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Commons Speaker calls for new Committee powers in Parliament – to rival Congressional Committees.

This article and the related links below are an invaluable update on the powers and limitations of parliamentary committees – a must read for every A-level Politics student. Parliamentary Select Committees are a vital scrutiny tool in UK Parliament, but compared to the US Congressional Committees they are fairly weak. John Bercow, the Commons Speaker … Continue reading

A fracking mess…

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster didn’t declare an interest in the ‘fracking‘ process (which is supposed to find new natural gas sources) in Fermanagh despite fifty four acres of the land being in her husband’s name allegedly 🙂 . BBC article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15873655 “Resign” shouts the Green Party’s Stephen Agnew! “No. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t make the … Continue reading

It’s here…

PfG is here at last – all hail our amazing leaders! After six months they have managed to agree on a way forward in these tough economic times. However as the FM admits, it is delivery of the programme upon which the Executive & the Assembly will be judged. Wee Alex Attwood (Sdlp environment minister) … Continue reading

Congressional ‘supercommittee’ gridlock

The United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction seems to have stalled over its central purpose – agreeing how to reduce the US deficit. The Joint Committee is a construct that includes six senators and six congressmen and unsurprisingly they are dividing along partisan party lines over dealing with the US debt crisis. … Continue reading

On the edge of glory…the edge, the edge

Ok not really, but the NI Executive is going “ga ga” to get a Programme for Government (PfG) produced at all costs this evening. Terrific, they don’t produce one for six months and then cram it into one night – sounds eerily familiar to some of your essay production 🙂 …Speaking of which, the Ministers … Continue reading

PM under pressure as parliament reasserts itself…

As the Home Secretary, Teresa May, grapples with the problems of who was to blame for relaxed controls, David Cameron can be forgiven for thinking his premiership is turning into a nightmare. On top of this parliament is becoming much more bullish with backbench MPs not frightened to tackle government ministers and their civil servants … Continue reading

A must see interactive website on the Constitution…

This is quite simply one of the best interactive websites you will find on the US Constitution to help you with your A-level studies. Make it a must visit for every essay you do on the Constitution… http://ratify.constitutioncenter.org/constitution/index_no_flash.php

Individual rights – religion

Religion and the US Constitution Key points: Two clauses in the First Amendment of the US Constitution have made this extremely complex and contentious inAmerica: ‘the free exercise clause’ – no law prohibiting religion ‘the establishment clause’ – no law establishing a religion A state for example cannot require parents to send children to school … Continue reading

Individual rights – gay rights

Gay rights and the US Constitution Key points: Most members ofAmerica’s governing institutions have not been at the forefront of protecting rights for gays. The federal courts, where minority rights should be protected, have a mixed record in this area. Unlike abortion and the temporary cessation of the death penalty, gay rights is an issue … Continue reading

Individual rights – pornography

Pornography and theUSConstitution Key points: The First Amendment appears to clearly allow pornography in theUSA. It is the function of the Courts to decide which laws infringe on the right to free speech. ‘Obscenity’ and ‘art’ are subjective terms. The suppression of non-pornographic works under the guise of attacking ‘obscenity’ has worried many. Feminist women … Continue reading