My Saturday Essay from America last week may have unwittingly given you the impression that compared to the current state of politics in the U.S., the British system, for all its flaws, remained a relative oasis of sanity and stability.
I now realise that nothing could be further from the truth and wish to apologise wholeheartedly.
Over the past few days, British politics has unravelled so spectacularly that we can no longer kid ourselves we live in a ‘free country’. Or even a functioning democracy, come to that.
The week began with the sacking of an outspoken Home Secretary — nominally in charge of the police — because she had the audacity to insist the Met enforce the law without fear or favour and stop turning a blind eye to rampant anarchy and vile anti-Semitism on the streets of our capital city.
This was rapidly overshadowed by an unelected Prime Minister appointing as Foreign Secretary a former Prime Minister who resigned seven years earlier after his campaign to remain in the EU was rejected by the British people in a referendum.
Dave’s return to Cabinet came with a peerage, so there was no need to trouble the electorate over his appointment
Call Me Dave’s return to Cabinet came with a peerage, so there was no need to trouble the electorate over his appointment. Nor will he have to demean himself by being forced to account for his actions in the House of Commons. Or at the ballot box, for that matter.
A peerage, like a puppy, is for life, not just for Christmas. So when this Tory rabble is kicked out unceremoniously next year, Dave can carry on claiming his lordly exes and attendance allowances indefinitely.
Trebles all round!
Just as we were digesting that outrage, along came five unelected judges ruling that the Government’s plans to tackle illegal immigration were unlawful.
The deportation scheme may be bonkers, born of desperation, and apparently based on the old Beach Boys hit: Help me Rwanda, help, help me Rwanda.
But it is the policy of a Government which still has a huge majority.
Yet the Rwanda scheme was halted initially by a late-night injunction issued by an anonymous European judge and has subsequently been scuppered by our own Supreme Court.
So Rishi Sunak blaming it on ‘foreign’ laws is only half right. The final decision was taken by British judges sitting in London, in a building a couple of hundred yards away from Parliament.
Lord Cameron will not have to demean himself by being forced to account for his actions in the House of Commons
They might just as well be on another planet. They don’t even speak the same language. Their decision was based on something called ‘non-refoulement’, which sounds like the kissing cousin of Gordon Brown’s famous ‘post neoclassical endogenous growth theory’, whatever that meant.
Apparently ‘non-refoulement’ is a principle of international law which prevents refugees being returned to any country where they may face persecution. The judges also decided that Rwanda is not a ‘safe’ country.
In which case, why does the United Nations itself process asylum claims in Rwanda?
Why was the last Commonwealth conference held in Rwanda?
And if it’s not safe, then why are Arsenal FC sponsored by the ‘Visit Rwanda’ tourist board? All of this, though, should be academic. In a genuine democracy, judges should never, ever, have the power to overrule Parliament.
Yet increasingly, the will of the people and our elected representatives is frustrated by legal activism and the Men In Wigs. Just look at the way in which the courts were used by Remainers during attempts to overturn Brexit.
Over the past few days, British politics has unravelled so spectacularly that we can no longer kid ourselves we live in a ‘free country’
None of this has happened by accident. What we are now reaping is the full-on, anti- democratic effect of the Blair Revolution, following the Labour landslide in 1997, which ushered in a government of lawyers, by lawyers, for lawyers. Don’t forget that Blair himself boasted that his proudest achievement in politics was the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into British law. (Left-wing legal chambers sprung up to cash in, most prominently Cherie Blair’s Matrix, which I dubbed Nonces’R’Us.)
It was designed to ensure that there could never be a proper Conservative Government in Britain again. If the Tories tried to bring in ‘Right-wing’ policies — such as limiting immigration, which Blair let rip by dismantling our borders — the law would be used to prevent it happening.
Isn’t that the story of the past 13 years of alleged Conservative Government? Brexit only scraped through, in watered-down form, following a series of legal challenges and may yet be unwound after Labour wins the next election.
Yesterday, I dug out a column I wrote in 2005, a few years after the yuman rites racket became law.
‘Those of us who predicted this act would become a charter for terrorists, criminals, illegal immigrants, malcontents and chancers have been proved right time and again.
There’s no chance Sunak reviving the Rwanda scheme before the next election
‘As a result, we’ve lost control of our borders, thugs laugh in our faces, gangsters and paedophiles cop compensation for their crimes, ‘travellers’ colonise the Green Belt and terrorise sleepy villages.
‘But this isn’t a consequence of the Act — it’s the whole point. Those behind it wish to smash every British tradition and custom and destroy our ancient concepts of freedom and justice.
‘They are succeeding in replacing tried-and-tested common law and the rule of Parliament with laws made by Left-wing judges. Judicial activism has overthrown democracy.’
You tell me: which bit of that did I get wrong? Since then, every major institution in the land has been captured by the forces of wokery.
We now have a Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police who picks and chooses which laws he enforces, based on political expediency, pretending disingenously he doesn’t have the powers to clamp down on everything from Just Stop Oil headbangers bringing traffic to a standstill to violent racist mobs chanting anti-Semitic hatred.
What we are now reaping is the full-on, anti-democratic effect of the Blair Revolution, following the Labour landslide in 1997
The Prime Minister has nothing to offer other than impotent irritation. Whatever he says, there’s no chance of reviving the Rwanda scheme before the next election. The courts won’t let him.
Everybody back on the boats!
The Opposition celebrate the Supreme Court ruling, while offering no sensible solution of their own. Why would they? Labour’s leader Keir Starmer cut his teeth as a yuman rites lawyer.
Meanwhile, 56 self-obsessed Labour ministers and backbenchers you’ve never heard of throw a wobbly over Gaza, something they can do nothing whatsoever about.
Israel is hardly going to throw in the towel just because Jess Phillips has resigned from whatever meaningless shadow job you didn’t realise she had.
Surveying the political scene in the States last week, I concluded that maybe things back home weren’t that bad, all things considered, and we should thank heaven for small mercies.
After a week of madness at Westminster, I was wrong. Sane and stable? You must be joking.