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New Law Journal on the LRRB April 4, 2006

Posted by bill111 in Politics.

The New Law Journal has a piece on the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, with comments from human rights organisation Liberty's campaign director, Gareth Crossman. The article highlights the simple fact that the bill, intended for deregulation, is far more wide-ranging than necessary – most likely due to it being the result of a consultation back in 2004 when Labour had a much greater majority in the Commons.

Crossman's opinion is that the bill will require "substantial ammendments" for it to pass into law. The article will bring the bill to the attention of many lawyers which is a great move for the campaign but it fails to point out the implications adequately, giving the example, "They could make careless driving punishable by up to 23 months in prison." This example does not effectively demonstrate the far-reaching power the bill gives to individual ministers.

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1. arthur Bond - April 15, 2006

This Bill just adds to the creeping and deliberate undermining of our democracy.This is not just happening in the UK,but all over the world oppressive laws are being passed. Frequently the excuse is the ‘War On Terrorism’ However this Bill has nothing to to with terrorism.But it does have everything to do with abuse of parliamentary powers.
We need a written constitution with built in safeguards that protect us from legislation that does not conform to those safeguards.
We also need an elected Second house as soon as possible.An independent body should oversee this.
Plus a fairer voting system.We cannot have parties being constantly voted in on a minority vote.

2. Bernard Leak - April 21, 2006

Is there pressure from below to change the system? Party
activists for the Liberal Democrats in the Tory Shires do count,
but not for much. Without such pressure, we would have
“parties being constantly voted in on a minority vote”, but the
vote would be conducted by MPs, not by the wider electorate.
I don’t hate coalitions as such (peace to Disraeli’s ashes!), but
I don’t want to replace a poorly-accountable system with a still
more poorly-accountable system.

I have no large-scale engineering works on the
Constitution to propose, but I would like to see
the famous words “an office of profit under the
Crown” given something more like their
original, natural and long-enforced meaning.
As it is, members of the Welsh Language
Board and directors of Ulsterbus Limited are
included: Ministers of the Crown are not.
One of the few protections against government
patronage exercised in the lower house was
that MPs who took plums from the government
had to vacate their seats, though they might
seek re-election. I forget exactly when it was
suddenly realised that all this was a mistake.
Was it the Learning to Embrace Graft Measure
1959, or some other?

There is no such thing as “independence” in choosing
the rules for a second house. Random irrelevance
might conceivably be achieved, of course. Or do you
think that a Committee of the Whole Electorate could
be convened to create the rules? Meeting at Putney,
pass it on…

3. Bernard Leak - April 21, 2006

I will need a real library! It seems to have happened in two
stages (!), in 1919 and 1926, but I have no proper references.
It was certainly after the first World War, during which some
dodgy precedents were set.

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