Public Order Bill committee stage day 1

This is clearly rubbish legislation. For example, there is a lack of a definition of “serious disruption”, what about arresting the Government for serious disruption to the NHS over the last 12 years? I would support that. The criminal courts in this country are crumbling and cannot cope with the number of cases that they have at the moment. Yet here the Government will insist on more cases which will clog up the courts even more. This is so right-wing; it is not an appropriate Bill for a democracy. Continue reading “Public Order Bill committee stage day 1”

Jenny 100% attendance

Times Radio have obtained figures that show more than a hundred members of the House of Lords attended parliament fewer than ten times in the most recent parliamentary session.

“Only two peers attended parliament on all 156 days it was sitting: Lord Moylan, a Tory peer, and the Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb.

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A draconian government tries again

The Lords deleted nearly 18 pages of the most draconian restrictions on the right to peaceful protest from the Policing Bill, but the government are now trying to bring them back. This must be opposed.

The government want to stop any protest that might get noticed and be effective. They have already got the right to ban noisy protests, now they want to clamp down on all the other forms of peaceful, non violent protest that people use to get attention. And that’s the crucial point – protestors are just people. People who work, pay taxes, study, or collect the pensions they have earned. People who see something wrong and want it to stop. People like you and me.

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A bad week for democracy and freedom

This was a bad week for democracy and our freedoms in the UK. We lost the right to protest noisily, and effectively, to vote without ID, and to have an independent electoral commission. Parliament also allowed the government to break international law by deporting refugees to Rwanda, along with giving the Home Secretary the power to arbitrarily deport several million people born in this country (dual nationals) with no right of appeal prior to them losing their citizenship.

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Let it all fall

The Government have created a legislative deadlock. This was not the fault of this House; it was the fault of the Government, and if this legislation is not passed in the next few days, it falls completely. I have no problem with that—I would like to see it all fall—but the fact is that that probably is not a position this house House can take. However, we can obtain very significant concessions from the Government. They will not want to lose all these Bills, and this is an opportunity for us to throw out the worst bits of the legislation that we have all argued about over the past few months. Continue reading “Let it all fall”

The Subsidy Control Bill Committee Stage Day One: Scottish devolution amendments

In the Scottish independence referendum, the people of Scotland were promised devo-max. They received no such thing and then Brexit came along and gave this Government an excuse to steadily unpick devolution and centralise power in the UK Government. These amendments allow the Senedd Cymru and the Scottish Parliament actually to decide issues for themselves. The legislation itself is deeply annoying because this should be standard in every Bill. Continue reading “The Subsidy Control Bill Committee Stage Day One: Scottish devolution amendments”

Lord’s debate Freedom of Speech

This debate comes after a few years of increasing suppression of civil liberties and human rights here in the UK. Freedom of speech is about engaging with all sorts of ideas, biases and creeds to make up the public discourse. As a Green, I am well aware of how important it is to talk and try to convince people about the environmental crisis—especially those in power who can actually do something about it, however little. I might regard this Government as political enemies, and as arrogant and repressive, but I think it is worth engaging and very much hope they feel it is worth engaging with Greens.

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Final days of Police Bill Committee Stage

If you make protests impossible to perform legally, criminalise non-violent direct action, abolish or restrict the ability of citizens to challenge the Government in court through judicial reviews, turn people against lawyers, gerrymander the election boundaries and dish out cash in the way that looks best for Conservative MPs, that is deep, dark politics. Many of us here are not particularly political and perhaps do not see the dangers inherent in what the Government are doing. It all seems like a calculated ploy to turn all the cards in favour of an unaccountable Government that cannot be challenged in the courts, at the ballot box or on the streets. 

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The Tories are planning an assault on democracy

I write for Left Foot Forward

Voter suppression, limiting protest on the streets by banning anything that might be effective, stopping people seeking justice in the courts when the government acts in a dictatorial way – the Queen’s Speech is clearly designed to help the Conservatives stay in power for many decades longer.

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