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Friday, 4 November 2016

Article 50 - Now Press Incitement

After yesterday’s High Court ruling that Parliament is Sovereign, and therefore must be given a say on the decision to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, there was a miraculous and sudden transformation: all those who have spent the last year and a half telling us that they wanted Parliament to be Sovereign decided that it was not such a good idea for Parliament to be Sovereign after all.
Worse, because the challenge to the idea of using Royal Prerogative to enable Theresa May to trigger Article 50 was led by Gina Miller, who was born outside the UK, the rage of the Europhobic press has spilled over this morning into xenophobia and full-on racist bigotry. Added to this has been the equally miraculous transformation of many papers and their journalists into willing channellers of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
The Marxist-Leninist transformation was most noticeable at the Daily Mail, where the front page lead thundered “Fury over ‘out of touch’ judged who defied 17.4m Brexit voters and could trigger constitutional crisis … ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE”. Direct quote from Lenin right there. Along with reasserting Parliamentary Sovereignty being called a “crisis”.
Over at the Telegraph, the mood is similar, with readers told of “The judges versus the people”. The thought that most of those people would be in favour of the law being properly upheld is not allowed to enter. Instead, we have ocean-going hypocrite Nigel “Thirsty” Farage telling of “incredible arrogance” (he’d know all about that) and blaming a “rich elite”, a phrase that sums him up all too well. Farage wanted Parliament to be Sovereign, until he discovered that might involve things that were inconvenient to him.
Only papers like the Guardian attempt to paint an accurate picture, telling of “Turmoil for May as judges rule that parliament must decide on Brexit”. It’s a problem for the PM, not a constitutional crisis, nothing more, nothing less. This was not allowed to enter at the joke newspaper that is the Express, which simply thundered “Three Judges Yesterday Blocked Brexit. Now Your Country Really Does Need You … WE MUST GET OUT OF THE EU”.
This was followed by “Comment”: in other words, the Express is such a cheapskate operation that it hasn’t got the resources to put news on its front page (plus nobody has “blocked Brexit”). But it was the Murdoch Sun that took the biscuit for its combination of hypocrisy and incitement, with “Judges’ Brexit Blow … WHO DO EU THINK YOU ARE? Loaded foreign elite defy will of Brit voters”. Foreign. Loaded.
Like the loaded foreign elite who own the Sun, perhaps? But no: this was an assault on Gina Miller, who by a surprising coincidence is not white, and has already received death threats, as well as a shed load of racist abuse. That is not allowed to enter; the Murdoch goons have their instructions. And there is another problem with these headlines.

All of them breach IPSO’s editor’s code on Clause 1: Accuracy, which tells “The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text … The press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact

That just went out the window. Want to know why they don’t want properly independent press regulation? Look no further than today’s front pages. I’ll just leave that one there.


Andy McDonald said...

So, we're now at a stage where the will of "the people" is everything. Or at least "the people" who voted leave. Except any of "the people" who have expressed a bit of buyers remorse, had second thoughts, or want anything different to what a handful of newspaper owners and editors want. Which to be honest changes from day to day. One day it's kick 'em all out, then the moment a Polish man gets his brains smashed in, that's not what they meant at all and we want our doors to be open to the best the world has to offer, only we don't.

Add into the mix a supine government and a useless parliamentary opposition, and what we have is effectively a tabloid junta - if, that is, there's any co-operation between them. At this stage I'm rather glad of the likes of these judges and Mark Carney keeping level heads.

J Jones said...

What a pity all those who are now championing the notion of Parliamentary 'supremacy', didn't feel it was so important when it was given away without permission.

In any case, this isn't about supremacy - it's about parliamentary process.

UK law is still subservient to EU law in all the areas given away in previous treaties. And many people (including Gina Miller) want it to stay that way.

LiamKav said...

@J Jones

None of your comments have any relation to what is posted. Leave people wanted Parliament to be "sovereign". Judges state that parliament is sovereign. Leave voters go crazy because the system is working exactly how they want it to work.

This has got nothing to do with UK law being subservient to EU law. You can't just keep pointing in the vague direction of Belgium shouting "but them bureaucrats!" every time something happens that you don't like.

Paul said...

J Jones, the bits where EU law takes precedence are a result if UK pooling sovereignty by choice, not giving it up. Why do you think EU has things like qualified majority and national (even regional) vetoes? Since to trade with EU, UK products snd devices will need to conform to EU standards, isn't it wise to be in a position where UK give can influence and help set those standards? In the EU but with no obligation to join Euro or Schengen - what possible better deal could we get?

Andy McDonald said...

Indeed LiamKav. The orchestrators of the latest round of outrage don't really want parliamentary democracy - they want a tame government (executive branch) that will do whatever they say while 650 talking heads make some noise and act as a distraction. They just know that "parliamentary sovereignty" sounds good for selling to the electorate. Better than what they really want, anyway.

J Jones said...

Suggest you read the 'Factortame' case.

If Parliament was really exercising its sovereignty it would be repealing the European Communities Act 1972. That would have to be done with a vote of all MPs. It will still have to be done at some point even when A50 is triggered.

This is all about the executive giving notice to quit a series of Treaties.

As I wrote, it's odd that folk are now clutching at sovereignty straws when previously they had no concerns at all.

Its all academic really as we will leave, of that I am sure - its just that some might leave kicking and screaming. That's democracy.

Simon said...

Who exactly has blocked Brexit here? All they have ruled is that a decision must be passed through Parliament, the MPs are free to vote to continue with it. Having the 650 or so people we elected decide these things sounds a lot more democratic than one we didn't. The Leave campaign wanted 'control' and didn't want 'unelected leaders' deciding things for us.