The Will of the People

MPs have voted by a majority of 384 to allow the prime minister, Theresa May, to trigger Article 51, the process which will lead to the reintroduction of the death penalty.  The bill proposing the change has successfully progressed through its first reading in spite of a great deal of dissent in the House of Commons.  The debate and subsequent vote were themselves the subject of controversy after an order by the Supreme Court to allow parliament a say in whether or not to set the changes in motion, with the government insisting that parliamentary permission was not required.  They have repeatedly refused to confirm the cost of the court case.

Notable rebels against the passing of the bill include all SNP MPs, who claim they must respect the position of the Scottish people, as both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against the death penalty, as well as Conservative MP Ken Clarke and 47 Labour parliamentarians who all defied a three line whip issued by Jeremy Corbyn.  The official position of both the government and Labour is that the death penalty must return in accordance with the wishes of the 51.9% who voted ‘Yes’ in the advisory referendum, which had a 72.2% turnout.

Despite a number of the Pro-Death Penalty Alliance’s claims being widely discredited since the referendum in June 2016, MPs and other campaigners insist that to fail to implement the death penalty would be a betrayal of democracy.  President Trump has congratulated the British people on their bold decision and insists that it will strengthen the special relationship between the UK and the US.

 

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A Sonnet on the Process of Question Time

Aloft they sit in curvèd, stilted sight.

Such experts as might be brought to expound

Upon whatever subjects come to light

Wherein politic terrors may abound.

Amid them all a man with snowy hair

And ties as wondrous as the world might see,

Who fixes each one with his steely glare

Inducing in them all a wish to flee.

But more than they, the watchers rule the roost

As, questioning, they test the panel’s will

To give their own agendas some small boost.

For answers, though, the watchers press them still.

‘Tis rare that any answers quell the doubt

Once Question Time is done and all head out.

 

 

 

 

Jeremy Corbyn (For Michael Hogan, with apologies to The Beatles)

(To the tune of Eleanor Rigby)

Ah look at all the Labour people
Ah look at all the Labour people

Jeremy Corbyn, picks up the votes
In the race where Liz Kendall has been
Lives in a dream.
Reading the papers, then he finds out
That he’s been slagged off by Tony Blair
What does he care?

All the Labour people
Where have they all come from?
All the Labour people
Where do they all belong?

Here’s Andy Burnham, toeing the line
And pretending he didn’t wimp out,
He has no doubt!
Look at him working, selling himself
As the one that can make a breakthrough.
But is it true?

All the Labour people
Where do have all come from?
All the Labour people
Where do they all belong?

Ah look at all the Labour people
Ah look at all the Labour people

And Yvette Cooper?  Haven’t a clue what she stands for
Because she won’t say,
Out loud anyway!
Look at Liz Kendall, swearing she’s red
When it seems to the world as if she’s.
Tory instead!

All the Labour people
Where have they all come from?
All the Labour people
Where did it all go wrong?