What do the new abortion laws in Northern Ireland, the new mental health sectioning laws, the new local authority disability benefit rules and the £10,000 fine given to Piers Corbyn have in common? Not a lot one would think, but of course they do – they were all passed under new Corona virus legislation without Parliament ever voting on any of them.
The Corona Virus Act is the most far reaching and draconian legislation ever introduced in this country. Steve Baker MP, a leading Brexiteer, is reported to have cried as he read each page but he still went on to ‘ reluctantly support the bill but said that it was ushering in a “dystopian society” and urged the government not to allow the measures to continue “one moment longer” than necessary.’ (Wiki).
Without a vote, with almost no one noticing, practically no debate and without any protest, the majority of MP’s in the House of Commons and all the Lords lost their ability to scrutinise, debate and vote on much new legislation. Government ministers can now bring in legislation under the Corona Virus Act, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the virus – can in theory, stay in force forever even though it was never voted on. A glaring example is the restriction, without any debate in Parliament, on more than gatherings of six people.
Before the Corona Virus act, two doctors one of whom had to be a qualified psychiatrist and a social worker were required to section anyone. Now just a single doctor (how about a Harley Street cosmetic surgeon ?) can send you to a mental hospital for ever. Perhaps when the police have finished pursuing Piers Corbyn around the country to rough him up and arrest him every time he appears in public, or violently arresting the veteran who had the nerve to protest against illegal immigration in Dover, they can find a ‘friendly’ doctor to say that they are both mad. How convenient for the government.
This tome of a document, some 370 pages of dense text, changes how we are ruled. We have not only lost our liberty but also a great part of our democracy. Whilst it remains in force, we cannot vote – and those we previously voted to be our representatives, however bad, themselves cannot vote. General elections, by-elections and local elections are all cancelled. Even during the height of world wars one and two, local elections were still held and we had general elections whilst we were still fighting Japan and during the height of the Spanish flu epidemic when 228,000 people died, the equivalent of over 400,000 people today.
What is worse is that it is almost certain that this draconian document had been planned well in advance. It is impossible that such a large legal text could have been written and agreed upon between 13th March when Boris went into a panic and the 24th March when it was rolled out. In that sense, if in no others, Piers Corbyn is right in that the Corona virus is an excuse for a major undemocratic power grab by governments across the world.
One prominent lawyer compared it to legislation produced in the Weimar: ‘Most of what Hitler did was legal – the only area he had more powers was over the death penalty but Germany already had a legalised the death penalty’
We assume that we have an adversarial system with Labour and Conservatives fighting each other, but we would be wrong to think this. What we now have – with the agreement of both parties with almost no murmur of dissent – is government against the people.
Sadly we see this coming through everyday in violent, rough and political policing – anyone who is seen to be the organiser or a leader of a protest or just a member of the awkward squad gets dragged to the ground, roughed up and bundled into a police car.
Where are those politicians who believe in freedom and democracy? Are you going to support your brother, Jeremy Corbyn? What about Steve Baker, Andrea Jenkins, John Redwood, Mark Francois and many others who said freedom was important. Where are all 650 MPs and every member of the House of Lords?
Eight hundred and five years after Magna Carta are we going to let democracy just fade away?