Derbyshire And Fife Broadcasting Corporation
This is the maiden European broadcast of the Derbyshire and Fife Broadcasting Corporation (DFBC).
After a heated debate tabled on Opposition Day in the Parliament of Derbyshire and Fife, the Government has lost a critical vote. The opposition English Democrats opened their segment of the debate yesterday on Derbyshire's membership of the European Union. After a thirty-minute tirade, the Minister for Europe rose to defend Derbyshire's role in the EU. Members continued to debate for hours. In the end, frustration with the co-alition government boiled to a head as one Tory backbencher after another rose to attack the Prime Minister.
At the culmination of the five-hour debate, the House went to divisions. The question was whether to hold a referendum on Derbyshire's membership of the EU. Labour, the English Democrats and British Nationalist Party received a three-line whip in the affirmative, whilst Tories had a free-vote and the Lib Dems had a three-line whip against. The results were 35 noes to the right, 37 ayes to the left and one abstention. Lib Dem backbenchers had hope that the Governor-General would not approve the measure, but legal specialists proved, this morning, that proposed referenda are exempt from Royal Assent in the Constitution. At a lunch press-briefing, the Prime Minister's Office announced that he would be asking the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament at the culmination of business, Friday. Remaining business includes a Referendum Act that would lay out the rules for the vote, as the Commonwealth currently has no laws governing the administration of referenda. The Prime Minister has also stated that the coalition between the Lib Dems and Tories is 'dead' after the mass defection last night.
The referendum is expected to be held on a Tuesday and the General Election on the subsequent Thursday.
Members of Parliament, today, completed work on a bill that lay the ground rules for the upcoming referendum on EU membership. The Referendum Act was clearly designed to keep Derbyshire in the EU, outlining several back-door methods by which the vote may be ignored.
The system will work thus: voters will cast 'yes' or 'no' votes. The totals will be tallied by island and then nationally. If the national vote is within five percent, then the island totals are to be reviewed. In this eventuallity, each island is given one vote. If an island votes with at least a supermajority (66.67%), then the island's vote is cast in the like manner. If, however, a supermajority is not reached, then the island's vote remains neutral. If a majority is not reached, then the decision is left to the Government.
The Opposition parties wildly attacked the bill, calling it a sham and a farce. Professors up and down the country have complained of the fallacies of government's logic. When put to the vote, the bill passed with 42 ayes to the right, 31 noes to the left and one abstention. The Government bill passed with support from the Conservatives, whose leaders rallied backbenchers to finish their coalition commitment to the Lib Dems. The Prime Minister thanked the Tories for their service, but stated that such loose discipline in a party could not be relied upon in future. The Prime Minister then returned to Number 10, where he launched the Liberal Democrats' Manifesto and Election Campaign. His primary focus, he stated, "Will be to cynch up support for the European Union. We, as a nation, have been a driving force for positive reform within the Union, and I cannot but think it would be diminished by our untimely exit." The Prime Minister went on to say that his party would be heading the 'YES' campaign in the referendum, but that he expected the Tories to join them in the queue.
After the Prime Minister launched the Liberal Democrat's campaign on 20 March, the other parties scrambled to put together election manifestos and programmes.
Last Monday, the British National Party officially announced that it would be merging with the English Democrats, which have had more electoral success. The new party was organised as the National Front and will run candidates in all Derbyshire constituencies and five selected Fife constituencies.
Labour launched its campaign Wednesday, stating that its primary aim, as always, is to vouchsafe workers' rights, although a significant timeslot was devoted to the European Union. Labour party leader, Aneurin Bevan, acknowledged that whilst, "Derbyshire has no doubt worked good in the European Union, the EU has dealt significant damage to us as a nation, and we must depart with all haste." Bevan went on to say that continued membership in the EU was simply not tolerable.
The pre-scheduled Conservative and Unionist Party Conference continued as scheduled this week in Reading. Delegates were shocked when former Premier Commissioner of the EU turned up and made a motion of no confidence in the party leader, John Redwood. The motion was tabled on Tuesday and debated Wednesday afternoon. A vote was taken Thursday after an impassioned plea made on behalf of Mr McDowell by former Prime Minister, Cecil Parkinson. The vote ran 1,139 for Mr Redwood and 2,722 against with 911 abstentions. 19 Tory MP's joined their former leader, Mr McDowell in voting out Mr Redwood. Michael McDowell subsequently announced his intention to stand for the leadership. Under the rules for removing a leader at a Convention, Mr McDowell, not an MP, may be elected; otherwise only a standing MP could have sought the leadership. Mr McDowell has been endorsed by 13 of the 22 Tory MP's. Outgoing Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd has been endorsed by 7. Fierce campaigning has begun, since the candidates have only a few days until the election, which will be held at the Conference Tuesday evening. The new leader will then unveil the Tory Manifesto the next morning.
The Governor-General has been embroiled in several scandals as the week progressed. Monday, His Excellency set the dates for the EU Referendum and the General Election. The Referendum - the second in Derbyshire's history - will be held on 8 April. The General Election will be held two days later, 10 April. The General Election will be combined with elections for most city and county councils and unitary authorities, as well as the first direct elections for Derbyshire and Fife's five MEP's. Critics have accused the Prime Minister of trying to overload the ballot by creating a national conundrum in which the people are 'encouraged' to vote Lib Dem by virtue of various associations. A party spokesperson said the intention of this move was to increase voter turnout. On Wednesday, the Sun reported the contents of a telephone conversation the Governor-General had with the President of Nazione Italiana, in which His Excellency said that the Lib Dem's better win because they are the only sane party 'left on this island'. This scandal was eclipsed on Thursday by the revellation that the conversation was not leaked to the press, but that the information came from a bug on the Governor-General's telephone. Early returns on the police inquiry suggest that the culprit was a mercenary hired on behalf of either the Soviet or Trieran Embassies at the behest of the Labour Party. It has been stressed that this information is very tenuous and the Met Chief was furious that such information was leaked to the Press after only a full day in action. The Governor-General has stated that His Excellency is mortified and has gone into hiding at his summer retreat in the mountains of central Derbyshire, whilst a massive petition in the honour of His Excellency is being signed on the steps of Parliament at New Liverpool.
Polls this week show an interesting trend. Monday's polls showed the following:
Lib Dems 39%, Conservatives 26%, National Front 17%, Labour 16% and SNP 2%
EU Referendum: Yes 58%, No 27%, Uncertain 15%
Wednesday's polls showed:
Support the Monarchy?: Yes 91%, No 9%
Support the Governor-General?: No 64%, Yes 36%
Friday's polls showed:
Lib Dems 46%, National Front 22%, Conservatives 19%, Labour 3%
EU Referendum: Yes 51%, No 44%, uncertain 5%
of those who responded Yes, 76% said Lib Dems were best equipped to lead Europe, whilst 24% said the Tories were;
Preference in EU Commission elections: EPP-ED 62%, Independents 20%, ELP 18%
Think the current system of electing the Commission is democratically fair?: No 79%, Undecided 16%, Yes 5%
Support the Governor-General?: Yes 89%, No 11%