Author Archives: Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart

The Independent View: And then there was one… (Unmasked! The only backbench Lib Dem MP 100% loyal to the Coalition)

When a quarter of the parliamentary Conservative party rebels, everyone sits up and takes notice. On 24 October, 2011, 81 Conservative MPs defied a three-line whip to vote in favour of an EU referendum: cue a blaze of negative publicity for David Cameron and the Tory party whips.

But a week or so later one-quarter of Lib Dem MPs rebelled, and (almost) no one noticed. In nine separate votes on 1 and 2 November, a total of 14 Lib Dem MPs voted against various aspects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. The largest …

Posted in News, Parliament and The Independent View | Tagged , , , , , , and | 13 Comments

Opinion: the reality is a long way from equidistance

We are, said George Orwell, ‘a nation of flower-lovers, but also a nation of stamp-collectors, pigeon-fanciers, amateur carpenters, coupon-snippers, darts-players, crossword-puzzle fans’.  We think we can top that list.  We collect statistics on parliamentary voting behaviour.

And over the last decade we’ve noticed the remarkable change that has come over Lib Dem MPs.  Out of the 182 whipped votes in the last session of parliament, they voted with the Government on just 22 occasions.  Of the votes that occurred on the Second or Third Reading of Bills – what are effectively the votes on the overall principle of the bill – …

Posted in The Independent View | 22 Comments
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    Catherine Jane Crosland Of course in practice reserved seats often do remain unclaimed, but Corbyn would not know whether or not they would be claimed....
  • User AvatarGordon 24th Aug - 6:38pm
    Bill le Breton - I basically agree but there are some serious problems with a monetarist approach (of whatever flavour). Firstly, there are so many...
  • User AvatarKaterina Porter 24th Aug - 6:33pm
    Lord Leveson had quite a lot to say about the amount of falsehood in press coverage of the EU which built up a popular picture...
  • User AvatarStimpson 24th Aug - 6:29pm
    Corbyn simply wants the railways to be run by the RMT, TSSA, ASLEF, commuter groups and rail users groups - all who have agendas which...
  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 24th Aug - 6:25pm
    @Eddie Sammon, Your point that interest rates are too low is a valid one. There is a point of view that the natural rate of...
  • User AvatarStimpson 24th Aug - 6:18pm
    "People in this country want something different from the Blairite-Cleggie-Conservative consensus." The majority do not. Yes there are significantly large (and loud) sections of the...