The usual newsletter will be out on Friday, after our August break.
However, we have just received several emails from organisations
including Carer Watch and The Broken of Britain about what is claimed to
be government attempts to stifle opposition to the Welfare Reform Bill
currently being debated in the House of Lords..
There is no
time for us to check out the accuracy of these claims – the deadline for
doing anything is 3.30pm today - but as the issue is potentially an
important one we are passing it on to you, unverified though it is.
There are several email addresses at the end of the article of people to
Urgent call to action After an incredibly
constructive debate yesterday in the House Of Lords the government
appear to be concerned about how many Lords had significant concerns
about the Welfare Reform Bill, even those Lords who in principle
supported the bill had major questions they wanted answers to.
For a bill of this size and importance, convention dictates that the
next stage of the bill should be kept in the main chamber of the House
of Lords for debate. It's particularly important the bill be continued
to be debated in the main chamber as disability access to the smaller
committee rooms is very limited and people will not be able to access
the committee rooms to exercise their democratic right to observe the
passge of the bill from the public chamber.
At 3.30pm today the
govermnent are tabling a motion to move the grand committee stage of
the bill into one of the smaller committee rooms. Presumably the
government are hoping that by moving a bill into the committee rooms it
will be harder to scrutinise - there won't be enough space in any of the
committee rooms to allow for all the Lords to participate, let alone
for us to scrutinise online or attend in person.
This is an
outrage - the government are clearly concerned by the level of queries
and opposition to the Welfare Reform Bill highlighted by yesterday's
debate and wish to quietly sideline it to a committee room where they
hope it will pass with less opposition. Tabling the motion for the
afternoon following PMQ's is also an underhand trick as it means it will
be harder for us to object through the main stream media.
is our call to arms. This bill affects us, our families and every
aspect of our lives, as well as the lives of those currently paying into
the system in anticipation of protection should they require it. If we
can make enough noise in the next few hours the government will be
forced to keep the passage of the bill in the main chamber of the house
of lords where it can be effectively and appropriately scrutinised by
What you can do to help is this:
copies of this blog onto your facebook, your twitter, stumbleupon, wikio
etc. Please email it to everyone you know, please talk about this on
your own blogs. Email or phone your MP to register your objections,
email or phone the house of lords to explain your concerns, email or
phone the media, local or national and explain that whether or not
people are in favour of this bill, that it is a fundamental democratic
right to have it debated in the main chamber of the house of lords where
there is space for all who wish to attend and observe. Highlight the
injustice and hypocrisy of the governments behaviour in trying to
sideline this important bill into a room too small for all the Lords to
attend and certainly too small to allow those in wheelchairs, or with
guide dogs, the very people most affected by this bill to be able to
observe from the public gallery.
If we make enough noise before
3.30pm today the government will have to drop this underhand tactic and
the Bill will continue to be debated in the main chamber of the House
of Lords where everyone who wishes to can attend and observe.
UPDATE 13.30 The email addresses to contact are:
email@example.com – this is the chief whip to whom you should send the email and cc it to the others. firstname.lastname@example.org – opposition chief whip. email@example.com – David Freud
You can read the original post on the Broken of Britain blog.
PLEASE PASS ME ON
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