Johnson the buffoon leads the Brexit pantomime

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11 September 2019

Parliament’s closure (“prorogation”, in Westminster parlance) for 5 weeks, was put into question by the Scottish High Court this week.  Unlike the English courts last week, it found the prorogation “unlawful”.  Judges based their ruling on what they said was the intention behind it.  In other words, they’ve decided that Johnson is lying when he denies that his shutting down of parliament is in order to prevent MPs from scrutinising his handling of Brexit.
    In theory, their judgement should mean that the suspension of parliament is cancelled, and that it should immediately reconvene.
    In practice, though, it doesn't mean that.  The Supreme Court is to consider other cases already brought against Johnson’s prorogation, next week - and anyway, the government intends to appeal against the Scottish ruling.  By the time the issue is finally settled by the courts, the prorogation will be over and Johnson will have got away with having done something “illegal” - yet again!

Rotten institutions in a rotten system

Does any of this make any difference, whether in terms of the Brexit process, or in terms of its impact on workers' lives?  None whatsoever, of course!  Expecting politicians to protect us against a Brexit folly, which is a by-product of politicians’ own irresponsibility, would be foolish at best.
    In fact, if the Brexit saga has served any useful purpose over the past 3 years, it is only in two ways: first, it has exposed the utter irrelevance of the capitalist class's political institutions when it comes to the needs of the working class majority; and second, it has highlighted the fact that while we, workers, might produce all wealth in this society, we have no say whatsoever in its so-called "democratic" institutions and no control over them.
    Indeed, changing a few heads once every few years through the ballot box is not exercising any kind of control over government and parliament.  It is handing the steering wheel to politicians, whose main concern is to take care of their careers and preserve a capitalist system whose ultimate and only purpose is to exploit our labour!
    For more than three years, Parliament has been used as a battlefield by the Tory factions in their internecine war, using Brexit as a justification for their rivalry.  In the meantime, however, the same Parliament was happily aggravating the cuts introduced under all previous Tory governments since 2010, in order to make the working class pay the cost of protecting the capitalists' profits in the context of the crisis.
    Of course, some MPs opposed these anti-working class policies.  But they were hostages of the government of the time, if not its willing accomplices.  And anyway, all they had to say to those of us who were at the receiving end of these attacks, was that we had no option but to be patient, vote in the next general election and hope for the best!  Yes, this is how little control we have over the so-called "democratic" institutions which run society!

Politics is too serious to be left to the politicians and their institutions

To put it another way:  in this society, the political institutions of the capitalist class have never been anything other than instruments designed to conceal the capitalists' turns of the screw against the working class, under a fig-leaf of so-called "democracy".
    But with the Brexit saga, this fig-leaf of "democracy" has been wearing increasingly thin.  Of course Johnson - just like Farage, in fact - keeps claiming that he stands by the "democracy" of the Brexit referendum.  Never mind that 63% of the registered electorate did not actually vote for Brexit at the time, nor that this vote was held more than 3 years ago, under a flood of lies (Johnson's very own, among others) designed to mislead voters.
    So much for the "democracy" that the Johnsons and their like claim to represent, calling it “the will of the people”!  But then Johnson has already proven (in particular to 21 Tory MPs he expelled!) what the word "democracy" actually means in his book: "do as you're told or else..."!  This alone does not make a "dictator" out of Johnson, contrary to what some politicians virtuously claim, but it certainly tells us that his idea of "democracy" has nothing to do with workers' idea of democracy!
    By now, everyone wants to see the end of the Brexit saga.  But, for the working class, leaving Johnson, Farage and their like in a position to claim victory, would be signing a blank cheque to the worst demagogues, who peddle the most abhorrent prejudices and, behind them, to the most brutal social exploitation.  This is not in our interests.  The only safe way to end the Brexit chaos would be to dump it - but, only if, at the same time, we workers take our fate into our own hands, by collectively exercising our direct democratic control over politics rather than leaving it all to the politicians and their institutions.