The words of our failure.
First published in August 2019.
• Boris Johnson asks Queen to suspend Parliament, BBC News
• PM to suspend parliament - cutting time to block no deal Sky News
• Johnson accused of ‘constitutional outrage’ - PM asks Queen to suspend parliament, The Times
“Prime Minister to Stop Parliament Sitting.”
“Prime Minister to Prorogue Parliament.”
“Prime Minister to Stop Parliament Voting on No Deal Brexit.”
These headlines, today, are trivialising what our Prime Minister intends to do.
Getting rid of Parliament in order to rule without the elected representatives of the people – that has a name. It is a coup.
“An illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.”
(Powell, Jonathan M.; Thyne, Clayton L. - 1 March 2011. “Global instances of coups from 1950 to 2010 A new dataset”. Journal of Peace Research. 48 (2): 249–259.)
One of the many weapons of the aggressive Right-Wing is through words. We have been using their toxic-aggressive words for some time now. We have allowed them to creep into our minds and undermine our thoughts.
Remoaner, Brexite(e)r... Just the most obvious ones.
Many accepted these dangerous weaponised words. Many used them themselves. Irony does not work against people who are, indeed, deadly serious.
But now, we are at a point where words must no longer fail us.
What this government is attempting is a coup.
Taking and presumably then holding power by undemocratic means. By closing down parliament where the elected representatives of the people make decisions for us. We voted for them, and we delegated these decisions to members of parliament, not to the government.
The government is not a direct expression of ‘the will of the people’. ‘The will of the people’ is the mantra of dictators who claim that they are somehow channelling that will. It is an excuse to by-pass elections where we, the people, can actually express that will.
Coups are by their very nature illegal. They break the laws that make democracy work. Even the intention of ruling by a coup is an illegal act and should be prosecuted.
The Right-Wing has systematically eroded the institutions of the state. That is how they work. That is how they can now so easily plan to close down parliament.
Legalistic ‘arguments’ work in favour of the coup makers. Coups are always accompanied and facilitated by democratic rules bent out of shape until they snap and die.
I have lived through several coups in other countries. I know from experience that it is not easy to stop a coup when it has come to this point. The British people have missed many opportunities to save their democracy. This may be the last one.
We, the people, no longer have a say in this. We have not for a long time. I’m not sure if we can still stop the coup, although I hope that many of us will try. (We have tried for a long time, but have been ignored as if we didn’t exist. That was part of the undemocratic journey towards the coup). Perhaps MPs will try to stop the coup, but I am not too hopeful there. The current MPs have enabled the journey towards the coup for the last three years through their votes, including triggering Article 50 without preparation. Only 50 MPs voted against it. The others are all directly responsible for what is happening now. And even now, I would actually be surprised if they stood up for themselves (and us).
I expect MPs will ultimately enable the government to execute its coup.
We, the people, have abandoned our own words to the Right-Wing autocrats. That is our own contribution to the coup. We accepted, and many of us voted for MPs who enabled the erosion and perhaps the end of British democracy. That is also our responsibility. Because, right now, we still are the people, the sovereign of this country.
But we have already given most of our power away.
There is not much time left. There is not much we can still do. But at least... Let’s call a coup a coup.🔷
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