The Tory Taliban’s “Alternative Queen’s Speech” in full

June 21, 2013 10:29 am

Yesterday I wrote about the “Alternative Queen’s Speech” that the Tory Right have tabled (via Private Member’s Bills) in the Commons. Here are all 40 of them, along with a brief explanation of what each of them actually means:

1. Face Coverings (Prohibition) – banning the Burka
2. National Service – bring back national service for young people
3. European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) – leaving the EU
4. Young Offenders (Parental Responsibility) – parents would be legally responsible for young offenders crimes
5. Foreign National Offenders (Exclusion from the United Kingdom) – Anyone convicted of a crime would be barred from the UK
6. Asylum Seekers (Return to Nearest Safe Country) – sending asylum seekers to the nearest “safe country” to their home country
7. Prisoners (Completion of Custodial Sentences) – all criminals would have to serve their full sentences
8. Fishing Grounds and Territorial Waters (Repatriation) – claim certain fighing areas as “sovereign” UK territory
9. School Governing Bodies (Adverse Weather Conditions) – schools will be forced to open during adverse weather
10. Capital Punishment - introducing the death penalty
11. Government Departments  - Amalgamates the Scotland Office, Wales Office and Northern Ireland Office) -
12. Residential Roads - new roads must be adopted by the Local Highways Authority
13. Equality and Diversity (Reform) - make positive discrimination illegal. Also would make Labour’s use of AWS illegal
14. Sentencing Escalator - tougher sentences for repeat offenders
15. Leasehold Reform (Amendment) - amends the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993
16. BBC Licence Fee (Civil Debt) – would make no longer a crime not to pay the license fee
17. Smoking (Private Members’ Clubs) – ending the smoking ban by stealth
18. Margaret Thatcher Day - renaming the August Bank Holiday after Thatcher
19. Department of Energy and Climate Change (Abolition) – ending co-ordinated attempts to deal with climate change
20. Married Couples (Tax Allowance) Mr Peter Bone – tax cuts for married couples
21. Foreign Aid Ring-Fencing (Abolition) – ending the UK’s commitment to 0.7% GDP spending on aid
22. Charitable Status for Religious Institutions – assumes all religious institutions are automatically charities
23. Same Sex Marriage (Referendum) – puts Equal Marriage to a referendum
24. Wind Farm Subsidies (Abolition) – ends government subsidies for wind farms
25. Withdrawal from the ECHR – leaving the European court (under the auspicies of dealing with terrorism)
26. Romanian and Bulgarian Accession (Labour Restriction) – restricts the rights of these two nationalities to work in the UK
27. BBC Privatisation - privatises the BBC and hands “shares” to all license fee payers
28. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Abolition) - abolishes Nick Clegg
29. Prime Minister (Replacement) – puts in place an order of succession if the PM is killed or incapacitated
30. United Kingdom (Withdrawal from the European Union) – leaving the EU (again)
31. Asylum (Time Limit) - places a time limit (3 months) on how long an asylum seeker has to claim asylum
32. Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) - restricts EU citizens access to UK benefits
33. Illegal Immigrants (Criminal Sanctions) – criminalise those who have entered the country illegally
34. Sexual Impropriety in Employment – abolishes sexual harassment cases in the workplace (except if a crime has been committed)
35. Collection of Nationality Data – data to be collected on the nationality of benefit claimants
36. Foreign Nationals (Access to Public Services)
37. House of Lords (Maximum Membership) - sets a limit on the number of Lords, and stops more being appointed
38. Control of Offshore Wind Turbines - restrict the height, number, location and subsidies of wind turbines situated offshore
39. Employment Opportunities – presumably another attempt to undermine the minimum wage and employment rights
40. EU Membership (Audit of Costs and Benefits) - commission a study of the benefits and costs of UK membership of the EU

Although the Bills are believed to have been jointly conceived by Peter Bone, Philip Hollobone, David Nuttall and Christopher Chope – who queued together for four days to have these put forward – the bills are each attributed to a specific MP:

1-17: Philip Hollobone
18-29: Peter Bone
20-40: Peter Bone (on behalf of Christopher Chope)

It’s by and large a wish list for the extremists on the hard right of the Tory Party. By contrast, lets take a look at just a few of the Private Mamber’s Bills tabled by Labour MPs:

Thomas Docherty - Armed Forces (Prevention of Discrimination), Train Companies (Minimum Fares), Lobbyists (Registration of Code of Conduct),

Andy Sawford - Gangmasters Licensing Authority (Extension of Powers), Zero Hours Contracts

Priorities, priorities…

  • BenM_Kent

    That’s a good look inside your average rightwinger’s mind. Not a pretty sight. Way off the planet.

  • charles.ward

    Cards on the table, I don’t see a problem with 5,12,13,14,17,31 and 40.

    • rekrab

      Do you want referendums on your chosen favoured list Charles?

      • charles.ward

        No, none of these are constitutional issues.

        • rekrab

          Hmmm, so all these issues would only apply in England? a referendum on in/out Europe(30)? smoking ban and tougher ?sentencing for repeated offenders?

          Are you expecting a yes vote for the Independence referendum in Scotland?

          • charles.ward

            Obviously devolved powers would stay devolved. Number 30 wasn’t on my list.

            What does the independence referendum have to do with this?

            Do you have a point to make?

          • rekrab

            Your right to quote the devolved powers, although overcrowding does lead to English prisoners serving time in say Scottish jails, which could raise a problem on release time? and of course if Scottish prisons were termed more lenient of release time,Scottish prisoners serving in English prisons would ask for transfers to Scotland.

            Smoking ban lift in England,I wonder if it would lead to a price reduction in fags? cheaper fags in England than in Scotland would be a tax nightmare for the chancellor not unless your counting on Scotland raising and spending it’s entire tax raising powers?

      • Monkey_Bach

        Heh! ;-)

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  • Quiet_Sceptic

    Some of the items are mad but not all, you don’t have to be a rabid, foaming at the mouth right-winger to agree with some (certainly not all) of the items and some of the measures whilst they seem strange to some on the Left are actually normal in other Western democracies.

    5 – Foreign criminals. Doesn’t the US have this in place? I think the average person would probably agree with restricting the freedom of foreign criminals to visit or move to this country unhindered.

    2 – National service, well they have this in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Israel. Germany until 2011, Sweden until 2010. We often hear praise of the Nordic nations for their social cohesiveness, did anyone ask if things like national service, mixing people from across the social spectrum together for a few years might contribute to this cohesion?

    7 – Criminals serve their full sentences – it must be something peculiar to the justice system that a number is actually half its stated value. 10 => 5, 4 => 2 and so forth.

    16 – BBC license fee – criminal offense. It’s hard to see why the license fee deserves special treatment, it’s really no different to any other utility or service and we don’t criminalise those who can’t pay their utilities bills we treat it, rightfully, as a civil issue.

    • charles.ward

      “7 – Criminals serve their full sentences – it must be something peculiar
      to the justice system that a number is actually half its stated value.
      10 => 5, 4 => 2 and so forth.”

      And when a criminal is sentenced for “life” and it turns out he’ll be out in 6 years (like the guy who gouged out his partners eyes saying “you’ll never see your children again”) it makes a mockery of the justice system.

      • 1985Tom

        The sentencing system is actually highly sensible. It’s generally not a good idea to give anyone the option to arbitrarily extend someone’s sentence. So the system in place gives a maximum sentence, and an expectation that they will serve half of it in jail, and will be out on licence (with whatever restrictions necessary) for the rest of it. This means that they can be kept in longer (up to the maximum) if necessary, and that while out on licence they can be quickly returned to prison if they commit further offences. For a life sentence, they will spend their life on licence, once their custodial tariff has finished.

        • charles.ward

          “This means that they can be kept in longer (up to the maximum) if necessary, and that while out on licence they can be quickly returned to prison if they commit further offences.”

          No consolation to those who are murdered or raped by those on parole.

          Admittedly I only have TV documentaries to go by but it appears that you don’t lose your early release privileges unless you do something that would be a crime outside prison (criminal damage, assault, etc). So you could easily extend a problem prisoner’s sentence by convicting them of that crime.

    • Monkey_Bach

      Wasn’t National Service discontinued in the UK because it was too costly? And because the armed forces, where a lot of recruits to National Service ended up spending a year with, didn’t have the resources, e.g., accommodation, transport, food, manpower to supervise, and even enough activities to occupy recruits, to make a good fist of it. In these strained times would the British public really be willing to pay more tax, like the Nordics do, in order to bring some version of National Service back?

      Eeek.

  • NT86

    While a few of those amenments, I’m not opposed to (the one about foreign criminals, for example) the rest sounds like a p*** take of the Daily Express.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Mrs. Bone will doubtless be pleased by the industry of her husband. Eeek.

  • FionaUK

    I love number 29! Do you think they are planning something?

  • charles.ward

    I don’t have a problem with early release but it seems like the justice system is designed to fool the public into believing that longer sentences are given than is actually the case. “Life” sentences are particularly bad in this regard.

    I think you would see a big decline in the support for capital punishment if all murderers (and some other violent criminals) were guaranteed to spend their whole life in prison.

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