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 AvatarKirsten johnson 22nd Aug - 10:11am
    Completely agree, Richard.
  • User AvatarThomas 22nd Aug - 9:56am
    David Raw - Well, basic history should be taught properly at high school. But for running government, we need technocrats who know exactly what to...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 22nd Aug - 9:50am
    "Technology has changed the way in which the teacher delivers the information to the class," Students learn to think if they are interested enough to...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 22nd Aug - 9:45am
    Far too many mental health cases wind up in prisons which are not well equipped to deal with them.
  • User AvatarTom Harney 22nd Aug - 9:30am
    The use of technology to support learning is something which is attracting attention in many areas. I have particularly in mind what is referred to...
  • User AvatarGeoff Hinchliffe 22nd Aug - 9:21am
    How often have we read, on LibDem Voice, complaints about politicians constantly proposing changes to the education system ? Now, it seems, we are joining...