The Curmudgeon


Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Fairy Fucking Godmother Said It

The Conservatives have continued the process of sandbagging Daveybloke's cuddly re-branding exercise by using Bullingdon debating tactics to scupper a bill intended to stop bankers from buying up Third World debts and then pursuing them through the courts. According to Daveybloke's cuddly treasury spokesbeing, the Conservatives had nothing against the bill, which had already been watered down from a previous version, presumably in order to accommodate humanitarian concerns about their chums in the City. However, thanks to a cruel trick of fate over which the Conservative party had no control, the passing of the bill "was not to be". Three Conservative MPs, including two whips, had a bit of a chin-wag together on the benches, whereupon one of them shouted "object!" Under the rules of our great modern democracy, this meant that the bill could not be passed. "We have our suspicions," said Daveybloke's cuddly treasury spokesbeing, who seems to have been virtually somnolent with interest in the matter. The possibilities are that (a) one MP was advised by two whips not to shout "object" but did it anyway, or (b) a whip shouted "object" and sank the bill despite the front benches being in favour of passing it, or (c) two whips instructed an MP to shout "object" in defiance of the wishes of the front bench. In any of these cases, one would have thought the front bench might have some sort of concern about the matter; if Daveybloke does become prime minister with a small majority, it is just possible he may need to exert some degree of control over his backbenchers, and there is at least an arguable case for having some idea of what one's own party whips are liable to do when a bill is being read. Other possibilities are that (d) the Conservatives did not want the bill passed, but did not care to voice their opposition in case it made them look less cuddly and not as good with coloured folk as they would prefer to be thought; or (e) the Conservative front bench did not really care whether the bill was passed or not, but the two whips and one other on the back benches did. Anyway, whichever of these various explanations is the most innocent, doubtless that will turn out to be the true one.

Update The courageous maverick was Christopher Chope, who has expressed his contrition by blaming the Government for not giving the opposition more time to debate a bill to which its leaders had already agreed.


  • At 2:07 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Would sandbagging mean obstructing here? I thought sandbagging someone mean coercing in some way.

  • At 4:31 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    I meant it in the sense of coshing, or dropping heavy things on with malicious intent.

  • At 9:07 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    I'm guessing some backbencher had his eye on a lovely Greek island.

  • At 12:03 am , Anonymous Tom said...

    Isn't it wonderful to live in a Democracy ?


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