Labour and Conservatives (Labservatives) combine to stop reform and truncate debate on Digital Economy Bill
Two interesting votes occurred moments ago. The debate was about the "programme motion" for the washup.
All of the figures will be on publicwhip tomorrow. I was one of the tellers for both of the votes (in both cases for No).
Firstly, the government voted to stop Bob Smith and I from speaking on the programme motion. I was going to make the two key points about the lack of time for looking at the Digital Economy Bill and the failure to reform parliament.
Then the government and the Conservatives voted for the programme motion. What the programme motion does not do is allow time for the Wright Committee standing order changes which give parliament control over its own business.
This is perhaps the most important change that was proposed as part of the parliamentary reform project. However, both the Labour and Conservative Parties voted against having time to debate it.
We are going into a general election in which all parties claim to support parliamentary reform. The reality is, however, that Labour and the Conservatives oppose reform when they have the chance to really change things.
They opposed reform on recall for MPs, lobby reform, party funding reform and now yet again on the reform of the control of parliament.
They are also driving a bill into washup that is very badly written and likely to have all sorts of unacceptable consequences.