Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “prime minister”

Our Election Humiliation

Well, that’s it, the General Election date is finally to be announced today. The date when we, the electorate, shall decide to whom we will lend our power for the next probable five years. Yes, our power, as citizens in a supposedly free and democratic society.

Before this can happen though our elected Prime Minister must go to Buckingham Palace and ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament in order for the election to take place. It is a national humiliation that the permission, even if somewhat symbolically, of an unelected, undemocratic, Head of State who is only there by virtue of being born into one particular family, should be sort.

If we elect a party with an overall majority then the Government is not effective until the Monarch has given her approval and in the event of a ‘hung Parliament’ again it is the Queen who ‘invites’ one Party to form the Government. In addition it is through the Monarch’s Privy Council that powers that we, the people, did not give to the Prime Minister of the day are wielded. It is time to embrace true democracy and end our humiliation.

Royal Secrets

Brown had promised us more openness and transparency in the wake of the expenses scandals. What does he do? He caves in to pressure from the Palace and is bringing in a blanket ban on the Freedom of Information Act applying to the unelected Royals stating that secrecy is required to ensure the impartiality of the head of state. What?!!

Statement from the Ministry of Justice:

To ensure the constitutional position and political impartiality of the Monarchy is not undermined, the relevant exemption in the Freedom of Information Act will be made absolute for information relating to communications with the Royal Household that is less than 20 years’ old. After that point – if the relevant Member of the Royal Family is still alive – then the exemption will continue to apply until five years after their death – on an absolute basis for the Sovereign and the Heir to the Throne, and on a qualified basis for other members of the Royal Family.

This is utterly outrageous; if they demand secrecy then they must have something to hide or rather, a lot of ‘somethings’. We are footing the bill so why shouldn’t we have a right to know or at least find out what they are spending our money on? If they are using their undemocratic powers to influence political decisions, or promoting their businesses or using government planes for their private pleasure at our expense we have a right to know.

It is even likely that this FOI ban will become law not by being debated in Parliament but brought into being by powers given to the Prime Minister by the very people who demand this outrage.

If you still have any doubts about whether we should know then how about this from The Guardian in June last year.

“Prince Charles used the royal train to travel from Kemble, near his Gloucestershire home, to Penrith, Cumbria, to visit a pub – part of the “pub is the hub” initiative to revitalise village life – at a cost of £18,916, which may make it the most expensive pub visit ever made. The prince also used the train to get to Edinburgh (£21,460) and during a trip for various engagements in Wales (£43,258).”


Freethinkeruk signed an on-line petition a while back, calling for MP’s to have the right when voted in, to swear an oath of allegiance to the Nation and to their constituents rather than to the Monarch. I paste below the petition and following that the response from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Details of Petition:

“All residents of a constituency where the MP is a Republican are deprived of their fair and equal representation in Parliament unless their MP begins his Parliamentary career by swearing loyalty to the very institution which they have just been elected to oppose. It is morally wrong and profoundly anti-democratic.”

· Read the petition

Read the Government’s response

The present oath or affirmation which members of both Houses are required to take at the beginning of a new Parliament or on entry into Parliament recognises an appropriate obligation on the members of the Parliament, in their consideration of forthcoming measures, to respect the existing constitutional arrangement. This does not represent any bar to the proposal by members of alternative arrangements. The Government has no plans to propose any change to the form of the Oath or Affirmation currently set down by law for Members of Parliament.

Apart from showing contempt for millions of voters and of MPs who want change it also doesn’t make sense. What are these alternative arrangements mentioned? I suppose it means we will still be subjected to the ridiculous spectacle of MP’s taking the Oath with their fingers crossed behind their backs thus signifying that they are lying.

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