In our post of July 12 2007, we explained that, according to the 1995 Merchant Shipping Act and the 2006 Fraud Act, the Secretary of State for Transport would be likely to commit the offence of fraud by abuse of position, if she did not order a re-opening of the Gaul Investigation in the light of the evidence we presented.
Six months have passed since and, having failed to take appropriate action or to provide any reasonable justification, not even a word, in support of her decision not to re-examine the case, Mrs Ruth Kelly, currently at the helm of the Department for Transport, appears to be either ill-advised or consciously in breach of the law.
As Lenin and his associates used to dismiss the law as bourgeois sham, the New Labour regime shows a similar contempt for legality, though not so much for ideological reasons, as out of recklessness and a lack of ethical commitment.
The significance of the rule of law in the survival of a democracy is not a complicated concept to appreciate – it guards against tyranny and holds society together. When the political power applies the rules discriminately and self-interestedly, the tacit pact between society and the state - which, in the end, gives the law its legitimacy - is broken.
The New Labour government, however, doesn’t seem to worry too much over these consequences.