20th September 2019
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‘This is an outrage’ – MP Carmichael blasts plans to suspend Westminster parliament

Plans to suspend the Westminster parliament have been condemned as an “outrage” by Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

News broke on Wednesday morning that the government was preparing to ask the Queen to suspend parliament, giving Prime Minister Boris Johnson the chance to hold a Queen’s Speech detailing his administration’s plans on 14th October.

The UK is due to exit the European Union – “do or die”, according to Mr Johnson – on 31st October.

Mr Carmichael said the suspend parliament move was widely seen as an attempt to prevent those outside the government interfering with Brexit.

“This is an existential threat to parliamentary democracy,” said Mr Carmichael.

“These actions go beyond Brexit or any other constitutional issue. Parliament must stand strong against a government which seeks to undermine and sideline it. People who care about democracy, whatever their party, must put aside their differences to prevent this.”

The Liberal Democrat said it was unacceptable that Mr Johnson, who was selected by Conservative party members after Theresa May’s resignation, threatening parliamentary institutions.

“From a man who was put in power by a vote of fewer than 150,000 people, this is an outrage that cannot be allowed to stand.

“In years gone by the establishment used to protect our institutions. Now it is the Etonian elite who are putting them under threat.”

The BBC reported that a “No 10 source” had defended the move – known as prorogation – saying: “It’s time a new government and new PM set out a plan for the country after we leave the EU.”

UPDATE – 11.04am: Scottish Greens by-election candidate Debra Nicolson has added her voice to those condemning the UK government’s move to prorogue parliament.

She said: “The decision to suspend parliament is an unacceptable democratic outrage. We need opposition unity now to stop Boris Johnson’s power grab and in that spirit I hope all the other candidates will join me in condemning this.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie added: “Boris Johnson led a Leave campaign which cheated and broke the law to win. It’s no surprise that now he’s the prime minister he is continuing his assault against democracy.

“If we need to ‘take back control’ from anyone, we need to take it back from him. Those who defend the UK’s unwritten constitution often say the Queen must be ‘kept out of politics’. The government is now asking her to suspend parliament for an explicitly political purpose – one for which there is no mandate.

“Any Head of State worthy of the title would say no. The people of Scotland are used to the UK government treating them with contempt, but this move by Johnson takes this contempt to a whole new level and reinforces the need for the people to have a say over the future direction of our country.”

UPDATE – 11.12am: SNP by-election candidate Tom Wills has also given his reaction.

“Today is a dark day for British democracy and proves once and for all that Westminster is not working,” he said.

“With 100 parliamentarians in Edinburgh, London and Brussels, the SNP is by far the biggest pro-European party in the UK.

“If elected as your MSP, I’ll fight this every step of the way – we can’t stand by and watch while the Tories strip away our democratic right to representation.

“We need to use our vote tomorrow to send Boris Johnson a message that Shetland won’t stand for Brexit and this shameful attack on democracy.”

27 comments

  1. Robert Wishart

    The outrage is Carmichael and his chums. He voted to hold the referendum then reneged on it when it didn’t turn out as he expected. Carmichael is a fair-weather democrat like all the rest in libdemland. Accept a referendum result when you approve of it. If not undermine any and all negotiations, deals and compromises which might have prevented “no deal”, and then demand another.
    Perhaps we could rephrase Carmichael’s self-serving quote to read: “People who care about democracy, whatever their party, must put aside their differences [to enact the result of the referendum, like true democrats].”

    Reply
  2. Peter Hamilton

    Disgraceful! Let’s hope the by-election result sends a very strong message that up with this we shall not put. What result does Boris fear most?

    Reply
    • Mr ian Tinkler

      Completely outmanoeuvred the Remoaners. Like him or loathe him, Boris certainly has guts. It is my belief he is manoeuvring for a No-Confidence Vote. Then a Brexit Party, Leave Torie MPs, coalition would put Brexit beyond doubt. Boris said Do or Die, I think he really meant it, a politician with balls, what a surprise!!! Just watch the Remoaners run around like headless chickens. I love it!!!

      Reply
      • Mr ian Tinkler

        PS, I will vote tactically for Beatrice.

  3. John M Scott

    What Hypocrites!

    Corbyn and his friends in the other parties, including the Greens and the SNP, were planning to overturn the democratic vote of the British people made in 2016. That truly would have been a “dark day” for British Democracy.

    The Prime Minister of our United Kingdom is only exercising his constitutional right to ask the Queen for a prorogation of Parliament. This is because it is the longest period in our history in modern times since a Queen’s Speech.

    Boris Johnson has the right to outline the parliamentary programme for his government since he replaced Theresa May; what’s wrong with that?

    Reply
    • Alan Kyle

      Absolutely John. In a similar way to the German Nationalist People’s Party exercised their right to introduce an emergency decree in 1933?

      Reply
    • Stuart Hannay

      It’s amusing seeing how many ardent Brexiteers are choosing to vote tactically for the only major (UK- wide) party who are committed to reversing it.

      Reply
      • Steven Jarmson

        Well the truth there is there is no mainstream party that supports brexit in scotland.
        Tories, Labour and Lib Dems all want brexit cancelled under the guise of a poor deal or rerun referendum.
        Out with brexit, many BeLeavers agree with the Lib Dems on most of their other policies, so they are the logical vote.

  4. John Inkster

    Parliament has had years to agree on the terms of Brexit following the British peoples vote to leave. How many more years do they want? Europe does not want to give us a good deal and we can no longer afford to wait for one.

    Many of those who want to debate it for ever are now afraid that Boris may just make this work! And if and when he does, it could well be a landslide for him at the next general election.

    The problem this last three years has not been Brexit it has been parliaments inability to deliver it. Parliament has damaged Britain with its endless debate and stalling tactics. It is now clearly time to move on and to let him get on with it. He does appear to have an energy, drive and optimisim that has been refreshing and even entertaining to watch.

    Reply
  5. Peter Hamilton

    MPs collectively are like doctors. We can’t oblige them to give us just anything. They should and will do that they think best.

    Interesting that Ian will vote LibDem tactically. Is that confirmation that the biggest threat to Boris and a bad for Shetland hard-Brexit is a SNP win?

    Reply
    • Ian Tinkler

      Extraordinary how Peter Hamilton can so often, nearly always, get it so wrong! Does he just make it up as he goes along or is he intentionally disingenuous? This Shetland election is no threat to anyone apart from Shetland folk and Shetland itself.
      What happens today electorally in Shetland an utter irrelevance to what regard to Brexit.
      What is most relevant is whether Shetland folk want to see our environment destroyed and turned into on massive wind farm. That is the Wills, SNP idyll.
      Peter is so wedded to the SNP, having voted Skene, Brett and now Wills it does not take the Widsom of Jove to see the falseness of his comments.

      Reply
    • Ian Tinkler

      No, Peter, The biggest threat to Shetland is a mega windfarm. That’s a Wills SNP aspiration.

      Reply
      • Anthony Gilfillan

        Not Alcoholism or heroin then? But wind turbines? You have a strange view on what a threat to Shetland is.

      • Ian Tinkler

        Anthony Gilfillan, I had previously covered Alcoholism, suicide, drug deaths being higher under SNP administration in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK. Regarding SNP and windfarms in Shetland, the SNP policy of powerhouse Scotland would destroy our environment and rare ecosystems. Sadly Tom Wills could not see past his SNP controllers.

  6. Peter Hamilton

    Parliament is not obliged to deliver on a narrow win won by lies in an advisory referendum and against its better judgement.

    Reply
    • Steven Jarmson

      Nope its not.
      But they did say they wpuld carry out the will of the majority.
      As has been proven repeatedly, the remoan lies were just as influential as any leave lies.

      Reply
  7. John Tulloch

    @Peter Hamilton,

    Will you be resigning from the Labour Party, following your shameful betrayal of their local candidate, Johan Adamson with your media letter urging Shetlanders to vote SNP?

    It isn’t the first time you’ve done that, either, is it?

    Reply
    • Malcolm Henry Johnson

      As you well know John, this is no ordinary by-election. It is taking place against the backdrop of Brexit and the threat of us ending up as a permanent low-wage extension of the North American economy. The austerity measures that you quite rightly associate with the SNP’s strategy for re-entry into the E.U. will be relatively short term and will pale into insignificance compared to what we will have to endure after Trump and his associates have gutted the U.K. economy.

      The urgency of the situation has led many people to feel that traditional party loyalty is a self-indulgence that needs to be set aside for the time being, particularly if you live in a constituency where your own party can’t win. Voting with your conscience is never easy. I am a traditional Labour voter and a Unionist but at 0701 this morning, I voted for Tom Wills.

      As in the recent European elections, the Labour Party is being punished for its lack of clear leadership on the European question. Johan has been in this game for long enough to understand that and I think she is unlikely to take Peter’s tactical vote as a personal slur.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Malcolm,

        If I was Johan I’d be pretty dismayed if a former Labour candidate who is still a member came out the day before the election, boasting about his Labour membership to boost his “vote of conscience” credibility, and urging voters to vote against me.

        it’s up to Peter who he votes for and he is entitled to do so in confidence. However, the Labour Party rules expressly forbid members from campaigning publicly against Labour candidates.

        Call me old-fashioned, the honourable course is to resign, as I have suggested.

      • Steven Jarmson

        Not sure what brexit has to do with Scottish elections?
        One more whining nut job on the Sturgeon Nazionalist Populist benches won’t affect the UK leaving the EU.
        The EU will strip an independent Scotland of EVERYTHING before letting it join.
        Every member must agree…ireland, denmark and Spain will take all the fish, Germany, France and poland will want scotland a net contributor.
        Greece, Italy and Spain will demand Scotland takes a high percentage of asylum seekers
        No telling what the others will want..the little oil that’s left is probably all Scotland could offer.
        I’d sooner take my chances with the USA and the other countries around the world who aren’t all white and in one tiny corner of it.

  8. Peter Hamilton

    Labour is entirely welcome to expel me. It won’t stop my reapplying.

    Shameful betrayal… dismayed… honourable course is to resign… gee whilackers! I’m fairly sure Johan is wise enough not to give a fig either way.

    For whatever reason John is putting a tad more importance on this than it maybe merits. Perhaps I’ve said something to upset him. Anyway I can’t see it making the front page if I do get kicked out, but I guess I should feel honoured by the attention.

    My only regret is not standing down as candidate when Blair took us to war, but I had told the local party I would stay the course. Here is my promise to John though. I’ll keep him posted. Hopefully that will cool his fevered brow.

    Reply
    • Ian Tinkler

      Love the Headline, from Peter Hamilton. “Vote SNP, stop Boris” . Where do you get it from Peter? priceless, I wonder how many voters that inspired? With logic like that behind him, poor Tom had no chance.

      Reply
  9. Peter Hamilton

    It this an illegal outrage?

    Reply
  10. Peter Hamilton

    Do we get to jeer: “Lock him up!” if it is? Or is that kind of thing the prerogative of foam flecked Faragists?

    Reply
  11. Mr ian Tinkler

    Love it. Peter has his knickers in a twist, again. Whoop Whoop! (Boris Johnson ‘more popular than when he took office’ despite Brexit woes, according to new poll) (Independence referendum fifth-anniversary poll shows six out of 10 Scots want to remain in UK) Just Love it. Sorry, so much fun.

    Reply
  12. Peter Hamilton

    Innocent til proven guilty can’t be partially applied in a democracy, so it is always a tad disturbing when Ian euphorically judges Salmond and Sturgeon guilty before the fact. Funny how he won’t extend the same courtesy to his windswept blustering hero.

    Pity save us from the kind of bold, blond, bumptious and disingenuous new era Ian yearns for. Has he been keeping track of Boris’s recent lies, or do Boris’s false claims instead serve to strengthen Ian’s devotion to his simple solution untrustworthy strongman?

    Little wonder some people call populists fascists who will say anything, irrespective of the consequences to others, to get into power. Little wonder former Tory leaders are lining up to distance themselves from the oh so macho Boris Johnson. This cad’s card has been marked.

    Reply

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