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See in particular Section 21 for the proposed "emergency" powers

Recent warmwell concern about the Civil Contingencies Bill

Debate in House of Lords September 15 2004

"...As currently drafted, the Government have asked for more power from Parliament than any other government in modern history. .." debate in House of Lords July 5 2004 (Baroness Buscombe)    

This is the text of the Civil Contingencies Bill (pdf) as introduced in the House of Commons on 7th January 2004.

This is the (pdf) text of the Civil Contingencies Bill, as amended in Standing Committee F in the House of Commons on 10th February 2004. (HTML version)

The Civil Contingencies Bill /H1>
Published on 17/09/2004

THE proposal, for purely political reasons, to delay the implementation of the ban on foxhunting for up to two years is the final proof, if any were needed, that animal welfare is the least of the concerns of those backbench MPs, such as Carlisle’s Eric Martlew, who have bayed so long and so loudly for the abolition of hunting.

As has always been the case, this Labour Government cynically uses the foxhunting issue (about which it knows little and cares even less) as a wild card to be played whenever its real political ambitions are in danger of being thwarted.

In the present instance, apart from possibly saving them from a revolt over pensions, it is being used to distract attention from the passage of the Civil Contingencies Bill, possibly the most Draconian piece of legislation ever to have been laid before a British Parliament.

All of us who were involved in the foot and mouth disaster will remember instances of both Government ministers and civil servants who exceeded their legal authority and were subsequently successfully challenged in the courts. However, under the powers conferred by this new act, once a state of emergency (which may be either national or local and can be either general or specific to some particular situation) has been declared by any one of a number of authorised ministers, all normal legal rights can be suspended, without any prospect of subsequent compensation or redress.

Even more significantly, the emergency does not even have to exist. Under the act, it would be sufficient for the minister merely to fear that it was about to exist.

The list of powers proposed to be delegated to ‘those appointed to positions of authority’ is, quite deliberately, drafted in such general terms that these would be almost unlimited.

Moreover, ‘states of emergency’ relate not merely to war, threats of terrorism or natural disasters, but also to anything which might dispute the ‘supply of money’ or endanger Britain’s financial welfare.

If this bill is passed in its present state, it would certainly be possible for the Government, upon a whim, to declare any strike unlawful, to ban any march or public meeting, to censor public communications (though, surprisingly, the BBC seems to enjoy special exemption from this clause) to prohibit travel between specific places or at specified times and to requisition or confiscate private property.

It may also order the evacuation or relocation (to a place of its own choosing) of individuals or groups of people.

The original bill was heavily criticised by a joint Parliamentary scrutiny committee, but the Government’s predictably arrogant response to its report was to reject the majority of this committee’s recommendations and to re-introduce those few which it did accept, albeit with different, but even more inclusive wording, in the small print of section two of that bill.

Overall, this bill would give, not Parliament but the government of the day, in times of peace, far greater powers than were ever granted to any of our coalition governments in times of real war.

It is also quite clear that, while this bill was originally presented to both Parliament and the public as an essential safeguard against terrorism, its real objectives were, in the long term, potentially even more dangerous to our individual freedoms, and the British way of life than the results of any single act of terrorism.

Even in its present, very slightly amended form, the Civil Contingencies Bill is, quite simply, a charter for future dictatorship.

As several recent polls have shown, a substantial majority of the population of this country believe that hunting should not be banned, not because they themselves approve of it, but upon the principle that activities should only be banned and made criminal offences if there is an obvious and overwhelming case for doing so and it would be for the benefit of the population as a whole (which was certainly not established by either the Burns Report of the Portcullis Enquiry).

However, ordinary people are right to be suspicious of any legislation which is not based upon sound evidence and principle, even though this may not directly affect them personally, for it is Mr Martlew and his colleagues who are also supporting the Civil Contingencies Bill, which, if it is passed, will directly affect the rights and liberties of every person in this country.

From New Nation Online Edition

Editorial Page
A threat to democracy
By George Monbiot
Sep 3, 2004, 11:54

If we have learned anything over the past 18 months it is this: that the first rule of politics—power must never be trusted—still applies. The British government will neither regulate itself nor be regulated by the institutions that surround it. Parliament chose to believe a string of obvious lies. The media repeated them, the civil service let them pass, the judiciary endorsed them. The answer to the age-old political question—who guards the guards?—remains unchanged. Only the people will hold the government to account

They have two means of doing so. The first is to throw it out of office at the next election. This works only when we are permitted to choose an alternative set of policies. But in almost every nation, a new contract has now been struck between the main political parties: they have chosen to agree on almost all significant areas of policy. This leaves the people disenfranchised: they can vote out the monkeys but not the organ-grinder. So, voting is now a less important democratic instrument than the second means: the ability to register our discontent during a government's term in office.

Applying the first rule of politics, we should expect those in power to seek to prevent the public from holding them to account. Whenever they can get away with it, they will restrict the right to protest. They got away with it again recently.

The demonstrators who have halted the construction of the new animal testing labs in Oxford command little public sympathy. Their arguments are often woolly and poorly presented. Among them is a small number of dangerous and deeply unpleasant characters who appear to respect the rights of every mammal except Homo Sapiens. This unpopularity is a gift to the state. For fear of being seen to sympathise with dangerous nutters, hardly anyone dares to speak out against the repressive laws with which the government intends to restrain them.

It is not as if the state is without the means of handling violent extremists. Murder, arson, assault, threatening behaviour and intimidation are already illegal in the United Kingdom. Instead it has seized the opportunity provided by the violent activists to criminalise peaceful dissent.

The Home Office proposes "to make it an offence to protest outside homes in such a way that causes harassment, alarm or distress to residents" This sounds reasonable enough, until you realise that the police can define "harassment, alarm or distress" however they wish. All protests in residential areas, in other words, could now be treated as a criminal offence.

The new measures, if they are passed, will also ensure that most protesters can be charged with stalking: they need only to appear outside a premises once to be prosecuted under the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act. The government will also seek to "suggest remedies" for websites which "include material deemed to cause concern or needless anxiety to others" As my own site has already been blacklisted by at least one public body, I have reason to fear this proposal, alongside every online dissident in Britain.

If all this goes ahead, in other words, legal protest will be confined to writing letters to your MP. Or perhaps, even that could be deemed to cause "concern or needless anxiety" to the honourable member.

When Caroline Flint, the Home Office minister, introduced these proposals to a grateful nation recently, she promised that 'we are not talking about denying people the right to protest" We have every reason to. disbelieve her. The same promise was made with the introduction of the 1986 Public Order Act, the 1992 Trade Union Act and the 1994 Criminal Justice Act, and immediately broken. When the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act was passed, the government swore that it would not be used against demonstrators: it was intended solely to protect people from stalkers. The first three people to be prosecuted under the Act were all peaceful protesters.

The government also assured us that it would not misuse the anti-social behaviour orders it introduced in 1998 to deal with nuisance neighbours. They, too, were immediately deployed against peaceful demonstrators.

It is hard to think of a better tool for state repression: once an order

has been served on a protester, he is banned from protesting until it lapses. The police now use it to neutralise the most effective activists. The government liked this new power so much that in 2003 it wrote it into law, with an Anti-Social Behaviour Act designed to restrict peaceful protest.

When some of us complained that the Terrorism Act 2000 was so loosely drafted that it could be deployed against almost anyone seeking political change, the government told us we were being hysterical. Since then peaceful protesters all over Britain have been arrested as potential terrorists.

At the Fairford air base, for example, the police used the Act to terrorise the peace campaigners protesting against the Iraq war. The protesters were repeatedly stopped and searched: often one team of police would let someone go after a full body search, and another one would immediately seize her and repeat the whole procedure (this happened to one protester 11 times in one day).

On March 22 last year the police seized three coaches carrying people to a peaceful demonstration at Fairford, held them for two hours, confiscated their possessions, then sealed off the entire motorway network between Gloucestershire and London, and escorted them back to the capital. The police and the home secretary knew full well that these people were not terrorists. They also knew that the law allowed them to be treated as if they were.

It doesn't end here. The Civil Contingencies Bill, which permits the government to suspend parliament and ban all rights to assembly whenever it decides that it is confronting an emergency, passed its second reading in the Lords last month. It could become law later this year.

A similar clampdown is taking place all over the world. The US Patriot Act, passed by Congress before any representative had read it, allows the state to treat dissenting citizens as if they were members of al-Qaida. For the past three years the European Union has been seeking to reclassify the protesters who travel to European gatherings as terrorists. This is the contract the powerful have struck with each other: to agree to a single set of neoliberal policies, and to criminalise all those who seek to challenge them.

We are often told that the passage of laws like this is dangerous because one day it might facilitate the seizure of power by an undemocratic governnment. But that is to miss the point. Their passage is the seizure of power. Protest is inseparable from democracy: every time it is restricted, the state becomes less democratic. Democracies such as ours will come to an end not with the stamping of boots and the hoisting of flags, but through the slow accretion of a thousand dusty codicils.

By the time we have lost our freedoms we will have forgotten what they were. The silence with which the new laws were greeted suggests that the forgetting has already begun.

—Guardian Weekly

September 5 2004 - Sunday Telegraph (Christopher Booker)

Ministers to get dictators' powers

In 10 days' time the House of Lords will be debating one of the most extraordinary pieces of legislation ever placed before Parliament, the Civil Contingencies Bill. No one could disagree that a government should have contingency plans and powers to deal with a major public emergency.

This Bill, sponsored by a junior Home Office minister, Douglas Alexander, opens with a soothing claim that nothing in it is incompatible with the Human Rights Act; and Part One reads almost like a parody of bureaucratic tinkering, under such headings as "Advice and assistance to business", together with a section defining how the Act shall apply to Scotland and Wales.

Only in Part Two, after 13 pages, does the truly extraordinary nature of this legislation suddenly explode off the page, as Section 21 sets out the powers it will give to a tiny group of ministers and "regional co-ordinators" in the event of an emergency being declared.

The conditions for this could hardly be more loosely or widely defined, including anything from a terrorist incident to flooding, a chemical spill or a recurrence of foot and mouth.

In any such instance, senior ministers (including whips) will be given virtually unlimited powers to do anything they think fit, virtually without parliamentary control. They will be empowered to "disapply" any law or act of Parliament they choose, simply by issuing regulations.

They will be permitted to order any person or body to go anywhere, or to "perform any function"; to forbid any travel or movement; to order the requisition, confiscation or destruction of any property (with or without compensation); and to prohibit any assemblies of persons, however small.

This tiny, unaccountable group of politicians and officials will be empowered to issue regulatory edicts off their own bat for any purpose, enforced by criminal penalties.

Such powers go far beyond anything on the UK statute book before, even in time of war. Yet when this Bill had its second reading in the Commons on January 19, MPs were only allowed time to discuss its innocuous Part One.

(One or two honourable exceptions, such as Richard Shepherd and Bob Marshall-Andrews, did try to ring alarm bells on Part Two.) The Bill was then approved by 286 votes to 138.

When it first came before the Lords late on the evening of July 5, again one or two peers protested at its more extreme provisions. But unless they are joined on September 15 by enough others to provoke a real rebellion, we shall have an Act which would in effect permit the setting up in this country of a dictatorship as sweeping as anything achieved under Hitler.

It would be scant consolation to know that this was sanctioned by Parliament, even if MPs had scarcely been given a chance to discuss it.

Statewatch Analysis ~ Civil Contingencies Bill: Britain's Patriot Act - revised, and just as dangerous as before "....On the face of it the new Bill was presented, and widely accepted in the media, as having been significantly changed to respond to criticisms that it could be misused by a right-wing/authoritarian government in the future. But was it?
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:
"The draft Bill would have allowed the imposition of an authoritarian state. The new Bill is only better in that it paves the road to an authoritarian state. The government is really naive if it thinks people will not read the fine print of the new Bill and realise that it has preserved nearly all the powers it originally proposed - albeit in a different form - and added new contentious provisions which were not in the first draft"..." Read in full

"It smothers public life in risk-aversion and spends hundreds of millions of pounds"

Sir Simon Jenkins wrote in the Times: ".....the "terrorist-security complex". It smothers public life in risk-aversion and spends hundreds of millions of pounds ....What threatens the British way of life at present is not terrorism but the public response to it.....There is no science of risk assessment. We must rely on those we trust, but that depends on trust being plausible. Yesterday the Government published its Civil Contingencies Bill. It aims to update Britain's emergency responses from a time when civil defence was on a par with Boy Scouts, Women's Institutes and Dad's Army. This makes sense. Yet if the al-Qaeda threat was as serious as is now implied, surely the Bill should have been raced through Parliament a year ago.. ..." Read in full

- and what to do about this very real threat to UK democracy

The Civil Contingencies Bill

The House of Lords debate July 5 2004 - Lord Lucas " I hope that he will allow the Committee stage to be taken on the Floor of the House. I really believe that this Bill will not benefit from being tucked away in Grand Committee. The issues are too wide and of too much interest to too many people. " (It will be discussed on September 15th )

as discussed in Address in Reply to Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech December 2003
- Lord Morgan "The proposed civil contingencies Bill would in key respects challenge or suspend human rights and erode parliamentary and/or legal protection..."
Lord Lucas: "The Government are not averse to gathering enormous powers unto themselves. The draft Civil Contingencies Bill would, in the event of a crisis, have given the Government the power to abolish or tear up legislation and, by ministerial fiat, create any legislation. Perhaps we will see something different when the Bill emerges, but under the draft Bill they would have the power to destroy the constitution -- to abolish judges and Parliament and create a dictatorship -- and it would all be entirely constitutional and legal..
We must be careful about those things. It is sensible to give the Government power to deal with an emergency and say that, in such an event, they should be able to make things right as quickly as possible. However, we must be careful to guard against the advent of a less benign government.
As the Leader of the House said, we face falling numbers of people voting and a lack of faith in our institutions. That sort of trend is rather like the brush drying out in the south of France -- it creates conditions in which a fire can burn. A new philosophy or political movement could pick up and quickly gain support from those people who have become disillusioned, disenfranchised and disconnected from the political process of which we are part. We have to be sure that, if such an event occurs, democracy will be robust. That means that we must fight hard, when the House of Lords Bill arrives, to make sure that we have a robust institution, safe from the power of an overweening government. We must not have an institution that the Government can master.
We must be sure that we keep the judges safe. They are the guarantee of the power of the individual against the state. We must be sure, to the extent that they must do things to satisfy us, that the Government keep their word. Casting aside such a solemn and binding promise is not the sort of precedent that we should set. It is not a great inconvenience to the Government that we should continue here until they are able to fulfil the promise. I am glad that it is a sufficient inconvenience that they feel that they want to fulfil their promise."

The Civil Contingencies Bill - mentioned on warmwell pages in recent months

Sept 6 2004 ~ an Act which would in effect permit the setting up in this country of a dictatorship as sweeping as anything achieved under Hitler."

" In 10 days' time the House of Lords will be debating one of the most extraordinary pieces of legislation ever placed before Parliament, the Civil Contingencies Bill.(see warmwell Civil Contingencies Bill page) ..... Only in Part Two, after 13 pages, does the truly extraordinary nature of this legislation suddenly explode off the page, as Section 21 sets out the powers it will give to a tiny group of ministers and "regional co-ordinators" in the event of an emergency being declared.
The conditions for this could hardly be more loosely or widely defined, including anything from a terrorist incident to flooding, a chemical spill or a recurrence of foot and mouth. .......senior ministers (including whips) will be given virtually unlimited powers to do anything they think fit, virtually without parliamentary control. They will be empowered to "disapply" any law or act of Parliament they choose, simply by issuing regulations. .....
Yet when this Bill had its second reading in the Commons on January 19, MPs were only allowed time to discuss its innocuous Part One. (One or two honourable exceptions, such as Richard Shepherd and Bob Marshall-Andrews, did try to ring alarm bells on Part Two.) The Bill was then approved by 286 votes to 138.
When it first came before the Lords late on the evening of July 5, again one or two peers protested at its more extreme provisions. But unless they are joined on September 15 by enough others to provoke a real rebellion, we shall have an Act which would in effect permit the setting up in this country of a dictatorship as sweeping as anything achieved under Hitler. It would be scant consolation to know that this was sanctioned by Parliament, even if MPs had scarcely been given a chance to discuss it." Booker's Notebook Read in full

Aug 25 ~ under the draft Bill they would have the power to destroy the constitution -- to abolish judges and Parliament and create a dictatorship...

Lord Lucas commenting on the Civil Contingencies Bill.
Speaking at the second reading of the bill in the House of Lords on 5 July, he added: "Are we opening up our system to the equivalent of what happened in Germany in 1933, where it became possible for an extreme party legitimately to hijack a democracy and turn it into something totalitarian? .
Bryn Wayt sends this detailed email about the Civil Contingencies Bill. Like Lord Lucas, he reminds us of the parallels with 1933. He urges all to take some action about what he, Lord Lucas and many others who are awake, see as a real and present threat. The bill goes back to the Lords on September 15th. See warmwell's page on the Civil Contingencies Bill

Aug 17 ~ "The fact is that we have not had a proper discussion of the most important part of the Bill, which affects our civil and political liberties"

The Civil Contingencies Bill - now has its own page on warmwell. It is the UK equivalent of the notorious "Patriot Act" in the US. Only a few amendments have been made in the Commons. On 15 September it will be discussed on the floor of the House of Lords. Lord McNally quotes Richard Shepherd MP who said in the House of Commons: "The fact is that we have not had a proper discussion of the most important part of the Bill, which affects our civil and political liberties" [Official Report, Commons, 24/5/04; col. 1406]:

July 6, 2004 "Emergency planning"

'Yesterday in Parliament' "The government was urged by the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Colin Bennetts, to let voluntary organisations, such as the Red Cross, be involved in the early stages of planning to cope with emergencies. He was speaking during debate on the civil contingencies bill which makes arrangements for civil protection in the event of an emergency. The Bishop said voluntary organisations were united in calling for "full explicit recognition" in the bill of their work. They should be "involved in the early stages of planning for civil contingencies". Home Office minister Lady Scotland said the aim was to create a single framework for civil protection to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Planning for emergencies must be properly organised at local level and the government must be able to take emergency powers, she added." Guardian

May 24 2004 Today, the civil contingencies bill has its report stage and third reading in the House of Commons

. The bill is the first comprehensive overhaul of emergency planning and response in the UK since the 1920s. Guardian letter

Jan 20 2004 ~ the Civil Contingencies Bill would replace outdated legislation "not designed with the needs of modern society in mind".

The Scotsman reports the Second Reading of the Civil Contingencies Bill. Douglas Alexander "... reassured MPs that allowing ministers to by-pass Parliament and issue urgent orders would not over-ride human rights legislation." "The definition of an emergency in the Bill was changed after a joint committee of MPs and peers set up to scrutinise it warned it would allow a future Government to invoke the powers simply to protect its own existence. ...Originally including threats to the "political, administrative or economic stability", an emergency is now defined more tightly as "an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare, the environment or the security of the United Kingdom or a place in the United Kingdom". This could still cover a wide range of disasters from a terror outrage to major flooding, catastrophic storms, outbreaks of animal or human diseases, oil-spills, disruption of fuel supplies or even a serious attack on the Internet. Mr Alexander said the wide consultation on the legislation had made "a real difference" and promised to involve the public further before making specific regulations. ..." Read in full The last line of the article quotes Mr Alexander: "Press reports that human rights would be suppressed were wrong, he said."

Jan 20 - 23 ~ Civil Contingencies Bill will allow sweeping new powers

Scotsman "....The responses to disasters and emergencies such as the King's Cross fire, the foot-and-mouth outbreak, recent rail crashes and the fuel crisis had also proved the need for fresh legislation in that area." Cabinet Minister Douglas Alexander on the second reading of the Civil Contingencies Bill yesterday. ( Readers of this website know that the powers the government took during the foot and mouth crisis in 2001 were sweeping and bloody and inflexible. That they were also not covered by existing legislation (and therefore illegal) has never been satisfactorily denied. As Mr Morley admitted to the EFRA Select Committee on 6 November 2001 "At the present time we do not have powers for a fire break cull.." The MEP Giles Chichester says below, the government "still has plenty to answer for over foot and mouth disease." One "lesson learned" by this government seems to be to ensure that they must give themselves the power to override existing safeguards to freedom should any "emergency" arise. )

Jan 9 ~ Some freedoms may be lost, but at least we'll be alive

is the glib headline in the Guardian (external link) . "The civil contingencies bill is an essential response to possible attack " writes Giles Foden. Hmmm. Do human beings learn nothing from history and nothing from the insidious loss of freedoms put up with elsewhere by people who have put their precious and hard won liberties into the hands of the powerful? The trusting animals of Animal Farm did the same. "One false step, and our enemies would be upon us" ....The animals were thoroughly frightened. It seemed to them as though Snowball were some kind of invisible influence, pervading the air about them and menacing them with all kinds of dangers. In the evening Squealer called them together, and with an alarmed expression on his face told them that he had some serious news to report. 'Comrades!' cried Squealer, making little nervous skips, 'a most terrible thing has been discovered. .....Snowball was in league with Jones from the very start! He was Jones's secret agent all the time. It has all been proved by documents which he left behind him and which we have only just discovered. To my mind this explains a great deal, comrades. ..."

Jan 18 2004 ~ Scotland Yard report says Government's anti-terror policy is "uncoordinated, condescending, outdated and incoherent"

Telegraph ".... The Unicorn Project, which was commissioned by Assistant Commissioner David Veness, the head of Scotland Yard's Special Operations, condemned the Government's anti-terrorism policy as "uncoordinated, condescending, outdated and incoherent". ..... After a seven-month investigation, in which the project team spoke to personnel from more than 180 private companies, government departments and security agencies, it concluded that the Government's policy lacked leadership, direction and had failed to impart any worthwhile message to both the public and commerce. The report, a copy of which has been obtained by The Telegraph, also stated that little use had been made of what the report referred to as "first responders" - members of the public such as door supervisors, security guards and receptionists, who could easily be schooled in situation awareness and consequently help to save lives in the event of an attack. The report has been disseminated to the Metropolitan Police, elements of the commercial sector and various government departments, and is due to be published next month...... In a section of the report labelled "observations", it reads: "The present policy (such as it is) is no longer plausible; it is unanimously viewed as being condescending and muddled. It is acknowledged that there are departments and individuals striving to do better, but there is no apparent coordination of either the message to be imparted or the means to do it." ....... "The Government's deficiencies will be exposed during the Civil Contingencies Bill that starts going through Parliament this week." (Patrick Mercer the Shadow "Homeland Security" Minister)

Nov 28 2003 ~ Bill 'risks ministers misusing power'

Times "Sweeping plans to overhaul laws to deal with emergencies could allow a government to dismantle democracy, a joint parliamentary committee says today. The committee expresses alarm that, in the wrong hands, the plans could allow a government to ditch legislation that had underpinned the British constitution for centuries. It also said that ministers would be given powers to set aside human rights laws and that they would have too much power to interpret what constituted an emergency. The "potentially dangerous flaws" in the draft Civil Contingencies Bill are outlined in a detailed report by a joint committee of MPs and peers set up to scrutinise the plans. ..." See also BBC "....The measures are aimed at shaking up legislation that date back to the 1920s, giving ministers all the powers they need to tackle a wide range of incidents - ranging from foot-and-mouth to an attack on the internet. ...."

June 20 2003 ~ "The new bill, when it is brought forward in the autumn, will confer sweeping authority on ministers to do almost anything that they like in an emergency."

The Guardian examines the Civil Contingencies Bill "... the second part is potentially the greatest threat to civil liberty that any parliament is ever likely to consider. That does not necessarily mean that it should not be passed. But it does mean that there is an absolute obligation on the press and on MPs to scrutinise it with an eagle eye. The consultation period that began yesterday is short. No one who cares about civil liberty should fail to take part in it. This is far more than just a legal tidying-up exercise. "

June 15 2003 ~ Police will run internet after terrorist attack

(The Times) "Wide-ranging powers to enable the police to run the internet and the rest of Britain's information superhighway in the event of a terrorist attack will be unveiled this week. The Civil Contingencies Bill will seek to modernise Britain's response to national emergencies by protecting (The Times' word) the country from attacks on the infrastructure including the "electronic network" and the water, electricity and telephone systems. Airlines, the transport network, town halls and the postal service could also come under police direction in the event of a national disaster. ..."

Dec 31 2002~".. new powers will be included in a civil contingencies bill first planned in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak and the fuel depots blockade. "

See Guardian yesterday. (external link) Ministers draw up terror cordon and evacuation plans by Patrick Wintour and Richard Norton Taylor " Ministers are planning to give the police and military new powers to quarantine large parts of London or other cities as part of dramatic plans to counter a terrorist attack. Officials are also looking at proposals to evacuate people from inner areas of London, such as Westminster, to outer suburbs in the event of an attack. ... Police already have powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 to set up cordons to investigate a terrorist incident. But at the moment they are not able to set up cordons if they are not sure the incident is terrorist-related, or if they believe it is in the public interest to keep Londoners quarantined. .... .The new powers will be included in a civil contingencies bill first planned in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak and the fuel depots blockade. ..." "The shadow health secretary, Liam Fox, welcomed fresh evidence of planning, but warned: "There will always be a time gap between infection and the first symptoms developing, which could mean movement has already occurred. Therefore it makes sense to allow immunisation of the public when vaccines become available." ... An emailer comments: "Echoes of FMD here I think but who would be confident that they could handle a human disease problem any better than the last fiasco we witnessed? Mind you, I think these new powers would come in very handy for placing a cordon around any future FMD infected sites to keep concerned activists out - or anybody else for that matter. It fills in all the gaps in the powers they didn't have last year."

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.)

(warmwell note) Although, as Mike Stagman says above, phone calls and letters are the best way of contacting peers, Bryn Wayt has kindly forwarded his list of names and email addresses:

L. Ackner;    L. Addington,;    L. Adebowale,;   L. Ahmed, ;   L. Alderdice,;   L. Alexander;   L. Allen of Abbeydale;   L. Allenby ; L. Alton ;  L. Ampthill ;  B.  Anelay ;  L. Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, ;   L. Armstrong, ;   Earl of Arran ;   L. Ashdown ;  L. Ashley, ;  Viscount Astor ;   L. Astor of Hever ;   L. Attenborough ;   Earl of Attlee, ;  L. Avebury, ;  
L. Bagri ;  L. Baker, ;  Earl of Baldwin ;  L. Barber of Tewkesbury ;  B. Barker ;   L. Bell, ;  L. Belstead ;  L. Berkeley, ;   L. Bernstein ;  L. Best, ;  L. Bhatia, ;  B. Billingham ;  L. Bingham ;  L. Birt ;   L. Black, ;  B. Blackstone, ;   L. Blackwell, ;  L. Blake ;   B. Blatch,  ;   Viscount Bledisloe ;  B. Blood ;  L. Blyth, ;   B. Boothroyd ;   L. Borrie ;   L. Boston ;  L. Boyce ;   L. Bowness, ;   L. Brabazon, ;  L. Bradshaw ;  L. Bragg ;   L. Bramall ;  L. Brennan, ;   L. Brett, ;   L. Bridge ;   Viscount Bridgeman, ;  L. Bridges ;   L. Brightman ;   B. Brigstocke ;   L. Brittan ;   L. Brooke of Alverthorpe, ;  Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville ;   Viscount Brookeborough ;   L. Brookman ;   L. Brooks of Tremorfa, ;   L. Brougham ;   L. Brown of Eaton Under-Heywood ;   L. Browne-Wilkinson ;   L. Bruce ;   L. Bullock ;   L. Burnham ;   L. Burns, ;   B. Buscombe ;  L. Buxton ;  B. Byford,
Earl of Caithness ;  L. Callaghan ;   L. Cameron ;   L. Campbell of Alloway, ;   L. Campbell-Savours ;   Archbishop of Canterbury, and call him at 0207-898-1200 -- the bishops finally spoke out on the Iraq war, and perhaps they will do the same here ;   L. Carey ;  L. Carlile of Berriew, ;   L. Carlisle of Bucklow ;  B. Carnegy ;  L. Carr ;  L. Carrington, ;   L. Carswell ;  L. Carter ;   L. Cavendish, ;   L. Chadlington ;  L. Chalfont ;   B. Chalker, ;   L. Chan, ;   Viscount Chandos, ;   L. Chapple ;  Bishop of Chelmsford ;  Bishop of Chester, ;   L. Chitnis ;   M. Cholmondeley ;   L. Chorley ;   L. Christopher ;   L. Clark of Kempston ;   L. Clark of Windermere ;   L. Clarke of Hampstead ;   L. Clement-Jones ;   L. Clinton-Davis ;   L. Clyde ;   L.  L. Cobbold, ;   L. Coe ;   Baroness Cohen ;   Viscount Colville ;   L. Colwyn, ;   L. Cooke of Islandreagh ;   L. Cooke of Thorndon,  ;   L. Cope, ;   Earl of Courtown ;   Bishop of Coventry, ;   B. Cox, ;  L. Craig , ; Viscount Craigavon ;   L. Crathorne, ;   Earl of Crawford and Balcarres ;   B. Crawley, ;   L. Crickhowell, ;   L. Croham ;   L. Cuckney ;   L. Cullen, ;   B. Cumberlege, ;  
 B. Delacourt-Smith ;   B. D'Souza ;   L. Diamond ;   L. Dahrendorf ;   B. Darcy ;  B. David, ;   L. Davies of Coity ;   L. Davies of Oldham ;   L. Dean of Harptree ;   B. Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde ;   L. Dearing, ;   L. Deedes ;   L. Denham ;   Bishop of Derby, ;   L. Desai, ;   L. Dhollakia, ;   L. Dixon, ;   L. Dixon-Smith ;   L. Donaldson, ;   L. Donaghue ;   L. Dubs, ;   Earl of Dundee ;  B. Dunn ;   Bishop of Durham, ;  
 L. Eames (Archbishop),    ;   L. Eatwell, ;   B. Eccles ; L. Eden ;  L. Elis-Thomas, ;   B. Elles ;   L. Elliott ;  L. Elton ;  L. Elystan-Morgan ;   B. Emerton, ;   Earl of Erroll ; ;  L. Evans of Parkside ;  L. Evans of Temple Guiting, ;  L. Evans of Watford, ;   L. Ewing ;  L. Ezra ; 
 B. Falkender ;  Viscount Falkland ;  B. Falkner of Margravine ;    B. Farrington ;   L. Faulkner ; ;  L. Fearn ;   L. Feldman ;   L. fellowes ;   Earl of Ferrers ;   L. Filkin, ;   B. Finlay of Llandaff, ;  B. Fisher of Rednall ;   B. Fookes ;  L. Forsyth ;  L. Foster,,   L. Fowler ;   L. fraser, ;   L. Freeman,;  L. Freyberg, ;  L. Fyfe ;
B. Gale ;  L. Gallacher;     B. Gardner, ;   L. Garel-Jones ;   L. Geddes , ;   B. Gibson of Market Rasen, ;   L. Gibson ;  L. Gilbert ;   L. Glenarthur, ;   L. Glentoran,  ;  Bishop Gloucester, ;   L. Goff ;   B. Golding ;   L. Goldsmith, ;   L. Goodhart, ;   L. Gordon, ;   V. Goschen ;   B. Goudie ;   B. Gould ;   L. Graham ;   L. Gray ;   L. Greaves, ;   B. Greenfield ; ;   B. Greengross ; ;   L. Greenway ;   L. Grenfell. ;   L. Griffiths ;  L. Griffiths of Fforestfach ; 
Bishop Guildford, ;     L. Guthrie,
L. Habgood ;   B. Hale ;   B. Hamwee, ;   B. Hanham ;   L. Hannay;  L. Hanningfield, ;   L. Hanson ;  L. Hardie ; L. Hardy of Wath ;  L. Harris of Haringey, ;   L. Harris of High Cross ;  L. Harris of Peckham ;   B. Harris of Richmond, ;   L. Harrison ;   L. Hattersley , ;   L. Hayhoe ;   B. Hayman ;  L. Healey ;  L. Henley, ;  L. Heseltine ;  L. Higgins, ;  L. Hill-Norton ;   L. Hobhouse ;  L. Hodgson, ;   L. Hogg, ;   L. Hollick ;   B. Hollis, ;   L. Holme ;   Earl of Home ;   B. Hooper ;  L. Hooson ;  L. Hope , ;   B. Howarth ;   Earl of Howe, ;  L. Howe of Aberavon , ;  B. Howe of Idlicote , ;   L. Howell , ;   B. Howells of St. Davids ;   L. Howie ;  L. Hoyle ;   L. Hughes, ;  L. Hunt of Chesterton , ;   L. Hunt of Kings Heath ;  L. Hunt of Tanworth , ;  L. Hunt of Wirral , ;   L. Hurd ;  L. Hussey ;   L. Hutchinson ;   L. Hylton ; 
L. Imbert ;  L. Inge ;  L. Inglewood ;  L. Islwyn ;  
L. Jacobs ;  B. James of Holland Park ;   L. Janner ;   L. Jauncey ;  B. Jay ;  Earl of Jellicoe ;  L. Jenkin of Roding , ; L. Joffe ;  L. Jones ;   L. Jopling ;  L. Jordan , ;   L. Judd ;  
L. Keith  , ;   L. Kelvedon ;  B. Kennedy ;   L. Kilcloony ;   L. Kilpatrick ;  L. King of Bridgwater ;  L. King of West Bromwich , ;    L. Kingsdown , ;  L. Kirkham ;   L. Kirkhill ;  B. Knight;    L. Knights ;  
L. Laing of Dunphail ;  L. Laird ;  L. Laming ;  L. Lamont ;   L. Lane ;  L. Lane of Horsell ;  L. Lang of Monkton ;  L. Lawson ; L. Layard , ;  Bishop Leicester , ;   L. Lea , ;   L. Lester , ;   L. Levene , ;   L. Lewis , ;   Earl of Lindsay ;  B. Linklater , ;   L. Lipsey , ;   Earl of Listowel , ;  Bishop of Liverpool , ;   L. Livsey of Talgarth ;   L. Lloyd of Berwick ;  L. Lloyd-Webber ;   B. Lockwood ;   L. Lofthouse ;  Bishop London , ;   L. Luce ;   B. Ludford , ;   L. Luke , ;  L. Lyell ;  L. McAlpine ;   L. Macaulay , ;   L. McCarthy ;  L. McColl , ;   L. Macdonald of Tradeston ;  L. Macfarlane of Bearsden ;  B. McFarlane of Llandaff;   L. MacGregor   ;  L. McIntosh of Haringey , ;  B. McIntosh of Hudnall ;   L. Mackay of Clashfern ;  L. Mackay pf Drumadoon , ;   L. MacKenzie of Culkein , ;   L. Mackie of Benshie ;   L. MacLaurin ;  L. MacLennan ;   L. McNally , ;   B. Maddock , ;  B. Mallalieu ;   Bishop of Manchester , ;   L. Mancroft , ;   Countess of Mar , ;   Earl of Mar and Kellie ;   L. Marlesford , ;  L. Marsh ; L. Marshall , ;  B. Masham , ; L. Mason ;  B. Massey , ;  L. May ;  L. Mayhew ; L. Merlyn-Rees ;  L. Methuen ;  B. Michie, ;  B. Miller of Chilthorne Domer , ;  B. Miller of Hendon , ; L. Millett , ;  L. Mishcon ;  L. Mitchell , ;  L. Molyneaux ; L. Monro ;  L. Monson ;  L. Montagu , ; Duchess of Montrose , ; L. Moore of Lower Marsh ; L. Moore of Wolvercote ; L. Moran ; L. Morgan , ;  L. Morris of Aberavon ;  L. Morris of Manchester ;  L. Moser ;  L. Mowbray ; L. Moynihan , ;  B. Murphy ;  L. Murray ;  L. Murton ;  L. Mustil ;
L. Naseby ; L. Neill of Bladen , ;  B. Neuberger ;    L. Newby , ;  Bishop Newcastle , ;  L. Newton ;  L. Nicholls ;   B. Nicholson , ;  L. Nickson ;   B. Nicol ;  B. Noakes , ;  L. Nolan ;   Duke of Norfolk ;  L. Northbourne ;  L. Northbrook ;  Earl of Northesk , ;   B. Northover , ;  L. Norton ,    
L. Oakeshott ;   B. O'Cathain , ;   L. Oliver ;   B. O'Neill ;   Earl of Onslow ;   B. Oppenheim-Barnes ;  L. Orme ;   L. Ouseley ;   L. Owen , ;  L. Oxburgh , ;  Bishop Oxford , ;
L. Palmer , ;   L. Palumbo ;  L. Parekh , ;   B. Park ;   L. Parkinson ;  L. Parry ;  L. Patel ;   L. Patel of Blackburn ;   L. Patten ;   L. Paul ;   L. Pearson ;   Earl of Peel ;   L. Pendry , ;   B. Perry , ;   L. Peston , ;   Bishop of Peterborough , ;   L. Peyton ;  L. Phillips of Sudbury , ;  L. Phillips of Worth Matravers , ;  B. Pike ;   L. Pilkington ;  B. Pitkeathley , ;  L. Plant ;  B. Platt ;  L. Plumb , ;  L. Plummer , ;   L. Posonby ;  Bishop of Portsmouth , ;  L. Powell ; B. Prashar , ;  L. Prior ;  L. Prys-Davies ;  L. Puttnam , ;  L. Pym ; 
L. Quinton ;  L. Quirk ; 
L. Radice ;  B. Ramsay ;  L. Randall ;  B. Rawlings ;  L. Rawlinson ; L. Razzall , ;   L. Rea , ;   L. Reay ;  L. Redesdale ;   L. Rees ;  L. Rees-Mogg ;  B. Rendell , ;  L. Renfrew ;  L. Rennard , ;   L. Renton ;  L. Renton of Mount Harry , ;   L. Richardson ;  B. Richardson of Calow , ;   L. Richardson of Duntisbourne ;  L. Rix ; L. Roberts , ;  L. Roberts of Llandudno ;    L. Robertson ;   Bishop of Rochester , ;   L. Rodger of Earlsferry , ;  L. Rodgers of Quarry Bank ; L. Rogan ;  L. Rogers , ;  L. Roll , ;   L. Rooker ;  L. Roper ;  Earl of Rosslyn ;   L. Rotherwick , ;  Earl of Russell ;   L. Russell-Johnston ;  L. Ryder ;
L. Saatchi , ;   Bishop of St. Albans ;  Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich ;  L. St. John of Fawsley ;  L. St. John of Bletso , ;   Bishop of Salisbury , ;     Lady Saltoun ;  L. Sandberg , ;   L. Sanderson ; Earl of Sandwich ;  L. Saville ;  L. Sawyer ;  L. Scarman ;   L. Scott of Foscote ;  B. Scott of Needham Market ;  B. Seccombe , ;  Earl of Selborne , ;  L. Selkirk ;  L. Selsdon , ;   L. Sewel ;  L. Sharman , ;  B. Sharp , ;   B. Sharples ;  L. Shaw ;  Bishop of Sheffield , ;   L. Sheldon ; ;   L. Sheppard of Didgemere , [there is an underscore after lsd and after allen] ;   L. Sheppard of Liverpool ;  Earl of Shrewsbury , ;   L. Shutt , ;   Viscount Simon , ;  L, Simon of Glaisdale ;  L. Simpson , ;   L. Skelmersdale , ;   L. Skidelsky , ; Viscount Slim ;  L. Slynn ;  L. Smith of Clinton , ;  Earl of Snowdon ;  L. Soulsby , ;  Bishop of Southwark , ;   Bishop of Southwell ;   L. Stallard ;  L. Steel ;   L. Sterling ;  B. Stern , ;  L. Stevens , ;   L. Stevenson , ;   L. Stewartby ;  L. Steyn ;   L. Stoddart ;  L. Stokes ;  L. Stone , ;   L. Strabolgi ;   B. Strange ;  L. Strathclyde  ;  L. Sutherland , ;   L. Swinfen ,
L. Tanlaw , ;   L. Taverne , ;   L. Taylor of Blackburn , ;  L. Taylor of Warwick , ;  L. Tebbit ;  L. Templeman ;  L. Temple-Morris , ;   Viscount Tenby ;  B. Thatcher ;   L. Thomas of Gresford , ;   L. Thomas of Gwydir ;   L. Thomas of Macclesfield ;   L. Thomas of Swynnerton ;  B. Thomas of Walliswood ;  L. Thomson of Monifieth ;  B. Thornton , ;   L. Tombs ;  L. Tomlinson ;  L. Tope , ;   L. Tordoff , ;   L. Trefgarne [trefgaRNe] ;  B. Trumpington ;  Bishop Truro , ;   L. Tugendhat , ;   L. Turnberg , ;   B. Turner ;
B. Uddin , ;   Viscount Ullswater ,
L. Varley ;   L. Vincent ;  L. Vinson ;  
L. Waddington , ;   L. Wade ;   L. Wakeham ;   L. Waldegrave ;   L. Walker of Doncaster ;   L. Walker of Gestingthorpe ;   L. Walker of Worcester ;   L. Wallace of Saltaire ;   B. Walmsley , ;   L. Walpole , ;   L. Walton , ;L. Warner ;  B. Warnock ;  B. Warwick ; ;   L. Watson of Invergowrie , ;  L. Watson of Richmond ,  [there is an underscore after alan]  ;  Viscount Waverley , ;   L. Weatherill ;   L. Wedderburn ;   L. Weidenfeld , ;   L. Whaddon ;   B. Whitaker ;   L. Wigoder ;   B. Wilcox , ;   B. Wilkins , ;   B. Williams of Crosby ;   L. Williams of Elvel , ;   L. Williamson ;  L. Willoughby , ;   L. Wilson of Dinton ;   L. Wilson of Tillyorn , ;   Bishop of Winchester , ;   L. Winston , ;   L. Wolfson ;   L. Wolfson of Sunningdale ;   L. Woolf ;  L. Woolmer , ;   Bishop of Worcester , ;   L. Wright ;  L. Young of Graffham ;    B. Young of Hornsey ;   B. Young of Old Scone , ;   Archbishop of York , 


21 Scope of emergency regulations



In particular, emergency regulations may make any provision which the person making the regulations thinks is for the purpose of—



protecting human life, health or safety,



treating human illness or injury,



protecting or restoring property,




protecting or restoring a supply of money, food, water, energy or fuel,




protecting or restoring an electronic or other system of communication,




protecting or restoring facilities for transport,




protecting or restoring the provision of services relating to health,




protecting or restoring the activities of banks or other financial institutions,




preventing, containing or reducing the contamination of land, water or air,




preventing, or mitigating the effects of, flooding,




preventing, reducing or mitigatingdestruction of plant life or animal life,

 the effects

of disruption or




protecting or restoring activities of Her Majesty’s Government,




protecting or restoring activities of Parliament, of the Scottish Parliament, of the Northern Ireland Assembly or of the National Assembly for Wales, or




protecting or restoring the performance of public functions.



Emergency regulations may make provision of any kind that could be made by Act of Parliament or by the exercise of the Royal Prerogative; in particular, regulations may—




confer a function on a Minister of the Crown, on the Scottish Ministers, on the National Assembly for Wales, on a Northern Ireland department, on a coordinator appointed under section 23 or on any other specified person (and a function conferred may, in particular, be—




a power, or duty, to exercise a discretion;




a power to give directions or orders, whether written or oral);




provide for or enable the requisition or confiscation of property (with or without compensation);




provide for or enable the destruction of property, animal life or plant life (with or without compensation);




prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, movement to or from a specified place;




require, or enable the requirement of, movement to or from a specified place;




prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, assemblies of specified kinds, at specified places or at specified times;




prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, travel at specified times;




prohibit, or enable the prohibition of, other specified activities;




create an offence of—




failing to comply with a provision of the regulations;




failing to comply with a direction or order given or made under the regulations;




obstructing a person in the performance of a function under or by virtue of the regulations;




disapply or modify an enactment (other than a provision of this Part) or a provision made under or by virtue of an enactment;


require a person or body to act in performance of a function (whether the function is conferred by the regulations or otherwise and whether or not the regulations also make provision for remuneration or compensation);



enable the Defence Council to authorise the deployment of Her Majesty’s armed forces;



make provision (which may include conferring powers in relation to property) for facilitating any deployment of Her Majesty’s armed forces;



confer jurisdiction on a court or tribunal (which may include a tribunal established by the regulations);



make provision which has effect in relation to, or to anything done in—



an area of the territorial sea,



an area within British fishery limits, or



an area of the continental shelf;



make provision which applies generally circumstances or for a specified purpose;







make different provision for different circumstances or purposes.



In subsection (3) “specified” means specified by, or to be specified in accordance with, the regulations.