How far can the unelected House of Lords preserve our liberties and freedoms before the presumed date of the General Election in May ?
Just in case you think that the only evil legislation that has reached them is the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, do not forget the others:
According to the highly respected and IT literate Liberal Democrat MP Richard Allan (who is not planning to stand for re-election), the dreadul Identity Cards Bill could still sneak through onto the statute books at the end of the Parliamentary session, via the undemocratic "wash up" process, if the Conservatives do a backroom deal with the Labour Government.
Also scheduled to be considered is the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, which includes:
- The controversial "religous hatred" offences.
- Restrictions on demonstrations within 1 kilometre of Parliament Square, which, astonishingly, have been prompted by a single individual protestor.
- Making all offences arrestable by a constable. This means that your fingerprints and DNA will be taken for even the most trivial offences which you may be accused of, and which will be retained forever even if you are innocent ?
- It will also be possible to force you to provide shoeprint impressions.
- It will also be possible to fingerprint you "out in the field" using mobile equipment, before you have been charged in the Police station.. In theory these "identification fingerprints" are meant to be destroyed after use. You can see how this new power would slot in nicely with the National Identity Register that would be set up by the Identity Cards Bill.
- It will also be possible to perform a compulsory drug test on you, also "out in the field" with new equipment, again without you actually being charged.
Liberty Human Rights have a briefing paper (.pdf) for the Lords Second Reading of this Bill.
Potentially this Bill could also end up being passed without further debate or amendment, in the undemocratic "wash up" process as well.