Thursday, May 16, 2013

Back in the Commons

A lowering of tone, I know, but we really do need to have a look at the shenanigans proceedings in the House of Commons. As everyone knows there was an Amendment tabled during the debate on the Gracious Speech (as it used to be called in the days we had Members of Parliament and journalists who knew history) that "respectfully regret[ted] that an EU referendum bill was not included in the Gracious Speech". It was defeated [scroll down for voting list] but a respectable 114 Tory MPs voted for it, instantly earning the soubriquet rebels. Of course, one could argue that a rebellion that simply echoes what the Prime Minister and Leader of your party has announced is not a particularly significant one as the presence of such non-rebels as Ms Pritti Patel and Mr Simon Hart in the list shows. Never mind, a rebellion it was and a glorious time was had by one and all.

In my posting on the Draft Referendum Bill I wrote that, as the Bill is to be introduced as a Private Member's one,
Presumably, whoever wins the ballot (unless it is fixed) will be pressured into putting forward the Referendum Bill and government time will be found for it some time in the coming session.
What do you know? One of the "rebels", James Wharton, has won the ballot and is going to be introducing the Referendum Bill, over which the leadership of his party is nodding approvingly. How very convenient for all concerned. The Conservative Party, give or take Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine (yes, please, do take them) has been united on the "European issue".

Douglas Carswell MP, apparently tweeted that "God must be a Eurosceptic". That is one way of looking at the whole story.

Naturally, the Evening Standard thinks that the "Coalition is set for clash over Europe". Again.

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