Results 81–100 of 364 for speaker:Viscount Goschen

Civil Contingencies Bill (16 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, in disallowing strike action, the Government's position on my noble friend's amendment is inconsistent. This Bill is, without doubt, draconian and I suggest that the Government agree with that. It allows them to set aside virtually any Act of Parliament. It provides for immense reserve powers. However, this Bill is not for likely eventualities; it is for unlikely eventualities. We...

Civil Contingencies Bill (16 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, my noble friend Lord Lucas should be commended for persevering with the drafting of this vital clause concerning the meaning of emergency. On Report, as I understood it, the Government's argument against similar amendments tabled by my noble friend was that it was vital to retain the provision that the potential damage should be serious to trigger the Bill's provisions, as well as...

Civil Contingencies Bill (9 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, it sounds like a tiny point of drafting. If one had heard the debate in isolation, one might have thought that this was about pedantic drafting, but it is not. I agree with my noble friend that this is an extremely important amendment. What we are talking about must be the combination of the likelihood of an event happening and the seriousness of the damage that that event would...

Civil Contingencies Bill (9 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, access to justice, access to Parliament and the proper functioning of justice and Parliament were major themes in Committee. I, too, am delighted to see that the Minister has tabled the amendment. It is a major improvement. If I had drafted it, it would not have been as elegant, but I think I would have gone further than, "must have regard to the importance", and would have ensured...

Civil Contingencies Bill (9 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, as we have said throughout the consideration of this Bill, this is an extraordinary case of Parliament effectively lending its powers to the Administration for the period of a week, during which they can do absolutely anything—apart, of course, from making people who are on strike go back to work. Apart from that, they can do anything. I suppose that they could shoot the people...

Civil Contingencies Bill (9 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, what would happen if, for example, there was an outbreak of a disease and London had to be isolated but people did not want to be isolated? The police and the Army would be deployed to prevent people acting in a certain way, but would they be armed and say, "But we can't shoot you". How would that work?

Civil Contingencies Bill (9 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, with the leave of the House, perhaps I may respond. I know that this is the Report stage but the noble Baroness drew conclusions about what I was saying. It has been said over and over again that we are not talking about the Government or the Opposition or our view; we are talking about what a future administration might do. I was merely trying to draw out from the noble Baroness...

Civil Contingencies Bill (9 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, as the basis of this Bill I see a presumption by the Government that it is possible to legislate oneself out of an emergency. The first thing that Ministers would want to do if an equivalent of the 9/11 disaster occurred here would be to reach for the statute book to rip out pages from it to try to create a situation where they could act more freely. However, experience has shown...

Civil Contingencies Bill (9 Nov 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, in Committee, my noble friend Lord Lucas asked the Minister not only whether people could be prohibited from doing a particular function but also whether they could be directed to do a particular function. As I recall, the answer was that, yes, they could. Therefore, we have the bizarre prospect that, in the event of Tube drivers going on strike and their services being urgently...

Network Rail (27 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My Lords, the Minister talks about signals being sent to Network Rail. Who sends those signals and under what format are they sent?

Civil Contingencies Bill (21 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: My noble friend's amendment is important for two reasons: first, as regards the terms of the amendment in relation to the concept of not allowing strike action to be banned; and, secondly, because it exposes an extraordinary inconsistency within this legislation. The Government are prepared to countenance the life of Parliament being extended; Members of Parliament being banned from coming to...

Civil Contingencies Bill (21 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: The Minister is prepared to do away with swathes, almost an infinite number, of rights. For example, the right to vote—universal suffrage—could be abolished by order. He happens to be talking about one important right, the right to strike, but it is one among thousands of other rights that we possess, all the rest of which could be abolished or removed at the jot of a Minister's pen, but...

Civil Contingencies Bill (21 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: In the recent firefighters' strike, it was widely reported in the press that the Government had been considering removing the right to strike from firemen. Is that the case?

Civil Contingencies Bill (21 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: The strength of the argument put by my noble friend Lord Elton is witnessed by its universal support and by the fact that it has taken us only 11 minutes so far to come to a conclusion, compared with about an hour on Tuesday. I hope that the noble Baroness will simply stand up and agree. Surely it must be right to remove, as far as possible, all references to the Minister "thinking". It is...

Civil Contingencies Bill (21 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: Before the noble Baroness replies, I refer to the one aspect of her argument that I did not understand. I can understand the arguments against including such words as "reasonable" and "satisfied"—the noble Baroness has made those arguments on previous amendments—namely, that if they are not included in every single clause there is a difficulty with saying that a Minister is acting...

Civil Contingencies Bill (21 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: Given that this Bill could change every single law of the land at the stroke of a pen, my noble friend made an interesting point. What procedures or plans do the Government have to make people aware of the emergency regulations that will be made so that they do not accidentally contravene them?

Civil Contingencies Bill (21 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: In her remarks, the noble Baroness appeared to recognise the importance that all noble Lords who have spoken today place on ensuring that Members of Parliament and Members of your Lordships' House are able to conduct their parliamentary activities. Against that, as an example, she said, "Well, what if one was the equivalent of Typhoid Mary and wandered around infecting people?". Clearly that...

Civil Contingencies Bill (21 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: The Minister may despair that she is hearing what could be construed to be Second Reading speeches, but the reason is that paragraph (j) is so wide-ranging. The core of the matter, which has caused considerable concern to every Member of the Committee who has spoken during our four days of consideration, is whether the Government are going to award themselves the ability to modify any Act of...

Civil Contingencies Bill (19 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: I support the amendments in the name of my noble friend Lady Buscombe and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Archer. Everyone who has spoken this evening on these amendments has been of one voice. The Minister showed the tiniest element of exasperation during the last group of amendments when the Committee wanted to take some time on the detail. One can understand why we would want to because...

Civil Contingencies Bill (19 Oct 2004)

Viscount Goschen: Are there any provisions in the Bill that would remove access to the courts?


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