I don't often have the opportunity to follow full parliamentary debates, so like most I depend on the news and political programs' sound bites to inform me about what has happened in Westminster.
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week circumstances enabled me to watch two full debates from start to finish.
Yesterday I listened to the International Womans' Day debate. Many contributers from all parties noted that one of the difficulties in attracting females to become MP's was the image rather than the reality of parliament. It was a good debate, excellent points made by 99% of the contributers. But yet, the reports on the debate showed a rather catty exchange between Harriett Harman and Theresa May, adding to the bad image of the House – showing the House at its “Macho” worst rather than the reasonable best that was evident in most of the debate.
On Wednesday I listened to the European Referendum debate. As I have mentioned in other posts I am not keen on the way that referendums are used in the UK, but, on the other hand parties made promises and promises should be kept, so I was undecided in listening to the debate. Good points were made by both sides and I found myself being swayed too and thro' during the whole six hour exchange, which is what a good exchange of views should do.
But I listened to the whole debate - most MP's didn't.
I came to the conclusion, based on what was said on both sides, that I would have voted for the referendum, if I had a vote. Again most MP's didn't vote on the argument; they voted according to the way that they had been instructed to vote before the debate had even taken place, which makes one wonder what on earth the point of holding a six hour debate was? The end result would have been the same after a six second debate!
When people laud British parliamentary democracy, and claim that it is the best in the World; that an independent Wales would suffer without it, I have to ask Why? Surely Wales can do better than this!