Labour’s Clive Efford showed his impatience today, as Tory MPs continued to filibuster his Private Members’ Bill in parliamentary committee. As the delaying tactics continued, Tories spent over an hour debating whether future meetings would best be delayed by 30 minutes. The principal architect of this systematic procrastination was Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg (standing in the picture below), who managed to allude to Norse mythology, biblical quotes about Job, and the works of Samuel Johnson – never mentioning the NHS once.
Jacob Rees-Mogg eventually gave way to allow another proposal: yet another amendment to alter the day of the week on which the committee would sit. When discussion of the Efford Bill did finally get under way (less than 30 minutes before the committee was due to finish), Rees-Mogg spent over 20 minutes describing the battles of Agincourt and Waterloo in defending his objections to the phrase “social solidarity”.
Clive Efford (pictured right), on standing to address one of several late amendments tabled by the Tory MPs present, said: “We’ve had nearly four and a half hours now just merely discussing the amount of time we’re going to allocate to discuss the Bill, which is an absolute disgrace…we have been subjected to the most incredible filibustering on this Bill – and no [referring to Rees-Mogg’s request for him to give way] I am not going to give way, because the Honourable gentleman has spoken far too much – so I think we do have to make time.”
The committee eventually agreed to hold future meetings on Tuesday afternoons, so that they would not be constrained by a set closure time. Yet the filibustering has every sign of continuing.
See for yourself, the full debates can be accessed from here. (It is from the Parliament website that uses Silverlight, which you may have to download.) We have also embedded the same video at the end of this page.
If you want to see Jacob Rees Mogg’s shocking filibustering, this can be witnessed for most of the time from about 09.35am to 10.25am (Norse mythology, Job, Johnson), and again from roughly 10.55am to 11.25am (Agincourt, Waterloo, Napoleon).
The Tories, quite plainly, have decided that the NHS is not going to be saved by the Efford Bill. We need your help to encourage politicians to support the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015. Make sure MPs know they cannot get away with treating the future of the NHS as the chance to waste time – at public expense.