Faced with the prospect of a crushing defeat at the hands of Lords crossbenchers, the coalition has been forced into a humiliating climbdown on the Lobbying Bill. And with the legislation — the parliamentary charge of Andrew Lansley — now the subject of a six-week pause, it’s worth remembering the last time this happened and who was responsible: the Health Bill and, errrr, Andrew Lansley.
The bill was temporarily pulled after non-aligned peers were poised to spike the legislation for months. With the coalition now promising to consult “all interested parties”, Scrapbook and other other British blogs will certainly welcome the opportunity for a frank exchange of views on proposals — sneaked into Part 2 of the bill — to gag them along with charities and campaigning organisations.
The similarity with the Health Bill — which was brought to a grinding halt for weeks after incompetent handling by Lansley — is uncanny. He is certainly earning his moniker of “Broken Arrow” bestowed by Grahame Morris at the height of his 2011 troubles:
“He doesn’t work and you can’t fire him.”