Monday, March 14, 2005

Another cheer for the Lords

Sorry for banging on about this but this government's non-understanding of the function of the law in a liberal polity is really getting me down.

The war on liberty received a set-back at the hands of the House of Lords. I don't have a great deal to add to the great post by nosemonkey on the same subject, except to reiterate how ludicrous Blair's position on this issue was:

1) First we had the disgraceful detentions at Belmarsh which the Law Lords ruled to be discriminatory because it only applies to foreign nationals.

2) Government's solution: go for social inclusion by extending the scope of terrorism legislation to British subjects.

3) Despite the fact that before the Law Lord's ruling, the capacity to deprive a British subject's liberty without charge, trial or legal representation did not exist - Blair proceeds to present this shabby piece of legislation as urgently necessary and shamefully accuses his opponents in the Commons and the Lords of "opportunism" and being soft on terrorism.

Finally, neither Blair nor anyone else amongst the authoritarian right of New Labour can complain about the "undemocratic" Lords. This government has had plenty of opportunity to present a proper, democratic blueprint for Lords reform and they didn't do so for the same reason that they shelved PR; they stood to lose power so instead we had a chamber stuffed with members there by the Prime Minister's patronage. Turns out "Tony's cronies" have rather more backbone than anyone thought and it serves that slimy b*stard Blair right.

Next stop, the curious notion that the over-sensitive have an extra layer of human rights - see Nick Cohen's piece, if you haven't already...

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