>Tories to ‘harden their reign’ by planning ‘Hard Rain’ on the Civil Service.
>Johnson, Gove and Cummings drive Britain towards elective dictatorship.
Last week, Cummings warned that a “hard rain” would soon fall on the Civil Service.
Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary and Nat. Security Advisor, has quit. Seems a revolution may sweep through Government over the next years if Johnson, Gove and Cummings get their way.
The vast majority of new Whitehall appointments are now going to business and data experts : ‘disrupters’ : in Cummings words, “weirdos and misfits”. The search for a new permanent secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) already involves New York headhunters. BEIS is recruiting a new head of behavioural change, data and insight with the aim of using data to revolutionise its communications strategy. The Department for Work and Pensions is recruiting 16 business analysts and nine new software engineers to organise its “products”. Vacancies at the Cabinet Office are in data and demography. Databases are to be created for Disabled and BAME.
Gove recently praised Cummings’ new 800£M advanced research projects agency to allow scientists to follow their latest “crazy” ideas. He said that “the Government….is hostile to risk, experimentation and novelty”. He laid out the Government’s programme:
“We should… ask how we judge the real impact of development spending…”
A report by the House of Lords Constitution Committee has forensically examined every piece of Brexit legislation and discovered that 2021 can expect a ministerial ‘power grab’. Democratic accountability will be short-changed: The Government is using what are commonly known as Henry VIII powers – or statutory instruments – to give it authoritarian powers. These include powers to create new criminal offences, impose unlimited fines , overrule some Scottish legislation and to perform changes to Duties and Taxes . At most, Parliament will get 90 minutes to debate each change. In some cases, it will only be able to debate the change after it is already law.
In his speech, Gove also took aim at two other powerful bodies that provide accountability: the National Audit Office and select committees. He blamed them for the failure of Whitehall to be bold:
“Far too often, innovation in Government is treated as though it were a mischief … The default mechanism of the NAO, PAC [Public Accounts Committee], other select committees and various commentators is that any departure from the status quo must be downside . ”
Alarmingly, ministers have also taken powers under the ‘EU Withdrawal Act’ to specify what retained EU law they should follow – not just at the Supreme Court but in the lower courts and at tribunals too. Combined with this, ministers want to reform the judicial review procedure and assess judges; designs to reduce the independence of the judiciary.
By the time of the General Election in 2024, if they have their way, Britain will have a smaller, more authoritarian Government. The judiciary will be less independent and Parliament will not have to meet as frequently – because many laws will be amended by ministers without any primary legislation.
Video from a meeting of the parliamentary Defence Select Committee has emerged showing Tory MP and committee member Mark Francois threatening the chief of the UK’s armed forces that Dominic Cummings will ‘sort you out’.
That’s an unelected adviser – and one only recently disgraced in the eyes of much of the population – essentially going to war on the armed forces personnel of this country – and Francois shows no sign that he is being anything less than serious:This is a clip that in all likelihood will become a definitive moment in the history of excessive and anti-democratic power in the UK.
The Government’s next steps are going to be restoring the economy and negotiating in a post-Brexit world – at the same time. Will it be a recipe for chaos?
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