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Sept 25th. Lady Justice Hale.

The Owner says that if I didn’t have the wrong bits she would rename me Lady Justice Hale, as this is a name that a Moral Dog would wear with pride.

I am not sure which of my bits prevent my being given whichever name she wishes, but I would like to point out that, whichever bits they are, I wear THEM with pride.

She says Lady Justice Hale made a complicated thing very straightforward. She says the Prime Minister is answerable to Parliament, because that is how our democracy was created. Therefore the power of the Prime Minister to stop Parliament’s scrutiny of what he does must also be limited by law. She says that limitation depends on both the purpose and the effect of his stopping Parliament. She says that I should think of democracy as the fridge in which power is held, and cheese as the power.

This makes sense. Like most things, it is comparable to the dilemmas of the Moral Dog.

If the effect of the Prime Minister shutting down Parliament is to prevent Parliament overseeing his actions on something constitutionally significant then the shutdown is against the law. This would be like the moral dog, given temporary guard duties over the fridge in the Owner’s absence, opening it and eating all the cheese

If the purpose of the Prime Minister shutting down Parliament is to put the Prime Minister beyond the reach of the scrutiny of Parliament (rather than just to prepare a Queens speech) then the Prime Minister will have broken the law. This would be like the moral dog forcing the Owner to leave him in charge of the fridge, unplugging it and eating all the cheese.

If the Prime Minister pretended shutting down Parliament was for a different purpose in order to persuade the Queen to help him do it, then he would have lied to the Queen. This would be like the moral dog telling the Owner to leave him in charge of the fridge so that he can rearrange the cheese, when actually he intends to eat the cheese .

The Owner says this means he abused both democracy and the fridge, and Lady Justice Hale is a heroine. She is a heroine because she made it clear that the Prime Minister cannot seize power from Parliament, not even if he wants to do so because Parliament disagrees with him. And she is a heroine because she did so knowing that the Daily Express would call her an enemy of the people.

I think she is also a heroine because her actions mean no future Prime Minister can unplug the fridge and take the cheese either, so the cheese is still there for everyone.

She says Boris Johnson says he doesn’t agree with the Court and has let Mr Rees-Mogg say that they have taken power. She says this is wrong, the Court has only confirmed that Parliament, not the Prime Minster, has the power because Parliament is elected. This is like me and the Owner and the fridge. The Owner has always been in charge of the fridge. If I make it my policy to ask for cheese and the Owner agrees and opens the fridge, the cheese is then mine.  But it remains her fridge. The court has taken neither the fridge nor the cheese, it has merely determined whose they are.

The Owner says she thinks the Daily Express does not want Boris Johnson to rule unchecked or empty the fridge, but to sell copies of the newspaper and maybe to do just one thing unchecked before being properly democratic again. This is like trusting Boris Johnson to hold all the cheese without eating it, and then to give it back. However, I recall the owner comparing Boris Johnson to certain other cheese, cheese that wore a deceptive jacket in order to conceal its true nature. The Owner says this was, as it happens, a French cheese, whereas the more solid cheese to which I am accustomed is English. I do not want a French cheese as dictator.

I suspect, like me until yesterday, they do not know about French cheese at the Daily Express. This would make sense, in the circumstances.

Given all this I think the owner is right about Lady Justice Hale being a heroine but it seems I still cannot take her name, even as an appendage to my own, owing to having the wrong parts.

I examine all my parts carefully. I might be prepared to sacrifice some.

Categories: democracy dignity dog dog philosophy Lady Justice Hale Politics rule of law Supreme Court

Hergest the Hound

I am a dog of many thoughts.

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