The chance of Britain going through with departure from the EU on the scheduled date of March 29 has been diminishing for some time - ever since, in fact, Theresa May pulled the ultimate fast one and abandoned the vote on her deal, delaying it until later this month. But the anti-EU part of our free and fearless press, which means most of it, still believed.
That dream was dashed yesterday when Commons speaker John Bercow allowed the so-called Grieve Amendment to the rules for the debate on that “meaningful vote” on the PM’s deal. This stops Ms May kicking the can down the road. It also scuppers the idea of a no-deal Brexit. So the Europhobic press and its hangers-on have gone ballistic.
And while the Telegraph pitches a factual sub-heading - “Another damaging defeat for May as Bercow hands power over Brexit process to the Commons” - the rest of the Brexiteer press has not been so sanguine, with the Murdoch Sun howling “Out of Order! Order! SPEAKER OF THE DEVIL … Fury at Bercow bid to scupper Brexit”.
The Mail goes one better, or perhaps that should be one worse: “This egotistical preening popinjay has shamelessly put his anti-Brexit bias before the national interest - and is a disgrace to his office … OUT OF ORDER! Bercow sparks uproar by tearing up Commons rulebook … Flagrant prejudice inflicts second defeat on May in 24 hours”.
Reasserting Parliamentary sovereignty was suddenly A Very Bad Thing Indeed, and the meltdown of the Pundit Establishment was a joy to behold. “This could never have happened under ANY other Commons Speaker. Bercow’s willingness to throw away the independence of the Speaker in his desperate bid to stay in the chair is an embarrassment” bleated Julia Hartley Dooda. And there was more. Much more.
The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, a hypocrite of the lowest order who will, whisper it quietly, continue to enjoy the benefits of EU citizenship as he holds an Irish passport, whined “Today removes any doubt that Bercow is trying to rig the parliamentary game to thwart Brexit and the referendum result”. Sob! Sniff! Snot fair!
Floor-crossing bore Dan Hodges moaned “Bercow has basically just said he believes he is the British constitution”. To no surprise at all, Tom Harwood, replacement teaboy to Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, then echoed Hodges with “I am the Constitution”.
Another hypocrite whinging about Bercow was Mark Wallace: “It's hard to think of something more short-termist than MPs cheering on a Speaker wrecking the impartiality of the office just because he does it for something they agree with”. As opposed to someone at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance trying to screw over most of the electorate, eh Mark?
And the biscuit was well and truly taken by Master Harry Cole snivelling “Everytime people like Benn say parliament is ‘taking back control’ it’s a reminder of how little they understand why they lost. It was a bloody nose for Brussels, and their defenders in Westminster. Benn ‘taking back control’ means taking it from voters again to hand back to EU”. Why “they” lost is more down to Tory austerity, years of falsehood and misinformation from charlatans like Cole, and systematic lawbreaking in the referendum campaign.
Also, this explosion of confected outrage is highly selective, as David Allen Green has pointed out, giving eleven examples of what he terms the “constitutional outrages” that the same press and punditry “have so far not cared about”. You can see the thread HERE. The list includes, for instance, that same press and punditry keeping schtum during all those attacks on our independent judiciary - or, in some cases, joining in with them.
What happened yesterday was that Parliamentary sovereignty was reasserted. But those who claimed that they supported this turned out only to support it if it delivered what their prejudices. agendas and paymasters demanded. That’s not good enough.
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