We take a regular look at the Early Day Motions tabled by MPs. These are basically House of Commons petition and are used to raise awareness of an issue. One of the biggest elements of an MP’s postbag or inbox is a pile of requests from supporters of a particular organisation or charity to sign a particular EDM. As a rule, ministers don’t sign EDMs.
At the time of writing, 108 new motions had appeared since EDMWatch #2, bringing the total to 263.
Greg Mulholland’s EDM 57 on a fair deal for your local pub has gone from number 2 to claim the top spot this week with 123 signatures.
In second place comes EDM 36, predominantly Labour but with a few Lib Dems like Andrew George and John Leech in there, on Legal Aid changes.
EDM 153 is a mainly Labour motion calling for the planning regulations which allowed larger extensions to be dropped.
Only 70 MPs and precious few Liberal Democrats have signed EDM 187 which suggests that the woman who was killed by the King’s horse in the name of votes for women, Emily Davison, be commemorated by a statue in Westminster.
In fifth place EDM 80 rejects Government proposals to weaken the 2000 Freedom of Information Act. This one is co-sponsored by Julian Huppert.
Liberal Democrat highlights
Tim Farron’s EDM 157 is all about transparency in English football:
That this House is increasingly concerned about the lack of transparency in English football, leading to disenfranchised communities of supporters and a less sustainable national game; believes that while identity of owners is a key issue when regarding transparency, secrecy pervades many further aspects of the game such as a club’s financial condition, fees paid to agents and wider club operations; notes the believed extent of the financial and organisational chaos caused by lack of transparency since the Venky’s takeover nearly three years ago at Blackburn Rovers FC; laments the current state of regulation in football, which desperately needs more independent voices to challenge self-interest and to empower the key stakeholder, a club’s fanbase, to enable greater vigilance over its club’s behaviour and performance; and calls on the Government to support the Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s suggestion of introducing legislation if the football authorities have not progressed far enough to promote sustainability and transparency in the given timeframe, as long as this legislation is time-limited.
Annette Brooke’s EDM 212 is all about supporting a proper body of research into ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She also sponsors the antidote to last week’s silly motion from a Labour MP (who remains the only signatory) slagging off the Commons nursery. EDM 171 praises it:
That this House recognises the great value placed by hon. Members and staff, past and present, on the House of Commons nursery; notes that the nursery makes an invaluable difference to working parents especially hon. Members who value the flexibility given their busy and unpredictable schedules; further notes that the nursery is projected to break even by March 2014; further notes the public investment to refurbish and open the nursery; and condemns as a waste of public money any consideration of closing such a valued and necessary service.
John Hemming remains the sole signatory of his EDM 116 about the professional actions of the chair of the Hacked Off campaign.
One to watch
Caroline Lucas’ EDM 253 is controversial in calling for the Sun to be removed from Parliament because, she says:
That this House is concerned about the strong link between the portrayal of women as sexual objects and attitudes that underpin violence and discrimination against women and girls; notes that this has been demonstrated by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and in a Government-commissioned Sexualisation of Young People Review.
Silly motion of the week
It’s Mr Galloway again. You might argue he was almost doing ok, although the Government is doing stuff on shared parenting anyway, until he mentioned taking these Fathers4Justice lot seriously in EDM 210. It’s interesting that he has yet to find a female backer for this motion.
And finally, could we not add the words “and leafletters” on the end of Valerie Vaz’s EDM 249 on preventing dog attacks on postmen and postwomen?
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings