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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Safeguarding doctor training and patient care

This week I had a PMQ ( Prime Minister's Question) about the effect of the European Working Time Directive on the NHS. It may sound a bit techie, but it's absolutely crucial.



Friday, 20 January 2012

Daylight Saving Bill and parliamentary frustrations

Processes in Parliament can be frustrating. Seldom has it been as frustrating, and , many would say, mis-used as in the debate on Rebecca Harris MP's Daylight Saving Bill.

The Bill, which called for a proper review of the pros and cons of keeping British summertime all year round, to settle once and for all the debate that returns year after year to parliament, but has historically always been stumped down because of internal process, had got further through parliament than ever before.

There was an overwhelming parliamentary concencus for the Bill, and well over 120 MPs had sacrificed time in their constituencies that Friday in order to vote for it. But the Bill was stopped. Why? Not by strength of argument, or through debate, or through numbers of opposition - but because a small group of MPs chose to 'talk it out'. That is, put down huge numbers of amendements, to which they could speak, to literally 'talk it out of time'.