Friday, June 10, 2005


You know that I love anagrams; "a Welsh born icon" is an anagram of "Nicholas Browne" and I was grateful learn in an interview with Christopher Hitchens in the Telegraph that "spectre" is an anagram of "respect", because the spectre of the Tony Blair fostered "culture of respect" is about to start haunting us with a vengeance.

I'll tell you a true story. I had a meeting recently with the head of communications at an NGO for whom we occasionally work. I asked her how things were going as we exchanged pleasantaries. "Oh fine," she said, "the Government is very quiet this morning".

This morning! This was a 10 am meeting and she felt like she was free wheeling because no initiatives requiring her attention had emerged from the belly of the beast so far that day. Well I suppose Parliament was in recess.

Its only 26 days since I noted that the Government had created 1,018 new criminal offences since 1997. Well the tap is truly back on again. Look at the snapshot below of what Google News served up when I searched for "bill published" yesterday.
Violent Crime Reduction Bill published
Security Park, UK - 3 hours ago
The Violent Crime Reduction Bill will ensure that police and local communities have the ecessary powers to reduce violent crimes involving imitation guns ...

Religious hate bill published, UK - 1 hour ago
Plans to create a new offence of inciting racial hatred have been published by the Government. Te Racial and Religious Hatred Bill will enable authorities to ...

ID card cost soars as new bill published
Guardian Unlimited, UK - 25 May 2005
The price of an identity card will be higher than previously thought at �93, the Home Office amitted today, as it published a new bill to introduce the ...

Is it really possible that all these new laws are necessary, thought through, competently drafted and deliverable? Why can't we just concentrate on applying the laws we've already got?

Looking back over my posts, I see that I have expressed my opnions about the insanity of the creating an offence of the incitement to religious hatred half a dozen times already this year. Here's a link to a random screed.

As regards ID cards, I'm not familiar with the details of the proposals yet but I just cannot imagine how they can possibly work in practice unless draconian powers to force people to carry and produce them on demand are implemented, and even then I don't understand how they would deter malefactors. As for how much the scheme would cost, I shudder to think.

I suppose I'm just really girding my loins here for the battles and debates to come. It ain't gonna be pretty.

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