Wednesday, July 23, 2008

End of term

Yesterday both Houses rose for the summer recess until October 6. I went in primed to ask a question about the extraordinary situtaion in which the UK has 'deproscribed' the People's Mojahedin of Iran, but the Council of Ministers has voted to keep them on the European terror list. At 28 minutes, the Leader of the House gave preference to Slynn of Hadley, and his question took up the remaining two minutes. This was the second time our front bench had been frozen out in the last week, and perhaps our Whips can take the matter up at the Leader's meeting when we come back. This one was particularly annoying for me, since I have been involved in Iranian affairs for a great many years.

Later, the Prime Minister's statement on Iraq was repeated in our House by the Leader, and I fielded it for the LibDems, followed by a late lunch with Lindsay and her friends.

Some people think our long summer recess means that Parliament hasn't got enough to do. But there are also moans about the volume and complexity of modern legislation, and if Government had the opportunity, they would be shovelling even more of it into the machine. During the summer recess, Members aren't sitting on the beach all the time, but fitting in foreign work visits, party conferences, and consultations with their advisers - as well as clearing up the backlog of paperwork!

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