Sunday, November 01, 2009

Irvine Slates Blair Over Abolition of Lord Chancellor

Those who believe that this government has played fast and loose with the British Constitution will have been further convinced by Simon Walters' story in today's Mail on Sunday in which he reveals details of a damning report from Lord Irvine on how Tony Blair came to abolish the post of Lord Chancellor and create a Ministry of Justice.

Irvine's memorandum, submitted to a Lords Select Committee can be read HERE, and it really is worth reading in full. It exposes the shallowness of Tony Blair for all to see. Irvine certainly doesn't hold back in his criticism of his former pupil.

18 comments:

Pedro said...

JOf topic I know Ian so my apologies, but she is your friend. Any thoughts?

http://bastardoldholborn.blogspot.com/2009/11/keeping-it-in-family.html

"Just last week, Tory loon Nadine Dorries was moaning that her daughter wouldn't be able to find a job after leaving Uni.

Solution? Yup. You and I are going to pay Jennifer Dorries £28K a year to work for Nadine Dorries. As her "secretary"."

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

Blair is a truly astonishing example of a man whose education has been seriously deficient. He is either a damning indictment of Fettes, Oxford and the bar - which is conceivable - or else he has an egregious personality.

That his casual, myopic, dangerous attitude to the constitution mirrors his similar apporach to foreign affairs is disappointing but no surprise. A future President of Europe!

Anonymous said...

"Tony Blair came to abolish the post of Lord Chancellor."

He didn't.

Jack Straw's the Lord Chancellor.

jordan ash said...

Surely all that happend was a tired and emotional political hack was shoved out and replaced by one of Blair's pals who was given a new title but carried out the same job ? Can't see what is news-worthy about that.

Michaela said...

Old story-It's been on the HL website since Tuesday and was in Saturday;s Times and several legal Blogs

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/the_blair_years/article6897562.ece

Paddy Briggs said...

Wiki quite good on this:

In the early 21st Century the combined executive, legislative and judicial functions of the historical office of Lord Chancellor began to be viewed as untenable, as it infringed on the idea of the separation of powers as put forward by Montesquieu (where no one should reside in any more than one of the three branches of government; the Lord Chancellor stood in all three). It was also considered as possibly inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. At the same time, proposals by the Blair Government simply to abolish the office met with opposition from those who felt that such an official is necessary to speak on the judiciary's behalf in the Cabinet, as well as from those who opposed the sudden abolition of such an ancient office. In 2003, Tony Blair chose his close friend and former flatmate Lord Falconer of Thoroton to be Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. At the same time, he announced his intention to abolish the office of Lord Chancellor and to make many other constitutional reforms. After much surprise and confusion, it became clear that the ancient office of Lord Chancellor could not be abolished without an Act of Parliament. Lord Falconer of Thoroton duly appeared in the House of Lords to preside from the Woolsack on the next day. The Lord Chancellor's Department, however, was renamed the Department for Constitutional Affairs.


Jack Straw, the current Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain and Secretary of State for Justice.In January 2004, the Department of Constitutional Affairs published a concordat, outlining the division of authority between Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice and which was intended as the basis of reform.The Government introduced the Constitutional Reform Bill in the House of Lords in February 2004. The Bill sought to abolish the office of Lord Chancellor, and to transfer his functions to other officials: legislative functions to a Speaker of the House of Lords, executive functions to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and judicial functions to the Lord Chief Justice. The Bill also made other constitutional reforms, such as transferring the judicial duties of the House of Lords to a Supreme Court.

In March 2004, however, the Lords upset the Government's plans by sending the bill to a Select Committee. Although initially seen as a move to kill the bill, the Government and Opposition agreed to permit the Bill to proceed through the parliamentary process, subject to any amendments made by the Committee. On 13 July 2004, the House amended the Constitutional Reform Bill such that the title of Lord Chancellor would be retained, although the Government's other proposed reforms were left intact. Then, in November 2004, the Government introduced an amendment in the Lords which wholly removed references to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, changing them to ones about the Lord Chancellor, with the positions of Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor envisaged as being held by the same person. The final Constitutional Reform Act received royal assent on March 24, 2005 and the major transfers of the historical functions of the Lord Chancellor to others (such as the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Speaker) were complete by mid-2006. However the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs retained his place as a member of the Cabinet and certain special statutory functions.

Colin F said...

This Mail story really isn't news - it has been reheated from the Times yesterday - see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/the_blair_years/article6897562.ece

Typical Blair to think he could abolish the Lord Chancellorship witrhout further ado. (Yes I know it hasn't actually been abolished yet but lives on in name only as the hapless 'Man of Straw' is laughingly known as 'Justice Secretary' as though he was on capitol Hill.) Typical Irvine to witter on about it as though he had his favourite toy taken away from him. Who cares about these witless has-beens now anyway?

Alan Douglas said...

Not that I support Bliar, but Derry's ravings seem to come down to "They stripped me of my £ 500 per roll taxpayer-funded wall-paper."

Ah diddums ....

I love it when socialists fall out. Sadly they no longer apply the sanctions of Trotsky and lenin.

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

Those who believe that this government has played fast and loose with the British Constitution will have been further convinced by Simon Walters' story in today's Mail on Sunday

Those who believe that this government has played fast and loose with the British Constitution will have been further convinced by opening their bloody eyes and taking a cold heart look at what the Labour Party has done to this country over the past 12 and a half years.

Frank said...

Pedro: What is wrong with that if she actually works. I am self employed and employed my children when they were on vacation during their studies. Jolly good value for money they were too.

Michaela said...

Colin F- Your post is also old news :)

Anonymous said...

Irvine has decided that Tony Blair is shallow?

It's been completely obvious to the rest of us for many many years.

Anonymous said...

Michaela said...
Old story-It's been on the HL website since Tuesday and was in Saturday;s Times and several legal Blogs

Actually, it was only put on the House of Lords website on Friday.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

What Alan Douglas said.

Leaving aside his penchant for eye-wateringly priced wallpaper, does anyone know what this cretin Irvine cost the taxpayer?

I can only begin to imagine how deep his snout was in the trough.

Unsworth said...

@ Frank

You're self-employed, you can choose who the hell you like to work for you - subject to the laws of the land, of course.

Name one self-employed MP.

Whose money is this? Why do those paying these people have no say in whom should be paid, under what terms and for how long?

Anonymous said...

as an old fettesian i promise you that it does not produce many chippy spivs like blair.it is a real shame his name is associated with such a great school.

angering me most was his crass and shallow suspension of assisted places that helped bright under priveleged children to go to places like fettes.the man has no shame.he is trully awful.

Paul Burgin said...

What hasn't been mentioned is that it was Irvine's involvement in a fund-raising event for Labour that helped put the position of LC under review!

Anonymous said...

as an old fettesian i promise you that it does not produce many chippy spivs like blair.

You're right. Fettes doesn't generally produce too many people like Bliar but it produces more than its share of spoilt gits, in whom arrogance and ignorance compete for supremacy, who spend four years warming a seat at Edinburgh Law School before pursuing a third-rate career that mostly revolves around regaling everyone they meet with tales of the Old School.

Frankly, if Fettes burnt down with its entire student body inside, we would all have to agree that nothing of value would be lost.