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A fiery denunciation of the “cabal’s” decision to suspend parliament

Constitutional chicanery

Poles apart from Murdoch’s exultant Sun, which calls it a ‘masterstroke’, the FT’s editorial team describes the decision as ‘an affront to democracy’: “Boris Johnson has detonated a bomb under the constitutional apparatus of the United Kingdom . . . Proroguing parliament ahead of a Queen’s Speech is established procedure, but for one or two weeks, not five. Mr Johnson is using constitutional chicanery to thwart a parliament that he knows has a majority against his chosen policy”.

An intolerable attempt to silence parliament

The decision, without modern precedent, is described as “an intolerable attempt to silence parliament until it can no longer halt a disastrous crash-out from EU by the UK”. British democracy is being denied a say on the most important issue facing the country for more than four decades.

The FT’s editorial team recommends parliamentarians to bring down Johnson’s government in a no-confidence vote, paving the way for an election in which the people can express their will.

Charlatans, demagogues and would-be dictators

Pointing out that history has shown that charlatans, demagogues and would-be dictators have little time for representative government, they comment: “Mr Johnson may not be a tyrant, but he has set a dangerous precedent. He and the cabal around him who have chosen this revolutionary path should be careful what they wish for. No premier who has assumed power outside a general election has ever deviated so radically from his party’s previous platform”, and end:

“Mr Johnson is framing the current battle as one between parliament and the people . . . he should be ready to test this with voters in an election — rather than making a cavalier attempt to frustrate the parliamentary democracy that has been the foundation of Britain’s prosperity and stability”.

 

 

 

 

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August Goff: Birmingham students unite against climate change: 15th March 2019

August, who lives in Moseley, sends a first-hand account of Birmingham students’ march against climate change. 

He writes:

More than five hundred Birmingham students bunked off school today to march against climate change.

All Birmingham-based photographs reproduced with permission: copyright August Goff

Youth Strike 4 Climate coordinated young people from various educational establishments across the city who met up in the city centre.

They marched from Victoria Square, down New Street, through Pigeon Park and back to Victoria Square to protest against the inaction of governments to tackle climate change.

The march was organised by Katie Riley, a Birmingham student. She spoke at the rally, saying:

“Educate the youth of tomorrow and the parliament of today because people who don’t know what climate change is about don’t know how dangerous it is. Some people think the topic is dull and boring because the curriculum makes it like that. So, we need to change how people view climate change in order to get the change we deserve.”

Councillors from local political parties attended, as did Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Yardley.

Similar events have taken place in 100 British towns and other cities including London, Edinburgh, Canterbury, Oxford and Cambridge, calling for urgent action to tackle climate change, cut emissions and switch to renewable energy.

A few hours later a message was received from Irish colleagues, sending a podcast with messages from two 11-year-olds, Eve O’Connor and Beth Malone, who are involved in the schools climate strikes movementThousands turned out in Dublin and demonstrations were held in many towns.

 

 

 

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Assisted Dying 6: continuing to deny British people a civilised and peaceful death

Though some form of assisted dying and/or euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Columbia, Oregon, Washington and Montana, and tragic cases in Britain continue to be reported, progress towards a more civilised Britain is appallingly slow.

Patricia Bell was the county archivist of Bedfordshire between 1968 and 1986 and edited the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society’s publications between 1977 and 1991.

The Mail reports that, after making two previous suicide attempts, Ms Bell, who was suffering ‘a great deal of pain’ from breast cancer and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, was found dead in a pond. At the inquest evidence was given that she had begun to worry that she might ‘end up in a home’.

In an official obituary published in the Guardian, Ms Bell’s close friend Richard Wildman said: ‘Her greatest fear was that she would emulate some of her cousins and live to an extreme and uncomfortable old age’.

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A good servant of the state?

Was it an attempt to maintain the status quo that made deputy coroner Bob Amos record an open verdict, despite reading the letters from friends and hearing the words from her carer about her attempts to take her own life?

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Parliament should take long overdue action and set aside the need of the powerful ‘health/care’ industry for clients and the Christian right’s desire to impose religious inhibitions on the majority who do not share them – then legislate for well-regulated assisted dying for those who want and need it.