Richard Lutz watches democracy go down the pan.
I turn to page 21 of my morning paper to get the latest on Boris Johnson suspending the House of Commons and consequentially banning democracy.
“Imagine a period of instability with someone in charge that not everybody actively supports,” an article warns, “and uncertainty in terms of the relationship with the Continent.” It then adds: “It is the sort of circumstances in which anyone would bury their money.”
Well, yes, this could be about Johnson’s despotic decision to stop the House sitting. But it’s actually a comment from an historian about a hoard of discovered silver coins that was buried just after the Norman Conquest in 1066.
So, things haven’t changed much in 940 years then, have they? G’wan, take that shovel, dig a deep hole and chuck in your credit cards, your Lottery tickets, your gilt edge stock holdings and the keys to your Audi.
It’s all over, just as some Anglo Saxon lord told his family back in 1080-ish when William the Conquerer (French, for god’s sake….) ravaged this green and pleasant land, the Welsh were ravaging this green and pleasant land and when the remnants of a defeated King Harold army were probably doing ditto.
Boris, in a phrase, is just following history, using brutish but clever tactics to railroad his way through a hard fought struggle to ensure Parliament is the voice of the voter, the voice of a nation.
Of course, David Cameron monumentally fucked this up by creating a parallel voice with the referendum. This was okay when the referendum reflected the House, as in the Scottish independence vote or the proportional representation vote (which no one really understood).
But Cameron’s Etonian hubris came unstuck when Britain voted to leave the EU. Ouch, he blew it and then disappeared with a multi- million pound publishing contract under his arm.
Mrs May came and went and in came blustering Boris. Those who think his bumbling clownish behaviour reflects a bumbling and clownish inner self are sadly wrong. He is a clever but misguided ideologue. He didn’t come up with this suspension of the House on Tuesday night after a sherry or two too much.
My suspicion is he and cohort Jacob Rees Mogg and a constitutional legal expert or two sat down a year ago and thought this ruse through in great detail in the back room of a private club somewhere just off The Mall. On the quiet, behind closed doors, clever as a bunch of tricky foxes waiting for the chickens to forget to shut the henhouse door.
He and his shifty cabal were waiting for the inevitable. They waited and waited for the stars to align: The beginning of the party conferences, when the House is tradionally suspended for a short period of time, the announcement of a Queen’s Speech on policy and, crucially, a time when we’re all uncertain and burying the silver coins in the back garden.
Wake up Britain, you have nothing to lose. Johnson’s shameful arrogance is rooted in decades of delusional rights of privilege and he is about to undemocratically rule like a tinpot dictator or the criminal Putin.