Given the inevitable rise in automation, you might have heard that many jobs are currently at risk. For instance, why should McDonalds have to pay their staff the minimum wage when they could just as easily be replaced with iPads, or, why should trucking companies keep employing drivers when those drivers can be replaced with artificial intelligence that never gets drunk or feels the urge to use a phone while cruising around the M25. However, considering the current political situation on both sides of the Atlantic, I think there’s a different occupation that’s even more at risk: Satirist.
No seriously, satire is nothing without irony, and while not all the facts have yet been discovered, it would seem that Irony has been taken out into the yard, shot, doused in petrol, put on a little wooden raft, ignited and set sailing down the Thames in a bizarre 21st century recreation of old Norse funeral customs.
Just consider for a moment the incredible intellectual meltdown of some prominent leave campaigners after the High Court ruled that it is, after all, up to Parliament to trigger Article 50. For years these Brexiteers, these firebrand defenders of British independence, have argued that the only law that should matter in Britain is British law. British law passed by British lawmakers. They have argued that we need to “Take Back Control” and make our own Parliament sovereign again. And furthermore, they have argued that the only courts with the power interpret our laws and constitution should be courts based in Britain, not Strasbourg.
So, sit back and enjoy this brilliant spectacle as our Brexiteer friends furiously slam a decision by a British High Court to give ultimate power and sovereignty to the British Parliament, as a result of longstanding British law. The charred remains of Irony are currently being lowered into its casket.
So what does this all mean for the Brexit process? Well, it means that “Brexit means Brexit” is no longer good enough. It means that Theresa May and her inner circle of cabinet ministers and unelected bureaucrats cannot continue to act in a secretive, dictatorial manner, while completely ignoring Britain’s elected representatives. It means that Brexit will still most likely happen, but the process by which it will come about will now have to be properly scrutinized, as a decision of this magnitude rightly should.
Theresa May now has three options:
- Attempt to appeal the High Court verdict and (if successful) continue on her previous course.
- Take the matter to a vote in the current Parliament (good luck with that).
- Call an early general election, with Brexit now in the Conservative manifesto, and hence establish the clear majority needed to trigger Article 50.
Should be fun.