The Supreme Court’s ruling. Why not now go all the way – and let Bercow deliver the Queen’s Speech? | Conservative Home


‘Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows’.

Those are the words of the Enacting Formula – the standard pattern of words which, with certain variations, precede the clauses of Bills at Westminster.  In a single sentence, they capture the meaning of Parliamentary sovereignty.

They clearly don’t say that the legislature is the only source of this sovereignty – in other words, of law-making power.  Rather, they tell a story.  It is one of that power being shared by the Queen, through the executive branch of government, with the legislature.

That’s why it’s said that we’re governed by the Queen-in-Parliament: it is the place where the monarch, her Government, and the legislature come together.  Parliament should work with harmony of a stately dance (come to think of it, “stately” is le mot juste), in which each dancer has his or her part to play.  Some of the most riveting steps in their movements came about because of the English Civil War. The dance continues to this day.

The best way of understanding the Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday is to grasp that it reads the dance very differently – and, frankly, wrongly. “As long ago as 1611,” its ruling declared, the court held that “the King [who was then the government] hath no prerogative but that which the law of the land allows him”.  The Court clearly has that civil war, and long-run up to it, very much in mind.

But the King (or, in this case, the Queen) is no longer “the government” – a truth that the learned judges seem to have forgotten as soon as they uttered it.  Government is now a shared exercise between “the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty” and those “Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons”.  Or, to put it another way, Boris Johnson in no way resembles a Stuart Monarch.  Quite apart from anything else, Charles I did not offer the Roundheads the chance to vote him out of office.

Neither is Dominic Grieve John Hampden; nor Lady Hale, Sir Edward Coke; nor Dominic Cummings “Black Tom Tyrant” – the Earl of Stafford, Charles I’s formidable adviser, who was eventually sacrificed as a scapegoat.  If anyone thought they were.  Above all, this Gollum of a Speaker is not, repeat not, John Lenthall.

 

Source: The Supreme Court’s ruling. Why not now go all the way – and let Bercow deliver the Queen’s Speech? | Conservative Home

The Roman ‘Brexit’: how life in Britain changed after 409AD


Leaving a major political body is nothing new for mainland Britain. In 409AD, more than 350 years after the Roman conquest of 43AD, the island slipped from the control of the Roman Empire. Much like the present Brexit, the process of this secession and its practical impacts on Britain’s population in the early years of the 5th century remain ill-defined.

As with the UK and Brussels, Britain had always been a mixed blessing for Rome. In around 415AD, St Jerome called the island “fertile in tyrants” (meaning usurpers) and late Roman writers portrayed a succession of rebellions in Britain, usually instigated by the army – many of whom would have been born in the province.

Around 407AD, the latest usurper, Constantine III, left Britain, taking the remaining elements of the army with him. The late Roman writer, Zosimus, then wrote that the pressure of Barbarian invaders obliged the British to throw off Roman rule and live “no longer subject to Roman laws but as they themselves pleased”, a phrase guaranteed to warm the heart of any Brexiteer.

This episode, around 409AD, seems to have been the end of Roman government in Britain. No “Romans” left, beyond the small number of soldiers who went to the continent to fight with Constantine III. Instead, the end of Roman Britain was, like the proposed present Brexit, a change in a relationship with a distant administration. But how did this change actually affect the people who lived in the island? And what were the consequences?

 

Source: The Roman ‘Brexit’: how life in Britain changed after 409AD

Black history is still largely ignored, 70 years after Empire Windrush reached Britain : The Conversation


The arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks on June 22, 1948 marked a watershed moment in the recent history of immigration to Britain. The day before the ship arrived from the Caribbean, the Evening Standard sent an airplane to photograph the vessel as it approached Britain. The photo appeared on the front page under the headline: “Welcome to Britain! Evening Standard plane greets 400 sons of Empire.” But the reception of the new arrivals was far from unequivocally positive.

Now, 70 years and three to four generations later, the legacy of those who arrived on the Windrush and the ships that followed is being rightly remembered – albeit in a way which calls into question how much their presence, sacrifices and contributions are valued in Britain.

 

Source: Black history is still largely ignored, 70 years after Empire Windrush reached Britain : The Conversation