Tuesday, 25 January 2011

European Union Debate - Day Two (Cont)

Sad I know, but I spent yesterday afternoon and evening watching the proceedings in the House of Commons, the Hansard record of which can be found here.

A number of general points to begin with.

First, it was obvious that, for reasons unknown but one suspects may be due to a little jiggery-pokery by "Business Managers", certain amendments would be not debated as the Coalition were determined that the 10pm time limit would not be extended. A cynic would also say that some MPs were likewise so determined as many spent far too long in what could be termed rambling, almost incoherent speeches, whilst also acknowledging that time was of the essence as others wished to speak. Examples include Wayne David, Shadow Minister for Europe (who spoke for nearly an hour), James Clappison (Con), Charlie Elphicke (Con) and Martin Horwood (LibDem).

Second, It also became obvious that MPs are still of a mind-set that Parliament is supreme, that Parliament should decide what transfers of power are significant, thus deciding whether a referendum was warranted or not. Surely any loss of our nation's power to decide even the most minute loss of any power is worthy of the people's decision? Are not the people "sovereign" in that it is the will of the people to which MPs should devote themselves to enacting? MP's views about the public were best summed up by the intervention of Keith Vaz whose point was: basically Parliament rules and sod the people!

Third, it is also obvious that certain "Eurosceptic" Conservative MPs are anything but, seeming to be content with the present situation of "this far, but no further". Even Bernard Jenkins declared himself an opponent of an in-out referendum! It would appear that those of us opposed to the EU most definitely need to reclassify the term "Eurosceptic" when applied to Conservative MPs.

Fourth, yet again attendance was limited during the debate and Claire Perry (Con) is to be congratulated for lamenting this point with her interjection early in the debate. She is also to be congratulated for maintaining, unlike so many of her colleagues, that any decision on loss of power - regardless of degree - is for the people to decide.

Fifth, the non-appearance of certain MPs was puzzling in the extreme, the most notable absences being John Redwood and Douglas Carswell. In the case of the latter I copied this post into the comments section of his post on Lidington and asked for his response - which at the time of writing is still awaited.

Unlike Calling England who thought it was a good debate, I am of the opinion that it was a poor debate and can only hope today's offering will be much, much better. One point with which I do agree with Calling England is that of the lack of coverage of the debate by the MSM. It is no wonder that MPs were able to proclaim the public were not interested in "matters Europe" when the media cannot be bothered to write about it.

A number of points that some MPs made were not challenged by others, something I find strange. Consider James Clappison maintaining that judges would not challenge a political decision, something Theresa May recently found out is not the case; Charlie Elphicke prattling on about the primacy of Parliament being essential, but how can this be so with our continued membership of the EU; Michael Ellis (Con) maintaining that Parliamentary sovereignty is cherished, but seems quite content with the status quo; some MPs proclaimed the fact that people would be able to pursue court cases against the government of the day, yet an intervention asking whether legal aid would be possible was promptly ducked by Lidington who passed the buck. One good point was made by Austin Michell (Lab) that we presently have government by party, but not one MP picked up on his point.

Never mind people, at least while we continue to financially support this useless collection of "peoples representatives" without any protest on our part, we can at least be assured that things can only get worse!


Sean O'Hare said...

I fell asleep watching it I'm afraid. Did they get to debate Peter Bone's amendment? If not is that to be tabled today?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

SO'H: No and No. It called democracy! It seems we can spend hours untold debating fox hunting and MP's expenses but where a basic question of self-government is concerned a guillotine is used!

Sean O'Hare said...

Thanks WfW. No wonder he sounded pissed of at the beginning! Did I read somewhere that there is to be a sixth day of debate and if so do you think Bone's amendment will make it. Not that it stands any chance of success, but it should be more entertaining than yesterdays debate.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

SO'H: Who knows - it was intimated that the 6th day might be used but the way last nights debate was rigged and I use the word deliberately as I believe one or two compliant MPs almost did a fillibuster routine, no doubt the Business Mangers will make sure Bone's amendment is 'lost' somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Is anybody seriously interested? It is no longer the case that the people of this country hold sway over its governance, as you say in your later blog.

We have the ludicrous number of over 600 MP's who do the bidding of three party leaders. Do you not think the electorate have seen through this and wonder what the difference is between the leader of the party in power making decisions or some administrator from Europe.

The people of this country have long since lost interest in sovereignty and given the quality of our politicians no longer seriously care who is making the decisions.

We may end up being ruled from EU but given the terrible mess being ruled from UK over the past 50 years has left us in, who cares?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Anonymous: And the question why peope no longer care is probably the most important of all.

Whilst you have practises such as I mention in my first post today 26/1, there is no hope for democracy even if we wanted it. And the said fact is no-one else seems to have noticed other than Peter Bone, least of all the MSM