I finally got a response from the House of Commons to my request for an internal review. The House in effect conceded that its original interpretation of the law was wrong and agreed to provide the information I had asked for. It seems strange to win an argument with a branch of the legislature on a point of law.

I did find out that the Clerk has been shopping at the Majestic Wine Warehouse, including (it would appear) purchasing 12 bottles of De Telmont Grande Reserve Champagne in January and 24 more in February.

I expect that the bottles were purchased for an event of some sort but it seems a bit excessive to be regularly buying Champagne at tax payers’ expense.

More details here:

Referendum 2010

“Our message is simple and strong: real change, not just new faces. An end to safe seats and seeming jobs for life for some MPs. Remove the power that MPs have to decide how they are elected … and give that to the voters instead. Bring in greater accountability for those who represent us; and greater choice at the ballot box in the first place.”

Create an email alert for Referendum 2010

This is a request to my reader(s) to use his/her/their vote in the European Elections (assuming eligibility).

It is perhaps worth reminding people just who can vote in UK Elections.

*http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/who_can_register_to_vote.aspx

Below is a full list of Commonwealth and European Union countries. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, and resident in the UK, you are eligible to register to vote in UK elections. To qualify, Commonwealth citizens must be resident in the UK and either have leave to remain in the UK or not require such leave. The definition of a ‘Commonwealth citizen’ includes citizens of British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.

European Union countries

Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxemburg
Malta
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom

Commonwealth countries

Antigua and Barbuda
Australia
The Bahamas
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belize
Botswana
Brunei Darussalam
Cameroon
Canada
Cyprus
Dominica
Fiji Islands
The Gambia
Ghana
Grenada
Guyana
India
Jamaica
Kenya
Kiribati
Lesotho
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Nauru
New Zealand
Nigeria
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Vincent & The Grenadines
Samoa
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Swaziland
United Republic of Tanzania
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tuvalu
Uganda
United Kingdom
Vanuatu
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Also check out http://www.eurovotescount.org.uk/

“I can confirm that 6 authorities’ have been contacted in writing between 1
January 2009 and 8 April 2009 to inform them that we wish them to make
improvements to their publication schemes as part of enforcement cases.
These authorities are Staffordshire Primary Care Trust, Royal Mail,
Lancashire Constabulary, South Wales Police, Northern Ireland Legal Services
Commission and the City and County of Swansea. In addition, the issue was
raised verbally with Leeds City Council on 1 April 2009 and mentioned in a
presentation given to the Metropolitan Police on 9 March 2009.”

whatdotheyknow.com – ICO response

Pleased to see the ICO using its powers, I have seen some bad publication schemes. Personally, I think public authorities with websites should be required to publish them online.

France made this happen in 2004:
“A charter for the environment which makes a healthy environment a
constitutional right for French citizens has passed a key hurdle with
approval by the parliament on Tuesday by 328 votes to 10.”

http://www.endseurope.com/9473
http://www.env-health.org/a/1629

I am not about to suggest that France’s behaviour towards the
environment has been perfect ever since or that we should simply
translate the French Charter. What I am saying is that all
legislation and Government activity that has a damaging effect on the
environment should be subject to challenge and that the environment
should enjoy strong constitutional protections.

Once this was passed legislation would be drafted so as to be
compatible with these principles.

Although there is no one document in a glass case that anyone can
point to and say this is the UK Constitution – we do have a
constitution and it does have written sources e.g. Parliament Act
1911, European Communities Act 1972, Act of Settlement 1701

I think this change would be hard to achieve…

What do you think?

[based on a post I made to a Serious Change Google Group]