News From Nowhere

NFN 1In 1890 the socialist artist William Morris imagined a future utopian England, of 2003, where the Houses of Parliament were no longer a place of politics but were used for storing manure [1]. Whilst Morris’s dream didn’t come about by that year we were certainly reminded of it by what happened there on Monday, 25th March 2019 when MPs voted to take over control of Brexit. Nick Boles MP told BBC2’s Newsnight that evening, “I’m going to wake up with a broad grin on my face. I’m going to think I finally live in a parliamentary democracy where Parliament is sovereign.

Parliament has not been wholly sovereign since 1973 [2], becoming less so ever since, and Boles wants to continue on that path against the wishes of his constituency party, his constituency’s voters and UK voters overall. Boles promised to represent his constituents’ wishes by assisting Parliament to restore its sovereignty and owes his influence on events there to this lie; the same is true for most of his colleagues. [3]

At least Boles has been clear about his intentions since his election whereas Theresa May kept telling us she has been “very clear” about her intention to deliver the Brexit people voted for whilst obfuscating it and backing us into a corner. As a result many of the most convinced eurosceptics are considering whether to vote for her deal (if they get the chance) rather than forgo Brexit completely.

Morris’s contempt for Parliament stemmed from his feeling that the British system of government existed to protect the interests of the privileged. And in another parallel he opens his story with a report of a socialist party meeting, at which “there were six persons present, and consequently six sections of the party were represented, four of which had strong but divergent Anarchist opinions.” Today’s Parliament has even more divergent opinions on what the next stage of Brexit (or non-Brexit) should be.

[1] News From Nowhere (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3261)

[2] Our EU Entry was Prefaced with a Lie

[3] Unrepresentative Members

NFN 2

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