July 12, 2006

Abolition of parliament bill gets even worse

Via Ian Dale I find that the Abolition of Parliament Bill is still trundling along. Shout Out Liverpool has the details. The government has tabled some ammendments to it, apparently they did not think that getting rid of democracy was enough for them. The second and third are simply emphasising what is already in this terrible bill, that a government minister can make up the law on a whim as they go along with no debate or need to put it before parliament. But the first ammendment is different. They also now want to be able to remove government, and it's servants, from the requirements of the rule of law entirely.
The first amendment is the power to remove or reduce burdens.

"A Minister of the Crown may by order under this section make any provision which he considers would serve the purpose [of] removing or reducing any burden resulting directly or indirectly for any person from any legislation . . . [where] burden means a sanction, criminal or otherwise, for doing or not doing anything in the course of any activity".

The two key points here are "any legislation" and "any activity".
If this ammendment goes into an act then it will allow any minister authorise anybody to do anything that they like. Want an opt out from the Acts against selling peerages? Have a little mortgage difficulty? Just deliberately shot an innocent man in the head? Pull a few political strings and all your problems can simply go away.


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