There was a comic once whose Strap Line was “Let me tell you a story” I always thought it was a good opening. So lets do that…….
Did you know that the House of Lords is to debate the topic of the Lisbon Treaty (2009) which gave national parliaments a formal role in the scrutiny of EU legislation, if a chamber issues a reasoned opinion it considering that a proposal breaches the principle of subsidiarity (that means EU-level action may be taken only if the objective cannot be achieved at national or local level),
A ‘Yellow Card’ occurs if over one third of national chambers or parliaments issue reasoned opinions. Technical deficiencies have meant that the
procedure has not been as effective as hoped. These deficiencies could, and should, be corrected. (So not only in football can one get a Yellow Card-wonder about a Red Card?)
The House of Lords is debating this and other topics on the EU Extension on 26th June. There is a great attachment on the topic you might like to download on the Parliament website (71 pages). Some ideas which are being considered whereby this principle of “subsidiarity” can be improved are- extending the scope of the procedure to include the proportionality principle—that is, that the proposal should not exceed what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the EU Treaties; increasing the deadline for national chambers to issue a reasoned opinion on a legislative proposal, from 8 weeks to 12 or 16 weeks and for the Council and Commission, if a Yellow Card is
issued-action on same will be more proactive.(information from the Parliament website and the and Parliament Publication-The future of the EU 2014)

Everyone seems to be in the role of a customer when once the public services provided advice and guidance regarding need and resources. Now if you don’t know the questions to ask, ask a friend. It all encourages localism and networking, that’s the way to be informed. Its all connected really. Was “who wants to be a Millionaire” really a bit of stage managed propaganda, to get we all thinking in a certain way?
News from the National Audit Office in regard to the Child Maintenance 2012 scheme.The Department tackled early weaknesses and made decisions about timing and phasing to reduce risk. The NAO has warned that the scheme’s overall objectives might be at risk if the number of people intending to use family-based arrangements does not improve.

“The 2012 scheme replaces the existing 1993 and 2003 child support statutory schemes, which struggled with IT problems leading to poor customer service and incomplete information a. The two-phase 2012 scheme has been designed by the DWP to encourage parents to make their own arrangements for child maintenance. Phase 1 brought in a new IT system and simplified rules for applicants. Phase 2, expected to start in June 2014, will introduce charging to encourage parents to make family-based arrangements. The Options Service provides guidance to parents on different ways to arrange child maintenance. It is now mandatory to go to the Options Service if parents want to make an application for child maintenance.
The Department has simplified the way it administers child maintenance by reducing the number of its procedures and automating checks on parents’ income. It is also introducing online portals to allow employers and parents to manage payments online.” quoted from the ONS website.

So everyone needs to be online-where all this information is so available. But then have you the time to get to it and then read it. But then pity those individuals who cannot get online-for a lot of reasons-economic and social, they might be disenfranchised in 25 years time?
Do the nationals of the world want they have and the have not’s-its like those who can read and whose who cannot. Education is the thing-isn’t it?

The House of Lords scrutiny ability involves many committees one of which is that concerned with the EU and the many policies involved with the EU and the UK.

A Sub-Committee scrutinises EU documents and policy on:
• The Common Agricultural Policy.
• Animal health and welfare.
• The Common Fisheries Policy.
• The environment, including climate change.
• Energy policy—including EURATOM and energy efficiency.
Current Business
A report was published on 6 April 2014. after a call for evidence was made in August 2013 in regard to Food Waste regulations and the EU.
Another committee-Sub-Committee E covers EU documents and policy on:
• Civil and criminal justice.
• The EU’s institutions, agencies and other bodies.
• Consumer protection.
Current Business
(i) The European Public Prosecutor’s Office
A Call for Evidence was issued on 23 January 2014, the closing date for submissions was 21 March 2014.
With a Debate-on The Fight Against Fraud on the EU’s Finances taking place as follows with a debate in private and a debate held in public.1.20pm Private
1.30pm Public
Another debate in the first week of May in the House of Lords is entitled “No country is an energy island”.
Membership of this committees on the EU includes for example-

Lord Boswell of Aynho (Chair) Non-affiliated
Lord Bowness Conservative
Lord Cameron of Dillington Crossbench
Baroness Corston Labour
The construction of the said committees is more than four members but there is a balanced membership of individuals from all parties.
There are lovely red leather seats in the House of Lords, whereas the seats are green leather in the Commons.
Looking at the building inside and out its hard to imagine its just been there since about the fourth decade of the 19th century, so it is not quite 200 years old.The painter Turner was outside the night the previous building was on fire and gave us his view of the event in one of his great paintings. It also suffered bomb damage in the 1940’s with the House of Commons being rebuilt. Some things work well others need improvement, like life-its what you put into it.