As you read this, a monster of a bill is passing smoothly and quietly through Britain’s parliament. It’s so big and complex, and covers so many topics, that it makes a mockery of democracy.
The infrastructure bill epitomises the rising trend of legislation-stuffing: cramming so many unrelated issues into one bag that parliamentary votes become meaningless. MPs must either accept this great bundle of unrelated measures in its entirety or reject it in its entirety. So laws can pass which no one in their right mind would have voted for.
Bills like this are good places for burying bad news, and this one is a graveyard.
Among its outrageous and scarcely-debated provisions, slipped in by the government some time after parliamentary debates began, is a measure that undermines every claim it has made about preventing dangerous climate change. It is a legal obligation on current and future governments to help trash the world’s atmosphere.