Sunday, June 15, 2008

Labour rebel to campaign for Davis?

Well this certainly makes Haltemprice and Howden interesting. The Labour rebel MP Bob Marshall-Andrews has apparently said he's going to campaign for David Davis during the forced by-election. That's a big test for Brown authority. Technically he should have the whip withdrawn and be expelled from the party, but as Labour are unlikely to put up a candidate will Brown have the bottle to do it?

What shall be interesting when the Lords inevitably reject the 42 days issue is whether Brown will try to use the Parliament Act to force through bill. That would of course make it questionable as to whether it even had any legal status as the Parliament Act is quite clear about what it can, and cannot be used for.

In effect we might end up seeing an unelected Prime Minister who has no mandate using a tool designed to force through mandated manifesto commitments on an issue that it should not and cannot legally cover. Such an act would be a complete abuse of power by the Executive.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will Diane Abbott also be campaigning?

mckenzie said...

As a kid, I used to wonder how Adolf Hitler managed to get away with rising to power. The Astonishing thing to me was how ordinary German people actually gave him a mandate.
More astonishing to me now is how the British people are allowing their fundamental basic rights, formed over hundreds of years, to be stolen from them over such a short period of time by a group of bullying, intimidating thugs who have not been given any mandate to behave like Adolf Hitler, and who are brazen with their intent to flagrantly abuse and ignore all the normal statutorily formed procedures.
Have they put something in the water?

archroy said...

As Labour will probably not be contesting the election, I suppose technically he's not in breach of the rules as he's not actively opposing a Labour candidate. Of course, having to hide behind technicalities like this will only offer further proof of how useless they are.

John M Ward said...

Marshall-Andrews would become my MP at the next General Election (owing to boundary changes) but he isn't re-standing. He has nothing to fear from the threat or actuality of withdrawal of the Whip.

He is much-despised by Labour loyalists as one of their most rebellious MPs, including over the 42-day issue. It will be interesting to see our "Bob" campaigning on the 'wrong' side, whether or not Labour put up a candidate of their own, and I shall be watching this closely....

Benjamin Gray said...

From what I've seen, there's no reason why he can't if Labour doesn't field a candidate. The rules state that you are only banned from campaigning against Labour candidates. You can campaign for whoever you like if Labour don't stand.

Not a sheep said...

"will Brown have the bottle to do it?" One of the daftest questions I have ever heard, the "man" has no "bottle".

Pete Chown said...

Why do you think the Parliament Acts couldn't be used? All the old arguments about the validity of the 1949 Act were settled by the hunting case weren't they?

dizzy said...

Hunting was in the manifesto

Pete Chown said...

People might be annoyed if the Parliament Acts were used in relation to something that wasn't in the manifesto, but it doesn't affect the law does it? The argument used by the Countryside Alliance was totally different.

Bill Quango MP said...

Not a sheep said...the "man" has no "bottle".

Nonsense Sir! I quite clearly saw a clear bottle with a plastic cap in the man's hand on the day of the 42 day detention vote.
It was labeled MESCALINE

grumpy grandad said...

Do you think Brown is deliberately trying to start a revolution?

dizzy said...

The Parliament Act very specifically exists to stop the House of Lords blocking the passing of a Government Bill where the Lords is trying to block a manifesto commtment. As such, on 42 days, any amendment the Lords might or might not make could not be overruled by using the act.

Alex said...

Here's the text of the 1911 Parliament Act (as amended by the 1949 ACt).

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?ActiveTextDocId=1069329

Please show us where it says "manifesto".

And here is the description of the Salisbury Convention from the parliament website, which has nothing to do with the Parliament Act.

http://www.parliament.uk/about/glossary.cfm?ref=salisbu_7642

If the Lords abides by the Salisbury convention, and as a rule they do, there is no need for the Parliament Act. In practice th Parliament Act is only ever invoked for non-manifesto legislation.

carol42 said...

Since Bob Marshall Andrews is not standing next time wouldn't it be great if he did the same, forced an election on this principle. I know his majority is tiny but I am sure many Conservatives and Lib Dems would vote for him on this occasion, I know I would.

Benjamin Gray said...

The Countryside Alliance's case against the 1949 Act wasn't to do with the manifesto commitment issue, but that it was only amended by being itself invoked.

Anonymous said...

You are confusing the Parliament Acts with the Salisbury Convention. It is the latter that was developed to prevent the Lords blocking a measure promised in the Government's manifesto. The only prohibition embodied in the Parliament Act 1911 is that covering a measure to extend the life of a Parliament.

some bloke said...

Any chance of the Lords using the Parliament Act to force our referendum as per the Labour manifesto ?
Thought not.

Craig said...

The use of the Parliament Act in relation to this would be treasonous and would be the final nail in the coffin of democracy in our country.

I used to think that the use of the democratic mandate to remove a government before its "time" was up as decided by that government was somehow unfair but now I'm less sure.

dizzy said...

Re Parliament Act / Salisbury Convention. Yep, my bad. Probably should have said 'my understanding is'. C'est la vie

Anonymous said...

Difficult one.

The Salisbury Convention ought usually to apply but this legislation is in respect of an emergency which Labour could argue has arisen since the last election and so is irrelevant.

However since the legislation deals with fundamental liberties I wonder whether the correct course is for it to require annual renewal(like the old Prevention of Terrorism Acts) if the Parliament Act is used to force it through.

I'm against it anyway.