Like any group of people, the Cabinet has some members with more ability than others and some with more integrity than others.
Unlike other groups, it appears that members of the Cabinet who lack competence and integrity are immune from consequences. All of those pictured above would – had they been employed by any normal organisation – have resigned or been sacked. Dominic Cummings for breaching the lockdown regulations, Robert Jenrick for pushing through planning approval ahead of a new levy and thereby saving £40 million for a Tory donor, Gavin Williamson for multiple mismanagement of the GCSE and A-level results and Priti Patel for bullying.
Is this government now capable of ignoring not just convention but all forms of checks and balances? Not quite, and not yet.
The Good Law Project has demonstrated that the government is not above the law. It was this project which took the government to court over the illegal proroguing of Parliament and forced it to allow Parliament to sit. The Good Law Project is now taking the government to court over the multiple suspect transactions – whose total value now runs into £ billions – of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other vital medical supplies and services.
The footballer, Marcus Rashford, has twice forced a U-turn on the government on the subject of its responsibilities to feed the poorest children over the winter.
And the House of Lords is mounting a strong defence of the rule of law in the UK. As the Select Committee on the Constitution wrote, in relation to the Internal Market Bill,
“The rule of law requires that everyone—from government ministers to the person on the street—be bound by, and entitled to the benefit of, the law. It is an essential characteristic of a democratic society and a fundamental principle of the UK constitution.”
And the Lords have, accordingly, made important amendments to the Internal Market Bill. The Bill is back with the Lords, and will return to the Commons shortly. It is not too late for you to let your MP know your thoughts on the bill.
And do sign-up and join the 99% Organisation.