Thursday 31 December 2020

Rock bottom for our democracy


I think that when historians come to assess politics in the UK over the pas four years, and particularity the last four weeks, they will identify Wednesday 30th  December, 2020 as the date on which our  liberal democracy hit rock bottom.  

 After an ill-deigned referendum and campaign peppered with lies and probably influenced by foreign interference  a minority of a restricted  electorate voted to leave the European Union. This was magnified  to represent "the will of the people", and our leaders we manoeuvred by ideologues into aiming for the severest severance  possible.  In the final  few weeks of negotiations the public were fuelled with news of fake drama, and the negotiations ended in an alleged "triumph" for the government on Christmas Eve, the only day in the year which is not followed by the publication of newspapers. 

So detailed criticism was deferred.

 And then, yesterday, the "deal", the most serious  decision our nation has had to take for half a century, was bounced through the Commons with only five hours of debate.

We are a liberal democracy and our system is one of parliamentary democracy.  It is a system that prizes full, free  informed and balanced information and subsequent deliberation at its core. The UK claims to be one of the world's pioneers in achieving a liberal democracy.  Some like to boast (wrongly) that ours is the Mother of Parliaments. 

 The deliberate distortion of our information followed by contempt for our parliament surely means the the operation of our political system has reached its nadir.

 In the latest issue of Prospect magazine Timothy Garten Ash writes on the future of liberalism, which he believes is endangered not just in this country but in the rest of what we regard as the liberal democratic world, both from the inside and from those who would like to see it collapse.  It is a long read and rather short on solutions, but should be read as a warning against complacency.

There is now an urgent need in this country for the progressive majority to co-operate to to break the stranglehold of the present Conservative party, now in thrall to forces willing to use whatever means available to retain the levers of power and reward themselves and their backers.









the distoiaon of these and the final contempt show to parilanent,

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