How wondrous is democracy

The Housing Bill: A Very Dark Hour For Democracy


All we’re waiting for now is royal assent and this legislation is the new law of the land, to be implemented by central and local government, and enforceable by the cops and the courts. So much for parliamentary democracy.

Hmm, what happened?

If the two Houses had not reached consensus over the final text of the Bill before the state opening of Parliament on May 18, the government could have invoked the Parliament Act and forced the Bill through in its original form, without any of the Lords amendments.

The Minister had hinted at this threat with his repeated reminders to the Lords that the Bill was part of the government’s election manifesto and therefore has a democratic mandate.

So now, after six months of debate — first through its two readings in the House of Commons, then a month in the Public Bill Committee, then again in the report to and final reading in the Commons, then for two readings in the House of Lords, a further month in Committee, another report to and final reading in the Lords, back again to the Commons, and then back and forth between Lords and Commons — the Housing and Planning Bill has not changed in any significant way since it was first read in the House of Commons on October 13 2015.

The complaint is that none of the Lords amendments made it into the final bill. Well, OK, maybe that’s a good idea and maybe that’s a bad idea but we do indeed have the Parliament Act, the Lords may not interfere with finance bills and election manifesto promises are generally thought to be not subject to Lords amendments.

But that the unelected Lords did not get its way and the elected Commons did is hardly an argument that this is against democracy, is it?

The truly mindboggling thing about this argument is that it is being made in the Morning Star……

20 thoughts on “How wondrous is democracy”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    The morning star complaining that the unelected HoL hasn’t been able to amend or block the elected HoC Bills? Have I woken up in a // universe?

  2. “Democratic” in The Morning Star means the will of the majority of the Communist Party Central Committee. UK General Elections are irrelevant.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Well the Morning Star has a long history of using “democracy” in idiosyncratic ways. The People’s Will and all that.

    I guess they mean Democracy = getting what they want. Therefore it follows Not getting what they want != Democracy.

  4. The odd thing about communism is that the first thing that the victorious communist revolutionaries do is kill the old oligarchy and replace it with their own oligarchy.

    All very Game of Thrones.

    A quick google reveals:

    The FAQ section of the website is quite amusing. Especially the answer concerning the collapse of the Soviet Union:

    “The collapse of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the early 90s was a massive setback.”

    Not to most people it wasn’t!

  5. Even when the demos has voted in favour of the party promising to implement that policy?

  6. Social Justice Warrior

    It may well strike you as unjust, but why on earth does it strike you as undemocratic?

  7. “It does strike me as rather undemocratic for the government to be expropriating the assets of Housing Associations.”

    How undemocratic was it in 1945-50 for the Attlee Labour government to expropriate the assets of private individuals?

  8. As a former Housing Association board member I agree that it’s wrong for the government to steal HA’s assets, but it’s not undemocratic. The Demos voted for a Communist government, and the Communist government is implementing its promises to steal private property. It is very democratic. My biggest surprise is that David Carmeron turned out to be a Communist.

  9. There is nothing other than private use

    “Public” is just socialist bollocks. Peoples stuff or cash is stolen and mostly pissed against the wall “for the good of us all”. According to those who are doing the stealing and the pissing. The end result is such as shite schools and bullshit NHS claims to be free while soaking up 110-120 billion every year and providing a shoddy and inferior service at best.

  10. @ SJW
    It doesn’t include a ban on the Labour Party expropriating private property for private use by other private individuals through their mandating that the poor pay rich people installing solar PV panels through their electricity bills. So you are *not* using the normal english meaning.

  11. Having once been a long term housing association tenant, I can only welcome the legislation. Appropriating private property? Indeed. Housing associations have long regarded their housing stock as personal property, to be used to further their particular brands of socialism. I can well remember the HA “magazine” came through the door boasting of how the association was favouring awarding tenancies to ethnic minorities in a proportion far greater than their representation in the wider community.
    Then there was the conversation I had with a regional housing manager & learning the association was moving* # tenants out of the typical Victorian & Edwardian terraced properties – those that typically provided a single bed flat at ground floor with a 2 or three bed over – & encouraging them to sign up for shared ownership new builds out beyond the M25. This was in response to policies of Livingstone’s GLC to prioritise housing for large families in Inner London. Doesn’t take much imagination to work out, this would be moving predominantly white tenants (tendency to small families & singles) out of the electorate & replacing them with immigrants (tendency to large families)

    *The way this was done was illegal. By neglecting building maintenance (a responsibility & requirement actually set out in the tenancy agreements) they were allowing the buildings to deteriorate. A tame surveyor would then inspect the building & declare it “beyond economical repair”. & the tenants were deceitfully informed they were obliged to be rehoused. I remember one house. the justification for “beyond economical repair” was a leaking roof would have cost a couple thousand to repair & some structural cracking had probably appeared sometime in the 1920’s & remained stable for the next 70 years. The destiny of the condemned properties was to be knocked out at auction & the directorship lists of the developers who placed successful bids (knowing the actual structural conditions of the buildings) made interesting reading.

    So respectfully, SJW, go fuck yourself with a pineapple & extend the pleasure to your mates.

    # No I didn’t try run with this to the press or any of the usual suspects. WTF’ing point? Better to blackmail the HA. Let them know they would find themselves in court having their obligation to repair enforced on them. Finessed a one bed flat up to a 3 bed duplex in one of the nicer parts of London. One time girlfiend still lives in it, undisturbed.Undisturbed because the HA knows what happens if you mess with us. She’ll now be getting right to buy. Should realise a packet.

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