- "Our Fight for Democracy"
- Index of book
- Preface of "Our Fight for Democracy"
- Book - Order Form
- Introduction - The Meaning of Democracy
- Roman Britain to Magna Carta - 1215
- Parliament to the Divine Right of Kings 1216 to 1603
- Monarchy to a Republic and back 1603-1685
- Bill of Rights to the American War of Independence - 1685 to 1780
- Pitt the Younger to Catholic Emancipation - 1780 to 1830
- The Great Reform Act and its aftermath - 1830 to 1860
- The Second Reform Act to the end of the Century 1860 to 1900
- The Twentieth Century - Votes for women at last - 1900 to 1928
Sunday, November 27, 2011
In the early days of Parliament it had been common practice for Members of Parliament to be paid by their constituents. A horse was given to them plus expenses to enable them to get to parliament plus so much per day for attending. The last recorded occasion when this happened was in 1678.
MPs began to be paid in 1911. Today, over the course of a full term Parliament an MP receives over £1 million in salary and expenses. This gives the incumbent MP a huge advantage over a candidate opposing him in a General Election. Democracy is thus distorted.
There should be a rule limiting the amount MPs and candidates may spend each year on campaigning.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
In a national parliament it is the people of the nation that should determine how they are governed. Why then do we allow citizens of another nation to participate in our General Elections? Citizens of the Irish Republic, who are resident in the United Kingdom and over the age of 18, are eligible to vote.
It is one of the extraordinary anomalies of democracy in the United Kingdom that the citizens of a foreign country that have no allegiance to the United Kingdom are allowed to vote in an election for the United Kingdom Parliament and in so doing determine who should govern us.
According to the census of 2001 there are 412,000 Irish nationals living in the United Kingdom. We do not know how many of these register and vote but small numbers can swing seats. They are not evenly spread throughout the United Kingdom. Large numbers are to be found in Liverpool, Glasgow and in certain Boroughs of London such as Kilburn.
Only United Kingdom citizens should be allowed to vote in United Kingdom parliamentary elections.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
David Cameron has no plans to change laws which require the government to seek Prince Charles's permission to pass legislation which could affect his private interests, Downing Street says.
It follows a Guardian report saying ministers have sought Charles's consent on at least 12 bills since 2005.
Subjects included gambling, coroners and the Olympics, the paper says.
Clarence House said this was a "long-standing convention" and was not about seeking the prince's personal views.
Neither Downing Street nor Clarence House would say whether bills were altered as a result of objections from the heir to the throne.
The newspaper, which obtained the documents following a freedom of information request to the House of Commons, said in the last two parliamentary sessions Charles had been asked to agree to bills on wreck removals and co-operative societies.
And, between 2007 and 2009, he was consulted on bills relating to coroners, economic development and construction, marine and coastal access, housing and regeneration, and energy and planning.
The prime minister's spokeswoman said it was "protocol" for the prince to be consulted over some legislation, citing the parliamentary guide book, Erskine May, which said his consent was required on bills that affected the principality of Wales, the earldom of Chester and the Duchy of Cornwall - his private business and property empire.
This is not about seeking the personal views of the Prince but rather it is a long-standing convention in relation to the Duchy of Cornwall, which would have applied equally to his predecessors”
This power is different to the "royal assent" - a constitutional formality - the Queen gives all laws passed by parliament.
The PM's spokeswoman added that she was aware of no plans to change this rule.
She would not say whether Downing Street was aware of any bills being changed as a result of this procedure.
A Clarence House spokesman said he would not comment on any correspondence between the government and the prince.
He did say however that parliamentary procedure meant Prince Charles, as the Duke of Cornwall, could be required to give his consent to bills directly affecting the interests of the Duchy.
Concerns have been raised in the past about Prince Charles's role in political matters.
In 2009, the prince, who is known to have strong views on the environment, farming and architecture, was reported to have written to politicians in eight government departments, including the Treasury and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, since 2006.
It is quite ludicrous in this day and age for Prince Charles to have these powers. They should be abolished forth with.
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