Another Fine Mess

The government has got itself in a bit of a pickle with the Parliament Act which it used to push through the ban on hunting with hounds and the subsequent legal challenge by the Countryside Alliance lot. The way it looks to me, whichever way the judgment goes will drop them in it.

There is more detailed analysis elsewhere, but briefly, the Parliament Act was introduced in 1919 and was passed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Act was then amended in 1949, but was only passed by the House of Commons.

That’s the basis of the fox chasers’ argument — having not been passed by the House of Lords makes the Parliament Act illegal, and therefore any act forced through by it is also illegal. But here’s the rub — the amendment to the act was forced through by use the Parliament Act!

Anyway, the point is that if the judge decides that the Parliament Act is indeed illegal (although they tend not to mess with stuff on the statute book) then banning hunting with hounds is back to square one. But then so are other things — the lowered age of consent for homosexuality, the 1991 War Crimes Act that has been used to convict the obvious war criminals and the way euro MPs are listed.

In the more likely scenario that the judge finds that it was legal, in that moment we will have moved from living in a democracy into one that is potentially a “President for Life” government. Any party, whatever its political complexion, could, theoretically, use the Parliament Act to extend their rule indefinitely.

Far fetched, I know, but there have been examples in other places where “emergency” and “national interest” have prolonged a dictatorship. Iraq springs to mind.

So, TB either has to see a risky piece of legislation that blocks the will of parliament (which he probably wouldn’t mind) and also see the homosexual act raised to 21+ etc, or he cements himself as El Presidente like Fidel or Saddam.

Who said politics is dull?

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

1 comment… Add yours
  • Anonymous 19th November 2004

    You've hit the nail as ever. Fucking Blair! Kicking crap out of us tories.


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