Yesterday evening, the House of Lords, after a lengthy and even heated debate, voted by a majority of over 100 for an amendment to the Bill for triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which would guarantee the right of EU citizens already in the UK to remain here after our departure from the EU, should they wish. This decision by a chamber which does not face regular election set off lots more folks, who also do not face regular election.
To no surprise at all, that was the beings who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet. The shock troops of the Fourth Estate were aghast, with the Mail howling of “An insidious plot to thwart democracy … an act of betrayal and dishonesty … the Lords amendment will … betray the 1.2million Britons on the continent … this was a naked bid to sabotage Brexit”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point.
But it was the Murdoch Sun that really went off the end of the pier in no style at all. “THE Lords’ defeat of the Government over Article 50 is contemptible, short-sighted grandstanding proving beyond doubt the unelected chamber must be swept away … The Brexit Bill, simply enacting the majority’s will at the referendum, was passed overwhelmingly and without amendment by our elected MPs” froths the editorial.
And there is more. “Peers, keen to show off how much they care about EU citizens - though oddly not about British expats - defeated it”. Two things here. One, it was an amendment to the Article 50 Bill, so did not “defeat” it. And the UK Government cannot do anything about British migrants (expats ho ho ho) in other EU member states, and so it cannot be concluded that Peers do or do not care about them. But minor point, eh?
But do go on. “The Sun believes they should, and will, be allowed to stay … But Brussels seems to want to barter over all these lives and futures”. You don’t know what “Brussels” wants - that is just made up. But we know who’s behind it - the amendment “seeks to hobble the PM in this crucial first negotiation, giving Angela Merkel the whip hand”. It’s 2017, and here’s the Sun still fighting sodding World War 2.
Fortunately, there is one thing we can agree on: “our democracy must now rid itself of unelected, mediocre, meddling, virtue-signalling cronies who block the will of the people and the politicians we vote for”. So can we now see the unelected, mediocre, meddling hacks and pundits at the Sun butt out of the democratic process? No, thought not.
In any case, as the Independent has noted, the Sun’s ranting may have been seriously premature: “Around 30 Conservative MPs are ready to vote to give 3m EU nationals the right to stay in Britain after Brexit, it was claimed today - enough to defeat Theresa May … A peer who helped inflict a humiliating defeat on the Prime Minister in the House of Lords last night predicted a huge revolt when the controversy returns to the Commons”.
Thirty rebels would be enough to defeat the Government, should Labour, the Lib Dems and SNP all vote as one. So how will the Murdoch goons frame that one? Should the elected chamber then be “swept away” as well? And if the Sun is so keen on bashing the unelected, and foreigners, how do they explain the SOB who owns the whole show?
The Sun - bullying, hypocrisy, hatred and bigotry rolled into one. No change there, then.