Let’s hear it for Mark Oaten

by Stephen Tall on January 31, 2006

I can’t imagine Mark relished the prospect of stepping foot inside the House of Commons today.

So kudos to him for turning up, and ensuring the Lib Dems, Tories and 27 Labour rebels defeated by one vote the Government’s absurd, ham-fisted plans to outlaw criticism, insult, abuse and ridicule of religion, belief or religious practice.

He’s not had much to smile about lately; but he can be justly proud of what he helped achieve this evening.

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3 comments

Hear hear. And Charles Kennedy too.

by phil on January 31, 2006 at 10:57 pm. Reply #

It was more than Tony Blair cared to do – and of course there were many Labour MPs on panic duty trying to salvage the Labour vote in Dunfermline and West Fife, where it is the Labour campaign that has the wheels falling off! ry

by Wally Wallet on February 1, 2006 at 6:28 am. Reply #

Er, not quite.

The bill is still intact.

What the rebels succeeded in doing was ensure that the crime of inciting religious hatred is a crime of specific intent (which cannot be committed recklessly), and that threatening language or behaviour is part of the actus reus.

This will reduce the risk of prosecution almost to vanishing point, and perhaps more importantly, ameliorate the likely chilling effect on the media.

by Angus J Huck on February 1, 2006 at 11:00 pm. Reply #

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