January 15th, 2013

Collective Responsibility Has Been Suspended Before

Dave and Nick have taken the politically extraordinary step to “set aside” collective responsibility over the boundary reform vote. The move will allow LibDem ministers to rebel against the government without having to resign. This has raised all sorts of constitutional discussion among politicos, but it’s not the first time this has happened.


Previous governments have suspended collective responsibility before in slightly differing ways, for example the 1930s National Government over tariff reform, Harold Wilson over Europe in 1975, and Tony Blair’s failure to sack Claire Short over Iraq. With this hardly being an issue of conscience, however, it is hard to argue against the claim that our – albeit uncodified – constitutional commitment to collective responsibility is being severely eroded under the Coalition. What would Erskine May say…


  1. 1
    The Difference says:

    Fact Dave n Nick get on together. Blair and Brown hated each others’ guts.

  2. 2
    Operation Crossbow says:

    Cam-moron really is a twat. The boundary changes would give him up to 30 seats at the next election.

    Are the Tories such thick mongs they really think they can walk it in 2015? I’ve voted Tory at most elections, but NOT in 2015 no matter what he says or does.

    Clegg will probably stand down before 2015 and there is no way if the Lib Dems survive in any sort of numbers they will go into coalition with the Tories again.

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    Official: we have a Liberal Democrat government with Tory support.

  4. 4
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    “Tony Blair’s failure to sack Claire Short”. Chilcot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. 5
    Ian says:

    Has Cameron no coglioni?

  6. 6
    Chuka The HMV Hypocrit downloads his music. says:

  7. 7
    A Right Racist says:

    Confess, righties. Which one of you is this nasty old man?

  8. 8
    V1le Labour ruined my Country says:

    Over six million new immigrants on their way here soon!

  9. 9
    And it's not a one off says:

  10. 10
    HoC says:

    You lost us with the term responsibility we are afraid

  11. 11
    Castrato says:

    At least Neville Chamberlain had piece of paper to show it.

  12. 12
    a non says:

    Everything can be blamed on Tony and laid at his door.
    Immigration, Tsars [czars] and Jerry mandarins.

  13. 13
    Who's Sorry Now? says:

  14. 14
    He genuinely believes he's a future PM says:

    Fuck off, Chuck.

  15. 15
    Fuck the muzees says:

    I use pages from the koran to pick up dogshit.

  16. 16
    HELLO BOYS says:

    Blasted mod bot

    Breaking: Sally Bercow is back on Twatter

  17. 17
    gramma says:

    Is that like ‘pasta la vista’?

  18. 18
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    Ermm– I think you have us confused with the Cabinet; THEY’RE the ones who are supposed to take collective responsibility. Some sloshed git on the bus is nothing to do with me.

  19. 19
    Ctesibius says:

    Well that’s a typically socialist way of looking at it.

    The boundary changes won’t actually have ‘given’ Cam any seats. All they do is eliminate a structural bias towards the Labour Party. Every honest democrat should support a fair democracy, irrespective of their personal allegiance.

  20. 20
    Arse Bandit of Old England says:

    He’s just a stupid drunk! Lots of others like him in Parliament..

  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
    L Finn Spector says:

    Now wash your hands.

  24. 24
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    Blair should be standing trial in the Hague.

  25. 25
    Anonymous says:

    It will become more common as general election nears. Import thing is to enjoy power as much as possible, who cares about the country.

    LD say they are in government with the devil for national interest. Problem is, in May 2010 country was in a better state than now.

    Cameron does want a general election as he will lose. LD doesn’t want one as it will be wiped out. Labour doesn’t want one as there is no more money to spend.

  26. 26
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    Oh yes Ummuna, everything should stay the same forever, typical thick hypocritical, I’ve made my money I’m alright, labour hypocrisy.
    Why not bring back sailing ships, spinning wheels, steam locomotives.
    Ummuna, you really are a stupid arrogant arsewipe.

  27. 27
    Sally Bercow says:

    I totes luv Soft Cell *happy smile* They’re totes amazeballs! *wink* I luv using hip slang to show I’m down with the kids *nods in cool fashion* I still know how to party *opens legs bends over dustbin in alley*

  28. 28
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    Sally, happy losing money to McAlpine soon.

  29. 29
    Charles Kennedy says:

    Make mine a quadruple.

  30. 30
    Chuka says:

    Don’t we know it, don’t we know it.

  31. 31
    Anonymous says:

    There is no structural bias towards the Labour Party. Actually its against it.

    Large number of Labour Party supporters doesn’t vote as they cannot read the ballot paper, even though their 1st language is English.

  32. 32
    (I don't need no doctor) says:

    Sally yearns to be young and single. You ain’t either of those, ah ah ah ah.

  33. 33
    Sally Bercow says:

    Why is Mr Blobby trending? *cum face*

  34. 34
    Britain the ruined country says:

    The BBC gave a token two minute report on this but neatly avoided showing what and who the men (enrichments) are by showing footage of feet. YCMIU.


  35. 35
    Young girls subjected to "depraved sexual abuse" says:

    And have a look at the names of the defendants. You won’t be surprised.

    Kamar Jamil, 27, of Aldwych Road, Oxford
    Akhtar Dogar, 32, of Tawney Street, Oxford; and his brother Anjum Dogar, 30, of Tawney Street, Oxford
    Assad Hussain, 32, of Ashurst Way, Oxford
    Mohammed Karrar, 38, of Kames Close, Oxford; and his brother Bassam Karrar, 33, of Hundred Acres Close, Oxford
    Mohammed Hussain, 24, of Horspath Road, Oxford
    Zeeshan Ahmed, 27, of Palmer Road, Oxford
    Bilal Ahmed, 26, of Suffolk Road, Maidenhead

    No doubt, they all live on benefits. I’m sure Joyce Thacker would say we should respect their culture. They’re the kind of people she’d like to see foster children.

  36. 36
    Young girls subjected to "depraved sexual abuse" says:

    After all, it’s what their prophet did to women.

    The men would inflict ‘extreme physical and sexual violence on the girls’ using knives, meat cleavers and baseball bats. The girls were ‘humiliated and degraded’ bitten, scratched suffocated, tied up beaten and burnt

  37. 37
    Archer Karcher says:

    Bliar should have gone to trial, been found guilty and hung by the neck, years ago.

  38. 38
    Young girls subjected to "depraved sexual abuse" says:

    Don’t you feel enriched by this diversity that is part of Labour’s legacy?

  39. 39
    HenryV says:

    Not according to LimpDum MP Andrew George. According to him “we” “the people” are no better off than when the first Elizabeth was our queen. Yes we are living in absolute monarchy where HM Queen rules by divine right.

    How dare LiimpDum scum talk about democracy and Royal interference? His party 60,000 odd EU loving UK hating wierdos have more real power than HQ Queen, and how representative are they of the UK as whole?

  40. 40
    V1le Labour ruined my Country says:

    This is why the UK is such a cesspit now, deport all this filth back to the original Country of Origin.

  41. 41
    Sir William says:

    While they’re at it, they could enact that constituency boundaries must be redrawn at regular intervals, reflecting changes in population, rather than having to re-invent the wheel.

  42. 42
    gramma says:

    Blair should be standing in front of a firing squad.
    Why introduce justice and democracy when he spends his career avoiding it.

  43. 43
    This is how the SWP handle r*pe cases says:

    The Socialist Workers Party continue to prove what a fucking joke they are. A high ranking member of the rabble, referred to as Comrade Delta (a quick google will bring up his identity) was accused of r*pe by a female member. And how did the top brass of the SWP deal with this very serious allegation? They held a private court and found him not guilty because they don’t believe in ‘bourgeois court system’ to deliver justice.

    The Socialist Workers Party was engulfed in crisis tonight over allegations that it set up a “socialist sharia court” to investigate r*pe allegations against a senior member instead of reporting them to the police.

    The scandal, which has opened up deep splits within Britain’s largest far-left party, emerged this week when disaffected members leaked minutes of a controversial disciplinary meeting which exonerated the official accused of r*pe and sexual assault. The furore has led to the expulsion of key members and multiple resignations. Today Tom Walker, a journalist at the party’s paper, Socialist Worker, became the most prominent member to quit the party in disgust.

    The minutes of the disciplinary meeting, which was held during the party’s December conference, detail how SWP leaders were determined to keep the matter away from the police and official authorities – with one member stating that the party had “no faith in the bourgeois court system to deliver justice”.

    The row is just the latest sexism scandal to tarnish the reputation of Britain’s radical left which tends to portray itself as a fierce advocate for women’s rights. In September, the Respect Party’s former leader, Salma Yaqoob, quit in protest over comments made by its founder, George Galloway, that the accusations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange simply constituted “bad sexual etiquette” and not r*pe.

    The highly detailed minutes, which run to 27 pages, were first published on Socialist Unity, a left wing blog run by Andy Newman, a Swindon-based Labour Party member. He told The Independent that SWP members contacted him anonymously because they were furious about the way the party had handled the r*pe allegations.

    “I believe that the SWP think they’re outside the law,” he said. “It’s quite clear reading their account of what’s going on that they sort of see themselves as an alternative group in society that is not part of mainstream society. They think someone couldn’t or shouldn’t go to the police because it would damage the party.”

    The minutes detail how the party’s disciplinary committee met to discuss allegations that had been levelled against “Comrade Delta” – a senior member who sat on the party’s central committee. The allegations came from an unnamed female party member who claimed she was assaulted over a six-month period between 2008 and 2009 but did not want to go to the police. The disciplinary committee exonerated Comrade Delta with six of the seven panel members backing his version of events. However, in an indication of the huge concerns over how the case was handled, the panel’s findings were only narrowly accepted by 231 votes to 209 votes when they were put to party members.

    The minutes show how party activists attacked panel members for admitting that they knew Comrade Delta personally. One panel member conceded: [We] all knew Comrade Delta. We knew his important role in the party and on the central committee and none of us knew W or knew her well.”

    According to the minutes, friends of the woman – who was not allowed to attend the meeting – stood up to say she felt betrayed by the party. One supporter said: “She thought that if she put in a complaint to the party it would be dealt with in line with the party’s politics and our proud tradition on women’s liberation. Sadly her experiences were quite the opposite.”

  44. 44
    Mornington Crescent says:

    Getting fed up of Dick Clegg not pulling his weight in Government, not to mention his patronising way of explaining it away (“look, you don’t understand, coalition is different…”)

    Either you’re in the team or you fuck off out of it.


  45. 45
    Joyce Thacker says:

    Shame on you! These men are simply following their culture, you horrid UKIPer!

  46. 46
    Sir William says:

    Chuckie…we just don’t buy CDs in shops any more. This is the free market doing its job, diverting resources from where they’re not needed to where they can be useful.

  47. 47
    Consumer says:

    Play.com is pretty good.

  48. 48
    Owen Jones says:

    Family’s embarrassing, innit?

  49. 49
    albacore says:

    What? They allowed a two-minute report?
    Were all the P C editors caught short?
    Disgusting, and BBC heads must roll
    Taking time off from Savile’s grassy knoll

  50. 50
    This is how the SWP handle r*pe cases says:

    And on this, any of you ever seen a SWP member in the flesh? I was on the bus once and I wasn’t paying attention to who was getting on. At one point I overheard the man and woman in the seat behind me who were having a long chat about being in the SWP. It was only when I went to get off the bus that I saw what they looked like.

    Put it like this. Ever seen The Hills Have Eyes?

  51. 51
    Labour says:

    Slap them on the wrists and dock their dole money for a week.

  52. 52
    Sir William says:

    Soft Cell ruined a lovely song by Gloria Jones with their nasty 1980s electronics and whiny voices.

  53. 53
    Industry Observer says:

    Was. They have stopped selling retail.

  54. 54
    Incredulous says:

    There are at least 440 people who belong to the SWP? And almost half of them are not hypocrites?

  55. 55
    Anonymous says:

    You might want to stay population eligible to vote in a general election. Non commonwealth citizens cannot vote in UK general election.

  56. 56
    Anonymous says:

    That Mark Bridger – he looks like a P*ki too.

  57. 57
    Ukip Rhetoric says:

    He’s not racist. He just doesn’t like mass immigration.

  58. 58
    Anonymous says:

    Now you got koran all over your hands.

  59. 59
    Erskine May says:

    Bugger them.

  60. 60
    P l e b says:


  61. 61
    A thoroughly modern thinker says:

    Wheel you say Sir William. What evil sort of Devil’s construct might that be perchance?

  62. 62
    P l e b says:

    Do they have lynch mobs these days?

  63. 63
    A non Blairite says:

    The Reichstag fire; the Black Death; the Great Fire. The list is almost endless.

  64. 64
    Vote UKIP says:

    It is not a structural bias against Labour it is an intelligence bias. Most people who vote Labour are thick.

  65. 65
    The Godfather says:

    Pity he doesn’t sleep with the fishes.

  66. 66
    marge says:

    why would we give commonwealth citizens the vote?

  67. 67
    marge says:

    is collective punishment not cricket anymore?

    what about we do to rochdale what we did to Dresden

  68. 68
    Spread the hate around a lot says:

    He’s not racist. He just doesn’t like non-white bastards! Probably not too keen on white bastards either.

  69. 69
    Moussa Koussa's pet meerkat says:

    Why not pulling his weight? He and his MPs have allowed the most right-wing vicious government in living memory on ordinary working and non-working people.
    He’s a Tory stooge, and is doing the job admirably, propping up a party in government without a majority or a mandate for what they are doing.

  70. 70
    Moussa Koussa's pet meerkat says:

    After ‘memory’ read ‘to shit’

  71. 71
    marge says:

    too true. if we got rid of most of the shops, city centres could be nice again. all you need is coffee shops, playgrounds, open spaces, restaurants, bars. everything else can be online. i’d even go into town again if they got rid of the shoppers.

  72. 72
    *Innocent Face* says:

    You couldn’t make this shit up.

  73. 73
    Hittite Empire says:

    Most right wing goverment in living memory. Are you pissed?

  74. 74
    marge says:

    It’s hard to blame them completely. Labour decriminalised what they did.

  75. 75
    Misternedderry says:

    Fixed Parliament act. They Cannot have one until 2015. Hopefully by which time the whole country will be clamouring to sack every labour, tory and liberal MP and replace them with people not mired in corrupt, treasonous, incompetence and sleaze.

  76. 76
    Nicholas Pevsner says:

    Been there; seen it; avoided getting the T shirt. It looks like we practised on Rochdale before having a go at Dresden.

    Come on; you’re never going to convince anyone it was built to look like the aftermath of a week’s carpet bombing.

  77. 77
    Erskine May's wig says:

    A pious but very forlorn hope I think. It says on the application form for all of the parties that if you have any moral convictions you shouldn’t bother applying but criminal ones are no bar to the job.

  78. 78
    Moussa Koussa's pet meerkat says:

    I did mean for this country.

  79. 79
    T Blair Watch says:

    Brown for sure pathologically despised Blair, but was that feeling reciprocated ?

    One suspects that Tony may have been more concerned with issues of a higher nature than lowlife like Brown.

  80. 80
    Casual Observer says:

    Sounds like a Labour voter to me…

  81. 81
    lojolondon says:

    I hope you are not referring to the Tories as “right-wing” – unless you don’t know what they have done in the last 18 months??

  82. 82
    keredybretsa says:

    Coalitions…..my arse!

  83. 83
    Frank's son says:

    So Dave is letting the Libdems scupper a fair boundary reform and they won’t even have to resign their government seats. What a fucking wimp!

  84. 84
    flashman says:

    How can that be a structural bias? Because a lot of thick common people don’t vote you think the ones that do should have some sort of bonus vote? Why don’t you just take the vote away from anyone who pays tax. Should even things up nicely….

  85. 85
    the poor bloody tax-payer says:

    so now do we have collective irresponsibility?

  86. 86
    Pundit Too says:

    Wavy Dave appears to be giving up on winning the next election against a Labour opposition and temporary partner political party that have absolutely no talent except to bring the country to its economic knees yet again.
    I can only hope I am wrong, but the facts do not support this.

  87. 87
    PC Lawyers operating under the Hyprocrital Oaf says:

    They cannot be sent back to their original home country because they may be tortured or killed.
    Our country is one of the last refuges of such people and provide us with our main source of income.
    We bow in reverence to Labour who brought them to us.

  88. 88
    Pundit too too says:

    English / British history is not in Moussa’ CV or DNA.
    Probably gets his information from the BBC.

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