Back to website

Civil Contingencies bill -- What To Do (Contacts) From Mike Stagman Concerned Citizens Information Network (CCIN) 01495-773175



What Can Each of Us Do in a Little Spare time

to keep our Democracy and civil liberties, to defeat or take the teeth out of this subversive, anti-democratic Civil Contingencies bill?

Make some telephone calls. Just some phone calls. We need to contact members of the House of Lords, and members of the News Media. HOUSE OF LORDS --

Note: The Houses of Parliament have just gone on recess, returning 7 September. D-Day for the bill is 15 September when it will be discussed on the floor of the House of Lords. But you can, and should, call and leave messages now at 0207-219-5353.

You can leave up to 3 messages with your phone call, one for each of 3 different Peers. You will get two sentences per message, plus your name and telephone number. So have your 2 sentences ready. Some Peers may indeed telephone you. Don't be embarrassed or shy. They are pretty decent folk. Just get to the point because they are quite busy.

By the way, you can call and leave a message for any Peer or MP, 24 hours a day, every day of the year at 0207-219-5353. Repeat: During the recess, use the -5353 number. When Lords and MPs return on 7 September, use numbers 0207-219-3107 (Lords) and 0207-219-3000 (MPs) during opening hours, and -5353 after hours and on weekends.

[You can, in addition, write a short letter. Send it to Lord or Baroness . . ., House of Lords, London SW1A OPW.]

We need to send them messages now, and from 7 September, when Parliament resumes, we must really let them know. 15 September is the day for discussion of the bill on the floor of the House of Lords. So, 15 September is D-Day and we must act in advance.

Between 7 September and 15 September, ask the switchboard for the Lord or Baroness. Mention your strong opposition to the bill, and why you oppose it, and insist on rejection of the bill and also specify that tooth-pulling, radical amendments be tabled -- concerning the Grounds for declaring an Emergency (actual, verifiable catastrophe) and the Powers granted (no infringement on democracy and civil liberties). You will probably talk to an assistant or leave a message on their message machine. Or you may again need to leave a 2-sentence message with the switchboard.

Conservatives (the largest group in the Lords). Call Baroness Buscombe (Conservative leader on this bill who wants to amend it -- tell her we need tooth-extracting amendments).. Call other Conservative lords (a list of lords and their party affiliation can be found at -- they need to be stirred up by you.

Call Conservative Party leader, MP Michael Howard's office (House of Commons switchboard 0207-210-3000) or leave a message at -5353. Request he exercise leadership on this bill and energise Conservative lords against it. And call Conservative MPs Ian Duncan Smith and David Davis. (If one of them moves, Howard figures to get a move on.)

Liberal Democrats --- Call Lord McNally (and any other Lib Dem lord), and Baroness Hamwee.

Cross-Bench Peers -- They have no party, are independent, and are plentiful. Call any of them, especially the Convenor, Lord Craig (ask at the switchboard), the 12 law lords (ask for the appropriate office), Baroness Prashar and Countess Mar.

NEWS MEDIA -- contact Nick Cohen, columnist at the Observer (0207-278-2332); Michael White, political editor of the Guardian (0207-278-2332, same tel. as Observer); Daily Mail -- very important to get to this newspaper -- political editor David Hughes, political journalists Simon Heffer, Geoffrey Lean, and Graeme Wilson, 0207-938-6000; Daily Mirror editor Oonagh Blackman (0207-293-3000); Sun -- political editor Trevor Kavanagh at 0207 782 4100 & email address

Telephone calls -- that's all that's required.

Finally, TELL FAMILY, FRIENDS, ASSOCIATES about all this. Get the word around.

P.S. "For evil to flourish, it is sufficient only for good men to stand by and do nothing." ( criticises the bill sharply.)