Tory peers will use time pressure to thwart Gordon Brown’s ‘electioneering’ package
Queen’s speech focuses on pensioners, parents and economic recovery
Tory peers are ready to block most of the government bills to be announced in the Queen’s speech tomorrow, threatening to mire the final days of Gordon Brown’s government in frustration and delay.
Lord Strathclyde, the Conservative leader in the Lords, predicted that few if any of the bills announced amid tomorrow’s fanfare and pageantry would reach the statute book without the consent of Tory peers.
“We all know that this Queen’s speech is all about better electioneering and politics rather than the better governance of the country,” he told the Guardian.
“If these measures were so important they would have been in the legislative programme last year rather than being left to the last moment of the fifth term. That does not suggest they have the greatest priority or urgency.”
The government is expected to launch a total of 15 bills, encompassing measures to provide residential care for old people, new controls on the parents of antisocial children and a fiscal responsibility plan compelling the government to halve the public deficit within four years.
But as the government takes parliament into a fifth session for the first time since John Major in 1996 – when the Tories had to jettison legislation before the election the following May – Conservative peers can use the government’s lack of an overall majority in the Lords to block bills owing to lack of time before an expected May 2010 election.
Strathclyde said the Lords would not abandon its responsibility to scrutinise. His remarks underline the degree to which the Queen’s speech will be seen as the first draft of a Labour manifesto rather than a realistic legislative prospectus.
He said: “There are now only 33 legislative days left in the Lords between January and Easter [the most likely date for parliament’s dissolution]. That does not give much time at all to carry out the Lords’ proper duty to scrutinise legislation. Historically the Lords has taken its job of scrutinising legislation very seriously. We should not throw away that reputation or duty at the last moment.”
Strathclyde said it was “too early to say which bills we will allow through, but we will have to look at each bill in turn”.
Tory strategists know they will have to tread carefully not to be seen to be blocking popular measures, something governments perennially accuse oppositions of in the runup to an election.
Sources in the Lords said that in practice the government would have to jettison vast tracts of bills in order to get non-controversial clauses through. Even if the Conservatives do not have an overall majority, they can use the government’s lack of time to extract concessions.
The Lords tend to spend as long as seven weeks scrutinising a bill. Unlike the Commons, all amendments can be selected for debate and no time limit is set on how long an amendment can be debated.
Labour has 212 peers, the Conservatives 190 and the Liberal Democrats 71. Bills most likely to reach the statute book are those carried over from the previous parliament, including the equalities bill, the child poverty bill and the constitutional reform bill.
Now whether or not you have the right to educate your children at home without interference rests on wether or not there is enough time to debate a bill.
All those who pick or bite their nails will no doubt be getting their plasters ready.
And what if there had been enough time? Would that make the result correct? It would be a great relief that this evil is killed, but really, the very fact that it has gone so far as to be actually drafted is a big wake up call to all those who think that they have any guaranteed rights.
Graham Stuart said in a speech:
The hon. Member for Mid-Dorset and North Poole (Annette Brooke), who speaks for the Liberal Democrats, said that she has been persuaded that a light-touch registration scheme for home-educated children would be appropriate. At first glance it looks as if that would offer benefits, just as with ID cards it seemed obvious at first glance that they would provide us with defence against terrorism and make us more secure. The more we gained an understanding of how ID cards would actually work and of the nature of the terrorist threat, the more the efficacy of ID cards to help us in that regard melted away. I would suggest that the idea of light-touch registration to make children safer or to make it more likely that they will get a suitable education will, on closer inspection, also melt away. I put it to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that people who move around the country will not be caught by the net, but the typical people who will be caught by it are those who live in one place, who are committed to elective home education yet have to face someone from a local authority coming and knocking on their door.
The problem with this of course, is that the ID Card fiasco, despite everyone shouting at the top of their lungs for almost a decade that it was a huge and immoral mistake, not only passed in a vote, but has had a vast fortune spent on it, and it is in fact being trialled right now in Manchester, despite the Tories saying they are going to scrap it.
Why should anyone have to put up with the violations in this bill for even one second, only to have the bill undone when these people realise what any idiot can, that it simply is WRONG. The answer to that question is that they should not have to wait, or be damaged, or disrupted or forced to pull up stakes and move on the word of a few venal and evil people. No one should have to suffer because these sinister busybodies do not have a complete understanding of technology and no morality.
Sadly, even if this bill is killed, the threat of other reviews and new bills will still be there and then there is the even bigger threat of the Lisbon treaty that can be added to without any review process whatsoever. If an anti Home Education article is added to that treaty, then all the states that are signatories will have to implement it, and of course, since most of the EU is already rabidly anti Home Education, you can expect no sympathy or help from them in that potential fight.
Its been said elsewhere, and here…
- No more reviews into Home Education, no matter who is involved in them.
- No new legislation regarding Home Education. Period.
Home Education is well understood and understandable for anyone who cares to spend a day on the Google. And now, for that speech:
Why cannot the Government adopt a humbler approach?
Because totalitarians are not humble.
Why can they not invest more money in research, enabling us to gain a better understanding of who is not at school and who is being educated at home?
Spending money on research is not an ‘investment’. Home Education is already very well understood. People who are educated at home are not the responsibility of the state. That money would be better spent in the failing schools that the state is already in charge of.
Why can we not be given a better understanding of where problems might lie among electively home-educated people?
All you have to do is ask, if you are interested, which apparently most MPs are not. In any case, there are no problems in the first place; the idea that there is a problem with Home Education is a fantasy concocted by people who want to make money off of children.
Why can we not have a voluntary registration system, perhaps involving additional financial support for families educating children at home?
There already is a voluntary registration system in place; you can register with your Local Authority if you like. This is hilarious coming from someone who used the ID Card fiasco as an example of what should not be done; the government first said that the cards would be voluntary, and of course, getting the card might be, but if you want to leave the country (renew your passport) you will have to be entered onto the National Identity Register by force… or you can never leave the country. Yes indeed, that’s really voluntary.
The present position is absurd.
It is absurd. They say the current system is unworkable, and that is true; the Local Authorities have been given duties that are beyond their remit in a free society. They have no business getting involved in family life in the way that they have been doing. The onerous and immoral duties that have been placed on these people should be removed; THAT is the way to solve the conundrum of them being given the responsibility for the supervision of Home Educated children but not the power to interfere with them.
A home educator told our Select Committee that one father had to pay £1,000 to cover the cost of GCSE exams taken by his daughter, although he was a taxpayer like the rest of us.
I do not know about anyone else, but if I had a daughter that wanted to take some exams, I would find the money so that she could take them, and not complain about it. That amount is far less than a decade of fees in a private school. In any case, this is a simple matter to solve. Schools that are examination centres should be required to allow anyone to come and sit exams just like the students who attend the school. Problem solved.
Why do we have to go down the compulsory route?
Because the people behind this are monsters, as are the people behind the fake charities that feed off of the existence of children. Without compulsion, the contracts for the licensing databases, and all the companies that are now lining up to offer training in ‘Elective Home Education’ would be worthless. This is what it really is about, and as long as those pressures are there, there will be vampires lobbying for these sorts of immoral measures.
Why do this Government always think they know best?
They are completely delusional, psychopathic monsters who are not acting in the best interests of anyone but whose sole driving impulse is to cause harm on a massive scale on every front that they can touch.
Why can they not work with people on a voluntary basis,
Because they believe they are the masters of the population, not the servants.
build up the picture and then and only then—with a complete picture and a real understanding of the risks in respect of safeguarding and education—come forward with proposals, which might involve compulsory registration if there is due and proper cause.
Even if, out of the alleged eighty thousand home educators, ninety percent of them were really terrible parents, that would not mean that the remaining ten percent should have their lives disrupted, and their rights wiped out. There are many types of bad person out there; we do not register everyone just because there are a few, or many ‘bad apples’. You are innocent until proven guilty. You should not have your liberty in any way curtailed just because there are other people who are bad. This is a fundamental principle of living in a free country and of liberty itself. That is why no legislation of this kind can ever be justified or moral. The ISA is another example of this sick and twisted thinking, straight out of the evil totalitarian philosophy of New Labour.
Due and proper cause does not currently exist, and I sincerely hope those aspects of the Children, Schools and Families Bill that deal with home education will not become law.
Once again, even if there are some bad parents, that does not mean that all parents should be interfered with. And wether the bill is passed or not, everyone will be working against its measures except those who will stand to profit from them, and the corrupt and immoral system that produced this travesty will be even further discredited, if that is even possible.
Hansard does not record how many people were there to hear a speech, but according to the Daily Mail:
No one was there to hear this speech. And that photo from the ever lying BBC is cropped; the complete wide angle view shows nothing but row upon row of empty green leather
You can guarantee that none of the MPs not there to hear the speech will be reading Hansard to comb through the drivel to inform themselves before any vote, so this speech might as well have been given in the house of commons loos for all the influence it will have.
And on the same page as this, is an amazing tirade from Barry Sheerman:
Childhood ought to be protected, warns MP, as he reveals young pupils are staying up late to watch pornography
Children as young as five are imitating sex acts at school because they are being allowed to stay up late and watch pornography, a senior MP has warned.
Barry Sheerman, chairman of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee, said that teachers are witnessing ‘disgusting’ behaviour in the classroom by pupils who are too young to know what they are doing.
Mr Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield, blamed the increasing amount of pornography that could easily be watched by children on satellite channels and over the internet.
He said Britain was ‘awash’ with promoting sexual activity to youngsters far too early in life.
In a Commons’ debate on the Queen’s Speech he said: ‘I think it is very serious the access to pornography to children.
‘You go to infant schools now and teachers say to me: “Children come here at five and six simulating sexual behaviour that they should know nothing about.”
‘We are a country awash with focus on early sexual activity.’
He said the amount of pornography on the internet and satellite television that was available to children ‘ disturbed’ him. He added: ‘I believe that childhood ought to be protected.’
His comments echo those of other MPs who are calling for tougher measures on ‘lads mags’ to ensure they are kept out of children’s reach.
Earlier this year a survey warned that teenagers said they had learned about sex from pornography.
Nearly nine out of ten 14 to 17-year-olds had looked at graphic images and nearly one in five viewed them more than once a week, according to research for Channel 4’s The Sex Education Show Vs Pornography.
This government, wants to force decent people with unblemished children who are very sensibly running away from these insane asylums known as ‘schools’ to send their sons and daughters to be corrupted by the children described by Barry Sheerman.
If it wasn’t all happening you would not be take seriously if you said the words out loud.
This is also the government that wants to force all parents to expose their five year olds to sex education in state schools.
None of this makes any sense.
On the one hand, you have Barry Sheerman saying that children are not acting appropriately in state schools, then on the other, he is saying that any parent that does not want their children to be exposed to this is not being a good parent. Then the same people want to force all five year olds to have sex education, but with the same breath, say that ‘childhood ought to be protected’ and that these children are demonstrating knowledge about ‘behaviour that they should know nothing about’.
If they should know NOTHING about it, then how on earth can you advocate TEACHING THEM ABOUT IT?
And just what kind of lunatic would observe that some children are clearly being exposed to things they should not be seeing, but then insist that all children must be locked in rooms with these children from bad homes?
Any sensible person would say, “I am not having any part of it”. And damn them all to hell from whence they came.
Finally this is on top of the fact that these schools are fundamentally and systemically broken places, where if you send your child there, you risk them not being able to read, write or do arithmetic. Or know the difference between the ion form of an element and an element.