Death of democracy is confirmed as Cameron ignores the will of Parliament

The not-so-great dictator: It seems David Cameron's government is now ignoring all attempts to hold it to account.

The not-so-great dictator: It seems David Cameron’s government is now ignoring all attempts to hold it to account.

Ladies and gentlemen of the United Kingdom, your plight is worsening: The government now no longer pays any attention to the decisions of your Parliamentarians.

You’ll remember that a debate was held on Monday, in which MPs called for an inquiry into the effect of changes to the benefit system – introduced by the Conservative-led Coalition government – on the incidence of poverty in this country; the question was whether poverty was increasing as a result of the so-called reforms.

Parliament voted massively in favour of the inquiry (125 votes for; two against), as reported here.

We considered it a great victory at the time, and looked forward to the commissioning of the inquiry and its eventual report.

Now that dream is in tatters as Michael Meacher, the MP who brought the motion to Parliament, has reported that nothing is to happen and the government is ignoring the vote.

It seems he is blaming this partly on the media because “it wasn’t reported” – and he has a point; only 2,500 people have so far read the article on Vox Political, and that’s not nearly enough interest to worry David Cameron and his unelected cadre.

This turn of events raises serious questions about the role of Parliament in holding the government of the day to account, influencing legislation and taking effective initiative of its own.

Perhaps we should be glad that this has happened, because the illusion that we have any kind of democracy at all has been, finally, stripped away.

(On a personal note, this saddens me greatly as it confirms the belief of a very rude Twitter user who accosted me on that site earlier the week to inform me that democracy died many years ago, and I was deluded in trying to save it now. What a shame that such a person has been proved correct.)

Here are the facts, according to Mr Meacher – and they make bitter reading: “The chances of influencing … legislation are negligible because the government commands a whipped majority at every stage of a bill’s passage through the commons.

“Parliament can make its voice heard, but it can hardly change anything that the government has decided to do.

“The only rare exception is when there is a revolt on the government benches which is backed by the opposition, and even then when the government lost a vote on that basis last year on the EU budget, it still ostentatiously dismissed the vote as merely ‘advisory’.

“Nor, it seems from Monday’s vote, can parliament take any effective initiative of its own either.”

He said newly-instituted systems that followed the expenses scandal are already disappearing:

  • “The backbench business committee, which for the first time gives parliamentarians some control over what is debated in the house, is being sidelined and decisions on its motions ignored.
  • “The promised house business committee, which would share negotiations between government and parliament over the passage of all business put before the house, has been quietly dropped.
  • “Only the election of members of select committees by the house, not by the whips, has so far survived, but one cannot help wondering if that too will be taken back by the party establishments over time.”

This is, as Mr Meacher states, a major constitutional issue – especially as our current government was not elected by the people but created in a dirty backroom deal, and its actions have no democratic mandate at all; nobody voted for the programme of legislation that we have had forced – forced – upon us.

Did you vote for the privatisation of the National Health Service? I didn’t.

Did you vote for the privatisation of the Royal Mail? I didn’t.

Did you vote for the increase in student fees? I didn’t.

Did you vote for the Bedroom Tax? I didn’t.

Did you vote for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal? I didn’t.

Did you vote for the Gagging law? I didn’t.

Did you vote to protect the bankers who caused the financial crisis from having to deliver compensation to us? I didn’t.

Did you vote to protect tax avoidance schemes? I didn’t.

There are many more examples I could list.

Mr Meacher suggests possible ways to reassert the authority of Parliament, but none of them will have any immediate effect – or possibly any effect at all.

He ends his piece by saying “the most effective way of making progress is greater awareness among the electorate of how Parliament actually performs, or fails to perform. If the public understood more transparently how the corrupting influence of patronage actually works, how the power system turns everything to its own advantage, and how the genuine objectives of democratic elections are so readily thwarted, a lot of these unedifying practices would have to be curbed.”

Considering Cameron’s attitude to the will of the people so far, this seems unlikely.

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183 thoughts on “Death of democracy is confirmed as Cameron ignores the will of Parliament

    1. Lazarus McDangerous

      Well, I for one, have had enough – so a few of us are grouping together to take a copy of Magna Carta to the Houses of Parliament, and to Number 10 on March 15th… now I keep getting a lot of negativity about this for some reason “oh, it’s closed”, or “what do you think that will do”, to “stupid and naive to think it will change anything”… this is no longer about “them”, it is about “us”. I am not with any group or affiliated to any campaign – I am just a man, out here, trying to do my part… please help me, just by being there;

      – Magna Carta to the Gov’t – March in March (March 15th)…

      Shared this on my Facebook page…

      1. Lilian Green

        well done you…sick of everyone moaning but doing nothing. I cant march but I sign every petition I can, I make people aware of the deaths this government are causing and the distress and family hardships they are causing. People are uniting, under 25s are talking with us oldies..and despite the hype neither blame the other.

      2. Karen

        Power is in the number of people affected by this to the amount of people who gain. We can win this war of justice we just need to get together and fight for our rights as human beings and stop the greed and controlling power now.

      3. Malcolm Burt

        My understanding under the terms of the Magna Carta is that Her Majesty has to be served 90 days notice in which she can advise the government on a change of direction or disband it.I`m a little puzzled about the going to Downing Street & to Parliament,given that the Magna Carta & especially our common law rights was written before Parliament ever existed.

      4. Mark Logic

        We all needs to put on a suit and tie, type up a letter to our local chief inspector masons telling them their master is being raped by her own government. We then deliver it by hand to their homes, while dressed in our suit and ties of course.. only the up most respect.
        Job done.

      5. Lawrence S.Roberts

        Rather than a general strike: Why not target members of parliament. In this age of surveillance it would not be too difficult to “Dog” members of parliament until they get so sick of it they go to the polls. There would seem to be enough people with time on there hands all we need is the money (not a lot ) and the will.

      6. Mike Sivier

        A campaign of harassment? I would strongly oppose that. If it was your own MP and you had a legitimate reason to criticise them, then go ahead and criticise, but always have a good reason for doing it.

        To be honest, there should be plenty of reasons for criticising Coalition MPs.

      7. ieuan

        I only have one response to this thread……In that case Its an OPEN act of civil war against us the people of England. The government are in direct contrivention of the Magna carta act, amongst other things, they are traitors liers and thiefs, and should be treated as such, and we all by duty to our people and country should act “accordingly”… “stand and be counted, or hide and for ever hold your tounge.” Stop asking others to fight for your rights, and get off thine holy arse and make the stand yourself! Only we can fight for ourselfs now.

        Ieuan

      8. Jessie Bauchope Young

        Remember, when the Euro then General Elctions come, please VOTE! Even by elections. Had the missing 16 or so million peole who didn’t vote last time had made an effort, I doubt we would have been like this now!

    2. Jonathan

      Of course politicians always used to listen. The last labour PM we had was a fine representative for the people who voted for him. Oh. Wait a minute. We didn’t get to vote for him! The one before that happily cost hundreds of military personnel from numerous countries their lives by not listening to specialists who knew about WMD.
      Since parliament was given real power it’s leader has only been interested in power and pushing through their own beliefs and ideas. There are many politicians working within their communities that do a fantastic job. So how about instead of encouraging people to take part in a pointless and pompous march with the manga carta, get them off the backsides and into the polling stations at the next elections? Better still, get involved with local politics and change this current system from within,kicking out the power hungry zealots and putting into power people who care about, well, the people!

      1. Caroline

        Dear Jonathan, would you take a look at our website and let me know what you think of our MP. All the others in the area are just as bad. I would like to know who these MPs are who are doing a ‘fantastic job’ as you say. How do you know? Everyone thinks ours is doing a fantastic job, but the local media print a story about everything he does. They also have a news sheet for propaganda. But the people of this town do no know what is actually going on. Only the people who have seen our website know the truth. http://www.alice-through-the-broken.weebly.com

      2. Joseph Smith

        I think Jonathan makes fair points. Marching, unless the politician it’s directed at is present, is pretty pointless; even if he were present the best you’d get would be polite meaningless platitudes – might make you personally feel better. However, collectively, we have one chance and one only. That’s mass tactical voting against both the Tories and Libdems in 2015. And that’s after a sustained “hearts and minds” campaign to stress the Fascist ideal and policies of this coalition. That means listing ( to name a few) broken election mandate promises, bedroom tax and consequential suffering, 4000+ suicides annually as a result of withdrawn help. Nil hours contracts. Privatisation of the NHS. Tuition fees. Lying to parliament. Tax cuts for millionaires. Etc etc etc. so these are all topics which need publicising locally. Marching with the Magna Carta would, I’m sorry to say not work on its own unless there are tens of thousands of you.

  1. martha

    when I saw IDS surrounded by machine guns in the committee room corridor as we peacefully waited to go into a debate I knew we are only just about hanging onto a few old tattered shreds of democracy. When the government didn’t respond to the judicial review which ruled that WCA discriminates against all mentally ill people and merely sent a memo around the DWP saying ‘business as usual’ I realised the unelected government feels secure in the knowledge that they are above the law. When they refused to drop the Bedroom Tax, privatised the Royal Mail and closed the Fire Stations I knew for sure they don’t give a toss about public opinion. When I watched the excellent Welfare debate on Monday and it didn’t even get a mention in the press or even on social media I knew we are losing everything our forebears fought for. At this rate I wouldn’t even be surprised if they don’t bother to call a general election in 2015 – I mean, who’s to make them?

    1. Joanna Terry

      I also fear for our right to vote, I keep thinking they have planned something to stop the election. For example when they were banging the drum to start world war three with Syria they could have justified suspending parliment just as happened in WWII. Every attempt they make on our right to free speech is also an attempt to steal the election and they will keep trying there is no doubt about that.

      1. Alastair Cooper

        I don’t think they’ll take away the vote. Our system is far more subtle than that. The breadth of choice offered in our elections is so narrow that how we vote matters relatively little. I can see a future Labour government possibly stalling the current trajectory a bit, but would it really change our direction of travel?

  2. harrymonmouth

    I worry that they don’t even care to even keep up a pretence of doing the right thing. Perhaps they do but simply have no concept of what the right thing is.

    1. Don

      that would be the BEST thing could happen, which is why it will not. That would wake the flock of clueless sheep they rule over.

      1. Caroline

        To Don. I don’t think that is a fair comment. There are thousands of people trying to do something about this Government in any way they are able. Caroline(carol2121)@twitter ‘Alice through the broken Glass’

    2. Caroline

      You have hit the nail on the head, and in David Cameron’s inaugural speech he told all the authorities to ‘Do the right thing’? In our experience they all do exactly the opposite.

      1. Bolshie Dave

        As do I but if you take away everything if you keep kicking people whilst they are down then you will force them to resist in anyway they can

      2. Big Bill

        What stopped the poll tax? What got the Magna Carta signed? What got the eight hour day introduced? It certainly wasn’t reasonable discussion or peaceful protest. I think the 2nd World War shocked everyone a great deal and there was something along the lines of a temporary cessation of hostilities in the centuries old British class war for a time but it’s business as usual again now. I’ll be surprised if there’s an election next year myself too, I was saying this for a while after the Coalition didn’t get elected but forgot it till recently. If they decided not to bother, for whatever ostensible reason, what could be done? Perhaps we should be discussing our options.

    1. jaypot2012

      I too don’t want to see that happen but when a man has lost everything, there is nothing left to lose – that is when they are at their most dangerous.

    2. Joseph Smith

      The problem is that there is only us who know about this. The media are keeping very quiet. Does this mean we are screwed? As a snapshot, no one I know has the remotest clue what this is about and don’t understand. ( and worryingly seem not to care) so this bunch of criminal fascists are trading on people’s lack of information. We are fecked.

      1. Joseph Smith

        10,000 is a healthy number Mike. But compared to the population it’s less than a handful of sand on a large beach, this is not in any way shape or form to denigrate what your doing, a very valuable job of keeping us informed just what these creeps are doing. What’s needed is something which is going to grab attention and make everyone sit up. That, I venture to say is going to be tough when measured against the media who are either largely supportive or sympathetic to this government. If they are neither, then they are fence sitting. It’s going to be a struggle, but one which must continue for the common good.
        It’s going to have to be a big hit, something like getting IDS questioned and charged for manslaughter, or Cameron named as [someone’s] secret lover, in short we need something like the Profumo scandal to erupt in the next few months. Good luck and keep going, especially good luck with the DWP.

      2. Mike Sivier

        We’re up to 32,000 now. I have put a request on Michael Meacher’s blog, under the article about the same subject, asking if he wants me to suggest any action that readers may wish to take. No response yet, though.

  3. Duncan McLean

    The referendum on independence for Scotland is the major challenge facing the current government and the Westminster establishment (unchallenged over 13yrs of Labour in power).

    It is time to wake up to the reality of change in the UK – it needs a shock to the system to make it happen. Those on the left who advocate a No vote are asking Scots to endorse ‘business as usual’. Do not kid yourself into believing that a No vote on 18 September is the progressive option.

    If Scots vote No, the champagne will be popping for those who are doing nicely out of the current UK set up.

    A Yes vote will see Cameron face the electorate as ‘the man who lost the union’. If Labour can’t beat him in 2015 on the basis of that record, they must be in a pretty terminal state.

    If Labour wins, maybe they’ll finally democratise Westminster and end the elective dictatorship that rotates between having a Tory and a Labour face with little discernible difference.

    1. jaypot2012

      I’m with you Duncan – I can only hope that the No advocates keep getting their lies and their propaganda whitewashed and that the people of Scotland realize just how bad things are and how much worse they could get.
      I want the Independence vote to come around quickly, but I am really wary about the result. Too many Scots still think that by voting Yes that they are voting SNP – it’s getting that through to thousands of people that it is not! Scottish Labour should be doing all they can to persuade their voters and to tell them that IF the referendum goes through with a Yes vote, what they will do for them afterwards.
      Labour needs to change it’s attitude to being so laid back and not really there, that’s in the whole UK, but Scottish Labour has a whole new set of policies etc to work out.

    2. Michael Wood

      I find your faith that Labour will be any different touchingly naive- did the Blair and Brown years teach us nothing?

      1. Mike

        Labour haven’t been in power in Scotland since 2007. And polls suggest that less than one third of Scotland are planning to vote yes. So independence seems unlikely. There’s a lot of info on wikipedia and the Parliament’s website.

    3. Knight_Right

      The Labour Party are full of treasonous people, they hate democracy. You are mad if you think Labour will “democratise” anything!

    1. R Jim Edge

      I don’t think is that the people don’t care I think it is the total disillusionment with the successive governments over the last 50 years, It started with Heath and his rigging the EU referendum and that opened the floodgates for whole sale chicanery. Each one has dis enfranchised a section of the electorate until every one knows that their vote will be ignored will be twisted or will be of no account. As someone else said Cameron and Co were not elected were not wanted and were not mandated but hey what difference did it make. Mp’s are still fiddling expenses are still writing off millions and are still not listening.

      1. Michael Wood

        To be fair Cameron was elected- he got more votes than anybody else.

        We may not like him but the lies about him not having a democratic mandate are wearing a little thin.

      2. Mike Sivier

        He doesn’t have a democratic mandate. That isn’t a lie.

        Where is his mandate for the Health and Social Care Act? It wasn’t in his manifesto, and Andrew Lansley, who had been working on the plan for, what, seven years before the election, was under strict orders not to talk about it until the White Paper was introduced after the 2010 election. Call that democracy?

      3. Chris

        The vast majority of people in the UK are generally ambivalent to politics. They read their papers, they watch TV and believe everything that is fed to them. They have convinced themselves that all politicians are the same, so why bother trying to change things.

        Unfortunately, the views held by the people that tend to write, read and comment on the ‘non state sanctioned’ political blogs are looked at with suspicion and with the view that we are extremists or conspiracy theorists.

      4. Mike Sivier

        This is what I have to fight against, certainly – and my blog is basically the opinions of a person who wishes government would do what works for the majority of the population, rather than what enriches them at the expense of others. I don’t have fantastically radical views; I just want politicians to stop causing harm.

      5. derek madge

        A case of don’t do as i do but do as i say, OR ELSE. CAMERON IS AN ARROGANT PRAT and the sooner the next election comes round the better, but on that note he wont care !!! as he has made sure he will get a very good pension ,and the rest of us pay.unlike the rest of us that have worked all our lives to get virtually nothing back with our pensions,

    1. Jane

      Mark, we did get it absolutely right, we didn’t like the Tories first time round…………self serving bunch of elitist, private school chums, who don’t give a fart about anyone not in their circles………why should they? We, the cattle enable their piracy every day by doing nothing……….

  4. Ian G. Andrews

    17 JANUARY 2014 ..Remember the date in years to come, the day Democracy OFFICIALLY DIED, you have NO representation, NO Voice, and NO CHANCE of Changing it before 2015 when it will be too late … WELCOME to 1936 GERMANY and all hail the new Furher

      1. Caroline

        There’s no point in saying ‘GOD HELP US ALL’ is there? GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES. Caroline(carol2121)@twitter REBEL WITH A CAUSE.

      2. ukviking1

        Caroline, that saying, God helps those who helps themselves, is nowhere in the Bible. If they could, why was Jesus sacrificed? He said he came because no one, other than him, could help anyone.

  5. NainsCrafts Owen

    If we let this continue we will be enabling the elite few to continue to line their own coffers at the expense of those who have little enough as it is….its about time people stood together and stood firm to prevent the United kingdom being swallowed up by the USA and being the Nick Clegg of the coalition…. a bullied little man doing whatever his master wishes to keep his own dream alive….Cameron may think he will have a high position in this UK/USA coalition but we all know that as soon as he signs the trade treaties and joins the super power he will be kicked to the kerb in the same way he has kicked the sick,disabled, elderly and vulnerable folk who he swore to protect. Make no mistake the future for the UK once the Greatest Ruling Empire in the modern world is bleak and if you listen carefully you can hear her death rattle……..

  6. JoanneH

    we now have a dictatorship in Britain which is becoming more like Germany in the 1930’s with everyday that passes. They are no longer accountable to parliament, the people or even the British legal system so it seems. I would love to know how we could lever them out of power but fear it may come down to a civil war in the long term. I do not even trust them to hold fair elections in 2015.

    1. Paul Gordon

      Don’t be ridiculous!! of course there will be an election, as scheduled, in 2015. to suggest otherwise is just absurd sensationalist hysteria. To compare the current situation with 1930’s Germany is an INSULT to those poor unfortunates who suffered in ways in which I suspect you, in your modern, comfortable, stable environment, cannot even begin to imagine.. We do NOT have to carry identity papers with us at all times and present them on demand, we are NOT forced to wear iconography to highlight certain individuals or groups. We ARE currently governed by the party which, at a free & fair democratic election in 2010 WON THE GREATEST PORTION OF THE ELECTORAL VOTE, and you WILL have an opportunity to change that government in another free & fair democratic election in 2015.

      1. Mike Sivier

        It’s not an insult to compare modern Britain with 1930s Germany; many such comparisons have been made successfully. You are insulting the poor unfortunates who are being made to suffer and die, in this country, now. Your comment about ID papers is topical as the government’s current drive to prevent immigrants from receiving NHS treatment means very soon we may all have to carry them. You keep on and on about the Tories getting the greatest portion of the electoral vote and yet you should admit that a massive 71 per cent of the electorate did not want them. The worst enemy of democracy in 2010 was disillusionment with the political system itself.

      2. Joseph Smith

        Look around you Paul, your seemingly wilful lack of vision is symptomatic of those wearing rose tinted blinkers:
        4000 suicides
        40,000 (at least) affected by the maladministration of the bedroom tax
        2,500,000 unemployed – 475,000 vacancies
        Severely disabled people, many minus two or more limbs, declared fit for work
        Energy companies robbing us blind
        NHS being privatised
        Election promises broken
        Tuition fees…
        Are you sure you live in this country?

      3. Kayley Hutton

        Having to carry around papers is not a requirement because everything is on a database which can be looked up upon giving your details to a police officer. Have you ever tried refusing to give them your name? I have. It’s not illegal but people have been arrested for it and even if not you usually get a heap of hassle or they tell you that you are required to tell them it on demand. Another tory government and I can just see the sick, disabled and jobless being lined up for their slave labor whilst they grow ever hungrier. Sound familiar? The poor are the new Jews just as the databases became the new ID papers only now we are also being watched with the folk on CCTV and average of 300 times per day and the ability to tap your phone or computer without your knowledge or proper oversight. It may not be as obvious yet or as openly brutal but it will only be getting worse.

    2. John doe

      They need overthrowing….arrest them?is it not that simple? Theres going to be uproar yes? Absolutely ludicrous they can just do this,they really dont care…..am i dreaming?

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  8. Paul Gordon

    Another predictably biased & sensationalist load of whining…. Firstly, Coalition governments are completely common, and are generally formed by negotiation between, at the very least, the party that: WON THE GREATEST PROPORTION OF THE ELECTORAL VOTE – even if not enough for an overall majority in the commons – which in this case is the Conservatives, and thereafter one or more other parties that the party that: WON THE GREATEST PROPORTION OF THE ELECTORAL VOTE – which in this case is the Conservatives, feels they can work with to form a government. (and which gives them the overall majority they really need in order to pursue a legislative programme). To describe this sequence of events as a “dodgy backroom deal” with “no democratic mandate” is disingenuous in the extreme. It is how coalitions are legitimately formed, it is how they have always been formed, and it is the right & proper manner in which they should be formed.
    You *may* argue that Labour, having come 2nd have some claim to be involved, but think about that for a moment… Labour & the conservatives were never going to be able to work together.. OK then, the LibDems could have thrown in with labour to form a coalition.. 2 problems with this… 1) their majority over the conservatives would be whisper thin (315 to 306) – close enough that with only a handful of absenters or dissenters Parliament would perpetually be locked in a stalemate, and nothing would ever get done. 2) how is it in any way democratic that the party that: WON THE GREATEST PROPORTION OF THE ELECTORAL VOTE – which in this case is the Conservatives, is then totally excluded from the resultant government? You go on and on about democracy, so would you please explain how democracy is served by that eventuality?
    Next topic: It is never the case in this country (nor any other that I am aware of) that government proceeds by consensus on every single issue… at no point in our history has it ever been the norm to hold referenda every other week so that you can vote on this issue or that issue… we award the elected government and Parliament as a whole, a mandate to govern us, which we do as an informed electorate (generally), based on the parties’ well publicised manifestoes. I will accept that very often, the issues of the day will result in policies that were not included in pre-election manifestoes.. this is not uncommon and is certainly not unique to the current government! – and thank goodness it isn’t! – can you imagine what a state of paralysis would ensue if any elected government could not respond to circumstances which present themselves solely on the basis that: “We didn’t include this possibility in our manifesto, therefore we can’t act on it in any way”…
    No doubt plenty of unedifying practice does go among politicians of all flavours… I don’t recall any party coming out “whiter than white” in the expenses scandal, which certainly exposed a lot of Labour crooks too, indeed 6 out the 8 that were criminally charged were Labour…
    David Cameron, like him or not (and I think we know where you stand on that!) is NOT a dictator, and such sensationalist language really does nothing to further reasoned debate…

    1. Mike Sivier

      You know you’re going to get hammered by the other commenters, don’t you?
      For myself, I can demolish your reasoning with just three letters: N H S.

      1. ratz74

        there’s so little said these days about clegg and his cronies that i actually forgot that we had a co-olition government. how can a so called liberal stand by and just witness what is going down in this country at the moment.

    2. Jane

      Did you actually read the above story or not. Surely if an overwhelming majority of our elected representative vote FOR something, this man can’t just decide to ignore them????? UNLESS you have dictatorial tendencies? THEN you can. Apparently……..
      All your bluff and bluster mate and it doesn’t change a thing about my opinion of the above situation. Disgusting is what it is……

    3. A Disgruntled Scotsman

      “Another predictably biased & sensationalist load of whining”

      Otherwise known to rational people as ‘stating an opinion’. If you don’t like Mike doing this then I’d suggest you stop reading the blog & associated comments before you have an aneurysm out of sheer self-righteous indignation.

      ” Firstly, Coalition governments are completely common, and are generally formed by negotiation between, at the very least, the party that: WON THE GREATEST PROPORTION OF THE ELECTORAL VOTE”

      Coalition governments only work when the parties involved are relatively close together on the political spectrum; that way they can compromise on a number of policies without betraying their respective ethe. The Lib Dems are too far left of the Tories to have gone into Coalition with them and come out the same; they have betrayed their electorate and their party ethos.

      ” which in this case is the Conservatives, and thereafter one or more other parties that the party that: WON THE GREATEST PROPORTION OF THE ELECTORAL VOTE”

      ‘Greatest proportion of the electoral vote’ does not equate to ‘the majority of the vote’ and in a democracy it is the party with the majority of the vote which forms a government. The Conservatives didn’t get a majority; they got the largest minority. 29.66% (which the Tories got) is smaller than 51% (an overall majority). See how that works?

      ” – which in this case is the Conservatives, feels they can work with to form a government. (and which gives them the overall majority they really need in order to pursue a legislative programme).”

      Taking the votes given to one party & their policies and adding them to the votes for another party with diametrically opposed policies and political views is not a basis for legitimate governance, neither is it honest in any way.

      “You *may* argue that Labour, having come 2nd have some claim to be involved, but think about that for a moment… Labour & the conservatives were never going to be able to work together”

      The saddest part of that is that Labour, as it stands today, could go into Coalition with the Tories and the two parties would agree on more than a handful of policies. The only reason they didn’t is that doing so would shatter once & for all any illusion of there being any genuine difference between the two parties.

  9. jaypot2012

    We only have to stop paying our taxes, stop shopping for anything other than food, stop paying our bills, stop travelling on any public transport and then refuse to work – you have to hit this coalition where it hurts the most, in the pocket! Nothing else is going to work – I don’t want to see violence and street fighting, but if we don’t do something soon we are going to be lost as a free country and as free people.
    I’m disgusted with labour for just sitting back and taking it, they should be fighting the government on EVERY decision and making a rumpus about the everything that has failed and cost millions from the likes of IDS etc.

    1. Thomas M

      We don’t have enough people to do that. If a few people do it, they’ll just get evicted/arrested. If huge numbers do it, as with Ghandi or with what happened to Captain Boycott, it would work. Sadly some support this government, some are too scared or can’t be bothered, and some think only of themselves.

    2. A Disgruntled Scotsman

      Is there really that much difference between Labour & the Conservatives any more? They seem like non-identical twins in different coloured suits these days.

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  11. dave wilson

    Sadly I think every one is right about what is happening to our once great nation, and as Joanne says I dont trust our politicians to hold fair elections they seem to be rigging it so that only the people that Westminster wants will get there. Trust me there will be fewer women, disabled and minorities in the next parliament and that will definately be a bad day.

    1. Caroline

      Dave, we have had reports of grown men in America crying about the story on our website, and one has just mailed me and said, ‘ I have cried many a tear, and I was thinking your Country was so grand’. Please read our website carefully and you will see how the Government authorities work. This is only half the story. I cannot put the full story on. As I say on my DVD on Twitter ‘That’s just a bit of the story’. ‘~ Caroline(Carol2121)@twitter. Alice through the broken Glass’.

  12. Andy Robertson-Fox

    I suggest that the most significant fact to come from this vote is that just 20% of all MPs (127 out of 650) consıdered ıt worthy of a vote and less than 50% of the proposer’s own party supported ıt. Clearly the government apprecıated this was sufficient reason not to pursue the issue – as it is perfectly within its democratic right to so do – even ıf ıt does upse some people.

    1. Mike Sivier

      That’s not correct, Andy. There was a debate in Parliament, and Parliament voted to support the motion by a majority greater than many seen in that House in recent years. The fact that there was low attendance is entirely immaterial; perhaps there was a great deal of ‘pairing’ as MPs had other duties to attend – we don’t know. The fact is that the motion was passed, democratically, and it is incumbent on the government to honour that.

      1. alexbennee

        No it’s not. It’s not a binding vote on primary legislation. It’s not even a substantive motion. It was an un-whipped vote held by those in the room at the time.

  13. Rex Caprorum

    I’m just waiting for their explanation of why they have to postpone the election in 2015 – in the public interest, of course. Watch out for some “emergency” between now and then.

    1. Kay Lowe

      We will have a major terrorist scare, or even an attack, between now and then and there will have to be a “temporary suspension” of certain liberties & freedoms in order to keep us safe.

  14. stilloaks

    Reblogged this on Still Oaks and commented:
    It is hard to believe at how rapidly we have arrived at this.
    Like many others, I wonder if there will be a 2015 election.
    Is it too far fetched to think, that they want the people of this country to riot? Then they could declare martial law and suspend elections.

    1. Kay Lowe

      This is why although part of me would love to see a major civil revolution, millions of people taking to the streets, a large part of me shudders at the thought of what that would allow Cameron to do in the name of “keeping the country safe!”

      1. Big Bill

        The more he did, the greater the number of people he’d upset. There’s a lot of us, you know!

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  17. John Keen

    Must get my owm blog….Argh…. fuming, so here’s my tuppence worth..

    So let’s get this strasight shall we?…NOBODY and i mean NOBODY voted the lib/dem government into power, neither of them therefore were given a mandate by the voters to form a government.
    The Conservatives used a SWEETENER, BRIBE, UNDER THE TABLE DEAL to pay for the liberal democrates to sell them their votes, thus the conservatives BOUGHT the Election results.
    They then went about lining the pockets of millionaires and convincing people that those with no money and no power lost the country billions in bank bailouts, that it was labour that left the country in the excrement…lets ignore that the deficit was comming down before the conservatives started their Austerity GAME and has since reduced by a small decimal of a percentage point per year when before it was WHOLE percentage points per year.
    Medical health, post, government admin, SOLD OFF… legal aid near abolished.
    A slew of stealth taxes and a reduced balance of income to outgoing for the average family so the average family has been effectively “taxed” by squeezing wages and allowing inflation and fuel costs to continue to rise.
    Reduced many disabled and mentally ill to penury or driven them to suicide and TOTAL refusal to release the mortality figures for the last two years connected with those benefits the con/dems STOLE.
    Destroyed social housing with council tax and thus increased demand for private housing and thereby encouraged a rise in rents as demand increased so more can be demanded in rent.
    By the way there is over a MILLION HOMES laying empty and run down and have been so for some time.
    CAP working tax credits, housing benefit, council tax benefits, child tax credits for the low paid and GIVE a massive tax break to millionaires and a free pass for miilionaire and corporate tax fraud and evasion.
    Fine the unemployed for ANY infraction that can be IMAGINED, sanction them for the same.
    DO all that can be done to reduce ALL wages to those of a third world country so Businesses can compete with equally paid staff. a few rupees or baht per day.
    Think we are ALL suffering in these times of AUSTERITY?… look again….the bankers were never at risk and still aren’t, no matter what happens their 200% annual bonuses are safe.
    The governement and MP’s are safe, no cost cutting with THEIR expenditures and a HUGE wage rise for their “good work”.
    MASSIVE amounts of YOUR taxes going to foriegn owned companies to do OUR governments work (outsourcing, take a look, see how much government admin is done by NOT YOUR GOVERNMENT, even advisors who have never been voted for making government policy!) and given government protection from fraud and incomptence, you CANNOT sue them.

    You cannot question the government, you cannot get need to know FOI requests because the term “vexatious” can stop them dead.

    TAKE A LOOK… take a good long look YOURSELF, don’t take my word, don’t take ANYONES word not even so called experts.. it’s an information world out there, the INTERNET has all the info YOU need so you can KNOW rather than be FED information.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Don’t bank on that ‘vexatious’ defence being too much of a hindrance in my case. I’ve just seen the ICO/DWP’s response to my appeal!

      As for the rest of your comment, you might want to say something to Paul Gordon, elsewhere on this column.

      1. John Keen

        I did, it starts with “take a look”…can’t force anyone to learn just offer a direction in which to find something.

  18. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    I’ve blogged before about how the policies adopted by the Coalition closely resemble those that brought down the Roman Empire: the depression and disinheritance of the ordinary, free population in favour of the massive expansion the power of the wealthy aristocratic elite, who moved away from paying their tax burden so that it was shifted onto the poor. This sidelining and gradual reduction in the power of Parliament also resembles another aspect of the Roman Empire: how the Roman emperors were keen to maintain the pretence of elected, democratic government while holding absolute power. Philip Augustus, when he finally overthrew the Roman republic, deliberately avoided inflaming Roman republican spirit by declaring himself king. Instead, he called himself ‘Princeps’, the origin of the modern English word ‘prince’, which meant simply ‘first citizen’. The Roman emperors placed restrictions on the senate’s freedom to discuss matters of state, as this was the cause of the party conflict that had split the Roman republic and necessitated Philip’s seizure of power in the first place. Nevertheless, the forms of democracy were retained and the Roman Emperors never dismissed the senate. Indeed, one of the later emperors once sent a message to the senate which basically told them, ‘for God’s sake, debate something!’ The Byzantine emperors similarly maintained a senate as a formal organ of government in their capital at Constantinople, although the only real democratic right the ordinary citizens of the Eastern Roman Empire had, was to lynch their emperors at the annual horse races if they could catch him…. Boris Johnson is rather keen on the Roman empire. With him arguing for the virtues of the ancient Romans, perhaps Cameron would be well advised to stay away from Ascot this year.

    On a more serious note, the Tory press raised a furore when Blair was when in power and similarly adopted a lofty attitude of disdain towards Westminster. He was trying to emulate the American presidential system, and so was dubbed ‘the presidential prime minister’. Cameron and the rest of the Coalition have taken over his presidential style of politics, but with an even greater contempt for practical democracy and the ‘plebs’ it is intended to represent. And this time there is not a sound from the press. The British press likes to think of itself as ‘the fourth estate’ holding our rulers to account. This episode has demonstrated that this is another self-serving lie, and the Tory press is actively collaborating with the government in the hollowing out of British democracy. Soon parliament will be like the ancient senate: nothing but an empty shell of representative government, while the real power is held by a brutal, decadent and obscenely wealthy autocrat.

  19. Anthony Owen

    I see its time to put pencils down and switch to bullets and bombs, I don’t like it but it needs to and will happen

    1. Mike Sivier

      I shall be sticking to my keyboard and non-violent opposition for the time being. However, I shan’t be advising anyone else on what they should do.

  20. Thomas M

    If we can’t kick them out in 2015, I doubt we will get another chance. I wouldn’t put it past the Tories to introduce first voluntary, then forced, euthanasia if they get another term in office.

  21. vjones2

    if enough people ask are we allowed to call for early election stop any plans sooner rather than 2 late we us as people have no say at all that includes our decent mp’s if theres any left this is bigger problem than us people no r understand, none of them are proper polititicians there carrear ones they got money could not deceide what to do with lives so oh lets try politics were all to thick for other things not good looking enough to be on stage so next best thing to actor a polititician were all being whimps letting the crewalty carry on id like to see the humans left of us get enough names signed to get them throw out now we even had a say in 1800’s lets get it stopted now before worse comes

    1. Joseph Smith

      No,they have a five year guaranteed term, under the law, there’s an epetition to overthrow this but it’s not receiving much support.

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  23. J. Blake

    I keep saying it, and I’ll continue. The only way to get democracy back in the UK is REVOLUTION!!!!!

  24. Stephen Barraclough

    But if there were a vote of no-confidence, I can forsee the result. ALL THESE SHEEP would obey the whips and back the government. So much would I rely on their ‘anger’! (Or their ‘offended principles!)

  25. Mike

    It’s a shocking story. Especially as the media hasn’t reported on it.
    Any chance of a link to the source?

  26. Kif Benfell

    “Democracy” in Britain isn’t only dead, it was never born to begin with. That was all just a subtle lie to lure the masses into thinking that they had some kind of mechanism for positive change. A reason for hope. Truth is that Britain is, and pretty much always has been, a plutocracy of some kind or other. A society ruled or dominated by a small minority of its wealthiest citizens. The idea that we live in a democracy is a smoke and mirrors trick to keep folk from the real truth… It’s not rocket science is it…. In a true democracy the 99% would never let the 1% get away with this s***…

    1. Caroline

      You are right Kif. In a true democracy, a family would not have to fight for five years to get ‘four’ crimes against them investigated. Then try to get the authorities and officials concerned investigated, when your mother has died through negligence, and you have been taken to hospital twice, and the cover up still continues?

  27. Malcolm Burt

    Don`t be too surprised to see them gone before the next election.We are by constitution a common law country,granted to us before Parliament ever existed.It was never intended for us to be slaves to a corporate system.It has long been my contention that when public servants no longer serve the very people who pay their wages,then they should be gone.It really is an issue of simplicity.

  28. Paul Billanie

    This is something I have said for years! There can be NO democracy in our Parliament under the current system. ‘commands a whipped majority’ highlights this. Legislation does not get passed because it is good legislation and deserves to succeed. No it is because the government (whichever party it may be with the majority) can force their members to vote using the whips, a three line whip being the most enforced. That is to say vote this way or else. Democracy? Not on your nelly!

    1. john Keen

      Shame more of them didn’t have the strength needed to say “or else?… a threat is it?… ok… i’ll take the or else option….
      The above is why i could never be a member of a political party, whenever i’m given an or else option i take it every time.
      You can win me over with a reasoned arguement but NEVER with a threat.

  29. Joseph Smith

    Much anger here. Most of it 100% justified. Cameron is a cute bent unscrupulous spineless worm. He defrauded his way into power on the basis of a mandate which we now know he had no intention of maintaining. Consequently, he’s broken each and every promise he made. Along with that useless half wit Osbourne, and the completely witless Clegg. There’s insufficient space here to list their cumulative lies, broken promises, and Fascist policies. Make no mistake, these scum whom treat us with utter contempt, along with the mass murderer they support, Ian Duncan smith, are Fascists who will lie steal cheat defraud and commit murder to further their cause. They simply cannot be allowed to remain in power. (And in my opinion alive) we’ve got one chance and one only in 2015 for gods sake don’t waste it. Get rid of these dangerous boys.

  30. Sarah

    I HONESTLY read that as “death of Cameron” and was all ready to get the bunting and party poppers out again!

    Mike that Twitter user wasn’t me (I’m too f***in’ verbose!) but I’d have said the same thing to you, I’m afraid. We live – well exist/subsist – in a country with an unelected head of state (sorry to spell out the bleedin’ f***in’ obvious). Until we don’t, ANY kind of democracy is a shell and a sham…

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  32. SHANE HOLLIS

    This goverment has caused so much hardship for people in this country.Not only for people on benefits, but for working people as well. People are living in poverty .MPs do not care about suitable housing,NHS,education, benefits ,or the cost of living as its does not affect them.We now have so many people living in this country that we cannot cope .My partner is on full time sick and we live on £200 a FORTNIGHT .my partner has been told by his doctor that he will never work again and yet he is not classed as disabled .Thank you ATOS. I was called in for a work based interveiw and when they looked at my details on the screen they said “”oh we can see you are your partners carer “” but i cannot recive carers allowance as my partner is not registed disabled. If i get a job , they would have to pay a carer to come in so i am saving them money .They have ground this country into the dirt and we have no rights .DAVID CAMERN probably pays the same amout of money for a bottle of wine to have with his evening meal as some people in this country get to live on in a fortnight and its going to get so much worse . We are not living in a democracy any more and Cameron seems to be doing excactly what he wants, and we all sit back and let it happen. DAVID CAMERON IS THE WORSE THING TO HAPPEN TO THIS COUNTRY FOR YEARS AND HE HAS TO GO .

    1. Caroline

      I resent the comment ‘We all sit back and let it happen’. I have been fighting this Government with the help of my daughter, for ‘five’ years since mother died after an accident in the Council ~Care Home while in for only ‘six nights’ of respite, which they have refused to investigate? I have been through 13 complaint systems, and written over one thousand and eight hundred letters and reports to this Government. I have been through ‘two’ unjust Court Hearings which my ‘fourth’ solicitor said was ‘Wrong in Law.’ and still we have had no justice. I have had to dismiss ‘three’ solicitors, for professional negligence and criminality. My daughter and I have been instrumental in getting the Manchester Police Authority axed, and the Independent Safeguarding Authority, because they were ‘unfit for purpose’. The Minister over the ISA was Michael Gove. Nothing happened to him? The Chief Constable of Manchester was involved with heads of the Council. So the Police Authority and the IPCC (Independent Police Cover-ups Commission) refused to investigate him, and three Senior Officers. We have put in complaints about every authority involved 13 of them, and still continue to do so. We have had around ‘six’ officials removed from office. Some others have left of their own accord, including Caseworkers. We have been abused by every authority and Solicitors likewise. I have been intimidated by the Police seven times, and have a Statement and letters to prove it. But still the Police (GMP) known as The biggest Gang in Britain’ (Stephen Hayes) refuse to investigate my statement and so do the IPCC. Because we are living in a Police State. We still continue to fight this Government on our own, and I now begin another year, our ‘sixth’ year of complaint systems. Our Human Rights have been breached since 2008, because all the authorities have covered up against us, and abused us, and because we have been unable to obtain a ‘decent solicitor’? I have been taken to Hospital twice, and the hospital joined in the cover up instead of ‘raising concerns’. The hospital in question is Stepping Hill. The one that is being investigated at the present time for the deaths of nine or so elderly people? I have spent 16 hours per day taking on this Government single handedly for five years, simply because I do not intend to let them get away with it. We have been ‘blocked’ at every turn, as victim support said, and then refused to support us? But I carry on, as I have to expose them, while the stupid Press, and the Sinister Mirror Group, which includes the MEN just sit and watch? Because they can’t say anything? We have reported most of the people involved after investigating for five years, to another Police Force, but they have just ignored us. As I have said many times, there is only half the story on our website. People will have to wait for the rest, http://www.alice-through-the-broken.weebly.com

  33. Jasmine

    Yes I think they are dangerous boys too Joseph.

    There is a good book called ‘political ponerolgy’ by Dr Andrew lobaczkewski . Its about highly pathological controlling dictators, how they get in and rule, and can make a whole society sick too. Sound like the sheep here in England? We have beasts in power with no empathy for their people who are dying. I think people should be aware of Lobaczkewski’s work. I am more and more convinced each day that this is what we have here. Should we be waiting for it to get worse? We have lost our human rights already then. Mike I like the work you are doing here.

  34. david harrison

    Democracy did indeed die a while back. True unity and equality cannot exist under the capitalist banner. We must move toward socialism and it must be a revolution. Join the Revolutionary Communist Group.

    Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

    1. Mike Sivier

      … or is that just as bad?

      It is, after all, another organisation that blindly follows its own ideology rather than making appropriate decisions, at appropriate times, for the good of everybody.

  35. Zola de Cwtchi

    Did anyone need confirmation?? only 125 MP’s voted for, 2 against…a total of 127 bothered to turn up, it may have only been a backbench business committee debate, but the debate’s item, Welfare Reforms and Poverty, really should have raised more of an interest…but, only if the MP’s were true to their responsibility, that of caring for ALL and REPRESENTING ALL of their constituents interests, they clearly do not…they care only for themselves. Also, Jenny Willott MP for Cardiff was nowhere to be seen…again. While one appreciates Ms. Willott may have other life responsibilities to attend to and may not be available to attend everything in Parliament, her non attendance on such an important matter speaks volumes, Ms. Willott is a fully paid up member of this Tory government (LibDem but a Tory is disguise) and is a strong proponent of the series of budget cuts, or else…she would not be a Minister with two jobs

    http://cardiffteatent.wordpress.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/cardifftearecoverytent

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenny-Willott-MP-messages-from-her-constituents/440313386068324?ref=hl

    Thanks 😀 x

  36. Disgusted of Britain

    According to a leaked memo, the DWP has also decided to ignore yet another court ruling – this time over its discrimanatory and murderous Work Capability Assessment:
    http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/01/dwp-declares-business-as-usual-despite-appeal-court-ruling/

    As ‘Another Angry Voice’ recently touched on, there’s no longer much to choose between ConDemned Britain and the worst South American dictatorships.
    http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.com/2014/01/new-labour-left-wing-myth.html

  37. Roy

    this sort of thing has been happening for years. And I don’t even mean that it goes back to the 70’s. When it was proposed that slavery was abolished parliament said no but did it anyway. It was a similar situation when the death penalty was banned in the UK. But when we look back at these times we now call out progress. Just because people want something it doesn’t mean that is the best thing. Times are hard.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Are you suggesting that an inquiry into whether poverty is increasing as a result of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition’s benefit ‘reforms’ would be harmful?

      I don’t think that point of view will gain much support here.

  38. Elina

    What about creating a new people party? Anybody doing it? It .honk it’s time to say good buy to both labour and conservatives and have democrats, who stay with people’s interests, not unions or social classes, but law, justice and democracy

    1. Mike Sivier

      There are several new parties at the moment: The National Health Action Party, The No Party, Left Unity has a political party (or is one – can someone clarify please?), The trouble is that they won’t gain enough traction to make a difference before May 2015. UKIP has taken 20 years to get to where it is today, and it’s still considered only a protest party.

  39. Millie Burton

    Most people blame the Tories and bang on about proportions of the vote in annoying capital letters, but the truth is that those of us who voted Liberal have been defrauded and it is them that have abandoned every so called principle that they campaigned on. My biggest worry is that Labour will do the same. Political parties should be required by law to clearly state their aims and objectives before an election and be made to stick to that. Failure to do so should automatically trigger a General Election as none of them can be trusted to carry out the wishes of the country.

  40. martha

    You can watch the excellent back bench debate about Welfare cuts and their impact here. It starts at 4.40.44
    http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14575&player=smooth&st=19:14:50

    Please find out for yourselves how impressive the Labour back bench MPs are and how many of them are on your side. See for yourselves how hard and how tirelessly they are working to bring justice against the terrible wrongs of the Con Dem government. Look at some of the websites of Michael Meacher, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner, Glenda Jackson, Debbie Abrahams, Katy Clark and Diane Abbott to name just a very few, see the sheer volume of campaigns they are involved in. They more often than not get no thanks from their own party and are therefore kept on the back benches and not invited to join select committees etc. Please it is really lazy to just keep saying all MPs are the same because they are patently not although the right wing press would like you to believe this. The press makes sure the real opposition voices are silenced. Also check out Rachel Reeves and Kate Green in the shadow cabinet.

    After watching the Cost of Living crisis and Food banks debate, the Bedroom Tax debate, Atos Debate and the Welfare Reforms impact debate, and having personally spoken to quite a few Labour MPs in the House of Commons I am convinced that the Labour backbench MPs are a credible, intelligent and caring opposition (as are some, though not all in the Shadow Cabinet). These wonderful MPs, some of whom have been in the House of Commons for several decades, need your support and encouragement. Several of the above MPs have personally told me that it really helps them when the general public attend hearings.

    Our Parliamentary system is what we have been given and it is what we have to work with, at the moment there is nothing else. I think it is time to understand how it works, get involved and help to strengthen the parts of our system that work and reform the parts that don’t work. The Con Dems, Banks and Giant Corporations want to bring the whole system to collapse so that they can seize absolute power, they are nearly succeeding. I believe we can stop them by getting involved, by educating ourselves and by supporting and encouraging those in parliament who are doing work for the good of everyone in this country.

    All I can say is get on down to the House of Commons or at least watch the debates and read Hansard, don’t let the media shape your opinions, watch and listen then make up your own mind. Often what you are being told is very, very different from the real truth.

    Come along to the People’s Parliament in the House of Commons on February 3rd and join in the debate ‘What sort of democracy do we need?’

    with: Owen Jones, David Graeber, Caroline Lucas MP, Mark Serwotka (General Secretary PCS) and Chaired by John McDonnell MP.

    http://thepeoplesparliament.me.uk/themes/democratic-engagement/

    Don’t give up hope, there are more of us than there are of them.

    Scrap the bedroom tax debate: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131112/debtext/131112-0002.htm

    Food Bank and Cost of Living Crisis debate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSQgw9K6FT8

    Atos Debate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyqLFDetqBc

    Welfare Reforms Debate: starts 4.40.44 http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14575&player=smooth&st=19:14:50

  41. Philip James Lumsden

    This comes as no surprise to me, this and previous governments stopped listening to the people of this country a long time ago ( if in fact they ever did ), The government elite say we the people have to make sacrifices to get the country back on its feet, but we the people did not bring this country to the edge of a financial abyss, this was brought about by the Bankers and government itself, but do they pay for their mistakes?, no, they ( the bankers ) continue to pay themselves huge bonuses while we the people starve and freeze to death on the streets of a once great nation, extremely well paid committees now state that the government deserve a pay rise ( FOR WHAT? I ASK YOU ), do they know the price of a loaf of bread, do they feel the winter cold in their own homes, do they worry about paying extortionately high fuel bills when those companies are making BILLIONS in profit every single year, no they don’t, our so called leaders know nothing of every day life for the vast majority of this corrupted land, and although i do not condone it i can see that in the very near future we may see revolution on the streets of our once FREE and DEMOCRATIC nation..

  42. Thomas M

    How to get rid of this government when the big parties are the same as each other and the small ones are too small to get anywhere? Violence is a bad idea, but a general strike with a list of sensible demands might work.

    1. Mike Sivier

      That’s none of your concern, and I wonder why you even try to bring it up. Is it because you have a job and want to pretend that this somehow makes you better, or more worthy, than those who don’t? There are two and a half million unemployed in the UK and only half a million job vacancies – and the Coalition government’s policies have played a huge part in that. Do the mathematics.

      1. martha

        UNEMPLOYMENT IS CREATED ON PURPOSE

        It struck me when I watched the Welfare debate in Parliament on Monday that Michael Meacher made this statement and nobody batted an eyelid or denied it.
        ‘The Chancellor’s policy of keeping 2.5 million people unemployed makes it impossible for them to find work. There are 562,000 vacancies—I checked that figure today—so four out of five of those who are unemployed simply cannot get a job whatever they do.’ Michael Meacher MP Welfare Debate House of Commons Jan 2014.

        Unemployment is created on purpose it devalues labour, forces wages down, weakens trade unions and therefore the voice of working people. People made desperate for work are willing to accept low wages, zero hour contracts and worsening working conditions. Corporations benefit by having a supply of cheap and compliant labour. It is a neo-liberal policy invented by the stupid and disreputable Milton Friedman. Friedman’s theories were taken up in the 1980s by Margaret Thatcher when she put 3 million people out of work she said to ‘bring inflation down’. It is just plain evil to demonise and blame the innocent victims of deliberate neo-liberal policies designed to smash and enslave the working class for the profit of banks, giant corporations and the ruling class

        http://ineteconomics.org/blog/institute/how-milton-friedman-s-nairu-has-increased-inequality-damaging-innovation-and-growth

  43. lurpack1

    Reblogged this on SyesWideShut and commented:
    The UK political system is broken and bought off. It no longer represents the UK public but that of corporate and elitist interests. When will the UK public say enough is enough and force reform? We need a constitution that represents, protects, cherishes and encourages the people of the UK. The UK government can only take so much from the people before they can’t take anymore, the day is drawing near when that day will be upon us.

  44. Sam

    Now before this gets buried under a flame war of epic proportions let me just state that I am a working class bloke who is currently on benefits while trying to get a job.

    While I agree with most of what has been said I have to take issue on one little point. What has been termed “The Bedroom Tax” is not a tax. It is literally a reduction in the amount of housing benefit received based on what is required for living space.

    If you are a person who lives on their own in a 2 or 3 bedroom home then I believe it to be fair that the benefit that you receive to pay for your home should be reduced. For the simple fact that the extra rooms are not required for you to be housed and are therefore a luxury which it is then fair for you to be asked to pay for.

    As people will now no doubt ask me what about people with children who are only there part of the time I give you a practical solution which is fairly easy and simple to do. Buy anew air bed from argos and move things around to maximise the space (I know that this sounds harsh but after living in a bedsit and having to do this I don’t see much of a problem with others doing it).

    Now for those who have dependants who have severe disabilities then I believe that local councils should be forced to come to an arrangement with either the landlord or the person in question who have the dependants who need the extra help about being given money to cover the costs involved.

    Anyway this is just my 2 pence. (Also sorry for the double post)

    1. Mike Sivier

      You’re a bit behind the times with regard to the bedroom ‘tax’ debate; according to definitions of what makes up a tax, it IS a tax. I won’t go over the argument yet again as I’ve done it so many times already.

    2. Big Bill

      It’s not that simple Sam. Smaller properties don’t exist for people to move into, nor are there plans to build them any. That means reducing their benefits leaves them destitute. As double and treble bedroom properties do become vacant, families living in crowded accomodation can’t move into them as they know that when the kids leave they’ll be hit by the bedroom tax and made destitute. They stay where they are. This leaves large swathes of two and three bed properties standing empty which landlords can’t afford to maintain. They’re sold, and luxury flats are built on the land. Wealthy friends of the government then sink their money into these properties, meaning the price of housing for you and me goes up and they’ve got somewhere to act as a haven for the value of their money which is currently diminishing quite a bit due to inflation, running far higher than the government would have you believe. So, poor people get screwed while the rich help themselves. That’s the point of the exercise.

    3. martha

      In the 1980s Thatcher did away with the Fair Rent Tribunal. If you requested this service they would come round assess the property and then set the rent fairly for the standard of the accommodation. The landlord had to accept the ruling and could not kick out the tenant or put up the rent. The onus was not on the tenant but on the landlord. With the removal of a way to set fair rents and control house prices the cost of housing has rocketed and the tax payer is being made to foot a massive bill for an artificially inflated market. Other countries such as Germany still have a fair rent tribunal. If you ask a landlord to put your rent down in the UK they will throw you out as there is always someone who will pay the asking price.

      In the 1970s the cost of buying a house was 3x the average wage so that even the lowliest of workers could afford to put a roof over their head. Today the cost of a house is 25x the average wage. It is a win win situation for the banks who are lending money for mortgages. (mort death, gage pledge, meaning debt for life!)

      Thatcher also sold off the council houses creating a serious lack of housing. People are now so desperate for a basic roof over their head that they will pay and borrow however much it takes.

      It’s called Neo-liberal disaster capitalism, create a disaster and then watch the money roll in.

      1. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Question – did the 1997 to 2010 government repeal these Thatcher policies or ımplement a housıng policy to rectify the position you seek to identıfy?

      2. Mike Sivier

        Two wrongs don’t make a right, Andy. Did the Coalition implement a housing policy to rectify that position? No.
        There was a great deal wrong with neoliberal New Labour; for a start, it had the same philosophy as Thatcher at its heart. That doesn’t justify what she did in any way or prove anything about the current Labour Party.

      3. Big Bill

        We should remember too that banks don’t actually lend money, instead they create it as a deposit in the account of the person doing the supposed borrowing. We know this from financial luminaries like former BofE Governor Lord King, his former deputy now Sir Paul Tucker, former head of the FSA Lord Turner and going back a century from a former Coalition Chancellor, Sir Reginald McKenna who wrote about it in his book Post-War Banking Policy. This means you spend your life working to pay interest on interest (compound interest) for a loan which never happened. Now, not knowing that, you might think mortgage terms are hard but fair; after all, it’s only the banks who have the money to lend, right? Wrong, they don’t have the money to lend, they have the power to create it from nothing instead. How fair is that? it isn’t, it puts the whole of the rest of society at a massive disadvantage. It should be the first item on any political agenda. Since it isn’t, there seems little point in voting as whoever gets in the status quo will stay much the same.

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  46. Lewis

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” – Thomas Jefferson. I fear he may be right.Not necessarily actual blood, but metaphorical blood. Definitely need to run interference and make things more difficult for government. Mass civil disobedience and not allowing them to feel like they actually CAN get away with it. Get international support too, prominent political figures to say “This is disgraceful”.

  47. alexdeas

    You really don’t understand the legislative process or the principles behind it. It’s painful to read something that is so misguided

      1. Andy Robertson-Fox

        No Mıke I am not aware that the Coalition have introduced a policy but the onus was on the Labour administration to do so when they came to power ın 1997 and they did not. I made my point in order to try and bring some balance to the dıscussıon. It is all very well to blame one party for what occurred thırty to forty years ago but equally ıt ıs only rıght to questıon the role of a subsequent admınıstration. As regards the current Labour party does ıt have a polıcy on thıs or ıs ıt lıke the leopard?

      2. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Good question – I am not a member of either party and I forget what Labour,s excuse was – do you remember?

      3. Mike Sivier

        As far as I’m aware, New Labour never made any kind of excuse as the question was never put. Others with longer memories may be able to add more illumination.

        Remember that we are discussing neoliberal New Labour in this context – a different organisation from the Labour Party that came before (and hopefully after) Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and one that shared several fundamental principles (particularly about ‘The Market’) with the neoliberal Conservative Party.

      4. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Mıke it seems some of the replies are gettıng out of sequence so in reply to your observatıon that as far as you know no one ever questioned Labour on repealing the council housing policy (to the majority of non political types I think that Old Labour and New Labour are viewed as being the same animal) I simply make the point that if nobody put the questıon when ıt was more lıkely to produce a positive response why is ıt seen as relevant to raıse ıt now? It was after all the policy of one of the coalition parties, anyway? It is perhaps a debate in itself and not of major signifıcance ın this blog!

      5. Mike Sivier

        No, they’re not out of sequence.. You just responded to the wrong comment at one point. The reason questions are being asked now is, the Coalition is seen as actively trying to make the situation worse.

        As for Old Labour and New Labour being seen as the same, I disagree. It seems very clear to most people that Labour changed in the mid-1990s, and that the change turned out to be hugely damaging to a large number of people in the long run. That’s why so many now want a change of heart – not necessarily to ‘Old Labour’ policies, but certainly to policies that actually help improve the lives of the majority.

      6. Big Bill

        We need an anti-neoliberal party for that and apart from the handful of Greens I’m not seeing one.

      7. Andy Robertson-Fox

        Mıke you say replies are not out of sequence but when I clicked on the “reply” to respond to your comment about the differences or otherwise ın New and Old Labour ıt referred me to this entry…sorry but they are out of sequence…and as I do not agree with your latest comment I thınk that ıt ıs probably best to conclude and simply beg to differ.

      8. Andy Robertson-Fox

        No it is not me Mike – this is typed in the space provided and appeared following what Lewis said on19th January and posted at 7.57pm. It has nothing to do with what Lewıs said and without scrolling through all the other comments I have no idea where it will appear. Just thought you would lıke to know.

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  49. Jane Mc (Janey Liz)

    The problem is we’re all writing online instead of closing the ranks together and doing something…

    1. Wm. Luke Everest

      Very, very true. There are even neurological reasons why it’s a problem. I recommend reading “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr. Reading fragmented information promotes neither deep thought nor action. In this world, we have the power to communicate with anyone, and yet this fragmented social ecosystem promotes nothing so strongly as opinionated apathy. A strange mixture, to be sure, but arguably the most prevalent one of our age.

      Now, I’ll practise what you preach and get back to work without perusing the rest of these comments.

  50. martha

    For gods sake Kiron Michael Meacher is an MP who is one of the most active and vociferous opponents of the Con Dems. He is working flat out to help disabled people and those most badly affected by the cuts along with many of the other issues he has taken up. Have you even bothered to watch the hearings he has been holding or read about them? Did you read Michael Meacher’s excellent article about the end of democracy that started off this whole thread? Have you read his many articles on his website? http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/ Do you follow the many excellent speeches and questions he puts in Parliament week in and week out? No you haven’t, you know nothing about him that is obvious or you wouldn’t be so carelessly shooting off your mouth.

    Do you think it is easy for MPs like him to be constantly banging his head on a brick wall. I think he deserves our gratitude and support for the amazing work he is doing. It makes me angry that you are slandering someone who has worked tirelessly for next to no thanks for decades to get justice for the people of our country. Which is more than can be said about lazy trouble makers like you who are doing nothing.

    Welfare Cuts starts around 4.44.40 http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14575&player=smooth&st=19:14:50

    Atos Hearing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyqLFDetqBc

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

    1. Mike Sivier

      Martha is responding to a commenter calling him- or herself ‘kiron’, who made a statement about Michael Meacher that was, on the face of it, libellous. I challenged this person to produce supporting evidence by 6pm (GMT) today but none was forthcoming so I removed the comment.

  51. Lewis

    Sorry for the slightly more abrupt and preachy post I sent last night, i had just got in from a 15 hour shift and was pretty knackered/incapable of more subtle political argument.

    In response to Martha, I agree that plenty of politicians are trying to make a positive difference. The problem is, the system as it stands is flooded with career politicians who are in it only to make money/get ahead rather than being committed to some genuine form of idealism, liberal or conservative. It’s just a bunch of people moving around from office to office to get a pay bump, rather than anyone who has a genuine grasp of the subject they oversee. Most parliamentarians nowadays are a bunch of spineless hacks treating this as a job opportunity, not a way to actively improve the lives of citizens, and that’s really what is bothering most of us. They have no vested interest in anything but themselves, Tory or not, and “principle politics” is becoming something of that past. Even someone like Michael Heselltine, as Conservative as he may be, stands for a certain level of rationalism and ideology that rarely exists in modern-day politics anymore.

  52. Lewis

    *of the past… now it’s all about just going through the motions, as if government was just another corporation, a member of the Big 4 that you’re slowly working your way towards making Partner in.

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  54. Nina Thomas

    Why we British keep complaining about government and parliament by pointing our figures to whose fault it is. Tony Blair sold advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia whose the heaven for the Alqaeda and instead of being impeached and sent to jail, he has a peace negotiator job for Middle East. This is disgusting and we British public deserve and want this otherwise we would be in the streets demonstrating till we bring this cameron corrupted government down. It take a spark to start a fire, but we are nothing but cowards who like moaning …

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