Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Great Repeal Bill is clearly more undemocratic than the EU


One of the main non-immigration related arguments that Brexiters used before the referendum was the complaint that the EU is supposedly undemocratic, but within the space of a year this faux concern about democracy has been proven false time and again.

The first thing to point out is that the "undemocratic EU" argument was always incredibly hypocritical coming from a country with the largest unelected legislative chamber in the entire world, an unelected head of state, a profoundly undemocratic (and hopelessly discredited) honours system, an undemocratic central bank, and a hopelessly outdated profoundly unrepresentative voting system.

Of course the EU has democratic deficits (an undemocratic central bank like the UK, loads of appointed political figures that pretty much nobody has ever heard of, contempt for participatory democracy ...) but it's clearly way more democratic that the anachronistic shambles in Westminster.

Immediately after Brexit the gaping hypocrisy of the "undemocratic EU" argument was revealed when the Tory party appointed Theresa May as their leader, and as Prime Minister of the UK by default, by pressurising her opponent to quit the leadership contest before it could even be put to a vote of Tory party members. The Tories are clearly so afraid of democracy they don't even allow their own party members to have a say on who their leader is!

Another glaring display of contempt for democracy came when Brexiters howled with outrage after three High Court judges ruled that parliament is sovereign and that Theresa May couldn't just make up laws as she goes along like a dictator would. "Enemies of the People" shrieked the Brexiters at the judges who had dared to rule that parliamentary democracy is sovereign, not our unelected Prime Minister.

On the day after Theresa May submitted her appalling Article 50 letter the Tories launched an astonishing assault on the concept of parliamentary democracy called "The Great Repeal Act" which is designed to allow Tory ministers to rewrite thousands of UK laws with absolutely no democratic scrutiny whatever.

"Trust me, I know what I'm doing"
Of course the Brexiters who claimed to care so strongly and so deeply about democracy last year when they had a referendum to win are now completely silent about this latest astounding anti-democratic power grab by the Tory party.

The Brexit minister David Davis' response to criticism that the Great Repeal Act is an anti-democratic power grab is to pretend that him and his Tory colleagues are completely trustworthy. Considering that over a dozen files about the 2015 Tory Election Fraud have been handed to the Crown Prosecution Service, Davis' reassurances that the Tories can be trusted to rewrite our laws without democratic scrutiny are about as convincing as Dr Nick Riviera off the Simpsons saying "trust me, I know what I'm doing".

The contempt for democracy in Britain is rampant. When David Cameron resigned he showered his friends in undemocratic honours and peerages in the unelected House of Lords; his successor Theresa May evaded even being democratically elected as leader of her own party; the right-wing press savagely abused the judges that ruled in favour of parliamentary democracy; the unelected Prime Minister is currently swearing to obstruct the democratic mandate of the Scottish Parliament, and the Tory government have just launched an astonishing anti-democratic power grab.

Despite chuntering on and on about the EU being undemocratic in order to win the referendum, the reality is that huge numbers of Brexiters (including Tory Brexiter politicians) clearly don't give the faintest damn about democracy. In fact they actively oppose democracy by slagging off pro-democracy judges and they're silent as the Tory government introduce astoundingly anti-democratic legislation to bypass parliament completely and allow Tory ministers to rewrite the laws of the land as it suits them.

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