Discussion of article from the Mail's columnists and RightMinds contributors
:sunglasses: 50 % :grinning: 50 %
By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
Somebody really needs to tell Letts that his "Squeaker" nickname for Bercow is not, and has never been, funny.

Also, it's amazing that just yesterday the Daily Mail and Sun were pretending to care about the abuse of politicians. It literally lasted one day.

QUENTIN LETTS: The smarmy Squeaker was unmoved by the roaring protests – all he wants is to screw Brexit and create a blaze of notoriety

Our elite’s deranged hatred of Brexit – its treasonous reluctance to see us become an independent kingdom – took its smelliest turn yesterday when Commons Speaker Bercow resorted to that old trick of despots and cheats: if you don’t like the rules, break ’em.

And who should assist him in this splintering of precedent, this brazen bogwashing of ancient procedures? Why, Mr Hoity-Toity himself, Dominic Grieve, who for decades has given us dusty lectures about the majesty of rules-based systems.

Shortly before the day’s sitting began, Bercow jettisoned parliamentary protocol by allowing Mr Grieve (Con, Beaconsfield) to propose a damaging amendment to the already running EU Withdrawal debate.

The Commons Clerk, who is appointed by the Queen, had told Bercow he should not do such a thing.

Bercow ignored him and let Remainer Grieve have his way. As a result, the Government’s negotiating position on Brexit is further weakened. Perhaps Bercow will soon join Mr Grieve in being made a member of the Legion d’Honneur.

His rape of centuries-old proprieties ignited an hour of remarkable rancour as MPs tore into his malign stewardship of a once-great office of the land.

Points of Order were not just made. They were bellowed. The Squeaker himself stood there, swaying only occasionally. Generally he was smarmily unmoved by the roaring protests. Couldn’t give a damn. All he wants is to screw Brexit and create a blaze of notoriety.

We had just had a low-wattage PMQs. Points of Order began at 12.49pm and within moments the House was in surging, swelling, quivering turmoil, with Theresa May still in her place, watching aghast and amazed.

Pah, you may be tempted to say. Who cares about parliamentary procedure? But parliamentary procedure is the currency of political heft and it is becoming the weapon of Europhile oppression. Parliamentary procedure is today’s equivalent of arrows at the battlefield of Hastings. Bercow, supposedly impartial chairman of our Legislature, seems to be fighting for the nose-helmet Normans.

Brexiteer Peter Bone (Con, Wellingborough) said he had tried to submit an amendment to the debate but had been assured by the clerks that no such thing could be done. Yet Mr Grieve had been allowed to do it! Bercow claimed ignorance.

Mr Bone slumped in his seat but in some ways he has only himself to blame. He has been one of Bercow’s past defenders. Wake up, Peter. This Speaker is viciously unbalanced, an enemy of your cause and of the referendum majority. Another Leaver, Eddie Hughes (Con, Walsall N), asked how an ‘unamendable motion could be amended’.

Bercow said it was ‘long standing practice’ that the Speaker’s judgements were never questioned by MPs. Ha! They are now, mate. ‘I am clear in my mind,’ he said, rolling his forked tongue over his teeth, ‘that I have taken the right course of action.’

With this he went into a technical passage that played such semantics, it’s a wonder the Heavens did not fling down a thunderbolt to reduce the wordy worm to a roundel of smouldering ashes. Mark Francois (Con, Rayleigh & Wickford) read the long-established rules which Bercow had broken.

He reminded Bercow that he claimed to be ‘a servant of this House and we have taken you at your word’.

Oh, Comrade Foolish, you would better accept the word of Faustus. On hearing further wriggling wordplay from Bercow, Mr Francois erupted: ‘That’s ridiculous! Utter sophistry!’

Bercow did what he often does and sought sanctuary in a contribution from his old boss Kenneth Clarke (Con, Brussels). What a sorry ruin Clarke is these days. Several other Bercow toadies were called. Bercow was speared by his nemesis: Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House.

She coolly asked that he publish the advice he was given by the Clerk. This earned an explosion of laughter, for the House remembered that Bercow helped force the Government to break custom and publish its legal advice on Brexit. Bercow loftily said that the Clerk’s advice to him was ‘private’.

Leadsom had drawn blood, for she had made the House jeer its Speaker. Contempt for the Chair was open, ministers heckling him and even Remainer MPs relishing the spectacle of a nasty little bully receiving some payback. Feet drummed on floorboards with each fresh attack. Senior Members slapped their knees with pleasure as Bercow guppy-fished for an answer to Mrs Leadsom’s blow.

Independent-minded Andrew Percy (Con, Brigg & Goole) – who is meant to be a friend of Bercow – said the public would realise there was ‘a conspiracy and procedural stitch-up taking place by a Commons grossly out of touch with the referendum result’. Prolonged hear-hears. Bercow tried bragging that he always acted ‘diligently, conscientiously and without favour’ but no one was buying that likely tale.

As long-serving Tory moderate Crispin Blunt (Reigate) said, ‘for many of us, the referee of our affairs is no longer neutral’. He was speaking for MPs but the same will be true of the public.

When Parliament’s arbiter breaks the rules, Parliament itself becomes bent. But I think we all knew that. Westminster no longer has legislators. It has been captured by anti-democratic squatters.
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
Ooh ark at you. A world in which Letts has lost his rag is a brighter one. He forgot to remind us that Grieve speaks French
And who should assist him in this splintering of precedent, this brazen bogwashing of ancient procedures? Why, Mr Hoity-Toity himself, Dominic Grieve, who for decades has given us dusty lectures about the majesty of rules-based systems.
By Malcolm Armsteen
Membership Days Posts
This is a fundamental, knock-down, only-one-side-will-live argument about the nature of our democracy.

Usually Parliament is sovereign, and it gets its sovereignty from regular elections. The people give their conditional support to representatives who then act on their behalf. It is expected that the representatives will subsequently submit to the judgement of the electorate on the manner in which they have represented them. Parliamentary democracy.

That isn't the case with referenda (and this is why they are very bad idea). There enters this concept of 'the will of the people' - expressed, immutable and unchangeable. Now that may work well in the case of the electorate approving or disapproving a piece of legislation, or a relatively easily defined political goal, but not something like Brexit, which as we have seen is too large, complex and poorly defined to be acted upon in any sensible manner at all.

What it does do, however, is give a sterling opportunity to politicians to enact their DORAs - their own agendas, the bees in their bonnet. And they can claim that none can stop them because the will of the people is on their side. As are nasty little opportunists like Letts, Dacre, Liddle and so on.

This is therefore a tragic conflict of two sorts of representation, with the added confusion of the agendas of the main players. Rees-Mogg wants unbridled capitalism, freedom for his wealth fund and a Singapore-style low-rights economy. Fox wants to recreate his Atlantic Bridge. Both would, of course, become even more rich in the process. Complete imbeciles like Bone, Dunkin' Smith, Redwood et al look back to a white world of simple certainties. Like May they are nativists and xenophobes, so representative of the Tories and their class. The will of the people gives them the opportunity to govern without the restraints of parliamentary democracy, using orders in council and so-called Henry VIII acts to impose their vision in the name of the 'greater democracy' of a one-off vote.

The poor, thick, deluded voters of Grimsby and Sunderland want the foreigners out and believe that globalisation, instead of securing them jobs at Nissan, is causing them harm, whereas the problem is their own lack of care in electing local officials who might educate them and their kids to a half-decent standard and allow them access to a larger jobs pool. And, of course, the fault of those officials.

And the rag press - Murdoch wants his way in broadcasting to make even more obscene profits. Dacre wants to ride the nativist and hate-filled tide that represents his own withered and diseased soul. I'm not sure what Desmond wanted. The old want the modern world to go away, so many of them lacking the skills, resilience and vision to embrace change, so perhaps he was surfing that in order to become even richer. Farage seems to flit from one to another. Even Tommy Robinson is in there, using Brexit to push a religious and socially intolerant policy.

And the young, who share none of those traits, the cosmopolitan, the educated and the historically aware are royally fucked over.

That is why it is important that the Letts of the world do not win. We must retain the sovereignty of parliament. That is what the votes are about.
cycloon, Projective Unity, Watchman and 5 others liked this
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