Tuesday, 3 November 2015

About-faces on the Lords (continued)

Last week I fingered Sir Edward Leigh for praising the Lords' independence when revolting against the coalition and condemning it when supporting George Osborne's SI to cut tax credits. Having trawled through Hansard's record of oral questions last week, I find that other Tories need to be named and shamed: Jacob Rees-Mogg, Bernard Jenkin and Mark Pritchard.

It is only fair that those supporters of the cuts to tax credits who have been consistent critics of the make-up of the Lords should also be praised for their consistency, if nothing else: Liam Fox, George Osborne, Kenneth Clarke, John Stevenson and Henry Smith.

An IT or O&M practitioner accustomed to drawing up decision tables will naturally ask: was there a member who voted against Lords reform yet queried the cack-handed and hubristic way in which Osborne attempted to push through his measure? Indeed there was: Peter Bone continues to prove himself almost as big a nuisance to the 100% Conservative cabinet as he was to the coalition.

Finally, Cheryl Gillan has a record of wanting Lords reform, but not if it meant a totally-elected upper chamber. It appears that she has been a supporter of the tax credit system in the past, and her contribution last week was distinctly ambiguous.

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