“This month Gordon Brown used the 2005 anti-terror law to seize the assets of Icelandic banks, an outrage that passed without protest from parliament and the courts.”
Given that this was published on Sunday, the kindest thing that one can say about it is that it was rather premature. The House of Lords had not then debated the order to freeze the assets of the Icelandic Landsbanki. It did so last night. The new Treasury minister, Lord Myners, made his maiden speech in moving the order. There were probing contributions from the opposition front benches and from a number of back-benchers, not least on the choice of legislation for effecting the freeze. The minister offered a detailed response. He demonstrated why he had been made a Treasury minister: he showed a sound command of the subject and made what I thought was a good case – actually quite a good Tory case for defending British interests!
He dealt well with individual contributions and also was very keen to comply with the normal conventions of the House. He acquitted himself well, making only one mistake: he consistently referred to ‘the noble Lord, Baroness Noakes’! Not that you will see this in Hansard: it follows the usual practice of putting what should have been said: ‘the noble Baroness, Lady Noakes’.
The debate can be found at col. 1546 on: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/81028-0012.htm