What Do You Know About The 1689 Bill Of Rights?

I WAS NEVER particularly good at History. (I could not see any future in it – and quickly discarded it as an O’ Level subject when I was first given the chance at High School). For some reason, and like most British people, I do remember the date, 1066, along with the Battle of Hastings and that arrow in the eye; but I am totally vacant when it comes to most other ‘well known’ facts.

I had never seen my intellectual disability as a disadvantage in modern day society – when the World Wide Web is on hand to rectify my appalling knowledge – until I was forced to consider how my ignorance might be used against me.

My attention, yesterday, was called to the Carers’ Poverty Alliance website which is dedicated to lobbying parliament for an increase in the Carers’ Allowance (a worthy cause to which readers can add their support by signing their online petition here). But it was not their petition that held my attention; once again it was the involvement of our local MP, Bob Spink.

I found myself reading this, from the campaign’s petition lead, Darren:-

My MP, Bob Spink, Independent for Castle Point is fully supporting the Carers Poverty Protest and will be in Committee Room 14 to answer questions and talk to carers about their cause on the day of the protest.

In conjunction with the petition we are handing in at 10 Downing Street on the day, Bob is also going to present an official petition to support our petition directly in the House of Commons which is much more powerful than the No10 petition as it becomes a legal document.

Once presented in the House of Commons and a legal document, it must then be acted on in some way by the Government under the 1689 Bill of Rights Act.

Bob spoke on Carers issues in Parliament on Tuesday and is also trying to do a Yellow Advertiser advert to help carers on the week of the protest.

Today I received an email copy of the House of Commons Petition which references the Carers Poverty Alliance and our protest and contains the same text and refers to our petition.  I cannot put of a copy of this petition online as it is a confidential document but can confirm it is exactly what we need to support our cause and be heard.

We thank Bob Spink MP and all other supporting MPs for their continued support.

Now, for once, I am not going to criticise Bob for jumping on this bandwagon. It is a truly worthy cause which demands our local MP’s support. But what is all this about the 1689 Bill of Rights Act and how one of Bob’s many petitions is ‘much more powerful than the No 10 petition as it becomes a legal document… [which] must then be acted on in some way by the Government’?

This does not have anything to do with sourcing email addresses does it, Bob?

For the record, here is Bob, speaking on the Tuesday in question:-

Bob Spink: While we are discussing caring and care services, single women, instead of working, are often carers and they do a superb job—and a very worthwhile job for society at large—for those for whom they are caring. However, does the hon. Gentleman accept that, when they eventually become pensioners, they suffer particularly badly, so the Government must find better ways to reward carers and to recognise the contribution that they make to society before they become pensioners?

Mr. Pelling: I am very grateful for my hon. Friend’s comments—I know that he has raised that issue in the House. To some extent, the Government are listening on this issue, but it is a very important concern.

Andrew Pelling is the Independent MP for Croydon Central, and it is interesting to note that he and Bob have accompanied each other in a string of five debates this week. (Not that it is my intention to suggest that this purely random observation might indicate some kind of collusion between the two independents in the run-up to a general election).

However, I think the Carers’ Poverty Alliance, and your constituents, might be expecting you to press for an increase in the Carers’ Allowance from the government, Bob – not to waste words with a fellow independent during an unrelated debate on Pensioner Poverty…


4 Responses

  1. So that is the source of his email list! No wonder he is so keen on petitions.

    It was Bill Sharp who first highlighted the email issue here wasn’t it – suggesting it might be illegal if Spink didn’t provide an opt-out which he palinly doesnt. once on there is no way off of it!

    Spink and Pelling are a double act arent they? Few MPs now seem willing to give way to Spink so he can boost his statistics, so Spink now has an arrangement with Pelling to pass it on to him whenever he gets control.

    Nice arrangement this, because their script can arrange to provide any question and answer the two need for their election campaigns.

    If Spink’s record is anything to go by, he will either omit Pelling’s name fromnhis releases or fail to say which debate his contribution was made in.

    This isn’t spin Ted. This is rewriting Hansard to promote pure propoganda.

    How manipulative can this guy get?

    And i was pretty good at history. As your link to the 1689 Bill of Rights shows, Spink’s sales pitch is a complete load of b*****ks!

    • Unfortunately the government left a loophole in that ‘Spam Act’ of 2003, Cynical.

      It does not prevent anyone from spamming businesses, just individuals.

      In other words, if you are using an ISP account, you have some protection under the Law; but, if you are accepting emails on a business domain, you have no protection at all.

      Spink’s defence will no doubt be, ‘Oh dear. I thought hotmail.com was a business.’

      Full details of the Act is here.

      To make a complaint, go to this domain.

      Spink’s contempt for his constituents has already been made clear on this blog, Cynical. Now we have an example of his contempt for Parliament itself.

  2. The petition (which I thank you for supporting in your article and providing a link) is important as it is a way for carers, and people who support the cause of carers to unite and be heard. Once the petition (currently around 1000 signatures as it includes paper copies as well as online) is handed into Downing Street on Wednesday it is in the hands of the Government and everyone hopes that they will take notice of what we are saying and that the petition does not get ignored and at least gets some of the recognition it deserves.

    Once a petition is presented in the House of Commons it gets entered into the records and becomes documented, which should in theory make it more powerful that a normal petition, but as to what affect this will have and whether it will help our cause is unknown. Exactly how and if it is responded to is a matter of debate, but the more places the poverty of carers is heard, the better and more chance that the issue will eventually be addressed by some future government.

    I have amended the page on the website and replaced the comment for the 1689 Bill of Rights with a link to the Paliamentary Petitions page. On reading the text from the Bill of Rights, it’s not overly clear and the reference was purely my interpretation of what was written, which of course can be interpreted by others in different ways, so i’ve removed the reference to avoid any ambiguity.

    No email addresses except for mine (which I freely gave), including other members of the CPA and everyone who signed the online petition has been made available or requested by any MP at this time.

    • Thanks Darren.

      … Darren is responding to the questions I put to him on 26th Feb:-

      Darren, can I please ask you, on the record, who told you, that QUOTE an official petition to support our petition directly in the House of Commons which is much more powerful than the No10 petition as it becomes a legal document.

      Once presented in the House of Commons and a legal document, it must then be acted on in some way by the Government under the 1689 Bill of Rights Act. UNQUOTE?

      Secondly, can I ask you if you, or your petitioners, have been asked to provide your email contact addresses, either to Dr Robert Spink MP directly, or as part of your petition signatures?

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