Reading Beyond The Headlines
Recently a newspaper article which appeared in several national dailies caught my attention. The headline was;
Tory MPs block bill to give first aid training to children by talking non-stop until debate ends
There’s a knee-jerk reaction to the subject. After all, we don’t have a filibuster history in this country. But because the proposed law was not supported by the Government it only had a limited amount of time to be debated in Parliament, or had to be shelved. So the reaction is; That’s outrageous!
But I read a little more about it and decided that although the minister in question, Tory MP Philip Davies, chose the wrong action of blocking the vote in this manner, his reason for doing so was potentially sound. He does not agree with the principle of compulsory first aid classes in schools because schools are there to educate, not to be substitute parents. He was actually coming out against the idea of the ‘nanny state’.
Unfortunately Davies has become associated with a number of vote-blocking actions on worthier causes, like providing carers with free parking and requiring landlords to make sure their homes were fit for human habitation. However in this case it seems as if the journalists were simply watching him to see if they could grab follow-up stories. The good news is that there are moves to reform the filibuster process in UK.