40 Days To Block Royal Assent To The Health Bill
My name is John Langley, and the original driver behind the campaign to petition the Monarch to NOT grant Royal Assent of the Health Bill.
Since starting this campaign on Twitter at 6am yesterday (March 8th 2012) I have so far engaged the support of Lord Toby Harris to be the conduit for rallying the support of his House of Lords colleagues in petitioning the Queen.
It isn't as simple as communicating with Her Majesty direct, as it requires the 'Barons' to petition on our behalf.
The right to petition the Monarch is embedded in Article 61 of the Magna Carta, and as Common Law takes precedence over Statutory Law and is therefore equally embedded within our Constitutional rights.
On the Coronation of Her Majesty, she took an oath to act within the best interests of her people and uphold our wishes.
The Health Bill, as it currently stands, is about breaking up our NHS by the back door towards privatisation in a way which is a win-win for the current Government regardless of the result at the next general election.
If they succeed in their current actions it opens the door to further privatisation legislation being introduced at a later date because they have set a precedence.
If they win by having this Health Bill made statutory and open up further possibilities prior to the next general election and they happen to lose governance to one of the other parties, then it places the incoming Govermnent in a position where it is too far forward to back down from and there is no alternative except to proceed with the Tory/LibDem legacy.
A win-win either way.
If you don't want to see the Health Service broken up into small pieces like British Rail then you absolutely HAVE to support this campaign and stop Royal assent
Frances Ridgway commented
This is a really interesting idea. Is it true/real? The Conservatives would HATE this!!!! More than anything. The BBC would HAVE to cover it.
Go on. Brilliant!!
Jill Barnes commented
definitely support you John
Thank you Bob Ellard. I had not thought about the council elections until you mentioned it.
I had purposed to vote for an independant candidate at the next general election - with the NHS much in mind, because all govenments since Thatcher have contributed to the downfall of the NHS one way or another.
I had not considered the need to get the deposit - the practicalities.thank you for bringing that to my attention. Yes you have my vote too.
Bob Ellard commented
Anonymous - thanks for your thoughts. And of course you are right.
So why not have willing members of the public? - maybe relatives or close friends of NHS workers to stand. Or any willing person on the platform of Save the NHS.
The main point being that I think it would be a very attractive protest vote against the supporters of the NHS bill for people disillusioned with this government, and threaten the seats of sitting ministers and major supporters of the bill.
The point about getting pledges of people in those constituencies is that it would directly threaten those MPs and Ministers of what could happen to them at the next election if they don't roll back this bill before the next election.
Many constituency elections are decided on a majority of a few thousand or even a few hundred votes after all. If we could get enough pledges in particular consistency we could concievably tilt the balance of that election.
I'm thinking that this could be enough of a threat so that the targeted MPs couldn't afford to ignore it.
Bringing pressure against individual MPs at the next election is the only way I can conceive of winning this battle in the foreseeable future.
I think the NHS is possibly the one cause that people of all political beliefs could coalesce around with enough numbers to really cause an electoral upset
Surely its got to be worth a go?
John Langley Bristol. I thought that had this idea been strongly supported, itwas the best chance we had to stop the bill becoming law. It is so correct that the monarch is the last resort to the people when parliament fails to represent the electorate. May I compliment you on all the work you have done to ascertain the correct procedure to approach the monarch.
Have we exhausted all the possibilities in this respect?
There are so many irregularities with this Act. I am assured by several GP's that the former structure was dismantled to implement the Bill & a new structure to implement it put in place, months before the Bill had even passed through the Lords. There is the aspect that they did not publish the risks to the NHS although asked to so, before its final reading.etc.
I have a horrible feeling that the government will NOT listen to the electorate on this matter whatever we do, but will nonetheless continue to support the fight with all my strength.
If we can somehow get overwhelming support, can we take any other action through the Queen, even to the point of dissolving parliament & calling for a general election?
Bob Ellard. I think that you have a good idea in principal, but I think that the nature of most of the "professional" health staff's hours of work would preclude them from working on the Council. My former GP colleagues usually work in surgery until about 7.00pm, & often haven't had a meal break all day. Nurses work late shifts. It's a matter of getting there on time, with enough brain power left to function, & being sufficiently available to the public.
Bob Ellard commented
I thought this was a good idea - and I've voted for it. Pity it didn't get enough support. I strongly believe we can still win on the NHS. I've put a suggestion in to continue the struggle through the ballot box. In the light of Bradford West I think it is a credible approach. Please look it over:- http://38degrees.uservoice.com/forums/78585-campaign-suggestions/suggestions/2708958-an-electoral-nhs-campaign
Thank you very much for your support and comment. My feeling: and I hope I'm not going to be left in the wilderness with this, is that we have the makings of a potentially strong movement forward in terms of a national lobbying group with maybe regional organisers? Just a thought. But clearly there's a strong appetite for challenging government policies. What do you all think please?
It's a shame that this proposal did not get sufficient support, even if it failed to work it would have been good publicity. It should have been treated as part of the NHS campaign and therefore not needed separate approval. That it did not accrue sufficient support in time points to a deficiency in 38 degrees - it cannot react fast enough to fast moving situations.
Have Tweeted Lord Toby for date clarification. Will post again as soon as I hear bsck
Okay. Having just looked on the Royal website and the Queen's forward engagement diary, there is no reference to her visiting Parliament. In fact, by all accounts HM's next engagements are not until March 29th when she is visiting 3 places in London. So even more confused as the where next Tuesday's date has come from
Good stuff. Need a date to rally around this suggestion of lining the route as the Queen goes on her way to Parliament. I can circulate my local Keep our NHS Public group and put it on Facebook, and can be there if it's NEXT TUES 29 MAR? Penny from Cambridge
Thanks. But it isn't just about me doing this. It's more about the efforts of a lot of people actively participating. Don't wait
hi John, what about pasting your idea including latest all in black vigil, on the FB wall of 38 degrees and also a tweet campaign?
Hi. Apologies for not getting back to this late yesterday, but other issues outside of this needed my attention.
It is indeed very helpful, and my thanks to those, who have contributed suggestions.
The original intention for this petition was to follow protocol and give the Queen via her Lords the required 40 days notice. However. With the vast majority of folk petitioning Parliament in the belief that they could somehow block the Bill, our efforts to gather support for petitioning the Queen as the final decision maker seemed to pass people by.
I think it's great that people feel moved to write directly to Buckingham Palace, but my worry is that only a handful of names contacting her as opposed to the 160.000 plus people who signed the e-petition in good faith, doesn't really have the full impact that we need for the Bill to not be granted Royal Assent.
With the amount of hassle it took to get the e-petition finally debated I am of the opinion that those people have somehow lost faith and have resigned themselves to the fact that they feel in a no-win situation, perhaps.
However. The battle is not lost. Not yet anyway.
We have a week in which people can lick their wounds following the Commons defeat and regroup for direct action.
By direct action I mean rallying people to line the Mall, from Buckingham Palace as far up towards Westminster as possible in a silent vigil as the Queen's Royal Coach passes on its way to Parliament.
My idea is that everyone should wear black from top to bottom, with preferably a plain black hoodie as in grim reaper style. Placards and banners would be acceptable with suitably written slogans petitioning Her Majesty to NOT grant Royal Assent to the Bill.
To prove the point, as the Queen passes from the Palace up the Mall all in silent vigil turn their backs on the Royal Coach.
Now I fully realise that on the face of it such an action will be seen as highly controversial given that is the Jubilee year.
In response to that I say that this protest has nothing whatsoever to do with celebrations to mark the occasion in June, and it isn't about the Royal Jubilee. It is an entirely separate issue to remind the Queen that she took an oath on Coronation to the effect that she will uphold the common law rights and wishes of her people. And this Bill goes directly against the wishes of her people.
This action really IS the last and ONLY card we have left to play with before the Bill becomes law.
Clearly I would struggle to move this idea forward alone. So I need people to help organise this via the web.
Who is on board please.
Thanks again for your continued support.
In the absence of a campaign, you can still write to the Queen and ask her not to grant assent to the NHS bill. Here is the address:
Her Majesty The Queen
London SW1A 1AA
(in your letter address her as Your Majesty, and end with Yours Sincerely. This is still acceptable and not as archaic as the official version of about being a humble subject etc..)
Best to do it asap, as we have til Tuesday.
Thanks for your valuable input. I will respond fully when I return to my laptop later today.
Vital that we make a collective approach on this - if we can get the numbers in time.
When is she due to sign - is it really next Tuesday?
I am also prepared to write separately.
also -as time is so short -couldn't 38 degrees come up with a super fast campaign, eg today or tomorrow, suggesting people write to the Queen asking her not to grant assent, or else -is it possible to email the palace??
I wrote to the Queen asking her not to grant Royal Assent to the NHS bill, and hand delivered the letter to Buckingham Palace on 19 March. If there is not enough time to organise a campaign, I suggest that concerned individuals write in a personal capacity and post asap. The Queen is expected to grant the bill Royal Assent next Tuesday. There is time to write!
John .... sorry if my post cam over 'anti' ... I am in complete favour of petetioning the Queen and have been posting the idea in various online spaces since the 10th of March .... several times on here ....
No one seems to believe me .... the public seems to be of the opinion that the Queen is just a pretty face (I excpect it is in every Governements interest to have us believe this)....
38 degrees have over 600,000 signitures already .... surely it would be possible to take this petition to the Queen ...and to Prince Charles with a covering letter appealing for their help ... That would not take long .... it could be done today. Do we really need a Lord to act for us? We the people are the Democracy ..... Elizabeth is OUR Queen ... where is it written that 'we' have no legal right to communicate with her?
The power to withhold royal assent to legislation passed by the Houses of Parliament:
'No Bill can become a legally binding Act of Parliament unless and until it receives the royal assent. This means that the Queen has a veto on all legislation passed by Parliament. She has the power to withhold her assent to any legislation for any reason or for none. Were she to exercise this power no court could hold it illegal. This is an astonishing power. It was last exercised in the United Kingdom by Queen Anne in 1708 but has been threatened to be exercised several times in the twentieth century, not least, it is reported, by the current heir to the throne, Prince Charles.
What are we waiting for ..... appeal to the Queen on behalf of her people.... NOW! (please)