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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Mon Sep 7, 2009, 12:57 AM
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He can do much more than bellow "Order!"

Here he is demolishing a Tory who challenged him on a procedural point a couple of days ago:


Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984


Bercow: 'I have no intention of taking lectures on doing right by Parliament from people who have been conspicuous in denial of, and sometimes contempt for it...and I will not be pushed around by agents of the executive branch'

Full version:

I have no intention of taking lectures on doing right by Parliament from people who have been conspicuous in denial of, and sometimes contempt, for it. I will stand up for the rights of the House of Commons, and I will not be pushed around by agents of the executive branch. They can be as rude as they like, they can be as intimidating as they like, they can spread as much misinformation as they like, it won't make the slightest bit of difference to my continuing and absolute determination to serve the House of Commons. And unlike some people in important positions, who of course are elected constituency members but have not been elected to their offices here, I have been elected, re-elected, re-elected and re-elected as Speaker to do the right thing by the House of Commons. That's what I have done, that's what I am doing, and that's what I will go on doing. That is so crystal-clear that I feel sure it will satisfy the honorable gentleman.

Brexit: How could today's vote result have been avoided?

I posted this elsewhere on DU earlier, but here's an important take from a Welsh politician on Twitter (and if May had had the wisdom to take this tack over two years ago, things could have gone quite differently, even for an ardent Remainer like me). An early draft of May's major pre-vote speech from a day ago claimed that previous UK referendum results had been accepted, whereas her and her party's votes in Parliament had doggedly opposed them, to the extent that Scottish devolution was originally rejected on a technicality until a second referendum, and opposition to Welsh devolution was actually a plank in a Conservative election manifesto.

Unexpectedly, the 1997 referendum on Welsh devolution is back in the news.

Setting aside Theresa May's misremembering/rank hypocrisy [delete according to taste] concerning her own and her own party's position, the lesson of Wales 1997 is actually about 'loser's consent' 1/

Welsh devolutionists (led by Ron Davies) fully realised that there was a real legitimacy question resulting from the very narrow referendum result. They worried about it, thought about and got people like myself to brief them about it in pretty lurid terms 2/

And to the extent that these things are possible, they deliberately set about trying to generate 'loser's consent' for the result.

* By involving opponents of devolution in discussions about the internal processes that would be adopted in the new National Assembly 3/
* By being unusually cross-party in their approach during the parliamentary passage of what became the 1998 Government of Wales Act (kudos here to the Wales Office team of Ron Davies, @PeterHain and Win Griffiths)

In other words, they realised that the referendum result was only a fragile mandate on which to build a new constitutional dispensation for Wales. That mandate had to be shored up. Undergirded. Supported.

And the only way to do that was to be cross-party and to do what they could to reach out to and address the concerns of their opponents.

It helped, of course, that this approach 'went with the grain' of that particular ministerial team. There were also willing interlocutors

But the fundamental point was that they realised that the narrowness of the referendum result meant that they simply had to make every effort to build consent among those who had been opposed as well as those who just hadn't bothered to participate in the vote.

Whole Twitter thread here: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1084721238809997313.html

Instead, any attempts (e.g. by the Scottish Government) at offering constructive input into the negotiation process were rejected, and Remainers were labeled "Bremoaners" and traitors or worse.

So here we are. Is it finally time to start talking, or just abandon the whole project as the predictable disaster it obviously is?

Bercow taking no prisoners in latest Brexit debate


Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984


Bercow: 'I have no intention of taking lectures on doing right by Parliament from people who have been conspicuous in denial of, and sometimes contempt for it...and I will not be pushed around by agents of the executive branch'

Frankie Boyle review of 2018: 'Let's forget Brexit and enjoy our last Christmas with running water'


1 Theresa May dancing on stage at the Conservative Party conference (choreographer Ray Harryhausen), looking like an uncloaked Dementor on a hen weekend.

2 A group of deranged kippers burning a cardboard effigy of Grenfell tower. They were later quizzed by police, and Kensington and Chelsea council, who asked them to quote for some public housing projects.

3 A senate grilling of Mark Zuckerberg, who gave the general impression of a Batman villain whose backstory is being given puberty-delaying drugs by a paedophile, and who seemed visibly relieved to be questioned on privacy concerns rather than Facebook’s monopoly power.

4 The continuing media fascination with Jacob Rees-Mogg, a man who has all the authenticity of a character at a murder-mystery weekend.

More - running in greater detail through "The Brexit endgame", "A Saudi Arabian horror show", "Trump trumps himself" and "A climate of fear" - here: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/22/frankie-boyle-review-2018-forget-brexit

May Insisted That "Ending Of Free Movement Of People" Be Added To The First Page Of Her Brexit Deal

Theresa May Personally Insisted That The Words “Ending Of Free Movement Of People” Be Added To The First Page Of Her Brexit Deal


May demanded the specific drafting through the UK’s Brexit negotiating team, who let it be known the prime minister was insisting that the terms be added in a prominent position in the text.

Such an unusual and personal intervention on a mostly decorative detail — in the middle of delicately balanced negotiations packed with technical and complicated issues — was viewed in Brussels as a clear sign of the top issue that drives and defines her Brexit.

Terminating free movement has been May’s unshakable guide throughout the Brexit talks, ultimately shaping the overall agreement negotiated with the European Union now on the table — and it goes to the heart of how the prime minister interprets the 2016 referendum result.


But EU sources have noted that the prime minister’s enthusiasm for putting an end to free movement has not always been matched by an equal dose of frankness when it comes to clearly spelling out to voters and MPs that the right to freely work, live, and retire anywhere in the 28-country bloc to is a two-way street that will see Britons lose those very same rights after Brexit.


This struck me when I saw May give the TV address announcing her Brexit deal (well, proposed deal at this stage). She very heavily emphasized the words "freedom of movement will END", and a chill ran through me. I wasn't surprised that the most rabidly hardline of Home Secretaries (in a post that seems to turn even quasi-reasonable politicians into rabid hardliners) would come out with this, but the bluntness and relish with which she announced it hit home hard. She seemed to think it a great selling point.

It's not as if I'm among those groups living in the UK who are and will be directly targeted and suffer from the results of this obsession. I'll no doubt suffer indirect consequences only too plainly when staffing our hospitals is even more inadequate etc. I'll also miss some of the interesting people from the EU who've settled temporarily for work in our community, and feel sad for friends whose kids have married EU citizens and moved abroad, as such a change increases the sense of distance and can only complicate those families' futures that looked so rosy just a few years ago.

It's not as if I've travelled abroad that often in the last couple of decades. But the feeling that I could visit EU countries with great ease, even on a whim, if I wanted to - and had the option of trying to relocate there if I could muster the gumption - was something I valued.

May's words sounded like a judge pronouncing a sentence.

But then I'm obviously not Theresa May's target audience. She's made it very clear she doesn't give a fuck what I think or want.

Theresa May has won a confidence vote in her leadership of the Tory party.

Source: The Guardian

Theresa May has won a confidence vote in her leadership of the Tory party.

A majority of Conservative MPs backed her in a secret ballot after the prime minister signalled she would step down before the 2022 election.

May wins confidence ballot by 200 votes to 117

Sir Graham Brady is here. He is standing at end with the podium, surrounded by other memberss of the 1922 Committee.

He announces the result.

The result of the ballot this evening is that the parliamentary party does have confidence in ..

And at that point we could not hear the rest, because of the cheering.

Here are the results.

For May: 200

Against May: 117

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2018/dec/12/tory-mps-trigger-vote-of-no-confidence-in-may-amid-brexit-uncertainty-politics-live?page=with:block-5c117699e4b025637fe94420#block-5c117699e4b025637fe94420

Updates here: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2018/dec/12/tory-mps-trigger-vote-of-no-confidence-in-may-amid-brexit-uncertainty-politics-live

Brexit in chaos as Tory MPs trigger vote of no confidence in May

Source: The Guardian

Conservative MPs have triggered a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, plunging the Brexit process into chaos as Tory colleagues indicated they no longer had faith in the prime minister to deliver the deal.

Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, has received at least 48 letters from Conservative MPs calling for a vote of no confidence in May. Under party rules, a contest is triggered if 15% of Conservative MPs write to the chair of the committee of Tory backbenchers.

A ballot will be held on Wednesday evening between 6pm and 8pm, Brady said, with votes counted “immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made as soon as possible”.


The prime minister will now need the backing of at least 158 Tory MPs to see off the Brexiters’ challenge, and her position would then be safe for 12 months. However, the prime minister could decide to resign if votes against her were below the threshold to topple her, but significant enough in number.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/12/brexit-chaos-conservative-mps-trigger-vote-of-no-confidence-theresa-may

From the 2017 general election campaign:

This has been brewing for a while, just under the radar for some in the UK, not just in the USA.

The case was brought by a collaboration between English QC Jolyon Maugham and some Scottish politicians before a Scottish court (we have our own legal system up here) because the yellow media like the Daily Mail in England would have gone apeshit calling the judges "enemies of the people" etc. etc. all over again, and nobody needs that clouding the water. It was eventually referred to the ECJ, and an advisory opinion released a week or two ago was borne out by this judgment. It's just confirming what was already strongly suspected, as Lord Kerr, who drafted Article 50, has always insisted unilateral withdrawal of it was an option.

It doesn't really suit the EU itself - its line has been that Article 50 can be withdrawn only with the consent of the 27, not least because it doesn't want any other member states going through the motions of leaving in future as a bargaining ploy without any penalties attached. I expect the future Article 50 process to be reviewed to take account of this development at some point.

The decision does at least cut away one excuse from the Brexiters - it's mindboggling that exploration of all the options wasn't carried out by the UK government and civil service - but I'm afraid it's unlikely to change anything. It just confirms that sticking by Article 50 is a political decision, not a legal one.

May seems intent on running out the clock on Brexit until the end of next March and having the UK leave with no deal (perhaps not coincidentally, that might protect some of the UK's major dark money interests from some of the ramifications of the EU's crackdown on tax evasion and moneylaundering), and all this running around in pursuit of impossible incoherent deals is probably just for show. Little else makes sense of the cack-handed way this whole debacle has been dealt with, though sheer incompetence can't be ruled out as a factor.

A while back, Parliament granted the government a wide range of autocratic powers ("Henry VIII clauses" ), supposedly to smooth the transition period when a lot of legislation might need to be changed and passed very quickly without time for full parliamentary scrutiny, and soon that's going to come home to roost, under another prime minister if not May. The refusal - so far, at least - to allow MPs to vote on May's deal when it looks certain it would be defeated is just the beginning.

At the moment, Labour's leadership seems content to see all this happen while making half-hearted noises of opposition, and is in no hurry to attempt a no confidence motion that might trigger an election before then - it's very unlikely they'd have the numbers anyway, the Tories would likely circle the wagons (for fear of losing their seats), the DUP kingmakers probably wouldn't want to deal with Corbyn, not least because of his past support for Sinn Fein and dealings with the IRA, nor a Labour government under anyone else, and the opinion polls aren't favourable despite the governmental mess.

Corbyn's idea seems to be to wait till Brexit comes about, then go for an election, after which we're all set for a spot of disaster socialism.

I'm sure that will work out well.

Brexit: UK can revoke Article 50 unilaterally, EU judges rule

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the UK can unilaterally stop Brexit by revoking its Article 50 notification.

Judges in Luxembourg decided that the UK can stay in the EU "under terms that are unchanged" if it decides to change its mind on Brexit "through a democratic process".

It comes on the eve of a crucial vote in the House of Commons on Theresa May's Brexit deal. Scottish politicians who brought the case said "a bright light has switched on above an 'EXIT' sign" that meant a second EU referendum was "closer than ever before".

Issuing its judgement, the EU’s top court said that “when a member state has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that member state is free to revoke unilaterally that notification.”


This is developing amid strong rumours that tomorrow's Commons vote may be delayed - three government statements will be made later this afternoon:

Laura Kuenssberg


Two cabinet sources tell me vote being pulled - not, repeat not, yet officially confirmed

There are also questions about whether May can do this without Parliament's agreement:

Laura Kuenssberg


Not trying to make your head explode, but there is a possibility that the govt might not actually be able to pull the vote - at least not without an enormous parliamentary row - (checks Erskine May)

Cracks begin to appear after far-right unites with Ukip for Brexit march

‘This turned into the Tommy Robinson show’: Cracks begin to appear after far-right unites with Ukip for Brexit march
'We can't be reasoned with, we don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and we absolutely will not stop, ever, until we get hard Brexit,' says one speaker, quoting ‘The Terminator’

Revolutions, it has been said, do not generally begin on Sundays. People have to be up for work the next morning.

Perhaps something similar applies to right-wing political rallies. It could explain why Sunday’s so-called Brexit betrayal march – a joint Ukip and Tommy Robinson demonstration, which claimed to speak for the 17.4 million people who voted leave in 2016 – attracted a crowd of little more than 2,000 people to Whitehall in central London.

Robinson – the English Defence League founder who was considered such a star turn he spoke twice at the event – called the gathering a “beautiful” sight.

But even he may have cringed at the lack of numbers because nearby, separated by a thick police presence, a 10,000-strong anti-Fascist rally dwarfed his own.


It seems to have been quite a colourful day.

"Robinson" tried to sign up as a UKIP member onstage using his mobile phone - and failed.

Another guy climbed on top of a bus stop and tried to set fire to a EU flag using lighter fluid - and failed (those dratted EU regs).

One Laukan Creasey brought a portable gallows, Theresa May for the use of.

There were three arrests at the anti-fascist rally, and none at the "betrayal march", among a very heavy police presence.

Here's a few of the signs from the anti-fascist rally (more here):

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