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Tempest in a teapot

September 5, 2019

Except it’s not a tempest, it’s an almighty shit storm raging.

Honestly, the Eurosceptics in the (now just barely) United Kingdom could have just been left grumbling into their tea or beer, but, oh, no. Bloody, bollocking bastard David Cameron just had to give them their long-demanded referendum on staying in or opting out of the European Union. And then just threw his toys out of the pram when the vote went the wrong way. (Yes, that’s right, the wrong way. I am nailing my colours to the mast on this one.) I don’t know where the bastard is sunning himself at the moment, but he should be dragged into Trafalgar Square every day, put in the stocks with big barrels of rotten eggs and tomatoes at hand for throwing at him.

The bloody referendum wasn’t even legally binding. Cameron could have said, “Right, the people have spoken. Now we must put the referendum result to a vote in Parliament.” Where there was at least the possibility that the hopefully saner heads of MPs could have prevailed and the whole thing put to bed. Yes, yes, there would have been grumbling, there would have been howling and screaming and it would have gone on for years and years and years, but the UK would have remained where it belongs: in the EU. Instead he ran away. Arsehole.

I know it’s a bit mad expecting any politician to do the right thing, but there was another opportunity in February 2017 to stop this train wreck. When Theresa May brought forward the legislation that would invoke Article 50, a majority of MPs could have actually said no. They could have acted on what they knew to be true (that leaving the EU was completely bloody bonkers) and, knowing they would be turfed out of office in the next election, voted against the bill. But they didn’t.

Not that it would have stopped the bill, but for the sake of decency, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could have made it a free vote, but he didn’t. (Despite this, 47 Labour MPs ignored the party whip and voted against the bill, as did one Tory MP – good old Ken Clarke – as  did all Scottish National Party, LibDem and SDLP MPs. Full list at the end of this post, in case anyone ever runs into one of them and wants to shake their hand.)

And so we’ve had the pathetic spectacle of Theresa May (who almost certainly voted to remain in the EU) attempting to negotiate a deal that would never please anyone to allow the UK to resign its membership of the EU without crippling the country for generations to come. And eventually falling on her sword.

Leading to this somehow always inevitable shambles that is Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. Resignations, defections, deselections. An unelected Prime Minister, who’s lost his razor thin majority, hell bent on driving his country off the white cliffs of Dover. (“Boris”. Isn’t that a Russian name? Hmm.) MPs, including many in his own party, hell bent on stopping him. Sleepovers in the House of Lords. The possibility (I learnt from a BBC commentator yesterday) that Johnson will simply refuse to take the no deal Brexit bill to the Queen for royal assent.

As Maria, a character I’ve had the pleasure of playing in Twelfth Night, so aptly says: “If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.”

Unfortunately, it is being played upon a stage now and it is the worst Whitehall farce ever.

_________________________________________________________

Full list of 114 MPs who voted against article 50 bill at second reading

These are the 114 MPs who voted against the article 50 bill getting a second reading.

Conservatives
Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe)

Liberal Democrats
Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington)
Nick Clegg (Sheffield, Hallam)
Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland)
Sarah Olney (Richmond Park)
John Pugh (Southport)
Mark Williams (Ceredigion)
Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Scottish National party
Chris Law (Dundee West)
John Mc Nally (Falkirk)
Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Glasgow South)
Stuart C. McDonald (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
Stewart Hosie (Dundee East)
George Kerevan (East Lothian)
Calum Kerr (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Margaret Ferrier (Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
Stephen Gethins (North East Fife)
Patricia Gibson (North Ayrshire and Arran)
Patrick Grady (Glasgow North)
Peter Grant (Glenrothes)
Neil Gray (Airdrie and Shotts)
Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
Roger Mullin (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)
Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North)
John Nicolson (East Dunbartonshire)
Brendan O’Hara (Argyll and Bute)
Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire)
Steven Paterson (Stirling)
Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West)
Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East)
Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)
Anne McLaughlin (Glasgow North East)
Carol Monaghan (Glasgow North West)
Paul Monaghan (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)
Angus Robertson (Moray)
Alex Salmond (Gordon)
Mike Weir (Angus)
Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire)
Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan)
Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire)
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (Ochil and South Perthshire)
Angela Crawley (Lanark and Hamilton East)
Douglas Chapman (Dunfermline and West Fife)
Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West)
Lisa Cameron (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
Richard Arkless (Dumfries and Galloway)
Hannah Bardell (Livingston)
Martyn Day (Linlithgow and East Falkirk)
Martin Docherty-Hughes (West Dunbartonshire)
Stuart Blair Donaldson (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine)
Ronnie Cowan (Inverclyde)
Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)
Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Mhairi Black (Paisley and Renfrewshire South)
Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)
Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North)
Philip Boswell (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill)

Labour
Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East)
Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow)
Graham Allen (Nottingham North)
Rosena Allin-Khan (Tooting)
Luciana Berger (Labour (Co-op) – Liverpool, Wavertree)
Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)
Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West)
Rupa Huq (Ealing Central and Acton)
Lyn Brown (West Ham)
Chris Bryant (Rhondda)
Ms Karen Buck (Westminster North)
Dawn Butler (Brent Central)
Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth)
Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley)
Ann Coffey (Stockport)
Neil Coyle (Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)
Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West)
Mary Creagh (Wakefield)
Stella Creasy (Labour (Co-op) – Walthamstow)
Stephen Doughty (Labour (Co-op) – Cardiff South and Penarth)
Jim Dowd (Lewisham West and Penge)
Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood)
Mrs Louise Ellman (Labour (Co-op) – Liverpool, Riverside)
Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford)
Mike Gapes (Labour (Co-op) – Ilford South)
Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)
Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood)
Meg Hillier (Labour (Co-op) – Hackney South and Shoreditch)
Peter Kyle (Hove)
David Lammy (Tottenham)
Rachael Maskell (Labour (Co-op) – York Central)
Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)
Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)
Mrs Madeleine Moon (Bridgend)
Stephen Pound (Ealing North)
Virendra Sharma (Ealing, Southall)
Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)
Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith)
Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington)
Owen Smith (Pontypridd)
Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central)
Stephen Timms (East Ham)
Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green)
Alan Whitehead (Southampton, Test)
Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge)

Green
Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (Arfon)
Liz Saville Roberts (Dwyfor Meirionnydd)

Independents
Natalie McGarry (Glasgow East)
Lady Hermon (North Down)
Michelle Thomson (Edinburgh West)

SDLP
Mark Durkan (Foyle)
Ms Margaret Ritchie (South Down)
Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South)

 

 

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