Tag Archives: william hague

Devolution must go beyond Westminster

Yesterday in parliament, William Hague announced four options to address the “English votes for English laws” issue. They are:

  1. Barring Scottish and Northern Irish MPs from any role in English and Welsh bills and limiting England-only bills to English MPs
  2. Allowing only English MPs, or English and Welsh MPs, to consider relevant bills during their committee and report stages, where amendments are tabled and agreed, before allowing all MPs to vote on the final bill
Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 33 Comments

Farage says Britain’s becoming “unrecognisable”. But the British public says our sense of belonging is increasing.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage was dog-whistling for all he was worth at his party’s spring conference this week:

“In scores of our cities and market towns, this country, in a short space of time, has, frankly, become unrecognisable. Whether it is the impact on local schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact that in many parts of England you don’t hear English spoken any more, this is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.”

His words were eerily reminiscent of William Hague’s insidious “foreign land” speech in 2001. And his party’s slogan …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 47 Comments

Martin Horwood MP writes… Why Nick Clegg’s response to Jenny Tonge was right

The controversy surrounding Jenny Tonge’s resignation from our party in the House of Lords has attracted a lot of comment online. I’m co-chair of the parliamentary party’s international affairs committee (although writing here in a personal capacity) and I think the stance which Nick took as leader was right.

Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine – for whom I have a great deal of time – have suggested that Jenny’s ‘intention was to imply that Israel’s wilful failure to uphold and respect the human rights of Palestinian Muslims and Christians is behaviour which is likely to lead to its …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 16 Comments

Opinion: Egypt – time now for the power of votes in ballot boxes

Egyptians have risked, and continue to risk, so much for their future. Back in February, there was jubilation in Tahrir Square, at the ousting of President Mubarak after forty years of autocratic rule. There was hope for a more democratic future. Nine months on, they are back in Tahrir facing military and police brutality, asking why the ruling military council is denying the people that future.

These are the most sustained protests since Mubarak was ousted. Nearly 40 people have been killed. It is thought that many have been shot dead by the security forces. Many hundreds are injured. There are …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Lib Dems hold Tories back on Europe

The Spectator reports:

Hague says he’s been held back on Europe by the Lib Dems
William Hague’s comments in an interview with The Times that the Liberal Democrats are restraining the Tories on Europe will increase the grumbling among Tory backbenchers about the power of the junior coalition partner.

I’ll file that in the ‘good news’ pile.

Posted in Europe / International and News | 14 Comments

Chris White writes: Policies or personalities?

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, described Pope Gregory IX as ‘a Pharisee seated on the chair of pestilence, anointed with the oil of wickedness’. The Pope replied that the Emperor was the forerunner of the Antichrist and the monster of the Apocalypse. (‘The Popes’, by John Julius Norwich, 2011).

Such was political debate in the 13th century, topped up by episodes of unspeakable violence.

At this distance it seems rather laughable that an Emperor and a Prelate (especially one considering himself the Vicar of Christ) should behave like that.

But while burning at the stake is now thankfully behind us, vitriol is not. …

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Martin Horwood MP writes: Facing up to human rights in China

Premier Wen Jiabao of China arrived in Britain over the weekend for a series of events culminating in bilateral talks with the Prime Ministers today at Number Ten.

While the discussions will undoubtedly turn to the economy, trade agreements and further cooperation between our two countries, I hope the Prime Minister will also promote our greatest exports: our long held values of democracy, human rights and free speech.

These bilateral meetings offer the British government a chance to place human rights unambiguously on the agenda in our discussions with the Chinese. As William Hague wrote last year, “promoting human rights is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 3 Comments
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