This has been a truly incredible year for sport.
Not only did we have an all-English final for the Champions League, we also saw a truly magnificent Wimbledon final, a brilliant Women’s World Cup and Tiger Woods clinch the Masters.
But nothing, nothing, compares to English cricket.
One thing that I adore about cricket is a law called “The Spirit of Cricket.” Codified into the Code of Laws in 2000, the rule states that cricket matches should be played “In the spirit of the game.”
Our team has been much maligned, much doubted, yet victorious. Ben Stokes’ work at the crease for not only our World Cup win, but also in his once-in-a-lifetime innings during the Ashes last Sunday, has been nothing short of superhuman.
The bravery of his batting, and the resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, has been staggering.
Our cricketing triumphs have been quintessentially British – we’ve shown bravery in the face of adversity, and done so in the spirit of fair-play.
It is that which has made those sporting moments, in my eyes, the most special of all.
By contrast, today, Boris Johnson announced that he will prorogue Parliament for a Queen’s Speech. This will cut Parliament’s time to block a no-deal Brexit.
It is not in The Spirit Of Cricket.
Cowardly, But Constitutional
Right. What happened today is confusing, so let’s break it down very simply.
Proroguing Parliament is not unconstitutional. In fact, it’s actually very common.
Every session, or sitting, of Parliament will end, usually after a year. This is so a new programme of policies can be set by the government. This new programme is set by way of a speech, made by the Queen, as our Head of State.
In the days before the speech, Parliament is prorogued. This means that it cannot make policy decisions – this is so that the new programme can be set without being immediately undermined.
It is, in a way, the “Spirit of Cricket” – the opposition understands that things won’t work unless they accept the rules. As such, they stand down and let the system work.
Proroguing is not unconstitutional.
However, Boris’ use of it today is absolutely not in The Spirit of Cricket.
Boris said that a Queen’s Speech is needed. He’s got a point – this particular Parliamentary session has been sitting for two years. It is overdue.
But I cannot emphasise enough how cowardly, how feeble and how downright duplicitous it really is.
After yesterday’s meeting, the Brevengers’ plan was to counteract Johnson’s reckless procession towards a damaging no-deal Brexit through legal means. They aimed to tie his hands and make it illegal to pursue a no-deal Brexit.
You can read more about that here.
However, by calling for a prorogation today, Boris has made that all but impossible. While it is undeniable that the Brevengers’ mission was to prevent no-deal, they would not have been able to do so if Parliament disagreed with them.
Everything that they wanted to do had to be ratified by all other MPs in order to be put into effect. That is how Parliament works. That is how democracy works.
Boris, by refusing Parliament even the chance to accept or refuse the planned Bill, has hidden. Rather than allow democracy to work as it has for the last few centuries, he has used legal, but immoral tactics to deny it.
All to make sure he didn’t lose.
Between the Lines is committed to being impartial on Brexit. This writer’s personal opinion is that it was a stupid referendum that blames the EU for too many issues of our making, but it happened. My side lost, your side won.
Understanding that is The Spirit of Cricket.
But you simply cannot carry out one element of democracy by denying another one.
If his actions today result in a no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson will be remembered as the man that marched Britain into another recession through bypassing democracy. I cannot emphasise enough how damaging no-deal would be.
The line that “no-deal needs to be on the table” for negotiating is bullshit. Not only is it bullshit, it’s even been dropped by those who originally said it – scores of Tory politicians who have previously been totally against no-deal are now proponents of it.
Matt Hancock, a formerly moderate Tory MP, also wrote this of prorogation in June:
He is now a member of Boris’ cabinet.
These politicians are liars. They are shysters, they are conmen, they are, to their core, pathetic. They care for the people they are supposed to serve, to protect, far less than they do their own interests.
And Boris is the worst of the bunch. Surrounded by unelected cowboys like Dominic Cummings, he is just a mere puppet to this “Brexit Or Death” mentality that has infected our government.
He is cowed into following the plans of revolutionaries and egotists by virtue of the vortex in his head where his principles should be. His drive is determined by his need to be loved, to be powerful, to be Churchill.
But he isn’t. He’s a sad little boy who is too scared to face reality.
And he’s our Prime Minister.
I don’t care anymore that my side lost. I really don’t. But my side lost to the promise of an orderly, managed Brexit. Tearing ourselves away from the continent and tearing ourselves apart in the process is not the same thing.
No-deal is a lie, and it deserves scrutiny of Parliament. That is democracy.
That is The Spirit of Cricket.
So get your fucking pads on Johnson, you worm.