"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Saved From The Bill

"I beg to move that leave be given to bring in a Bill to improve electoral registration, to introduce identification of voters and other measures to combat electoral fraud, to widen the franchise to allow all those over eighteen legally resident in the United Kingdom to vote, to strengthen measures to control negative campaigns by third party groups and websites and for connected purposes."

So said Mike Gapes, (left), Labour Co-op MP for Ilford South, this afternoonn (video here).

Opposition was led by Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow, who called it "a Trojan horse of censorship", amongst other things (video here).

Ayes: 30;  Noes: 86

Halfon did well to stop this proposed Bill in its tracks; had it passed, all the blogs I visit, and this one, would have been subject to censorship during electioneering. It was just a Ten Minute Rule Bill and unlikely to have made it into law as it stood but it exposes how devious some politicians are at pushing back-door agendas.

One thing Halfon didn't pick up on was Gapes' proposal to allow anyone over the age of eighteen who is "legally resident in the United Kingdom" to have the vote.  So a voter wouldn't even have to be a British Citizen - it's just more of the same half-baked claptrap that we've come to expect from certain quarters and one that wouldn't go down well with bona fide Britons at large.

There's no doubt Gapes is a busy man - he's always popping up making interventions or sitting on committees.  His attendance in Parliament can't be faulted and he must be a good constituency MP or he wouldn't have held on to his seat since 1992. It's a pity he leans towards the authoritarian and away from the democratic and I'm reminded of the saying that 'empty vessels make most noise'.

Click here for his voting record (ID cards, smoking ban, more EU integration, anti-terrorist laws etc)

"Has spoken in 56 debates in the last year — well above average amongst MPs.
Has received answers to 20 written questions in the last year — below average amongst MPs.
Replied within 2 or 3 weeks to a high number of messages sent via WriteToThem.com during 2008, according to constituents.
Has voted in 70.76% of votes in this Parliament with this affiliation — below average amongst MPs. (From Public Whip)
People have made 3 annotations on this MP’s speeches — average amongst MPs.
This MP's speeches, in Hansard, are readable by an average 18–19 year old, going by the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score.
89 people are tracking whenever this MP speaks
Has used three-word alliterative phrases (e.g. "she sells seashells") 445 times in debates — above average amongst MPs."

B y the way, Robert Halfon has created a petition calling for St George's Day to be made a Bank Holiday.  Good luck with that one!  I've signed it but don't hold out any hope at all.


    1. "It's a pity he leans towards the authoritarian and away from the democratic and I'm reminded of the saying that 'empty vessels make most noise'"

      What do you expect from a socialist but authoritarianism. Which is probably why he is such a fan of the EU!

      Your being reminded of that old saying is so true in Gates' case!

    2. Has anyone told Mike Gapes that this is tantamount to Communism?

      As you probably know, those legally resident in Spain can vote in the local elections as long
      you are registered at the town hall. I must admit I don't, purely because it's not my country and I think the Spanish have a right to decide without foreign interference.

      The encumbant mayor is also on trial for fraud and is probably related to half the people I know, so I don't talk to them about politics :)

      However, I don' think it's right to be able to vote in a country if you are not a full citizen

    3. But Labour Co-op, Mr W - all for the good of the people, who could doubt his intentions :-) He's been there since 1992 - I don't get it.

      It's the same here Sue, EU residents can vote in local and EU elections. Gapes was proposing a widening of the franchise to take in all 'residents' over 18- not even EU residents. Bloody international socialists,I hate them with a passion. If we had a Conservative Party worthy of the name we wouldn't be in this predicament.

      Centrist now means communitarian and Conservative means Tory aka 'right-wing'; they call the BNP 'far-right'. Heaven knows what that makes you and me :-)


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