|The News Line: Editorial
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
More and more repression in Brown’s Queen’s Speech
THE Queen’s Speech yesterday outlined yet more attacks in the coming parliament on workers and youth in Britain by the Brown government, alongside a determination to continue with the imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new ‘anti-terror’ measures are to include post-charge questioning of suspects, and holding suspects for up to 56 days without charge. It will also ‘allow the drawing of adverse inferences from a refusal to say something later relied on in court’.
The bill would ensure the police and intelligence services can make full use of DNA and that ‘convicted terrorists’ will have to provide police with personal information and when they are released from prison will be banned from travelling overseas.
On education, there is to be forced labour for all 16-18 year olds who are not willing to spend two years extra at school. If they do not agree to this form of conscription they are to be fined, and if they won’t pay their fines face jail.
On Energy there is to be a new generation of nuclear power plants built, regardless of the huge health risks associated with nuclear power and the huge cost of decommissioning the existing out of date nuclear power stations.
On Health, the privatisation programme is to continue and a Healthcare Quality Commission established to inspect and intervene in ‘failing’ hospitals. This combines the functions of the existing Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission.
It will have the power to fine and close hospitals, making them the scapegoat for the government policy of NHS privatisation that has seen hospital cleaning privatised and tens of thousands of NHS jobs lost, leaving hospitals dirty.
As well, the bill will also make professional regulation an instrument for use against the medical profession, creating medical miscarriages of justice.
Doctors are up in arms that the bill, if it becomes law, will see complaints against them requiring judgement on a balance of probability, with the axiom of the criminal law, of proof of guilt, and innocent until proven guilty, discarded.
A Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill will introduce restrictions on people convicted of violent offences once they have served their sentences. They are to be punished without having committed a crime, creating a permanent criminal class who have got nothing to lose!
A Housing and Regeneration Bill, which applies to England and Wales, will create a new homes agency to help ensure more social (housing association) and private housing. There is to be a continuing veto over the building of council housing.
The foreign policy is to remain the prosecution of imperialist wars with a pledge to continue working with the Iraqi puppet government ‘to deliver security, political reconciliation and economic reconstruction’. At the same time the Queen confirmed the ‘long-term commitment’ to make war on the Taleban in Afghanistan.
There is to be no referendum on the EU treaty as the Brown government is determined to take no action that will weaken the bosses’ and bankers’ grip on Europe.
The government also says it will amend the law on self-defence to ensure people who act with ‘reasonable force’ to protect themselves, others and their property are ‘fully protected’ under the law. They are legalising vigilantes and criminal acts in the guise of vigilante ‘justice’.
Under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill, the government intends to give itself the power to loot bank and building society accounts which have not been used for 15 years.
The Queen’s speech promised clearer and stronger enforcement of employment law and to bring in measures to resolve disputes more quickly. This is taken to mean that the present stipulation that an employer cannot legally sack a worker out on a legal strike for up to eight weeks is to be modified to four weeks, before compulsory binding arbitration takes place by a supposedly ‘independent tribunal’.
The content of the Queen’s Speech emphasises that the next year must see the Brown government removed and replaced by a workers government.
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