New Labour's Enabling Act

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Seadog, Feb 23, 2006.

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  1. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Regular visitors to our sister site ARRSE will know that there are a number of 'political animals' of all shades there. ' RR's Current Affairs forum' is not just for Grey Funnel Line matters in the news just like the one on ARRSE is not pongocentric. We are as affected by the world shoreside as the next man or woman. Nothing to be afraid of, we are anonymous. The rules are promulgated and the forum mods keep it in bounds.

    So, over on ARRSE at the moment;


    The Times

    We should worry. This Government needs to be voted out of office before they abolish elections. 'Well, we've been in power so long and everybody likes Tone and Gordo anyway and the cost of an election could be better spent on new ministerial cars.....'

    Or is New Labour the best thing since Nelson?
  2. Wonder if Princess Tone can see the writing on the wall and as is stated would use this to abolish elections. Sounds like the thin edge of the wedge to a dictatorship. Really scarry
  3. The sad thing is that the tossers who voted this lot in last time and complaining vociferously now will vote them in again and still complain.

    The popoulation needs to wake up to the fact that politicians (of all persuasions)are in it for the career (money) not for the good of their electorate and they will do anything they can do to enhance their period in office.

    We vote them in ostensibly to protect/project our democracy. There's no democracy, these MP's vote the way the whips tell them for fear of losing their jobs. It would appear that all MPs have skeletons in their cupboards that are waved by the whips if an MP should appear to waiver.

    It's a case of " hoist the dinghy.........." with all of them

  4. The votes are bought

    Once you take away the chavs on benefits, the civil servants that have been recruited, pensioners and sundry others that get their income from the government, who is left to vote them out? 8O
  5. Sadly this behaviour is typical of any "long serving" government. basically they have been in office for so long they have run out of ideas to keep them "in".

    And "people" are thick as a whale ommlette.

    "individuals" are smart but "people" are not.

    Now i want more than anything to get rid of Labour in favour of a government who will do something posative for Britain. without fear of retribution from the minorities or tree huggers and get the country back on track. But honnestly - look at the competition.. leadership challenges every other month, or so far left the fell off the podium... or hippies....
    Perhaps we of RumratioN and Arrse should form a party (non serving members obviously) and offer a serious alternative to Gordo and his magic euro army?

    Failing that - last one out turn off the lights?

    having said all that, bet its not long until an all asian party springs up and gets serious support - which i beleive could happen.

  6. Political apathy is the real enemy. People don't see a genuine policy choice at the moment, just a choice of management team, so they don't bother to vote. An Islamic Party is undoubtedly not too far away - nothng wrong with that - but if you don't wish to live under an Islamic governemnt all you need to do is vote for someone else. Happily we live in a democracy. No vote, no voice!
  7. Absolutely, look at the alternatives, they are all making the same mistakes that have been made in the past and I think people don't care any more, there aren't any good leaders or characters to get people attention and get them interested in the debates or the politics.
    Look at PMQ's on Wednesdays', loads of noise, but what comes of it, nothing, the questions are given to the PM well in advance and most of them aren't questions at all but statements read out by MP's using the opportunity and the audience to get some points in.
    On the telly week after week, we see ministers with no charisma or character, who trot out the party line and the same old spiel in some monotone party issue voice.
    What makes me wonder is the old fox hunting debate, I coudn't give a toss one way or another, all the people I know feel the same, its not important to us. But TB went on the telly and said 'the people want it banned' and this government has expended so much time, energy, publicity and probably money on getting it banned, why don't they direct this energy, publicity and money on say stopping old people freezing in the winter, helping kids from getting abused, making sure everyone has access to a dentist, or a doctor, or a school place !
  8. The comments above are very interesting. I should like however to make some observations relating to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill which are relevant.

    Clause 3(2)(e) of the Bill makes clear that this Bill could NOT be used to impinge upon the exercise of the existing rights and freedoms enjoyed by individual British subjects. Clause 5(1) limits changes to taxation: it could not be used to extend or to increase taxation. Clause 10(1) requires that a Minister must introduce a proposed amendment to primary legislation (ie an Act of Parliament) via secondary legislation in the specific form of a Statutory Instrument (SI). This takes one of three forms: negative, affirmative and super-affirmative. In essence this means that Ministerial fiat alone cannot change law: it requires the consent of Parliament either by a majority voting in favour or by MPs not cancelling the legislation (as in a negative SI resolution). Here, if they elect to do nothing, the legislation would automatically be enacted. Under clause 11, a Minister must consult and be willing to amend the proposed SI. I do have caveats about the Minister being allowed to decide who are the appropriate consuntees however. All said, a hostile political majority in Parliament could effect equivalent changes to legislation but the process would simply take longer. One should also bear in mind that the so-called Henry VIII clauses already afford a Minister, where permission is given in a specfic Act of Parliament, to legislate by fiat.

    You can see a copy of this Bill at:

    For a more comprehensive briefing I suggest shipmates consult the House of Commons Library Research Paper 6/06 available online as below:

    Happy reading.
  9. Although living Australia what happens in the UK will not affect me, I can't turn a blind eye to it.

    I have been a Labour man all my life and since leaving the mob in Oz and have held positions of Job rep, Union Management Committee and a member of the Oz Labour Party, but I'm afraid that if I was living in the UK my allegience to Labour would be sorely tested. Their pathetic performance would make me either non voter or look for another Party. Being a non voter defeats the purpose of an election as those that don't vote deserve what they get.

    Fortunately we have compulsory voting here, although that can be over come by stuffing up your ballot form, thereby voting informally. Apathy still shows it's ugly head.
  10. What exactly does
    mean in practice? They are so vague and wishy-washy. The reference to reasonable expectations in (e) is particularly vague. Suppose this bill had been used to bring about the hunting ban. Is the freedom to hunt something that a person "might reasonably expect to continue to exercise"? What if the Government announced that it would ban hunting in five years' time, and then banned hunting using the procedure. Would they still be reasonable in expecting to be able to continue exercising that freedom given that the Government has told them in plenty of time that it would be banned? What is a necessary protection?

    What this does is enable the Government to push legislation through without debate. You just have to look at the non-existent media attention on this bill, a bill which seeks to overthrow the present legislative system, to see how easy it would be to sneak something in without people noticing.

    As for the power of Parliament to annul the delegated legislation, we all know that the devil of legislation is in the detail, but Parliament has no power to amend, but has to take or leave what the Government proposes. More worryingly, given the recent Government defeats in the Commons:

    The Paraffin bloody Maximum Retail Prices bleeding Revocation Order 1979? So we are putting our trust, risking out way of life, our liberties and freedoms, on a procedure that hasn't been successfully used by the Commons in 25 years?
  11. Good point Hammockhead. The point I essentially wished to make was that MPs do have the power to annul an SI if they choose (or if their constituents apply pressure) but as to whether they exercise that power, well, that is another matter. :(

    Clause 3(2)(e) means that HMG would need to introduce primary legislation to give effect to any policy which interfered with a right or freedom, such as hunting, but not, say, for abolishing a regulation that imposed a burden on business, such as standards to ensure that children's clothes are not highly flammable. The interesting area is grey areas such as hitting children. Acts which constitute "reasonable" chastisement for children would constitute assault if exercised against an adult, so this "right" could be abolished on grounds of the need for consistency in criminal law - which of course is already inconsistent.

    Personally I am unhappy with this Bill. Although it would save money in terms of Parliamentary and civil service time (theoretically facilitating reductions in the civil service) I would personally prefer to pay for these additional costs and retain full democratic accountability. But who am I - just a Labour Party supporter!
  12. You do realise that the Bill can be applied to itself, potentially to remove the various safeguards?

    This Bill is worryingly open to abuse and deserves only to be used as bog roll.
  13. The potential to abuse is there, but then with our unwritten constitution potentially any government can do as it pleases subject to international law. The Poll Tax illustrated that point: there was no mandate to introduce the legislation in the form it finally appeared, yet rarely attending members of the unelected House of Lords made it a Statute. :(

    Frankly the Treaty of Rome ought to be a greater cause of concern but rather oddly, is not. :roll:
  14. QED - The UK needs a written constitution (written in plain English) and an effective bill of rights. The Yanks have given us all the lessons needed to make sure that our version would work. I'm happy with the old maxim that the thing that should disqualify anyone from taking on public office is that they want to do it in the first place.

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