Ten Minute Rule Bill

11 Feb 2009 12:35:22

Christopher Chope calls for minimum wage opt-out

Christopher_chope_mpChristchurch MP Christopher Chope introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill yesterday on employment opportunities.

He made a very persuasive speech, and it should be noted that no-one rose to speak against it (although Labour MP for Thurrock Andrew Mackinlay expressed concern about unfair competition).

Herewith the speech in full:

"Mr. Christopher Chope (Christchurch) (Con): I beg to move,

    That leave be given to bring in a Bill to introduce more freedom, flexibility and opportunity for those seeking employment in the public and private sectors.

Two months ago we were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights. Article 23.1 states:

    “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.”

Article 6 of the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, to which the United Kingdom is a party, states:

    “The State Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right to work which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work, which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right.”

It may come as a shock to many Members of this House to know that, currently, many people are not given the rights to work enshrined in those important United Nations articles.

This is an issue of increasing significance with the advent of the economic depression and the soaring numbers of innocent victims of the Government’s gross mishandling of the economy. In Christchurch, unemployment has more than doubled in one year, with very few job vacancies now available. Few would dispute that everything that possibly can be done must be done to create new job opportunities for our fellow citizens. My Bill, by restoring rights to work that have been taken away by this Government, would boost employment.

The first group that would be helped would be refugees who have sought refuge in this country by reason of persecution and are waiting for the Home Office to determine their applications for asylum. Why should those people not have the right to take employment opportunities that have not been taken up by British citizens and thereby enjoy the dignity of having a job? Although it might cause some raised eyebrows among colleagues to hear this, I am pleased to report that the Trades Union Congress is of the same view.

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11 Nov 2008 10:57:44

Douglas Carswell's bill for Justice Commissioners

Douglas_carswellDouglas Carswell, MP for Harwich and Clacton, is introducing another Ten Minute Rule Bill in the Commons today.

The Police (Justice Commissioners) Bill would create a directly elected Justice Commissioner for every county and large town in England and Wales.  Justice Commissioners would determine local policing priorities. Mr Carswell comments:

'The public are losing confidence in the criminal justice system - even the government's own advisers now recognise that people no longer feel the criminal justice system is on their side. 

There's been no shortage of Home Secretaries, and other Westminster politicians, talking about the need to "get tough" on crime.  But it always just talk.

Imagine if local people, not remote Home Office officials, determined the priorities of the police where you live.  Imagine if you could hold your local police chiefs to account for fighting crime.  Then we'd see a "get tough" approach for real.   

My Bill seeks to replace failing Police Authorities with properly accountable Justice Commissioners.  Each local Justice Commissioner would be held directly accountable by local people - and would have to take responsibility.

Home Office targets would be scrapped, and it would be up to each Justice Commissioner to set the priorities for their own area. 

The link between police and public has eroded in recent years as police forces have begun to answer to Home Office targets - rather than the communities they are meant to serve.  Quango culture ensures that the priorities of certain police chiefs are not the same as the local people.

I'm fed up listening to politicians just promising to cut crime - but never delivering.  It's time for change.  It's time to trust local people to decide how their own local communities ought to be policed.  If we made the criminal justice system answer directly to local people we'd soon get the sort of criminal justice system we need.' 

The Bill is being sponsored by Conservative and Labour MPs. It is one of the proposals described in Mr Carswell's book The Plan: 12 months to renew Britain.