Results 61–80 of 976 for speaker:Bruce George

Coroners and Justice Bill (26 Jan 2009)

Bruce George: I appreciate that intervention enormously. My constituency is in an area called the black country—although at least half my constituents would punch me on the nose if they heard me describe Walsall as the black country. Three boroughs are bound together with a single service provided by a coroner. The coroners used to be part-time, and I have spoken to some who feel that they were better...

Coroners and Justice Bill (26 Jan 2009)

Bruce George: I have talked at length to the Muslim burial society in my constituency, and wonderful organisations in many other parts of the country who have responded to my surveys, and I know that none of them would want to make it difficult for the coroner, if he or she has to do their work. In the circumstances described, they would have to wait, but I would hope that where there is no problem, local...

Financial Crisis: That this House takes note of European Union Documents No. 15299/08, Commission Communication Review of EU-Russia Relations and No. 15300/08, Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the Commission Communication Review of EU-Russia Relations; and supports the Government's policy on the future of the relationship in view of recent developments. (20 Jan 2009)

Bruce George: I believe that the House of Commons and the House of Lords can be quite pleased with themselves, because some excellent reports have been published on Russia and the EU by the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Defence Committee, which is going out to Russia and Georgia soon, the House of Lords European Union Sub-Committee and, of course, the European Scrutiny Committee. There is more than enough...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: Could the hon. Gentleman ask Hansard to delete "Tunisia" and insert "Morocco"?

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: I am delighted with the subject of the debate. There are many hon. Members here who directly participate in the promotion of democracy throughout the world as Members of Parliament. We are in a Chamber—not this one, exactly—that fought hard and resisted for a long time the process of democracy, denying ordinary working people and women the right to vote. The franchise was pathetically...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: The hon. Gentleman was accused of being a very bad witness, but he was right in that he identified the substantial fraud in Birmingham. It scarred a number of political parties, not least my own, but I have traced the evolution of democracy in detail and seen how election petitions originated. In the 19th century, Members of Parliament judged people who had complained about elections, which...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: That will save me five minutes of my speech. I emphasised our own backyard to point out—I hope quite forcefully—that before we start to lecture others on democracy and free and fair elections, we should put our house in order. I believe that we are largely doing that as a result of the scandals in a number of cities and towns in this country. There are many definitions of "democracy",...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: One would hope that as a result of the inexorable process of democratisation, the more the population are educated and the more—dare I say it?—bourgeois they become, the more they will not be prepared to acquiesce to a decision-making process emanating from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. One would hope, therefore, that the Chinese would reach a point that we and most, or at...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: That is another three minutes of my speech gone, but I entirely endorse what the right hon. Gentleman has said, although I believe that those to whom he refers have at long last extricated themselves from the process. It should be pointed out that while it is not possible to pick and choose members in the OSCE, it is possible to do so in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. It can...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: I am delighted. I hope that a Russian rapporteur is not involved. If I had the time, which I do not, I could list all Russia's failures—

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: It is all there, it is all there. I could list all its failures—fraudulent elections, preventing candidates from contesting elections, what it has done to non-governmental organisations, the unfortunate disappearance of heads of NGOs and journalists and so forth, without even mentioning what it is doing in relation to foreign affairs and defence. I only hope that the declaration issued half...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: I can only apologise on the grounds that I am writing a book on the subject, which will include a chapter on what Parliaments and inter-parliamentary assemblies are doing. I agree that what the IPU and the CPA are doing is truly extraordinary. Members of a delegation from Botswana who are in the House today are guests of the CPA. The whole network of international organisations, national...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: I think so. The organisation has been going now for eight or nine years. I wish that I had applied to be head of it. It is a part-time job with a salary of £150,000. By God, I would have been out of here in a flash, but I would probably be tainted by my political views. It is an excellent organisation, but it is going to undergo substantial change. A report has been written by another...

Points of Order: Promoting Democracy and Human Rights (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: I agree, as a converted male chauvinist pig. Having been beaten around the head for 25 years, I have succumbed to the pressures. The role of women in Parliament is undervalued. Including our illustrious official, there are four or five women in the Chamber, which is a low proportion. That is not enough. It is not good enough. Some countries are amenable to influence, want NGOs and Governments...

Oral Answers to Questions — Children, Schools and Families: Academy Programme (13 Oct 2008)

Bruce George: Will the Secretary of State accept that not everybody is quite as enthusiastic about academies? I do not oppose academies, but, first, the consultation process has to be adequate. Secondly, more than one choice should be given to an authority and to the governors. Thirdly, in my view—I hope that the Secretary of State will agree—somebody who is heavily committed to a political party...

Topical Debate: Defence Procurement (19 Jun 2008)

Bruce George: When I was the Chairman of the Defence Committee and the hon. Member for Aldershot (Mr. Howarth) was partially under my control, I thought I could teach him the moderation and fair-mindedness that I had exhibited throughout my parliamentary career. At the beginning of his speech, I thought that I had succeeded brilliantly, but I realised that I had wasted 15 years of my life when he lapsed...

Topical Debate: Defence Procurement (19 Jun 2008)

Bruce George: My nails are not long enough to scratch the hon. Gentleman, but I can work it out without undertaking such a painful search. The hon. Gentleman spoke about a disastrous state of affairs. Any serious-minded person—there are some—would see more than a glimmer of hope that a Labour Government had behaved incredibly responsibly for 10 years. I find it deeply insulting that the endeavours of a...

Topical Debate: Defence Procurement (19 Jun 2008)

Bruce George: Until I do, I am prepared to teach the hon. Gentleman the existing alphabet. The C130J was partly his Government's policy and partly Lockheed Martin's. The Defence Committee came up with a solution and said that we should not put all our money into the C130J, which was then unworkable, but look for alternatives and supplement it. In this case, it was largely Lockheed Martin's fault that the...

Topical Debate: Defence Procurement (19 Jun 2008)

Bruce George: I was about to deliver a eulogy on the Defence Committee, not only under my chairmanship but under that of the right hon. Gentleman. Its reports—including on defence equipment 2008 and on defence industrial strategy—are excellent and quite remarkable. My response to the right hon. Gentleman's question was to have been my conclusion, but I shall give it early: we have to determine the...

Topical Debate: Defence Procurement (19 Jun 2008)

Bruce George: That is a very fair question. If we intend to be a major part of the second rank, as we have been since 1970, and do not want to drop down to the lower divisions, we have to do something quite expensive about the quality of not only the personnel but the equipment. In fairness—I am being very fair to the Government—the Government fully support Trident, the joint strike fighter,...


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