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Governing for the future Dec 08

The Labour Government want us to trust them. They made that very clear during the passage of the Abolition of Parliament Bill. The trouble with introducing regressive and authoritarian laws, though, is that while perhaps we can trust the current government (this is hypothetical; obviously we can’t trust this government), what about the next one? Labour’s only concern is that legislation should suit their current needs and why would they expect to leave power anyway?

This story from Time (via) demonstrates how that attitude can backfire:

Come January, however, the man that the liberal Nation magazine once called the “Eliot Ness of the Democrats” can do even more, thanks to the two words that strike fear in the heart of every government official: subpoena power. As the new chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, [Henry] Waxman will have free rein to investigate, as he puts it, “everything that the government is involved with.” And the funny thing is, Waxman can thank the Republicans for the unique set of levers he will hold. Under a rules change they put through in the days when they used the panel to make Bill Clinton’s life miserable, the leader of Government Reform is the only chairman who can issue subpoenas without a committee vote.

One Response

  1. 1

    Just read on Voice about the new job; congrats and all that.