Tag Archives: house of lords

Preventing the Tories tilting the political scales (again)

House of Lords

Last week saw the largest Government defeat yet in the Lords during this Parliament, putting a brake on Conservative plans to cut trade union funding to the Labour Party. The move they are attempting to make MUST be coupled with a fair cap on individual donations to get ALL the big money out of politics. Ministers repeatedly allege that their bill is not about party funding, but this is arrant poppycock. Plainly, it IS party funding reform but it is for one party only.

This attempt to tilt the political scales in a Conservative direction is hardly without precedent. In this Parliament alone we have seen up to 1.9 million registered voters unilaterally wiped off the electoral roll, cuts to the funding which enables opposition parties to be effective, and of course boundary changes continue apace. In the year up to the election 57% of Labour funds came from trade unions, while 59% of ALL individual donations to all parties put together went to the Conservatives. To stem one form of funding, without the remotest movement on the other form, is another naked attempt to entrench Conservative undiluted power. It is also a breach of the Conservative manifesto which promised:

In the next Parliament, we will legislate to ensure trade unions use a transparent opt-in process for subscriptions to political parties. AND We will continue to seek agreement on a comprehensive package of party funding reform.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Government defeated by 93 votes in Lords over party funding element of Trade Union Bill

Good cross-party work in the Lords today as an amendment written by Liberal Democrat Paul Tyler and tabled by Labour won the day. This sets up a select committee to oversee party funding and make a fairer playing field. The vote was won by 327 to 234.

It remains to be seen what the Government will do with this. The Parliamentary ping pong could delay it for a year. That’s an important time in which we should try to have a proper public debate on the issue of party funding.

After the vote, Paul Tyler said:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Tyler: Lib Dems will stop Tories loading the dice

We told you on Sunday about Paul Tyler’s involvement in an attempt to defeat the Government in the Lords over the Trade Union Bill:

The Independent has an interesting story about the Liberal Democrats and Labour working together to defeat the Government on the party funding aspect of the Trade Union Bill. When you read the story, it’s a real collaboration, with Paul Tyler drafting the amendment now in the name of the Labour leader in the Lords, but the headline makes it look like we are simply supporting the Labour effort.

Ahead of the vote this afternoon, Paul said:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Lib Dem Lords’ maiden speeches: Alan Beith on the National Lottery

EuroMillions ticketsThis week, we are catching up with our new Lib Dem peers’ maiden speeches. Today, it’s Alan Beith on the National Lottery.

The noble Lord, Lord Holmes of Richmond, was very kind and generous in his references to me and to the circumstances of my election, 42 years ago. It was with a majority of only 57 votes. I never imagined that I would manage such a long political survival, still less that I would find myself in this haven of political survival, the House of Lords. But I believe in the need for a Second Chamber and it will be an honour to serve in it, just as it was an honour to represent in the other House the beautiful Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency, covering 1,000 square miles of Northumberland.

I am very grateful for the warm and friendly welcome I have received in this House from noble Lords and the very helpful staff. I am delighted to renew so many friendships with those on all sides of this Chamber whom I have worked with, taken evidence from or contended with in years gone by. As I seek to follow the slightly different ways of doing things at this end of the building, I have been allocated a widely respected mentor and guide who knows exactly how to keep me in order: the noble Baroness, Lady Maddock, has been doing that ever since I married her.

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Lib Dem Lords’ maiden speeches: Sharon Bowles on the importance of proper scrutiny

This week, we’re featuring the maiden speeches of our newest Lib Dem lords. This one is still warm from the press. Sharon Bowles only made it on Wednesday.  As part of the Strathclyde Review, she drew on her experience in the European Parliament when it came to dealing with secondary legislation:

My Lords, I rise for the first time, deeply conscious of the honour that it is to serve in your Lordships’ House. I am grateful for the kind way in which noble Lords have received me, for the friendliness of all staff and for the elegant and discreet way in which the attendants and doorkeepers have steered me from uncertain manoeuvres. I thank the noble Lords who introduced me, my noble friends Lord McNally and Lady Falkner of Margravine, and all those who have enriched my life and learning, without whom I would not be here.

I hope to contribute to various deliberations drawing upon my experience from both strands of my career. The first strand was that of scientist, engineer and patent attorney for over 25 years, running a professional business and immersed in leading-edge technology. The second strand was nine years in the European Parliament, culminating in five years as chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, facing a vast and profound agenda due to the financial and eurozone crisis.

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Oates and Scriven show why Britain needs the Liberal Democrats

Jonny Oates on ID cards
The Palace of Westminster is quite disorientating. There’s an escalator that goes from the bright modern Portcullis House into Westminster that I always call the Time Machine because it really feels like you go back 300 years in 30 feet. This afternoon, if you’d wandered into the House of Lords, you might be forgiven for thinking you’d gone to sleep and woken up in 2005, because here were Labour and Tory peers trying to bring back ID cards. And just like 2005 (who remembers Police, not Plastic), it was Liberal Democrat peers cutting their way throughout the authoritarian smog like Mr Muscle on a greasy kitchen worktop.

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 15 Comments

Lib Dem Lords’ maiden speeches: Lynne Featherstone on the commonwealth, LGBT rights and international development

This week, we’re catching up on Lib Dem Lords’ maiden speeches. Today, it’s Lynne Featherstone who spoke following the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. “From wild child to the heart of the British establishment”, she says:

My Lords, I am so very honoured to be here and to have a continuing platform from which to pursue the political passions of my life. But first I thank noble Lords across the House for the warmest of welcomes. I have been utterly charmed and beguiled by the doorkeepers, Black Rod’s Office and the police, all of whom I thank for their kindness and courtesy, and not infrequent rescue from a wrong turn. I am delighted to make my maiden speech on the recent Commonwealth meeting, and I thank the noble Lord, Lord Luce, for bringing forward this opportunity to me.

The Heads of Government emphasised the need to protect individuals from all forms of violence and discrimination. Violence and discrimination abound across the world. From the almost two women a week here in the United Kingdom who are killed by their partners or former partners, as you go across the world it just gets worse: acid attacks, female foeticide, breast ironing and rape as a weapon of war. I have raised these issues at the very highest levels in countries where women have no rights and in those where there are laws, but no implementation. However, there is nothing more totemic to illustrate the lack of women’s power in this world than female genital mutilation. I am proud to have introduced and spearheaded the campaign in the coalition Government to address FGM both here and abroad.

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 1 Comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarexpats 9th Feb - 1:29pm
    Thomas, Tim Farron's 'excuses' for not following the party line smacks of Nick Clegg's 'apology' over tuition fees... There have been several articles with Tim...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 9th Feb - 1:15pm
    Rsf7; I thought you were going to vote Green last week - what will it be next week ? I do agree with most of...
  • User AvatarSue Doughty 9th Feb - 1:04pm
    Regarding the attitude of some local parties to advancing women. In Guildford this really isn't an issue at the last 8 general elections we have...
  • User AvatarRsf7 9th Feb - 12:46pm
    @psi I'm talking about the sort of people who would seek to no platform the far right to deny them free speech for not having...
  • User AvatarTim13 9th Feb - 12:37pm
    I think we need to accept that Tim Farron is not any sort of unalloyed radical Liberal. He was an MP throughout the Coalition period,...
  • User AvatarPsi 9th Feb - 11:45am
    Rsf7 “Some on the so called liberal left are actually some of the most controlling bullies who want to regulate everyone else’s language and thoughts”...