The Queen’s Active Role in the Right Wing Coup 1159


Our obsequious media is actively perpetuating the myth that the monarch can do no wrong, and is apolitical. In fact the monarchy has been active and absolutely central to the seizure of power from the Westminster parliament in a right wing coup. Yesterday’s collaboration at Balmoral between the Queen and Jacob Rees Mogg is only the latest phase.

The monarch appoints the UK Prime Minister. The convention is that this must be the person who can command the support of the majority in the House of Commons. That does not necessarily have to be from a single party, it can be via a coalition or pact with other parties, but the essential point, established since Hanoverian times, is that the individual must have a majority in the Commons.

The very appointment of Boris Johnson by Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha was a constitutional outrage. Johnson may have been selected by Conservative Party members, but that is not the qualification to be PM. Johnson very plainly did not command a majority in the House of Commons, proven by the fact that still at no stage has he demonstrated that he does. I do not write merely with hindsight.

Johnson’s flagship policy was always No Deal Brexit. Contrary to the monarchist propaganda spewed out across the entire MSM, not only is it untrue that the Queen had “no constitutional choice” but to appoint Johnson, the Queen had a clear constitutional duty not to appoint a Prime Minister whose flagship policy had already been specifically voted down time and again by the House of Commons.

The Queen has now doubled down on this original outrage by proroguing the Westminster parliament in conspiracy with old Etonians Rees Mogg and Johnson, specifically so that the House of Commons cannot vote down Johnson.

The monarchy will always be an extremely useful institution in promoting the political aims of the upper classes, not least because of the ludicrous media promulgation of its infallibility. When you have former Prime Minister John Major, senior Tories like Philip Hammond and Michael Heseltine, and the Speaker of the House of Commons himself all talking of “consitutional outrage”, it is plainly preposterous to insist that the monarchy cannot, by definition, have done anything wrong.

The Queen has appointed a Prime Minister who does not have the support of the House of Commons and then has conspired to prevent the House of Commons from obstructing her Prime Minister. That is not the action of a politically neutral monarchy. The institution should have been abolished decades ago. I do hope that all those who recognise the constitutional outrage, will acknowledge the role of the monarchy and that the institution needs to be swiftly abolished.

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1,159 thoughts on “The Queen’s Active Role in the Right Wing Coup

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  • Anndra

    Even if Scotland becomes independent Craig, I’ve yet to hear any faction within the SNP or within the independence movement that advocates for a Republic. That voice ought to be heard. It is important, people ought to have the option to vote for it and talk about it openly. Independent Scotland needs to aim for Poblachd na hAlban.

    • Jeff

      Anndra, many of us would like Scotland to be a republic, and that can be decided by a vote after we are freed from the UK.
      A shouting match about this before IndyRef2 would only cause divisions – to Unionist’s delight.

    • N_

      @Anndra – “I’ve yet to hear any faction within the SNP or within the independence movement that advocates for a Republic.

      The SNP is monarchist (as well as being NATO-supporting) but Scottish republicans who support independence certainly exist. Many tactically support the SNP for the time being. The question they should be asked is which is more important to them, republicanism or independence? Because it would be quite possible to have a Scottish republic that belongs to a British republic and is not independent. They should be asked whether they’d be OK with that or whether for them it is independence first and foremost, even if in an independent Scotland they’d have to bow their knee to a monarch – which you have to admit is damned peculiar position for someone to take who views themselves as left wing.

    • craig Post author

      Anndra,

      Almost the entire membership of the SNP supports a Republic. I have yet to meet an ordinary member who is a monarchist. It’s a question I often ask when I speak to Independence supporters up and down the country,

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        Yes, but I clearly remember Alex Salmond saying to my dismay, before the referendum that an independent Scotland would keep the queen in her role as head of state.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Almost the entire membership of the SNP supports a Republic”.

        Odd, since the Queen is half (approximately) Scottish. And King James VI and I, who united the Crowns, was three quarters Scottish and one quarter French.

        But then the Scots have been a subversive, violent people since long before the Reformation. Mary Queen of Scots was lucky to get out of Scotland with her life, even if she jumped from the frying pan into the fire.

        I wonder what kind of republic the Scots would like, though. Just musing… like the USA, perhaps? Or France? Germany? Italy?

        It might be worth reflecting on the fact that the British constitution has lasted, stable and more or less unchanged, since centuries before any of those republics existed.

        • Frederick

          Lets not be racist against the great German people, as the current Queen of the UK is the descendant of the great German princely house of Wettin. Funny how after killing lots of people in two giant wars against Germany, the UK is ruled by a German. I wonder how many years in school she had to study to learn not to say “Deutchland Uber Allies” in public?

        • David Duncan

          Independence first the republic although desirable can wait The queens mother was a wee bit Scottish check her ancestry but that’s irrelevant Eventually I fancy a republic like Ireland or Germany personally

        • Republicofscotland

          “Odd, since the Queen is half (approximately) Scottish.”

          How so? Queen Victoria’s husband was German, Queen Victoria was English, and her mother was German.

          Trump however is half Scottish.

          “But then the Scots have been a subversive, violent people since long before the Reformation. ”

          As were the English, French, Spanish etc, so what’s your point if you have one.

          “It might be worth reflecting on the fact that the British constitution has lasted, stable and more or less unchanged, since centuries before any of those republics existed.”

          Yes the rest of the UK can continue to reflect as you say on its constitution, after Scotland gains independence and forms its own.

        • William Purves

          We do not need a republic, all major decisions by a referendum, similar to Switzerland. The people are sovereign.
          We don’t need a head bummer. We only need someone to represent Scotland internationally.

        • Charlotte Peters Rock

          The British Constitution has been used to cripple the average Briton for the whole of that time.

        • kathy

          “But the Scots have been a subversive violent people since long before the reformation”.

          Do you blame them with the English as their immediate neighbours?

      • Goose

        Craig

        I think I remember Roseanna Cunningham speaking in favour a republic when she use to be far more prominent on TV, well over a decade ago. But as for Salmond and Sturgeon, they’ve wisely, imho, steered clear of the subject and to all intents and purposes give the impression of being avowed monarchists(?). I believe Salmond was even once quite friendly with the Royals.

        The reason why it’s wise choice to keep the subject closed – there are only so many battles you want to fight. Scots, like the rest of the UK have been conditioned to support monarchy, to borrow a line from the Matrix film, “they aren’t ready to be unplugged”. The last thing the SNP needs when seeking a majority is to give unionists another royalist stick to beat them with.

        I’ve no doubt though, were Scotland to gain independence, the UK monarchy’s hold over Scots wouldn’t continue for long.

      • N_

        Why don’t they leave and form a new party then that puts republicanism in its manifesto rather than monarchism as the party they currently belong to does? If left wing people can’t be clear that they’re against the monarchy, what can they be clear about? Opposing it at meetings while putting leaflets through people’s doors urging them to vote for it isn’t clear.

        • Goose

          N_

          I’d imagine because it’s simply not a battle they need to have, it can wait. Maximising support for independence is all that matters. Once independence is won then the whole debate can be opened up. Besides, the current Queen is respected, especially among older generations for her sense of duty. She can’t last forever though and loyalty to the younger royals including Charles, Andrew,Anne , Edward (relatively younger) William,Harry, will be far looser.

    • Alan Knight

      Anndra, I reckon that if Scotland gains its independence, we can push harder for a republic. The SNP only exist to get independence, after that I can imagine things will change and a strong movement towards a more radical society will emerge. The SNP cannot remain as the main player in Scotland forever.

      • Hatuey

        Some people don’t want a radical society. It concerns me that the indy movement will once again be presented as the militant wing of the socialist worker’s party going into the next indyref.

  • Bob Aikenhead

    There is precedent in Australia of parliament being dissolved to protect a PM after parliament had expressed no confidence in that person. This occurred after collusion between the Palace and the Australian Governor General (the Queen’s representative in Australia) in discussing the removal of a progressive Prime Minister – Gough Whitlam. Though this occurred in 1975 the Palace is still objecting to the public release of the correspondence involved.
    Historian Jenny Hocking has investigated the details of what occurred and i still pursuing the matter. Links:
    “Brexit in the Antipodes” – https://johnmenadue.com/jenny-hocking-brexit-in-the-antipodes/
    “What the Queen really knew about the Whitlam dismissal” – https://johnmenadue.com/jenny-hocking-historical-myths-die-hard-what-the-queen-really-knew-about-the-dismissal-of-the-whitlam-government-2/

    Other articles: https://johnmenadue.com/?s=jenny+hocking

    • N_

      The 1975 Gough Whitlam case is a very useful reference – it was all about the US and the then secret communications intelligence treaty that has become known as “Five Eyes” – but it was different insofar as after the monarch’s new prime minister was appointed an election was called.

      Another reference is the ousting of Harold Wilson in 1976. The head of the CIA, George Bush, was in London on the day Wilson was removed from office (“resigned”).

  • Hieroglyph

    Had Craig’s account Bern hacked? This post is way too dumb for Craig.

    I’m being serious, btw. I genuinely respectr Murray’s intelligence. This doesn’t scan like one of his posts.

      • Tom Welsh

        The whole article reads as if written under the pressure of emotions too strong to be compatible with fairness or even rationality. The abuse directed at the Queen – who is, after all, still our head of state – seems utterly unjustifiable. The ridiculous use of family names that were (quite legally) changed a century ago smacks of playground mockery. The Queen’s name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, and there’s an end of it.

        The tweet that Craig quotes makes the wholly unfair identification of the Conservative Party with “90,000 racist old men mostly in the SE of England”. That in itself is ageist – every bit as bad as racism – as well as being obviously untrue. Even “The Guardian” – hardly the Conservative Party’s staunchest defender – informs us that “The stereotype of an octogenarian membership is largely unfounded, with an average age of 57 compared with 53 for Labour”. Also that “Men made up 71% of party members, and 54% of members lived in London or the south of England”.

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/21/more-than-half-of-tory-members-would-ruin-party-over-brexit

        Boris Johnson himself is five years younger than Craig, so perhaps age is not the best stick for Craig to beat the Conservatives with. Note also that, according to “The Guardian”, only 54% of CP members live in London or the south of England – a far cry from all living in the South-East.

        After many decades voting Conservative on principle, I stopped supporting the party about 20 years ago when I noticed that the name “conservative” had always been a false claim and the party was anything but conservative. I dislike the inner circle and their policies, and despise the Establishment.

        So for Craig to have managed to make me feel sympathetic to them is quite an achievement.

        • N_

          @Tom – If I read you correctly, you view yourself as a conservative in a genuine sense that the party of that name doesn’t match up to in your opinion. What is the “Establishment”? If you despise it then presumably you want to bring it down, and bringing it down is surely a goal that is other than “conservative”?

          Outside of Word Land, the ruling elite in this part of the world has imposed constant change for centuries – albeit not where the inheritance of wealth, the monarchy, and the hiding of money are concerned.

          • Tom Welsh

            Good questions, N_! I can’t answer them without making it clear how greatly some of our basic assumptions seem to differ.

            Yes, I am a conservative in the “small ‘c'” sense. I agree with Edmund Burke that social and governmental institutions can be said to grow organically – almost to evolve in a Darwinian sense – so that it is dangerous and presumptuous to try to uproot and replace them overnight. (Perhaps my understanding of computer programming has added to that feeling).

            Thus I heartily agree that “politics is the art of the possible”. Not just in the sense of what can physically be brought about, but in view of its consequences. Overthrowing the ancien regime and guillotineing the royal family was entirely feasible, but obtaining good results by that means was probably quite impossible. As the Russians used to say, in some situations “it’s a kopeck to get in, but a rouble to get out”.

            As for the establishment, I mean the whole agglutination of the rich, powerful, influential and arrogant who seem to run most things in the UK. (I went to school and university with a lot of them, and that did not endear them to me).

            But, contrary to your suggestion, my dislike of the Establishment does NOT make me want to “bring it down” – not with a rush, at any rate. That could prove far more destructive still, just as the French and Russian Revolutions were (and the English Revolution, too). A true conservative believes that, no matter how bad things seem, there is always lots of scope for making them much worse by incautious action.

            Lastly, I would like to quote Burke to illustrate my view of the Conservative Party, and all other political parties.

            “It is of no consequence what the principles of any party, or what their pretensions, are; the spirit which actuates all parties is the same; the spirit of ambition, of self-interest, of oppression, and treachery. This spirit entirely reverses all the principles which a benevolent nature has erected within us; all honesty, all equal justice, and even the ties of natural society, the natural affections”.

        • Republicofscotland

          Christ its painful reading the scribblings of a die-hard royalist attempting to justify their cosseted parasitic existence at a hefty cost to the taxpayer.

          Cromwell would be spinning in his grave.

          • Hatuey

            Tom, I’m not buying boring rich people coffee. If you are suggesting anything like that, consider yourself unfriended.

          • Tom Welsh

            Hatuey, I do not wish to be associated in any way with people who babble about “unfriending”.

            As I have no social media accounts, that is not possible in a technical sense.

            And as we have never met, you are not my friend nor am I yours.

          • Tom Welsh

            Simple. The conservative view of life is that societies and governments grow organically over time, evolving to fit their environments.

            If the environment changes, society and government should gradually change to meet the new requirements.

            For people who think they are terribly clever to tear everything down in the hope that they will somehow come up with something much better is always a dreadful mistake.

  • John2o2o

    As we are on the subject of the nationality of the monarch, I would like to point out something that as a man who is half Scottish and half English that I have long had a problem with. And that is the description of a certain king of England as an Englishman.

    Edward I’s mother was Eleanor of Provence. His paternal grandmother was Isabella of Angouleme. His paternal line – much later dubbed “Plantagenets” was an Angevin bloodline.

    Perhaps you might considering sending him back to La France.

    Because I guarantee that Provence, Angouleme and Anjou are nowhere near the East End of London. He certainly had very little Anglo Saxon blood in him.

    Anglo Saxon England lost it’s true identity after the 1066 invasion of England by a group of bloodthirsty of French vikings. The country was ravaged by these Norman monsters. Robert of Belleme for example was a specialist in rape, pillage and torture.

    So England I would argue has suffered as much indignity and abuse at the hands of a distant ruling class as any of the other countries on this Island.

    • Alasdair Macdonald

      Has there ever been an English monarch of England? I have heard of Normans, Danes, Welsh, Scottish, German, Dutch monarchs, but, never an ‘English’ one.

      Of course, if the sensible Scottish ‘civic’ nationality principle is adopted – someone who has her/his principal residence here (for the most of us, that is our only residence), then, by virtue of living in a big hoose at the foot of The Mall, the monarchs could claim legitimately to be ‘English’.

      But, of course, with an ‘unwritten constitution’, monarchs don’t have to bother about things like that or of being harassed by the Home Office

    • N_

      The language of state administration in England during the time of Edward I was French.

      National identities are brands like Coca-Cola, Manchester United, or Apple. They are similarly managed, and they are similarly profited from by those who consider the punters who buy into them to be as thick as two short planks.

  • Komodo

    1. No, the Queen has not signed the prorogation order. It is signed, perfectly legally, by the Clerk to the Privy Council, Richard Tilbrook. It’s valid.
    2. The Queen’s power to dissolve Parliament directly was abrogated in 2011. She retains the ability to prorogue Parliament, on the advice of the Prime Minister. By convention, she agrees to the advice (regardless of where the PM was educated).
    3. The prorogation is perhaps better regarded as a response to three years of futile bickering by the Commons and an urgent need to resolve the Brexit question for once and for all, than as a sinister plot to undermine democracy. Desperate times require desperate measures, and more harm has been done to our reputation and economy by the continuing argument than by any possible effects of leaving a trading bloc to which we are net contributors.
    4. The Queen is also Queen of Scotland. Scotland’s fault, for lending us James VI.

    • michael norton

      Komodo I agree.
      The three years of nonsense we have been subjected to by Parliamentarians is more than enough, this must be sorted out this year, we cannot go on with this level of fence-sitting, Jeremy Cornbyn style.
      The people have overwhelming voted to leave the E.U. let’s just leave with No Deal.
      Deals can be made later.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “The people have overwhelming voted to leave the E.U.”
        Utter tosh, there was no overwhelming vote, in fact it was 37% of the electorate who “won” by a narrow margin, in large part due to the constant propaganda campaign conducted by the media and rejection of Cameron’s austerity agenda, the consequences of which the EU was framed for.

        “Let’s just leave with No Deal.”
        But it is opposed by at least ~70% of the population, what’s happened to the “will of the people”?

        Why do you want these wreckers to destroy the economy and make millions more peoples lives a complete misery?

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          “…it was 37% of the electorate who “won” by a narrow margin…”

          The 25% of the electorate who abstained from the referendum must be deemed to have been content with the result, whichever way it went, otherwise they would have voted.

          As such, it ill-behoves the losing side to co-opt abstainers.

          Compulsory voting, such as in Australia or Italy, could end the debate on abstention, but look at the results of their elections – hardly inspirational.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “The 25% of the electorate who abstained from the referendum must be deemed to have been content with the result, whichever way it went, otherwise they would have voted.”

            Another argument would say that many of the 25% who didn’t vote were content with the status quo – people are more motivated to vote for change. Another factor was the constant ‘polling’, including the exit poll on the night, which always had Remain winning. The BBC reported this even as the polls were still open while ignoring the +/-4% accuracy of polls. If it had been too close too call or a Leave win was on the cards perhaps more people would have gone to the polls in the last couple of hours. It reminds me of Trump’s victory after poll after poll kept telling the US voter that Clinton was a shoe-in.

    • nevermind

      yes, Komodo, illegality needs to flourish and our tax haven regime has been under attack for far too long, uncertainty as to whether Corbyn would go along with such arrangement, has been hollowing out confidence in many a Russian oligarch whether their money is stale and safe enough to linger in these British adjudicated flecks of ocean territory.

      And the futile bickering, by Government and opposition alike, was supported and egged on by the combined media, splitist memos send and positions taken on badly worked out plans, hate campaigns and anti semitic ramblings from a set of Parliamentarians that are in the pockets of a right wing, Zionist cabal, represented in all main parties.
      but thanks for the laugh, hope the bike is running well, I mean you got to be able to get away from this crap sometimes.

        • Sharp Ears

          She tweets. Outraged of Islington.

          Margaret Hodge
          @margarethodge
          Aug 28
          Margaret Hodge Retweeted BBC Breaking News
          Never in my 25 years as an MP have I seen a Prime Minister threaten to flagrantly disregard Parliamentary Democracy like this. You cannot simply shut Parliament out of the most important issue we have faced for generations. /1

          @margarethodge
          Aug 28
          It is more important than ever that MPs work quickly & collaboratively to resist this move, stop a ‘no deal’ Brexit and hold this government to account for its recklessness. /2

          She follows that with a Streeting retweet of his letter to the Palestinian Ambassador with some anti Palestinian Authority stuff about the treatment of Palestinian queers, @AlQaws. Good to see them taking up their cudgels. They should try a letter to Mr Regev in Palace Green Road about the Israeli treatment of Palestinans in general.

      • Komodo

        Hi, Nevermind, We’ve always found ways to discredit socialists – Corbyn is par for the course, scuppered perhaps by his own perception that getting into power was his priority – he should have purged the Blairites before anything else and let the other parties continue their handbag fight. See the Zinoviev Letter for a precedent. Mind you, it perhaps came as a shock to find that large numbers of Labour voters defected to Brexit rather than toeing the Islington line. I don’t think all this crap is going to affect you, anyway. We can’t even get rid of the illegals who come here in lorries from Somalia. The bike’s still working well, thanks, though it is now getting on a bit, like its owner. And yours?

        • nevermind

          W 650 Kawa is doing fine, I might give it up next year, traffic is going bonkers.
          Not sure about the crap not sticking to me, one has been outspoken, don’tyaknow….

  • RR

    Unfortunately in the UK indignation and calls for action are just noise. People are too complacent. Their mentality is so adequately summed up by the very British “mustn’t grumble” and “keep calm and carry on…” in various linguistic combinations (sick of all of them, to be honest!).
    There could never be a French or a Russian Revolution type event in the UK. Fact.

    • N_

      The spread of mugs etc. carrying the idiotic slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” as if it were a kind of knowing joke may well be a government propaganda job. There’s nothing like a bit of pseudo-irony.

      “Keep calm – remember you’re British”, and so on. That kind of crap has an effect. It’s in the culture for sure, but it has to be fed. You see the theme played on again and again, for example when authority figures tell people it’s really grownup and responsible to “keep on as normal” and to be at their workplace at 9 o’clock the next morning even when bombs have exploded on the transport system. Here’s the message: “Whatever you do, don’t question external authority, call in sick, or think about discussing with your mates or with new people you may encounter whether you should anything different from what you normally do. Keep on Being a Moron.”

      We will see more of this when shortages of food, fuel and medicines hit and the bank branches close. “Be really grown up. Do what you’re told.”

    • Tom Welsh

      “There could never be a French or a Russian Revolution type event in the UK. Fact”.

      And thank God for that.

      Both revolutions led, directly or indirectly, to literally millions of deaths and untold suffering. Neither accomplished very much that could not have been done far better and with far less bloodshed.

      The French Revolution lasted for about ten years, before they ended up with an Emperor instead of a king. Big progress! Fifteen years later, they had a king again – from the exact same family they had dethroned and decapitated with such Gallic panache.

      The Russian Revolution probably caused more death and suffering than the French Revolution – a very large claim indeed. It subjected 200 million people to 70 years of the most extreme and intolerant tyranny; and today Russia has emerged much as it might have been if the Revolution and the Bolsheviks had never happened.

      I could go on to argue that the American Revolution hasn’t been as great as it was cracked up to be either, but why stir up dissension?

      • bevin

        “Both revolutions led, directly or indirectly, to literally millions of deaths and untold suffering.”
        The great majority if which were imposed by opponents of the Revolutions using violent means to overthrow the new regimes. You might as well blame Ho Chi Minh for three million deaths in the Vietnam war.

        ” Neither accomplished very much that could not have been done far better and with far less bloodshed.”
        This is to forget that numerous attempts to accomplish reforms, peacefully, had been drowned in blood by the Ancien Regimes. History shows that in both France and Russia reform was impossible without the removal of their monarchies.

      • Mr V

        Bullshit. Every single last word of it. French revolution provided the concept of modern republic, citizenship instead of of subjectship, human rights, modern laws instead of “”customary”” nonsense written by the rich, metric system, etc etc, and pretty much smashed feudalism and absolutism as systems of rule.

        Russian revolution gave rise, to between others, gays and women having actual rights, fundie laws being struck all over Europe (fun fact – divorce was almost universally illegal before 1914), concept of the progressive, religion-less state, rich shitting their pants all over the world they might be next (and thus the only period in history where they were slightly more generous with sharing their money), equality between peoples (guess why Jews were so eager to support it? Because like women and gays they were considered sub-human before 1918, with certain dude even making it official state policy in 1933…), mass education, rapid scientific progress, and tons of other things.

        I also like you completely buying into rabid, baseless lies about both when business as usual was far more bloody and brought vastly more suffering. Tell 1840s Irish, someone from Congo Free State, or from India in 1943 they were “”better off”” and prepare for a punch in the face for both complete ignorance of history and spitting on hundreds of millions of graves your beloved system left…

    • Dungroanin

      There have been many such events in British history – from roundhead/cavalier civil war to the Watt revolution to the General Strike where paramilitary forces were used to quell it. I maintain that the 45 election too was revolutionary as well as the Poll Tax rebellion.

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        “…I maintain that the 45 election too was revolutionary as well as the Poll Tax rebellion.”

        As was, like it or not, the result of the Brexit vote.

        • Dungroanin

          Sort of Mr S – I was replying about the natural instinct for mass civil protest.
          The simplistic plebescite of the referendum was not as result of a mass civil protests.

          The 45 election was only revolutionary in that the nation rejected the imposed war time leader who was presumably supposed to be rewarded for his leadership. The blonde Winnie hasn’t bothered to confirm his mandate with the country yet. He knows what the result would be.

          Funnily people – brexiteer propaganda fodder, who I personally know as friends – believe the lie that all and more want a hard brexit and that Corbynite Labour would lose in an election – but then can’t amswer my query of why not have that confirmed by a confirmatory vote or general election respectively- they get a bit tongue tied then.

          Commentators and brexiteers cite that the Brexit Party Ltd won massively at the European elections and that 17 million voters wishes were confirmed by that!

          But they have no answer when it is pointed out that the Brexit parties total votes were just 5 Million and I ask what happened to other 12 million?

          Maybe you have a answer?

  • Alyson

    From Prospect Magazine ”
    Photo: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire/PA Images

    Today’s announcement that the Queen has agreed to the government’s request to prorogue parliament, during the second week of its September sitting until the middle of October, signals Boris Johnson’s determination to prevent MPs meddling in its Brexit plans.

    The significance of prorogation is twofold. First, it has taken the decision about whether to sit in September and October out of MPs’ hands. There had been indications that the government might not have won the normal Commons vote on the dates of a “conference recess” usually held over the second half of September and early October. By asking for a prorogation, the government has ensured that parliamentarians won’t be around to stick inconvenient spanners (like legislation preventing a no-deal exit) in the wheels of the Brexit train. This is one thing that makes the move so controversial.

    The second advantage of prorogation, from the government’s perspective, is the fact that legislation which has not completed all of its stages in both Houses of parliament falls at the moment of suspension. The government may seek the agreement of the opposition parties to “carry over” some of its Brexit bills to the next session, to save introducing them all over again—although in a bad tempered parliamentary climate they might not agree. But no such mechanism will be on offer for any backbench-sponsored legislation designed to avoid no deal.

    This means that MPs who want to legislate to compel the prime minister to request an Article 50 extension if parliament has not explicitly authorised a no deal exit, will now find the parliamentary time available to do so extremely limited. There could be as few as four sitting days available before prorogation takes place. The Cooper Bill passed in March took five.

    In the time available the MPs will have to persuade the speaker to grant them an emergency debate, use that debate to take control of the parliamentary agenda, use that control to introduce a bill and get that bill through all of its Commons and Lords stages. Getting the bill through the Lords may prove harder than in March as there will be no help from the government to close down filibustering peers. If all of these stages are not complete by prorogation the bill will fall. If they wanted to try again in October they would be starting from scratch.

    With the time for legislating so extremely tight, discussions about no confidence votes and a possible election may come firmly back on the agenda. The risk of an election for MPs opposed to no deal is that it is for the incumbent prime minister to set the date, even if they have lost the confidence of the House. Some MPs will fear that in that situation Johnson would choose to set the election for after 31st October, ensuring a no-deal exit takes place before a new government is in place.

    For those opposed to no-deal there appear to be few good options now. But as all roads from here take us into uncharted territory, who knows what British politics will deliver next?”

    • N_

      it is for the incumbent prime minister to set the date, even if they have lost the confidence of the House.

      Except if it isn’t and Dominic “Eugenics and Moonbase” Cummings has got his head up his bum. The Commons could set a date for an election, or a no-confidenced PM could be taken to court for setting a bad date. The Commons can give directions to the government, as Jacob Rees-Mogg declared when he himself wasn’t a member of the government.

      Filibustering peers is a good point though, and there are no “points of order” in their lordships’ and ladyships’ house. But there are Standing Orders. SO46 provides that a Bill cannot go through two stages in a single day, but SO84 allows the rule to be suspended in time of national emergency. (Source: The Standing Orders of the House of Lords Relating to Public Business.)

      Incidentally the Cabinet is a subcommittee of the Privy Council. I won’t be surprised if we hear a fair bit about the Privy Council in the coming weeks.

      • nevermind

        Any equally short suggestions as to actions from a marxist perspective? When will Wales reverberate to the sounds of the International?
        Be prepared to fend off those haves who come down from the Cities to steal some leeks from the rural fields of blight y. A few large stones rolling down the mountains might be a good defence against such marodeur’s, mere unsustainable characters.

      • Alasdair Macdonald

        The Fixed Term Parliaments Act requires a 2/3 majority to call a general election before one is due. So, the opposition should perhaps leave aside a Vote of No Confidence, which might win, this would then waste a fortnight seeking to form another Government, which might gain the support of the House. Mr Corbyn is the only feasible option, but, it is unlikely he could garner enough votes – not least from his own party – to form a Government, so a GE would be called by Mr Johnson – for after 31, October.

        Mr Johnson could arrange for one of his cronies to lodge such a motion and we would have the ludicrous sight of Tories and DUP voting ‘no confidence, while the rest of the parties oppose the motion!

      • jake

        “Incidentally the Cabinet is a subcommittee of the Privy Council. I won’t be surprised if we hear a fair bit about the Privy Council in the coming weeks.”

        There are hundreds and hundreds of them…yet it only takes 3 for a Council to be quorate

      • N_

        A Tory whip in the Lords, George “Lord” Young, resigned from the government today in response to the prorogation. He used to be the Tory government’s chief whip in the Commons (under David Cameron). All in all he probably knows where quite a few bodies are buried.

  • Sharp Ears

    It’s interesting that there hasn’t been a peep from the extant ex prime ministers, May, Major, Cameron, Blair, Brown, as far as I know. PS Where is Anthony Charles Lynton Blair? On a millionaire’s yacht or in one of their villas?

    Previously Major had said he would seek a judicial review if a prorogation was called for.
    Where are the motormouths quoted in this Guardian piece, Stewart, Rudd, Hancock. Hammond…..

    ‘Yes, and quite vigorously. During the recent Conservative party leadership contest, several came out staunchly against it, which will make for interesting discussions around the cabinet table now. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said in June that suspending parliament “goes against everything those men who waded onto those beaches fought and died for – and I will not have it” and that was “not a serious policy of a prime minister in the 21st century”. The work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, said it was an “absolutely outrageous idea”.
    Tories opposing a no-deal Brexit are understandably unhappy about the suspension of parliament. The former chancellor, Philip Hammond, called it a “constitutional outrage”. Rory Stewart – who stood for leader of the party against Johnson – said: “We can do much better.” He has previously said he would set up an alternative parliament, should the House of Commons be suspended.’
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/29/prorogation-explainer-a-simple-guide-to-what-just-happened-in-uk-politics

  • michael norton

    Sport Secretary Nicky Morgan has described the prorogue as mad, we know she is a Remainer, maybe time to resign from government?

  • Ralph

    I truly do regret that the Scots did not gain independence, then we wouldn’t have 35 scottish mps having a say on what is primarily the ENGLISH vote to leave the eu. And since most/all of Scotland was in favour of remaining in it. So 311 Con mps would then be a majority in a 615 mp house of conmen. Also the MINORITY scots trying to dictate terms to the majority – that’s your definition of democracy.
    You, Craig, have now jumped the shark, especially pulling out of you know where the likes of john – Kermit the frog – major, heseltine, hammond & berkcow. Absolutely pathetic.
    Please, when you do get independence, take your trash with you: those SCOTS warmonger bliar & financial crash ‘light touch’ brown (if the latter is not in scotland already), see his speech to the CBI in 2005, being partially responsible for setting up the world financial crisis: ‘The new model of regulation…to the decision as to whether to regulate at all.’

    • defo

      Fair enough Ralph, there’s room enough in Saughton, but in return you’ll need to find room for your establishment peeps currently sharing out the top jobs in our public institutions.
      Deal?

        • Alasdair Macdonald

          And, if you, Ralph, return to us all the revenues from oil and gas which has been squandered by Westminster, and pay us the rental for the Trident base at Faslane, and pay us for all the fish taken from Scottish Territorial waters.

          I would be happy to accept the equivalent of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund for the oil and gas and that would more than pay for the liabilities of RBS. Since it has been substantially restructured and since it is still more than 65% publicly oned, then it could be restaffed and rebranded as the nationally owned Scottish Central Bank.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            The functions of a central bank and a commercial bank are entirely different.

            All a commercial bank should ever be doing is accepting deposits, underwriting and issuing loans to able borrowers, and participating in the clearing system. Bowler hat boring, like the old days. Deregulation and the Big Bang allowed them (including RBS) to become reckless gamblers; that needs to stop.

            The central bank provides the mechanism by which the govt creates the nation’s currency, via public spending, by simply adding reserves to the reserve accounts of the commercial banks of the initial recipients of that spending.
            It also acts to enforce the use and general acceptance of the National currency, and prevent rampant inflation, by draining reserves from the commercial banks’ reserve accounts whenever one their customers has tax to pay.

            A sovereign wealth fund performs the function of preventing “Dutch Disease” and inflation in a country whose economy is too small to absorb massive foreign currency earnings from a valuable resource such as oil. Earnings can’t be exchanged for national currency or spent in the domestic economy to any great extent (Norway permits 1% pa), so the money just sits there, growing steadily in unuseable foreign investments that don’t benefit the nation one bit, except by preventing inflation and an even stronger currency than it already has, which would distort all its other economic activities.
            Besides which, the (eg Norwegian) central bank can create as much national currency as it needs, so the SWF is actually quite useless as a resource – it’s just a drainage sump.

        • defo

          Deal. Pro rata though Ralph. London was always their spiritual home.
          Do you want paid in €s or £s ?

  • Goose

    When individuals join the Privy Council they apparently get down on one knee to kiss the hand of the monarch and swear true allegiance – these are our elected leaders basically prostrating themselves before the unelected. The whole system is designed to prevent criticism and challenge. It’s the same with the way they spray honours around like confetti: BEMs, MBEs, OBEs, knighthoods.

    Someone has to be famous or successful for five minutes, literally, and they seemingly get a gong. It’s all about locking them into the establishment. These are often highly influential people : sports stars , pop stars and influential celebrities – having them refrain from criticising the monarchy matters to those trying to preserve the outrageous hereditary ,class system.

    An example being In December 1992, when then PM John Major announced Charles and Diana were to divorce. The monarchy briefly looked vulnerable to the public enmity; the Nov 1992 Windsor fire had set the stage, along with a quickly(post-election)deeply unpopular Tory administration(1992-1997) led by John Major. I believe it was Peter Brooke who was Heritage Secretary at the time of the fire, he immediately said the public would pay the millions required for the castle to be repaired. Public dislike of the monarchy allowed for a TV debate on its future, and later the Labour govt to scrap the Royal Yacht Britannia, much to Prince Charles’ reported fury.

    • Tom Welsh

      “…these are our elected leaders basically prostrating themselves before the unelected”.

      As well they might. The political and business leaders thrown up (I use the term advisedly) by our astonishingly corrupt and counterproductive systems are, with very few exceptions, astonishingly corrupt and counterproductive.

      At least the royal family owe their rank to the accident of birth, which means that their qualities and abilities are roughly average. Thus they are obviously head and shoulders above the elected thugs and crooks.

  • David

    Is it possible that Johnson is actually looking for a vote of no-confidence ? Would there be any gain from it ?

    What would the timings look like if a no-confidence vote is called, then two weeks ( cant remember how long is granted to form a new government) pass and no one is able to form a government. Then we have to have a GE ? ( again not sure on the procedure) What is the shortest time frame for a GE ?

    Could the very act of a no-confidence vote create a situation where we are still essentially without government as the deadline passes ? Creating a de-facto no deal Brexit ? Tory party strategists are not complete idiots – there is going to be method to this madness.

    Parliament has so far proven itself incapable of dealing with Brexit, as we have seen over the last 3 years. Personally I think its madness to enter a negotiation that the other side doesn’t believe you will walk away from. The EU are not our friends, they have an absolute responsibility to the remaining members and as such they will drive for the very best deal they can. So far they have done an excellent job. The only problem with their strategy seems to be they have created a deal no political party will get behind, so they have managed to negotiate no deal. Whilst they believe we wont leave without a deal they don’t need to budge. That was the major flaw in the UK’s strategy from day one.

    Parliament is still trying to take no deal off the table and in doing so impact severely on the UK’s ability to get a sensible deal. I voted leave and Id much rather leave with a deal, but not if that deal is really bad, which Mays deal is for a host of reasons. The sad reality is that if we are ever going to extract ourselves from this divisive issue we do need to apply pressure on the EU to return to the table. Not sure the current strategy is a wise one, but its certainly a dramatic one and sends a very clear message to the EU.

    Its worth remembering also that the EU are tough negotiators who push until the very last minute. They are also masters at the last second deal. No deal does hurt them and looking at the current economic outlook they may decide they don’t want that pain either.

    • Goose

      Support for the EU has been wobbly in a few member state countries over the years. Watching the UK flounder and struggle may be seen as means to show other EU members the appalling consequences for those choosing to leave the bloc. Even if it involves some temporary pain for the bloc.

      We risk underestimating the value of that to the EU project.

      • Laguerre

        It is true that support for the EU in the past was weaker than it is today. The decisive moment came with the election round in 2017. In many countries, the far right, traditionally nationalist and anti-EU, found that their anti-EU election promises were toxic to their campaigns, and had to be dropped like hot bricks, if their credibility were to survive. I know the case of Le Pen the best, but it was the same in Italy, Germany and Holland. Obviously Brexit was a major issue, but it is also true that people do appreciate a lot of what the EU has done, on a personal everyday level. It’s easy to live on one side of a border, and work on the other. You don’t need to change money. Everything, including trade, moves easily. Most science is funded through Europe these days. lots of things, really, which make the coming isolation of Britain, with blockages on all the ports, an unimaginable horror.

        • michael norton

          Laguerre you are living in your mind in cloud cukoo land,
          France is a basket case with an idiot of a napoleon who is despised by the masses, it is a communist nest of the workshy.
          Germany have fiddled their emissions, the car industry is shrinking, nobody in the U.K. is any longer buying German crap.
          Italy is a bog of uncertainty, Greece, Portugal and Spain have been beggared by the E.U.
          The Eurozone is the largest cause of this beggarment, yet you are stuck with it, until the final collapse.

          • ` extremebuilder

            You don`t half talk some shite,
            ` a communist nest of the workshy`
            Give your head a shake

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          It is very noteworthy how Salvini changed his tune. All of a sudden he was claiming:

          We are happy to leave the ghosts and fears of the past to the others. Together we are building the future. There is no far-right here, there is just politics of common sense.

          The extremists are those who governed Europe for 20 years in the name of precariousness and poverty. Who betrayed Europe? Who betrayed one of the most beautiful dreams, beautiful dreams hypothesised by the founding fathers?

          The Europe of nations and people, of which De Gasperi, De Gaulle and Margaret Thatcher talked about.

          This Europe was betrayed by the elites and powers who occupied this Europe in the name of finance, of multinationals, of money and uncontrolled immigration. The Merkels, the Macrons, the Soroses and the Junckers.

          The debate in European politics is now about the direction and nature of the European Union rather than whether it is worth belonging to the EU. Why? Because all over Europe the huge majority of citizens support EU membership. Even in Greece.

    • Laguerre

      So you’re still living in hopes that the EU will surrender unconditionally at the last minute. Lots of Brexiters, astoundingly, are still like that. Unfortunately for you, and the other Brexiters, the EU is unable to surrender its existential interests just to please a bunch of extremist ideologues who ready to wreck their country to push through an unrealistic idea.

      • David

        Hi Laguerre,

        The EU do trade deals all the time, what’s so different about this one ? I dislike the EU as a political project, that doesn’t make me an Extremist. I cant get behind an EU army, I cant get behind 20 years of financial corruption resulting in no accounts being signed off, I dislike the method of choosing who governs us from the EU. I can get behind the Economic benefits of membership, including free movement, but these financial advantages of membership should not come at any price. Remain isn’t really remain is it ? Remain is ever closer union and no remainer I have spoken to can actually tell me what that means or how it will end. Stay or leave, its just uncertainty either way.

        My vote in the UK means sod all, it means even less than that at the EU level.

        • Deb O'Nair

          “The EU do trade deals all the time, what’s so different about this one?”

          Normally the EU negotiates with a potential trading partner, not a political enemy. The small matter of the £38 billion might also come into play.

      • Tom Welsh

        Laguerre, it is not a matter of “surrender”. For the UK to leave the EU is not a matter in which the EU has any say.

        It might, if force were decisive. But even the people in Brussels are unlikely to threaten a thermonuclear power with violence.

        • Laguerre

          I meant for the EU to give what Johnson wants is the equivalent of unconditional surrender of their interests. They won’t do it. Not when they’re in the stronger position. Johnson is looking for pie in the sky, if he thinks they’re going to do a deal on his conditions. Of course, he knows that quite well. His backers, who run him, want No-Deal. The David Frost negotiations today in Brussels, for example, produced no new proposals at all from Britain. The extremist backers of Johnson, and Trump, want a revolution in Britain, with its concomitant suffering.

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          Why on Earth do Brexiteers go on about the UK being a “nuclear power”? For Pete’s sake the nukes and missiles aren’t even your own. France is much bigger nuclear power and they build everything themselves. They also have a bigger air force.

          And why on Earth do you think being a “nuclear power” helps the UK in any way?

          • Tom Welsh

            “And why on Earth do you think being a “nuclear power” helps the UK in any way?”

            It means that the use of extreme violence by the EU is completely ruled out. Any attempt to use armed force would be liable to escalate, and that would not be tolerated – so it would not be contemplated.

          • Tom Welsh

            Incidentally, I don’t like the UK having thermonuclear weapons, and I wish we could get rid of them. But that’s a larger and very intractable topic.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “I don’t like the UK having thermonuclear weapons”

            That’s good because the UK has none, it merely pays the US to host US weapons on their subs, primarily because the UK has been under continual US military occupation since WW2 and as far as the US is concerned the UK is a US strategic asset that doesn’t mind paying for the ‘privilege’. That’s why it’s called a ‘special relationship’.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            @Tom Welsh:
            ” … even the people in Brussels are unlikely to threaten a thermonuclear power with violence … the use of extreme violence by the EU is completely ruled out. Any attempt to use armed force would be liable to escalate, and that would not be tolerated – so it would not be contemplated.”

            Really? You’d nuke Paris? Are you completely smashed on cocaine, by any chance?

          • Tom Welsh

            Rowan, of course I wouldn’t “nuke Paris”. My point is that no one in Europe would contemplate trying to force the UK to remain in the EU against its will.

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            Nobody in Europe would want to force the UK to remain in the EU. Where do you get these ideas from?

        • Dungroanin

          Lunatic concept – Chernobyl deposited enough deadly radioactivity across Europe from Ukraine.

          Why would anyone think a nuke on Europe by another European country is a winning strategy?

          The brexiteers are wobbling as their spin is repressed.

    • N_

      I certainly think the Tory leadership’s plan is for a general election very soon. And since it looks weak to be pushed by opponents into doing stuff, it’s likely to be framed as a Boris Johnson decision.

      • Dungroanin

        My money is on the dodgy nag, i mean gnu. The real coup that stops a ge which threatens a Labour govt.

  • Mist001

    All quiet on the Sturgeon/SNP front too, I notice. Ruth has grabbed the headlines this afternoon though.

    • Hatuey

      Mist, my friend, you know she’s going to do nothing… random events have conspired to make her think she is special, a great leader and thinker, someone who can sooth us with a few specially chosen words.

      When she goes on TV waffling like that with — and it’s totally scripted btw, despite the fake hesitancy etc. — just remember that we (the indy supporting people of Scotland) are the targets of her bullshit…

      The word on the street is that she wants to wait until at least 2021 before doing a thing.

      These are great days for the Party, though. Those MPs are on funny money, boosted by paid jobs on Selected Committees, trips abroad, expenses, and freebies galore.

      The Labour Party learned this lesson back in the 1920s — once people become MPs they’re rich and if history has taught us anything, it’s taught us that people don’t give a shit about politics or the poor when they’re rich…

  • Ed J

    “90,000 racist old men”
    “old Etonians”
    “conspiracy”
    “coup”

    I dare say Mr Murray that some of your choice of words is verging on ridiculous and inflammatory. I don’t agree with everything you say but I nonetheless enjoy reading what you post because the occasional opposing point of view makes me question my own thinking.

    However, when you move away from making a very well-constructed argument and move into SJW territory, your core message is diluted and thus undermined. I enjoy reading your opinions and thoughts, but saying things like “90,000 racist old men” is just pathetic, and you don’t need me to deconstruct this type of ridiculous statement. Additionally, dropping in phrases like “old Etonians” serves no purpose other than to tug at the heartstrings of jealously and resentment. What does going to Eton have to do with anything that is happening today?

    “The Queen has appointed a Prime Minister who does not have the support of the House of Commons and then has conspired to prevent the House of Commons from obstructing her Prime Minister.”

    Whilst I agree that Johnson has yet to demonstrate that he has a majority in the HoC, nobody has proven the reverse either. So this kind of statement is ridiculous because NOTHING has been proven or demonstrated. As for the Queen “conspiring”, what exactly has she done that is any different to established conventions in this scenario?

    • Tom Welsh

      Well said, Ed J. I believe Craig was writing in the heat of the moment, and with his heart rather than his head.

      To condemn all old Etonians, tarring them with the same brush, is unacceptable discrimination.

    • Goose

      His choice of words may be inflammatory and designed to provoke. But calling Tory members old and by implication white, is just factually accurate. And the idea they are generally xenophobic is backed up by polling data evidence of their views.

      As for Etonians, the privately educated do more often than not have a born-to-rule swagger about them. A sense that they are entitled to break the rules because they are the rightful rulers. Look how they behaved at Uni: Rah Rah Rah! We’re the Bullingdon Boys. They bring that Captain Invincible mentality into govt and corridors of power.

      • michael norton

        If you are an old white man living in the United Kingdom, should you no longer have a say or any respect in your own country.
        Ever wondered why the majority have voted to Leave the European Union?

        • Goose

          I don’t see the connection?

          What has the EU got to do with how old white men feel about the UK? And how will leaving improve the situation?

          If it’s a point about immigration, they are set to be sorely disappointed. Various ministers have talked about filling the gaps left by leaving Europeans with more immigrants from places like India and African countries. Judging by the posts on the Telegraph they aren’t going to like that.

          • Deb O'Nair

            There is no connection, Mr Norton is simply a Europhobe who’s been sucking up the Daily Express like it’s oxygen. If his tea gets cold it’s those bureaucrats in Brussels fault.

      • Tom Welsh

        “But calling Tory members old and by implication white, is just factually accurate”.

        I have already shown that this is not the case. Please read my earlier comment https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/08/the-queens-active-role-in-the-right-wing-coup/comment-page-2/#comment-888508

        “And the idea they are generally xenophobic is backed up by polling data evidence of their views”.

        What do you understand by the term “xenophobic”? Literally it means “afraid of strangers”, but that may not be what you intend. The COED says:

        xenophobia
        n noun intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

        Although how “fear” got changed into “intense or irrational dislike or fear” is hard to understand. Anyway, who decides when dislike becomes intense or irrational? It seems hopelessly subjective.

        There is a lot of special pleading going on. As the UK is already overpopulated by about 400 percent – in the sense that it now has about four times as many people as it could sustain indefinitely – bringing many more in seems unwise. By definition, not wanting lots of people to come here from other countries entails wanting to control immigration. But to misrepresent that as racism, or xenophobia, is either ignorant or malicious. Either way, it’s wrong.

      • Tom Welsh

        “As for Etonians, the privately educated do more often than not have a born-to-rule swagger about them”.

        And you say that based on your accurate knowledge of how large a sample? I submit that you cannot reliably understand the character even of someone as public as Boris Johnson, based only on what the media say. (Why would he be the only topic about which they tell the truth?)

        • Goose

          Tom Welsh

          Two-thirds of Boris Johnson’s cabinet went to fee-paying schools.

          The school someone attends isn’t their fault, I appreciate that. Thus, I hold nothing against people who due to the decisions of their parents attended these costly fee-paying schools, good luck to them.

          But..what I don’t like is how overrepresented they are in senior govt and civil service roles. Roughly 5% of the population as a whole, if I remember correctly, attend fee-paying schools, yet they overwhelmingly dominate decision making roles. (74%) of the UK’s top judges went to a fee-paying school. Among top military personnel, some seven in 10 (71%) were educated in the private sector. Over 50% of leading journalists and solicitors. They don’t reflect the society they claim to serve. I don’t want quotas or positive discrimination, but you do wonder if these people ever think maybe the balance isn’t right here, we don’t reflect society, do we?

          • Tom Welsh

            “They don’t reflect the society they claim to serve”.

            This is where our thinking diverges, Goose. I really don’t want to be governed or represented by average, typical citizens. I would rather have the best people in charge – which is what, to be fair,we are told the system aims at.

            Unfortunately the system fails dismally, as its idea of “merit” has more to do with fast talking and schmoozing than intelligence, creativity or honesty.

            I wouldn’t want to fly in an airliner made by average, typical citizens either. I would prefer it to be designed and built by expert, dedicated, experienced craftsmen.

          • Goose

            Tom Welsh

            I too favour a meritocracy, hence why I dismissed quotas and any form of positive discrimination to redress the balance. I detest all-women shortlists and the like.

            I’m not suggesting throwing people off the street into positions they haven’t got the abilities to do, that’s not my view. The problem is with current recruitment practice and how alumni of certain schools do that selection and tend to select their own as they feel more comfortable with their tribe or ‘clan’ for want of a better word. I.e., posh folk select fellow posh folk.

            And the airliner analogy doesn’t hold, the skills involved in building and piloting can’t be compared subjective decision making, often in controversial areas like social policy. How do you objectively assess ‘good decision makers’? Look at the Home Office, it’s full of reactionary authoritarian types who are profoundly out of touch with the population’s more liberal attitudes social policy : drugs, attitudes to censorship and prostitution.

    • Laguerre

      “The Queen has appointed a Prime Minister who does not have the support of the House of Commons and then has conspired to prevent the House of Commons from obstructing her Prime Minister.”

      Craig is perfectly correct there. Johnson has avoided putting himself to the vote in Parliament, and now is suspending it. The Queen should not have supinely accepted Johnson’s demand. Even if she is too old to take a clear decision, she has plenty of well-paid advisors who can keep her on-topic. She should have held back from approving the prorogation. Ways could have been found, if they’d wanted to. But they didn’t.

    • Ishmael

      Long live the capitalist ruling class & their separate education system. Proud traditional British institutions. Down with social justice. Hurrah.

    • N_

      School has a damned lot to do with it.

      There have been 55 prime ministers.

      20 went to Eton
      7 went to Harrow
      6 went to Westminster
      Rugby, Winchester and Charterhouse come in at 1 each.

      So about two-thirds of them went to one of the seven Clarendon schools. (Sorry Shrewsbury, none for you.) One went to St Paul’s too.

      The first cabinet for a very long time (200 years?) that didn’t contain any Old Etonians was during the time of Gordon Brown. Can you make a similar statement about any other school?

      • Tom Welsh

        As the old joke has it, most of the Prime Ministers and other figureheads went to Eton. Whereas Sir Humphrey and the other people who really make the important decisions went to Winchester, St Paul’s or maybe Manchester Grammar School.

        Horses for courses.

    • Hatuey

      “What does going to Eton have to do with anything that is happening today?”

      Where do you want to start, the paedophile rings or the sociopaths that conduct foreign policy?

  • Kempe

    The Queen is politically neutral in that she has to follow the advice of her PM and sign anything he/she puts in front of her. I thought this was common knowledge. Apparently not.

    Of the 23 Prime Ministers this country has had since 1900 17 have not entered Downing Street on the back of a general election but rather been selected by a few thousand party members and what does it matter where they live?

    https://fullfact.org/news/unelected-prime-ministers-common-or-not/

    Very poor article Mr Murray.

    • Laguerre

      She could have avoided approving. In our so, so supple so-called constitution, the Queen’s advisors could have found a way if they’d wanted to, but they didn’t. Only Kempe and his Brexiter fellow-travellers insist the Queen was forced.

        • Ken Kenn

          A bit like the Assange affair , as I’ve said before politics, ( the means by which one class exploits the other classes ) is nothing to do with legalities.

          It’s all to do with power.

          The Queen ( and all who sail with her ) have the power in spades.

          Despite what the Leavers all think.

          To be fair a lot of Remainers and of course the BBC believe these truths to be true.

          The above definition definitely is not taught in schools.

      • Highlander

        Mmm…. one should know ones history, your preservation and defence of a usurper is too little…. and too late.
        All I can say is ….Mr Murray your a bright light shining in a very dark and disturbing den of iniquity.
        Created by fascism, racism, bigotry ignorance and parochial nationalism.
        Ooh to be a Tory!

    • giyane

      Kempe

      Rees-Mogg was incredibly rude to John Humphreys this morning on Radio 4, drawing attention to the fact that Humphreys is being retired. After insulting the man, he continued in your patronising manner about the monarchy having to agree with the PM . ” I thought this was common knowledge “.

      How can the abstruse formalities of government be common knowledge ? Craig absolutely correct to say that if the Queen knew he did not command a majority in the HoC he should not have been made PM. For him to return two weeks later and close parliament when he has no majority is unprecedented and unconstitutional.

      The ERG has been acting in an unconstitutional way with Mrs May for a long time because in spite of her working majority, they voted against her Withdrawal Agreement. On the first occasion, May had no right to remain as PM because she had no majority in the HoC, so we had to endure the PM floundering without a majority for months before the ERG forced her to leave.

      You talk about PMs being passed the baton without elections, but you totally miss the point that it was totally illegitimate and unconstitutional for May to remain as PM when she had no majority. In any other time or topic the PM would have and should have called an election .

      It is a whopping lie and error to say as Rees Mogg said that all opposition to No Deal is from Remainers.
      Mrs May’s first act in her tenure at No 10 was to lie that she knew what the British people wanted. She lied that they wanted a Hard Brexit. They don’t. They want not to belong to the EU, possibly because they are remembering their grandfathers lost in action against Germany.

      Johnson has conflated distrust of the EU with objection to all foreigners. That is a treason against the good nature of the British people. The reality is that the hardcore Tories hate foreigners and the British people in equal measures. their problem. They should be locked up in straightjackets in secure asylums until they resolve their mental sores.

    • N_

      Do you believe the queen’s official position in the British administration, for which she is paid out of public funds, is hers by divine right? Because why else do you say she “has to” sign stuff? She can resign, as can anyone else who is in a paid position.

      • N_

        Mrs Glucksburg is responsible for her actions, just as any other adult person is. As the head of state she is also responsible for actions that are done in her name even when she hasn’t signed them off, because she could resign and because she has a tongue in her head. She should be in jail serving a life sentence. @Kempe, you are treating this woman as if her only role in the state, and one she can’t get out of, is to “serve”.

  • Ishmael

    Seems Craig really brought some strange bugs out of the woodwork with this.

    Amazing people find any of this really controversial…

  • Hatuey

    Britain is a train wreck and as we all sit moaning about the monarchy, Brexit, and a million other things, it’s worth considering where Scotland could be in a year or so. It’s not often I’m pleasant, positive, and constructive, so indulge me if I seem a little cack-handed here.

    We could be running our own affairs, safe from the perverted meddling of people like Boris, Rees-Mogg, and the rest. As England goes down the tubes and enters a sustained period of economic misery and decline, with the NHS (and what else is left of the welfare state) being dismantled, Scotland could be making exciting new plans for its independent future.

    In that scenario, we’d definitely attract a lot of investment from companies who would be eager to invest in a country with the human and natural resources that Scotland has in abundance, a country that couldn’t be better positioned geographically to serve as a platform in terms of supplying what’s left of the UK and Europe, and where foreigners are made welcome in a society that is predominantly liberal, progressive, and inclusive.

    As factories and plant down south are dismantled and scrapped, it’s easy imagine Scotland investing massively in its industry and infrastructure and going on to experience the sort of tiger-economy growth that Ireland, Poland, and others experienced as new members of the EU. I’m not the EU’s biggest fan right now but we can be certain that they’d want to invest here, provide loans and funds to ensure that our country and our economy was a success.

    The propaganda is so bad here that we are supposed be too embarrassed to mention our oil and other natural resources like wind, renewables, and fishing, but these are massive boons and they guarantee that we’d be a prosperous and wealthy nation.

    But none of that is what motivates me most.

    Can you imagine not being involved in their criminal wars and butchery in places like the Middle East? Imagine not having arms manufacturers breathing down the neck of our society, imagine the crowds on the Clyde waving goodbye to their disgusting nuclear weapons, as we make way for the bright future of economic and social development that awaits us…

    That’s all within reaching distance for Scotland right now. The alternative is so bleak it’s hard to contemplate.

    Brexit guarantees more years of poverty for Scotland, it guarantees the Barnett formula will be scrapped, it guarantees your kids and grand children are going to struggle and many of them will falter, turning to drugs, crime, and God knows what else.

    Brexit guarantees that staying in the Union for Scotland will mean a dark and uncertain future, being dragged into wars and all sorts of evilness alongside the twisted maniacs of Westminster and Washington

    All of this hangs in the balance and I think it’s worth bearing it in mind as we contemplate events as they have unfolded and might unfold in the weeks and months ahead.

    • Mist001

      That’s actually very depressing because you and I both know it’s not going to happen with that shower of shits running the SNP. When (if) Wings gets up and running, I’m going with them and as for Sturgeon, well hell mend her.

      • Hatuey

        Hell mend the Scottish people if they fall for the crap again…

        I’d love to see Wings take them on. He’d get my vote and donations from just about everybody I know.

  • bevin

    One of the contributory factors in this mess is the Fixed Term Parliament Act which appears to make it more difficult to get rid of a government by voting no confidence in it.
    This act together with quinquennial Parliaments has muddied the waters of the Constitution. May would have fallen months ago, had she not been able to rely on the prop this appalling legislation afforded her.
    Among the other ill effects of the Act it makes it possible for factions such as the Blairites to hide from the electorate for long enough to build up their pensions.
    The Chartists were part of an ancient and reputable tradition in calling for Annual Parliaments, William III agreed to triennial Elections in 1691(?). The ability of legislators to last out unpopular acts is a major weakness of democracy.

  • Loony

    This post tells you far more than you need to know with regard to the festering envious inanity that infects the British chattering classes like some kind of brain parasite.

    Why does it matter that Johnson and Rees Mogg are old Etonians? Why the need to smear the Queen and Conservative Party Members?

    Answer: Because it avoids the need to overtly recognize the sneering contempt in which the bulk of the population are held by those who consider their own opinions to be so important and so perfect. .

    Consider that in Wigan (a town vividly described by Orwell) 63.9% of voters voted to leave the EU. Consider that out of 650 Parliamentary constituencies only 68 voted to remain in the EU. Consider that at the last election both the Labour and Conservative Party manifestos stated that they intended to leave the EU. Consider that as of today the UK remains in the EU.

    You want to talk about the Constitution – why not mention the very simple way of removing the current government by way of a vote of No Confidence. Ask why this is not done. None of the weird freaks that inhabit parliament and the media has any intention of going anywhere near the population – a population that they openly hate and detest. You think you can go on like this? You think that the general population does not have a breaking point and will one day turn on you people and figuratively (or more frighteningly literally) rip your fucking heads off.

    If an old Etonian is prepared to speak on behalf of the people of Wigan and elsewhere then who are you to complain. You will not speak for them – because you detest them and quietly wish they would all drop dead.

    If the EU is so wonderful then simply move there and take your contempt and hatred with you.

    • J

      DIdn’t you once say you aren’t from nor reside in the UK? So do you care about royalty in general, or is it just the queen of England who excites you?

    • Dungroanin

      “Why does it matter that Johnson and Rees Mogg are old Etonians? Why the need to smear the Queen and Conservative Party Members?”

      NEPOTISM.

      Kapich?

  • John2o2o

    “The very appointment of Boris Johnson by Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha was a constitutional outrage.”

    Well it’s my third bite at this cherry today. I wince every time I look at the title. “Constitutional outrage?” I don’t like him either, but it’s hardly that. And thanks, I’m not being “obsequious” in agreeing with this action. The Constitutional Monarchy that the UK has is a clever balancing act. I really do not see that the Queen, a 93 year old great grandmother who also happens to be Head of State really had any choice in this matter. She probably can’t stand him either.

    You know full well that her surname is Windsor. To imply that she is German in this way is insulting. It doesn’t matter who you are – everyone on this earth deserves some degree of respect. A person’s surname is ultimately their own choice, and it was the choice of her grandfather to adopt an English surname during the first world war for obvious and perfectly sensible reasons.

    You see, because you played the man and not the ball I am taking up my time taking about something which is not directly relevant to the point you are making. All you’ve succeeded in doing is distracting this reader from your argument. If you can behave like this, then maybe the rest of your argument is also weak?

    You even worked for the queen. She showed you a lot of respect by the sound of it. Can you not show her a little? (Not deference, just simple respect).

    I read your CV on the back of my copy of Sikunder Burnes. It’s quite impressive. Who am I to that?

    I could get upset that I am not a grand old retired diplomat, Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Rector of the University of Dundee. Very posh!

    I’m just a genealogist with a chemistry degree sat in front of his computer all day.

    • Frederick

      Thanks for anti-German racism. You clearly do not treat people of German heritage with the respect you demand for your Queen.

      • Ishmael

        Think it’s clear seeing the mindset of what john writes he’s deeply into racialising stuff. Bloodlines, “true identity” etc.

        I thought i’d just leave him to his facist style ranting. I think a couple have been thawed out & keep each other company here. Though poking now & again is irresistible, they are real. lol

    • Ralph

      So much for eu unity from the likes of Craig, criticising a German – why do you want to be in the eu Craig when you don’t like the nationality of one of its states? But suck it up Craig, this’ll do you in: ‘ever closer union’.

  • RandomComment

    Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever

    Can you just confirm that does not include NGOs, or lobbyists of some description, that fall outside of your carefully-worded disclaimer?

  • Hatuey

    Of course, there is the theory that Brexit was orchestrate by the Offshore Banking fraternity who were fearful that the EU and the Lisbon Treaty in particular might lead to move to curtail their dark-money dealings.

    Revealed: Queen’s private estate invested millions of pounds offshore
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/05/revealed-queen-private-estate-invested-offshore-paradise-papers

    People should understand that Offshore Banking is a massive sector and that Britain is up to its eyeballs in it, accounting for over 40% of the global market. When we talk about offshore banking, we are talking about tax evasion, proceeds from crime including drugs, corruption in the third world, depriving poor people of much needed money and resources, and a variety of other sinister channels.

    If people are short on motives as to why the Queen might want to facilitate Boris and Brexit, it’s possible this is it.

    • RandomComment

      It’s a nice theory, which has some truth in it, I suspect – some people will get rich out of Brexit. OTOH, you’re going to have to get by the argument that these shadowy, greedy elites, don’t have that much say – otherwise we would be out already.

      • Hatuey

        Not really, Random. If the times we live in are unusual it’s because there’s a huge difference of opinion in the higher echelons of society over the EU question. That difference of opinion has been there since about the early 60s but the pro-EU faction had until recently been able to dominate the debate and get their way.

        It’s possible new technology gave the anti-EU mob some sort of unnatural advantage and allowed them to propagate their ideas better. Other factors were undoubtedly involved too though, the credit crunch and the recession, etc.

        Right wing extremism always rises when there’s a recession and that happens everywhere. I’ve read studies on this stuff and the correlation is so tight that you can predict with certainty where right wing extremism will break out.

        Anyway, it’s not like anyone anywhere thinks for a minute that the pro-Brexit movement was in any way a grassroots movement. It might be now to an extent but back in 2007 you were basically regarded as a crackpot if you suggested we leave the EU, except in those higher echelons that is.

        So, it’s basically a fight between rich guys. They still agree on pretty much everything else, bombing Arabs, fleecing people generally, cutting welfare, etc., but on this one issue there’s disagreement.

    • Loony

      if Brexit was orchestrated by the offshore banking community then this community would have needed to somehow seized control of the cognitive functions of 17.4 million people. Do you have any ideas as to how mind control on this scale was achieved?

      On the assumption that the offshore banking community is keen to keep their role secret then how have you been able to avoid having your thought processes controlled so that you remain free to bring this startling but valuable information to a wider audience?

      • Hatuey

        If propaganda can work on one man, it can work on 17.4 million.

        Nobody needs to seize control of anything though. All you need to do is provide a narrative framework for them to pin the fears and prejudices to.

        Convince them they are special — for that it’s best to focus on really base stuff like language, nationality, colour, history, culture, etc., random stuff that nobody could meaningfully be proud of — and then tell them they’re victims of some conspiracy by foreigners or Jews or something.

        It’s basically a science today. With modern technology like advertising on Facebook you can pump this crap right into people’s heads 24/7 and crucially you can do that when they are most relaxed, in their homes and susceptible to stuff.

        That’s why TV and radio were loved by propagandists and marketeers; when people are relaxed and their guards are down you can manipulate them quite easily. That’s the basis of hypnosis and other stuff too.

        Anyway, all very basic stuff. You just keep repeating it, sow seeds, eventually they stop questioning it and just accept it — no proof or anything required. Repetition is key.

        And that’s how you swing brexit votes and public opinion.

        My understanding is that Brexit cost about 5 or 6 million sterling. I think Brexit should be respected though, because what I’ve described above is what they’ve been doing in one way or another for years.The EU referendum was as legitimate, or illegitimate, as any other vote we have had in the last 100 years. There’s no case for re-running or ignoring it because that’s the system we have.

        In essence, what I have described above is so central to democracy that you could make a case for saying that it is democracy.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “there is the theory that Brexit was orchestrate by the Offshore Banking fraternity”

      I thought that was an established fact and the reason that they are pushing for no-deal Brexit is so that their financial shenanigans which are currently outlawed in the UK by virtue of EU financial legislation, much of which was authored by the UK financial industry, can be conducted in broad daylight from these shores. It’s no secret that Wall Street uses the City to take advantage of the regulation free environment, i.e. they can do things in London that are illegal in New York. Brexiteers even used the threat of financial gansterism to pressure the EU during the withdrawal agreement negotiations.

        • Deb O'Nair

          Yes they do, but off-shoring is all about tax avoidance and clandestine activities, e.g. funding bent politicians. London however provides global access to financial markets unburdened by pesky regulations, or at least regulations which no one takes any notice of (the light-handed touch I think they call it)

          • .giyane

            Deb O ‘Nair

            How come you know that, Craig knows that ; May knows that ; but 340 mps are unable to stand up in the HoC and state that fact?

            Democracy is dumb

            I do see it’s a massive problem if we get taxed for breathing – vat, council tax, income tax and Tory special medical insurance tax to be unrolled in arsehole’s Queen’s speech .
            The tax bills of the rich would be huge.

            Even if you chop off their heads their money is protected. Not like my mum who 3 years after her death appears to still be liable for tax of every kind.

    • Dungroanin

      It was ALWAYS about the ancient City within an ancient city within the UK and they only needed to gain cognitive function of a million or two as confirmed by Dominic Cummings himself, Loony.

  • Sharp Ears

    What are the odds on Lord Doherty making the right decision in the Scottish court?

    Scottish judge to consider proroguing challenge overnight
    1 hour ago
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-49509712

    ‘A Scottish judge has retired to consider a legal attempt to block the suspension of the UK Parliament.
    Lord Doherty heard arguments from representatives of a cross-party group seeking an interim interdict that would halt the move by the government.
    Arguing for the UK government, Roddy Dunlop QC said the issue “was not a matter for the courts”.
    The judge will return to give his decision at 10:00 on Friday.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Doherty,_Lord_Doherty

  • Ishmael

    So why did the revolution, long assumed & that seemed to be unfolding as predicted not happen?

    Marx suggests in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon a system over ripe. The ruling class has lost the legitimacy to govern, but the working class had yet to assert it’s “rightful place”, so to speak (not that Marx was a statist, but that was his analysis of the current organisational situations direction).

    And after all why not? It’s certainly no less legitimate than those who just milk off the top of what’s produced.

  • ReM

    While I agree that Boris Johnson is the royals’ dream come true, I don’t agree with your opinion that “Johnson’s flagship policy was always No Deal Brexit”. Boris Johnson’s prime objective – which, I believe, the monarch is in total agreement with – is to get a better Brexit deal out of the EU. Neither staying in the EU nor leaving without a deal are outcomes that the Queen would consider favourable to the monarchy: the former would weaken the monarch’s powers, the second would expose the plebs to hardships and render them liable to unrest. Leaving with a deal, on the other hand, would keep both the monarch and her subbjects happy.

    Let’s not muddy the waters.

    • giyane

      ReM

      “Boris Johnson is the royals’ dream come true,”

      ” FFS it’s not the monarch’s fault that criminals send their sons and maybe daughters to Eton. She has to work with the horse bedding available, hoping and praying the stable will get mucked out sometime of turds like Boris Johnson. Ruth Davidson gazed questioningly into the PM’s eyes and mistook the urine for sincerity.

      it may no longer be PC for the Royal Family to occupy Scotland, but please give the darling old soul credit for having a minute amount of intelligence.

  • Highlander

    The usurper, queen and relic, will always follow the city of London’s instructions.
    They had her and her predecessors installed, they can have them removed.
    It was a forgone conclusion that the bankers instructions would be followed to the letter.

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