This illiberal Queen’s Speech is the next step for authoritarian populism after Brexit

11th May 2021

Well, that was quite the Queen’s Speech.

A legislative programme geared to make a certain sort of person grin and clap and cheer about ‘owning the libs’.

But it is not just about mere superficialities – it is in substance a multi-pronged attack our liberties.

The prime minister is not only taking back control of when there will be general elections, the government is making it harder for people to vote.

The government is also making it harder for government decisions to be challenged in court, and it is making it harder for anyone to protest about any of this.


Of course: this is not a surprise.

Five years ago, senior members of the governing party affected to want to give effect to the ‘will of the people’.

But, as is often the case with authoritarian populists, the supposed mandate of the people was only ever a convenient rhetorical device for ever-greater central control.

And the sorry state of our politics means that the government will probably get away with this.

There may be opposition in the house of lords – and some measures may be open to legal challenge.

Yet, even with the few remaining checks and balances in out constitutional arrangements – this is what the government does as the next step after ‘taking back control’.

The impression is that Brexit was not about liberation, but about creating a political culture where the opposite of liberation – imposed authority – became more entrenched.

Our post-Brexit polity is now looking very dismal and depressing indeed.


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49 thoughts on “This illiberal Queen’s Speech is the next step for authoritarian populism after Brexit”

  1. Given the campaign for brexit was all lies, dissembling, & dishonesty perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised when the mantra to take back control didn’t specify exactly what was meant. I wonder what it will take for the electorate to fully appreciate the reality of the bloodless coup that took place in 2016? So far any dissenting voices are dismissed as noisy activists but it’s only a few small steps to silence them, one of which (at least) was proposed today.

  2. Unfortunately it would appear that many are happy with imposed authority. “Taking back control” was always an ambiguous slogan. “Control by who”? Analysis of public opinion in the US & elsewhere shows an increased level of support for illiberalism and increased government control with powerful “strong men”.
    I am not quite sure what we can do about it, other than pointing the risks of this approach.

  3. I shall write a letter of protest to my Conservative MP here in Sussex and expect her to be incandescent with rage over PM Johnson’s complete disregard for the freedoms that all British citizens value above all else. She, along with a majority of Tory MPs will force the man and his supporters to resign. Yeah, right. Any other options?

    1. You can keep on and on at her, and try to get her replies published in the local press.

      Get active in other political parties with a view to getting her voted out. With all the noise being made about Labour collapse, it’s almost gone under the radar that the Tories are losing seats in the south east: 14 Tory seats lost in true blue Surrey as just one example.

  4. Totally agree about the dismal and depressing general state of the polity. But on two specific points you raise things may not be as bad as you suggest.

    The fixed term parliament legislation is toothless as we saw in 2017 and again in 2019. Better to put it out of its misery.

    And since we need evidence of identity to perform so many other civic acts in this country isn’t it anachronistic not to require it also for voting?

    1. And since we need evidence of identity to perform so many other civic acts in this country isn’t it anachronistic not to require it also for voting?

      It’s not an unreasonable argument on its face, but the problem is the size of the sledgehammer being used to crack such a vanishingly small nut: according to the Electoral Commission, there has been the sum total of two convictions for electoral fraud since 2017:

      This being the case, it’s hard to ascribe any intent to this proposal other than voter suppression – it’s ostensibly fixing a problem that simply doesn’t exist, so its purpose must lie elsewhere.

      I’m all for consistency and removing anachronisms, but I’m a far more enthusiastic advocate of not fixing what ain’t broken…

      1. Voter fraud definitely exists… but not enough of it to bother me… so therefore anyone who is bothered is trying to oppress voters.

        You admit there is voter fraud, then go on to state it doesn’t exist… The gymnastics in some of these comments is truly impressive.

        1. No gymnastics from my point of view. Voter personation simply is not an issue in GB. Vanishingly small occurrences out of millions of valid votes. There is no need to insist on photo ID which will result in millions being prevented from voting, either because they have no photo ID or the official concerned will not accept that the ID they have looks enough like them. It is a totally unnecessary imposition. Not to mention the estimated £20m cost of applying this every general election.

        2. The sledgehammer/nut argument stands up very well. Such a disproportionate response to one or two cases of voter fraud is nothing other than voter suppression. The only gymnastics are trying to pretend otherwise.

        3. You admit there is voter fraud, then go on to state it doesn’t exist… The gymnastics in some of these comments is truly impressive.

          Do we ban everyone from owning dogs because some owners don’t clean up after they’ve emptied their animals in front of your house, Barry?


          That’s because it would be a disproportionate response to a relatively trivial (in the great scheme of things) problem.

          See the parallel?

    2. Putting to one side the philosophical debate around the requirement to present ID at the ballot box, how is a person already in abject poverty (£59 per week JSA if you’re aged 18-24!) supposed to afford a provisional driving licence (£34) or passport (£75.50)?
      The ability to vote should never hinge on whether one can afford to do so.

    3. Indeed. I wonder, too, whether the Conservatives risk suppressing many of their own new-found ‘left-behind’ working-class voters – voter ID seems to me like a ‘let’s be more like Trump’s Republicans’ wheeze that hasn’t been thought through properly.

      Looking at what happened in Georgia in particular, this could also be a tremendous opportunity for the opposition to organise registration drives and mobilise disillusioned non-voters. (I’m thinking too of the Thatcher government requiring unions to ballot their members on party political contributions – the plan seemed to be to ‘defund’ Labour, but in fact it reinforced the links between labour movement and party.) But mobilising voters requires a compelling alternative worth getting out and voting for – I don’t see much sign of that from Labour at the moment.

    4. Second point – No.

      Any and all electoral reform should have one goal – Making it easier, not harder, to vote.

      In Northern Ireland, when they instituted voter ID, it came with a mandate to provide free IDs to the entire voting population – Do *you* trust our current Government not to screw the pooch on any rollout of that sort of thing?

      Voter ID is a solution to a problem so utterly minor as to be statistically nonexistent

    5. Our right to vote governments in and out is fundamental to democracy and to making government accountable to the public (who in theory are their masters and employers). We all know this wonderful theory of how the system works is flawed in practice – however, surely we should be trying to remove the “bugs”, not add to them?

      The people least likely to have photo ID (and photo ID that’s to hand) are often already disenfranchised by circumstances and / or are disinclined to vote because they feel (and often are) unrepresented. We don’t need to make exercising their rights to vote even more difficult by adding new obstacles.

      The “Guardian” reports 2 million citizens don’t have photo ID and so would have to get it to make good their right to vote. There were 5 cases of attempted voter fraud when last measured.

    6. If voter personation was a significant problem then there would be justification, but it hardly happens in the UK. This is voter suppression, pure and simple, just as practiced by the Republicans in the USA. It’s designed to make the poor and disadvantaged less likely or able to vote.

      1. An awful lot of conspiracy theorists in this blog are admitting there is voter fraud, and then turning around and claiming the solution to said fraud is only being implemented to further a sinister plot to disenfranchise the poor and disadvantaged… You acknowledge there is an issue, but you state that the issue simply isn’t big enough to put in place laws requiring ID to remedy it… so how many cases of fraud is enough?

        1. I didn’t acknowledge it was an issue at all. Quite the opposite, I stated it wasn’t an issue. The negative aspects of requiring photo ID far outweighs any benefit. I’m certainly not a conspiracy theorist, by the way.

        2. so how many cases of fraud is enough?

          Enough to fraudulently affect the result, obviously – which the current incidence of UK voter fraud will singularly fail to do.

          Proportionality, Barry – it’s key to most law-making decisions.

          And when we deviate from it, when we arbitrarily come down on trivial matters, simply because they ostensibly inconvenience the Government of the day – as we seem to be doing here – well, that’s how Police States start.

  5. The populists see an eye to the main chance and that is permanent and increasingly authoritarian rule by the Tory party as currently constituted. There are a number of reasons why they believe that to be possible. As the dismal turn-out of the Hartlepool by-election demonstrated (and as confirmed by Prof. Curtice), Remainers have nowhere to go. The Tory has been purged of all but the most extreme Brexiters, Labour is still sitting on the fence and split between its Left and Right wings and the LibDems, after being shafted by the Tories at national level, don’t have the leadership or policies to take them beyond local politics. The second reason is that the Tories (helped by Labour, its other beneficiary) killed any chance of PR and we are stuck with FPTP which, with the help of gerrymandered or simply postponed boundary changes, will ensure a Tory majority in the Commons for the forseeable. There is a tiny chink of light: a party led by the young who, appalled by a sclerotic system in which they have no representation, set out a manifesto which accepts the loss of Scotland, NI (and even Wales) graciously and advocates root and branch constitutional reform, including a House of Commons with PR, the abolition of the Lords with a Senatorial replacement and with it the abolition of political patronage and a very skinny monarchy. If not, expect civil disobedience.

    1. Interesting point about the boundary changes. The view when the latest commission was set up at the end of last year was that the changes would benefit the Conservative party to the tune of 10 or so seats. I wonder if that is still the case now that the Conservatives have morphed into the “red wall” party.

      Also interesting to speculate on when the changes will take effect. If I’m not mistaken the Boundary Commission is due to report by July 2023. But will Johnson want to go for an early election before then to ride his vaccination roll and before the horrors of Brexit have fully emerged?

      1. He’ll want to go for an early election before the horrors of the Covid enquiry are revealed.

    2. Not just the young. The so-called government wants to centralise, so Labour should argue for extensive delolution. Have the confidence to play to their (few) strengths. The metro mayors can show the way. Govt. Resistance would be so blatent that the issue would come to an election. And the issue should this time be clear to the electorate: return to open democracy or flee it. Want to live in Blighty, or Turkey?

  6. I am sure Johnson will say, in response, as he has done over the cost of a roll of wallpaper that these are not issues that matter to the voters. They want us to focus on their priorities, the People’s priorities.

    What really matters to them from today’s Queen’s Speech, he will assert, is policy like his headlining skills revolution.

    Because the voters love policies that on careful scrutiny turn out to be all fur coat and no knickers? Johnson’s stock in trade, in fact, as savvy London voters of the last decade or so will attest.

    The scheme providing loans for adults wanting to retrain, announced to the media this morning seems to be a poorer version of a scheme the Government has just scrapped, Professional and Career Development Loans. It had had its uses, fairly limited in my experience, and had been around for about 30 years.

    If the new scheme is only usable in the context of purchasing higher-level education and training at university or college then it is not as flexible as the PCDLS as they might also have been used to purchase courses provided by other public sector providers as well as companies in the private and voluntary and community sectors.

    Politicians have an unfortunate habit of defaulting to universities and colleges when there is a wider range of provision from which to choose than just the two sectors and some of it is of better quality.

    Still, if you are a semi-mythical Red or Blue Wall voter, who likes the idea of pegging back the judiciary then you are probably not well informed about the patchwork quilt of post 18 training and education that exists beyond where you took your C&G or passed your degree.

    If the new scheme, like PCDLs, is administered through private sector banks then they will want good evidence that undertaking the course will improve your earnings potential and ability to repay the loan.

    They will not just give you one on the off chance you may repay it. We do need to keep a tight grip on the public finances, eh, Rishi?

    Under the old scheme now being wound down, “The government pays the interest while you study and for 1 month after you leave your course. After this time, you start repaying the loan and interest.”

    And that included people on benefit, who, if they declined to pay might have a regular amount deducted, under Social Security legislation, at source.

    The BBC tells us, breathlessly, that, “Businesses and trainers will be encouraged to target “local needs in sectors including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing”.”

    Are businesses to be encouraged to have their employees take out loans for training from which, they, their existing employers will benefit?

    However, a bank is not going to give you a loan for a course that does not make you more employable in the context of the labour market at the time you make your application for funding.

    See me after the lesson for information on the jobs market in your locale.

    I wonder, given potential capacity issues in the Further Education sector (with which I am more familiar than the Higher Education sector, except in the case of Turner v Birmingham Law Society over administrative recruitment in law firms), if this is not a sneaky way of reducing the FE sector’s reliance on central government funding by transferring the funding of course places from the taxpayer to the student?

    At the beginning of 2020, Sajid Javid gave an interview to the FT, mostly about Brexit, but he did at one point wax lyrical about tarting up some FE Colleges, Oop North. When asked if that would mean more courses, too. He said no. The Government did not want to commit to long term increases in revenue expenditure.

    Soapy Sunak, the conman in plain sight, has taken up the same position. In fact, he has now cast himself in the role of a cheeseparing 19th century Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    He wants to balance the books.

    Dicken’s Fat Boy from Pickwick Papers only wanted to make your flesh creep.

    Will the new loan scheme extend to funding for more tutors, because unless there are regularly spare places going begging on existing courses there will be of necessity a cap on the number of loans?

    No course place?

    Computer says, no loan.

    The last thing the country needs, incidentally, is a scheme that might encourage employers in all sectors of our economy to spend less of their own money on ongoing training for their own staff and new recruits.

    A certain Boris Johnson, back in 2013, wrote in Churchillian style that, Mr Speaker, “If we left the EU … we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by “Bwussels”, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure.”

    Johnson’s skills revolution is not in any way a credible response to those challenges.

    You would think someone who might give master classes in sloth and who is addicted to easy gratification would appreciate how many millions in the UK are employed in the leisure and tourism industry?

    Missing from Johnson’s wise words of 2013, describing as they do century old or more fundamental flaws in our society and economy, is any reference to matters like judicial review or voter fraud.

    Measures on such matters may, quite rightly, not be, in Johnson’s opinion, the People’s priorities, despite being included in today’s Queen’s Speech, in the same way that he felt leaving the EU was not a priority or an answer to any serious problem facing our country in 2013.

    Would the real Boris Johnson stand up, please?

  7. Personally the whole thing leaves me in despair. I know DAG disagrees with a written constitution but here we have a government in absolute power on the vote of only just over a third of the electorate that is seeking to move one electoral goalpost by selectively denying a vote to those likely to vote against it, in the name of addressing a non-existent problem of electoral fraud (sounds so like Republicans in the US), is moving another goalpost by imposing FPTP on the couple of places it isn’t creating havoc, shrinking the goalmouth by reducing the time between the incumbent PM calling an election and election day so as to reduce the chances that some bad news will cost it votes and hobbling the ref by limiting judicial review even after their own loaded commission didn’t recommend it. Oh and putting the game on a sloping pitch by fiddling the electoral boundaries, repealing the FTPA to abolish half-time.

    Have I got anything wrong there?

    Trump Putin and all the other depots must be sickly green with envy.

    My advice to Scotland (and Wales/NI) – vote yourselves out of this cesspit at the first opportunity. Spare a thought for us sassenachs who are left to wallow in it.

  8. Can all this really be happening here in the UK! One of the fairest, open-minded, immigrant-welcoming, tolerant, progressive, sensible countries in the world. RIP England.

  9. Photographic ID has been required in N Ireland from the time of the Good Friday Agreement. Before that, the mantra was “Vote early and often”, and it was a day when “the dead rose up to vote”.

    The Electoral Office for NI has details of the seven types of approved photo IDs here:

    Translink is the rail and bus transport service.

    It’s also possible to get an Electoral Identity Card; you can go to the Electoral Office in person (or Zoom these days) or apply by post. This voter ID is free (as are the Translink cards). (You may/will have to pay for a passport-sized photo, and a stamp for postage.)

    What Johnson is attempting is voter suppression; but simple photo IDs are perfectly adequate here. They cannot be used for nefarious purposes by the government.

  10. If you don’t have a passport or driving license you can currently buy a photo ID for £15: that is you would have to pay for the right to exercise your right to vote.

    Given that this wretched condition is pretty certain to come into force, the government should make photo ID free and inform every citizen by letter that photo ID is a requirement for voting and how to get one.

    I am writing to my MP about this and asking her to seek the government’s assurance that photo ID will not be made a requirement until these reasonable steps have been taken.

    1. My suggestion does not deal with how this requirement should be made known to those who lack an address. This could be done on registration.

      But perhaps this whole sorry business could be struck down by the courts.

  11. I have to ask myself which is worse, “populist’ authoritarianism or “progressive” authoritarianism. There is a real cultural war going on for the soul of the country. What you dismiss as populist is in fact an alliance of the conservative- minded and the working class against the ideological assertions and priorities of the radical left, having been hi-jacked by Johnson, Cummings and other so-called conservatives to pursue their own personal ambitions and agenda. The notion of King and Country still has meaning for them. That is their identity. Everyone except them seems to be acquiring new human rights; everyone except them is a victim; personal identity and gender is a choice which must be paramount, not only accepted but praised. Their opinions are dismissed as populist ignorance.The left has simply gone to far in its efforts to undermine and destroy western liberal democracy. What we are seeing now is the result of that leftist arrogance and intimidation. No doubt the present Government is going too far- I hold no brief for Johnson and his fellow incompetents- but you reap what you sow. “A House divided against itself cannot stand”: That is in the position the UK is facing now.

    1. There is no “progressive authoritarianism”. So called “cancel culture” is a myth put about by the right wing to make the left wing look authoritarian. One statue was pulled down (and later rescued), now apparently our entire culture is under threat. It simply is not. There is no culture war, but the Tories insist it needs to be fought against.

      It never ceases to surprise and dismay me that the word “liberal” is used as a perjorative label to imply the exact opposite of what it means.

    2. As between different kinds of authoritarianism, the worst is whichever one is currently in power. (As with the choice between being shot or stabbed, the worst depends upon which weapon my assailant is currently wielding – and I’ll gladly take the risk that the other person is unarmed.)

      I can readily identify aspects of western liberal democracy that the current government appears intent on destroying.

      “Radical left” or not, the Labour party has been out of power for 11 years. Even if Labour were elected with a majority tomorrow, which aspects of western liberal democracy would be imperilled immediately, do you think? I’ll gladly take that risk, over the clear and present danger in front of me.

    3. Kevin Hall has hit the nail on the head here. There is no real cultural war going on in this country, just as electoral fraud is no real issue in this country. There is a government that is determined to trump up a cultural war in order to justify their efforts to limit freedom of speech, which is the issue being pushed in their other item in the Queen’s Speech the attempt to “protect” freedom of speech in Universities which appears to be bogged down in the facts in that it doesn’t actually enact anything which isn’t already mandated to universities, and is more likely to force Universities to give a platform to holocaust deniers than prevent young people from talking about slavery or racism.

  12. Unfortunately true. ‘Take Back Control’ and the ‘Will of the People’ are very powerful drugs when sold by Snake Oil Salesmen.

    Now it is apparent that Johnson’s Government, for this bunch are not the Tory Party as we once knew, meant taking back control of our right to vote. For this will be passed because the ‘will of the people’ says so.

    And when the ‘will of the people’ realise what they have lost it will be too late. For the mantra, ‘will of the people’ canvassed and formed by YouGov and Opinion Polls will have outlived it’s usefulness for Johnson’s Government.

  13. Not a comment, but two questions.

    Is there any limit, constitutional or legal, on what HMG can ask the monarch to say?

    For example, if the speech said Parliament was to be closed down permanently.

    And What would happen if the monarch refused to make the speech?

  14. This is exactly what Brexit was all about. And anyone who believed otherwise was very naive. Take back control, indeed. Not us, no way.

  15. You mention the idea of “taking back control” after Brexit, but that “Brexit was not about liberation, but about creating a political culture where the opposite of liberation – imposed authority…” is what’s happening.

    This imposed authority derives from sovereignty; originally the power of the monarch, now represented more nebulously by “the Queen in Parliament”. The executive are all members of Parliament whence they derive their authority and sovereignty. This is “top-down” sovereignty; civil liberties have been gained from the sovereign, but do not exist otherwise by right in the people.

    In Switzerland, the people are sovereign, and the executive may only do what the people let it do. I understand the position is similar in Germany. This is “bottom-up” sovereignty.

    I’m aware that you see no need for a “written” constitution in the UK as there are sufficient written documents etc to effectively produce one.

    But, consider this; a fully codified constitution which makes explicit that the people are sovereign and that the executive can only act with the permission of the people would prevent such “power grabs”, illiberality and “imposed authority”. I suspect that is what many who call for a codified constitution have in mind.

    What about it then?

    1. The UK government has always had the sovereignty to provide top down authority, in or out of the EU. But that is power can be tested by judicial review. Post the Brexit shambles this government seeks to seriously restrict the opportunity for courts to intervene to determine if that imposed authority is legal. That is a serious restriction on what is the only democratic recourse with our unwritten constitution. It should ve resisted. The alternative, creating a written constitution, is not practical in the short term.

  16. Shouldn’t the idea of introducing identity cards be resurrected? I’ve never understood the argument against them but if ever there was an argument for them, then this must be it. Here in Italy, as in any European country, we routinely carry them around with us. Nobody feels their liberties are being abused or eroded as a result. But in any case, any negative argument about ID cards is shot to pieces as soon as you begin to comprehend the slow but sure march towards authoritarianism now taking place in the UK.

    1. It’s not ID cards as such that are the problem. It’s the powers that would be given to the authorities to demand to see them that is controversial in the UK. The very thing Boris Johnson railed against writing in a Daily Telegraph article in 2004.

      I certainly wouldn’t view having a national ID card as a satisfactory solution to this voting issue. We don’t have significant voter fraud so why the need for ID? It’s not about that, it’s about voter suppression.

      1. “It’s the powers that would be given to the authorities to demand to see them that is controversial in the UK”

        Would you spare the time to explain what exactly you mean by this? What is it about the UK alone which makes this controversial? What exactly are these demonic powers which it’s deemed the citizens of the UK will baulk at and those of mature democratic countries across the world do not?
        No one is disputing the reason for Johnson’s wanting to change the law. But rather, if everyone is in possession of a national ID card, then voter suppression will not be an available option will it?
        Please reread my last sentence. A “satisfactory solution” to the voter issue was not being sought.

        1. It’s just how ID cards are viewed here. A sign of unwelcome authority. You would be breaking the law merely by not carrying one. Any attempt to make them mandatory in the UK is always resisted so it would be a very unpopular policy now too. The resistance to them dates back at least to WW2.

        2. Dear Maria, I hope you’ll accept my comment in response to your question as regards objections to ID cards in the UK: The last proposal for national ID cards were put forward by the Labour government, which was in power until 2010. (I am sorry, I have forgotten the exact date of the proposal – and I have also forgotten the exact details of the scheme, please accept my apologies).

          Maria, as regards that proposal, it was not the fact of the existance of ID cards, which were so objectionable, but the expectation that you’d be required to show the card in all kinds of interactions with the state, from collecting prescriptions to paying council tax (I am quoting from memory, please forgive any inexactitudes). AND – this was really the issue which raised the most heated protests – that these interactions would be logged. Ultimately there’d be one enormous, gigantic database detailing ALL your interactions with any state or government institution.

          In many other countries’ ID cards, the card itself holds some personal details and as such you would be the ‘owner’ of that data. In the last proposal, the information on the card itself would be quite minimal, the vast majority of data would be held in a government database. You as the ‘owner’ of the card would not actually be the ‘owner’ of the data, you’d have no idea of what exactly would be logged, analysed and revealed to state and government bodies.

          In summary, the objections were not against the ID card itself, but against the ID card database.

          1. Thank you Claudia! You managed what no-one else has ever to my knowledge managed to do which was to give the fine detail of the objection to ID cards. The idea of such a database is indeed troubling.

  17. For anyone too naive (or not smart enough) to spot it, the UK is a dictatorship. This was clearly brought home to me with dealing in the (civil) courts. Corrupt, lazy disinterested and incompetent judges can, and do, whatever they like, irrespective of the truth, the law or the facts, in my experience, and with no establishment remedy of any note.
    No-where more than the courts should a true recognition of the law and human rights be established and maintained. Not so in ‘Dictatorship UK’.

  18. The proposed restrictions on Judicial Review must be resisted, but JR along with normal resource to the courts, with lazy judges or otherwise is out of the question for 99.9% of the population. As I understand it Legal Aid is only available for criminal cases which carry the possibility of 12+ months of jail time or for minors in family proceedings. Parents need deep pockets.

    I’m fighting a local council with their obstructive ‘complaints policy’. They have done wrong – fact – but they simply reject the complaint and point you to the Local Government Ombudsman with all the attendant costs and time. If the LGO find against you there’s no appeal except if you appeal on a legal aspect of their decision which is by JR. Oh sure, easy-peasy! However, if the LGO finds in your favour it can recommend the council take action or compensate, but they can’t force them to do it.

    Justice? What justice?

    1. This may be the wild imaginings of a sick man (I’m sitting in a hospital bed at the moment) but would perhaps an argument be worked up that limiting JR is ultra vires for Parliament itself?

      If that were to happen it would change the relationship between the executive and Parliament (regarding the courts for a minute of an extension of Parliament) by putting the executive above scrutiny?

      I know that no Parliament can bind its successors, but some acts of Parliament are clearly irreversible such as granting independence to former colonies. In principle, giving a blank cheque to the executive would be irreversible (perhaps) and therefore an extra level of checks should apply.

      I know I’m stretching things a bit here but there is precedent from history – John Marshall’s judgment in the US Supreme Court in 1803 manufactured the concept of SCOTUS being able to strike down Acts of Congress as unconstitutional.

      Any thoughts DAG?

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