Clarke says Britain becoming “elected dictatorship”

Posted By: November 27, 2021


Clarke says Britain becoming “elected dictatorship”

John Manley.Irish News. Belfast. Saturday, November 27, 2021.

TORY grandee Ken Clarke has warned that Britain is “dangerously close” to becoming an “elected dictatorship” under Boris Johnson.

The former chancellor and home secretary, who was part of Margaret Thatcher and John Major’s cabinets, described the British prime minister’s handling of the Brexit negotiations as “laughable”.

He said Mr. Johnson had shown disregard for “constitutional constraints” and that the Conservative Party was now “more nationalist than at any time in my lifetime”.

“He gets angry if the courts or parliament try to interfere. As the elected prime minister, he thinks he should not be impeded in these ways,” Mr. Clarke said in an interview with The New European.

“We are now getting dangerously close to the ‘elected dictatorship’ that Lord Hailsham, the former lord chancellor, warned us about half-a-century ago.”

He said the failures of the Tory leader’s Brexit deal were being exposed, pointing to a forecast slump in GDP and the loss of security cooperation.

The former MP for Rushcliffe, who finished his House of Commons career in 2019 as an independent after the Conservative whip was withdrawn, said there was a “serious danger of the Good Friday Agreement and power-sharing collapsing” due to the row over the protocol.

“I considered myself to be in the mainstream of the party and am not pleased that people who think like me – internationalist, outward-looking, progressive – have been marginalized,” he said.

“The party is now more right-wing and nationalist than at any time in my lifetime.”

He ridiculed the “global Britain” promise as “a slogan, an excuse for spending money on a royal yacht and flying the flag in odd places.”

“We have to get used to our reduced role in the world,” he said.

Mr. Clarke said the prime minister was trying to “tear up” his Brexit agreement but “find a way of doing so in a way that they can blame on the French.”

“I only hope that they have got experts working behind the scenes on an alternative plan. A lot of what is being said at the moment is laughable,” he said.

He warned that many Tory voters were alert to a growing lack of accountability and that “moderate Tories are upset by right-wing nationalism.”