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Thursday, June 04, 2020

Commons voting farce plunged into chaos

If Ministers had not got the message about the inadvisability of dismantling the virtual Parliament and forcing MPs to return to speak and vote in person, the one and a half hour conga line to complete two divisions on Tuesday must surely have driven home to them the folly of this idea.

Sure enough, by Wednesday lunchtime, Boris Johnson was prepared to make concessions and used Prime Minister's Question Time to announce that MPs who are shielding will in future be able to vote by proxy. This followed an outcry over the treatment of parliamentarians with medical conditions or those who are looking after vulnerable loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.

This change at least moved the house back from the 16th Century to somewhere near the present day, though it is worth noting that in an hour and a half, the Welsh Parliament could most probably conduct somewhere near one hundred plus electronic votes.

However, by then the damage was already done, underlined by the news that Alok Sharma, the business secretary, who was in the centre of Tuesday's conga line, has been tested for coronavirus after feeling unwell while delivering a statement in the House of Commons.

If Sharma does test positive, it will be an early trial of the government’s new contact tracing system. Other MPs and officials who have been in close contact with him will be tested and could be asked to self-isolate.

Jacob Rees Mogg's brave new world, in which MPs lead the way back to normality, has fallen down at the first hurdle. Surely a screeching u-turn leading back to a hybrid Parliament with electronic voting and contributions by zoom, is now the only way forward.
Moggs 'brave new world'is a plea to stay as it is, not new at all.A yearning for the past and Tory dominance. Modern technology is magical, evil to a person who is too old to change. He has no understanding of the effects this virus is having on people. The worry that a loved one can catch it and die. The stress of emotions it brings..
THAT PLACE is an anachronism,out of date,turn it into a tourist haunt. A new Parliament should rise fro the ashes in a more central location and represent the future NOT the past.
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