After Geoffrey Cox was sacked as Attorney General in a cabinet reshuffle nominally supervised by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, but probably masterminded mainly by chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings, the office was handed to Suella Braverman. It did not take long for the Independent to discover that her past thoughts spell real and present danger to the judiciary.
As their article notes, “In a blogpost on 27 January, the keen Brexiteer said that parliament must seize back control not only from the European Union but also the courts”, before adding “As attorney [general], Ms Braverman will not have direct control over the legal system, though she will oversee the Crown Prosecution Service”.
There is more. “Writing for the ConservativeHome website last month, Ms Braverman identified the ruling [on prorogation of Parliament] as one of a series of examples - alongside the judgement on the triggering of Brexit talks under Article 50 - of ‘chronic and steady encroachment by the judges’ into political territory [but] In both cases, judges overruled the executive in a way which allowed MPs greater scrutiny of ministerial plans for Brexit”. In other words, their judgments benefited the democratic process.
That was not how she saw it. “But Ms Braverman framed them as an infringement of the sovereignty of the Commons”. Moreover, she had asserted “Restoring sovereignty to Parliament after Brexit is one of the greatest prizes that awaits us … But not just from the EU … As we start this new chapter of our democratic story, our Parliament must retrieve power ceded to another place - the courts”. This assumes power was ceded.
What in fact happened was that the courts - culminating in the Supreme Court - were asked to rule on points of law. That is what they are there for. No ceding of power is involved. And what is yet more interesting - and in turn, disturbing, given her new role - is that many of those commenting on ConHome were unimpressed by her reasoning.
Yes, commenters on ConHome, a site whose regular readership is strongly Eurosceptic and more often in sympathy with Bozo The Clown and his leadership. Look beneath the article, titled “People we elect must take back control from people we don’t. Who include the judges” (the idea that “We” should “Control” the judiciary is seriously out of order).
“From the Guildford Four, via the Birmingham Six through Hillsborough the state has shown that it needs to be held to account” … “This article is nothing more than a sour response to a recent judgement with which the author didn’t agree: we lost, blame the referee” … “We have the separation of powers and checks and balances restraining the executive for a reason”. Quite. And there is more. Quite a lot more.
“Is this article meant to be a joke? Braverman isn't this dense, surely … Braverman has spent a good part of her career trying to trash Parliamentary supremacy. She must know this. She's not an idiot, so I can only assume that she thinks we are … What a waste of an article” … “The Tories may believe that this will give them more control in power, but it will do the same for any future opposition government, too … This article is facile, dangerous and wrong”. Ms Braverman will not get a more sympathetic audience than ConHome.
Which tells you all you need to know about her appointment. I’ll just leave that one there.
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