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 AvatarGlenn 25th Mar - 1:20am
    Roland; I misunderstood you chap. I don't agree. Germany, France and even Italy all had and have stronger trade unions. Unions have not been that...
  • User AvatarCllr Mark Wright 25th Mar - 12:25am
    "The second problem is that the Bank of England itself takes the view that Quantitative Easing is regressive, because it pushes asset prices upwards, and...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 25th Mar - 12:24am
    Dear Rebecca, As I was a Politics student and Union of Liberal Students member at Leeds University in 1966 I read your article with delight,...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 24th Mar - 11:23pm
    The article is overblown, the responses almost measured in comparison. The policy is a compromise. Yes those to the left of Ho Chi Min and...
  • User AvatarRoland 24th Mar - 10:23pm
    @Glenn - The trouble is that 'business' also includes the workers. Remember just how many of trade union call to arms has been about the...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 24th Mar - 10:23pm
    @ Richard Underhill Yes, indeed. In fact why have a party at all ? It only causes vexation .