Today has been a bad day for British democracy for one very important reason- the failure of the House of Lords to reinsert important amendments to the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill, otherwise referred to as the 'gagging law'.
Only two minor amendments (which mean that special advisers will be included in the lobbying part and the somewhat better expenditure caps) made it through- the ConDems overturned every single initial Lords amendment, and the Lords of the ConDems narrowly stopped reinstatement of said amendments- by just 249 to 231 on one hand, and cruelly by a tied vote of 245 to 245 on the other (amendments fall on tied votes). It will now ping pong back to the Commons, but I do not expect even those minor amendments to be retained by this heartless coalition. The other dangerous bill, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, got its third reading in the Lords yesterday, and looms ever closer to Royal Assent.
The so-called Liberal Democrats have proven themselves to be neither liberal nor democratic whilst in office-just a bunch of opportunists seeking power at any cost. There have been more coalition rebels than usual, but not enough in crucial stages. Me and my fellow Greens must now do what we can to help oust both coalition parties from power.
Speaking of Green politics, our candidate for the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election of 13 February 2014 will be Nigel Woodcock. I wish him the best of luck against the many opponents he will face.