Friday, May 11, 2012

UK vs French Parliament 2012.

What you can do -  Read Below at end.   And read UPDATE at end.
 
UPDATED 4th November 2012 (at *s)
 454,901 expatriate French have voted for their President and soon will vote world-wide  for deputies to their Assembly in Paris -
<see left << The red is where Fran├žois Hollande was supported (46.93%).  Blue - Sarkozy (53.05%)
And if this had been a British Election?  No such map would be possible without similar overseas voter representation.
[Map downloaded from easyexpat.com]

Yet there are 5,500,000 British people across the globe (twice as many as their French counterparts). But after 15 years abroad they have no representation.
How are we to encourage Britons abroad to vote – permanently and meaningfully?
Is there any hope in the next session of parliament that a Briton abroad will be recognised by his/her country?– The overseas Briton who is still impacted by British government policies; - the patriotic Briton who shows the flag of Britain round the World; -  the Briton who, retired in later years, still depends on Britain, who still cherishes the traditional memory of Britain, who still has concern for his/her family and friends at ‘home’;  – the younger Briton who  extends the commerce of Britain throughout the World:- what hope is there for them to be similarly recognised as their French counterparts for their contribution
This nation that once spread its national British colour red across the globe must not go on contracting in influence to become no more than a past epoch of history. This Government must again grow the economy through commerce and should in support empower its huge force of Citizens abroad so that they promote the virtues that lie at the heart of British culture.  And by this support render to them a feeling of pride in being British.
Britons Abroad can reflect a pride in Britain , but they remain detached because they are not represented at home and have no voice.  No politician is elected or appointed specifically to represent their interests.   How different from the French who are represented wherever they live.  And to the French we can add the Citizens of  Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden – and USA, and Lebanon -  and Morocco  -  Tunisia – Russia …and more ... All citizens of these countries are honoured by their home  Governments in some form or another.

Two items in the Queen’s Speech give a glimmer of hope.  There are two Bills which touch on this.
  1. The  Bill on Individual Electoral Registration * under debate in House of Lords*)
  2. The Bill on the re-constitution of the House of Lords.* Abandoned becasue of political infighting between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats*
The first Bill could include a clause making voting a permanent  right for all Citizens, subject to proof of individual identity eg by passport for overseas citizens and a valid residential address eg via utility bills, as already accepted by the banks in conformity with international financial regulations.
  .
Reflecting their different needs, the second Bill *now dead* could incorporate several elected representatives in the Lords for Britons Abroad; (or initially a Minister who understands and listens to their needs).
Would not every Briton Abroad raise their heads with pride. And they would think to themselves ‘we are respected by our British Government and we really do count for something as British Citizens'.
                                                              
(author -Brian Cave .)

Lastly - view this -A Veteran of 90 who cares deeply - The story of Harry Shindler.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18017198

What you can – should? - do   
individual mailings are so important!
Urge  MPs to favour clauses in these bills supporting representation of Britons abroad.
[ UPDATE September 21st 2012 -  ON October 23rd Lord Lexden will table an amendment to the Electoral Registration BIll which would remove the 15 year time limit on representation of overseas citizens.
Please write to him at lexdena@parliament.uk  (copy also to lefourquet@orange.fr) giving support -
* November 4th this bill was delayed in the Lords and has not yet commenced its main debating stage*
 
"Dear Lord Lexden,  I am delighted that you are tabling an amendment to the Electoral Registration Bill to remove the 15 year limit. I (we) support you! "- that is all that is necessary, but you can of course add more. He needs to feel that he is speaking for Britons across the world - that will give him moral strength!] 

  Otherwise send this item to the MP of the place where you reside (if in the UK) or last resided in Britain .
If you cannot do this or believe it to be a futile thing to do,
then send it to [or also to..]
* Chloe Smith is now Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform in the Cabinet Office)
chloe@chloesmith.org.uk     -  Mark Harper was moved from this post.
Several Ministers in the Cabinet Office are most closely concerned with determining policy.  Their opinions have been previously expressed as follows. Most are dead in the water, I fear.
Francis Maude, who has previously said he is for extending representation.
 francismaudemp@parliament.uk
Nick Clegg. Who has till now been strongly opposed to the representation of Britons Abroad.
nick.clegg.mp@parliament.uk
And also Oliver Letwin,  and Nick Hurd (Their opinions are not known)
The email addresses of all MPs and Peers can be found at.

The postal address is :--House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
 Please circulate widely to all who should be concerned about Parliamentary Democracy.