Like Charles I Tories Think They Are Above The Law
The Tory Government's plan to unilaterally rewrite the EU withdrawal treaty they signed created a backlash that could speed up the end of the UK (10 minute read)
The Tories are really lucky Coronavirus arrived when it did. They can oscillate between using Brexit to distract the public from their disastrous handling of the Coronavirus pandemic and using their handling of Coronavirus to distract the public from their disastrous handling of the pandemic.
All this has increased support for Scottish Independence.
The top level of the Westminster government think an 80 seat majority lets them do anything they want despite rumblings from the few Tory MPs who have some specific and limited memory of honesty and integrity in some specific and limited areas. They think, probably with good justification, that enough Tory MPs will vote for anything they think will advance their career, can be Bribed, Blackmailed or Coerced into supporting the government, or simply believe anything the leadership say.
They know they have bought the Scottish accounting unit body and soul, even though they do not need them.
Specific and limited Lawbreaking
Even so it is disconcerting to hear a minister stand up in the commons and say they intend to break International law “in a specific and limited way” – a phrase that deserves to stand alongside “economical with the truth” in the annals of political euphemisms – by unilaterally rewriting a treaty they negotiated, voted for and used to win an election.
This, as many have pointed out, is like saying one can be pregnant or a murderer “in a specific and limited way” and would not help the normal punter facing a policeman or a tax investigation. It also damages the rule of law.
The Scottish and Welsh lapdogs in the party of law and order support breaking international law.
Aping occultist, drug addict and alleged spy Aleister Crowley the Tories think “Do what you will” is the whole of the law. If you take that approach you must be ready and willing to bear the consequences.
This staggering example of English exceptionalism has created a backlash, even before the proposals reach the House of Commons, with a declaration that any changes that damage the Good Friday Agreement will ensure the UK will get a trade deal with the USA – even if Trump remains president and pushes for it.
Perhaps the most serious consequence is the final murder of England’s reputation for honesty. The idea that an Englishman’s word is his bond died years ago. This is putting the mummified body face down in a metal coffin, welding it shut and pouring reinforced concrete into the grave.
Anyone doing business with the English government, especially a Tory one, must now guess how likely they are to break their word. Any one doing business with a Tory or a company run by a Tory must make the same bet. Even Tory party donors must wonder if they will get what their de facto bribes have paid for. Pensioners must wake every morning wondering if the Tories will use Henry VII powers to abolish the state pension with immediate effect and everyone must wonder whether the government will abolish future elections. Public trust in government is lower than ever before, and this will drive trust even lower.
A Specific and Limited Lawbreaking
There are reports that the government’s legal team cannot agree whether rewriting the withdrawal treaty is illegal, despite the government’s recent statement. It seems the situation is that the UK can legislate what it likes domestically with no restraint from international law or negotiated treaties. In common terms this is like saying you can do anything you like inside your house, even if it is criminal. This argument would probably not have flown in Nuremberg.
The head of the government legal service resigned immediately. The government’s remaining lawyers are responding in a specific and limited way by finding reasons not to resign.
The UK government has proclaimed its intention to break International Law. Even if their intended actions are not illegal the intention to break the law and the arrogance with which it was declared will poison everything the UK touches at least until the Tories lose power. Government lawyers who do not resign are effectively “bent” lawyers.
Henceforth many will regard the law not just as an ass but as an optional ass. A bonus for the Tories is that they can continue doing what they have done for years, ignoring legal rulings against them knowing that none of their supporters care. The rest of us can ignore speeding limits and social distancing as long as it is in a specific and limited way.
Specific and Limited Independence
Should they decide to do so, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can argue that unilateral declaration of independence would be valid if it broke International Law in a specific and limited way. They have now to worry which laws a vindictive English government would break in a specific and limited way if an independence referendum delivered a majority for independence.
The Tories may have done this to head off the extreme Brexit fringe led by Nigel Farage who threatened to resurrect the Brexit party and “kill” the Tories if the government “caved in” to EU demands”. The conclusion from this is that Nigel Farage is controlling the elected government of the UK. Another reason may have been to try and put pressure on the EU to cave into English demands that the EU abandon many of its red lines.
In Scotland this fiasco can only help drive support for independence upward, though whether this would grow faster then it would have done had the Tories not proposed breaking the law will never be known. It seems highly likely that Scotland has reached a tipping point where even the rumoured resignation of Boris Johnson and the even less likely election of a Labour government in Westminster would not reverse the growing drive for independence.
Independence will mean that Scotland will not have a specific and limited role in a country run by a government that shows all the signs of being corrupt – in a specific and limited way of course. Anything will be possible. Becoming independent may be the easy bit, but what follows will be worth it.