Yesterday Philip Davies, serial filibusterer, filibustered Labour MP Steve Reed's Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill, otherwise known as Seni's law, for 148 minutes. He had help from Tory MPs Sir Christopher Chope - who infamously objected to the Voyeurism (Offences) Bill introduced by Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse yesterday and is also a serial filibusterer - and Jackie Doyle Price.
Filibustering can be stopped if 100 MPs attend Parliament but many go home on Fridays, ostensibly to do constituency work. Davies said about the private member's bill to make it compulsory to teach first aid in schools, which he also filibustered:
The fact that not even 100 MPs out of 650 showed up to this bill showed it did not have full support."
We can assume therefore, that this is how he justifies his contemptible practice to himself. Not that he seems the type to need self justification.
When asked by The Independent for an article by Oliver Wright if his filibustering is underhand, Davies said:
When I first got elected to Parliament my mentor was Eric Forth [the former Tory MP] and he really was the past master of talking out bills on a Friday,” he said. He did it for fun and he was brilliant at it. After he died I vowed I would do the same kind of work.
"He did it for fun ... I vowed I would do the same kind of work"
As if you needed any evidence that these MPs treat politics as a game, like political chess, with little or no thought for us. To them it's a cushy meal ticket - a high salary, guaranteed comfortable pension, expenses and allowances.
Filibustering, like many parliamentary procedures, has no place in modern parliamentary procedure. A complete overhaul is needed to bring our legislature into the 21st century and make it fit for purpose. Banning filibustering should be the first step.