Judicial review reviewed

Yesterday a regular commenter on my YouTube channel pointed out that the government had agreed to abide by the ECHR and the Human Rights Act as part of the Brexit deal. This is true but, as a 5 minute google search showed, not without its caveats. Hardly surprising given the frequency with which this government of chancers breaks its international agreements. This country is already in breach, generally as a result of government policy of nearly every one of the 14 convention rights and there are plans to renege upon even more as I speak.

This morning’s article from the BBC news website, underlines the point beautifully…

This is a little nuanced and it will take a bit of explaining but there is a loophole which the government is relying upon to sidestep the convention. The conditions that apply to allow this are…

Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights allows countries to derogate (effectively put to one side) other articles of the convention in times of emergency. This was accepted into the UK legal system by the judicial chamber of the House of Lords in 1966. The conditions that allow this are very limited. They are…

  • in time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation;
  • only to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation;
  • any derogations may not be inconsistent with the State’s other obligations underinternational law;

In reforming the Human Rights Act, the British legislation mirroring the ECHR, the government is relying upon article 15 (the right to derogate) to create laws that are incompatible with European human rights. Since the British courts are bound to apply British law all they can do is issue a ‘Declaration of incompatibility’ and give leave to appeal to a higher court. Of course, the only court able to issue a contrary ruling would be the European court in Strasbourg and the route there was long and arduous even before Brexit.

As the BBC article points out…

“The government is pressing ahead with plans to limit how the public can legally challenge official decisions, despite fears it will damage justice.”

This attack on judicial review of government decisions, together with Boris’ enabling act which I described in an earlier video – click the little icon above to watch that one – takes us another step forward in our country’s relentless march toward dictatorship.

To quote again from the BBC article…

Critics call it an attempt to stop scrutiny of bad decisions.

“Judicial review most famously led to the Supreme Court’s judgement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson unlawfully closed down Parliament ahead of Brexit.

Any decision taken by a public body can be challenged in a judicial review before a High Court judge – and the power is used daily to examine whether officials are following the laws set by Parliament governing their work.

Recent examples include a challenge to exam grades being set by algorithms in England – the threat of which contributed to a government U-turn – and the blocking of the release of the so-called “black-cab rapist” John Worboys.”

They’re even providing a way to give wrongdoers a free pass, even when found guilty of existing law, potentially preventing anyone who has been wronged by the government from achieving appropriate legal remedy. This breaches articles 6, 7 and 13 of the ECHR as well as opening the door to breaches of every other part of the Convention in the process.

The result of all this, for the first time in living memory will be a government that is beyond scrutiny, that cannot meaningfully be challenged in court and that has already given itself the power to enact new legislation without reference to parliament or anyone else.

On one occasion they did this at 15 minutes to midnight the day before a new offence came into force, leaving no time for anyone to become familiar with their obligations before committing a brand new crime. This was the law, issued in September 2020, that limited drinkers to groups of 6 but allowed fox-hunters (itself ostensibly illegal in most circumstances) and grouse-shooters to meet in whatever size group they wished. Pub-goers and restaurant patrons faced £100 fines and a criminal record without notice the very next day.

Stephanie Boyce is president of the law society. Her judgement on the new legislation was…

“There is a great deal here that should ring alarm bells for people who come up against the might of the state”

Once again the Johnson regime is dragging our long-standing, traditional and internationally respected democracy over the coals and the outcome will not be pretty.

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 3 of 4

Now all of these rights are at risk – which of them do you want to lose? Which do you want other people to lose?

Would you like suspected foreign criminals to be deported without conviction in court?

Would you like to go to prison for crimes you were merely suspected of without being found guilty?

If your answers to those questions are different you’re falling for the propaganda.

Home secretary Priti Patel even stands by a system of immigration that would have excluded her own parents who were kicked out of Uganda during Idi Amin’s purges and fled here for their own safety.

She’s also presiding over the mass deportation of EU and other immigrants, many of whom have lived their entire lives, or close to their entire lives here in the UK.

Those granted leave to remain will be forced to do so under new regulations effectively making them second class citizens in the land they have always called home. Swap the word Jew for Muslim and it’s a move that could have been taken straight from Adolf Hitler’s 25 point plan.

Never be ashamed by ‘Anonymous’

This article was sent by a friend who remains anonymous. I’m happy to publish it here. For comment purposes, please feel free to attribute it to me if it’s important to you to have someone to hold responsible for the opinions therein.

NEVER BE ASHAMED.

Isn’t it funny that the words spoken by the Tory press or far right groups to be derogatory towards the Labour Party, or for the people who care, are things like Liberal left , Socialist, hard unions, champagne socialists, snowflakes or Woke, activists or liberal elites? I see them as virtues.

Elite’ used to indicate being accomplished. I see them all as virtues, but for so many they’re now seen as insults.

However if the far right March through a town, it’s the liberal leftists and woke’s of this country that turn up to drive them out.

When a minority group are having their rights taken away, it’s the liberal leftists of this world who stand up for them.

When workers are being mistreated by companies, it’s individual liberal elites and unions who stand and defend them.

When institutions are being attacked and stripped of manpower ( Prisons, Police, NHS, Schools Industries ) its liberal left and unions within that stand up for the fabric of our society.

When the right wing attack the poor or less fortunate with lies, and misinformation it’s the left wing liberal minded people who stand up and call it out.

When greed and hate , and racism is someone’s politics it’s labour who stand up against them.

I am happy to be called a woke, socialist and centre of politics, but that’s me. We may not be perfect for sure, but I believe it’s is far better than those who hate with their gammon red faces, We fight injustice rather than peddle hate and anger at everyone and everything!

They don’t believe in contributing anything towards the greater good in society. But yet, they are happy take paid holidays, workers rights , maternity leave, justice and human rights, NHS and pay rises etc. The very thing that the snowflake Unions and Lefty Labour Party fought for and gave them.

Never be ashamed to fight or care about people or community, you are better than those who are filled with hate.

We are Labour!

Why Laurence Fox is wrong about white privilege

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ‘woke’ in the sense that Mr. Fox would describe it. I’m not about to claim that everyone I disagree with is a racist. Nor would I ever claim that anyone who doesn’t advocate illegal violence or discrimination should be ‘de-platformed’. I really do believe in freedom of speech as anyone who has watched my videos on the subject will know. But that doesn’t mean I agree with Laurence.

I don’t think he’s racist though. I think he’s in exactly the same place I was in myself once upon a time. I’ve never been racist either but for a long time I, like Mr. Fox, believed that white privilege was a myth, a cheap ‘tit for tat’ jibe intended to silence white people, especially white men in the worst kind of passive-aggressive, ad hominem argument.

But now I have a different view…

Far right bingo card: Might is right

Might is right

The fash don’t often say this so blatantly but it’s very clearly what they mean when they offer violence to get their political way. When they talk about what they want to do to those who oppose them they clearly are drawing upon the mindset that tells them their entitlement comes from their physical strength. When gangs of swastika clad thugs terrorize the streets of UK, Europe and America they’re not inviting people to discuss policies, they’re threatening to crush all opposition.

And they have the cheek to call themselves democratic. It’s always worth pointing that out.

The usual retort is that lefties won’t talk to them. They’ll witter on about freedom of speech which is covered later in the series. A fun response is often to explain that you’re willing to talk it through with them right now… and then see if they can.

The sad fact is that most of them don’t understand the first thing about the ideology they espouse, the development of fascism and neoNazism or the manipulation of information that brought them to accept the current lies of the far right. You won’t win any contests here because the fash will almost certainly just insult you and move on but you will have demonstrated to them just how ill-equipped they are to defend their views and that’s a good start.

For those that suggest that might really is right ask them what they think about Stalin using the mighty soviet machine to kill millions of his own citizens. Then ask what they think of Hitler doing the same to millions of his own, German citizens. They’ll claim that Hitler’s targets weren’t ‘his own’ people which gives you two responses…

  1. Why does that matter?
  2. Did the socialists, trade unionists, Jews and disabled people he persecuted before the war began not have German citizenship, then?

Once again, the aim is to get them to understand that there are holes in their arguments. Many fash won’t have looked into their ideology enough to see those holes in the first place and exposing them to that fact may be the beginning of their road away from hatred.

Far right bingo card: Our jobs, benefits and women

They’re taking our jobs/benefits/women

Jobs

Okay, let’s begin with a few home truths, shall we?

First of all, they’re not ‘your’ jobs. It’s a global market. If Bexit has taught anything at all over the last few years it’s that. People with the appropriate skills come to this country, just as everyone in the land has wanted (especially the 52%). So unless you’re a trained doctor you really can’t complain that ‘your’ job is being done by that well-respected and highly trained man or woman from another country. It’s not your job, it’s the employer’s job and the employer gives it to the candidate best suited for the aims of the business or organisation.

It may be that this decision is made cynically to save money by paying below minimum standards but if that’s the case then the way to combat it is to join together with the immigrants in a trade union and press for fairness and parity. You won’t solve the problem by turning against your exploited brothers and sisters. They’re not the ones paying low wages – they’re just people, like you trying to make ends meet.

Benefits

Benefits, eh? I thought it was jobs. That does seem a tad contradictory, especially since most immigrants actually contribute more to the government coffers than they take out. The majority come here to build a better life. Many were gainfully employed until the bombs we sold fell from the sky on to their homes and workplaces. That’s what drove them away – British made weaponry. Weaponry we profited from and continue to profit from.

So no – most immigrants into UK, be they refugee or not, come here to build a better life for themselves by working hard to earn enough to fulfil their responsibilities to their families either here or abroad. Funnily enough it’s what many British emmigrants do only we don’t call them immigrants – we call them ex-pats and nobody seems to complain about them taking jobs or benefits in the Costa del sol. It’s interesting to note just how many Brits have chosen to retire in Spain, Italy or Southern France where they contribute nothing to the local economy but take full advantage of the local healthcare facilities. That’s also part of the global outlook this country appears to be adopting, or do you think that should just be one-way?

Women

What do you mean, ‘Our women’?

When did you gain the right to dictate to women of any race, creed or colour who they should fall in love with? Since when do British women need to gain your consent to have the right to have children?

Get over yourself, you misogynistic piece of shit!

Are we sleeping still?

I’ve always known that the tories were bad for ordinary people. I learned that as a school leaver in Thatcher’s Britain and I’ve seen nothing since to make me change my mind. But this current government is something else entirely.

Boris “Manchild” Johnson

No previous government has attacked our democracy so viciously. They’ve all used the press to manipulate the electorate and most tory governments have tried to gain unfair advantage by tampering with constituency boundaries but that’s nothing compared to this lot.

They lied about an ‘oven ready’ Brexit to gain power.

They used their majority to disempower parliament – whatever Boris say, goes because tory MPs voted to disempower Parliament itself.

They appointed an attorney-general who’s hostile to judicial review and they’re all set to disempower the courts too (in revenge for the Supreme court insisting that Boris acted legally).

They’ve used the Covid19 Pandemic as an opportunity to kill off pensioners, disabled people and poor people (those who cost most in benefits and medical/social care) whilst giving untold amounts of public money to tory donors and tory MP’s relatives to develop PPE, Track and trace or other Covid-related stuff they’ve no experience of providing.. In one case they paid out tens of thousands of pounds to a company that didn’t even exist yet. It’s little wonder we have such a high death rate – we’re supposed to have.

And then there’s Brexit. We now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that any deal that doesn’t involve us remaining in the customs union will result in delays, gridlock, shortages and massively rising inflation. Just the sort of thing that Boris’ hedge-fund-managing investors want. They know all too well how to make a profit from a failing economy and a starving, desperate population.

This corrupt government keeps promising to protect the NHS but refuses to make that protection legal.

They claim to support workers’ rights but have taken working peoples’ protections out of the legally binding part of the withdrawal agreement and into the ‘aspiration’ section which is not binding.

They claim to support law and order but have clearly broken many laws both domestically and on the international stage as well.

The way these neoliberal autocrats are treating the union which seems fit to break apart any moment now seems little short of treasonous betrayal of our new dictator’s alleged ‘one nation’ ideal. Playing with fire in Northern Ireland, dragging the Scots out of Europe against their will and generally dismissing the Welsh as though they’re nothing more than children to be ordered around seems bound to backfire in time.

And all the time we’re forced to watch and wait as our people die of preventable illness, our economy is devastated by the international tariff blockades our own government created, as our people become ever more divided and our prospects ever less bright.

If ever there was a time for the British people to wake up and take note, this is it.

The Francophile republic of Kent

Welcome to the peoples’ democratic, Francophile republic of Kent. Separated from the rest of UK by a 380 mile border, Kent and its coastline will soon be annexed by France, rejoin THE EU and the customs union and make its GDP primarily from lorry parking fees.

I’m English and no traitor?

I love the England I was born into. I’ve lived here all my life and lived and/or worked in every county in England and Scotland. I know my country and its people well.

And I’m sick and tired of people who want to destroy this great culture claiming that I’m the traitor.

Dismantling democracy

Boris Johnson’s conservative government was elected on a manifesto which included fair warning that they intended to ‘overhaul’ our parliamentary processes and dismantle the checks and balances that have maintained the balance between Parliament, Government and the judiciary for generations. The motivation seems to have been the fact that the courts prevented Boris (and his predecessor, Teresa May) from introducing illegal or unacceptably sectarian measures. MPs exercised their democratic right to scrutinise and ratify (or not) Parliamentary bills that would have been profitable for a few wealthy tories but disastrous for the majority of citizens. This is why Boris Johnston wants to remove legal scrutiny from his machinations.

It’s unfortunate that so many Brits either didn’t bother to read the manifesto or brushed over that page without really noticing just what it meant. Here I’ll link to various posts outlining just how they’re going about that process and why it’s such a problem for anyone interested in fair and democratic representation of the people. But first let’s hear what two parliamentary candidates had to say about the issue at my local hustings. The labour candidate, Sue Hayman counselled caution and spoke of the importance of scrutiny whereas the conservative candidate, Mark Jenkinson clearly had a different view.

Boris Johnston wants to assume power like a dictator and simply do whatever he wants without reference to parliament or law and without having to listen to anyone who may have cause for concern. And Tory MPs apparently want to help him do it. That’s not democracy.

There’s good reason why we have those checks and balances. They prevent a plethora of evils from police states to human rights abuses. They’re not just minor inconveniences to be swept aside by egotistical overgrown children like Johnson. These are our protections and the consequences if we allow this government to tear them down will be dire.

Within a single month of taking their seats in the House of Commons, every single conservative MP voted to remove their own right to scrutinise Brexit legislation. At a stroke they disempowered parliament and in doing so guaranteed that Boris Johnston won’t need to listen to MPs or the electorate in forcing through Brexit – even under the worst of terms.

That’s not all. This unscrupulous regime is attempting to influence culture itself. They’re interfering in academic appointments and attempting to politicise every aspect of British life. From schools to museums, the message is the same. And the historical implications of that are genuinely terrifying.

Then came Covid19 and yet another excuse to disempower parliament. Boris wasted no time in deploying his majority to ban parliament from scrutinising or commenting upon laws he chose to pass in relation to the pandemic – a topic with an alarmingly wide reach as we shall see. The combination of powers relating to Coronavirus and to Brexit make Johnston dictator in all but name. The government even ignored its own scientific advisory group, SAGE, choosing instead to scapegoat the expert panelists under the distorting auspices of Dominic Cummings, eugenicist and far right sectarian who seems to be pulling Johnston’s strings like some Machiavellian puppet master straight out of renaissance Italy.

It may be that Cummings’ divisive views were the impetus behind the obvious racism inherent in the domestic abuse bill recently passed by this disgraceful tory government.

As if that’s not bad enough. The tories have also voted to remove any and all protections from our NHS. They have completely ignored their oft-repeated manifesto promise to protect the National Health Service from foreign (in particular American) private health investors. This government has quite literally paved the way for the health needs of British citizens to be sold down the river, sacrificed at the altar of corporate profit and private greed. This is not democracy!

The British people did not vote for this.

In truth, our democracy has been so damaged in just a few short months that it’s genuinely reasonable to compare UK with a banana republic, a totalitarian state in which dissent is ignored, privacy is a thing of the past, laws threaten the peoples’ right to scrutinise the powers that be and where the majority become poorer whilst the elite cabal increase their own wealth exponentially.

And if you have a Tory MP… you’re not even allowed to ask them a question!

Mark Jenkinson MP represents the people of Workington by ignoring their opinions, insulting them when they raise questions and disempowering himself, their only voice in parliament.

List of links used in chronological order…

https://lefteyeview.com/2019/12/12/workington-hustings-parliament-the-executive-and-judicial-review/

https://lefteyeview.com/2019/12/23/449/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/01/20/the-price-of-liberty/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/01/22/tories-vote-to-disempower-parliament/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/02/08/wot-still-nor-russian-report/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/02/19/conservative-constitutional-con-continues/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/03/01/further-fun-from-the-downing-st-fash/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/04/27/email-to-my-mp-about-sages-scientific-integrity/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/05/29/the-slow-death-of-british-democracy/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/06/09/dominic-cummings-the-plot-thickens/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/07/07/tories-sabotage-their-own-manifesto-promise/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/07/27/are-tory-mps-not-ashamed/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/08/03/nhs-privatisation-by-stealth/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/08/09/uk-compared-with-a-banana-republic/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/08/11/the-government-is-spying-on-you/

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/08/23/my-mp-doesnt-care-for-democracy/