New Politics, No Parties?

New Politics, No Parties?

Please note that this piece was originally published on the Revolts blog (available here) and has been re-published with permission from the author.

By Philip Cowley

It now looks very likely that the Labour Party will give free votes to its MPs in the upcoming Commons votes on Trident renewal and possible air strikes in Syria.

The party is split on both issues, and in particular its new leadership is at odds with large numbers of MPs. Free votes are often granted when there are divisions like this within parties; splits are never as newsworthy when they take place on free votes. So the tactical reasons for having free votes are pretty obvious.

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Could the SNP block a Labour Budget? No.

Could the SNP block a Labour Budget? No.

Please note that this blog piece was originally published on Colin Talbot’s personal blog on 20 April 2015, and is available here.

By Colin Talbot

The SNP are claiming they can ‘block Labour budgets’, ‘end austerity’ and ‘stop Trident’. Their problem however is simple – most of what they say is based on assuming that Westminster works the same way as Holyrood does for budgeting – and it doesn’t.

There are huge ‘constitutional’ and practical obstacles to implementing the sort of radical challenges to Government tax and spend decisions that the SNP and others seem to be mooting. Continue reading