House of commons
John Bercow has been a good Speaker of the House of Commons on the substance if not the form. He is jealous of backbenchers’ rights, assertive in allowing urgent questions to bring ministers, including the Prime Minister, to the House and generally quick, accurate and fair in chairing proceedings.
When it comes to MPs, the public are never pleased. First they whinge and whine that their elected representatives don’t have anything in common with real people. “I bet you pour your milk from a gold tureen serenaded by Elton John” they froth as they lob empty lager cans at Question Time. Then MPs, simple trusting fools that they are, take them at their word. They go out, get drunk, head butt a work colleague, break a window, tussle with a police man, spend a night in the clink and are we grateful?
I disagree with my excellent rival, Paul Waugh, who says, at his Waugh Room:
Robert Halfon’s fuel duty debate is yet another example of backbenchers working effectively to make Parliament share public concerns.
Unless he means “another example of backbenchers posturing so that it looks as if Parliament shares public concerns”. As with the Europe referendum vote, [...]
The government’s NHS reforms will mean a greater role than ever before for competition, markets and independent providers of healthcare. They will shift the NHS from a centrally managed system to a regulated industry, similar to the gas and telecoms sectors.
Presenting his Education White Paper to the House of Commons last Thursday, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that he would be shifting teacher-training from HE institutions into schools as part of his “radical reforms” of the education sector.
I have written about maiden speeches for The Independent on Sunday today. They are interesting because they mark a rite of passage, a biographical milestone in a politician’s story. One or two of those speeches being delivered in past and coming weeks are likely to be those of future prime ministers [...]
You see some pretty silly behaviour in the House of Commons sometimes, but when Nick Clegg’s attempt at a question was drowned in laughter at Prime Minister’s Questions today, it really was primary school stuff.
He was struggling to make a serious point about tax credits, which he began by saying he had been visited by [...]
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