Supreme optimism

Left-leaning Britain is feeling pretty chipper tonight, after a day which saw the Supreme Court hand down a unanimous and unexpectedly severe condemnation of Boris Johnson’s attempt to forestall opposition to his Brexit policy by suspending parliament. The Prime Minister’s transparent dishonesty in attempting to justify his actions, and his insistence that it was none of their business, seems to have particularly irked the judges, who ruled that the prorogation was invalid, clearing the way for MPs to reassemble tomorrow and renew their attempts to stymie Johnson’s plan to leave at the end of October.

While this is clearly a setback for the right, I’m reluctant to celebrate too soon. It does look likely now that Johnson will be forced into a humiliating climbdown, and we will still be in the EU when an election is eventually held, probably in November. The best-case scenario would see the resulting recriminations split the leave vote between the Tories and the Brexit Party, leaving the way clear for a Labour administration. On the other hand, it’s possible that Johnson will be able to spin today’s events into his populist narrative, positioning himself as a tribune of the people standing up to a corrupt elite, effectively enough to win a majority when the votes are counted.

Then again, perhaps I should stop over-thinking this, and just enjoy the sight of the tide of reaction, seemingly unstoppable in recent years, starting to turn, both here and in the US, where it looks like the Democrats might finally be getting around to impeaching Donald Trump. There’s still plenty work to be done, and the outcome remains uncertain, but at least we can dream.

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