What you can watch in the chamber….

Lord Norton

The Administration and Works Committee has issued a report recommending changes in the rules as to what electronic devices can be used by members in the chamber, in committee and in other parts of the House.  It is designed to ensure the rules keep abreast of the rapid changes in technology.  There is a recognition that peers variously use blackberries and other devices in the chamber.  The committee is keen to align the rules not only with what is desirable but also with what is achievable. 

Peers may now use hand-held devices in the chamber, for example to refer to notes for speaking (in place of paper), but also for matters not related to the subject of debate.  Though standard laptops may not be brought in to the chamber, it appears that iPads are permissible.  It is a good job we don’t have members liable to fall to the temptation of that shown recently by a member of the Italian Parliament.  Quite by accident, apparently, he found a page relating to female escorts.  At least in the Lords, we are all seriously minded parliamentarians.

The only time I have used an electronic device in the chamber has been when I forgot to switch off my mobile and it bleeped with a text message saying ‘vote imminent’ just as the member who had moved the amendment was saying ‘I do not intend to press the amendment to a vote’.

18 comments for “What you can watch in the chamber….

  1. 05/02/2011 at 5:47 pm

    Is this a good reason to get an iPad after all?

    Perhaps in the Italian parliament people might be tempted to play practical jokes on members by sending dodgy links in an e-mmail when they know the cameras are looking, as happened to a banker last year.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8494854.stm

    However, in the Lords (and the Commons) I don’t think the cameras usually show an angle that would catch whatever Members are looking at on their screens, so it should at least be safe to work on the blog while in the chamber!

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      05/02/2011 at 6:19 pm

      Jonathan: I’ll take your word for it! 🙂

      • Carl.H
        07/02/2011 at 5:51 pm

        Buy the ipad, put it on expenses then sell it on an auction site. I’m pretty sure some members in the Palace have worked that one out.

        Wonder how many documents will be found in future by people recovering old files found on second hand equipment.

        IPSA please note documents/files on equipment relating to the public are subject to Data Protection Law. Might I suggest a procurement division where equipment remains the property of HM Government.

        • Lord Norton
          Lord Norton
          10/02/2011 at 10:37 am

          Carl.H: There are no expenses in the Lords on which to put it!

          • Lord Blagger
            10/02/2011 at 12:08 pm

            No, you been very creative there haven’t you.

            Attendance allowance. A neat trick to get money without any receipts.

            The other trick is to prempt court cases.

            ie. You can turn up, flash the pass at the barrier, enter, and come back straight out. Voila, you’ve attended and you get your 300
            pounds. Even better than monopoly.

          • Lord Norton
            Lord Norton
            10/02/2011 at 4:15 pm

            Lord Blagger: What people can do and what they actually do are rather different things and it is notable how if one person exploits the system some people then say ‘oh, but they are all at it’, whereas if someone devotes their time, over and above the call of duty, to the work of the House those same people don’t then make a similar claim.

  2. Carl.H
    05/02/2011 at 7:20 pm

    Italian Parliament is quite a different place where it may not be frowned upon.

    Here,even a spouse is not allowed the freedom of her own life outside the Palace. Well done Mrs.Bercow please do not be embarrassed.

    Not sure it’s the right judgement to allow such things as one could be living an entirely seperate virtual existence and not paying attention to debate. If the concept of only members present being able to vote is to stay true then they should not be allowed.

    • Maude Elwes
      06/02/2011 at 2:06 pm

      Mrs Bercow is a seriously sad, sad soul. The mind of a silly starstruck teenager and without the hope of talent or looks arising at her late stage in life. What a dreadful example to female children and young girls she is. And what an embarrassment to the UK abroad.

      As for Mr Bercow, a man in his position should have far better judgment than to find himself in a predicament with a woman who has no care for him and certainly no care for the feelings of her children.

      Is he really the right man for that job?

  3. Matt
    05/02/2011 at 10:20 pm

    “At least in the Lords, we are all seriously minded parliamentarians”.

    Proposed amendment: Delete the word, ‘all’.

  4. Gareth Howell
    06/02/2011 at 9:39 am

    could be living an entirely seperate virtual existence

    Well! would you believe it?!

    But no the concept of “personal space” has become far more essential to consider over the last few years with all this gadgetry.
    People speaking loudly within earshot is surely as objectionable as blaring loudspeakers were in the 1960s.

    At least we don’t have that any more, since they’ve all got earphones.

    For members to live in a different “virtual space” has until now been achieved by gentle waking slumber.

  5. Lord Blagger
    10/02/2011 at 7:10 pm

    Lord Blagger: What people can do and what they actually do are rather different things and it is notable how if one person exploits the system some people then say ‘oh, but they are all at it’, whereas if someone devotes their time, over and above the call of duty, to the work of the House those same people don’t then make a similar claim.

    Lets see how that works the other way round.

    Take the current bogey man, bankers.

    Why the tax on all bankers and not the bankers who failed? A bit of collective punishment.

    Now for the Lords, I think you’ve just agreed there are quite a few lords signing in, and leaving, but still collecting their attendance allowance.

    If you know this is going on why haven’t you reported it?

    It’s the same with the lookout at a bank job. No doubt you would claim they are innocent too.

    It’s rampant, it’s fraud, and the rest of you are in the conspiracy. It’s called collective responsibility.

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      10/02/2011 at 8:59 pm

      Lord Blagger: This is the sort of nonsense to which I was referring. Where have I “agreed there are quite a few lords signing in, and leaving, but still collecting their attendance allowance”? I want hard evidence. I fear I am losing patience with your nonsensical claims, which appear to have credence only in your own mind. Your concluding paragraphs are as offensive as they are ridiculous.

    • Carl.H
      11/02/2011 at 10:52 am

      Lord Blagger you are entitled to your opinion and you are entitled to state that within reason. Serious allegations of fraud without substantive evidence that would stand up in a Court of Law you could be accused of libel.

      If the rules state you are allowed to sign in and then leave this cannot be fraud, what you are claiming is defamation of the House.

      I can understand your perspective to a degree,though I may not agree with it. Fraud is a serious allegation to make especially without substantive evidence. You are speaking directly to one member of the House and in my opinion have libeled said member by accusing him of fraud or conspiracy to defraud.

      Your view is one that I have always stated is necessary as it is held by a proportion of the public, however your words are becoming directly accusatory of criminal offences aimed in particular at Lord Norton.

      The fact I veiw it thus makes your comments libelous. Please tone it down somewhat.

  6. Lord Blagger
    10/02/2011 at 11:00 pm

    Come on, we know that 13 Lords committed deeds that would bring the Lords into disrepute.

    That’s why Michael Pownell made his report into the expenses a state secret.

    We know that one is a fraudster – Taylor.

    We know that others are still under investigation.

    We know lords have paid cash back, and in some cases still haven’t.

    We know that we have another Lord up in court next week.

    So, why didn’t any of this come from the Lords itself?

    Given there was no record kept or asked as to what was a second home, why was money given out for second homes?

    So when I point out the simularity between the look out on a bank job and people not reporting other Lords for fiddles, perhaps you can name the people who were reported and by whom?

    • Lord Norton
      Lord Norton
      12/02/2011 at 7:08 pm

      Lord Blagger: You have completely failed (not for the first time) to respond to my point and indeed the points made by Carl.H. I suggest you do so.

  7. Lord Blagger
    12/02/2011 at 8:59 pm

    If the rules state you are allowed to sign in and then leave this cannot be fraud, what you are claiming is defamation of the House.

    ===================

    It’s not. Reread the post.

    You as the Lords have designed a system that gets you off any allegations of fraud for turning up and leaving straight away, but still claiming that you have ‘attended’.

    At least we have that admission now from you, as to how the ‘attendance system’ is designed to work.

    No libel at all, just a statement of truth.

  8. Lord Blagger
    12/02/2011 at 9:20 pm

    And you don’t get the simularity between your attitude and Mubarak’s do you?

    When the sins of the Lords are pointed out, what do you do?

    The state will sue you is your response.

    The state did the same in Egypt and look where it got them.

  9. MilesJSD
    milesjsd
    25/02/2011 at 2:01 pm

    Folks, this boxing-dust-up, principly between a highly ‘enthroned’ peerage-mouthpiece in the red-corner, and an experienced referee-turned plebs’-champion in the black-corner, appears to have gone to sleep awaiting the bell for the next round,

    the last round having ended 13 days ago.

    Presumably there is more patch-up work having to be done by the respective seconds than simply washing the blood and beetroot-juice from the gloves and faces of these well-known and classically explosive antagonists.

    Oi,

    BOX-ON !!!

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