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Twilight for democracy: The Houses of Parliament are now the home of a dictatorship calling itself a Conservative government.

What blatant disregard for democracy.

It seems Conservative members of Parliament have been told not to bother voting in any Opposition Day debates.

This would explain why the House of Commons supported both the Labour Party’s motions yesterday, without having to go to the vote.

On NHS Pay, the House of Commons decided: “This House notes that in 2017-18 NHS pay rises have been capped at one per cent and that this represents another below-inflation pay settlement; further notes that applications for nursing degrees have fallen 23 per cent this year; notes that the number of nurses and midwives joining the Nursing and Midwifery Council register has been in decline since March 2016 and that in 2016-17 45 per cent more UK registrants left the register than joined it; and calls on the Government to end the public sector pay cap in the NHS and give NHS workers a fair pay rise.”

On tuition fees, the Commons decided: “That the Higher Education (Higher Amount) (England) Regulations 2016 (S.I., 2016, No. 1206) and the Higher Education (Basic Amount) (England) Regulations 2016 (S.I., 2016, No. 1205), both dated 13 December 2016, copies of which were laid before this House on 15 December 2016, in the last Session of Parliament, be revoked.” It means MPs have decided unanimously (thanks to the Tories’ abstention) that increases in university tuition fees totalling £250 per year should be abandoned.

Jeremy Corbyn celebrated the NHS pay victory:

And so did Labour MP Alex Cunningham:

But it seems they were both premature.

If true, this decision shows contempt for democracy and democratic debate. The Tories are saying they will pay no attention at all to Opposition motions, even when a majority of MPs support them – as they would have in the debates yesterday.

That’s why the Tories abstained, you see. It would be hugely harmful to the government for it to be defeated in a democratic vote, even one that is non-binding – because it would show that the Tories don’t care about democracy.

But the decision not to pay attention to Opposition Day debates show they don’t care about democracy anyway.

The reaction has been incendiary:

A VONC is a vote of “no confidence”. That’s exactly what should have been triggered, but then we would have seen the DUP scuttling back to prop up Theresa May and her cronies.

In a week during which other aspects of a functioning Parliamentary democracy have been thrown away by the Tories – with DUP help – the decision to ignore Opposition Day debates is yet another sign of the drift towards dictatorship:

And let’s admit it – that drift is now almost complete.

This Writer is left to wonder how Theresa May will propose to stop general elections from taking place. My bet is she’ll create an artificial threat of terrorism. What’s yours?


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