Yes, Yes, Yes
13 January, 2009
News that the government wants to put a duty on all public bodies to reduce the gap between rich and poor is fantastic. Harriet Harman I could kiss you. The devil of course will be in the detail, for instance is Parliament going to exclude itself like it has disgracefully done over Freedom of Information? Unless it does this should mean an end to the exploitative intern system. Or perhaps paid internships across the public sector? Is this going to limit the Treasury from introducing any budget that shifts money from poor to rich? If it is that major and doesn’t get watered down it has to be a prime target for repeal by a future conservative government. But that would be a battle that the Labour Party would be well up for.
The attitude of the courts will also be interesting because this could have a reach over a huge range of policies so any pressure group or well funded individual could theoretically take the government to judicial review and I suspect the legal aid budget for public law is going to have to go up. The crucial question is how far the judiciary decide to push this new power which could alter the balance of power between government which is afterall elected and judicary which isn’t. Personally I don’t think the judges would push things that far. They are a fairly small c conservative bunch afterall. Would the courts stop the granting of planning permissions for the development of private schools for instance. I doubt it.
Still this could be a stunning piece of legislation.