Yesterday was an illuminating day in terms of the regard displayed by the Johnson Government for the law and the judiciary . No 10 was ‘disappointed’ at the decision of the Court of Session that the advice the Prime Minister had given HM the Queen to prorogue Parliament was unlawful
No 10 displayed its disappointment thus :
It was of course little more than a matter of days since the Lord Chancellor had tweeted out in a curious combination of intended reassurance and self exculpation :
The fact that such a conversation between Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor about Rule of Law is in itself remarkable .
Reminding the Prime Minister about upholding the Rule of Law ………
What does it say about respect for the constitution , good governance , accountability , and morality that the Lord Chancellor felt he needed to remind the Prime Minister – let alone tweet it out .
However the state we are currently in reflects the fact that Vote Leave have brought to Government the same ethics and disregard for the law that they displayed in winning the Referendum . They have not yet been held fully to account . The absence of serious scrutiny and sanction has emboldened Johnson , Gove and Cummings to believe they can behave with the same reckless disregard for honesty and law inside Government as they did in the campaign .
It must have been with a sense of weariness that Robert Buckland felt the need to intervene again to state what in any normal Government would never need to be said:
No 10 evidently rowed back a little . An hour later :
Any immediate question of the Lord Chancellor’s resignation was presumably averted at that moment
Next up was Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng who rates himself as a media performer . He was facing the forensic Andrew Neil.
Kwarteng definitely was not on same page as Buckland . He tried the hackneyed device of ‘I have heard people say’ usually resorted to by people who have only heard voices in their own head and lack the courage of their convictions . Evidently it didn’t go well for Kwarteng .
But there we have it . A government without respect for the rule of law or the judiciary . There may be voices like the Lord Chancellor’s who stand up for it . But his position would be untenable if he did not . Crucially on the evidence of yesterday he does not hold sway .
It should not be forgotten that one of his predecessors as Lord Chancellor led the lawbreaking Vote Leave campaign while in that office . As yet he has not been seriously held to account for what is at the very least a grave failure of governance relating to Vote Leave’s lawbreaking.
Vote Leave won the Referendum corruptly . They have evidently brought the same ethics and disregard for the law into Government
Our Country is paying a heavy price for the continuing failure to hold them to account .