Sunday 10 March 2013

Vince Cable backs Social Liberal Forum motion?

At least that’s what it says in the Sunday Mirror. Although the Mirror’s headline is the more dramatic:
Vince Cable backing rebel Lib Dems’ call for end to Tories’ “slash and burn” policies
The Social Liberal Forum’s emergency motion at this weekend’s Liberal Democrat spring conference is titled ‘Kick-starting the economy’. Again, the Mirror prefers a more hyperbolic description, calling the motion: explosive bid to rock the Coalition.
Which is all a bit odd because, of the two emergency motions to win yesterday’s ballot and thus be chosen for debate, neither is the SLF motion. First place in the ballot, predictably, was won by the motion ‘Continuing Our Opposition to Secret Courts’, while the other motion selected was ‘Implementing the Leveson Report’.

The SLF motion actually took second place in the ballot but was not accepted for debate because of a decision by the Federal Conference Committee that it would require one hour for debate rather than the usual 30 minutes allocated to emergency motions. Were it to have topped the ballot, therefore, no other emergency motion would have been taken, which would have prevented a debate on secret courts. As it came second, there was not enough time for it to be debated, hence the promotion of the third-placed Leveson Report motion onto the agenda in its place.

None of this explains why the Mirror thinks that the SLF motion is on the agenda, let alone why it reports that Vince Cable is backing it.


Gareth Epps has a theory why the FCC ruled that the SLF motion could not be debated, and it is not time limits.

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