This note is not intended to be political, nor is it a legal analysis. It’s about compassion and respect.
I am not a fan of Boris Johnson. I suspect half of the UK would agree with my views on Boris and half wouldn’t – a bit like views on Brexit. I am ashamed/sorry to say that because of my personal dislike of Boris (and the Brexit process) that I was pleased with today’s decision. I, however, need to be honest with myself – these are bad reasons for being pleased with today’s decision.
I am also pleased with today’s decision because I think it’s the right legal decision; that it has restored democracy and that it has demonstrated we have a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that the rule of law is enforced. As an aside, I was pleased to see the judgment being delivered by Lady Hale and providing another inspiring female role model for my daughters and others. I am not asking you to agree with my opinion on the rights or wrongs of today’s decision – but they are based on my genuine belief that the country is better for this decision and I believe they are therefore virtuous reasons.
Brexit, Boris, Prorogation are/were all divisive – I am sure we can all agree on that. It’s also clear that whatever the final upshot is - about half of the population will not be pleased.
I hope that our leaders can therefore help us all heal from these dramatic times. I shall certainly be reminding myself I need to keep my intentions in check. I do not wish any bad will on Boris, but I do hope that we have a leader (whether that’s Boris or not) who will have honourable intentions to do the best thing and will help to move the conversation to something that’s more respectful and compassionate of other views.
Justin Welby recently admitted that some of his earlier comments had not been helpful. He apologised and said:
‘…we must find better language (me included) that helps us remove the bitterness and prioritise each other’s dignity and humanity. What is clear is that, no matter the outcome of the Brexit process, bullying one another, misrepresenting the situation, and disparaging each other’s convictions and genuinely held views only leaves us all weaker.’
Iain Larkins - 24th September 2019