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
Constituency Business - June 2017
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Thursday, 27 February 2020

Captcha Image

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
31 January 2020
Tommys Blog
Media
Dear fellow Europeans I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. The UK is leaving the European Union later tonight. I’ve resisted it every step of the way but now it is really happening. Please know that this is not what the people who live in this great city want. Boris Johnson does not act in our name. We are being dragged out of Europe against our will. And we are determined that this will not be the end of the...
Tommy Sheppard
29 January 2020
Tommys Blog
With everything that goes on at Westminster it can be very easy to get caught up in the day to day minutiae of debates and votes. Sometimes we need a reminder of the bigger picture. I got that last week when I met with one of my constituents, Gica, who spent time volunteering in Samos last year.Gica volunteered with refugees and the situation she described is appalling. And worsening. The refugee ...
Tommy Sheppard
23 January 2020
Tommys Blog
Media
This week Politico reported that Number Ten are set to launch a pro-union offensive north of the border. Last week leadership contender Lisa Nandy provoked fierce criticism by saying Labour should learn from Spain’s attempts to defeat Catalan independence campaigners.Both approaches from different parts of the British political mainstream have in common a denial of the express views of voters in S...
Tommy Sheppard
03 January 2020
Tommys Blog
Media
Is it just me or does last month’s election already seem a long time ago? That last week in parliament was a pretty turgid affair. Self-congratulation by the tea-room Tories was matched by remorse and recrimination as Labour losers cleared lockers and desks. And then it was Christmas. There was no settling of the dust, no clarity on what the election results actually meant.That starts now. Not for...
Tommy Sheppard
13 September 2019
Tommys Blog
Media
At two minutes past ten on Wednesday morning I was sitting in court number one just behind St Giles on the Royal Mile. A minute later Lord Carloway announced the unanimous decision by the appeal court judges that the British government had acted illegally in proroguing parliament.  There was an audible intake of breath as the decision hit.I was pleased to join my colleague Joanna Cherry QC, and ot...