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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  • Lorenzo Cherin
    noncomformistradical, you are correct and compassionate here. Poorer and low paid struggle to pay, for television, too!...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Apologies, for typos, utilising a new device and getting used to that!...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    noncomformistradical I do not think the tone you take there, is pleasant, in this response to my humour and eating humble pie! I admit I said few, but s...
  • cim
    There's a difference between the right to cause "offence" and the right to cause "harm". If I say (to be clear, I wouldn't) "Lib Dems are traitors and the party...
  • Tom Harney
    The world has changed over the years. I joined the party in 1959. The first meeting I attended was probably 1960. There were a few people arguing that the Iris...