Skip to main content

No, Mr President!

Boris Johnson is learning the hard way that the United Kingdom is not a republic, and he is not a President.  In recent decades Prime Ministers have increasingly acted as if they hold all the power.  It is difficult to pinpoint precisely when this took hold.  Prime Ministers have different styles.  Harold Wilson, in general, acted with his cabinet, who at times inflicted defeat on him.   Even Margaret Thatcher consulted her cabinet colleagues, although certainly she towered above everyone and stopped listening.

Tony Blair adopted a more presidential style of governance, which led to one of the more trenchant criticisms of the decision to go to war in Iraq.  But Prime Ministers are  'first among equals'.  Of course, they hold power through the patronage they wield.  They appoint and dismiss ministers, and through the leader of the house, they control the legislative agenda.  

Taking control of the House of Commons, MPs have reminded Boris Johnson that he governs only with their support and confidence.    Boris lost that confidence, yet he is trapped in a stand-off between parliament and his office.  Boris goes on acting as if he is a President.  He is not.  Mr Johnson is Her Majesty's First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister, and in that capacity, he serves the will of parliament exercised through the Queen's consent.   Thus he should now obey the law passed by Parliament requiring the Prime Minister to seek an extension to article 50.   If he cannot do so, then he must stand down and make way for a Prime Minister who is willing to do so.

No, Boris is not Mr President.  Our executive is appointed from and is answerable to parliament.  Boris needs now to understand that.  The game is up.  If he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than obey the law of the land, then he should now choose his ditch.  The United Kingdom has a parliamentary democracy.  We are all subject to laws passed by parliament.  Mr Johnson is no exception.   He should stop strutting around on his election trail and start seriously negotiating our exit from the EU.  Trying to get his way by stealth and deception is no way to run the country.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

No evidence for vaccine link with autism

Public health bodies are worried that an alarming drop in childhood vaccinations is leading to a resurgence of diseases in childhood that we had all but eradicated.  Misinformation and scare stories about the harmful effects of vaccines abound on the internet and in social media.  Where they are based on 'science', it is highly selective, and often reliance is placed on falsehoods.  Conspiracy theories also abound - cover-ups, deception, lies. As a result, too many parents are shunning vaccinations for their children.  So, what does the published, peer-reviewed literature tell us about vaccincations? Are they safe and effective, or are there long term harmful effects?  A new report now provides some of the answers. New evidence published in the Cochrane Library today finds MMR, MMRV, and MMR+V vaccines are effective and that they are not associated with increased risk of autism. Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (also known as chickenpox) are infectious diseases cau