Big Brother Watch has brought out its report for Jan-Mar 2022, and a considerable work it is.
There is more detail here than any normal body would have either time or inclination to read, but in these times of endemic government overreach we must sometimes steel ourselves to inform ourselves of unpleasant truths and take heed lest worse is to come.
"History shows we face challenges of such magnitude best when we hold onto the values that define us, not when we abandon them. This is a pivotal moment and a crucial time for parliamentarians to increase scrutiny and limitations on powers"
Quite so, but past events demonstrate pretty conclusively that our parliamentarians are only nominally "our" parliamentarians - they are (with some honourable exceptions) really the political parties' parliamentarians, and the parties dance to the tune of their largely unacknowledged donors / controllers.
"Big Brother Watch has been reporting, analysing and campaigning for measures to be strictly necessary, proportionate and last not a moment longer than needed"
"The legacy of this period will endure. The actions of this Government have demonstrated the frailties of the institutions and procedures designed to safeguard our democracy. Public health is being reimagined as biosecurity and both politicians and public bodies have acquired muscle memory for authoritarianism"
I would put it differently - public health has been reimagined as crony capitalism with government working to transfer huge sums of taxpayers' money to pharmaceutical companies and others for unproven dodgy products which are given the nod by unproven dodgy regulatory authorities who lack any true transparency.
" ... the Government still has profoundly troubling pieces of legislation coming down the tracks. Over the past two years we have documented the suppression of the right to protest, social media giants stifling speech, the emergence and use of digital health IDs, intrusive new forms of surveillance and the curtailing of parliamentary scrutiny, amongst other authoritarian moves which concentrated power in the hands of the executive"
"The Policing, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill, the Online Safety Bill, the Elections Bill, and plans to scrap the Human Rights Act continue. All of these new powers in the hands of a Government which has seized unparalleled control over the last two years will be highly dangerous for democracy, justice and rights"
This report (download) is a tour de force, covering a great deal of ground, and worth keeping to hand for reference as we may require in coming times.
The clear trend is away from transparency and toward ever greater accretion of powers to a secretive and effectively unaccountable centre.
The Daily Sceptic reminds us that there are a number of acts that merit repeal rather than reform. Of course that goes against the grain of the direction of travel of Parliament. The most recent and infamous act to be repealed was the European Communities Act 1972, a process accompanied by unprecedented parliamentary and legal shenanigans that almost brought our democratic system down in chaos, and even then the provisions of the relevant EU laws were immediately put into domestic UK law, to await repeal on a case-by-case basis ...
To illustrate how far the current system has fallen look no further than the UK - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill 2019-21 which purports to permit various agencies to break the law whilst providing neither effective oversight nor transparency. Even with effective oversight and transparency, this Act drives a coach and horses over the remnants of our basic principles of justice: "Be you never so high, the law is above you".
The current system isn't going to reform itself. It is hugely top-heavy, governed by unaccountable vested interests, and protected by a vast bureaucracy whose business is to keep we the people out of their workings through multiple layers of incomprehensible ever-evolving rules regulations and "guidance".
Ignorance of the law may be no excuse, but there is no excuse either for ever-changing law which is not clearly distinguished from "guidance".
If we the people want to have a government of for and by the people, then we the people have to take the bull by the horns, get involved, and stop accepting all this nonsense.
The system is sliding into terminal putrescence - it needs a reboot.