Around the world, coups are normally international events. Short of war they have been a preferred mechanism to achieve what has become known as ‘regime change’. And the last time there was a successful coup in this country in 1688 that too was an international affair, with Mary and William of Orange being installed as a monarchy. That was a coup by parliament against an over-bearing monarchy.
The current situation is quite different. We are living through a coup against parliament by a minority of parliamentarians, who have seized control of the Tory party from the right. They intend to impose their will against the majority of elected representatives and against the will of the public.
They are able to attempt this because this too is an international affair. Boris Johnson hopes to prolong his premiership by crashing this country out of the EU with a No Deal Brexit. But the key beneficiary of this project is Donald Trump and the interests he represents, and the project has his full backing.
Any significant agreement with the EU would necessarily include some degree of alignment with European rules and tariffs. They are not going to formulate an entirely new set of rules and tariffs simply to accommodate us – any more than the US will. For Trump, No Deal is imperative.
The effect of those US rules and tariffs are truly frightening. Contrary to the false promises and blatant untruths of the leaders of the Leave campaigns, we will not be entering a new golden age of peace and prosperity as a subordinate state to Trump’s MAGA project. This is not what the millions of decent Leave voters were told.
On trade, you only have recognise how he treats US allies, like Canada, Mexico, India and the EU, to understand how trade negotiations will go. It will be an imposition not a negotiation. Similarly, it is clear Trump will drag this country into new conflicts, with countries such as Iran and China. Some in the Tory party are only too eager to follow him.
Being Trump’s vassal will affect every part of our lives, from the Americanisation of the NHS, to the decimation of the car industry, the assault on British farming and much else besides. American workers have even fewer rights and benefits than workers in this country, and there will be a major offensive to ‘level down’ our rights. Donald Trump is also a climate crisis denier, and seems sure to insist on greater fracking by US firms.
In opposing No Deal the majority of MPs are in tune with the voters. Poll after poll shows only a small minority support No Deal. The general public have asked themselves, will I be better or worse off with No Deal? And they don’t like the answer.
The arguments of coup plotters are clearly false. They deliberately confuse suspending parliament for weeks with an ordinary recess while knowing the opponents of No Deal intended to get parliament to sit and debate instead of going into recess. They claim a ‘new government’ needs its own Queen’s Speech, when it currently has no programme except No Deal. They claim to relish the prospect of a general election, when Johnson could have called one when he ousted May.
Boris Johnson also previously told the One Nation group he had no intention of proroguing parliament. Now he is telling them that he is still aiming for a deal with the EU. The truth is Trump will not allow that, and his puppet Farage recently repeated his threat to stand against the Tories if Johnson fails to deliver No Deal. That would prove fatal to Johnson’s lifelong ambitions: he would forever be known as Boris the Brief.
It is our job as the Labour party to ensure that we prevent the huge damage to the living standards and well-being of the ordinary people of this country that Trump, Johnson and No Deal will inflict. Jeremy Corbyn is doing a brilliant job in uniting the entire opposition to those plans. Parliament has not yet been prorogued, and can prevent it. I would invite anyone who simply prefers our current democracy to arbitrary rule in Trump’s interests to join us in opposing the coup and opposing No Deal.