If the UK government doesn’t like something that the courts have ruled on, in spite of often championing the justice system here, it will just trample all over it.
It makes a mockery of the justice system if all it takes when, in this case, God-bothering idiot ministers can just – effectively – reverse a decision of the High Court.
We reported on 10 February how the National Secular Society had scored a victory against a Devon town council – Bideford – which insisted, along with so many other local authorities, on having Christian prayers as part of the meeting, whether members present were Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Jedi or of no religion whatever.
Let’s be clear first about what the NSS wanted: no prayers as part of the meeting (they’re usually held just before business begins, but nonetheless as part of the official proceedings). The NSS seems to have no objection to prayers held elsewhere in the council offices before the meeting begins.
Not only does this get over inflicting this mumbo-jumbo on people who don’t want it – or forcing them to come into the meeting late, and get a raised eyebrow from the mayor or chair – but it simply allows those who wish to pray to do so, among like-minded people, without knowing there are others in the meeting who are quietly mocking this quick chat with sky fairies.
Now, after that victory, our bloody government has decided to hurry forth a measure – part of the Localism Act – that will let councils ignore the ruling and just get on with the prayers, and anyone who finds it an embarrassment can just put up with it.
This measure is being fast-tracked by Eric Pickles, laughingly called the Communities Secretary – although, being a lard-arsed Tory, would not really know much about genuine community (the very word community would probably smack too much of socialism).
This is what the idiot Pickles says about it: “By effectively reversing that illiberal ruling, we are striking a blow for localism over central interference, for freedom to worship over intolerant secularism, for Parliamentary sovereignty over judicial activism, and for long-standing British liberties over modern-day political correctness.”
The italics are mine. Just ponder on the adjectives, the clichés, the sleight of mouth with such terms as “central interference” (what’s he doing now but using central interference?). Then there’s intolerant secularism. Is any form of secularism not intolerant in his mind?
As for “illiberal”, if Section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972, on which the judge based his judgment last week, is illiberal, why has it been allowed to remain on the Statute Book for 40 years?