Parliament went into “Urgency” this afternoon. This is totally due to Gerry Brownlee’s incompetent management of parliamentary business. It also shows a total lack of good faith and a lack of respect for our most important democratic institution. There is nothing “urgent” about the legislation that we’re going to be debating for the next 48 hours, and if Gerry Brownlee had been a more competent manager it could have all been passed during normal sitting hours anyway.
So what’s Gerry’s rationale for this un-urgent Urgency? He claims that because Parliament is about to go into recess for the Christmas break we should sit almost around the clock for the next few days to ram through new laws without giving them the proper scrutiny and debate they would normally get. It just doesn’t add up. I love Parliament, and I love parliamentary debate, but sitting from 9am to midnight for days in a row doesn’t make for good, considered law-making.
We owe it to those who send us here to give all legislation before the House proper scrutiny. The government has been rightly critiscised already this year for passing new laws without allowing select committee scrutiny. They’ve also been critiscised for passing laws that give exceptionally broad powers to individual ministers. It all starts to paint a picture of a born-to-rule Tory government gorging itself on power after 9 years in the wilderness.