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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Friday, 20 October 2017

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
11 October 2017
Tommy's Blog
I have never been prouder of our SNP Scottish Government than I was last Tuesday when the Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, made a statement to parliament on fracking. He was responding to a huge public consultation on the issue and he made it crystal clear that fracking would not be part of the energy mix in Scotland.Not only was this the right decision but the manner in which the government ...
Tommy Sheppard
03 October 2017
My work for you in Edinburgh East
Tommy's Blog

Long before I stood for election I opposed fracking and I’ve been very pleased to be able to coordinate opposition over the past couple of years.

So you’ll not be surprised to hear that I am delighted by the announcement that has just been made by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Business, Innovation & Energy, in the Scottish Parliament.

Tommy Sheppard
02 October 2017
Tommy's Blog
Yesterday I got back from a holiday – the only time of the year where I switch off from the world.  I turned on my phone to see with horror what was happening in #Catalonia.The actions of the Spanish authorities were shocking. Images beamed around the world of police violence against young and old alike who simply wanted to cast a democratic vote.  I’m in awe of the voters who remained peaceful an...
Tommy Sheppard
22 September 2017
Tommy's Blog
I was delighted to attend the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Westminster launch of a new report on the illegal ivory trade across Europe, (Ivory seizures in Europe, 2006-2015), which found that the European Union is still a destination for illegal ivory, a major transit route between countries and a key exporter of antique ivory to South East Asian markets.I fully support the campaig...
Tommy Sheppard
10 September 2017
Tommy's Blog
Workings of Westminster

There was a big turnout from SNP MPs to support Royal College of Nursing #scrapthecap demo at Westminster.

And great to see Geoff who had made the journey from Edinburgh East alongside other RCN members from across the UK.