World in motion

Another thing I can do again now we’re in Opposition is sign Early Day Motions. Some MPs sit there with the booklet of updated EDMs which is published every day and steam through them all, signing every single one that takes their fancy. I will try to be more circumspect. Apart from anything else, I think it rather devalues the significance if you more or less sign everything that comes along. I’d rather sign them when I genuinely want to make a statement, a public declaration of support for something controversial, or the desire to flag up a genuinely overlooked issue.

I was caught out when I was first elected by the MP for Jarrow, who wouldn’t let me out of the division lobby until I’d signed his EDM congratulating Sunderland FC (?) on something or other.  As a result, I couldn’t really abide by my “being circumspect” principle, because then people would think I cared more about Sunderland FC than anything else you care to mention. But I’m going to try to put it into practice this time.

Of course, if a constituent asks me to sign an EDM (and  I agree with its wording) that’s a priority too, but I’m talking mainly about the 100s of other EDMs doing the rounds. There are usually 3000 or so in each parliamentary year. For some MPs it’s considered worth camping out all night outside the Table Office to be the very first to put down an EDM. This year’s dubious honour goes to John Leech. (It’s usually a Lib Dem).

In fact of the 78 EDMS tabled yesterday, on the first day of the parliamentary year, 64 were tabled by Lib Dems. The first 13 were tabled by Leech. Adrian Sanders managed 16. And Bob Russell managed 31. One has to ask oneself: why? 

Here’s the link if you’re interested.

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  • Pete Goodwin  On June 1, 2010 at 12:24 am


    “That this House welcomes the Government’s intention to hold a strategic defence and security review; notes with concern the stated intention to conduct it without giving due consideration to the role of nuclear weapons in ensuring the defence of the UK; believes that not only does the commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty require nuclear weapons and disarmament to be considered within the framework of the review but that the threat of spending cuts to the defence and other Government budgets makes this all the more important; and urges the Secretary of State for Defence to ensure that the review includes both the UK’s ongoing possession of nuclear weapons and the replacement programme.”

  • thebristolblogger  On June 1, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Jeremy Corbyn and unilateral disarmament all in one EDM?

    Go on Kerry sign. It’ll keep me in gags for a year.

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