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Mister Speaker.

discussing the 45th President of the USA

Mister Speaker.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:46 am

The Speaker of the House has stood up and made a big speech banning President Trump from the house.
I do not disagree with any point in that speech, but I am not persuaded that it is proper for him to have made it. The Speaker is supposed to remain neutral in all matters and this is arguably an affront to democracy since the majority have voted to cosy up and hold his hand.

A counter argument is that if he has the power to make the exclusion, then is it not proper to explain to the House why he has done it?

Possibly this question should be in "Constitutional Law", because really it is more about the principle than the person.
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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby atticus » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:55 am

Is that what Bercow said? I understand him to have said he would not agree to an invitation to address MPs and Lords in Westminster Hall. I had heard that some other minor room could be used.
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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:12 am

atticus wrote:Is that what Bercow said?

I have not heard the complete speech. I may have erred on the detail, but if those errors are significant then would you be good enough to point out their significance?
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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby atticus » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:13 am

I generally consider the BBC a reliable source of news.
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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby 3.14 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:52 am

Hide in the noise. #hackerwisdom
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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby dls » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:52 am

My views on this are derived from ignorance.

First, an invitation to a state visit does not of itself include an invitation to speak to both houses of parliament. many state leaders have come and gone without such, and with noadverse comment either way.
that was what I understood had been offered Trump. On this basis, criticism of the invitation as 'too early' or otherwise is and was simply wrong headed. The qualification for such a visit is that he leads a nation with whom we must keep friendly relations. that qualification does not require any particular time or quality of leadership.

An invitation to Trump to speak to both houses of Parliament is quite different. It is a mark of very particular respect. For this, some evidence of virtue is appropriate. Trump may indeed come at some point to deserve such an invitation, but he is starting from somewhere very near the back of the queue (though that didn't stop all parties - particularly now including the Lib-Dems - extending such an invitation to the President of China).

The invitation to Pariament is not within the gift of the PM. I am quite sure that any such invitation should only have been extended after consultation with, among others, the Speaker. Such an invitation requires confirmation from teh Speaker on behalf of Parliament (the commons anyway).

I remain to be convinced that any such invitation had been extended. it may have been, but none of the reporting earlyon suggested that the visit did include such an element.

The invitation is, in part within Bercow's gift, acting on behalf of the members of the House of Commons. Whether or not he either expressed the views of the House, or expressed them properly - without unnecessary insult- remains to be seen.
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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:04 pm

atticus wrote:I generally consider the BBC a reliable source of news.

Still not clear what point you are driving at, but...

Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May said Mr Trump had accepted an invitation from the Queen for a state visit to the UK later this year.

However, responding to a point of order in the Commons on Monday, Mr Bercow said he was opposed to the president addressing both Houses of Parliament...


It seems to me highly relevant what that point of order was, but that point is being largely unreported... Any top tips for navigating Hansard to find the relevant bit?
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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:11 pm

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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:53 pm

Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth) (Lab/Co-op) wrote:On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Have you noted the deep concern expressed by Members from both sides of the House—the 170 who have signed early-day motion 890, and those who do not sign EDMs but have made their views known publicly during the past week—regarding offering the honour of a speech to both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall or, indeed, elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster? Will you tell us what approaches have been made to you, what discussions have taken place with the relevant authorities—the keyholders—for such an approach to go ahead, and whether there are any ways in which those of us who have deep concerns about President Trump’s comments can make that known to the responsible authorities?

Mr Speaker wrote:I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. I will say this: an address by a foreign leader to both Houses of Parliament is not an automatic right; it is an earned honour. Moreover, there are many precedents for state visits to take place in our country that do not include an address to both Houses of Parliament. That is the first point.

The second point is that in relation to Westminster Hall, there are three keyholders—the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Speaker of the House of the Lords and the Lord Great Chamberlain. Ordinarily, we are able to work by consensus, and ​the Hall would be used for a purpose, such as an address or another purpose, by agreement of the three keyholders.

I must say to the hon. Gentleman, to all who have signed his early-day motion and to others with strong views about this matter on either side of the argument that before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall, but after the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump, I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.

So far as the Royal Gallery is concerned—again, I operate on advice—I perhaps do not have as strong a say in that matter. It is in a different part of the building, although customarily an invitation to a visiting leader to deliver an address there would be issued in the names of the two Speakers. I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump to speak in the Royal Gallery.

I conclude by saying to the hon. Gentleman that we value our relationship with the United States. If a state visit takes place, that is way beyond and above the pay grade of the Speaker. However, as far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism, and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.
[Applause.]

Well that would appear to cover it. How do those criticising this speech suggest that he answered that point of order?
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Re: Mister Speaker.

Postby dls » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:23 pm

Well that would appear to cover it.

Not really. It leaves unidentified teh question of whether a speech had been offered.

How do those criticising this speech suggest that he answered that point of order?


He did not need to add the insults. The proper answer is that it was inappropriate to answer a hypothetical question.
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