BY A UNANIMOUS decision eleven judges in the Supreme Court declared that the five-week suspension, or prorogation, of Parliament is ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’ – in other words, it never happened and Parliament had never been suspended and therefore should resume immediately.
This judgement, that Boris Johnson had acted illegally, is the exact opposite of the judicial fudge that most people expected from the court.
In her summary of the judges’ decision Lady Hale, the court’s president, said: ‘The court is bound to conclude, therefore, that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.’
It is now, the court ruled, for the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, to decide what to do.
Bercow swiftly jumped in to announce he would be resuming Parliament today so that it can get on with the job of cancelling Brexit on 31st October and ensuring that Article 50 is overturned and the UK Remains in the EU.
Yesterday’s unanimous judgement by the highest court in the land was nothing more than a judicial coup by the capitalist state and its courts against the will of the people expressed forcibly in the 2016 referendum – a referendum which every MP and political party assured the people would be binding.
In the three years that have passed since then, the Remain majority of MPs in Parliament have conspired to overturn this vote, and now the Supreme Court has intervened to give a fig leaf of legality to their ‘legal’ coup against the referendum vote of 17.4 million people.
This decision was immediately greeted with rapture by the Labour Party, the Lib Dems and the SNP who endorsed Bercow’s call for an immediate recall of Parliament. Just before Parliament was suspended, they passed a law making a No Deal Brexit illegal, now they will feel free to carry on to stop Brexit completely.
At the Labour Party conference Jeremy Corbyn announced the decision to wild applause, declaring that it demonstrated Johnson’s ‘contempt for democracy’ and that he would demand a recall and demand that ‘he obeys the law passed by Parliament’.
He called for Johnson to resign, a demand echoed by all the Remainer parties with the Lib Dems insisting there should now be an ‘emergency government’ to replace him headed by a caretaker PM – either Labour right-winger Harriet Harman or Tory Remainer Ken Clarke.
Neither the Supreme Court judges nor Corbyn and the rest of the Remainers have a word to say about the democratic decision expressed in the 2016 vote – all they are concerned with is the ‘democratic rights’ of a few hundred MPs to represent the big capitalists.
All Boris Johnson has said so far is to insist that he will obey the court’s decision, which means going along with the recall of Parliament and being bound by the laws it has passed on a No Deal Brexit.
In delivering the court judgement, Lady Hale quoted from a decision of the courts in the 17th century saying: ‘As long ago as 1611, the court held that “the King (who was then the government) hath no prerogative but that which the law of the land allows him”.’
She ignores the context of that judgement, the struggle between the autocratic feudal monarchy of Charles 1st against the will of the people expressed through Parliament and the courts, a struggle that culminated in the English Revolution that saw Charles 1st beheaded and the country declared a Republic.
In the course of the revolution to overthrow feudalism the great parliamentarian Oliver Cromwell found it necessary to tear up the law of the land and close down and purge Parliament when it refused to carry out the will of the people.
Today, the working class must follow Cromwell’s revolutionary example by immediately organising a political general strike to close Parliament down permanently, and leave the EU on October 31, and replace Parliament with a workers’ government, and rule through workers’ councils and socialism.
Only by the working class taking the power and replacing the capitalist state with a workers’ state and socialism will this crisis of British capitalism be resolved!