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Is the Government threatening our democracy - Part 2

(95 Posts)
Dinahmo Wed 17-Mar-21 17:04:51

I was planning to list the warheads but ILoveCheese started that yesterday.

My next is the inquiry into the pandemic and the handling of contracts. Grany mentioned this in Part 1 but it deserves a different thread I think. Last year Johnson promised an independent inquiry but no sign of that yet, despite the increasing demand for one. He has said that it's too early but I think that's just a ploy in the hope that people will forget.

Too many people have lost loved ones through cv-19 but also because the NHS was too busy, overwhelmed even, to treat patients with other illnesses.

I think it's important that pressure for an inquiry is kept up so that next time there's a pandemic the same thing doesn't happen again.

My final one is the cut in overseas aid. I'm sure that many GNers would agree with this - I don't. But the point is that MPs are not getting a vote - the cuts will take place which is why I consider this to be a threat to our democracy.

Grany Wed 17-Mar-21 18:44:37

“Despite the High Court ruling in our favour last month that Matt Hancock had broken the law in failing to publish pandemic contracts, the failures continue,” say Good Law Project.

They’re talking about further details of unpublished PPE contracts that came to light in a BBC report this week.

The report focused on the owner of a dog food firm who brokered PPE deals worth £258m between the Government and a Hong Kong firm, earning herself at least £1m.

Good Law Project launched new legal action yesterday to challenge the Government’s continued failure to publish contracts.

They are also challenging the Government’s decision "to obscure the key provisions in contracts", with many of those being published in heavily redacted form. They say that some contracts do not even show what was purchased or at what price.

The Director of Good Law Project, Jolyon Maugham asks: “If they have nothing to hide, why won’t they publish?” Read more here worth a read

Huge money, weird counterparties, duff product - and no transparency

Grany Wed 17-Mar-21 18:45:11

EllanVannin Wed 17-Mar-21 18:58:07

I wish there was proof that those who died actually died from Covid as it seems that whatever a person has died of it's been recorded as Covid.

It's quite possible that Covid could have been secondary to an existing illness with so many having missed or foregone appointments out of fear of catching the virus. The backlog of cancer-related illnesses is horrendous, 2.5million waiting.

MerylStreep Wed 17-Mar-21 19:07:26

There have been cases where people have fought to have the cause of death ( COVID) on the death certificate overturned.

MayBee70 Wed 17-Mar-21 19:46:34

Yes. I find the things this government is doing terrifying. And now they’re taking away my right to protest against it.

MaizieD Wed 17-Mar-21 21:18:13


I wish there was proof that those who died actually died from Covid as it seems that whatever a person has died of it's been recorded as Covid.

It's quite possible that Covid could have been secondary to an existing illness with so many having missed or foregone appointments out of fear of catching the virus. The backlog of cancer-related illnesses is horrendous, 2.5million waiting.

Care to share your information source with us, EV?

MaizieD Wed 17-Mar-21 21:19:27


Yes. I find the things this government is doing terrifying. And now they’re taking away my right to protest against it.

Would that stop you protesting, MayBee?

MayBee70 Thu 18-Mar-21 03:43:39


MaizieD Thu 18-Mar-21 07:51:01

Me neither, MayBee.

MayBee70 Thu 18-Mar-21 23:08:56

Have you seen the list of the only other countries to do this eg N Korea, Egypt and Russia? Someone really has taken back control here and it isn’t the electorate.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 19-Mar-21 02:44:47

If it does stop us protesting we are doomed as a democracy.

varian Fri 19-Mar-21 13:40:55

Despite the unfolding disaster that is Brexit, Rees-Mogg continues to ignore calls to allow Parliament to do its job and scrutinise the deal and its impacts – impacts like:
•A 41 per cent drop in UK exports to the EU;
•The 56% drop in exports to Germany alone;
•An 83% drop in fish and shellfish exports; and
•£1.3 trillion of financial services assets that have relocated from the UK to the EU.

From farmers to fishers; manufacturers to hauliers; supermarkets to restaurants; businesses, workers and consumers are being hit hard by the extra red tape, costs and delays imposed on them by Brexit.

The reality of Brexit in 2021 is very far from the promises of the 2016 referendum and 2019 election, and the rhetoric around the December 2020 deal. How many more businesses will go bust, jobs will be lost, and livelihoods will be destroyed before this disastrous deal is fully scrutinised and those responsible for it are held to account?

MaizieD Fri 19-Mar-21 13:46:00

Teething troubles, varian. Just teething troubles...

If we ignore them they will go away...

Devorgilla Fri 19-Mar-21 15:13:41

MayBee 70, they can try to take away our right to protest or try to make it a silent one but my voice will be heard loud and clear in the Ballot Box.
I look at people abroad in much stricter regimes coming out to protest and I cheer them on. I just wish they didn't have to risk death to achieve the right to be heard.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 19-Mar-21 15:16:39

It will just be imprisonment in the U.K. .

I always thought that we were proud of never having political prisoners, and very critical of countries who do.

It’s all changing.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 19-Mar-21 15:38:31

Oh! I’ve just had an email to say that the government is putting Patel’s Police Bill on hold.

I do so hope that they quietly drop it after a suitable time.

Well done everyone who gave good persuasive argument.

Ilovecheese Fri 19-Mar-21 16:13:05

That is good news Whitewavemark2. I also hope they drop it.

MaizieD Fri 19-Mar-21 18:38:58

Also, the report of the review of Judicial Review hasn't come up with what the government wanted to hear.

varian Tue 23-Mar-21 11:48:40

On Wednesday Unlock Democracy is to take part in a consultation on the prorposed 'Electoral Integrity' Bill

As a reminder, the six proposals we're expecting to see in the bill are:

The end of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act

Boundary changes that will equalise the number of voters per constituency

First Past the Post system of voting to be used for all elections in England and for UK General Elections

Mandatory photo ID to be presented at polling stations in order to vote

British expats to retain voting rights past the current 15-year limit

Voting age to remain at 18 years old

If you want to express your own views please follow this link-

PippaZ Tue 23-Mar-21 12:22:13

I very much feel this government is threatening our democracy and, along with other bills I am seriously worried about The UK Health and Care Bill and its failure to address fundamental issues of coverage and funding.

The last time the government wanted to "take back" something we never really learned why, what exactly they wanted to do with this power, and how it would improve our lives and it was all explained to us with lies and meaningless three word phrases - or lying, meaningless three word phrases - and it seems they aim to "take back control of the NHS".

They seem to have learned nothing about having a wide range of experts running such things. They have plans for the government to have enhanced powers of direction over a merged NHS England and NHS Improvement, and to transfer functions between health-related bodies, such as the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to allow this "take back" of control. There seems to be little evidence showing why this should happen and what changes it brings about that we need.

With ministerial control of the NHS, what can we expect? The government may well be seeing that as a way to cut cost and move health to the private sector. They have never denied that "smaller government" (weasel words for privatisation) would be their intention while in government and with talk about "paying back the debt" (nonsense in itself) they may see this as just the place to make cuts.

If the Government is to take control of the day to day running of the NHS we need to look at its record on Covid. This is not a government known for building teams of those best for the job. Its aim has always been to give power only to those it can trust to agree and support it. We have, so far, one of the highest COVID19-death rates in the world. We can look at the shortages of PPE and the Track and Trace system, both of which should be undergoing a Judge led enquiry at this moment.

Conversely, we can look at the NHS during this time, particularly non-government led areas. In weeks it had expanded massively the critical care capacity. It had seen the problem clearly and reallocated thousands of staff. They reorganised to reduce transmission of Covid19. They also established world-leading clinical trials for the vaccines and treatments we would need and delivered those vaccines in a way that used the best of everyone's skills and achieved amazing numbers in a very short time.

The power grabs this government has attempted to make - from Parliament, by misleading the Head of State, and from the people is worrying in itself but to come out of this pandemic, with society even more divided by income and opportunity than I can remember in my lifetime and then taking away our NHS doesn't bear thinking about - but we must.

Department of Health & Social Care. Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all. Feb 11, 2021. government/publications/working-together-to-improve-health-and-social-care-for-all/ integration-and-innovation-working-together-to-improve-health-and-social-care-for-all-html-version.
Raleigh VS. UK’s record on pandemic deaths. BMJ 2020; 370: m3348
Anderson M, Pitchforth E, Asaria M, et al. The LSE–Lancet Commission on the future of the NHS: re-laying the foundations for an equitable and efficient health and care service post COVID-19. Lancet (in press).
The UK Health and Care Bill: failure to address fundamental issues of coverage and funding - The Lancet

varian Tue 23-Mar-21 17:47:22

The Liberal Democrats passed a motion at our federal Spring Conference last weekend calling for immediate action to be taken on the Russia Report. This includes:

An investigation into Russian interference into our electoral process

Making protection of our democratic security a national priority with clear ministerial responsibility

Take big money out of politics by reforming party funding.

Following the debate, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Layla Moran MP said:

"It is time for the Government to take our national security seriously and stop ducking this because it’s politically inconvenient. Our democratic defences are weak and we must listen to the urgent warning signs – their own Integrated Review should remind them of that.

"Last year's Russia Report has been swept under the carpet by the Conservatives. The security surrounding our elections should not be a party-political issue and yet Boris Johnson continues to get away with leaving our democracy vulnerable to a clear and present threat.

"Liberal Democrats are calling for protection of our democratic process to become a national priority with clear ministerial responsibility. We need a real investigation into potential interference in our elections, and action to stop big money from figures close to the Kremlin influencing our politics.

"Putin’s assault on democracy around the world is clear for all to see, from interference in US politics to poisoning and imprisoning the opposition leader in his own country. Britain is 'clearly a target' for disinformation campaigns, according to the Russia Report, and now more than ever we should be focused on safeguarding our democracy at all levels."

GagaJo Tue 23-Mar-21 17:50:15

Apologies if this link has been posted before.

The London Economic also feels that we are letting our position as a democracy slip away, little by little.

They say “it can’t happen here,” but over the years the Conservatives have been undermining democracy.

Britons now need ID to vote. Police can arrest demonstrators they deem “annoying.” Boundary changes will give the Tories more Parliamentary seats. The state broadcaster and regulator are falling under right-wing control. Combined, these elements set an anti-democratic precedent.

Grany Tue 23-Mar-21 18:06:39

Yes this country is in a right state. All the rich people friends of Tories have done well out of the free for all chumocracy. You would think Johnson would have given our nurses NHS a pay rise and after they saved his life from covid.

There doesn't seem to be anyone that can step in and stop this rogue government. Does anyone wonder what the queen's role is, as HoS in our country?

A HoS who should be on the people's side checks and balances on government. The queen allowed Johnson to prorogue parliament? She can only do what PM asks her.

You see the queen, as a monarch gives the government too much power to do as they like, as they are doing now, who's to stop them? Parliment doesn't have enough power.

We need a written constitution, that people can read, and know what this country stands for. We are paying a fortune for queen and family to live in 19 grand homes palaces castles.

Living in luxury waited on hand and foot. Wasting public money every day on transport to wherever they want. Everything done for them.

When queen goes I hope that people will consider a change to vote for an democratically elected accountable president chosen by us to be our Head of State.

I see The Times are rightly questioning the need for hereditary peers in the House of Lords which is good, funny how they and rest of media don't question the need for a hereditary monarchy too.

I will keep following Republic Campaign on their YouTube channel and their website.

I think one thing we can do is campaign for change to proportional representation instead of first past the post for fairer vote counts .

JaneJudge Tue 23-Mar-21 18:09:52

My Mother in law in her 80s is in hospital after a fall if she dies of covid it wasn't secondary at all, she should get over a fall. She has only had a fall because she has been neglected by the health service for the last 12 months or so, even the hospital seem pissed off about it. They cant understand why she hasn't received ANY community physio - they signed her off without seeing her apparently