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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

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Message for 'people' in the EU

If you receive a fixed penalty notice for alleged illegal parking in England or Wales, in theory, under COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION 2005/214/JHA of 24 February 2005 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties. Which entered into force on March 22nd, 2005. You can be pursued for that penalty, when you return to your home State.

I would like to inform you, that under English Law you are not obliged to pay a fixed penalty, unless you have been convicted by a court of law. This fundamental freedom is established in the Bill of Rights 1689, where it states: That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction, are illegal and void.

Under section 11 of the UK Human Rights Act 1998, A person's reliance on a Convention right does not restrict-any other right or freedom conferred on him by or under any law having effect in any part of the United Kingdom;

Although, Article 1 (iii) of 2005/214/JHA states: an authority of the issuing State other than a court in respect of acts which are punishable under the national law of the issuing State by virtue of being infringements of the rules of law, provided that the person concerned has had an opportunity to have the case tried by a court having jurisdiction in particular in criminal matters;

I would like to inform you, that the National Parking Adjudication Service in the UK is not a court of Law within the meaning of Article 234 EC, therefore its decision will be in contravention of Article 6 of The European Convention on Human Rights

The Court of Justice has recently confirmed its previous caselaw according to which an arbitration panel is not a national court or tribunal within the meaning of Article 234 EC. Consequently, the ECJ has no jurisdiction to answer a question referred to it by such a panel.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

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Bring it on

From England Expects It is reported that that David Monkcom from DG Press has posted a note on the EU internal system, as follows:

Margot's blog: get involved!
Did you know that Vice-President Wallström is writing a twice-weekly "web log" (or "blog")? Please check it out on her page of Europa, and join in the very lively debates going on there!
Hundreds or even thousands of people visit this site every day, apparently, but so far most of the comments posted there are from anti-EU individuals, some of them legal experts or journalists. So far, very few of us pro-EU people seem to be willing to face the sceptics, reply to their arguments or answer their very probing questions.

So, dear colleagues, especially you economists and lawyers out there, please take a look at this "blog" and respond to our critics!

David Monkcom DG PRESS (23/3/200

This could be a real opertunity for truthfull, open and honest debate. (dont hold your breath)

Bring it on I say, bring it on

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Monday, March 28, 2005

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New Anglo Saxon Dictionary

kickback n. (100%) (informal) a payment made to someone who has facilitated a transaction or appointment, especially illicitly.

1. Jacques, a discontented lord attending the banished duke in Shakespeare's As You Like It. Many of the play's most memorable lines are his, including the speech beginning ‘All the world's a stage’ (ii. vii).

2. Jacques /ak/ I. nom masculin faire le ~ to play the fool. II. nom propre James.

kickback Jacques (100%) corruption

previous dictionary entries (from the New Anglo Saxon dictionary)

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``Windows XP Home Edition N''

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Thurrockly odious

It is apparent that some people are still confused as to the status of Camilla Parker Bowles after her marriage to the Prince of Wales. Andrew Mackinlay (A Thurrockly odious, Roman Catholic MP) has 'revealed' that Camilla would automatically become Queen on the accession of the Prince of Wales to the throne. This 'revelation' is not new, and shows the opportunist nature of many politicians, and the danger of politicians and others commenting on technical matters of which they are ignorant or ill-informed.

The wife of a King automatically becomes Queen, not because any Act of Parliament, but because this has been the custom and practice for a thousand years. In the ordinary course of events Camilla would have become Queen Camilla on the accession of Charles to the throne. However the spouse of the Sovereign need not use the title to which she is entitled - and the wives of Kings in Saxon times didn't generally use the royal title, being styled "Lady" instead. It was announced at the outset that Camilla would not use the title of Queen, just as she will not use the title of Princess of Wales. No change in the law was anticipated, nor is any change needed, either here in the United Kingdom or any of the Commonwealth realms, for either usage. The various Royal Titles Acts in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and elsewhere are not relevant, since they deal only with the title of the Sovereign, and not with that of the Consort or members of the Royal Family. These latter titles are regulated by custom and the royal prerogative, not by parliamentary legislation. The position in Australia, Canada and New Zealand is no different to that here in the United Kingdom. To formally deny Camilla the title and status of Queen in any realm would require an Act of Parliament in that realm, but this is not necessary - and indeed would be inappropriate - since it is sufficient for the lesser titles to be used in practice.

A distinction must be drawn between the right to the royal style and title on the one hand, and the possession of constitutional powers and authority, which is vested solely in the person of the Sovereign. The Princess of Wales has no constitutional role or authority as their title is derived solely from their marriage to the Prince of Wales - just as with any marriage to a prince or peer. The Queen Consort has no formal constitutional role or authority, and only some insignificant and largely obsolete legal privileges apart from the customary entitlement to the royal style and title. This is equally true in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand as it is here in the United Kingdom.

The suggestion that Clarence House had deliberately mislead the public is incorrect, as they were simply stating what the intention was. Certain commentators may have drawn incorrect inferences from what had been said, but that is immaterial. The official position is simply that Camilla will be styled Princess Consort upon the accession of the Prince of Wales.

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

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Churchill on Blogging

The British nation is unique in this respect. They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.

Sir Winston Churchill, Hansard, June 10, 1941

Well there you have it folks ;- Hansard, the oldest Blog in town

And while we are on the subject of old blog's, don't forget Tim Worstall BritBlog Roundup # 6

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

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Act of Proscription 1747

It seems that the Praelectors of CAMBRIDGE University are unaware that the Act of Proscription 1747 (An act for the more effectual disarming the highlands in Scotland; and for the more effectual securing the peace of the said highlands; and for restraining the use of the highland dress;) was abolished in 1782.

As reported in The Scotsman The authorities at the ancient institution, which prides itself on its multi-culturalism, have outlawed Scottish dress as part of a clampdown on students wearing "national costumes" when they receive their degrees.

The Proscription Act was repealed by the Government obtaining the King's assention on 1st July 1782. In the North there was great rejoicing. A proclamation was issued in Gaelic and English which announced as follows:

Listen Men. This is bringing before all the Sons of the Gael, the King and Parliament of Britain have forever abolished the act against the Highland Dress; which came down to the Clans from the beginning of the world to the year 1746. This must bring great joy to every Highland Heart. You are no longer bound down to the unmanly dress of the Lowlander. This is declaring to every Man, young and old, simple and gentle, that they may after this put on and wear the Truis, the Little Kilt, the Coat, and the Striped Hose, as also the Belted Plaid, without fear of the Law of the Realm or the spite of the enemies.

I wonder where the Scottish Raj stand on this issue?

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Friday, March 25, 2005

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Short Story

Clare Short : How ministers were misled on the legality of Iraq invasion.

Following the recent controversy about the Attorney General's advice, I have gone over in detail the process by which he gave his advice on the legality of the war. I have concluded that he failed to comply with the Ministerial Code when giving his advice to the Cabinet and that he misled the Cabinet about his legal advice.

The Ministerial Code lays down that: "The Code should be read against the background of the overarching duty on Ministers to comply with the law, including international law and treaty obligations."

When the Attorney came to the Cabinet on 17 March, the text of what purported to be his advice was distributed around the table. He began to read it out. There were murmurings indicating that he did not need to read it as members of the Cabinet could read it for themselves. I then attempted to initiate a discussion. I asked why it was so late and whether he had changed his mind. No discussion was allowed. The paper he provided was then published as an answer to a parliamentary question.

I was very surprised by the advice, but I accepted it as the official and authoritative advice of the Attorney. I said at the time: "The Attorney General has made clear that military action would be legal under international law. Other lawyers have expressed contrary opinions. But for the UK Government, the Civil Service and the military, it is the view of the Attorney General that matters and this is unequivocal." But I am afraid that the advice was not in truth unequivocal. It had been hedged around with qualifications. But none of this was revealed to the Cabinet or to Parliament.

The evidence provided by the Butler report shows that he was not wholly honest with the Cabinet. The report provides details of the complex process through which his advice developed. Butler tells us that prior to the adoption of UN Resolution 1441 the Attorney concluded that "there would be no justification for the use of force against Iraq on the grounds of self-defence against imminent threat". The Butler report confirms what I heard from my officials that after the passage of 1441 and following disagreement among Foreign Office legal advisers, all concerned agreed that the final word would belong to the Attorney.

Butler also tells us that in the weeks following the adoption of the resolution, the Attorney General had a number of discussions with the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary about whether 1441 was sufficient to authorise the use of force, and that he talked with our ambassador to the UN and in February 2003 met members of the US administration. Butler says that he informed the Prime Minister's advisers of his view at a meeting on 28 February 2003 and that his office asked him to put these views in writing, which he did in a formal Minute to the Prime Minister on 7 March 2003. None of these exchanges or the content of the minute were reported to the Cabinet.
This is very significant because the Attorney failed to share his concerns with the Cabinet and to describe how he came to be persuaded of the legality of war. Butler informs us that his minute required the Prime Minister, in the absence of a further UN Security Council resolution, to be satisfied that there were "strong factual grounds for concluding that Iraq had failed to take the final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Security Council and that it was possible to demonstrate hard evidence of non-compliance and non-co-operation with the requirements of Security Council Resolution 1441, so as to justify the conclusion that Iraq was in further material breach of its obligations".

All of this was kept from the Cabinet, although at this time I was reading telegrams of Dr Blix's reports to the Security Council indicating increased co-operation from the Iraqi regime. Butler tells us that on the basis of the Attorney's advice, military campaign objectives were drawn up, making it clear that the objective was to bring about Iraq's disarmament in accordance with its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.

Butler tells us that the Attorney then informed Lord Falconer and Sally Morgan at a meeting on 13 March that in his view it was lawful under Resolution 1441 to use force without a further UN resolution, but on 14 March, after the breakdown of negotiations at the UN, his Legal Secretary wrote to the Prime Minister's Private Secretary seeking confirmation that "it is unequivocally the Prime Minister's view that Iraq was in material breach of its obligations under 1441". The Prime Minister so confirmed, and the Butler inquiry was informed that the Prime Minister relied on intelligence and other sources including Unmovic information. None of this was reported to Cabinet and it is notable that the Prime Minister was reaching dubious conclusions about factual questions without any Cabinet discussion. I was at the time reading accounts of Unmovic's reports which did not point to this conclusion.

I have therefore made a complaint under paragraphs 22 and 23 of the Ministerial Code . Paragraph 23 provides that "When advice from the Law Officers is included in correspondence between Ministers, or in papers for the Cabinet or Ministerial Committees, the conclusions may if necessary be summarised, but if this is done, the complete text of the advice should be attached."

My view is now that by failing to reveal his full legal advice and the considerations that underpinned his final advice, the Attorney misled the Cabinet and therefore helped obtain support for military action improperly. This is a very serious matter in relation to the war in Iraq, the integrity of his office, his own integrity and the proper working of UK constitutional arrangements.

The Independent

More Here

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Birthday, Blegging! blogswarm

Sunday is Tim Worstalls birthday, and you could make it a very happy one by helping to create a blogswarm.

Wanna give him 90 seconds of your time for his birthday CLICK here

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

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Short - Straw (up-dated)

After asking Jack Straw a question (The Question), to which he was giving an answer (The Answer ). Clare Short, from a sedentary position, accused Jack Straw of misleading the House (the polite way of saying he is a liar). In essence, Straw said, that the Cabinet did have an opportunity to question the Attorney General on the legality of the war, Clare Short says "not true".

Later, when Peter Hain, was outlining Parliamentary business for next week, a conservative raised a Point of Order [24 Mar 2005] and requested that Straw returns to the House, to correct his earlier statement.

Dr. Julian Lewis (New Forest, East) (Con): On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. During the proceedings on the urgent question, before you were in the Chair, there was an exchange when the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Clare Short) contradicted the Foreign Secretary very firmly from a sedentary position, stating that despite what he had said, there had been no opportunity at the Cabinet meeting for members of the Cabinet to question the Attorney-General on the legal advice that was given. Can you tell me whether Mr. Speaker has received any notification from the Foreign Secretary that he wishes to come to the Chamber to correct the record, in the light of that straight contradiction of what he told the House?

This subject will not die, unlike old soldiers, It will not even fade away.

More here

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

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Trite trash

Trite trash No more, no less.

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Blunkett Moonlighting

Hansard 10 Mar 2005 : Column 1936W

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what enquiries she has made into payments made to the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett) by a company involved in major commercial dealings with her Department; and if she will make a statement. [220520]

Alun Michael: The Register of Members' Interests records that the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett) is an adviser to Indepen Consulting Ltd. From information held centrally, the Department has no record of commercial dealings with this company.

I think it may be time for someone within No2ID to do some research into Blunketts post ministerial interests. He is currently employed as an Adviser to Indepen Consulting Limited, whom I believe carry out work for potential ID card system providers. Check out one of Indepen's clients, Reliance Infocomm for instance, although they are a cellular company, a quick Google came up with this document SmartCards-Introduction. This is of course contrary to the Ministerial Code 9.140. Ministers' Private Interests

Acceptance of appointments after leaving ministerial office

On leaving office, Ministers should seek advice from the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments about any appointments they wish to take up within two years of leaving office, other than unpaid appointments in non-commercial organisations or appointments in the gift of the Government, such as Prime Ministerial appointments to international organisations. Although it is in the public interest that former Ministers should be able to move into business or other areas of public life, it is equally important that there should be no cause for any suspicion of impropriety about a particular appointment. If therefore the Advisory Committee considers that an appointment could lead to public concern that the statements and decisions of the Minister, when in Government, have been influenced by the hope or expectation of future employment with the firm or organisation concerned, or that an employer could make improper use of official information to which a former Minister has had access, it may recommend a delay of up to two years before the appointment is taken up, or that for a similar period the former Minister should stand aside from certain activities of the employer.

And he still lives in the government-owned, £3m Belgravia pad in South Eaton Terrace that came as a grace and favour residence when he was the Home Secretary.

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

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Role up, Role up, BritBlog Roundup

Another Sunday afternoon and another BritBlog Roundup. A couple of very good new sites this week.
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"Where does it say that we can't?"

Daniel Hannan in the Sunday Telegraph

"The fact of signing the constitution in Rome has imposed an obligation on the member states, in accordance with the general law of nations, to refrain from any action that might impede entry into force of the constitution."

"Where in the existing treaties does it say that you can do this?" To which my federalist colleagues usually reply: "Where does it say that we can't?"

well, there you go folks "Actio exteriora indicant interiora secreta"

Ceterum censeo Unionem Europaeam esse delendam

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

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Margot Wallstrom (Moderator)

Margot Wallstrom's Moderator has issued a request for information. "When you say 'on the continent most politicians state categorically that it is the foundation of a Federal Europe' can you let me have some specific quotes from specific politicians?"

The above question, is in a response to a comment I made on the blessed Margots' site , where I only repeated a question set by another poster and which has been repeated by others, until now, without an official reaction from the EU Propaganda ministry.

The repeated question: "and while we are in the mood, for responding to questions that have been asked, how about answering this "Here in the UK, our Labour politicians say that the European Constitution is only a 'tidying up exercise', while on the continent most politicians state categorically that it is the foundation of a Federal Europe. If one is right, then the other must be either lying or ignorant Where do you stand on this issue?""

Well, dear reader, are you going to give up this opportunity to interact with the "fragrant one" or are you going to visit her site and give her "quotes from specific politicians".


"The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State."- Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister,Financial Times,21-6-2004

'I think the EU constitution is the birth certificate of the United States of Europe,' 'It is not the end point of integration, but the framework for - as it says in the preamble - an ever closer union.'
Hans Martin Bury, Germany's Europe minister.

"Our Constitution cannot be reduced to a mere treaty for co-operation between governments. Anyone who has not yet grasped this fact deserves to wear the dunce's cap."- Valery Giscard-d'Estaing, President of the EU Convention, Speech in Aachen accepting the Charlemagne Prize for European integration, 29-5-2003

"It wasn't worth creating a negative commotion with the British. I rewrote my text with the word federal replaced by communautaire, which means exactly the same thing."Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Wall Street Journal Europe, 7-7-2003

"We know that nine out of 10 people will not have read the Constitution and will vote on the basis of what politicians and journalists say. More than that, if the answer is No, the vote will probably have to be done again, because it absolutely has to be Yes."- Jean-Luc Dehaene, Former Belgian Prime Minister and Vice-President ofthe EU Convention, Irish Times, 2-6-2004

"In Europe one needs to act 'as if' - as if what was wanted was little, in order to obtain much, as if States were to remain sovereign to convince them to concede sovereignty. The Commission in Brussels, for example, should act as if it were a technical instrument, in order to be able to be treated as a government. And so on by disguise and subterfuge."- Giuliano Amato, Italian Prime Minister and later Vice-President of the EU Convention which drafted the Constitution,interview with Barbara Spinelli, La Stampa, 13-7-2000

“The constitution will create a political and institutional framework from which no one will be be able to withdraw. It is a big step towards a more Social Europe” Jacques Chirac.

Well thats a start, I am sure you can find some more :o)

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Friday, March 18, 2005

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Lady Thatcher declares her support for Euro

Lady Thatcher declares her support for Euro "I'm not going to start talking about the Budget, or I'll be here all day," she said with a cheerful smile.

Odds on, in her old age, she has gone to the dogs

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

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Blair Misleads Parliament (again)

Hansard 16 Mar 2005 The Prime Minister was asked.........

Mr. Kennedy: ...........Still on Iraq, will the Prime Minister take this opportunity to confirm to the House that when the Cabinet gave final approval for the war in Iraq, the Cabinet at that time had before it a full written legal opinion from the Attorney-General concluding that the war was legal—yes or no?

16 Mar 2005 : Column 249

The Prime Minister: The Cabinet had before it the Attorney-General, who was there precisely to answer questions and to say that the war was lawful. As I have said to the right hon. Gentleman on many occasions, we can debate whether the conflict was right or wrong but, frankly, it is absurd to keep on suggesting that some secret opinion of the Attorney-General said that the war was unlawful. The Attorney-General has made his position absolutely clear—the war was lawful because of the breach of UN resolutions and the evidence that Saddam was in breach of the UN resolutions.

This is an interesting development and one wonders just why Charles Kennedy felt he had to ask the question, as similar questions were raised at last weeks Prime Ministers Questions

The Prime Minister was asked... 9 Mar 2005 : Column 1514

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow) (Lab): Are full texts of Law Officers' advice on matters of peace and war made available to the Cabinet as a whole, or just to the Prime Minister?

The Prime Minister: It depends on whether the Attorney-General actually attends Cabinet. In the instance that is being raised in the newspapers this morning, the Attorney-General himself came to Cabinet and therefore gave an oral report on his advice.

later he was asked at Column 1516

Mr. Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy) (PC): In response to the Father of the House, the Prime Minister said that the question whether Cabinet colleagues were entitled to the full opinion of the Law Officer depended on certain circumstances. Will he now tell the House and the country why a written opinion is good enough for him, but only an oral opinion is right for the rest of the Cabinet?

The Prime Minister: Let me elaborate on what I said earlier. The Attorney-General came to the Cabinet, gave his opinion in detail and was able to answer any queries that people raised about the matter. I really do not understand what is being said by the hon. Gentleman and others. If it is being said that the legal opinion of the Attorney-General was different from the Attorney-General's statement to the House, that is patently absurd. I would also point out to the hon. Gentleman and others that, as a result of evidence that has emerged subsequent to the Iraq war, it is perfectly obvious that there were indeed multiple breaches of UN resolutions—and it was on the basis of breaches of UN resolutions that we went to war.

Could it be that the lying Bastard is just about to be exposed. The fact that the Attorney General was present at the Cabinet meeting on 17 March 2003 as stated above, is irrelevant. Section 2.23 of the ministerial code is quite clear; "When advice from the Law Officers is included in correspondence between Ministers, or in papers for the Cabinet or Ministerial Committees, the conclusions may if necessary be summarised but, if this is done, the complete text of the advice should be attached".

There are no get out clauses for Tony Blair on this occasion and no amount of legal training or spin doctoring will change things.

The man has lied and blatantly mislead his colleagues in Cabinet and more importantly Parliament. He should resign now and go.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

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EU Kiddie fiddling

Does anybody know this man?



Warning to parents, this man will be hovering at a school on or around the 17th of March. His objective, the fiddling with kiddies minds.

This man is Godfrey Bloom MEP and member of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). So why is this man, who declares that his objective is withdrawal from the European Union, participating in the Spring Day in Europe campaign.

This is an EU propaganda exercise with declared value activities, These activities focus on the values that form the basis of European civilisations and the European Constitution. The aim of these activities is to bring these values into pupils' minds and everyday lives.

Another reason not to vote for UKIP, ‘the hypocrisy party’.

List of other EU kiddie fiddlers

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

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Most Finns Want a Strong President

This situation is well worth watching, as I have observed before Here and here, If Finland sign up to the EU constitution there will be a loss of Sovereignty. The EU constitution takes away the Finnish President's right to participate in EU summits, etc.

However, as reported here UUTISET A majority of Finns want no changes in the powers of the President. While some politicians have called for curbing Presidential powers, the population at large are overwhelmingly opposed to any such curbs, and many would like to increase the authority of the President.

As an aside the Finns Believe Euro Led to Higher Prices A clear majority of Finns are certain that the transition to the common European currency has led to higher prices. According to a poll commissioned by Sunnuntaisuomalainen, the Sunday supplement of a number of provincial Finnish newspapers, 78 percent feel that joining the euro has pushed up prices.

So it would seem, that our Scandinavian neighbours are waking up to the real consequences of ever closer union.

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BritBlog Roundup #4

Another Sunday and its time for another Tim Worstall BtitBlog roundup , that's with an 'o' without the umlaut. Not that I am suggesting that he is going native, but he has been frequenting the dotty Margot Wallström blog an awful lot recently

Any way from this weeks round up and I don't know how I missed this, as I regally check out the EUROPHOBIA, is this post Thank the Lord for the Lords and of course, Tim points out many more.

BtitBlog roundup

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

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A timely reminder



Now that the Government have implemented the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, and while the press, indulge themselves on reporting the debacle that occurred between the Constitutionally established House of Lords and the temporary elected representatives in the House of Commons. There comes as a timely reminder, that there is still a Bill before Parliament, that equally threatens our Civil Liberties.

Of course I am referring to, the ID cards Bill. The NO2ID Cards campaign are reporting on there site that the Government is set to abandon ID Cards Bill until after election. However, this issue needs to be kept in the public eye as we wander in to the General Election, so may I remind readers, that the NO2ID site runs its own newsblog, It is a fully-fledged blog and I would encourage you to visit NO2ID newsblog

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

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The British Declaration of Independence

10 STEPS TO FREEDOM
The British Declaration of Independence

· 1. The election tool called The British Declaration of Independence will succeed because it is based on three powerful elements: A Declaration which is worded to have real constitutional power; a signed document which irrevocably commits candidates to voting for the Declaration Bill when they get to Parliament; a voter petition which makes clear to candidates how many votes are available to them if they sign the Declaration.

· 2. The British Parliament has delegated law-making to foreign powers - without the clear knowledge or specific permission of the sovereign British people.

· 3. This happened when a cross party coalition of MPs, misinformed and under duress, passed an Act of Parliament. This situation will only be reversed and British sovereign power confirmed through another Act of Parliament - almost certainly passed by another cross party coalition of MPs.

· 4. The people have the power to elect that coalition of MPs - by voting ONLY for those candidates who, regardless of party, commit irrevocably to asserting British Sovereignty.

· 5. By signing The British Declaration of Independence MPs commit, before being elected - and on pain of resignation - to passing an Act of Parliament which will do just that.

· 6. The difficulty for voters in the past has been identifying those individual candidates. Many candidates have trumpeted sovereignty before an election and have voted against it when in Parliament. The BDI clearly identifies those who make a real constitutional commitment by signing - and it exposes those who refuse to sign.

· 7. The BDI INTERNET PETITION calls on all voters to register their desire to vote for BDI candidates. We will collect and consolidate the number of petitioners (voters) in total and in each constituency.

· 8. The Candidates (and press) will be regularly informed of the results of the Petition. Candidates will see the votes they can gain by signing the BDI itself - or the votes they will lose if they refuse to sign. 5 days before the election the voters will be told which candidates in their constituencies have signed.

· 9. When a majority of BDI candiates are elected the British Declaration of Independence Bill will then be presented in Parliament and will be passed.

· 10. The electoral power of the voter, the democratic independence of MPs and the Sovereignty of the British people will thereby be confirmed. Government by consent of the British people will be established in perpetuity by a vote confirming the Declaration of Independence Act at the beginning of every Parliament.

Make Sure the candidate receiving your vote in the General Election - REGARDLESS OF PARTY has signed up to the British Declaration of Independence!

Keep a watch on this link

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

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Please note, "no expiry date"

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

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The Saga of “Treason Act 1795”

The Saga of “Treason Act 1795”. By Anne Palmer, 8.3.2005.

As many of your are aware, I trail certain debates in our Parliament and also, from time to time, the European Parliament, and so it was on 17th November 2004 in a reply to Lord Tebbit’s question, “Whether, and if so by what statutory provision, treason remains a criminal offence?” [HL, 4921] to which the Baroness of Scotland replied, “Treason remains a criminal offence under the treason Acts of 1351, 1702, 1795 and 1842, and the Treason Felony Act 1848”.

Glaring out at me, and for very uncomfortable personal reasons was the 1795 Treason Act which I now know was repealed during the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, having heard this from the Judge sitting on a case of Misprision of Treason in the Walsall Court, September 2004.

I immediately wrote a letter to Lady Scotland with a copy to Lord Tebbit, and as always with a letter that concerns our Constitution, made absolutely clear it was an open letter. (In other words, it is not just MY Constitution)

The reply came from the Home Office, which as well as the points quoted by Lady Scotland during the debate, was this particular one, “The 1795 Act outlawed plots to kill, maim, imprison etc the Sovereign, his heirs and successors. In modern practice, such acts would be covered by conspiracy law which was placed on a statutory footing by the Criminal Law Act 1977. The maximum sentence for conspiracy is the same as the offence the defendant conspired to commit. For example, a person convicted of conspiracy to murder of conspiracy to commit another serious offence for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment, could be sentences to life imprisonment for the conspiracy too.”

In September 2004, Derek Bennett, (UKIP) attended the Magistrate’s Court in Walsall in an attempt to bring charges of Misprision of Treason against certain members of Government who intend to incorporate the proposed EU Constitution into our system. The use of the constitutional 1795 Treason Act thwarted his attempt because unbeknown to many (even Baroness Scotland in the House of Lords), it was repealed in the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act.

The 1795 Treason Act was last used by Rodney Atkinson and the late Norris McWhirter in the Misprison of Treason case at Hexham (Northumberland) Magistrates Court 9th September 1993. It was obviously the right Treason Act to use for the number of charges placed before the Court at that time, and would remain so now if still “active”. It therefore was not repealed in 1998 simply because ‘it had not been used for many years’. It had been. It was also used by many people who did not know of its repeal, trying to prevent the Nice Treaty from being ratified, in the year 2000 and 2001 and again by Derek in 2004 against the EU Constitution.

My reply from the Home Office also stated, “despite an extensive search of our records, we have not been able to ascertain why the 1795 Act was itself repealed at that time (All the officials who worked in this Unit during the passage of the Crime and Disorder Act have since moved on so we have not had the benefit of their knowledge)”. I find it difficult to comprehend that such an important department can muddle along in such a fashion!

Lord Tebbit raised a similar question in the House of Lords, on 7th March 2005 and there was still no satisfactory answer and no one seems to be fully aware of why the whole Act was repealed in what was mainly a Bill to do with youth, in fact the debates go from debating the “effect of child’s silence at trial” to “abolishing the death penalty for treason and piracy”. (31st March 1998) The switch makes no sense.

Lord Stoddart questioned whether, when becoming an EU Commissioner the making of an Oath to the European Union having previously made an oath of allegiance to the Queen, was treasonable, to which the Baroness of Scotland replied, “My Lords, I hesitate as always to give any disappointment to the noble Lord, but I have to tell him that the EU constitution is, unfortunately, not a treasonable document”. Quite right of course, for on its own it is not a treasonable document, however, incorporate it into our system, it would automatically override our own Constitution, (and states so in the Constitutional document) which, according to R v Thistlewood 1820, to destroy the constitution “is an act of treason”. Whereas it was established in 1932 that “No Parliament may bind its successors” etc, etc.

There are those that believe our entry into the European Community in 1972 was unlawful, even though it was a “Treaty”. The Treaty however, gave Community law supremacy over our law. There is the added problem that the people were also deliberately misled during the 1975 referendum campaign in an effort to persuade the people to vote to “remain in the European Community”. Lord Denning ruled (Macarthy’s Ltd V Smith) that “ultimate sovereignty still rests with Parliament: Community Law prevails only because Parliament wants it to prevail. Etc”. Government’s belief that Parliament is still sovereign and can come out of the now European Union by simply repealing the European Communities Act will end if ever the EU Constitution, signed by the Rt Hon Anthony Blair, is ratified.

Although there is an exit clause in the EU Constitution, it would require the agreement of the remaining 24 Countries to allow us to withdraw. Do not hold you breath for that to happen. They need us, far more than we need them for that to happen.

No Government has the right to sign our Country away to be governed forever, (or for an unlimited period) by anyone other than our own Government that we the people elect and whose sworn oath of allegiance by all British subjects, is to the Crown and this Country at all times.

As there appears to be no apparent reason why the recently used 1795 Treason Act has been repealed, I now suggest that the Treason Act 1795 be re-instated, for there may well come a time when it is needed in the future. Anne Palmer.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds05/text/50307-02.htm

See here Shyster lawyers and charlatans the letter from the Home Office in response to Anne Palmer's original enquiry


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Duck Responsibility

Another cracking edition of the weekly portadown news

This week it reports, that Sinn Fein is ill prepared for "Bird Flu" and why the Government, if successful with its anti-terror Bill, will not be imposing the orders in Northern Ireland.

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Institute of Directors, EU "No"

While the Government, manipulating public taxes, will try to convince us that the EU constitution is needed in the interests of trade, the leaders of private business realise that a greater centralisation of powers will lock the UK into the very high regulation politics/economics which have aggravated the high levels of unemployment and low growth in the French and Germany economies.

A poll of the membership of the Institute of Directors this week found that 49 per cent are against the EU Constitution, with just 29 per cent in favour.

Even more significant is that the more that directors knew about the Constitution, the more opposed they were to it.

Among those who felt they knew only "a little" about the Constitution, 48 per cent were opposed.

Among those who felt "moderately well-informed" 56 per cent were against.

Among those who felt "very well informed" 60 per cent were opposed, and only 22 per cent were in favour.

Of the directors responding 86 per cent said they thought the Constitution would lead to an increase in regulation, compared to only three per cent who thought it would lead to a decrease.

And 48 per cent recognised that more EU coordination of economic and social policies would lead to a weaker UK economic performance, while only 21 percent believed that it would help.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

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General Election Campaign Monitors Wanted

Charter88 have been asked to find volunteers for a project that will monitor the amount and quality of communication between political parties and the electorate during the General Election. We are looking for people who are willing to spend a small amount of time during the General Election Campaign (no more than two hours in total, spread over four weeks) collecting all the campaign material they receive in the General Election, keeping a log of the amount of personal contact they have had and returning it to us in in a freepost envelope after polling day.

This project is a joint initiative of the New Politics Network, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and Justin Fisher of Brunel University and will look at the amount of campaign literature delivered to an individual’s home and whether they are canvassed in person or by phone. After the election the data will be analysed to see the amount of literature delivered, the language used and how certain issues such as immigration are dealt with.

This will be the first time in the UK that the voters direct contact with candidates and political parties will be monitored. It will help us look at the health of our representative democracy.

If you are interested in participating please let us know either by signing up online (make sure you include your postal address) or by emailing james@new-politics.net with your name, contact details and constituency, and we will send you a pack. We are looking to cover as many constituencies as possible and all those who participate will be sent a report of our findings after the election.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

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BritBlog Roundup # 3

Tim Worstall has published his third BritBlog Roundup, this is an excellent idea and well worth a visit, as it has directed me to some very good blogs that I never knew existed. As usual this week there is quite a diverse selection.

One particular example, is a post by Iain Murray @ The Edge of England's Sword

"I therefore propose a redefinition of the term "Little Englander" -- now to mean someone who believes England/ the UK is a small, insignificant power, despite all the abundant evidence to the contrary".


Thats it then, I am a "Little Englander With Attitude"

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shoddy journalism

Sunday Mail reports that, EU LAWS TO BLAME FOR LEAP IN BAIL OFFENCES.

This of course is not correct and is a perfect example of the shoddy journalism, by the MSM establishment. The journalism of the euro myth that the Europhile's jump upon.

So lets knock it on the head right now. The ECHR convention Articles within the Human Rights Act 1998 are not European Union Law. I state again and please note, the ECHR is not a Convention of the European Union, but rather of the Council of Europe (CoE), which is NOT a body of the EU 25, but consists of 46 European states.

Why not drop a note to the shoddy News Editor: Jim Wilson. E-mail: j.wilson@sundaymail.co.uk

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Friday, March 04, 2005

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Contemptuous Liberal Democrats

Czech News Liberal Democrats Contemptuous of a Sovereign Head of State. The pompous and puffed up Andrew Duff MEP said "One wonders if the Czech people have been well served by a man who, as once prime minister and now president, is so ignorant of the theory and practice of European integration,"

Duff MEP and certainly a Duff Statesman

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Spanish, is now an official EU language

SPANISH ALLOWED INTO EU PRESS CONFERENCES The European Commission has finally agreed to meet the demands of both Spain and Italy on how EU press conferences are carried out. They have agreed to increase the number of languages available to the press at each conference from four to seven, in effect agreeing to seven permanent languages for Europe. These are French, English, German, Italian, Spanish , Polish and Dutch.

The first PRESS RELEASE in Spanish. "Los ciudadanos de España, usted acaba de votar lejos su Soberanía"

("Citizens of Spain, you have just voted away your Sovereignty")

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Suspect package near EU Parliament

times of malta Belgian police blew up a suspect bag near the European Parliament yesterday after an alert was raised by security guards in a nearby building.

Police used a remote-controlled robot to take the black bag out of the building and blow it up on a sealed-off section of a normally busy avenue.

A sharp crack sounded in the European district of Brussels as the robot blew up the bag. Two men in army fatigues later took photos of the exploded bag and picked at its contents.


A packed lunch and a copy of the EU constitution?

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

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It's Bollocks and it's Fraud

WHICH magazine reports and of course not disputed by the government that "A quarter of UK adults have had their identity stolen or know somebody who's been a victim of ID fraud, according to our new survey"

On first reading, this sound horrendous but its all bollocks and is perpetrated by the government to support their ID card scheme.

Ok, lets just look at this statement: According to the Office of National Statistics, the population over 16's in the UK = 47,000,000 / 4 = 11750000

so what are they saying 11,750,000 of us have had out ID stolen

No, they say, know somebody who's been a victim of ID fraud

OK, so lets assume that each of us know 100 people therefore = 1,17,500 have had there ID stolen

Well, NO, cos the fucking governments own national crime statistics state that 1.6 per thousand population = crimes that are Fraud and Forgery related (oh, and not all fraud involves ID) so therefore the Governments own statistics for Fraud and forgery is 29,375. If one was to assume a quater of us have been a victim or know some who is a victim that would be 0.0025 or 73,000, that would mean on average we each know 640,000 people

This is bollocks and blatant propaganda.


Its like saying "A 100 % of UK adults have been lied too or know somebody who has been lied too, according to my new survey"

We all know Tony Blair and we all know he is a liar, but that doesn't mean he is the only liar we know.

and it didn't take me 45 min to work that one out

One is reminded of the statement of Nazi leader Herman Goering on trial for war crimes telling the court in Nuremburg, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

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May the Force be with you

Shabina Begum’s victory in her battle to wear the traditional “head-to-toe” jilbab, to school has significant implications for the educational world and beyond, according to experts.

I agree and in the interests of the avoidance of "prejudice and bigotry". May I direct the parents who have registered their religion as Jedi Knights in the 2001 Census, to a source of traditional Jedi dress.

According to the Office of National Statistics, The number of people who stated Jedi in the 2001 Census was 390,000 (0.7 per cent of the population).

Remember under the Human Rights Act, you now have a right and freedom to be a subject of the Crown, and to be described as a "Jedi Knight" within the UK. By being described as British and an EU citizens as well, You are being abused and discriminated against as a member of the Jedi Knight Religious minority in the UK and EU.

May the Force be with you.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

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Rule Malta, Malta, Rules the Waves

Borg of the collective to rule the waves. Maltese Commissioner Joe Borg to chair task force for a future EU maritime policy. The European Union views the contribution that the sea makes to our livelihood and well-being as a good potential for economic growth, but the challenge is to ensure that the most of this potential is taken in a sustainable manner. i.e. buggered up through regulation.

How do the lyrics go: Britons never will be………………..


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'Baldrick' wanted to name it after his mother

Neil Herron's blog today has prompted John at the The England Project to recall, that the Bill of Rights 1689 (An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown) was nearly named by whole bunch of working class types, turnip pickers, mud scroungers and girth cradlers as:

The Workers and Workers Families Declaration of Practices, Workers Rights and Implied Cooperation With Working Brothers (and sisters) and Sisters in Workers Associations in this Kingdom. and that Baldrick wanted to name it after his mother.

Go on, have a look, you know you want to The England Project

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Letter to Neil Herron

Neil, I am not a lawyer (ok, I will admit to being, the barrack room version) So I am not sure a phone call would be of any help, as my arguments are formulated from my viewing of the written word and not from my limited capacity to remember what I have read or written. (if that makes sense)

Like you, I am just an indignant citizen, fed up of being used and abused. However, I think your best action (in the first instance) would be to cite the Human Rights Act 1998, as most public authorities have been briefed on this Act (they seem to be comfortable with it, because it is "modern"). The HRA1998 has provision, under section 11 where you can cite the Bill of Rights 1689.

Also, under section 7 of the HRA "you" can force an action. 7- (1) A person who claims that a public authority has acted (or proposes to act) in a way which is made unlawful by section 6(1) can take them to court.

read on

In the letter that you received from Elaine Waugh, City Solicitor, 13th August she says

"The clause in the Bill of Rights 1689 to which you refer protects a citizen from fines and forfeiture of his property imposed as a matter of criminal (penal) law unless these penalties have duly been imposed by a criminal court following conviction."

This of course is not correct, as the Clause states "ALL" grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void; ("all " is quite clear, explicit and unambiguous, it means ALL)

Using the principle established in Pepper v Hart [1993] HL. One only has to understand why the Bill of Rights came into force. This being adequately explained in the preamble of the Bill of Rights.

"And several grants and promises made of fines and forfeitures before "any" conviction or "judgment" against the persons upon whom the same were to be levied; (no mention of criminal or otherwise)

"All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes and freedom of this realm;"

Magna Carta states that the Crown will appoint as officers and constables, "none but sure men who know the law and mean to keep it. "Ignorance is no excuse and Halsbury's Laws of England confirms that breach of Magna Carta is an offence at common law. This provision is the reason why Crown servants take Oaths. The form of the oath is specified by the Bill of Right.

The Oath, which is required by the Bill of Rights to be taken by members of the Judiciary, includes, "I will do right to all men according to the laws and usage's of the Kingdom."

Therefore.

1. 6. - (1) Human Rights Act 1998. It is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way which is incompatible with a Convention right

2. Under the Human Rights Act 1998 all courts are required to make their decisions in accordance with the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the usual procedures apply for appeals to the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords and ultimately to the European Court of Human Rights. Courts have to interpret legislation in a way, which makes it compatible with the European Convention, and they can invalidate secondary legislation if it is not compatible with the Convention.

3. The fines have infringed your rights under The Human Rights Act 1998 specifically but not limited to The First Protocol Article 1 Protection of Property & Article 6 right to a Fair Trial.

4. you are a natural, legal person in this matter and have not been convicted of a crime. The fine will deprive you of property (assets), which is not subject to the conditions provided for by law.

5. The National Parking Adjudication Service, is not a court of Law within the meaning of Article 234 EC)

6. The law in England, states in the Bill of Rights 1689 'That "all" grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void."

7. Human Rights Act 1998. 11 Safeguard for existing human rights. A person's reliance on a Convention right does not restrict-any other right or freedom conferred on him by or under any law having effect in any part of the United Kingdom;

8. In 1913 (Bowles v Bank of England) it was ruled that:
"The Bill of Rights still remains unrepealed, and practice of custom, however prolonged or however acquiesced in on the part of the subject, cannot be relied on by the crown as justifying any infringement of its provisions."

9. (Hansard, 21 July 1993), the Speaker of the House of Commons issued a reminder to the courts: (as a consequence of Pepper v Hart) 'There has of course been no amendment to the Bill of Rights…the house is entitled to expect that the Bill of Rights will be fully respected by all those appearing before the courts.'

10. In 2002 (Thoburn v Sunderland City Council ("Metric Martyrs") ) In the present state of its maturity the common law has come to recognise that there exist rights which should properly be classified as constitutional or fundamental.…….The special status of constitutional statutes follows the special status of constitutional rights. Examples are the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights 1689……Ordinary statutes may be impliedly repealed. Constitutional statutes may not. For the repeal of a constitutional Act or the abrogation of a fundamental right to be effected by statute, the court would apply this test:….


Visit Neil Herron's blogspot HERE

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"Cod Crusader" 007

The namesh Bond, Jamesh Bond, licshensh to kill and "Cod Crusader"

A petition will be presented to the House of Commons today. The document, with almost 250,000 signatures, calls for Britain to be taken out of the CFP.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

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How they will do it

John at The England Project wonders: "Given that the government urgency on this bill (The government’s anti-terror plan) is where it is it is unlikely that they will reach the point where the parliament act can be used. Some other solution will, no doubt, be found.

Please don't suggest the introduction of a new act, the Parliament Act 2005, to reduce the delay time of the Lords to a day or so. Or a few minutes. This, though perhaps attractive to New Labour on the surface, would be subjected to the same 1-2 year delay in the Lords so it wouldn't help their immediate problem."


I have written and reminded him, they don't need to go through the rigmarole of attaining a new Parliament Act. All they have to do, is declare that this is an "emergency" and then force the Bill through by invoking the provisions within the Civil Contingency Act 2004.

Lesson from History
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How it Should be Done

Legislative process

Legislation has been described as "The Linguistic dialogue between Parliament and the Courts"; statutes are always talking (to the judges). Legislation stems from limiting the Royal Prerogative.

It is an express and formal laying down of the rules of conduct to be observed in the future, so legislation is normally prospective (applies in the future) and not retrospective. A retrospective law is generally considered unfair, because the act being penalised was lawful when committed.

Legislative procedure in a nutshell:

Manifesto

Green Paper

White Paper.

1st Reading

2nd Reading

Committee stage

Report Stage

3rd Reading....

Passed to Lords for similar procedure

Royal Assent

Manifesto

All political parties have a manifesto, which is their promise to the electorate of the actions they will take and the laws they will pass if they become the government. It is these promises that persuade us to vote for a party. Some parties are single-issue parties, for example, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has one electoral promise and that is “...British withdrawal from the EU...” The manifesto of the elected party that contains some of the legislation that is to be enacted during their term of office. Not all their promises become law, when they get into office they are supplied detailed information by senior civil servants and then discover that the reforms are not realistic, or too expensive. Also, other laws will be enacted during a government's term of office because of unelected events, a war for example, or an unexpected ruling by the courts. This happened in 1996; the government were faced with a ruling by the House of Lords that an alleged fraud by a man called Preddy was not unlawful, the case was R v Preddy [1996], and led to the Theft (Amendment) Act 1996.

Queen’s Speech

The Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, in November announces the main Bills constituting the Government's legislative programme. The government actually writes the speech. The Queen in her speech refers to “My government”, which constitutionally is true; the party that has the most members of Parliament in an election forms the government on her request.

Government departments are responsible for starting legislation that is within their field of work, for example the Home Office is responsible for law and order and prepares legislation affecting the police. The civil servants in the departments prepare the draft ideas for the minister of government who is responsible for that department. At this stage, there may be some consultation by the government who may ask interested groups what their opinions are.

Green Paper

Green Papers are actually printed on white paper, and are tentative proposals issued by the appropriate Government Minister, they are consultation papers that, set out government proposals, which are still taking shape and seek comments from the public. There is no actual requirement for there to be a White or Green Paper before a Bill is introduced into Parliament.

The importance of consultation was seen when Prime Minister Blair, as part of a cabinet reshuffle attempted to abolish the role of the Lord Chancellor, without first consulting anyone. However, this could not happen without first dealing with over 500 statutes that referred to functions of the Lord Chancellor.

White Paper

Following the Green Paper, the Government will present to Parliament a “White Paper” which is a statement of policy and contains definite proposals for legislation and this is often published at the same time as the relevant bill. Some White Papers are consultation documents on these firm proposals. The consultation or discussion is with interested parties such as professional bodies, voluntary organisations and pressure groups. Private individuals may also respond.

Drafting

After consultation is completed highly skilled lawyers called Parliamentary Counsel (Draftsmen) will draft a bill. The process is called drafting; the Bill is then ready for scrutiny by both houses. A Cabinet Committee, made up of senior government ministers called the Legislation Committee, controls the legislative programme.

Bills

In order to become an Act of Parliament, a Bill must be passed by both Houses of Parliament and receive Royal Assent.

Acts of Parliament consist of the following main elements–

the Short Title – e.g. "House of Lords Act 1999";

the Long Title – e.g. "An Act to restrict membership of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage; to make related provision about disqualifications for voting at elections to, and for membership of, the House of Commons; and for connected purposes." The long title describes the contents of the Act;

the sections – which contain the main provisions of the Act;

the Schedules – which contain further provisions of the Act, often of a more technical nature than those in the sections.

Bills contain the same elements, but “sections” of Bills are called “clauses” (although, somewhat perversely, divisions of clauses are called “subsections”).

The start and finish of the process are formalities. The first reading of a Public Bill is a formality; Royal Assent is a formality.

Public Bills can be introduced into either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

Types of Bill

Public Bills

Most Bills are Public Bills that change the general law. The majority of Public Bills that become Acts of Parliament are introduced by a government minister and are known as government Bills.

Private Members' Bills

There are four types of these private Members’ bills. Few Private Members' Bills become laws; many are not even debated in the Commons.

(1) Ballot

In the Commons early in each session backbench MPs hold a ballot for the opportunity to introduce a Bill on one of the Fridays during the session when such Bills have precedence over government business. The first 20 MPs whose names are drawn win this privilege. (Each Member selects a number that is then put in a box in the form of a raffle ticket. The tickets are drawn out of the box by the Clerk Assistant in the Public Bill Office and announced by the Chairman of Ways and Means). The ten Members placed highest in the ballot may claim up to £200 expenses in drafting their bills. The figure was fixed in 1971 and has never been revised.

(2) Ten Minute Rule Bill

On most Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the Commons is sitting, an MP may seek to introduce a Bill under the 'ten minute rule'. This allows the proposer to make a brief speech in favour and an objector to speak briefly against it. This process is often used more as a way of making a point about the need to change the law on a particular matter rather than a serious attempt at legislation. The Bail (Amendment) Act 1993 was introduced in Parliament using this procedure; the Act gives the prosecution the right to appeal against the granting of bail.

Other Private Members bills are: (3) Presentation bills. (4) Private Members’ bills brought from the Lords.

Successful Private Members Bills

Some Bills tend to concern controversial subjects, upon which a Member or group of Members feel strongly. If any Member shouts "Object!" when the title of a bill is read, the second reading is adjourned, even if all the other Members should be in favour of the bill.

The following Bills were introduced as Private Members Bills and became Acts of Parliament.

Leo Absey: Sexual Offences Bill 1967 - legalised gay sex.

Sidney Silverman: Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Bill 1965 - Abolished Hanging:

David Steel: Abortion Bill 1967 - legalised abortion in some circumstances.

Janet Anderson: Protection From Harassment Bill 1997 – outlawed stalking

Stephen McCabe: Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Deceased Fathers) Bill 2003 - This Act contains provisions relating to the circumstances in which a man is treated in law as the father of a child where the child has resulted from certain fertility treatment undertaken after the man's death. This Act follows a High Court ruling that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Diane Blood, who wanted the right to have her late partner legally recognised as the father of her children (born from his frozen sperm after his death) on their birth certificates, had brought the case. This Act amends the 1990 Act to ensure that domestic law complies with both the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act).

Michael Foster: Wild Mammals (Hunting with Dogs) Bill was one of five Private Members Bills on the subject of hunting; it was defeated in the House of Lords. Eventually the government sponsored a Bill to honour its manifesto pledge to stop foxhunting.

Private Bills

Private Bills should not be confused with Private Members Bills. Private Bills are available to local authorities, universities or companies. The enable them to obtain powers for themselves in excess of, or in conflict with, the general law. Private Bills affect the interests of individuals, or particular localities, and do not involve matters of public policy for example various Railway Acts have dominated the lists of private Acts, but the Transport and Works Act 1992 has provided an alternative method of gaining the special powers and permissions they need.

The Bills are proposals for legislation affecting the powers of particular bodies, such as local authorities, or the rights of individuals. These are subject to a special form of parliamentary procedure. There are only a few private bills in each session.

Unlike Public Bills, Private Bills may be carried over from one session to the next.

Personal Private Bills

Personal private bills are very rare nowadays, but the George Donald Evans and Deborah Jane Evans (Marriage Enabling) Act 1987, which allowed a marriage outside “permitted degrees”. Personal Bills always start in the Lords.

Hybrid bills

Hybrid bills are Public Bills that may affect the specific private rights of people or bodies. They are generally introduced by the Government, but are fairly rare. An example is the Bill that became the Channel Tunnel Act 1987, which enabled the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link to proceed. This massive engineering undertaking required compulsory purchase provisions to buy land and houses that were in the path of the railway. As with Private Bills, the passage of such Bills through Parliament is governed by special procedures, which allow those affected to put their case.


First Reading

The First Reading of a Bill is a formality, which involves a member reading the title of the Bill; the First Reading takes place without debate. The First Reading is essentially an announcement that the bill has been introduced. Soon after the first reading copies of the bill published are available for members to read, they are also made available on the Parliament website.

There is a vote as to whether or not the Bill should continue usually by members shouting “Aye!” or “No!”. If there is a clear “Aye!”, then there is no formal vote and the Bill proceeds to its next stage, which is the Second Reading, and this usually takes place some weeks or months later.

Voting

If the Commons take a vote, the Members leave the chamber and walk past one of two “tellers”, who physically count each member who walks past.

Second reading

The Second Reading provides the first real occasion for debate on the general principles of a Bill; detailed discussion takes place during the committee stage. In the Commons, the Opposition will usually decide to vote against a Government Bill on its second reading, or to move an amendment to the motion that the Bill is read a second time - unless the Bill is non-controversial. On second reading debates, a government minister (often the senior minister) in the department responsible for the measure normally proposes the Bill. He or she outlines the main principles of the Bill and summarises the most important clauses. The official Opposition spokesperson then responds and during the debate the views of other Opposition parties and backbenchers is heard. The debate normally concludes with a response from another government minister and he or she deals with some of the major points raised in the debate. If the House votes against the Bill at second reading, the Bill can progress no further, but this virtually never happens.

Traditionally, the Second Reading was always taken on the floor of the House, but in recent years, some uncontroversial bills (e.g. Law Commission measures) have been referred to a Second Reading Committee; the House then accepts the Committee's report and passes a Second Reading motion without a formal debate.

The effect of Pepper v Hart

Following Pepper v Hart [1993] HL the legislature needs to indicate what the purpose of the legislation is, and to clarify the meaning of any provisions that may be ambiguous.



Committee stage House of Commons

When a Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons, it is usually referred to a standing committee “upstairs” for detailed examination. The committee consists of from 16 to 50 Mps, but usually only about 18. The Committee examines the clauses of the Bill line by line and detailed amendments are considered. The Bill’s opponents, seeking to emasculate or destroy it, propose some amendments but many are technical improvements and clarifications proposed by the government itself. Occasionally a Bill may be referred to the whole House, sitting in committee, for example, Bills of great constitutional importance or a Finance Bill. At the committee stage, MPs study the Bill in depth, dealing with each clause in turn, line by line. Whilst individual provisions may be altered, the main principle of the Bill is preserved.

Committee stage House of Lords

In the House of Lords, there are no second reading committees or standing committees. Bills normally go through the committee stage in a Committee of the whole House, although a few Bills are committed to committees of various kinds off the floor of the House.

Report stage

Any amendments made during the committee stage must be approved (or rejected) by the whole house during the report state. The report stage is a detailed debate where further amendments may be moved. This occurs on the Floor of the House (which means the main chamber) further amendments are discussed and made. In practice, it is very similar to the committee stage, but only amendments and not the clauses of a Bill are discussed. All members may speak and vote.

Third reading

The third reading a Bill often follows on immediately after the report stage. It is generally quite short – unless it is of constitutional importance - and the bill is reviewed in its final form including amendments made at earlier stages. Substantive amendments cannot be made at this stage to a Bill in the Commons. Then the final version of the bill is approved and passed by hand - bound in green ribbon - to the Lords, when the Lords return the bill it is bound in red ribbon.

In the House of Lords, broadly the same procedure is followed. One difference is the committee stage, which is normally a committee of the whole House of Lords and amendments can be made at Third Reading as well as at Committee and Report. If the House of Lords amend the Bill, it must be sent back to the Commons for Commons’ approval because both Houses must agree on the wording of the Bill.

Passage through the Lords

After passing its third reading a Bill is sent to the House of Lords. The role of the House of Lords is to act as a check on the Government’s power. The passage through the second House is not a formality, and Bills can be further amended. The Commons have certain contempt for the Lords and refer to it, not as the House of Lords, but “another place”.

Financial legislation is not scrutinised in detail by the Lords.

The Commons must agree amendments made by the Lords, or a compromise agreement reached, such that both Houses have agreed the same text, before a Bill can receive Royal Assent.

The Lords do not generally prevent Bills from the Commons becoming law, although they will often amend them and return them for further consideration by the Commons.

The assent of the Lords is not essential, subject to certain conditions, in the case of fiscal (money Bills). Bills dealing solely with taxation or expenditure must become law within one month of being sent to the Lords.

A Bill can start in Lords

A Bill can start in the Lords, but usually this procedure is reserved for non-controversial matters, or because it is the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor, e.g. Human Rights Act 1998 started in the Lords.

Most Government Bills introduced and passed in the Lords pass through the Commons without difficulty, but a Bill from the Lords, which proved unacceptable to the Commons, would not become law.

If, after the process of considering amendments, it proves impossible to reach agreement on a non-financial Bill, then the Bill may be lost.

Government (political) Bills start in the Commons. Bills of a less party-political nature often go to the Lords first. Bills with a mainly financial purpose are always introduced in the Commons, because a government minister in the Commons must introduce new taxation or public spending.

Programme and Guillotine Motions

These are devices for ensuring speedy and timely progress of a Bill through the various stages.

The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949

After many clashes between the Lords and the Commons, matters came to a head in 1909 when the Lords rejected a Finance Bill. This led to the Parliament Act 1911, which was only passed by the Lords after a threat from the Commons that they would create several hundred new peers to ensure its safe passage.

By this Act, the Lords cannot reject a Bill, which the Speaker of the House of Commons has certified as a “Money Bill”. The Parliament Act 1949 further reduced the delaying power of the Lords, so the position now is that the Lords can only delay a Bill for about two years. In some circumstances, the Commons can present a Bill for Royal Assent after one year, even if the Lords object.

The Parliament Acts have only been used on the following occasions:

Government of Ireland Act 1914

Welsh Church Act 1914

Parliament Act 1949 (It was used in 1949 after the Lords rejected plans to nationalise the steel industry).

War Crimes Act 1991 (the first time the Conservatives used the Acts) to prosecute war criminals who were not UK subjects at the time of the offence.

European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999 (having party list not individual candidates for EU elections)

Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 (reducing the age of consent for gay sex to 16)

The Hunting Act (2004) (banning fox hunting and hare coursing)

An Act passed in this way has the unusual introduction "BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:- "

Salisbury-Addison Conventions

If a provision is in Government’s manifesto, the Salisbury Conventions holds that the Lords should not oppose legislation to implement the provision. The reason is that the peers recognise that they are unelected and are said to have no “democratic mandate”.

An example was the rejection by the Lords of the Government's plans to repeal Section 2A of the Local Government Act 1986 (previously this was Section 28). Section 28, which has now been repealed by Sec 122 Local Government Act 2003, banned local authorities from promoting the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.

Lengthy procedure

Passing an Act of Parliament is a lengthy procedure involving considerable scrutiny and debate

However, emergency legislation can be processed quickly (e.g. Football (Disorder) Act 2000)

A government with a secure majority can ensure its legislation passes, sometimes regardless of doubts as to its effectiveness (e.g. Dangerous Dogs Act 1991).

Royal Assent

When a Bill has been passed in identical terms in both Houses, it is presented for the Royal Assent. This is a formality marking the Bill's official passage into law.

The titles of Bills to be approved are read in both Houses, and then Royal Assent is achieved by quaint ceremony in the Lords. The Clerk of the Parliaments turns towards the Commons and pronounces, in Norman French the formula, "La Raine (or Le Roy) le veult" (the Queen wishes it).

Royal Assent has not been refused since Queen Anne refused it for a Bill to raise an army to sort disorder in Scotland (Scottish Militia Bill) on 11 March 1708, this was the last occasion on which it has proved necessary to use the ominous formula "La Raine (or LeRoy) s’avisera." (The Queen will consider it).

A popular misconception is that Bills are or were signed by the Sovereign in fact this has seldom happened, certainly not since the 16th Century. Between 1603 and 1849, the monarch signed no Bills at all. Before 1603, the Sovereign only sometimes signed the Acts. Royal Assent has, however been given in person, but since Queen Victoria, faced by a greater avalanche of legislation than any of her predecessors, was clearly unwilling to make frequent visits to Parliament, she eventually ceased to attend to give Royal Assents. Unless a Bill is urgent it is kept waiting until a number of Bills are ready for Royal Assent. The last occasion the Sovereign was present at the passing of an Act was 1854.

What are signed are either Letters Patent which allows the Speaker of the Commons and the Lords (the Lord Chancellor) to announce that the Queen has given her assent, or she signs a Commission which commands the Royal Commissioners to announce Royal Assent.

After Royal Assent, a Bill becomes part of the law of the land. It is then known as an Act of Parliament. Another misconception is the existence of “the statute book”; it is true that there are statute books of antiquity, but the expression simply means it becomes the law; there is no “statute book”.

Commencement of an Act

Once a Bill has passed all the stages it becomes an Act of Parliament on the day appointed by the Bill. However, it has become the practice to allow the minister responsible for the Bill to decide the day a Bill becomes an Act. For example, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 did not become effective until 1986; this allowed police forces to train officers in its provisions. Similarly, the Human Rights Act 1988 did not take effect until 2000, again to allow the training of those who were going to implement it and the appointment of new judges in the High Court who were expected to deal with problems by way of “Declarations of Incompatibility”. The Easter Act 1928 has never been brought into effect, but it remains an Act of Parliament.
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