Sunday, 23 June 2013

Alternative Queen's Speech

There are some people who are well known rebels, although this is not necessarily a bad thing. Chris Chope, Peter Bone, Philip Hollobone and David Nuttall have produced a alternative Queen's Speech with all the things they would like to see in it. This alternative lists of Bills was done by Philip Hollobone sleeping outside the Office for four nights so he got there as soon as it opened, which shows dedication to trying to produce a list of legislation that will never be enacted.

The Duke of Edinburgh looking very cross at the sea of politicians.

Anyway what do I think of these individual Bills. Green means the bill is a good idea, Orange is one I don't know enough about or need more details on and Red is a bill that is a bad idea. Comments will also be in [].

1) Face Coverings (Prohibition) - Bill to prohibit the wearing of certain face coverings; and for connected purposes. [This is essentially ban the Burka which I do not agree with. People should have the right to wear whatever they want and it is the choice of women to wear them ultimately. The repression of women is often cited as a reason to ban them which is a really non starter really because a Burka is really a symbol. The only way we can foster a sharing of liberal ideas where we all live together to have a real sharing of beliefs, customs and a genuinely richer life. We do not want some faux attempt at this either where cultures live completly seperate from each other in the same city]

2) National Service - Bill to provide a system of national service for young persons; and for connected purposes. [Not a very good idea. National Service wasn't as rosy as is made out and crime went up very significantly because we were training petty criminals to kill people.]

3) European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) - Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and related legislation; and for connected purposes. [You know what I think about Europe so this is a big yes.]

4) Young Offenders (Parental Responsibility) - Bill to make provision for the parents of young offenders to be legally responsible for their actions. [Perhaps this is needed for unruly children as we do have a problem, as we have always had its not just a recent thing, of gangs of children. I wouldn't like such an act to make the child less responsible than the adult though.]

5) Foreign National Offenders (Exclusion from the United Kingdom) - Bill to make provision to exclude from the United Kingdom foreign nationals found guilty of a criminal offence committed in the United Kingdom. [If people are not British they should not expect to continually reside here if they cause a crime.]

6) Asylum Seekers (Return to Nearest Safe Country) - Bill to facilitate the transfer of asylum seekers to the safe country nearest their country of origin. [I don't really have anything against asylum seekers so long as they are just not misusing their status. I think there are probably needs to be some quickening of the determination of status (reform of the useless border agency helps).]

7) Prisoners (Completion of Custodial Sentences) - Bill to require prisoners to serve in prison the full custodial sentence handed down by the court. [I very much agree with this. Ken Clarke may talk about it costing more for a prisoner per year in jail than someone going to Eton. But if it's all the same I'd rather have these maniacs locked up. It may teach them more of a lesson too.]

8) Fishing Grounds and Territorial Waters (Repatriation) - Bill to make provision for the Government to designate certain fishing grounds and territorial waters as sovereign territory of the United Kingdom outside the control of the Common Fisheries Policy. [This is essentially reintroducing the Merchant Fishing Act which is not necessarily a bad idea. Nationalisation of land (or sea) does create a more sustainable use of land like in a National Park. I think considering Norway and other countries back onto our seas as well, so to be fair there have to be some joint sovereignty.]

9) School Governing Bodies (Adverse Weather Conditions) - Bill to require school governing bodies and headteachers to make provision to keep schools open in adverse weather conditions. [This is a good idea but really needs to stem from health and safety reform where we concentrate more on industrial health and safety. Instead, because it is easy, officials concentrate on public property rather than saving people's lives from being killed in construction.]

10) Capital Punishment - Bill to allow for capital punishment for certain offences. [I do not agree that teh state should kill people.]

11) Government Departments (Amalgamation of Scotland Office, Wales Office and Northern Ireland Office) - Bill to make provision for the amalgamation of the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Offices. [Good idea, saves a lot of money.]

12) Residential Roads (Adoption by Local Highways Authority) - Bill to require the handover of residential roads built by developers to local highways authorities within certain time periods; and for connected purposes. [There are some roads nearby me that have yet to be adopted although building on them finished before I was born. So this a good idea.]

13) Equality and Diversity (Reform) - Bill to prohibit the use of affirmative and positive action in recruitment and appointment processes; to amend the Equality Act 2010 to remove the special provision for political parties in relation to the selection of candidates; and for connected purposes. [I'm no great fan of positive discrimination. People want to be valued on their merits not just because they tick a civil servants box. Also positive discrimination leads to the worst people doing a job, it's no wonder our public services are not in the best shape.]

14) Sentencing Escalator - Bill to provide that a criminal reconvicted for an offence on a second or further occasion receives a longer sentence than for the first such offence. [This is a very good idea so long as there is some common sense for example it would not be reasonable for a 50 year sentence to then be increased on the crime of littering.]

15) Leasehold Reform (Amendment) - Bill to amend the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 in relation to the permitted signatories of notices; and for connected purposes. [I'm no expert on this so will leave it out.]

16) BBC Licence Fee (Civil Debt) - Bill to make provision to decriminalise the non-payment of the BBC licence fee. [A good idea. Harriet Harperson recently said that any media company in the UK should not own over 15% of the market. Whilst she was aiming this at Rupert Murdoch, who own less than 10%, the BBC owns 43% of media in the UK. But on another point, why should we get the police to enforce debts?]

17) Smoking (Private Members’ Clubs) - Bill to make provision to allow smoking in a separate ventilated room in a private members’ club if a majority of the members of the club so decide. [I don't mind smoking on private property, it's a case of property rights and no one should ban that.]

18) Margaret Thatcher Day - Bill to make provision that the annual Bank Holiday Monday in late August be known as Margaret Thatcher Day. [Very good idea]

19) Department of Energy and Climate Change (Abolition) - Bill to make provision for the abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and for its functions to be absorbed into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. [I don't agree with this. Energy is very crucial especially now when renewable sources that cost the earth . I would much prefer getting rid of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and splitting the responsibilities between Education and the Treasury.]

20) Married Couples (Tax Allowance) - Bill to make provision for a tax allowance for married couples. [Any tax cut is good in my book.]

21) Foreign Aid Ring-Fencing (Abolition) - Bill to make provision for foreign aid and development not to be linked to a specific percentage of Gross National Income, but to be set yearly, by Parliament, in relation to need. [The silly target put forward by the UN is arbitrary and is not bringing down the deficit.]

22) Charitable Status for Religious Institutions - Bill to make provision for a presumption that religious institutions meet the public benefit test for charitable status. [Let people worship what they want, even if it is bordering on madness to everyone else. So long as they do no harm don't put unnecessary blocks on them.]

23) Same Sex Marriage (Referendum) - Bill to make provision for a referendum on whether same sex marriage should be allowed. [I think we need more referenda in this country, so if an issue like this came up again then I would agree. But considering we have already gone through this process this is pointless and silly.]

24) Wind Farm Subsidies (Abolition) - Bill to make provision for the cessation of subsidies for the development of wind farms. [Good idea. I like the Governments new plans to cut down on wind turbines but the fact they are subsidised means that they do not work. No wonder energy bills are very high.]

25) Withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights and Removal of Alleged Terrorists - Bill to make provision for an application to the Council of Europe to withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights and to deport alleged terrorists subject to approval by the British courts. [The ECHR has seemingly moved from human rights to civil rights which is not a very good idea for anybody. Thank God the Abu Qatada thing is being resolved soon but in the future we need to be able to get rid of dangerous people, when proven to be so, more easily.]

26) Romanian and Bulgarian Accession (Labour Restriction) - Bill to make provision for restrictions on the residence in the UK of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to continue. [I'm actually a massive supporter of free migration. But the mass migration of late has been too much and led to problems in local government services. We cannot plan to meet demand.]

27) BBC Privatisation - Bill to make provision for the privatisation of the British Broadcasting Corporation by providing shares in the Corporation to all licence fee payers. [In a very hypothetical world you could say this would be the best thing in the world. I'm not so sure on the instance though, I'm almost tempted to put it in red.]

28) Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Abolition) - Bill to make provision for the abolition of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and its responsibilities to be allocated to other Departments of State. [Sack Nick]

29) Prime Minister (Replacement) - Bill to make provision for the appointment of a Prime Minister in the event that a Prime Minister is temporarily or permanently incapacitated. [A humorous title but something that is probably needed. Cleggers has no democratic right to be in charge in an emergency.]

30) United Kingdom (Withdrawal from the European Union) - Bill to make provision for the Government to give notice under Article 50 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; and for connected purposes. [De ja vu, see 3]

31) Asylum (Time Limit) - Bill to require that asylum claims in the United Kingdom be lodged within three months of the claimant’s arrival in the United Kingdom; and that persons who have already entered the United Kingdom and wish to make an asylum claim must do so within three months of the passing of this Act. [This is a fair idea as those who genuinely need Asylum will do it as soon as possible. This will also minimize costs from prolonged stays by people who have no right to be here.]

32) Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) - Bill to make provision to restrict the entitlement of non-UK Citizens from the European Union and the European Economic Area to taxpayer-funded benefits. [I think this is a good idea especially for health tourists who are easily able to get a NHS number despite having no links to the country than being in it at the present moment.]

33) Illegal Immigrants (Criminal Sanctions) - Bill to make provision for criminal sanctions against those who have entered the UK illegally or who have remained in the UK without legal authority. [At first I thought this would be a bad idea because trespass to property is not a criminal offence. However, considering it is national property rather than someone's field I think it is a reasonable idea.]

34) Sexual Impropriety in Employment - Bill to require that claims by employees alleging sexual impropriety be limited to cases where the alleged misconduct is contrary to the criminal law and has been reported to the police. [I think if somebody wants to take a claim seriously they should report it to the police. But I am aware there is another huge argument that I know very little of in this case so will not have an opinion till I know more.]

35) Collection of Nationality Data - Bill to require the collection and publication of information relating to the nationality of those in receipt of benefits and of those to whom national insurance numbers are issued. [Not a big fan of collecting data on people for freedoms issues.]

36) Foreign Nationals (Access to Public Services) - Bill to restrict access by foreign nationals to United Kingdom public services for which no charge is made. [De ja vu again, see 32]

37) House of Lords (Maximum Membership) - Bill to provide for a maximum limit on the number of Peers entitled to vote in the House of Lords, and to provide for a moratorium on new appointments. [We do have a membership problem with the House of Lords but I think stopping all new appointments is a bit much.]

38) Control of Offshore Wind Turbines - Bill to restrict the height, number, location and subsidies of wind turbines situated offshore within 20 miles of the coast. [Why not just not build them if you don't like them?]

39) Employment Opportunities - Bill to introduce more freedom, flexibility and opportunity for those seeking employment in the public and private sectors; and for connected purposes. [relaxing employment regulations creates more jobs and actually leads to better attitudes from employers considering employees actually have a greater job market and thus more competition upon the employer.]

40) EU Membership (Audit of Costs and Benefits) - Bill to require an independent audit of the benefits and costs of UK membership of the European Union. [This is a good idea on paper but would be skewed by civil servants who actually cause massive problems for politicians because they like Europe as they get jobs out of it.]

There isn't many economic issues in these Bills, although what to you expect from a bunch of social conservatives. Also it is very repetitive, how many laws on a subject do people need? Maybe I should have a go at drafting a mini Queen's Speech. Stay tuned. 

Alternative Speech from the alternative Monarch.


  1. BBC evidently do not have a monopoly - stop over-exaggerating
    Also are you capable of showing empathy towards those in more difficult circumstances? Your answers suggest not...
    Also try living in a foreign country for a time without all the services you wish to restrict to those who come here, you will be in for a nasty shock. Why propagate an 'us and them' approach, which ultimately demonises those who happened to be born elsewhere in the world, like they are fundamentally different...?
    This is rather disappointing reading, I hope my children grow up to show even a shred of human compassion that you seem to lack.

  2. They have much more of a monopoly than News Corp does and yet everyone calls them a monoploy. 43% of the market is quite a large chunk there could be room for more competition which can only make the BBC better.

    Its not about compassion. If I could i'd save everyone in the world with benefits and free health care. There is no endless pot of money however and so the money spent of treating someone from another country means someone in this country is deprived an operation or something else paid by the public. A state must look after its citizens first when it is paying for the benefits and health of people who are not then there is something wrong, especially so for health tourists. We can't save everybody there is no money.

  3. I think from what you've written, you would actually support 22) Charitable Status for Religious Institutions. Recently the Charities Commission has been making noises about taking away charitable status from churches, mosques, synagogues etc. unless they can prove their activities are for the 'public benefit'. The time was when the promotion of religion and acts of worship were seen as generally for the public benefit, and in modern British history this has extended to all Christian denominations as well as other religions, not just to the Established Church. More recently, with increasing secularisation, this has been questioned and it has been suggested that churches will also need to provide a quantifiable nonreligious public benefit, e.g. education, youth services, food banks, marital counselling, help for the homeless. If not, and if the activities of the church were limited to e.g. Sunday worship services and a midweek prayer meeting (as in the case in many smaller or rural churches) then they would not be able to claim charitable status (so no tax relief or Gift Aid on donations). This could put a large number of churches (and, I imagine, other places of worship and religious charities) in an untenable position financially. Peter Bone MP et al. are suggesting that religious groups will be presumed to meet the 'public benefit' test and thus eligible for charitable status, in virtue of their core activities of worship or the promotion of religion, even if they do not provide a secular/social benefit. They just want the Charities Commission to maintain the assumption it had until recently, that religious activities are generally a public benefit. They will also (probably) want to protect the Charities Commission from some very awkward legal cases which could end up with government lawyers arguing over whether or not specific religious teachings are public benefits or not. Nobody wants to see a High Court Judge having to make a ruling on the social benefits or otherwise of e.g. Roman Catholic teaching on contraception.

  4. Its very hard to tell from a short sentence what is going on in the Bill. My MP complains about it profusely and now I see why. That sounds a reasonable thing to keep.