On EDMs

My plans to blog every day from the beginning of the new parliamentary session were somewhat scuppered by the fact that I was away from Thursday to Sunday, and my iPad doesn’t like the new WordPress format – it simply wouldn’t publish anything. But now I’m in a rather cold office, at my PC so here’s one of those little guides to parliamentary procedure in which I occasionally indulge…

With the advent of online lobby your MP sites and Twitter, more and more voters are aware of the existence of Early Day Motions and are urging their MPs to sign them. But at the end of each parliamentary session, all the Early Day Motions fall, and the whole process starts over again. So, please note, there’s no point lobbying or tweeting MPs to sign any of the 3024 EDMs tabled during the 2011/12 cycle. They can’t do it.

Number 3024 by the way, which just slipped in under the wire before prorogation, was calling for a blue plaque to be erected for Dame Thora Hird. It got one signature, but no doubt lots of local press for the MP for Morecambe who tabled it. Ditto number 3023, which was the Shrewsbury MP congratulating his local football club on their promotion.

And so we start again… as is his wont, Bob Russell managed to get first in the queue, possibly by camping out overnight, and tabled the first ten EDMs of the new session. He doesn’t always get first place – John Leech triumphed last year, but Bob has upped his game this year.

So EDM Number 1 is, once again on cystic fibrosis and prescription charges; I support this, and have signed it in the past, but it has been one of the first EDMs tabled for the last ten years. I’ve just looked back – it’s been tabled every year since the 2002/3 session and possibly before that too. I provoked a bit of a storm when I tried to explain to people in an earlier blog post that EDMs aren’t the silver bullet people believe they are, but doesn’t this prove it?

We’re already up to EDM 47 – with only two days worth published. Almost all of them good causes (I haven’t checked them all out, but you can see them here.

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