I heard a good one the other day:
The founder of a European trade association, a lawyer who expected to be paid for his job, and an openly gay ex-fencer walk into a bar. Barman says, “Sorry, I can’t serve you any European drinks.” So the three customers get their own back by overruling Brexit.
Yes, this is the news that, somehow, three “enemies of the people” have managed to get themselves appointed to the High Court, and have derailed the Prime Minister’s timetable for exiting the European Union with their ridiculously totalitarian and anti-democratic notion that Parliament should hold a vote on major national decisions before they’re taken.
Three of the country’s most senior judges ruled on Thursday – albeit their judgment was tainted by one of their number having the temerity to be gay – that only Parliament can invoke Article 50 and kickstart the Brexit process, because it was Parliament which brought us into Europe in the first place.
The case revolved around use of the Royal Prerogative – which sounds like it belongs in a textbook with the Royal Subjunctive, the Royal Interrogative and, of course the Royal We, but which in fact refers to the Queen’s residual power to do anything she likes except things which MPs have told her not to.
The government insisted that exiting the EU was not such an exception, however the Lord Chief Justice (bloody radical anti-establishment leftie as you can tell by his job title), the Master of the Rolls (who runs a small ciabatta bakery) and Lord Justice Sales sided with the claimant, a Mr Santos, who feared Brexit because the loss of free trade rights would interfere with him flying round on reindeer delivering presents every Christmas Eve.
Santos was represented by human rights lawyer Lord David ‘Don’t’ Pannick, while the Prime Minister had a large legal team including barrister Tom Cross, who was Cross-checked by security, Cross-examined by opposing counsel, and then, when he lost, just Cross.
Of course, fun as it is to see the government vastly humiliated and the Brexit process disrupted, it is just possible that these pro-Europe openly gay judges got their idea from Eurovision 2015, in particular Britain’s entry, Still in the EU:
The Tale of Little Red Democrat Hood
Once upon a time, there was a dear little girl named Hillary. She was loved by everyone who saw her, but by none more than by the Democratic Party. One day, the party said to her, “Come, little Red Hillary, we want you to run for election as President! Just go into that little hut over there, and engage in a public debate with the man you’ll find waiting there.”
So Hillary went to the hut, but she didn’t find a man there! No, she found a hideous, terrifyingly ferocious animal, wearing a the remains of a dead hamster on its head. Hillary did her best to outwit the wolf, and to show the world what he was really like.
“All the better to defend myself against false claims of sexual assult with,” was the reply.
“Oh, what a big wall you have!” said Hillary.
“All the better to keep the Mexicans out,” answered the trumpwolf.
“Oh,” cried out Hillary – in genuine surprise this time, “what a big support base you have!”
“Well yes,” said the wolf, “that’s because even though I’m a hideous, terrifyingly ferocious animal facing numerous lawsuits for sexual assault, you, little Red Hillary, you sometimes kept copies of the messages you helpfully carried for the villagers in a private basket under your bed. And you’re a woman. So obviously they’re going to prefer me.
“All the better for winning with!”
A Charedi yeshivanik from Israel has been jailed for trying to smuggle £19,000-worth of cocaine into Heathrow Airport, claiming it was “for personal use”.
His lawyer (who was, naturally, called Jeffrey Israel) tried to argue that the cocaine was an “impulse purchase”. I’m not sure how many people really make impulse purchases of £19,000 – surely he’d at least check out the dealer’s TripAdvisor score or read through the returns policy before laying out that much money:
While we hope you’ll be happy with your drugs, and find them to be of ‘high’ quality, we know you may sometimes need need to return them. Just bring the product, with proof of purchase, to any of our dens within 28 days. This does not affect your statutory rights.*
*to remain silent, although it may harm your defence if you fail to mention when questioned something you later rely on in court.
In August, police authorities in Scotland decided to allow Muslim women officers to wear a hijab as part of their uniform.
Last Thursday, the Independent re-posted on Facebook, for no obvious reason, their article covering the story. (Perhaps Thursday last week was a slow news day? Oh wait… -Ed.)
It turns out that the issue of Muslim clothing being endorsed by British public authorities is a bit controversial.
The Facebook post garnered a range of reactions. Elaine from London commented:
I expect to see all their white male police officers wearing the kilt or else I shall be asking why.
That’ll be a helluva freedom of information request. “Dear Police: why aren’t your white male officers wearing kilts?”
Meanwhile, Christopher from Virginia said:
I object to this on the grounds of practicality. Uniforms are supposed to be a tactical piece of gear. You don’t need someone to pull the hijab over your eyes if you happen to get into a fight with someone.
His profile lists him as a “professional phlebotomist” so no doubt he knows far more about law enforcement health and safety than, er, the senior police officers who made the decision. (Phlebotomy, for those who weren’t aware, is “the process of making an incision in a vein with a needle”. Perhaps I should introduce Christopher to Charedi Coke Man above, they’d get on like a crack house on fire.)
And Jules from Paris said:
Democracy has failed. Freedom has failed.
Coffee and pensions
The latest advertising campaign from government advice service Pension Wise says:
I know my latte from my flat white… but I don’t know my pension options! We offer free, impartial guidance over the telephone or face-to-face.
Now, as it happens I don’t know my latte from my flat white, and would greatly appreciate it if the government set up a Coffee Wise advice line.
At least, I would have appreciated it if I had any confidence in government advisors. But with the news this week that the chair of the Pensions Advisory Service, who was appointed to his role as “a champion of savers”, has had to resign following his, er, bankruptcy.
The Curious Incident of Corbyn’s Granddaughter
“That is the curious incident.”
More specifically, the curious incident was Theresa May taking time out of her busy schedule of making sarcastic remarks at PMQs to congratulate her opponent on having become a grandfather. The only problem was, he isn’t. Cue mocking laughter and her hastily blaming her colleague Patrick McLoughlin (whose job as Transport secretary now includes, presumably, keeping tabs on the paternity status of members of the Oppositin).
That list of things what Theresa May thinks exist that actually don’t, in full
- Jeremy Corbyn’s granddaughter
- Prerogative powers to invoke Article 50
- A FIFA rule requiring footballers to wear poppies
- Genuine child refugees
- Compelling reasons to leave the EU
- A national fond reminiscence of the Thatcher era
- People who like Theresa May
- Climate change (I told you not to let Andrea Leadsom help compile this list. -Ed.)
- That’s it