Sunday, 5 December 2010

Is Parliamentary debate still allowed.....?

Listening to Jon Sopel interview Conservative MP David Willetts on the Politics Show today, it struck me whether the Press will actually allow politicians the opportunity to debate issues of national importance any more?

The issue, of course, was student funding. Parliament is to vote on the proposals on 9th December.

ie Thurs this week......

Liberal Democrats, as we know, are on a sticky wicket on this one, and others are taking great delight in all this, but are we not missing the point here?

Vince Cable has said he will support the policy which he has devised, as will Nick Clegg, and not abstain, as has been suggested others might do. But they do also want to find consensus within their own party. Between now and Thursday, there will unquestionnably be deals done, amendments voted on, and all the rest. Already, today, we hear that poorer students are going to have their first year of fees paid. There will likely be other concessions as well, the significance of which we can judge when we hear more about them.

Is this not political debate in action? Is it not commendable that the party leadership should seek to hold their MPs together and acheive the best overall outcome that they can, not just for the party but for students as well?

David Willets obviously understood the dynamics of coalition government, and the procedures and pressures that his Lib Dem colleagues must deal with this week.

Good for him.

Jon Sopel obviously does not. This is lazy journalism of the very worst kind. Liberal Democrats MPs must be allowed to deal with matters this week as they see fit, in what is undoubtedly a difficult political situation for us.

People can pass judgement on us after the outcome is known.

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