Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

The potentially disastrous 'Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill', which is so broadly worded that a Totalitarian regime would be proud (and I'm not over-exagerating, it will allow legislation without parliamentary oversight) went for it's second reading on Thursday.

Aside: See all my writings on this topic here

Tony Wright, a labour MP, said

For me, and, I suspect, a good number of others, if the principle is to be followed that the advancement of ministerial powers must all the time be matched by advancement in safeguards on the use of those powers, the House should expect the three safeguards that I have outlined to be included in the Bill, in order to provide that security. While I welcome the thrust of the Government's aims, the danger is that ministerial powers could be extended in ways that Parliament did not want or intend, and perhaps was not even aware of.

At one point in the debate, Mr. Murphy (Labour) says:

I give the House clear undertakings, which I shall repeat in Committee, that the orders will not be used to implement highly controversial reforms.'

If it is not intended for the bill to be used in such a way then it should not be written into law. Powers once given can subsequently be abused even if the current encumbants do not wish to abuse them. Powers which can be so abused should not be granted even if one fully trusts the motives and abilities of the current government.

Christopher Chope (Conservative) said:

In its present form, the Bill is in danger of being the sort of subtle sleight of hand of which a member of the Magic Circle would be proud. It is calculated to give much more power to the Government and the Executive, at the expense of Parliament. One reading of the Bill leads one to the conclusion that its primary purpose is not to remove burdens from business or people, but to remove the burden of having to legislate from the Government.

In the division which followed to set the programme for the bill, 233 MPs voted yes, and 100 voted no.

... and where is the mainstream media on this one? They're largely ignoring it, probably as it isn't an 'eyecatching' issue (it's presented as 'reducing red tape'). It's important, dagnamit! One has to admire the genius of giving it the ball-achingly boring name of 'Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill' - I have to (literally) look it up each time I mention it. The name almost guarantees little media attention at this stage! It needs a catchy, accurate, yet damning nickname...

'Red Tape Bill' sounds like a good thing, so that won't do.

I'm stuck for ideas at the moment - the best I could do was 'the Legislative and tonguetwisting totalitarian slippery slope bill' (which although a mouthful is easier to remember!). How about just 'The Slippery Slope Bill'?

Further Reading: