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Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:49 am

I have set out the means by which the Leader of the Opposition could have been changed above. If you think there is an alternative procedure, please explain what it is, fully referenced and to the standards you demand of others; I will then loftily tell you whether I am convinced by your answer.
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:37 am

Smouldering Stoat wrote:I will then loftily tell you whether I am convinced by your answer.

Was I lofty? I do apologise.
I have set out the means by which the Leader of the Opposition could have been changed above. If you think there is an alternative procedure, please explain what it is, fully referenced and to the standards you demand of others...

The only standard I hold is that it resists scrutiny.
The original question amounts to asking what is the rule that says the Leader of the Opposition must be the Leader of the largest opposition party, your answer, while a good pointer is not an actual answer to the question.

As to an alternate procedure, I have already proposed one: that the opposition hold a vote of confidence in their leader. I don't believe this has ever happened, nor even been considered, so I doubt there are references to be had, but we can subject the suggestion to thoughtful analysis and see where we go.
If the no confidence motion was carried, then I would expect the opposition to select a new leader through a simple (or not so simple) vote.
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:30 pm

There is only one statute defining the Leader of the Opposition. Under that statute, the Leader of the Opposition is whoever fulfills the criteria for that office, and holds it all the time he does so. The way to remove the Leader of the Opposition is to stop him from fulfilling those criteria: by removing him from the Leadership of the Labour Party, or by having a new party with more Members of Parliament than Labour.

Your proposal that there should have been a vote of no confidence in the Leader of the Opposition, to remove him from that office, would require it to be possible to separate those to offices.

I invite you to post a link to any authority which says it is possible to do so. I shall then determine whether it resists scrutiny.
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby shootist » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:00 pm

It worries me no small amount that in these difficult times, the 'Loyal Opposition' is concentrating more on opposition that it does on loyalty. Opposition for the sake of opposition rarely achieves anything worthwhile.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." MLK.
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby atticus » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:02 pm

The loyalty is to Her Majesty.

The Queen, that is.
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:12 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:There is only one statute defining the Leader of the Opposition...

And that specifically states that that definition is for the purpose of that statute.

I invite you to post a link to any authority which says it is possible to do so. I shall then determine whether it resists scrutiny.

The general principle is that one can do anything that one is not prohibited from doing. There is no authority to allow the Labour party to hold a vote of no confidence in their leader, but it did not stop them from doing so.
It seems therefore that you (Or LOTO) would need to refer to an authority that prevents such a vote.

The next question would be of whether any such vote had any power, but I suggest that a Leader of the Opposition who ignored such a vote could be held in contempt of parliament.
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:14 pm

shootist wrote:It worries me no small amount that in these difficult times, the 'Loyal Opposition' is concentrating more on opposition that it does on loyalty...


Does it?
I've not seen any opposition of note on any of the serious issues.
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:57 pm

Show me another rule about who is Leader of the Opposition. Yes, it does say that it is for the purposes of the Act, but it doesn't forbid another rule from adopting it, nor does it say that it hasn't already been borrowed from elsewhere (which, indeed it has - it's been borrowed from the practices of the House, as laid down in Erskine May).

They could have passed such a vote, but the whole point is that it would have been without effect, just as they could pass a resolution saying the moon is made of green cheese. We were discussing the means by which LOTO may be removed from that office.

It would not be a contempt of Parliament because (a) such a vote would not be a vote of Parliament, but merely of a group of MPs and (b) there would be no breach of any rule of the House which Mr Corbyn would have been in contempt. If the House wants people to obey it, it has to make an appropriate rule: I wonder if the Boss has a link to Stockdale v Hansard?

When Labour Members of Parliament wanted to remove Mr Corbyn, they did so by trying to remove him from the Leadership of the Labour Party. Tell me, why do you think you know better than them?
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:42 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:Show me another rule about who is Leader of the Opposition. Yes, it does say that it is for the purposes of the Act, but it doesn't forbid another rule from adopting it, nor does it say that it hasn't already been borrowed from elsewhere (which, indeed it has - it's been borrowed from the practices of the House, as laid down in Erskine May).

The rule about who is LOTO must surely pre-date the rule about how one should be paid. This rule may indeed be set out in Erskine May, but as none of have yet found a copy so we can only guess what it actually says.

It would not be a contempt of Parliament because (a) such a vote would not be a vote of Parliament, but merely of a group of MPs...

Would it not?
Why would it not be?
It seems to me entirely proper, and so obvious that I thought not to mention that the issue should be formally discussed in the House. Clearly those on the government benches ought to abstain from the vote.

and (b) there would be no breach of any rule of the House which Mr Corbyn would have been in contempt.
If the House wants people to obey it, it has to make an appropriate rule: I wonder if the Boss has a link to Stockdale v Hansard?

Where is the rule that says that a Minister must produce documents when instructed to by the House? We have had a recent example of that.
That was not found in contempt, only because of a technicality.

When Labour Members of Parliament wanted to remove Mr Corbyn, they did so by trying to remove him from the Leadership of the Labour Party. Tell me, why do you think you know better than them?
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Re: Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:58 pm

Well, I suppose it is possible that Parliament, having established a procedure for establishing who is Leader of the Opposition for its own purposes, might then provide that somebody else to be paid the salary for that office, but I remain to be convinced.

We don't have a copy of Erskine May, but we do have a quotation from it in Hansard:
Pete Wishart MP wrote:Page 49 of “Erskine May” refers to the official Opposition as

“the largest minority party which is prepared, in the event of the resignation of the Government, to assume office”.


Mr Corbyn is Leader of the Opposition because he is leader of the Opposition.
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