Three More “Nonsenses” for you to “Round-Bin or Burn”

A tied vote

Lord NortonThere was an interesting result in a division today on an amendment to the Wales Bill.  The vote was tied 222 to 222.  Where there is a tied vote, which occasionally happens, the Lord Speaker, or peer on the Woolsack, has no casting vote.  The rule that determines the outcome is straightforward.  There has to be a majority for a motion to be carried.  As there was no majority for the amendment, it was lost.

1 comment for “A tied vote”

  1. 11/01/2017 at 9:36 pm

    Interesting in a “duellistic”

    “first past the post” horse-racing mobile-society “democracy”,

    an Anne-Robinsonian Pedagogic “Educational” 3-bullet-questions in a row “sudden death” decider;

    a similar “fair-play peace-building”
    soccer penalty ‘shoot-out’

    and a “world-exemplary ‘democracy’ “ping-pong” parliamentary system
    under a Non-Up-Date-able “Monarchic ” constitution …

    don’t you think ?

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Labour Ditches Disabled People

Baroness DeechI had the privilege of chairing a Lords Select Committee on Disability and Equality in 2015-16, and wrote about it here – After a year of work, the opportunity presented itself last week of achieving one of our key recommendations, by securing an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill, currently making its way through the Lords. The substance of it was that licensing authorities would be required, when licensing premises such as restaurants, clubs and pubs, to check that they were reasonably accessible to disabled people (elderly people too). Under current law, premises are already checked for the protection of children, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and crime and disorder, so this would add little to the paperwork. In any case, it is a legal requirement to allow for reasonable accessibility. The problem has been the lack of ready enforcement.  Currently, if a disabled person finds they cannot access premises, the burden is on them to complain and maybe take legal action, a heavy burden. If applicants for licences had to think about accessibility on a regular basis, and mainstream it into their maintenance of the premises, it would be far less likely that a disabled person would turn up only to discover that they are blocked, with the distress that might cause. The amendment would also have had the result that the enforcement burden would shift to the licensing authority. You can read about it here

Who could possibly not favour such a proposal? Well, the government did not, because of “burdens on businesses” and alleged duplication of the law (not so, because this amendment would have made the necessary adjustments anticipatory, rather than after the fact). Hardly surprising so far.  The real shock was that Labour Lords were told to abstain.  Why? Apparently their “strategy” is to select which amendments to defeat the government on, and this was not going to be one of them.  So we lost the amendment 177 to 135.  14 brave Labour Lords rebelled and supported us.  The rest, I suspect, had no idea what was going on, had not understood the impact of the amendment and simply did as they were told.  Crossbenchers and LibDems were overwhelmingly on side. A few more Labour or Tory rebels and we would have been there.  It passes my understanding that the party that alleges that it stands for “fairness, equality and social justice” (quote from Labour Party website) could not be bothered to go into the lobby for disabled people and their basic human rights of participating in society on an equal footing with everyone else.

I cannot overstate the dismay of campaigners for disabled people and all those who have been trying to get a better deal for them, and for the elderly (we all get infirm in the end). I paraphrase Kinnock’s 1983 speech when he was campaigning against the election of Mrs. Thatcher: If you are relying on Labour, I warn you not to be disabled; I warn you not to grow old; I warn you not to be blind and not to be deaf.

A shameful episode.



2 comments for “Labour Ditches Disabled People”

  1. Celia Thomas
    19/12/2016 at 4:04 pm

    I was glad to support this amendment. Just this weekend I had a former teacher at my old school, ring me in distress over the way she was treated by a hotel in Witney. She’s a very active 90, and was meeting a friend for coffee. She needed a little help in getting up the steps outside the entrance – no handrail. The friend asked at the hotel, to be told “Go round the back”, very brusquely. They couldn’t find the right door. If this amendment had passed, the licensing authority could have told the hotel to put a handrail in if they wanted to keep their licence.

  2. 11/01/2017 at 10:51 pm

    … not as fast as People are “ditching” not only “Labour” …


    The Gulen movement in Turkey

    Lord HyltonThe Gülen Movement in Turkey: The Politics of Islam and Modernity

    by Caroline Tee.  Published IB Tauris 2016 (272 pages)

    I commend the review of this book of page 24 of The Tablet for 7th January 2017.  Laurent Mignon, the reviewer, recalls the Gülen Movement’s Sufi background and the influence of the Kurdish Sunni theologian Said Nursi.

    The movement is unusual in emphasizing the compatibility of modern science and Islam, and by putting this into practice in its schools and universities. It was for a long time the ally of the Justice & Development Party (AKP) and its predecessors in Turkey.  Fethullah Gülen, the inspirer of the movement, feared for his safety in Turkey and fled to USA in 1997.

    Some years after that, relations with the political party became tense. The result was that the attempted coup d’etat of 2016 was blamed by the Government on the Gülenists and their Hizmet Movement.  Since then they have been severely persecuted in Turkey. It is also remarkable that the movement prizes the conservative values that exist in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but at the same time encourages interfaith dialogue and cooperation.  This is most noticeable in Britain, the US, and Australia.


    1 comment for “The Gulen movement in Turkey”

    1. 11/01/2017 at 10:42 pm

      The only way I can attempt any sort of ‘grasp’ of that Situation
      is to focus upon the term “Movement”:

      the lifelong-challenges of individual human movement –

      which begin in the womb
      where among other ‘shortcomings’ for instance the mother’s possible ‘need’ to wear ‘corseits’ has already ‘impaired’ the human-baby.

      Then our human-movement handicap is not-remedied the bio-evolutionary species-necessity of premature-birth;

      and then the scientific fact that (“) the human animal is the only one on Earth that is born not knowing how to move itself to keep itself alive(“);

      and then the subsequent avoidance by every educational, Governmental and Religious organisation
      of its Divine-Duty to thoroughly (“holisticlv”) nurture
      and co-consciously educate and maintain
      each and every “sacramentally-divine-human-energy” in each and every human ‘ward or dependent’;
      [as in the 7 Sacraments,
      which and the “lay world” somato-psychicly cares for in their practical inner-functions of
      “Grounding; Centering; Boundarying; Bonding; Sounding; Facing; and Spacing, one’s inwardly-being and outwardly-relating self] .

      All of which comes down to
      “the Health and ‘Divinity’ of a People is dependent upon the success and upon failures,
      by ruling organised Bodies, Civilisations, and Religions
      to support, educate, and maintain
      every-one of its people, all of the time,
      in the
      “co-building of their movement-abilities
      as the main basis for their co-building of their 7-fold holistic-health levels”.
      It is surely salutary that no civilised organisation in History has yet succeeded in this latter Divine as well as “Peace-Buildingly Practical” Duty, isn’t it ?

      And yet surely with just a small amount of time and cooperative-effort, such Peace-Maintaining Individual and Civilisational Holistic Health,
      could be begun and maintained ?

      And maintained without any-one or Any-Body having to “flee into hiding”
      and to “seek sanctuary” in other Countries
      and in Specially-Exclusive Life-Respecting Bodies ?