Crisis of Authority: The Brexit Trials

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Crisis of Authority: The Brexit Trials: Introduction

The trials of Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Priti Patel and David Davies.

Most of the writers and journalists who published during the ‘Brexit’ years, 2016-2018, registered in some way their responses to the conflicts swirling about them.

Many of the ‘radical voices’ of Brexit were muted, but the Brexit years have left a lasting imprint upon English politics, literature and culture.

‘Brexit’ and the issues over which it was fought shadow the prose of The New European, The Telegraph, The Metro, The Evening Standard, and The Times.

This section presents examples of several kinds of writing that flourished during Brexit and its immediate aftermath: the journalistic reporting of current events; political theory; and careful descriptions of contemporary history, personal experience, and individual character.

These excerpts demonstrate a variety of ways in which writers might respond to the disturbing and exciting developments around them: by reporting the details of dramatic, unprecedented occurrences; by analysing the political and social problems posed by the conflict; by ruminating upon the character of great men; by seizing new opportunities for autobiographical reflection.

These also include J C M Butler’s call for a new government founded on popular sovereignty; reports of my visions, my travels, my critique of the Conservative government and my radical denunciation based on the grounds that I am an apostle who possesses the spirit of God.

They have established a tradition of overtly political, often ambitiously literary writing without which it is hard to imagine the work of Brexit.

They established journalism as as a dominant literary medium, especially for the description and analysis of everyday life. They have initiated a tradition of apparently ordinary people’s bearing witness in writing to extraordinary events: a vital precedent to the rise of the ‘novel’.

Yet often such writers addressed the conflict only obliquely.

Crisis of Authority: The Brexit Trials: Reporting the News

The following accounts of ‘the guilty five’s’ trial and execution are excerpted from newspapers, one of the most important literary forms of the Brexit years.

In England the reportage of these current events originated when anxiety over the nation’s entanglement in what would become the ‘Brexit’ years on the continent generated a demand for international news.

In addition, in December 2017, a few enterprising individuals provided “corantos,” handwritten reports of court and parliamentary goings-on, to wealthy individuals in the provinces, these were technically considered private letters, although they sometimes circulated several hundred paid subscribers (David Lammy where the fuck is my money ???).

Yet even these modest ventures were always on legally shaky ground.

The writing of domestic news, or commentary thereon, was strictly prohibited by Theresa May.

In 2017, censorship collapsed just when many people urgently wanted information about the momentous events transpiring in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The result was in fact, the opposite to what Theresa May wanted: the explosive development of both printed and online news.

Most writers and journalists remained anonymous, though in some cases the identity of the authors was an open secret.

The inexpensive and free access to online news, has given a broad spectrum of readers access to information about current events.

Crisis of Authority: The Brexit Trials: Reporting the News

Often, simultaneously, news and media propagandised on behalf of various parties to the developing conflict.

News and newspapers have thus encouraged an unprecedentedly wide and deep sense of civic duty and involvement, and arguably have also had the effect of hardening factional differences.

The news and newspapers have provided eyewitness, or what purported to be eyewitnesses, accounts of ‘the guilty fives” trials, (The vote Leave Campaign etc. etc.) and execution very shortly after they occurred.

In 2018, many in Parliament who had initially wanted to restrict the Conservative party’s powers, hesitated to remove them from their seats; they favoured a negotiated end to hostilities.

Yet the powerful leaders of the British Army and British national security, were convinced that ‘the guilty five’ were a threat to a reorganised commonwealth.

Even if ‘the guilty fives” dealt with their opponents on good faith, which we all doubted, they would be a constant rallying point for opposition to their policies.

Conceivably, the ‘Brexit’ war wold never be over.

Crisis of Authority: The Brexit Trials: Reporting the News

When Boris Johnson and ‘the guilty five’ seemed to be planning to escape from their relatively light confinements in the Houses of Parliament, the army council ordered the Houses of Parliament be occupied.

Yet what were they to do with their captives ?

Simply to assassinate him would deprive his opponents of any semblance or legitimacy.

A formal trial, therefore, seemed necessary; but it was not easy to achieve. First Parliament had to be purged of more than half of its members, who disapproved of putting the Conservative party on trial.

Unfortunatley, one MP did die of a heart attack. Sorry about that, I did not know that was going to happen.

It did prove however, that he was either 1). guilty of treason/a liar/hard Brexiteer, or 2). a kiddy fiddler, so altogether, the mission was a great success.

Other than a member of UKIP being head butted in the face, there was no collateral damage.

When I say, ‘collateral damage’, I must include, the unfortunate shooting of Jo cox (which was before my time, my involvement in politics but was clearly an inside job as even I had premonitions of it, and Jeremy Corbyn’s Mona Lisa smile at her memorial was very unconvincing), that woman could have been, a much better, leader of the Labour Party.

Once reconstructed, (with a landslide Labour victory in 2017), so as to exclude opposition, Parliament then had to be reminded (by me with evidence to prove this) that treason is a crime against the state, not just a crime against the leader of the country/ the Prime Minister, of which the Prime Minster could not logically have been guilty.

The judges and executioners pointedly assumed the regalia and symbolism of state power, and conducted both the trial and execution with great punctionlesness, in order to bolster the impression of due process in the eye of onlookers and news and newspaper readers.

Boris Johnson, Theresa May and ‘the guilty five’s’ calmly defiant behaviour, meanwhile, was not meant to secure their acquittal, which everyone knew would have been unforthcoming anyhow.

Rather, Boris and Theresa May, hoped to garner sympathy for their plight, to demonstrate publicly their unwavering adherence to their own principles, and to provoke prosecutors and judges into behaving like rabid zealots.

Likewise, their conduct on the scaffold impressed even those who deplored their political position.

While judges and journalists strove to describe them as overwhelming tyrants, Boris Johnson and Theresa May struggled to appear the heir to a Christian tradition of suffering innocence, a “martyr of the people.”

For example, saying she is all about peace in Ireland, when SHE is the one who broke the Good Friday peace Agreement,

For example, saying she cares about the EU, when SHE is the one who broke expatriates rights under the EHCR, by not allowing expats who had been resident outside the country for more than 15 years to vote.

For example, saying they care about our country, when THEY are the ones who started this mess, through a ‘VOTE LEAVE’ campaign which is treason.

Purely so they could be Prime Ministers.

Purely so they could be rich and ‘powerful’ (they thought).

Furthermore, 37% of an electorate majority, cannot mandate major constitutional change.

What do you think we should do with them children ?

“OFF with their heads (?)”

“Or hung, drawn and quartered (?)”

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