It is one of the assumptions of most of the eurosceptic wing that as far as possible (allowing for international agreements and so on) legislation and regulation in this country should be carried out by our elected representatives within certain constitutional boundaries, which, in my opinion, includes a role for the House of Lords, chosen on a completely different basis and one for and independent judiciary. MPs must, in that system, be of huge importance.
Nothing wrong with that, you might say. After all, MPs can always be voted out (though many people who live in safe constituencies might disagree with that); they can be challenged while they are sitting though I dislike the idea of recall as we do vote for our MPs as members of parties and a recall can so easily degenerate into one particular group re-fighting a perfectly valid election. Anyway, there we are: MPs rather than the various levels of eurocracy.
Then we get the spectacle that is going on in the Commons right now: a debate on whether Donald Trump, an American businessman and a candidate for the Presidential nomination, should be excluded from the United Kingdom. Why? Well, he said a few things we do not like or some of us do not like and, in any way, his behaviour is boorish. Not only are those not reasons for excluding someone from this country but it is an obvious waste of time for MPs even to debate it.
Now admittedly, this is not happening in the Chamber but in Westminster Hall. It is, nevertheless, taking up a great deal of Parliamentary time. The debate is taking place at the instigation of the Petitions Committee, which has had to deal with two e-petitions, 114003, with 500,000 signatures that is in favour of the ban and 114907 with 40,000 signatures that is against it. In neither case are the numbers big enough to make it a matter for Parliamentary debate.
As it happens, the Home Secretary has the powers to exclude people from entering the country and this power has been exercised at various times - some of those we know about, many we do not but we must assume that the reasons had to be more than just unpleasant and boorish behaviour.
Let me just add that so far as anyone knows no UK variant of the US Magnitsky Act with its list of people who were responsible for the torture and death of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who had been employed by a British firm exists.
... do you think it legitimate to argue that absent supranational EU institutions, MPs in the Westminster Parliament would not have time for this sort of nonsense and therefore it would not happen?ReplyDelete
EU institutions and the various quangos they have handed powers to. But the fact that they cannot find anything better to do does not argue well for their ability to decide what is important.Delete
I think, no, I know that the very act of holding this “discussion” is a reflection of the state of not only public discourse but the state of what passes for governance in what was once the mother of parliaments. As Ms Geller has already remarked "The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.” Doubtless in the next few days many others with far greater eloquence will make similar observations of the obvious, that the country that guaranteed and gave the present western civilisation its notion of free speech has come to this, which was only an obvious step on after its capitulation to the so called "Lord Ahmed" and Theresa May banning not only Gert Wilders but Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from a country modelled on freedoms.ReplyDelete
So sad and tragic to think my family gave blood for the rights of the free born English, blood so carelessly dismissed and wasted by not only the present craven, principle-less and morally repugnant career whores inhabiting the Palace of Westminster but by what one can only assume is now a cowered and subjected populace living in complete ignorance of what it was that centuries of English fought to defend.
Regards from far far away.
Who and where?Delete
Sorry Helen, still dropping by to read your always entertaining writing. Regards, Adrian still happily on the other side of earth ;-)Delete
A belated Happy New Year t you, Helen.ReplyDelete
At Geert Wilders' trial in 2010 ( at which he was acquitted after one bench of judges had been replaced because a judge tried to nobble a witness) the witness's evidence was written into the record, although he was not allowed to testify in person.
He was a noted Arabist, Professor Jansen, who said there was no such thing as " moderate Islam" because the faith is defined scripturally for all time. Observant Muslims are perpetually forbidden from ever making peace or friendship with non Muslims. There are, of course, plenty of moderate Muslims - that is, Muslims who are not fully observant in varying degrees. Jansen estimated that 60 per cent were in this category - although they could become radicalised in any religious revival. Twenty per cent were nominal and remained nominal Muslims because of the extreme social penalty of apostasy - death in accordance with scripture. Twenty per cent were estimated to be " full gospel" believers - what our leaders call extremists. Eve if that is a ten fold over-estimate, we have a literally hellish problem
There are, of course, scholars who think that it is possible to introduce a reformation into Islam and not just the cyclical return to the particularly extreme version of it, which we are seeing once again. I am not an Islamic scholar so I cannot tell whether that is true or not but I admire people who work on it and on the Quran, spreading the idea of scholarship in the way that the Bible has been studied and discussed for centuries. And I do mean centuries. There seem to have been ferocious arguments over interpretation in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Of course, none of that is relevant to the question of Trump coming here or not but it is an interesting question.Delete
Hello again, Helen.ReplyDelete
You mention that Muslim "extremism" is cyclical. It certainly comes in spasms, as evangelical revivals tend to do, often around individual personalities, like the Mahdi ( ? Spelling) who bagged General Gordon.
I sometimes think of it as like an ever-present subterranean fire which can flare up unexpectedly when conditions are right but I never studied whether there was a regular cycle.
The simile occurred to me after a conversation with our local pharmacist, an affable, urbane Muslim with whom I often stopped to talk, if his shop wasn't busy. It was at the time of the Salman Rushdie business which I chanced to mention in passing. The chap's appearance and demeanour changed utterly. His face contorted to a quite demonic appearance. " He must die!" he hissed. It was a profound shock to me. The chap's normal demeanour was a bit like a younger version of Sergeant Wilson in Dad's Army.
A few hours later, I was in the quiet, very high tech boiler room of one of my customer's mills. Everything was very orderly. It was warm but not unpleasant. It was only when the fire door was opened that you saw and felt the raging inferno which served the whole, large premises.
My sudden glimpse into this man's cast of mind was a similar experience and I reckon it runs at large through the Umma, waiting for the wind of the spirit to inflame it periodically into action.