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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  • Martin Gray
    @Russell... Those that have to visit a paypoint & purchase £10 electric/gas top up voucher for the pre paid meter - couldn't care less about Putin or Ukra...
  • Nonconformistradical
    @Chris Moore "What is your problem with foreigners? Are you a Little Englander? Or an autarkist?" I had to look 'autarkist' up - not a word I've ever come a...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    David I think you mistake my understanding something for supporting something. I understand the rail strike but do not think it the soution. I think to...
  • Nonconformistradical
    @Jim Webber "But we need efficient public services and the intransigence seen in the rail dispute seems to be in part due to the linking of productivity improv...
  • Jim Webber
    Well said Paul Barker. The squeeze on public sector wages (both actual and the result of financial pressures on out-sourced services) is driving so many of the ...