|In and outs of PNSD
In recent months we have read lot of news regarding the British Parliamentarians for National Self Determination (PNSD), which was has made media headlines in our local media. Yet we are at lost to the nature and power of this group (PNSD.) who came into being in 2006. We have not been informed by Timothy Kaping to the nature and effectiveness of PNSD. Therefore I would like to share with one and all of my finding.
PNSD comes under the title of “All-party groups” (APG) which are regarded as relatively informal compared with other cross-party bodies such as select committees of the House. The membership of all-party groups mainly comprises backbench Members of the House of Commons and Lords but may also include ministers and non-parliamentarians. Groups flourish and wane according to the interests and enthusiasm of Members.
Groups are classified either as subject groups (relating to a particular topic e.g. forestry) or country groups (relating to a particular country or region). Most country groups are affiliated to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s United Kingdom Branch and/or the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s British Group.
The research shows that there are Parliamentary Groups whose purpose ranges from Aids to Youth Hostels. Interlinked with over 50 countries across the globe and there are 500 such groups.
On 17 December 1985 a Register was set up in accordance with a Resolution made by the British House of Commons on 17 December 1985 and its main purpose is to record which all-party groups are recognized by the House; who their officers are; and what assistance groups receive from outside Parliament. Registration is compulsory for any group that includes Members of the Commons from more than one party and has at least one officer who is from the Commons. To be recognized the group must have Chairman, vice chairman and twenty party members and must be accountable to the registrar. The recognized groups or as is commonly known as On Approved List; AII Party Parliamentary Subject Group. If the Group is on the approved list then they had benefits which were not given to the Groups which were not on the approved list.
However the Approved groups on the list have to be accountable and have to show in detail the minutes of meeting and expense accrued. This however is not so for any group which comes under the heading Not on Approved List; Subject Group, such as the PSND, who only have chairman (Lord Ahmed)and vice chair(Elfyn Llwyd), there are no other Member of Parliament in the group. Unlike the ones who are On the Approved list. This does not stop the Chairman from inviting other Member of the Parliament to their meeting. However this does not mean that those invited approve or disapprove of who or what IS said at the meetings.
Is the voice of these Groups heard by the Government and the British people?
As no group is heard by the British people at large thus one can not say that they have the support of the British pubic par se. Nor can it be taken that the British Government approves of or consents to what is said in those meetings. Few MPs who attend do not represent the British people or the British Government. They come in to those meeting as individual Members of the parliament. Thus such groups have “no formal responsibilities.”
We could say it like this that if the a Sema village council invites a Britisher to speak at its meeting, then can the Britisher say that the Sema tribe and the Naga people are on his side? Or for that matter the Naga Hoho approves and validates that person agenda?
If two villagers hold a meeting with an outsider, then can it be said that the outsider has the approval of the village council? Also can the outsider say that the people of the village sides with them and agrees with them?
What power does PNSD have with the British Public or the British Parliament?
PNSD has no influence with the public or with the British Parliament; (PNSD) Parliament members are only two in number. Also there are Members of Parliament who supports Parliamentary groups who have interest in welfare of dogs. The British Public and the Government does not care if PNSD Chairman invited all the barking dogs in England to the meeting.
As, for example, with PNSD, it did not come in to being via the command of the Parliament nor by the order of the Government, nor was Lord Ahmed was commanded or ordered by the Parliament or the Government. As all these groups are self made that is to say that neither the Parliament nor the Government has ordered or appointed such groups but Groups flourish and wane according to the interests and enthusiasm of Members. As they do not differ much from the Lions or rotary club, for they exit for general interest of its members, who want to do some good.
Source- British High Commission, House of Commons, UK Parliament, House of Lords.