30 October 2019

Brexit playing cards: Ten to Seven of Diamonds

With a general election about to happen, it's time to crack on through the rest of the people who do not deserve to represent voters in Parliament.

Ten of Diamonds: Dame Margaret Beckett

Not only was Beckett a 2009 expenses fiddler, but she wrote a spectacularly stupid letter to the committee that ruled on her expenses.  Yet another Labour Remainer in a Leave seat; Derby South voted 61.35% Leave in 2016.  On 29 October 2019, Beckett voted against an early election.

Nine of Diamonds: David Lammy

The first politician to be fined for breaching the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations, Lammy has spouted nonsense on a range of issues from same-sex marriage to a 'People's Vote'.  Tottenham is one of those strange London constituencies that voted Remain in 2016, at 76.22%.  He might stay on, sadly.  On 29 October 2019, Lammy voted against an early election.

Eight of Diamonds: Bridget Phillipson

Phillipson is a Labour nonentity, except for the one plus of being a member of Labour Friends of Israel.  A Remainer and early 'People's Vote' advocate, she is the member for Houghton and Sunderland South, which voted 62.43% Leave in 2016.

Seven of Diamonds: Jonathan Cruddas

Dagenham and Rainham voted 70.35% Leave in 2016, but has this wishy-washy Labour Remainer as their MP.

28 October 2019

Brexit playing cards: Ace to Knave of Diamonds

As we edge closer to the election that the British people deserve, here are some more of the people who should not be re-elected.

Ace of Diamonds: Hilary Benn

Infamous for the 'Surrender Act', Benn is a Remainer in a seat - Leeds Central - that voted 54.04% Remain in 2016.  It would be good to see him go, but it is probably unlikely, even in a Northern seat that may swing towards Leave.

King of Diamonds: Ed Milliband

A Remainer in Doncaster North, which voted 71.65% Leave in 2016, Milliband could even lose the seat to a Conservative.

Queen of Diamonds: Yvette Cooper

Not as barkingly mad as Anna Soubry, but pretty close, Cooper is a Remainer in Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, which voted 69.26% Leave in 2016, so one hopes that the Labour party might come to its senses and put a pro-Brexit candidate in.

Knave of Diamonds: Ian Murray

Probably safe in Edinburgh South, which voted 77.85% Remain in 2016.  But voters may think that the SNP better serves their aspirations.

22 October 2019

Brexit playing cards: Six to Two of Hearts

Now we're down to some 'Independent', Labour and Conservative nobodies, as we scrape the bottom of the Hearts barrel.

Six of Hearts: Richard Benyon

In 2017, having denounced people for using mobile phones while driving, he was banned from driving for doing precisely that, which gives you some idea of how much he sticks to his principles.  Newbury was 52.19% Remain in 2016.

He was expelled in September 2019 but readmitted in October.  He will not stand in December 2019, so someone else will become the richest MP in the House. 

Five of Hearts: Jo Johnson

Stepping down at the next election, Johnson has been a supporter of weird Brexit ideas, such as a second referendum.  Orpington voted 57.54% Leave in 2016, so it deserves a real Conservative.

Four of Hearts: Damian Collins

Collins has never achieved anything in Parliament, apart from a bit of expenses fiddling.  He suggested that unemployed youth should work for less than the minimum wage, which gives you some idea of whether he's a One Nation Tory.  Folkestone and Hythe voted 61.64% Leave in 2016, but they did not deselect this useless Remainer before the December 2019 election.

Three of Hearts: Peter Kyle

Kyle proposed an amendment to Theresa May's Brexit Withdrawal Agreement that would have forced a second referendum; it failed, twice.  An arch Labour Remainer in a seat that voted 67.05% Remain in 2016, there is hope that Hove will return to being a Conservative seat.

Voted against an early election on 29 October 2019. 

Two of Hearts: Caroline Nokes

A Remainer in Romsey and Southampton North, which voted 53.92% Remain in 2016.  She was expelled in September 2019 but readmitted in October.  One of the cards that might not get flicked into the bin, as her popularity in her seat has outweighed the need for the local association to select a proper Conservative for the December 2019 election.

20 October 2019

Brexit playing cards: Ten to Seven of Hearts

We continue down the list of nonentities and strange people who no longer have the Conservative whip. one of whom has already decided not to stand at the next election.

Ten of Hearts: Guto Bebb

Bebb is one of those MPs who employ family members; for him, it's his wife as office manager.  He spends a lot on expenses, including first-class rail tickets, and is a foul-mouthed bully.  He does not have a home in his constituency.  Beeb lost the Conservative whip in September 2019.  Aberconwy is a 52.2% Leave constituency, so it's just as well that this Remainer is standing down at the election.

Abstained in vote on an early election on 29 October 2019. 

Nine of Hearts: Ed Vaizey

One of several 2009 expense fiddlers, Vaizey is pretty much a nonentity.  He may be re-elected to Wantage, which voted 53.54% Remain in 2016.  He was thrown out of the Conservative party in September 2019, but readmitted in October.  He is not standing in the December 2019 election.

Eight of Hearts: Steve Brine

Winchester voted 60.36% Remain in 2016 so they may elect this Brexit traitor again.  He was expelled from the Conservatives in 2019 but readmitted in October..  It would be good to see this Remainer Right-winger go, though.

Seven of Hearts: Ann Milton

As we continue down the list of Conservative MPs who not made a positive mark, we come to Ann Milton, some of whose views are weird but must appeal to the voters of Guildford, who were 58.8% Leave in 2016.  She is an 'Independent', having been expelled in 2019, and this may result in a proper Conservative winning her seat.

Announced that she will stand as an 'Independent'  in Guildford in the December 2019 election.

18 October 2019

The Supreme Court

'That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament'

It is often said that Britain does not have a written constitution.  In fact, Britain does not have a codified constitution, which means that it is not written down in a single document.  Parts of the British constitution are indeed in writing, and one of principal pieces of legislation forming the constitution is the Bill of Rights 1688.  (This is the name given to it in the Government website; it should be called the Bill of Rights 1689, but let's not quibble.)

Prorogation is a 'proceeding in Parliament'.  It ought, therefore, not be questioned by any court, including the Supreme Court.

I suggest that the Supreme Court has overstepped its powers and should be abolished and replaced by the previous system of law lords.

So, who were the law lords?  Their official name was the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, and, as a result of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876, and their function was to act as the highest court of appeal within the United Kingdom.

Most the law lords were long-serving barristers or judges who were given peerages by the Government of the time.  Over time, the number of law lords was increased.  Each Government could appoint new law lords, usually on retirement of incumbents, especially if they believed that there was a political imbalance amongst the law lords.

The thinking behind the establishment of the Supreme Court was that law lords had both judicial and legislative responsibilities.  There was a desire for a body that would be separate from the House of Lords and would have only judicial responsibilities.  There was the possibility that a peer could have judicial, legislative and executive roles, and, indeed, this was true of the Lord Chancellor until 2005.

I do not see a problem with this weak separation of powers at levels lower than the monarch, who heads all three powers.

Much of the thinking behind the establishment of the Supreme Court was not about separation of powers.  Rather, it was to establish a court in Britain that would have the same role as the European courts.

One of the major problems with the Supreme Court is that it appoints its own members.  There is therefore a strong possibility that the court may become biased in a single direction.  This is what caused the court first to consider the issue of Boris Johnson's prorogation of Parliament and second to rule that the prorogation was unlawful.  The court should not have considered the case at all.

Following Brexit, I would expect the next Conservative Government to remove this unconstitutional court and revert to the system of law lords.

Brexit playing cards: Ace to Knave of Hearts

Now on to a Red suit.  Two Labour and two ex-Conservative.

Ace of Hearts: John McDonnell

It would take too long to list all of McDonnell's stupid and infantile statements and actions, but he did once quote from Mao's Little Red Book in the Commons and then threw it across the despatch box to the Chancellor, George Osborne, who opened it and declared it was McDonnell's personal signed copy.  There is hope that Hayes and Harlington, which voted 58.2% Leave in 2016, will come to its senses and elect someone a little less thick.

King of Hearts: Sir Keir Starmer

Starmer was a terrible head of the Crown Prosecutions Service, but was knighted for his services.  As he chooses not to be known as Sir Keir, one has to ask why he accepted the honour.  Less intelligent than he likes to appear, he is probably safe in Holborn and St Pancras, which voted 73.34% Remain in 2016.   Make up a card for him anyway - we don't expect to flick all 52 of them into the bin..

Queen of Hearts: Margot James

Back to the Tory traitors.  Margot James was expelled in September 2019 but readmitted in October.  Stourbridge voted 63.66% Leave in 2016.  She is not standing in the December 2019 election.

Knave of Hearts: Richard Harrington

Harrington has already gone from the pack, having decided, even before his expulsion from the Conservative party in 2019, not to stand again in Watford, which voted 51.15% Leave in 2016.  He supported the continuation of NHS funding for homeopathy in 2010, so you get some idea of how bright he is.

17 October 2019

Brexit playing cards: Six to Two of Spades

We continue our way down the list of Spades, the ex-members of the Conservative Party who have attempted to block the will of the British people, as expressed in the 2016 referendum, and promised in the 2017 manifesto, and may justifiably be called traitors to both people and party.

We are now scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Six of Spades: Sir Nicholas Soames

Soames was a useless minister under useless prime minister John Major.  His main claims to fame are lying about Diana Princess of Wales, making 'woof' noises at female members of Parliament in the House of Commons, attempting to evade tax,  and repeated driving offences.

He will not stand in December 2019.  Haywards Heath voted 53.56% Remain in 2016, but a real Conservative can win the seat.

Five of Spades: Dame Caroline Spelman

Briefly a minister under Cameron, but not since, she was a 2009 expenses fiddler.  A Remainer in a Leave seat - Meriden, 58.81% Leave - she tabled the infamous motion in the House of Commons in January 2019 that stated that there was not a majority of MPs in favour of a no-deal Brexit.  The point of Brexit is that the people voted for it, not MPs, and the motion was a disgraceful attempt to thwart that vote.  Expelled from the Conservative party in September 2019, she has decided not to stand at the next election.  So another traitor already gone.

Four of Spades: Greg Clark

As a minister, his staff went on strike because his department did not pay them the London Living Wage.  He was expelled by the Conservative party in 2019 but readmitted in October, so it will be up to the local party in Tunbridge Wells - 55.35% Remain in the 2016 referendum - to deselect him..

Three of Spades: Antoinette Sandbach

Following her expulsion from the Conservative party, the Eddisbury Conservative Association passed a motion of no confidence in her.  She remarked that they were 'an unrepresentative handful of people' who should not get to decide the question.  She will stand as an 'Independent' and a Remainer in the next election, although her constituency voted 52.17% Leave in the 2016 referendum.

Abstained in vote on an early election on 29 October 2019. 

Two of Spades: Stephen Hammond

Hammond has the distinction of being one of the MPs whose Wikipedia entry was altered through computers owned by Parliament, to remove mention of his abuses of 'perks'.  He has been sacked as a minister, sacked from being vice chairman of the Conservative Party for London, sacked from the Conservative party, and sacked from being its vice chairman.  His career has been one of promotion and dismissal.  His seat is Wimbledon, which voted 70.63% Remain in 2016.  He was readmitted to the Conservative party in October 2019, but will Wimbledon select a real Conservative?

16 October 2019

Brexit playing cards - Ten to Seven of Spades

Continuing down the list of previous members of the Conservative Party who have been expelled from the party and who deserve to be deselected or voted out of Parliament at the next election.

Ten of Spades: Rory Stewart

Gone from Parliament now, presumably on the basis that a Remainer wouldn't stand much of a chance in a Leave constituency (Penrith and the Borders, 55.2% Leave in 2016) now that he has proven himself unable to honour the 2017 manifesto.  He is standing for election as Mayor of London, a position that is unsuited to a lightweight, so expect the Conservative Party to put up someone more substantial.

Nine of Spades: David Gauke

An expenses fiddler and a terrible employer, having been described a judge as 'reprehensible', David Gauke was expelled from the Conservative Party in 2019.  He is one of many current politicians who do not understand the basics of the British constitution.  He is not standing at the December 2019 election

Eight of Spades: Dominic Grieve

A politician who has the ability never to tell the same story twice. One of the first Remainers to panic after Boris Johnson became prime minister, Grieve has been continuously involved in legislation to stop Brexit, and is known to have collaborated with the EU and the Labour Party.

Abstained in vote on an early election on 29 October 2019. 

Seven of Spades: Alistair Burt

Already announced that he will not stand in the next election, which is not surprising for a Remainer booted out of the Conservative Party, readmitted in October, and currently the member for North East Bedfordshire, which voted 53.4% Leave in the 2016 referendum.

15 October 2019

Brexit playing cards - Ace to Knave of Spades

Remember the deck of playing cards of 'most wanted' that the US Defense Intelligence Agency developed in 2003, with Saddam Hussein on the Ace of Spades?  Here is my list of people who have let down the British people who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.  If you get an old pack of cards and write their names on them, you can enjoy watching them leave Parliament during the next round of candidate selection (especially by the Conservative Party) or following the next General Election.

Ace of Spades: Philip Hammond

The chief Tory traitor, who has continued to spout the failed arguments that even the Treasury no longer seems to support.  He was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer by Theresa May, and does not seem to have ever had a good grasp of this portfolio.  He sits as an Independent for Runnymede and Weybridge (having been ousted by the local Conservative party on 4 September 2019),  which voted 50.15% for Remain.  Given that there is likely to be a national swing towards Leave, he stands a good chance of being ousted by the official Conservative candidate.

Abstained in vote on an early election on 29 October 2019.

Announced that he will not stand at the December 2019 election, in a letter that does not actually state that, as an 'Independent', he would not stand a chance.  Nigel Farage called him a 'fraud', which may appease those who object to his being called a traitor.

King of Spades: Kenneth Clarke

Remembered chiefly for being found out in the 2009 expenses scandal, Clarke was always largely ineffective in a variety of ministerial positions.  Opinions have been voiced that his constituency of Rushcliffe is no longer the safe Tory seat it has been, but his decision not to stand in December 2019 may see a real Conservative win the seat.  His appalling manner of speaking - which may be contrived rather a natural impediment - will not be missed.

Abstained in vote on an early election on 29 October 2019. 

Queen of Spades: Justine Greening

Already gone, apparently, as she has stated that she will not stand for re-election in the next election.  This is probably the best decision she has made to date.  I won't throw the Queen of Spades into the bin just yet, as she may go back on her word again.  Her most notable failure in office was as Secretary of State for Transport, when she cost the Government £40 million during botched franchise awards.

Abstained in vote on an early election on 29 October 2019. 

Knave of Spades: Sir Oliver Letwin

Another 'Independent' booted out of the Conservative Party, Letwin was a Remainer in a Leave constituency.  West Dorset voted 51.04% Leave in 2016.  Branded as a racist because of his insensitive comments on the Broadwater Farm riots, he was a 2009 expenses fiddler and would be much happier doing more 'work' in the City rather than being an MP.  He will not stand in December 2019.

Abstained in vote on an early election on 29 October 2019.