Lancashire TelegraphDebate keeps our goal on right track (From Lancashire Telegraph)

When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

Debate keeps our goal on right track

There were just 13 human beings in the House of Commons’ Chamber on Tuesday night when, at 10.55. pm, I got up to open my debate on the Clitheroe/Blackburn/ Manchester rail services.

These were – an Assistant Serjeant-at-Arms, in eighteenth century garb, complete with sword; a Doorkeeper, in different fancy dress; a bewigged Clerk at the Table; two ‘Hansard’ reporters (who provide the complete, word-by-word record), one reporter from the Press Association (which provides a news service to all media outlets); and seven MPs – the Speaker, a government Whip, the Transport Minister Theresa Villiers, her Parliamentary Private Secretary, Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry, me, and one other MP, name unknown to me, who evidently did not have a home to go.

Anyone watching the proceedings on the television might well have asked “where’s everyone else?”; maybe adding “isn’t it outrageous that the Commons’ Chamber is empty much of the time?”

For big set-piece debates how many MPs turn up, and on which side, does matter.

Who “wins” these debates can be as much as matter of psychology as of oratory; as every football fan knows, when the crowd get behind their team, it can raise their performance.

But for significant local issues like improving North East Lancashire’s rail services, it’s the fact of the debate, not the numbers in the Chamber, that’s important.

The debate I had on Tuesday is known as an “Adjournment Debate”. I had to apply for the slot before Christmas; happily my number came up. Like any sensible MP, my interest was in advancing my case, not point-scoring. I arranged for Mr Berry to share some of my time; and ensured that the Minister’s office was well briefed about what I was to say.

We’re still some way off getting the go-ahead for spending to give a reliable, half hourly service on this line through the day.

But if it does come off, this debate will have helped, by raising the issue up Ministers’ and Parliament’s agenda.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:15pm Thu 12 Jan 12

Dan11 says...

So Jack what do you think about the Venkys paying off the LET to not allow any comments on Blackburn Rovers news stories. Do you think it is ethical in a country in which we are meant to have freedom of speech, to not be allowed to "Have our Say" as the saying goes?
-
It is especially ironic considering the reputation of the India beinga highly corrupt and class ridden society to impose such restrictions on the fans.
So Jack what do you think about the Venkys paying off the LET to not allow any comments on Blackburn Rovers news stories. Do you think it is ethical in a country in which we are meant to have freedom of speech, to not be allowed to "Have our Say" as the saying goes? - It is especially ironic considering the reputation of the India beinga highly corrupt and class ridden society to impose such restrictions on the fans. Dan11
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Thu 12 Jan 12

maltese blue n white says...

NOTICE: Comments suspended on Blackburn Rovers stories
Duo could return for Blackburn Rovers clash
Blackburn Rovers bid for Andy Johnson
Tugay eyes Blackburn Rovers role
Samba looking for move away from Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers blog: Fan power can be used for good
Blackburn Rovers blog: Fans are being portrayed as the bad guys
Agent Jerome Anderson questions Blackburn Rovers supporters
Hoilett could still have future at Blackburn Rovers


I have no comment on any of the above.....
NOTICE: Comments suspended on Blackburn Rovers stories Duo could return for Blackburn Rovers clash Blackburn Rovers bid for Andy Johnson Tugay eyes Blackburn Rovers role Samba looking for move away from Blackburn Rovers Blackburn Rovers blog: Fan power can be used for good Blackburn Rovers blog: Fans are being portrayed as the bad guys Agent Jerome Anderson questions Blackburn Rovers supporters Hoilett could still have future at Blackburn Rovers I have no comment on any of the above..... maltese blue n white
  • Score: 0

6:36pm Thu 12 Jan 12

Come the Revolution says...

Jack. Get a slot on SSN & give them the fan's answers to Anderson's lies.
Jack. Get a slot on SSN & give them the fan's answers to Anderson's lies. Come the Revolution
  • Score: 0

9:27am Fri 13 Jan 12

gallus gallus says...

Jack
What a lovely pithy anecdote with a myriad of salient points.

At least the "one other MP, name unknown to me, who evidently did not have a home to go", had the opportunity, whether used or not, to ask you to give way.

And the other 12 human beings would have listened.

Perhaps you could ask Mrs Anuradha Desai to share some of your time!
Jack What a lovely pithy anecdote with a myriad of salient points. At least the "one other MP, name unknown to me, who evidently did not have a home to go", had the opportunity, whether used or not, to ask you to give way. And the other 12 human beings would have listened. Perhaps you could ask Mrs Anuradha Desai to share some of your time! gallus gallus
  • Score: 0

10:36am Fri 13 Jan 12

Centaur says...

Call it what you want to Jack...but it was not a debate. Just you and A.N.Other does not constitute a debate, especially in the house of commons.

Just goes to show what a waste of time politics and politicians are, they go through the motions and achieve nothing.

Get rid of them...all of them!
Call it what you want to Jack...but it was not a debate. Just you and A.N.Other does not constitute a debate, especially in the house of commons. Just goes to show what a waste of time politics and politicians are, they go through the motions and achieve nothing. Get rid of them...all of them! Centaur
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree