Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Did I fall asleep and wake up in Turkey?


The Daily Mail is an extreme-right propaganda rag that gleefully celebrated the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and promoted Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, so it's no surprise to see them giddy with joy at Theresa May's efforts to turn the UK into a fanatically right-wing one party state where anyone who dares to try and hold her to account gets "crushed".

"Crush the saboteurs" shrieks the Daily Mail front page, but it's important to remember who these saboteurs are:

First it was the High Court judges who did their job of protecting parliamentary sovereignty and ensuring that Theresa May couldn't just make up the laws of the land to suit her own interests with no democratic scrutiny whatever. "Enemies of the people" for standing up for parliamentary sovereignty!


The only thing the High Court judges were guilty of sabotaging was Theresa May's autocratic power-grab, and the furious tide of right-wing hatred and contempt towards the judiciary for holding their beloved leader to account was a real eye opener for anyone who believes that the government actually needs to be held to account by the judicial system.

Then it was the opposition parties and the House of Lords who tried to add a couple of amendments to the Article 50 bill that Theresa May would never have put through parliament at all if it weren't for the judges protecting democracy from her dictatorial tendencies.

One amendment was aimed at getting Theresa May to start working towards offering some reassurance and certainty to the estimated 3 million EU nationals who live in the UK. "No way" said the Tory party, "the lives of those people are bargaining chips in our power games. If we can't hang the sword of Damocles over their heads, then we won't be able to secure the quickfire pro-corporate anti-worker trade deal we're demanding from the EU". So the simple amendment to get the government to work towards treating these 3 million people as valued contributors to our society was thrown on the scrap heap.

The second amendment was to ensure that parliament gets some kind of meaningful vote on whatever the Brexit agreement turns out to be, but that was way too much democracy for Theresa May and the Tories, so that amendment got thrown out too. This means that the European Parliament will get a democratic vote on the Brexit deal, but the UK parliament won't. Not only that, but all of the national parliaments of the 27 EU states will get a vote on the post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal, but the UK parliament won't.

These efforts to democratically scrutinise what Theresa May is doing, and get her to work towards securing the lives and livelihoods of EU citizens in the UK are clearly far too much for Theresa May and her cheerleaders in the extreme-right press, so she's called a snap election (like she repeatedly promised that she wouldn't) so that she can crush all opposition to her autocratic scheming.

Headlines calling for all opposition to Theresa May's anti-democratic rule to be crushed look like something from Erdoğan's dictatorial regime in Turkey, where opposition politicians and journalists are rounded up and imprisoned, and non-violent demonstrations are ruthlessly repressed. Not something from the country that did so much to enshrine human rights across Europe when Winston Churchill (Tory) and Clement Attlee (Labour) collaborated to introduce the European Convention on Human Rights (you know, the Churchill legacy that Theresa May is so desperate to scrap).


It hardly seems like a coincidence that Recep Erdoğan was one of the first world leaders Theresa May went to beg for a post-Brexit trade deal after announcing her unbelievably crude threat-based Brexit "negotiating strategy" in her woeful January 2017 clown costume speech.

If the English electorate don't wake up soon and consider the horrifying implications of the socially and economically ruinous "no deal" scenario that Theresa May is slow-marching us towards, we're going to end up shunning the liberal democracies of Europe in order to suck up to some of the worst regimes and most unstable leaders in the world, like Erdoğan's Turkey, Donald Trump, Duterte in the Philippines and the barbaric Islamist tyrants in Saudi Arabia that Theresa May loves to grovel for so much.

If the Daily Mail are telling us to help Theresa May to eviscerate all opposition to her dream of turning the UK into a savagely right-wing authoritarian one party state where all dissent to her autocratic rule is crushed, it's about time to realise the importance of electing as many MPs who are willing to hold her to account as possible.



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