Tuesday, 12 December 2023
With the drama of the Covid Inquiry and the psycho-drama engulfing Parliament and the Conservative Party ahead of the vote tonight on the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - a rather extraordinary piece of legislation, trying to do extraordinary things – you may have missed one of the most shocking State of the Nation Reports from the Centre of Social Justice (CSJ), published on Sunday 10 December.
But before I come on to the report and my blog about our True & Fair plans to tackle the underlying issues dragging our country back to the Victoria era, a little about what the emergency Rwanda Bill is trying to achieve:
- Reverse by law a finding of fact by the Supreme Court that Rwanda was not safe for asylum purposes (as one ex-Attorney General put it, trying to legislate that cats are now dogs).
- To a large extent (though not completely) rule out further legal challenges in the courts.
- Steer a course between those MPs (including former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman and, it seems, the former Immigration Minister, Robert Jenrick) who wanted to close off all possible grounds of challenge under either national or international law; and those who weren’t ready to do quite such violence to the rule of law and the UK’s international commitments.
- The bill also includes lofty (as well as unnecessary and/or self-serving) statements about parliament being sovereign and the validity of an Act being unaffected by international law.
It is also very unusual (though not unique) being accompanied by a statement from the Home Secretary that he cannot certify it as being compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In other words, crossing his fingers behind his back.
Blog: Instead of Going Back to Victorian Times, Let's Go Forwards to a New Age of Common Good
On 10 December the CSJ published one of the most shocking reports I have read for years. It was not the issues that the report uncovered that were shocking, but the depth of their findings. The report found that the UK is in danger of sliding back into the “Two Nations” of the Victorian era marked by a widening gulf between mainstream society and a depressed and poverty-stricken underclass.
COVID exposed what many of us feared, that inequality, lack of opportunity and an increasing wealth gap were leading to the rise in populism and division fuelling an emergence of right-wing politics. The State of Poverty In The UK Report - argues that the most disadvantaged in Britain are no better off than 15 years ago. Their findings are stark and are having a "catastrophic effect" on the nation's social fabric.That no political party has a plan to tackle the issues.
At the True & Fair Party, we do have a plan – read here and I hope you will share it widely and help us help our country to a better future.