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What a bloke!

Today Tory MP Christopher Chope blocked a Private Member’s Bill, supported by both the Government and the Opposition, that would have made “upskirting” a specific criminal offence. Everybody hates him now. Even Guido says,

Tory dinosaur Christopher Chope has plumbed new depths by blocking a bill to make upskirting a criminal offence. Not sure how he plans to justify that to his wife and daughter. Chope has a tedious habit of blocking Private Member’s Bills supposedly on procedural grounds. In reality he just obstructs and prevents good ideas.

Guido then lists Chope’s previous obstructions:

In addition to the upskirting bill, Chope has also blocked:

  • Pardoning Alan Turing (which was supported by The Queen);
  • Same-sex marriage;
  • An investigation into Bercow bullying allegations;
  • The use of wild animals in circus performances;
  • Blocked free hospital car parking for carers;
  • Making revenge evictions an offence.

    What a bloke.

  • UPDATE: Not content with blocking the upskirting bill, Chope just blocked another government-backed bill to make it a specific criminal offence to attack police dogs and horses.
  • So this man Chope has opposed the use of the power of the state to… make what was already illegal under general principles of law doubly illegal by naming whatever crime led the headlines last week, to solidify the belief that the promises made by one person to another need to be ratified by the state, to allow modern “lawmakers” to display their enlightenment in comparison to their predecessors, to hold an investigation to reveal what everybody knows anyway, to ban the last half dozen wild animals from circuses, and to exempt one specially sentimentalised category of person from hospital car park charges thus loading them yet further on to, you know, sick people.

    Eight times. Eight times he has stood alone against the Hydra of therapeutic laws, vote-chasing laws, sentimental laws, virtue-signalling laws and “something must be done, this is something” laws.

    What a bloke!

    33 comments to What a bloke!

    • Natalie Solent (Essex)

      Rather than spoil my post above with quibbles and qualifications, I will place this comment admitting that I would probably have supported some of the laws Chope opposes down here “below the line”. But how good it is to see an MP who does not like new laws.

    • Brian Micklethwait (London)

      I was at school with Chope. He was a bit older than me and a lot grander than me, with no motive to be nice to me, other than the fact that he was a nice guy. I have liked him ever since.

    • pete

      A few weeks ago we had many people praising the unelected House of Lords when it tried to obstruct Brexit.

      I assume they were untroubled when an elected MP used the system to stop something he doesn’t like.

    • Zerren Yeoville

      Where were the Scottish Nationalists threatening to vote down the law unless it addressed ‘upkilting’ as well?

    • JS

      I read at the time that the circus animals bill went nowhere because it was an EU competence (It would have discriminated against touring circuses from other EU countries which include animals) and so the UK government could do nothing about it alone.

      Maybe that’s not true or maybe Chope is a cover for the real reasons that bills are killed and who wants them dead. Just a thought.

    • Politicians love the excitement and publicity of passing new laws and boasting about it. Politicians hate the tedium of enforcing the laws they already have – especially if the laws they already have were meant to deal with the problem the new law addresses.

      Am I alone in also scenting a whiff of displacement activity in stuff like this being much talked about while muslim rape gangs are much not-talked about.

      As a point of information, I note that he has in no sense ‘killed’ any of these laws. The procedural point he has exploited is to prevent them being passed ‘on the nod’. They die (for now) unless debating time is allocated for them. Obviously, if parliament must actually discuss laws before inflicting them on us, how will they ever match EU rates of law-generation?

    • For myself, anything which annoys the Poundland Maggie Thatcher currently occupying 10 Downing Street gets my support.

    • Alex Cull

      Christopher Chope also, to his credit, voted against the Climate Change Act in 2008, with Peter Lilley and Andrew Tyrie.

    • Patrick Crozier

      I knew Chope when he was an MP in Southampton. Everyone adored him.

      And thanks Natalie for taking the trouble to write this.

    • Mr Ecks

      Pete–He is stopping new bullshit and virtue signalling.

      How many childish weirds are there who want to look /photograph up skirts? With the vast maj of women fat thighs/buttocks and a pair of knickers is all that would yield. When porn is omnipresent? The Bill is moronic Marxist-feminist virtue-signalling bought at the price of a lot of taxpayers money. How much do these bullshit bills cost? The time spent by windbag MPs is expensive enough.

      Both Niall Kilmartin and John Galt also call it right.

    • It seems the law against impertinently-angled photographs will be discussed – or at least, May says time will be made. Whether discussion will improve it – or even discover existing law adequate if better enforced – I doubt, but better it be discussed than nodded through, and parliament’s time could (and at other times will) be worse spent.

      (Like Natalie in her comment at the head of this thread, I would listen to any sense there was in a discussion about the proposed law. The ubiquity of tiny cameras is very recent, so could be creating, or making more common, offences of a kind that existing law handles poorly. I have no great faith in the ability of today’s political culture to assess such things wisely, but I grant the possibility.)

    • Chris Cooper

      Chris Chope’s days are numbered – Cathy Newman has him in her sights. This tweet:

      @cathynewman Jun 15
      What justification could #ChrisChope have for objecting to #upskirting being made a criminal offence? I hope he might come on @Channel4News to explain to us all why he derailed a bill preventing people taking pix up women’s skirts…

      I can hear it now:

      “You blocked a law against taking photos up women’s skirts without their knowledge from being passed without debate. So you’re saying taking photos up women’s skirts without their knowledge is a good thing?”

    • bobby b

      I’m willing to bet that there are already existing laws that make taking up-skirt photos illegal, but someone wants to be able to say that they were responsible for this new, more specific law.

    • Julie near Chicago

      Chris Cooper has got Mizz Newman’s style nailed, to a T. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor!) That’s exactly how she did the interview with J. Peterson.

    • Alisa

      Surely someone trying to take such a photo has his face positioned well enough to meet someone else’s foot?

    • Regional

      How can one M.P. block a Bill?

    • Phil B

      @bobby b – you completely miss the point. “Something must be done, this is something, let’s do it” is the modus operandi and public virtue signalling is the important thing. Never mind that it won’t address the problem.

      Hence a law which, as everyone has pointed out, will duplicate already existing laws because … something must be done …

      Note that the anti terror laws which pile up incessantly are already adequately addressed by existing laws brought in by David Cameron. Guess how many time that those already existing laws have been invoked and guess how many people have been prosecuted under the terms of those laws? Any number north of zero is, as they say in the Eurovision Song Contest, Nil Points …

    • Patrick Crozier

      This bill was what is known as a Private Member’s Bill. Most bills are government bills and because these days the government controls parliament they get all the time. Therefore, there is little time for discussion of Private Member’s Bills. For one to pass either they have to be uncontroversial or they have to be given government time.

    • Common law outraging public decency is already used to deal with it, there are loop holes within this, but convictions go through.

      It strikes me that this issue should be far down the list in terms of priority. After all ordinary folks feed the needy at food banks and Marx still has no statue in Trafalgar Square.

    • Mr Ecks

      Most foodbankers–who aren’t using same to subsidise their drink/drug regimen–are awaiting benefit cheques from the scummy and incompetent state. Good reason then for said state to expand their activities?

    • NickM

      This is a bloke. That is a full on geezer.

    • Thomas Fuller

      Whenever I see the term “lawmakers”, especially in a sanserif font, I read it as “lawnrakers”.

      I was once so foolish as to pay good money for a lawnraker. Besides being expensive, it was unreliable and, in short, utterly useless — in fact it did more harm than good.

      Someone with a knowledge of psychology might be able to explain this persistent and highly specialised dyslexia on my part. As for the lawnraker, it went to the tip. If only it were that simple to … I leave the rest to your imagination.

    • APL

      Itellyounothing “Common law outraging public decency is already used to deal with it, .. ”

      I’ve speculated that such behaviour might fall under the Common law of common assault too.

      Problem is the Police don’t know the law, nor do they much care about enforcing laws that currently exist either, unless there’s revenue to be had.

    • Surely someone trying to take such a photo has his face positioned well enough to meet someone else’s foot? (Alisa, June 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm)

      Often (not always), that will be the case, but the PC hatred of agency in private persons probably means that the girl who did so would be convicted of assault. She must leave it to the credentialed experts of the state.

    • Natalie writes:

      Eight times. Eight times he has stood alone against the Hydra of therapeutic laws, vote-chasing laws, sentimental laws, virtue-signalling laws and “something must be done, this is something” laws.

      I give Natalie 6 out of 8. The exceptions being discussed below.

      (i) Pardoning Alan Turing. Turing did ‘break the law’ in IIRC 1952. That law was repealled in IIRC 1967. The genius of Turing, his particular brilliant contribution towards WW2, and that many were tolerant of his ‘offence’ then, really mean that his prosecution was totally wrong.

      I am entirely in agreement that he should be pardoned; also that Parliament should debate that pardon. This not least as a reminder to the ‘Establishment’ that the letter of the law is not everything! However, this is no new change of law. I also acknowledge that it is a sort of virtue signalling. But, I find such virtue signalling is vastly preferable to the continuation of zealous positive discrimination in favour of LGBT++. This is in wider belief that a some short-term positive discrimination (whatever is discriminated against) has some moral justice about it – but when (pretty much and also by the passage of much time) all law and all substantive moral judgement include the undesirability of (that particular) discrimination, we have done enough.

      (ii) Free hospital car parking for carers. This sounds to me like a very sensible concession. However, it actually require no new law – just administrative decision (which could be done on a hospital-by-hospital case). And I don’t see the issue ‘needing’ parliamentary acknowledgement to anywhere near the same extent as does the wrong done to Turing!

      Best regards

    • Nigel Sedgwick (June 17, 2018 at 4:26 pm), in today’s culture, the pardoning of Turing is not an alternative to modern PC persecution but a propaganda exercise in support of it. The logic of your description means that pardoning of Turing should have been accompanied with pardoning of everyone convicted of ‘homophobic hate speech’ – a law I hope will one day be as repealed as that under which Turing was convicted. ‘Sauce for the goose’ – but also, ‘fat chance’. These things never happen when they are needed but only when they are pointless.

      Generally I’m not in favour of rewriting history – which is full of people convicted on laws since repealed or changed, along with statues the PC would like toppled, and other stuff to do with people long dead. (Pedantically, I note that if Turing’s war work had not been so secret, his prosecution might indeed have been aborted/pardoned because of it, so the royal pardon can be seen as doing that belatedly. It varies things from the ordinary ‘rewrite history’ case, so that feature lessens in this case my general distaste for such things.)

      I really, really hope our regaining free speech does not wait until after many persecuted under ‘hate speech’ laws are dead, but, if that horribly happens (then I will be dead too, but if I were not), I would not, I think, demand that cases honestly run under law of the time be rewritten.

    • bobby b

      So the Daily Mail headline today reads “Fewer than one in 20 street robberies and burglaries are being solved by police, new figures reveal“, and MP Chope has the nerve to block a new law that duplicates old laws?

      Bastard!

    • Phil B

      @Neil Sedgwick – Turing broke the law as it stood at the time and was convicted under that law. If we are going to apply todays laws to past crimes, then how about rehabilitating Dick Turpin as he is doing no more than the moped riders are doing nowadays or to forgive posthumously Jack the Ripper who was mentally unstable and nowadays would likely be given a curfew and care in the community? Similarly, everyone that owned a firearm in 1750 who did not have a license for their weapons should be prosecuted and at the very least fined. Same for swords.

      No, the past is the past and it is stupid to apply todays “morals” to that time. The past is another country. They do things differently then.

      Regarding hate speech laws, there is this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30363QcHJ-o

      OK, we have only one viewpoint but at the very minimum, the Police cannot enter your home without a warrant (or at least they couldn’t 10 years ago when I emigrated) but if this is as it seems, then Britain is well and truly circling the gurgler …

    • Mr Ed

      (ii) Free hospital car parking for carers. This sounds to me like a very sensible concession. However, it actually require no new law – just administrative decision (which could be done on a hospital-by-hospital case).

      I doubt that it would be so easy, hospitals may well have contracted out their car parking on the basis of a certain model, e.g. a private finance initiative and the contractor, looking to make the most naturally would not have allowed for free parking for carers. It would involve the law interfering with contracts, something that administrative fiat is not competent to do (these are not private contracts as they are contracts with an emanation of the State). That the contracts are often very poor value is another matter.

      One simple solution, tax receipts under the contracts from carers’ parking at 100,000%, and see if they make a concession.

    • On existing laws WRT upskirting, I found the following under voyeurism as a crime.

      In some countries voyeurism is considered to be a sex crime. In the United Kingdom, for example, non-consensual voyeurism became a criminal offence on May 1, 2004.[27] In the English case of R v Turner (2006),[28] the manager of a sports centre filmed four women taking showers. There was no indication that the footage had been shown to anyone else or distributed in any way. The defendant pleaded guilty. The Court of Appeal confirmed a sentence of nine months’ imprisonment to reflect the seriousness of the abuse of trust and the traumatic effect on the victims.

      Earlier in the same Wikipedia article, it was stated that voyerism is not a crime under common law.

      Best regards

    • Penseivat

      Mr Ed,
      As I understand it, the bandits of HMRC consider free parking a taxable benefit, so even if the hospitals allowed it, the carers would have to pay tax on the money they don’t spend on parking. Because of this ruling, local Police officers are no longer allowed free parking for their cars in the Police station car park.

    • Paul Marks

      “How can one Member of Parliament block a Bill?”

      By demanding a proper debate – when the people behind the Bill (normally the government – using a private Member of Parliament as a front) do not want to give the time necessary for such a debate.

      “We have not got Parliamentary time to discuss this Bill – just vote for it on the basis of its GOOD INTENTIONS” is the line here.

      But a Bill must NOT become an Act simply on the basis of Good Intentions – one must examine what the Bill would actually do in PRACTICE.

      This is what most people (including “Guido”) do not seem to understand.

      Full disclosure – I am not at all happy with the basic concept of “legislation”, but that is another matter.

    • Niall Kilmartin wrote:

      … in today’s culture, the pardoning of Turing is not an alternative to modern PC persecution but a propaganda exercise in support of it.

      I understand that argument, having even written myself: “I also acknowledge that it is a sort of virtue signalling.” However I think Niall’s wording here is too aggressive and too certain.

      Niall then wrote:

      The logic of your description means that pardoning of Turing should have been accompanied with pardoning of everyone convicted of ‘homophobic hate speech’ …

      Such logic as that contains is not my logic. I was making a special case for Turing, and viewed and still view that special case as allowable. Also preferable to current ongoing and often overdone positive discrimination (as correction of the balance for mostly long-passed negative discrimination). [Aside: though actually there is little real fungibility between them, there is not none.] No discrimination and no demanding of favours, both either way, is the only satisfactory long-term way of us all living together, and more in harmony.

      Niall then wrote:

      Generally I’m not in favour of rewriting history … … [Earlier circumstance] varies things from the ordinary ‘rewrite history’ case, so that feature lessens in this case my general distaste for such things.

      That is pretty much my view: generally and on the specific case of Turing. I think this wording of Niall’s does help clarify things.

      Best regards

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