Thankfully, the slackers identified by the excellent new Nottingham University politics blog are not sturdy leaflet deliverers succumbing to the call of the lie in, but some of our MPs, who sometimes don’t turn up to bill committees, or (ahem) stay in the constituency on a Monday afternoon. The new PLP standing orders are intended to tighten up on such malingering.
As Phil Cowley says, the whips will have a hard road ahead enforcing these standing orders. First of all, it won’t be needed. Going on committeees in opposition is quite a bit more fun than going on them in government, and the onus is always on the government to ensure a majority, not on the opposition to ensure their minority is fully represented.
So the rules will be honoured in traditional fashion. They will be used to set an occassional example at the extremes, and used to remind those in danger of falling into somnolence or disloyalty of their great duties and obligations.
They will however, provide a useful occassional nudge. After all, there’s no room for slacking in the amble to the New Jerusalam, Comrade.
Now, about that by-election…