I don’t often do two posts in one day, but the shenanigans in the British House of Commons have impelled to take to my pen once again.
Over the past few weeks, the House of Commons has twice rejected the withdrawal agreement signed by the British government and the European Union (EU) to regulate the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU. The House has also rejected the idea of leaving the EU without a deal. So today it voted on eight different options, each laying out an alternative route for the UK to follow. And lo and behold, it voted against all of those too!
That means that the next logical step would be to vote a third time on the withdrawal agreement. But the Speaker of the House has said that the rules don’t allow that. And even if they did, since the ruling Conservative Party lacks a majority, the agreement could only get passed if the government got the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). But the DUP is adamant that it will oppose the withdrawal agreement come what may. Which leaves the UK facing a no-deal exit from the EU. But that’s also been rejected! If you can make sense of all that, then, as Kipling said, ‘You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!’
What this all makes clear is that the British parliament, as currently constituted, is incapable of making a decision. It’s time for it go. At this point, what the UK really needs is a modern version of Oliver Cromwell to come in and sweep them all away, as the Lord Protector did in 1653 when he dissolved the Rump Parliament. I was never much of Cromwell fan, but now I understand what he was about.
So let’s hear his famous words from 20 April 1653. They could well be said today.
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.
Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.
Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?
Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?
Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.
Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.
I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.
Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
In the name of God, go!