So we’re heading in to British Summertime 2012. Sunday’s clock change will bring with it lighter evenings and our thoughts are turning to the next stage of our little campaign.
We have our sights fixed on May and the next Private Members Bill (PMB) ballot.*
But won’t it just get talked out again? Well, the fall of the Daylight Saving Bill was, ironically, down to time. Gaining Government support should have meant that the bill would have easily passed into legislature but over a year had elapsed after it was first debated. Even if it *had* passed January’s third reading we would have really been up against it to make it though the Lords and back before the end of the session.
Ed Davey, the minister whose brief included ‘time’, has assured us that any MP who picked up the Daylight Saving Bill could bank on the government’s ongoing support. He said:
“The Government is clear that this is an issue which many MPs will want to return to, and in the next session of Parliament – only a few months away – it is possible that another backbencher will wish to pick up Rebecca Harris’ Bill. Given it was amended in committee to secure Government support, any MP choosing to do so is likely to have more reassurance that the Bill would then have a smooth and more rapid passage.”
Kicking off the new parliamentary session with government support from the word go would mean we’d have none of the delays and feet dragging we were so frustrated by. If the filibusters and wreckers try to derail us again we’ll have more time to let them blow off steam and assure we get a proper vote.
There are, as always, no guarantees. The world of politics is a weird and wonderful place full of surprises. What we are sure of however is the unwavering support we have both inside and outside parliament.
* The ballot … Any backbencher who wants in with a chance puts their name in a hat and 20 are drawn out. These lucky few get to propose legislation on an issue they care about. The proposals are debated in order so many don’t even see the light of day (well, the light of the House of Commons to be more precise) as so little time is actually set aside for PMBs.