Take. Back. Control.

Although it seems like this could have been said at any time in the last five years, we are about to enter a new phase of this constitutional crisis.

As I write MPs have rejected taking control of Parliament’s timetable, to prevent a No-deal Brexit. “The result of the vote was greeted with cheers from the Tory benches”, says this report.

This is a decision that will destroy the economy and (hopefully) the union.

The MPs at Westminster aren’t remotely interested in taking back control, they are interested in entertaining their party political fantasies.

Boris Johnson, a man who referred to black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles” – a man who called men who frequent gay clubs “tank-topped bumboys” and compared gay marriage to bestiality is to be your new unelected Prime Minister.

A former Tory has described him as: “a habitual liar, a cheat, a conspirator with a criminal pal to have an offending journalist’s ribs broken, a cruel betrayer of the women he seduces, a politician who connived in a bid for a court order to suppress mention of a daughter he fathered, a do-nothing mayor of London and the worst foreign secretary in living memory . . . ”

Matthew Parris writing in the Times sketches out a scenario whereby Johnson’s elevation triggers a series of crisis and elections:

“I want to lift eyes from the immediate Tory leadership race starting on Monday and instead look three and perhaps four elections ahead. This is no scan of distant horizons. At least three and, I’ll hazard, four of those elections will have taken place before the end of next year”.

He explains:

“The first starts on Monday as nominations for the Tory leadership semi-finals close. The second, the finals, when two candidates go before the whole national Conservative membership, will be decided by the end of next month. The third would be the early general election that would be overwhelmingly likely once Boris Johnson had darkened Downing Street’s door, as the Commons wrestled him out of taking Britain out of the EU without a deal.”

This seems both terrifying and highly likely.

Although Johnson will be elected by the Conservative Party membership he will be catapulted by a combination of his own brand of Anglo-British nationalist fervor, and the sheer dread of a Corbyn government, mythologised and amplified by the clutched pearls of Tabloid England into a No Deal endgame.

As of today’s vote, there will be no Westminster protection to this insanity. There will be no “adult in the room”. We will be “off a cliff” as they say.

At this point in comes Rory Stewart to inject some rationality into this prospect:

 

 

I have no respect or interest in Rory Stewart but in this analysis he is absolutely tight.

So what does this mean for Scotland?

It depends, but here’s one likely scenario…

With Johnson as the new Tory leader and Prime Minister we’ll have a general election – either because of a vote of no confidence or because of his need to assert himself with the electorate.

In such an election a Johnson-led Conservative Party would be promising a hard Brexit – and likely they would do a deal with Farage and Co to disband in return for a place or two in the Cabinet.

In this scenario the Tories would win a huge majority – and Scotland would be likely to return 58/59 SNP MPs, the Labour Party having been destroyed by it’s own divisions and incompetence.

Under this scenario what is the likelihood of Boris Johnson – awash in flags of St George  – giving a Section 30 Order?

Precisely nil.

Discuss.

 

Comments (11)

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  1. John says:

    Thanks Mike. What is your take on Gordon McIntyre-Kemp’s article on a possible response from the SNP? http://www.businessforscotland.com/snp-referendum-bill-could-lead-to-surprising-endgame-on-independence

    1. Hi John, I broadly agree with his analysis with some variation.

      I think that the route should still be some form of referendum and that the SNP should run the election on that basis, I agree that they are likely to win around 57 seats under a Boris-Farage govt.

  2. Andy Anderson says:

    This is an interesting analysis. It requires the UK ‘written constitution’, which is supposed to be based on tradition and precedent, to be breached on a number of occasions in order to allow Johnson to get to the position suggested, it then assumes that the SNP after major success at the National Election would need to roll over and accept defeat because of precedent and tradition because Johnson would refuse to agree a Section 30 Order. Well that is interesting, is it not? We have no written constitution so there is no Section 30 in our written constitution. therefore its base in constitutional matters on precedent and tradition which Boris has just trashed, but Scotland should ignore the sovereign will of the Scottish people, which does have a long history in Scotland’s constitution since 1320 and accept the rule of Boris as ‘constitutional’ I do not see the Scots accepting that nor for that matter the United Nations, This attempt to refuse the Scottish people the right to exercise their sovereignty would be a breach of the UN charter.

    1. I didn’t at any point suggest anyone rolling over.

  3. SleepingDog says:

    Presumably declaring martial law (or a war) would be one way of delaying elections. Recent British political history has seen a testing of various pretexts (although calamitous mismanagement would also be effective in creating sufficient crises). The Conservative plan to phase in diplomatic immunity to British troops is presumably therefore intended to convey the strong impression that they won’t be prosecuted for crimes committed against the British public during an extended period of militarized oppression.

    1. Willie says:

      I think you are right Sleeping Dog. Democracy has gone and policy will be introduced by force.

      The surveillance state is here and it is being used. Every aspect of one’s life is now recoded and cross linked. GP surgeries for example run patient data through Home Office, Immigration , HMRC computer. The bank match customers with passports, driving licences, electricity and gas accounts whilst a car hire matches driving licence with national insurance numbers.

      On the road nearly 8,000 ANPR CAMERAS record over 10,000,000,000 vehicle movements annually tracking vehicle movements. Mass facial recognition monitoring, like the ANPR is underway.

      And do the government use it. Of course they do. The selection of the Windrush unfortunates as a group who were denied healthcare, had their bank accounts closed, were denied the right to work, and who were then processed, wrongly for extradition was part of a policy called the Hostile Environment.

      Or what of the EU citizens recently clandestinely removed from the electoral roles who were then denied a vote in the Euro elections. The impact of removing around 200, 000 voters, many of whom had voted many many times before, is another example of totalitarian manipulation.

      Or the fake news or Brigade 77. Part of the British system too. Or what of our neighbours in the hapless province of Northern Ireland. The pretends assembly suspended, with the GFA in tatters, the U.K. now has more undercover special forces operating than during the Troubles or Dirty War as it may more appropriately be known.

      Or the prorogue of Westminster to force through a Brexit that was certainly not voted for in Scotland or NI and which divides opinion in England. Proroguing Parliament and with Civil Disturbance legislation, one can see how Martial Law, which the Army say they have contingencies for, could be a reality.

      These are dangerous time as we live in the paddock of Manor Farm.

      But hey ho, the auld cannon fodders did their duty caught in a rat trap run by elites and their vested interests.

  4. John Rogan says:

    I don’t think Johnson wants a General Election before he “delivers Brexit” and neither do Tory MPs. I also think Corbyn and most Labour MPs do not want a GE either at the moment. With the huge vote for the Brexit Party and Remain votes seeping from both Tory and Labour in the EU elections, there is a common purpose for all these MPs to get Brexit over and done with. Their main priority is keeping their seats so best put off a GE for a while and, hopefully, the situation will calm down a bit and “get back to normal”.

    In other words, I think Johnson and Corbyn will do a deal over the summer to pass the Withdrawal Agreement with changes to the (non-binding) Political Declaration which will be agreed with the EU.

    Corbyn has two Brexit advisers – Seumas Milne and Andrew Murray. The latter wanted to vote for May’s deal last October and the former thought that a deal was in the making when Labour were negotiating with May in April. The main problem then was that at the end of March May had said she’d resign after “delivering Brexit” so couldn’t promise anything which would be “Boris-proof”. The talks then fell apart.

    If Corbyn does do a deal with Johnson, this will exacerbate the constitutional crises as the SNP is the only Remain party which can be pretty certain of getting most disgruntled pro-Remain Labour votes in Scotland.

    No matter what happens, we live in interesting times.

    1. Thanks John.

      That’s not how I’m reading it – but who knows!!

      The reasons I’m seeing things differently are threefold: first I dont see the Johnson and Corbyn teams working together to create an agreement. I think the ideological and personal differences are so sharp this will be impossible. Second I think that Johnson’s hubris and narcissism may drive him to a general election and open him to a pact with Farage to offset the continued threat of the Brexit movement. Third, if that’s not a driver for a general election then the chaotic nature of a No Deal Johnson incoming government may so shock the Remain & Sane elements of Westminster as to bring him down.

      1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

        I think any deal between Messrs Corbyn and Johnson is a non-starter. It is clear that there is a substantial majority within the Labour Party membership for Remain and a referendum with that as an option. Although 8 Labour MPs voted against Labour’s own proposals on Wednesday and 17 abstained, more than 200 of its MPs voted in support. Analyses of voting in the 2016 referendum indicate that although many constituencies with Labour MPs voted Leave, within these the Labour voters voted either by a small majority or in a large minority fro Remain.

        The LEAVE media have continually pushed the line that it was Labour voters in the North and Midlands of England who gave LEAVE its majority. It was this that led to Labour’s ambiguous position on Brexit throughout and, as we have seen led to a crumbling of its vote in the 2019 EU elections.

        The Parliamentary Labour Party contains a majority who are hostile to Corbyn and the many of the redistributive policies he hopes to implement should he become PM and they, too, have acted in a hostile way towards him, since he first became Leader

        I am not a Labour voter but, I think we need to take a more nuanced view of the dynamics within the various groupings within the Labour Party.

        I do not think Mr Corbyn would deal with Mr Johnson nor Johnson with Corbyn. Also, Labour in England has seen that Labour’s collaboration with the Tories in 2014 has led to its, current dire state and likely demise.

        Where both Labour and the Tories have a common cause is over any kind of moves to change FPTP. They will resist it as they have done for decades, because it sustains them in power.

        1. Jo says:

          “I am not a Labour voter but, I think we need to take a more nuanced view of the dynamics within the various groupings within the Labour Party.”

          Indeed Alasdair, the “dynamics” are terrifying, especially in the current situation. As Andy McDonald MP said just the other day, private PLP meetings are now essentially livestreamed these days …. straight to journalists!

          In other news, reported in the Guardian this week, we heard about US Secretary of State Pompeo speaking about Corbyn. The recording was leaked. It is very sinister indeed.

          “It could be that Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected,” he said on the recording. “It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.”

          Isn’t it odd he refers to “the gauntlet” Corbyn is currently running, designed to bring him down? And doesn’t it also prove that the crusade within the PLP led by Watson truly is, as many thought, part of an even bigger plot?

  5. Mary Smyth says:

    Can this Boris buffoon be charged with anti Scottish racism racism ?

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