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Gagging Law: Meeting with Angela Eagle MP

March 28th, 2014 by

Yesterday, 50 members of 38 Degrees from all over the UK came together in Portcullis House in Westminster to meet with Angela Eagle, shadow leader of the Commons and the person who was leading on this for the Labour party. Thanks to everyone who came!

Together, we wanted to push Angela Eagle on what Labour are doing about the gagging law. Because although Labour strongly opposed it at every stage in Parliament, there’s been an eery silence since it was passed.

It was a useful meeting – Angela Eagle does really seem on our side on this issue. She opened the meeting by confirming to us that the gagging law is a ‘terrible piece of legislation’ which is ‘a totally unwarranted attack on new forms of democracy’.

38 Degrees members then posed challenging questions to Angela Eagle about what steps Labour are actually going to take to overturn the law. We wanted to make sure that we weren’t being fobbed off with all talk, no action.

Angela Eagle also made it clear that although Labour oppose the gagging law, in order for them to make this a priority in their manifesto we have to keep shouting about how the law is going to crush our campaigning efforts over the next year.

She listened carefully to (and noted down) our views and concerns, to pass them onto Ed Miliband. It’s true that we need to continue to prove to Labour that the gagging law will have a chilling effect in order to get it overturned.

So overall, quite good news. We can be confident that Labour are still against the gagging law. But it’s still not entirely clear if they’re taking serious action behind the scenes. We can’t put our feet up yet. Together, 38 Degrees members need to make sure that the commitments are followed through in Labour’s manifesto promises. Watch this space for the next steps!

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  • http://fitforrandomness.wordpress.com/ David G Wilson

    WE (in Europe) are, already, pretty suppressed…and have been for 13 years but where was the outcry and campaign for change!? – EU be praised: “THE European Court of Justice ruled yesterday that the European Union can lawfully suppress political criticism of its institutions and of leading figures, sweeping aside English Common Law and 50 years of European precedents on civil liberties” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Euro-court-outlaws...

  • John

    This really is appalling – if Miliband and co. are not prepared to repeal this law then we really can’t get a fag paper between them and the ConDems in terms of their utter contempt for the democratic process. Is Angela Eagle really saying that there is a lack of support in the LP to repeal this – terrifying if that is so. If she’s passing the buck to us, then that is surely an dreadfully depressing sign of where the LP is now.

  • http://fitforrandomness.wordpress.com/ David G Wilson

    In reality, has there been more than a fag paper between them in recent years? The Punch & Judy charade of PMQ’s, squabbling over the scale or causes of debt and means to address deficit, etc. are distractions from agendas or ‘common purpose’ that are not terribly different at macro and micro scales, except on the surface!

  • Frank

    You are absolutely right that PMQs is unedifying, and that there was too much agreement between Blair and Cameron about the private sector being better. However, if you really feel that there is virtually no difference between the two main parties, please find and talk to anyone who started benefitting from schemes like working family tax credit, pension credit, sure start, when they were begun or substantially improved under the last Government .
    In the end, if the guys up there are bad, we have to ask ourselves, what do we do about using our spare time to pound the streets persuading people.
    Nil carborandum (or whatever).

  • Frank

    This seemed to have happened in 2001, since when I have not noticed anyone being frightened to criticise the EU. Essentially, the Court decided that if you worked for the EU it was not appropriate to write a book called “The Rotten Heart of Europe”. Are there any employers who would react differently? How would Mr Farage respond if his secretary wrote a book called “The Rotten Heart of UKIP”. He’d sack the secretary, and any court would uphold his right to do so!

  • http://fitforrandomness.wordpress.com/ David G Wilson

    I hear ya Frank…but what is the message to Whistleblowers? What about legislation in this regard? Is it the case that someone is dismissed for exposing the truth of the scale (and nature) of the wrongdoing WE are funding?