Tag Archives: democracy

Queen’s Speech confirms it: Boris Johnson is renewing his attack on your freedom – because it’s what Britain wanted

Manifesto commitment: the Conservatives made their plan to end democracy clear in their 2019 election manifesto. Every Conservative voter demanded an end to democracy and a slide into dictatorship.

Boris Johnson is getting back to business after the Covid crisis – and his business is stripping you of the liberties and freedoms your ancestors fought hard to win over the last several hundred years.

Be in no doubt: you will have lost most of your rights by the end of this Parliamentary term, and you can thank your Tory-voting neighbour for making it happen.

Included in the Queen’s Speech were announcements that all three main planks of the attack on democracy – listed on Page 48 of the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto, so everybody who voted Tory absolutely supported them – are still going forward. They are:

  • Removing your right to protest so they can use the police and armed forces to put down any dissent.

  • Imposing dictatorship by ensuring that the courts cannot stop the Tories from breaking the law.

  • Imposing indefinite Conservative government.

The only one of these that has been given prominence by the mainstream media is the last – the planned repeal of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act. This has been reported as meaning that Johnson would be able to call elections before his Parliament has served its full five-year term.

But it could also mean that he will allow himself to delay elections indefinitely.

The FTP Act repealed the previous electoral law that allowed prime ministers to call elections at any time during their five-year term, but demanded that they must call an election to be held after five years, no matter what.

So repealing the FTP Act means that unscrupulous prime ministers like Johnson would be able to call elections whenever they liked – or simply neglect to call them at all and remain in power indefinitely.

This is what will happen unless he specifically writes new limitations on Parliamentary terms into his new law. And why would a corrupt liar like Johnson do that when he has a majority of 80 seats in the Commons and can currently do whatever he likes without fear of punishment?

Worse still, the new legislative programme includes more attacks on democracy, the most important being the planned limitation of the right to vote to those who can afford to show the proper photographic identification.

This, Johnson claims, is to stop electoral fraud. You may assume that this is a rampant problem across the UK, but in fact it is practically nonexistent. His plan will strip the vote from around two million people:

Here’s a graph showing the scale of voter fraud as a percentage of all votes cast:

You see the picture?

Further information is available below:

The plan will strip votes from people who are poor and young – in other words, people who will not vote for the Conservatives at the next election. It is corrupt Tory gerrymandering to prevent the voice of the people from being heard at elections.

Typically of the current Tory government, its MPs tried to justify the planned law by lying to us about it. Gillian Keegan, whoever she is, claimed you need photo ID to pick up a parcel from the Post Office – and was put straight in no uncertain terms by fact-checking site Full Fact:

Many of us think valuable Parliamentary time would be better spent preventing the kind of corruption that allowed Tory cronies to gain multi-million pound contracts to provide vital supplies in the fight against Covid-19, that they were totally unable to fulfil. What happened to all that money?

Finally, shall we consider the misplaced priorities of these entitled Tories who have spent more than a decade manslaughtering benefit claimants without feeling any need to reform the system?

Come to that, why isn’t the government introducing plans to end tax evasion? I mention this because the deaths of disabled benefit claimants are linked to the Tory clampdown on claims – the so-called “magic cures” that claimed hundreds of thousands of people were not disabled at all, despite volumes of medical evidence showing they were. These people were unceremoniously stripped of their benefits and many of them subsequently died. The figure of 120,000, quoted above, is a very low estimate.

The Tories spend huge amounts of money every year on their campaign to strip disabled people of their ability to survive. It is a campaign of persecution that has been more successful in eliminating the disabled than the infamous Nazi “Aktion T4” in 1930s and 1940s Germany. In comparison, they spend hardly anything on tracking the rich Tories – let’s not deny it – who have evaded their tax responsibilities in order to squirrel away trillions of pounds in tax havens abroad.

Absent from the new legislative programme are any plans to support the rights of workers with promised reforms to zero-hours contracts and the gig economy, and an end to the practice of “fire and rehire” – terminating workers’ contracts and then demanding they take new contracts with lower pay and fewer privileges:

“Fire and rehire” is a key element of Howard Beckett’s campaign to lead the UK’s largest union, Unite. He was in London to campaign about it while the Queen was delivering her speech:

He has also made the very obvious point that the currrent Labour leadership has no interest in looking after the interests of British workers – because Keir Starmer actually refused to oppose “fire and rehire”.

The oppression goes on and on:

Long-awaited plans for reform of social care – promised by the Tories years ago – went undiscussed. There is no plan for such reforms in the current Parliamentary term.

Admittedly, Andy Burnham is right to say all parties are responsible for allowing social care to fall into the disrepair we have today; New Labour failed to do anything about it too.

And Death Health Secretary Matt Hancock has claimed the government is committed to social care reforms this year – 2021:

He spent the whole of 2020 lying about the severity of Covid-19 and justifying his decisions to award government contracts worth billions of pounds to Tory cronies who couldn’t fulfil them. What are his words worth?

Oh, and before anyone suggests that plans to address the climate crisis show at least some hope for the Tories, they don’t:

For a more detailed attack on the new legislative programme, take a look at Unite’s response (under current leader Len McCluskey). I’m sure other critiques are also available.

Last word can go to Smokey, below, who makes an excellent point despite their inability to spell the word “speech”:

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The Tories have started their attack on court power and their plan to create a dictatorship

Manifesto commitment: the Conservatives made their plan to end democracy clear in their 2019 election manifesto. Every Conservative voter demanded an end to democracy and a slide into dictatorship.

We all knew this was coming because the Conservatives announced their plan to attack the so-called separation of powers that prevents our country from slipping into dictatorship back in 2019.

It was in their manifesto, which means everybody who voted for Boris Johnson and his Conservatives deliberately and knowingly supported it.

For those who have had their heads in the sand for the last two years, or have only become politically aware since the election, I’ll explain:

The separation of powers is the division of any state’s government into different branches, each with its own powers and responsibilities.

The intention is to prevent the concentration of power under any leader that would lead to a dictatorship, by providing checks and balances: each branch has power to limit or check the other two, induces them to prevent either of the other branches from becoming supreme, thereby securing political liberty.

The typical separation of powers is into three parts: a legislature (Parliament), an executive (government) and a judiciary (courts). That is what we have in the United Kingdom.

Each branch must have legitimate means to defend their own legitimate powers from those of the other branches.

But Boris Johnson’s plan – as laid out in his 2019 manifesto – is to strip the courts of their power to act as a check and balance against his government, allowing himself to enact laws that would be illegal otherwise.

Currently the courts have a mechanism known as judicial review, which allows them to decide whether decisions by government ministers or public bodies are against the law.

As it stands now, it works very well.

The courts cannot overturn Acts of Parliament; they can only rule that decisions made in the name of particular laws were wrong because either a minister did not have the power to make them, or the process leading to them was unfair or irrational – or does not conform with the Human Rights Act.

Most appeals for judicial review do not reach the courts: in 2018, 3,597 were lodged and only 218 saw the inside of a courtroom. The government went on to win half of them.

But Johnson was upset by two court decisions – on the government’s management of Brexit, and on his aborted prorogation of Parliament.

He says that the decisions of the judges meant they were acting politically, considering the merits of his government’s political decisions rather than the way those decisions were made. This is not true.

The claim that the current system allows judges to retake decisions on how a policy should operate is wrong. They don’t. They have stepped in to clarify the law after the government failed to do so – probably in an attempt to push through offences against democracy under a fuzzily-worded law – but that is not the same thing. The courts have merely acted in accordance with their power to rule whether the government acted within the bounds of its own laws or not.

So now, Johnson intends to ensuring that, when his government breaks the law in the future, the courts will not have the power either to reveal the illegality or to prevent it.

It is part of the three pillars of his manifesto that drag us into dictatorship – the other two being removal of our right to protest (in the Police Bill currently going through Parliament) and imposition of indefinite government (by repealing the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, which has not yet happened).

All were on page 48 of the Tories 2019 manifesto.

I stated in an article a week before the 2019 election:

While the manifesto states: “We will get rid of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – it has led to paralysis at a time the country needed decisive action,” it means: We will impose an indefinite Conservative government.

While it states: “We will ensure that judicial review is available to protect the rights of the individuals against an overbearing state, while ensuring that it is not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays,” it means: We will impose a Conservative dictatorship that the courts cannot stop from acting illegally.

And while it states: “We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government,” it means: We will remove your right to protest against our dictatorship and if you try to stop us, we will use the police and the armed forces to PUT YOU DOWN.

If you vote Conservative on December 12, that is what you are demanding.

And they did demand it. More than 13 million people voted for a dictatorship – less than one-quarter of the UK’s population – but that was enough to give Johnson a mandate to end democracy here.

I added:

A vote for the Conservatives is a vote to end the rule of law.

And I was right. But my words were read only by those who already knew the truth of what I was saying.

Now we’re all going to experience it, and it will be very ugly indeed.

But if you ever see a Tory complaining about the hardships that are to come, feel free to remind them:

You voted for it. You wanted it. And you got what you wanted.

Source: Right to challenge government in courts overhauled – BBC News

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#BorisJohnson wants to dictate when – and WHETHER – #elections take place – as #VoxPolitical warned you

Dictator Johnson: you put him into 10 Downing Street. Now, like all fascists, he is taking steps to ensure that you can’t get him out again.

Remember last December when This Site warned the UK electorate that Boris Johnson’s manifesto said, “We will impose an indefinite Conservative government”?

It means he planned to stay in power just as long as he wanted to, with no election unless he felt like it.

And the UK electorate ignored the warning and voted for him in what may be the last democratic election to take place in this country.

Do you think that’s overstating the case?

If so, you haven’t been paying attention.

Johnson intends to repeal the Human Rights Act and end your access to the European Convention on Human Rights – including the right to vote in elections.

No, it’s not just about making sure asylum-seekers can’t use human rights as an excuse to stay in the UK when they shouldn’t.

The plan to let Johnson dictate when – or rather, if – we have elections is the second part of this. And it seems some people, in Parliament at least, can see what’s coming:

MPs looking into the issue say there should be no return to the days when the date of the next election was a matter for the government alone.

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee says that would give an unfair advantage to the party in power.

Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the next UK general election will be on Thursday, 2 May 2024 – but Mr Johnson is seeking the power to go to the country before that date if he wants to.

In fact, he isn’t. The FTP Act repealed all the other legislation on when elections take place, so getting rid of it wouldn’t be giving Johnson a choice on whether to have it sooner.

It would be giving him a choice on whether to have an election at all.

Source: Don’t give prime ministers the power to choose election date, say MPs – BBC News

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Will Russia give us its working Covid-19 vaccine if we’re condemning Navalny poisoning?

This is awkward.

It seems Russia has developed a Covid-19 vaccine that works – it creates an immune response with no ill effects:

Sputnik V, which the Kremlin announced in August would enter mass production this month despite serious international concern, caused no major adverse effects and induced antibodies in all participants in two small rounds of early testing. The results were published in medical journal The Lancet on Friday.

If this is true, then it could end the crisis worldwide – if distributed beyond Russia.

There’s just one problem.

The Establishment here in the UK spends most of its time condemning Russia. At the moment the UK is treating that country with disdain over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny – and for interfering in UK democracy.

So there’s very little incentive for the Russians to help us.

In fact, the Russians would do well to withhold the vaccine. That country could then resume business as usual while the rest of us remain under restrictions until we come up with a vaccine of our own – or steal theirs via spies (gosh).

The UK has already fallen well behind the rest of the world because of Boris Johnson’s pathetic response to the pandemic. Make no mistake; the nation has suffered unduly because of his dithering.

Brexit could push us even further back, if Johnson fails to get a decent trade deal. That’s what we understand he wants, too.

Being forced to try to compete while still under Covid-19 restrictions could finish off the UK economy altogether.

Source: Coronavirus: Russia’s vaccine induces immune response and is safe, early trial results suggest | The Independent | Independent

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Is this a call to battle for the soul of the Labour Party?

Labour: Tom Williams presents a strong argument that Keir Starmer is trying to destroy everything the party stands for, from the top down.

Tom Williams on Twitter presents an eloquent argument so I make no apologies for reproducing it in full:

Well, Vox Political isn’t legacy media but This Site is coming up on its 10th anniversary – it’s well-established – so I’m happy to do my bit.

The argument is very straightforward:

Keir Starmer became Labour leader under false pretences and is doing everything he can to end democracy in the party.

If you are a party member, then you need to do something about this.

You should start by disputing the validity of the email from the new general secretary. Nobody voted to support this unilateral activity by the party leadership so it has no authority according to party rules.

NOTE: This ties in closely to This Site’s recent article about the class war that Boris Johnson is waging against the majority of the UK’s population. With Keir Starmer running Labour, the Opposition party will offer no opposition to it at all. I strongly urge you to read the earlier article and act on it if you can.

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Tory treachery: these are just TODAY’S reasons to regret voting ‘Conservative’

Loadsamoney: Boris Johnson and his party are rolling in it, and can expect much more, courtesy of Russia and the USA. You are going to suffer like you’ve never suffered before.

Anybody who voted ‘Conservative’ last December in the belief that they would be better-off must be really kicking themselves now.

Today we have learned that the Tories took money from Russians and then looked the other way while Russia interfered with our general elections – and possibly the Brexit referendum. The arrogant Tories have said they won’t even bother with a retrospective investigation of what happened (in case it incriminates them, perhaps).

Within the last 24 hours, the Tories voted to ensure that the National Health Service will be part of a future trade deal with the United States of America, meaning that health care in the UK will become an asset of US corporations if any such deal goes through.

Allow me to expand on this.

The Tories have already reneged on a promise that they would not allow diseased US-manufactured chlorinated chicken into the UK, meaning anybody who eats it is more likely to contract food poisoning.

Now we can see that anybody who does become ill in that way will not be able to afford help from a doctor, as they will be charged exorbitant US rates. Buying insurance will be no good because the insurance companies actively search for ways to avoid paying out (see my pieces about Unum).

Jeremy Corbyn warned us that the NHS would be privatised before the election last year – he showed you the documents! – but you were told not to vote for him, and like a herd of sheep you did as you were told.

So: possibly because of Russian interference, if you voted ‘Conservative’, you voted to harm your own health and to ensure that you would not be able to gain access to the healthcare you would need in order to get better.

That’s on you!

By all means, blame the Tories if you like. But they are Tories – it is pointless to say, “You told us you wouldn’t sell the NHS or allow chlorinated chicken, or allow the Russians to mess with our democracy,” because their answer is clear: “You knew what we were when you voted for us. We’re Tories. Lying to you is in our nature.”

Oh, and by the way, under the Tories, borrowing has reached a record high. The UK is in more debt than it has every been in the history of the country, and that is all because of the Tories.

Remember back in 2010 when they conned you into voting for them in that year’s election? They said their austerity would eliminate the national deficit by 2015, and they would go on from there to eliminate the debt as well. They lied.

And it means there will be no money for future, non-Tory governments to buy back what the Tories are selling – without creating a debt crisis as Tory lenders refuse to help out.

And for once, the saying is true.

We’re all in the mire together – because you voted Tory.

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Russia report: If Russian influence over the UK is ‘the new normal’, shouldn’t someone be charged with treason?

Bosom buddies: Boris Johnson with Russian industrialist Alexander Temerko. All perfectly innocent?

Now we can all see why Boris Johnson did not want the so-called ‘Russia Report’ released before the general election last year.

The report – released today (July 21) by Parliament’s new Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) – shows that successive Conservative governments have welcomed Russian oligarchs “with open arms”, giving them access to political figures “at the highest levels” – and made absolutely no attempt to investigate Russian interference in referendums and elections; in fact, the Tories “actively avoided” doing so.

This has led, the report states, to the growth of an industry of “enablers” who are “de facto agents of the Russian state”. The report does not explicitly state that these enablers include Conservative government politicians, but its assertion that Russia had access to “the highest levels” of political figures certainly suggests that this is the case.

And the fact that Russia has influence “at the highest levels” seems to have made it almost impossible to organise a response.

The report refers to the defence of UK democratic processes as a “hot potato” over which no government organisation wanted to take the lead in conducting an assessment of Russian interference.

In its response to the report today, the Tory government has said it has seen no evidence of interference in (this is the example it gives) the Brexit referendum. It seems clear that there is a good reason for that: nobody was looking. The government has said it sees no reason to conduct a retrospective investigation into such interference, which looks like a tacit admission of guilt in the light of the report. Committee member Stewart Hosie said, “That is meaningless if they haven’t looked for it.”

The ISC states that “social media companies must take action and remove covert hostile state material. Government must ‘name and shame’ those who fail to act”. The latter demand seems unlikely to happen as it seems clear that the Tory government does not want to do anything.

One reason for that may be the fact that the Tories have been delighted to welcome Russian money and the oligarchs who owned it, “providing them with a means of recycling illicit finance through the London ‘laundromat’.”

It is unlikely that Russia actually interfered in the mechanics of voting in general elections or the Brexit referendum; the UK’s paper-based voting system “makes actual interference with the mechanism difficult” – but “we should not be complacent about other forms of interference”.

The report states that Russian influence seems to have been exerted prominently in the social media, whose bosses had no interest in preventing it.

It states: “There have been widespread allegations that Russia sought to influence voters in the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU: studies have pointed to the preponderance of pro-Brexit or anti-EU stories on RT and Sputnik, and the use of ‘bots’ and ‘trolls’, as evidence.

“The actual impact of such attempts on the result itself would be difficult – if not impossible – to prove. However what is clear is that the Government was slow to recognise the existence of the threat – only understanding it after the ‘hack and leak’ operation against the Democratic National Committee, when it should have been seen as early as 2014.

“As a result the Government did not take action to protect the UK’s process in 2016. The Committee has not been provided with any post-referendum assessment – in stark contrast to the US response to reports of interference in the 2016 presidential election. In our view there must be an analogous assessment of Russian interference in the EU referendum.”

In their statement, the Tories have made it clear that they will not conduct a retrospective investigation: “The Intelligence and Security Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by Hostile State Activity, including around potential interference in UK democratic processes.

“We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence, including during democratic events such as elections and referendums.

“Where new information emerges, the Government will always consider the most appropriate use of any intelligence it develops or receives, including whether it is appropriate to make this public. Given this long standing approach, a retrospective assessment of the EU Referendum is not necessary.”

This is hardly encouraging, given that the ISC report makes it clear that the Tory government has deliberately avoided looking for Russian interference.

Labour has delivered the weak-ass response that we have come to expect from Keir Starmer’s sub-Tory party, courtesy of Lisa “I wouldn’t disclose plans to sell off the NHS” Nandy.

“The report is very clear that the Government has underestimated the response required to Russia and it is imperative we learn the lessons from the mistakes that have been made,” she said. “The Labour Party calls on the Government to study the conclusions of the report carefully and take the necessary steps to keep our country safe.”

Fat chance! And she knows it. The people of the UK needed a much more robust response, calling out Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his extremely strong ties with Russians – he plays tennis with them in return for donations to the Tory Party, remember – and demanding a full-strength investigation into connections between Conservative government members past and present and Russians in the UK – both private citizens and representatives of that country’s government.

I’ll say it again, for clarity:

What we need now is a comprehensive and independent investigation by law-enforcement agencies into connections between anybody who has been a member of a Conservative government over the past 10 years (including members of other parties who have allied with the Tories – the DUP and the Liberal Democrats) and Russians in the UK who have been here either as private citizens or as representatives of that countries government. Did – and do – these relationships pose a threat to the UK’s security and to its democracy?

And if so, should those who have created that threat be arrested and charged with treason?

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New power-sharing deal restores NI devolution – in order to quit Johnson’s UK?

Devolution: The Tories will be quick to celebrate the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland. Has it not occurred to any of them that the Northern Irish hate Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and now want to quit the UK altogether?

At long last – three years since the ‘Cash for Ash’ scandal that ended the last Northern Ireland power-sharing deal, it seems MLAs are returning to Stormont.

The new power-sharing deal means devolved government in Northern Ireland will resume.

According to Boris Johnson:

Do you think he hasn’t realised that they’re all getting back together in order to take NI out of the UK?

What would be really damning is if they decided they won’t even reunify with the Republic.

Source: Stormont talks: Main NI parties agree power-sharing deal – BBC News

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Boris Johnson’s ‘Russia Report’ – leaked – TruePublica

Boris Johnson: He didn’t want the report published. Why?

What do you make of this?

Russia’s influence has reached deep into the British establishment and successive UK governments have turned a blind eye to it, British parliamentarians were warned, according to multiple sources familiar with testimony given to a parliamentary inquiry in this leak.

Members of the cross-party Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) were told that Moscow had built up a network of friendly British diplomats, lawyers, parliamentarians and other influencers from across the political spectrum. One witness described the development as “potentially the most significant threat to the UK’s institutions and its ways of life,” according to testimony seen by America’s CNN.

The committee’s unpublished final report into Russian meddling in UK politics, titled simply “Russia,” is at the centre of a political storm in the UK, where parliament was dissolved last Wednesday ahead of the general election now due in little more than four weeks time. The ISC committee chairman, Dominic Grieve, has already accused Boris Johnson of sitting on the report and claimed Downing Street had given “bogus” explanations for not publishing it and was scathing that the report may not now be published for months – as ISC reports can only be released when parliament is sitting and the committee is constituted.

The contents of the ISC report, the product of an extensive investigation, have remained tightly under wraps. But the CNN network has been provided with written testimony from two of the committee’s witnesses, and has been briefed on oral testimony given by two others, all of whom warned that Russia had established deep ties to the UK political scene and that not enough had been done about it.

Source: Boris Johnson’s ‘Russia Report’ – leaked – TruePublica

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Tory suppression of report on Russian interference in UK democracy suggests they are in it

Boris Johnson: Didn’t he take a huge amount of money just for a tennis game with a Russian donor? What did they talk about?

Why is Boris Johnson sitting on a Parliamentary report on Russian meddling in the UK democratic process?

What does it say about him?

What does it say about his party?

Is it something to do with the huge amount of Russian money that has been donated to the Conservative Party in recent years?

How much have they taken from Russian donors by now?

And here’s a question: Theresa May condemned Russia for sending assassins to the UK who failed to kill the Skripals but succeeded in eliminating innocents who had nothing to do with them – but was her party taking a massive infusion of funds from Russia in the background?

What does that tell us about her actions?

These are serious questions that need answers.

We must not have a government that is a pawn of a foreign power.

We cannot be sure that the Conservatives are not already such a pawn.

Until we see the report, there is only one way to be safe – and that is to vote for a Labour government instead.

The former head of MI5 has backed calls for a parliamentary report into alleged Russian interference in the UK democratic process to be published before the general election.

Downing Street has been accused of holding back the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees the work of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ and sees highly sensitive intelligence material as a result.

Source: Make report on Russian meddling public now, says former MI5 chief | London Evening Standard

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