Sunday, March 08, 2009

Quietly, quietly, the illiberal creeps in...

How many times in the last few years have you thought "thank fuck that illiberal piece of shit has been dropped" only to find that it seems to have been quietly passed through as law anyway? Lots.

So, it's no surprise to see that the fuckers are at it again... [Emphasis mine. UPDATE 07/2012: behind the Times paywall, but found archived (or mirrored) here.]
Plans to force cigarette manufacturers to introduce plain packaging — assumed to have been dropped in Alistair Darling's Pre-Budget Report last year — have been quietly revived, The Times has learnt.

A group of cross-party backbench peers have made amendments to the Health Bill, which is making its way through Parliament, with a view to restoring the proposal.

Lord Patel of Bradford, Baroness O'Cathain, Lord Walton of Detchant and Lord Faulkner of Worcester have tabled amendments to the Health Bill at the committee stage in the Lords that would allow the Health Secretary to ban or restrict the sale or supply of tobacco products if they are sold in packaging that does not comply with regulations.

If passed, the Health Secretary would also be allowed to dictate the colour of cigarette packs, their shape, the trademarks displayed on them and any labelling

This is NuLabour's standard tactic—learned, no doubt, from the evil fuckers in the EU who are adept at this sort of thing—of proposing something ridiculous and then pretending to drop it.

What they then do is to pass a law that allows them to go far, far further because, unlike the previous incarnation, this new clause doesn't define what the law actually is.

Each one of these clauses is, in effect, an Enabling Act in that it enables any designated minister to change the law without having to argue the case through Parliament—and thus ensuring that has no right to vote on it.

Often, the media miss it entirely: after all, legalese seems to be designed to bore the living shit out of anyone brave enough to try to trawl through it, c.f. the EU Constitution. Further, one is generally looking for a particularly illiberal measure made explicit within the law itself, not an all-encompassing clause that allows a minister to decide that the law is whatever they say it is at any given time.

A couple of years ago, bloggers scored a hit when they introduced the MSM to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, known colloquially as "the Abolition of Parliament Bill". This would have allowed the government to change any piece of legislation via ministerial fiat—in other words, without having to go through Parliament. After a concerted protest from both the MSM and the blogosphere, the Bill was watered down into a slightly less terrifying form.

But the fact is—and this is another tactic that the government have learned from the EU bureaucrats—that so many Bills similar to the one described above have now passed into law that the Abolition of Parliament Bill might as well have been passed as originally mooted anyway.

This is the really terrifying thing about NuLabour: they have pushed though thousands—tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands—of new laws, many of which contain these mini-Enabling Acts. And the Civil Contingencies Act is only the most egregious of these; there are others which allow ministers to remove our liberties on a whim.

Sure, they are far smaller matters, but taken together they all add up to an Executive wielding power with no brakes upon it: statutory instruments are bad enough and would, were your humble Devil in charge, be rendered illegal—these Enabling Clauses are, quite simply, the fence-posts for a totalitarian regime.

Blogs such as EUReferendum continually highlight how Westminster has become little more than a regional EU council, but in truth our MPs are in the process of being rendered utterly impotent by our own government.


nightjack said...

Amen to that Kitchen.
Enabling legislation for a government of enablers.

Jock Coats said...

As regards the previous changes to tobacco sales - the imposition of pictures of nasty things that they say will happen to you if you smoke, I thought we could start a sort of "Top Trumps" type game of collecting all the different ones and swapping them - you know, like football cards. Would be great for the youngsters...:)

vincent1 said...

As consumers, can we withhold paying tax, DK? If we cannot see what we are buying, (given they are still a legal product), we may just as well buy them off Joe Bloggs in the street and not feel guilty for doing so. I cannot see how it can be legal to sell something we do not know is for real or not. Surely, they would need more jobsworths going around checking stores and packets to see if they are selling fakes? Like they do in California.
These stupid fanatics get more stupid by the day.

Kinderling said...

It is a tactic of reeling you in then out then back in again. Many Sociopaths play this game. I used to see it at work with one or two people but now... we employ narcissists under the gateway of Diversity, and ended up with the inmates ruling this patch of Euro-Zone.
Their target is the person who does not believe nonsense, everyone else welcome. Quite simply we are in the company of medically certifiable people.
There is a genocide going on: it is the raping and murder of the free mind.

Letters From A Tory said...

It's quite a clever tactic, unfortunately - hit the headlines with some outrageous piece of legislation, pretend to withdraw it after 'consulting the public and industry representatives', only to then shove the slightly altered version through Parliament without anyone noticing.

Clever, but disgraceful.

Jules said...

there's more than one way to skin a cat - or smoke a fag. i sense a happy resurgence in sales of the cigarette case. the cunts didn't think of that did they?

DaveA said...

DK great to see you back on fine form. Don Paskini does not like you so saying the right things.

Dick the Prick said...

Jock Coates - always go for the 'smoking whilst pregnant may harm your baby' fags - they're the best.

Spartan said...

Nice trip to Spain via Easyjet. Stay overnight and enjoy smoking in the bars. Load up with ciggies. Come home. Go through Customs. Doesn't matter if they stop you because they have no idea what Regs actually say. lf you do ... yay .... happy days.

l've been doing it for years and have been stopped on quite a few occassions but never never lost my ciggies ... and l bring loads, 50+ cartons minimum (500 packets). Saves a fortune and Gorgon doesn't get any revenue!

Advice freely given if wanted ;-)

We Change Europe said...

The Reform Treaty of Lisbon now provides Europeans with a concrete tool for the first time - the “Right of Initiative” that is anchored to Article 11. 4 Treaty of Lisbon. Article 11.4 offers the 400 million eligible EU citizens the possibility to express their opinion in a referendum and thus directly influence European decisions.
“We Change Europe” wants to offer the opportunity of getting involved into the process of political decisions made in the EU. Therefore they created an E-Voting tool and the possibility to promote political aims in form of paneuropean initiatives. In order to foster such citizens’ democracy they organize Europe-wide votes for important union-related decision. All Europeans are invited to participate in these initiatives.
At you can vote, if you will get involved in the following two important topics:
We-Enlarge: The Europeans are enlarging their Union!
We-Elect: The Europeans elect their President!
Please click “Yes” or “No” at the “We Change Europe”-Website.

Roger Thornhill said...

"All Europeans are invited to participate in these initiatives.
At you can vote, if you will get involved in the following two important topics:
We-Enlarge: The Europeans are enlarging their Union!
We-Elect: The Europeans elect their President!
Please click “Yes” or “No” at the “We Change Europe”-Website."

I don't want to "change Europe", that is the point. Let Europe change itself. ENOUGH TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY you mendacious scumbags!

A pox on your false dichotomies!

And what is it with this conflation of "Europe" and "EU"?

How about

You-Sod-Off: The EU parasites can go stick their collectivist heads up a dead polar bear's bum
We-leave-now: Britain to regain Sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

I think it is important to ask what a certain Phillip Morris is doing about this...absolutely nothing. It is the brand leader and knows that Malboro sales will rocket if any display ban/packaging changes go through!

Tomrat said...

Whilst getting out of my car at 8 this morning to walk into the office I notice a discarded fag packet on the flaw.

What attracted me was the colourful image of an image of a surgeon performing a lumpectomy on a poor individual (obviously a smoker).

Having lost family members to strokes, heart-attack, cancer and COPD (my particular favourite) I have no love for smoking, but that doesn't mean I support it being pushed into peoples faces.

When this government gets tired of promoting this current push for healthier, more productive drones it will abandon it altogether and move on to IngSoc-style government in heartbeat.

Victory Cigarettes all round!