Gina Miller says that Boris Johnson is out to destroy democracy – just to get back at her.
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It seems that the anti-Brexit campaigner, Gina Miller, thinks that, post the General Election, Boris Johnson is set on destroying UK democracy – just to have a pop at her.
In an article for the Independent with the title "Boris Johnson is about to destroy our democracy – just because he wants to get back at me", Miller says that Boris is working to erode democracy.
You know, that same Boris that had to fight extremely hard to get MPs to vote to hold a general election, where he could put his case to the electorate in a proper democratic exercise; but Miller claims he "…is actually seeking a democratic mandate to devalue our democracy."
And she points to a section on page 48 of the Tory Manifesto, claiming that its words tell us all that we are about to have our human and democratic rights stripped from us.
In her piece she says that "… it's hard not to imagine Johnson was thinking about me and my two successful legal challenges" when he was formulating some of the words on that page in his manifesto.
The trouble for Gina Miller though, is that it doesn't matter how successful she was in the courts, Boris looks like he is set to win on Brexit anyway – and maybe that's more to the point here?
Anyway, what's her beef with that section of the Tory manifesto?
This section states the following:
"After Brexit we also need to look at the broader aspects of our constitution: the relationship between the Government, Parliament and the courts; the functioning of the Royal Prerogative; the role of the House of Lords; and access to justice for ordinary people.
"The ability of our security services to defend us against terrorism and organised crime is critical. We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government.
"We will ensure that judicial review is available to protect the rights of the individuals against an overbearing state, while ensuring that it is not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays.
"In our first year we will set up a Constitution, Democracy & Rights Commission that will examine these issues in depth, and come up with proposals to restore trust in our institutions and in how our democracy operates."
And Gina Miller has pointed to this section and said that references to using the courts to 'conduct politics by other means' or 'create needless delays', shows that Boris somehow wants to strip out the powers of the judiciary.
And she also appears to read it as some sort of indicator that his government will widen the Royal Prerogative to diminish our rights – overlooking that under our constitution, the Royal prerogative can only be diminished and never broadened. The whole system here is designed to gradually take all the residual powers of the monarch into parliament.
In fact any such attempt to tinker with the Royal Prerogative would, I think, by definition reduce that prerogative.
And how can setting up a 'Constitution, Democracy & Rights Commission' to weigh up these matters be such a bad thing?
How can taking a close look at the relationship between parliament, government and the courts and access to justice for the people, be so hideous a thing to do?
And it made me laugh when she said:
"These sinister lines about seeking to redraw the relationship between the government, parliament and the courts show that for Johnson, nothing is now off limits – even if it threatens the way our country has been governed for centuries."
Completely ignoring the way that EU law has turned our political and legal system upside down in just two decades.
Then there's the matter of the PM now being unable to call a general election and the Queen being unable to dissolve parliament – something that could have been done at the drop of a hat prior to the Fixed Term parliament Act written to protect the Tory-Lib Dem coalition and something that recently froze our parliament for weeks as a result.
And then there's the Supreme Court – a Blair invention – it has not been around for centuries. That function was held by the House of Lords up until very recently.
The Supreme Court was only established ten years ago on October the 1st 2009 as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.
And don't forget the Suffragettes just over a hundred years ago and the fact that the voting age was lowered to 18 from 21 only 50 years ago.
No, the constitution evolved over time, something that Gina Miller it appears, now wants to stop.
So, apart from some of the clothing and buildings, the way we are governed today bears absolutely no resemblance to that of centuries ago.
And Miller also says that the manifesto "…..predictably cites “national security” as one of the reasons for giving up on so many of our ancient rights, which reminds me of Benjamin Franklin’s famous warning that 'those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety'."
So I went back over the section on page 48 of the Tory manifesto and could not see a single mention of an ancient right that would be given up on.
As far as I can see she's taken a perfectly reasonable set of proposals and transposed them into Gulag talk.
For me, the very complex constitutional relationships between the people, government, parliament and the courts should be under constant review.
And Brexit has thrown the spotlight on so many shortcomings within our constitutional arrangements and made so many more people aware of how our previously opaque establishment gets on with its business.
So many more people know about such things as the Royal Prerogative and the Privy Council.
And many criticisms have been raised as a result.
So what better time to review all these arrangements in a slow, methodical and measured way than as we leave the European Union?
The really hard job is to get people interested in this fundamental side of politics to help reshape our political institutions to better serve the people of a post Brexit UK.
And then vote people into power based on their morals, honesty, work ethic and empathy – not just on the colour of their rosette.
And anything that moves us just a little bit closer to that should surely be welcomed.
And although I'm not a Tory, unlike Gina Miller, I did not interpret that section in the Tory manifesto as an assault on democracy and human rights – I saw it as an opportunity to enhance them.
Nor did I see it as an attack on Gina Miller herself.
And you never know, the outcome of such a Commission might be that people get more power over their politicians, not less.
It might also prevent a small number of rich, powerful and connected people holding huge sway over our political processes to the detriment of the rest of us.
But the only way to ensure that, is for everyone to take a keen interest in it.
The Brexit Party has announced that it will not be taking part in the leaders climate crisis debate on Channel 4 on Thursday night.
In a Tweet the party said:
"We won’t be taking part in Channel 4’s special programme on Thursday night.
"We have no faith that the broadcaster will conduct this debate in a fair and objective way.
"Brexit is the defining issue of our age and the fact that Channel 4 does not want to discuss it speaks volumes about this broadcaster and its Remain position."
This comes after the anchor of the one hour show, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Tweeted yesterday:
"This Thursday Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Jo Swinson and Sian Berry will join the #ClimateDebate thousands have been calling for this election.
"If you are a Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage supporter and you want them to address this issue too pls encourage them to come."
Supporters of The Brexit Party have called this a good decision and said that they would just be walking straight into an ambush anyway.
And now we move on to the persistent anti-Semitic controversy which has plagued the Labour Party’s general election campaign and cast a shadow over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
However, this time the wrath comes from none other than the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, followed by a subtle backing of his comments by the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby – talking about the soul of the nation being at stake.
This is completely unprecedented in British Politics and you know you're in trouble, when the leaders of two major faiths are seen to be pitted against you.
It would have taken a monumental belief that Jeremy Corbyn poses a direct threat to British Jews, for those two to abandon political neutrality and speak out against the Labour Leader and his party – especially during a General Election campaign.
But Corbyn’s rebuttal to these and past accusations of antisemitism within his party, are more like trying to hide the breaking of wind, the smell gives you away.
And you do have to ask – why has Corbyn allowed things to get to this stage – who on earth does he think will vote for Labour as a result of this?
We won’t be taking part in Channel 4’s special programme on Thursday night.
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— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) November 26, 2019