Well, Boris flopped. Last night, the House of Commons was manoeuvred by a Remainer MP to delay consideration of his government’s Brexit law while demanding that he write to the European Union (EU) and ask for a delay beyond 31 October.
The Lisbon Treaty is the Gordian Knot of British politics and Boris has made the mistake of trying to untie it. So, “What is the Lisbon Treaty?”, I hear you ask.
The Lisbon Treaty was an international agreement among EU member states that was proposed in 2007 and signed in 2009. While the treaty is called the EU Constitution, it was designed to fix the Constitution in the 2004 treaty. Unfortunately, when the voters were asked to ratify that treaty, those in France and the Netherlands rejected it. The 2004 treaty was supposed to fix the EU Constitution in the 1991 Maastricht Treaty.
Now, do you see the picture? We could keep going back in time, but essentially, it was always so very un-British but so very pro-bureaucratic Europe. Unlike 2004, the EU bureaucrats decided the various European voters could not be trusted, so they were not asked to ratify the Lisbon Treaty.
This needs to be born in mind. The Australian and United States constitutions were built on the principle of the consent of the governed. Australia, in particular, took that measure very seriously, even insisting that proposed changes to the constitution be approved by the people.
The important fact to note about the European process is that it was the governing elites of the treaty nations who decided how 700 million people would be crushed together and governed bureaucratically. They are the same elites who in Britain have demanded that another referendum be held on the Brexit question while manoeuvring the Parliamentary rules to ensure that a general election cannot be held. Go figure that one.
Which brings us to the current debacle, Brexit. It is a debacle, as you well know, because the majority of Members of Parliament want to stay in Europe. The obvious question is why?
Why, for example, would Jeremy Corbyn, who is essentially an anti-Semitic communist, want to remain bureaucratic Europe, the closest thing to the universal homogeneous state that Karl Marx envisioned, despite its rejection by the British people? Sorry, that question was rhetorical.
Why would Tony Blair, (Fettes and Oxford) and David Cameron (Eton and Oxford), both part of the British ruling class, both past Prime Ministers, if from opposite sides of politics, want to remain in the EU?
Well, Blair is easy. He was a key figure in the design of the Lisbon Treaty and his deputy, Gordon Brown signed it on behalf of the ruling elites. Cameron, on the other hand, had a momentary democratic flush in 2009 when he criticised PM, Gordon Brown, for having no mandate from the people to sign it. Foolishly, Cameron teamed with Nick Clegg to pass the Fixed Term Act, which currently hog-ties Boris Johnson; then he foolishly held that referendum on Brexit, expecting, as elites always do, that Brexit would be rejected.
Which brings us up to the present. The British people have decided that they want to leave and have put that proposition in writing. Unfortunately, implementation of that resolution lies with the parliament, where a majority of the MPs in the Commons and the House of Lords (Labour and the Elites) want to remain. Bugger the people!
The biggest mistake that Boris made was not taking control of the House of Lords when he was first appointed Prime Minister. He had only to advise the Monarch to appoint sufficient peers sympathetic to his policy and the Commons could not have passed its anti-Brexit Benn Act, or the farcical amendment passed last night.
There are precedents for the Monarch appointing (or threatening to appoint) sympathetic peers. It worked in both 1832 and 1911 and made democratic reforms of the parliament possible. Obviously, more reform is necessary.
But the real issue was not whether to leave the EU. The issue was always, how to leave the EU. The Elites and UK Labour have treated the Lisbon Treaty as some sort of binding constitution, although for distinctly different reasons. It is an international treaty, not a constitution and has no binding power other than the will of the government of the day.
If the British people want their independence, they have only to follow the example of the American colonists in 1776 and bite the bullet. First, declare to the world the causes which impel them to the separation; and, second, if a sovereign independence is required, declare themselves independent.
If the EU follows the example of George III when faced with the American Declaration, and becomes belligerent, then Britain must be prepared to fight for its freedom. Such belligerency, however, is not expected. Unlike George III, the EU is a bureaucracy and bureaucracies fight with rotten parchment bonds and rubber bands. Thank God, it has no army.
I am not sure that Boris is actually the man for the job. He talks well, and postures, well; to that extent he assumes a Churchillian character. But he is not a Churchill. The man for the job is probably Jacob Rees-Mogg.
David Long is a retired solicitor, economist and PhD candidate at Griffith University School of Law.
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