 by a police officer after being accused of misleading Cummings over her contact with individuals close to the former chancellor Philip Hammond, who has been trying to block a no-deal Brexit.

Downing Street rebuffed speculation that she had leaked the government's no-deal planning report, Operation Yellowhammer, to the press.

Khan was the second adviser working for Javid to be sacked by No 10, leading to suggestions that Javid is becoming increasingly isolated from the core of the Johnson regime.



Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 05:15:43 PM EST
contrary to popular belief, special advisors work for the Prime minister and are attached to the Cabinet Office. They do NOT work for their individual ministers.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 06:24:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Johnson regime

huh They're already calling it a "regime."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 07:01:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Next: regime change.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 07:04:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I though Trump had already achieved that when he had May dumped and his man put in?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 07:07:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump achieve something? May's downfall was her own doing.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 11:32:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Trump's mind, no doubt.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 30th, 2019 at 11:35:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Time for Sinn Féin to play its part for Ireland's sake
UK opposition MPs are threatening to continue to meet in informal session when the House of Commons is prorogued.

Given that attendance at such sessions would not require an oath of allegiance to the queen, will Sinn Féin be attending those sessions to ensure the DUP is not the only party representing Northern Ireland?



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 03:52:20 PM EST
shit or get off the pot, ancient afro-americans were heard to say.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 04:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Would be they be seated?  To attend even an informal session of Parliament a person has to be a member of parliament and the Sinn Fein delegates aren't because they refuse to give the oath.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 04:14:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A good question. Depends on how you interpret "an informal" session of (some opposition) parliamentary members. It would be good for Sinn Fein to raise the issue. The independent didn't publish the second sentence of my letter:

"And while they are at it, shouldn't Sinn Fein be challenging the oath of allegiance in the courts? After all, the Good Friday Agreement guarantees "equality of esteem"  to both Nationalist and Unionist traditions, and yet Nationalists are denied representation in Parliament through an oath which is inimical to their beliefs and identity."

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 05:48:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I humbly suggest there are two stock answers to any question about Sinn Fein:

  1.  No, but they are idiots

  2.  Yes, but they are idiots

Gerry Adams might have had the political instincts and the ability to cease the moment.  I know nothing about Michelle O'Neill or her advisors.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 07:48:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"seize" not "cease"

(damnitall)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 07:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they're in a cease fire but have not yet seized the Brexit moment...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 08:43:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, it does seem Gerry Adams DOES have the political instinct to cease the moment - any moment.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 09:08:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not clear how much influence Gerry Adans still has in Sinn Fein. True, Mary Lou McDonald and Louise O'Neill haven't exactly brought much change, and the party has done badly in recent polls, but I'm not sure it's Gerry holding them back. I think he would have been more of a player in UK politics were he still in charge. The Dublin leadership appear less interested... and seem to be waiting for  Varadker/Coveney to fall flat on their faces.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 12:27:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their lessening influence is easy to diagnose.  Why bother voting for a party whose primary political purpose is to not represent their constituents?  If I wanted to vote for a party to not represent me I'd vote for the Monster Raving Looney candidate and at least have some fun out of it.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 03:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Protest sign in Leeds:
by Bernard on Sat Aug 31st, 2019 at 08:16:40 PM EST
Tory MPs who vote for the extension legislation will be barred from standing for the party at the next election  -  Spectator
Parliament returns on Tuesday and it is expected that anti no-deal MPs will - with John Bercow's help - quickly seize control of the order paper. They will then try and rush through a bill designed to stop the UK from leaving the EU without a deal. I report in the Sun this morning that Number 10 will treat these votes as they would a confidence vote with anyone who doesn't back the government being immediately disqualified from standing for the Tories again. They hope that this will keep some waverers in the government lobby next week.

It would mean that if former Cabinet Ministers such as Philip Hammond voted for the legislation, as they intend to, they would be barred from standing for the party again; ending their time as Tory MPs. It is hard to think of a precedent for so many Tories going from being Cabinet Ministers to being ineligible to stand for the party in a matter of weeks.
....
This approach is not without risk, though. There is a danger that MPs will still rebel and then decide that they have nothing left to lose; increasing not only the chances of them voting down the government in a no confidence vote but also backing an alternative Prime Minister.


A new prospect arises. Careful what you ask for. Now there is also the possibility of an electoral pact not to stand opponents to Conservatives who vote no confidence in the current government.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 01:41:51 AM EST
It's that's all nice, with warm & cuddly fuzzies and unicorns pooping silver and pissing gold ...

Alas ...

The EU has said 'round about eleventy-million times the Withdrawal Agreement has been negotiated and that's The Deal unless they get a really good reason to do it again.

MPs throwing tantrums while screaming "We don't wanna!!!!" is not a really good reason.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 03:19:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the whole point of the rebellion by Parliament is to prevent a no deal Brexit. Were they to vote no confidence and have an election, they would get an extension. Then, at the very least, Remainers get to live another day. Plus, this would be a very black eye for Brexiteers and THEY would be the ones risking getting their heads bashed by police.

Under those circumstances the Tories with the most chance of returning might well be those benefiting from an electoral pact. Wouldn't that be a refreshing change? At least that outcome would reflect the wishes of the current majority of the electorate and of the younger generations who have most to lose from Brexit. Ideally, a new government would act to reverse austerity and make life easier for the majority of the electorate, and, if wise, begin policies to help the midlands districts so badly hurt by deindustrialization. Granted they have recently voted Conservative. That is because there are no or very few union members to represent in those areas. But the Conservatives have not done anything for them either.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 03:46:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So what. They don't give up their seats. The purged will convene a NEW! party financed by whomever, name it Cherry Pickers United (CPU) or WTF, and list.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 09:01:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TR - Torry Remainers.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 09:31:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
needs more weed, possibly back-up singers

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 at 10:28:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fintan O'Toole: Welcome to the United Kingdom of Absurdistan.
Britain's democracy is built on feudalism and its unwritten constitution is feeble
Brexit is a very strange kind of revolution - the heroic overthrow of imaginary oppression, in which tragedy and farce are not sequential but simultaneous and deeply interwoven. But it is a revolution nonetheless, and it is conforming to these patterns. A goal that was unutterable in 2016 - the Year Zero of No Deal - is now mainstream policy. And the ancien regime of the Westminster system is having all its delusions mercilessly exposed by, of all places, Italy.

One thing that still unites the warring factions in England is the belief that Westminster is "the mother of all parliaments" and the envy of the democratic world. Well, it sure looks like the mother of all something right now, but it's not parliamentary democracy. Consider what has happened. Boris Johnson was elected leader of the Tory party by 92,153 people. He was then appointed prime minister by a hereditary monarch with no parliamentary involvement whatsoever. Since July 24th, when he became prime minister, he has appeared just once in the House of Commons to answer questions. And he has now used those monarchical powers to prorogue parliament and make himself even more unaccountable to it. The one virtue of Johnson's brazenness is that he has surely made obvious to his compatriots what outsiders can see - that the system in which all of this is possible is a democracy built around a solid core of feudalism.

To grasp the absurdity of this spectacle, we might turn to one of England's great minds, Jonathan Sumption. He is simultaneously one of his country's most distinguished lawyers, recently retired from the UK's supreme court, and one of its leading historians, whose superb ongoing multivolume history of the Hundred Years War is much better than Game of Thrones. Last week, the London Times asked him to pronounce on the legality of Johnson's prorogation of parliament. "I don't think what the prime minister has said he is going to do is unlawful," he said. But he added: "It might be considered unconstitutional in as much as it might be argued to be contrary to a longstanding convention of the constitution."

So what Johnson is doing is probably unconstitutional but probably not unlawful. I don't think most people in England have any idea how utterly nonsensical this seems to all the rest of us. It's like saying that a man is almost certainly dead but nonetheless in quite good health. In any other democracy, if it's unconstitutional, it's unlawful. Only in the United Kingdom of Absurdistan can it possibly be otherwise. And the heart of the absurdity is that great tautology, the "unwritten constitution".



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 3rd, 2019 at 09:25:51 AM EST
I think I've been saying very similar things for quite a while. I probably wouldn't have reviously put it as harshly as "fuedalism playing democratic charade", but I think the gloves have come off as the powers that be, those who pull strings behind the scenes, have decided that the enefits are too great to risk losing them by maintaining the fictions of democratic goverment.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 3rd, 2019 at 09:02:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. And it is hard to blame the problems on the British constitution, given that the US, Israel, Italy, and several other democratic countries are suffering similar problems, even though the mechanical and legal structures of their governments are quite a bit different.
by asdf on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 02:30:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The form of all their governments is republican.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 03:22:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the Italians have just solved their problem, because they have the structures - mainly a President with key powers - to actually resolve them - whereas the Queen has virtually no power to do anything useful.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 11:41:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Writing down your constitution hardly gives you a majority in the commons. As I understand it there would be ample time to install the Jam man as PM so he can ask for an extension and then call for new elections.
by generic on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 12:09:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A majority in the Commons isn't required, see The Prisoner of No. 10

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 12:15:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
HRM is president pro temp of UK parliament? Why don't IE or BE have one of those?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Sep 5th, 2019 at 09:10:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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