Theresa May is desperately clutching on to power. And she is more than willing to circumvent democracy to do so.
Firstly, she announced a two-year parliament; then, she signed her dodgy deal with the DUP; and now, she is considering closing parliament for a bumper 12-week summer holiday. Seemingly so that MPs don’t oust her from power.
Each year, the Queen’s Speech sets out the government’s agenda for the upcoming parliamentary session. If parliament does not accept the agenda or its legitimacy, the speech can be voted down. This represents a vote of no confidence in the government. But May has now cancelled the 2018 Queen’s Speech, doubling the length of the next parliamentary session to two years.
The Conservatives claim the highly irregular move is to ensure there’s enough time to pass complicated Brexit legislation. But cancelling the 2018 Queen’s Speech conveniently avoids a parliamentary procedure where May could be voted out of power.
And as Channel 4 News journalist Jon Snow pointed out:
It does not take a whole Government to negotiate BREXIT: why abandon 2018 Queen's Speech amid worst social housing crisis since1945?
— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) June 18, 2017
May finally managed to sign her dodgy deal with the DUP on 26 June. The £1.5bn ‘confidence and supply’ agreement (with £1bn of new money) was branded a “grubby deal” and a “bribe” by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
Not only does the deal threaten the Northern Irish peace process, but it’s also a massive slap in the face for democracy. It gives 10 MPs, who together received a tiny fraction of the overall vote, unprecedented power over all of us. And it has come at a cost of £1bn of taxpayers’ money. That’s £1bn of our money that wasn’t in a manifesto commitment.
We’re all going on a summer holiday
Now, the Conservative Party is trying to get an agreement to take a bumper 12-week summer holiday. Parliament is due to go into recess on 12 July. But the Tories are hoping to bring this forward. They’re also looking at getting rid of the short parliamentary session in September. This means MPs would not return to work until early October.
And the reason for giving MPs an eye-wateringly long break that the rest of us could only dream about? To keep May’s shaky grasp on power intact. A Conservative source told [paywall] The Sunday Times:
The whips think if people are in parliament they are more likely to be plotting. They think Theresa is safer if we’re all abroad.
Enough is enough!
Theresa May didn’t have to call a snap election. But she did. And the country spoke. Now, she is living with the consequences of that decision.
The Conservatives won the most seats. This gives them the right to form a minority government. But it does not give them the right to circumvent democracy, bribe MPs for votes, cancel parliamentary procedures, or shut down parliament.
Enough is enough! A big chunk of voters sent a clear message on 8 June. A message that we’re tired of austerity, of a hard Brexit, and of a ruling elite that puts the interests of the rich above the interests of the rest of us. It is not and should not be business as usual. And we need to make sure all our voices are heard to ensure that May and her cronies do not get away with this.
– Join the Million March on London on July 1st
Featured image via YouTube
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