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 AvatarDavid-1 3rd Mar - 2:49pm
    A reconstruction is never the same as the original monument, in æsthetics, in meaning, in symbolic or informational value. If you like, you can turn...
  • User AvatarKaren 3rd Mar - 2:33pm
    As you say Charlie, a child's innate abilities will be one of the factors affecting "attainment" - for which read exam results. So does the...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 3rd Mar - 2:23pm
    @ David-1, Bad example. The reason the reconstruction of the Buddah's of Bamiyan has been held up is because of a dispute between UNESCO and...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 3rd Mar - 2:06pm
    Paul Walter - Can we but hope to see that fine tuning before the general eletion so that fairness can be demonstrated .
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 3rd Mar - 1:59pm
    The abuse is unacceptable. We need to support working mums.
  • User Avatarexpats 3rd Mar - 1:52pm
    Home Office statistics suggest that more than 1,100 children entered detention in 2009. This number fell to 436 in 2010 and to 127 in 2011....