Thursday, 12 October 2017

may is starting to look more thn a little foolish

Imagine the scene. It’s spring 2016. The Vote Leave campaign is feverishly telling the electorate that a sovereign parliament is a mere distraction. The object of prime importance is that we leave the EU – and that also means leaving the single market, leaving the European Economic Area (EEA) and leaving European-wide customs arrangements. This has to happen by fair means or foul. Power must leave Brussels, bypass parliament, and reside with a Whitehall elite. Ministers may or may not reinstate the rights and protections conveyed either by membership of the EU or the EEA, but we can all agree in any event that our jobs, rights and prosperity are of lesser importance than the British dream of rule by ministerial decree.
This counterfactual account – the true face of an honest Leave campaign – would have been dismissed as reckless by voters and would have lost a referendum. This recklessness though is no longer counterfactual, but actual, and is being debated in parliament as a result of the EU Withdrawal Bill.
Much attention has rightly focussed on the extent to which the bill represents a “power grab” by ministers. Top of my list of concerns, is the power it confers on the likes of David Davis to sit behind their departmental desks and at the stroke of a pen withdraw us from the European Economic Area and the single market.
The EEA contains the countries of the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It provides a way to stay in the single market while being outside the EU and a means of maintaining ease of trade whilst being beyond the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Put simply, membership of the EEA satisfies the instruction provided by the referendum result without needlessly sacrificing our economy.
Now many of us might prefer to stay in the single market by remaining in the EU, but the odds don’t look good on that front and as a realist, I feel I have a responsibility to look at other options to limit the damage. I recognise the result of the referendum, but I will not allow ministers a completely free hand in deciding how we leave.
And so for the sake of the democracy leavers used to be in favour of, I have tabled an amendment to the Withdrawal Bill. My new clause would prevent a ministerial power-grab on single market membership and would require a further act of parliament before the government seeks to pull us out of the EEA. It would require MPs to determine whether Britain triggers article 127 of the EEA Agreement and would stop this being decided by ministerial whim.
This is no more than was provided by the government when parliament voted to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to pull us out of the EU and it was an issue that was pronounced by David Davis in March this year as “quite likely to come to Parliament”. But as currently drafted the bill contains no provision for MPs to vote on whether we notify other contracting parties to the EEA agreement of our intention to withdraw from that treaty. Worse still, hidden in the bill’s 19 clauses and eight schedules, its sneaks in a number of changes which could be prayed in aid by ministers as some sort of back door authorisation for taking us out of the single market.
What might this back door route look like? The repeal of the EEA Act 1993 (the British act of parliament which put the EEA Agreement onto our statute book) is part of the EU Withdrawal Bill, squirreled away in Schedule 8 Part 2. Ministers could very well claim that having repealed the agreement in domestic law, they can use the powers conferred on them under clause eight of the bill to “tidy up” the irritating issue that Britain is still officially a signatory to the EEA Treaty.  They would have the power to decide that and it needn’t come back to parliament.
That isn’t the reclaimed British sovereignty people voted for and it’s not good enough. Irrespective of whether we believe the country should be out of the single market, in it for a transitional period or in it indefinitely, how can this not be a decision for parliament?
That’s what my new clause would change. It’s called democracy.
The most important issue for our country is our continued membership of the single market, along with our ability to stay in a European customs union. It is about jobs and living standards, but it is also about the money a future Labour government will need to tackle austerity. The idea that we cede all decision making on our membership of the European Economic Area to a prime minister so palpably held hostage by a cell of Brexit fanatics is one that should concern us all.
The bill has to change. The economy must come first. Parliament must make the decisions and it should be the Labour Party that leads the way

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

the Conservatives and general apathy are killing our deocracy such as it is

Normal partners in government, the hard-right DUP , are also well-represented on high-profile committees despite only having 10 MPs.

Its members will sit on the transport, international trade, Northern Ireland and defence committees among others.

What are Henry VIII powers?

Since Theresa May launched her Brexit Repeal Bill, there's been furious debate about 'Henry VIII powers'.

So what are they?

It's all to do with the difference between what us geeks call primary and secondary legislation.

Primary laws are Acts of Parliament and go through a long, line-by-line process of approval by MPs and the House of Lords.

But with secondary laws it's 'take it or leave it'. There's no chance to edit them, and in some cases (when they go through 'the negative procedure') they actually become law before MPs get to challenge them. The last time one of these was blocked was 1979.

These big differences mean primary laws are much more powerful. Quite rightly, some secondary laws can be crushed by the courts - primary laws can't.

Yet a Henry VIII power lets the PM make a secondary law that edits a primary law.

The process gets its name from the six-wived Tudor King who 'ruled by proclamation' thanks to the 1539 Statute of Proclamations.

The government claims it needs the power, which ends on 29 March 2021, to correct 'deficiencies' in EU-inspired law after Brexit.

It can't be used to change taxes or criminal offences, make laws retrospectively or change the Human Rights Act.

But even Tory MPs and a House of Lords committee have voiced fears about the powers. Labour's Keir Starmer said: "So much for taking back control."

Monday, 28 August 2017

The DUP—racist, homophobic, anti-abortion bigots with a history of violence
by Simon Basketter
Former DUP leader Peter Robinson with a gun
Former DUP leader Peter Robinson with a gun

The Tories may hang onto office with the support of the bigots of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland.

But who are the DUP?

Arch reactionary Ian Paisley set up the DUP in 1971 because the Official Ulster Unionist Party didn’t hate Catholics enough for him. It now has ten of Northern Ireland’s 18 MPs.

The Tories made a great deal of noise about Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed links to terrorists during the election campaign. Now they want to go into coalition with people with a rotten history of backing terrorism.

The terrorist group Ulster Resistance was founded by a collection of people who went on to be prominent DUP politicians.

Former First Minister Peter Robinson, who was DUP leader and Northern Ireland’s first minister until last year, was an active member of Ulster Resistance.

Paisley long toyed with Loyalist death squads to protect the “Union” with Britain.

In 1981 Paisley launched “Third Force”. He led a group of 500 men up a hillside in County Antrim at night, where they were photographed holding firearms certificates above their heads. They were showing that they could easily have been holding weapons.

Racist

When Enoch Powell was expelled from the Tory party for being too racist even for them, he moved to Northern Ireland.

There, his campaign manager was Jeffrey Donaldson. Donaldson said, “I worked alongside two of the greatest names in Unionism in the 20th century.

“Between 1982 and 1984 I worked as Enoch Powell’s constituency agent, successfully spearheading Mr. Powell’s election campaigns of 1983 and 1986.”

Donaldson is the longest serving of the DUP’s MPs.

The Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed in January after DUP leader and first minister Arlene Foster became embroiled in a scandal over a green energy initiative.

The scam cost hundreds of millions of pounds. Businesses could earn more money the more fuel they burned.

But the DUP isn’t just corrupt – it is nasty. The party has described climate change as a con.

It is against gay marriage and LGBT+ rights in general. It is the only political party in parliament that is determinedly anti-choice and pro-forced pregnancy.

Any support from the DUP will further slow attempts to get the 1967 Abortion Act to apply in Northern Ireland.

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Related

 Ian Paisley:  bigot
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 McGuinness went from rebel to minister
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 Division and rule in Ireland—how Unionism bolstered empire


Sunday, 6 August 2017

SECRETIVE GOVT. MASQUERADING AS DRAISES QUESTION SAREETHICAL HACKERS AND WHISTLEBLOWERS NECESSARY

the current CONservativeREGIME IN THE UK
HASHALTED RELEASE OF DOCUMENTS OF NATIONAL INTEREST UNDER THE 30 YEAR RULE
TYhe undemnocratic nature of theMay misgovernment does not end there
all casbinet members are personally investedinthe private companies to whom they are procurring£billions worth ofoutsourced public service contracts with inbuilt profits costing the taxpayernot only in the cash cost of those contracts but also in erms of the lowering of quality of public services such as health transport,prisons,educationand probation services among others.
There is a demoratic and constitutional cost to the electorate in that too many policies not inth government manifesto which are being rushed throughparliament in indecent haste
gerrymandering boundary changes are being instituted to build in an automaticTory Majorityany potential legislation, for the benefit of the majority, whgich the goverment doesn't likeis simplytalked out by the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg and Phili Davies MP WHO TREAT THE CHAMBER AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDin which to play silly but dangerous games in blocking legislation to ensure landlords, likeRees Mogg and the whole cabinet, everyone a landlord will now nothave to shell out cash to ensure all property to let is fit for human habitation a number of health and safety roposals  have been blocked in a similar way it could be argued lives have been lost as a resultTHE UK IS SLEEPWALKING TOUNDEMOCRATIC OBLIVION

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Scared about your human rights after Brexit? You should be

Scared about your human rights after Brexit? You should be: There was a time, not so long ago, that David Davis was a great fan of the EU charter of fundamental rights. He liked it so much that he used it to take up a legal challenge against the snooper’s charter (brainchild of the-then home secretary Theresa May), which ended up in Luxembourg.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

AAV: Labour must stand up for parliamentary sovereignty...

AAV: Labour must stand up for parliamentary sovereignty...: Next week Theresa May and her three Brexiteers will begin the process of trying to pass an astounding assault on democracy through parl...