Tag Archives: repeal

#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In fact, he isn’t. The FTP Act repealed all the other legislation on when elections take place, so getting rid of it wouldn’t be giving Johnson a choice on whether to have it sooner.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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Supine Sunak set to axe ‘Facebook tax’ because he’s scared of big, nasty Donald Trump

Rishi Sunak: ‘Please don’t force us to eat your diseased chicken, Mr Trump! Look – we’ll cancel our tax on your tech companies! They can take as much money as they like from operating in our country and we won’t ask for a penny! Will that persuade you, Mr Trump? Mr Trump? Are you there..?’

Could there be a more blatant display of the UK’s newfound powerLESSness in the world?

The UK imposed a tax on tech companies like Facebook last year, expecting to bring in £500 million per year from firms that make more than £25 million each and would otherwise pay very little indeed.

But now Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning to axe it, in the hope that doing so will encourage Donald Trump not to insist on sending chlorinated chicken to the UK.

Sunak doesn’t even have the bargaining power to say he’ll do it on condition that Trump relents on his determination to foist food poisoning on the United Kingdom.

The justification to the rest of us? “Oh, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.”

I don’t know about that. £500 million is a lot of money to most of us.

The whole situation is pathetic.

The Johnson government, in the footsteps of Theresa May and David Cameron, has reduced Britain from Greatness to a state that can only be described as Little.

Source: Rishi Sunak to axe ‘Facebook tax’ on US tech giants deciding it is ‘more trouble than it’s worth’ | Daily Mail Online

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Tories refuses to abolish coronavirus law that has been wrongly used in every prosecution

When every single prosecution under new legislation is found to have been carried out unlawfully, that is poor law-making and should be repealed.

The Tory government is wasting the time of the police, the public and the courts with this silliness.

But it won’t repeal or change the Act of Parliament responsible for it.

Why not? Are these petty politicians taking delight in causing mischief for no good reason?

Who voted these clowns into a position where they could do this?

And do those voters now regret their hasty choice?

The government is refusing to repeal a “draconian” coronavirus law – despite it being used to wrongly prosecute scores of people.

The Coronavirus Act has not been used lawfully in a single criminal case since it came into force on 25 March, according to a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Human rights lawyers and campaigners have condemned the creation of “unnecessary” new offences, which have been used against children and vulnerable people.

They include a woman who was fined £660 for a crime she had not committed, five days after the Coronavirus Act became law. Charges have so far been withdrawn or overturned for 53 people and more cases are being reviewed.

Asked by The Independent whether it would abolish the Coronavirus Act in light of the changes and unlawful prosecutions, the Department of Health said it would not.

Source: Government refuses to abolish coronavirus law used unlawfully in every prosecution | The Independent

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An INCOMPETENT government released the London Bridge terrorist to kill again: a TORY government

How tasteless of the Tories to try to blame Labour for a tragedy that they caused.

People have died and both Home Secretary Priti Patel and prime minister Boris Johnson have tried to turn the atrocity into a political football.

For clarity: convicted terrorist Usman Khan murdered two people on London Bridge last Friday (November 29).

Both Mr Johnson (see the link below) and Ms Patel have tried to blame the fact that he was free and able to commit these murders on an early release policy which they say was imposed by a Labour government.

Both Mr Johnson and Ms Patel were telling an untruth.

Khan had been jailed under Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) – a policy imposed by Labour, but abolished by a Conservative Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, in 2012.

It is because the Conservatives abolished IPP that Khan was able to appeal against his sentence – successfully. It was reduced to 16 years, meaning he was released on licence in December 2018.

Labour had nothing to do with it.

If you read the article (link below), you’ll see that Mr Johnson changed tack – to claim that his government could not be responsible because he has only been prime minister for 120 days. What drivel.

The UK has been under continuous Conservative rule since 2010. The same Conservative government that repealed IPP is now being run by Mr Johnson. The only differences – of cabinet members and prime minister – are cosmetic.

So don’t let Boris Johnson and his Tory cronies make a fool of you.

His government was responsible for Usman Khan’s release and as leader, he should take responsibility for it.

The fact that he is desperately trying to slither out of it is more proof of his unsuitability to govern.

Make sure he doesn’t get the chance to cause any more harm. Vote Labour on December 12.

Source: Boris Johnson blames Labour for release of London Bridge killer | UK news | The Guardian

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Homelessness: Labour will repeal law that criminalises rough sleeping

Sleeping in bins: Has this young woman been found yet? (See This Site’s previous report.)

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Housing Minister Melanie Onn have announced that the next Labour government will repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824 which criminalises begging and rough sleeping.

They say the priority should be to support, not criminalise, those who are sleeping rough or begging.

The Georgian-era legislation is unnecessary for dealing with genuine anti-social behaviour as a number of other civil measures exist, including civil injunctions and criminal behaviour orders.

The Vagrancy Act was used to bring a criminal charge nearly 3,000 times in 2016, with offences commanding a fine of up to £1,000 and leaving those convicted with a two-year criminal record.

Labour has committed to ending rough sleeping within five years of forming the next Labour Government, with a plan to reserve 8,000 homes for those with a history of rough sleeping.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey has already announced plans for a £100 million fund to make emergency cold weather accommodation available for every rough sleeper during winter.

Now Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said: “It should shame us all that rough sleeping has doubled in the last eight years and nearly 600 people died while homeless last year.

“Homeless people need help, not punishment.

“The next Labour government will make ending homelessness a priority. We want to build a society which doesn’t walk by on the other side when we see someone in need.”

And Melanie Onn added: “It beggars belief that we still use Georgian-era laws to criminalise some of the most vulnerable in society.

“Treating rough sleepers as criminals does not solve the underlying causes of homelessness and makes it harder for them to access support to move away from the streets.

“Rather than criminalising rough sleepers Labour would support them, with 8,000 new homes available to those with a history of rough sleeping as part of a plan to eradicate rough sleeping within five years.”

The announcement has won widespread support from the Twitter commentariat:

And Mr Corbyn expanded on his own opinion of homelessness during a visit to a Northampton project that helps homeless people:

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Back to the Victorian Age: Tories use ancient law to criminalise the homeless

What a lovely scam (if you’re rich):

  1. Use neoliberal employment and wage policies to force the workforce onto benefits.
  2. Cut the benefits so those people are forced into debt.
  3. Evict those people from their homes when they fall into rent arrears.
  4. Arrest the now-homeless people for vagrancy.
  5. Send the now-criminalised vagrants to prison.
  6. Put them to work for no wages at all and make a big pile of money.

Is that about the size of it, Tories?

It’s an outrage, and must be stopped – so will you help repeal the 1824 Vagrancy Act?

Sign the petition to repeal the Vagrancy Act here.

1824 was … the year from which current government policy on rough sleeping gets its statutory backing.

According to the 1824 Vagrancy Act, police are given powers to arrest and detain for up to three months anyone found, “lodging in any barn or outhouse, or in any deserted or unoccupied building, or in the open air, or under a tent, or in any cart or waggon, not having any visible means of subsistence”.

This in effect allows for the arrest of homeless people simply for sleeping rough.

Not only is this law still on the books despite the efforts of campaigners, it continues to be enforced even today.

In 2016/17, a Freedom of Information request reported 1,810 prosecutions under the act, and as recently as 2015 the number was more than 3,000.

Yet those are only the prosecutions, and lying behind those statistics is the constant experience of harassment with threat of arrest. Speak to rough sleepers directly and you’ll likely hear countless stories of being moved on and threatened.

Source: The politicians resurrecting a Dickensian law to make homeless people into criminals – New Statesman


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Will the first Parliamentary row of the autumn be over this obscure committee?

By the back door: Theresa May wants to inflict hundreds of “corrections” (read: perversions) on EU laws before allowing them onto the UK statute book.

This Writer had never before heard of the obscure Committee of Selection – but its members will decide whether the minority Conservative government will be able to pervert thousands of EU laws, without a single vote in Parliament.

The Tories want to pass a huge number of Statutory Instruments (SIs) – legislation that does not require a vote in Parliament as it does not change the broad framework of an Act, but only the details of its operation.

For the Tories, the Repeal Bill represents an opportunity to steal rights from UK citizens – and already the alarm has been raised over workers’ and consumers’ rights, environmental standards and devolved powers.

In the last Parliament, the Conservatives claimed five of the nine MPs on the committee, but officials have advised they are entitled to four only, after their Commons majority was destroyed. Nevertheless, they are insisting on keeping their five representatives.

Tough.

They have lost their Parliamentary majority; they do not have the right to try to bully anybody – especially as they are trying corruptly to strip us of our hard-earned rights.

And, without domination of the committee, will the Tories press ahead with their underhand plan?

Theresa May is accused of trying to break parliamentary rules in order to ram through controversial law changes after Brexit.

The Conservatives are demanding to pack a crucial decision-making committee with their own MPs, despite losing their Commons majority at the election, The Independent can reveal.

Now Opposition parties plan to join forces to derail the attempted fix, in what threatens to be the first autumn Parliamentary clash over leaving the EU.

Read more: Tories attempt to hijack powerful decision-making committee to ram through new post-Brexit laws


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The ‘Repeal Bill’ will put profit over people in a double-whammy for the Tories

The Tories promised they would take back control after Brexit. They meant they would take it AWAY – from US [Image: PA].

If you were wondering why the Tories have quietly dropped their dodgy ‘Bill of Rights’, it’s because they don’t need it any more – they can achieve the same aims, with far less fuss, in their so-called ‘Repeal Bill’.

The Bill will be the most dishonest piece of legislation to go through Parliament in decades – starting with its title. It will repeal nothing. The stated aim is to enshrine European laws that the UK observes (without having passed them as our own) into UK law, to ensure a smoother transition when Brexit happens.

But this is not true. The Tories intend to pick and choose which EU laws get to go on the UK statute book – and the plan is to ensure that the people lose out to corporations on every line.

So the ‘Bill of Rights’ – which was intended primarily to remove rights that had been conferred on UK citizens by the EU – will no longer be necessary; the Tories will simply cut those rights out of the Repeal Bill and hide it from the public.

Similarly, the Tories won’t have to face public scrutiny over their plans to ensure that corporations can sue the UK government if any future administration tries to put the good of the citizens before private profit.

The so-called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system was a principle reason the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement foundered last year. Soon after, it was rumoured that the whole project may have been demanded by the UK government, with the intention of putting corporations in control.

Now, with our departure from the EU imminent, the Tories don’t need anybody else’s permission to impose the worst of all possible worlds on the people of the United Kingdom.

They are planning a new hierarchy, with working people at the bottom, enjoying no rights other than what their overprivileged toff masters hand down to them.

Next will be the apparatus of the state, as embodied in the elected government.

But the government will be a slave to the will of the corporations.

And who will be at the top of this system?

Why, shareholders in corporations, of course. And wouldn’t it be a strange coincidence if these boardrooms turned out to be stuffed with people who are currently Conservative government ministers?

Perhaps you should ask your Tory-voting neighbour why they support this kind of corruption.

Fundamental rights and powers that ordinary citizens currently enjoy will be scrapped.

This week we have discovered, for instance, that British citizens will no longer be able to sue the government for breaking the law.We will lose our rights, if the government gets its way, to sue for compensation in court when the government acts illegally and infringes our rights at work, or our right to a clean and healthy environment.

Currently, a European ruling means an individual can seek damages if the government has failed to properly implement the law. But the government says that no similar domestic law exists, so there will be no legal mechanism to get such redress in future.

There will be plenty more where this comes from. The Great Repeal Bill, after all, awards our government powers that no modern government has enjoyed in peacetime. And far from simply changing the words “European Union” into “United Kingdom”, ministers will gain the ability to make radical changes to fundamental human rights and environmental protections that simply don’t make sense when taken out of an EU context.

As if this weren’t bad enough, Trade Secretary Liam Fox is touring the planet looking for unsavoury regimes we can sign deregulatory trade deals with. And at the heart of those trade deals, in all likelihood, will be special “corporate courts” that allow foreign businesses the power to sue governments for regulations they judge to be “unfair”.

That’s right – as British citizens lose their ability to hold the government to account in court, foreign multinationals will gain rights to sue the government in secret arbitration panels for passing a regulation or standard that those corporations believe will damage their profits.

We know this because these “courts”, formally known as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), already exist in hundreds of investment deals in which countries all over the world have been secretly sued for such radical actions as putting cigarettes in plain packaging, placing a moratorium on fracking, removing toxic chemicals from petrol. No appeal is allowed. And we know that the British government has been one of the most vociferous in the world in putting the case for such courts.

Read more: The Government is using Brexit to take control away from citizens and give it to corporations


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Everybody who wanted to ‘take back control’ when they voted ‘Leave’ must be feeling sick now

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said his party would try force the Government to give Parliament more control over Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations [Image: Rex].

“Take back control” was the big, banner-riding rallying-cry for Brexiteers everywhere in the run-up to the EU referendum. Did those people have any idea they would actually be handing control to Tory ministers and not to the UK Parliament?

Under the terms of Theresa May’s plans, Conservative cabinet ministers will be able to ditch your hard-won human and working rights without any Parliamentary scrutiny at all.

The response from Labour, as outlined by Keir Starmer, seems to be what This Site and its readers reasoned last week: Support the implementation of Article 50, because that’s what the public demanded, but oppose anti-democratic plans by Theresa May and her government.

This refers to the so-called Great Repeal Bill, rather than the vote on any expected exit agreement Mrs May might make with the EU. The Bill would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act with which the UK joined the EEC (as it was then known) and enshrine all EU law relevant to the UK into UK law.

Then comes the sticking-point: Tory ministers would then be allowed to ditch anything they didn’t like, using so-called ‘Henry VIII’ powers.

Labour will not accept this. Nor should you.

So next time you see someone who told you that Brexit meant “we” would “take back control”, ask them who, exactly, “we” are supposed to be.

Did they mean “we, the people” – or “them – the Tories”?

Labour will not back a vital piece of Theresa May’s Brexit legislation if it contains sweeping powers allowing ministers to scrap vital workers’ rights, human rights and environmental provisions.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer vowed his party would fight Ms May “all the way” if she tried to use Brexit as an opportunity to adopt the so-called “Henry VIII powers”.

The expected move by the Government would render Parliament almost powerless to stop Tory ministers in post-Brexit Britain from dumping rights previously enshrined in EU law.

Because the terms of Theresa May’s Brexit deal will not be known when the legislation is to be passed this summer, the bill is likely to include a “Henry VIII clause” – named after the all-powerful king – allowing ministers to ditch bits of EU law they do not like with little parliamentary scrutiny.

Source: Brexit: Labour vows to reject Theresa May’s Great Repeal Bill if it hands ministers powers to dump rights

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Labour’s ‘assisted dying’ bill and its relevance to the hunting ban

Backbench Labour MP Rob Marris is offering Parliament its first vote on assisted dying since 1997.

The timing of this Bill’s arrival in the House of Commons is very useful for those of us who oppose the repeal of the Hunting Act (and who keep an eye on the social media).

Here’s why (from Twitter):

150609huntingANDsuicide

Perhaps this will clarify for MPs of all parties why the fox hunting ban must remain in place.

Source: Assisted suicide back in Parliament as MP reignites Dignitas debate with Private Member’s Bill – Mirror Online

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