2011 - Another Year for British Politics

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darth_Asabrush, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Evil_Otto Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2004
    star 4
    Hey, we'll take him. All of our politicians are worthless creepy liars anyway, so if we can have one that speaks so well and makes us believe, even for just five minutes, we'll take it.

    Trust me, you wouldn't like him/it if you truly knew him/it. Despite his seemingly being a happy smiling face on the surface, he's really a wolf in sheep's clothing; a real authoritarian gutter trash, one who believes in wanting to control the normal guy and gal in the street through the use of invasive government secret service data basis (a.k.a. the dreaded ID cards). He also, like most politicians, believes in one law for the government and his fat cat buddies, and another law for the rest of us.
  2. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    He also accepts the resignation of his cabinet ministers but then allows them to return to government a few months later (and then they resign again and get a powerful job at the EU).

    So much for his government being "whiter than white".

    Just take a look at his administration's resignations......
  3. Evil_Otto Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2004
    star 4
    He also accepts the resignation of his cabinet ministers but then allows them to return to government a few months later (and then they resign again and get a powerful job at the EU).

    It's what they call in "Rip off Britain's" rather, er, dubious business industry as "phoenixing", where a business owner rips people off, goes to the wall on purpose, then starts up business again under a similar name. This is a method of running a business that is more and more common these days, and all with the government's full knowledge and seeming blessing. Seeing that the government allows these sorts of practises to continue with little or no clamp down, it's no wonder that they themselves use the same methods of practice with their MPs. Yes, the more nefarious (and useful to Blair) members of the New Labour government seem to have done more reincarnating than Lazarus!
  4. Darth_MacDaddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2003
    star 4
    Seeing that the government allows these sorts of practises to continue with little or no clamp down

    That may have something to do with Blair's government removing all those checks and balances that used to be present.

    Makes you think, doesn't it.

    [face_monkey]
  5. Branthoris Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2002
    star 3
    At the moment, I am able to find compelling reasons not to vote for any of the three main political parties. (A vote for any other party is, of course, out of the question so far as I'm concerned, due to the UK's electoral system.)

    The Labour party misled the public in the run-up to the Iraq war. Misleading the public is always a serious matter, and it cannot possibly be tolerated when something as serious as war is at issue. They have colluded with the American administration in human rights abuses (e.g., by falsely claiming that British detainees at Guantanamo had "no complaints" about their treatment when visited there, which is obviously a lie). They have abandoned a clear manifesto commitment in introducing a policy--the new system of funding higher education--that is not only misguided (it aims to have 50% of the population in higher education, which I completely disagree with), but now riddled with illogical concessions to Labour backbenchers. As if that were not enough, they have removed a minister--David Blunkett--who, in my judgement, was one of the few members of the government actually doing his job properly and making real improvements to people's lives.

    The Conservative party have some policies that I find rather attractive on higher education, crime, and European integration. Unfortunately, I do not trust them with Britain's public services, and I fully expect that a Conservative government would lead to further underinvestment in schools, hospitals, etc., as well as further wealth concentration (one thing I do approve of is Gordon Brown's economic policies, which have stabilised the British economy and made a real difference for disadvantaged sectors of the population, such as pensioners). Having recently looked at the astonishing figures regarding wealth concentration in the top 1% of the population, right-wing economic policies are not what I want in the next Parliament.

    The Liberal Democrats do not, in my opinion, have the right to be taken seriously. On the surface, some of their policies (e.g., 50% super tax rate for incomes over £100,000) look quite attractive to me. However, they do not seem to have the vision and competence necessary to run Britain effectively. Moreover, they are in favour of closer European integration, with which I disagree; I don't oppose the European Union on principle but I do oppose both the EU Constitution and the Euro, as well as other attempts to increase its powers. And on crime, the Liberal Democrats would be a complete and total disaster. For example, when the Criminal Justice Bill was going through Parliament last year, they introduced an amendment to prevent the courts sending anyone to prison for failing to pay a fine. Not only would such a provision be disastrous--more than half of all fines are not paid at the moment, making a mockery of the courts--but it is inconsistent in principle. In their policy paper Justice and the Community, they state "Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed ... mandatory sentencing, believing that it undermines judicial discretion to sentence each case based on the individual circumstances". Seemingly, they apply this each-case-is-unique principle only where it benefits the offender, since they are in favour of putting further unneeded and categorical limits on courts' powers to deal with offenders.

    So in my view, no party is worth voting for in the coming general election.
  6. Darth_MacDaddy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2003
    star 4
    one thing I do approve of is Gordon Brown's economic policies, which have stabilised the British economy and made a real difference for disadvantaged sectors of the population

    Contrary to the fact that the wealth gap has increased under Labour. Gordon Brown's economic success is as much a myth as I have ever seen.

    [face_monkey]
  7. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Gordon Brown's economic success is as much a myth as I have ever seen.

    Agreed. The public finances are in a mess and barring a unexpected surge in economic growth we are likely to see significant tax rises within a year or two of the election.
  8. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Anyone mentioned "Pensions"??????
  9. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    Anyone mentioned "Pensions"??????

    You mean the £35 billion theft.
  10. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
  11. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    I too will not vote for the conservative party at the next general election due to the disgraceful stance that Michael Howard has taken on ID cards, although I will probably stay a party member.

    I will vote for the Liberal Democrats.


    :eek: I almost fell of my chair when I read that last line!

    Nonetheless, I sympathise with you on this one, Karde. However, I still view both the Libs and the Tories as preferable alternatives to Labour. Though the ID card thing has actually reminded how much Michael Howard annoyed me as Home Secretary, the party itself still has a much greater liberal streak in than Labour. And the Libs also have at least a faction that seems to have some concept of essential democratic principles!

    I have yet to decide who to vote for (except not Labour!)

    Gordon Brown's economic success is as much a myth as I have ever seen.

    The economic success is real, but mainly founded on Tory reforms. Brown deserves some credit (esp. the independence of the Bank of England), but his increasingly high tax demands, and his likely resistance to any attempt at meaningful public sector reform count against him. Between the taxation and the growth in red tape (though some of this from Brussels), he has put barriers to the UK's future growth, though they still remain less than France or Germany's problems by quite a way.

    they have removed a minister--David Blunkett--who, in my judgement, was one of the few members of the government actually doing his job properly and making real improvements to people's lives.


    I found David Blunkett the most repelent member of the whole Labour Government. He was illiberal, authoritarian, undemocratic, and has caused huge damage to British liberty and democracy. What improvements has he made, because I fail to see it.

    Incidentally, I should say to Karde and others as a follow on from the old thread, that over the last year I increasingly have come to agree that New Labour has been far more devastating to democracy than I initially thought, and has done much greater constitutional damage.
  12. Evil_Otto Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2004
    star 4
    Contrary to the fact that the wealth gap has increased under Labour. Gordon Brown's economic success is as much a myth as I have ever seen.

    I totally agree with you. Not only have New Labour stacked stealth tax upon stealth tax since they got in, taxes I remind you that target the poor more than they do the rich, but up until New Labour got in people who suffered from Epilepsy used to qualify for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), a benefit that Gorden Brown immediately scrapped as soon as New Labour got into power in 1997. Now, I wonder where all these stealth taxes and cuts in benefits are going? I wonder? [face_thinking]
  13. Branthoris Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2002
    star 3
    Darth_MacDaddy: The question is surely not whether the wealth gap has increased under Labour, but whether it would have increased more had the Conservative party been in power. I am sure that it would have done.

    As for Gordon Brown's economic success: The raw performance of the British economy is not the only thing I am interested in. I'm concerned with economic policy, which includes measures such as Working Families' Tax Credit and the Winter Fuel Allowance which have made a considerable difference to the lives of the disadvantaged in our society.

    foofaspoon: How, precisely, did Michael Howard "annoy" you as Home Secretary? His record in that office seems to me one of the few compelling reasons to cast a Conservative vote. The disastrous liberal penal policies of Howard's Conservative predecessors saw the crime rate double (a fact that Tony Blair, most ironically and unfairly, now attempts to throw against Michael Howard at Prime Minister's Questions). While Michael Howard was Home Secretary, however, crime fell by 15%. There being a clear correlation between rising imprisonment and falling crime, Michael Howard's 'prison works' policy can only be applauded.

    I also fail to see what "huge damage" Blunkett inflicted on "British liberty and democracy". What measures, specifically, are you referring to? It would, for example, be very surprising if you were criticising Blunkett so far as jury trial is concerned, since he rejected Lord Justice Auld's recommendation to eliminate the right to trial by jury for sentences of imprisonment of 24 months or under.

    I have to agree, however, that New Labour has done great "constitutional damage". Were an English Parliament created with the same devolved powers as the Scottish Parliament now enjoys, the Westminster government would have control only over foreign policy and (to a degree) economic policy. It would have very little role in setting domestic policy, thus reducing the United Kingdom to a collection of individual countries that collaborate on certain (largely foreign policy) matters. Taking devolution to its logical conclusion would require the United Kingdom to be split up--something which most people agree is intensely undesirable.

    Evil_Otto: The "stealth tax[es]" that you accuse Labour of inflicting have been necessary only because of the public aversion to increases in income tax. The senseless "only-income-tax-matters" public attitude was, of course, shamelessly exploited by Margaret Thatcher when she ratcheted up VAT in order to keep income tax at bay. Of course, I acknowledge that you were, in your post, simply criticising Labour (as opposed to supporting the Conservatives); however, I think that Labour economic policy is bound to be a great improvement on Conservative economic policy.

    I'm not sure about the specific situation with regard to epilepsy and DLA, so can't comment on that.
  14. Evil_Otto Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2004
    star 4
    The "stealth tax[es]" that you accuse Labour of inflicting have been necessary only because of the public aversion to increases in income tax. The senseless "only-income-tax-matters" public attitude was, of course, shamelessly exploited by Margaret Thatcher when she ratcheted up VAT in order to keep income tax at bay. Of course, I acknowledge that you were, in your post, simply criticising Labour (as opposed to supporting the Conservatives); however, I think that Labour economic policy is bound to be a great improvement on Conservative economic policy.

    But unlike a lot of the rather uneducated members of society, I realise that if handled properly, then Income Tax would be the fairest tax to rely on for government funds, because the more you earn (the richer you are), the more you pay, whereas the less you earn (the poorer you are), the less you have to pay. Simple math really. But stealth taxes are not based on people's ability to pay. They're also based on some of the most essential needs of modern day living.

    I'm not sure about the specific situation with regard to epilepsy and DLA, so can't comment on that.

    Believe me I know, because I've tried to claim it, seeing that it was the government themselves who branded me with it, even though it has never been diagnosed, and I was told that DLA for Epileptics was abolished by New Labour when they first got into power.
  15. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    did Michael Howard "annoy" you as Home Secretary
    ID cards (which I loath) and his manner - he played all to easily to the same authoritarian crowd that David Blunkett does. Nonethless, he's still 10 times preferefable to David Blunkett.

    Michael Howard's 'prison works' policy can only be applauded.

    Only if, by throwing people in prison, your not using it as a catch-all which hoovers up everybody and in the process gets the more hardened criminals responsible for the majority of crime.

    I also fail to see what "huge damage"

    You know, this question makes me want to despair.

    What measures, specifically, are you referring to?
    ID cards (both practically and 'morally' useless), The locking up of terror suspects without due process, complicity in Gitmo including a ludicrously one-way extradition treaty with the US, ID cards, An absolutely idiotic emergency powers act which, if I've understood it correctly, essentially gives the executive the right to suspend any and all laws, without consulting parliament when there is some 'crisis', far harsher abilities for the police to crack down on protests, the mind-numbingly daft 'religious hatred' thing which risks basic principles of free speech, ID cards, a depressing willingness to intervene in routine legal proceedings ('I'm gonna nail him!'), micro-management of police-forces (forcing resignations), ID cards.

    Is that enough for the moment?

    I have to agree, however, that New Labour has done great "constitutional damage".

    Indeed, this is symptomatic of them not thinking through the implications of things before doing it...
  16. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    I tend to trust the Tories more when it comes to constitutional reform. Labour has made a pigs ear of it to date.
  17. Branthoris Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2002
    star 3
    foofaspoon, I will deal with your criticisms of Blunkett one at a time.

    "The locking up of terror suspects without due process"
    The provisions to which you allude apply only to a small group of people: those who (1) are foreign nationals, and (2) cannot, for whatever reason, presently be deported. Your statement implies that anyone accused of terrorism can be detained indefinitely under the law--which is, of course, completely incorrect.

    I should point out that the power to detain in these limited circumstances--where a person is a foreign national with no right to be here, but cannot actually be taken out of the country--rests with the Home Secretary alone only for the first 3-6 months of detention. After that, detention can take place only with the approval of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, a court of record chaired by a High Court judge.

    To be sure, detention is permitted on the basis only of "reasonable suspicion"--the lowest standard of evidence used in British law--and detainees are not permitted to know the full details of the case against them (although special advocates are appointed to scrutinise secret evidence on their behalf). But the amount of judicial review afforded to the detainees is still far greater than under any previous emergency detention powers.

    "complicity in Gitmo"
    I agree that the Labour government must be criticised very heavily on this account (indeed, it was one of the most important reasons I gave in my previous post for not voting Labour). However, I have seen no evidence that Blunkett personally had anything to do with it, dealing as he does with home affairs. I would put the blame for British involvement in Gitmo on Jack Straw and Tony Blair.

    "a ludicrously one-way extradition treaty with the US"
    That extradition treaty was indeed one-sided and I object to it strongly. Nonetheless, that is the only reason for objecting to it. It extends to the United States our current criteria for extraditing to European Union countries; the problem lies in the fact that the United States (unlike EU states) does not apply the same criteria the other way around. To describe this as doing "huge damage to British liberty and democracy" is a vast exaggeration.

    "absolutely idiotic emergency powers act which, if I've understood it correctly, essentially gives the executive the right to suspend any and all laws, without consulting parliament when there is some 'crisis'"
    Let me describe the measure in more detail. The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 does indeed provide for the making of emergency regulations which can amend, override or suspend Acts of Parliament. However, there are a number of important limitations on the emergency regulations power:

    1. It cannot be used to "require a person, or enable a person to be required, to provide military service".

    2. It cannot "prohibit or enable the prohibition of participation in, or any activity in connection with, a strike or other industrial action".

    3. It cannot create an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term greater than three months, or "alter procedure in relation to criminal proceedings".

    4. It cannot be used to affect the operation of the Human Rights Act 1998, and an emergency regulation will be invalid if it conflicts with that Act. This is the most important limitation. The fundamental rights protected by the Human Rights Act--including the right not to be detained without trial--cannot be touched.

    In addition, emergency regulations must, "as soon as is reasonably practicable", be laid before Parliament. Unless both Houses of Parliament then approve the regulations within seven days, they cease to have effect. In addition, if at any time either House of Parliament passes a resolution disapproving of emergency regulations, they cease to have effect immediately. The fact that the power is vested formally in the Queen provides an additional safeguard.

    You may think that the
  18. foofaspoon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 1999
    star 2
    Branthoris thankyou for a well thought out rebuttal, and especially for going into some detail that I didn't know. However...

    For a start, you remark after each point that this does not constitute a serious threat to British liberties. On their own, you are right that they don't (except ID cards). What is a threat is when they are taken in aggregate, and further more indicate that at each stage the Government has consistently adopted increasingly authoritarian positions. I'm not saying the government has passed a decree declaring itself a dictatorship - but it has undermind the seperation of powers, free speech, free assembly, and the right of a citizen to be free of government intrusion without a reason. This is totally the wrong direction. Now, to address each point individually.

    The provisions to which you allude apply only to a small group of people

    So what? I'm somewhat saddened that you can't see the dangers in saying 'the law applies to everybody... except this group that we don't like'

    Your statement implies that anyone accused of terrorism can be detained indefinitely under the law
    It implied exactly what it said...

    rests with the Home Secretary alone only for the first 3-6 months of detention

    Oh, he can only arbitarly on the basis of secret evidence deprive someone of their liberty for a little while. I'm hardly comforted.

    But the amount of judicial review afforded to the detainees is still far greater than under any previous emergency detention powers.

    So, because this law isn't as ludicrous as previous emergency laws makes it good?

    However, I have seen no evidence that Blunkett personally had anything to do with it, dealing as he does with home affairs.

    True, he is not just personaly culpable, but still (was) part of the collective cabinet.

    Nonetheless, that is the only reason for objecting to it.

    A pretty big 'only' - and a seem to remember it gives the Home secretary significant say in deportaions.

    It cannot be used to "require a person, or enable a person to be required, to provide military service".

    I propose to levy a special emergency tax, say on men between the ages of 18 and 45 to cover costs for the current emergency. Say... 95%. Of course, it excepts our brave lads who volunteer for our glorious national armies... ;)

    It cannot "prohibit or enable the prohibition of participation in, or any activity in connection with, a strike or other industrial action".

    Riiiight so it allows Unions to stuff up the economy, but provides no guarentees on free speech, free assembly, and so on

    It cannot create an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term greater than three months, or "alter procedure in relation to criminal proceedings".

    A guarentee so vague as to be meaningless. Doesn't prevent the government passing a law requiring that Judges and Juries have to come from approved government lists, to take an extreme example.

    It cannot be used to affect the operation of the Human Rights Act 1998

    The Human Rights Act is a load of bollocks, but provisions can be legitamately suspended by a government in a national crisis I believe, so again a meaningless guarentee.

    "as soon as is reasonably practicable"

    Well, we're now in the third year of the crisis, and it is still proving too dangerous for Parliament to sit following further intelligence of impeding terrorist attacks....

    You may think that the Civil Contingencies Bill goes too far, but it doesn't do "huge damage" to British democracy.

    Yes, it really, really does.

    Contrary to popular belief, the proposed religious hatred provisions would not prohibit criticism or parody of religion. They would cover only the deliberate incitement of hatred

    What counts as 'inciting hatred'? Besides, legislating on peoples right to comment negatively on peoples belief is a slippery slope on free speech anyway...

    Sorry, have to go, will try and answer more a bit later...
  19. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    How much damage Blunkett has actually done to British liberty is open to question but he undoubtably has a disturbing lack of respect for the concept.

    Neil Hamilton wanted to sue the Guardian for libel. Unfortunately, a fair trial of his suit was impossible, because the Guardian needed to use Hamilton's speeches in the House of Commons as evidence in its defence. Such use was prohibited by the 1689 Bill of Rights, which prevents anyone being called to account in court for something said in Parliament. The Conservatives amended the 1689 Bill of Rights to allow an MP to waive his immunity from being questioned as to debates in the Commons--solely for the purpose of allowing Neil Hamilton to sue the Guardian.

    The actions of John Major's government were a disgrace in that many areas that it is hardly worth listing.

    Anyway, we are over four months from the likely election date and the opening shots have already be fired in my constituencey. Labour's candidate Jayne Innes has stated that teenage yobs want Lib Dem candidate, Cllr John Hemming, to win because they want an MP who is soft on crime. This mirrors the tactics used to great effect by Labour in the Hodge Hill by-election (the neighbouring constituency) last summer but IMO it is a big mistake. John Hemming is a popular councillor who has served the area with distinction for over a decade and a nasty personal campaign against him will most likely backfire.
  20. Branthoris Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2002
    star 3
    foofaspoon, I did spend a while writing that post, so it's nice that you appreciate it. :) I likewise appreciate your own posts, and indeed those of everyone else in this thread. As with most threads in the Senate, the quality of discussion here is excellent.

    In relation to the indefinite detention of foreign nationals who cannot currently be removed from Britain and are certified as suspected terrorists...

    "I'm somewhat saddened that you can't see the dangers in saying 'the law applies to everybody... except this group that we don't like'"
    But it's not an arbitrarily defined group. The law does not apply only to Jews, blacks, or homosexuals. It applies to foreign nationals who have no right whatsoever to be here, and would be taken out of the country if that were possible, but cannot currently be removed.

    Incidentally, the law compares rather favourably with an equivalent provision in the United States. The infamous PATRIOT Act authorizes the Attorney General to detain a non-removable foreign national if (1) he certifies that he has reasonable grounds to believe that the foreign national has engaged in certain, e.g. terrorist, activity, and (2) "the release of the alien will threaten the national security of the United States or the safety of the community or any person".

    The criteria for the indefinite detention of an alien in the same situation in the United States are basically the same. The level of judicial review, however, is not the same. The PATRIOT Act makes no specific provision for judicial review at all, while Blunkett's own provision includes a very carefully calibrated judicial review procedure.

    Obviously the "other countries do it too" argument is an exceedingly weak one. But I have described the American law on the same subject simply to illustrate that Blunkett has displayed a far greater regard for civil rights than his counterparts in the US have--and that Britain remains a beacon of civil rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

    In relation to Guantanamo ...

    "True, he is not just personaly culpable, but still (was) part of the collective cabinet."
    I agree. The entire government must have a degree of responsibility. But I also think that Blunkett must be judged on his own merits to an extent, and I've seen no evidence that he bears specific personal responsibility for Britain's complicity in Guantanamo (unlike Blair and Straw, who have specific responsibility for foreign affairs).

    In relation to the new legislation on emergency powers, and the fact that it does not authorize any suspension or modification of the Human Rights Act...

    "The Human Rights Act is a load of bollocks, but provisions can be legitamately suspended by a government in a national crisis I believe, so again a meaningless guarentee."
    Good point. Rights guaranteed under the Human Rights Act can be suspended when there is an "emergency threatening the life of the nation". But the suspension has to be strictly proportional--as illustrated by the recent ruling by the House of Lords that the detention laws we've just been discussing, which required a suspension of part of the Human Rights Act, are not proportional to the threat posed by terrorism at this point in time.

    Because the detention provisions were put into effect by a full Act of Parliament--'primary legislation'--the Lords' ruling is only advisory. They cannot 'strike down' full Acts of Parliament under the Human Rights Act--only declare them "incompatible". Emergency regulations, however, will not be full Acts of Parliament. If part of the Human Rights Act is suspended to enable emergency regulations to be made allowing detention without trial (and all sorts of other horribles), the courts will review whether that suspension is strictly proportionate to the specific emergency which Britain faces. If they decide that it isn't proportionate, the emergency regulations will fall. Unlike full Acts of Parliament, they won't simply be declared "incomp
  21. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    I have to admit that I read many damning accounts of the Civil Contingencies Act from sources that I respect greatly and was deeply troubled by what I read. However when I actually read the act myself I found that the safeguards in place were quite substantial. I still think that the act goes to far but I no longer consider it a significant threat to our liberties, unlike the intriduction of ID cards which fundamentally alters the balance of power between the citizen and the state.

    It should be noted that the Sovereign is the ultimate failsafe in such circumstances as he/she can always refuse to grant royal accent to any act of parliament or may dissolve parliament and call a general election at any time.
  22. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Bran, I didn't say that the Tories where great at constitutional reform. Its just that I trust them more. They have less of the "class warfare" thing running through their blood.

    Karde, you are right about the Sovereign but there are two issues with this safeguard imo.

    i) You need a Sovereign with the balls to do it and know when to carry it out.

    ii) In our times of jealousy blinding sense I suspect it would be the first time (in hundreds of years) and last time as it may begin to deconstruction or death of the Monarchy.

    Just think about the times when the Lords have thrown out legislation and the Commons comes back stating that it is the "Democratic" will of the people.

    A Catch-22 for the Monarchy I think.
  23. Branthoris Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2002
    star 3
    Well, I should hope that the present monarch doesn't have any balls at all. ;) I do think, however, that she would prove a safeguard against a government that attempted to act in a flagrantly undemocratic way (e.g., that used the Parliament Act to keep itself in office beyond the statutory five years).

    Certainly, it would provoke a constitutional crisis, which is why no sensible monarch would do it other than in the most extreme case. It certainly doesn't compare to the House of Lords, which is still acknowledged as a legitimate element in the Parliamentary process that has the right to scrutinise legislation independently.

    Darth_Asabrush, I must admit that I don't quite see how you "trust" the Conservatives more than Labour with constitutional reform, considering that they changed the constitution for their own corrupt purposes. Labour have never, to my knowledge, even approached that level of wrongdoing.
  24. DarthKarde Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2002
    star 5
    (e.g., that used the Parliament Act to keep itself in office beyond the statutory five years).

    Actually the Parliament Act 1911 contains a clause that prevents the act cannot be used to extend the life a parliament beyond five years.

    Although if the the Parliament Act 1949 is indeed legal, which I doubt, it would surely be possible to use the parliament Act 1949 to once again change the terms of the act and remove this important safeguard.
  25. Darth_Asabrush Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2000
    star 5
    Indeed Karde, indeed. Interesting scenario....



    "It certainly doesn't compare to the House of Lords, which is still acknowledged as a legitimate element in the Parliamentary process that has the right to scrutinise legislation independently."

    I was illustrating the attitude this Labour administration has to anyone who would dare challenge its authority by using the "elected" House of Commons as its argument.

    "Darth_Asabrush, I must admit that I don't quite see how you "trust" the Conservatives more than Labour with constitutional reform, considering that they changed the constitution for their own corrupt purposes. Labour have never, to my knowledge, even approached that level of wrong doing."

    Three words: House of Lords!

    You telling me Labour haven't tried this with the Upper Chamber???