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Old 15th June 2018, 09:15 AM   #1
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Skirting the issue....

BBC News: New upskirting law blocked by Tory MP

"An attempt to make upskirting a specific criminal offence in England and Wales has been blocked by one Conservative MP.

The government had given its support to introducing the new law earlier.

But Sir Christopher Chope shouted "object" to the bill, leading to cries of "shame" from other MPs.

The campaign for the law against upskirting - where photos are secretly taken under a skirt - was started by victim Gina Martin.

Ms Martin said she was "extremely upset and disappointed" by Sir Christopher's objection, but remained "positive and hopeful".

She said she had already spoken to him and arranged a meeting to discuss the bill further with him.

Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, who brought the private member's bill to Parliament, has criticised the "out-of-touch Tory" for "sabotaging" it.

Other MPs, including Conservative ministers and colleagues, have tweeted about their dismay at Sir Christopher's decision.

Ms Hobhouse's bill would have made upskirting a criminal offence and meant offenders could face a maximum of two years in prison."

On BBC Breakfast this morning Hobhouse suggested that the fact that the act has been an offence in Scotland - where it is apparently known as "upkilting" - since 2009 may be down to it being taken more seriously when men are targetted kind of missed the point. A camera up a Scotsman's kilt is more likely to reveal more than what is up the average lady's skirt.
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Old 15th June 2018, 09:24 AM   #2
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Chope has been doing this for about twenty years.

It's his view that legislation shouldn't go through without a proper debate in the House on a 'nod and a wink' as it were. This time he objected because it is creating a new offence with a custodial sentence as punishment.
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Old 15th June 2018, 10:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Chope has been doing this for about twenty years.

It's his view that legislation shouldn't go through without a proper debate in the House on a 'nod and a wink' as it were. This time he objected because it is creating a new offence with a custodial sentence as punishment.
I think it would certainly require a bit more scrutiny apropos the potential sentence. I rarely wear kilts, but if someone stuck a camera under a toilet cubicle partition to get a shot of my M&2V, I don't think it would merit two years.
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Old 15th June 2018, 12:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I think it would certainly require a bit more scrutiny apropos the potential sentence. I rarely wear kilts, but if someone stuck a camera under a toilet cubicle partition to get a shot of my M&2V, I don't think it would merit two years.
Except it was very clear the two years would be for the sort of person who makes a habit of doing this. The bill was not some 'Dangerous Dogs Act' with vague definitions and the potential to impact innocent people. The whole point of the bill was to simply bring 'upskirting' in line with other voyeurism offences and Chope is just being an ass.
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Old 15th June 2018, 03:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Chope has been doing this for about twenty years.

It's his view that legislation shouldn't go through without a proper debate in the House on a 'nod and a wink' as it were. This time he objected because it is creating a new offence with a custodial sentence as punishment.
If he's right, I agree with his criticism, but I object to his methods.

I get the impression from the article that all private member bills only get a short reading, debate and vote on a Friday afternoon, while government bills properly get two readings, ample debate in the plenary as well as in committee. If that's right, then yes, I think private member bills should get better scrutiny, and if he thinks so, he should campaign in the Commons for a change of procedure, and not scupper all those bills.
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Old 16th June 2018, 12:20 AM   #6
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A very old Agfa commercial for underwater cameras: http://www.retardo.dk/videos.php?id=457
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Old 16th June 2018, 01:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Chope has been doing this for about twenty years.

It's his view that legislation shouldn't go through without a proper debate in the House on a 'nod and a wink' as it were. This time he objected because it is creating a new offence with a custodial sentence as punishment.
Did anyone speak to him before the reading, given his record?
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Old 16th June 2018, 02:18 AM   #8
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Looking at Wiki he appears to be a delightful chap....
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Old 16th June 2018, 03:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Did anyone speak to him before the reading, given his record?
According to the Guardian, the MP who tabled the bill, tried to:
Quote:
Hobhouse said she had learned Chope planned to protest shortly beforehand: “I tried to talk to him as he was sitting in the chamber, but his body language was very negative and he didn’t want to talk to me.”
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Old 16th June 2018, 04:05 AM   #10
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Christopher Chope: Blocking and filibustering of bills (Wikipedia)
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Old 17th June 2018, 03:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The guy is quite hypocritical, isn't he? He introduced himself 47 private member bills, but when he scuppers others' private member bills, he uses the excuse they deserve more scrutiny. From that link:
Quote:
In November 2014, Chope blocked a bill that would have banned the use of wild animals in circus performances,
I think that the poor lions deserve a snack during their performance, e.g., an obnoxious MP.
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Old 17th June 2018, 04:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
According to the Guardian, the MP who tabled the bill, tried to:
That makes it seem like a last-minute thing, rather than doing it when or before the bill was introduced.
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Old 17th June 2018, 07:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
That makes it seem like a last-minute thing, rather than doing it when or before the bill was introduced.
Except as it turns out Chope doesn't have any issue with the contents of the bill, he torpedoed it for no other reason than his ongoing grievance about parliamentary procedures:

Upskirting row: MP Sir Christopher Chope says he supports ban

Quote:
The Conservative MP who blocked a bill that would have made "upskirting" a criminal offence has said he "wholeheartedly" supports such a law.
……….
Speaking to his local paper, the Bournemouth Echo, Sir Christopher Chope said he was objecting to parliamentary procedure rather than the law itself.
He didn't care about the content of the bill one iota.
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Old 17th June 2018, 08:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Except as it turns out Chope doesn't have any issue with the contents of the bill, he torpedoed it for no other reason than his ongoing grievance about parliamentary procedures:

Upskirting row: MP Sir Christopher Chope says he supports ban



He didn't care about the content of the bill one iota.
Surely even more reason to speak to him first, to get some idea whether he's going to effectively veto it, and avoid getting everyone's hopes up. Some pressure could then have been applied.

Alternatively, the government could have done the job properly, rather than using a private member's bill.
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Old 17th June 2018, 09:11 AM   #15
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I'm trying to relate this to the legislative process in the USA and failing. They do pass through a lot of non-substantive legislation, like declaring national toothpick day, on very quick unanimous votes. But for something that affects criminal codes and carries possible imprisonment? Weird.

Not that legislation in the USA isn't totally broken in other ways, of course.
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Old 17th June 2018, 09:16 AM   #16
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It's politics. You veto and filibuster the "Water is wet" bill if it's what the other side wants.
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Old 17th June 2018, 11:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Surely even more reason to speak to him first, to get some idea whether he's going to effectively veto it, and avoid getting everyone's hopes up. Some pressure could then have been applied.
As the article I linked makes clear the content of the bill had nothing to do with the veto and Chope has made a habit of this sort of thing, why are you so determined to excuse his petty stupidity?

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's politics. You veto and filibuster the "Water is wet" bill if it's what the other side wants.
Again he supported the content of the bill, which by the way had broad support from all sides in the House of Commons. He vetoed it because of his own petty procedural obsession.
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Old 17th June 2018, 01:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
As the article I linked makes clear the content of the bill had nothing to do with the veto and Chope has made a habit of this sort of thing, why are you so determined to excuse his petty stupidity?



Again he supported the content of the bill, which by the way had broad support from all sides in the House of Commons. He vetoed it because of his own petty procedural obsession.
Where did I say I excused it? His obsession appears to be well-known, so those proposing the bill should have been aware it was a possibility that he would object. Whether you like it or not, his habitual blocking of this sort of bill should have been taken into consideration, instead of apparently coming as a surprise.
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Old 17th June 2018, 01:36 PM   #19
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Seems an odd bill to try to rush through
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Old 17th June 2018, 01:38 PM   #20
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Old 17th June 2018, 02:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Seems an odd bill to try to rush through object to
FTFY
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Old 17th June 2018, 02:54 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Seems an odd bill to try to rush through
It's the way Private members Bills work. They don't get any debate time in the House.
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Old 18th June 2018, 02:17 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
The bill was not some 'Dangerous Dogs Act' with vague definitions and the potential to impact innocent people. The whole point of the bill was to simply bring 'upskirting' in line with other voyeurism offences and Chope is just being an ass.
Really? I find it ambiguous both in regard to the location of the photographer and the use of the word "beneath".
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Old 18th June 2018, 04:01 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Except as it turns out Chope doesn't have any issue with the contents of the bill, he torpedoed it for no other reason than his ongoing grievance about parliamentary procedures:
Except of course when he uses said procedures.
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Old 18th June 2018, 04:21 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
It's the way Private members Bills work. They don't get any debate time in the House.
Which is silly, regardless of how good the Law might seem, it should at least be up for being debated by the House.
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Old 18th June 2018, 05:43 AM   #26
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I think part of of the problem is that the system for Private Members Bills is not really that supportive of passing genuine legislation.

It gets used for personal agendas all the time, with PMBs being proposed that have no realistic chance of passing, merely to score political points or make a position clear. This effectively poisons the water for bills that have a reasonable chance of bringing about change, because they all get lumped together in the same category of 'nonsense to be ignored' (this is a very broad generalisation, but I don't think it's hugely unfair)

I don't think that the political processes above are necessarily bad overall, but I'm not sure that the use of the PMB process to further them is supporting actual democratic developments.
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Old 18th June 2018, 07:26 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
I think part of of the problem is that the system for Private Members Bills is not really that supportive of passing genuine legislation.
I think it's a huge problem. If you look at the footage of the chamber at the time of the vote I counted 27 members there, so we'll be generous and say that there were 40 including all the back seats I missed seeing. Should a House of 650 members be passing bills into law when over 600 of them are missing? It's ridiculous. PMBs should be treated the same way that Government Bills are and then there'd be none of this nonsense at all.

And on top of that, Members of the House should darn well have their bums on their seats when the House is in session unless they had a darn good excuse for not being there. If I wasn't at work when I was being paid to be there, but rather was swanning off home, I wouldn't be getting paid and might be looking for another job (well usually, currently because of circumstances I actually get to change my clients for travel, but that's beside the point....)
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Old 19th June 2018, 05:10 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
PMBs should be treated the same way that Government Bills are and then there'd be none of this nonsense at all.
Then there would be significantly fewer private members' bills, and perhaps not that one.

Quote:
And on top of that, Members of the House should darn well have their bums on their seats when the House is in session unless they had a darn good excuse for not being there. If I wasn't at work when I was being paid to be there, but rather was swanning off home, I wouldn't be getting paid and might be looking for another job (well usually, currently because of circumstances I actually get to change my clients for travel, but that's beside the point....)
I don't think there has ever been a requirement that MPs should be in parliament when it is sitting. The schedule during sessions is five days including a couple of rather late nights. Other stuff in Westminster (like committees) clashes with some of it anyway. MPs are supposed to do constituency work. And a lot of commons time probably looks like theatre or wasteful noise to many.

There was a study some years back suggesting the average work week was about 70 hours* I think. They can't do everything. (And it is not clear that increasing their number, or the number of bills that get passed, is a good thing)

*Of course this may well have been fiddled, like their expenses.

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Old 25th June 2018, 04:36 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Francesca R View Post
Then there would be significantly fewer private members' bills, and perhaps not that one.

I don't think there has ever been a requirement that MPs should be in parliament when it is sitting. The schedule during sessions is five days including a couple of rather late nights. Other stuff in Westminster (like committees) clashes with some of it anyway. MPs are supposed to do constituency work. And a lot of commons time probably looks like theatre or wasteful noise to many.

There was a study some years back suggesting the average work week was about 70 hours* I think. They can't do everything. (And it is not clear that increasing their number, or the number of bills that get passed, is a good thing)

*Of course this may well have been fiddled, like their expenses.
Yet many of them manage to hold down rather substantial second and third jobs.

For example (while he was still an MP) https://news.sky.com/story/george-os...erest-10805063
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Old 28th June 2018, 09:01 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Francesca R View Post
Then there would be significantly fewer private members' bills
Which might not be a bad thing.

Quote:
and perhaps not that one.
If this one is as good as it appears, then it should have no issues getting through a debate and passed, without having to slip it in through a handful of bored members on a Friday afternoon.

Quote:
I don't think there has ever been a requirement that MPs should be in parliament when it is sitting.
I'm not saying it has been, I'm saying that it should be.

Quote:
The schedule during sessions is five days including a couple of rather late nights.
I feel sorry for them, I mean, working so hard when everyone else only has to work a 3 day work week, oh, hang on....

Quote:
Other stuff in Westminster (like committees) clashes with some of it anyway.
As I said, good excuses, being on other Government business would count.

Quote:
MPs are supposed to do constituency work.
Well perhaps they should only have the House sitting between Monday and Thursday and so they can all go and do their constituency work on Fridays, as well as all the weeks they have off when the House isn't sitting.

Quote:
And a lot of commons time probably looks like theatre or wasteful noise to many.
It'd really irrelevant about what it looks like, the NYSE trading floor looks like a how group of people shouting at each other and a wasteful noise, but it is actually people doing their jobs.

Quote:
There was a study some years back suggesting the average work week was about 70 hours* I think. They can't do everything. (And it is not clear that increasing their number, or the number of bills that get passed, is a good thing)

*Of course this may well have been fiddled, like their expenses.
I'm not suggesting getting more people, I am suggesting that they organise things better. Have a certain amount of time set aside each week for sitting in the house and going over legislation, if the Government can't fill up all that time, then deal with the PMBs instead, and if they are all done, then, and only then do the MPs get to take the time out of the house. Then they can have time for Committees and Constituency work and whatever else they might have to do outside of those hours. If they really have to have a meeting or something during the hours when the House is seated, then they excuse themselves with their leader and the speaker via their whip, but otherwise they are expected to be there seated on their bums and paying attention.
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:26 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
........And on top of that, Members of the House should darn well have their bums on their seats when the House is in session unless they had a darn good excuse for not being there. If I wasn't at work when I was being paid to be there, but rather was swanning off home, I wouldn't be getting paid and might be looking for another job (well usually, currently because of circumstances I actually get to change my clients for travel, but that's beside the point....)
"At work" does not equal "In the Chamber of the House of Commons", and frankly, it is ridiculous to suggest otherwise. Most MP working time is spent in their offices, and in their constituencies. Oh, and travelling. The MP for North Devon and the MP for the Western Isles both have duties in their constituency every week, and that's 5 or 6 hours travelling time in each direction. They are busy, busy people, and forcing them to sit in the Chamber on a Friday to discuss bills which haven't a hope of becoming law is just silly.
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:51 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
"At work" does not equal "In the Chamber of the House of Commons", and frankly, it is ridiculous to suggest otherwise. Most MP working time is spent in their offices, and in their constituencies. Oh, and travelling. The MP for North Devon and the MP for the Western Isles both have duties in their constituency every week, and that's 5 or 6 hours travelling time in each direction. They are busy, busy people, and forcing them to sit in the Chamber on a Friday to discuss bills which haven't a hope of becoming law is just silly.
Many of the rest of us don't have the luxury of considering travelling time to be part of working hours and I've spent many a Friday afternoon and evening in meetings discussing **** that's a total waste of time.

No doubt there are many MPs who work very hard on behalf of their constituents, but there are very many others who find the time to accommodate time consuming, but lucrative, sidelines. In my experience of the working world, those people who complain loudest about "working xx hour days y days a week" either spend a lot of their time at work wasting time or don't actually work anything like that amount of time. Those who really do work that hard are so committed to the cause that they don't consider it an imposition and/or so exhausted they cannot be bothered to whinge.
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Old 29th June 2018, 04:22 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
"At work" does not equal "In the Chamber of the House of Commons", and frankly, it is ridiculous to suggest otherwise. Most MP working time is spent in their offices, and in their constituencies. Oh, and travelling. The MP for North Devon and the MP for the Western Isles both have duties in their constituency every week, and that's 5 or 6 hours travelling time in each direction. They are busy, busy people, and forcing them to sit in the Chamber on a Friday to discuss bills which haven't a hope of becoming law is just silly.
Poor fellows, I used to commute to my work for a total of 10 hours a week too, and I didn't have the luxury of being driven by other people.

You're also missing the point. If 620 of the 650 MPs can't be there on a Friday Afternoon because of travel and such, then the House should not be sitting on a Friday afternoon.

They should have times that the house is sitting, and they should be there for at times. Seriously, if a business was run the same way that politicians run Parliament, it's be bust before the first year was out.
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Old 3rd July 2018, 06:52 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Which might not be a bad thing.
Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
If 620 of the 650 MPs can't be there on a Friday Afternoon because of travel and such, then the House should not be sitting on a Friday afternoon.
Your proposals probably mean that bills like this one never even come up.
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Old 3rd July 2018, 02:43 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Francesca R View Post
Your proposals probably mean that bills like this one never even come up.
Why? It seems to me that this is the type of bill that should be being sponsored by the Government anyways.

If a bill isn't worth going before a full house and being debated, then it probably doesn't deserve to come up. Sneaking legislation though a backdoor without proper debate is just silly.
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Old 3rd July 2018, 03:22 PM   #36
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According to Private Eye this wasn't the only legislation he killed off that afternoon. He and fellow Tory MP Phillip Davis talked out a bill to make public contractors, housing associations and their subcontractors subject to freedom of information requests. Blocking the law about up skirting has certainly distracted from his obstruction of a bill to allow the public to oversee what their own money is spent on.
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Old 3rd July 2018, 06:53 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
According to Private Eye this wasn't the only legislation he killed off that afternoon. He and fellow Tory MP Phillip Davis talked out a bill to make public contractors, housing associations and their subcontractors subject to freedom of information requests. Blocking the law about up skirting has certainly distracted from his obstruction of a bill to allow the public to oversee what their own money is spent on.
It's not what's in the bill that matters, it's the method. Do you think that slipping a bill through when there are only about 30 members of the 650 member house actually there, is a good idea?

What if the PMBs were silly things that would force the public to pay a lot of money, for instance one of them decided that since Global Climate Change is such a big issue that they'd push through a Bill that forces all new homes to have solar tiles installed on their roofs while being constructed, and that all completed homes would have to also comply over the next 10 years?

Would that be fair legislation to have pushed through while just 30 members are sitting?

How about is a bill was introduced that in an attempt to crack down on sex trafficking, all Female Eastern European and Asia immigrants under 60 would have to register with the Government and keep their place of residence, phone number, place of work updated on that register for either 10 years or until they reached 60?

Would that be good legislation to push through with just 30 members sitting there voting, half of whom likely haven't even read what it is that they are voting on.

This is the issue that Sir Chope has, not what is in the Bills themselves. He objects to force them to undergo the normal scrutiny that a Government Bill would have, and I actually agree with him. It doesn't matter how good a bill is, it needs to be read through and debated by all of Parliament, not snuck through on a Friday afternoon by a handful of MPs with nothing better to do.

I have similar issues with the US Bill amendment process were totally irrelevant things can be attached to a bill to wither get them through when they wouldn't stand on their own, or to kill an otherwise acceptable bill by adding a poisonous amendment.
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Old 4th July 2018, 04:53 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Why?
Because the government thought exactly that:
Quote:
If a bill isn't worth going before a full house and being debated, then it probably doesn't deserve to come up.
And since you would do away with private member bills, it would probably not have been anywhere in parliament without that mechanism. Yet now, even after its likely failure as a PMB, it will become a government bill.
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Old 4th July 2018, 07:14 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Francesca R View Post
Because the government thought exactly that:
And since you would do away with private member bills, it would probably not have been anywhere in parliament without that mechanism. Yet now, even after its likely failure as a PMB, it will become a government bill.
Evidence that it would not have been brought up as a government bill anyway?

There's a lot of "probably" being tossed around. If it is a real issue not addressed by existing bills it can be brought through regular channels.
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Old 4th July 2018, 07:44 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by autumn1971 View Post
Evidence that it would not have been brought up as a government bill anyway?
That question doesn't make sense. If it had passed as a PMB it couldn't have been brought up as a government bill, because it would already have become law. You're treating as hypothetical a decision that's actually historical.

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