You hardly mention Lord Lester for ages, then suddenly two posts about him come in the same week. He resigned the other day as the government’s adviser on constitutional stuff, which news gives me another chance to kick the government about its bill of rights and responsibilities. You might also be interested in the Joint Committee on Human Rights’s report on a bill of rights, which gives you a pretty good idea where Lord Lester’s coming from.
I won’t grump on and on and on about it – you’ve heard it all before – but this bill really was doomed to disaster from the start. It was bound to displease the human rights lobby (Lord Lester) and human-rights-ophobes (Jacqui Smith) because the government seemed to want to use it both to extend and limit human rights at the same time. Jack Straw shouldn’t of course be surprised by any of this, as he’ll remember the original human rights bill – yes, that one – was taken away from the Lord Chancellor’s Department (or was it DCA by then? I can’t remember) and given to the Home Office (prop. J. Straw), presumably to make sure it didn’t go too far. Jacqui’s only doing now what Jack did back then.
Jack Straw, mind, is starting to make a habit out of backing grand consitutional wheezes to “simplify” things and win voters’ hearts and minds, but that turn round and bite him when interest groups get a grip on them. Remember this?
Oh, Lord Lester got his way on the Employment Bill, by the way.
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