Remember the Abolition of Parliament Bill? The one back in the spring, which could have been used to end democracy as we know it?
It is still at large, and making its way through Parliament. Thanks to you, it is much less dangerous than it was. But it is still quite dangerous.
Yesterday the House of Lords voted to make the Bill safer. And lost. By just 13 votes. At first we growled and shouted in frustration! But then we realised that there's another chance. There'll be a final vote this Thursday.
And you can help.
We'd like you to write to a Member of the House of Lords. Here's how to do it. It'll only take you a moment, and this time we know it really can make a difference.
1. Go to http://www.writetothem.com/lords
2. Click "Random Lord" near the bottom of the page.
3. If you get a Labour peer, then click the back button and press "Random Lord" again. No point writing to Government peers on this one. Liberal Democrat, Crossbench, Bishops etc. are all fine.
4. Write a letter making the following points in your own words:
The Third Reading (that's the last one in the House of Lords) of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill is this coming Thursday, 2nd November.
Explain to the Lord how important Parliament is to hold the Government's power in balance, and how you would not like to see this Bill passed in a form which would weaken Parliament.
In the first clause of the Bill, there is a section which says that the purpose of the Bill is to "reduce burdens". Unfortunately, all it says that the Minister must consider whether the change in law he wants to make reduces burdens. This is better than the original Bill at the start of the year, but it is still not good enough.
Say that you would like the phrase "he considers" to be removed from the Bill, so that any law changed under it must be considered burden-reducing by any reasonable person. Rather than by a possibly unreasonable Minister.
(you can skip the last two points if it seems too complicated to explain; the next one is the key one)
Ask the Lord to attend Parliament on Thursday, and vote for any opposition amendments which remove the phrase "he considers", or otherwise make the Bill safer.
Ask your Lord to vote against passing the Third Reading of the Bill if the phrase "he considers" is not removed.
And thank them!
5. Send the letter. You're done.
There were just 13 votes in it yesterday. We really can win this one. Thanks to your help!
- More detailed background information about what is going on.
- The part of the Bill with the "he considers" section in it.
Please write to your Lord now.
I kind of like the idea of writing to your Lord - it sounds vaguely feudal....