Change the Oath of Allegiance to help Sinn Fein, says Tory

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Lancashire Hussar, Feb 9, 2006.

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  1. It just gets worse, first back door allowances and now this!!!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/02/09/noath09.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/02/09/ixhome.html



    Change the Oath of Allegiance to help Sinn Fein, says Tory
    By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent and George Jones
    (Filed: 09/02/2006)

    The Oath of Allegiance to the Queen sworn by MPs should be reviewed to encourage Sinn Fein to take up its five seats in the House of Commons, David Lidington, the Conservative Northern Ireland spokesman, said yesterday.



    He suggested the five absent Sinn Fein MPs, including Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who represent the political wing of the Provisional IRA, could take an "alternative" oath with references to the monarch removed.

    His proposal caused outrage among Unionists, who were already infuriated by the restoration of Sinn Fein's parliamentary allowances.

    The Ulster Unionist peer Lord Kilclooney of Armagh said he was "shocked" that a Conservative MP and shadow cabinet spokesman could make such a suggestion.

    Last night MPs voted to hand over allowances worth £800,000 a year plus a new annual payment of up to £86,000 even though Sinn Fein's five members still refuse to take the oath, which means they cannot receive their MPs' salaries or speak in parliament.

    The votes came at the end of a bitter five-hour debate in which ministers came under fire from all sides but insisted that the measures were necessary to encourage further progress in the peace process after IRA decommissioning.

    MPs last year suspended Sinn Fein's allowances after the £26.5 million Northern Bank robbery and the murder in Belfast of Robert McCartney - both of which were blamed on IRA members.

    But last July the IRA declared an end to its armed campaign and in September carried out a final act of weapons decommissioning.

    Geoff Hoon, Leader of the House, struggled to defend the plan against protests from Tory, Unionist and some Labour MPs. The allowances were approved by majorities of 100 and 151.

    Theresa May, his Tory opposite number, asked: "Why should a party that doesn't attend this House, doesn't vote, doesn't debate in this chamber, does not engage or undertake parliamentary duties or business, receive additional money to support its parliamentary activities?"

    All MPs and peers are required to "swear by Almighty God to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth" or make a solemn affirmation of loyalty to the Crown.

    Sinn Fein claims its Irish republican ideals prevent MPs from swearing allegiance to a "foreign" Queen and sitting in a British parliament. Mr Lidington said Sinn Fein could be accommodated by an "alternative form of words" that would not compromise their beliefs.

    "There is already a choice between an oath and an affirmation," Mr Lidington said. "I think that if we were in a situation where mention of the Queen caused a problem to somebody whether they were Sinn Fein or a Labour backbencher, who believed in a republican rather than a monarchist form of governments, the Commons should look at it on an all-party basis."

    Instead of promising to be faithful to the Queen, Mr Lidington said republicans could pledge to support law and democracy.

    But he acknowledged that Sinn Fein's continued refusal to recognise the police in Northern Ireland would even make that wording difficult for them to "swallow".

    Mr Lidington said his comments were "hypothetical" given that the Oath of Allegiance was not the sole reason Sinn Fein MPs did not participate at Westminster.

    Republicans' desire for a united Ireland means they believe that Dublin should be the seat of power for the whole island. They oppose Britain's jurisdiction over Northern Ireland and claim that sitting at Westminster would undermine their principles.
     
  2. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    What a complete moron. He should be drop kicked off the front bench and back to his constituency, there to be torn apart by the little old ladies who originally selected him. You can guarantee that if this was introduced for Sinn Fein, within a couple of months half the Labour Party would have followed suit and we would beliving in a republic by default.
     
  3. I agree......

    However I do think that our oath of allegiance should be changed to exclude politicians!
     
  4. How sad, he is my Squadrons constituency MP. Pass me a lump hammer (aka tech's screwdriver)
     
  5. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    If Adams et al don't want to swear or afirm allegiance to a 'Foreign' Monarch, why do they stand for the 'Foreign' parliament and ask for money from this bunch of, in their view, Johnny Foreigners'?!

    Let them put up or shut up. The money comes from British taxpayers and the rules of their governing body should be followed not changed. What next, will the French have people standing in the Kent consituencies and demanding allowances from parliament to keep them in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to while continuing to live in Calais and not even visiting Westminster.

    Is this a case of MPs saying that the IRA scum are now decent chaps because they are titular MPs and therefore one of their club? "We look after our own don'tcha you know"

    Quite sickening. :cry:
     
  6. Tories (from the Irish term tóraidhe, modern Irish tóraí — outlaw, robber) - Wikipedia
     
  7. Airey Neave must be spinning in his grave.
     
  8. Never mind Airey, I'm spinning on my puter chair. The tories started to make a little sense of certain things happening recently and this baffoon puts them right down again with the likes of Bliar and gang :evil:
     
  9. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I'm afraid that I agree that the rules should be changed to 'allow' Adams etc to take thier seats and represent thier constituants.

    As repulsive as they are, and its harder to think of more more degraded humans, they have been elected by a democratic vote and should be in Parliament. Thats democracy, we cannot censure who is elected because we don't like them.

    I understand why they are unable to swear allegiance to HM and indeed would be the height of hypocrasy if they did. The pictures of the late Tony Banks crossing his fingers while swearing allegiance bring the whole process into disrepute. At the moment Sinn fein / IRA occupy the 'moral high ground' on this one and the system appears petulent and anti democratic.

    Not a popular view and I just want to say again that I find Adams etc repulsive and degraded.
     
  10. Sorry but I completely disagree with you, sknn. We are talking about HER MAJESTY'S Government. Every member of it should quite rightly swear allegiance to her as they run the country ON HER BEHALF. IMHO, whether their views are rupublican or not, the fact of the matter is the UK is a constitutional monarchy with Liz as head of state and an oath to serve the country IS, de facto, an oath to serve her. You can not have one without the other unless HMQ is actually deposed.
     
  11. Sinn Fein and moral high ground don't belong in the same paragraph!!
     
  12. The answer is simple in my eyes. If those elected refuse to take their seats in parliment, then the position should by handed to the runner-up in the election. This may upset the electorate, but then again what right minded person would vote for someone who is not prepared to represent them in parliment. Wasted vote in my view. Why should the UK change the oath of allegiance to suit men and women who murdered people in cold blood. Mind you anything is possible in this day and age under this or any future government.
     
  13. Quote:

    The pictures of the late Tony Banks crossing his fingers while swearing allegiance

    slightly off-track, but doesn't this highlight just how juvenile and moronic the people who decide our everyday lives are.
    It's something I'd expect of my children, but not an elected politician.
     
  14. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Sinn Fein / IRA are not and will never be part of HM Government, they are in opposition to it. In a democratic society you have to allow people to have views which differ from your own. However much you dislike them. Constitutional settlements are there for good historical reasons, but at the end of the day they are there to serve the people if they are not doing that then they need to be changed.

    Sinn Fein / IRA should not be allowed to hold the moral high ground - which is why its time for change.
     
  15. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    One way round this for the future is that every person who wishes to put him/her self up for election should take the Oath at the same time as they pay their deposit, thereby acknowledging at the very outset, whose Government they are proposing to join (or oppose) in Parliament. This Oath could then be renewed in entering the House. Obviously the Oath would also have to be in writing and signed by the candidate and witnessed by the returning officer or other officer of the voting system.

    In this way we would not have people spuriously standing for our Parliament, effectively leaving large elements of the population without representation (but still with the taxation).