New Freedoms Bill......

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R1Geezer | 15:58 Fri 11th Feb 2011 | News
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what do we think people? Not sure about the vetting bit but I'm all for the deletion of innocents from the DNA database. Obvious BGB chances here!


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Depends on the details.

I recall author Phillip Pulman getting on his high horse about needing to be vetted to make school visits.

Yet a speaker on Radio 4 this morning was making reference to exactly that case where an author visiting schools had been found guilty of a number of child abuse cases related to such visits.

What gets me at the moment is there are a large number of sweeping bills like the Europe one and this one and parliamentary reform both by this government and the last.

They are all trying to institute constitutional change.

We need to stop messing about and define and adopt a constitution
But, Jake, the UK has never had a written constitution and has, quite frankly, never needed one. Our Common Law, Statutory Law and interpretation by the courts has always sufficed.
The need for a written constitution has only arisen because of attempts to align our laws and practices with those of other nations. The individual issue mentioned by Geezer (retention of DNA) is a particular hobby horse of mine and I am vehemently opposed to the practice of retaining DNA of people arrested but not convicted (and often not even charged). But it is the UK Parliament which should decide on these matters in accordance with the will of MPs. No recourse to supra-national authorities should be available to decide purely domestic issues.
It all looks fine and dandy as it has been presented in your link R1 - let's hope it actually works in practice.
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how dissapointing, I have BGB's ready and no takers!
Never needed one?

I beg to differ!

The political parties in the last 5-10 years have been full of acts attempting to leave a lasting legacy.

The Tories got really stroppy about the EU and are introducy a law to try to force later governments to hold a referendum before future treaties are signed (although presumably any future Government could simply repeal it) - that's prime constitutional territory.

The Human Rights act is again constitutional fare.

Reform of the House of Lords

Reform of constituancy boundries

These are all big constitutional issues

The final farce was during the election when the palace came out and said that it was for the sitting Prime minister to first try to form an agreement with another part in the eventuality of a hung parliament.

they were of course making it up as they went along and were roundly (and I would say rightly) ignored by Nick Clegg who said "No the party with the biggest electoral share should have that right"

We can - and I suspect - will continue without a constitution but without one each new government will continue to try to undo the constitutional reforms of it's predecessor
I would quite like to see the UK have a constitution.
Generally in favour of the condem efforts to roll back some of the more illiberal and intrusive laws introduced by Labour.
You can bet your bottom dollar they will still secretly keep DNA records and similar.
lol ... Well that report missed out one thing ... the DNA records of people who have not been charged or convicted can still be retained, at the request of the police, on "national security grounds" according to a news report on Radio 4 earlier today.

And as all this stuff is on computers, the cynic in me wonders if someone will be keeping a backup of the unexpurgated database somewhere ...
DNA should be kept for all citizens of the UK. This is just a small fraction of the information the government stores about us. All the other information is useless though in soving existing or future crimes.
But, Jake, any “constitution” will only be manipulated by the sitting government and will effectively make little or no difference to the policies they pursue.

All the matters you mention can be altered by the two Houses of Parliament. They will continue to be so with or without a constitution. The specific matter of what happens in the event of a hung Parliament is quite clear. The Prime Minister, who is not elected by the populace, remains the PM until it is clear he cannot command a majority in the Commons. In the event of a single party gaining an overall majority this point is reached quite quickly and obviously. In the event of a hung Parliament, it takes more time and that is precisely what occurred.

The “constitutional” issue that is most prevalent in the UK is that the needs and requirements of the UK electorate which should be determined by their MPs are being unnecessarily modified or even abandoned to accommodate the legislation and rulings that stem from Europe (either the EU itself or the ECHR, which I quite accept are separate). This is being done, ostensibly, to homogenise and harmonise procedures throughout the EU.

Which is all very well, but very often these measures are contrary to the wishes of the UK electorate and their MPs. Such phrases as “...we have no choice but to comply...” and “...EU regulations do not permit...” are simply not the things that people want to hear from their elected leaders. We are not, at present at least, a single European nation and the people of this country expect their leaders to act in the best interests of the UK. Whether or not that complies with the wishes of our “partners” or whether it upsets them should be of no relevance or concern.

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