"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

PMQs: Summary

Tributes were paid to Private Lewis Hendry;  Private Conrad Lewis and  Lance-Corporal Kyle Marshall who died within the last week in Afghanistan.  More at Afghanistan Trust  and UK Forces Afghanistan.

With RPI @ 5.1%; CPI @ 4%; unemployment up; claimants up; wages down, it would have been surprising if Miliband had led on anything else.  He divided his six questions into two sections again this week and first addressed the economy - stalled growth, rising inflation, youth unemployment.  The second three asked about selling off woodlands.

It was all very deja-vu with the usual nodding dogs, the usual soundbites,  the usual 'jokes', the usual accusations and the usual rebuttals.  Cameron gave a good answer to Tony Lloyd - Manchester Central - and in response to Philip Davies about the Supreme Court ruling (sex offenders) he said that a British Bill of Rights was in the pipeline.

MPs who spoke:
John Mann, Lab, Bassetlaw;  Mark Lancaster, Con, Milton Keynes North;  Nicholas Soames, Con, Mix-Sussex;  Nick Raynsford, Lab, Greenwich & Woolwich; Julian Smith, Con, Skipton & Ripon; Bernard Jenkin, Con, Harwich & North Essex;  Ben Bradshaw, Lab, Exeter;  Andrew Bridgen,  Con, North West Leicestershire;  Brian Donohoe, Lab, Central Ayrshire;  Duncan Haymes, LibDem, Chippenham;  Michael Connarty, Lab, Linlithgow & Falkirk East;  Jason McCartney, Con, Colne Valley;  Tony Lloyd, Lab, Manchester Central;  Philip Davies, Con, Shipley;  Nia Griffith, Lab, Llanelli;  Jonathan Evans, Con, Cardiff North;  Hazel Blears, Lab, Salford & Eccles;  Charlie Elphicke, Con, Dover;  Jim Shannon, DUP, Strangford;  Gavin Williamson, Con, South Staffordshire;  Nigel Dodds, DUP, Westminster Leader;  Julian Huppert, LibDem, Cambridge;  Sharon Hodgson, Lab, Washington & Sunderland West.

Topics raised:
Increased fees in care homes;   travelling abroad for treatment unavailable on the NHS;  de-regulation of businesses;   tourists/Olympics games/Ken Livingstone/homelessness;   rural broadband;  PSC Inquiry into the Big Society;  NHS waiting times;  reduced spending by  local councils;  "throwing youngsters on to the streets of the UK";  care homes and DLA; opting out of the EU's  human trafficking directive;  housebuilding and the Localism Bill;  Manchester's spending cuts;  ECHR and sex offenders' register;  stronger labelling on alcohol;  rising insurance costs for women;  the Speaker's Internship;  Labour's refusal to heed IMF warnings; NI Coastguards/closure of Bangor station;  welfare dependency;  pensioners;  new system for control orders;  NHS/special education needs.

All followed by a Statement from Home Secretary Theresa May about the Supreme Court ruling on the sex offenders' register.   ("Disappointed and appalled").  Minimum possible changes, tougher than Scotland's present law, will be made.  No automatic appeals.


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