« The Censors at work again | Main | Yet more on the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill »

Abolition of Parliament Bill

Who wants the Abolition of Parliament Bill? - Times Online

The boring title of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill hides an astonishing proposal. It gives ministers power to alter any law passed by Parliament. The only limitations are that new crimes cannot be created if the penalty is greater than two years in prison and that it cannot increase taxation. But any other law can be changed, no matter how important. All ministers will have to do is propose an order, wait a few weeks and, voilà, the law is changed.
....
The Bill, bizarrely, even applies to itself, so that ministers could propose orders to remove the limitations about two-year sentences and taxation. It also includes a few desultory questions (along the lines of “am I satisfied that I am doing the right thing?”) that ministers have to ask themselves before proceeding, all drafted subjectively so that court challenges will fail, no matter how preposterous the minister’s answer. Even these questions can be removed using the Bill’s own procedure. Indeed, at its most extreme, in a manoeuvre akin to a legislative Indian rope trick, ministers could use it to transfer all legislative power permanently to themselves.

The writer credits "Daniel Finkelstein of The Times, and a couple more " as the only journalists to note this bill - Daniel Finkelstein was alerted to it by Tim Worstall so as British bloggers we are holding the standard and we need to keep the pressure on to continue the campaign against this monstrous grabbing of powers.

Of course we are reassured that: "The government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures...The number of cases in which an internal necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself a limited one," - Whoops! no that was someone else on March 23, 1933 about another "Enabling Act" that removed power from the elected Parliament and handed to the Government Ministers

Comments

That this government is taking such draconian powers to itself is bad enough, but it's the hostage they are creating for the future that is even more scary.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that the curent bunch of Westminster seat warmers are basically benign (yeah, I know, that's a big leap of faith, but I spent last evening converting gunpowder into hot gas and flying lead and I'm in a charitable mood). What about the next crowd or the one after that? Mr Blair and his cronies have absolutely no concept of the powers and precedents they are handing future regimes; and any government that does not even have an incling of possible future outcomes doesn't deserve to be in office.

These people should be hounded from office with extreme malice. Whether it's for their own dictatorial tendancies or their stupidity is immaterial, they are fit only to be gone.

RM

The last time someone decided that that scruffy and tiresome lot in parliament were unnecessary impediments to this legislation/running country thing, it culminated in that little unpleasantness we call the civil war didn't it?

Those that cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it
G.S.

These people should be hounded from office with extreme malice. Whether it's for their own dictatorial tendancies or their stupidity is immaterial, they are fit only to be gone.

RM

Prescunt's mine! Please!

Post a comment