GORDON BROWN has set himself on a collision course with the legal establishment over plans to give civil servants and government agencies the power to remove people’s passports without going through the courts.
Senior legal figures, including two former attorney-generals and a lord chief justice, have expressed deep concern about preparations to adopt new powers to confiscate passports. They warn the government not to use reform of prerogative powers as an excuse to force through a “serious” curtailment of long-standing freedoms.
They have attacked proposals in the child maintenance bill, now going through Parliament, to allow civil servants to prevent errant fathers who refuse to support their children from travelling abroad.
Let me get this straight, a clerk in the Child Support Agency (which, as we know, is so terribly efficient in itself) has the right to take your passport away? That is the proposal?
Crippled Jesu C on a crutch, what will they think of next? I think we\’d all be wise to take William Buiter\’s advice, collect as many nationalities and passports as you can.