The End Of UK Democracy

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The End Of UK Democracy

Post by Sarah » Sat Dec 18 2021 10:55am

Hopefully a useful thread for anyone still not yet alarmed by the ongoing dismantling of our democracy:
With all the red lights flashing at the state of the UK’s democracy, I’ve seen it said we shouldn’t assume the next general election will even happen. The issue, though, isn’t whether an election will happen (it will). It’s whether it will be free and fair (it won’t).
Extract:
The UK isn't about to become a totalitarian state. But it’s well on the way to becoming a sham democracy. And elections are essential to a sham democracy. They allow it to claim international legitimacy. And they reassure a sleeping public that they still have their freedom.

But scratch below the surface and things are bleak. Voter suppression. A neutered electoral commission to be brought under government control. Public money withheld from constituencies that don’t vote Tory. Personal data used to target susceptible voters with blatant lies.

And yet many people seem to believe that the mere holding of an election or referendum is all that matters. That those things alone constitute democracy. The very word “democracy” has been weaponised.
Please read on...

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1471 ... 90053.html
https://twitter.com/rfhaviland/status/1 ... 90053?s=20
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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by pakefield » Sat Dec 18 2021 11:55am

How democratic has it ever been?
30 to 40% of the electorate vote for the Govt.
A manifesto parts of which those who voted for it like and parts they do not and most they have no idea is in it
But the Govt, of the day say we have been told by the public that is what they want.

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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by macliam » Sat Dec 18 2021 1:24pm

As a foreign citizen with many decades in the UK, I am loathe to cast stomes - but I understand the coincerns people have (if they think at all.....)

The problem with the FPTP system exascerbates the problem of the UKs internal ntions, the country/city divide, the north-south divide and every other divide that exists. PR would be better, but then the choice is, which type of PR (and the one offered in the referendum was perhaps the wost choice!). Having seen 3 different systems in action, that used in Ireland, that used in Portugal and that used in the EU elections (remember them?), I think the Irish way of doing things would be better in the UK context. That's because it was designed to keep local representation whilst counting each vote, tather than the pure party-vote system or the huge constituencies.

Next, the unelected (and unselected) second chamber is problematical (although definitely better than nothing). I am a fan of the bi-cameral system of checks and balances, but not of too many elections - and again, the Irish Senate kept the powers and principles of the HoL, whilst being more representative. It is not elected directly, but has a complex way to assign senators representing different aspects of life - so not all are politicians.

Next, the whole "unwritten constitution" setup is an issue...... because there is never a black and white answer to any "constitutional" issues - and it allows enough leeway for some shady bargaining between the politicos.

Lastly, the retention of "crown prerogatives" by Government ministers is entirely undemocratic.... for example the stranglehold the secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland has over constitutional issues in that statelet.

But hey, it all worked for Oliver Cromwell, so why should we change anything?
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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by macliam » Sun Dec 19 2021 2:28pm

Is Nadine Dories exclusion from the Tory MPs WhatsApp group an example of cancel culture?
Image

Is it a positive sign that there is no support for pro-Boris rhetoric or (more likely) that the right-wing are circling the wagons prior to a coup?

The fact that the "canceller" is Steve Baker certainly seems to suggest that the right-wing are seeing this as there chance to rid themselves of Boris and get back on track to returning the UK to the eighteenth century..... :roll:
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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by Sarah » Wed Jan 12 2022 1:35pm

The New York Times is alert to the UK direction of travel, in this new article:
It’s a truism that nations sleepwalk into tyranny, and England — the most politically powerful of the nations that make up Britain — is no exception. For decades it has possessed all the necessary ingredients: ever more spiteful nationalism, press fealty sold to the highest bidder and a fervent, misplaced belief that authoritarianism could never set up shop here, because we simply wouldn’t let it.

In this event, though, concerted opposition to Mr. Johnson’s plans has not materialized. Establishment politics have been no match for the determination of Mr. Johnson and his allies: A hefty and largely supportive Conservative majority means that even when the Labour Party has decided to oppose legislation, its votes have barely counted. And despite valiant efforts by a coalition of grass-roots groups and the initial groundswell of the “Kill the Bill” protests, a mass movement opposing these bills has failed to come together. Instead, a miasma of grim inevitability has settled in.

That’s dangerous, not least because this authoritarian assault is so comprehensive that once settled as law, it will prove very tricky to unpick. Like many leaders who seek to transcend the constraints of democracy, Mr. Johnson may not foresee a future where he isn’t the one calling the shots. But the miserable shadow his power grab will cast over Britain is likely to last far longer than the tenure of the would-be “world king” himself.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/10/opin ... bills.html
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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by Richard Frost » Wed Jan 12 2022 1:48pm

Despite his growing popularity Kier Starmer will have an uphill struggle to lead Labour to a victory. The population mood has changed. With the loss of our industrial past many people aspire to different aspirations and are leaving their roots. Whilst being proud of their heritage they see themselves as very different from their past. The growing popularity so far is on the back of Boris Johnsons abysmal performance not on the popularity of Labours policies. Keir has a lot to do still if he is going to win the next election and Labour become the leading party.

If the rumours are true that Corbyn is to create his own party it will depend whether it is local in order for him to keep his seat or national as to whether it affects Labours chances. But Corbyn is a force to be reckoned with and should not be underestimated.

Something I find strange and hard to understand, is when people go to extremes IE: Vote Labour for one election and then parties Like Reform at another. How do peoples opinions change so radically?
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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by macliam » Wed Jan 12 2022 4:29pm

Sarah wrote:
Wed Jan 12 2022 1:35pm
The New York Times is alert to the UK direction of travel, in this new article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/10/opin ... bills.html
That's a very eloquent crystallization of my own thoughts, the power of England within the UK, the belief that it can do no wrong, the power of the press and the "establishment" and the sleepwalking..... All true - and noted by someone "outside the bubble".

Hopefully the reign of the would-be "world king" will soon be over and his cadre of imcompetents can follow him into oblivion. The idea that ANYONE who gives fealty to Johnson deserves consideration as a future PM seems to be an indicator of the deep doo-doos in which the party finds itself - but they allowed the old "one nation" Tories to be excluded and stifled and sided with the current idiot. If there was any justice, the Tory party would slide down the snake and have no chance in the next elections - but I doubt that will happen. Unfortunately.
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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by blythburgh » Wed Jan 12 2022 5:32pm

Richard Frost wrote:
Wed Jan 12 2022 1:48pm
Despite his growing popularity Kier Starmer will have an uphill struggle to lead Labour to a victory. The population mood has changed. With the loss of our industrial past many people aspire to different aspirations and are leaving their roots. Whilst being proud of their heritage they see themselves as very different from their past. The growing popularity so far is on the back of Boris Johnsons abysmal performance not on the popularity of Labours policies. Keir has a lot to do still if he is going to win the next election and Labour become the leading party.

If the rumours are true that Corbyn is to create his own party it will depend whether it is local in order for him to keep his seat or national as to whether it affects Labours chances. But Corbyn is a force to be reckoned with and should not be underestimated.

Something I find strange and hard to understand, is when people go to extremes IE: Vote Labour for one election and then parties Like Reform at another. How do peoples opinions change so radically?
Tell me about it. A friend was a life long Labour man, even worked professionally as an Agent but did not like the MP he worked for and ended up quitting. Back home to Cambridgeshire only to quit the party and become a member of the Liberals. Moved here and quit the Liberals and rejoined Labour. Quit Labour and joined the SDP and eventually becoming a LibDem member. Left (again) and came very close to joining The Green Party but as they were not active in the town he did not. Then almost joined the Labour Party (again). Votes swung between Labour and Greens in more recent elections until his death in 2019
Keep smiling because the light at the end of someone's tunnel may be you, Ron Cheneler

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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by macliam » Wed Jan 12 2022 7:32pm

Richard Frost wrote:
Wed Jan 12 2022 1:48pm
Despite his growing popularity Kier Starmer will have an uphill struggle to lead Labour to a victory. The population mood has changed. With the loss of our industrial past many people aspire to different aspirations and are leaving their roots. Whilst being proud of their heritage they see themselves as very different from their past. The growing popularity so far is on the back of Boris Johnsons abysmal performance not on the popularity of Labours policies. Keir has a lot to do still if he is going to win the next election and Labour become the leading party.

If the rumours are true that Corbyn is to create his own party it will depend whether it is local in order for him to keep his seat or national as to whether it affects Labours chances. But Corbyn is a force to be reckoned with and should not be underestimated.

Something I find strange and hard to understand, is when people go to extremes IE: Vote Labour for one election and then parties Like Reform at another. How do peoples opinions change so radically?
The Tory party have done a good job of making Labour look unelectable - and were fortunate that events helped them erase a centre-left Labour party as a possible choice. The Liberal party imploded due to their desperate grab for power in the coalition - and people have not forgotten that they seemed to be a rubber-stamp for Tory policies during that time - or that they betrayed their own voters. Labour has managed to beat itself up too, as if the Tories needed help, with the old left/right wars fuelled by self-loathing for the New Labour years (despite the many positives) and a swing to the left that saw the "broad church" dragged further to the left by the influx of radical socialists that Labour had fought to exclude for decades.

Labour has lost its self-belief and the realization that to actually get anything done you have to appeal to the electorate, not just the membership. Starmer seems capable, if uncharismatic, but his opponents within the party need little help from the UK press to shackle him - and the overriding fear of controversy has Labour on the back foot. They are so scared of upsetting anyone that they manage to please no-one. From my perspective, even if a cetre-left Labour are characterised as Tory-lite, it is the direction of travel that counts - and there were more progressive policies during the last period of Labour government than there have been since. The issue with Corbyn was that he has spent his entire political life as an outlier and found himself surrounded by others who were also not only out of sync witn "New Labour", but also with previous Labour governments. Regardless in the "growth in membership", Corbyn did not see a growth in popularity amongst the electorate (for many reasons). So I don't actually see a Corbyn-led alternate to Labour as being a threat, other than further fracturing the anti-Tory vote.

As for the electorate..... they seem more interested in social media than politics. The last decades have seen a rise in a self-centred, selfish public, whho are happy to lose a bit of real freedom in order to have an easy life (as Facebook know well) and who don't have the attention span to hold any government to account over its 5-year lifespan, let alone over longer. This is where the establishment have been really successful - they have defused the spirit of rebellion that scared them sh*tless at the end of the C20th, they have replaced social justice with the environment as the cause for concern and bred a generation of voters who both believe the lies they are told and don't believe the truth at the same time. They have convinced them that they are the clever ones and anyone who disagrees is wrong - and more, they are to be abused, othered and attacked at any and every opportunity. That's where we are, lucky us.

The one fact to keep in mind is that the rich just keep getting richer, so their strategy is working, isn't it!
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Re: The End Of UK Democracy

Post by macliam » Fri Jan 14 2022 11:35am

Whilst there is so much attention of the obvious lack of candour in Johnson's statements about the various parties at Westminster, it's worth remembering that this is only the latest occurrence of serious failures in his behaviour. in addition to "Partygate", there are

"Wallpapergate", which keeps raising its head, despite Johnson "failing to disclose" pertinent information to the enquiry - Lord Geidt, the ministerial standards adviser, reported that Johnson had told him he knew nothing about who made payments towards the renovation of his Downing Street flat, yet the Electoral Commission fined the Tory party for a donation from Lord Brownlow arising from a direct request from Johnson “asking him to authorise further, at that stage unspecified, refurbishment works on the residence”.nlow was himself “the underlying donor”.

Brexit lies - Johnson specifically put to his name to claim that “we send the European Union £350m a week” and the money could be used to “fund our NHS instead”. despite the fact that the UK Statistics Authority said that this was a “misleading” gross figure. He has never retracted this untruth.

Misleading the Queen - in 2019, the supreme court ultimately ruled that the prorogation of parliament was unlawful and Johnson was accused of lying to the Queen over the advice he gave her on suspending parliament for five weeks.

Hillsborough disaster - Johnson published an article in 2004 as editor of the Spectator in which he blamed Liverpool fans for the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.... there being "no excuse for Liverpool’s failure to acknowledge, even to this day, the part played in the disaster by drunken fans at the back of the crowd who mindlessly tried to fight their way into the ground that Saturday afternoon.” The Hillsborough inquest jury disagreed.

Extramarital affairs - in 2004 Johnson was fired by Michael Howard from positions as shadow arts minister and party vice-chairman for lying about his extramarital affair with the Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt. This is without commenting on his serial infidelity and loose personal morals. Johnson dismissed claims of his affair as an “inverted pyramid of piffle”.

Journalistic Lies - In the late 1980s, Johnson was sacked by the Times newspaper over a front-page article about the discovery of Edward II’s Rose Palace, in which Johnson allegedly invented a quote from his godfather, the historian Sir Colin Lucas. He did not apologise for this lie, saying “The trouble was that somewhere in my copy I managed to attribute to Colin the view that Edward II and Piers Gaveston would have been cavorting together in the Rose Palace.” Historians confirmed that Gaveston had actually been killed many years before the palace was built.

New hospitals - In the 2019 election campaign, Johnson made a pledge to build 40 hospitals by 2030, but Ministers have since revealed that the bulk of the projects involve rebuilding or consolidation, and that only four have been started. NHS Providers said the real cost of building 40 new hospitals would be c£20bn, making a mockery of the £3.7bn supposedt earmarked.

All this is without his lack of action against colleagues, like Priti Patel, found culpable of serious misdeeds or his attempts to bypass Parliamentary scrutiny and oversight by any and all methods available - plus, of course, the "Guppygate" affair in 1990, where Johnson was secretly recorded agreeing to provide the address of the News of the World reporter Stuart Collier to his old friend Darius Guppy, who wanted to arrange for the journalist to be beaten up as revenge for investigating his activities.

Truly this is a man fit to be leader.......
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