Thursday 17 September 2020

Upholding their principles


Is the Conservative and Unionist Party, to give it its full title, a Marxist organisation? It was, after all, Marx (albeit Groucho rather than Karl) who came up with the line “Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others”. Perhaps that’s unfair, given that it’s more likely that most of them wouldn’t recognise a principle if it bit them, an attitude personified by their current leader. Apparently the ‘principle’ about which a number of them were getting rather exercised just a few days ago (that the UK government should not break international law) wasn’t quite what it seemed to be. According to the agreement reached with a group who were entirely unjustly labelled as ‘rebels’ (a more accurate term might be ‘patsies’), it turns out that the ‘principle’ is merely that a majority of MPs should be whipped into voting to break the law before it happens rather than waiting to be whipped into approving it after the event. And in exchange for this ‘concession’ from the government (which ensures that the MPs are complicit in committing the crime rather than merely agreeing to ignore it after the event), they have agreed to change the law first to make sure that the Government’s decision can’t subsequently be challenged in domestic courts.

As ‘negotiations’ go, it reminds me rather of the trade unionist who had to tell his members that he hadn’t been able to get them a pay rise and had in fact had been forced to accept a pay cut on their behalf. The good news, though, was that he’d got it backdated. In this case, instead of preventing the government from breaking international law, the useful idiots (as Lenin might have called them) have agreed to make it easier for the government to do so without challenge, and have even agreed to accept the blame themselves. That’s a ‘principle’ the like of which has rarely been seen before.

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