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Is the government undermining our democracy? Part 1

(53 Posts)
Dinahmo Wed 17-Mar-21 00:15:19

I believe that it is because of the reduction of time given to parliamentary scrutiny of proposed legislation.

My first example is the policing bill currently going through parliament. The govt unveiled the 300 page bill one week before its first reading - hardly sufficient time for it to be thoroughly digested.

This bill includes an increase in prison sentences for people found guilty of attacking statues, thus making the sentences longer than those handed down for attacking women.

The bill also includes plans to put plain clothes police officers in night clubs in order to improve security and protect women. I would have thought that officers on the beat generate a better feeling of security. A supporter of this is Tommy Robinson who has been raising groups of volunteers to protect statues during the BLM demonstrations, including a statue of George Eliot.

Lastly the bill increases police powers to stop protests on grounds including noise and disruption to the public. Having lived in Brixton during the 80s riots (just off Railton Road, so close to the centre) I am very much aware of how the powers to stop and search were regularly abused. I also remember hearing Frederick Raphael on Any Questions describing ow he was stopped by the police when driving through Essex in a Jaguar - no reason given. More recently, the new Archbishop of York has spoken of his time as Bishop of Stepney when driving he was stopped on several occasions because he's black and only black crooks drive expensive cars. (I'm paraphrasing here)

My second example is the proposed introduction of voter ID, supposedly to stop voter fraud. Apparently 11 million people in the UK do not have a passport or a driving license. In the UK GE of 2019 there were 34 allegations of people pretending to be someone else at polling stations, compared with 58 million who voted legitimately. This really is an example of a steamroller to crack a nut, and an expensive one too.

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 00:31:33

I’m tempted just to say yes and so what (as in not enough of us care) It’s so depressing I don’t think I’m up to thinking about it - not atm anyway.

Polarbear2 Wed 17-Mar-21 08:23:24

Yes. And I’m tired of it too. That’s the plan isn’t it. We’ll get too tired and disillusioned to bother anymore. Hoping it gets changed in the amendment stage. 🤞

Firecracker123 Wed 17-Mar-21 08:27:08

I would think most normal law abiding people would support the government on this.

So no the government is not undermining our democracy.

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 08:28:33

I’m sure there’ll be a few changes at the committee stage but fundamentally? Nah. As for voter ID - voter suppression straight out of the Trump playbook ( yes I know you need ID to pick up your parcel at the PO 🙄)

Iam64 Wed 17-Mar-21 08:42:57

The idea that a heavier sentence for damaging a statue than s woman seems particularly daft.

I’m a ‘normal law abiding person’. That doesn’t mean I’m complacent about bad laws being passed without proper scrutiny. We shouldn’t forget Mr Johnson has indicated he’s fed up with our independent judiciary. He’d like an American style approach, where the President appoints Judges he knows will support their political views.

MaizieD Wed 17-Mar-21 08:50:06

I'm sure all those law abiding Jews who obediently boarded trains to be 'relocated' were thrilled when they ended up at places like Auschwitz.

Dinahmo missed out the 'Traveller passports' proposed for Gypsies and Travellers. I wonder if they'll have to wear some sort of distinguishing badge, too. A yellow star, perhaps? Who knows...

Please, people, don't just get depressed. Get angry

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 08:51:42

That’s a big ask Maizie

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 08:53:53

As for law abiding, I have such fond memories of apartheid South Africa and segregation laws in the States. Goodness they all knew how to deal with law breakers.

ayse Wed 17-Mar-21 09:10:32

Yes, they are stealthily undermining democracy. I am very angry but feel impotent. Laws have been changed by ordinary people refusing to accept the imposed status quo. The two longest running disputes could be considered as the abolition of slavery that began as early as the 1750s (I think) and votes for women. In the case of slavery the trade was abolished in 1807 but slavery took until 1833 to abolish. It took many campaigns and the payment of huge reparations to the slave owners. Votes for women was finally achieved in 1828 with universal suffrage.

Both of these campaigns were only won because individuals formed mass movements and refused to comply. These people were generally “law abiding” citizens. This is the only way attitudes were changed.

Hitler came to power by using the electoral system to his advantage and we have seen how Trump manipulated the media and his party.

Why do others see this as any different? Iron hand in velvet glove springs to mind

Firecracker123 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:11:57

They don't call it the loony left for no reason, reading some of these over the top posts I understand why 😂

Firecracker123 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:12:52

Just a matter of time before Hitler was mentioned.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:15:55

I just do not see why we shouldn’t have to have proof of who we are and where we live to vote? Surely then everyone can be assured that the whole electoral system is above suspicion. I also think that postal voting should be overhauled.

Having a Traveller Permit/Passport may help with the illegal campsites which pop up in parks, supermarket car parks and along the sides of rural roads. Hopefully it can lead on to the creation of more legal sites, which can be rented and have relevant council taxes and sewage/water and refuse collections.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:23:01

Posted to soon.......

Amending the legislation on right to protest this obviously needs rethinking however, the general public has also got the right to journey to their place of employment without protesters gluing themselves to trains. Protesters blocking roads and bridges which not only stop journeys to work but prevent the Emergency Services from carrying out their jobs.

Alegrias1 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:25:26

The whole voting system has been working fine for a hundred years, the stats that Dinahmo give in the OP show that. Postal voting is also fine, I think anyone who thinks otherwise has been listening to Donald Trump a bit much.

And I think that the views that GG13 has about Traveller Passports shows exactly how insidious this all is. Will I need a passport to get into my street? Or is it only those who we think are outside of the norms of society who need those?

The most blatant example of the current government trying to undermine democracy for me is that briefing room. Presidents need Briefing Rooms with flags on display, in normal times Prime Ministers have to go before Parliament to make announcements.

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 09:27:30

GrannyGravy13

I just do not see why we shouldn’t have to have proof of who we are and where we live to vote? Surely then everyone can be assured that the whole electoral system is above suspicion. I also think that postal voting should be overhauled.

Having a Traveller Permit/Passport may help with the illegal campsites which pop up in parks, supermarket car parks and along the sides of rural roads. Hopefully it can lead on to the creation of more legal sites, which can be rented and have relevant council taxes and sewage/water and refuse collections.

There is absolutely no evidence of any meaningful problems with the current voting system.

MaizieD Wed 17-Mar-21 09:37:35

Firecracker123

Just a matter of time before Hitler was mentioned.

I think you'd have loved Nazi Germany, Firecracker. Everybody sharing exactly the same beliefs and aspirations while any opposition is publicly and violently done away with.

Firecracker123 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:39:53

Actually I wouldn't have liked Nazi Germany because my grandmother was Jewish.

Bodach Wed 17-Mar-21 09:42:50

I was Presiding Officer at our Polling Station when our District Council was part of the Trial of voter ID recently. There was overwhelming support for this from the voters in our district - even from those temporarily inconvenienced because they had forgotten to bring the necessary means of ID..

GrannyGravy13 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:43:22

Alegrias1

The whole voting system has been working fine for a hundred years, the stats that Dinahmo give in the OP show that. Postal voting is also fine, I think anyone who thinks otherwise has been listening to Donald Trump a bit much.

And I think that the views that GG13 has about Traveller Passports shows exactly how insidious this all is. Will I need a passport to get into my street? Or is it only those who we think are outside of the norms of society who need those?

The most blatant example of the current government trying to undermine democracy for me is that briefing room. Presidents need Briefing Rooms with flags on display, in normal times Prime Ministers have to go before Parliament to make announcements.

What is insidious about creating more Traveller Sites? It is after all what other political parties have been calling for?

Many European Countries and others Worldwide have a system of ID cards, are they abusing their citizens democracy rights?

GrannyGravy13 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:44:18

Sorry folks but resorting to quoting Trump and Hitler in my opinion means that you have no other credible discussion.

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 09:45:10

Bodach

I was Presiding Officer at our Polling Station when our District Council was part of the Trial of voter ID recently. There was overwhelming support for this from the voters in our district - even from those temporarily inconvenienced because they had forgotten to bring the necessary means of ID..

Why do you think they supported it? Also at district level what was the voter turnout? Was the turnout representative of the voting public?

Alegrias1 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:45:41

Its not about temporary inconvenience though, its about voter suppression and the control of the electorate. What about the ones who didn't have any ID, what did they have to do? Identity cards? Slippery slope.

There would be overwhelming public support for many things, but it doesn't make it right.

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 09:46:11

If we had a national ID system it wouldn’t be an issue but we don’t

Alegrias1 Wed 17-Mar-21 09:47:10

GrannyGravy13

Sorry folks but resorting to quoting Trump and Hitler in my opinion means that you have no other credible discussion.

Some of us are having very credible discussions GG13. We don't even mind being called the Loony Left by those with no valid arguments at all. hmm