From the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill:
(1) A Minister of the Crown may by order make provision for either or both of the following purposes?
(a) reforming legislation;
(b) implementing recommendations of any one or more of the United Kingdom Law Commissions, with or without changes.
(1) An order under section 1 may for either purpose specified in subsection (1) of that section make provision amending, repealing or replacing any legislation.
(3) An order under section 1 may for the purpose specified in subsection (1)(b) of that section also make?
(a) provision amending or abolishing any rule of law;
(b) provision codifying rules of law.
6. Criminal penalties
(1) Provision under section 2(1) may not create a new offence that is punishable, or increase the penalty for an existing offence so that it is punishable?
(a) on indictment, with imprisonment for a term exceeding two years;
Now, I’m no lawyer, but this means we’re fucked, right? A Minister of the Crown now has the power to rewrite most laws without the consent of Parliament. What’s worse, “Minister of the Crown” could mean Fatboy Falconer. This is not another step to dictatorship but we’re practically there. Not only can someone be appointed to the Cabinet without ever running for elected office, but they can be given the power to relegislate at will, and get you jailed for up to two years. Toss in vaguely-defined arbitrary powers of arrest and a penchant for pissing all over habeas corpus and we see that every part of the process is being stitched up.
Oh well, we can always mark our displeasure at the ballot box… I hope – Labour’s current thinking is that elections aren’t worth the bother, really. We’re all going to have to claim asylum in Sweden if this shower of bastards carry on in government for much longer.
Update: Alright, maybe I was a little hasty in doubting the ballot box. Amazing result for the Lib Dems – dump their leader and secure an enormous swing. Wonder if Labour will take the hint…?