Lamentations of May: John Bercow and the bobble hats against Tyranny since 1604

What happened yesterday in the UK?

Parliament Speaker John Bercou explained to the British government that it could not try to ask parliament a third time to vote on the same issue.

And why?

Because the rules forbid it. Parliament has its own procedural code, issued in 1844 by the clerk Thomas Erskine May (Is May gonna be the end of May?), Now the legislature uses the 24th edition of the rules. It notes, that the same question, or a question substantially repeating the previous one, is forbidden to be submitted for consideration more than once during the parliamentary session.

So why were they allowed to vote on the May deal twice, in January and March?

Because according to Berkow’s interpretation, these were different deals: the March version of the deal came from the European Union with certain edits rolled in. John Bercow argues that if the government goes to the next negotiations with the European Union and makes additional changes, it will be considered a new deal.

So was this Berkow’s idea?

No, at least that’s what he claims. The speaker followed the deputy’s request filed by Chris Brant, who wanted to ban May from submitting for consideration the issue of his deal, which was already rejected by Parliament twice.

And there were precedents?

Yes. The first case occurred just in 1604, when King Jacob I complained to Parliament that Parliament was trying to persuade him to sign undesirable laws, accepting the same decrees over and over again and sending them to the king for signature. Then these restrictions were introduced. After that, there were still cases when the Speaker of Parliament refused to consider the issue because of its repeated nature: the issue of the budget of educational institutions for doctors in 1864, the limitation of working hours on the railways in 1891, and the issue of women’s suffrage in 1912. this, Berkow separately pointed out, this measure was not applied – “but not because of negligence, but because everyone understood the rules of the game and did not try to push the rejected laws at once more.”

Does Bercow have the right to speak and act like that?

Yes – according to accepted guidelines, the speaker guides the entire process of the House of Commons, including the observance of parliamentary procedures, as well as the choice of proposals that will be put to the vote. Some people believe that Bercow wants to break Brexit – he himself is in favor of staying in Europe and a scandal happened some time ago when John drove a car with a “FUCK BREXIT” banner strapped behind the windshield. John replied that the car was not his, but his wife’s, and that in a democratic society the husband had no right to tell his wife how to decorate the car – but as a speaker, he still adheres to neutrality.

So what can Teresa May do?

In theory, she can attempt to cancel this rule, but this will require the consent of the House of Commons. It can also waste precious time needed for new negotiations with Europe and “significantly change the draft law on the deal.”

Can she convene a general election? Hardly, as it is already written that in the conditions for collapse of the ruling party, Jeremy Corbin is probably gleefuly practicing the “Internationale” for his debut in 10 Downing Street, 10 in case that happens.

Leave  Europe out of it, and try to change the deal on the spot, dropping her “red lines”? Will cause a party split in the government.

Ask the queen to dissolve Parliament and start the next session ahead of schedule? Actually possible, but risky. At the beginning of each parliamentary session, the government makes a so-called Queen’s Speech – a manifesto about how it will govern the country and what will be its main policies for the future. Parliament votes for this document, and a defeat in a QS is considered a vote of no confidence in the government and leads to new elections, so see above. The balance in Parliament today is such that May can easily lose another no-confidence motion.

As long as everything remains as it is, and as long as May has no legal opportunity to get everyone to vote, and while the European Union has not approved the extension of the transition period (Brussels is probably looking at this mess with intense curiosity), then on March 29, the UK leaves the EU without any deal.

But hey, at least every time it starts to get boring, the British don’t disappoint. 

Have you watched the movie “Watchmen”? Remember the scene with Walter Kovacs, Rorschach?

“I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with me!”

In principle, this is exactly the case. Since the English Revolution of the 1640s, the country was governed through Parliament, which was elected by the people. And here an incredible event occured – a nationwide referendum, direct democracy.

And here, May and her comrades abruptly rushed to power. To the steering wheel.  An unique opportunity to steer the country to an unified direction, under the pretext of popular expression of will. That’s it, thought May, time to close your Parliament. We will be governed exclusively by the government under the pretext of preserving and executing the will of the people. All in the name of Brexit, all in the name of the nation. Comrade May is the keeper of the holy covenant. At the same time, in order to remain at the helm, May started rapidly oscillating along the political scale. This minute she supports brexit, five seconds later she supports the extension, then she simultaneously supports both the exit and the extension, but no matter where’s at one thing remains constant – don’t interfere with my rule.

And all three years, May thrashed and tyrannized both Parliament and the media. She tried to urgently prohibit Parliament from voting for Brexit at all – claiming this is a purely ministerial affair. She had to file a case in the Supreme Court and decide whether Parliament approval is required: it turned out, it was required. She pulled the deal from House of Commons twice in a single day right before the vote. She blocked the amendments. She simply ignored the existence of the opposition, closing her eyes and pretending that these evil people in the House of Commons simply did not exist. She did not share any documents and preferred to never report on the work done.

Theresa May lost both times and now she decided that the field was ripe for a third attempt. All this time, the speaker politely asked her to cool down and not try to dictatorially rule the country without asking anyone for consent in the political field. In response to this, he was called a conservative traitor, an opponent of Brexit, a chain-maker and a populist. After that, John Bercow got up, stretched, spat on the palm of his hand and struck Teresa May in her noggin with a shovel.

He is completely insane, and yes, no one expected it. The roof of Westminster Hall has just collapsed on their heads and it is completely incomprehensible what will happen when the dust clears. But now it is clear that the clerks and paper-pushers are seriously offended and ready to fight to the end. The window of opportunity for the PM has seriously shrunk. The incredible constitutional crisis and the clinch between the executive and the legislature just got red hot and this are about to get intresting

These, of course, are only symptoms, only external manifestations of a serious illness, called political survival instead of association. When you sacrifice a nationwide coherence just to remain in power for another month.

So refill your gin reserves, citizens of Londinium. Who knows when next time will happen.