Left Out Liberal

A left-wing/liberal look at the UK's General Election of 2005.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Cheers Peers?

The House of Lords has been doing some admirable work lately. It really is showing the government exactly how to properly scrutinise legislation, taking time and having serious considered debates before voting with a much relaxed whipping system.

And so they made progress in picking apart some of the key problem parts of the government's anti-terror Bill. I'm not normally a fan of the Lords, but right now I feel they are the country's last hope for defending itself against the lobby fodder Labour MPs.

It was even remarkable that Tony Blair's "mentor" Lord Irvine voted for the rebel amendments. I would have thought he'd be the last person to rebel. It's very good to see the smile wiped off his face, and Lord Falconer, another staunch Blairite.

Further amendments are likely to be made tomorrow. The bill is not going to be recogniseable by the time it reaches the floor of the Commons on Wednesday, where there will be a chance for MPs to consider the Lords amendments. I have no doubt that Charles "No Surrender!" Clarke will have to concede at least one of the amendments. I just hope that the Lords will press hard with their changes and refuse to allow the bill through until they get their way on more than 50% of the changes. I have no doubt that once the bill returns to the Commons, many Labour MPs will abandon the rebellion because they like to come out with the old "the will of the Commons must prevail and so I cannot continue rebelling!" excuse which is normally a sign that they have been leaned on by the whips.

It's going to be interesting to see how this one plays out. The end result will likely be very different to what we had at the beginning.


At 11:08 am, March 09, 2005, Blogger ignorati said...

I agree.

The issue of "lobby fodder" mps on all sides needs looking at. Is there not a party that favours thought and moral integrity above loyalty? ;)


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