George Monbiot reiterates something we've been saying for some time now:
Conservatism takes three main forms. Inclusive conservatism seeks to protect objects of value for the benefit of everyone. These might include great urban vistas, or national parks, or wildlife, or works of art, or great institutions, such as the NHS and the BBC. This is the conservatism governments invoke when a nation goes to war.
For of course those are all the things that our current left scream are the national treasures and which must never be changed in any manner. That is, there's nothing quite so conservative as a modern lefty.
After that burst of truth we do find the main nub of his argument to be terribly, terribly, amusing:
In converting European law into UK law through the so-called great repeal bill, the government will grant itself the power, as its white paper states, “to correct the statute book where necessary”. “Correcting the statute book” will come to be seen as one of the great political euphemisms of our time.
The corrections will take the form of secondary legislation, which means using something called a statutory instrument. The government estimates that 800 to 1,000 of these instruments will be required – on top of the usual total – and their impact will be profound, as they are dealing with huge issues. In practice, there is almost nothing parliament can do to challenge them. As the Brexit analyst Ian Dunt points out, the bill is “shaping up to be the single biggest executive power grab in Britain’s postwar history”.
Statutory instruments cannot be amended. Due to a combination of government control over the parliamentary timetable and a number of arcane and archaic procedures, hardly any have been blocked in the 70 years of their existence. Already their power is freely abused. They are supposed to be reserved for technical matters: straightening out laws in ways that don’t alter our relationship to the state. Increasingly, they are used to sneak more significant changes through parliament. As the journalist Jane Fae reports, 1,900 a year were used, on average, by the last Labour government (a high enough number, which probably incorporated plenty of abuses); under the Conservatives this has risen to more than 3,000.
Unpicking EU legislation will be done by SI, which isn't a greatly democratic method, that's the argument. Which does rather miss the point that almost all of the EU legislation was imposed by SI without Parliament being able to reject it even if it roused itself sufficiently to do so.
That is, it seems just fine to use this method to impose the Brussels Terror but not to get out from under it.
We would, harsh though it might seem. categorise that argument as being a hypocritical one.