Thursday, 13 February 2014

Labour loves laws, hates parliament

Angela Eagle was at it again today, chiding Leader of the House of Commons Andrew Lansley for not having enough legislation in the rest of this parliamentary session. It reinforces the impression that Labour see Parliament as no more than a legislative production line coupled with a platform for party propaganda informed more by media consultants than evidence. They no doubt take pride in the number of new crimes they created in their years in office (Alex Wilcock seems to have the latest count before the 2010 election).
If Labour were so intent on devoting more time to debating improvements in the law, they should have cooperated in drawing up a realistic timetable for the House Of Lords Reform Bill, which, it should be remembered, was supported in principle by a majority of members of all parties in the Commons.

The coalition government is not guiltless. It has timetabled several contentious Bills for which it is difficult to see any urgency. Indeed, it seems that the more contentious the Bill, the more that the Conservatives wish to limit the time for debate - or the opportunity to improve poor legislation.

Sadly, there were no Liberal Democrat backbenchers present during Business Questions nor to hear the opening of the important debate on the Police Federation which followed, though Dr Julian Huppert, the most passionate defender of civil liberties, was able to attend later. If half what the mover David Davis and several other contributors said is true, then the recommendations of the Normington Review must surely be attended to.

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