Saturday, August 08, 2009

Who is in charge of Government?


















There is presently a degree of confusion with regard to which of these ‘deputies’ is in charge while the Prime Minister is away. Who is the official vice-PM? That is, who is the vicarious prime minister, or, for those with an appreciation of etymology, the vicar of the Prime Minister?

The plan was for Harry Harpy Hattie Harperson Harpy Hormone Harriet Harman to experience the ecstasy of primacy in her imagination during this week, and then for Peter Mandelson to lord it over the entire Cabinet (or the three over whom he does not presently exercise authority) for the duration of next.

But this abysmal shower cannot even coordinate their holidays correctly.

While the Prime Minister is swinging his sporran in Scotland, Ms Harman has gone off to play the Duchess of Malfi a few days early – while Lord Mandelson is still working on his tan in Corfu.

So the country finds itself in something of an interregnum – a whole weekend without any PM or deputy or a vice or a vicar.

But who will notice?

Who will care?

Is anyone actually missing Gordon Brown?

Is not life rather more pleasant without him grinding on about how he is getting on with the job, without ultra-feminist Harriet Harman telling men they are all useless, and without Lord Mandelson telling the Prime Minister and Harriet Harman that they both are?

But while Cranmer acknowledges that Ms Harmon has a degree of democratic legitimacy – having been elected to Parliament by the good people of Camberwell and Peckham, and to the position of deputy leader of the Labour Party by misguided members of that party – His Grace does not believe that the country has been governed by an unelected Peer of the Realm for almost 300 years.

When Queen Anne died on 1st August 1714, her successor, the Elector of Hanover (George I), was in his German dominion. Baron Parker of Macclesfield was designated Regent of Great Britain, Ireland and the realms beyond the seas until the new King was able to take the Crown. He reigned until 18th September, and was the last Peer to exercise sovereign power...

...until the advent of The Right Honourable the Baron Mandelson of Foy in the County of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the County of Durham, First Secretary of State and Lord President of the Privy Council and Secretary of State for Business and Secretary of State for Innovation and Skills.

As of Monday, the Royal Prerogative will rest with him.

29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is amusing and, in a sense true.
However, there are £50,000,000,000 good reasons why parliament should be recalled. Minting all those notes without permission of parliament is shocking, even by the standards we have got used to.
John Redwood's blog explains in detail why parliament should have discussed a momentous matter like that.

8 August 2009 at 07:41  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Whatever do you think the Queen makes of all this?
That she remains silent and will continue so to remain, throughout all this, is more than human flesh and blood ought to have to bear.
Her Majesty is someone whom we don't collectively deserve and the one steady pilot in perilous seas.
One can only guess what the Queen and Prince Philip make of Lord Handlebum's weekly audience.

8 August 2009 at 10:36  
Anonymous Brian E. said...

I don't think it matters whether we have parliament or not. Belgium managed for about a year without one as they couldn't agree on a forming a government and the country seemed to continue as usual with the benefit of not having an endless stream of useless legislation.
Perhaps we need a party to stand at the general election on the ticket of not doing anything for one year, just let events take place and be dealt with by existing procedures. I'm sure things wouldn't be worst than the present situation where the politicians foolishly seem to believe that they actually have control over events by making even more rules and passing more legislation.
Gordon - Go for a 9 month holiday if you won't call an election now!

8 August 2009 at 10:44  
Anonymous the recusant said...

In 1725 Baron Parker of Macclesfield was impeached and tried in the House of Lords. He was unanimously found guilty of corruption for taking more than one hundred thousand pounds in bribes (more than eleven million in today's currency). He was fined £30,000 and placed in the Tower of London until payment was received. He was also struck off the roll of the Privy Council. He was a fabulously wealthy man possibly due to his corruption, but as this money was confiscated he had no resources with which to pay his fine. He spent most of the rest of his life at Shirburn Castle, where he was buried.

The more things change the more they stay the same, make the mandy connection as you can.

8 August 2009 at 11:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His Grace seems slightly confused. It is, surely, Harridan Harpyperson.

8 August 2009 at 11:31  
Anonymous oiznop said...

No, he means Halibut Horrorperson.

8 August 2009 at 12:05  
Anonymous not a machine said...

country has improved by 0% since

8 August 2009 at 12:14  
Anonymous len said...

I think the country might run better without any Nulab interference, a bit like when the traffic lights fail and the traffic flows better!

8 August 2009 at 12:48  
Blogger ew.walgrove said...

Once again, the Labour Government has lost the plot. It doesn't know who is running the country now and has never know!!!

8 August 2009 at 12:51  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Is there any way we can close our borders to make sure the nincompoops can't sneak back in?

8 August 2009 at 13:19  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Might be a good time to abolish the post of prime minister.

Nobody is doing the job anyway.

8 August 2009 at 14:18  
Blogger Demetrius said...

All together now: "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." However, I will sit this one out.

8 August 2009 at 15:21  
Anonymous Fritz said...

I've always liked Greeks

8 August 2009 at 15:36  
Anonymous E.J. Thompson said...

Your Grace:

The last Peer of the Realm to govern as Prime Minister was Alec Douglas-Home before he was elected to the House of Commons. Prior to that, the Marquess of Salisbury was the last Peer to have been Prime Minister for his full term.

8 August 2009 at 15:55  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr EJ Thompson,

His Grace was quite obviously referring to Peers of the Realm who had no democratic mandate to govern.

8 August 2009 at 15:59  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Unless I missed it (and I've had another look, just in case), I'm glad to say, Crannie, that you don't ask who is running the country in Brown's absence. I'm very tired of various media savants talking about this person or that person 'running the country'. In fact, the country runs perfectly well on its own. As you and some of your correspondents have suggested, it runs considerably better when nobody tries to rule it.

The normal mechanisms of policing, NHS, dustbin emptying, transport, buying and selling, house moving, etc., all seem to function much as they did before Mr Brown favoured us all by going away. So the country is somehow managing to run as it usually does.

It says something about the commentariat when they yack on about someone 'running the country', namely that they have bought into the micro-managing, tinkering, legislation-mad, fiddling about and interference that has so damaged our traditions and constitution, that they think that without such things the country is not being 'run'. This is the same mindset that bedevils the EU, in its insistence that it must have a say in every aspect of our lives, and that people can't be trusted to run their own affairs.

We have come to this: that we are now inculturated to think of ourselves (that is 'the country') as needing to have a have a hand on the tiller at all times, wisely and benevolently steering us through the perils of life.

Leave us alone, and let us get on with it, I say. By all means protect us from criminals and enemies. Ensure that we are not exploited and defrauded, that our currency is reliable and our weights and measures consistent and trustworthy. But otherwise, leave us alone, please; and you'll be amazed how we muddle through without being 'run'.

8 August 2009 at 19:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the constitutional position on this ?
I would have thought in a modern democracy this could not happen.

8 August 2009 at 20:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A modern what?

8 August 2009 at 20:52  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Perhaps General Dannat could take over, since he no longer has a job. He couldn't be worse than the current sad shower and indeed, since he is a God fearing Christian, he might do a lot better! Anyone, just anyone would be an improvement upon the present lot!

8 August 2009 at 21:03  
Blogger the man who fell back to bed said...

'Is anyone actually missing Gordon Brown?'

anyone with access to high velocity firearms.

unfortunately.

9 August 2009 at 00:10  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

I do not follow Your Grace's logic that this is a different position from those who have previously held the office of Prime Minister from the House of Lords , most recently the Earl of Home .

What I find most inexplicable is that the current Prime Minister is in this country , but still feels the need to pass off responsibility to a man who is on holiday in a foreign country .

Very strange .

9 August 2009 at 01:09  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Young Oligarch -
Maybe he thinks Mandy Pandy's in the same country?

9 August 2009 at 04:16  
Blogger The Young Oligarch said...

churchmouse -

I know the Ionian islands used to be British , but that was a while ago .They were never part of the UK , either .

How the Lord High First Secretary ruling from Corfu is better than the Dear Leader doing so from Fife is a mystery to me .

I believe they have telephones and electric lighting in the Kingdom these days , so there is no excuse for him not keeping in touch .

9 August 2009 at 04:32  
Anonymous Voyager said...

One of the reassuring features is the knowledge that The All-Seeing Eye of Berlaymont is taking care of things so the Office-keepers Harman and Mandelson and Brown can go on vacation and wine and dine on expenses like local councillors on a spree.

9 August 2009 at 06:02  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Gosh Oligarch, I don't know. Maybe he's got it confused with Iona?

Or maybe Tony's in Roma and is controlling all of us on behalf of the neu empire?

Personally, I'm grateful they're all out of the way! Maybe somebody'll take advantage of it and stage a stroke of state - South American style!

9 August 2009 at 06:06  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

I see the Berlaymonster had a fire alarm a few weeks ago! In it's natural element after all - may it have many more - and long may they burn!!!

9 August 2009 at 06:23  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr Anabaptist

Apart for the infelicitous 'inculturated', I agree.

Of course all the things you mention as being the function of government have been spectacularly neglected by this one and all the things that should be left to us they've tinkered with and worsened. But they would, wouldn't they if their purpose was not to make things better for us but better for them (at our expense).

9 August 2009 at 10:51  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Alright, then: enculturated.

9 August 2009 at 11:24  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Your Grace

In July 1914, the Austrian Chancellor bemusedly asked the qvestion that was to dominate European History from 1861 to 1945 :

Wer regiert in Berlin ?
[Who rules in Berlin ?]

He meant - was it the German Chancellor or the German Army

In 2009, our European and American Friends probably don't care whether it is Herr Mandelson or Mrs Dromey [Frau Marman] who rules in London

---- I rather suspect that your Friend Ian Dale's Hamster [oor Hazel Blears] would be an improvement on either

Yr Grace's obedient servant etc

G E

wv = sherit

Is this Latin ?

10 August 2009 at 19:51  

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