[IC] Qaz Higher Chamber

Weekly Divisions, 23 January 2023 at 7:11PM

Speaker: Order, order! We continue this evening with our Weekly Divisions. As always, this evening, we have all our motions which caused divisions this week, that is, failed to gain an agreement in Parliament. This term, we are not voting for or against anything and so our topics this week, rather than being motions which require a re-run, these will be our motions which made headlines for the wrong reasons, we will attempt to smooth out our differences. There will be no locked in votes this term as we are not looking for final votes and so we will spend our time in the sitting trying to find a common ground in our arguments, which we are having to raise awareness of these issues in the media, in the Executive and in the Government, they are important issues.

Parliament: Hear, hear!

Speaker: Order! The Government Representative.

Government Representative: Thank you, Lady Speaker. As you and the Chamber know, Lady Speaker, the Government in the Lower Chamber are ahead in their business of us in this Chamber, after the recent Higher Chamber reforms which require us to operate a term behind them.

Speaker: Order, order, the Right Honourable Lady will resume her Seat! I understand we are a newly-assigned Parliament but we have to realise we are a step up from the Lower Chamber, one of our notable differences being that we do not have Points of Order. I remind Members that we know the running procedures of the Chamber and why they are in place, God knows we have been briefed on these over and over again and no-one more than I as Speaker. Let’s not waste time saying it again, get on with the business at hand, please, the Government Representative.

Government Representative: I apologise, Lady Speaker. I ask your mercy, Lady Speaker, it is hard to conduct business on what was not covered in-depth by the Government.

Speaker: Order! Resume your seat! I do understand how difficult our task is this term, no-one is expected to do the impossible but the difficulty will not be lifted by padding and waffling, let’s face it. We all procrastinate but let’s just not. The Government Representative.

Government Representative: Lady Speaker, the Youth Government dealt with, from my own Party’s Manifesto, Hunting, and from the Coalition Manifesto, Switching Military Raiding and Defending and Replacing Trident Weapons with Nuclear Weapons. Lady Speaker, there is no doubt that this year in Parliament is a big year with these issues on the cards and our Youth counterparts have sensed this big year ahead and are, naturally, worried.

Lady Speaker, as we all know, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs has reiterated time and time again, we are not a strong military country. We had a small navy to defend ourselves, to ward off attack but not for going into battle. In recent years, we have decided we do not need that navy whilst we continue to have an active Military Alliance with Izaakia and they have a base here, they have been very generous in defending us, we do not also require a navy for the moment.

Speaker: Order, order! Can we please be particularly careful in what is discussed, we must not beat the Lower Chamber to it. The Government Representative.

Government Representative: Of course, Lady Speaker. It is complex. Lady Speaker, the big one this year are the Military law proposals, if they pass, they will create a lot of hard work for the Government this year and may call for a revision of the laws, which we really do not need to see. Our Youth counterparts were worried we were asking for a war. The Minister for Foreign Affairs insists a war is the last thing we want or need.

Lady Speaker, I can feel the atmosphere getting tense, I feel I should move onto hunting.

Speaker: Order, order! Resume your seat! I think what the Right Honourable Lady actually sensed was that I was about to stand up and do this! Am I right? The Right Honourable Lady nods. Good idea, hunting. Government Representative.

Government Representative: Thank you, Lady Speaker. There are proposed hunting laws also now making their way through the Lower Chamber. It will be interesting to see the result of these motions as hunting remains a very popular sport in the country and source of extra food. It will be interesting to see what the penalties are for people ignoring the new laws and what alternatives are suggested, if any. This is an issue the former Government refused to acknowledge because of its popularity. The Youth Government insisted that it was too risky and dangerous and risks endangering species. If that is what our youth are thinking today, maybe it is time to leave hunting in the past.

Speaker: I thank the Right Honourable Lady for her points. Finley Howarth looks keen. Finley Howarth.

Finley Howarth: Thank you, Lady Speaker. It’s time like this I wish we had Points of Order. I must ask you, Lady Speaker, what happens tomorrow when news that we discussed the military laws reaches headlines?

Speaker: I thank the Right Honourable gentleman for his question. That is a good question and one whose answer I dread to imagine. All I can say is that we are probably all in a lot of trouble, after which, I expect, as Speaker, I will be expected to make a public apology to the Government. Erika Miller.

Erika Miller: Thank you, Lady Speaker. I direct my question at the Government Representative. I expect she knows she should not have said the things she said in Parliament this evening, why did she do it?

Speaker: Well, I take full responsibility for what happened, I should have noticed sooner what was happening and called a halt to it. I did not. Government Representative.

Government Representative: Thank you, Lady Speaker, I wish to respond to my Right Honourable friend. We were discussing what was discussed at the Youth Parliament and, as you rightly said, Lady Speaker, you did not call a halt to what was happening. I could not guess, therefore, that I was going too far, as far as I was concerned, I was elaborating on what the Youth Government stated in November.

Speaker: Yes, I take full responsibility for that, you are quite correct. The Executive Representative.

Executive Representative: Thank you, Lady Speaker. It is my honour to take up my new role and I look forward to working with their Excellencies in my new capacity.

Lady Speaker, Their Excellencies inform me they have nothing significant of their own planned for this year, they are anticipating big things from Parliament this year, and they want to be readily available to support Parliament or, equally, to block Parliament, if need be. They have no plans on budging in their positions this year, which I think we are all delighted about and look forward to another year with them looking after us.

Lady Speaker, as you know, the President is the Head of all Foreign Operations both coming into the country and going out. On the mentioned military laws…

Speaker: Order, order! We are not going there again, move on. Executive Representative.

Executive Representative: Good call, Lady Speaker. Just to say as regards to J88, I receive absolutely no information regarding J88 operations, I am an outsider. J88 operations continue to be classified and even if I did know something, I would not share, I cannot and will not share such things with this Parliament.

Speaker: I thank the Right Honourable gentleman for his input and welcome him aboard once again. I am now going to turn to other Members for divisions coming from issues relating to other Parties. Ariah Drake.

Ariah Drake: Thank you, Lady Speaker. Our Youth counterparts dealt with reducing our tax rate which currently sits at 33% down to 0%…

Speaker: Order, Government Representative, it is not your turn until I say so! Ariah Drake.

Ariah Drake: Thank you, Lady Speaker. Our Youth members wished to see the tax rate reduced to 0%. Notice how they do not want the tax rate abolished, just reduced. I am informed this is because, to tick a constitutional box, there must be a tax rate in the country but the Constitution does not state what this tax rate must be so we reduce it, keep it, everyone is happy.

Speaker: Now, Government Representative.

Government Representative: Thank you, Lady Speaker. The reason we do not reduce the tax rate is the same reason as we did not in the former term, your proposal is asking for the worst recession we have ever seen. In addition to that, the Minister for Economic Development, Enterprise, Telecommunications and the Rainy Day Fund spent the former term reiterating that taxes feed the Rainy Day fund, which is there to get us out of economic crises and without taxes, nothing feeds the Rainy Day fund.

Speaker: Georgia York.

Georgia York: Thank you, Lady Speaker. Our Youth members dealt with war…

Speaker: Order, order! We are not going there. Lyra Knox.

Lyra Knox: Thank you, Lady Speaker. Our Youth members dealt with our upcoming business to do with creating a fair, green economy. The economy is an area which the former Government focused on highly but it was far from fair or green, we are seeking a return to a capitalist system of Government and then to come to terms with the stark reality of the globe that we are facing and to ensure our spending becomes greener and more environmentally friendly.

Betsy Parrish: Give way!

Lyra Knox: I am happy to give way to the Right Honourable lady.

Betsy Parrish: I thank the Right Honourable lady for giving way. This is also an issue, I spot, which will tie in with an issue my Party are dealing with this year. We are looking at Climate Change this year and proposing ecological travel options, alternate energy types and a refusal to use gas and oil, amongst other things. Maybe this is an area our two Parties could work on, I certainly will be recommending this to my Lower Chamber colleagues.

Lyra Knox: Absolutely, if we are working along the same wavelength, it is a bit silly not to work together, I think, I will also recommend this to my Lower Chamber colleagues. We cannot decide the outcome but we can see where it leaves us.

Speaker: Order, order, we need a bit of order. This is not the Lower Chamber, phones away, please, I will not say it again! I commend the Right Honourable ladies, that is one division worked out with a clear path ahead, that is right in the spirit of this sitting. Syeda Sloan.

Syeda Sloan: Thank you, Lady Speaker. I would just have a concern with anything dealing with the economy, especially after the focus of the former Government, that it does need to be handled carefully considered we would be heading in the opposite direction to the direction of the past five years.

Speaker: Good point. Government Representative.

Government Representative: Thank you, Lady Speaker. Of course my Right Honourable friend is right but anything economic has to be handled carefully for fear of going down in history as the worst Parliament this country has ever seen. The Minister of Economy and Planning advises me, however, that it is any further decrease in our GDP which needs to be handled carefully as doing so too quickly will result in economic instability, inflation and then recession. She advises me that any increase in our GDP will be easier to manage as we will be heading back upwards and it is not so easy to cause a recession going that way, whilst it has happened before and it is possible, she advises me the best way this Government can go is up, not down.

Speaker: I thank the Government Representative for her very detailed input. Diya Wyatt.

Diya Wyatt: Thank you, Lady Speaker. I just worry we risk completely undoing the former Government’s work.

Speaker: Government Representative.

Government Representative: Thank you, Lady Speaker. I do not say the following to sound arrogant but to my Right Honourable friend, that’s just the way of politics, when the former Government moved in, they undid the work of the Government before them, and more than we are now, because they transitioned from a Capitalist system to a Socialist system, we are not transitioning back to Capitalist, we are remaining Socialist, but undoing former Governments’ work is in the nature of politics, get over it.

Speaker: Order, order! The World Forum is another issue causing divisions. Hazel Walton.

Hazel Walton: Thank you, Lady Speaker. This year, my Party intend on pushing for another World Forum Referendum. We are currently World Forum Observers but we wish to gain member status and so we are pushing for another Referendum.

Aniela Knowles: May I?

Hazel Walton: Please do.

Aniela Knowles: I thank the Right Honourable lady for giving way. I do not see the point in pushing for a fresh Referendum. We had two Referenda last year, one for membership which failed and when that failed, we had one for observership, which I thought was a bit of a desperate cry for help. Why do we need another Referendum? We had one last year, we said no.

Hazel Walton: I thank the Right Honourable lady for her input. I think it is worth proposing another Referendum because we are now governed by a new Government and the opinions of the people have obviously changed because the Government has a new Party in it, if the people’s opinions can change, the result can also change.

Kinga Hurst: Give way.

Hazel Walton: I give way to my Right Honourable friend.

Kinga Hurst: I thank my Right Honourable friend for giving way. Lady Speaker, she has to remember we do have to get proposal approved by both Chambers before we put them to a Referendum.

Hazel Walton: I thank my Right Honourable friend for her reminder and she is absolutely right, Lady Speaker, we do have to get proposals approved by both Chambers first but we have always had to do that, I am not sure why she thinks the process would be different this time but I do respect her concern. If it fails, it fails, that’s the end of it, and we try again in another year.

Speaker: I am not quite sure if I would call that resolved but I think we are making progress and I will transfer that to next week’s work, further progress needed.

Order, order! There really is not much to discuss this week, made more difficult by the fact we are not voting on anything and so, I have decided to draw the sitting to a close with a clear picture of where to go on from here. I now suspend the Chamber for twenty minutes. Order!


Really enjoyed reading this post (didn’t read all of it) but it’s alreet.

Handover of the Acts, 28 February 2023 at 10:45PM

Deputy Speaker: Lady Speaker, thank you for having me here today.

Lady Speaker: There is a strong bond and connection between our two Chambers and it is important that we always work together and be welcoming to each other.

Deputy Speaker: Likewise, Lady Speaker. On behalf of the Lower Chamber, I present you with the Acts we have passed in the last two months, for you, now, to bring to your Chamber and to debate and discuss and, of course, in two months’ time, vote on yourselves. We passed the Hunting Abolishment Act 2023, the Dead Animal Research Act 2023, the Trident Scrappage Act 2023 and the Migrant Trade Unions Act 2023. We now entrust these to you and your Chamber.

Lady Speaker: Thank you, Mister Deputy Speaker. We take up responsibility for these Acts and we will do our level best by them.