Patel’s press muzzle is far from pretty

The government plan is to amend the official secrets act to criminalise any reporter who effectively embarrasses the government. It means that anyone who publishes stuff like Hancock’s extra-marital kiss could face up to 14 years in prison.

“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

(George Orwell)

The reach of the act will cover anyone from journalists to bloggers, to keyboard warriors on Facebook and you don’t even need to have signed the act to be liable. But it gets worse. Click the video link below to watch a 6 minute video explanation of this appalling new proposal…

Patel’s plan to oppose free speech is straight out of Hitler’s 25 point plan

“A free press is one of the pillars of democracy”

(Nelson Mandela)

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 4

If you’re still unconvinced of Boris Johnson’s gradual Nazification of Britain then this final part of the film provides evidence not only of the parallels with Hitler but the way that the Johnson government continues to attack our rights and freedoms. Johnson is a dictator in the making and the nature of that dictatorship is far from benign.

But there is hope. Watch to the end to hear what we can do to change this terrifying trajectory. The Tory party knows nothing of loyalty to leaders once they are seen by the public for what they really are. We can use the Tory party’s own inherent callousness to overthrow this regime before it’s too late.

The government that follows will still be tory but at least it won’t be Nazi. That might not be a perfect solution but it beats what the current government has in store for us.

UK’s murderous response to Covid

Months ago I warned about the government’s eugenicist agenda. It was all the way back in early May when the whole, sordid story became clear. The British government didn’t cause Covid but it has certainly been very opportunistic about getting rid of the country’s ‘useless eaters’.

Have a look at my post and video from 6 months ago and compare it with developments since..

https://lefteyeview.com/2020/05/04/sage-ignoring-the-science/

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/

The government is spying on you

Back in early June I told you about Faculty AI, the firm run by Dominic Cummings’ mates and the inexplicably large contracts this relatively small company has received. I told you about their role in the vote leave campaign and their links to dodgy tech companies such as Palatine who ride roughshod over the privacy and civil liberties of internet users.

Today The Guardian published more information about one of those contracts. Actually the same one I spoke about in June. The doomed track and trace app that never worked but that we paid Faculty AI £400,000 for anyway.

What it did achieve, as well as making money for its government minister shareholder, Theodore Agnew was to track conversations on social media. Nowt to do with track and trace but lots to do with a cynical government spying upon its citizens conversations. This part of the contract was redacted when the news first broke which is why I didn’t tell you about it 2 months ago. But now, following legal pressure and questions asked in the House of Lords, an unredacted version was published. This unredacted version reveals what Faculty was really up to on behalf of the British government.

To put this into a context it’s worth remembering that Faculty AI is run by people who were involved in the vote leave campaign’s use of Cambridge Analytica to spy on citizens’ internet messaging and send targeted misinformation to select groups of social media users. The company director’s brother also worked with Cummings on the tory party election campaign in 2019 – of course there’s no reason to assume there was any wrongdoing or sneakiness there.       

Boris’ diehard supporters will, of course point out that governments have monitored citizens for years and they’d be right. Governments often use covert surveillance to monitor those suspected of serious crime – following court judgements giving them permission to do so because the case for public safety outweighs the case for personal privacy.        

There’s no way that public safety can reasonably be used to justify covert surveillance of the British population to provide political advantage to the most corrupt government this country has seen since the 19th century.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

UK compared with a banana republic

Imagine you had the chance to fix a corrupt regime in a banana republic somewhere in the developing world. How might you go about it? Would you use a Western democracy like the UK as a template?

Dear constituents

Two friends of mine received the exact same letter defending Dominic Cummings little lockdown jaunt from our Tory MP, Mark Jenkinson. That’s no big deal. The amount of complaints probably meant a job lot from the printer made sense.

What’s concerning, contemptuous, even is the way that the letter appears to have been written by two different people. It’s almost as though it was forwarded to constituency MPs from Tory HQ with the instruction to add a little personal information to make it look good.
Here we unpick that letter line by line. It’s not pretty, I’m afraid.

The slow death of British democracy

Let me tell you a story. You might not like this story. Some of you might even want to hurt me for telling it. but it’s a true story none the less. It’s a story about sovereignty, about democracy and about Boris Johnson’s shameful attempts to destroy both.

Social media & politics

What do you think? Is it justifiable for my MP to refuse to engage on social media with people who challenge him whilst consistently talking politics with those who do? Is it OK to claim that social media is not always an appropriate forum for talking politics when in fact the only differentiation he seems to make is whether or not engagement will make him look good? Is this the approach of a genuinely democratic representative or of a self-serving egotist?

What’s your opinion? Let me know in the comments.

One rule for one…

It’s one rule for one and another for another – or so it seems.

The whole country is in lockdown. Social distancing leaves us all queuing to get into shops for food and other essentials and once busy streets are now all but deserted. Police patrol our towns and countryside ensuring that nobody strays too far from home and even then only for essential purposes. Things like picnics in the park, leisurely games of bowls in the afternoon and even childrens’ final exams are prohibited. But travelling 35 miles to walk around strange towns spreading the virus from house to house is perfectly alright, apparently. At least it is if you’re authorised by Mark Jenkinson. A recently elected tory MP who clearly thinks that the law no longer applies to him.

LeafletterThis man was filmed delivering leaflets from door to door in Workington, Cumbria. That’s 35 miles from his office base in Carlisle.

This woman, also from Carlisle delivered the same leaflets to the same house about a week later. Watch closely, you’ll see that neither of them use gloves or hand sanitizer and even if they did they couldn’t possibly carry enough to change or re-sanitize after every drop.

In Netherton, a few miles up the coast, another of the same battalion of Coronavirus cannon-fodder leafletters, the modern day typhoid Marys of Cumbria reassured my confidant that it was all OK because he was wearing gloves – which, of course, he failed to change.

This is not an essential service. Nor are these door to door superspreaders observing any reasonable practice that would keep them or the occupants of the homes they visit safe. Mark Jenkinson MP claims to have arranged for “tens of thousands” of these leaflets to be delivered in this way. How many families, how many children or elderly residents is he putting at risk in the name of his own self-aggrandizement? He even boasted on his facebook page that his potential plague-bearers are targeting areas with high concentrations of elderly and vulnerable residents. Has he gone mad?