Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

[Bypassing Parliament] The UK Enabling Act 2006

Posted by Lex Fear on April 10, 2006

Here is a copy of an email I circulated recently. What I didn’t mention, as others have pointed out, it’s not so much this present touchy government that is to be feared, but the possibility of a future government abusing these powers. I also added a link to the Salem Witch Trials at the bottom, to give more perspective on how our authorities are operating.

Please link to this post, or if you think I haven’t covered it well, then do your research from the links I’ve provided – but above all please spread the message! I believe that a lively debate is taking place about this Bill. Concessions have been made, but it is still on the agenda and we should all be afraid, very afraid:

I am only a layman in these matters, so I am explaining this in my own terms and I am not a lawyer, however I have done much of my own personal research into this and feel confident now to actually say something. I’m also aware I’m risking my reputation on this. As a Christian and a citizen of the UK, I am deeply concerned and feel we all should be aware of a little known and ‘boring-sounding’ new act that the present government is trying to get enacted. The act is called ‘The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill’, and it’s purpose is to effectively do away with the parliamentary process for making and passing new laws and amending existing ones.

I guess that not many who read this email are interested in politics or even care, you may wax cynical with comments such as “All politicians are corrupt anyway” or “Well they already make the laws so what’s to stop them?” The fact is currently you have certain freedoms, the freedom to practice your religion, the freedom to be innocent until proven guilty, the freedom not to be simply locked up at the whim of those in power without charge. Although they are slowly being eroded away everyday (frog + boiling water), these freedoms exist due to age old, forgotten laws found in these documents:

The Magna Carta (1225 – http://www.bl.uk/treasures/magnacarta/translation.html)
The Habeas Corpus Act (1679 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus)
The Bill of Rights (1689 – http://www.webmesh.co.uk/englishbillofrights1689.htm)

So who makes these laws and decides them? What’s to stop a party getting into power and decide everyone should wear green on a Tuesday? Well in this country we are privileged to have a Parliament. Parliament comprises of 2 Houses – The House of Lords and The House of Commons. The Lords are unelected and retain their seats for life, the Commons are your majority elected representatives – currently New Labour. The Commons are obviously temporary and retain their seats subject to general election. So whereas the Commons will be trying to maintain popularity, therefore trying making decisions to look good, the Lords do not have to fight to keep their seat and are less inclined to make decisions based on popularity. If you’ve stayed with me so far, thanks, it will start to get interesting I promise!

You may have your own opinions about the House of Lords but in my opinion the Lords are the ones who protect this country from going to the dogs. If the commons (the elected party of the day) want to bring in a new law, they have to put it through the House of Lords, where it gets a thorough going over and then may be sent back (rejected) for the Commons to have a rethink. This process may happen many times till either the Commons make good law or they give up. So if your elected government decide Tuesday is a good day for everyone to wear green, the Lords are going to look at that and say: Why? What good will that do? Does this law really make sense? Of course the Lords were neutered by the The Parliament Act (1911 – http://www.parliament.uk/works/parliament.cfm#parlacts) but that’s less important than what’s going on right now.

Going back to your civil liberties as granted by the laws mentioned above, we are ruled presently by an elected government that is trying to do away with these laws altogether. They have already successfully infringed on the Habeas Corpus Act by with their Terrorism Act (2000 – http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2000/20000011.htm) and various traffic, TV licence and fixed penalty laws infringe on The Bill of Rights. How, you ask? New Labour rely on the fact that most people are not aware of their age old rights and take them for granted: If you put a frog in boiling water it will jump right out, if you put it in cold water and then slowly boil it, the frog will simply sit there and cook. The Manic Street Preachers had it right “If you tolerate this, your children will be next”, and we continue to tolerate these small changes in legislation and rushed Acts (emergency powers). Do some research, there’s plenty of material online, it will take a while for you to piece things together but it’s well worth it and shocking!

So what is The Enabling Act and its relation to The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill? This is where your history lessons pay off. The Enabling Act was an act brought in as part of emergency powers to allow the government to make new laws and legislation without having to go through parliament, sound familiar? But it wasn’t the present UK or US governments of the present day that brought this Act in, no, it was the Nazi Party in 1933. The Enabling Act was introduced shortly after The Reichstag Fire Decree, which involved the suspension of Habeas Corpus amongst other human rights laws in order to fight communists who were trying to ‘undermine the democracy of Germany’ (my wording). Starting to sound very familiar now? Both The Terrorism Act 2000 and The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill echo The Reichstag Fire Decree and The Enabling Act in many ways:

  • Both The LRRB and the Enabling Act limit the powers of Parliament/Reichstag.
  • Both the Terrorism Act and The Reichstag Fire Decree were issued a rush response to perceived threat – communists/terrorists. They both have resulted in suspects being held without charge.
  • All of these Acts have been promoted as some sort of emergency powers to protect the citizens of the state.
  • All of these Acts were widely and publicly opposed, until the Acts themselves were actually used against dissenters and those in opposition (e.g. protesting outside parliament square).
  • Both governments of the day attempted to censor certain media organisations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Verboten_Zeitung_1933.jpg, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3448943.stm).
  • Both governments of the day won elections based on the strength of the economy.

So you’re still reading my email? I guess the next question is: What can be done? Well there are people who are trying to raise awareness and campaign, Save Parliament is a good place to start – http://www.saveparliament.org.uk/ On this site there’s some information about the LRRB and contact details for Ministers and Lords, so you can write to express your disapproval. Or you can pretty much dismiss this email for whatever reasons (including your assessment I am completely nuts), and hope that I find something better to do with my time. Whatever your
response I would hope at the very least I’ve raised your awareness of the world in which we live.
For that small percentage of you who are now hooked and want to research this for yourself, Let me give you some starting places:

The Enabling Act – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act
The Reichstag Fire Decree – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_Fire_Decree, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire
Save Parliament! – http://www.saveparliament.org.uk/
The Rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party – http://www2.dsu.nodak.edu/users/dmeier/Holocaust/hitler.html, http://www.historyhome.co.uk/europe/hitrise.htm
No 2 ID Cards – http://www.no2id.net/
Bill of Rights vs Parking Tickets – http://www.bwmaonline.com/Legal%20-%20New%20doubts%20-%20Thoburn%20conviction.htm, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/11/13/nbook13.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/11/13/ixhome.html

The Salem Witch Trials – http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SALEM.HTM

Wherever you do link directly to the bill, give the link the title of ‘The UK Enabling Act 2006‘, this will make sure that the connection is made for maximum impact.

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