The Scottish Christian Party has for long highlighted Government by stealth. It is back on the agenda through the crowd-funded documentary The Great NHS Heist.
A short interview with Dr Gill is here, the full documentary is here, the supporting website is here and a presentation by Dr Gill in February 2019 is here. Dr Gill’s claim has been publicised for a few years and he is not alone in the claim, but this is a more intelligent and detailed explanation than Jeremy Corbyn managed to give when he raised the topic of ‘NHS privatisation’ during the recent General Election debate. Politicians need to articulate their concerns clearly. Nigel Farage was the Voice of Brexit, and Boris Johnson gave the Tories a voice which Theresa May was unable to supply. Labour had a confusing voice and Christians have no voice in Parliament.
What is government by stealth?
Government by stealth is that form of government which tries to keep its views and policies hidden from the electorate before an election and then implements them after the election. If these views are exposed by another Party, it is called ‘a dirty campaign’.
It takes various forms.
1. Sometimes a political party will say that it will not do something, and then it does the exact opposite. For example, David Cameron said he would not raise VAT in the 2010 General Election, and promptly did so after winning the Election. David Cameron said, only a few days before the May 2010 General Election, that he had no plans to redefine marriage, but he went ahead and redefined marriage, which he now considers to be one of the greatest legacies of his administration. The Lib Dems pledged not to introduce student tuition fees, and then did so in coalition with the Tories.
2. Sometimes a party will hint at something, buried in the depths of its Manifesto, and then claim its radical programme “was in its Manifesto”. The Tories did this with the NHS at the 2010 General Election. David Cameron claimed that the NHS was safe in his hands and then in government he introduced top-down radical changes without any consultation, claiming that the change was ‘in the Manifesto’.
3. Sometimes a party keeps its ideas off the agenda. Why did Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Green Party in Holyrood, not feature in the Green Party Election Broadcast for the 2011 Scottish Parliament? Possibly he kept a low profile at that time because the Scottish Christian Party highlighted that Harvie was using the Green Party to advance the homosexual agenda.
4. Sometimes a party leader will hold back a piece of information until the last minute. Alex Salmond declared his support for homosexual marriage, only days before he hoped to be re-elected as First Minister of the Scottish Parliament. Many postal votes had been cast, donations given to the party, and many had voted before this became generally known. After the Election, the leader could then claim that he had a mandate for his newly but only recently revealed policy or position. In a 2013 House of Commons debate on its Second Reading, claims were made that a document committing to ‘equality’ had been published only days before the Election. This shows the sleight of hand by our political leaders. If they had nothing to hide, why behave like this? Jesus Christ gives us the answer to this sort of behaviour Jn 3:17.
5. Small parties at ‘the protest stage’ in their development will make grandiose promises to appeal to particular sections of the public. When they gain political power, they have to jettison these unrealistic promises . In other words, their principles bowed to political pragmatism, or rather, their principles never were pragmatic for political power, but they were very pragmatic for gaining votes by promising these people what they wanted, although they could never deliver. Thus the Lib Dems promised to vote against student tuition fees while in opposition, but when they unexpectedly obtained power in the Con-Dem alliance after the 2010 General Election, they performed a prompt U-turn and ditched the policy. The SNP was a party opposed to NATO for decades, but voted at its Oct 2012 conference to support membership upon certain conditions in order to try to win the favour of voters for the 2014 referendum on Scottish separation from the UK. The unreality of their former stance eventually dawned upon them, but in the intervening decades it served them in good stead to gain supporters and political power. This procedure is so well-known to political commentators that there is even a term for it: gradualism. It is part of crisis management, whereby a crisis which demands a solution is engineered so that a pre-arranged solution can be ‘suggested’ and adopted as the solution to the crisis.
This is Government by stealth. Flying low – below the radar – it keeps information away from the electorate. This is one source of the crisis of trust in politics.
The economic downturn was an opportunity 1. to bury bad news; 2. to introduce cuts under the guise that ‘it must be done’; 3. to implement otherwise unpalatable policies and also 4. to introduce moral change when people’s minds were focused on other matters. The economic downturn will come to an end, but the moral revolution will continue long after the economic dust has settled. This shows the sleight of hand in so much modern politics.
Examples of Government by stealth:
- 19 Nov 2011: the Scottish Christian Party predicted that civil partnerships between homosexuals were introduced as a stepping-stone to redefining marriage to include homosexual partnerships, although there was assurance at the time that one would not lead to the other. It was legislation by stealth. It is similar to the 1967 Abortion Act being passed with assurances that ‘social abortion’ would not occur, but now the debate has moved to ‘a woman’s right to choose’.
- 17 Jul 2012: the politics of incrementalism.
- 4 Jan 2013: another example is the Tory leadership election in Scotland. Ruth Davidson declared at the time of her leadership campaign that she supported marriage but did the elderly Tory voters realise that she supported re-defining marriage? When this became more generally known, Davidson would not respond to a constituent’s enquiry about her former statement in support of marriage. Where was the vote among the Scottish Tories in favour of redefining marriage? We were told that it was ‘implicit’ in the Tory leadership election. Why was it not explicit? This is another example of government by stealth and explains why the public is losing faith in secular politics. They need a good dose of Christian politics to restore faith in modern democracy.
- 5 Feb 2013: another example is the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill introduced to the Westminster Parliament. It was not in the Manifesto of any of the major parties. Three days before the May 2010 General Election David Cameron announced on Sky news that he was “not planning” to introduce same-sex marriage. The excuse pulled out during the debate on the Bill’s passage was that it was in a document called ‘A Contract for Equalities’ published by the Conservative Party only three days before the last election, on 3 May 2010. This ‘justification’ shows the stealth of this Government. Besides, the document only says: “We will also consider the case for changing the law to allow civil partnerships to be called and classified as marriage.” Some consideration! Besides, many people had already voted by post, and most of the country did not know about this. In this respect, it is similar to Alex Salmond declaring himself in favour of redefining marriage only days before the Scottish Parliamentary election (see No. 4 above).
19 Dec 2019: the Labour Party Manifesto 2019 says on p. 48: “We will uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions.” This, in effect, allows abortion up till birth. In due course, when needed, the relevant Labour Party spokesperson will say: “It was in our Manifesto.” This may be why Nigel Farage had so little time for Manifestos that he once boasted that he had not read his own UKIP Manifesto and he did not produce one for the Brexit Party in the 23 May 2019 European Election nor the 12 Dec 2019 UK General Election.
23 Dec 2019: open discussion about reformation by stealth. NHS, the House of Lords, the BBC and its licence.