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Brexit Power Ranking: Is Michael Gove Okay?

The Cabinet Office boss appeared to be swaying during Jeremy Corbyn's speech in Parliament.

by Ruby Lott-Lavigna and Zing Tsjeng
27 September 2019, 12:06pm

Screengrab via Evolve Politics

The British political system is exploding at the seams. It’s a bit like leaving a very important dinner in the hands of an inept man, hoping he doesn’t fuck it up any more than he already has. Watching on, starving, as your roast chicken burns before your very eyes. Want to give up and get a Deliveroo while having a little cry? Congrats, you're a traitor.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. If this hasn’t undermined the stability of government enough, Johnson used Jo Cox – an MP murdered by a right-wing extremist – to justify his position on Brexit. There’s only so much to be said between the shock and anger.

But for Johnson, however, this is just a game. The PM suggested on Wednesday that he would not ask for an extension to the Brexit deadline, meaning that he believes that despite illegally proroguing Parliament and misleading the Queen, he believes he can still get a deal through Parliament – a Parliament that has never been more united in their dislike for him.

But then again, we're not exactly shocked. Nobody believed that with Johnson as PM we would get a functioning or respectful Parliament. For Johnson, it’s a purposeful tactic to divide and conquer, and frame himself against the elites who just want to quash the will of the people. Only fools could have expected anything different.

LADY HALE’S BROOCH

1569499497010-brooch
Photo via BBC.

This week has been largely depressing bar one small moment: Supreme Court president Lady Hale, who earlier this week delivered the ruling on Johnson’s proroguing of parliament. She delivered the ruling wearing a black widow brooch – a spider whose venom is meant to be 15 times more poisonous than a rattlesnake – telling Johnson to stuff his proroguing in his stupid little dumb face. Or like, the legal version of that.

MICHAEL GOVE SWAYING IN PARLIAMENT

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson flew back from New York to face down Parliament and Jeremy Corbyn's wrath. Some eagle-eyed BBC Parliament viewers spotted that there was one Tory politician who appeared a little discombobulated by unfolding events. (You can watch for yourself on this clip uploaded by Evolve Politics.)

DADDY JOHN MCDONNELL

You know, it’s been a while since we had just a sound fucking guy in politics? John McDonnell is that lad, who at the Labour conference this week, backed a motion to ban private schools, and said that if he became chancellor, he would eschew Number 11 to stay in his constituency and use the spare property to house a homeless family. Spank me with your ideology, daddy!

AMERICA

Well, at least one nation is going to benefit from Brexit. According to Reuters, Johnson told US and Canadian businesses on Tuesday that the UK would be preparing to roll out “the red carpet” to American firms with competitive tax rates to make the UK, “the best place in the world to start, run and build a business”. Good! Fine! Let’s cut business taxes more! Who says there are more than four million people in the UK still living in deep poverty?

BORIS JOHNSON’S LANGUAGE

Congrats to Boris Johnson who, for the second-week running, has hit the bottom of the power ranking. Not hard to do, for a PM had the audacity to claim that delivering Brexit would honour the murdered MP Jo Cox. Cox’s killer, a far-right terrorist, shouted, “This is for Britain”, “keep Britain independent”, and “Britain first” while he stabbed and shot her three years ago.

On Wednesday, Labour MP Paula Sherriff made a speech condemning Johnson’s use of inflammatory language, such as “surrender,” “betrayal,” and “traitor” – words that Sherriff says are often used in death threats aimed at her and other women colleagues.

Johnson, smiling with foppish Etonian disdain, called this accusation “humbug". One wonders how long it'll be until the next attack in the name of betrayal – or will that be humbug to him, too?

On the bright side, Johnson's reaction elicited universal condemnation from MPs across the different parties, including Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas and SNP leader Ian Blackford. At least, in one sense, he’s bringing some people together.

@RubyJLL / @misszing

Tagged:
government
Boris Johnson
john mcdonnell
jo cox
Lady Hale