What on earth was he thinking of? There he is, Jacob Rees-Mogg, just recently elevated to his first cabinet position, lounging languorously on the front bench during one of the most important Parliamentary debates in recent history yesterday, and so forming an image of upper-class arrogance, privilege and contempt for democracy that could be taken to typify this new government: which is headed, of course, by his Old Etonian chum Boris Johnson. Didn’t he realise that this was how the picture – reproduced in every paper this morning – would be interpreted? Doesn’t he care?
More on the substance of the present debates later. They’re still going on as I write – Johnson still blustering and lying, and clearly preparing for the ‘People versus Parliament’ General Election which must come soon. He’s lost his majority in the Commons, and has chucked 21 of his own rebels out of the Conservative Party. He says he wants to renegotiate Brexit with the EU, but is showing no signs of doing so. His whole strategy seems to blame a likely ‘No Deal’ on – as well as the EU – Parliament, who are ‘cutting his negotiating legs from under him’, by legislating in advance against a No Deal. Yes, folks, it’s the old ‘stab in the back’ trick.
Framing the election with Parliament as the enemy of the people, and the Tories claiming to represent the their true will, having already expressed a willingness to ignore the rule of law, are just further steps on an undemocratic path. Democracy ends a wimper after a series of small deletions, until one day there’s a knock on the door, but by then its too late.
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