7 March 2017

Dubbed up

I've given my MP a hard time previously for how she has voted in parliament and her explanations after the fact. (here, and here). So it's nice to be able to applaud her.

5 March 2017

Inhumane shield

GOVERNMENT DEFEAT OVER BREXIT BILL
screamed the news (and screaming is usually the right adjective for the news these days) after the House of Lords voted for an amendment to the government's article 50 bill. But was it really?


23 February 2017

Lording it up

The Lords are at it again - sticking their unelected noses in to the business of the Commons. How dare they oppose the elected chamber. Well, so those who support Brexit-at-any-cost will tell us - ironically most of which are the same bunch who had no interest in, or actively opposed, changing the unelected nature of the Lords.

But this isn't going to be a Bexit post. Nope, there's so much that could be said but I'll leave that for another day. No, what's bothered me here is the number of people who have yet again come out of the woodwork to talk about the importance of the House of Lords as a 'place of expertise' who's role is to scrutinise and amend government policy, but to leave the job of challenging government policy to the elected House of Commons. Both of these assertions bother me, but for reasons which are not necessarily the ones often mooted.

10 February 2017

Heidi shambles - a follow up

So following my last post about Rt. Hon. Heidi Allen's rather poor (IMO) response to concerned constituents, the Article 50 bill and her intentions towards it things have moved on and we now know how the Commons reacted. So where do we stand in relation to what I had said before?


7 February 2017

An open response to my MP, Heidi Allen

My MP, the Rt. Hon. Heidi Allen, recently posted this response to herviews on the vote for Article 50 (she voted for it) and begin the process of leaving the EU. This is a standard response she has been sending out to anyone asking her about her position on Brexit and A50 - and I have to say, one I find woefully lacking and rather confused.

12 July 2016

General Election logic - the Bad and the Good

So Theresa May has won the leadership contest with support from just a tiny tiny minority of the British public - specifically those who are Conservative MP's. Like all good believers in democracy I should by all rights be outraged that she will now become our new Prime Minister on such a flimsy election process (if you can even call surviving just a few rounds of political 'it's a knockout' an election process). Like many I should be crying that it is undemocratic, that she has 'No Mandate' to be PM!

But I won't be. For a very good reason.


19 June 2016

Looking in the mirror

As so many people have already said the murder of Jo Cox is above all a deep tragedy for her family and friends. I can't (and selfishly, glad I can't) know how awful it must be for them, how much this will affect their lives (especially her young children who will now grow up without her), and they have my deepest sympathies. I hope above all they can find space within the media storm to come to terms with what has happened in their own way.

But I am not counted in that number (from all accounts of who she was, to my significant loss) and it would be dishonest of me to say I feel deeply her loss. I am therefore surprised by how personal her murder has felt, something I can only attribute to the fact that it feels like an attack on my own values. These are the only aspects which I feel any legitimate right to comment on. This is going to be a bit rambly and unstructured. But maybe that's fitting.


24 October 2015

Stitching up our democracy

You may have missed it, but the Tory's just broke democracy for England, and stuck two fingers up to the idea that the devolved nations can play a real part in deciding the future of the UK union they belong to.

The West Lothian problem, the situation where legislation that affects only England can be voted on in parliament by Scottish, Welsh and N.Irish MP's (whose constituencies are unaffected by such decisions due to having devolved parliaments), is a rather unsightly crack in our democratic framework.


2 July 2015

Choices in a complex world

Who to choose, that's the big question facing all Lib Dems at the moment. MP's, ex MP's candidates and party bigshots from all around are throwing their endorsements in the ring. Even lowly party members like myself feel they have something worth adding to the debate.
It's a difficult choice, made harder by a rather lacklustre and repetitive campaign and debate from supporters on both sides, contrasted with some excellent statements, proposals and speeches from the candidates themselves. However I have finally made up my mind.
The negatives thrown at each candidate by their opponent's supporters don't necessarily hold much water for me, although reflecting on why not has helped me define what it is I feel our new leader needs.


24 April 2015

Whos rights? Our rights!

There is a fundamental conflict of interest between MP's representing us, the people, and voting on a transfer of power form the people to government/parliament.

When the United Kingdom spearheaded the creation of the European Court of Human Rights it established the principle that there are inviolable rights that all human beings should have that reside outside the jurisdiction of national governments.

We looked back at the horrors of  two world wars which had just passed, at the way in which those who came through them, from all side,s had been mistreated and damaged at the hands of the nations involved and took the brave decision that for the sake of humanity national governments should be subject to certain restrictions on their behaviour.

By signing us up to the newly created ECHR they presided over one of the biggest and bravest transfers of power from a government, to the people,