We, as professionals from around the UK, have grave concerns regarding Government policies put in place in response to Covid-19. In particular, these policies adversely affect core principles on which our democracy depends.
We ask, as a matter of urgency, that the Government and all opposition MPs take appropriate actions to restore the UK to a true democracy, as a minimum:
(i) The Rule of Law & Separation of Powers.
Parliamentary Debate. Reinstate the lawful role of Parliament to represent its constituents as elected representatives of the people by ensuring that the Corona Virus Act 2020 is repealed or, as a minimum, receives a monthly review by Parliament.
(ii) Fundamental Human Rights and individual autonomy.
- Freedom to protest. Ensure a proportionate policing approach for pro-rights movements and critics of Government policy. Decriminalise protests and prevent police violence.
- Freedom of speech. Reverse instructions of censorship to the broadcast media and online platforms to allow for an independent media to report on this topic, free from Government interference.
- Autonomy of decisions. Prevent tactics of coercion or discrimination by public or private entities that seek to disproportionately, unlawfully or unnecessarily impose upon the personal freedoms of UK citizens.
(iii) Openness and accountability in decisions, conflicts and the data.
- Conflicts of Interest. Reconsider the sphere of influence of those members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) that have a material conflict of interest in the Covid-19 solutions being proposed.
- Conflicts of Interest. Ensure a proper procurement process is followed for all contract negotiation and issuing by Government departments.
- Openness and Accountability. Complete proper informed risk assessments for all decisions being made to assess the proportionality and necessity of the measures and the impending harms likely to occur. Provide all risk assessments to Parliament in a timely manner for decisions to be made.
Democracy is not ‘optional’. The Government must now make a firm commitment to democracy and confirm that these powers will never again be used without proper legal authority, process or regular ratification by Parliament.
Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.