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Tuesday 3 September 2019

October 14? OH NO IT ISN’T

The appearance outside 10 Downing Street yesterday afternoon by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - complete with official lectern, and with the media previously softened up by the Squirrel! - style diversion of a rescue puppy - only served to heighten expectation of an imminent General Election. Especially because Bozo The Clown decided to talk about one, even though he had no need to do so.
A total Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
After waffling to little purpose, and clearly distracted by chants of “Stop the coup” from protesters outside the Downing Street gates, Bozo told “In the meantime, let’s let our negotiators get on with their work without that sword of Damocles over their necks, and without an election … without an election. I don’t want an election. You don’t want an election”. But he said “without an election” twice. And the press got the message.
The trouble is, they got a slightly wrong message. And the Mail got it loud and clear. “PM warns rebels that if they ‘chop his legs off’ by blocking No Deal today, he’ll call snap poll in just 6 weeks … BORIS NAMES ELECTION DATE … Monday 14th October”.
At least the Murdoch Times kept the 14th October claim out of its headline, but the Guardian did not. “Johnson’s ultimatum: back me or face a snap Brexit election … PM threatens to go to polls on 14 October if Tory rebels support bill seeking to block no deal … Televised address outside No 10 comes ahead of today’s clash in the Commons”.
The increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph agreed on the date. “‘I don’t want an election, you don’t want an election’ … but it’s planned for October 14” declared their headline. The Murdoch Sun was on the same page. “Brexit Showdown … PM warns rebels: don’t force UK into an election … BORIS SNAPS … Possible poll date October 14”. Note to Sun subs: you do not capitalise after a colon. Must try harder.
And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, it is not in Bozo’s gift to call a General Election, whatever date he might have in mind. Once again, David Allen Green has the right story: “Please BBC, spend a moment to think critically about what you have been told in those few minutes between being briefed by Number 10 and broadcasting … Please … Else you are just an extension of the Number 10 press office, at one very small remove”. Hello Laura Kuenssberg and the rest of the Beeb’s Westminster team.
Why so? Green spelt it out. “Boris Johnson Cannot Call A General Election … Not His Decision … Requires At Least One Commons Vote … Needs MPs’ Approval … This Is Basic Constitutional Literacy … Political Pundits Especially At The BBC Please Note … Thank You”. And then we come to Two, which is yet more elementary.
October 14 is a Monday. Have a think about that. Monday. On what day of the week do elections take place? Local elections, European Elections, and indeed General Elections? The answer is that they do not take place on a Monday. A General Election could take place on a Monday, but the recent custom across the UK is that elections - and referenda, as in 1975, 2011, 2014 (Scotland only) and 2016 - take place on a THURSDAY.

And that, folks, is why our free and fearless press, and indeed our broadcasters, have all got it wrong. Bozo can’t call a General Election, and it won’t be on October 14.
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Anonymous said...

It's only tradition that dictates a Thursday - plus, the 17th coincides with the EU council meeting. It has also been suggested elsewhere that the 14th coincides with the first day of the Jewish festival of Sukkot - and writing is forbidden at that time.

Anonymous said...

To 11:51.

Given recent political developments your second sentence may well be considered antisemitic.

Doubtless Margaret Hodge and John Mann could offer some advice thereon.

It's probably Jeremy Corbyn's fault. And if it isn't, it will be sooner or later.

LiamKav said...

I guess that theoretically Jewish people who wanted to honour Sukkot could use a postal vote. This is also an issue that has affected other coutries, such as Canada, and apparently the response from the Othodox Jewish Leaders was not unanimous on whether or not it should be allowed.


Anonymous said...

In a secular state it shouldn't matter one jot about religious rituals, be they Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Moonie, Scientology, Mormon, Cargo Cult or any other crackpot superstition.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing more embarrassing in politics than Bozo The Clown at PMQs.

Any day now the moron will yell, "Yarooh you beasts!"

Jonathan said...

Well after tonight's humiliation, the Johnson will soon become a dead duck of a PM.
With so many Tory MPs walking through the Oppostion lobbies, it was curtains for the Am Dram PM and his chief polecat.
As its likely a Bill will get through the Commons tomorrow preventing a No Deal and the FTPA requiring a 2/3 majority of the Commons to trigger a General Election and Labour saying unless the Bill forcing Boris cap in hand to Brussels for another extension receives Royal Assent, Boris can whistle for his General Election.
Either way, its curtains for Bozza the PM and the Tory Party.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I live in hope... a bit of me wanted them to drive this country to the point of needing an IMF bailout - and then the favourite retort of Tories for the last forty years would finally have been nullified. Expect the easily-led to be swayed by Javid's bribery today though.

LiamKav said...

@one of the many Anons

"In a secular state it shouldn't matter one jot about religious rituals..."

I do think there's a difference between "actively changing the law to accommodate religion" and "not being an antagonistic dick". There's no reason why they couldn't just have an election a couple of days earlier or later.

Anonymous said...

@ One of the many LiamKavs.

This is a secular nation.

Organised religion is a minority in it, and a globally discredited and morally corrupt activity. Wherever it has raised its head it has caused wars and extreme poverty, which is why it is gradually dying out. The sooner it evolves out the better for human decency and social peace.

Absurd religious dogma and medieval ritual has no place in deciding the date of a democratic election.

LiamKav said...

Mate, I'm not saying that I don't agree with you, but you miss my point... It hurts no-one to do the election on a slightly different day and will make some people happier. The "intolerant atheist" is a person no-one wants to invite to a dinner party.

Anonymous said...

@ 19:32.

The "intolerant religionist" is a person nobody wants in a democratic election, but whom genuine democracy tolerates. Except when intolerant religionists try to dictate election dates or policies. Ask the folk of Protestant Northern Ireland. Or, for that matter, the folk of Eire still recovering from Vatican diktat and "tolerance" of paedophilia. Or anywhere in the world religion raises its ugly superstitious head.

History shows organised religion had its chance and failed humanity in the most corrupt, lamentable and even lethal manner. That more than justifies its isolation from strategic policies decisions. Election dates are one such strategic decision.

Religion simply cannot be trusted.

LiamKav said...

Yeah, you don't get rid of religion by telling people that they're corrupt, lamentable idiots for believing it. It's been repeatedly shown that "punishing" religious groups (banning the burqua etc) just increases resentment.

Anonymous said...

It's not a question of "punishing" religious groups - they do that to each other at depressingly murderous regular intervals - it's a matter of placing them in a commonsense perspective in a consensual secular democracy.

In Britain's case there is no need to look further than empty crumbling churches for evidence of religious obsolescence. Finally, people have had enough of ritualised lies. Evolution will do the rest.

The sooner all hypocritical myths are consigned to the dustbin of history the better for rational human existence. It can't happen too soon.