Are we entering the first stages of a failed state?

The unbelievable news that the Home Secretary has ignored not one but two court orders regarding the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker, first stretches credulity and then provokes disgust. If even the Home Secretary doesn’t respect judicial decisions this is the start of an unaccountable state. And this in a country that originated the Rule of Law.
The judiciary has described the breach as a ‘Prima Facie contempt of court’. And all this by a Minister Of State.

Then, we learn that the Home Office has been sending (up to 100) letters to EU citizens telling them to leave. We are told “A limited number of letters were issued in error.” Some error when you get a letter saying ‘A decision has been taken to remove you from the UK.’

You begin to wonder if this is really allied to Brexit plans, where immigration is the only thing that matters.

Then about six months ago it was reported that the UK may be fined because HMRC failed to enforce properly valued invoices for imported goods which are reckoned to have caused a loss of VAT revenues for our EU neighbours in the billions.

With these failures it is no wonder Michel Barnier says the European Court of Justice should have jurisdiction over EU nationals in Britain after Brexit and also keep its powers with regard to the UK government. Even – in fact especially – when the UK has an opt-out for its own citizens’ fundamental rights.

This is all beginning to suggest that the government has shrunk the state so successfully that Customs and Excise can give no help to their fellow Europeans on VAT fraud and the Home Office is incapable of properly administering current immigration law. And all topped off by a Minister of State ignoring court orders.

English law was always supposed to be more generally obeyed because it was derived from common practice and not statute based. Well not any more.

We now see that shrinking the state leads it to to be held in such contempt that it encompasses shrinking respect for the law – right up to ignoring the judiciary.

I used to think talk of fascism was exaggerated. Now I’m not so sure.


  1. Ms Christine Bergin -

    Well on the way I fear. We now live in a country that does not care for its citizen/subjects and makes no provision for those it has dispossesed. We are now being treated like a conquered nation and a bunch of self important fools are pretending to control the chaos they have caused. So much for a great, second, Elizabethan revival. This country is devolving rapidly,ultimately to no ones benefit.

  2. Geoff Plant -

    These 14 characteristics of fascism are taken from a paper by Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt

    I think an argument could be made that the UK demonstrates about 10 of them. One of the most chilling recent developments for me, was during the referendum on Brexit and the fraudulent claims that were made in the name of Nationalism.
    We see almost daily vilification of experts, hostility towards universities, pricing out education for the many, a misrepresentation of facts, invoked Nationalism, taking back control, and all they implied by false, disingenuous and repeated statements, increasing controls on the workforce, anti-union laws and so on. Is it the road to fascism, I don’t know. What I do know is Parliament increasingly does not represent the people, it represents corporate power which in turn seems to own the politicians they finance. The press allows racist opinion to be printed on their pages and they attack those who offer a different opinion from theirs, including resorting to court action via libel laws. One disturbing recent case is that of Craig Murray and the case being brought against him by the Mail (see below)
    Ministers are no longer personally responsible for their departments, something that has increased since the 70’s when Ministers would resign if things went wrong under their watch. That, to my mind, makes them unaccountable.

  3. Sean Danaher -

    I’m quite worried. I think Brexit will be a failure and as disturbing the picture you paint I think the current UK leadership is characterised by incompetence and mediocrity rather than malevolence. Gery Lynch had a recent article #Brexit: A Revolution Drifting Towards Failure where he looked at a few revolutions including the Russian and Iranian ones where there was initially a fairly democratic revolution (which failed) followed by a totalitarian takeover. The next few years will be very interesting.

  4. Peter May -

    Very worrying as you say – and you’re probably right about the incompetence, so perhaps that might save us. Though it is not encouraging that after a Home secretary ignoring court orders we now have a Foreign Secretary who knowingly lies.
    I think Christine’s idea of being ‘treated like a conquered nation’ is rather too close for comfort. It means incompetence and deceit don’t matter…

  5. Peter Dawe -

    “Failed State noun
    a state whose political or economic system has become so weak that the government is no longer in control.”

    Ironically, The example you give is one where the govt IS exercising control!
    One could argue that the UK Govt is a failed state when the EU is in control.

    That the state is “captured” I have little argument with. Multi-national organisations of all types seem to be able to operate with no regard to national laws.

    1. Peter May -

      Think your definition of a failed state is bit selective. Shrinking the state is highly likely to make it less able to look after its citizens and that is why we have a government. When you combine the reduced state with ignoring court orders and widespread government incompetence I see that as the start.
      I don’t agree that the governnment can ever be a failed state with the EU in control – that just indicates that the UK government has voluntarily ceded its own powers to the EU.

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