Shadow Minister for Children Tim Loughton has tabled EDM 2542, on a fantastically unimportant issue:
"JOHN SERGEANT AND STRICTLY COME DANCING20.11.2008
That this House is devastated by the circumstances surrounding John Sergeant’s departure from Strictly Come Dancing; notes that the programme is a highly popular light entertainment show aimed at entertaining the licence fee paying public, not a serious talent show to launch `wannabes’ on a dancing career; further notes that a key component of the programme is to encourage viewers to exercise a meaningful vote and pay for that privilege and to ignore the wishes of the voting public in this way undermines the whole point of voting; and calls on the BBC to reinstate John Sergeant on the show immediately and for the veteran political commentator, turned entertainingly dodgy dancer, to dust down his sequins, return to the dance floor and manfully face the music until the British public, or jury, decides otherwise."
At the time of writing, only Mr Loughton’s Conservative colleague Peter Bottomley has also signed. In fairness to them, there is a place for levity in EDMs.
Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb has tabled a rather more worthwhile one in EDM 2540:
"INTERNATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE ON AID EFFECTIVENESS19.11.2008
That this House congratulates and commends the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK branch on its timely International Parliamentary Conference held on 17th to 21st November 2008 in the Palace of Westminster for 92 colleagues from across the Commonwealth and beyond on the scrutiny of the effectiveness of international aid; notes that following the Accra High Level Forum in September 2008, the conference debated the vital role of parliamentarians in donor and partner legislatures in holding their executives to account on international aid effectiveness and commitments made under the Paris Declaration in 2005; further notes that the conference discussed the need to enhance the capacity of partner parliaments to undertake more effective scrutiny; and recognises an outreach responsibility within this Parliament to assist in strengthening the capacity of partner parliaments."
Shadow DEFRA minister Anne McIntosh is worried about shoplifting, hence EDM 2533:
That this House notes that there were 290,625 recorded incidences of retail theft in 2007-08, that shoplifting offences attract Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND) which carry a fine of 80, and that 40 per cent. of all PND go unpaid; further notes that multiple PND are being issued to some individuals who have no means of payment or intention to pay, and that PND should only be issued when there is likelihood of payment; further notes that under 50 per cent. of all community orders were served in full in 2007; urges the Government to amend the Association of Chief Police Officer guidelines to ensure that the issuing of PND reflect police judgement that the individual has the capacity to pay, and that a PND is the most appropriate sentence in the circumstances; further urges the Government to ensure that the Police National Computer is maintained and updated at all times and does not allow for the issuing of repeat PND across constabularies; further urges the Sentencing Guidelines Council to ensure that community orders are completed in full, and that the sentencing guidelines are enforced to ensure that offenders with drink or drug problems are issued with sentences that recognise those problems with an appropriate rehabilitation order; and recommends that sentencing guidelines be revised to ensure that strict sentences are issued when a PND is not paid within 21 days, or where repeat or aggravated offences are committed."
Miss McIntosh’s colleague on the DEFRA team wants to big up Herefordshire, through EDM 2531:
"HEREFORDSHIRE AND THE EUROPEAN ENTERPRISE AWARDS19.11.2008
That this House congratulates Herefordshire on winning the Enterprising Britain 2008 runner-up award; notes the actions that Herefordshire Council and its partners have taken to bring about sustainable prosperity in the county; further notes the outstanding initiatives that offer support to and promote entrepreneurship in Herefordshire, particularly for small- and medium-sized businesses; further notes the entrepreneurial spirit within Herefordshire and the successful efforts of businesses in the county to bring prosperity and employment to Herefordshire; and urges the European Enterprise Awards’ jury to recognise Herefordshire with a European Enterprise Award."
And Shrewsbury & Atcham’s Daniel Kawczynski tabled EDM 2528 to call for an extension of the Financial Assistance Scheme:
"EXTENSION OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME (No. 2)19.11.2008
That this House recognises the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) to be woefully inadequate for the purpose of helping those whose pensions have been wound up; further recognises that faith in the pension system must be restored and that can only be done through Government action; further recognises that those who retired before 1997 but who also had their pensions wound up are in need of just as much help as those who retired after 1997; and calls for an extension of the FAS scheme to help those who retired before 1997 in order that they are able to enjoy a reasonable standard of life."