IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

We must overturn Mrs May’s dictatorial denial of a debate

21 December, 2018

Theresa May

AT no time has the description of the parliamentary system as an “elective dictatorship” by Lord Hailsham, made many years ago, been more true.

What other description fits the dictatorial behaviour of Theresa May who has used – to the shock of many parliamentarians and constitutionalists – to crudely ban any debate earlier this month on the most vital question of Brexit facing the economy and the people of Britain.

Encouraged by the failure of the Commons to rein her in, she then embarked on Tuesday on a nefarious scheme to spend billions of pounds on preparing for a No Deal climax to the negotiations she has failed to successfully bring to a satisfactory conclusion.

This can be regarded as blackmail.

To try and solve the dilemma, Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer yesterday succeeded in forcing a debate on the disastrous No Deal plan, pointing out the disasters facing the nation.

An intervention by a former Camden Town Labour figure, Chris Bryant, questioned the executive powers of the Prime Minister and suggested this should be investigated.

Here, we are back to the prescient remarks of Lord Hailsham. Mr Bryant didn’t accuse Mrs May of acting like a dictator but he may well have done.

It is quite extraordinary that our MPs are being strapped into a system that forbids them from debating Mrs May’s deal which will affect every Briton – for the worse.

The very vibrancy of our parliamentary system is being tested as never before – and it is failing in every direction.

This is not a matter of whether you voted Remain or Leave. It is that our representatives should have the right to debate. Down has come the repressive hand of Mrs May – and not only are they denied it but, consequently, so are the people.

We doubt whether such a snub has been delivered by a prime minister before.

Worryingly, the streets are quiet. Where are the demonstrations, by Leavers or Remainers (does it matter)? What matters is that the public should be up in arms.

Political activists in Camden – Labour, Tory, Green or Lib-Dem – should put pressure, by whatever means, on No 10 Downing Street to allow a debate. That we have to ask for it tells you what state politics in Britain is in.

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