Category Archives: House of Lords

Government defeated by Lords on Rwanda treaty

The House of Lords has called for the new UK-Rwanda treaty to be delayed until Kigali improves its asylum procedures:

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The motion is not binding on the government.

But note:

According to the BBC:

Next week peers will begin debating the bill itself, which aims to prevent legal challenges to deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda.

While non-binding, the vote on the treaty gives an indication of the level of opposition Mr Sunak is likely to face when the bill is debated in the Lords.

Rishi Sunak is in trouble here.


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Mone admits profiting from PPE sale – and lying – but plays the victim. Narcissism?

Ill-gotten gains? Michelle Money posed on the deck of her husband’s £6 million yacht, ‘Lady M’ – which may have been bought with government money that was used during the Covid crisis to pay for PPE equipment – that didn’t work.

Let’s have a quick reminder of the Michelle Mone/Medpro PPE saga:

That clip was made a while ago. Ms (is she still a baroness?) Mone has since appeared in a BBC interview, in which she admitted lying to the press, and therefore the public, about her involvement with PPE Medpro and the Tory government’s ‘VIP lane’ fast-track procurement system.

Here‘s The Guardian:

Mone said she “wasn’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes” and had not told the truth about her involvement to protect her family from press attention. When it was put to her that she had admitted lying to the press, Mone replied: “That’s not a crime.”

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Maybe not, but she is facing a criminal investigation:

The National Crime Agency is conducting an investigation into alleged criminal offences in the procurement of the contracts by the company.

The couple [Mone and husband Doug Barrowman] were facing criminal allegations of conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation and bribery. They both deny wrongdoing.

They both deny wrongdoing.

We could discuss the strange deference of the BBC in sending a camera crew to whichever foreign country Mone is using as a hiding-place, just to get her side of the story.

But isn’t it far more interesting to discuss the mentality of a person who has admitted being involved in an illegal government procurement system, admitted profiting from it (if by proxy, according to her statement), but still insists that she has done nothing wrong?

Referring to the yacht, ‘Lady M’, that was allegedly bought with £6 million of PPE Medpro money that had come from the government, here’s what Mone had to offer:

Mone said: “It’s not my yacht. It’s not my money. I don’t have that money and my kids don’t have that money, and my children and family have gone through so much pain because of the media. They have not got £29m.”

Mone was pressed on why she did not mention PPE Medpro in her register of financial interests as a member of the House of Lords. She said the Cabinet Office had advised her that she did not need to.

It’s always somebody else’s fault. “So much pain because of the media.” “The Cabinet Office had advised her that she did not need to.”

Isn’t that the behaviour of a narcissist?

According to Simply Psychology,

A narcissist cannot accept being anything less than perfect. To continue living in their fantasy, they have to deny any shortcomings and wrongdoings. They do this by projecting any undesirable traits or behaviours onto other people – known as narcissistic projection.

So any wrongdoing is the fault of the Cabinet Office, or the media, or anybody else as long as it isn’t the fault of Michelle Mone.

One might suggest that this alone is enough to undermine her defence. Wouldn’t you?


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Peer accused of trying to interfere with Partygate inquiry resigns. What about the others?

Zac Goldsmith: apparently he owes his peerage to Boris Johnson.

There’s almost as much murk in this as in a glass of drinking water from Thames Water.*

Lord Zac Goldsmith has resigned from his job as an environment minister, just one day after he was named by the House of Commons Privileges Committee as having tried to interfere with its determination on Boris Johnson and Partygate.

But his reason for resigning, if you read the article, is the Tory government’s failure to tackle climate change properly. He says prime minister Rishi Sunak is “simply uninterested” in the issue.

(And he has repeated this assertion – strenuously – after Sunak claimed the resignation came after he had asked Goldsmith to apologise for the apparent interference. He reckons his resignation had been coming for a long time – but that raises one obvious question: why submit it the day after being accused by the Privileges Committee if that had nothing to do with it?)

But who cares about Goldsmith? He’s yesterday’s man now.

What matters is, nine other MPs and peers have also been accused by the Privileges Committee:

The Privileges Committee has published the evidence on which it has based its claim:

Given all of the above, one has only one question left to ask:

What are the other nine named MPs and peers going to do?

*Joke. I don’t honestly think the quality of Thames Water’s product is quite so bad… yet.


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House of Lords: will Keir Starmer abolish it, or is it another broken promise?

Keir Starmer in a hospital: his policies belong there – on life support.

One of the (many) pledges Keir Starmer has made as leader of the Labour Party has been to abolish the House of Lords, to be replaced with an elected Upper Chamber (if I recall correctly).

It seems to be another pledge that he is breaking, though.

The Times is reporting that, rather than eliminate the Lords along with the archaic system of appointing them, Starmer now intends to stuff the already-overfilled Chamber with new Labour peers, in order to ensure that all of his legislation has a smooth passage through Parliament:

It’s true – you really can’t trust a single word that come out of Starmer or the Labour Party he leads.


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BBC finally reports on Public Order Act ‘fatal motion’ – misleadingly

Baroness Jenny Jones: she wants to stop the Tory government from killing democracy but needs the help of Labour Lords. They seem determined not to, for fear that they’ll appear to be in the pocket of Just Stop Oil. How ridiculous.

This was a surprise when it appeared on my screen.

The BBC has finally acknowledged that a – democratic – attempt is being made to stop the Tories from undemocratically changing their own anti-protest law to make it even harsher.

A story appeared on the “politics” page of the broadcaster’s news website yesterday – June 12 – just one day before Baroness Jenny Jones’s ‘fatal motion’ was due to be debated in the House of Lords.

This is a failure of the public service broadcaster in its duty to inform.

I state this because there has been an appeal for the public to ask Labour Lords to support the motion, ever since Baroness Jones tabled it, several weeks ago, with a petition that its organisers begged for media organisations to publicise.

Some of us did, and the petition has gathered more than 50,000 signatures. But those of us who operate within the social media have a readership that is limited by algorithms run by platforms like Facebook (that want to make us pay for a wider circulation), meaning the number of people who would have wanted to sign the petition if they saw it has also been limited.

Think how many people may have signed that petition if the BBC had mentioned it!

Considered that way, one might believe the BBC’s failure to mention it to be political interference on the part of the broadcaster. And the ‘fatal motion’ was important news when it was announced; why did the BBC (and other mass media organisations; let’s spread the blame) fail to report it?

For clarity, the Tory plan is to use a “ministerial decree” – secondary legislation that does not require a democratic vote – to change the Public Order Act and insert a change that was removed by Parliament when the Act was debated there prior to being passed into law.

This would create a dangerous precedent for governments to bypass democracy, reversing changes to legislation that have been made by Parliament without allowing MPs and peers to vote on the reversals.

In this instance, the change would alter the definition of “serious disruption” of people’s day-to-day activities by protest action to mean “anything other than minor” – meaning police would be empowered to arrest anybody taking part in large-scale protest demonstrations (for example), but also meaning that small-scale activities would lead to arrests if people said they were inconvenienced even slightly.

Labour has put forward a “motion of regret” which will do nothing to prevent the ministerial decree from passing into law. This is pointless.

That’s why the petition calls on the Labour Lords to support Baroness Jones’s fatal motion that would stop the ministerial decree altogether.

Sadly, Labour’s position appears to be not to support the motion for fear that it would allow the Tories to say the party is in the pocket of protest movement Just Stop Oil, one of whose members has been revealed to be a donor to the Labour Party.

And the BBC article presents the change as being merely a clarification of the Public Order Act, rather than the dangerous and undemocratic change that it actually is.

If the Tories get away with this, it will be exactly what is meant by the old saying that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.


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Reminder: ‘fatal motion’ to stop undemocratic restriction of right to protest is TOMORROW. Please sign the petition

The Lords will consider a ‘fatal motion’ on a Tory plan to undemocratically restrict your right to protest – TOMORROW (Tuesday, June 13).

There is a petition for Labour Lords to back this motion, rather than a “motion of regret” that will let the Tory change happen – and I urge you to sign it if you haven’t already.

Here’s the background information:

The Tories aren’t happy with all the power they’ve given the police to stamp on your right to protest.

They reckon the interpretation of ‘serious disruption’ of other people’s day-to-day activities, as described in the Public Order Act, should be changed to mean ‘anything more than minor’.

But instead of seeking a democratic vote on this potentially wide-ranging and serious change, Rishi Sunak’s gang of bandits want to impose it by ‘Ministerial decree’ – basically, by the Home Secretary saying she’s changing it unilaterally – like a dictator.

It’s the first time ever that a government has used what’s known as secondary legislation to overturn the democratic will of Parliament.

Green Party Baroness Jenny Jones isn’t having it. She has tabled a ‘fatal motion’ against it.

The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has drawn ‘special attention’ to the change. The committee’s report stated: “As well as not justifying the substance of the provisions, the Home Office has not provided any reasons for bringing the measures back in the form of secondary legislation, which is subject to less scrutiny, so soon after they were rejected in primary legislation... We believe this raises possible constitutional issues that the House may wish to consider.”

there is no point in having Parliament if a Minister can just ignore the outcome of debates and votes by imposing draconian laws on the public.

If this motion fails, we might as well give up and accept that the UK has finally become a right-wing dictatorship.

Boris Johnson’s resignation honours: Rishi Sunak’s bid to show strength falls flat

Rishi Sunak: the nervous look on his face here has come to be symbolic of his style of government – weak.

Here’s another mess Boris Johnson has created for the Conservatives.

It has taken nine months for current prime minister Rishi Sunak to approve Johnso’s resignation honours list – presumably because some of the name on it are controversial.

And it is precisely because of the controversial choices among the 38 honours and seven peerages that have been approved, that Sunak has been accused of weakness.

He should have vetoed honours that went to people implicated in scandals and controversies during Johnson’s time, Sunak’s critics say.

And they question why some on the list are being given any honours at all.

Today (June 12, 2023), Sunak has bitten back, claiming that he actually did veto eight peerages that Johnson wanted to bestow. This may account for why Alok Sharma, Nadine Dorries and Nigel Adams were not on the list (and why the latter two have now resigned as MPs).

According to the BBC,

The House of Lords Appointments Commission (HOLAC) has confirmed it rejected eight of the former prime minister’s nominations.

Mr Sunak said Mr Johnson asked him to overrule them, or “make promises to people”.

But he said he refused, adding it was “something I wasn’t prepared to do”.

“I wasn’t prepared to do that, I didn’t think that was right. And if people don’t like that, then tough,” he told a tech conference in London.

Well… it seems clear that Sunak was trying to appear tough. In fact the peerages were vetoed by the House of Lords organisation that checks the appropriateness of such appointments.

And when this happens…

When this happens…

Martin Reynolds, Mr Johnson’s former principal private secretary, was awarded the Order of Bath.

In May 2020, Mr Reynolds sent an invite to a “bring your own booze” party to Downing Street staff when the nation was under lockdown.

… people may be justified in thinking that Johnson has abused the honours system, along with all the other systems of Parliament he managed to influence during his too-long period in office.

And it calls into question Sunak’s claims about asserting himself.

If it’s “tough” that eight peerages were disallowed, why did Sunak roll over and let these other honours through?

Nadine Dorries quits the Commons – at last! If it’s to become a Lady, we foresee difficulties

Nadine Dorries: is she soon to become Lady Dorries of window-licking trolls? [Image: The Prole Star.]

This seems an extremely mixed blessing.

At long last, Nadine Dorries is dragging her carcass out of the House of Commons – despite spending considerable effort telling us she wasn’t going to do anything of the sort until after the next general election.

It means there will be a by-election. Let’s hope the people of Mid Bedfordshire have the sense to give both the Conservatives and Labour a wake-up call and vote for somebody else. Will the Green Party be putting up a candidate?

Dorries is doing this, conspicuously, right before details of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list are published, in which it was alleged (but she strenuously denied) that she might be ennobled.

That’s right – we might be facing the prospect of Lady “Window Licking Trolls” before the end of the month.

It was bad enough with Michelle Mone flouncing around the Lords in her vermine ermine. Who next – Esther bloody McVey?

They could all gather around the Woolsack, chanting, “When shall we three meet again – to persecute, swindle or just act vain?”

It’s bad enough that Rishi Sunak is so weak-willed he’s willing to accept Johnson’s choices of honours. They were always bound to elevate his vile cronies – and McVey is certainly among those.


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Jenny Jones ‘fatal motion’ against Tory bid to kill democracy and overrule Parliament

Baroness Jenny Jones: she knows her rights – and she knows you’ll have less of them if her ‘fatal motion’ fails.

The Tories aren’t happy with all the power they’ve given the police to stamp on your right to protest.

They reckon the interpretation of ‘serious disruption’ of other people’s day-to-day activities, as described in the Public Order Act, should be changed to mean ‘anything more than minor’.

But instead of seeking a democratic vote on this potentially wide-ranging and serious change, Rishi Sunak’s gang of bandits want to impose it by ‘Ministerial decree’ – basically, by the Home Secretary saying she’s changing it unilaterally – like a dictator.

It’s the first time ever that a government has used what’s known as secondary legislation to overturn the democratic will of Parliament.

Green Party Baroness Jenny Jones isn’t having it. She has tabled a ‘fatal motion’ against it.

Here’s Peter Stefanovic to explain the gravity of the situation in more detail:

See also Damo’s YouTube clip on the same subject:

Let’s highlight a couple of points:

The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has drawn ‘special attention’ to the change. The committee’s report stated: “As well as not justifying the substance of the provisions, the Home Office has not provided any reasons for bringing the measures back in the form of secondary legislation, which is subject to less scrutiny, so soon after they were rejected in primary legislation... We believe this raises possible constitutional issues that the House may wish to consider.”

Damo also mentioned the response from Keir Starmer’s Labour, which was whipped to abstain on the original legislation. It has tabled a ‘motion of regret’ – that won’t actually have any effect at all on what Suella Braverman wants to do.

Trade union – and indeed any other – backers should reconsider funding that party from this moment forward.

Baroness Jones has this to say:

The last time the Lords passed a ‘fatal motion’ was 2015 – and it provoked a small constitutional crisis.

But – while you’re contacting your MP and the peer of your choice to demand support for this one, remember there is no point in having Parliament if a Minister can just ignore the outcome of debates and votes by imposing draconian laws on the public.

If this motion fails, we might as well give up and accept that the UK has finally become a right-wing dictatorship.

Was Keir Starmer complicit in removing our right to protest?

Keir Starmer: how does he feel about the UK monarchy? The flags might be a bit of a giveaway…

Once a pillar of the Establishment, always a pillar of the Establishment?

It seems that Keir Starmer could have stopped the Public Order Act that allowed the police to stop peaceful protests against the coronation of Charles III before they even happened – or at least delayed it.

But the evidence suggests that he decided not to:

If that’s right, then I can only agree with Richard Murphy’s comment on it:

The right to say, peacefully, that Charles was not a person’s chosen head of state was denied. And I hold Keir Starmer amongst those responsible for that. It might have been Tory legislation, but in the end Labour enabled it. We saw the consequence yesterday.

Source: The Tories might have removed the right to protest but Labour let it do so


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