Britain: Defy Boris Johnson's Coup Attempt to suspend Parliament!


Organize Mass Protests up to an Indefinite General Strike!


Article by Joseph Adams, RCIT Britain,, 6th September 2019




Boris Johnston has decided that the only way he can defeat his remain opponents in parliament and proceed with a no deal Brexit is to prorogue parliament to enable him to proceed to Brexit on the 31st October. For Johnson to achieve this he needs a royal prerogative from the Monarchy. Elizabeth Windsor (like Charles Stuart before her) has created an immense constitutional crisis. This present Queen follows the tradition of her predecessor who ended up proroguing Parliament for 12 years in 1629, a Civil war his own execution and a Cromwellian government taking power. This monarchical system like the present government is outdated and needs to be overthrown once for all. Charles Stuart was to learn one important lesson about Dictatorship.


“In January 1629, Charles opened the second session of the English Parliament, which had been prorogued in June 1628, with a moderate speech on the tonnage and poundage issue.] Members of the House of Commons began to voice opposition to Charles's policies in light of the case of John Rolle a Member of Parliament whose goods had been confiscated for failing to pay tonnage and poundage. Many MPs viewed the imposition of the tax as a breach of the Petition of Right, The provocation was too much for Charles, who dissolved Parliament and had nine parliamentary leaders, including Sir John Eliot, imprisoned over the matter, thereby turning the men into martyrs, and giving popular cause to their protest.” [1].




Boris Johnson has proceeded down the same path with the Queen’s blessing of arbitrarily closing down of Parliament, leading to a fundamental attack of democratic rights and the potential onset of dictatorship in Britain. This is a struggle between two sections of the Bourgeoisie. Those like Johnson and the Brexiteers who favour the imperialist British nation state and those who support European imperialism. These contradictions and rivalries will  sharpen even more with the next recession, affecting all Imperialist nations including Britain.


“Boris Johnson has set up an extraordinary confrontation with MPs when they return to Westminster next week by announcing that he has asked the Queen to suspend parliament for five weeks from mid-September.


The prime minister claimed there would be “ample time” to debate Brexit, as he wrote to MPs on Wednesday, saying he had spoken to the Queen and asked her to suspend parliament from “the second sitting week in September”. The Queen approved the order later on Wednesday.


MPs will then not return to Westminster until 14 October, when he said there would be a new Queen’s speech, setting out what he called a “bold and ambitious domestic legislative agenda for the renewal of our country after Brexit”.[2]




Protests against Johnson's Decision to suspend Parliament




Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament has led to demonstrations and protests up and down the Country. In all the Major cities there has been rallies against Johnson’s attacks on democratic rights with leading protests in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and many towns up and down the Country.


“From Bodmin to Berlin, Bristol to Oxford, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales on Saturday to vent their fury at Johnson’s plan to suspend parliament. Around 1,200 people attended the rally in Cambridge where they booed the prime minister and his adviser Dominic Cummings as though they were pantomime villains.


Demonstrations more than 1,000-strong were seen in cities including Manchester, Newcastle and York, where a crowd carrying EU and Yorkshire flags convened outside the famous Bettys tea rooms.


Others were held in Amsterdam’s Dam Square, outside the British embassy in Latvia’s capital Riga, and beside the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. In the German capital one protester waved a banner that read: “The last time this happened, Cromwell discontinued the custom of kings wearing their heads on their shoulders.” [3]


The RCIT unreservedly supports these demonstrations and protests in defense of democratic rights but we say: This must lead to active strikes of the working class, supported by mass mobilisations on the streets to bring government to a halt. Such is a first precursor to an indefinite general strike and to a struggle to replace this system of a capitalist government with a workers government. The consequences of a no deal Brexit could lead to shortages of medicines and food on supermarket shelves, which will mainly effect the working class and the poor. Britain is a small Island nation and cannot last long isolated without some form of trade. This government already has discussed this issue within COBRA, the highly secretive government organization which can act in place of Parliament.


Johnson and his civil servants have already prepared a document called Operation Yellowhammer which they admit could lead to social unrest and protests against the increasing authorial government of Johnson. This document has been written to look at the infrastructure after Brexit on October 31st. It admits Britain will face shortages of fuels, food and medicines. There will be a hard border with Ireland which will make it difficult to trade with other European countries. COBRA has already established that there are 3,500 troops on standby in case of social unrest, rioting and civil disobedience because of the lack of basic foodstuffs. It would be a situation of unfettered price rises. The most vulnerable will suffer with austerity at worst homelessness, poverty and mass unemployment. The state would clamp down on strikes and any protests and workers would face police state powers introduced under the Blair Government. Martial law would be prevalent with curfews and travel bans. Current existing governmental departments could be taken over if the leaders of the operation believe that they are not working properly. Operation Yellowhammer is planned to be implemented for three months but it is obvious that it has the potential to enable a Bonapartist regime in Britain.




Desastrous Labour Party Response




Jeremy Corbyn is attempting to organize a care taker government of National Unity comprising pro-European Tories, the SNP, Liberal Democrats and Blairites in his own party. This would be a disaster. Corbyn needs to fight on the important social issues and turn to the working class for support instead of following his reformist agenda. National governments have failed in the past and will fail again. The feft reformists are hoping for a general election but the current development is a weakening of the Labour Party (left) and as a consequence the increase possibility for a new right-wing, conservative government.


In addition the influence of Blairite forces would increase even more based on such a shift to the right. Both the main centrist forces in Britain the CWI and the SWP have no real answers whatsoever because of their Lexit come Brexit position where they end up on the wrong side, politically confused and disorientated by Brexit and refusing to recognize that there should be no support for either Remain or Brexit but revolutionary defeatism.




Johnson defeated by 301 Votes to 328 Votes over his BREXIT Plans




Boris Johnson was defeated by 301 votes to 328 votes in the House of Commons over his plans for a no deal Brexit on the 31st October. The remain faction including Labour and Tory rebels have now taken control of the Parliamentary timetable. Johnson’s response is to call for a general election either on the 14th or 15th October. Under the rules of the fixed term Parliament act he needs a two thirds majority. Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said he will only support a general election when the No-deal Brexit becomes law. The political crisis of Brexit continues to haunt British imperialism and the bourgeoisie with no solution in sight. Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament seems to have now been a hopeless exercise with his defeat in the Commons.




“Boris Johnson has announced that he will ask parliament to support plans for a snap October general election after suffering a humiliating defeat in his first House of Commons vote as prime minister.


Former cabinet ministers including Philip Hammond and David Gauke were among 21 Conservative rebels who banded together with opposition MPs to seize control of the parliamentary timetable on a dramatic day in Westminster.


The move was aimed at paving the way for a bill tabled by the Labour backbencher Hilary Benn, which is designed to block a no-deal Brexit by forcing the prime minister to request an extension to article 50 if he cannot strike a reworked deal with the EU27”. [4]




RCIT Response




The RCIT in Britain recognizes the explosive situation in Britain and puts forward the following demands to workers and the oppressed to defeat Boris Johnson and both sections of the Bourgeoisie whether they are for Remain or for Brexit.




* For mass demonstrations and strikes up to an Indefinite General Strike. Fight for a Workers Government. Build action committees in the workplaces, schools and neighborhoods to organize the struggle. Build a rank and file trade union movement; replace the Bureaucracy with democratically elected trade union activists who come from and stay under control of the rank and file membership. No to any compromise and betrayal!


Defend all democratic rights, no to any attempt towards bonapartism and dictatorship.


* For the convocation of a Constituent Assembly made up of workers, peoples assemblies and local community organizations. In such a constituent assembly Revolutionaries have to argue for a truly Socialist society and explain why the Bourgeois Parliaments are no proper organs of real democracy.


* For a programme of revolutionary equality for all migrants – equal access to language, full citizenship rights including absolute access to education and housing.


* Neither Brexit nor Remain- No support for either imperialist state! For revolutionary defeatism and for the independence of the working class. Smash the EU and all imperialist structures! For the United Socialist States of Europe!




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