Dominic Grieve told Byline TV that the Government’s:
- Disregard for the rule of law
- Its xenophobic rhetoric
- It’s cronyism
All show why the Conservative Party’s problems go beyond one leader.
The Prime Minister is a “shambles” who was always going to be forced down the route of becoming a “populist demagogue” – but simply getting rid of him will not end the Conservative Party’s deeper problems, says former Conservative Attorney General
Dominic Grieve told Byline TV that the removal of Johnson as Prime Minister in itself would not lead to significant change for the party, which is under the grip of a warped and weaponised sense of “parliamentary sovereignty” as its guiding principle.
“I don’t think it would completely cure the problem,” the barrister said. “We seem to be living in a period with an obsession for this thing called parliamentary sovereignty. It does mean ultimately in our constitution that Parliament’s will is going to prevail. But, the attitude of the Government… is that parliamentary sovereignty means that a government with a majority can do absolutely whatever it likes. And then, if people disapprove, they chuck that Government out at the next general election, and that is democracy with parliamentary sovereignty.
“But parliamentary democracy works, in part, because minorities are prepared to accept majority decisions. And, once you remove the legitimacy of minority viewpoints, you are starting to erode the very foundations on which our society is based. And that’s extremely dangerous.
“It is the difference between the rule of law and rule by law. Rule by law means you pass a law on anything you like, and then that is how you coerce people into doing things. Rule of law carries with it an implication that it’s being done within a historic constitutional framework, where there are limits to the way governments will behave even when they have full power, potentially, to behave differently. This Government is the most extreme example I’ve seen in all my time in politics for having a disregard for principles of the rule of law.”
Responding to Johnson’s plan to reportedly allow ministers to throw-out legal rulings that the Government does not agree with, and restrict the power of judicial review – a key check on the executive – Grieve, a QC, said that the move seems predicated on keeping judges in the frame as “enemies of the people”.