The Tories are planning an assault on democracy

I write for Left Foot Forward

Voter suppression, limiting protest on the streets by banning anything that might be effective, stopping people seeking justice in the courts when the government acts in a dictatorial way – the Queen’s Speech is clearly designed to help the Conservatives stay in power for many decades longer.

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5th Day of Debate on the Queen’s Speech

There are some important pieces of legislation tucked into the Speech, but I feel that those are the ones that will fall through the cracks and that we will probably not get around to. This is very distressing because it will be the most regressive laws that come through and that the Government support. This is really appealing to the darkest parts of human nature and it is not good for our collective psyche, not just here in the House but in the wider society. As such, I promise you strong and relentless opposition.

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Undercover Policing Inquiry – no access to Special Branch registry files

Baroness Clark of Kilwinning tabled an Oral Question to ask HMG what assessment they have made of the progress of the Undercover Policing Inquiry into police surveillance, established in 2015.

I said: My Lords, the chair of the inquiry has ruled that the Special Branch registry files, which could give more information about the work of undercover officers, will not be part of the inquiry. That means that the truth will be very filtered, which makes it hard for core participants, who feel that they will not get justice. Would the Minister agree to a meeting with me and perhaps a member of each of the opposition parties to discuss the major flaws in the inquiry and why the core participants are so upset?

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COVID 19 ONE YEAR ON – The unlawful, coercive and nasty parts of the Coronavirus Act must be repealed and a public inquiry launched

One year ago Parliament passed the biggest infringements to our rights and civil liberties that this country has ever witnessed. We were promised that there would be meaningful reviews of the provisions and that the Government would repeal anything that was not absolutely necessary and proportionate. A couple of days later, the Government published the real rules in the lockdown regulations, which imposed even tighter restrictions than were ever anticipated in the Coronavirus Act. Continue reading “COVID 19 ONE YEAR ON – The unlawful, coercive and nasty parts of the Coronavirus Act must be repealed and a public inquiry launched”

A hostile environment for migrants sanctions domestic abuse

When a survivor of domestic abuse reaches out for help, they should be treated as a human being and given the help that they need unconditionally. What is the Government’s priority? Do they care more about helping survivors of domestic abuse end that abuse and making them safe, or about catching and deporting migrants?

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Trade Bill ‘Ping Pong’ – Lords oppose Government over Genocide amendment

This is about ethics, morality, having a clear conscience and making sure that we behave as a democracy should, by abhorring genocide and people being murdered, tortured and imprisoned. This is about operating as an enlightened nation and when we talk about genocide, we ought to talk as well about ecocide—large-scale environmental destruction and ecological damage. Although it is not as obvious, it is a slow genocide. It drives people away from their land, makes them poor and gives them fewer opportunities and terrible lives. We should accept that we do that sort of damage, and that we do it in virtually every act of our lives. In some way, we impact on our environment and the rest of the world and, by doing that, we can damage the health and well-being of other nations and people who live in the places where we get our food or the minerals for our phones. So we ought to think very carefully about how we operate as individuals and as a nation.

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