Proposals for a government of national unity are the latest symptom of the Remain insurgency’s breakdown in cognitive dissonance, which is rapidly collapsing into madness, says Sean Walsh.
The game of Brexit chess finds the Remain Insurgency in zugzwang. It has no decent move left. Soon its leaders will upend the board having attempted, and failed, to persuade the rest of us that its Knight is actually a Queen and that its opponent’s Rook can only function as a Pawn. This is where we are: the Insurgency has decided at the last minute that it has the right to rewrite the rules of the game.
The Insurgency’s development of a fantasy constitution is almost funny. Where there is actual precedent it is to be ignored and where there is no precedent it is to be invented by fiat. The Insurgency’s representatives in Parliament are offering options which are plausible only when stated ambiguously and which become ludicrous when specified. Almost funny, but not quite. Remainer insanity is fast becoming a threat to the social and political order.
One of the more obtuse Remain contentions is that their methods could never amount to a “coup” because those who would implement them are elected. This is unsustainable. Coups will normally evolve from within an existing political dispensation. In a democracy such a dispensation will involve a finely calibrated separation of powers, and a coup occurs when one part of the balancing act successfully aggresses against another. It is perfectly intelligible to suggest that the legislature can launch a coup against the executive, and vice versa. That the participants are elected is irrelevant, more so when they have ben elected on a dishonest prospectus.
The Insurgency aggressions seem likely to take either an unleaded or full-blooded form (or possibly both).
The unleaded version would be to somehow dissolve the executive in the legislature by seizing control of the Commons order of business and then initiating legislation to prevent a “no deal” exit. Bring it on. If the Grieve cabal attempts this it will be forced to give up the kindergarten language of the Commons motion in favour of the adult semantics of actual statute. It will become very apparent and very quickly that what they are insisting on is not a “deal” but a treaty, one intended to carry the UK’s supplicant status over into the next set of negotiations, those relating to the future “trade” relationship. Specificity will replace ambiguity; the Grieve snake oil will look suddenly less attractive. Remember that for the fanatical Remainers the problem with the Withdrawal Treaty was that as a straitjacket it still provided a small chance that we would not be asphyxiated.
And such an Act would not in itself be enough to “block” a “no deal” exit. At the moment we are leaving on 31st October as a “default” not only in UK law but in the EU law which supersedes it. It is not in the UK’s gift to unilaterally halt our departure as things stand. The only legislative act which would stop our “no deal” departure would be one which explicitly revoked the Article 50 process. This of course is the ultimate aim, but not one they can admit to just yet.
So what of the full blooded coup?
If the Johnson government loses a vote of no confidence then we are in the political space defined by the Fixed Term Parliament Act, which does not set a precedent for his resignation for the simple reason that no precedent is available at all. The FTPA is new and therefore must be judged within its own terms rather than under the rubric of “precedent”. It is within this space that it is logically possible that the Commons could construct an alternative “government of national unity”. It would be no such thing. The only unifying principle would be one which saw its elements united in disdain at the impertinence of the masses in their attempt to decide for themselves how best they should be governed.
In these circumstances, Johnson would be absolutely correct to follow the strict terms of that Act and attempt to resubmit his government to a further vote within 14 days. If that fails then we know what happens next: a General Election in the course of which a Clean Break Brexit happens not by default but as a consequence of statutory decisions taken within our Parliament and agreed to with Brussels. There is no “purdah” issue involved here; Johnson would not be depriving this Parliament of any decision about “no deal” because it has already been taken. The Insurgency MPs who insist on a “factory reset” over their previous decision have, unfortunately for them, left indelible traces on the hard drive.
And what form would their unity government take? Will it be Corbyn riding into town like Clint Eastwood’s mysterious stranger, restoring order before graciously handing back powers to the town elders? A Corbyn “caretaker” government, seizing power with the intention of defying the Marxist template so as to return it again? Anybody want to buy a bridge? The caretaker at my grammar school was there for about forty years.
Or will it be Ken Clarke? Summoned from the backbenches to put the uppity masses back in their box before heading to Ronnie Scott’s for last orders?
There comes a time when cognitive dissonance collapses into madness. This is what is happening to the Remain Insurgency. It sits at the chess board, a Nigel Short to the Cummings Kasparov, and finds itself generating “options” of ever-increasing ludicrousness. Having invested so much in the outcome of the game it has found itself unable to resign with dignity. It’s about to sweep the pieces off the board.
It needs to find a way to get over itself, or we are in for some very dark days ahead.