What the fucking hell is this?

Let me get this straight…

We currently have before Parliament, a new bill – the Legislative and Regulatory Refrom Bill – which will allow Ministers to ‘amend, repeal or replace legislation in any way that an Act of Parliament may do’ by Ministerial Order – without the time and trouble of taking a bill through Parliament.

No time to look into this in detail tonight but one clause did catch my eye –

6. Criminal penalties

(1) Provision under section 2(1) may not create a new offence that is punishable, or increase the penalty for an existing offence so that it is punishable—

(a) on indictment, with imprisonment for a term exceeding two years; or

(b) on summary conviction, with—

(i) imprisonment for a term exceeding the normal maximum term;


(ii) a fine exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(2)In subsection (1)(b)(i), “the normal maximum term

9 thoughts on “What the fucking hell is this?

  1. I’ve got to admit this looks very bad. This is why we need a written constitution and proportional representation to stop abuses like this and the abuses Thatcher did when scrapping local authorities in the eighties.

    This is obviously so Blair can do his respect laws and change them extremely quickly if things go tits up.

    It is worrying that legislation could go through without being scrutinised by parliament, especially considering the load of shit Blair has come up with recently on education and health etc.

    As for cancelling local elections, that is a totally crazy suggestion (almost as bad as Thatcher scrapping local democracy (GLC etc.) in the 1980s). Even if the purpose is to avoid having two elections in a year, that is not a good enough reason. If it’s good enough for Iraq to have 3 elections in 6 months…

  2. Remember that this is another Cabinet Office Bill, the same people who brought us the wretched Civil Contingencies Act 2004: Part 2 Emergency Powers.

    Note that this Bill also allows for any Act of Parliament or Statutory Instrument or Regulation or the Common Law to be repealed, amended or replaced.

    Even the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Part 2 Emergency Powers ended up not being allowed to be used to amend itself or the Human Eights Acts, but this Bill could do so !

    As with the Civil Contingencies Act, during the passage of which a list of “constitutuional Acts” including Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus, the Bill of Rights, and even the European Communities Act etc. were repeatedly excluded by the government from being listed as exempt, there are no exemptions under this Bill either.

    The section on “consultations” talks about “relevant bodies” or “people who might be affected”, who might be consulted, at the whim of a Minister. Why is there no explicit requirement for a full public consultation ?

    Why do NuLabour hate fully informed public consultation and detailed scrutiny by Parliament so much ?

  3. The gradual slide to totalitarianism
    Anyone who can read this bill and not be concerned about a slide into a totalitarian state can’t be reading the same bill. (1) A Minister of the Crown may by order make provision for either or both of the…

  4. It’s not the spam blocker, it’s some weird ass bug in the reg exp that validates URLs which doesn’t like hyphens – I keep promsing myself I’ll tinker under the hood and fix it, but in the meantime even I have to link to Longrider using TinyURL.

  5. Sooner or later – this year sometime, I’ll be moving to a paid host for both my blog and my forum – then I’ll have a more conventional URL.

  6. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill summed up.
    Douglas Carswell’s (Conservative) on the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Billwas so inciteful that it’s worth reading. The original can be seen in context here, or indeed can be found in hansard. See also my previous entry: The gradual slide to…

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