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Discuss: Johnson Prorogues Parliament

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Republished from Off-Guardian


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A past-master at seeming to discredit his position through association with his cartoonish buffoonery, Boris has taken it one step further: He's just shut down Parliament.

Why has he done this? Well, allegedly, to allow him to force Britain to leave the EU with or without a deal on October 31st.

Did he need to? Not really. It is the PM's prerogative to not put things to votes. He's unlikely to have a vote of no-confidence go against him while Jeremy Corbyn is leader of the opposition. This doesn't feel necessary at all.

In fact, it's almost theatrical. A prop. It doesn't mean what everyone is saying it means. This five-week "suspension" of Parliament includes three weeks that were going to be a break anyway, plus the current Parliament is already the longest in centuries.

Essentially, this is a totally empty gesture that achieves nothing, was tactically pointless and yet is incredibly publicly damaging in terms of optics.

So why did he do it? Because he's a heel. He delights in being the guy we're supposed to hate.

Through his "endorsement" the case for Brexit is attacked from within. His ludicrous bus provided the braying People's Vote parade with their rallying cry, and now he has willfully reversed the conversation re: democracy.

The greatest argument FOR Brexit was a democratic one. Leave won the referendum, therefore had the democratic mandate. Shutting down Parliament allows the media to flip that narrative on its head.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, we find ourselves in a situation where Remain has a claim to be protecting democracy.

Across the House, Corbyn has long-since been manipulated into taking a pro-Remain position, even if he doesn't call it that.

It has been my position, since the moment the result was announced, that the UK will simply not be allowed to leave the EU. Either we will "leave" under the terms of a "deal" that is so indistinguishable from simply remaining as it makes no difference OR we will be manoeuvred into a situation where it becomes "vital" that we remain for sake of democracy or "national security" or something like that.

The longer Boris acts out his farcical, almost clownish, "pro-Leave" premiership, the more the latter is looking increasingly inevitable.

Questions to answer:

  • Will we really leave the EU on Halloween of this year?
  • How will proroguing the commons change the conversation on Brexit?
  • How many "regardless of how you voted in the referendum, this is about our democracy" articles will there be?
  • When will there be a General Election, and does Corbyn stand any chance of winning?
  • Was Halloween chosen deliberately to enable "scary Brexit" memes?

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    Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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