Last Wednesday, Theresa May's Article 50 Bill - allowing her to trigger the Brexit process by 31st March, was passed very easily - and intact - in the Commons, by 494 votes to 122. Thanks chiefly to Labour's support and a three-line whip imposed by Jeremy Corbyn, May encountered no real obstacles.
Not one of the 287 amendments got through either, some of them proposed by Labour MPs. Probably the most important of these was an amendment that would immediately guarantee the right to remain of the 3m EU citizens currently living in Britain (and in particular, the 2m workers). It was lost by a smaller margin, 332 votes to 290. Three Tory MPs voted for it, including Ken Clarke.
It is this amendment which may well slow the Bill down when it goes to the House of Lords for endorsement on 20 February. The House of Lords is, of course, a bit of a problem for May and the Brexit camp, as Tory peers number just 252 out of the total 805. So they may send the Bill back to the Commons to rethink this particular clause, giving May the excuse required, to take it on board.
Anyway, as if there should be any question of depriving EU workers of their rights when they've been working and paying taxes in Britain, just like the rest of us! But of course May, who has a record of fuelling ant-immigrant prejudices, wouldn't want to be accused of doing these workers any "favours"!
As if they cared about the people's will!
Never mind the reality behind all this politicking, right-wing Tories immediately called for a debate on whether the House of Lords should be abolished, if it refuses to vote May's Bill through! So now these politicians, normally such staunch supporters of "Queen and Country", want to complete the "unfinished" English Revolution? Finally, 356 years after this reactionary, unelected, bishops-and-all, relic was reinstated, along with the monarchy, and after innumerable failed attempts at reform, ever since?
Of course, this can hardly be taken seriously. But neither can this sudden respect for the "democratic will of the people" which the politicians keep going on and on about, to excuse themselves for swimming along with the current Brexit stream.
Because if they gave a damn about the "will of the people" they would renationalise the railways and the Royal Mail and send the private sector packing out of the NHS, not to mention out of social care provision! And put in the necessary funding. After all, if many voted "Brexit" last June, wasn't it precisely because they were voting for more money for the NHS, having been told this was the way to get it?
And this is the other scandal that refuses to be sidelined by the Brexit debate - the cuts to the NHS which are going full speed ahead, with more accident and emergency departments across the country at risk - as many as one in six - as part of the £22bn "savings" to be made from the NHS’s budget by 2021!
There is, however, another scandal that has come to light: the refusal of May's government to deliver on her own party's past commitment by capping the number of unaccompanied child refugees given entry to Britain to a derisory 350! So now Britain officially has its own "travel ban" against refugees (it already has its own Wall against migrants at Calais) - just like Trump. But unlike Trump, May is singling out children? And when this is the fifth richest country in the world?
Yes, in fact it is a virtual travel ban against migrants and refugees. The British government's response is a shameful joke, especially given the scale of the problem: 90,000 unaccompanied migrant minors across Europe and out of the 4.8 million Syrian refugees in Turkey and other poor Middle Eastern countries, we are told that just 4,400 adults with children have been resettled here! So whether it is with regard to refugees or EU workers, not only is May Trump's poodle but she is his perfect match!
And just as paranoid as Trump in fact, judging by her draft "Espionage Act", which has been drawn up by the Law Commission at the request of the Cabinet Office. It recommends jailing whistle-blowers, if they are deemed to have harmed the "national interest" as a result of their revelations... Now that is something which is open to wide interpretation! Of course this is not yet law. But if it became law, "freedom of speech" would have vanished, in the same way May intends to "vanish" workers' already too-limited "freedom of movement".
But for the politicians, there is a logic to all of this - the more they are able to isolate us from the rest of the world, the more they will try to use the pretext of what they call "the national interest", to turn the screw on us. And this is why they must be stopped!