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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday September 13, @07:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the returning-sovereignty-to-parliament dept.

A controversial motion that will grant the government the power to force through Brexit legislation has been passed.

[...] It means the Conservatives, despite not winning a majority at the general election, will take control of a powerful Commons committee, and grant themselves the power to force through legislation without it being voted on or debated in parliament.

With parliament needing to change, amend or import wholesale thousands of laws and regulation to prepare the UK for its exit from the European Union, the EU Withdrawal Bill has been designed to allow for new laws and regulations to be passed via controversial legislative device called a statutory instrument, which are debated in tiny standing committees.

But the government has now voted to give itself a majority on the little known Committee of Selection, which decides the make up of those committees, and in so doing has seized control of the whole process.

[...] Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael commented: "This is a sinister power grab by an increasingly authoritarian Prime Minister.

"The Tories didn't win a majority at the election, but are now hijacking Parliament to try and impose their extreme Brexit on the country.

"It is a bitter irony that Brexiteers who spent their careers championing parliamentary sovereignty have now chosen to sell it down the river.

Source: The Independent


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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by FatPhil on Wednesday September 13, @07:43AM (2 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday September 13, @07:43AM (#567120) Homepage
    So much prettier sounding than /Ermächtigungsgesetz/.
    --
    I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Wednesday September 13, @06:28PM (1 child)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday September 13, @06:28PM (#567362)

      Look, it's totally not the same thing!
      Because there was a giant economic crisis, unemployment, a nasty war, racism, religious scapegoats, major changes in the superpower balances, useless politicians, a country divided...
      ...
      Totally different circumstances, I tell you... Because she's a woman!
      No English woman would ever take controversial or radical decisions after acceding to power.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by isostatic on Wednesday September 13, @07:43AM (11 children)

    by isostatic (365) on Wednesday September 13, @07:43AM (#567121) Journal

    http://newsthump.com/2017/09/11/parliamentary-sovereignty-not-that-important-as-long-as-government-does-what-i-want-clarifies-angry-brexiter/ [newsthump.com]

    As an EU repeal bill which means government officials can ignore parliament to implement new laws is brought to the house, Brexiters have insisted this is precisely what they meant by bringing back the sovereignty of Parliament.

    ...

    Brexiter Simon Williams told us, “When we said we wanted sovereignty of parliament, what we meant is that we didn’t like Johnny Foreigner having a say on the laws in our country – it’s just that saying that out loud sounds a bit racist, so we used the whole ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ line.

    “I don’t actually care about 600 boring people debating laws in a big old building, obviously; I just want to make sure the people taking away parliamentary sovereignty agree with me.”

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Wednesday September 13, @08:12AM (4 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @08:12AM (#567132) Journal

      “I just want to make sure the people taking away parliamentary sovereignty agree with me.”

      I wonder how that person intends to make sure that is the case.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday September 13, @08:36AM (1 child)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @08:36AM (#567133)

        I wonder how that person intends to make sure that is the case.

        Only with furious anger, because great vengeance will not be available.

        • (Score: 2) by driverless on Wednesday September 13, @06:02PM

          by driverless (4770) on Wednesday September 13, @06:02PM (#567346)

          I wonder how that person intends to make sure that is the case.

          Only with furious anger, because great vengeance will not be available.

          How about great justice? Shall I prepare the Zigs for takeoff?

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @03:14PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @03:14PM (#567242)

        That site is satire, so not a quote from a real person.

    • (Score: 2) by qzm on Wednesday September 13, @11:13AM (5 children)

      by qzm (3260) on Wednesday September 13, @11:13AM (#567170)

      Yes yes.. It's not hard to find racist little shits pretty much anywhere, and they are easy to bait in to stupid quotes.

      However the point here is this is not a majority government... That's why they would not be doing this, it's not really brexit related.
      The UK has some big problems, some of which are it's fault, some are the fault of the EU.

      The next election could be very very interesting to say the least.
      Perhaps the apathetic Brits can finally be shaken in to action over their collapsing democracy. Who knows.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by turgid on Wednesday September 13, @12:07PM (2 children)

        by turgid (4318) on Wednesday September 13, @12:07PM (#567187) Journal

        There is a very real possibility that the UK will cease to exist in its current form some time in the next two to five years. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar are three examples.

        --
        Don't let Righty keep you down.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @03:24PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @03:24PM (#567245)

          And about bloody time, too. I say to each their own, including England for the English.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by tonyPick on Wednesday September 13, @12:52PM (1 child)

        by tonyPick (1237) on Wednesday September 13, @12:52PM (#567199) Homepage Journal

        Uh... Everybody here knows that NewsThump is "UK Spoof News and Satire", right? I mean it's clearly what many Brexiters actually *think*, but it's probably not an actual quote...

        From the about page....

        We are not afraid to skip a few steps like checking facts or corroborating sources, and we never let the truth ruin a funny story (it’s much easier just to make everything up). So, for clarification – If you read a story on here, then you are NOT supposed to believe it. It has been completely made up purely for entertainment purposes. I

        So. like Fox News, only funny.

        Hell, then next article down is Monster fatberg named Foreign Secretary [newsthump.com]

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @09:19AM (29 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @09:19AM (#567144)

    > The Tories didn't win a majority at the election, but are now hijacking Parliament to try and impose their extreme Brexit on the country.

    "Imposing their extreme Brexit on the country". The entire country had an open and democratic vote on it. And they chose to exit the European Union. It's interesting to watch a nation struggling to countermand democracy under the guise of doing the exact opposite. When the powers that be choose to do it for things that suit their interests it's swept under the rug. For instance this seems somewhat analagous to what Obama did with the TPP where he managed to succeed in political maneuvering such that congress would be in no way able to to debate or modify it. It was clearly designed to be passed with our lame duck president taking the PR hit for it on his way out of office, perhaps in exchange for half a million dollar speaking gigs to help make up for that loss of face. In that case it was something that likely ran strongly contrary to the will of the people, but was in line with the will of corporations - and so the media was dead silent. Now when the interests of the people win out and run contrary to corporate interests, it's time to go out kicking and screaming.

    No you know what. This isn't propaganda. It's really just pathetic.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by tonyPick on Wednesday September 13, @09:54AM (16 children)

      by tonyPick (1237) on Wednesday September 13, @09:54AM (#567151) Homepage Journal

      The entire country had an open and democratic vote on it. And they chose to exit the European Union.

      Well they won by a vote so narrow (48% vs 52%) that the people who won it (but were expecting to lose) insisted that if it was that close there must be another vote [bbc.co.uk] before they found out they'd won and promptly abandoned that position.

      Plus the vote for exit was for the version sold by the exiteers during the campaign [indy100.com], which isn't what's going to happen.

      So yeah, the Exit campaign won a vote, but only narrowly and for something that they government isn't going to do. For the US-ians: It's more like voting for Obama, and getting Rick Santorum in the white house, and then being told that you voted for a politician, so it's all democratic.

      Arguing there's a democratic mandate for the "hard exit, regardless of the costs" line the current govt is pushing is not the case.

      • (Score: 2) by ledow on Wednesday September 13, @10:40AM (11 children)

        by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @10:40AM (#567159) Homepage

        Indeed.

        If 51% of the population voted that men should be the ones to have the babies, would that be a fair, democratic vote with an outcome that should be acted upon immediately as "the will of the people"?

        As far as I'm concerned, anything outside 60-40 minimum should be subject to a re-vote or - if it starts to cause voter fatigue - continuation of the status quo.

        We implemented a major economic and political change because 2% more people were for than against. Reintroduction of capital punishment would get better votes than that.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by choose another one on Wednesday September 13, @10:57AM (7 children)

          by choose another one (515) on Wednesday September 13, @10:57AM (#567166)

          > As far as I'm concerned, anything outside 60-40 minimum should be subject to a re-vote or - if it starts to cause voter fatigue - continuation of the status quo.

          Remind me when we voted 60-40 minimum for the Maastricht treaty, or Lisbon for that matter?

          If the pre-Maastricht status quo (roughly, the "Common Market" not the EU) was on offer in the referendum, it would probably have won (bigly).

          Maastricht treaty was major economic and political change, and yet was approved by France with only 50.8% of their referendum vote. Can't have it both ways, if countries can go in for major change on 50.8% of the vote, they can clearly reverse out on 52%.

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by ledow on Wednesday September 13, @11:19AM (6 children)

            by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @11:19AM (#567172) Homepage

            I'm not "either way", let alone "both ways".

            The vote should be both necessary and definitive or it's really just a waste of time.

            I'm a mathematician. Voting sucks. All voting sucks. I have many reasons for this, but though 50.000000001% may be a technical majority it should not be enough to act upon - for or against.

            I'd even contest that ALL elections should be run twice with the wording negated on the second run. If you can't get a consistent sizeable (10% will do) majority on the question when you word it the other way, it means people didn't know what they were voting for, didn't understand the question, don't care (a consequence of legally-required voting in some countries, without a "I turned up to vote as legally required but I don't want to vote for any of the above" option), or don't feel strongly enough that they can organise a campaign to convince others.

            25% of Americans believe the Sun goes around the Earth, but 50.1% of the populous is enough to decide to join / pull out of a complex economic market? I don't buy it.

            If you put out a vote to "remove all opposition party representatives from Parliament" and it gets 50.1% of the vote (which is incredibly likely in any two-party system), does that make it democratic? No.

            Don't even get me started on ministerial / presidential elections with constituency boundaries that play a role.

            Even Master of Orion understood this. 2/3rds majority or nothing happens.

            • (Score: 4, Funny) by turgid on Wednesday September 13, @12:10PM

              by turgid (4318) on Wednesday September 13, @12:10PM (#567188) Journal

              Stop talking sense. You're on the Intertubes now, sonny.

              --
              Don't let Righty keep you down.
            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by choose another one on Wednesday September 13, @01:18PM (4 children)

              by choose another one (515) on Wednesday September 13, @01:18PM (#567206)

              > 2/3rds majority or nothing happens.

              I agree, but that isn't the way it currently works. Who gets to decide _when_ we move the goalposts?

              If you look at the history of EU referenda a lot were decided by less than 2/3 majority, and some with similar margin to Brexit. If we seek to undo Brexit on the basis that it was 2/3 what do we also undo?

              - Greenland back in (went out with 53%)
              - But Denmark (and hence Greenland I think?) is out anyway - went in in 1973 with only 63%
              - Single european act is gone (denmark fails to ratify with only 56%)
              - Maastricht is gone - Denmark (56.7%) and France (50.8%) fail to ratify, but then Denmark never joined, see above, without that we probably never get TCE (rejected) or Lisbon - Lisbon would have failed in multiple member states anyway, if put to the vote
              - Finland (56.9%) and Sweden (52.3%) are out - failed to join in 1995

              And so on. Under your rules the EU in it's current state, and much of what the Brexiters disagree with, wouldn't exist - it simply wouldn't be there to Brexit from.

              If we accept that Maastricht is approved and Sweden and Finland are EU members, then we also have to accept the Brexit result.

              • (Score: 5, Touché) by PiMuNu on Wednesday September 13, @01:42PM (1 child)

                by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday September 13, @01:42PM (#567217)

                We were wrong in the past so let's keep being wrong otherwise it's unfair!

                • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Thursday September 14, @08:02AM

                  by choose another one (515) on Thursday September 14, @08:02AM (#567686)

                  Democracy is not about the decision being wrong or right, it is about how you make the decision.

                  Saying you only need >50% to make a decision one way but >2/3 to reverse it is a pretty weird democracy.

              • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday September 13, @02:24PM

                by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday September 13, @02:24PM (#567230)

                One possible solution - the same act that moves the goalposts also includes an "automatic sunset clause" for all acts in the last X years that wouldn't have passed according to the new standards: After Y years all sunsetted acts that haven't been reconfirmed under the new standards get repealed.

              • (Score: 2) by ledow on Wednesday September 13, @03:17PM

                by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @03:17PM (#567243) Homepage

                Taking the votes as-were under different rules and then just extrapolating blindly isn't fair either.

                If, say, Denmark didn't get in because it would need a 2/3rds majority, would it stay out for ever more since 1973? No. They'd re-vote in the time between if they cared.

                If they knew you needed 2/3rds majority, they'd campaign harder and put across sensible cases (something which was at least partly responsible for Brexit which largely felt like an accidental vote!).

                And maybe limiting members would actually have worked for us too... can Greece get in/stay in? Can the former Russian states? Turkey? If they required 2/3rds majority in their own country to apply and 2/3rds majority to be accepted, maybe they wouldn't be in either and it would be a bit more stable today.

                What-if's that assume nothing else would ever change in 44 years in between are largely just useless.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @11:16AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @11:16AM (#567171)

          "Reintroduction of capital punishment would get better votes than that."

          We should be so fortunate.

          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday September 13, @05:58PM

            by HiThere (866) on Wednesday September 13, @05:58PM (#567339)

            There is very little evidence that capital punishment is ever a good idea. But it may be less socially destructive than long prison terms at slave labor.

            --
            Put not your faith in princes.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:26PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:26PM (#567209)

          If 51% of the population voted that men should be the ones to have the babies

          Despite the current medical impossibility of that, why should I think of this as a bad thing? A lot of cisfemale privilege stems from having a womb. Once it becomes possible for men to have babies, a lot of cisfemale privilege crumbles.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:18PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:18PM (#567205)

        You are bound by the terms of the vote. A margin of 0.1% would have been binding and a margin of 4% is certainly binding.

        I agree with you, but not selectively. In other words, if you want to change the law such that laws must be passed with an 80% majority I would be the first to agree with you and help out in any way I can. However, as it currently stands that is not the law or what is understood. It's a similar thing to the US election. I, again, would be the first to support abolishing the electoral college and going for direct voting - even better if it was proportional instead of first past the post. But you don't change the rules after the contract has been signed, sealed, and executed. And for what it's worth I'd be saying this exact same thing had the 4% gone the other way and Brexit failed. If, after the UK exits from the EU, another organization wishes to try to rally a vote for rejoining the EU then that would again perfectly fine within their rights. And if they win that vote by 0.1% I'd again be the first to support their right to have that democratically decided action carried out.

        Democracy is not pleasant. The decisions may not be what we'd prefer, but it's vastly better the alternative of minority authoritarian rule. And as such, I view attempts at countermanding democracy as one of the most heinous of actions.

        • (Score: 2) by ledow on Wednesday September 13, @03:41PM (1 child)

          by ledow (5567) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @03:41PM (#567251) Homepage

          "I agree with you, but not selectively."

          Agreed. My position is all or nothing.

          Hence I have never voted except ONCE when we were proposing a slightly-more (but not much) mathematically-fair system.

          You don't formulate your methods to suit your outcome. You formulate your methods to produce a more accurate outcome. "Do the UK people want to leave the EU?" has roughly the same mathematical proportion in answer as implying that all humans are female. Slightly over 50%? Must be the truth, then. All humans are female.

          Trouble is, your example provides a problem, say as any such problem: "Should we nationalise or privatise?". The answer is basically mid-way and liable to bounce over otherwise insignificant changes. if the answer is 50% + small error, then almost every four years you're going to undo what happened last year, in perpetuity. There's an enormous cost to that, that's risky to the country as a whole. Surely it's more sensible to raise the barrier so we don't ping-pong between options at all but are certain that we know what the answer is? Otherwise we throw money away to join the EU and then do it again to leave it and then again to join it.

          A majority prevents ping-pong of the options, and I'm MUCH more concerned over wasting money going back and forth (and voting!) than whether we're actually in or out.

          The problems with democracy, however, are many. I'd like to vote for myself please. Oh. Only if I stump up thousands of pounds, only in one area, etc. etc. etc.? What about if I want to vote for my mate John? Or Stephen Hawking? Or someone else who doesn't want to run or can't because of the prerequisites? Oh, I can't. What if I want to vote for a convicted criminal (presumably reformed, but it's my vote). Or a policeman. Or a judge. Or a former bankrupt (banned categories of people who can't run for election). It's not a "free" vote as such. I can't even officially vote for "None of the above", I have to play games tinkering with the grey areas of spoiled ballots.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @07:08PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @07:08PM (#567392)

            I think there's an important difference here. You're framing this to be an abortion, gun rights, etc type issue. I think those issues have been carefully selected to be completely quixotic. Imagine all guns were banned tomorrow. With the vast amounts of guns in the country it would be unlikely to have any meaningful effect on gun crime. We might see a reduction in suicide rates, but these things are very invisible. Gun rights types would claim themselves unable to defend their families, and those against gun rights would claim it just needs more time. Both sides would probably be right.

            For things like leaving the EU, the 'stay' side critically hurt their political position by going from quixotic to real battles. They painted an image of catastrophe, economic ruin, and Britian left in an isolated agony. I think many people believed that. And those were obviously lies. The leave side painted a picture of less immigration which would ideally create better working conditions for UK citizens while also helping to stop things like what's happening in Birmingham. The goals (and fears) are not particularly quixotic. They're real and measurable in very short time frames. Who is right and who is wrong will not be ambiguous.

            And as a result here, I think we're going to see support for Brexit likely increase. In trying to find recent polls, I came across this. [theguardian.com] It gotten to the point now that only 60% of UK citizens even want to keep their EU citizenship after Brexit. That is almost unbelievable to me. I do support Brexit, but it's with some reservations. EU citizenship is enormously valuable, but mutually open borders but asymmetric nations pose many problems. That's another topic, but the fact that 40% are now happy to shed their EU citizenship, even when given the choice to exit and retain it, is incredibly telling.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @04:51PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @04:51PM (#567280)

        So yeah, the Exit campaign won a vote, but only narrowly and for something that they government isn't going to do. For the US-ians: It's more like voting for Obama, and getting Rick Santorum in the white house, and then being told that you voted for a politician, so it's all democratic.

        Arguing there's a democratic mandate for the "hard exit, regardless of the costs" line the current govt is pushing is not the case.

        In all fairness to both the voters and the current government, that's not a great analogy or explanation. There is a "mandate" for an exit, and no definition for what type of exit it is. There was no vote on the nature of Brexit, only whether or not it should happen. Your analogy implies a betrayal of the vote, rather than people voting on an ambiguous thing and then being surprised what they got.

        A better analogy would be if voters made a vote to put a "Republican" into office, and then being surprised and dismayed that the person who was elected was Donald Trump. The party did what they got a mandate to do ("put a Republican as president"); it's just that people didn't realize what they were voting for. If you really want to argue it, you could say that they had Jeb Bush as the figurehead and promised they would appoint him, but in the end the vote was "do you want a Republican as President?"

        Note: I'm completely ignoring the fact that the Brexit was meant to be a non-binding referendum, which throws a whole new layer of confusion into the mess.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:20AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:20AM (#567155)

      There are a lot of parallels in the US and UK recently.

      This one reminds me of the Repeal+Replace (for Obamacare) that ostensibly has huge Republican support. This is what Brexit was mean to be - a repeal of EU law and replacement with UK law. During the Brexit vote, there was barely consideration of what Replace would look like - it was, in fact, anything to anyone. Like Trump's pre-election comments on healthcare that it would be better than Obamacare, cover more people and much cheaper.

      In the US the Replace part got some actual scrutiny and no-one could agree on what to do. Then they tried to skip the Replace part and just Repeal. That failed because (obviously!) Congress would fail to do anything at all on Replace. This was all decided by 1 single vote difference.

      In the UK the (equivalent of a) single vote went the other way. The voters voted for Repeal and Replace, all as one lump thing. As with Obamacare, there was no consensus on Replace whatsoever. However, "the country" has now voted for it so they will get Repeal and Replace. There is still no consensus on the Replace part.

      What the UK version of Congress (Pariliament) has just voted for is to let the Executive create anything to fill in the gaping hole of "Replace". This avoids the troublesome problem of having elected representatives create laws, which is convenient for the Executive because they do not represent a majority of the country. In fact, they probably do not represent a majority of their own political party.

      It's the Oxford debating society with hypothetical scenarios turned into real life. Just like it always has been in the UK.

      • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Wednesday September 13, @04:22PM

        by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday September 13, @04:22PM (#567270)

        > This avoids the troublesome problem of having elected representatives create laws,

        The difference is that in the UK, the executive *is* drawn from the democratically elected legislature. For example, the UK PM is actually a member of the House of Commons and gets to vote like all of the other MPs. The ministers of state are also drawn from the House of Commons. Typically, the ministers of state are chosen because they can persuade lots of MPs to vote with them because they have social leadership over a large number of MPs. If they act in such a manner that they lose said leadership, they are no longer qualified to be ministers of state (and either the Prime Minister has to choose someone else, or, eventually, the government can't pass legislation and the government falls.

        So it is NOT like the US president, where once decisions are removed from the floor of the parliament they are no longer within the purvue of parliament. Rather they are dealt with in a small committee that actually goes through the gory details but that is DRAWN FROM parliament. This is the only sane way to run Brexit - to give the government a reasonably free hand to negotiate without having the risk of parliament undoing all the negotiations by voting against whatever is set up (and ending with no Brexit decision).

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by n1 on Wednesday September 13, @05:13PM

        by n1 (993) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @05:13PM (#567296) Journal

        A better way to say it would be... They voted for repeal and replace of Obamacare[Brexit]... And took that as a mandate to repeal medicare and medicaid[all european cooperation*], to show how serious they were about getting rid of Obamacare[Europe].

        *According to reports, the UK is keen to step up it's cooperation with the EU in regard to spying on people and being a 'bridge' between NATO/US and EU for military operations.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by PiMuNu on Wednesday September 13, @10:48AM (6 children)

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday September 13, @10:48AM (#567165)

      Note that statutory instruments are a standard way of doing business in UK parliament. The opposition are making out that this is something new and bad but it is just business as usual.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Wednesday September 13, @01:15PM (3 children)

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @01:15PM (#567204)

        To agree with and extend the remarks

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_instrument#United_States [wikipedia.org]

        The best USA analogy would be the FCC lives in title 47 of the CFR and imagine we voted to change the name of the country to "Trumpville" and a Democrat started complaining for the sake of obtaining press coverage, that the FCC was updating title 47 without congressional approval as they ran a regex on the entire corpus of regulation, something like "s/USA/Trumpville/g"

        The story means much less than it would initially appear. You can tell that's the case in that almost all the official quotes in the article are merely sour grapes complaints about history not going their way. A good USA analogy would be our tired imaginary Russian Manchurian Candidate news propaganda over the last year.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by n1 on Wednesday September 13, @05:04PM (2 children)

          by n1 (993) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @05:04PM (#567290) Journal

          In context... The UK gov called an election, an election they said they were not going to call... Along with months of basically refusing to talk about any policy they had, except 'will of the people' in regard to the referendum... They lost their majority and mandate to govern, and are now continuing to refuse to talk about their policies or plans except in the vaguest of terms. Then took steps as seen here to undermine 'returning sovereignty to parliament' because it would take too long and require them to actually have a plan.

          The referendum question was: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

          This does not mention anything about: European Economic Area, European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe as some examples.

          To engage in hyperbole for a moment... 'Should the United Kingdom Bring Back the Death Penalty?' .... Yes.

          Ok, well the question was answered and the will of the people says the death penalty is needed, nowhere does it say it's only for murder. So to follow the will of the people, the death penalty should be applied to all criminals, shoplifters, illegal parking of your car, failing to pay council tax. We don't need to debate or consider the nuances and ramifications of this, we had a referendum.

          • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Thursday September 14, @09:30AM (1 child)

            by PiMuNu (3823) on Thursday September 14, @09:30AM (#567707)

            Yes, but if the government pushed such a ridiculous policy, then I highly suspect the opposition would propose a bill to overturn it. It is highly likely that this bill would pass through parliament and become law.

            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Thursday September 14, @01:31PM

              by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 14, @01:31PM (#567776)

              On this side of the pond we have that strategy down to a fine are, push some kind of knowingly unconstitutional act "mandatory teacher led Christian prayer in schools" or something, then the supreme court gets good boy points for striking it down and the pressure group that likes it gets good boy points for having tried really really hard although failing. Everyone "wins". Sometimes something good sticks around for awhile. Political stochastic annealing, kinda. Not necessarily bad, although mostly bad.

      • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Wednesday September 13, @01:28PM (1 child)

        by choose another one (515) on Wednesday September 13, @01:28PM (#567210)

        Actually they are a standard way of _not_ doing business in UK parliament, delegating business the MPs can't be bothered to do out to some committee or other (or ministers) :-)

        What the opposition are keen not to point out is that without this bill, huge swathes of UK laws will simply cease to exist when the Article 50 clock runs out.

        I think the Tories should have presented two options - (1) where there is a timetable for parliament to debate and pass all the necessary laws to patch the gap, which will probably require MPs to work 70+hr weeks for 50+ weeks of the year (and that probably wouldn't be enough), and (2) where some of the required legislation is delegated out. I think I know which option would succeed then...

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PiMuNu on Wednesday September 13, @01:46PM

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday September 13, @01:46PM (#567219)

          Well,
          * passing a bill requires a boolean (either the law is passed or the law is not passed) so you can't really "present two options".
          * letting MPs make such a choice runs the risk that the opposition vote for the impractical solution to poison the Tory brexit, and then blame the government for cocking it up.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @11:56AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @11:56AM (#567183)

      Whenever suckers vote with their hearts, their arses inevitably suffer.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @09:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @09:36PM (#567483)

      The entire country had an open and democratic vote on it.

      And what did they vote on, exactly? Because according to the media coverage of the campaigns, it was all about those 150,000 non-EU immigrants per year that the UK couldn't deport because of EU rules. At no time was the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland discussed, nor was there much discussion about leaving the European Economic Area (customs union) or even the Council of Europe (human rights treaty) along with leaving the European Union.

      So even if the voting procedures were correctly followed, I fail to see how the vote can be considered "open" in any meaningful way.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday September 13, @10:05AM (1 child)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Wednesday September 13, @10:05AM (#567153) Homepage Journal

    I congratulate Prime Minister May on her successful coup. The American and British peoples have been friends and allies for many, many decades. The UK was a pillar in the Cold War against communism. It was a bastion against Soviet expansion. And British courage in war is legendary. That is so true. British soldiers fought bravely alongside of American soldiers in the Korean War, and we haven’t forgotten what they did. In some ways, when we looked at their great bravery in the fight of Korea -- and in Korea, it was just something that our soldiers and our great generals still remember. Supreme Commander General Douglas MacArthur singled out and praised the exemplary valor of the British soldier -- said, some of the great soldiers of the world. Today we face a new enemy in the fight against terrorism, and again we seek to face this threat together. The British people have faced horrible terrorist attacks in recent years and even recently. We offer our compassion to the victims, and we offer our support to the British nation. We support the UK in the fight against terror and terror groups like ISIS and al Qaeda, and ensure they have no safe quarter, the terror groups. Prime Minister May has become a dictator who disregards the will of the UK Parliament. I congratulate her on her victory and look forward to killing terrorists with her. We won’t read them the rights. We won’t talk. They're terrorists, it's over. 🇺🇸

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:24AM (#567156)

      Mr Trump, just make sure we ban travel from the UK. The shoe bomber was a British terrorist. They have a long history of terrorism. Leftists who oppose Dictator May will try to escape and infiltrate the US. BAN THEM!

  • (Score: 1, Redundant) by PiMuNu on Wednesday September 13, @10:44AM (3 children)

    by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday September 13, @10:44AM (#567161)

    This is the way British parliament has worked for many decades...

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:59PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:59PM (#567222)

      Sound like it's similar to the hand-wringing over the electoral college in the USA. The electoral college is how it's always worked. The players knew the rules when the game started.

      Proposals that would actually help like Condorcet voting methods did not even come up in the lizard people controlled media. Crazy things like approval voting are just for crazy dorks who read too many books I guess and waste too much time with those funny looking squiggly line maths of theirs. As an average dumbfuck, I can draw squiggly lines too, but those elitists are always telling me my squiggly lines are "wrong" somehow.

      There are even reasons for having an electoral college with Condorcet or approval voting in the USA, because it's supposed to be a federalist system that includes states' rights (yep, guns and weed, I see no contradictions between left and right here, though some issues are clearly issues of personal liberty that not even states have the right to infringe upon).

      The lizard person media always, always stuffs the obvious solutions, the things we should really be debating, the things that threaten to undermine the power of the red dresses, deep into the back of the closet, never to see the light of day.

      I'm in the USA so I've only been able to watch Brexit from the sidelines. It seems to me that the media has completely and utterly failed to present the practical ramifications of a Brexit. The media failed to hold the fire to the Brexiters' feet and demand for them to demonstrate, with numbers (and those squiggly lines that are just a stupid game played by dorks that I, as an average dumbfuck, willfully refuse to engage in).

      Of course, there likely are no intelligent lifeforms from the Thuban system (here at least) with a crazy hierarchy that includes a title/rank like "red dress." The failure is entirely this species' own, a good reason why any starfaring civilization would have a prime directive. Who wants to be some other planet's "lizard people" to be blamed for all their own failures?

      This species does not value education and critical thought. It might take another 100,000 years of evolution. This species, for the most part, currently enjoys a global information and distributed computing network, which I may use in lieu of building an addition to my house for a private library. Using this global information network, I may read that about 600,000 years ago, Heidelberg man was doing the things that a Heidelberg man can do. About 100,000 years later (500 kya) the neanderthals and denisovans appeared. It took another 300,000 years (200 kya) for modern man to appear. It wasn't until about 460,000 years after neanderthal man arrived on the scene until he was extinct (40 kya).

      Perhaps in 100,000 years, a new kind of man will draw breath for the first time. Of course, that's dramatic, because the process is always so gradual at a geological time scale. However, evolution does not strive to achieve any particular goal. This is why it's so difficult to evolve into a starfaring civilization. The idea of filter events may just be the human tendency for the dramatic and human arrogance that his evolution at present is adequate masquerading as science.

      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by HiThere on Wednesday September 13, @06:09PM

        by HiThere (866) on Wednesday September 13, @06:09PM (#567353)

        "None of the above" should be on every ballot, but I agree, that the current voting systems are bad. And I can't think of a good one that isn't too easy to corrupt. So I think that rather than elections we should have a lottery open to all over the age of, say, 15. And if you get chosen you MUST serve, and then may never again accept payment from anyone except the government. (Pensions should be at twice the median income level.) (Banks storing your own money, or even offering you the same interest they offer anyone else, are not to be construed as paying you. Groups offering you a position of power or even just access to facilities that aren't open to everyone else ARE to be construed as paying you. You get a bonus for turning them in to prosecution.)

        This, of course, would require restructuring things so that there was no single position with too much authority, as occasionally you'd get some real winners, but that's a good idea anyway.

        This proposal accepts the comment "nobody who wants the job should be allowed to have it", and deals with the problem of corruption before achieving office. Also with corruption based on promised benefits after leaving office.

        --
        Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:22PM (#567509)

        Spot the reptilians. [theatlantic.com]

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday September 13, @02:21PM (3 children)

    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @02:21PM (#567229) Homepage

    Even if it passes the Commons, there are two other parts of the British system that can stop it:
    - The House of Lords, who usually lets the Commons get its way but not always.

    - Queen Elizabeth II, who technically has the power to refuse Royal Assent to the new law. She hasn't exercised that power, ever, and the last time a monarch did was 1708, but she could theoretically do so.

    There are other checks on P.M. May as well:
    - The Democratic Unionist Party in coalition with her could leave the coalition, which would eliminate her governing majority.
    - If 2 Conservative or DUP backbenchers vote against the government, she no longer has a majority. This has been used quite frequently in Parliament, most recently 2 days ago on an effort to try to protect soldiers who fought in Northern Ireland from retaliation for their actions decades ago.

    --
    If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
    • (Score: 2) by theluggage on Wednesday September 13, @08:04PM

      by theluggage (1797) on Wednesday September 13, @08:04PM (#567430)

      - The House of Lords, who usually lets the Commons get its way but not always.

      No, if the House of Lords blocks it then the Commons can still invoke the Parliament Act to force it though. The Lords can't actually stop the "elected" house from doing what they want - but they can draw a lot of attention to it.

      Queen Elizabeth II, who technically has the power to refuse Royal Assent to the new law.

      Don't hold your breath. Brexit is gonna be traumatic and divisive enough without the country becoming a republic at the same time.

    • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday September 15, @07:34AM (1 child)

      by isostatic (365) on Friday September 15, @07:34AM (#568334) Journal

      Tory and DUP together (including the suspended Tory) is 327. Normally I'd lump the speaker in with backing the government too but in the case of parliamentary sovereignty I'm not sure.

      The other parties including speaker are 316, so 6 would nsss to switch side, and no abstaining.

      Several Labour MPs backed May in this vote too. NOt as many as backed her over the single market (something leave voters were quite keen on pre referendum), so at least Corbyn has been brought under control temporally

      • (Score: 1) by purple_cobra on Saturday September 16, @03:00PM

        by purple_cobra (1435) on Saturday September 16, @03:00PM (#568978)

        It seems the two groups shouting loudest are advocating either a) death by incompetent hanging or b) death by decapitation, with both making a big deal about the execution whilst glossing over the result.

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