David Garcia on Sun, 1 Sep 2019 14:38:25 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> don't be afraid of 'project fear'

Dear Nettimers

Next week the British parliament will try to introduce legislation to make a crash out no-deal Brexit impossible. Given the limited time available, since Johnson and co will soon shut down Parliament for a month, the rebels must complete this legislative proces in one week. A very very difficult task and a battle Royal, as it must go through the upper an lower houses with filibustering and many other shenanigans.
But even if the rebels succeed it is now clear that the Johnson government will just ignore parliament's will by with-holding the sovereign's Parliamentary Assent. Can they really get away with that the short answer looks like yes.

Constitutional legal expert Robert Craig (a wise owl despite looking like Hannibal Lector) points to the following legal opinion.
" If the monarch were given clear and firm Prime Ministerial advice that she should withhold her royal assent to a Bill which had passed through the Houses of Parliament, it seems to be the case that the monarch should follow that advice."(Public Law, 63-64)

So here's the question: when government is hell bent on ignoring the previously binding constitutional arrangements of one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in the world is the only avenue left to citizens a program of sustained mass civil disobedience?

One of the most effective rhetorical tools of the Brexiters is to call every objection raised about the likely consequences of a hard Brexit *Project Fear* 
“Oh there they go again with their fear tactics." The standard remainer responce has been to try point to all the evidence hoping that reason and will ultimately prevail. But that time has passed. Fear is not cowardice. It is perhaps the most important instinct on which survival often depends. Like the Impressionists and the fauvists who embraced the insults of their critics performing a piece of rhetorical judo.. remainers need to do the same. It may be time to candidly embrace Project Fear and say yes I am fearful for this country’s future. Not fear as paralysis or flight’ but as the driver that unites the fragments in a for call to action to begin the restoration of parliamentary democracy. It won’t be easy.

David Garcia


Below is the latest twitter thread of constitutional legal guru David Allen Green 

-How we got here-

Brexit, the Tories, and the Constitution A thread on how we got here, with actual examples

Secretaries of State repeatedly misled the House and its committees over the extent and existence of Brexit sector analyses reports

The government committed itself to billions of pounds of public expenditure in a blatant bribe to the DUP for support in a supply and confidence vote

The government stood by when there were attacks on the independent judiciary and the independent civil service "Enemies of the People" “Traitors"

The government deliberately broke the pairing convention, in respect of an MP on maternity leave, so that the the government could win a vote

The government gave serious consideration to blocking a duly passed Bill from obtaining Royal Assent

The government has now locked the doors of parliament for five weeks in the crucial run-up to a no deal Brexit, just to avoid scrutiny and adverse legislation

Today a senior cabinet minister refused to commit the government to complying with any laws passed by parliament

And the response of government supporters to anyone disturbed by this pattern of increasingly serious constitutional wrongs? "Hysterical" But these concrete examples show there is something serious to be worried about Something bad is happening, and it has to be stopped /ends

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