Sunday, May 17, 2009

Constitutional Mischief?

I am just jumping around the Sunday Newspapers online and came across an interesting article in the Sunday Mail. Entitled "The Queen tells Gordon Brown she is 'deeply troubled' over MPs' expenses" it begins by suggesting there has been a 'candid exchange of views' when Gordon rolled up to the Palace on Tuesday.

But at the end there are these two provocative paragraphs:

Although the Queen's role in Parliament is now largely ceremonial, it is the Monarch who dissolves Parliament, and it is only convention that dictates that she should do so only on the advice of the Prime Minister.

She also retains a key role in the passage of legislation. The Crown is expected to act with 'the advice and consent' of the Commons and Lords, but again, it is only convention which states that she will give Royal assent to Bills passed by the two Houses.

I wonder what action exactly the Mail is trying to invoke. The Queen demonstrated with The Lisbon Constitutional Treaty that she was prepared to sign away powers from the UK that she is supposed to protect under the her Coronation Oath. Why would she not be prepared to invoke her powers there and supposedly be so inclined now?

Gordon Brown got the job without facing the electorate in a General Election, and without an election within his party. He has since pushed legislation through Parliament which contravenes the 2005 Labour Party manifesto.... In short Gordon Brown never has had an electoral mandate in which to govern. This, in part is why some people do not like him. He is governing without consent or due consideration from the public.

In the last week I have seen a few remarks about the Queen stepping in and I believe there are a few petitions out there urging the Queen to dissolve Parliament.

I really do not think the Queen will dissolve Parliament, though I do believe the Queen will not shy away from raising her concerns with Gordon Brown. It did make for an interesting article though. The Queen appointed Gordon Brown PM without an electoral mandate, I do not see how she can dissolve Parliament now, and not then.

Despite all of this I do think that Parliament should be dissolved, I just don't think the Queen will be the trigger for it. Hoping that she might, seems to me to be a distraction. The removal of Speaker Martin this week could lead to a motion of no confidence on Gordon if he decides to back Speaker Martin, and fails by way of a vote in the Commons. The Speaker is after all not completely loved on the Labour benches. I think given this unprecedented nature of the action against the Speaker in modern times it is fair to say this will be an unpredictable week, one in which future conventions may well be written.


All Seeing Eye said...

TheEye is posting without links and references and as such has no escape clause when shown to be wrong. However...

Didn't Her Majesty dismiss her Governor of Australia about 20 years ago and although it was her constitutional right (and also her responsibility) to do so? I seem to recall a dreadful mess ensued.

Daniel is right that once things become 'conventions which aren't used any more' they get harder to use again as every day passes. If she followed the will of the country and sacked the One Eyed Son Of The Manse then every Grauniad reader would be up in arms and their letters column would spontaneously combust.

(Hmmm posting on a blog and talking about a letters column and my checkword is "thatedit". It's a conspiracy I tell you.)

Anonymous said...

What real power does the Queen have anymore.
Elizabeth Beckett an expert on our constitution until her death February 2009 had her story blacked out by the media in this country.

Elizabeth Beckett said: “The Queen’s prerogative power was taken illegally by Tony Blair and Lord Falconer, but they did not take her common law pre-eminence by which I have taken this action. Nor did they take her prerogative of mercy as indicated in the Tragos Archipelago appeal reported in the Daily Telegraph Mat 24th 2007.”

The act under which the liability order is applied being constructed against our constitution has been validated under the Royal Prerogative and is therefore invalid as is the entry into the EU, the constitutional reform act of 2006, the equality act, the immigration act and others. The costs of immigration are not legally a charge on Council Tax

Last week Mrs. Becket was told by a senior civil servant that Acts of Parliament now go straight into Law. They no longer require Royal Assent because the Queen’s agreement is automatic, due to Queen Anne being the last Monarch to refuse to accept a Bill passed by both Houses.
“This is not in fact true as both George III, Queen Victoria and Edward VII all sent Bills back. This is a very serious matter as it means that all Bills that have not had assent are in fact invalid. “What this government has done is take from the people their inherent power under the Constitutional Law. This is the birthright of the British people and their sovereignty under the Act of Settlement.”

Her last letter to the Queen...

Her Majesty The Queen
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA

21 January 2009


Unconstitutional reign

Giving careful consideration to the mode of address in this letter, although in courtesy I have addressed it in conventional manner, it is clear that having, in effect, abdicated by failure to perform your coronation oath you leave the people of this nation without effective titular head to whom we may address our petitions. I write to you only in your pre-eminence in Common Law.
I write on Edmund Burke's remark that for evil to flourish it is sufficient for good men to do nothing.
At your coronation you swore on oath to rule this country according to our laws and customs. This contract with us was written clearly in Magna Carta and replicated by Edward I in 1274. After saying that he would give no such oath, the archbishops, bishops, barons and freemen said that, in this case, they would get another king.

In Magna Carta it was made clear that if the monarch went against this oath then chapter 61 would apply, the contract would be broken and the monarch would have to give up his position and possessions. You have, throughout your reign, disregarded our laws and customs in the legislation that has gone through Parliament.

I believe that you have done this on the basis of the Fabian inspired Parliament Act of 1911 which argued untruthfully that since royal assent had never been denied by a monarch since 1707 (when Queen Anne sent back a Bill) the use of the royal assent had fallen into abeyance. This claim was untrue and treasonable. Only the year before, Asquith had been forced to go to the country by Edward VII who sent back the same Bill to Parliament. And indeed monarchs had refused assent on at least six other occasions since 1707. On each occasion this refusal of assent was because the Bills concerned breached our constitution.
In other words, the 1911 claim, is incorrect and the monarch's assent was never and can never be deemed unnecessary or automatic, even though George V chose to accept that the royal assent was now a formality and that the monarch could not, in reality refuse assent - as in the Northern Ireland Bill.

Despite all the long years of your reign this method of agreement, either forced on you, or under "automatic assent" nevertheless cannot be upheld as lawful.

Many people who have written to you on constitutional matters have received replies from your secretary (most recently, Sonia Bonici) saying that their letter had been forwarded to the government department misleadingly called the Department of Constitutional Affairs and Ministry of Justice. Your compliance with this has permitted the judiciary under these government departments to claim, as in the Chagos Archipelago appeal, that our fundamental liberties do not exist and that the peoples of these islands have no rights under our law.

I am old and now seriously ill. I cannot die without making clear to you that you have broken your oath to us your people.

The 1911 act purports to permit taxes to be levied on us merely by a majority in the House of Commons and without reference to the upper chamber. This again is against our constitution and specifically not permitted by our Petition of Right of 1627. The most serious instance of this is the use of our taxes to fund the banking system of this country: this is being explained to the electorate as a step which will in some way make us rich, whilst in fact it is not only unlawful, but a most serious abrogation of our rights and your duties under our constitution.

Your contract with the people of this country and the colonies and dominions cannot be destroyed by the chicanery of the Fabians in the 1911 Act, nor by subsequent legislation. If you have the courage to fulfil your contract, however belatedly, you could prorogue Parliament now and have a free election with or without party divisions so that this country can go forward in a proper and united way to remove us from the difficulties that have ensued since the 1911 Parliament Act.

Yours Faithfully,

Elisabeth Beckett

Namaste supported Elizabeth through her High Court Battles.

News blackout, politicians too afraid that this ladies knowledge would bring their house of cards falling down.


Tarquin said...

A lot of people are aware that the Queen could dissolve parliament, and I think the Mail are just playing to that - I'm pretty sure their whole article is made up considering her chats rarely come out

I don't think the Queen will go there, even with public approval - and the speaker cannot be forced to resign, he is saying he'll go at the next election

As for the Australia precedent, the Queen's representative, John Kerr, took the decision to dismiss a government - which is actually written within their constitution - the government failed to pass a supply bill and were effectively crippled, which should bring any government down

Ours is not in the same state - while we may be in an effective dictatorship the fault is through our electoral process and weak parliament

Tho I have never understood why nobody presses on the manifesto lies - how can they allow a government to completely go back on its own pledges