Parliament fails to ban export of veal calves

A Private Members Bill that would have banned the export of veal calves to the continent was literally talked out of parliament by two Tory MPs, one of whom read out of an encyclopedia, the other reading out of a phone book.

Private Members Bills have low priority, and cannot be made law unless there is sufficient time for the debate and vote. This means that MPs can stop a Bill's passage by simply wasting time. In this case, the two MPs responsible are Oliver Heald (MP for Hertfordshire North) and Peter Atkinson (MP of Hexham, Northumberland).

The same tactics were used recently to stop the Disabled Person's Bill going through. Such behaviour by those elected to represent the wishes of the poeple confirms the need for direct action while parliament remains ineffective.