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Boris’ idea of democracy is to get hereditary monarch to bypass parliament!

Simon Rite
Simon Rite

is a writer based in London for RT, in charge of several projects including the political satire group #ICYMI. Follow him on Twitter @SiWrites

is a writer based in London for RT, in charge of several projects including the political satire group #ICYMI. Follow him on Twitter @SiWrites

Boris’ idea of democracy is to get hereditary monarch to bypass parliament!
If nothing else, Brexit has shown us just how fluid the meaning of democracy can be when the people who are entrusted with protecting it start wielding it as a weapon.

Firstly, may I just take this opportunity to express some sympathy for the Queen. For decades, she’s pottered about in her fancy houses, happy in the knowledge that she is a powerless tourist attraction. Then one day, Boris Johnson shows up and asks her to suspend parliament.

Normally, this would be an easy decision for her majesty, whose only real job is to say ‘Yes,’ because by saying ‘No’ she would collapse Britain’s whole political system and probably have to say goodbye to her meal ticket as a result. Only this time, saying ‘Yes’ risks causing serious political turmoil. 

The prime minister demurely insists that he only wants the ‘proroguing’ of parliament so he has a clean slate to start screwing up the country in a method of his own choosing. 

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To everyone else, it is crystal clear that what Johnson actually wants is to stop MPs from passing new laws that get in the way of a ‘hard Brexit’ on Halloween.  

For the uninitiated, starting a new session of parliament means no unfinished business from the previous session can be carried over. Also, and by pure coincidence of course, on this occasion, a suspension will leave MPs just days to respond to whatever Brexit shenanigans Boris is cooking up ahead of October 31, when the UK will leave the EU if no new agreement is reached with Brussels.

Ironically, Johnson has defended the sidelining of parliament on the grounds of democracy. His current position, and it could shift any second, is that honoring the result of the Brexit referendum is the only way to safeguard the will of the people – even if you have to ask a constitutional, hereditary and anachronistic monarch to help you by kneecapping the nation’s elected representatives in the process.

It’s true that the outcome of the referendum is a concrete, bona fide democratic outcome that the country’s representatives have a duty to see carried out. But some of the tactics used in the aftermath of that result have been pretty shameful, and it’s not only Boris to blame. All sides have been playing the same game to make their case.

For example, MPs complain that they will be left with no time to prevent a hard Brexit, but the truth is that they’ve had well over three years to try and find a solution, and have failed, which poses the question: How much time do they need?

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In the Mother of Parliaments, they have used their elected power to repeatedly stop legislation that would see the will of the people carried out, rather than constructively finding a way to achieve it.

Remainers have been pushing for a second Brexit referendum to make sure the country still wants to leave. Cynics might suggest they’re more interested in reversing a decision they don’t agree with.

Hardline Brexiteers in the Tory party blocked a deal that their own prime minister negotiated with Brussels, blocking the route to an orderly exit which many believe offers the best protection for voters.

The leader of the opposition Labour Party refuses to come clean on his real feelings about membership of the EU, denying voters all the information they need to feel safe about choosing him.

And the new prime minister, elected by just a few elderly Tories, claims to want a fresh start, but to get it he’d prefer to see parliament bypassed rather than calling a general election and letting the people decide.

In Brexit Britain, all sides are using the D-word, but seem to have different ideas about what it means, based on whichever goal they’re trying to achieve. Maybe we do need the Queen to sort it out.  

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.