Simon Carr:

Simon Carr: So serious a Bill that even Gordon gets the call

Sketch: Pete Wishart asked that Liberals would guarantee not to take up seats in an unreformed Lords

Share
Related Topics

Who was that on the bridge fighting off Lars Porsena and his hordes? He and two others holding off a thousand in those days "when none was for a party and all were for the state". That's what young Nick Clegg gave us yesterday – though he was short of two heroes to stand by him. He took numberless hostile interventions over half an hour before one of his gutless, heartless, spineless fellow Liberal Democrats rose to support him.

The House was loud, the mood rowdy as Clegg put it to them that what the country wanted was fewer MPs and a more powerful House of Lords. It was never going to beguile them. Hostile interventions were greeted with shouts of cruel approval.

Nicholas Soames, guardian of his ancestral flame, chastised Clegg for misappropriating Churchill's name in his campaign. Peter Lilley said he was arguing the upper house was working in practice but not in theory. And Pete Wishart provoked shouts of harsh laughter by asking that Liberals would guarantee not to take up seats in an unreformed Lords.

Malcolm Rifkind gave a blistering speech taking apart "this puny Bill". He cited this fatal flaw: greater democratic legitimacy of Lords equals loss of Commons primacy. It's dense but powerful.

Sadiq Khan for the Opposition put in one of the worst parliamentary performances since 1320. His high point was his beginning: "We are where we are," but it prompted furious heckles of, "Speak for yourself!" I shouldn't have had the second bottle.

Tim Farron itemised the devolutions and revolutions of Tony Blair and asked whether he, Khan, felt "comfortable being ranked as a pygmy" in comparison. "I don't understand his point," Khan said. Let me explain. He was saying You. Khan. Are. A. Pygmy.

The programme motion is being whipped very hard. I hear the halt, the lame, the sick, the fat all are being called in. Even Gordon Brown. Yes. That's how serious it is.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Trainer / IT Trainer

£30 to £32k : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Trainer / IT Trainer to join an a...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant - Furniture Shop - Immediate Start

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you like working with the public? Then thi...

Recruitment Genius: Advertising / Media Sales Executive

£15000 - £22200 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious candidate is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Executiv...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Supporters of the No vote react after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens  

It’s not whether we’re rich or poor, but what we expect that really counts

Ben Chu
 

Daily catch-up: Greek Yes voters were so shy they didn’t even turn up to the polling stations

John Rentoul
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate