Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Police State Britain - Clause 152 being withdrawn

After widespread outrage across the country and opposition in Parliament from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, the government has agreed to withdraw the highly-objectionable and unjustifiable Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill which I wrote about in January here and which, according to Justice Minister Michael Wills the government now accepts was "drawn too widely" - however, before everyone cheers too loudly, the government minister's weasel-words included the remark that it would be redrafted; Mr Wills said it was not a U-turn but the "proper process of parliamentary scrutiny" and added:

"What should happen with legislation is that the government brings it to ... Parliament and it is then scrutinised and when on occasion the opposition make a reasonable point, we respond appropriately.

"In this particular case it became clear that the powers were drawn too widely. We've therefore withdrawn them and we will be redrafting them and bringing forward the powers in future."

- so the government still wants to have the powers which the withdrawn clause would have given them legislated into being using a new form of words which they hope will not 'frighten the horses' in quite the same way. The new wording, when resubmitted, will have to be scrutinised very closely to ensure that the government's obvious aim is thwarted! The 'Police State' hasn't gone away (how could it have when the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 has just come into force?!) it has only perhaps been diverted slightly. Continuing vigilance remains essential!

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