Day: November 7, 2019

Seinfeld – The Library Cop



Reformation to Referendum: Writing a New History of Parliament

I is for impeachment, a parliamentary prosecution in which classically the lower House of the legislature acts to present the alleged malefactor for trial, and the upper House sits in judgement. 

Much has been heard about the procedure in recent years, first because of its deployment in Brazil against the President, Dilma Rousseff, resulting in her removal from office in August 2017, and secondly because of the much-discussed (but remote) possibility of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in the United States. In both the latter cases, impeachment has been embedded within a written constitution and recognised procedures. Although the origins of impeachment lie in English politics, impeachments were highly unusual, and always subject to intense political and legal argument about procedure and fairness. In almost each case the procedures were reinvented and argued over (a summary of the procedure here reasonably explains the broadly outlines, but conveys a rather…

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The Exclusion Parliaments

The History of Parliament

This blog from Paul Seaward, British Academy/Wolfson Research Professor at the History of Parliament Trust, is part of our Named Parliaments series. He explores the so-called exclusion crisis of the late seventeenth century. You might also be interested in Paul’s recent blog on the Cavalier Parliament.

Three short Parliaments – those that assembled in March 1679, in October 1680, and March 1681 – are collectively referred to as the ‘Exclusion’ Parliaments, for they were dominated by the issue of the exclusion from the throne of Charles II’s heir, his brother, James, Duke of York. The astonishing revelation that York had undergone conversion to the Roman Catholic faith – confirmed in 1672, but widely known well before – was the central element in a political crisis that destabilised the English government for much of the rest of Charles II’s reign. The issue of how England’s Protestant church could be…

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Legislating Homosexuality: Codification, Empire and the Commonwealth

The History of Parliament

The final blog in our trio for LGBT+ History Month comes from our Public Engagement Officer, Sammy Sturgess. She considers how nineteenth century legal reform in the British Empire impacted the regulation of homosexuality and its Commonwealth legacy…

2019 is the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth so
it seems appropriate to consider the legacy of British colonial-era legislation
on Commonwealth nations. Specifically, given that it’s LGBT+ History Month,
here we’ll discuss the nineteenth century codification of law and how this
related to homosexual offences in the British Empire and continues to affect
the lives of LGBTI+ people in the Commonwealth today.

2018 saw the legacy of British colonial-era legislation relating to the criminalisation of homosexuality take centre stage in the press on more than one occasion. In April 2018 Trinidad and Tobago declared that section 13 and 16 of their Sexual Offences Act which related to male…

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Five key questions about a further Brexit referendum

The Constitution Unit Blog

alan.jfif (1)meg_russell_2000x2500.jpglisa.james.resized.staff.webpage.jpg (1)Proposals for another Brexit referendum will be at the heart of the election campaign and it is therefore important that the viability of politicians’ plans are thoroughly tested. Drawing on recent research, Alan Renwick, Meg Russell and Lisa James here set out five key questions. They suggest that Labour’s plans for a referendum within six months are challenging, though not necessarily impossible. A poll which pitted Boris Johnson’s deal against Remain would be simpler and quicker, avoiding additional negotiation time. This would also have the advantage of enhancing the referendum’s legitimacy among Brexit supporters. 

The parties are finalising their election manifestos, and several will propose a further referendum on Brexit. These policies will come under close scrutiny during the campaign. This post draws on and updates a detailed report published by the Constitution Unit last year. It sets out the possible routes to a further Brexit referendum, the key choices…

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Animal “Rights” Thugs Harass Blind People Over “Unethical” Guide Dogs

Green Jihad

Animal rights campaigners claim service dogs are unfairly bred to benefit humans.

Charlie Parker, November 6, 2019, The Times

Blind people are being verbally abused by animal rights activists for owning guide dogs.

Owners say they were targeted while walking their specially trained labradors, who wear high-visibility harnesses to identify them as helpers.

Some animal welfare campaigners claim that service dogs are unfairly bred to benefit humans.

Jonathan Attenborough, from Fife, was born without sight in his right eye and aggressive glaucoma claimed the sight in his left five years ago. He was paired with Sam, a three-year-old labrador, in April last year.

Mr Attenborough, 30, described his pet as a “constant companion” who had enabled him to lead a more fulfilling life. He is convinced that Sam lives a happy life as his helper.

However, after two verbal attacks from people claiming to be campaigners against animal cruelty, he…

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