OUR Parliament has been called many things in its time – the Long, Short (though not yet Tall), Rump, Barebone and Cavalier – but this one will surely go down in history as the Arrogant Parliament after the latest votes.
Every week brings fresh evidence of its overweening conceit as Brexit goes on and on. No doubt there is still more duplicity to come this week as Boris Johnson battles against the odds to steer us out of the European Union by October 31.
It is clear that the majority of our Parliamentarians think they know what is best for us “thickies” who voted “Leave” in 2016.
A grand total of 17.4m ignoramuses in favour of Brexit in the referendum carries little weight with them. After all, they think we are in our dotage and will have kicked the bucket if they hold up departure long enough.
It might also reasonably be called the Deceitful Parliament since the vast bulk of MPs were elected on a pledge to honour the referendum’s verdict. A majority of them demonstrably lied in their teeth during the election as, Europhiles first and Britons last, they try one way and another to put off the evil day, as they see it, until it never comes.
Moreover, they clothe their strategy of kicking it into the long grass until it dies of its own accord in white raiment. After all, what is wrong, they ask innocently, in giving democracy a second chance.
However, I think it would be more apt to dub this the Stupid Parliament – stupidly arrogant, stupidly deceitful and just plain stupid to boot.
First, any intelligent politician would have sought to get back on terms with the public with their profession’s standing so low in the public’s eye. Its reputation sank first under the flood of abuse of its generous expenses system.
Westminster was in the dog house – or should it be duck house? – long before Brexit was coined. It is utter stupidity to compound the felony of its own reputation.
But what is even more stupid is to attempt to kill Brexit without explaining why, other than by forecasting economic Armageddon if we leave. They have been doom-mongering for three years and still, relatively speaking, we prosper in spite of the uncertainty over our future.
How can they argue they are behaving democratically when they are actually seeking to continue our membership of a bureaucratic, undemocratic Brussels? They even do so when the EU usurps their legislative role and has arrogated unto itself trade, agriculture and fisheries policy and, for those in the euro, economic policy?
The 17.4m Leavers are not so thick that they cannot see through all this. And in seeing through it they become ever more worried about the quality of their Parliamentary representatives.
But it gets worse. It demonstrates beyond doubt the defeatism of our democracy under an Establishment, the so called elite, that is so heavily weighted in favour of sinking itself, eventually without trace, in a European federal state.
Margaret Thatcher came to office to defeat the economic defeatism of the Establishment in the face of trade union abuse. On that score she succeeded hands down.
But defeatism of any kind does not die easily among the high and mighty and now Boris Johnson has inherited her task in another context.
No one ever thought he would get this far. They reckoned without his curious combination of dishevelled charm, determination and elan. He also has guts in refusing to sign Parliament’s instruction to seek an extension of EU membership and making it clear, as I advocated, that he won’t seek an extension.
Their stupidity is also self-defeating since it is cementing Johnson in as Tory leader and, as I confidently expect of the looming election, as Tory PM.
Whatever Parliament, its unspeakable Speaker Bercow, the courts and the EU still have to throw at him, I believe he will make his Halloween deadline. This is not just my looking on the bright side, as I swore to do as my New Year resolution, but because I believe eventually justice and democracy will be served.
What is clear is that, given the state of the Labour, Liberal, Scottish Nationalist and Democratic Unionist parties, Boris Johnson faces a Herculean task in restoring our faith in politicians, Parliament, governance and democracy.
Challenges don’t come stiffer than that. In a nutshell he has to banish the Establishment arrogance, deceit, stupidity and defeatism that lies at the heart of the problem.
If he does, we might live to see the Glorious Parliament.