Lawmakers reported they had been contacted by political operatives of the organizations in question, who had urged them to vote in favor of passage if they knew what was good for them.
London, January 30 – Britain’s legislature approved new legislation Monday distinguishing between the political and military apparatuses of various organized crime syndicates, following years of treating international terrorist organizations in the same fashion.
Parliament’s Mafia Distinction Act, set become law on 1 February, will apply the same conceptual division to the various mafias operating in the UK that heretofore pertained to the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah. Whereas until now these crime syndicates of prostitution, drug dealing, protection rackets, and other marks of the criminal underworld have been classified under law as wholly illegal, the MDA deems any of these groups’ activities not directly involved in violent crime, or the threat thereof, legitimate enterprise.
Thus, explained bill sponsor MP Hedda Inthesand (Ipswich), the various political activities of mafia groups will now be reclassified and decriminalized. “When a don sends his personnel to lobby public officials, journalists, or other public figures, that will remain outside the purview of criminal law,” she told reporters at a press conference following the law’s passage. “We are gratified that enough other legislators share our view that if it makes sense to distinguish between the political wing of groups such as Hezbollah and their military wings, we should be applying the same legal standard to groups established closer to home.”
MDA passed with a comfortable majority of 399-71, with many MPs crossing party lines to approve the measure. A number of the lawmakers reported to journalists that they had been contacted by political operatives of the organizations in question, who had urged them to vote in favor of passage if they knew what was good for them.
“This is a triumph of democracy,” declared MP Baughton Pedfor with repeated glances at a group of large men in sunglasses in the corner of the room. “We always appreciate hearing from our constituents, and welcome their input on this and other important matters. As certain sections of the electorate have put it, it’s a nice Parliament. Would be a shame if anything were to happen to it.”
Representatives of the organizations reclassified as legitimate announced their intention to run for parliament. “I don’t see how different our operations are, really, from the Labour Party, for example,” declared Ruslan Tsarneyev of the newly-minted Russian Mafia Political Associates lobbying firm. “One day we might even reach the rarefied political and diplomatic level of having Jeremy Corbyn describe us as his ‘friends,’ but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”
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