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“Ministers keep using the mantra that their proposals are to protect the most vulnerable when, quite obviously, they are the exact opposite. If implemented their measures would, far from protecting the most vulnerable, directly harm them. Whatever they do in the end, Her Majesty’s Government should stop this 1984 Orwellian-type misuse of language.”  – Lord Bach, discussing the Legal Aid Bill.Source: Hansard, Column 1557, 19 May, 2011.

Kitty S Jones, who started her article with the quotation above, contined: “Chris Grayling has been caught out again by the high court, this time for trying to protect insurance companies from people who have only a couple of years to live.Tomorrow he will try to scrap legal protections available to British citizens from the European Convention of Human Rights. It is a damning charge sheet. What we are witnessing is a full scale assault against the rights of citizens and an attempt to bolster the powers of the state and private companies. And it is being conducted by the lord chancellor himself.

“These were the victims he picked: mesothelioma sufferers. People who inhaled asbestos, usually through work. It is a horrible disease. From the point of diagnosis you usually have two years to live. That is why the House of Lords exempted them from the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (Laspo).

“This legislation forced people winning compensation to pay up to 25% of it in costs. It’s supposedly intended to address those personal injury claims you see on daytime TV.

“But mesothelioma is not a typical personal injury claim. Sufferers have two years to live, through no fault of their own except for doing their job. So Section 48 of the bill exempted them from the payback requirement until the lord chancellor had conducted a review.

“But he did not conduct a review. He brought in what the Ministry of Justice later pretended was a consultation. It wasn’t.”

You get the idea. Read the rest in the article.

Ms Jones moves on to the Tories proposed Bill of Rights: “Grayling is preparing tomorrow to unveil Tory plans to scrap Britain’s human rights laws. As published here, the plans would repeal the Human Rights Act and break the formal link between the European Court of Human Rights and British law. Its judgement would now be treated as advisory and need to be approved by parliament.

“Let’s be clear what the human rights attack really is. It is not about euroscepticism or common sense or any of the other justifications they are using. It is about scrapping legal protections against the state.

“Grayling has tried to take legal aid from the poorest and most vulnerable, in a move branded contrary to the very principle of equality under the law. He turned legal aid into ‘an instrument of discrimination‘.

“He has tried to dismantle a vital legal protection available to the citizen – judicial review – which has been used to stop him abusing his powers again and again.

“He has tried to restrict legal aid for domestic abuse victims, welfare claimants seeking redress for wrongful state decisions, victims of medical negligence, for example.

“And now he wants to take away citizens’rights to take their case to the European court.

“His every action is intent on tearing up British legal protections for citizens and massively bolstering the powers of the state.”

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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