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.
Quite the Queen's Speech
Making it possible for the Prime minister to control when a general election takes place, making it harder for people to vote, making it harder to challenge government decisions, and making it harder for anyone to protest about any of this
— davidallengreen (@davidallengreen) May 11, 2021
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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