A bonfire of citizen’s rights

http://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/richard-grimes/bonfire-of-citizens-rights

Street Democracy writes:

We could just demand that anything that hasn’t blossomed in the soils of democracy isn’t valid. If society didn’t leave a ‘wet ink’ signature then it isn’t valid. They can sneak anything through with late night meetings on News Years Eve and so on, but it doesn’t necessarily make it solid, tight and impenetrable.

It isn’t right when the ‘evils are in print’ but they are still public trustees and they need ‘us’ to comply to their laws or they are not valid. We are witnessing the erosion of democracy by corporate mechanisms cannibalising Britain by an unchecked oligarchical few ruling elite.

We are being subjected to a plethora of Draconian measures, Draconian policies and rules that only favour those who empower them.

It is a brutal form of collective punishment forcing Britain into one giant ‘open air’ prison. No bars needed as the financial sanctions, the human right sanctions will be heavy enough to burden society with the rules and laws from government. It will be bigoted and cruel if we passively comply.

For more on this story click here for Open Democracy or continue reading below.HEARME

Alongside the Lobbying Bill, the government is quietly pushing through another Bill which seems designed to remove any lingering obstacles to the corporatisation of public services – disempowering citizens, parliament and watchdogs at a stroke.

The innocuously titled Deregulation Bill, quietly tabled in draft by Oliver Letwin and Ken Clarke just before the summer break, strips citizens of our right to be consulted before services are closed or privatised. It imposes a ‘growth duty’ on regulators to ensure they act in a more business-friendly manner, which could force health watchdogs like the Care Quality Commission to prioritise ‘economic growth’.

And it gives a blanket power to government ministers to repeal inconvenient laws without parliamentary scrutiny.

Some aspects of this bill even bear remarkable similarities to what was dubbed the “Abolition of Parliament Bill” – a bill introduced in 2006 by then Labour Minister Jim Murphy MP but heavily watered down after widespread outcry, including by the Liberal Democrat party conference.

Collectively these changes significantly increase the power of the Executive over the voice of citizens and parliament. Will there be a similar outcry now? The first formal call for evidence to the Committee scrutinising the bill, closes this coming Monday.

A bonfire of red tape?

The Deregulation Bill originated with the government’s Red Tape Challenge, an initiative to remove unnecessary regulation and through Lord Heseltine’s ‘No stone unturned: in pursuit of growth’.

‘Red Tape’ is an easy target. We all come across irritating regulations in our daily life that we wish did not exist. Rarely do we think about the reason for the regulation and the potential benefits. As the  government admits “Good regulation is a good thing. It protects consumers, employees and the environment, it helps build a more fair society and can even save lives.”

Given that description, who could argue against “good regulation”? However, as you read through the Deregulation Bill it becomes very apparent who the beneficiaries are intended to be: business.

Scrapping our rights to be consulted

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