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Bideford Town Council prayers ruled unlawful

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not sure it possible to force someone to pray. The issue was that they were holding prayers as part of council business, which is questionable, and this doofus couldn't just sit there and ignore it.

    Interesting that no-one here has mentioned prayers in Parliament.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    There is an issue in human rights though, they were forcing those didnt want to, to pray as it was part of official business.

    Not really, as he voluntarily stood for election and he can hardly complain he was forced to abide by the rules (he might not have known what the rules were, but he could have looked).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My point, as should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense, is that "respecting the vote" is an exceedingly stupid thing to say if, as has been shown, that vote is unlawful.

    As for the "he knew the rules when he stood" argument, that would only be appropriate if it were a bowling club steering committee. It doesn't quite work for a public body that is supposed to represent everyone in a community, not just the God Squad.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My point, as should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense, is that "respecting the vote" is an exceedingly stupid thing to say if, as has been shown, that vote is unlawful.

    As for the "he knew the rules when he stood" argument, that would only be appropriate if it were a bowling club steering committee. It doesn't quite work for a public body that is supposed to represent everyone in a community, not just the God Squad.

    And my point is that the vote shouldn't have been unlawful

    And the voters decide how the council represents them, and if they don't like their decisions they should vote them out. So if they support the 'God Squad' that's tough and if they support the 'slack jawed atheists' that's tough as well and the slack jawed atheists should be able to vote through they discontinue with prayers, same as if a Tory council gets in it should be able to put in place Tory policies and if a Labour one gets in it should be able to enact Labour policy.

    It all seems simple to me
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If the council voted to have a Ku Klux Klan meeting as part of official business, would that be OK? By your logic it would be, providing enough councillors voted for it.

    After all, that's democracy, right?

    Still, I can't say any of this surprises me. I've been to Bideford, it makes rural Norfolk look modern by comparison. Up that part of Devon they think Hot Fuzz was a documentary.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If the council voted to have a Ku Klux Klan meeting as part of official business, would that be OK? By your logic it would be, providing enough councillors voted for it.

    After all, that's democracy, right?

    Still, I can't say any of this surprises me. I've been to Bideford, it makes rural Norfolk look modern by comparison. Up that part of Devon they think Hot Fuzz was a documentary.

    What is it about this topic and strawmen. So far we've had the right of councillors being able to vote for prayers being seen on the same level as the legalisation of rape, murdering tramps* and now voting to have a Ku Klux Klan meeting, as if the good burghers of Bideford are itching to set themselves up as a hybrid between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

    Now, at the risk of putting forward a nuanced point, I can see the difference between them deciding to vote to bar Jews from holding property in their town and them voting to keep prayer, s much like I can see the difference between a judge overuling their decisions and a coup to overthrow democracy and replace it with communist dictatorship. So given that lots of things are on a spectrum I would say that the decision to hold prayers is a matter for the council and the democratic will should prevail, but, for the avoidance of doubt, legalising rape, turning the council into an outpost of the Ku Klux Klan and murdering tramps are outside their remit and the courts should intervene.


    * though to be fair to the Cpt, outside that comment he did make reasonable and intelligent arguments over why he thought it was the right decision
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd be less concerned if they had made it clear that they would offer multi-dominational prayers, if necessary. Be inclusive.

    The vote that they had was about Christian prayer which, as the case suggested, was discriminatory and could put otehr religions off from standing for office.

    I don't think that prayer should necessarily be excluded though, just as it isn't for Parliament.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Now I think it should be. Religion has no place in state machinery.

    And I day that as someone who goes to Church every week.

    As for strawmen, do I think the town council are fascists? No. But saying someone should put up with it just because a couple of people had a vote is an idiotic argument. If it were their club then yeah, fair enough, buts town council isn't. If they want to have legal powers conferred on them by the state then they can bloody well start allowing everyone a voice
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If the council voted to have a Ku Klux Klan meeting as part of official business, would that be OK? By your logic it would be, providing enough councillors voted for it.

    After all, that's democracy, right?


    It's also totally irrelevant. I love how because people aren't able to win this argument about democracy because the topic in hand (wether or not people should pray) is so fucking petty and minor you're having to immediately compare it to something completely ridiculous.

    The whole point isn't wether or not they should be praying, it's about 1 person throwing his toys out of the pram because he couldn't get his own way after a legitimate vote. Because you don't want to accept it as being a legitimate vote you're asking us stupid questions about wether or not we should accept the ku-klux klan as political masters if they happened to be voted into power or go out murdering tramps because the people who bothered to vote thought it was a pretty good idea because that's the same thing. No It Isn't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    It's also totally irrelevant. I love how because people aren't able to win this argument about democracy because the topic in hand (wether or not people should pray) is so fucking petty and minor you're having to immediately compare it to something completely ridiculous.

    The drawing of analogy is a perfectly legitimate tool to use when subjecting a viewpoint to scrutiny. The examples of tramp murder and convening the Klu Klux Klan are partly humour (at least I thought they were funny) but they also highlight the faulty logic in the rather black and white analysis of 'it won a majority vote ergo it's valid'. I agree that the event in question is minor and have said so on a number of occasions, but the real interest is in analysing the logic we've all applied to this fairly bland example of town council meetings.
    The whole point isn't wether or not they should be praying, it's about 1 person throwing his toys out of the pram because he couldn't get his own way after a legitimate vote.

    I guess to you the whole point is that some fella's thrown his toys out of the pram. But of course the vote turned out not to be legitimate - still, don't vex yourself with the facts.
    Because you don't want to accept it as being a legitimate vote you're asking us stupid questions about wether or not we should accept the ku-klux klan as political masters if they happened to be voted into power or go out murdering tramps because the people who bothered to vote thought it was a pretty good idea because that's the same thing. No It Isn't.

    I didn't want to have to accept it as being a legitimate vote, you're right. And luckily I haven't had to... yet.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    The whole point isn't wether or not they should be praying, it's about 1 person throwing his toys out of the pram because he couldn't get his own way after a legitimate vote. Because you don't want to accept it as being a legitimate vote you're asking us stupid questions

    Firstly, the High Court ruled that it wasn't a legitimate vote. It was no more legitimate than a vote on whether everyone should vow devotion to the Fuhrer before every council meeting.

    Secondly, how can you have a legitimate vote if, because of your legal machinery, you stop anyone opposed to your view coming to a meeting?

    Thirdly, your logic is "they had a vote so the guy should just suck it up". That's the black and white of it, there isn't room here for nuances. If you think that this is OK simply because they had a vote then, by extension, you think anything is OK because they had a vote on it. As CptCoatHanger says, I am using hyperbole to make my point, but the point still stands. Either you think things should be binding because there was a vote- no matter how distasteful you find those things- or you don't. The logical conclusion of your argument really is that if Naziville Town Council vote to stick pink triangles on gay men then that is OK and everyone should suck it up, because that is democracy.

    Fourthly, they're a fucking public body and praying to the Lord our God is simply not appropriate. If you want to pray to Jesus, or any deity come to that, then do it in your own time and in an appropriate place. I've heard they have these new fangled things called churches for this sort of thing. If it were a private club I'd be siding with those who want to pray. It's not. It's a Government organisation that is paid for by taxpayers and is supposed to represent those taxpayers. They can start by removing their religious mumbo jumbo from council meetings. Or, failing that, they can start praying to every deity of every religion going. I'd start by demanding prayers to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I'd pay to see that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    It's also totally irrelevant. I love how because people aren't able to win this argument about democracy because the topic in hand (wether or not people should pray) is so fucking petty and minor you're having to immediately compare it to something completely ridiculous.
    There's nothing ridiculous about it. You are the one that implied that we should accept the results of a vote whatever the circumstances it occurs under. The idea that we should just submit to popular opinion is about as extreme an opinion as one could hold, and it's one that you have put forth in this thread, albeit in reference to a fairly minor issue. It was you that suggested that anyone who disagrees with this council therefore doesn't accept the democratic process (rather than fully supporting the legal democratic process, and recognizing that this vote wasn't part of it). You're the one that brought this debate to its ridiculous extremes, and they you complain about others when they respond likewise. Or perhaps you're just angry that we pointed out a gap in your argument big enough to drive a cruise ship through?

    As for winning the argument about democracy, I believe the legal argument has already been won, and as far as I'm concerned, the moral argument supports a complete separation of church and state, under which religion on state time would be illegal anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    we pointed out a gap in your argument big enough to drive a cruise ship through?

    Joke about Italians driving cruise ships in 3...2...1...

    ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    None of this matters now anyway. The government have accelerated the introduction of the Localism act now anyway, so the vote, court case, thousand of pounds and who knows how many man hours have been an utter waste anyway.

    Regardless of the legitimacy of the vote, the whole thing has been a massive waste of time, money and effort on a pointless legal battle waged by both sides.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know about you, but I'm overjoyed that they have found time to make sure that this goes through quickly - rather than address the gaping holes in the NHS Social Care Bill or address the fact that current monetary policy is delivering little more unemployment...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know about you, but I'm overjoyed that they have found time to make sure that this goes through quickly - rather than address the gaping holes in the NHS Social Care Bill or address the fact that current monetary policy is delivering little more unemployment...

    Hardly a big use of time. It was passed in November 2011, they're just introducing it into legislation a month or so earlier than planned. It's probably used all of a couple of hours of a couple of civil servants time to move it forward...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's probably used all of a couple of hours of a couple of civil servants time to move it forward...


    You've got a very positive, albeit naive opinion of civil servants and government bueracracy if you think they can do something like that in a couple of hours. I'd wager they spent days of time having meetings, debates, writing summaries, researching e.t.c. to do what they've done. Yes, it could have taken a couple of hours, I bet it didn't though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    You've got a very positive, albeit naive opinion of civil servants and government bueracracy if you think they can do something like that in a couple of hours. I'd wager they spent days of time having meetings, debates, writing summaries, researching e.t.c. to do what they've done. Yes, it could have taken a couple of hours, I bet it didn't though.

    I don't have a positive view of civil servants, if only because I am one :D

    However a commencement order is pretty simple and a Govt lawyer can do one in their sleep, (in fact I'd be willing to bet one was already ready to go and all they've was change the dates and lay it in the house a few weeks earlier than before).

    There's an example (from the same act) below.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/57/made

    Whilst its being made to be a big deal it's actually not (I don't know, but my bet would have been they were planning for 1 April for commencement anyway and start for the new financial year so all they've done is move it about a month forward)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be fair, I was being sarky.
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