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Baidu, Google, Yandex, Philippa Mountjoy (Unmasked), Richard De Villiers (CON)

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  Press Cycle 10 - IRA informants
Posted by: Dan - 11 hours ago - Forum: The Press - Replies (2)

Following the murder of three individuals, the IRA have alleged they were Mi5 informants. What must be done to ensure peace ?
Press Cycle will close on Monday 23rd at 11.59 BST. Press contributions after this will not be marked.

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  Press Cycle #9 - Euthanasia
Posted by: Dan - Yesterday, 08:55 AM - Forum: The Press - Replies (4)

Following the decision by the high court to allow Tony Bland to die, should euthanasia be legalised?

Press Cycle will close on Sunday 21st at 11.59 BST. Contributions after that will not be counted

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  Press Cycle 8 - Women Priests
Posted by: Dan - Yesterday, 08:45 AM - Forum: The Press - Replies (8)

Following the news that the Church of England have voted for Women Priests, did the Church make the right decision and should the Government legislate the change?

Press Cycle will close on Sunday 21st at 11.59 BST. Contributions after this will not be counted

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  Con SP: Dartmouth House Speech
Posted by: James Yates (CON) - 10-17-2018, 04:52 PM - Forum: The Press - No Replies

Ladies, gentlemen and... journalists,

We are gathered here today in the salubrious surroundings of Dartmouth House to talk just a little about what the Conservatives want for Britain. Specifically, what we want for Britain in the world.

And no, I don't just mean taking your kids to church, going on holidays to the Scottish highlands, drinking more real British ales and supporting us in making British Rail a plc. Those are all things we want, but not things that will make Britain stronger.

Making Britain stronger is about our nation showing leadership on the world stage. It's about the United Kingdom taking the helm, taking the lead - taking control. It's about British diplomats leading the world in building new free trade agreements, new mutual defence agreements, expanding the bounds of NATO and the European Economic Community. It's about being an advocate for progress: unyieldingly, unflinchingly behind our people and the people of the world. It's about supporting businesses to export in a climate where the pound is very strong. it's about supporting importers to get the best deals, with low tariffs and barriers to entry. Most of all, it's about ensuring our defence - and the defence of our values on the world stage.

Let me start with Europe. People have a misconception that the Conservatives are divided on Europe; the truth is that we're not. We all want the same things for Britain in Europe and for Europe itself. We believe in and value the European idea, the partnership which has kept our continent peaceful and prosperous since the second world war. We believe in further integration, bringing our market economies together and reducing the barriers to trade which keep our people from fulfilling their full potential. And we believe in a common defence, supplementing rather than sidelining NATO, encouraging European countries to contribute more towards their own defence and to join us in a partnership to ensure that the horrors of the mid 20th century can never be re-perpetrated in the 21st. But we oppose ratifying the Maastricht Treaty in its present state. 
We are not keen on any governmental, let alone European, interference in workplace self-regulation. That we regard as being for negotiation between workers and employers. The Social Chapter would represent the socialist nightmare of regulation and corporatism from which Margaret Thatcher liberated Britain. So we will oppose the Social Chapter. Whilst we support a common defence action, as long as it is supportive of rather than reductive of NATO, we would not wish to be committed in relation to union citizenship, which would see Britain lose vital control of her borders and immigration policy. We would refuse to accept the transfer of sovereignty in the area of justice and police affairs. 

I, personally, believe in a single currency as the end goal. We are supportive of the introduction of free movement of capital between Member States, and of increased cooperation between national central banks. We however believe that the aim of economic union in the medium term should be realised through the creation of a common, not a single currency. We support the proposals made by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1990 for a 'hard ECU' and reject the central proposal of Maastricht in a single currency for member states as too much, too soon. A single currency will, eventually, support businesses and consumers in reducing barriers to trade and producing price transparency. But there is too much to lose from proceeding too quickly down this path, and I am glad that the Government has seen the light in declining to commit immediately to single currency membership. They must accept, however, that such membership is mandated by Maastricht: we must oppose the Treaty in its present form.

We want to see reform in Europe. We believe that there should be an expansion in the number of policy areas over which unanimity is required in the Council of Europe, and oppose the extension of qualified majority voting. We also believe that there should be a rebalancing of the powers of the European institutions, with the Council becoming the clear leader of the Community, the Parliament being granted the right to propose its own legislation rather than acting simply as a talking shop, and the Commission losing power in favour of the Council. In Government, the Conservatives would fight for these reforms. So let me be clear: we oppose the Maastricht Treaty as it is presently tabled and will vote against its ratification, but remain committed to the European Economic Community and wish to see the British government leading clearly in the fight for an alternative proposition.

Let me turn now to Russia. There is a huge opportunity, with the cold war behind us, to re-engage with a new market economy and a new democracy on the eastern frontier of Europe. I would like to see, in the future, Russia as a fully committed member of NATO and of the European Economic Community. Boris Yeltsin has thus far done a sterling job of dismantling the former Soviet superstate and in reforming Russia's institutions, but he needs to be supported in going further. The supreme soviet has had its time and it is time for a new Russian constitution, which makes clear the value of individual and economic liberty, to be introduced. It is a shame that Agnes Hamstead has done almost nothing to build this new relationship which we can enjoy with Russia. The new Russia is a global power waiting to be released from its shackles, and one which can work in partnership with - rather than against - the west. It is time to welcome Russia into the folds of the international community, and time to ensure that we do more than ever before to engage with the administration in Moscow on areas of mutual interest. I propose that one immediate area for joint work would be the ascension of Russia - and the former eastern bloc countries - to NATO, ensuring our renewed mutual protection from the threat of rogue states such as Iraq, North Korea and Iran.

North Korea is a regime arming with missiles, whilst starving its citizens. Iran aggressively pursues weapons of mass destruction and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom. Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility towards the west and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop weapons of mass destruction for years. This is a regime that has already used poison to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilised world. States like these constitute an entente of evil, aiming to threaten the peace of the world. The government must take steps, alongside her allies and chiefly the United States, to ensure that the hostility and threat posed by these states is limited and that the situation on the ground is not allowed to deteriorate further.

I am keen that the Commonwealth should become a major player in the international arena once again. I believe that Commonwealth realms should be bound together in a free trade agreement with the European Economic Community, which Britain - as the only member of both organisations - should take the lead in attempting to negotiate on both parties' behalf. I call upon the government to do more to strengthen the role of the Commonwealth, and to bind the EEC and the Commonwealth together ever more closely.

In the former Yugoslavia, we see a very clear threat - the risk of ethnic cleansing, of genocide, of indiscriminate slaughter against the Bosnian muslim population. This crisis must be averted at all costs. And so the Conservatives are calling for UN-backed peacekeepers to be deployed, with the remit and authority to intervene with arms if civilian lives are threatened. In modern warfare, there can be no excuse for the deaths of civilians: and the international community must take action to ensure that such deaths are not possible.

Finally, let me turn to the United States. I am disappointed to read of almost no engagement between the new Prime Minister and President Bush. This is an outrage. The United States is Britain's closest and dearest ally, and we need to be very clear about the value of the special relationship which we enjoy with Washington. The Conservatives are today calling for the Prime Minister to invite President Bush on a new state visit to the United Kingdom, to acquaint himself with the new government and its new priorities.

Thank you.

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  Michael Keane [LAB]
Posted by: Malcolm Keane (LAB) - 10-16-2018, 11:16 PM - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

[Image: 225005405-6fb9ec5d-12a7-4dce-99d4-8794fcca7027.jpg]

Name: Michael Keane
Avatar: Peter Capaldi
Constituency: Glasgow Govan

Age: 52 (November 20th 1940)
Sex: Male
Ethnicity: White
Marital Status: Married (1963) to Mary (51). Father to Michael (1964, 28), Samuel (1966, 26), and Sarah (1969, 23) 
Education: Studied at a Glasgow Comprehensive
Career: Shipyard Worker (1955 - 1968)
Trade Union Official for the United Society of Boilermakers, Shipbuilders and Structural Workers (1968 - 1972)
Senior Trade Union Official for the United Society of Boilermakers, Shipbuilders and Structural Workers (1972 - 1974)
Parliamentary Career: Member of Parliament for Glasgow Govan (February 1974 - Present)
Under-Secretary of State for Industry (November 1978 - May 1979)
Shadow Under-Secretary of State for Industry (May 1979 - November 1980)
Shadow Minister for Industry (November 1980 - October 1983)
Party and Faction: Labour (1959 - Present); Socialist Campaign Group

Biography: Born in Belfast to a working class as they come family at the start of the Second World War. His parents moved to Glasgow from Belfast when he was just 6, when his father was offered a senior position in the shipyards due to his experience and involvement in building ships for the navy in Harland and Wolff in Belfast. Michael started working in the Glasgow shipyards when he was 15, immediately after leaving school.  He worked hard, following in his fathers footsteps, and was proud of his work. Michael became a trade union official for the United Society of Boilermakers, Shipbuilders and Structural Workers in 1968, aiming to fight for his fellow workers' rights, end poor treatment and improve the overall quality of their working and everyday life. In 1972 he was promoted to a senior official for the union due to his dedication to his job and effective work. 

Michael had always taken an interest in politics, realising that the decisions of politicians has a major impact on everyday life. During the run up to the 1959 General Election, he joined the Labour Party, a party that most people of his socio-economic status were staunch supporters of. He was always active within the party; his activity an reputation for his trade union work saw him achieve nomination to stand for election to Parliament in his home Glasgow Govan constituency in the February 1974 General Election, standing under leader, Harold Wilson, and looking to unseat Scottish National Party MP, Margo MacDonald. Michael aimed to take his fight for workers and working class rights to Parliament. He was successful in his attempt, winning with a majority of just 571 votes. He has successfully contested the seat since in a further six elections, and currently has a majority of 4,125 votes.

Michael was asked to join the Labour Government by James Callaghan in 1978 as Under-Secretary for Industry, bringing his expertise of the area to the Department of Industry. While Labour was voted out in 1979, his work in his government role was rewarded with a promotion to Shadow Minister for Industry in new leader, Michael Foot's Shadow Cabinet. With the election of Neil Kinnock in 1983 as Labour Party Leader, Michael stood down from the Labour Frontbench in opposition to Kinnock's leadership and has not returned to the Frontbench since. His ambition and focus still remains to fight for the working class people and refuses to work on a frontbench led by a member of what he calls "Tory Labour". What his future Parliamentary career holds will be interesting, especially considering the changing face of Labour into something he does not support.

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  Edward Wolfe
Posted by: Edward Wolfe (CON) - 10-15-2018, 09:09 PM - Forum: Character sign-in - No Replies

Name: Edward Wolfe
Avatar: Ben Barnes
Constituency: Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

Age: 40 (12 August 1954)
Sex: Male
Ethnicity: White
Marital Status: Single
Education: Glasgow Academy, Glasgow
Career: British Army (1972 - 1978); Sales Associate, Wolfe Agribusiness (1980 - 1984); Marketing Director, Wolfe Agribusiness (1984 - 1987); Member of Parliament for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (1987 - Present); Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Scotland (1990 - 1992)
Party and Faction: Conservative; Cornerstone Group

Biography

Edward was born into a relatively well-off family in western Scotland making agricultural equipment; the money from this enterprise meant that the young lad could easily be sent to the Glasgow Academy. As a student, Edward was no better than middling when it came to grades and testing, and rather than try to struggle even more through the sort of university upbringing that his family demanded, he went off and joined the Army. After initial training, Edward was sent to Northern Ireland under Operation Banner to try to help quell the violence wrought by the IRA and allied paramilitary groups.

His career as a trooper was cut short due to an attack on the guard post where Edward was stationed, and his injury was such that he received a medical discharge (though aside from scarring and a limp, there's no real outward evidence of what the injury was). Following a period of recover, Edward joined the family business as a basic salesman and worked his way up (almost entirely on merit I'm sure) to be a director of marketing, making sure that the finest in Scottish-tooled agricultural tools made their way to hard-working Scottish and English farmers. 

At the same time, he had joined up with the local Conservative Party, joining his family in the politics of the right, and volunteered on a number of campaigns throughout the area- including the No campaign in the 1979 devolution referendum. In 1987, after years of volunteering and working with candidates in Scotland, he was tapped to run in the relatively tight seat of Galloway and Upper Nithsdale- where he beat the local SNP candidate by 3,600 votes. As a backbencher, the most experience he got was working as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Scotland during the last few years of Conservative rule.

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  United Kingdom Human Rights Act, 1992
Posted by: Rt. Hon. Agnes Hamstead (LAB) - 10-14-2018, 10:13 PM - Forum: Second Reading - Replies (11)

Quote:United Kingdom Human Rights Act, 1992
A Bill to enshrine the fundamental human rights enjoyed by all citizens of the United Kingdom

Purpose of Bill
The United Kingdom Human Rights Act, 1992, establishes the fundamental human rights every citizen of the United Kingdom is entitled to.

Legal changes

1. The United Kingdom Human Rights Act guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

2. Every person has the following fundamental human rights:

2.1 freedom of conscience and religion;
2.2 freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
2.3 freedom of peaceful demonstration and protest; and
2.4 freedom of association.

3. Every person has the following democratic rights:

3.1 Every citizen of the United Kingdom, having reached the age of majority, has the right to vote in elections of Members to the House of Commons and is qualified for membership in the same.
3.2 Every citizen of the United Kingdom, having reached the age of majority and meeting all other statutory requirements, has the right to stand for election to the House of Commons, the European Parliament or to Local Council

4. Every person has the following mobility rights:

4.1 Every citizen of the United Kingdom has the right to enter, remain in and leave the United Kingdom
4.2 Every citizen of the United Kingdom has the right to move and take up residence, and pursue a livelihood in any part of the United Kingdom

5. Every person has the following legal rights:

5.1 Every person has the right to life, liberty and the security of the person
5.2 Every person has freedom from unreasonable search and seizure
5.3 Every person has freedom from arbitrary detention and/or imprisonment
5.4 Every person has the right to legal counsel and the right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law
5.5 Every person has the right to not be subject to cruel and unusual punishment
5.6 Every person has the right against self-incrimination
5.7 Every person has the right to equal treatment under the law 

6. Other rights and freedoms enjoyed by persons in the United Kingdom are not invalidated by the United Kingdom Human Rights Act

7. Challenges against laws that violate the Human Rights Act shall be heard by the courts and follow established appeal processes.

Territorial extent
This act applies to the whole of the United Kingdom.

Mme. Speaker,

Today I rise to introduce the UK Human Rights Act. As promised in the Queen's Speech, this government set out to establish clearly in law the fundamental rights and freedoms accorded to all people living in the United Kingdom. Today, we deliver on that promise.

There is nothing more important, Mme. Speaker, than ensuring basic human dignity. And, as we see in countries ruled by despots, human rights are fragile; they are easily stripped away and replaced with tyranny, abuse, and disrespect. I believe, Mme. Speaker, that a government has two important jobs: first, to protect the people and second, to respect the very fundamental rights that all persons are entitled to. Today, we undertake the second with the introduction of this landmark piece of legislation.

Human rights are non-negotiable, Mme. Speaker. And today we move forward with enshrining that in law. I want to thank my cabinet colleagues for their work on this bill and their shared commitment to ensuring human rights for all.

I move the bill be now read a second time.

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  Press Cycle 8- Scottish and Welsh Devolution
Posted by: Dan - 10-14-2018, 03:35 PM - Forum: The Press - Replies (12)

Following the Governments introduction of the bill, what does this mean for Scotland and Wales.

Press Cycle will close Wednesday 17th at 11.59BST. Contributions after this will not be marked

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  Scottish and Welsh Devolution Referendum Act, 1992
Posted by: Rt. Hon. Agnes Hamstead (LAB) - 10-14-2018, 03:15 PM - Forum: Second Reading - Replies (19)

Quote:Scottish and Welsh Devolution Referendum Act, 1992
A Bill to provide for referendums in Scotland and Wales regarding devolution

Purpose of Bill
The bill sets the date of referendums in Scotland and Wales on devolution. It establishes the questions to be put.

Legal changes

1. Referenda shall take place in Scotland and Wales on November 5, 1992

2. The referenda question in Scotland shall be two-fold:

2.1 Voters shall firstly vote on the following question:

2.1.1 The government is consulting on a new Scottish Parliament. Do you: 

[ ] Agree that there should be a Scottish Parliament.

[ ] Disagree that there should be a Scottish Parliament.

2.1.2 Voters shall choose one response to the question outlined in 2.1.1

2.2 Voters shall secondly vote on the following question:

2.2.1 The government is consulting on tax-varying powers for a Scottish Parliament. Do you: 

[ ] Agree that a Scottish Parliament shall have tax-varying powers

[ ] Do not agree that a Scottish Parliament shall have tax-varying powers

2.2.2 Voters shall choose one response to the question outlined in 2.2.1

3. The referenda question in Wales shall be two-fold:

3.1 Voters shall firstly vote on the following question:

3.1.1 The government is consulting on a new Welsh Assembly. Do you: 

[ ] Agree that there should be a Welsh Assembly.

[ ] Disagree that there should be a Welsh Assembly.

3.1.2 Voters shall choose one response to the question outlined in 3.1.1

3.2 Voters shall secondly vote on the following question:

3.2.1 The government is consulting on tax-varying powers for a Scottish Parliament. Do you: 

[ ] Agree that a Welsh Assembly shall have tax-varying powers

[ ] Do not agree that a Welsh Assembly shall have tax-varying powers

4. The referendum questions in Section 2 and subsections therein shall appear in English and Gaelic

5. The referendum questions in Section 3 and subsections therein shall appear in English and Welsh

6. Voters who are eligible to vote in a United Kingdom General Election and reside in Scotland or Wales on the date of the referenda shall be eligible to vote.

7. A ballot that only answers one of the two questions outlined in sections two and three shall be counted only in results for the question in which the ballot was completed for.

Territorial extent
This bill applies to Scotland and Wales.

Mme. Speaker,

Today, I am proud to rise to introduce the Scottish and Welsh Devolution Referendum Act. As we promised in our manifesto and in the Queen's Speech, it is time for the people of Scotland and Wales to decide on their future regarding devolution. Our proposals are two-fold, Mme. Speaker. First, voters will be asked to decide on the establishment of a new Scottish Parliament and a new Welsh Assembly. Second, voters will be asked to decide on tax varying powers for both.

I note, Mme. Speaker, that both the date of the referendum and the questions to be asked were consulted on to ensure that the referendum can be held with the appropriate amount of preparation time and that the questions asked therein are clear. 

This government was elected on a commitment to consult on these, Mme. Speaker, and I am proud that we have delivered on yet another promise. I also commend my Rt. Hon. Friend, the SoS for Devolution and Constitutional Affairs, for his work on this file. 

I move this bill be now read a second time.

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  Momentum
Posted by: Dan - 10-14-2018, 09:28 AM - Forum: The Press - No Replies

Total

Labour: TBA
Conservative : TBA
Liberal Democrat: TBA

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