Boris Johnson has crossed the Rubicon today by announcing the suspension of Parliament at this crucial time, no matter how many days the suspension lasts. The United Kingdom has found itself with the most right wing government in nearly two hundred years. I still find it hard to believe that Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Priti Patel hold great offices. Even that minority of those voting who put this Tory minority government in place did not expect that. Now that right wing coup is being doubled down on by the deliberate suspension of the Westminster parliament just as the most crucial and divisive issue in several generations is being resolved.
There is an irony here. Johnson has been able to take over without facing the electorate because of the polite constitutional fiction that it is the same Conservative government continuing and nothing has changed. Yet he justifies the prorogation of parliament by the argument that it is a new government and a new Queen’s Speech is thus needed. Johnson is of course famously in favour of having cake and eating it, but the chutzpah of this is breathtaking.
As countries slip to the far right, the failure of the more decent forces in society to unite and to react with sufficient vigour is crucial. Jo Swinson and others need to stop their caviling and get behind Jeremy Corbyn’s no confidence plans.
Here in Scotland, it ought to be a matter of deep shame if we do not now immediately move decisively to claim Independence. The SNP needs to stop prattling on as if keeping the UK in the EU was the priority. No. The priority is Independence, and Independence Now. If the leadership of the SNP want a referendum, they should move now to hold it within a few months, this year. Otherwise they should dissolve Holyrood and hold a Holyrood election with the declared aim of declaring Independence if there is a majority won for that. It is now inevitable that, if the SNP continues to shilly shally on Independence, a new party will arise in response to public opinion, to outflank and challenge them by prioritising Independence. Hopefully Johnson’s new move will finally kick the SNP to act NOW and make that unnecessary.