The Tories are pushing laws that could turn the UK into a fascist state. We have to stand up to them before it’s too late.
We’re told that authoritarianism and fascism are things from the past. The media tells us they’re a problem that only happens outside of supposed Western democracies. And politicians make us believe we’re living in a shining example of one of them. But all that is a lie. Because the UK is rapidly descending into authoritarianism and corporate fascism. And our government is enabling it by changing the law.
Let’s break this down. Authoritarianism is the concentration of power in the hands of a few people – where a government has power over the public, does what it wants, removes people’s basic freedoms and fails to act in the best interests of the majority.
So, what laws are the UK government changing that are increasingly authoritarian?
The Nationality and Borders Bill
This nasty piece of legislation aims to make it even harder for refugees to try and seek help and safety in the UK – trashing international law in the process. The bill will criminalise refugees and stop them arriving in small boats – including measures to let border control staff do so-called ‘pushback’ techniques which puts refugees at risk of drowning. It will also let the government strip people of their UK citizenship without even telling them. This would include people of Indian, Bangladeshi and Jamaican heritage.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
Do you enjoy going out to protest? Are you a fan of disrupting the system? Do you think there’s no better way to spend an afternoon than engaged in civil disobedience? Well, you’d best think again. Because the so-called ‘police bill’ was trying to stop most of that. It was going to clamp down on our right to protest with a serious risk that anyone on non-state sanctioned demos could end up in jail. It took the unelected, privileged House of Lords to stop many of these aspects of the bill. But it might not be over yet: because the government still could add some of the nastiest anti-protest bits back in. Plus, the bill is also still really racist: targeting both the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller and Black communities with new laws and increases in police powers.
The Elections Bill
If you want to vote in an election, the Tories want you to have to show ID. This is because of voter fraud. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? Wrong. Because there are potentially millions of voters who might not have the right ID to vote – and voter fraud is a tiny issue with just a few hundred cases in recent years. Meanwhile, the Tories also want to change how the map of constituencies, the areas the UK is divided up into when we vote, looks: literally to help them get more MPs. And they just blocked a move to lower the voting age to 16 – knowing that younger people tend to be more left-wing. Donald Trump would be loving this shit.
Let’s break this down further. Corporate fascism is a form of oppressive regime that removes civil liberties while handing corporations huge wealth from the public purse as well as giving them power and control over all of us. So, what laws are the UK government changing that are increasingly corporate fascist?
The Health and Care Bill
If you’re old enough to remember British Rail, you’ll be old enough to remember the Tories intentionally making it shit so the public would happily let them privatise it. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening to our NHS – and has been for years. Except the Health and Care Bill is going to make it even easier. This is because the government is fiddling with who makes decisions about NHS services – like, for example, cancer treatment. The bill gives the government more power and will let private companies be involved locally in these decisions. So, if a private cancer treatment service wanted to buy up your local oncology ward – it could soon have the power to do so.
The Online Safety Bill
Big tech companies already have huge control over our lives. Twitter and Facebook routinely attack anyone who says things that go against the status quo. And now, the government wants them to crack down on our free speech even more. The Online Safety bill will fine companies like Twitter and Facebook if they allow people to put content on their sites the government doesn’t agree with and don’t follow the government’s “duty of care”. Plus, it aims to clamp down on end-to-end encryption. The Matrix just got real.
The Judicial Review and Courts Bill
Private companies already have power over decisions that affect many of us: just look at who makes decisions about your benefits. And we all know the power the government holds and wants to in future. But now, it wants to remove some of our rights to challenge it and the companies that work on its behalf. For example, currently if a refugee is unhappy with a Home Office decision, they can get a tribunal to look at it. If they’re unhappy with its decision, they can appeal to a higher court. But now, the government wants to remove this right – leaving refugees with little right to appeal.
The big picture
All of these law changes form part of the Tories wider end-game. Society is shifting. When the pandemic hit, those in power saw it as an opportunity to firstly increase their stranglehold over our lives – but also to make the richest in society even richer. More power and control has been given to corporations, while the rest of us have seen our rights and civil liberties increasingly chipped-away. What all these law changes also do is feed into each other. So, for example, the government’s Nationality and Borders Bill is trying to stop so many refugees getting here. Then, the Judicial Review and Courts Bill will make it harder for any refugees that do make it to challenge government decisions over the way their cases are handled in the courts. And if you take to the streets to protest these decisions, you could be sent to jail because of the police bill.
And as if there weren’t enough problems with these six pieces of law changes – you’ve then got to factor in the Tories’ majority in parliament. These deviants are constantly fiddling with the rules – to the point where it’s hard to keep up with what they’re changing. And with the Labour Party offering zero opposition, sometimes actively jumping into bed with the Tories – what the fuck are we supposed to do?
What are we supposed to do?
Well – it’s time for radical resistance. I mean – the system is already criminalising people for sitting down in the road. So, if it wants to play hard-ball then we have to up our game, too. The time for organised, ‘A-to-B’ marches where everyone carries mass-printed banners on a lovely day-out and the organisers pay the police to let them protest is over. Done. Finished. We’ve got to stop playing the game by the system’s rules. And instead, we need to make the system unmanageable. We need to learn lessons from radical movements in the past to really change things in the present. From the Black Panthers, to the anti-Poll Tax movement via the anarcho-communists in 1930s fascist Spain – to current ones like the radical Kurdish and Zapatista movements, US Black Lives Matter, Kill the Bill and the Spanish communist village of Marinaleda. We need to trespass. Take direct action. Occupy property. Watch the cops. Stop evictions. Fight deportations. Block infrastructure. And ultimately disrupt the system the Tories are part of.
The Tories are turning the UK into an authoritarian, corporate fascist state right before our eyes. If we don’t stand up to them now, when? When our basic rights have gone? When our freedoms have been completely removed? When they have cemented themselves in power for decades to come? Enough is enough. This affects all of us. And all of us have to fight back. Now.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.