Monday, May 08, 2006

Miscellaneous

How many posts have been titled "miscellaneous"? A quick round-up of things that caught my eye just now.

First off, I was spooked by the picture in the centre spread of today's Guardian, print version only of course for pictures, of a sky shot taken in St. Peter's Rome of the Pope ordaining fifteen new priests from a variety of countries, who had all taken a dramatic prostrated position on the carpet. Not a woman to be seen amongst those dressed up, as far as I could tell. A few in the "audience". Does anyone else see a problem in this?

Second, a great catchphrase from Bookdrunk at Rhetorically Speaking, commenting on Roger Knapman, UKIP MEP and majoring in hypocrisy (about whom I blogged yesterday on the EU law and politics blog): "immigrants are only cool when they are half-price".

And finally, better discussions than I could manage of the foreign prisoners, deportation and UK policy issue than I could manage, by Brian Barder, and his various commentators.

Update in the morning I remembered in the night the other thing I wanted to refer to in this post, and that was a snippet from the Guardian obituary of Lord Simon of Glaisdale, famous for being the last (in this case Tory) law officer to be appointed to the High Court on finishing his stint as a law officer (solicitor general). A good example of patronage now gone. But of greater interest is a snippet which pertains to his work in the House of Lords, after he was appointed a Law Lord and sat for many years as a pretty active crossbench (and rather eclectic) peer (he died at 95). Thus during the Thatcher years:

"He supported the encouragement of the free market under Margaret Thatcher, but not her centralisation of power. His bete noire was the recurrent resort to Henry VIII clauses (as a Lords committee put it, "a provision in a bill which enables primary legislation to be amended or repealed by subordinate legislation with or without further parliamentary scrutiny"), giving ministers uncontrolled powers."

I think we can safely say, therefore, that he would have been unhappy about the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill containing the mother of all Henry VIII clauses.

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