Sunday, 20 July 2014

MPs snub autism debate

£66,000 annual salary for each of the
639 absentees - money well spent
On 17 July, just 11 Members of Parliament turned up for a parliamentary debate on the provision of education for children with autism. The debate was opened by the MP for Burnley, Gordon Birtwistle, who raised the issue of the difficulties faced by parents when trying to get a diagnosis for their child, and the problems this can cause for that child's education.

"Children with statements of special educational needs are eight times more likely to be excluded than their peers, and children with no statement are 11 times more likely to be excluded," he said.

11 MPs out of a total of 650 represent a 1.69% turnout, a disgraceful showing for a debate of such importance to many parents. They do not seem to have a problem showing up for the pantomime of Prime Minister’s Question Time just to howl and bray at their opponents. As the quorum for the House of Commons is 40, which represents an eye watering 6.15% of MPs, the debate on autism could have no effect anyway, other than worthy rhetoric.

If MPs imposed upon themselves the turn outs they are proposing for trade union ballots, perhaps some of them might discover what a hard day’s work really means.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Nev. This is not a good advertisement for MPs, and a bad showing for democracy. I am sure the attendance figures are different when MPs pay and allowances are debated.