dc: (Doctor)
I wasn’t at all surprised by the answer [livejournal.com profile] munchkinstein’s MP fobbed him off with regarding the Absolute Powers Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill. There may be MPs somewhere in the house who understand concerns about the LRRB, but not many of them are sitting on the Labour benches. If The Glorious Leader said everyone had to have a lobotomy, great swathes of the Labour members wouldn’t need one to start bloviating about how it is a reasonable measure which really helps the brain work better.

David Pannick in The Times gives a survey of the implications of this bill from the QC’s viewpoint. As he says,
It speaks volumes for the ever-increasing arrogance of this Government that it has introduced the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill and does not even understand the opposition to it.
dc: (Doctor)
This, even from the government of one such as His Holiness, is so outrageous I am almost speechless:
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.

From The Times
dc: Me, in a pub.  (Default)
I don’t often read something in the press and entirely agree with it, but an article in The Guardian today by George Monbiot seems to me to sum up perfectly the dangers to democracy in the Government’s approach to terrorism. Citing the decreased choice available at general elections — the main political parties now largely agree on the main areas of policy — he notes that this leaves the public with protest as its only route to express discontent with government policy. However, laws which have been passed with the explicit assurance that they will not be used to suppress legitimate dissent have promptly been used to do precisely that.

We are often told that the passage of laws like this is dangerous because one day it might facilitate the seizure of power by an undemocratic government. But that is to miss the point. Their passage is the seizure of power. Protest is inseparable from democracy: every time it is restricted, the state becomes less democratic. Democracies such as ours will come to an end not with the stamping of boots and the hoisting of flags, but through the slow accretion of a thousand dusty codicils.


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