Thursday, 26 September 2013

Friends of Redcar Chairman condemns "Gagging Law"




Friends of Redcar chairman Carl Quartermain has condemned the proposed Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill as a "Gagging Law" and supports 38 Degrees campaign to raise awareness.

"This bill has been condemned by most reputable charities and community groups, voluntary organisations and umbrella organisation, from the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to the TUC, the Royal British Legion to the RSPB, Oxfam to Christian Aid.

"I'd like to highlight 38 Degrees stark warnings about the damage that part II of the government bill would inflict on open debate."



"The gagging law introduces new rules that would prevent non politicians from speaking up on the big issues of the day. Potentially this would provide power to the government to disperse groups, shut down funding and communications and even stop non-politicals blogs like this."

Despite public outcry in civil society about the problems with this law, the government has been trying to rush it through anyway without proper scrutiny.

Groups that normally wouldn’t agree have been uniting to speak out against this law.




Carl added "Politics should not be left to political parties and local councils to decide upon. In a healthy democracy everyone should be able to express their views which is why our group can be completely transparent about issues important to us. Legislative ideas like this have been handed down from the U.S. where liberty is being seriously undermined to protect political parties from losing control to opposition parties.

"Being an apolitical group does not mean sitting on the fence over bad policy. This legislation effectively gags any group's rights of choice and is therefore undemocratic. We would therefore request that our Redcar MP Ian Swales vote against this and we have written to him in respect of this."

 MPs have another chance to vote on 8th October.



For more information please check the links below.

http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/tag/gagging-law/
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/06/ministers-retreat-anti-lobbying-laws-charities
http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/stuart-weir/governments-new-gagging-law-is-serious-attack-on-britains-civil-society

Tom Harris' summation of the Bill