Another toxic Balir legacy – a Supreme Court

The danger is that this major change in our constitution was the result of a tiff between Phony Tony and the loathsome Derry Irvine. The man who would be Wolsey completely over reached himself and the Dear Leader in a hissy fit sacked his former mentor. Then, as Lord Neuberger, Master of the Rolls, rightly said we had a Supreme Court foisted on us as a result of a last-minute decision over a glass of whisky. As with almost everything we have suffered from New Labour this was policy made on the hoof by really not very bright people. For centuries, the nation has been governed on the basis of a fundamental principle: our elected Parliament makes law, and represents the highest arbitrator of the public interest. Yet over the past 30 years, and especially since the coming of Brown and Blair in 1997, real power in Britain has shifted. Prime Ministers behave ever more like Presidents. The EU has assumed powers which override the sovereignty of national parliaments and the role of judges has dramatically expanded, as interpreters of European law. Most conspicuously in human rights and immigration cases, more and more judges hand down decisions that establish precedents and defy the expressed views of elected ministers and much of the electorate. Judges have repeatedly interpreted the rights of asylum seekers in the most generous possible fashion, resisting their deportation to home countries deemed uncongenial. The judiciary performs a vital function, in providing legal recourse against the sort of high handed government-imposed injustice we have come to expect from Blair and Brown. But the judgment of judges often proves lamentably flawed. So here is another characteristic legacy of New Labour: an idea, conceived on impulse for tactical political reasons, and scrabbled into implementation with no consultation, emerging as a radical departure from Britain’s long constitutional tradition. Nobody knows what the exact powers of the Supreme Court will be until the judges test them – and they surely will!! The full cost of Blair’s many follies will only become apparent in the years ahead. The Supreme Court already looks like one of them.

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