Sunday, 13 September 2009

His judgment cometh and that right soon

From Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus) 21:5, a book contained in the Roman Catholic Bible (what Protestants refer to as The Apocrypha) - if any of you were wondering were that curious title came from.

Dear reader, this is nothing short of a revolution! Read this at the Guardian.
"It takes 100 years or more for some species of tree to grow to full size but a few minutes to cut them down. The roots may live and sprout but the tree never grows back in quite the same way again. The question that faces the British electorate in the next eight months or so is whether the same applies to the conventions of liberty, trust and privacy which have been felled by Labour's chainsaw. Is the damage irreversible or can the opposition parties muster the leadership and will to guarantee a restoration of all that has been lost in the last 12 years?"
With this I would just like to remind everyone of two very important pieces of legislation which are up for debate in the coming years.
  • The Freedom Bill by the Liberal Democrats
    1. Reduction of period of detention of terrorist suspects back down to 1 days detention (without charge)

    2. Repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 (i.e. Control Orders)

    3. Removal of the United States of America from part 2 territories (the unfair, unequal Extradition treaty with the USA needs to be sorted out)

    4. Repeal of the Identity cards 2006

    5. Amendment of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (independent magistrates warrants rather than self authorisation by officials or rubber stamping by politicians)

    6. Restrictions on the retention of fingerprints and samples (including DNA tissue samples and profiles of innocent people)

    7. Royal Commission to recommend on the use and regulation of CCTV (20 years too late, but welcome, nevertheless)

    8. Repeal of offences restricting the right to protest in the vicinity of Parliament (SOCPA sections 132 -138 Designated Area around Parliament Square and way beyond)

    9. Extension to the number of people constituting a public assembly (currently limited to just 2 people, with some doubt as to whether or not pregnant women are allowed out in public on their own or not !)

    10. Repeal of offences of trespassing on designated site (SOCPA section 128)

    11. Repeal of provisions which restrict the right to silence

    12. Repeal of provisions to allow for fraud cases to be conducted without a jury

    13. Restoration of the public interest defence for whistle blowers

    14. Repeal of provisions which allow evidence of a defendant's bad character

    15. Reduction in the number of cases that may be retried (i.e. double jeopardy)

    16. Repeal of provisions which allow bailiffs to use force

    17. Substantial prejudice in freedom of information (should make it harder for Government Departments to conceal policy advice from the public, but there are plebtyof other FOIA exemptions which need to be curtailed as well)

    18. Repeal of ministerial ability to veto Information Tribunal decisions (which currently makes a mockery of the whole Freedom of Information Act appeals process)

    19. Repeal of provisions to allow for the establishment of children's databases

    20. Regulations to govern parental consent for taking children's biometric samples (KiddyPrinting - brainwashing of children to accept that treating everyone like criminals is somehow normal)
  • The Great Repeal Bill courtesy of Douglas Carswell (not sure if it will be fully endorsed by the Conservatives, that remains to be seen).
"Britain is over regulated. Laws, regulation and red tape stifle individuals, infantilise communities and strangle enterprise. We need a Great Repeal Bill.
Bills are traditionally drafted by "experts" and professional politicians. But it will require the wisdom and experience of all those struggling to cope with them to know which ones to scrap. That's why the Great Repeal Bill is not being drafted by them - but by you.

Do you run a business or community group? What rules and red tape have prevented you from reasonable actions you'd otherwise have taken? Please be specific and only cite rules that you personally know to be overbearing.

Deregulation is too important - for our businesses, society and sense of civic pride - to "leave to the experts". We've been waiting for the professional politicians to tackle red tape - and we're still waiting. All they've so far done is set up more quangos - a Better Regulation taskforce - and invent more red tape - regulation impact assessments forms.

So why not act now and help us draft the Bill? If it is a success, we hope that the draft Bill will be introduced in Parliament in the next session.

Perhaps this experiment in open source politics won't work. Maybe the draft Bill will be overrun by ranters. But if like me, you think there's more common sense to be found outside SW1 than there is inside, let's give it a go."
For a very good take on things please extricate yourself from this page and read this piece by leg-iron.

No comments: