Neither Parliament nor people will decide the EU Treaty: the government offers a done deal.
The government has failed to give us the promised referendum on the EU Treaty.
Now it is failing to give us the promised full Parliamentary scrutiny. Yesterday we had a bad tempered debate on how much time would be made available to go through all the powers transferred and the complexities of the EU proposals.
A House divided
Yesterday, the House of Commons debated the motion to curtail debate on the Lisbon Treaty ratification. The vote went with the government, the Ayes 299, and the Noes 243. The guilty men and women are here. Amongst the notable contributions was Sir Nicholas Winterton, who declared:
Conway: Call Me Dave's Flip-Flop
Licking his lips after the Standards and Privileges Committee recommended a 10-day suspension from the Commons for Derek Conway, Labour's backbench sleazehunter John Mann MP rushed up to me in the Members' Lobby and asked gleefully: "What will David Cameron do now?" The answer, from a senior member of Tory high command, could not have been clearer: "The whip will not be removed from Derek Conway. He has apologised and faces the appropriate punishment by the House of Commons."
Conway loses the whip... Cameron loses his last shred of credibility
I never thought I'd see the day when The Conservative Party, the oldest political party in Britain and probably the most successful, would cave in to the demands of a handful of Tory bloggers. Derek Conway losing the whip is the very least he deserves.
Tory MPs are trying to find comfort in David Cameron's decisive action in the Conway affair. His willingness to end Mr Conway's political career - admittedly only after the Mail revealed an extra £32,000 in potentially dubious family payments - is compared favourably to Mr Brown's "dithering" over Peter Hain & Co. Mr Conway has many friends and admirers at Westminster, and not just among those who recall his heroic efforts to keep the Major government afloat
Public and Corporate resignations
So we have had a good few weeks of resignations and clinging on and it seems appropriate to note the etiquette and mores of today's world when it comes to hanging on to one's highly paid job. First up, Peter Hain, who finally succumbed after realising the plod were coming to feel his collar, his boss seemed to weak to act. Next up on the list is the Harriet Harman, keen to keep her status and showing no sign of remorse - up until she is proven guilty of something.
Stop And Search
Just who is taking the lead on stop and search these days? Government or Opposition? You'd probably say the Conservatives, if the first paper you picked up this morning was The Sun. In an interview, David Cameron says he wants to cut out the form-filling and remove the requirement on cops to refer up the chain of command whenever they wish to S&S. The police are no longer racist, he asserts, and changes such as these will be welcomed in the ethnic communities.
Tories go one up on violent crime
It's 1-0 to the Tories in the great stop and search debate after the Sun's front page on Tory proposals to extend police powers upstaged the Guardian's report on Labour's plans for designated 'hotspot zones'. It would never have happened in Alistair's day. Incidentally, has Brown been to Liverpool yet to visit the scene of Rhys Jones's murder? What about Manchester and Nottingham and scores of other cities where similar attacks have taken place? If not, why not?
Labour's reforms cost taxpayers dearly
Gordon Brown today urged his Cabinet colleagues to push ahead with Labour’s "reform agenda". Presumably, this is the same reform agenda which a few years ago led to an overhaul of the correctional system, intended to merge prisons and probation to manage offenders from the moment they are charged until well after they are released. It was called the National offender Management Services (Noms), and cost millions to set up and run. Figures show the cost of running the service is now almost £900m a year. The probation workers' union, Napo, claims that the budget has risen by 556 per cent since 2005. Over the three years of its life, Noms has cost the taxpayer more than £1.5bn. Now, the Government has effectively scrapped it.
Regions, Parliaments and the future of England
Peter Facey (London, Unlock Democracy): There is a real danger that the debate about English devolution is becoming sterile, with the debate crystallising into two irreconcilable camps. On the one side you have individuals who put all their emphasis on an English Parliament, and regard any talk of decentralisation below this level at best premature and at worst a plot to break up England - not to mention something that has already been rejected by the public.