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 AvatarD McKay 24th May - 2:44pm
    I always thought the BBC's daytime output was designed to get us to work. One can enjoy Homes under the Hammer occasionally but there are...
  • User AvatarGlenn 24th May - 2:23pm
    David, who can compare quality programs like The Voice, Celebrity Pointless, Celebrity Bake Off etc to trash like Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, and Breaking Bad or...
  • User AvatarBarry Snelson 24th May - 1:55pm
    David, I am more positive about the loss of the BBC. It dominates media and so much creative talent must be wasted by promising new...
  • User AvatarAlderman David Becket 24th May - 1:46pm
    Whilst I am not fully convinced by the arguments this is the sort of debate we should be having, and leading. Our present system is...
  • User AvatarRichard Flowers 24th May - 1:29pm
    @Peter Watson It's one of the advantages of the gradual and look-at-the-evidence path, that we would be able to see what happens, and whether if...
  • User AvatarRichard Flowers 24th May - 1:23pm
    @Mike Scott You make a very good point about housing - and the disproportional impact of housing benefit is one of the biggest hurdles to...