“Tumult and turmoil … subversive … pernicious to the general and paramount interests of the nation …”

A fascinating and very possibly relevant passage, unearthed by Commenter AJB in response to the news that Her Excellency will be flying back from Europe later today to deal with, in the words used by her office in announcing the decision, “the current political situation” – which may or may not soon include a prorogation request from the (current) Prime Minister:

“It does not mean that the Crown should act arbitrarily and without the advice of responsible ministers, but it does mean that the Crown is not bound to take the advice of a particular minister to put its subjects to the tumult and turmoil of a series of general elections so long as it can find other ministers who are prepared to give it a trial. The notion that a Minister – a Minister who cannot command a majority in the House of Commons – is invested with the right to demand a dissolution is as subversive of constitutional usage as it would, in my opinion, be pernicious to the general and paramount interests of the nation at large.”

Marshall, Geoffrey Constitutional Conventions: The Rules and Forms of Political Accountability. Oxford, 1984, p. 38.

I guess now the question is whether this is going to be a very short session of parliament – or a Long one.

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