13 May 2012

Are the Tory Right Really Bothered About Distractions?

Peter Bone and his right-wing ilk have been touring the studios this week making their concerns over House of Lords Reform known. Their key argument is that using Parliament's time to push through reform now would be a huge distraction from the the Coalition's main job of reducing the deficit and getting the economy back on time.

What's odd is that earlier this parliament, Peter Bone and his comrades Philip Hollobone and Christopher Chope were very busy presenting a long list of Bills containing a whole host of populist right-wing measures.

I don't doubt that they're entitled to raise issues that they think are important. But surely, by their own argument, arguing about the finer details of abolishing the TV licence, providing tax relief on private medical insurance and so on was a distraction for the government which ought to be spent dealing with the economy?

Or could it be that they don't believe their own arguments and are saying anything to avoid having to bring a bit more democracy to our beleaguered political system?

Don't get me wrong, they're absolutely within their rights to raise concerns about the proposed reforms to the House of Lords (although let's not forget that the manifesto they stood on for the previous three elections committed Conservative MPs to Lords reform). But can't they do it on an honest basis?

Then again, maybe they've had a change of heart and now don't want the government to be drawn into Parliamentary battles over legislation that isn't aimed at the economy. Therefore I'm sure they'll avoid taking up Parliament's time by trying to impede the House of Lords Reform Bill's progress.

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