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Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs

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The Shambles 24 Jul 03 - 01:47 PM
BanjoRay 27 Jun 03 - 05:46 AM
The Shambles 26 Jun 03 - 01:47 PM
The Shambles 16 Jun 03 - 03:44 PM
The Shambles 16 Jun 03 - 02:10 PM
The Shambles 11 Jun 03 - 01:52 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 09 Jun 03 - 02:40 AM
The Shambles 08 Jun 03 - 08:45 AM
Richard Bridge 07 Jun 03 - 11:32 AM
ET 07 Jun 03 - 04:26 AM
The Shambles 06 Jun 03 - 07:22 AM
The Shambles 31 May 03 - 06:01 PM
The Shambles 16 May 03 - 08:25 AM
The Shambles 04 May 03 - 12:13 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Apr 03 - 09:49 PM
GUEST,ET 28 Apr 03 - 03:27 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Apr 03 - 02:22 AM
The Shambles 27 Apr 03 - 12:17 PM
The Shambles 21 Apr 03 - 02:29 AM
Ed. 15 Apr 03 - 02:42 PM
The Shambles 15 Apr 03 - 02:32 PM
The Shambles 15 Apr 03 - 03:16 AM
ET 11 Apr 03 - 04:51 PM
ET 11 Apr 03 - 11:58 AM
The Shambles 11 Apr 03 - 09:36 AM
ET 10 Apr 03 - 03:13 PM
ET 07 Apr 03 - 04:53 PM
ET 07 Apr 03 - 02:17 PM
The Shambles 07 Apr 03 - 02:13 AM
ET 04 Apr 03 - 02:46 PM
ET 04 Apr 03 - 02:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Apr 03 - 12:23 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Apr 03 - 12:39 PM
ET 02 Apr 03 - 02:39 PM
ET 02 Apr 03 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,ET 02 Apr 03 - 08:03 AM
The Shambles 02 Apr 03 - 04:37 AM
DMcG 02 Apr 03 - 03:20 AM
ET 02 Apr 03 - 01:12 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 03 - 11:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Mar 03 - 06:51 PM
The Shambles 30 Mar 03 - 06:21 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Mar 03 - 02:22 AM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 07:35 PM
ET 25 Mar 03 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,ET 25 Mar 03 - 09:01 AM
The Shambles 24 Mar 03 - 07:06 PM
Ed. 24 Mar 03 - 05:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 01:47 PM

The follwing from Graham Dixon.

Dear Mr Dixon


A response to your e-petition has been published. View the response here:


http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page297.asp


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: BanjoRay
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:46 AM

Looking at the list of on line petitions, ours had immensely the largest number of signatures - the next biggest, the No To War In Iraq petition had less than 15000. You'd think they'd take a hint!
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 01:47 PM

The following from Graham Dixon

As recieved from No 10

Dear Mr Dixon

Your e-petition has been forwarded for reply. The response will be posted on the following page in due course:

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page297.asp

Deleting a further 17 entries as listed below brought the total to 83440.

Yours sincerely

No10 Webteam p

>snip<


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 03:44 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

Please circulate

Today's petition presentation to 10 Downing Street went well, but the press stayed away this time, in spite of our best efforts to engage their interest. The lack of a celebrity performer may have been a factor. There is no question, however, that the 110,000 signatures, and the coalition of performers' organisations and the music industry backing the MU campaign, has made a big impact behind the scenes with the Department for Culture, MPs and Peers.

Pressure on the Government is also being maintained by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR). Their latest Report, published on 13 June, is scathing. The exemption for places of public religious worship remains a potential discrimination (against people doing the same thing in premises used for secular purposes), but the Report also concludes that the Bill might

'...leave a patchwork of different licensing requirements without a coherent rationale, calling in question the existence of a pressing social need for the restriction on freedom of expression through a licensing regime for public entertainment, and so undermining the Government's claim that such a licensing regime is a justifiable interference with the right to freedom of expression under ECHR Article 10.2'.
[JCHR, 'Scrutiny of Bills: Further Progress Report, Twelfth Report of Session 2002-03, HL Paper 119, HC 765, p17, para 3.4]

This is strong stuff, and it will be raised by MPs in this evening's Commons debate of the Bill (although it is unlikely that anything other than Government amendments will be accepted).

However, the petition and the JCHR Report has been on the agenda earlier today during behind the scenes discussions between Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and key Opposition Peers.

The discussions are a sign that the Government recognises they are in difficulty. This could be good news, but I do not want to raise hopes prematurely. A last round of letters to Peers may yet be required.

When the Bill goes back to the Lords on Thursday (19th), Opposition Peers could delay the Bill by refusing to accept Commons changes to the first round of House of Lords amendments - unless the Government can agree some compromise behind the scenes.

What further letters to Peers might say depends to a great extend this evening's debate in the Commons. Even though the Government should have no difficulty getting the Bill through in the Commons tonight, Ministers may give clues as to the nature of any further concession being considered. As soon as I have had a chance to read the Hansard record tomorrow I will circulate another note.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 02:10 PM

See the MU's press release for details of the presentation.

http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/latest_news.shtml


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 01:52 AM

I will be coming up on Monday and I hope that many of us will. The more people and the more colourful those people are, assembling in Whitehall - the more chance of the photos appearing in the media.

Who else will be comming?


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 02:40 AM

refresh,only,a,wek,left,to,sign,this.
Richard-I,assume,the,media,will,be,present,at,the,petition,submition?
There,is,a,list,of,every,TV,Radio-station,andnewspaper,in,theuk,atMediaUK,[www.mediauk.com]

sorry,no,spaces,mykeyboard,is,broken.john


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jun 03 - 08:45 AM

The following from Graham Dixon

Hi

First of all thanks again to everyone who has supported the 'Licensing of Live Music' petition.

As you all know it was originally intended to deliver the petition at the end of March - but due to the war I felt that it would not get the publicity and exposure that it deserves.

So the delivery date has now been set to coincide with the bills next
reading in parliament.

I will be delivering the petition to Downing Street on Monday 16th June at 12:30 PM. So if you haven't yet signed - now is your chance to do so.


www.musiclovers.ukart.com

I would particularly like to thank Hamish Birchall from the Musicians Union for all his hard work in arranging the delivery and also Roger Gall for continuall keeping the issue in focus.

On a lighter note I would like to apologise to all the folks from
"Scunthorpe" and all the people named "Dick" "Dickson" & "Dickinson" who got blown out when trying to sign the petiton. The American profanity checker may thik that you are obscene but we love you ;-).

Thanks again.

Graham Dixon
Too Old to Rock & Roll
Too Young to Die


www.troubleatmill.com
www.roseoftheribblevalley.ukart.com

Special thanks from me to Graham for doing a great job and to everyone out there who circulated, signed or did anything to enable the petition to work and make a difference.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 11:32 AM

Curiously when all this kicked off a contact who later worked very hard to help me get something in to the Telegraph (and who, being part-Irish is proud of his reaction to repression) told me that his opinion reading between the lines was that the government wanted to muzzle political song...

As it happens we did not get nicked at Jacqui's wake. I did not get nicked on Tuesday. Sunday I'm at a barbie that is "open invitation" so might be construed as public, so I so I wonder if we'll all get nicked there. I wonder if I'll get nicked on Monday... I think I'll make a special effort to do political songs.

I'll be at the press call Monday week before the petition is handed in, on behalf of the Perfomer-Lawyer-Group, too.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 04:26 AM

From Hamish

LIBERTY AND MUSIC

Even Labour MPs who are members of jazz and other music appreciation societies are saying they will not vote against the Government over the Licensing Bill. Unless the Government makes further amendments during the next debate on Monday 16 June, these MPs will be voting in support of a new criminal offence: the provision of unlicensed entertainment facilities, which include musical instruments:

'An antique piano in a pub that was only provided for decorative effect would not give rise to the need for a licence. And a licence would not be required if the pub operator did not provide it for the public to play. A licence would only be required if it was used to entertain people at the premises or by people on the premises to entertain themselves.'
[Department for Culture, 'Regulation of Entertainment under the Licensing Bill', revised April 2003, p4, para 2.8]

Why is the Government doing this? Perhaps the 18th century French philospher and mathematician D'Alembert had the answer:
'I am amazed that in a century when so many pens write about the liberty of commerce, the liberty of marriages, the liberty of the press, or the liberty of painting, no one has yet written about THE LIBERTY OF MUSIC . . . Our great statesmen reply: "You are being short-sighted, for all liberties are interrelated and are all equally dangerous. The liberty of music presupposes liberty to feel, the liberty to feel involves liberty of thought, and liberty of thought involves liberty of action, and the liberty of action is the ruination of states. So let us keep the Opera as it is, if we wish to preserve the kingdom; and let us put a brake on the liberty of singing if we don't wish to see the liberty of talking following hard on its heels . . ."'

['On the liberty of music', essay, 1759. Jean le Rond D'Alembert, 1717-1783


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 03 - 07:22 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall. Please pass this on.

The live music music petition will be presented to 10 Downing Street on Monday 16 June at 12.30pm.

Leading the presentation will be folk club organiser Graham Dixon, who created the online petition, adapting the text of Shadow Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's Early Day Motion 331*. Mr Whittingdale and other MPs and Peers will also attend. The presentation is being organised by the Musicians' Union, who will be joined by the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and the Association of British Jazz Musicians, in the presentation group.

An MU press release will be issued next week with further details.

* EDM 331 now has 161 MPs signatures and stands at No.32 in the current list of 1,533 EDMs

This is the EDM text (note that only churches and other places of public religious worship are no longer affected by the Bill):

That this House expresses concern that the Licensing Bill proposals to make the performance of live music licensable in pubs and clubs, in places where alcohol is served, in churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, in schools and colleges, in community centres and village and parish halls, and in private homes and gardens where private parties and weddings may be held will have an enormously detrimental effect on musicians and live music performances; fears that the raising of money for charities by musicians will be seriously compromised; considers it will seriously impinge on the folk community including folk music and traditional folk activities such as morris dancing, wassailing, &c; believes that the penalties for breaking the law of a six month jail sentence of a £20,000 fine are far too draconian; considers it grossly unfair and inconsistent that live music will not be licensable in Scotland but will be in England and Wales; regrets that the Government has decided to replace the anomalous two in a bar rule with a none in a bar rule which will catch all live music performances; believes that the requirement for the provision of entertainment facilities to become licensable which will ensnare music shops, music and dance studios and teachers, represents a totally unacceptable regulatory intrusion into mainstream activities; and calls on the Government to amend the relevant parts of bill in order to remove the iniquities faced by musicians and the music industry as a whole.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 May 03 - 06:01 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

There are now over 83,000 signatures on the 'Two in a bar' petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?2inabar

Another online petition at the same site urges Tony Blair to bring in 24-hour pub licensing 'with immediate effect everywhere in the UK'. It has 40 signatures (an increase of 3 in the past two weeks):
http://www.petitiononline.com/AA1234/petition.html


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 May 03 - 08:25 AM

82,759.....................


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 May 03 - 12:13 PM

82,337........................


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 09:49 PM

Just in case anyone is worried about getting permission, I am happy for people to use the forms ET has just posted, and which I previously supplied to him with authority to re-use, circulate, re-post etc. If anyone is going to a place where they might drum up support, please do spread the forms about.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 03:27 PM

FOLK ILLEGAL UNLESS LICENSED

The Government still plans to make virtually ALL folk dance and folk music illegal without a local authority licence. Government propaganda and letters are not the whole truth. Write to your MP NOW. A letter is on the back. Please address it to your MP from you, sign it and send it.

The Licensing Bill is in the House of Commons NOW. A licence will be demanded for ANY live music or dance or drama (with few exceptions), in any place made available for the purpose – if it is to entertain any audience, or even if just for the enjoyment of musicians or dancers. This applies if the entertainment is public, OR in a private club, OR if any charge is made (not just an entry charge) by any organiser to anyone entertained. It will apply to Morris and other folk dance, even in the open air, possibly even in the street. It will apply to mumming and wassailing. It will apply to even one unamplified singer or player.

The licence fee may be about £500. An application at the same time as for a liquor licence will be no extra. The local authority will lay down conditions to protect the public interest anyway– and we all know what that means. "Temporary event notices" will be cheaper but these are restricted. The government says this will make it EASIER to present live events!! But at present performances in private clubs, one or two musicians in pubs, and dance in the open air outside London are not restricted.

The government says fire exits might be blocked or capacity limits needed (what, in the open air?) or dangerous stages or wires used (all covered by other laws): so licensing is essential, even if no amplifiers are used!! This is madness.

But big-screen TVs, and "incidental" music (in practice juke boxes and DJs without dancing) will be exempt, and will not need a licence, no matter how loud. Nor will they be subjected to "conditions" (like soundproofing or new lavatories or air conditioning, or obligatory bouncers) at the pub's expense. And the government says that live music will not be exempt as "incidental" if it is advertised – even if unamplified. Guess what a landlord will prefer to do if his alcohol licence may be held up until he complies with "conditions"?

The government denies that the folk arts need any special protection or consideration, or are unlikely to impact safety or order. But it accepted it should exempt ALL events in places of worship – even if the events are not religious. Why are these, big screen TVs, and juke boxes exempt, but not folk ?


To…………………………….

MP for ………………….

House of Commons,

London SW1A 1AA

From: ……………………………
…………………………………
………………………………
……………………………
…………………………
………………………

Date……………….

Dear…………………………….

I am writing about the Licensing Bill. It is obviously wrong to treat folk music – usually unamplified – as if it were amplified. It is obviously wrong to treat folk dance – performed by a small side to unamplified music – as if it were a rave or disco. These folk arts do not cause the same noise or disturbance. These do not cause the same behaviour. These do not carry electrical hazards.

Worse, it is irrational to ignore the special needs of our cultural heritage. These things deserve government support, not regulation to extinction.

Worse still, it seems to be intentional discrimination, and an intentional and unjustifiable interference with freedom of expression, to pretend that these things must be regulated because of noise disturbance and safety risks (when, being unamplified, they create no such risks) but to exempt other entertainments which obviously do pose all or some of such risks.

By all means regulate the things that need regulating. But there is no case at all to regulate folk dance, folk music, or acoustic music. It is frankly foolish to pretend that subjecting them to local authority regulation will make them easier to put on. This regulation does the image of the government no good at all. It will do tourism no good at all. It will do the music industry, which draws so much of its real talent from folk club roots, no good at all.

Please examine the arguments the government is using. Do not take their reply uncritically. Compare their words to the actual words of the Bill, and vote against the Bill unless these faults are fixed.

Yours truly,


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 02:22 AM

I have pretty well finalised a "flier" for Rochester Sweeps Fest. It features a short summary and a "fill in the blanks" letter to send to MPs - hitting them while the bill is still in the Commons. The Morris chaps will be using it at other impending festivals.

Alas I cannot get any funding from the usual suspects to get it photocopied and am unable to fund this myself by-and-large, although I will somehow get a few hundred together.

A few people have offered to copy a few hundred each and send or post them to me to arrive by Friday this week. Thanks to them.

If anyone here can do likewise please PM or email me and I will send over the "word" document by email.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 12:17 PM

82,086.................


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 02:29 AM

81,862...............


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: Ed.
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 02:42 PM

Could someone let me know when it is intended to submit the petition please?

I've be interested to read the government's response to it.

Thanks,

Ed


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 02:32 PM

This from Hamish Birchall

Please circulate


Anyone concerned about the Licensing Bill can now lobby their MP and local press directly from the Musicians' Union website:
http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/welcome.shtml

In addition to a pre-prepared text that can be sent automatically to your MP and the press, the site is running a Poll and a new petition highlighting the findings of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Like 'faxyourmp.com' the MU site automatically identifies MPs from post codes.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 03:16 AM

81,513........................

It remains vital that our MPs are informed of exactly what passing this Bill will mean for live music. If the Government gamble pays off and more than the current figure of 5% of licensed premises take up the entertainment element, this will be terrible in principle but may not prove be too bad in practice.

However, if licensees do not take up the entertainment element, it will be a disaster. But is it a gamble worth taking, given that there is so little to win and so much to lose?

http://www.faxyourmp.com/


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 04:51 PM

I wonder if anyone knows President Bush well. He is good at overturning represssive Governments. Maybe if he told Tony that musicians in the UK were being oppressed, Tony would read the Licensing Bill for the first time and do something about his Minister of Cultural Repression. Or maybe the Abrams Tanks could land in the centre of London and go straight into action. And Howells and co could then go off to join the Taliban and continue their campaign with them to kill entertainment!


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 11:58 AM

From Hamish

Please circulate

I must apologise for a misunderstanding on my part concerning the Government's intentions for private events that provide 'regulated entertainment' in order to raise money for good causes. I thought the Government had amended the Bill to ensure they were not caught. This is not the case. The Government intends that these events will be illegal unless licensed, except where the intention is simply to recover costs. The MU website will be updated accordingly as soon as possible.

When the Bill was in the Lords, the Government withdrew the Bill's sub-paragraph that defined 'with a view to profit' as including 'any case where that entertainment is, or those [entertainment] facilities are, provided with a view to raising money for the benefit of a charity. However, this did not alter the section of the Bill that renders private events licensable where regulated entertainment is provided if the event is 'for consideration and with a view to profit'.

At last week's first meeting of the new music advisory group for the DCMS, clarification on this subject was sought from Andrew Cunningham, who chaired the meeting. His explanation went something like this: if people sold tickets for a private event with the intention of making a profit or surplus (even if this is for a charity or good cause), then the event is licensable. However, if people were not charged with the intention to make a profit, i.e. they were simply asked to chuck some cash in a bucket if they felt like it, then the event would not be licensable.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 09:36 AM

The above is a rather gloomy summary but sadly just about the way it is. But while there is life there is still some hope. We are not quite beaten yet.

81,283................


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 10 Apr 03 - 03:13 PM

Now that Kim Ill Sung Howells has ordered the mindless to vote his way in the Commons we are left with the faint hope that the Lords will play up - I am not really sure that they will because this is not a subject of great passion to them. The Lawyers performing group is trying for the report stage to get some amendments but things don't look too good. It is looking as if it is essential to pursuade your local licensee to fill in the entertainment tick box on his pub business plan (and that it will not cost him dear). Looks like Morris etc will need a licence in the form of a special event notification and £20.

Remind you local prospective councillors if you see one before the May elections. I plan to insert the long drone on my Ulliean pipes where the sun don't shine if one appears at my door.

You might be interested to know how little democracy there is. On the licensing bill the Lords passed 9 amendments, all good stuff. The commons set up a standing committee to look at this. The committee consisted of 16 people, 10 labour, 4 conservative and 2 Lib Dems. Voting was whipped and so all amendments were lost. Howells just said "withdraw the amendments", with no reason and the labour lot geniflected before him. The Lords could re visit this but only if they are up to a constitutional fight and since most of the hireditary peirs have gone, not likely to. So 16 men decide our fate!. I wonder if Howells can be brought to book when the 5% of pubs with a PEL is reduced to 2% and live music becomes a real rarity?


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 04:53 PM

Please circulate

Last Thursday, 03 April, the Commons Licensing Bill Committee concluded its debate of Schedule 1 that deals with definitions and exemptions for 'regulated entertainment' and 'entertainment facilities'. As predicted, Culture Minister Kim Howells and fellow Labour MPs on the Committee have voted to remove the Opposition Peers' exemption for educational establishments (paragraph 14). The Committee now moves on to other parts of the Bill, a process that must be finished by 20 May.

Given that the Government can simply reverse anything the Lords have changed, people understandably ask: 'what is the point of continuing to lobby MPs?'. This circular attempts to explain why it is not just important but essential to continue lobbying MPs, particularly Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. Part of the reason is that the show-down, if you like, is yet to come. The other part concerns Parliamentary process, and how this can work in our favour with the Licensing Bill.

Schedule 1 will not be debated again until the entire Bill as amended by the Committee receives its Report/3rd Reading in the Commons. Unlike the Lords, Report and 3rd Reading debates will be on the same day, back to back. The precise date has yet to be fixed, but is likely to be some time in the fortnight commencing 2nd June. Further amendments can be put at Report stage, but these will be limited in number, and for that reason carefully chosen. More on that later.

It suprised me that a Commons Committee of only 16 MPs can change an entire Bill, but that is the way the process works. The Committee votes on amendments of their own, and these can be put down by any of the MPs on the Committee. The composition of the Committee reflects the proportion of MPs by Party: 10 Labour, 4 Conservative, and 2 Lib Dem. So if the Labour MPs vote with the Whip, i.e. they toe the Party line, then the Government can do what it likes to the Bill at this stage. That is what is happening at the moment.

However, if Committee amendments change or reverse amendments that were introduced by the House of Lords, that has to be approved by the Lords. So once the Bill completes Report/3rd Reading, it goes back to the Lords. At that point the Lords may reintroduce Clauses they originally inserted but which were subsequently removed in the Commons, or amend any or all of the Clauses they first amended, but which were changed again by the Commons. The Bill must then return to the Commons, the idea being that the Bill cannot become law until its content is agreed by both Houses.

The Conservatives have promised to revisit the small events exemption when the Bill goes back to the Lords. Provided the Lib Dems support the Conservatives (as they did when that particular amendment was voted through on 11 March), there is a serious risk that the Government's timetable will be delayed. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrat Peers combined outnumber the Government in the Lords. Opposition Lords could therefore start a game of 'ping pong' between the two Houses.

Now comes the crucial bit: the Government cannot force the Bill through using the Parliament Act. For some reason I don't fully understand, Bills that have been introduced in the Lords are immune from the Parliament Act - only Bills introduced in the Commons can be forced through by that means. The Government are extremely anxious for the Bill to receive Royal Assent by July. So it is entirely possible that, faced with a solid opposition in the Lords, they might make a concession on the entertainment licensing side. So we are definitely still in with a chance of the Lords amendments on small events and educational establishments, or variations of these amendments.

It is also possible that a version of these amendments will be introduced by Opposition MPs during Report/3rd Reading in the Commons, before the Bill goes back to the Lords. Not all Labour MPs are against the ideas in principle by any means: indeed both Bob Blizzard and Jim Knight have argued in favour of some kind of exemption.

Public pressure will determine to a great extent whether Labour MPs are receptive to the arguments for a 'de minimis' exemption permitting a limited amount of entertainment/live music before entertainment licensing kicks in. That is why it is extremely important for the MU and musicians to keep lobbying and talking to their constituency MPs.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 02:17 PM

I think he is a bit extreme for the Taliban.

Work is continuing on draft clauses for the report stage of the Commons and with one eye to the Lords, on acoustic exemptions and on saving Morris etc.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 02:13 AM

81,040..........

The ex Taliban Culture Minister is looking for a job.........


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 02:46 PM

There is likely to be a major cabinet re-shuffle in June, July. Suggestions for Howells on a postcard please to Tony..


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 02:43 PM

Having been sad enught to read all of the standing committees debate much of what Howells says reminds me of a quote from "Oh Brother, where art though?".   It is "They have a plan but not a clue".

There was much said in the debate about geriatric counsel members with ideas that life is best when everyone sites at home in front of the box, strapped into their seats, with a crash helmet on in case the ceiling comes down! The "magic" tick the box was regarded with scorn. The other night I was playing at a session of about 8 musicians - pleasant evening, no trouble of course, no interference with anyone. But licensing needed. Last night I had the misfortune to be out in a city centre scene. Communication, other than sine language was impossible over the 140 db piped music, people were sick, fights broke out in pubs and streets.   No licence needed.

What the hell sort of world does Howells live in. I wonder if he would accept an invite to attend a folk session, leading on to club land? I would pay his entry fee to a club, if I could find one that would let him in!

I think his boss, Tessa Jowells is slightly more sympathetic, but Blair and co are too busy killing Iraq's or raising taxes to care.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 12:23 PM

"To clarify the matter further, we would expect the licensing authority to exercise this discretion as it currently does in regard to public entertainment licensing.'"

What the hell does that mean? I seem to remember that, under pressure from the Shambles, Weybridge Council went on record as saying that their legal section instructed them that they don't have any discretion in regard to public entertainment licensing.

From what Howells says it sounds as if, so long as other people are enjoying what they hear enough to come to hear it, rather than go somewhere else or stay at home, it won't make any difference if the players are making the music for their own enjoyment, it won't count as "incidental".

Assuming the MPs crawl into the lobby they are told to, we have to hope that the Lords dig their heels in and insist on the important amendments, leaving the Government with the choice between giving in and dropping the whole Bill, and starting all over again.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Apr 03 - 12:39 PM

Local authorities cannot define "incidental". If parliament does not do so the courts must construe the word.

I am not sure that "playing " to "Performance" is a distinction of significance. It will I think help those who argue that those playing PURELY for their own pleasure are not restricted, but for those who remember their Virgil from school "timeo danaos et dona ferentes" (I fear greeks even when they are bearing gifts - which turned out to be the Trojan Horse of fame)


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 02:39 PM

Here is an extract from the debate. DOes this impress or save "sess

Dr. Howells: If it will help the Committee, I am willing to be intervened on on this issue.
I am not sure that I share the unease of some Opposition Members. If the entertainment is advertised and the purpose of the music is to draw in customers and to make a profit for the business, that has a direct bearing on the business and it would be difficult to describe it as incidental. On the other hand, the hon. Member for North Devon gave us an illustration. He goes to a pub on a Sunday where a jazz quartet plays in the corner: as there are not merely two players, it will have to have a licence. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman shakes his head. We have another example of a pub that is not properly licensed. If it is a quartet, it will already have a licence. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman meant to say that it was just a duo? He nods his head. In that case, it is two in a bar, and they do not need a licence.
I have tried to describe a distinction to the Committee. There might be a clear attempt by the holder of a licence to draw people into his premises by advertising the music that will be played. On the other hand, I occasionally get invited to some posh restaurants—it is one of the perks of my job, and perhaps at some time in the middle of this century the hon. Member for North-East Cambridgeshire will be invited to them himself—and there is a restaurant nearby where a good pianist plays jazz standards
Column Number: 070
through the course of the evening. That music is incidental; it is tucked away in the corner. However, the hon. Member for North Devon is right that this distinction is not clear.
I would have thought that the hon. Member for North-East Cambridgeshire would be pleased with us because we have given the licensing authority the opportunity to use its common sense when it comes to defining what sort of music that is. I have made some suggestions about how it is possible to differentiate between what is incidental and what is the main attraction, and I used advertising as one example. I would have thought that the hon. Gentleman would be pleased to realise that some of the music played in a licensed premises could be described as incidental.
Jim Knight: I would not have become interested in the subject if it were not for Roger Gall, a constituent of mine, who lives on Portland, where there is a folk jamming session on a Friday night in a pub called the Cone House Inn. It became known that the landlord was comfortable with people coming along on a Friday night and playing their music. These sessions were not advertised. Such an event, which is not advertised or actively encouraged, may be a passive part of the atmosphere of the pub, and it may begin to build up business and become a substantial attraction and profit maker for the publican. Would the Minister regard such an activity as one that should be regulated under the Bill?
Dr. Howells: It seems that that is largely a spontaneous activity, to which people turn up occasionally, and it seems also that the word has spread that people can hear some nice music. However, as the hon. Gentleman says, the licensee does not spend money on advertising. If it is clear that music is being played in the corner of the pub, that would be incidental in my book. I do not know whether that gives him any comfort.
Often, if it is intended that the everyday meaning of a term be used in legislation, it must be judged commensurate to the circumstances of each case. I know that that has drawn some guffaws from Opposition Members, but I hope that the combination of the term ''incidental'' and the explanation that I have tried to give, taken together with the guidance that the Department will issue, will be sufficient to ensure that licensing authorities give due consideration to whatever music is being performed.
ions"?


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 02:37 PM

Please read the debate below.   It is very important to us all. See also extract in next thread

Subj: Howells ditches small events exemption and makes a patronising comment about Irish culture
Date: 02/04/2003 19:52:44 GMT Standard Time
From: hab.drum@virgin.net
To: hab.drum@virgin.net
Sent from the Internet (Details)




Please circulate

In the Licensing Bill's first Committee debate yesterday (01 April), Culture Minister Kim Howells rejected the small events exemption and got it voted out of the Bill. Even Labour MPs on the Committee who supported the exemption (or their own slightly altered version) voted with the Whip. Read the debate:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/cmlicen.htm

However, the Minister promoted the Government's change of heart over the 'incidental' exemption for live music. He offered a definition of 'incidental', conceding that it was not entirely clear. He seemed to think its interpretation should be at local authority discretion:
Dr. Howells: 'I will have a pop at a definition for the hon. Gentleman. Incidental live music is music that does not form part of the main attraction for visitors to a premises. Examples might include a piano played in the background in a restaurant, or carol singers in a shopping centre. However, if a band in a pub was advertised to draw in customers, or live music was played so loud that it could not possibly be regarded as incidental to another activity, it would be unlikely to benefit from the exemption. To clarify the matter further, we would expect the licensing authority to exercise this discretion as it currently does in regard to public entertainment licensing.'

And later: '...If the entertainment is advertised and the purpose of the music is to draw in customers and to make a profit for the business, that has a direct bearing on the business and it would be difficult to describe it as incidental...' And: '... There might be a clear attempt by the holder of a licence to draw people into his premises by advertising the music that will be played. On the other hand, I occasionally get invited to some posh restaurants—it is one of the perks of my job, and perhaps at some time in the middle of this century the hon. Member for North-East Cambridgeshire will be invited to them himself—and there is a restaurant nearby where a good pianist plays jazz standards through the course of the evening. That music is incidental; it is tucked away in the corner.'

So it looks like the Government agrees that advertised gigs are unlikely to be covered by the incidental exemption.

Conservative, Lib Dem and supportive Labour MPs (notably Bob Blizzard and Jim Knight), argued around all the live music issues very effectively. But this didn't stop most amendments being withdrawn. Towards the end of the afternoon, Conservative Malcolm Moss expressed his disappointment at Howells' position over the small events exemption. This is when the Culture Minister made one of his famously unguarded comments:

Mr Moss:.... The Government are trying to squash the whole edifice under their heavy boot, simply because one or two things may cause problems. We should look at the issue from a completely different angle and try to support the arts and culture, particularly music. What do they do in Ireland I wonder? Why is it so vibrant there? I do not suppose that they have all this legislation over there.

Dr. Howells: I do not think that Ireland is a particularly good comparison. We have a very vibrant cultural industry in this country. We are the second largest exporter of culture in the world. Ireland is a country of 3.5 million people. It does not even begin to compare with this country's great cultural life. The Irish are extraordinarily good at advertising Ireland as a home that is full of fiddlers and dancers. Good luck to them, they are a very inventive people.

* * *

In the same debate Howells also said:

'...I turn to the points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset. Incidentally, since we may consider some of the human rights issues later, the seventh report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights welcomed the changes that have been made as a reaction to its concerns and to those that were raised by my hon. Friend in that Committee's fourth report. It has raised no further concerns in relation to article 10 on freedom of expression. I am sure that my hon. Friend will welcome that.'

He is wrong. The Seventh Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights welcomed the Government amendment to Clause 134 (which now limits the potential criminal liability of musicians to those organising their own events), but added:

'As we noted in our Fourth Report, the Government intends that certain venues would be exempt from the licensing requirements, and some others would be exempt from the fees normally chargeable for entertainment venues. While the proposals would made the licensing regime more responsive to the requirements of ECHR Article 10, exempting (for example) places of worship but not secular venues from the licensing regime might give rise to discrimination and threaten a violation of the right to be free from discrimination under ECHR Article 14 taken together with Article 9 (the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and Article 10 (freedom of expression). We draw this risk to the attention of each House, and we might wish to report further on it when we have had an opportunity to consider carefully the terms of the Government's proposed amendments to the Bill.' [para 35, 'Scrutiny of Bills: Further Progress Report, Seventh Report of Session 2002-03', HL Paper 74, HC 547, published 21 March 2003]


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 08:03 AM

Have now applied the amendments to the bill as it comes from the Lords

Some of the amendments do not make sense and conflict with others but
in the main provisions one amendment changes "regulated entertainment" to "premises for public gatherings".
Another removes Schedule 1 (the dreaded "entertainment" schedule - Well done Andew Turner MP but doubt if this will hold)
Another removes enterainment Facilites from licensing (handled by Tory Lead on this Malcolm Moss MP.
Many changes to list of entertainments, adding martial arts to boxing and comedy not a play
Playing of live music becomes perforamnce of live music (don't understand this) - its from Kim Howells so bound to be dodgy!
Howells seeks to strike out the entire amendments from the Lords on unamplified music incidental to other matters (fearing Japanese Drummers at Morris Dancing no doubt) and also seeks to strike out all the small premises exemptions.
Others seek to limit this to 200 (not 250) and to make sure the entertainment is within a building and not outside
Another attempt to exempt schools and educational establishment providing there is a direct connection between the entertainment and the establishment (presumably school concerts ok but not visiting meetings of pipers etc).

I gather that whatever is agreed or not goes to the Commons for a vote, but only on the amendments. The bill then is returned to the lords who by tradition, only deal with amendments.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 04:37 AM

Chris Bates wrote on another list:

Mike Harding's prog on Radio 2 on April 9 will see a showdown between Billy Bragg and Eliza Carthy versus Kim Howells, the government minister responsible for the changes to UK licensing laws.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 03:20 AM

What is the significance of the changes to 'performance' of music from 'playing'? I suspect we need a Richard Bridge-alike to tell us the legal implications of this.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 01:12 AM

Have done further work on Commons amendments. I note that Suddam Hussain of the music world, Kim Howells is on the Commons Scrutiny Committee and so far his contribution has been to suggest deletion of the three clauses from the Lords that gave hope, that is the small premises excemption, the acoustic music exemption and the music associated with another event exemption. Oh and martial arts has been added to the need a licence list. And playing of live music largely becomes performance of live music. and at another live music is removed but later added together with dance as needing a licence.

I hope Howells is forever remembered as the man who tried to kill off the culture of live music from the Department of Culture AND HE FAILS!


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 11:49 AM

Sorry to return to this wretched subject but the Commons Amendments are


To: actionformusic@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [actionformusic] Common's Amendments


Amendments for the Common's Standing Committee.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmbills/073/amend/cmam073.htm

Its long and tortuous but important. Not yet worked out what all these amendments mean because they are separate from the Bill on this web site.

Search UK Parliament - Bills will find it.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 06:51 PM

That makes sense - the war's knocking everything out of the media these days, understandably. Mind you the way things are going this war is going to be going on a long time aftewr this bill has run its course. But I imagine it'll get downgraded in News terms well before then, unless the bombs start going off in London.

May Day (real or the Bank Holiday phony May Day) could be the right kind of time to organise a handing in - except that's not a good day to get folkies along.

But how about St George's Day (also Shakespeare's Birthday) on April 23rd? That might help get it some media attention.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 06:21 AM

The following from Graham Dixon.

Hello everyone

The petition now has over 80000 (eighty thousand) online signatures and I have an ever increasing pile of hard copies (A4s over a foot high). [80,439........]

The original intention was to close the petition on 15th March and deliver before the end of the month. However I feel that the opportunity for maximum publicity would be compromised (what with the war et al) if it was delivered now.

That, coupled with the fact that the Musicians Union have embarked on an intensive leafleting campaign, has led me to believe that I should keep it open for a little while longer.

Hamish Birchall (MU) has his finger on the pulse as far as a dates for
maximum impact will be - the petition will be delivered then. It seems to be working well anyway with mentions in both houses, national press & TV/Radio.

If you would like to sign and haven't already done so please go to
www.musiclovers.ukart.com

Thanks everyone for all their support,

Please copy and paste this to any musical forums that you use.

--
Regards
Graham Dixon
Too old to Rock & Roll
Too young to die
Drop the bomb to reply
http://www.btinternet.com/~troubleatmill


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 02:22 AM

I have written at length to all the committee MPs and the Joint Committe on Human Rights.

I don't know if it'll get put up on does4you.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 07:35 PM

80,257...........................


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 01:07 PM

From Hamish Birchell

For circulation



The following update will repalce the 'Latest News' section on the MU two in a bar site tomorrow:



During yesterday's (24 March) first Commons debate of the Licensing Bill, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced that the Government would accept the Opposition Peers' amendments for a licensing exemption for schools and sixth form colleges. She also accepted their exemption for 'incidental' live music. However, she indicated that the Government would seek to overturn the small events exemption.



The full debate can be downloaded from Hansard online:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030324/debtext/30324-14.htm#30324-14_head0



The Bill will now enter the Committee stage in the Commons, the first of these being Tuesday 1 April. About 20-30 MPs will sit on this Committee, and the proportion from each Party will reflect the make-up of the House of Commons. Government and Opposition Whips choose the MPs to sit. This phase of the Bill's passage through Parliament must be completed by 20 May. Report and 3rd Reading follow, probably on the same day. The Bill will then go back to the Lords (if the Government has amended the Lords amendments, as is very likely). Once the Lords have considered the Government's amendments, and either introduced further amendments, or reintroduced their ealier amendments, the Bill is returned to the Commons. The Government are still aiming for Royal Assent in July.




During yesterday's debate the Culture Secretary again claimed that the Musicians' Union had misrepresented the Bill:



'I would like to pay tribute to the Musicians Union, which has certainly won the Oscar for the best spin on this matter. I say that with unbounded admiration, rather than acrimony. The union has misrepresented the position with great success, and, in doing so, greatly raised the profile of live music.'



Conservative Shadow Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, defended the Union:



'... despite assurances to the contrary, fears remain that the Bill may well cover many events such as wedding receptions, private parties, the demonstration of musical instruments, the provision of rehearsal rooms, even carol singing—and, as was pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Mr. Steen), wassailing. The Minister has sought to dismiss such claims as scare-mongering and a "pernicious lying campaign" by the Musicians Union. I am glad to note that he [Kim Howells] recognises his own words. But while he may give assurances that the Bill does not cover such events, a large body of legal opinion has advised the Musicians Union and others that it will have exactly those effects. We are pleased that the Government have now said that they are prepared to sit down with the Musicians Union and others whom the Bill will affect and look at it again. I hope that that will lead to further Government amendments to prevent any possible doubt that the Minister's assurances are supported by the Bill, but if they are not forthcoming, we will not hesitate to table our own amendments.'



Mr Whittingdale also said that having consulted 30 licensees in his constituency on whether they would 'tick the box' to obtain a public entertainment licence, none said that they would. Worryingly, a similar reaction was reported by Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Minister, Nick Harvey.



Mr Whittingdale also commented on the exemption for broadcast entertainment: 'On the point that the Government seem to consider that live performance poses such dangers that it requires a licence, whereas the televised screening of a soccer match or a concert poses no dangers, the Minister [Kim Howells] said on Radio 1 a couple of months ago that in 14 years as an MP he had never received a complaint about a folk group or anybody else playing acoustic music, but that he had had lots of complaints about loud televisions and loud piped music. It therefore seems extraordinary that he proposes to regulate the former but to exempt the latter.'



Mr Whittingdale added that the Conservatives would defend their small events exemption amendment in the Lords if the Government overturned it in the Commons.



Several other MPs spoke in favour of live music and the small events exemption, including David Heath (Lib Dem, Somerton & Frome), and Bob Blizzard (Lab, Waveney).



Mr Blizzard said: 'Small, live venues are a serious issue if we are to avoid that monoculture of mass entertainment...'. He added: 'I am very pleased with the idea behind the Lords amendment that grants exemption to live music at small events and premises up to 11.30 pm, as it is an attempt to deal with the issue. If I understand why my hon. Friend cannot support that measure, I hope that he will find an alternative way forward that satisfies the concerns of those small premises. I hope not only that he will meet the Musicians Union, but that he will be willing to receive a delegation from the all-party jazz appreciation group in the House to work through some of those issues.'



David Heath said: 'All acoustic performances should be exempt from the provisions, as they are not capable of causing the nuisance that the Bill attempts to remedy. Whether we limit numbers or types of performance is a matter of opinion, but there should be a threshold below which the full licensing provisions do not apply. We need to examine the transitional arrangements, as well as the licence variations, which are a significant barrier. If a licensee does not initially apply for an entertainment licence but wants one at a later stage, it could prove too costly for them to countenance and we could thus eventually see a contraction in the number of live venues. I genuinely believe that the Government are listening to some of the points that have been made. Some of us have been accused of scaremongering, but any scares that I have mongered were manufactured in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The more that the Minister can allay fear by changing the precise terms of the Bill and by what he includes in the regulations and guidance, the more he will receive my support. The measure would then be genuinely deregulatory. I commend the Minister on listening, but I am worried that there will be backsliding from the position established in another place.'


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 09:01 AM

See Editors note. The petitions there are tiny. Where is ours with tens of thousands. Can someone get it moved to the new site.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 07:06 PM

80,036.................

We are only going to get this one chance......For MP's emails click the following.

http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hciolists/alms.cfm


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: Ed.
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:28 PM

The petition was supposed to be submitted on the 15th of March.

Was it?

The government's petition site (which has moved since Shambles first message and is now here) has no mention of it.

If it was, I'd be interested to know what the final number was. I'd presume that the (at my guess 2%) of entries that didn't fit the government's criteria were edited out.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:23 PM

Trouble is, you can only fax your own MP, and I doubt if we're distributed neatly around all the consituencies.

But it'd still be worth doing, even if some lucky MPs were deluged with faxes, and others had to sit around twiddling their thumbs and wondering why noone loved them.


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Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From: ET
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:12 PM

As the war in Iraq semms to be going badly I wonder if the cannon fooder Labour MP's are getting nervous? I wonder if more might object to Howells nonsense if they thought there was a healthy weight of public opinion against it?

Whatever bilge Howells has tried to fob them off with, one thing stands out from his latest epistle that might make them think. It is that he agrees that whilst an antique piano might not need a licence if kept locked, it would it it were played to entertain either the people in the pub or the player.

This is one of the more extreme matters that the bill includes. If MP's cottened on only to that they might be wary of other matters. Try fax your MP again. It wasn't working yesterday but might today. Tell them Howells admits this but much else that he says is flannel, almost as if he hasn't read his own bill. Ask them to consider all in the light of this bit about pub pianos!

If only 10% of theose who had signed the petition faxed their MP, that would be about 10,000 faxes which is 20 each to each MP if my dubious maths is correct.

May just have an effect. please try.


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