Jan 052020
 

So the US has blown up Soleimani with a drone strike; what’s the problem?

Well it isn’t that Soleimani didn’t deserve it, although I would lean in favour of being imprisoned for life after a conviction for crimes against humanity (yes this would be a lot more difficult to arrange). And no it isn’t because the one effectively pressing the button was an orange-painted idiotic sociopath.

No, it’s the way he was killed.

What seems to be commonly overlooked is that a total of ten people were killed by the drone strike – did all of those there deserve to die? Each and every one? No, probably not.

And who made the decision to go ahead and make the drone strike? The president of the USA with an arbitrary decision rather than any proper due process. In other words, this ‘execution’ (or assassination) wasn’t sanctioned by a court of law .

And lastly, this was an act of war by the USA against Iraqi territory and an Iranian general. Either could use this act as justification (as much as any war is justified) for war with the USA. And as the USA has used similar acts by others as justification for war, it can hardly claim that they are not. At least not honestly.

In terms of reactions to this assassination, it doesn’t matter what USA citizens think; it matters what Iraqis and Iranians think. And judging by the public reactions so far, they don’t appear to like it much. That will further radicalise ordinary Iranians and Iraqis and make them more likely to side with the Islamic terrorists.

Unoccupied

Dec 222019
 

One slightly amusing aspect that seems to have been missed during the recent (to me at least) kerfuffle on Twitter between TERFs and trans-women regarding whether the later should be allowed into safe spaces for women, is the irony of feminists defending single-sex ‘spaces’ when their predecessors spent so long fighting against them.

Now let’s get a few things out of the way :-

  1. If a woman is so keen to be a man that she queues up to have her ‘bits’ re-arranged, then of course he’s a man (this way around doesn’t seem to get said enough). And the other way around.
  2. I’m not arguing that women need ‘safe spaces’ away from men.
  3. I’m not arguing that men should have ‘safe spaces’ away from women (although the non-orthogonality of this position disturbs me). The male-only clubs of the 20th century (and earlier) were unofficially used to exclude women from power.

TERFs are clearly in the wrong here – if women need safe spaces, so do trans-women … because they are women as well.

Oct 092019
 

You probably will not be surprised that I do not agree with the hypothesis that blocking Brexit is “undemocratic”. Twitter trolls are rampantly gaslighting anything that looks like it supports blocking Brexit by accusing anything that criticises the current Brexit process as undemocratic.

In the referendum, I voted remain but would be quite content to see Brexit under the deal that was promised by the Leave campaigners. I would still oppose it and immediately it was complete would be campaigning to re-join the EU.

But we don’t have a deal that resembles what was promised (the fact it was an unrealistic promise is irrelevant); the EU has declared a deal looks to be impossible and there are reasonable suspicions that the government is angling for a no-deal Brexit.

Which is not what was promised.

And according to the government’s own realistic (not worst-case) scenario of what would happen with a no-deal Bexit, would include significant economic disruption, shortages of food, medicine and other essentials, and possibly rioting in the streets.

The referendum was legally an advisory result which means that it can be ignored by Parliament according to our democratic constitution. And yet Parliament is not ignoring the result – it is insisting that the government makes a deal that Parliament approves of, or seeks an extension – neither blocks Brexit.

And here is so much that was dodgy about the referendum that if it were binding, it may well have been overturned by the courts :-

  1. Collectively the leavers exceeded the spending limits sufficiently to collect in the region of £300,000 in fines. That inevitably had an effect on the result – campaigners wouldn’t spend money if it wasn’t effective.
  2. Numerous reports have emerged indicating the Russian interference with the referendum.
  3. Leaver lies. The trolls would have you believe that the remainers also lied, but I have yet to see anything credible that would lead me to agree. And even if they did, lies invalidate the result.

Recent opinion polls show a clear (if narrow) majority in favour of remaining within the EU :-

If you are going to say that ignoring the referendum result is undemocratic, then I’m going to say that ignoring the will of the people today is undemocratic. 

And finally, to repeat myself, Parliament is not blocking Brexit. It is instead requiring that Boris the Bodger produces a deal with the EU that Parliament can approve of, or that he seeks an extension; the only people suggesting revoking article 50 (without another referendum) are the Liberals after an election.

Sep 272019
 

There are those (amongst the lunatic fringe of the Bexiteers – see this) who believe that the Supreme Court decision this week on Boris the Bodger proroguing parliament was an anti-Brexit move and undemocratic.

Nothing could be further than the truth; indeed it is possibly more important than Brexit. To quite from the Supreme Court summary of the judgement :-

It is important, once again, to emphasise that these cases are not about when and on what terms the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union …

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/docs/uksc-2019-0192-summary.pdf

It was about the so-called “unwritten” constitution (which is actually far too many bit of paper all over the place), and ensuring that Britain’s governance (not government) was in accordance with constitutional law.

Britain’s governance consists of three parts :-

  1. The executive (the Prime Minister and the government they appoint) who is appointed by Parliament.
  2. Parliament (the only part of governance that is democratically elected) which creates legislation and supervises the executive.
  3. Finally the Judiciary (and the Supreme Court) that judges whether actions are legal, illegal, or unlawful.

The Supreme Court by declaring that the proroguing of parliament was unlawful, decided that the purpose of proroguing parliament was for the government to make Brexit arrangements without the supervision of parliament. Brexit can and must be delivered with Parliament’s blessing – anything else is undemocratic.

But more importantly, this was about a prime minister ignoring the will of parliament and using an instrument of state in a way that was never intended. This was effectively an attempt at dictatorship.

So in the end the Supreme Court decision was not about stopping Brexit but stopping a dictatorship now (which admittedly would have been a particularly limited dictatorship) and in the future.

Aug 282019
 

Today Boris the Bodger called the privy council up to prorogue parliament to stop those ever so inconvenient representatives of the people from causing more trouble for his agenda. There are those who go so far as to call this a cout d’état – not entirely unreasonably although it is probably legal.

There are those who are disappointed that the Queen agreed to the proroguing of parliament, but why should she? Disregarding the ‘advice’ of the Prime Minister would go against what she has spent her entire reign doing – being a symbolic head of state in a parliamentary democracy.

Because it’s a lifetime ago, it is all too easy to forget that the Queen ascended the throne with the monarchy in crisis – her uncle had abdicated in 1936 and her father reigned for a relatively short time. She has spent her long reign rebuilding trust in the monarchy.

There are those who will say what happened was not democratic (and I’m inclined to agree with them) but the Queen can quite reasonably point out that she acted in a democratic way – she assented to the request of the Prime Minister elected by parliament.

If anything undemocratic went on, it was done by Boris the Bodger, and parliament has a duty to take care of that.

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