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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 ]


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