Thursday, 20 May 2010

MPs' Independent Thought


Plus ca change...

When in that House M.P.’s divide,
If they’ve a brain and cerebellum, too,
They’ve got to leave that brain outside,
And vote just as their leaders tell ’em to.
But then the prospect of a lot
Of dull M. P.’s in close proximity,
All thinking for themselves, is what
No man can face with equanimity.
Then let’s rejoice with loud Fal la – Fal la la!
That Nature always does contrive – Fal lal la!
That every boy and every gal
That’s born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative!
Fal lal la!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

From the New World 2: UK Fixed Term Parliaments

Fixed term Parliaments and the 5 year deal.

A problem with a May election is that any Budget measures would have been put into effect only 5 weeks before it.
It would surely make more sense for all future Budget proposals from this government and its successors to be made in mid November. This would allow the proposals 2014 Budget to form part of the election campaign whilst leaving 6 months to plan the implementation of any changes.

Another benefit of fixed term parliaments would be the avoidance of the Machiavellian wash-up deals we have just seen.

From the New World 1 - Victoria BC: UK Science Policy

Prior to the election Adam Afriyie set out intended Tory policies in a presentation to RAEng: see

Labour & the LibDems were also invited to present their policies but failed to appear.

It would be helpful if David Willetts were to reiterate the new government's policy given the change of Minister and the brave new world of coalition.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Parliamentary Progress and Processes

The list would of Conservative gains almost certainly have been longer, possibly producing an overall majority and a more settled European policy had Dave kept to his "cast iron" commitment on the Lisbon referendum and thereby secured the UKIP vote

In Dave's own words:-
"Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations."
"We will therefore hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty."

Look at the URLs in detail. In neither case is there any qualification about retreating from this commitment in the event that the Lisbon Treaty had been ratified.

The LibDems also have form. Their 2005 manifesto stated:-
"We are therefore clear in our support for the constitution, which we believe is in Britain’s interest – but ratification must be subject to a referendum of the British people."

Any Tory-LibDem concordat should therefore include commitments to referenda on (inter alia) Europe as well as electoral reform.

Following the shambles we witnessed last week this should also allow the introduction of a voting system more appropriate to the 21st century - rather than the 19th.