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  M1 - Referendum on the Treaty of Maastricht
Posted by: Ruth Murphy - 08-24-2020, 07:51 PM - Forum: Division Lobbies - Replies (34)

Mr. Speaker,

I beg to move this opposition day motion,

Quote:That this House believes there should be a referendum on the government's proposed Maastricht Treaty and that any changes it proposes are approved by the British public before they are implemented. 

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  David Williams
Posted by: David Williams - 08-24-2020, 04:28 PM - Forum: New Players & Character Creation - No Replies


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  New Stewardship: Cardigan unveils bold environmental pledges
Posted by: Alex Cardigan MP - 08-24-2020, 01:36 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (1)

New Stewardship: Cardigan unveils bold environmental pledges

[Image: en9U0HCHaw1IDqm8Hmyzkxqi-UL4_5ilXZ3rkYZd...PvHyR5ufT5]

Speaking at a rally of activists, journalists, scientists, and members of the public in his home constituency of Montgomery, along with assorted press, Alex Cardigan today unveiled new Democrat environmental policy. In characteristically bouncy fashion, he did so having taken a gaggle of press on a walkaround of Welshpool. The event was hosted in a large Methodist church hall.

“Here we are, in beautiful Powys. Stunning, isn’t it? I am the luckiest man on earth for having been able to grow up in these hills and valleys, and I hope that the train journeys & windy country roads were traversable enough for all of you joining us here today. I felt that for today’s policy announcement - one which I want to be a clear sign that my party are going to raise a new issue to the top of the political agenda - this would be appropriate. Because, for me, as a lifelong Methodist, and in a nation where the vast majority are still adherents to Christianity or another Abrahamic religion, I feel that putting everyone in mind of the earth’s beauty is well worth doing from time-to-time. It is also worth putting everyone in mind of the fact that we are not doing enough to protect that beauty.”

“Britain, for too long, and at great political pain, has been the dirty man of Europe. The Government has made some platitudes to the environmental cause over the last few years, but I fear that for those of us who believe in that good, rooted, Christian concept - of our duty to be stewards for the Earth, for the next generation - we are not doing enough. We are on the verge of a green energy revolution that must be embraced fully, not half-heartedly grappled with. That is why I feel that at the moment, the Government just aren’t doing a good enough job. We have seen platitudes to our natural world, and some investment, but we are looking at an issue that is frankly existential - more has to be done. However, all that in mind, I also want to be constructive here - solutions need be provided by politicians like myself. And I want the Liberal Democrats to be the champion of our environment, and to lead the progressive cause here.”

“Green jobs are going to be one of the great employers, going forward. Energy is one of those industries that will always employ, even if it may change shape, or size. The public investments we are seeing at the moment are all well and good, but there is still not enough incentive for private enterprise. Businesses, in this very constituency, could make real and palpable savings if they invested in microgeneration schemes. If the Government makes this a feasible financial decision, for business and the public alike, the industry will boom and employ even more people. Given the staggeringly poor record on unemployment of the Conservative Party, surely new jobs and a growing green industry would be a welcome change, I’m sure. Just giving a grant which means it is possible to invest in enough solar panels to provide, say, hot water, or, for those - like us - in rural areas, to invest in mini-wind energy, individuals would make major savings. Businesses would have more to invest in. And we’d be greener and cleaner for it. That is why I want to see a grant fund of £250 million for microgeneration schemes, saving people & entrepreneurs money, whilst keeping our planet clean. I also want to make something clear - local authorities should administer this, and democratic planning processes must be followed. The days of imposing top-down policy like this have to go, this should be done with local people and communities in mind, and at the heart of proposing new microgeneration projects.”

“I want to see bold new standards set for planning, too. Microgeneration should be encouraged for the building new homes, and we should make it easier for local authorities and developers alike to build, if they are meeting environmental standards. I want to see us adopt new environmental standards for all buildings, commercial and domestic. The introduction a strict requirement for energy audits on all new buildings as a pre-condition of grants for energy-saving measures should be another statutory duty - again, done locally, so there is a real, community-led democratic practise going on amidst this. Homes which meet these new, higher standards should be exempt from stamp duty on house purchase, meaning that individuals save, and the cost of housing is brought down, all whilst our planet is once again protected. We will encourage shared combined heat and power schemes, and encourage those planning new houses to take into account the scope for passive solar heating. It is not an impossibility to have a whole new industry in green housing, microgeneration, and serious green public investment that leads to serious growth in private enterprise.”

“The Prime Minister has made a laudable attempt to open new green spaces in urban areas. This is all well and good, however, to me, something clear was missing - the opportunity to really expand the use of allotments, as a clean and rewarding way to grow food, even in our big growing cities. As a green-fingered chap, and keen gardener myself, I think this would be a fantastic way to go. Let’s put allotments on the agenda, again, for local authorities, and offer central grants to big city & town councils to encourage this. Growing your own food is surely the most ecologically sound way forward, where possible. Encouraging allotments is how we do this on a micro scale - the way we do it on a macro scale is by setting up a National Food Council with an aim of importing less food on polluting voyages, promoting real reform to the Common Agricultural Policy, and with an express aim of supporting British farmers & their seasonal fruit and veg. If we all eat British food, in season, that has travelled 10 miles - as opposed to 10,000 - then the impact on the planet, and on local economies like those here in Powys, and across rural Britain, will be immense. We need to be the champions of CAP reform, but we need a real long-term strategy to do so. Creating a National Food Council to guide that strategy, and promote eating seasonal British food will be great for our planet, great for our farmers, and great for local economies."

“Lastly, to end with a really bold policy, I want Britain to drive the creation of a Europe-wide Environmental Agency, with real power to subsidise and penalise. We are not going to save the planet on our own, and, as I have always said, as a nation with real influence and reach abroad, it is our duty to lead the way. Pioneering the creation of an Environmental Agency for all of Europe, too, is no distraction from the roots of the community. After all, what began for coal and energy, and for jobs in industry, should continue in that tradition, of pan-European co-operation. We should never be afraid to make our voice heard abroad, and, when our children ask us how we fought to protect the planet, this would be a fantastic step forward. The recent Rome Negotiations show that when British diplomats go abroad with serious, well planned proposals, they are taken seriously. The Liberal Democrats believe in a more democratic Europe, and it is crucial to the whole project that the community works together for progressive change. As a set of nations which are, by nature, Christian - though diverse, of course - I think that our message of the importance of environmental stewardship for generations to come would go down rather well, too.”

“We are on the verge of a green jobs revolution. We are on the verge of finding new industries which can help our ailing economy, employ people, and make our planet cleaner and greener for the next generation. The Conservatives will never embrace change wholeheartedly, by their very nature. Labour have displayed themselves to be behind the times, again and again, when it comes to these issues - on industry, they are beholden to the old ways of the old men who run old unions. The Liberal Democrats have a clear plan for green jobs, leadership in Europe, and environmental stewardship. I want us to lead this battle, and win it - and I know that people are on our side whilst we do so.”

Cardigan left the stage to chat to journalists, and have photographs taken, and that sort of thing, in a chatty manner.

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  Myerscough SP: Service Unto Others
Posted by: Aubyn Myerscough - 08-24-2020, 12:13 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (1)

Aubyn Myerscough, the Prime Minister, spoke to a select audience of journalists, Conservative Party members, and the public in Runnymede. His speech is titled, “Service Unto Others”.

[Image: labour-facing-by-election-as-mp-tristram...160012.jpg]

Ladies and gentlemen,

When President Kennedy visited the now Kennedy Space Centre, he asked everyone there what they did. He spoke to an engineer, a manager, a researcher, and several astronauts. They all told the President precisely what their role was. Then he spoke to a lady, who happened to be a cleaner. Kennedy, like he did with everyone else, asked what she did. “I’m helping put man on the moon”, she proudly replied. She had been captivated by a strong sense of what a group of people, dedicated to something more than personal interest, could achieve together.

It was that spirit of service which inspired a nation. It brought together millions, many of whom otherwise had little in common, around a single purpose. It unified a country.

And the unifying nature of purpose and service was embodied in President Kennedy’s immortal phrase: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” It was about everyone considering what responsibilities they have to others, as well as what rights they have for themselves.

I believe, as we prepare our nation for the next millennium, we should take this to heart. We should consider how all of us can honour the responsibilities and obligations we have to others. How citizenship can mean more than just what you take, and be about what you give to your community.

Service, duty, commitment: these are all values deeply held by the Conservative Party, and deeply held by myself.

But I firmly believe that over the past three decades, our nation has lost its way of this and has forgotten the importance of obligations to one another; of the public interest being put ahead of the personal; and of dedicating oneself to the cause of community improvement.

I accept that the past decade of Conservative rule has failed to stem the loss of service in our communities. But this decline has been decades in the making: we have seen too many people grow up by attempting to fight against or oppose the morals of many, devaluing unity of purpose in favour of individual interest, failing to give back after being given unbelievable opportunity in our country, and believing that idleness or vulgarity - both which seek to exploit others - is the route to salvation. And many ordinary people believe that citizenship, those duties as well as rights, are being devalued on a daily basis.

Despite all this, I believe across our country there are millions of people, desperate to work together for a greater cause: improved lives, a better country, a nation of service to one another. This is especially true, I believe, of the generation reaching adulthood today.

So, ladies and gentleman, I commit today to the next Conservative Party manifesto placing at its heart the ethos of public interest, of collective endeavour, and community service. I commit today to the next Conservative Government to healing the wounds of division, of self-interest, and of community neglect that we’ve experienced for decades now.

This is not a retreat to the state, for the state does not embody community service and collective interest. It can help support it, but we need to go beyond it. Which is why as Prime Minister I championed the creation of Family Hubs: places where services can be located but also crucially where families from different backgrounds can come together and mutually help each other. Fundamentally Family Hubs are about people helping people, and the community gathering together to help families.

A retreat to the state, or a return to the politics of the past as others many propose, is not a solution to bringing our communities together or to place the principles of service at the heart of our country in the next millennium. Citizenship does not run through the public sector or bureaucracy. Community, service, and responsibilities are about more than that.

Instead, the Conservative Party will seek to introduce voluntary national and community service which brings people together, dedicated to improving their community and our nation:

We will ask the young people to work and help others, while gaining key skills and important experience. They can lead the way in getting our nation ready for the millennium in which they will live.

We will ask our most successful professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs to heed the call of service, become inspiring teachers in struggling schools, and tackle educational disadvantage.

We will ask older people to use their experience and time to help, mentor, and be a companion to families, children, disabled people, disadvantaged individuals and others - providing wellbeing improvements to all involved, tackling isolation and loneliness, and promoting connections across the ages.

This is nothing less than a vision of a country where the call to service is heeded by all. Where all of us come together, regardless of background, to lift up our nation, our community, and each other. That is what I’m inspired by, and what I’m hopeful we can achieve. So let me go into details:

Firstly, the Millennium Corps. I want to encourage young people as they start their adult lives to devote time to their community and to their nation. Thousands of young people coming together to tackle the most difficult challenges in their communities, dedicated to the cause of improving lives and eliminating disadvantage. They can help the thousands of wonderful charities across our country which comfort the sick, teach children after school, befriend the lonely and isolated, help prevent reoffending, and improve the environment. And in doing so, volunteers can get their lives back in track if they are struggling, they can learn the importance of service if nobody has helped them understand, and they can see parts of the country - of their own community - that they have never seen.

And yes, young people who participate will receive a cost of living stipend. Service to our nation should not make you worse off, nor be limited to the richest in our society. The Millennium Corps should bring together all young people of different backgrounds together around a single purpose, forging common connection, and creating a collective understanding.

But I also want to go further: the Corps should open up opportunity for all post-service as well. If implemented, the Government will make additional university financial grants or grants to other educational institutions available, including apprenticeships, for all those who complete a year working in the Millennium Corps. Not only will volunteers gain important experience that will transform lives, they will be able to go on to education - and benefit again from the Corps and service.

Secondly, the Inspire a Generation Corps. We will ask some of our most successful citizens to choose a new career, to adopt a new challenge, and to dedicate themselves to changing children’s lives.

I ask you to imagine the impact of thousands of new teachers - former scientists and engineers, business people and entrepreneurs, musicians and artists, barristers and solicitors - in our struggling schools. They will inspire a generation to reach for the stars, to aim and achieve everything they want, and to build a new country of service and dedication to others.

This matters because in our most deprived communities, there is a poverty of aspiration which results from a lack of models and mentors. If a child doesn’t know someone who is a doctor, a scientist or a lawyer, they can’t aspire to be one. So if we get them into our schools, we can help the most deprived children the most.

Thirdly, the Senior Corps. There are thousands - if not millions - of older people who have retired or started part-time work, have newfound spare time, and who remain deeply committed to serving their country and community. I want to provide the space, the ability, and the purpose for them to do that kind of service.

The Senior Corps, inspired by similar programs around the world, will tap into the skills and experience of our older generations - and provide them financial support to do so. Much like the Millennium Corps, thousands of older people will be a friend to others, a mentor to those who are struggling or need help to get ahead, and be a supportive pillar to those who need help to live independently. We could see, for example, thousands of grandparents become Family Mentors in our Family Hubs. They would be committed to helping new parents chart those difficult first few months when a supportive hand and a listening ear can make an enormous difference. Parents would benefit, children would benefit, and our Family Mentors would benefit too.

After all, service to others is not just something that benefits others. It improves all our lives. The idea of citizenship being more than just rights but also responsibilities is a means of improving our whole nation, rich or poor, old or young. It lifts us all up, and puts all of us on the path to succeed. It unifies our country.

What I have set out is an ambitious agenda of national and community service that will encourage thousands of people every year to dedicate themselves to a higher cause. It will recast citizenship, reflecting the responsibilities we have and the obligation we should fulfil. And it will transform the lives of millions, rebuilding communities, helping the most disadvantaged people in our country, and tackling the changes we face - together through service.

Permission from Max

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  MS13: Update to the List of Proscribed Organizations
Posted by: William Croft - 08-23-2020, 07:42 PM - Forum: Ministerial Statements - Replies (2)

Mr. Speaker, 

I rise today to address the House on an order I have just issued via statutory instrument under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989. 

Pursuant to the powers granted to me as Secretary of State, I have this evening signed a statutory instrument that formally adds the Ulster Defense Association to the list of proscribed terrorist organizations as defined under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989. As a result, members of the UDA and/or individuals who provide support to the terrorist organization are now subject to all laws and penalties relating to proscribed terrorist organizations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

The Government stands resolute in our commitment to root out and destroy terrorism wherever it exists, and in whatever form it takes. Violence and terror of any nature must never be tolerated in a democratic society, and it is without question that the violence perpetrated by the UDA meets the standard of domestic terror. Today's order is a powerful, meaningful step in our country's war against terrorism. It empowers the police, security services, and military to use all of the tools at their disposal to proactively prevent terrorism and other forms of violence carried out at the hands of the UDA.

As is customary, the Government has already informed the Irish Republic of our decision in advance of my statement here today. We took the same preemptive action in alerting the RUC command of our decision. 

I commend this statement to the House.

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  Local Government Finance Act 1992
Posted by: Isaac Westcott - 08-22-2020, 07:16 PM - Forum: Division Lobbies - Replies (23)

Mr. Speaker, 

I rise today to present legislation - the Local Government Finance Act 1992 - to fulfill a commitment made by this Government to eliminate and replace the Community Charge. 

Our Government has heard the concerns regarding the way the Community Charge was levied and assessed on individuals throughout the United Kingdom. The flat levy that applied regardless of ability to pay made the imposition of the tax simpler. However, that does not necessarily mean that it is better. Rather than spend needed resources on tracking down those who avoided the tax or increasing enforcement, this Government has decided that a new method is required- one that can better take into account the ability to pay while also ensuring that community needs are met. 

That is where this legislation steps in. It would task assessors throughout the United Kingdom with determining the value of land and improvements throughout the United Kingdom- which is certainly useful for policy purposes- and then grants the ability to apply a tax based on that value. Rather than establishing a flat charge as was done with the Community Charge, it sets up a system wherein there are bands- based on the value of property and the distribution of property values- and each band is charged a different rate. That way, more expensive properties- which are generally held by those with a greater ability to pay- would have a higher charge than those in lower bands. 

This legislation also sets up regular revaluations to ensure that there is no unfair treatment for new properties or that there is no unfair treatment for those who see their housing values move in one way or the other. This Government will also revisit the bands on a regular basis to ensure the bands move appropriately with housing value as well to again avoid that unfair taxation. 

We would be remiss if we did not include provisions that would allow for individuals to challenge their valuations in a fair and transparent manner that reflects the rule of law. Because again, it is important that we are fair when it comes to determining property value and, by extension, the tax assessed on it. 

This represents a fulfillment of a vital Government promise to scrap the Community Charge and replace it with a fair, transparent, easy-to-understand system that allows us to fund the vital services that local authorities provide. And with that, Mr. Speaker, I commend this bill to the House.

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  MS12 - National Parks and AONBs
Posted by: Aubyn Myerscough - 08-22-2020, 03:02 PM - Forum: Ministerial Statements - Replies (2)

Mr Speaker,

I rise today to place a set of new statutory instruments regarding the creation of new national parks and new Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These are the result of many individuals’ campaigning, in this House and around our country. I thank them for their work.

Both national parks and AONBs preserve some of our country’s most beautiful landscapes for future generations. They limit the ability of others to violate a strong community and public interest in these places. They are a vital part of creating a happier, greener place - they help make life worth living for many people.

That is why this Government backs them, and is creating new ones. The New Forest and the South Downs will be national parks, while Tamar Valley, the Yorkshire Wolds, and Nidderdale will be AONBs.

There will be a consultation on the precise boundaries of these new national parks and AONBs. It is important that as many people as possible in the locations affected contribute, and get their voices heard.

In the case of the national parks, the appropriate local authorities will be placed in charge of running and administering them. Where, as in the case of the South Downs, the park covers more than one local authority, it will be administered by all local work together.  We encourage local authorities to work with parish councils, land owners, the crown estates and local people. This must be a democratic administering of some of our most important places, preserving them for the future.

This is a step forward for our country, a step forward for our new national parks and AONBs, and a step forward for those who want to enjoy the splendour of our countryside.

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  Ministerial Response: Leader of the Oppoision (January 1992)
Posted by: LegolasRedbard - 08-20-2020, 07:39 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (1)

There now follows a response to the Prime Ministerial broadcast by the Leader of the Opposition, the Right Honourable Sir James McCrimmon, MP

One of the most harrowing experiences of my life was losing my parents two decades ago. Both happened in quick succession, but I was fortunate that they each had a period of clear decline, where I knew that it was time for us to make amends and get everything off of our chests. Grief is never easy, but I have learned that it hits the hardest when it is sudden and surprising. I have lost friends and colleagues suddenly, and I am now used to the feeling of helplessness as I try to close the door on our relationship by myself.

In Northern Ireland, there have been too many families who have become acquainted with this mode of grieving. The most recent loss of life in Boyle hurt me deeply, and I know that it is nothing compared to the grief the families and friends of those who died are feeling. If your life has been turned upside down by this sectarian violence, know that you and your loved ones have been consistently in my prayers. Know that I want this to stop as soon as possible.

Every day we let the situation in Northern Ireland remain like this is another chance for families on both sides of the political divide to lose a loved one. In the wake of this operation, it is time for the Government to pull back and reflect. It is obvious that no clear-cut solution will satisfy both sides. As such, I call on the Prime Minister to begin the arrangements for a large-scale discussion on the future of Northern Ireland that would include the leadership of both major British political parties, major Northern Irish political parties - including both unionist and republican voices, and the three main Irish political parties. 

I want to make it clear today that I am committed to the cause of peace in Northern Ireland - a lasting, sustainable peace. During our early spring recess from Parliament, I intend to do some travelling to Costa Rica, where I plan to meet with Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President Óscar Arias to discuss peacebuilding across strongly held divisions, and what he learned from his work in leading the process to the signing of the Esquipulas Agreement. I hope to learn from him and his advisors about successfully leading in contentious times and considering how we might be able to implement similar strategies in Northern Ireland.

I have no illusions about how long this will take. I believe that this will be our moment of testing - like World War II was for Churchill and Attlee, or the Reform Act 1867 was for Benjamin Disraeli. How we respond to this crisis will shape our country’s future - if we wish to have a successful Britain, to go into the next millennium with a rejuvenated spirit and the potential for growth in all fronts, we must tackle this crisis together. Everyone involved in these conflicts is involved because they are seeking a solution to the quandary Northern Ireland has been in for the last seventy years. It is incumbent on us, as a major world power, to actively find a solution that can work for all parties. 

In this, our moment of testing, peace may seem far off. But when I sit in the Commons as we discuss the future of Northern Ireland, I am always reminded of the fact that we are entrusted by you, the British public, with the power to make decisions that will affect your lives. I remain committed to do everything in my power to ensure that everyone in the United Kingdom lives a long, safe, and happy life. As we move on from this great loss, let us all recommit ourselves to such ideals - to quality of life, to healing and reconciliation, and to peace.

Ultimately, now is not the time where the best option is to hear from politicians. Now is the time for us to listen to everyone with a stake in the future of Northern Ireland and for each one of us to consider how we might work to bring peace there. I close with an adaptation of the prayer carved outside of Westminster Abbey that has been said for centuries and, God willing, be said for many more:

May God grant to the living, grace;
To the departed, rest;
To this country, the Queen, the Commonwealth, and the world, peace and concord;
And to us sinners, eternal life.

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  MS 11 - Ambassador to Moscow
Posted by: Dylan Macmillan - 08-18-2020, 08:55 PM - Forum: Ministerial Statements - Replies (3)

Mr Speaker I beg leave the rise and offer the following statement to the House.

Mr Speaker to say that relations with the Soviet Union have been complicated as of late is a traditionally British understatement. We all remember I am sure when Moscow authorised the murder of a British diplomat and the fallout of which caused the resignation of the now disgraced former Prime Minister. Furthermore the actions of a rogue Minister, thankfully foiled by the apparatus of the British state and the Government, risked undermining our relations further. It was against this backdrop that the decision was made to withdraw our Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Sir Rodric Braithwaite, out of fear for his life and safety. That decision was not taken lightly Mr Speaker but it was one we took and stand by.

Since that time Mr Speaker a lot has changed. The instability which ravaged the Soviet Union following the overthrow of Mikhail Gorbachev has receded somewhat with the announcement of a new Premier, Anatoly Lukyanov. I have received assurances from the Soviets that the safety of our ambassador can be guaranteed and that he will not meet with the same “accidents” that his staff did. It is for these reasons that I have authorised Sir Rodric’s return to the Soviet Union to act as the UK’s ambassador once again.

Mr Speaker the Government hopes that we will be able to enjoy cordial relations with the Soviet Union, putting the past behind us and moving forward in the spirit of watchful cooperation, the normalisation of diplomatic channels is a clear sign of both parties’ desire to return to the status quo. This announcement is a victory for Britain that makes the World a safer place and I am happy to commend this statement to the House for that reason.

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  PC15: Ireland
Posted by: Redgrave - 08-18-2020, 08:27 PM - Forum: Marked - Replies (20)

Closes at 23:59pm on 22nd August

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