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The Queen's Speech

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posted on Nov, 15 2006 @ 09:55 AM
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Today, the Queen opened Parliament for a new session with her speech in the House of Lords.


Plans to combat terrorism, crime and anti-social behaviour will dominate Tony Blair's final months in office.

Tackling climate change and reforming pensions will also be key parts of the Queen's Speech programme of 29 bills for the coming Parliamentary session.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Source: BBC News Website

How do you feel about this year's speech, and how do you feel about the ceremony in general? Is it outdated and extravagant, or is it part of our national character, tradition and heritage?




posted on Nov, 15 2006 @ 01:00 PM
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The BBC has a neat little run-down of the Bills for the next session of Parliament here.

There is a lot here and clearly Parliament will have a busy year ahead.

Amongst certain procedural Bills (ie those - like the Budget for instance - which require annual renewal) there are some very interesting 'ideas being made substance'.

No doubt anti-terrorism and stuff like the immigration Bills will catch a lot of attention but I think there are other ones that stand out too, for me these will be -

The Climate Change Bill looks like it'll be enormous.
It's hugely significant, very interesting and IMO extremely welcome.
(This sets out measures to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 60% by 2050.
It also establishes an independent Carbon Committee to oversee this.)

Concessionary Bus Travel Bill (which gives free off-peak travel for over-60s and disabled people on local bus services in England and Wales) will be a welcome new law for many of our 'transport poor' and bring an end to the current contradictory and patchwork provision which previously was at the discretion of local authorities.

I also expect the 'Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill' (which sees the National Consumer Council, Energywatch, Postwatch and the National Consumer Council will be joined.
Estate agents will have to keep records, for inspection by the Office of Fair Trading. They will also have to join a redress scheme. Applies to the whole UK, with certain exceptions.) to be an unexciting law but one which will find a welcome amongst the property buying and renting people as it gets ingrained into the working reality.

The Crossrail Bill (which gives necessary powers to build Crossrail, a railway stretching east to west across London.) will enable a long-overdue and much needed rail link to go ahead (this has been in the proposal/planning stage for well over 20yrs!).

The Digital Switchover Bill (which ensures elderly and disabled viewers can make the switchover from analogue to digital television) will remove some of the last obstacles to the UK's TV services going 100% digital and hence freeing up large amounts of 'bandwidth' for other new services.
Another seemingly small move but one that will resonant for years to come.

The Fraud Bill (which enables trials to be held without a jury in "serious" fraud cases, where this is agreed by a High Court judge. Applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland) ought to make life much harder for the sophisticated criminal fraudster and should be a worthwhile change.

The Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill is huge for the progress of politics in Northern Ireland.

The Legal Services Bill (which increases independent regulation of the legal profession in England and Wales) is welcome, surely any additional independent regulation of lawyers has to be good!

The Mental Health Bill (this introduces supervised treatment in the community for some patients discharged from hospital and a simpler definition of the term "mental disorder". The proposals also include plans to allow people with untreatable personality disorders to be detained in a bid to close a supposed loophole - currently people can be sectioned only if their condition is treatable. Extends to England and Wales.) ought to help bring much needed attention and focus to one of the most neglected areas of society.
One can only hope.

Northern Ireland Bill (this provides for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly and devolved institutions) again this is a truly huge and significant Bill in bringing progress to NI and the political & peace processes there.

The Organised Crime Bill (this strengthens powers to recover criminal assets and introduces a new offence of assisting a criminal act believing that an offence may be committed. The bill extends to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with some provisions applying to Scotland) ought to help in bringing justice to those who thought they'd 'got away with it' by shifting assets (this one has been tried and has worked in several instances in NI) and recovering losses for those they rip-off.

The Pensions Bill.
This one is a very 'big' Bill.
It raises the state pension age from 65 to 68 by 2046 and restores the link between the state pension and average earnings. It will reduce the number of years it takes to build a full basic state pension to 30. It will create a delivery authority for pensions. Covers the entire UK.
Read it and weep if you're going to have to work longer (assuming you don't want to),
Finally restoring the earnings link ought to please a lot of people as will the adjustments to ensure easier entitlement to a full pension.

The Statistical Reform Bill (which creates an independent board to ensure the quality and comprehensiveness of official statistics across the UK) ought to please those who have recently been moaning about the quality and suitability of official stats.

The Road Transport Bill (this increases the powers to create toll roads and gives councils more freedom to introduce their own schemes. Gives councils more powers to improve local bus services).
Could be a hugely important Bill over the longer term across the whole country.

Interesting too was the reaction.
Cameron tried to get a little traction on terror (but by all accounts Cameron was given a sound battering by Tony Blair)

The LibDem approach was novel if somewhat laughable.
They seem to be implying that they'd rather not pass new laws or up-date law to current or new circumstances.
Very strange, but quite in keeping with the general LibDem irrelevance.



[edit on 15-11-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Nov, 15 2006 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Very strange, but quite in keeping with the general LibDem irrelevance.


Yeah - nice people, but not someone you'd want to run the country


It does seem to be a busy year, with the Prime Minister trying to put in as much as he can whilst he still has the chance. I noticed on the news reports (all that I watched, anyway) that they were saying things along the lines of this definitely being Blair's last one - whilst that's extremely likely, I'd have been more careful... politics is a very unpredictable game, which is why it's so interesting.

There was quite a humorous moment when Black Rod entered the House of Commons and asked the Members to go to the House of Lords for the Queen's Speech - someone shouted out "Is it Helen Mirren?" or something to that effect


Any idea if the debate after the speech was recorded and is available to view online? I've checked the BBC site as well as the Number 10 and the Parliament sites but haven't had any luck so far - after reading Nick Assinder's comments from the link Sminkey provided I'd like to watch the whole thing


EDIT: With regards to the Helen Mirren jibe, the BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson has made a couple of posts about it in his blog. There can be found here and are entitled "Working out the plot" and "Film buffs" - Nick also looks at the post-speech debate in the Commons.

[edit on 15-11-2006 by Ste2652]



posted on Nov, 15 2006 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by Ste2652
Any idea if the debate after the speech was recorded and is available to view online?


- If you click on the 'politics' section (it's in the list of subjects on the left of the main page) you will be taken to that page and about half way down you'll see a small panel 'video and audio news'.

I think it's there under 'Queens speech: reaction'.

Click on it and you get asked to choose high or low bandwidth player (WMP or Real).

I think this is the appropriate link (but if I've got it wrong you'll know where to go & look......obviously it's updated as events unfold.
IIRC it's also where you'll always be able to see PMQ's after every Wed lunchtime 'show').

Good luck & enjoy.



posted on Nov, 15 2006 @ 09:51 PM
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Ste2652

How do you feel about this year's speech, and how do you feel about the ceremony in general? Is it outdated and extravagant, or is it part of our national character, tradition and heritage?


I reckon Blair would do the queens speech better than the Queen (she looked a bit tired today) and I'm semi sad it’s the last one with him in charge of government because the public had learnt to hate Blair, and I feel Gordon Brown will start of more popular but not too dissimilar.
The anti terror stuff scares me if it cuts into more of our civil liberties; but I haven’t looked into it. When the House of Commons recently voted against an inquiry into Iraq the War I became convinced they are by and large more interested in voting along party lines than doing what’s the right thing for the army and the country.

I think if Blair hadn’t been in a weak political position at the time of the I.D card debate, then the government would of won it; and so (present withstanding) probably will do if or when it tries again.
So currently I think public debate on government bills is mostly academic; in fact pretty useless given what they’ve shown themselves to be capable of getting away with. Still like politics of course.

Sminkeypinkey Is what’s being done for the environment enough when both the Tories and the LibDems are demanding annual carbon targets. I thought the government went through a phrase of being quite keen on targets; so to have the Tories and the LibDems join them on their own turf should surely have welcomed and not rejected?



posted on Nov, 16 2006 @ 07:44 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
When the House of Commons recently voted against an inquiry into Iraq the War


- Actually that's not (quite) what happened.

Parliament voted against the distraction of yet another public, huge, formal and official Gov inquiry right now as the war is still on-going
(which is utterly in keeping with British historical procedures).

However the Gov has made the commitment and explicitly stated that when the war is over there will be a full formal inquiry
(as is perfectly usual and normal and totally in keeping with British political history).


Is what’s being done for the environment enough when both the Tories and the LibDems are demanding annual carbon targets.


- There will be independent review but annual targets in this matter are all about party-political games and little to do with the real issue.

They may come eventually but for now reputable and proper independent review is judged to be the better and more productive approach (so as to keep this from becoming diverted into becoming yet another political football).


I thought the government went through a phrase of being quite keen on targets


- Targets do have their place but not in everything - and they have never just been applied to everything by this Gov.

In this matter right now they are quite clearly being pushed by the tory party and LibDems as an attempt to turn this into a political football and they are not really about addressing the issue.
You can't blame them I suppose, this is a policy likely to have an enormous impact and they are the opposition and their job is to oppose but they have little open to them to attack the policy and this is the best they can come up with.


so to have the Tories and the LibDems join them on their own turf should surely have welcomed and not rejected?


- Any party taking a serious approach will be welcomed.
The problem is that the other parties have decided they must act as the opposition on this and, at times, not cooperate to help get it implemented.
They have merely seized on this to undermine the whole policy.

But we shall see just how serious they are, let's not forget that this is the singularly most radical environmental policy any British Gov has embarked upon.

Amongst all the heat and noise I expect they will recognise and support much of this policy and help it through Parliament......they all are after all agreed on the fundamental needs of such a policy.

This is, IMO, going to be a very popular policy.
The opposition parties won't wish to be seen saying anything less than 'we could do better and go further'.
(even of they do often vote against some of the policy as it makes it's way through Parliament.....see the the climate change levy and the aggregates levy for example)



posted on Nov, 16 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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However the Gov has made the commitment and explicitly stated that when the war is over there will be a full formal inquiry


Ok so when we have left Iraq and perhaps when (say) we have the Iranian issue to deal with (possible more than now with newly politically expanded borders into Iraq) we may then get distracted with went right and wrong in Iraq?
Till then I guess any troop deaths (or regional trouble) caused by any mistakes in Iraq will carry on unaided by any “huge, formal, and official Gov inquiry”?

If that’s “totally in keeping” with British political history I wouldn’t be very proud of it. For starters surely there is even more to be learnt from recent mistakes than more distant ones. Flawed philosophy? I would like to see you challenge me on that.

Annual Carbon Targets…

They may come eventually but for now reputable and proper independent review is judged to be the better and more productive approach (so as to keep this from becoming diverted into becoming yet another political football).


Yes I can see why they wouldn’t want failure on annual carbon targets to be used as a political football. Maybe it’s better to set them in the year 2050 so that any failure today can offset by the hopes of tomorrow? How embarrassing if (for example) the government approved (ever so economically productive) expansion of Heathrow were to out do (our also economically productive) use of coal for electricity generation? Or energy efficient light bulbs for that matter?

So I don’t dispute avoiding annual carbon targets is a plus for Labour Party politics, but its only because they offer to offset the problems of today onto the hopes for tomorrow; and that is (surely almost unquestionably) something that’s bad for the environment?

I agree annual carbon targets might come eventually (for example if David Cameroon wins office), or (also hypothetically) if Labour has a change of heart. Question is which has the greater chance? From what you’ve said it sounded as though the latter had the least.?

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Nov, 16 2006 @ 03:14 PM
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Thanks for that, Sminkey.

I have to hand it to Blair... he's never lost the knack for a Parliamentary debate. The way he tears into the opposition makes him a classic statesman, regardless of what you think of his politics.



posted on Nov, 16 2006 @ 06:54 PM
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Lib if you honestly can't (or won't) see that a full-scale public enquiry now (which is what the opposition called for) is wholly inappropriate during the actual conflict then that is your problem.

Perhaps you need to learn your British history a little more; British governments (of all colours) have always seen the perfect sense of that and stuck to that approach for excellent and obvious reasons.

Pity your political prejudices have you so blinded that you cannot or simply refuse to see that.

Still, it's only additional British service personnel's lives that it might endanger eh?
What matters that when set against this sort of feeble party-political points scoring agenda, eh?
No wonder Parliament booted it out.....

.....but you'd rather think they were all totally wrong, or that they have just been 'got at' and that they have no view worth considering, right?
Even some of the tory ones, hmmmm?



Tory leader David Cameron's decision to vote for an immediate inquiry into the Iraq war was "absolutely crazy", a former party defence spokesman says.
Quentin Davies, who abstained from Tuesday's vote, said Tory credibility would be damaged if people thought the party had done a U-turn on the war.

Tory MPs were told at the last minute to back an unsuccessful SNP and Plaid Cymru motion for an immediate inquiry......

......But Mr Davies added the credibility of the party as an alternative government would be seriously damaged if it gave the impression of "cynically" shifting with the prevailing party political wind.

Another senior Conservative who was absent from the crucial vote - but who declined to be named - described Mr Cameron's decision as "intellectually and morally indefensible".

The MP suggested a number of Tory MPs were deliberately absent.

news.bbc.co.uk...

Your accompanying implication that the present Gov does not review and does not take advice on this policy (in private) is simply and plainly ridiculous.

You comments on the Climate Bill are equally, if typically, wrong-headed and guided by an obvious political prejudice.

This gov has a good record on the environment, actually.
That is the back-drop, that is where they 'come from'.
It's not perfect and it's not enough (no-one has claimed otherwise) but 'we' are getting better and better at this.
Unlike the claimed expectations of some for instance this country will meet and exceed the Kyoto targets by a significant degree.
Like Rio Kyoto was a product of the efforts of this Gov amongst others.
So absurd claims that 'they only want to do this to put off today's problems' don't really stand up given their record.

Reducing the environment to a political football on the basis of short-term statistics is not actually in the interests of the nation, for if anything is this is a the long term issue.
That's why the opposition hate the fact that a proper independent reviewing body is being set up to review and advise on the long-term effects and results of policy; because it takes this away from being reduced to that kind of short-termist 'annual row' that oppositions tend to love.

Despite the tory party having a recent record of voting against present environmental Bills, a few nice and cuddly words and suddenly, for you, Cameron is instantly to be believed and trusted 100%.....

......but yet on the flip side when it comes to a Labour Gov with an actual good substantive record of several years of action, unprecedented progress and who are the ones to have brought this unparalleled demanding new initiative forward, they are, in your eyes, damned as having done nothing and who you expect to do nothing but cheat and lie on this.
Go figure.

The Heathrow comment is also, I might add, typical.
A simplistic black and white assessment of something as important and complex as the necessary interaction between economics and the environment.
You seem to imagine and imply that a further expansion of Heathrow (or perhaps any economic growth?) renders all the environmental progress invalid or worthless.
Once again you insist on a rather simplistic, if typical, approach.

.......and finally I can only wonder what has caused you to forget all those past tory comments (in office from 1979-1997 and then later in opposition) about how British economic progress must not be diminished by the impact of what they used to insist were 'anti-business' environmental concerns.
At one point they considered environmentalism as just another vehicle for 'lefty' politics.


Perhaps you really should review that British political history a little further, hmmm?


====================================================
Ste2652
You're not wrong, when even Cameron is - in the heat of public debate - reduced to making comments about his and his party's respect for TB's obvious and formidable political skills and ends by saying that they are all glad he's leaving and taking that ability away with him you know you just saw something pretty unique and startling.

You expect that kind of thing as he is actually leaving, but not during the course of 'normal events'.

It's little surprise that many of our political commentators are rating this as Cameron's worst performance to date; I suspect the gloss has been coming off for a while and that this will only increase over time.

My bet is that Brown will also - if perhaps less theatrically - turn him inside out too as the substance and experience-free man encounters hard, serious and sober experience.

I agree and as I've said before, agree with him or not, they'll (all) miss him when he's gone.

(excepting, of course, the 'gifted with 100% hindsight' adolescent 'black and white' crew who will continue to delude themselves that Iraq is all totally Blair's 'fault' and responsibility.)


[edit on 16-11-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Nov, 16 2006 @ 09:04 PM
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Firstly Sminkeypinkey why are additional British troops lives going to be endangered by a public inquiry into the war? What is it going to do? Damage their opinion of us?

My belief is that the Resistance would (if anything) have more and not less respect if we reviewed the actions we’ve committed in their country.
Frankly unless there’s something extremely appalling (currently under wraps) that might come out in a public inquiry we have absolutely nothing to fear. And to be honest though it would probably make a positive difference to how we are perceived; whatever difference a British government inquiry did make would be so small it would almost be incalculable.

And your external source is only about Tories being scarred of being seen as anti war. To be honest sometimes I wonder if they’re heading for another 18 years of opposition and not power. Then I take a look at Labour, and I think “thank god for the Tories the public can only choose Lib Dems”.


Environment…
As for the Tories record on the environment I’ll elect them on what they promise, and change my loyalty for what they don’t deliver.
And frankly given all the scientific evidence, the continuing movement in political tectonic plates (across all age groups) it would be crazy for the Tories to brake with years of support for pollution only to restore it on coming to power (despite the pressure from climate becoming more and not less apparent over time).
Anyway (I know she’s no environmentalist) but wasn’t it Thatcher who did more than anybody to lessen our reliance on dirty coal?
Think of all the pollution that would still be coming out of our smoke stacks had it not been for her!!!

That Said…
I'm extremely glad that Labour has had the balls to stand up for nuclear power. Today’s nuclear reactors can produce 30% more electricity for the same amount of waste; and unlike Chernobyl (in violation of even rubbishy Soviet regulations) today’s reactors employ the laws of physics to avoid a meltdown. The Pebble Bed Reactor is a first for that. en.wikipedia.org...
www.eskom.co.za...

Furthermore; you can dispose of all nuclear waste within about 300 years, on option involves using technology banned for about 26 years (for Cold War politics).
www.npl.washington.edu...
However scientifically there is nothing against the chemical reprocessing of spent fuel rods or high-flux fast-neutron reactors.

The Tories on the other hand also blatantly support nuclear power 9at heart); but the weak little suckers haven’t said it yet. It’s whether the Tories embrace it that will determine my environmental support for them. I understand the need to be populist but honesty with the public also counts; and if they won’t do that, then yeah I do wonder whether I will trust them. If on the other hand you can trust them not to be build nuclear power then that’s equally bad as shows poor commitment to climate change. (That said there is always the Medieval Greenpeace Options). But somehow I don’t trust them to follow through with that, no matter how much power is at stake.

On A Nuclear Note…
Ever noticed that whenever these political enquires rule out nuclear power they never mention which reactors are bad for the job? I sometimes wonder if they’re talking about technology that was developed 50 years ago (not 5 or 15).

Or how many members of Friends of the Earth are really more concerned about nuclear disarmament? (They’ve probably never heard of the Light Water reactor which can’t produce weapons grade material). Anybody who is serious about climate change will support nuclear power; and if your really serious then certain types of reactor beyond others.

So: On the Environment support Labour if they go in for nuclear power; and the right kinds of nuclear power. Only people wanting to go back to stone age can out do you.

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Nov, 17 2006 @ 07:36 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
why are additional British troops lives going to be endangered by a public inquiry into the war?


- Because a full-scale public enquiry in the British sense means openly revealing for eventual publication huge amounts of operational and its supporting information that is currently kept secret (including comprehensive descriptions of the methods, resources and strategy).

It really ought to be perfectly obvious to even the most willfully obtuse that that information could be used to endanger and harm the forces still in the field and on the ground.


My belief is that the Resistance would (if anything) have more and not less respect if we reviewed the actions we’ve committed in their country.


- If you honestly do not think the actions and policy are not under constant review then you need to learn a little about how the Gov and the armed forces operate.

.....and the reason for keeping war secrets secret is a serious one; claims about gaining enemy "respect" have to be some of the most ludicrous comments you've made here yet!


whatever difference a British government inquiry did make would be so small it would almost be incalculable.


- Of course, but to you lib.

Despite the fact that British Gov's (of all colours) have always strictly held to a policy of denying any and all information which might aid the enemy when our forces are on the ground and at risk you prefer to think you know best and that it wouldn't matter at all if 'we' had a prolonged public examination and eventual detailed published report into all aspects of the 'events'.
..... and would go for a weird idea of gaining enemy "respect".

Thank God you aren't making any decisions relating to any of this.


Let's face the truth about this.
Like it or not 'we' have thousands of British service personnel involved in several trouble spots, under proper UN mandate.

This proposal for a full-scale public enquiry is stunningly ill thought out and totally absurd.
It is a completely obvious, crass and thoroughly opportunist pursuit of nothing less than a few cheap political points knowing that this Gov (like any British Gov) could and would never agree to this.....
....just the same as any other that has gone before or will come after it.

It's no accident that all the serious commentators (including senior tory ex-defense spokesmen) have agreed it is as pointless as it is unnecessary as it is dangerous.

The real point for people like yourself is that after 4 major enquiries into the start of the Iraqi war and associated matters (including unprecedented access to the Intel and Joint Chiefs of Staff) you just never did get the answer you expected or wanted and so want yet another 'bite at the cherry' ......and to hell with any British lives put at risk by it.


wasn’t it Thatcher who did more than anybody to lessen our reliance on dirty coal?


- It was, but typically it was a totally unintended consequence of her stupid class-war against the working classes & the mining communities and those dependent upon them in Britain.

She and her Gov (and the Major one that came after her time) simply shut down most of and then privatised what was left of the industry.

Had she gone and followed up the 'clean coal' gassification technologies that the publicly owned 'Coal industry' had been researching you might have a valid point but
seeing as she didn't and she merely destroyed the then British coal industry and then broke up what was left (flogging off the publicly funded technology in the process at a very very low price) you're (once again) simply just using 20/20 hindsight to make dishonest connections that really don't apply as they were never part of the thinking back then and you are grasping at straws.


[edit on 17-11-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Nov, 19 2006 @ 04:52 PM
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Part 1

claims about gaining enemy "respect" have to be some of the most ludicrous comments you've made here yet!


Talk of gaining enemy respect is crazy; sadly its no longer a ludicrous issue to raise given that the argument was used by our foreign secretary Margaret Becket…


www.telegraph.co.uk.../news/2006/10/31/ucommons5001.xml Earlier, Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, warned that a defeat for the Government would undermine British troops and send a dangerous signal to the insurgents.

"What happens in this House today will be heard and not only by those in Iraq, the people and the government, but also will be heard by those whose intention it is to do us harm, whether it be in Iraq or beyond," she said.
"I ask the House whether it is the time to send a signal which many will undoubtedly, and every Member in this House knows this in their heart to be true, interpret as a signal which is a weakening of our commitment."


Other Labour MP’s also used the argument “of not undermining insurgent respect for us” to propel their argument against a government inquiry. Therefore it was entirely proper of for me to out point that an inquiry (into what we’re doing in their country) may also increase respect for us

For the Record: I also said:

And to be honest though it would probably make a positive difference to how we are perceived; whatever difference a British government inquiry did make would be so small it would almost be incalculable.


Now you understand why I brought up the issue of “insurgent respect” do we at least agree that its use in the House of Commons (to propel the argument against a government inquiry) was (if not ludicrous) then at least bad (possibly manipulative?) politics?

Part 2: Danger To National Security…

a full-scale public enquiry in the British sense means openly revealing for eventual publication huge amounts of operational and its supporting information that is currently kept secret (including comprehensive descriptions of the methods, resources and strategy).


Really? I didn’t know that. What sort of “comprehensive descriptions of the methods, resources and strategy” would be revealed in a public inquiry?

The combinations of the missile codes we’ve used?
How to train a soldier manuals?
The state of our equipment?

Sounds like it. Because yes if a British public inquiry means publicising this sort of information (or similar) then I agree we should never have a British public inquiry into the military.
But only if your saying there is no way of censoring British public inquiries on reasonable grounds of national security

If so our public inquiries suck. For example say a nuclear warhead leaked and their was overwhelming political pressure for an inquiry; is it conceivable we would have to publish its design?
Clearly this state of affairs is a potential hazard? As well as an excellent way for our democracy to prevent the public coming to know of unmilitary sensitive embarrassments-problems contained in militarily sensitive issues.

Anyway Sminkey you’re the one who is saying militarily sensitive information would have to be made public. Is there anyway you could confirm with us public inquires cannot be censored on grounds of national security?
And if this is true would you agree that the structure for public inquiries into the military has to change?



posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
Talk of gaining enemy respect is crazy; sadly its no longer a ludicrous issue to raise given that the argument was used by our foreign secretary Margaret Becket


Well if you can find it feel free to point out where she talks about conniving to gain "enemy respect".

I can't see her talking about "gaining respect" from the enemy anywhere in the quote you've (ab)used.

I note too that you cannot provide a direct quote to back your claim some other MP actually mentioned enemy respect (*hint* try Hansard).
.....and let's be honest about this lib

of not undermining insurgent respect for us

Is nothing like the same as what you have claimed anyway.
Not undermining a degree of respect is nothing like the same as attempting to create or gain respect.

I can see talk about sending "signals" to the enemy.
That's still got nothing to do with any ludicrous claims that a full scale public enquiry would not risk British lives and would only help gain some sort of imagined productive and positive enemy "respect".

The sending of deliberate "signals" in wartime is perfectly normal and happens in every war (during WW2 all the involved 'powers' went as far as keeping several diplomatic 'channels' open).


What sort of “comprehensive descriptions of the methods, resources and strategy” would be revealed in a public inquiry?


- Lib if you really don't even know what a full scale open British Parliamentary public enquiry entails and is, then perhaps it is down to you to find out what it is that you are calling so loudly for and finding so completely essential, hmmmmm?



Because yes if a British public inquiry means publicising this sort of information (or similar) then I agree we should never have a British public inquiry into the military.
But only if your saying there is no way of censoring British public inquiries on reasonable grounds of national security


- Before you descend into your usual bold hysteria let's just recap on the reality.

The Government, like all Governments before it has said it will not and indeed cannot have an open Public Enquiry whilst the war/action is on-going because such an enquiry would, of itself (due to it's wide-ranging open-ness), put British and allied lives at risk.

They have also said, in keeping - again - with the practises of all Governments that have gone before, that they will set an open Public enquiry once the war/action is concluded.

They did not refuse a public enquiry completely, they (rightly) refused one right now.


If so our public inquiries suck.


- Do you think you might keep this on a little more adult basis lib?

It's quite clear, obvious and perfectly reasonable why certain kinds of inquiry are appropriate at certain points in time when others are not.

Surely that isn't too difficult a concept to grasp, hmmmmm?


Anyway Sminkey you’re the one who is saying militarily sensitive information would have to be made public. Is there anyway you could confirm with us public inquires cannot be censored on grounds of national security?


- Well OK, call for that then.

But realise that if you do that then it isn't the full scale and open public enquiry you (in supporting this opposition call) til now seemed to find so essential, right?


And if this is true would you agree that the structure for public inquiries into the military has to change?


- Er, the opposition (which you have supported in this) didn't call for a closed enquiry.
They called for an open public enquiry and you, apparantly, thought the British democratic sky was falling in cos it had been refused.

Maybe if you actually bothered to learn some more about British political history and how our system of Gov actually works you might not be reduced to this faintly ridiculous position you are in now.

You began here by complaining that our democracy was under threat becaue this Gov refused the kind of enquiry the opposition had called for.
Now, as the facts and implications regarding that kind of enquiry become clear to you, you are complaining that a closed enquiry should be held........and by implication that the Gov should just do the opposition a favour and set one up for you and the opposition, despite the fact that this is not the kind of enquiry the opposition called for.
Unbelievable.


Perhaps if you understood a little more about the mechanisms of how our Gov actually works you might be a little less inclined to be so stridently 100% black and white definite and inflexible about the problems and flaws you imagine ........and you might be able to debate from a more substantive and informed basis.



[edit on 20-11-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Nov, 21 2006 @ 05:28 PM
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Part 1 The Gaining Enermy Respect Argument

I note too that you cannot provide a direct quote to back your claim some other MP actually mentioned enemy respect


Sorry it wasn’t obvious but me saying

Other Labour MP’s also used the argument “of not undermining insurgent respect for us” to propel their argument against a government inquiry.
was my way of summing up their argument.

But besides our Foreign Secretary, the PM’s spokesman also said

news.bbc.co.uk... The prime minister's spokesman has insisted to concede such an investigation now, or to defeat the government, would send out a message of weakness to terrorists and insurgents in Iraq

So they say “inquiry emboldens insurgents” I say “gains us respect”. But (like I originally said) I also say:

whatever difference a British government inquiry did make would be so small it would almost be incalculable.


Part 2 Would An Enquiry Really Endanger National Security?

Originally posted by Sminkeypinkey

- Lib if you really don't even know what a full scale open British Parliamentary public enquiry entails and is, then perhaps it is down to you to find out what it is that you are calling so loudly for and finding so completely essential, hmmmmm?


What I Want and Why…
I know exactly what I'm calling for: a full inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the Iraq War (particularly the start).
That said if they included the present and future circumstances of this conflict that would be fine too; as I feel they would be kind of vindictive of my pro-Saddam Hussein position. Now of course Saddam could have been murdered by the Iraqi Court by the time a full inquiry delivers its findings. In which case that’s sad; but because Iraq’s population is dominated by Muslim fundamentalists (Sunni or Shiite) I’ll remain confident that virtually all inquiries into this war will bring us closure to the realisation that Iraq’s future lies between two dictatorships.
One Fundamentalist and the other Secular; both will commit crimes against humanity but the fundamentalist one will do so to impose their religious on others, and will do so in a way which is almost certainly economically counter productive, and even more so anti West. One more because the majority of Iraq’s population are (Iranian style) Shiite Muslim fundamentalists; it’s the religious fundamentalist and not secular dictatorship which has democracy on its side.
Maybe I'm Wrong: Maybe an inquiry into this war will only help show that our democracy (of religious fundamentalists and secular differences) will overcome all great hurdles if only we give them enough support.
And although I don’t understand how Iraqi democracy can bypass the Iraqi electorate, or why we should let them elect a dictatorship that’s anti us; my quest for information is increased and not reduced by these questions. Therefore the report is still a good exercise almost regardless of what your opinion might be.

Sminkey But as you’re the one who said…

full-scale public enquiry in the British sense means openly revealing for eventual publication huge amounts of operational and its supporting information that is currently kept secret (including comprehensive descriptions of the methods, resources and strategy).


I ask again: Why would this information have to be released? Give us an understanding of why e.g. “comprehensive descriptions” (of militarily sensitive methods) would have to be released for a full scale inquiry “into the circumstances of the Iraq War?”

Frankly I believe it’s perfectly possible to keep this information classifieds and have a public inquiry; and even if it wasn’t, then this clearly makes the inquiry system itself a potential threat to national and international security that must be changed.

Without a clearer understanding of why militarily sensitive information (endangering national security) is likely to be released through a public inquiry then both Blair and Labour remain open to the accusation they are abusing the military welfare argument. I.e. using the politics of fear instead of those of reality.

Basically you’ve made a claim; so please try and back it up. If your only evidence is “the Labour argument said that” then how is the opposition to know national security is endangered?
Anyway if Labours main concern is really national security then why doesn’t it simply agree to an enquiry that will protect militarily sensitive information?

As for the troops; if they’re endangered of feeling politically demoralised by any truths an inquiry exposes then perhaps that’s more the fault of the politicians?
As it’s the politicians who ultimately decide where, and to what degree the troops should fight; isn’t it logical British democracy should never be held hostage by the fact exposing troops and the nation to the truth has demoralising effects?

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Nov, 21 2006 @ 06:36 PM
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Very amusing little go at a wriggle on the "respect" point there lib.
But just admitting that you misunderstood and quoted wrong and paraphrased wrong would have been more honest - along with an admission that you couldn't find anything in Hansard (the record of Parliamentary speeches) to back you up.

Instead of going around in ever decreasing circles lib
why don't you just admit you did not and still do not really understand what a British public full Parliamentary enquiry is?

Because, besides buying into the glib and populist series of hackneyed old opposition pronouncements it's patently clear that you really have no clue about this and what it is you have seemingly found so essential to British democracy.

You can't call for a full public enquiry and then ask for the bits that don't suit you and cause you problems to not be open and public.
It's not a full public enquiry in that case.

The whole point of a full public Parliamentary enquiry is that the evidence from those questioned, involved and advising the matters under investigation is heard (along with any other supporting evidence the board of enquiry might find relevant and demand) in public and later, at it's conclusion, everything submitted, heard and seen by way of that supporting evidence is published publicly.

That may include members of the Government, members of the MOD, members of the armed forces, weapons suppliers, intelligence gathering and methods used, strategy, local tactics, logistics, deployments - in other words everything.
It means everything could be opened up to public scrutiny and all whilst the war/action continues.

......and you're honestly trying to say that you really can't see why that would be wholly inappropriate, unwise and downright dangerous to British lives in the field?

Just to try and gain some "enemy respect"!?

Wise up lib.


.....and then you go on to the most breath-talking cheek of the lot of it!

You seriously expect the Gov to help a mischief making opposition with their ignorant or idiotic opposition tactics.
Why the hell should they?

In any event the opposition knew full well the Gov could never agree to this (cos even senior defence-related members of the opposition said so beforehand) so it must be the case that they are merely trying to score some cheap points with this 'issue'.
(Which considering we are talking about a situation where British lives are at risk is really really nice of them......and shows them up for the cynical (ab)users they really are.
)

Unfortunately it seems that you just do not and can not 'get' this.

You seem to think that when the opposition officially call for something (full Parliamentary House of Commons vote and all) they can't have (and that Parliament refuses with a vote)
then the Gov should just do them some sort of a favour and serve up that which they haven't even asked for!
(and don't want anyway....their whole line of attack was an open public enquiry to cause maximum embarrassment to the Gov - or so they hoped.
They don't want another closed enquiry.
Any closer to getting it now, hmmmmm?).

There have been 4 major enquiries into Iraq already
(including, uniquely and thanks to this Labour Gov, the intel surrounding the start).
The Gov sees no reason to spend huge amounts of public money on yet another enquiry (the war's end enquiry will be the last one).

But like I said the real truth at the heart of this is that what you really mean is that you want to see some sort of a new enquiry that gives you the answer(s) you want.

Never mind lib, I'm sure it all makes some sort of sense to you.

Better yet why not just keep on with the idea that they refused this public enquiry to just stop 'the truth' getting out; it appears perfectly suited to your existing prejudices.



[edit on 21-11-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 12:55 PM
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why don't you just admit you did not and still do not really understand what a British public full Parliamentary enquiry is?


To stop you saying that I had a look at the following link...
www.blinkbits.com...

So you have yet to demonstrate why “an inquiry into the circumstances of the Iraq War” would:

a full-scale public enquiry in the British sense means openly revealing for eventual publication huge amounts of operational and its supporting information that is currently kept secret (including comprehensive descriptions of the methods, resources and strategy).


Personally I am hugely eager to learn how a public inquiry now will damage British national security more than one in the future (and after of course the mistakes have been made). I would really like to learn a few specific examples of how and why a public enquiry into the circumstances of this war will damage our security; this would be highly useful as it would enable people to judge for themselves whether our security will be damaged more by (say having poor people in authority, or mistakes liable to being repeated because public pressure remains unnecessarily badly uneducated).


You can't call for a full public enquiry and then ask for the bits that don't suit you and cause you problems to not be open and public.


But I'm not suggesting the bits that don’t suit my opinion shouldn’t be published. I'm suggesting we can have a public enquiry with the bits that expose militarily sensitive information being withheld. And unless this was clearly abused I would be very surprised if the opposition won much public support for campaigning that classified military information should be publicised.

Simple Challenge…
Anyway if you can be specific in showing how an enquiry would damage our security then I might come close to agreeing with you (again).
If you can’t then I think it’s quite safe to say that: “the government is abusing the national security argument, to deny the public an enquiry that would highlight their mistakes; and therefore damage them politically through the due processes of democracy”.

And although I agree that almost any government would do this, it doesn’t make me proud. Not least because by governing with support (on the back of a slightly less well informed public) soldiers will die (possibly because of decisions our government shouldn’t really be taking at all).



posted on Nov, 22 2006 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
Personally I am hugely eager to learn how a public inquiry now will damage British national security more than one in the future (and after of course the mistakes have been made).


- Well as I keep saying lib if you really can't work out or simply refuse to see what the problem here would be then that is your lookout.

An fully open wide-ranging and public enquiry conducted after British forces come home is clearly not going to pose the potential risks one conducted whilst forces are on the ground there would.
It really couldn't be any simpler.


I would really like to learn a few specific examples of how and why a public enquiry into the circumstances of this war will damage our security


- You're really going to stick to this aren't you?
Oh well.

First of all the opposition call wasn't just for "a public enquiry into the circumstances of this war"; it was for an enquiry into the conduct of the war and all circumstances leading to it.

The conduct of a public enquiry operates under terms of reference set out by Parliament or the Gov depending on who sets up the enquiry.
The opposition wanted terms of reference as broad and as open as possible.

You seem intent on insisting that you don't understand the possible problems a complete and totally open review of the war and everything surrounding it
(which is what the opposition called for) could give!?

Righto.

You're also just speculating that things would go the way you imagine, but you have no grounds to say that; it can't be proved, it's merely your own opinion and speculative guessing.

This potential enquiry could veer off into any direction and focus on almost anything connected
(and it's quite obvious that the opposition parties are currently so shameless that they'd do or try anything for party advantage and ignore the needs of the country);
just because you do not or can not imagine this is no guarantee it wouldn't go that way.

Quite rightly our Gov will not take that kind of risk - nor any unnecessary possible risks with British forces' lives with this kind of petty-politicking -
but has given a solid public comittment that it will hold the proper enquiry at the right time ie after the forces come home
(and totally in keeping with British custom and practice).


But I'm not suggesting the bits that don’t suit my opinion shouldn’t be published. I'm suggesting we can have a public enquiry with the bits that expose militarily sensitive information being withheld.


- Yeah but that's not what was actually called for.

......and like I said you can't guarantee that.

You might even begin with that intention but there is no way of ensuring that that remains the case in an open and full public Parliamentary enquiry.


And unless this was clearly abused I would be very surprised if the opposition won much public support for campaigning that classified military information should be publicised.


- Once you agree to full open, wide-ranging and public terms you can't just 'control' what happens, that's the point of them.....they aren't under the control of the Gov, they practically gain a life of their own.

.....and the inforamtion given doesn't necessarily have to be classified anyway, just brought into the public domain and all the dots connected as to how it all relates to other info in the public domain etc etc.

The truth is that this boils down to you just making your own series of assumptions to make this all seem so plausible and reasonable to you.
And why?
Because you believe a new enquiry would give you the answer(s) you want to hear.....unlike all the others.



Anyway if you can be specific in showing how an enquiry would damage our security then I might come close to agreeing with you (again).


- Well all that has to happen is for our forces to still be there and
(a) that 'our' actual tactical procedures used,
(b) 'our' intel methods/sources and
(c) 'our' logistical details
get publicly examined, debated and reviewed and you have the real prospect of British forces being put at risk 'in the theatre'.

That's just 3 specifics.......and how can you debate the propriety, conduct and effectiveness of 'our' forces and actions in this war if you can't examine call expert and/or involved witnesses and debate those points?


Not least because by governing with support (on the back of a slightly less well informed public) soldiers will die (possibly because of decisions our government shouldn’t really be taking at all).


- Er, well perhaps your haven't noticed lib (or maybe like some you just prefer to ignore this fact)
but
British forces are in Iraq and Afghanistan under UN mandate.
It isn't simply the case that they are there because of British Gov decisions alone.


[edit on 22-11-2006 by sminkeypinkey]




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