Update: Brian Binley’s EDM had been tabled very shortly before this post was written, and has since attracted lots of signatures.
Early Day Motions are effectively petitions signed by MPs to draw attention to an issue; although they are motions for debate, few actually end up being debated. They can be serious, they can be lighthearted, they are often cross-party, they can be sometimes be unpleasant.
Herewith some recently tabled EDMs from Conservative MPs. Click on the links provided to see who else has signed them.
David Burrowes tabled EDM 2388:
"EXTRADITION OF GARY MCKINNON30.10.2008
That this House notes the accepted practice of the governments of Israel and the Netherlands of requiring assurances from the US Administration prior to their nationals being deported to face trial in the United States in cases involving defendants suffering from medical or mental health disabilities, that those nationals will be repatriated to serve any sentence imposed by the relevant United States court; and urges the Home Secretary not to permit the extradition to the United States of Mr Gary McKinnon of Palmers Green, London, an Asperger’s syndrome sufferer charged with computer misuse in the United States, until such time as she receives express assurances from the US Administration that in the event of his being found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment that administration agrees to the immediate repatriation of Mr McKinnon post trial to serve any such sentence in the United Kingdom."
At the time of writing, no-one else has signed Brian Binley’s EDM (number 2391) on corporation tax for small businesses:
"SMALL COMPANIES RATE OF CORPORATION TAX30.10.2008
That this House recognises that small businesses across the United Kingdom provide employment to 13 million workers and are facing difficult financial pressures due to the economic downturn; and asks the Government to reconsider its plans for a further 1 per cent. rise in the small companies rate of corporation tax announced in Budget 2007 to take effect from April 2009."
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles’s EDM (number 2373) is, unsurpisingly for a front bencher, more popular:
"GOVERNMENT POLICY ON BUSINESS RATES29.10.2008
That this House expresses concern at the damaging effect of the Prime Minister’s £1 billion a year stealth tax hike on empty properties; notes that this will particularly harm local firms in an economic downturn; criticises the Government’s plans to impose supplementary business rates on local business with no ability for firms to endorse or reject the rate; questions why transitional rate relief will not apply to supplementary rates; observes the burden on small firms of having to claim small business rate relief, while medium and large firms are automatically hit with a higher multiplier; is concerned by the actions of the Valuation Office Agency for its retrospective tax increases on ports; and believes that the Government’s business rates policies are harming the economic viability of British business."
EDM 2368, from Andrew Rosindell, is very much in the spirit of the system:
"HORSEMAN’S SUNDAY, HAVERING-ATTE-BOWER
That this House congratulates the Havering-atte-Bower Conservation Society for re-establishing the traditional English ceremony of Horseman’s Sunday held at St John The Evangelist Church, Havering Village Green, Romford, on Sunday 12th October; notes with pride that this was the first such event since the early 1970s; commends the organisers for this momentous achievement in re-creating a special day for horses and their riders to attend an open air service of thanksgiving, to be presented with commemorative rosettes and receive a blessing; and believes that Horseman’s Sunday is a joyous event, bringing the entire community together, fostering tradition and encouraging respect for the great British horse, a creature that has been an inspiration and help to man throughout the ages."
Indeed Mr Rosindell is also responsible for EDM 2366:
"OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY WEEK28.10.2008
That this House supports Occupational Therapy Week which runs from 3rd to 7th November, organised by the College of Occupational Therapists; congratulates occupational therapists in both the health service and in social care for their dedicated and vital work to aid the effective recovery of patients and allow them to recover ordinary lives; recognises that occupational therapists work in many spheres, including those of children, young people and families, HIV/AIDS, oncology and palliative care, housing, mental health, neurological practice, older people, people with learning disabilities, rheumatology and trauma and orthopaedics; welcomes the recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance that recommends occupational therapy to promote mental well-being for older people; urges the Government to continue to recognise that occupational therapists are a significant section of the NHS clinical and social care workforce; and recommends that all hon. Members visit an occupational therapy service in their local area to see the important work that is being done."
Nigel Evans’s EDM (2361) is especially commendable:
"ROAD ACCIDENT FRAUD"28.10.2008
That this House deplores road accident fraud; understands that gangs have made huge amounts of money in insurance payments by braking suddenly and forcing other drivers to hit their cars; notes that these fraudsters cut their brake lights so fellow motorists have no warning; further notes that such action has recently been prevalent in Lancashire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester; further notes that the average insurance claim is £20,000 per incident; is concerned that in the past decade fraudulent insurance investigators have exposed over 25,000 false or staged accidents; and calls on the Government to act with the police and insurance companies to ensure that innocent drivers, insurance companies and honest policy holders do not become the victims of road accident fraud.
Happy Occupational Therapy Week from everyone at ConservativeHome.