Category Archives: law

Drugs policy – incompetence or intentionally bad?

Sometimes it’s a narrow line between evil and incompetence. The government’s handling of the Psychoactive Substances Bill is a case in point. As with all drugs policy in the UK, it is entirely driven by poorly thought through morals, not science. That’s incredibly damaging to people who find themselves using drugs in despair, but great for criminal gangs. And since most drug addicts are driven there by social problems that the government are working hard to increase (poverty, depression, unemployment), cracking down on drugs is more consistent with government policy than helping people get off them.

In that spirit, the government has decided to ban any substance that has an impact on the brain. Since even the briefest thought makes it obvious that that is ridiculous, the government have appointed MP Mike Penning to oversee the bill, and banned the governments own drugs advisory board from contributing to the discussion.

A number of people have raised objections to the bill – for example the church objects because it would ban incense. It would also ban coffee, alcohol, chocolate and nutmeg, along with anything else that is mood altering. To counter that, the government proposes to list every single thing that you can consume in one way or another that is not banned. Except, according to Mr. Penning, none of the substances will be banned if bought in the UK – only if you buy them abroad. And realistically the government won’t get every OK substance on the list, but claims that discretion will be used (e.g. would they send a toddler to jail for eating a worm?). Except we know from experience that a law which is intended to be used with discretion today gets abused pretty quickly – e.g. numerous abuses of the anti-terrorism laws, such as using them to stop and search people for train spotting.

So, we have a bill that is going to ban everything, overseen by someone who really doesn’t understand either drugs policy, the law, or indeed what he has written in his own bill (and please do read the main linked article to read more about that – it’s a very funny read). Did David Cameron appoint him to run this because he doesn’t care if it goes wrong, or because he wants it to? Either way it’s nicely evil. Mwhahaha.

Tories threaten to suspend House of Lords to force cuts through

We’ve written before about how annoying the House of Lords is. Those unelected peers (of all political persuasions) spend their time doing their best to thwart the evil that elected politicians are so good at doing. In recent times they have halted Chris Grayling’s plan to get rid of judicial reviews. They have stopped George Osborne from allowing employers to strip away workers’ rights in exchange for a few shares. And yesterday they threatened to stop the government from taking £1300 a year from the 3 million poorest households by submitting a “fatal motion” – which is a little used technique available to the Lords to stop the Commons worst atrocities.

Faced with not being able to inflict untold misery on the poorest in society, the Tories had to take drastic action. But when faced with the upper house threatening to block their evil plans, what action could they take? Only something more evil – they threatened to completely suspend the House of Lords if they voted against the benefit cuts. Mwhahaha.

In political terms, this is about as evil as it can possibly get – it’s the sort of thing that a dictator does. If the Lords had overstepped their authority, this would be a last ditch action to stop them, but in this case there was no such justification. Traditionally the Lords don’t block manifesto promises, or financial bills. But this was not a manifesto promise. In fact, Cameron made it very clear on live TV saying that he would not cut child tax credits. The Lords are also forbidden from blocking financial bills. But the tax credit cuts are not a financial bill – the government has intentionally submitted the changes as a statutory instrument – the difference being that a statutory instrument does not require parliamentary scrutiny and debate.

Given that the Lords are well within their rights to try to block the change, threatening to suspend the upper house is possibly the most evil act yet. Such a move would allow the Tories true despotic power, with no-one to block their schemes. Unfortunately the Lords took note of the threat, and the bishops and cross bench peers who proposed it have backed down, so the pesky upper house lives to fight another day.

Government U-turn on corporate crimes

When people commit crimes, they go to jail. When large companies commit crimes, often very little happens. For example, companies who dodge tax are simply asked politely to pay up. Mis-selling PPI insurance? Pay it back (after a bit of fuss if people chase you) – no punishment other than paying back what was defrauded from their customers. Companies who commit financial fraud (or other crimes) are often let off, because UK law requires that an individual person be shown to responsible for directing the crime. In most cases it is impossible to pin corporate misbehaviour on an individual because it is endemic in the company, so the companies are not prosecuted.

Other countries have far stricter laws – for example the US fined companies $13 billion last year. The Law Commission, who are responsible for advising the Government on making legislation, has been encouraging the Government to improve laws since 2010. The Serious Fraud Office have been asking for stronger powers to tackle economic crime. In the face of numerous examples of corporate wrongdoing the Government committed as part of its manifesto to improve corporate responsibility laws. However, in an evil U-turn, the Government has announced that it is no longer interested in doing that. Companies can continue to get away with breaking the law, and we won’t prosecute or fine them. Mwhahaha.

So why this change of heart? Justice Minister Andrew Selous claims that there is little evidence of corporate wrongdoing going unpunished. Which is a very good excuse to have thought up for favouring companies over the individuals that they screw, that has the evil benefit of being completely untrue. And yes, fines from prosecuting companies would go a long way to helping reduce our deficit, but they would hurt the chances of MPs being given sweet directorships, so best to avoid that.

Prisons to be filled with illegal immigrants

At the moment, when an illegal immigrant is caught in the UK (as opposed to an asylum seeker), they are meant to be deported. However, that doesn’t happen very efficiently, and there are thought to be many known illegal immigrants living in the UK.

An obvious solution to this would be to deport people as soon as they are found to be actual illegal immigrants. However, the government has a much more evil plan. Instead they are going to jail illegal immigrants for up to 6 months before deporting them. Why is that evil? Because jailing someone for 6 months can cost about £80k.

It’s not just the utter waste of taxpayers money that makes this evil. That cost is hundreds of times as much as we would spend on helping an asylum seeker. Someone who has fled their home or been forced out of it by war and conflict gets just £36.95 a week to live on. We are willing to spend a fortune on punishing people who come here to work illegally, but not willing to spend a fraction of that helping those in need. And since many prisons have been privatized, this will be money going straight in to the pockets of the likes of G4S and Serco. Mwhahaha.

And to add to the stupidity of this plan is the very real problem of prison overcrowding. Our prisons are already completely full, with multiple prisoners being crammed in to cells designed for one. The government recently realized that it has been counting the number of prisoners in overcrowded cells wrong, and there are in fact 20,000 prisoners in overcrowded cells. This is not just an issue of safety, but it also prevents rehabilitation, increases unrest, increases the chance of suicide, and poor health. Anything that needlessly increases the prison population is clearly evil.

Death Penalty – UK government doesn’t mind it any more

The UK has for a long time included the abolition of the death penalty as one of it’s 6 key aims when dealing with other nations. However, in true evil style that has now been dropped.

While there is evidence that the death penalty has no effect on reduction of crime, and has on a number of occasions resulted in innocent people being killed, the dropping of official objections to the death penalty is hopefully just a pre-cursor to bringing it back in Britain. Mwhahaha.