Boris should publicly apologize to the Queen

27 September 2019
Author   Jackie Wilson Asheeke
The recent landmark Supreme Court judgment in the UK says that Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave wrong information to the Queen when he advised her to suspend the Parliament.
The 11 members of the Court ruled that Johnson’s request was unlawful and is void. In my view, he owes Her Majesty a public apology immediately.
A news report says, “The prime minister spoke to the Queen after the Supreme Court ruling, but would not reveal the details of the conversation”. If he apologized, the world should hear it. Just as we hear her distinguished name bandied about in the media as a part of this whole mess, we need to hear it loud and clear if there has been an apology.
My first response to this mess in the UK is: “Yikes!”
I support electoral democracy and do not favour monarchy. The kneeling, bowing and the curtseying thing is beyond me.  But, I respect that many people see royalty as representative of history, tradition, culture, and continuity.
Allow me to declare that I am no expert on the British political system.  I will likely miss the nuances involved in the current UK situation.  Still, I think that if you have a system that includes a Queen signing off on things, then you must respect it.  Actions involving a monarch must never be a part of any political game.
In the media coverage over the UK Supreme Court ruling, I keep hearing “Her Majesty did this or the Queen did that.” This raises my hackles. Her Majesty’s dignity and distance must be maintained. The Prime Minister’s actions dragged down the Queen’s name.
As per this unanimous court ruling, the British Parliament remains in session as normal. Boris Johnson is being asked to “Consider his position.” Perhaps he should not have unpacked at 10 Downing Street yet.  This Supreme Court rebuke is HUGE.  The resumed Parliamentary session was dynamite.  There were insulting ‘questions’ and curt ‘answers’ flying all over the room.
Commentators claim that the UK Prime Minister wanted to cancel Parliament so that he would not have to be badgered by Opposition questions about his intention to implement Brexit (no matter what). A ‘no agreement’ Brexit will have many negative repercussions. And yet, the Conservatives say the people voted in favour of the UK’s departure from the EU and it must be done.
In all of this, I am grappling with a new word: prorogation. It is a  noun meaning, “the action of discontinuing a session of a parliament or other legislative assembly without dissolving it.” Wow…what a pretentious word!
It confuses me that Johnson is serving as Prime Minister without a mandate from the electorate. His party does not have the majority in Parliament. I am not quite sure how that happens in the British system, but there it is.
The Conservatives are calling for an election to legitimize their ‘rule’ and (in their minds) gain a parliamentary majority. And, the Labour Party made speeches against this. I am unclear about why. I think an election is exactly what is needed: let the people speak. However, the Brexit alarm clock is already ringing. When would these elections happen?
Did Johnson have competent advisors and lawyers before he put his foot in it with the prorogation? British decision-makers are supposedly sticklers for the legal stuff, protocol, and procedures. Did no one even warn the Downing Street Gang about the possibility of negative blowback from their actions? What an egg-in-the-face miscalculation!
Reality check: the dramas of the UK Parliament have nothing whatsoever to do with Namibia. When it comes down to it, whatever happens in Westminster, doesn’t put bread on Namibian tables or provide proper housing and jobs with living wages.
I suppose as a part of the Commonwealth, this country should show special respect to the Queen.  She has been Head of the Commonwealth throughout her 67-year reign.  It is an important symbolic and unifying role.  In a way, my demand for a public Johnson apology stems from that.  But mostly, I bristle when I see loud-mouthed bullies telling porky pies to 93-year-olds.
Boris:  do what you choose about Brexit, but publicly say “sorry” and, if there is a 'next time', leave the Queen out of controversial maelstroms.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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