steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Spelling out the Obvious

I don't believe in posting just because a) you haven't for a few days and/or b) something important has happened that you feel you "ought" to comment on. Nevertheless, that's what I'm doing - partly as a data point so that I can remind my future self what I was thinking now.

So, I think this is obvious and dull, but here goes. The most striking thing about Theresa May's announcement of the election the other day wasn't the fact that it was a U-turn on all her previous promises not to hold one; nor that she rather ridiculously talked about "strong, stable government", stealing a line from David Cameron, Britain's most chaotic Prime Minister ever; nor was it even... Oh, but I think this could turn into a very long list, so I'll refer you to point-by-point analysis and cut to the chase.

The most striking thing was the way in which May evidently regards any effective Parliamentary oversight of the Government's actions as an unjustified infringement on the prerogatives of the executive. Far from opposing her at every turn, Parliament has in fact been extraordinarily accommodating, letting her Brexit bill pass with a three-line Opposition whip in support, and no amendments from the Lords. How much easier could they have made it? For May, however, even having to go to Parliament was an indignity, and she wasted a lot of taxpayer's money trying to avoid it.

I can't help wondering whether Erdogan's victory in Turkey wasn't more of a spur than the invigorating air of Snowdonia in inspiring her to go to the polls, asking for a majority that would effectively free her from democratic scrutiny. Okay, it's not quite being made President-for-life (even Trump has fought shy of that so far), but like Erdogan and Trump, May has that dangerous combination of entitlement and paranoia that makes any criticism, or even any constitutional check or balance, appear illegitimate, whether that be a federal judge daring to do his job in Hawaii, or a Parliamentary opposition doing its job in Westminster.

She's a very stiff-necked person, I think, when what we need right now is an Olympic gymnast. (I'm not saying Corbyn's that, but he can at least manage a forward roll.)

Back in the bubble, why does the Guardian think "Brenda from Bristol" requires subtitles when none of the other people in this clip do?
Tags: current affairs
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