A civilized political interlude

You might be surprised to know that there has been, to date, no debate in the House of Commons about the financial crisis. On Monday of this week (3 November) the Lords had their first debate on the subject. Lord Taylor of Warwick summarizes the main points in this blog post, concluding "you do not have to be a prophet to make a profit. However, this recession is a time for fresh, creative thinking out of the box. We cannot have a financial system which allows a hedge fund boss to pay less income tax than his office cleaner. It is time for fresh thinking. Seek and Ye Shall fund."

The House of Lords is such a civilized place. Baroness Murphy writes her account of the debate on the Counter Terrorism bill on the same blog (Lords of the Blog). "One of the “noble and learned” Lord Lloyd of Berwick’s amendments was graciously accepted by the Minister, “noble and gallant” Lord (formerly Admiral) West, but a second one he resisted but suggested an alternative of his own. I listened very carefully but thought the arguments finely balanced. In the end I voted for Lord Lloyd’s amendment. The votes cast were equal, 130 on each side, which caused a great deal of consternation on the part of the Clerk who had clearly never encountered this before. The Blue procedure book was consulted and it emerged that the amendment could only prevail if a majority voted for it, so a tie  meant it was lost.  West is a listening Minister, he’s inclined to refer to himself as a simple sailor, but one can see how he became an admiral, he’s certainly steering his departmental ship in the Lords in admirable fashion."

And on the matter of the US election, of the many blogs and comments about it today, my favourite is author Nick Hornby's post, both for the story he tells about "Its been a long time coming", and for his list of UK newspaper headlines this morning (bear with it, it is worth reading to the bottom, and hence the Mail's take on world events.)

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2 thoughts on “A civilized political interlude

  1. Thankyou for this post, Maxine.
    I did not realise that Nick Hornby had a blog, and have spent a few minutes this morning browsing through it.
    That Obama’s blackness is referred to, at least in passing, in every radio broadcast that I have listened to on the subject of this election, is indicative of the depth of the root of this issue (in my opinion). I am really relieved that he won the election.
    I was vaguely aware that the House of Lords had a blog, but had never gone to the site. My loss! The posts that you refer to are both very interesting and written in a civilised way.
    This paragraph from http://lordsoftheblog.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/proxy-voting/ speaking about the House of Lords in the early 18th century also caught my attention:
    “One notable feature of the House was that on occasion peers could sit in silence for fifteen or thirty minutes before anyone rose to say anything.”
    I think that the world would be a much better place if it were acceptable to leave the moments between ideas, and those between ideas and decisions unfilled.

  2. Yes indeed, Bronwen! And, just coming in after a long day at work, 15 or 30 minutes between emails would be a wonder indeed.
    Glad you like those blogs – the Lords' blog is particularly charming, I think.

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