Leaked document shows Johnson may try to shut down parliament for five weeks ahead of Brexit

Boris Johnson
Afroze Fatima Zaidi

An email leaked to the Observer shows that PM Boris Johnson has enquired about shutting down parliament for five weeks from 9 September. The move could be an attempt to stop MPs from extending the date for when the UK will leave the EU. Moreover, it would allow Johnson to push through a no-deal Brexit.

Johnson, currently in France for the G7 summit, has warned MPs to not try to further extend the formal date for Brexit:

I think it’s parliament’s job now to respect not just the will of the people but to remember what the overwhelming majority of them promised to do over and over and over again, which is to get Brexit done, to respect the will of the people, and to come out of the EU on 31 October. That is what I am confident our parliament will do.

Start your day with The Canary News Digest

Fresh and fearless; get excellent independent journalism from The Canary, delivered straight to your inbox every morning.




Opposition

Johnson’s plans have met with considerable opposition. Conservative Remainer Dominic Grieve has described the move as showing “contempt for the House of Commons”, going on to say:

It may be possible to circumvent the clear intention of the House of Commons in this way but it shows total bad faith. Excluding the house from a national crisis that threatens the future of our country is entirely wrong.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, also criticised the move on Twitter, saying:

This must be stopped. To suspend parliament at this crucial time is outrageous. MPs must take the earliest opportunity to take Johnson on and defeat him.

A no-deal Brexit, favoured by Johnson, could have potentially devastating effects on trade, immigration, the economy, and political relations with the EU.

Featured image via YouTube/ Sky News

Since you're here ...

We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.

The Canary Support
  • Show Comments
    1. Johnson’s words are a wonder to behold. Refresh your memory and then discover why.

      “I think it’s parliament’s job now to respect not just the will of the people but to remember what the overwhelming majority of them promised to do over and over and over again, which is to get Brexit done, to respect the will of the people, and to come out of the EU on 31 October. That is what I am confident our parliament will do.”

      These utterances are one of two things. First, ‘political speak’ addressed contemptuously at folk to whom the speaker cannot be bothered to present a reasoned argument. Else, they are best effort from a man of limited ability to muster an idea and present it cogently. Whatever other may come to mind, Johnson’s words don’t match Churchill’s oratory at time of crisis; Churchill could get away with tremendous tosh because at point of declamation it was compelling and his phrases were memorable.

      The first obvious feature indicative of limited imagination is using twice the expression “will of the people” in so short a passage of text. It is such a hackneyed phrase, redolent of ‘tub-thumping’, that its use only once ought raise an eyebrow.

      In context, the phrase is empty. People responded to the referendum question without expectation of Brexit entailing an ill-prepared divorce, this look set to precipitate hardship, chaos, and strife, after a couple of years of inept negotiation. Cameron, May, and now Johnson, have sold the electorate a ‘pig in a poke’. Cameron was an utter fool by not arranging for the electorate to receive ‘what if?’ analyses by trustworthy independent sources of consequences following a Brexit decision one way or the other. This stupidity compounded by not-nuanced in/out option on the ballot paper and lack of forethought over setting minimum turnout, and minimum majority in order for what is in effect major constitutional change to come into being. Moreover, it was not made clear that the referendum was advisory to Parliament.

      Mrs May, seemingly no more enthusiastic for Brexit than Cameron, grasped the poisoned chalice and, poor dear, was unable to run with it to the finishing line. Note, position of the finishing line is not, as the odious Johnson would have it, immutably fixed in time.

      Next there is reference, so it appears, to a promise made by an “overwhelming majority” of MPs. This supposedly “over and over again”. Would Johnson be so kind as to pin this down? Might he not also admit that neither MPs nor anyone else is obliged to stick with an opinion when circumstances change?

      “That is what I am confident our parliament will do” is either wishful thinking or a veiled threat. The latter of ‘consequences’ should Johnson’s planned putsch succeed.

      It is to be hoped truly ‘Honourable’ Members of Parliament will disregard this message from the bunker and decide according to conscience. It’s not clear whether Johnson is modelling his behaviour on Julius Caesar or a more recent usurper of power in Germany. Either way, each came to a nasty end.

      —–

      Released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international license. (sic)

      —–

      Author’s email: atlanticcouncil@protonmail.com

      aka: smythe-mogg at RT.

      Bitcoin appreciation to:

      1Kz9AteVKnt3xb4wfDtAZH2DhnU3dy1Wkt

      1. Yet another interesting, well laid out post…thank you for pointing out what isn’t always obvious.

        Just a bit unsure whether you are an Atlantic Council supporter/member and/or an RT contributor, it seems both are unlikely to be true as the Atlantic Council are very anti-RT, and RT is very anti-Atlantic Council. So maybe this is just a bit of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License sarcasm?

        1. Thank you for your kind words. They are appreciated.

          I detest the Atlantic Council and all it stands for. In comments published on the RT sites I regularly mock the Council, the Integrity Initiative, the Henry Jackson Society, and several other so-called ‘think tanks’ giving succour to ‘dark forces’.

          The Atlantic Council has risible academic pretensions. It appoints a variety of associates. Fellows and Senior Fellows abound. Their conveniently listed CVs may impress passing journalists but few if any (I have not glanced at the lot) convey sense of intellect and academic gravitas.

          I soon began to suspect tampering/deletion of posts failing to respect these institutions as their members would wish. Indeed, during one frenetic period when the Skripal fiasco was in full swing it was evident that not only I was targeted.

          I cannot offer solid proof this happened. However, consider the following. I had to create 52 ‘throw away’ email accounts and each time re-register with RT. Only one of these RT accounts seems to have been formally deleted. The remainder were rendered inoperable in one way or another. There was a period when a ‘shift’ of censors looked to be operating during certain hours; comments inserted outside those times (i.e. deep UK night) were not interfered with.

          I observed that when a new RT account proved popular and earned ‘ticks’ and responses, it was most vulnerable.

          Not for a moment do I believe anyone at RT (except possibly an interloper) involved in censorship. Neither do I suspect the farmed-out operator of the comment system (again except for a bad apple within it) . The comment system software is eccentric in the manner by which it automatically flags trigger words for, presumed, consideration by moderators; this could have been infiltrated by outsiders. In fact, it is the most bizarre comment system I have yet encountered but its curious ways don’t appear linked with malign intent.

          None of the blocks/removals had connection with obscene language, possible libel (as construed in the USA), and gratuitous (undeserved) insult. In fact, published comments by many others on almost any topic are a mass of directed insults, many of these by choice of wording antisemitic in nature even when making a valid point if expressed differently. Which brings me to a broader topic.

          ‘Bad actors’ may have technical proficiency to interfere with RT’s editorially commissioned articles. Yet, that would be too obvious and promote scandal (at least among people capable of independent thought).

          Comments are an entirely different matter. There is no direct editorial oversight and hence externally motivated malfeasance is unnoticed other than by individuals making comments, and this presumably often attributed to the comment system’s idiosyncrasies; one such being evaporation into the ether of comments slightly too long (for instance several of the paragraphs in the text here – certainly this one), this immediately after posting; no warning is given to the person posting the comment and no opportunity to shorten it.

          RT is regarded as ‘dangerous’ , an instrument of subversion. Whilst, at present, it is not practicable to ban RT’s broadcasting or to block its Internet presence, as foolishly is attempted with supposedly copyright infringing sites, it can be defamed. What simpler way than giving the impression that nobody other than a lunatic fringe of pro-Moscow simpletons are visitors to the site? Comments left give impression of the intellect and education of readers. Well articulated remarks are dangerous indeed, particularly when consistently appreciated by other readers. These indicate thinking in a section of the population capable of exerting influence on affairs.

          The name of the game is to make out RT as appealing only to low-life forms at similar level to the readership of Breitbart (alleged) News.

          Presumably, there are ‘troll farms’ churning out ignorant and distasteful remarks to give impression of rock bottom plebeian input.

          Paranoia? Perhaps, but consistent with news of manipulation and disinformation by government agencies and by supposedly independent (palpably not so) bodies like the Integrity Initiative.

          My RT smythe-mogg identity has run unmolested for a considerable time. Maybe there are bigger fish to fry. Else, my persistence in creating identities gives rise to wasted effort otherwise better deployed. Perhaps sensible ‘bad actors’ grasp the benefit of keeping a watchful eye on the developing thoughts of subversives and interest they arouse in others. Anyway, my pseudonymous identities act as a break against hate mail. GCHQ and the NSA know me well. Perhaps, on occasion their operatives laugh alongside me.

          —–

          Talking of comment systems, that of the Canary would benefit from tweaks.

          1. Opportunity to edit text. Perhaps lasting for a week after insertion of a post.

          2. Simple tools for text formatting e.g. italic, quotation, bold, underline, and text size.

          3. ‘Report comment’ ought ask for reason or provide a check list of reasons (to include ‘spam’). There should be option to cancel if ‘Report’ inadvertently clicked instead of ‘Reply’.

          1. Thank you so much for responding, and you are most deserving of the praise.

            Reading your posts really stimulates my brain, much as RT has done since becoming aware of them (and because of RT, The Canary).

            In my hunt to rid myself of increasing BBC (and other’s) biases, I was and still am, genuinely impressed with RT’s programming and News services. So much so, that I don’t mind admitting it was an emotional experience when I found them, news people who appear to think as I do, namely, questioning everything, and for what seemed like a first, asking the right questions.

            I have not been subjected to a great deal of censorship, namely because I don’t often post my opinions, and often will take months to years of watching contributors before venturing one (with the exception of The Canary).

            I too have an RT account, however I have contributed very little due to the huge amount of rude and nasty, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Russian, blindly pro-USA!USA!USA! chanters and trolls.

            It’s not that it wouldn’t be easy for me to troll them right back, and with some provable facts, it is mainly due to not wanting to waste my effort on what are mainly machines, trolls, and rude idiots. However, there is also the fact that RT articles and programs are on the whole, very informative, and very well researched. It kind of makes me feel a little bit impotent in terms of my opinion, usually because they’ve already covered the points I would have raised on other less integrity loving sites.

            However, during the Skripal fiasco, I had the utter temerity to suggest on The Register’s forums that the fiasco was a false flag op, in particular (looking across the pond) Washington/Pentagon/Langley etc.

            I got no warning, no reasons given (until I contacted the webmaster directly) and my entire account with all my previously ‘good’ posts were summarily deleted.

            I got into quite a debate with the webmaster of The Register, I laid out good, in depth reasoning, and all he could do is respond with bad reasoning, or the best response, a link to Bellingcat (which I was able to shoot down very quickly with their publicly available list of sponsors and supporters).

            After a few days of back and forth, my account was re-instated (minus all my previous posts), but I felt I could not go back because they were (might still be) operating an echo-chamber for a comments section. This happened on a site that apparently prides itself on freedom of speech.

            In previous posts on The Register I was criticized for having long, detailed posts, then on this one occasion I left it short, and then was told by the webmaster I should have been more detailed!

            I know, you know, and anyone with a genuinely inquisitive mind will know, that it was the fact I said that it looked like a false-flag op to me that got me banned in the first place.

            I mention this because this was the first time I have ever been censored, and it came as a real shock. The Register was my absolute favourite go to site for many years, one I had recommended to many others, one I had been with since it first started.

            Now however, The Register has been replaced with RT and The Canary (for more local news), and I haven’t looked back since. RT and The Canary are to me The Best News services on Planet Earth, and I say that with no qualms, or feeling that I am over-exaggerating.

            I think RT has a tiny, tiny amount of bias, but I was expecting so much more than they do have, that the very small amount of Russian/Putin bias, is to my mind and sensibility, not just understandable, but justified, and doesn’t intrude into everything like the blatant bias of the BBC.

            I apologise that this post is off-topic from the Article, but I really wanted to reach out to say Thank You to you, and to hopefully have my confusion evaporated (thanks for making it clear).

            I, like you, am anti-The Atlantic Council (and others like them), and it is empowering to see you are not afraid to say it, even though you may be being watched (almost certainly quite honestly) by several ‘security’ agencies.

            I agree with you about the comments system here, it could do with a few more tools such as post-editing. It was only a few days ago I made a mistake in one of my posts, basically saying the exact opposite of what I meant, and the only option was to post again with my admission of my error.

            I second your comments section improvements.

            Thank you again for responding so well, I look forward to reading more of your posts here and on RT.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.