I hope Paul Spicker will forgive me seeking to amplify a point he made on his blog yesterday. He said:
The government of the United Kingdom has always had an unwritten constitution, and that position has been defended on the basis that it allows governments a degree of flexibility in dealing with complex situations. That position has been tested to breaking point in recent months. Here are a few concerns.
1. The Conservative Party is standing on a manifesto which commits them to change the basis on which laws are made and reviewed. The Manifesto states:
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 …
2. At the same time as Britain withdraws from the governance safeguards imposed by the European Union, it is proposing to weaken other safeguards (such as human rights and judicial review) which derive from other sources. The Manifesto again:
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 not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays.
3. The present government is firmly committed to legislation on Europe that will give Ministers extensive ‘Henry VIII powers’ – the power to change laws without scrutiny or the prior approval of parliament. The election was called, not because Parliament had failed to agree the EU Withdrawal agreement, but because it had demanded the rights to scrutinise the bill that enacted those powers.
Paul made further points in his blog. I have chosen only to highlight his top three concerns.
As I noted yesterday, we face epochal change. What Paul Spicker is making clear is that there are those who will seek to challenge them by undermining those rights that we have long enjoyed and by destroying the checks and balances in our system, a point I have made in different ways. He is right to do so.
Change does not usually happen without a struggle. The tiny minority in the Tory party who want to abuse this country as a result of their devotion to a dying economic system are a threat to all our futures. And they will persist in their goal of being so.