Who’s Running the Show?

January 24, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | POLITICS, Ulalume | 1 Comment |

[In the case of Miller v The Prime Minister [2019] UKSC 41, the UK Supreme Court (created in 2009 despite recognition of the real risk of “judges arrogating to themselves greater power than they have at the moment”)  heard an Appeal by Ms Gina Miller (a Guyanese-British business owner and activist who was rather more worried about Brexit than the legalities of executive action) challenging advice (given by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Her Majesty the Queen) to prorogue (shut down) the unruly and hopelessly conflicted UK Parliament that had: (a) defied the majority of citizens voting for Brexit; (b) sabotaged all efforts to implement Brexit; (c) obstructed and humiliated two Prime Ministers and (d) spoliated any move to resolve the impasse it wrought via an election.  In allowing Ms Miller’s appeal and overturning the High Court of England and Wales (comprising the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls and the president of the Queen’s Bench), the Supreme Court blithely waved away Article 9 of the Bill of Rights (1689) that prerogative matters such as prorogation are not ‘justiciable’.  In our little doggerel below, we take no position on Brexit – heaven forfend – but rather consider the apparent trend to avoid the default rule of the majority as “mere populism,” which we think is arrogant fascism posing as snobbery.]

A Judge can’t pass a statute,

A King can’t hear a Trial,

The Reps can’t send an army

To block the Senate aisle;

They separate these powers

To stymie tyranny;

And maintain that cleavage

Because freedom isn’t free.

But in Merrie England,

They fiddled with the rules;

Ripped the power from the Queen

To close the House of Fools.

Mrs Miller raised a quibble,

The High Court told her “No”;

In a more enlightened age

There’d be nowhere else to go,

But, because the House was shut,

For reasons no-one knew:

It was declared illegal

In the Court of the Kangaroo.

And so the Constitution,

Settled for millennia,

Was trashed and subjugated to

Law’s schizophrenia;

Until that is, the Parliament,

Ashamed and in disgrace,

Did finally face the People;

Who put it in its place.

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    George M

    February 3, 2020

    Oh, Peter and Lesley! Where doth one begin! Let's start with the very first line. The decision was in a joint appeal together with Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland.
    Who is that Cherry they speak of, you would well know. Cherry was merely one of 78 Scottish SNP parliamentarians that brought the challenge. One supposes their interests in doing so were somewhat different to those of Miller concerned as they were with the constitutional validity of prorogation, interfering in a particularly peculiar way with parliamentary function and sovereignty. nextly, your references to the hyperbolic assertions in a),b),c) and d) are stuff and nonsense or bollocks as BJ would say. And they stand in marked contrast to the effect of your short treatise that the UK Supreme Court cannot usurp parliament - whereas in these little bollockings you criticise parliament when it does its job . None of the events by which parliament acted can be characterised as sabotage or obstruction etc. They were decisions or motions or acts made on the floor of parliament.
    One hopes you are not asserting the primacy of the executive over parliament! Particularly when the executive fails to get its way.

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