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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  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 18th Dec - 4:13pm
    I think "spare room subsidy" was only ever a propaganda term (just like "bedroom tax", of course!) -- given there never was a "spare room...
  • User Avatarmatt (Bristol) 18th Dec - 3:37pm
    Can I make a small additional point about EVEL which I don't think I have seen elsewhere? What would happen to House of Lords reform...
  • User AvatarJames Harper 18th Dec - 3:35pm
    Julian I think I agree with you almost entirely. I'm really just trying to be a bit provocative. I guess I don't think that, strictly...
  • User AvatarRob Gershon 18th Dec - 3:30pm
    I'm really disappointed in this take on it. Bedroom Tax has become a punchy headline issue because, as the DWP Interim report from earlier this...
  • User AvatarJulian Tisi 18th Dec - 3:20pm
    One of the best articles I've read about this was while I was in Canada a month ago - http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/soccer/kelly-fifas-comical-attempted-whitewash-still-indicts-russia-and-qatar/article21571684/
  • User AvatarJulian Tisi 18th Dec - 2:58pm
    I disagree completely with the idea that scenario 3 is the worst outcome. Far from it, I think it's the best we can hope for....