FOR THE ATTENTION OF:
Tessa Jowell MP
Dulwich and West Norwood
Sunday 2 April 2006
Dear Tessa Jowell,
The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill seems like a very dangerous and ill-conceived piece of legislation. I do not go so far as to think it malicious but when a government decides to give itself what are potential extremely far-reaching new powers I think it needs to give a better excuse than the legistlative inefficiency of the parliamentary system.
I approve of the idea of ‘cutting red tape’ but had rather this was done with pinking-shears than the chainsaw that this bill seems to represent. And granting ministers and their appointees the power to change laws as they see fit and without account seems just as likely to increase regulation as to reduce it. After all who introduced the red tape in the first place? Surely, it was this and previous governments and so giving this and future governments unchecked power to make new laws is a topsy-turvy way of dealing with the failings of democracy.
I oppose this bill in principle but even in practice I find it hard to believe the government’s stated reasons for the bill while they refuse to include the strong safeguards that such a potentially dangerous law requires. Why is there no ‘sunset clause’? Why do ministers need the power to create new criminal offenses? Why are human rights and defence measures not included? Why is constitutional law not excluded from amendment without parliamentary scrunity? In particular, why is the bill itself not excluded from such changes?