When birds fly...
Holly Finch is flying into the light...and it is damn lovely to see.
Hope after sadness, healing after shock and fear.
The picture is of a diamond finch: appropriate.
The political is the personal, more often than you'd think
The picture is of a diamond finch: appropriate.
'I used to write. I used to criticise the Government. Before the news was fully-censored, the internet fully-controlled, before the irises of my eyes were scanned, and my data, my DNA, my movements, my visited-websites, my credit history, tax payments, my voting patterns, my medical history and benefit claims, and my criminal record all stored and regularly checked. When Parliament's M.Ps could still debate freely, when the Prince of Wales could cheerfully call himself 'a dissident'and not be immediately arrested. When people felt they could still move freely, talk freely, work freely, read freely, debate freely, protest freely. Even though they were already being CCTV-taped, watched, tracked, logged, could be arrested on a minor pretext, still, then, they were mostly left alone. You'd have thought people would have worried more about what was coming, but they still trusted that we had a benign and democratic tradition of freedom and they didn't want to read the signs. The Government of the day grew bolder, more authoritarian; they curtailed civil liberities and they misused their powers, but people still didn't want to believe that there was anything too badly wrong.
I used to write. But after a while, I was too afraid. I'm not sorry that I wrote it, but I had to tell them I was, later. It all became too difficult, you see. We let them take our freedom away, and we didn't shout loud enough. And now it is too late.'
You give people power; they tend to want more of it, of course. What do you think will happen if we allow Governments and their officials more power to pry and to manage and to control the unruly lives of their citizens? Quite - a wise man wrote this once:
'All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience
to remain silent.'
'Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government
those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it
''The (deliberately?) unsnappily-titled Legislative & Regulatory Reform Bill aims to make it quicker and easier to...''
create a new offence of incitement to religious hatred, punishable with two years’ imprisonment;
curtail or abolish jury trial;
permit the Home Secretary to place citizens under house arrest;
allow the Prime Minister to sack judges;
rewrite the law on nationality and immigration;
“reform” Magna Carta (or what remains of it).
Yes, kids, it will become possible for your trusty Government to do all this, by quick-sticks ministerial order, without any of those boring old debates in Parliament with the snoresville-merchants-elected representatives of the people asking tiresome time-wasting questions. No more of that yawnsome yakking on blah-blah- Right-Honourable-friend-blah-yada-yada-order-order stuff. Bish bosh, modern, funky, streamlined thinking, that's what we're all about. Sorted! Wah-hey!
oh, but, hang on...
Sshhh... stop moaning there at the back!
It's only a little tiny bill. Don't worry your pretty little heads about it.
Let us decide what is best for you all..without all that bothersome Parliament palarver
Meanwhile 6 Cambridge Law Professors write... about what the Government are up to...
( 2 of the Professors are knights of the realm, 3 of them are Q.Cs, by the way)
'It would, in short, create a major shift of power within the state, which in other countries would require an amendment to the constitution; and one in which the winner would be the executive, and the loser Parliament.
David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, made this point at the Second Reading of the Bill last week. We hope that other MPs, on all sides of the House, will recognise the dangers of what is being proposed before it is too late. '
Hmmm, Marcel Berlin... muses in the Guardian
'...is it seriously being suggested that it will really use such methods to pass laws it doesn't feel like putting to Parliament? On the whole, no - and yet, in our current overcharged political climate, it is not too fanciful to imagine the government using every procedural trick to impose laws on the quiet, rather than face a parliamentary storm.
What bothers me most is that the government wants these powers in the first place. They are constitutionally dangerous, giving to the executive what should be a function of the legislature.
And they are unnecessary.'
This Government doesn't listen to ordinary people's protesting voices, they won't let protesting voices within a mile of the Houses of Parliament, now they want the option of not even listening to protesting voices in Parliamentary debate! And this is from fellow M.Ps, not the bothersome rabble of voters!
FFS. Why not abolish elections? In fact, why not just get a throne and a crown and a court and announce that you now rule by divine right? I can hear it now...
'Because, y'know, trust me, it's just...better...and safer... and more free... for all of you hard-working families to have things that way.'