On a rainy day in late September, a lady wearing a spider brooch lifted the spell of lies and obscurities that was cast over this country and showed us the ground underneath our feet.

First published in September 2019.

I am talking, of course, about the Supreme Court judgement, delivered by the wonderfully intelligent, calm and reasonable Lady Hale, its President, and passed unanimously, that the prorogation of parliament was unlawful. And, just like lifting a spell, it judged that the curse of prorogation was ‘null and void’. You have to love the mediaeval language of British law.

“The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”
— Supreme Court.

I must admit I had been afraid that the Supreme Court would do what the government has done, what the Conservative Party is doing and what the Labour Party also seems to be doing: ignore democracy, prevent citizens from exercising their rights, and ‘fudge’ their way towards Brexit, an act of political and legal vandalism that is no longer supported by a majority. Far from it.

I thought they would play their part, as so many others have done in the UK, in dragging us kicking and screaming, against our will, out of the EU. But I was wrong.

This could be a turning point.

A glimpse of daylight has fallen into the dark, dank, dingy, inward-looking British rooms, where we now struggle to exist with curtains drawn, stifled, lacking the oxygen of reality, and subject to constant gaslighting until our heads spin and we no longer know if it is night or day.

It is a strong, bright glimpse of daylight. But it is just a glimpse.

Because the gaslighting in the darkened British room has been going on for a long time. The Supreme Court is the ultimate deciding institution on our laws. But there are still many who want to subvert it.

The gaslighting is still going on. Murmurs and whispers of using more tricks and perhaps even force persists.

We could still be tricked into crashing out. What is now clearly a coup attempt (the protesters shouting ‘stop the coup’ on the day the illegal prorogation was announced were precisely right) could continue or even escalate. It’s hard to imagine that the current practitioners of the dark arts will go without a fight. A fight against parliament and therefore against all of us.

Lady Hale is both the president of the most powerful court in the UK (and as such the judgement is, of course, not hers, it is the unanimous judgement of the entire court, an institution of the democratic state) and right now a symbol of hope.

Maybe, through her words, this country can start the long, slow transformation process into a true democracy that it so clearly needs.

Traditionally, spiders are invested with both poisonous and healing powers. The mesmerising spider on Lady Hale’s shoulder looked to me like a symbol of power and wisdom.

The light has fallen in. Briefly.

We now need to draw the curtains and open the window.🔷

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com on 24 September 2019. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Gif of Lady Hale at the Supreme Court.)