Cameron’s good at creating WTF moments, and he had a field day on Wednesday. First up, he’s going to introduce legislation to markedly curb the power of the House of Lords. Cunningly, the curbs will be imposed on the Upper Chamber by means of primary legislation, on which the Lords cannot vote. What it will mean is that the Lords will then lose the power of veto over secondary legislation, and will only be able to insist that the Commons takes policy proposals back for reconsideration. That’s not likely to do any good, since the Lords will only be able to use this move once on any piece of legislation, so Cameron and his cronies can simply go, ‘Oh stuff you,’ and return it unamended.
I’m not a big fan of the Lords, but their unwillingness to let Cameron, Osborne and the other Bullingdon bullies run things unchecked was remarkable. The House forced the government u-turn on tax credits. This got up the nose of the two toffs in Downing Street, so curbing powers is CallMeDave’s way of getting his own back. It’s the political equivalent of taking your bat and ball and going home when you’re losing the game of cricket.
What will really have wrongfooted the Lords is that their wings are being clipped by the Tories of all people. There will be a heck of a lot of old buffers on the red benches going, ‘What? How did the blazes did that happen? He’s one of us, a toff, not some raving beardy Trotskyite!’
Then the government won a vote on allowing fracking under National Parks and Heritage Sites. This is in direct contradiction of an earlier promise that such areas would be sacrosanct, but since this government doesn’t seem to understand the idea of honesty, it came as no surprise when they reneged on the deal. Their manifesto promised they would be the greenest party to govern, then they promptly reduced subsidies to renewable energy sources, increased subsidies to oil and gas, and intend to build a whole slew of gas fired power stations.