The Tories are in election mode. Are the left?
A judge has agreed to fast-track a hearing on whether Boris Johnson can legally suspend Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.
More than 70 MPs and Peers have joined forced to call on the courts to rule that suspending Parliament to allow the UK to leave without a deal would be “unlawful and unconstitutional”.
But it’s exactly the sort of battle Johnson’s team is gearing up for: legal processes trying to halt the ‘will of the people’.
The argument is trash, of course. But it is also powerful. And last week it was reported that Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings told staff that Johnson would ignore the result of the confidence vote and call a “people v politicians” general election.
It’s through this lens that the ‘People’s PMQs’ that Johnson held today on Facebook should be understood. So too the Telegraph ‘poll‘ that showed public support for forcing through Brexit by ‘any means necessary’, including proroguing (shutting down) Parliament.
Johnson’s latest accusation that MPs and the EU are “colluding” to block Brexit fits in perfectly with this Phoney War strategy. In his Vote Leave populist guise, Johnson is presenting himself – apparently without irony – as the anti-elite figure Britain needs. All of it is message testing for a snap ballot. While the left fight over who should be in a Remain alliance, the Leavers are winning the argument.
Only a political – rather than technical – challenge to this stands much chance of succeeding. No deal is an undemocratic and elite project – which is why Cummings and co. are now trying to turn those guns on Remainers. Don’t fall into the trap.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.
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