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Change for good

Deputy Director of the Catholic Union, James Somerville-Meikle, writes:

Nothing in life stays the same. This is just as true for national life as it is for our own lives. Politicians, pressure groups, and the press are constantly trying to set the agenda and change things – both for good and for bad.

Sometimes moments come along that bring the competing interests and worldviews of these endeavours into sharp focus. Next week’s debate on the Criminal Justice Bill is likely to be one of those moments.

The Government’s legislation is contentious enough, especially with the proposed changes to rough sleeping laws. But there are now over 100 amendments to the Bill on everything from electric scooter regulation and dog theft to murder offences.

It has become what our American friends would call a “Christmas tree” Bill with more amendments hanging off it than a well decorated spruce pine in December.

Some of the most important amendments concern abortion. There are those who want to use this Bill to remove what little safeguards remain in place, while others are trying shift the dial in the other direction with reductions to time limits and protection for babies with disabilities.

It is vital that we make our voices heard on these matters to try and influence change for good.