It can happen there

April 26, 2006

UK bill marks the end of true parliamentary democracy

by John Pilger

April 17, 2006

New Statesman
Freedom dies quietly
The bill marks the end of true parliamentary democracy; it is as significant as Congress abandoning the Bill of Rights, writes John Pilger

People ask: can this be happening in Britain? Surely not. A centuries-old democratic constitution cannot be swept away. Basic human rights cannot be made abstract. Those who once comforted themselves that a Labour government would never commit such an epic crime in Iraq might now abandon a last delusion, that their freedom is inviolable. If they knew.

The dying of freedom in Britain is not news. The pirouettes of the Prime Minister and his political twin, the Chancellor, are news, though of minimal public interest. Looking back to the 1930s, when social democracies were distracted and powerful cliques imposed their totalitarian ways by stealth and silence, the warning is clear. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill has already passed its second parliamentary reading without interest to most Labour MPs and court journalists; yet it is utterly totalitarian in scope.


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