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Tuesday 24 September 2019

The sun supreme

Brexit! How that clicket-clackety word deadens the spirit.

Brexit will allow us to "take back control" we were told. Failing to add we would find ourselves in a circus where a clown had become the ringmaster and was insisting the audience too should don the motley and paint a big red smile on its face.

This morning I was in the Forest of Dean, a place my father warned us about just before our honeymoon tour. "Bogeymen will come through the trees and carry off you and your bride," he said. More on that later but don't hold your breath.

My needs today were more mundane. For reasons other than the most obvious, my car needed a new cigarette lighter. In the stylish if austere dealership waiting-room a huge TV tuned to Sky News burbled almost inaudibly. For a while I ignored it, Sky was once owned by the saurian Rupert Murdoch and my antipathy still persists.

The clocked ticked on beyond 10 am and abruptly I was transfixed. Today was THE day! And 10.30 was THE time! Britain's supreme court would rule on whether Clown Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament was lawful. And here we were: court president Baroness Hale, a gilded spider brooch on her right shoulder (Bad omen for the political right?), spoke the momentous words clearly but almost silently. It's considered bad form to turn up the wick on a waiting-room TV and I strained every ear muscle.

In a phrase I, a wordsmith, could not have bettered the suspension was deemed to be "unlawful, void and to no effect." The future is still cloudy of course but briefly the sun broke through. A happy morning. The bogeyman held at bay.


  1. "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

    Berco announced that Parliament will resume today at 11:30 am - my son asked me "Do they break for lunch?"

  2. There must be something contagious in the political air-stream! Over here, Nancy and the House of Reps seem to have finally caught what Parliament court president Hale and her crew have.

    Hope is power!

  3. Sir Hugh/Crow: Alas, delight was short-lived. Yesterday, in a Parliamentary session that sounded and looked like a prize-fight, the Clown more or less ignored the fact that a court had judged he had acted unlawfully, and used yah-boo language to attack Labour's present unwillingness to agree to a general election. Thinking, quite justifiably, that this windy nothingness would appeal to Brexit voters. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted.

    I was pleased that impeachment is now in the air in the US but as John Sopel, the BBC's main reporter in Washington rather cautiously pointed out: yes, the phone-call did prove Trump had approached the Ukraine president to dig up dirt on Biden's son but his promises about what he would do for the Ukraine in return are deliberately indirect and separated from the Biden reference. What was needed was a revelation of Trump with his pants down and I'm not sure this is it. Still, it's a start.

    However, I have just re-read the transcript of the phone call that appeared in the NYT. The significant points are highlighted and analysed and I think the case is somewhat stronger than Jon Sopel suggested. As a Democrat spokesman pointed out on TV last night the US president - contacting such a problematic state as Ukraine - doesn't immediately need to go in swinging "a big stick".

    1. I hold my breath, so to speak, about what the phone call will ultimately reveal, but it served its purpose in getting Pelosi, finally, to get the impeachment ball rolling. So many of us have been decrying her seeming reluctance to do so and are now grateful to the whistleblower, no matter how that turns out. Hope has regained strength in my heart again, and I will hold onto it tightly!

      Keep the faith, Robbie!

    2. Crow: I'll do my best. Strange how quickly things move. What I've said above already looks incredibly dated, yet it's only two days ago. I think I share Nancy Pelosi's hesitancy. A botched attempt at impeachment would strengthen rather than weaken Trump's electoral hopes.

    3. Pelosi is meticulous and methodical. No doubt her committee were combing through the collected evidence with the finest-toothed combs available, which takes time when you need to go in to the fray with few, if any, weaknesses in your attack. On top of that, it seems every day brought in more evidence; Trump can't help himself, blabbing narcicist that he is.

      I understand the evidence collection and analysis process can be lengthy and proscribed in some measure by the fact Trump is a sitting President. And I also know I am impatient to get on with things, which is why I could not do Pelosi's job.

      She doubtless lives by the adage, "The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine."

      Put another way,"Slow but sure moves the might of the gods." Let us hope so.

    4. Crow: The problem is Trump still represents a meal-ticket for too many Republicans. To make an impeachment stick twenty of them need to switch sides and there's no sign of that happening yet. Although if and when impeachment starts to get moving self-interest ma well change their minds.

  4. I'm delighted with that ruling. You Brits are supposed to set a shining example of civility and rationality for us Americans. I suffer cognitive dissonance in the extreme when you behave like us.

  5. Colette: Too many things - that have never happened before - are now happening in government/parliament and it's difficult to predict what the next thing will be. It can be argued that the court's judgment is an infringement of a separation of powers. Although it can also be argued that BJ's horrid behaviour demands an unusual reaction. I too am ashamed of the bad example we're setting you but then Trump (and before that Adolf Hitler and Mussolini) started the ball rolling.