Let’s use the blogs – Parliament is shut down for another week.

Why oh why do Labour MPs put up with it – their government is preventing Parliament meeting all this week. We cannot discuss the government’s climb down on the Non doms, the state of play on the Northern Rock bids, the inflation rate or anything else that matters. No wonder people are fed up politics – it’s a different world from the commercial one where people have to work every week to pay the wages.


  1. David Eyles
    February 13, 2008

    I am sorry for being ignorant, but why has this happened? How much notice has been given and what possible justification is there for it?

    Parliament has a long break over Christmas and New Year and an even longer one in the summer. Am I being paranoid, or is this yet another example of the diminution of Parliamentary democracy, which started when Tony Blair first got into power and immediately reduced PMQs from two to one day a week?

  2. BrianSJ
    February 13, 2008

    Elizabeth Truss has suggested that:
    "The next generation are not disillusioned with politics; they just know that the ability to achieve is more in their own hands than it is in politicians

  3. Rose
    February 13, 2008

    Presumably they put up with it because they are not up to it. Anyone who could agree to the new "family friendly" hours was not up to it. As if debates were the chief work of the day, and not something to be done out of duty, by clear thinking people with the experience of a day's honest work behind them, whether as back benchers earning their living, or as ministers administering the business of HMG.

  4. Brian Tomkinson
    February 13, 2008

    Perhaps if the Conservatives held a daily press briefing, on the issues of the day when Parliament is not sitting, that would help shake Labour MPs out of their complacency and the government out of its general contempt for the British people.

    P.S. I hope you have read Michael Fallon's excellent article in today's Daily Telegraph.

  5. Susan
    February 13, 2008

    David, this is the first, only and last time I shall say something fairly pleasant about Blair: You're right that PMQs was originally twice a week, but for fifteen minutes only. TB thought one half-hour session would be better, hence the change. Personally, I'd like to see the PM called to account more often – at least half an hour every day and even then it wouldn't be enough time for him to explain why he's set about the wilful destruction of our country. I'm hoping for a vote of No Confidence long before 2009.

    Reply: Going from 2 x 15 mins to 1 x 30 halved the Leader of the Opposirtion's opportunity to make headlines each week with a good question. It also reduced prep time and reduced the scope to surprise the PM with topical quesitons.

  6. mikestallard
    February 13, 2008

    I follow the media fairly closely actually and the lack of parliament simply has not been reported at all. This is the first I knew of it.
    So when IS the beastly Treaty going to be discussed at all?

  7. Susan
    February 14, 2008

    The treaty is currently in the Committee stage, for what it's worth. What with 3 line whips (Labour) and abstentions (LibDem) there's nothing that can be done about it except to draw people's eye to it. It will be ratified unless the House of Lords does something, but that doesn't seem likely – to be honest, I think we've been lost for a few years now.

  8. Rose
    February 16, 2008

    TB moved the pmqs to Wednesdays when he was nearly always otherwise engaged – with state visits etc. The woman who stood in for him in the early days as leader of the house was so good at it that he and GB demoted her for good. Who hears of her now?

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