Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

The Corridors of Impotence

Yesterday I tweeted that I was heading back for the last week of term in the corridors of impotence. Little did I know when I said that how clear a demonstration we would have of that impotence last night.

So I spent my time on the train preparing to speak in a debate on the abuse MPs and candidates received, particularly online, during the General Election campaign. Yet I arrive in London to hear we might not get to the debate.

Indeed, it was pushed out by a debate on Private Members Bills. Now, to be fair, I think this debate was probably more timely and relevant to our constituents and I’m sure that the debate on abuse will be rearranged. It’s the way this Tory Government is using the antiquated procedures of the House of Commons to stop any actual business taking place that is driving me up the wall.

Private Members Bills are a good thing. They are the only way backbenchers have any chance to get something on the statute books – especially those in opposition. Last year Eilidh Whiteford made history by being the first SNP MP to achieve successful legislation in Westminster with her PMB on ratifying the Istanbul Convention.

There are numerous flaws with the system – only a handful of MPs get drawn out the hat to put one forward, they’re held on Fridays meaning lots of folk have constituency commitments, only the top 5 have any realistic chance of becoming law and they can be talked out as Tory Philip Davies has demonstrated time and time again. But at least it’s a chance.

So, in their wisdom, they have set up a 2 year parliamentary term. There’ll be no Queen’s Speech in 2018 and that means no Private Members Bill ballot and no additional days for PMBs to be debated. In two years there will be 13 days for these Bills. And it’s hardly as if the one Queen’s Speech we’ve had was bursting with legislation.

It seems the idea of progressive, opposition legislation getting through really is terrifying the Tories.

It's Brexit Again
Israel and Palestine Debate
 

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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
21 February 2018
Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
Contributions

The Scottish Government is already giving EU citizens the right to vote in Scottish Parliament elections. At today's Cabinet Office questions I asked the UK Government to extend the right to vote to all those legally living here.

 

Tommy Sheppard
04 February 2018
My work for you in Edinburgh East
Tommy's Blog
Policy
My work for you in Westminster
You may be aware that last week the Scottish Government implemented an effective ban on electronic shock collars for dogs. These are barbaric devices that have no place in the training of dogs. I congratulate Ben Macpherson MSP on his campaign to get this action. However, the Scottish Government have one hand tied behind their back as powers over the sale of such devices is reserved to Westminster...
Tommy Sheppard
29 January 2018
Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
Contributions

Given the numerous, and pretty serious, incidents in Edinburgh East on Bonfire Night I was very happy to take part in the Westminster Hall debate on an e-petition relating to fireworks. Here's a few clips from the speech.

Fireworks Debate - 29th Jan 18

 

Roz Currie
26 January 2018
Tommy's Blog
Press Release - Friday 26th JanuarySNP politicians are calling on the Tory government at Westminster to use its reserved powers to ban the sale of electronic shock collars across the UK.   Leading animal welfare groups united this week to praise the SNP Scottish Government’s decision to use its devolved powers to introduce a “prompt and effective” ban on the use of shock collars and other forms of...
Tommy Sheppard
26 January 2018
Tommy's Blog
Contributions

Here's my speech at the Council of Europe urgent debate on Palestine. Trump's recent actions have made America's role as a mediator untenable. It now falls to Europe to step up to find a solution for Israel and Palestine.