A mass of undemocratic and despotic new laws are to come into being after cowardly Lords gave up their opposition to corrupt Tory government plans.
The Nationality and Borders Bill is to receive Royal Assent after peers gave up their principles.
It means Priti Patel’s plan to send asylum-seekers to live in Rwanda, rather than the UK, will be put into practice just as soon as she can get all the mechanisms in place, and never mind that it costs more than sending these people to live at the Ritz.
It will also become a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally. This is hugely contentious because Patel has closed down all legal routes for asylum-seekers to enter the UK. The daughter of refugees herself, she has literally pulled up the ladder behind her, as the saying goes.
Fortunately, it seems other organisations have more backbone than the Lords. According to the BBC,
More than 200 organisations, including Oxfam and Save the Children, said they would challenge its outcomes, calling it “anti-refugee”.
The Elections Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, meaning the Tory government will be able to restrict whether you are allowed to vote or not, based on whether you have a particular form of photographic identification. Millions of people don’t.
Meanwhile, the 15-year limit on rich UK citizens living abroad being allowed to vote will be scrapped.
The undemocratic upshot of these two measures will be that it will be much easier for people living overseas to vote – and without any barriers like photo ID, while it will be much harder for domestic citizens to do the same.
The Tory government is also seizing control of the Electoral Commission, meaning oversight of the way electoral law is administered will no longer be independent and your corrupt government will be able to twist the way elections are run in order to suit itself.
Finally, a bid to deprive even more people of access to justice has been passed: the Judicial Review and Courts Bill will stop the funding of bereaved families’ legal representation at inquests involving public bodies. If This Writer understands correctly, it means that if somebody dies because of a failure by such an organisation, their families will be unable to seek justice from those responsible unless they are independently wealthy (which seems unlikely).
Parliament is being prorogued today (Thursday, April 28), having been back in session for only a matter of days after the Easter break. It will not meet again until May 10, when a new session will begin with a Queen’s Speech laying out Boris Johnson’s plans for the following year or so.
Some legislation has been carried over to the new Parliamentary session, including the long-awaited and controversial Online Safety Bill, which will seek to criminalise certain abusive and antisocial behaviours on the Internet and regulate online companies in line with those measures.
The big surprise for many people must be the silence from Opposition leader Keir Starmer. He should be trumpeting that a Labour government will reverse the corrupt and undemocratic measures in these new laws but instead it seems he supports them.
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