The climate here in the UK may not provide us with continuous wall-to-wall sunshine, but that does not stop some in and around the Pundit Establishment giving the impression that they have been going out in the midday sun rather more often than is good for them. One such is Andrew Lilico, who claims to be an “economist”. He also claims to know what he is talking about on constitutional matters. But, it seems, he does not.
Andrew Lilico ...
... and his new residence
Last night, what has become known as the Cooper-Letwin bill completed its passage through both Houses of Parliament and very soon afterwards gained the Royal Assent. Faisal Islam of Sky News explained its significance: “Royal Assent just granted, witnessed by some Tory rebels - the Cooper Letwin Bill is now statute - an Act of Parliament - the law of the land to oblige PM to seek an extension for Article 50 process”.
This has effectively cut off the No Deal option; it is now Theresa May’s deal (unlikely), some future deal (uncertain), putting it back to the electorate (possible), or revocation of Article 50 (increasingly likely). As an ardent No Deal fan (I did put “economist” in quote marks), Lilico had to find someone to blame for this act of personal effrontery.
And his conclusion was that It Was Brenda Wot Done It. “It was naive of the monarchy to imagine that not intervening was the uncontroversial option here. I'm afraid it simply demonstrates to supporters of constitutional monarchy that we do not have one any more. When we finally win, the monarchy will have to be abolished, alas”. Ri-i-i-ight. Do go on.
“Our constitution needs some equivalent of the constitutional monarchy that *would* intervene in such situations to protect democracy & constitutional procedure against rapacious politicians. If our current monarchy cannot perform the task we will require something new”. Opinion masquerading as facts. But he was just getting going.
“The Monarch was entitled to back the Cooper-Letwin Bill, of course. But in that case she owed us a public statement of her right to intervene & a reasoned explanation of why she backed Cooper-Letwin. Simple passive ritual monarchy was totally inadequate to the situation”. They sup some strong stuff chez Lilico. On he went.
“If the Monarchy cannot even intervene, one way or another, in a matter such as the Cooper-Letwin Bill, it is absurd to believe it cld stand up against an elected Communist or Fascist Parliament. Our monarchy has demonstrated itself no longer fit for purpose, alas”. What if there’s Fascism? What if there’s Commies? What if he’s got a point-ed stick?
“There was no uncontroversial option. It was naive to imagine there was. If she was to act as a constitutional monarch she had to intervene - either in favour of or against the Bill (either [would] do) … When I argued for decades that constitutional monarchy is the ideal system, I meant it. I wasn't kidding. But it's turned out we don't have a constitutional monarchy, alas. Ritual monarchy is not a good system. So we should replace it”.
Wibble. Hatstand. Sniff! Blub! The rotten monarch didn’t do what I wanted! But the monarchy does not become involved in politics, for the good reason that it had life changing consequences for the monarch last time that happened.
Andrew Lilico is a clown. Sadly, he is not alone. For him, reality is a state of mind.
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