Tories Put Forward New Far Right Bills: Ban the Burqa, Privatise the BBC, Bring Back Death Penalty

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A group of Conservative MP’s have put forward a series of hard right bills before the House of Commons – terming it the ‘Alternative Queen’s Speech’.  There are 40 separate proposals including banning the burqa, privatising the BBC and turning the late August Bank Holiday into Margaret Thatcher Day. What does this say about the future of UK politics?

The Gang of Four

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The bills have been put together by Conservative MPs Peter Bone (pictured above), David Nuttall, Christopher Chope and Phillip Hollobone.  One has to at least admire the determination of this cabal of grey men in grey suits who held a four night sit in at the House of Public Bills Office to use an obscure parliamentary procedure to present their bills before the House last night. The four MPs apparently agreed a rota for toilet and sustenance trips in order to keep their place at the head of the queue and put their barmy bill before parliament.

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone, who slept on a camp bed in the office for four nights in order to keep their place at the head of the queue said: “It was four nights in a rather hot, square stuffy room right under Big Ben – so not conducive to a good night’s sleep. But it ensured that we were first in the queue when the slots for Private Members’ Bills were given out.”

The MPs claim that their plans are popular among Conservative MPs, represent the will of the public and could form the bulk of the 2015 Conservative Party Manifesto.  Peter Bone, the MP for Wellingborough and one of the architects of the document, said: “This is serious attempt to deliver policies that the British public really want. There are ideas here that could form the basis of a future Conservative manifesto.”

The Bills

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The bills may be music to the ears of right wingers Melanie Phillips and Jeremy Clarkson

The bills themselves sadly illicit no admiration at all.  They are a bigot bomb of populist and nonsensical proposals, more suited to a scene from Spitting Image than modern day politics.  The policies include:

  • Ban the burqa (1)
  • Bring back national service (2)
  • Leave the EU (3)
  • Make parents legally responsible for crimes committed by their children (4)
  • Reintroduce the death penalty (10)
  • Decriminalise the non-payment of the licence fee (16)
  • Rename the August bank holiday as Margaret Thatcher Day (18)
  • Hold a referendum on equal marriage (23)
  • Privatise the BBC (27)
  • Abolish the office of Deputy Prime Minister (also known as “kill Nick Clegg”) (28)
  • Leave the EU – again (they’re not taking any chances) (30)
  • Ban sexual harassment claims unless the alleged offence is illegal and has been reported to the police (34)

The full list of bills can be viewed here.

The bills amount to a full swing to the knee jerk right by the Conservative back bench.  The policies seek to abolish laws on racial and gender equality, to weaken laws governing sexual harassment in the workplace, to abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change, to deport immigrants and asylum seekers and withdraw any rights to welfare, to bring back the death penalty and withdraw from the European Union.  They amount to nothing more than an attempt to reset the balance of power.  They articulate rich, straight, white male fury at needing to think before they speak, keep their hands to themselves, to share their workplace with women who are not simply there to pour their tea and massage their ego, and share a country with people who do not look or sound like them. It is an inward looking, selfish, cruel set of bills which seek to throw Britain back to the 1950’s – a place where you would not want to be if you were anything but a straight, white, man.  No surprise then that the MPs who conceived and back these policies are just such men.

A Bit of Contrast in Monochrome Politics

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As appalling and ridiculous as these policies may be, it cannot go unnoticed that at least these plucky little bigots got it together to mount a decent rebellion – however misguided.  For those of a different hue who have seen the Labour Party entirely co-opted by neoliberal zealots, this kind of revolt is the stuff of dreams.

The Labour Party left has manifestly failed to seize back its party from the clutches of Blue Labour – and as a result, the electorate have been left with absolutely no choice in the mainstream political system.  No choice on austerity, no choice on foreign military intervention, no choice on Europe, no choice on the Bank Bailout, no choice on civil liberties.

The only difference between the parties is the willingness to use taxpayer money to subsidise the failures of Capitalism.  Labour will spend to pick up the worst damage done by unemployment, poverty wages and soaring living costs – the Tories will divert that money into tax cuts and corporate subsidies believing (or not) it will all trickle down in the end.  Either way, we’re paying for the egregious wealth of others.

While we might be offended at the right wing nature of these bills, we should be vastly more offended by the utter moral bankruptcy of our political system.

The people of Turkey and Brazil are out in the streets in their millions right now, in the face of tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and reported live fire.  Meanwhile, the majority of the UK electorate have been sitting on the fence so long their asses are full of splinters.  The fight back is being left to the disabled, the jobless, those in the Precariat who have no choice but to fight, and a passionate but too small diaspora of critical thinkers and activists.  We are outnumbered and we need the engagement of a much wider cross section of the British public.

 

Where is our solidarity?

Where is our compassion?

Where exactly is the end of our tether?

 

Today we might think the above bills unthinkable, that there would be a revolt before they were passed.  Yet, if someone would have said in 2010, that the NHS would be privatised, secret courts would be introduced, people would be forced to work full time for corporations in order to receive their social security payments, or that 10,600 sick or disabled people would die each year within weeks of having their benefits removed after ATOS declared them ‘Fit to Work’ – if someone had suggested all this would happen, with barely a whimper of protest from the masses, we might not have believed it.

 

Until we become more active and engaged citizens, we will get the government we deserve.

12 thoughts on “Tories Put Forward New Far Right Bills: Ban the Burqa, Privatise the BBC, Bring Back Death Penalty

  1. THE MAD MEN: They wrecked the economy, now theyre going to shut down the power stations. Feck me man, whats the matter with these people, anybody would think that they are self serving parasites or paranoid narcissists or something. Here we are sitting in the desolation of Devon in the middle of a (its not a recession) economic downturn. The streets are empty, the pubs are dying but everythings ok cause LONDON is all right and they dont give a shit about anybody else.
    So here they fecking come with their PLANNING or as the Tories like to call it NO PLANNING
    permission cause if its ok for THE CORPORATIONS then lets just rip up the fields & turn them into houses for the rich & the Immi (no thats not pc) And then RWE Npower comes up with this BRILLIANT plan to stick WIND FARM IN THE SEA OF NORTH DEVON.
    Well I must say that when that NUTTER Tony Blair got on his Macho Ego Green trip at the EU conference & promised that the UK would be 20% GREENER in 2020 we all laughed… ha ha ha! And when he shut down the Research & Development for NUCLEAR FUSION we thought what a twat but now here we are faced with fecking WINDMILLS IN THE SEA.
    All I can say is that these people are stark staring mad.
    THE MAD MEN: UK politicians have abandoned NUCLEAR FUSION the future of world energy for fecking WINDMILLS IN THE SEA.
    Which obviously looks very good on paper, inLONDON, if your mad or pissed. But here, in reality it just fecking INSANE.
    I can’t even be bothered to point out how many ways this is wrong.
    Anybody who thinks putting a WINDFARM IN THE SEA is A GREEN project needs a serious appointment at the therapist.
    If you want to STOP this insanity please sign up at http://www.STOPTHEARRAY.COM
    PLEASE DON’T KILL OUR SEALS..

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  3. The basic problem is that Labour are no better as an alternative. When they were last in power the only reason they didn’t turn the country into a Surveillance State is because they ran out of cash when Brown bailed out the other Merchant Bankers!

    • how about no government? do you still think we really can’t look after ourselves and our communities? no gov’t = no tax, no more laws designed to introduce more fines and charges = loads more money for everything else = we can all do jobs we want to do, and not work 60 hours per week. (no government does not mean no police or justice, we’d still have the golden rule.) plan?

  4. Sitting on our arses, doing nothing? That’s not my experience at all, nor that of most of the people around me. But then we are all disabled, living in one of the poorest boroughs in the UK and facing a future of chronic ill health with a crumbling health and social services structure. But we also know that, if things get more difficult and the peasants start to grumble, the UK Government will promptly award the police a pay rise and the peasants will soon be beaten back into submission.

    Which is why this little bit of good news caught my eye, a silver lining to our dark cloudy sky:
    http://www.london24.com/news/court/met_protest_treatment_ruled_unlawful_by_high_court_1_2241273

  5. I’ll go along with a “Margaret Thatcher” day as long as it’s on the same lines as Guy Fawkes’ night. Privatise the BBC? Good, it might make it harder to censor them; Withdraw from Europe? They want that so they can do away with out Human Rights (such as they are); Ban sexual harassment complaints- seems very popular, I wonder why? Make parents responsible for the crimes committed by their children? Now that’s interesting. The state assumes “superior guardianship” when the child is registered shortly after birth, so technically that would make the state responsible.

  6. Sigh. Do the Conservatives secretly prefer opposition to government? Because claptrap like this “alternative manifesto” is a surefire way of getting there.

    Economy. Economy. Economy. THAT is what the Conservative Party needs to be talking about. Coming up with some decent supply side policies to actually spur growth. Stripping away regulation based in UK law and renegotiating our EU membership to free ourselves from the shackles of European regulation.

    These MPs seriously want to talk about the death penalty, Margaret Thatcher Day and watering down sexual harrassment claim rules (because the Conservatives don’t already have a woman voter problem…)

    What is the point of winning your safe constituencies populated by grey-haired, stuffy patricians by an increased margin of 10% if your backward-ass policies cause you to lose all of your marginal constituencies by the same amount, and the general election at the same time?

    These dinosaurs need to understand the damage they are doing to the conservative brand.

  7. I went on the marches against the Iraq war, having finally realised Tony Blair was a Tory, and I watched in despair as the protesters joined the rally to support our troops (Now that war begun). When Brian set up camp outside Parliament, to inform and protest our ‘heroes’ actions there, we ignored him. We have the Government we deserve, we’re Plebs after all, bred to be subservient

  8. That I don’t find myself doubting the potentiality of these surreal and frightening tools of inequality and hatred given the blindness, reactionism and insensitivity of my society makes me feel more depressed and impotent than I have for some time. That while the Brazilians coalesce admirably against corruption, we in the first world entertain the authority of these neo-conservative vermin stuns me, and I am, more often than ever, deeply ashamed of the British. I don’t have an ounce of affection for my country.

  9. Please, please, please say it like it really is! We have sat back on our arses – NOT “asses” – don’t use a small horse-type animal, or an Americanism to spare our blushes. We KNOW, many of us, what we need to do just as we ALL know how our British stiff-upper-lip precludes the required actions from ever happening: we’re good at fighting wars all around the world, defending and attacking the peoples of other nations, but absolutely rubbish at giving our “leaders” and “betters” a bloody good kicking when they need it – like right NOW for instance! And we’re far too easily misled by a posh voice with a seemingly reasonable point of view until it’s far too late to react to the shit that we voluntarily step into…

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