Britain’s political crisis just got much deeper when the prime minister announced he would suspend parliament from mid-September for five weeks. Coming the day after MPs agreed a cross-party plan to avoid No Deal, it’s clear that Boris Johnson’s purpose is to prevent MPs from having time to stop his dangerous vision for Brexit.
Whether you were for Leave or Remain, this is about democracy. We cannot allow this prime minister to suspend parliament because he doesn’t think it will vote for No Deal. Every one of us needs to stand up and be counted.
Already, over 1.4 million have signed a petition on the government website calling for the suspension to be reversed. Thousands of people have taken to the streets to say no to the shutdown of democracy and further protests are scheduled across the UK.
At Global Justice Now, we always feared that Brexit would be used to push through a radical programme of deregulation and liberalisation, which is why we campaigned to remain in the EU during the referendum. It’s why we set out our red lines for any acceptable Brexit deal in the aftermath of the result. And it’s why we opposed Theresa May’s deal earlier this year.
Since Boris Johnson became prime minister, we have got a clearer idea of what this extreme Brexit would look like: a toxic trade deal with the US, a hostile environment extended to millions more migrants, and free market policies extended into more and more aspects of our society. Now he is attempting to bypass our elected parliament to force this through.
It’s what the author and activist Naomi Klein has called ‘the shock doctrine’, creating a political crisis in order to restructure an economy in deeply unpopular ways. Johnson knows that he can’t get this vision through parliament, so he’s proposing to render our elected representatives powerless to stop it.
This attack on democratic rights is part of a global trend which is being used by authoritarian leaders in the United States, India, Brazil, the Philippines and more. Donald Trump and his fellow populist leaders are attempting to subvert democracy so they can push through policies which will make the world a less fair, equal or sustainable place.
We would never claim that our democracy is perfect. We urgently need to reform our political system, as well as radically change our economy and our relationship with our environment. But Johnson’s attack on our democratic rights will only make it harder.
This is a very serious moment for this country, and a very dangerous moment for the world. Please help challenge this attack on our democratic rights, and using those rights to work for a better world. Sign the petition against the suspension of parliament. Join the nationwide protests this Saturday 31 August to defend democracy and #StopTheCoup.
This blog was originally published by Global Justice Now.
Battles for survival: climate crisis and far right rising ● Europe’s creeping fascism ● The far right in Britain ● New anti-racist movements ● The climate uprising ● Green New Deal debate ● Lowkey interview ● Anti-fascist music ● Book reviews ● and much more
And you choose how much to pay for your subscription...
Even worse than failing to win office would be winning it while unprepared for the realities of government. Christine Berry considers what Labour needs to do to avoid the fate of Syriza in Greece
The Conservative Party is in a process of ideological decline or even disintegration, argue James Butler and Richard Seymour.
Landry Ninteretse and Ian Rivera share perspectives from Kenya and the Philippines and call for universal energy systems that are clean and renewable, public and decentralised
Red Pepper’s picks of The World Transformed festival, in Brighton from 21-24 September
Winning elections is not enough. To transform society we need to involve the people in policy making, argue Kerem Dikerdem and Annie Quick
Chloe Tomlinson lays out the battle lines for a more egalitarian, democratic and holistic education system. Essential reading ahead of The World Transformed education sessions
As a US-friendly no-deal Brexit inches closer, Bonnie Castillo of National Nurses United explains why US nurses have joined the fight against NHS privatisation. Recommended reading ahead of The World Transformed health sessions