TAKE BACK CONTROL…

SHOULD THE HOUSE OF LORDS NOW GO?

One of the rallying calls of the Brexiteers was that Britain should take back control of, well, everything, from foreigners in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.

The EU was, they reckoned, an undemocratic organisation and things were better when they were controlled by the “democratic” British parliament and the British Courts.

Of course, as arguments go, it was a bit, or rather a lot, dubious, but it went down well with people who wanted to believe that kind of thing. You know, Daily Mail, Express, Telegraph and Sun reader types.

After all, if any nation in Europe should be wary of banging on about democracy or the lack thereof, it is the UK, with its hereditary head of state, unelected, partly-hereditary, partly-state-church-based, partly-appointed (by dubious methods) house of aristocrats. And that’s before we look at First-Past-The-Post and Privy Council Orders and the various and sundry other ways that the government can get around any scrutiny.

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It took very little time after the Brexit vote for this to come to a head. The Tories wanted to bypass parliament to enable a ‘strong and stable’ Brexit. The declaration of Article 50 was to be made under royal prerogative and not a parliamentary vote. And it took the interventions of the English High Court and then the UK Supreme Court to squash that idea.

Needless to say, the newspapers that had called for decisions to be made in our own British parliament and our own British courts, screamed, echoing the language of  1930s’ Germany, about “Enemies of the People”.

Of course, they were roundly ridiculed for this at the time as people pointed out that the tabloids were protesting against the very thing that they had sold us as an advantage of Brexit.

But it seems that they learned nothing as they are back today, at least in the English editions of the papers. They even used the same background, which I assume stirs the blood of a certain kind of person.

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Now, as a republican, I abhor the idea of a House of Lords. Dukes, Earls, Archbishops and greasy party donors have no place in a democracy, and given the opportunity, I would get rid of them tomorrow and replace them with a senate.

But the fact is that at present the House of Lords exists and has a job to do as a revising chamber. They did that job. They revised and they put forward suggestions for revision of the Bill to be considered by the Commons. That is what their job is, whether any of us like it or not and for whatever reason.

If they are not to do that, or if the Commons should automatically overturn, what exactly is their purpose? Another tourist attraction like the Saxe Coburgs?

I assume that the Express and Mail and their likes do not wish us to pay these people £300 a day for sitting sleeping and producing absolutely nothing? Or maybe they do!

So regardless of today’s debate, can we hope to see a full-blown campaign from the right of the Tories and of course the rightwing tabloids, to abolish the upper house. And can we hope that this will be done before the lavish and inordinately expensive refurbishment of their accommodations gets underway?

And last, but not least, will the London parliament today show any respect at all for Scotland and what its people voted for?

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“I SAY, WELL VOTED, OLD CHAP! THAT’LL TEACH THESE FECKLESS BOUNDERS TO BE POOR.

“TIME FOR A SWIFT ONE IN THE SUBSIDISED BAR BEFORE WE GET A FREE TAXI HOME?

“SPIFFING, WHAT!”

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I just saw this, posted on Twitter by Craig Dempsey.  It seems somehow especially appropriate today given the vote to take free school meals away from around a million kids from poorer families in England.

This deal was set to cover Northern Ireland as well as England (because the province has no government), but Mrs May was obliged to remove the children there in order to get the voted of the DUP, who then happily voted to hurt English kids. (These are the people who demand that there be no difference between their province and their beloved England…except of course when it suits them eg abortion, same-sex marriage, etc, and now free school meals). 

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In one of the richest countries in the world (they keep on telling us), why are the English depriving their kids of the one semi-balanced meal they might get in a day? And why can it even be possible for the Northern Irish to be able to vote on this if it doesn’t affect them?

Scottish MPs were, of course, excluded from the vote under the EVEL law brought in the day after the last Scottish referendum, but that didn’t stop Scottish Tories trooping through the antiquated lobbies anyway and then having their votes discounted.

Exactly why they did this isn’t known.

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It could be that they were too thick to realise that they weren’t allowed to vote on something that was Engish only. (They’ve only been there for 9 months or so. They still probably aren’t quite sure where the toilets are…although I’m betting they know the way to the subsidised restaurants and bars).

On the other hand, however, perhaps it was the thrill of doing something so utterly despicable that was just irresistible. Let’s starve poor kids, even though they are outwith our jurisdiction. Yippee.

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Whatever it was, I wish we, the public, could respond by saying that cheap meals and drinks in the Commons and Lords, should now, in view of the ever-crumbling economic situation, be restricted to those who can show without a doubt that they earn less than the so-called “Living Wage”.

These people make my flesh creep.

There’s a list of this **** here.

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DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HOUSING, MINISTER?

POTS AND KETTLES

The Labour party are so busy fighting amongst themselves they can’t deliver for the country

Yes, the brand new team at the Conservative Party Headquarters tweeted yesterday that the Labour Party is split. Which, of course, it is.
However, it is unfortunate to make a big thing of their differences when …
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… And Owen Paterson who, I think, used to be someone, openly invited Philip Hammond, who still IS someone, to resign:

No one arguing to sever trade with Europe, but only clean break from Single Market and Customs Union gives freedom to embrace huge opportunities around the world. Cabinet Ministers who do not support Government policy and manifesto commitments can always resign.

TORY AND LABOUR MPs CRY TOGETHER AT THE PLIGHT OF POOR HUNGRY KIDS

I WONDER HOW THE DWP SECRETARY CAN STAND TO LIVE WITH HIMSELF

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OH DEAR, OH DEAR, OH DEAR…

SHOULD THIS BE A RESIGNATION MATTER?

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I mean, just how much more of a joke can this government become before something happens?

Today Davis admits lying (which explains all the prevarication when he was told by the queen to produce copies of the analyses for the Commons). How can we believe anything he says now? Did he tell the Prime Minister he was lying about these analyses or absence thereof? If not how can he stay on as SoS for Brexit? If he did, how can she stay on as PM

Yesterday Theresa May made a fool of herself in Brussels by appearing to come to an agreement with Jean-Claude Junker over the Irish border situation, only to be stopped in her tracks by a phone call from an incandescent DUP leader, presumably warning her that she would bring the government down if it went ahead. Why wasn’t Foster, as a de facto coalition partner, kept informed of the steps her partner was taking, at least over a matter of significance to the Irish parties? What was May thinking keeping it secret? And how can we tolerate an effectively unelected person (Foster) undermining the government, in the middle of an international negotiation?

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Added to all this Brexit clutterwhatsit, we shouldn’t forget that there is an ongoing investigation into the personal habits of the First Secretary of the Presidium (and others in the party) and the use of workplace computers for personal pleasure of erotic nature. (Sacking offences in many organisations.)

Add to that that several Tory MPs have, in a misguided attempt to save their friend, Mr Green, admitted (seemingly unaware of the security implications) that they allow their staff to know and use their personal logins. (Also a serious offence for which, in some organisations, you can be sacked.)

And all the time Tempus Fugit and that clock on the wall is getting closer to the point at which the wee bell will right and negotiations must stop so that individual governments and parliaments all over Europe can scrutinise the work of the Commission, and say Yae or Nae.

Isn’t it time that we got rid of the whole rotten bunch of incompetents? After all, what’s another two months taken out of negotiations now? We’re never going to get there on time anyway.

But then, what would replace them? Has anyone any idea what Labour’s position on Brexit would be? It changes by the day depending on who you ask.

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Not that that’s exclusive to the Labour Party!!!