Friday, 19 November 2004

Fox Hunting

An update on the Hunting ban. Last night the Commons voted to invoke the Parliament Act to push it through. So, the Countryside Alliance are going to court today to challenge the validity of the Act.

Reading the BBC's web site, the Parliament Act came into being in 1911, when Asquith introduced the act to get his budget through. It basically only allows the Lords to block for a certain length of time, after which they must yield. It was amended in 1949 to reduce the length of time. But, in '49, the government had to use the original Act to get the new Act through. So, the 1949 Act was never ratified by the Lords. And that's the basis for the challenge. Seems a bit woolly to me - even if the '49 act is invalid, I don't think they're disputing the validity of the 1911 Act, so at best you're looking at a delay until a ban comes into force.

But as things stand today, the ban will be in force from as soon as February 2005. This could well be Blair's Poll Tax - I bet he is livid with his backbenchers over this. We saw this a decade ago when the Tories became pretty much committed corporate suicide by the acts of some of their backbenchers, I wonder whether we'll see the same here?

One more interesting thing about the 1949 Parliament Act - its only been invoked four times since its introduction, and three of these have been during Blair's tenure. Food for thought...

Have just subscribed to a trial of a French language learning course for intermediates. Apparently you get a news magazine each month, plus lots of bumf on vocabulary etc. We'll see how it goes...

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