Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Wasted youth

We're having one of those evenings which demonstrates just how ridiculous Parliament can sometimes be. On the Order of Business for today is a motion that the Youth Parliament should be allowed to use the Commons chamber for a debate during recess; they've already been allowed to use the Lords. It has to be called before 7pm, or the motion falls.

The Tory party don't support this - 'tradition, old chap', or something like that - but they don't want to be seen to be voting against it. So, they're calling votes on everything else, just so that we don't get to it before 7pm. The last vote, called by the Tories, saw Labour and Lib Dems in the same division lobby and the Tories just sitting in the Chamber, doing nothing. Only 4 people were down as voting against, which would be the Tory tellers. In other words, they called a vote just to waste time. And now they've just called another one.

While I'm on the subject of Tories and 'yoof', I was at an Action for Children reception yesterday. The host, the Tory spokesman for children's issues, welcomed the young people to the event and warned them 'don't trash the place'! They didn't look too impressed.

Got to go and vote now. Again.

Update: that vote was carried by 307 to 6. It was about control of ozone-depleting products. Then we had another vote on sitting in private - I think that's means that someone - one of the crustier Tories no doubt - called 'I spy strangers' - and then we had to vote on whether to kick everyone out of the public gallery. By the time we'd done that it was gone 7pm.

There must be another way to have a vote on the youth parliament issue. No doubt it will come up in Business questions tomorrow.

1 comment:

Sam Ellis said...

Hi Kerry,

Thank you very much for your support of the idea of the UK Youth Parliament having a one off sitting in the Commons Chamber. I only hope this issue can come to a vote of the whole house once and for all.

Best wishes

Sam Ellis
Chair of the Board of Trustees
UK Youth Parliament