Another blow for free speech

The rate at which this government makes really bad decisions is staggering.

In response to the MPs’ expenses scandal, the government wanted to create an ‘independent’ Parliamentary Standards Authority to investigate MPs. The creation of this body relies on new legislation which Labour is attempting to rush through Parliament in its obscene haste to enshrine it in law before the summer recess.

Jack Straw’s ridiculous bill reduces the amount of time that an MP can spend in jail from 10 years to less than 1 year, thus enabling convicted MPs to vote and run for re-election. That’s right – convicted criminals would be able to run for office and govern this country!

Worse still, the bill allows MPs to be prosecuted for their utterances in Parliament. One has to wonder what the government is trying to achieve here. Is this a deliberate attempt to curtail free speech or is this yet another example of Labour’s incompetence? My money is on the former. This government has form in the curtailment of free speech department. Jack Straw is also trying to foist a new constitution on us – which should be rejected outright!

Sir Philip Mawer, giving evidence to the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said the proposals could open the door to “a rules-based system which lawyers will have a field day with and which may well cost the public more”. Sir Philip, one of Gordon Brown’s advisers said that the government’s handling of the expenses scandal was “confused” and “inadequate”.

Michael Jack, the Clerk of the House warned that these measures threaten to undermine Parliamentary sovereignty over the judiciary and would dilute MPs’ sense of responsibility for their own actions.

Fortunately, senior Labour backbenchers have said they will not support the bill so it is unlikely to become law unless the government bribes them to support it.


2 Responses to “Another blow for free speech”

  1. Stuart FitzSimons Says:

    …ahh uhhmmm…correct me if I'm wrong but I believe convicted criminals have sat in the European Parliament….and they are the guys really in charge…!

  2. Faust Says:

    True. In the Lords, too!

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