have you had your early day motion?

Quite recently there have been a few threads and posts appearing online that draw attention to a quirky political process, the Early Day Motion (EDM).

Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell has raised an EDM concerning photographers’ rights to take pictures in public places, and unfortunately too many instances of photographers being moved on or harassed by ill-informed police, community support officers and private security staff.

A staunch supporter of civil liberties and photographers rights I followed the links and wrote to my MP. Though a mental image was forming I actually had no idea what an EDM was. I looked it up on the internet –

“Early day motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few EDMs are actually debated. Instead, they are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.

An MP can add their signature to an EDM to show their support. They can also submit amendments to an existing EDM. Although majority of EDMs are never debated, the group of EDMs known as ‘prayers’ may be debated. Prayers are motions to overturn Statutory Instruments (laws made by Ministers under powers deriving from Acts of Parliament). Further information on EDM procedure can be found in the Commons Information Office Factsheet Early Day Motions.” (Link)

Now realising the wind was nowhere near the sails of political action I spent some time browsing through the list of motions submitted.

SOCIAL NETWORKING ON THE INTERNET 04.02.2008

Fabricant, Michael

That this House notes the development of social networking on the internet; congratulates Facebook for being an effective tool for social networking; recognises that a greater proportion of young adults in the United Kingdom are Facebook users than in any other country; and notes that as of 3rd February 2008, 273,740 Facebook users have chosen to mention their political affiliation and have stated that they are Conservative.

FIXED PENALTIES FOR PEOPLE FOUND DRUNK IN A PUBLIC HOUSE 27.11.2007

Hemming, John

That this House notes the plan for police officers to visit public houses during the Christmas period in order to identify people who are drunk and raise funds for the Exchequer by charging a fixed penalty fee of £80; questions whether this is a good use of police time; and calls for the Home Office to cancel this plan.

SKITTLES 14.11.2007

Browne, Jeremy

That this House celebrates the great game of skittles, the traditional pub game in which players attempt to knock over nine pins arranged in a square at the end of an alley approximately 24 feet long; celebrates the various forms of the game found across the UK, including West County, Old English and Long Alley skittles and the local leagues dedicated to supporting them; wholeheartedly supports the game’s unique contribution to the local community and the affection shown to it by the people of Somerset, the South West and beyond; expresses concern at the difficulties faced by publicans and players to maintain it; and calls on planning authorities to do more to protect skittles alleys, pub landlords to undertake every effort to promote the game to their customers, and individuals and groups to keep the tradition alive by trying their hand at a game of skittles in their local pub.

Is it good to know these things? Here’s a few more choice selections – 239, 268, 384, 381, 450, 988, 554, 299, 266 & 132.

 

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