SLIDE 2 AIMSSelect someone and tell he class what they came up with
SLIDE 3 WESTMINSTER
There’s about 850 peers life Peers, bishops and elected hereditary PeersThe right of hereditary Peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords was ended in 1999 by the House of Lords Act but 92 Members were elected internally to remain until the next stage of the Lords reform process.The Lords have the power to suggest amendments and send it back – did it with the bill to change who is entitled to Legal Aid in 2012. Make amendments and send it back to the commons Yo-yo
These committees consider policy issues, scrutinise the work and expenditure of the government, and examine proposals for primary and secondary legislation. Select committees (see below) operate largely by an investigative process, while legislative committees operate mainly by debate.Both Houses establish select committees to conduct inquiries and to produce reports on a range of matters, from the conduct of Government to specialist subject areas. Committees on BillsA Public or Private Bill Committee is appointed for each Bill that goes through Parliament. Depending on its complexity, the consideration of a Bill can take a few minutes to a few months.The Lords meet as a whole House in this function (in the debating chamber) or as a Grand Committee away from the chamber. Proceedings in a Grand Committees are the same as Committees of the whole House with an important exception: motions must be passed unanimously, so a dissenting voice from one Member could block an amendment to a Bill.Naming Public Bill CommitteesEach Public Bill Committee is named after the Bill it considers. For example, a committee considering a Bill titled the Climate Bill would be called the Climate Bill Committee.JOINTHow they workIn Joint Committees, Members from both Houses meet and work as one committee, and appoint a single chairman who can be an MP or Lord.Joint Committees operate like Select Committees. They may conduct an ongoing examination of a particular area (such as human rights) or of a specific matter, such as Draft Bills or House of Lords reform. Reports are available to the public in printed and online formats.
The 20 successful MPs are given priority in presenting a Bill of their choice and putting it down for second reading on one of the Private Members' Bills Fridays.The Bills of the MPs successful in the ballot are formally presented in the House on the fifth sitting Wednesday of a session, 19 June 2013. In general, only the titles of the Bills are known at this stage, the texts may not appear in print until some time after this date.The Private Members' Bills ballot for the 2013-14 session took place on Thursday 16 May 2013.
Passage of a billFirst reading: Bill is read out in the CommonsSecond reading: General principles debated and voted onCommittee stage: detailed consideration of main clausesReport stage: Committee’s recommendations referred to Commons, further amendmentsThird reading: reviewed and debated in its final formReferred to House of Lords: same sequence, committee stage taken on floor of the HouseLords’ report to the House of Commons: Amendments must be agreed by the CommonsRoyal Assent: final seal of approval, turning it into an Act
THIS IS HOW THE UK WORKS – it’s a democracy The power is exercised through democratically elected representatives – in the UK’s case, MPsFederal – very much like the US – many states have almost complete autonomy over their laws ie drinking marriage - BUT major foreign and domestic policies are run by the national government (such as health) Britain in contrast is unitary – that means the bulk of the power remains in the hands of the government run from westminsterTony Blair did try to move towards a decentralisedsystem in England – eight regional authorities funded by local taxpayers BUT WHAT DID WORK WAS DEVOLVING POWER FROM WESTMINSTER TO WALES, SCOTLAND NORThErNIrelAND
Transfer of power is known as devolution.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all held successful referendums on devolution in the late 1990s. This led to the establishment of separate Parliaments or Assemblies and the democratic election of officials.Devolved and reserved powersDevolved powers are decisions that Parliament controlled in the past, but are now taken by the separate bodies, e.g., the Scottish Parliament. This could include matters like education or health. Reserved powers are those decisions that remain with Parliament in Westminster.In each case, the legislation establishing the separate bodies determined which powers were devolved and which were reserved.Transfer of powersThe Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales took responsibility for their devolved powers on 1 July 1999, the Northern Ireland Assembly followed on 2 December 1999. The Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended at midnight on 14 October 2002. Power was restored to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 8 May 2007.LEADERSScotland Alec SalmondWales Carwyn JonesNI First Minister Peter Robinson Deputy Martin McGuinness
Part of debate is whether Scotland will have separate border control Own army/defence policies Energy bills – if a devolved power Scotland would rule on it
SLIDE 15 WELSH ASSEMBLYThe Silk Commission has released its report into the way Wales should be funded in the future - with some far reaching recommendations.There would be a big transfer of power from London to Cardiff if its 33 recommendations were enacted.This would be a radical change. At present spending by the Welsh government is almost entirely funded from a block grant from the Treasury.The commission proposes an interim system ahead of a referendum later this decade on whether the shared responsibility for income tax should be brought in.Called "assigned income tax", the interim system would take £2bn off the block grant and replace it with a nominal £2bn of Welsh income tax. Crucially, in this system, the Welsh government would have no powers to vary the rate at which the tax is paid - so the commission concludes it would not require a referendum.Mr Silk and his colleagues have laid out a timetable to move from where we are now to tax-varying powers by 2020 - if it is backed by the Welsh people in a referendum.
SLIDE 16 Devolution – similar to a federal system in the US – but AlexSalmond isn’t having any of this.White paper will come out ahead of the vote which will set out the parameters of which Scotland could become independent Scotland's first minister reckoned devolution had provided a "taste of independence", but the country was now ready to make its own decisions.IF GET YES VOTEscrap the "bedroom tax". (also pledged by Nicola Sturgeon in her conference speech)bring Royal Mail back into public hands. (also pledged by Nicola Sturgeon in her conference speech)establish a Fair Work Commission to look at setting up a minimum wage guarantee that rises - at the very least - in line with inflation.STICKING POINTSDefence is one - especially since the SNP want rid of Britain's nuclear weapons, based at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde. (Although Scottish Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently said Trident would remain temporarily at Faslane while an independent Scotland's Naval HQ was being established there.)On the financial front, agreement in areas like Scotland's share of the national debt and its continued use of the pound - at least initially - would also be needed.Even after independence is achieved there are other hurdles to clear - European Union and Nato membership to name but two.
SLIDE 17 WEST LOTHIAN QUESTIONA critic of devolution of Westminster's law-making powers to the proposed Scottish assembly, Dalyell conundrum was this: why, under devolution, Scottish MPs could still vote on English policies while English MPs could not vote on devolved Scottish affairs?Variants of this question have been around since the late 1800s, tied then to proposals for Irish home rule. But, after 14 years of devolution of wide-ranging and increasing powers to the Scottish and Welsh legislatures, and the successful reformation of Northern Ireland's powerful assembly, that question is still very live.On MondayaMcKay Commission inquiry set up by UK ministers stated that an answer to the West Lothian question was needed, to ensure the Commons better reflected the specific interests of England, given that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland now have domestic legislatures controlling large areas of policy and law-making.RDAs Unpopular. To be abolished last year.
SLIDE 18 STORMONT- Documented very clearly in James Morrison’s book, Northern Ireland Assembky gives good historical background. BBC lots on a timeline and Q&A – too much to mention now but worth a look - MAY 2007 Direct rule over Northern Ireland by Westminster officially ends after almost five years. DUP leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness are sworn in as First and Deputy First Ministers and take their pledges of office at Stormont, witnessed by British and Irish Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern. Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain is confident: "It's going to stick, I believe, because the DUP and Sinn Féin... these are the two most polarised forces in Northern Ireland's politics, they have done the deal.”TODAYThere are questions over whether the power sharing agreement is about to falter again.
WHY SHOULD WE CARESHIPSYARD
Westminster, Holyrood and Beyond! Devolution in the UK
Westminster, Holyrood, Stormont and
Aims for today
• Go over the rest of Westminster and its role
• Look at devolved government in the UK
• How it affects the way we report devolved issues (have you done
Parliamentary democracy in the UK
• Twin chambers at Palace of Westminster
See virtual tour online:
• Bicameral legislature – twin chambers
House of Commons & House of Lords
• Commons has 650 members – numbers to be reduced each representing a seat/constituency.
House of Lords
• Check and balance.
• Can send bills back to House of Commons
• Limitation: House of Commons can overule it
• Ongoing reform eg. House of Lords Act 1999
Wakeham Commission, 2001 White Paper
• Recently scuppered proposals: more elected
Role of MPs
• Represent concerns and interests of all constituents
• Hold weekly surgeries or clinics
• Write to relevant ministers to resolve their grievances
• Ask written or oral questions in House of Commons at Question Time on their behalf
• Canvas support from fellow MPs for Early Day Motions
• Introduce Private Member's Bills
Parliamentary/ general public responsibilities:
• Take active part in parliamentary activities
• Debate, scrutinise and hold executive (government + cabinet) accountable
Party duties: Support party policies and activities, toe party line – conflicts?
• Select committees
• Public Bill committees
• Ad hoc committees
• Joint committees
Types of legislation
• Public: Initiated by gov’t; change the ‘law of the land’
• Private: Init by gov’t; affect individuals and organisations
• Hybrid: mix of the two
• Private member’s bills: introduced by backbench MPs
Holyrood, Senedd and Stormont
Devolution: from union to government in the nations
UK as a representative democracy: power is exercised through
democratically elected representatives.
Federal (U.S.) versus unitary democracy (UK)
Federal – major foreign and domestic policy decisions made on a
national level with day-to-day matters decided by the states.
Unitary – the bulk of power remains under central control in
• Despite a gradual move towards centralisation of power over the
centuries, more recently there has been a move back towards
decentralisation through devolution
• Further tiers of government now in Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland to which significant powers have been devolved by
• Not inevitable that devolution will lead to full independence
• Labour argued that devolution would safeguard the union of
Britain: One Nation speech.
• Scottish Parliament: 129 MSPs, elected through form of PR known as
Additional Member System
• National Assembly for Wales: 60 members, known as Assembly
Members, can be MPs also
• Northern Ireland Assembly: (2007) 108 elected representatives,
• In existence since 1999
• Less devolved power than Scotland (Education)
• The Silk Commission reported in August 2013
• There would be a big transfer of power from London to Cardiff if its
33 recommendations were enacted.
• Home to the Scottish Parliament (Edinburgh)
• Get a vote on more issues than in Wales and Northern Ireland
• Free prescriptions and social care for the elderly
• Tuition fees
• Great Q&A
• Referendum to be held on Scottish independence
• 18 September 2014 for the Referendum
• Spring 2016 – an independent Scotland?
• "We are Scotland's independence generation and our time is now.”
• Previous debate: Should the Scottish people be allowed to consider
‘Devo max’ whereby all but limited powers, eg. defence and foreign
policy and financial regulation, are transferred back to Scotland?
West Lothian Question
• Tam Dalyell raised question in 1970s as to whether it was
right for Scotland to be able to vote on matters relating to
England and Wales but not vice versa
• Should England have similar powers to create its own form
• Regional Development Agencies set up under Blair: Given
regional chamber in anticipation of an elected English
assembly at some point in the future.
• In 1972 the British government suspended Northern Ireland's parliament at Stormont,
after fifty years of Unionist one-party rule
• 1998 Tony Blair proposed that Northern Ireland could have some devolved powers
• Good Friday agreement was made in April 1998
• Was not implemented until 1999 and Northern Ireland Executive met for the first time
in December 1999
• June 2001 First Minister David Trimble resigns over IRA Arms
• March 2007: The DUP's ruling executive decides it will share power with Sinn Féin, and
agrees to nominate ministers to a Stormont executive
• 8 May 2007 Westminster finally ends control over Northern Ireland
• Stormont timeline
• There are so many news stories that are created or affected by
• Devolution and Scottish Independence is an ongoing story. Has
been for 100s of years
• When reporting on political stories, check if it is a devolved issue
235MC Seminar Reporting Politics
• Watch yesterday’s session
• What do you believe are the key issues discussed?
• If you had a half hour long TV programme to produce, what would
do? How would you do it?
• Think about pictures
• How would you structure it
Would it just be packages? What else could you do?
• Audience is 30 – 45 year olds (men and women)