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Quite a week

It has been quite a week with various events. The Lords vote now has a majority of the commons agreeing on a number of possible ways forward. Labour MPs were finding it odd that having fewer Labour MPs made democracy in the House of Lords more likely.

The House of Lords still may vote for an appointed house, but this change can be got through with the Parliament Act. It is important that the political balance is not skewed by removing the hereditaries before the house is elected. Otherwise Labour will be able to more easily rubber stamp things in the House of Lords. The alternative is to appoint people as lifers to maintain balance. However, oddly enough the House of Lords has been a more effective check on the executive than the House of Commons.

A number of MPs were collecting signatures on the order paper for mementoes of the day, however.

The parliamentary party has spent some time looking at how the manifesto is developing. One MP (Steve Webb) has been given the task of developing the manifesto. That is a sensible idea as it provide sufficient attention to bringing together the different aspects.

From time to time we have had contradictory approaches in different areas for example wanting to reduce the "nanny state", but having proposals for additional controls in some areas. That is not necessarily wrong, but checking in advance for such contradictions is a good idea.

We do need to demonstrate how we will make the UK a better place to live in. That involves getting rid of some of the frustrating nastyness and focus on material issues and targets. Quality of life cannot itself be measured, but is important.

Steve Webb has a Webbsite for party members to comment on the manifesto as it is developed.

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