The Society has a new address at: http://suca.susu.org/
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** The views expressed herein are the views of one person, and not neccesarily those of the Conservative Party - Parliamentary or Constituency.**
I have just watched the BBC's Question Time in Salisbury.
From what I can gather, all three mainstream parties are clamouring to remove heredetary peers and move to a wholly elected House of Lords... needless to say I am horrified. Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and now William Hague (hopefully soon to be our Foreign Secretary) calling for the Upper House in the bicameral parliament to be made fully electable by the public.
So now we see that MP's; whilst righting the lack of checks and balances in one area (MP's Expenses) are now trying to remove the checks and balances in another.
The House of Lords exists to act as a check and a balance to the government and parliament of the day. Peerages in the past have been given as hereditary so that when the Government trys to force through legislation that is only there to "please the electorate" and not for the good of the nation in the long term, the Lords can take time to think on, reccommend changes to and if neccesary overturn this legislation without worrying that the electorate will rebel against it.
The House of Lords of twenty years ago was a righteous and respected institution. And yet, after merely twelve years of a "New" Labour government we are seeing them misusing emergency measures to push through "popular" laws (such as the Fox-Hunting ban which only really had <50% of the UK populations support) and hereditory peers are being replaced by Life Peers, and now we are apparantly considering a fully elected upper house.
I am admittedly in the minority - even within the modern Conservative Party, and I accept that the House of Lords needs to change. If I were to chose how to change it I would say that Her Majesty the Queen should chose from a list of people given to her by the Government after every General Election and that no more than 10 Lords be replaced at any one time, but an elected house will just result in more partisan and "popular" laws being passed, just one more step toward Americanisation... which I am sure we do not want. How long before everyone is calling to join a Federated States of Europe... I wonder...?
This blog will be posted as two parts as the issues contained would make a single post unreasonably lengthy. Upon publication of the second part I'll post a link to the first part and vice-versa. This first part explains the situation that brought me to write this piece, whilst the second will explore the question expressed in the title.
On Sunday I watched a documentary on BBC called "18 Pregnant Schoolgirls" (You can find it on iPlayer here) which covered the story of how 18 girls at a school in the Catholic town of Gloucester, Massachusetts became pregnant in 2007, and explored the possibility that there may have been a pact between the girls to have children at the same time. The girls in question were all 15 or 16 years old (In Massachusetts the age of consent is 16 - It varies from state to state), however the ages of the boys involved have been disputed as only a few have come forward due to the risk of conviction for rape.
The programme was so focussed on the possibility that these girls had conspired to get pregnant at the same time that it completely overlooked the issue on which they should have focussed - what on earth possessed these children (and lets face it, these are just children!) to conclude that having a child was in any way a responsible choice? Whilst a grand conspiracy makes fantastic copy for a tabloid it is not the real issue at hand, we should really be concerning ourselves with the fact that 18 young girls (either individually or collectively) chose to become pregnant.
Teenage pregnancy normally results from a failure to practice safer sex (Only abstinence is truly safe sex!), though admittedly some pregnancies do arise from the 3% failure rate that contraceptive methods suffer from. Gloucester High School had a health centre where two practitioners resigned after the school board refused to allow them to distribute condoms to the student body, instead preferring to follow an abstinence only sex education program. Whilst the promotion of abstinence is worthy we have to accept the reality that teenagers will have sex, and therefore it is the duty of the school system to promote the use of contraception. Despite the schools stance on abstinence they actually provide a day care centre for the children of students, not only does this effectively legitimise teenage mothers, to me it also screams "Don't have sex, but if you do then you should be having children".
The decision to have a child brings forward a huge amount of responsibility, and I cannot even begin to comprehend the true expanse of them having not fathered a child myself. Whilst there are no specific criteria for potential parents (and I would never suggest we should have) I'm sure we can all agree that financial independence and security absolute necessity - how can someone expect to provide for their child if they struggle to get by at present?
The association recently held its annual general meeting, where the following people were elected onto the committee for the next year:
• Chairman Chris Rowland
• VC Campaigns Michael Dowsett
• VC Events John King
• Secretary Michael Shields
• Treasurer Jennifer S. Hemmers
• Print Media Officer Sam Lewis
• Online Media Officer Benjamin D. Brooks
Full minutes of the recent AGM will be posted shortly under the (currently disabled) 2009 AGM & Elections Tab above.
Hullo All SUCA Members,
As you can see the Website is back online and now the Information for the 2009 AGM and Committeee Elections has now been uploaded and can be viewed here
However, the deadline for getting your nominations has now passed. All the best of luck to all the candidates and I hope to see you all on March 10th.
Secondly, in line with a widely held view on the current committee, starting now and hopefully continuing once the new committee is in place, Blog Entries will be encouraged and are going to be posted to the home page every now and again, no formal structure is yet in place and we currently only have one active Blogger... so get your creative writing caps on!
Please could everyone join
SOUTHAMPTON UNIVERSITY CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION
All events are listed on there! and it's the quickest and easiest way to keep in contact with people