Gina Miller vs The People – again

Ms Miller sums up the arrogance and elitism of the war against Brexit.

Brendan O'Neill
Topics Brexit Politics UK

Anyone who doubts that the battle over Brexit is a clash between the elites and the people should behold the figure of Gina Miller. No one better sums up the elitist nature of the reactionary efforts to stop Brexit – and by extension, to stop democracy itself – than Ms Miller. This is the filthy-rich businesswoman who said the 2016 vote for Brexit made her feel ‘physically sick’ and who has devoted a massive amount of moral and financial energy to trying to thwart, block or dilute that vote. And all the while she has been effusively cheered by those entitled sections of society who cannot comprehend why ‘low information’ plebs – that’s you and me – were entrusted with the decision about the EU in the first place.

Ms Miller’s latest anti-democratic ruse is to threaten to take the government to court if it even thinks about strongarming parliament into accepting a No Deal Brexit. The Guardian reports that Miller’s lawyers have written to Boris Johnson, likely to be the next PM, warning him that proroguing parliament in order to push through No Deal would be ‘constitutionally unacceptable’ and would lead to immediate legal action. This is in response to whisperings from Johnson and others that they will use regal-like powers to end the current parliamentary session in order that No Deal could be ushered through without the meddling of MPs who, being predominantly Remoaners, are opposed to No Deal Brexit. And to any Brexit.

‘I’ll take you to court’, says the Guardian headline next to a photo of Ms Miller. The arrogance is astounding. Where does such a colossal sense of entitlement come from? Imagine being just one person and yet presuming the right to prevent a PM who represents a mass political party from acting on the will of millions of people. Such conceit, such political hubris, will be alien to the vast majority of us who understand that democracy is about debate and argument in the public sphere, not money-lubed court cases designed to tie the hands of government. There is a deep irony here: Miller and her lawyers express disdain for the Royal Prerogative powers Johnson would have to use, where he would call upon the queen herself to put a halt to parliament. And yet Ms Miller is behaving like a monarch, too – the Marie Antoinette of the middle classes who are so horrified that the little people expressed an opinion on the EU. Give them cake, will that shut them up?

Even those of us, like spiked, who are opposed to the proroguing of parliament can see the sheer anti-democracy of Ms Miller’s latest, Remoaner-lauded threat. It would indeed be wrong to use archaic powers to end the parliamentary session and whizz through No Deal. It is of course a profound problem, and a depressing insight into the disconnection of the political class from the people, that so many MPs are hostile to Brexit. We know that more than 70 per cent of MPs voted Remain, and that a staggering 95 per cent of Labour MPs voted Remain, putting the political elite entirely at odds with public sentiment. But this gaping chasm between the elite and the people will not be fixed by inviting the queen to shush MPs so that Brexit might become a reality. If push comes to shove, as it will, it should be the people who punish parliament, via a General Election, in which millions of us would vote against our disobedient and arrogant political representatives.

Yet Ms Miller’s action, like all her legal actions against Brexit, would be highly counter to the democratic principle of public debate and engagement. Miller always claims merely to be defending parliamentary sovereignty. She says her 2017 court case that successfully established that the government cannot initiate withdrawal proceedings from the EU without the approval of parliament, and her new threat of legal action against the proroguing of parliament, are about standing up for the democratic right of parliament to discuss and deliberate on important matters. Pull the other one. The real target of Miller and her army of Remoaner cheerleaders isn’t an arrogant executive that is bossing around parliament – it is the people, the 17.4million, the demos, who, in the Remoaner view, gave parliament the wrong instruction in the referendum in 2016.

They are not defending parliamentary sovereignty from the government – they are defending the political elite from the people. We know they don’t give a damn about parliamentary sovereignty because they fundamentally want to keep the UK within the EU, and the EU exists entirely to dilute and stymie parliamentary sovereignty and popular democracy in its member states. Miller and Co wish to ‘empower’ parliament only to the extent that they know parliament is predominantly opposed to what the people voted for. They are pitting parliament against the people, and if you want to talk about things that are ‘constitutionally unacceptable’, let’s talk about that; let’s talk about the way in which parliament is implicitly being called upon not to give voice to the democratic will, but to trample all over it. That has greater makings of a constitutional crisis than Boris’s talk of proroguing.

Ms Miller embodies the anti-democratic spirit of the 21st-century elites. Who can forget when the New Statesman published a gushing interview with her that was carried out at her private members’ club, where she was ‘spread across a velvet sofa’ in a ‘high-ceilinged drawing room’ as she spat out her disdain for the democratic vote of 2016? Or when she got some equally well-off and well-connected women to write a letter to the Guardian last year and then fired back at plebs on Twitter who questioned the letter by saying: ‘[Do you] know more than [these] top women signatories?’ Know your place, vile multitude!

That so-called liberals and leftists continually cheer Miller and her Brexitphobic efforts confirms how entangled those sections of society now are in the foul cause of anti-democracy. We should thank Ms Miller, I guess. She has shown, once again, what the Brexit clash is about. It’s about an arrogant elite telling ordinary people that they are too stupid to make big political decisions. It’s that simple now.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Iain Duncan

18th July 2019 at 4:40 pm

Amelia Cantor, you sound like a trolling race baiter walking blindly into the progressive fallacy.

James E Shaw

18th July 2019 at 11:42 am

Gina Miller goes to court to prevent an unelected PM from proroguing parliament, an action not undertaken since the 17th century, just as she was in the wrong from preventing a then unelected PM from using the royal prerogative to push through triggering Article 50. Yet funny how Spiked sided with the PM.

Brendan, you and Spiked really have lost the plot.

Robert Fraser

23rd July 2019 at 5:38 pm

I agree…..Brendan is little more than an empty barrel….the difference being that , as it hurts your toe, you might regret kicking a barrel !
A complete 4rsehole of an editor and commentator !

Oliver Cromwell

17th July 2019 at 5:27 am

Ah, a degree in human resources and is now a famed ‘business woman and investment manager’. Just how successful is she as an investment manager? Some time ago when the company reports were available for some of the funds that her husband, Alan Miller, managed, it was alleged that they contained a significant investment from Deutsche Bank.
Does anyone know where the funding for Ms Miller comes from to support her litigation.

Andrew Mawdsley

16th July 2019 at 2:17 pm

Again, apologies Amelia but I’m genuinely struggling to believe that you’re not a parody. If perchance you are not a caricature of all that is wrong in this country at the moment, and you do actually believe the nonsense that you’re spouting. Could you please explain how you believe that it is progressive to only judge people on the basis on either their gender or colour.

Once more, sorry if you are indeed taking the piss, and for my inability to discern irony.

If you are however serious then please do grow up.

Eliot Jordan

16th July 2019 at 2:06 pm

AOC can be stopped, by facts, logic and sanity.

Sadly im not saying she will be stopped but in any rational society she would be seen as the clueless virtue signalling waste of carbon she is

Puddy Cat

16th July 2019 at 11:20 am

It has ever been thus. Those doing well, those entrenched, don’t want things to change. Had Mr Hammond conjured a budget showing a acceptance of the vote the Government could have saved itself a lot of trouble. Now we have black ops with some malign player trying to stir Trump-up and by so doing make a trade deal questionable, people playing to his susceptibility. I fail to see why Ms Miller is courted. As a financier she may be using the situation to her own ends. She is hardly a neutral observer.

Pierre Pendre

16th July 2019 at 10:10 am

Joe Soap could do what Gina Miller is doing. If the legal right exists, then it exists for everybody and Gina Miller’s personal exasperatingness doesn’t enter into it. What should cause concern is the danger of importing the perncious American practice of using the courts as a way to frustrate the political process and getting unelected and unaccountable judges to circumvent politicians and voters.

Let’s accept that Brexit is a special case of such momentous import that it must be seen to be legally above board because it will not be accepted by many even if it is passed. It took decades to secure acceptance of the outcome of the Reformation.

But it is surely in everyone’s interest to preserve the independence of politics and the law from each other. If everyone starts to feel free to run to the judges to block or overturn actions in parliament by the elected representatives of the electorate, democracy itself will be destabilised as it has been in the United States where the supreme court and government agencies have usurped many of congress’s prerogatives.

The corruption and politicisation of the US judicial system is a scandal and a tragedy. In a globalised world in which transnational elites increasingly think as a herd, bad ideas propagate themselves and take hold elsewhere almost through their own volition and without adequate challenge.

Gina Miller risks doing to us what Americans have done to themselves to their detriment.

Charles Stuart

16th July 2019 at 5:29 am

I hate to point out the obvious, but the elite is split just as much as the rest of the country on Brexit. The good elite is for Brexit and the wannabes and noveaux are against it.

Christopher Tyson

15th July 2019 at 7:09 pm

Gina Miller, most influential black person in the UK 2017. What happened in 2018? I don’t know. Maybe she wants to re-capture her crown. Gina Miller fearless campaigner for erm…whose previous campaigns for erm…have achieved so much for erm… So what is it about the rich well connected, high profile Gina Miller that makes her such a wow with the black bourgeoisie? So black person of the year 2019, I’m up for it, maybe I’ll make the short list this year, or maybe not.

cliff resnick

15th July 2019 at 6:04 pm

I’ve been informed by a very reliable unnamed source that Ms Miller is a black ops mole from an hostile power (no names) who mission is to subvert Britiah democracy and cause as much damage to British state as to render the UK on the international stage at this time of heightened tensions as ineffectual as possible.

Simon Morgan

15th July 2019 at 3:30 pm

I think it’s all hot air on Miller’s part anyway – I can’t see her lawyer’s being able to interrupt the business of parliament however much she pays them (and lets hope it’s a lot).

Hana Jinks – spot on about Cantor’s pathetic, cisphobic and racist remark.

christopher barnard

15th July 2019 at 2:43 pm

This is the first time in the modern, full suffrage, egalitarian era that the elite has encountered serious disobedience. Its mask of altruism has fallen at the first challenge, revealing the naked self-interest behind it.

Jane 70

15th July 2019 at 1:23 pm

I’d like to see her in a debate with Martin Howe QC, of Lawyers for Britain.

Jane 70

15th July 2019 at 1:22 pm

Worth reading; judicial encroachment in politics and the consequences.

Ms Miller’s latest legal weaponising may well backfire, and give us Brexit, hopefully with a transitional trade deal, as John Millson rightly points out.

Her arrogance has already been challenged on Sky by Niall Paterson :’Who do you think you are?’

Methinks she needs to get over herself.

Margaret Potter

17th July 2019 at 1:18 am

Really interesting article Jane. My suggestion reading it is 17.4 million donate a £1 to a legal challenge injunction re Miller on grounds she is denying our ‘unman rights to democracy. Job done. Boris prorogues parliament brexit no deal gets done, the elites are neutered and judges excluded from meddling in politics

Willie Penwright

15th July 2019 at 1:14 pm

I like Amelia Cantor’s guide to politics based on skin shade. It saves so much time, discussion and decision-making. I wonder is she could help me to know what my views should be; I am mostly white but take a good summer colour, from Asian ancestors.

Jane 70

15th July 2019 at 1:45 pm

I think gender comes into her diktats as well: progressive wimmin OK; ‘cis-gendered’ white or orange males not OK.

How would trans caucasians fare?

Or gay black conservative voters?

Or lesbian Brexir supporters?

Amelia Cantor

16th July 2019 at 11:07 am

Like it or not, skin correlates strongly with progressive politics and being on the right side of history. Take Brexit. Pasty-faced Nigel Farage is on the wrong side, progressive woman of colour Gina Miller is on the right side. Take US politics. The cis-gender white male Trump is on the wrong side, Ilhan Omar and her sisters of colour on the right side.

It’s v. simple to those with sufficient intellect to notice these patterns. You’re not in that far-from-select group, obviously.

Hana Jinks

16th July 2019 at 1:45 pm

But omar venerates al qaeda and islam over the US and her constitution. How do you square that?

Stephen J

15th July 2019 at 12:49 pm

Oddly Ms. Miller has saved us from permanent enslavement. If she hadn’t shown some crusty old judge a bit of skirt and beguiled him into breaking our constitution, the Maybot would have got Selmayr’s “deal” (treaty) through by now. By changing the constitutional rules that apply to referendums, that judge enabled the commons to block it, even if it was for the wrong reasons.

Under normal conditions, we licence our MP’s between elections to make and maintain our laws on our behalf. Since there was an issue that has confounded them for forty years, their elected leader, asked the public in a special vote to decide for themselves. He promised to enact our decision.

Under that scenario, there would be no meaningful vote and that damned treaty would now be the law.

Let us hope that this further threatened intervention actually enables us to get the referendum into law.

…. Unintended consequences etc. etc..

John Millson

15th July 2019 at 11:28 am

MPs with full democratic integrity and pragmatism should be doing all they can to get through a Brexit which keeps open the existing trading channels in a temporary transition phase. It this increasing of the stakes on both sides, which has made Brexit so destructive. Both the remainiacs and the Bxt.purists, inside & outside Parliament are doing great damage. They need to change.

Hana Jinks

16th July 2019 at 10:22 am

Whynwould you want to be tied to the eussr?

Neil McCaughan

15th July 2019 at 11:12 am

Considering the incessant ranting of the idiot Guardian about the funding of the Leave cause, it’s strange that the murky finances of this shifty individual have never attracted any scrutiny.

Where exactly does the money come from to fund dodgy court cases, the ridiculous New European, the remaintard stunts and scams, Miller, Blair and the rest of the discredited ratbags? Is it channelled direct from the Imperial Treasury in Brussels, or through George Sauron?

Amelia Cantor

15th July 2019 at 10:51 am

Gina Miller, a progressive woman of colour, is the future.

Brendan O’Neill, a cis-gender white male racist, Islamophobe and reactionary, is the past.

The same applies in America:

Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib = progressive women of colour = the futrue.

The Orange Narcissist and Rapist-in-Chief = cis-gender white male = the past.

But haters never go quietly. Hence Brexit and the election of the Orange Narcissist.

Hana Jinks

15th July 2019 at 12:20 pm

How do you think trannies fare under sharia?

Amelia Cantor

16th July 2019 at 11:10 am

There is a long and beautiful LGBTQIA+ tradition in Islam, which was flourishing while members of the LGBTQIA+ community were being burned at the stake in Christian nations. So-called “Islamic State” are an aberration caused by western meddling and war-mongering.

Hana Jinks

16th July 2019 at 1:48 pm

Yeah…a long and beautiful tradition of running them off buildings.

Eric Praline

15th July 2019 at 2:00 pm

Is that Titania McGrath reborn?

Amelia Cantor

16th July 2019 at 11:03 am

Titania McGrath is a so-called comic persona adopted by a cis-gender white male to mock and dismiss real people and their real pain. But Doyle should consider what happened to Charlie Hebdo. Karma is real and he’s building up a v. big negative pile of it.

Andrew Mawdsley

15th July 2019 at 2:30 pm

I’m sorry Amelia, but are you an actual person. Or are you Andrew Doyle masquerading as another complete cunt?

Jane 70

15th July 2019 at 6:06 pm

Or could AC really be mad Al Campbell? The initials are the same, and mad Al has become increasingly deranged, as the threat of Brexit actually happening is now likely- we hope.

Amelia Cantor

16th July 2019 at 10:56 am

I am an actual person and I am not the cis-gender white male Andrew Doyle, whose edgy and oh-so-hilarious comedy is celebrated in Murdoch’s Times and re-tweeted with much approval by Farage, Noah Carl and other haters.

Hana Jinks

16th July 2019 at 1:50 pm

Ameliorate Cant.

With you on that one. Bit of a sniveller.

Little Black Sambo

20th July 2019 at 12:19 pm

I suspect Amelia of being the shape-shifting Tethys who posts under many different names on The Conservative Woman and elsewhere.

Jerry Owen

15th July 2019 at 2:41 pm

Amelia Cantor
The people of colour that voted for Trump and Brexit are they part of the future ?

Jane 70

15th July 2019 at 4:11 pm

Our Brexit Party MEP for Scotland, who is black and gay. He’s also very good on Brexbox , on youtube.

Amelia Cantor

16th July 2019 at 10:51 am

The novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first published in 1857. That’s one example of how long people have been commenting on the phenomenon of people of colour siding with the oppressor and collaborating with xer own oppression.

Gregory Buswell

15th July 2019 at 3:30 pm

Have you seen the South Park episode where they mock DNA test providers by showing several white looking people proclaiming their victimhood by percentage?

“I’m 13% victim!”.
“I’m 4% Cherokee Indian, so I’m a victim too!”.

Most amusing.

Jane 70

15th July 2019 at 6:13 pm

A friend’s DNA results have revealed that she has over 90% Scottish/ Celtic ancestry, plus an unexpected dash of Sami.
Can she claim victimhood and demand a special dispensation , rather than being held to account as AC would presumably demand?

Paul Duffin

15th July 2019 at 3:40 pm

Once again I’m confused as to whether this is satirical or not. It certainly sounds like it with it’s use of buzzwords and lack of any actual argument.


Amelia Cantor

16th July 2019 at 11:01 am

If what I say looks like satire, that says more about you and your cis-gender white male ideological hang-ups than it does about me.

Henri Zazoo

16th July 2019 at 1:16 am

Oh no ! It’s Amelia Ocasio Cantor.

Amelia Cantor

16th July 2019 at 11:00 am

Thank you. I am very flattered by the comparison with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. As a progrssive woman of colour, she is the future and she can’t be stopped. I am delighted if you think that, in my small and humble way, I am helping to amplify her message of hope, love and global justice.

Simon Morgan

29th July 2019 at 9:52 am

It’s more mini AOC, Henri.

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