This is the text of a letter I have just sent to my MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg:
Dear Mr Rees-Mogg,
As one of your constituents, I am writing to express in the strongest terms my opposition to the prorogation of Parliament by the Prime Minister.
Despite the Prime Minister’s assertion that he intends to bring forward important legislation, his action appears to be a blatant attempt to subvert the sovereignty of Parliament, which you yourself have asserted you wish to protect from the derogations of the European Union.
There appears to be a contradiction in your position. If Parliament is sovereign, why is it appropriate to suspend its sitting at a crucial moment when there are weeks to go before this country is due to leave the EU?
The appeal by the Prime Minister to the electorate over the head of Parliament is a discredited tactic used by demagogues in this and the last century. It invokes the idea of government by plebiscite, which can become the pretext for authoritarian rule in the event of any opposition. Rule by plebiscite, like rule by prerogative powers, has no place in a parliamentary democracy.
The most dispiriting aspect is the bad faith with which both the prorogation and a “no deal” Brexit are presented as being the popular, legitimate and indeed the only alternatives. I cannot help suspecting that the entire Brexit adventure represents an attempt to restore laissez-faire capitalism in this country. The “will of the people” represents the good of the few.
The Prime Minister’s speech reminds me of a Roman Dictator offering bread and circuses to the plebeians, as if he believes that we, the electorate, are stupid and will accept his explanation without demur. I hope I am wrong.
What meaning do the words “parliamentary democracy” have when an unelected prime minister whose party retains a vestigial Commons majority flouts the constitution he claims to defend?