Thursday, December 16, 2010

Twenty-seven rebels this time

There were 24 of them last time and the number has gone up by 3, so we shall, no doubt, be told that the euroscepticism and courage are growing in the Conservative Party. And if you believe that I have a bridge to sell that you might be interested in.

Needless to say, ToryBoy blog is rejoicing. Just say Tory rebellion and they all start rejoicing because it proves that some Tory MPs actually have conservative principles. Or something. It also proves, allegedly, that the new intake is incredibly eurosceptic, small government and generally good eggs. Sadly, the figures are not on their side.

There is also an article by Steve Baker MP, who is supposed to be one of those MPs. He explains why he voted with the government on the outrageous allocation of time motion (see below), abstained in the Second Reading (hadn't the heart to rebel) but did vote for Douglas Carswell's rather complicated amendment.

First of all there was a small rebellion [scroll down for vote] about the outrageous fact that an important Bill like the Loans to Ireland one, which will squander a great deal of badly needed British money, shore up the euro, which the Conservatives are not supposed to like and, inter alia, break the EU's own rules about "no bail-out" was going to have all its stages taken in one day. You'd think any parliamentarian would be outraged but no, most of those courageous Tories trooped into the government lobby like good little boys and girls. 22 people voted against it; of them 14 were Conservatives. A few more abstained.

Seven Conservative MPs actually defied the Whip to vote No on the Second Reading [scroll again for the vote but you might like to read the debate en route].

Here is the somewhat ridiculous Committee procedure. What can you achieve when you have one day for all the stages in the Commons? And if you scroll down you will find the list of those who rebelled and voted for Douglas Carswell's Amendment. It was lost, naturally. That ladies and gentlemen was the latest instalment of that shadow play, called the Conservative Eurosceptic Rebellion.

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