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So what is the Times' political correspondent, Henry Zeffman, or, for that matter, Nikki da Costa, on about?
They seem to be implying that the Queen cannot "send for" whoever the HOC might elect without being advised to do so by the incumbent first. (He might claim he still has a chance of winning back the confidence of the House, within 14 days, regardless of the house having temporarily showered its affections on some other non-entity.)
They also seem to be implying that BoJo can run down the clock on the 14 days and then choose an election date of his liking, at his complete discretion, for the ensuing election despite having lost a vote of confidence. (I think they may be correct on this, unless the HOC elects someone else before the 14 days are over).
It may be that "the British Constitution" is very clear on this. But if The Times' political correspondent and senior advisors to BoJo can waffle on like this in seeming ignorance of its provisions, it doesn't bode well for the general populace being well informed...
You seem to be placing great faith in "the law". But you can usually find two lawyers to argue contrasting interpretations, and without an effective, and speedy judicial determination and enforcement mechanism, whatever the law says might well be moot.
Index of Frank's Diaries
I also note that you place greater faith in correspondents of Murdoch's politically-biased rag than in official Parliamentary guidelines based on a recent and clear statute.
But have it your way.
Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The other main problem I am highlighting is that laws with limited if any sanctions applicable to actions many months after the event have not been shown to change that event even where those actions are found to have been illegal - in which case they are little more than window dressing.
In countries with written constitutions, clear precedents, and strong and independent enforcement mechanisms, respect for "the constitution" seems (to me) to be much stronger, and any government which has been found to act unconstitutionally faces severe consequences. The very fact that Boris doesn't have to face some kind of impeachment process for suggesting he might ignore the will of Parliament - and before he can actually do so - is also a matter of concern.
I have, for instance, also been critical of countries where this doesn't appear to be the case: for example where the pre-trial incarceration of Catalan separatist leaders seems to be motivated by an overly politicised judicial process. The separation of powers is an important constitutional principle.
The breakdown of respect for convention and the rule of law seems to me characteristic of a descent into authoritarianism and totalitarianism and the UK political class and media have not been slow to use the language of "traitors", "collaborators", "defeatists" and other xenophobic references to anyone associated with a less confrontational attitude to "Brussels".
I hope you are right and "the will of parliament prevails" and a "no deal" Brexit is avoided. Perhaps my parents German background makes me overly sensitive to any creeping undermining of democratic norms. However Rafel Behr also draws parallels to the onset of the Great War and notes a similar fatalism growing amongst Remainers that a no deal Brexit will happen in any case despite the catastrophic consequences they see coming.
"The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing"
Index of Frank's Diaries
I would assume that the monarch only acts on the advice of the PM to preserve the monarchy. Has the UK had a crisis where the monarchs power to appoint the PM and cabinet was lost due to a conflict with the parliament? If so, then the reason not to act but on the advice of the PM is due to the power of the parliament, not the PM. So the only reasonable move would be to go with the PM that actually has the support of parliament, even if that would break the letter of convention. Just declare that the outgoing PM handed in his resignation, thank him for his services, and call for the PM who has support.
The Times is either getting lost in the letters of conventions, and losing their meaning, or they are throwing up any reason to prevent Johnson being voted down in the first place. Or of course they might be laying the propaganda groundwork for a coup, but I think that is less likely.
So the horse trading would be done by her advisors, who would represent the Crown - a rather nebulous constitutional entity that is supposed to represent the State, but which in practice acts primarily to preserve the business interests of the monarchy.
Now - hypothetically - what if the current generation of advisors were all Brexiters? It wouldn't matter what the Queen wanted, because the advisors are literally the power behind the throne, and the Queen has very limited power of action without their support.
This is pure speculation. I have no idea if it's true. But the arrogance of Johnson etc worries me.
There's self-assurance, and then there's the kind of blind and stupid action that comes from a belief that the Establishment supports you and won't act against you.
Granted, Johnson isn't the most self-aware of all political operators, and it's perfectly possible he's simply a delusional narcissist.
But it's also hard to see how Brexit could have gotten as far as it has without at least some Establishment support. Considering how hard it is to make any big changes in the UK, it's been extraordinarily effective in a relatively short time. And that wouldn't have happened if the Establishment wasn't at least partially in favour of it.
So the question is - how much of the Establishment supports it, and from what power base? We can take the Home Office for granted, because it's Fascist Central anyway. The FO will be more pragmatic.
But the Queen's own office? It's impossible for outsiders to know what's happening there. But it's certainly impossible to guarantee it's a fervent Remainer outpost.
Also, she's got a lot of real estate in Scotland that will pose an interesting question when they break off from England in about a year.
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