Parliament puts Government in its place


Something strange just happened. Parliament has asserted itself over the Government. It doesn’t occur very often, and I can’t remember the last time the government lost a vote on a foreign policy matter. I am reminded of Viscount Cranborne‘s famous mea culpa after having been rapped over the knuckles for exceeding his authority. Like the good marquess, the executive “rushed in, like an ill-trained spaniel“, only to be chastised by the master it had almost forgotten it had.

Of course, the matter is not settled by any means. Parliament may wake up hung over and remorseful, and I’m sure the spaniel will be prowling the darkened halls of power, looking for someone to sink its teeth into, but for once it feels like we’re in a parliamentary democracy rather than an elected dictatorship.

  10 comments for “Parliament puts Government in its place

  1. Tim Carpenter
    Aug 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    The govt are still mobilizing. I wonder if they are hoping for Assad to make the first move, furnishing an excuse.

    Marco Polo Bridge.

  2. Nico Metten
    Aug 30, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I am positively surprised by politics. I cannot remember the last time that happened. Has it ever happened? I feel confused.

  3. Paul Marks
    Aug 30, 2013 at 4:35 am

    A good Constitutional point by RIchard Carey.

    And the government’s position “we do not have an alternative regime – but Assad is an evil man so let us bomb him” deserved no support.

    What is the plan? What is the objective?

    Nothing – just platitudes about “democracy” and “letting the people of Syria choose their government”

    Not a good showing by Mr Cameron and co.

  4. Aug 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I am stealing this to be today’s Samizdata QotD.

    But, I am changing mia culpa to mea culpa.

    • Aug 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Oops. Now you come to mention it, it didn’t look right. It’s my Italian leading me astray, he blustered. Feel free to use it *mutatis mutandis* 🙂

    • Aug 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Stealing whole posts? Don’t expect either of us to go easy on your buffets.

  5. Aug 31, 2013 at 8:52 am

    To paraphrase Team America,

    Assad has been a asshole, and someone with balls is required to give him a kicking. However Parliament has shown themselves to be a bunch of pussies (even though taking action would be a dickish thing to do and probably f*ck everything up more so)

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