A Strange Day

Being in Maynooth getting some work done this afternoon, I wasn’t in London for today’s People’s Vote March, which seems to have been a big one. So big, in fact, that even the BBC felt compelled to mention it. Well done to everyone who took part!

Inside the House of Commons, Members of Parliament voted for an Amendment, the upshot of which is that the Government is now required to seek an extension of the October 31st deadline for leaving the European Union to allow Boris Johnson’s so-called `deal’ with the European Union and the associated legislation to be properly scrutinized.

The `deal’ finalized with the EU last week is a remarkable achievement, in that it is even stupider than the already extremely stupid deal negotiated by Theresa May. The one good thing about it is that it is a big step on the road to a United Ireland, which I personally hope I live long enough to enjoy. Loyalists – especially the Democratic Unionist Party – don’t see things the same way of course. The latter party’s public humiliation by Johnson in was a huge gamble that backfired spectacularly on him ,as their ten votes in favour of the Letwin Amendment led to the Government’s defeat, which lost by 322 to 308.

And then there’s Scotland which, like Northern Ireland, voted to remain in the European Union in the referendum that seemed to take place decades ago. While special customs arrangements to facilitate frictionless trade have been proposed for NI, there’s nothing at all in the Withdrawal Agreement for Scotland. In fact Scotland isn’t mentioned once in the text. Faced with such contemptuous treatment from Westminster, the likelihood of Scottish independence must now be greater than at any point in recent memory.

Anyway, Johnson is presumably now back at home in Downing Street with his crayons,writing a letter to the European Union asking for an extension as the law requires him. Or will he? Will he instead do what he usually does and try to bluster his way out of trouble? Will he end up going to prison for contempt of court? Or perhaps he’ll just go and die quietly in a ditch somewhere?

UPDATE: In an astonishing act of petulance, the UK Prime Minister sent not just one but three letters. The first – an unsigned photocopy of the letter contained in the Benn Act. It’s a wonder he didn’t wipe his bottom on it for further effect. The second letter was a covering note from the UK Ambassador to the EU explaining what the first letter was for, and the third was a rambling and incoherent missive from Bozo himself trying to explain in poor grammar why he didn’t think it was a good idea to grant an extension. If Johnson had been planning to make himself like a complete imbecile he could hardly have done a better job. Meanwhile Donald Tusk did exactly the right thing and took the first letter as a request for an extension. Johnson’s pathetic bluster had no effect on the EU, but in any case that was all for Tory party consumption anyway. Stupidity goes down very well with the Conservative Party these days.

P.S. For diary purposes I’ll note that today in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, England beat Australia 40-16 while New Zealand beat Ireland 46-14. That means my accumulator bet is still on…

P.P.S.  Wales beat France by the narrowest of margins (an elbow) and South Africa beat hosts Japan in the other two quarter-finals, bringing my quad bet home in style.  Who will win the competition overall? I’ll go for New Zealand, but I’m not going to bet on it. Always quit while you’re ahead.

 

3 Responses to “A Strange Day”

  1. “The one good thing about it is that it is a big step on the road to a United Ireland, which I personally hope I live long enough to enjoy.”

    We’ll see it sooner than most people think. I remember when I predicted German reunification within 3 years and no-one believe me; if came one year later. I also think that Scotland will move in a similar direction.

    Of course, first the laws of the UK need to be changed to make it possible for Scotland and Northern Ireland to leave the UK. It is absurd that the UK can leave the EU but Northern Ireland and Scotland cannot leave the UK.

    Whether or not most people in Catalonia want to leave Spain I don’t know, but they should be allowed to determine their own destiny in a democratic way; anything else is Heim ins Reich. And the Kurds, and everyone else.

    • telescoper Says:

      There was a referendum about five years ago on Scottish independence. Had it passed Scotland would have left the UK, so I think it’s wrong to say that it is not possible. Of course Westminster does have to consent, so it is not possible for this to happen of Scotland’s own volition. There is no Article 50.

      Likewise with Northern Ireland. There is a provision for a border poll to allow unification. One was held in the 70s, but it failed.

      Reading the history books makes it clear that the partition of Ireland was always intended to be temporary. I don’t think way back in the 1920s anyone would have thought it would last the best part of 100 years.

      • “Of course Westminster does have to consent”

        Right, that’s what I mean; it is not the decision of the citizens of Scotland alone.

        In Catalonia I believe it is actually unconstitutional for a region to leave, so here laws need to be changed.

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