Somewhat regretting staying up till 5am, though I really didn’t have any choice, seeing as I was wide awake till then… I inhabit my own time zone, which is jolly inconvenient when the real world intervenes.
We’ll be here till about half-ten tonight, maybe a little later, depending on how many votes we have on the Localism Bill. Debate is going on in the Commons Chamber as I write, with loads of MPs lined up to speak. They’ve put a five minute limit on speeches; some backbenchers will have had a very long wait before they get their chance to cram as much as they can possibly manage into their allotted time. (Done on the assumption that very few people will be watching so it doesn’t really matter how garbled it is, it’s how much you get on the record in Hansard the next day).
Meanwhile the Lords are going at it hammer and tongs over the AV Referendum and Parliamentary Constituencies Bill, and are expected to pull an all-nighter. Camp beds are being set up over in ‘the Other Place’ for their noble Lordships to get a bit of kip.
I’m in the office preparing for a Westminster Hall debate I’ve got to do tomorrow morning, in my Treasury frontbench role, on the “Operation of the funding formula for England and the Devolved Administrations”…. in other words, it’s the Barnett formula revisited. I interviewed Joel Barnett once, for the Ph.D. that was never finished. Very nice man. It was more than 30 years ago, getting on for 35 in fact, that he devised his formula. He’s still around, in the House of Lords, and may well still be struggling to stay awake while us MPs are invoking his name over in Westminster Hall.
To keep me entertained as I wade through past words of wisdom from Alex Salmond and the like, tonight I’m delving into a bit of Delphic… My mission for 2011 is to start listening to new bands. I’ve been looking through other people’s “ones to watch for 2011” lists but I think I must just be extra fussy; I’ve only found about 4 that I like so far. I simply don’t believe that there are ‘that many’ good bands out there. I reckon 3 or 4 great bands a year is the most you could expect. If I ever make it to 10 I’ll do my own list. [PS I know they’re not ‘that’ new, but new-ish. Not ever played by Peel… That’s progress, believe me].