May you live in interesting times

This is going to be another political entry.

This whole thing started on November 13th.  That was when the Labour party used an old, recently resurrected motion called the humble address to force the Government to release the full and final legal advice on the proposed withdrawal agreement with the EU.

Last week, they published a version of the legal advice, but it wasn’t the full version.  On Monday a letter, singed by representatives of every party except the Tories asking for a motion holding the Government in contempt of Parliament.  The Government then suggested an amendment to pass the whole thing off to a committee to decide if they are in contempt.  This would push the whole issue back until after the EU deal vote next Tuesday.

The debate and vote on the contempt motion took place yesterday.  It didn’t go well for Theresa May.  At all.  The amendment went down 311 – 307.  Now the big one.  The contempt vote.

311 – 293 in favour.  The Commons found that the Government of the United Kingdom were in contempt of Parliament.

So, what now?  Well, the full legal advice was published today. Beyond that, no-one knows.  Really, no-one knows.  This is the first time ever that an entire Government has been held in contempt of Parliament.  One thing for sure, when the Government loses the EU deal vote, and it’s more than likely they will, the Labour party will initiate a vote of no confidence.  That will likely pass and it’ll be back to the polls.

But it gets worse for May.  Straight after the contempt vote, there was a vote on one of the amendments to the EU deal bill which would give Parliament a say in what happens if/when the deal gets voted down.  The Government lost that one 321 – 299.

So, within the space of an hour, Theresa May lost three votes in Parliament.  It’s hard to see how this is a Government that can actually for any governing.

There then started 5 days of debates on the EU deal, all of them guaranteed to go for 8 hours.  Then the vote.

Interesting times indeed.

Meanwhile, Nigel Farage has quit as a member of UKIP because of the hiring of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson).  And the Scottish Government put this out:


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December 5, 2018

My husband is English and I am American. We live in Florida. He has kept his English citizenship. Our English family is very conservative. I read your entry to my husband. Thank you so much for all the info.

December 5, 2018

Wonder if you will be voting for a new government any time soon?  Sounds like this one isn’t listening to the people.

December 5, 2018

All anybody I know (who is aware of life outside these United States) cares about is, “Will they rescind the Leave vote?”  There’s a difference between seeing a train wreck from a distance and being close enough to feel the earth tremble.  Or being on the train.  The difference is in the details.

December 5, 2018

@sleepygene it’s actually possible we can rescind our Article 50 letter without the EU stopping us.   Even if we do need them to agree, they are likely to do so

December 5, 2018

I love that Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.  It puts me in mind of another one where Calvin sees a forest destroyed for development and morosely declares, “Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.”

A lot of those strips, over a thousand, were written during the George HW Bush administration.  We thought we had it bad then but nobody in America had heard of Rupert Murdoch and if you had told people about an international wave of anger, bigotry and spite that would lead to Brexit and Trump people would have thought you were pitching a script for a dark political comedy.

December 5, 2018

@sleepygene if you’ve ever seen The Thick of It, there’s a reason the creator says he cannot bring it back.  Politics now is unsatirable

August 10, 2022

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