Smoke and mirrors

AS the UK has been boiling with rage about Christmas parties held in No 10 a year ago, a new bill has passed through parliament that has made second class citizens out of more than six million British people. Anyone granted British citizenship can now have it taken away with zero warning, a move branded unconstitutional by human rights lawyers.

It also gives immunity to border force staff if people die during their operations and allows them to transfer refugees to offshore ‘processing centres’ where they can be detained indefinitely.

The Borders and Nationality bill has been deemed dangerous and unethical by critics, yet it passed through the Commons after just nine minutes of debate, with its main backer, Priti Patel “delighted.”

Little has been written in the press about this, as the space has been taken up with Christmas quizzes, cheese and wine, and leaked videos. While I support holding the government to account for breaking rules and showing disregard for the people they are supposed to represent, we must remember to stay alert.

For every scandal, something worse may be lurking. For every furore that fills column inches, there’s something else could be sneaking its way in. Just as Matt Hancock was conveniently thrown to the wolves as another controversial bill had its first reading, Allegra Stratton and others will provide cover as this unethical law-making is waved through.

The next piece of democracy-stealing, rights-stripping law will come via the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, legislation that would not look out of place in an authoritarian regime.

Effectively banning the right to protest, it takes away the democratic right to dissent and the voice of people who are disproportionally affected by government policy. Again, spearheaded by the Home Secretary, who made serious amendments to the bill while people looked the other way.

Patel is dangerous, and that’s why my inkling for what is next is so scary.

Boris Johnson has shown himself to be ruthless when it comes to axing people who disagree with his aims. But I think he will soon fall on the sword left out for him.

With the news that Patel is making a leadership move, I felt a scared resignation. When Johnson gets the chop, amid the inevitable uproar over this winter’s inescapable Covid deaths, a wolf in home secretary’s clothing will come through the door, and they will spin it like it’s an upgrade. Terrifying.

Claire Gordon’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Claire Gordon

FINDING BALANCE IN AN UNEVEN WORLD

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