Azara Blog: Blair deserves no respect

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Date published: 2006/01/10

The BBC says:

People could be evicted from their own homes for three months if they are nuisance neighbours, under a new action plan for Tony Blair's "respect agenda".

Police could also get new powers to deliver on-the-spot fines, and there would be more parenting orders.

The plan would also allow the public to grill police about anti-social behaviour and demand tougher action.

Mr Blair said the plans were not a "gimmick" but would help "take back the streets for the law-abiding majority".

Existing laws mean "crack houses" used by drug addicts can already be shut down.

Ministers are now consulting on extending the idea so people can be evicted from their homes for three months.

Eviction by court order would be a "last resort", says the government but it could, for example, be used against students who annoy their neighbours with loud music.

Fines for owner-occupiers and others not on housing benefit who persist with anti-social behaviour are also being considered.

Blair is just floundering right now, so it's hard to know whether anything much will come of this, or whether this is just an attempt to make headlines for the evening news. Blair is starting to make the word "respect" sound almost as sinister as Bush is the word "democracy". And one would have a lot more respect for Blair if he had shown some respect to the country by not lying to all of us before he started his illegal war in Iraq. But on the more substantive point, hopefully the courts, and not the police, will be the final arbiters on all these new powers, otherwise this will just be more creeping towards Blair's police state.

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