22.06.2018

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The Simple Politics guide to next week in Parliament.
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Heathrow takes off

Did you enjoy this week? Big talks of rebellion ultimately leading to a bit of a compromise and the status quo being resumed. Well, I'm afraid we're in for more of the same next week. On the surface, Heathrow should be a key issue. Lots of Conservative rebels. People resigning. Points of principle being made.

The trouble is, this vote is going to pass with ease. The SNP support it. Labour have a free vote on the matter, so many will vote with the government. With, say, 50-80 extra votes from Labour and the SNP, that's a lot of Conservative rebels. Of course, this suits the rebels down to the ground. They can be seen to be standing up for their constituency but without any danger of the government being defeated. They don't want to bring down the government. They just want to make their point.

A note on campaigning

With the American separation policy last week, the Brexit referendum protest this weekend and Heathrow next, we've been getting a lot of questions about campaigning. While we are not a campaigning organisation, I always give the same advice when people ask. I thought I'd share it with you here.

1) Be very, very clear about the change you would like to see.
2) Know what needs to happen to make that change a reality.
3) Identify the concrete steps you need to take to get there.

Really, just know what result you want from each action you take. Spend your energies where they will have an impact. 

Monday - It's the Heathrow debate in the Commons. Expect some passionate speeches from many Conservative MPs and then the vote to go through by quite some margin.

Meanwhile, there is a Westminster Hall debate on safe standing at Premier League and Championship football matches. That's after 112,026 people signed a petition.

Tuesday - Various bits and bobs in both the Commons and the Lords. Not much to get overly concerned about today.

Wednesday -  PMQs! A good bit of political theatre. Watch out for Ian Blackford coming in after Corbyn's questions. The last couple of weeks he's made quite a stir.  After that, they are debating a new Bill about offensive weapons. It will put age checks on buying acid and make it harder to buy knives. 

Meanwhile, the Lords are looking at a bill that will regulate whiplash claims.

Thursday - Backbench business in the Commons. They'll be looking at clean air and how to achieve it.

Friday - Nothing in either chamber today. Your MP should be in the constituency holding surgeries if you want to try to book an appointment.
Our pick of the laws being debated in Parliament next week...
Offensive Weapons Bill

This new Bill is in reaction to rising murder rates in our cities. 70 people have been murdered in London alone in 2018.

It will look to make it harder to purchase items that could be used as weapons. as such, acid will have an age restriction (18) applied to it and it will become illegal to have knives or acid delivered to your house. 

There are also further crackdowns on the possession of zombie knives and death stars.

Finally, stricter gun control. Rapid firing rifles and 'bump stock' - as used in Vegas earlier this year will be banned.

Apologies, more details available soon!
Civil Liability Bill

The Government made a commitment in its election manifesto to regulate whiplash claims after car accidents because whiplash claims have risen considerably, when road traffic accident rates have actually fallen and car safety devices have improved. The Government also says that this has resulted in higher insurance premiums in England and Wales. The Bill will ban the practice of making a whiplash claim without medical evidence and make a tariff for the amount of money issued in compensation claims. Some compensation lawyers have already criticised this bill as sacrificing compassion for victims in favour of lower insurance premiums.
 
More details
Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill

This Bill will put in place a requirement on the independent energy regulator, Ofgem, to cap energy tariffs until 2020, with the possibility of it being extended to 2023 if necessary.

The Bill comes after the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee (a cross party group of MPs) scrutinised the draft Bill as part of the Government’s work to build consensus for the cap.

The Committee backed an absolute cap on energy tariffs, which the Government has accepted in full so this Bill is not expected to be very controversial.
 
More details
And we're off!
We started the tour last weekend and it was great. Such lovely audiences. we had a load of fun. If you're anywhere near Oxfordshire, come and join us over the next two weekends.
Oxford tickets (23rd June)
Chipping Norton tickets (30th June)
I'm doing another talk for Funzing - this time an introduction to politics. This is really what I do best. If you'd like to give your knowledge a bit of a brush-up, come along to this in London on 5th July.  Dates in Bristol (and possibly Manchester) soon. 
That talk sounds great - sign me up!
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