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Thursday, March 09, 2006 

What's next? Having to be a member of Labour to stand for parliament?

You have to hand it to New Labour, they really have turned out to the best party ever at managing to dilute the influence of parliament, or well, at least having a go at trying. Not content with the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, which may well give ministers the power to amend any act of parliament they feel like without boring old parliament having to approve it, now Geoff "Buff" Hoon is trying to stop MPs from asking so many damn questions.

We of course know why the government wants to able to limit the amount of annoying questions from some MPs'. An obvious example is the incredibly belated acknowledgment that CIA jets have indeed landed in this country, despite the government denying that any such thing had ever happened since the first reports last September. Add to this the questions which lead to uncomfortable statistics being laid bare, and even the familiar answer that answering the given question could only be done at "disproportionate cost", the equivalent of a Glaswegian kiss, which is after all, embarrassing.

At a time when the Power commission reported that the centralising of power is turning people off politics the country over, only a truly arrogant government would continue to move in exactly the opposite direction to that which was recommended. New Labour, under Blair, and most likely even under Brown, ticks all those boxes.

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