• Clocks run fast in Westminster!


    It is former Prime Minister Harold Wilson who is commonly credited with coining the phrase, “a week is a long time in politics.” It would be more accurate to say that a week is a long time in British politics. This is largely shaped by two things, the inherent “short termism” which is across British society as a whole. British politicians have in the past drawn attention to the prevalence of “short term thinking” in British industry. It is a FACT that if you are an international equity (shares/stocks) investor then the London Stock Exchange is the place to look for companies paying high dividends.

    It is not however just British industry that has a focus on the short term. The British political system focuses on this too. This is largely because of the “First Past the Post” electoral system used.

    This was most accurately summed up by the present Secretary of State for Defence, Benjamin “Wally” Wallace. As Wally Wallace told his French counterpart, Madame Florence Parly:

    “Our system is a winner-takes-all system,” he continued. “If you win a parliamentary majority you control everything, you control the timetable. There’s no written separation, so… you pretty much are in command of the whole thing. And for good measure: “And we’ve suddenly found ourselves with no majority and a coalition and that’s not easy for our system.”

    Wally Wallace is of course correct!

    Another phrase which does the rounds in English speaking democracies is this: “People get the politicians they deserve!”

    This also is true. In the UK’s case, this is most transparently demonstrated in the elections and make-up of the English local authorities. You see, it is a FACT that is well know to all political activists in all political parties that most British voters do not know the name of their local councillor and by extension what their record in office is. This ignorance however does not stop about a third of them turning up at the polling stations on election day and casting their vote. For those who are not solid voters for one of the parties they will decide not on the local councillor’s record in office (as they don’t know who he or she is and what they have done or not done) but on how they regard the government party – and mainly the Prime Minster at that time. What this means is this: There might be a particular councillor who is widely regarded by the council officials as most competent and hard working who has done a most excellent job for his or her constituents but this will count for next to nothing by the mass of the ignorant voters who will vote them out of office to replace them with another councillor who may well be regarded by the council officials as a complete and utter idiot!

    This of course is translated to great extent to the national level. Thus it should come as NO GREAT SHOCK that many of the MPs at Westminster are like Wally Wallace – fools!

    The excellent and learned Doctor North and the BG have consistently advocated an EFTA+EEA arrangement for the UK post Brexit. Where the BG differs with the learned doctor is our opinion that Northern Ireland would have to remain in the EU’s customs union.

    As of now, there are THREE options for the wallys of Westminster:

    They are:

    #1: Request an Article 50 extension for the purpose of ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement.
    #2: Do nothing and leave without a deal.
    #3: Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU. NB: This choice expires at 11PM on Thursday 31st October 2019.
    NB: Choices #2 and #3 do not require more time!

    There are reports that the Remainers and the Remainiacs are intending to introduce legislation to force the government to ask for an Article 50 extension for around 6 months. The EU receiving such a request will insist that a referendum or general election should be held.
    Last Tuesday (http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2019/08/27/wo-ein-wille-ist-ist-auch-ein-weg-where-there-is-a-will-there-is-a-way/) we opined on the possibility of there being a ratification process with a “binding confirmatory vote”. Judging from what has happened of late, it appears things are moving apace and the situation appears to be so unstable that this option appears increasing not to be viable. It appears that options #2 and #3 are the ones remaining.

    Viewed in the light of this the moves by the Remainers and the Remainiacs will be interesting to observe from Tuesday onwards.

    Remainers and Remainiacs alike are well aware that although they appear to have an ally in the person of the Remainer-in-Chief, Speaker Bercow, any bill has to get through the Lords. Here, Brexiteer peers will attempt to talk the bill out. However, the Remainers/Remainiac majority appear to introduce an unprecedented business motion to set specific time limits for each stage of the bill, thus minimising the chances of a delay.
    The Remainiac former Justice Secretary, Lord Falconer has declared that any filibustering attempt would be effectively countered.

    It is possible that the Remainers and Remainiacs will attempt to force an A50 time extension and a second referendum next week. However if they fail to get the bill through all it’s stages before the Buffoon prorogues Parliament (probably as soon as the 9th), the bill will fall and will have to be reintroduced on or after the 14th. This may well be too late to ask for an A50 extension at the EU Council meeting three days later as the agenda may well be set in stone – although the BG is of the opinion that EU leaders may force a change of agenda in these circumstances.

    If no delay has neen enacted before Parliament is prorogued, the Remainer and Remainiac efforts could coalesce around the tactic of putting in place an Act of Parliament or amending one of the existing statutes to have or insert a clause along the lines of; The United Kingdom [of Great Britain and Northern Ireland] shall not leave the European Union without a negotiated agreement being enacted [and ratified] on and after the 14th October.

    Should such an act be given the Royal Ascent then the law would require the provisions of the clause to be carried out. Thus, were the Prime Minister to refuse or be seen to be obfuscating in relation to same, a judge may well rule that “the Crown” has to take steps to ensure that the law is complied with which for practical purposes in late October would mean formal revocation of Brexit via Article 50.

    Since no politician will want to commit the political equivalent of harakiri (Seppuku) – Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment – by being the one who carries out this act, it is possible that the establishment will come up with an arcane ruse.

    There is the ancient office of Lord High Steward (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_High_Steward). It is only resurrected as a temporary office at Coronations. It could however be resurrected for the purpose of A50 revocation. The LHS has to be a peer. Thus one of the former Chief of the Defence Staffs holding a life peerage could be asked to perform the role. It will mean being driven by ministerial Jaguar to RAF Brize Norton, flown out to Brussels, driven by EU ministerial Audi/BMW/Mercedes to EU Commission HQ to meet President Donald Tusk, to hand him the formal notice. Stand next to President Tusk as he makes a short speech before the world’s press corps then back into the limo to the airport, the RAF jet and back to Brize Norton. He would cease to be LHS shortly after.

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