A lengthy and complex judgement …

Well today there was a glimmer of good news from the clusterfuck that is British politics at the moment: the High Court has found for the claimants in the Article 50 action, meaning that (pending Supreme Court appeal), Parliament’s approval is required to invoke Article 50. Cue, of course, all those who foamed at the mouth about “the sovereignty of Parliament” now foaming at the mouth because, um, Parliament has been held to be sovereign. This action was never about stopping Brexit—though I live in hope that will happen, and this is certainly an aid along the way—but about ensuring Parliamentary oversight of it.

No need to rehearse all of that here: but there is a piece of fallout from today that I think is worth noting: the statement made to the House of Commons by David Lidington, the Leader of the House, concerning the result. It is, he said, “a lengthy and complex judgement.”

I urge you to go and read this lengthy and complex judgement. It runs to 32 pages and 111 numbered paragraphs (probably about 150 in total). I read it in about ten minutes. Most of it is setting out the background and context: the findings themselves are a mere ten pages. Far from being complex, the judgement is remarkably pellucid (© Robert Jay, 2012): constitutional precedent and laws indicate that the royal prerogative (the government’s authority to take executive action) cannot overrule primary legislation regarding domestic law; that the European Communities Act 1972 is primary legislation that, by incorporating EU law within UK law, has granted UK citizens a range of rights under law; that invoking Article 50 would start an “irrevocable” process that would result in withdrawal from the EU and consequent loss of those rights (a point agreed on by the government prior to the judgement); that the government’s claim that it would replicate those rights in UK law was not germane and, anyway, there are some rights (such as appeal to the EU Court of Justice, and the right to elect MEPs) that UK domestic law could not replicate; and that the government therefore lacks the authority to invoke Article 50.

I have published case law. This is a concise and clear judgement: try wading your way through the various company law test cases in the late 1980s and the 1990s. To claim that the judgement is “lengthy and complex” is, quite simply, not true. What depresses me is how unnecessary Lidington’s lie was, and what it shows about the “post-truth” state of our politics, where a government minister can blithely misinform the House simply for the convenience of not being asked awkward questions (such as: “this is a pretty unambiguous finding, isn’t it?”) and not an eyebrow is raised.

 

For shame

The government have—narrowly—managed to defeat the Dubs amendment to their immigration bill, which would have extended the pitiful number of refugees we are accepting to include an additional 3,000 unaccompanied children, after arguing that it would act as an “incentive” for families to make the difficult Mediterranean crossing.

To which there can be no response but: fuck you. Fuck you, every single one of the 294 inhuman, vile, despicable, callous, soulless, revolting, xenophobic bastards who voted this amendment down. Fuck you again, and then fuck you backwards. After a short pause for respite—because I, unlike you, am not inhumane—fuck you again. And again, and again, and again. Also: fuck you.

This, my privileged friends, is the incentive for making the crossing.

Assad Crimes in Syria

Destruction in Syria. Flickr/FreedomHouse. Public domain.

If there are unaccompanied children in Europe, my loathsomely indifferent parliamentarians, then one possible cause could be that their parents are here:

Mass-Grave-of-230-Killed-by-ISIL-Terrorists-Found-in-Syria

Mass grave following ISIS massacre. News Impulse/Creative Commons.

And in the instance that there are living parents who have sent their children on ahead of them… well James Brokenshire, Home Office minister suggests that the Dubs amendment would “inadvertently create a situation in which families see an advantage in sending children alone, ahead and in the hands of traffickers,” and, James, you may well see your own children in such cold-bloodedly exploitative terms, but I would suggest that when parents do send their children on alone, it is rather more likely because they cannot make the trip themselves, but do not want this to happen to their sons and daughters:

The body of a child lies on the ground next to other bodies afte

What happens in war. Flickr.com/FreedomHouse. Creative Commons.

The fuckers who voted down this amendment constitute the moral detritus of humanity, and those—like the odious James Brokenshire—who did so suggesting that any of the victims in this horrific war act out of calculated cynicism and not simply from desperation make me aghast and ashamed to live in a country governed by such hatefully indifferent, shameful, vile, sordid, steaming excreta of the world.

 

Sigh

I’m trying hard to think of that time when Western munitions raining down on a country resulted in a more peaceful, less radicalised population. I’m pretty sure it’s not Vietnam, or Cambodia, or Laos. I don’t think the Bay of Pigs was a resounding success. I’m almost certain that Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia have yet to see the benefits of this particular approach to peace-making. Palestine, I understand, is currently under inspection by a sub-committee of Hell’s own Curia, seeking to learn a lesson or two in how to reduce humanity to the very nadir of misery and desperation.

But, hey, this time it will work, won’t it David?