Friday, October 30, 2009

MEPs' passes

The 4th Report of the House of Lords House Committee deals with parliamentary passes issued to UK members of the Toy European Parliament. Hitherto those members were automatically issued with passes that
entitled [them] to access Peers' Lobby, the Galleries of the House, the Committee Corridor, the offices of the European Union Committee and the Guest Room. Similar access rights have been granted by the House of Commons.
All this is about to change. Members of the House of Commons, who saw nothing wrong in welcoming unrepentant terrorists who had tried to murder the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet and, in fact, succeeded in killing five people and injuring many more, into Parliament’s hallowed portals, have decided that they could not live with the thought of said portals being polluted by members of the BNP.
An effective ban on British National party members of the European Parliament entering Westminster was imposed by MPs. Leader of the House Harriet Harman, tabled a motion withdrawing automatic access hitherto available to all MEPs.
The only trouble is you can’t do that. You can’t decide that some MEPs can and others cannot have a pass to the Houses of Parliament. So they had to withdraw access rights from all UK MEPs.
3. On 20 October 2009, following a recommendation from the Administration Committee, the House of Commons agreed to remove the access rights of UK MEPs, and therefore their entitlement to a Parliamentary photographic security pass.

4. The decision of the House of Commons in practice cannot take effect without the assent of this House since photographic security passes grant access to the whole Parliamentary Estate.
Now we have a problem. What are the members of the Toy Parliament going to do if they wish to wander round the Real Parliament, whose powers they have usurped? They can come in as guests or they can acquire parliamentary passes within the existing structure, as officers of the House, spouses or partners of Members or staff of Members. If a new category is created for them, the same problem will emerge: if there are special passes for some MEPs there has to be special passes for all of them. And you can be quite sure Nick Griffin will not let them forget it.

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