Bercow and Grieve think they are political giants, but they represent everything that is rotten in parliament
In earlier centuries, parliaments often got nicknames. Some were clear and dependent on their duration, such as & # 39; Short & # 39; or & # 39; Lang & # 39 ;. Others were more imaginative – & # 39; Mercilessly & # 39 ;, & # 39; Addled & # 39; and & # 39; Rump & # 39 ;.
The current antics in Westminster mean that it is high time to revive the habit. And there is only one possible name for this. It must be the parliament of the pygmies, presided over by the pygmy-in-chief, Speaker John Bercow, who was considered early by an angry minister as an "idyllic, stupid dwarf" early in his term of office.
Usually all of this would be no more than matter for wry pleasure. But times are anything but ordinary. So strange are they, in fact, that the pygmies think they are giants and monkeys the gestures of the parliamentary greats of the past.
The parliament of Pygmies led by Speaker John Bercow tells people that they must forget Brexit and that their better should take the lead. It is a coup against the people
But they do this without understanding the context or – more importantly – the consequences. What is terrifying.
Take, for example, Bercow's self-glorifying statement last week, which had defied precedent, ignored the advice of its parliamentary clerks and accepted an amendment allowing the House of Commons to take control of the Brexit.
His decision has rightly made millions of people who believe that Parliament's purpose is to serve the will of the people.
& # 39; I do not put myself against the government. I defend the rights of the House of Commons, "he said, before he deliberately added: & # 39; My job is not to be a cheerleader for the executive [the Government]. "
Here Bercow repeats, deliberately no doubt, the words of his famous predecessor William Lenthall, who in 1642 chaired the long parliament when Charles I and his guards entered the house to arrest five MPs whom he thought were in treacherous communication with the Scots. & # 39; Where are they? & # 39; Asked the king.
& # 39; Please, Majesty, & # 39; Lenthall replied on his knees, "I do not have eyes to see or a tongue to speak at this place, but since this House is happy to point out whose servant I am here."
Bercow & # 39; s co-surviving, and arch-lawful dwarf Dominic Grieve QC likes to think that he is channeling his historic hero Edmund Burke who declared that a member of parliament was not a delegate but a representative
All very noble, and the kind of courageous resistance of absolute authority that has laid the foundations for the democracy that we now cherish through the ages. But do not let Bercow's carefully twisted words make you believe that he is on the side of the people. He's not.
Lenthall defied a so-called absolute king. Bercow, on the other hand, challenges a prime minister who holds a position according to the existing standards of the constitution – and behind her lie the 17.4 million voters who & # 39; out & # 39; voted in the 2016 referendum.
There are other, less flattering, comparisons. Bercow and Lenthall share more than a penchant for beautiful words. Both speakers loved the attributes and the richness of the office. Lenthall clung to them like a grim death, just like Bercow does now, as the members of the Long Parliament did.
Because they became head of government from one day to the next in the Civil War, they tried to make themselves a permanent oligarchy, invincible to the electorate and to hold their seats for life.
And oligarchy – the control of government by a few – is the poorly hidden and extremely disturbing agenda of the extreme Remnants, not only in Parliament but also outside. It is most blatant in the case of media cheerleaders such as Times columnist Matthew Parris, who declares that his kind of Conservative listens to public opinion and then, if it suits him, ignores them.
Parris, of course, quotes the voice of Parliament to abolish the death penalty, in the spirit of popular support. But that was a free vote on a matter of conscience.
Dominic Grieve stood as a candidate for the Conservative Party at the manifesto of the Conservative Party, in which a clear promise was made to honor the result of the referendum and the famous famous statement by Theresa May that we & # 39; keep believing that No Deal better than a bad deal for the UK & # 39;
Membership of the EU is not a matter of conscience, however much some foolish people try to make one; it is a question of policy and broad policy issues have been decided since the reforms of the 19th century by the democratic vote of a mass voter outside of Parliament and the vote of parliamentarians within it. Until now.
What about the man who handed over the offensive motion last week to hand over the Brexit to MPs – Bercow & # 39; s co-remnant, and arch-legal dwarf Dominic Grieve QC? Grieve, the MP for Beaconsfield, likes to think that he also channels his historical hero.
In this case MP and political theorist Edmund Burke, who in 1774 in his letter to Bristol voters stated that a member of parliament was not a deputy who blindly had to follow the instructions of his constituents, but his representative, authorized to use his brains and conscience for the sake of his country.
For Grieve, whose father was a member of parliament for him, 1774 is undoubtedly yesterday. For the rest of us it is quite a long time ago. Burke then wrote Bristol, although it was the largest urban constituency in the country outside of London, which had a voter of only 5,000 out of a population of about 80,000. Few working men and no women had the vote. There were no real political parties and no manifestos, and politics was a matter for gentlemen and their immensely rich, aristocratic patrons.
I'm sure that the picky Mr. Grieve will be happier and much more at home in such a world. But in 2017, when he was last replaced as a member of parliament for Beaconsfield, he stood as a candidate for the Conservative Party on the manifesto of the Conservative Party. This manifesto contained a clear commitment to honor the result of the referendum.
It even reiterated Theresa May's famous phrase that "we continue to believe that No Deal is better than a bad deal for the United Kingdom."
What is it that allows Mr Grieve to break this contract with his constituents? Did he clean up his debilitating intentions during the 2017 campaign? I can not find evidence of it.
Does he have superior knowledge? Not on showing his last claim that leaving the EU without a deal would amount to "national suicide & # 39 ;. This is more than stupid and outside Project Fear; it is Project Hysteria and – to be blunt – it suggests that, with the tension of events, Grieve's brain has become just as confused as the 1614 Parliament.
While the country voted strictly but definitively to Leave, MPs voted overwhelmingly, 480 out of 650, until Remain and Remainers plan to use their parliamentary majority to give us a Brexit in name, or to completely reverse it.
Bercow and Grieve are not alone. Far from that. While the country voted to leave strictly but definitively, MEPs voted overwhelmingly, 480 out of 650, to stay.
Now the government has lost control of the House and it is clear that the diehard Remnants intend to use their parliamentary majority to give us only a Brexit in name, or to completely reverse it – defy the electorate in the process .
They justify this by appealing to the historical doctrine of parliament's sovereignty as described by the Earl of Shaftesbury after the glorious revolution of 1688. The Parliament of England, & # 39; he declared, & # 39; is that supreme and absolute power that gives life and movement to the English government. & # 39;
But the 17th and 18th century parliament was a scary and unrepresentative oligarchy. It survived – and Great Britain escaped the revolution – only because Parliament had the wisdom to widen the electorate in successive reforms until finally Britain became a full democracy, in which all adults, both women and men, had the voice. Parliament, in other words, has long since given way to the people – and rightly so.
But not now. Instead, arranged by Bercow, Grieve and their counterparts, the Parliament of Pygmies tells the people to forget it and let their better take the lead. It is a coup against the people. And I doubt that people will lie down.