A few Tory MPs have killed off any debate on whether children should be taught life-saving skills at secondary school by filbustering the debate – talking nonstop until the time allocated to discussion of the cross-party bill ran out.
According to the Independent the main hero of this tale was the honourable Philip Davies (MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire), who talked for fifty minutes and apparently said:
Why on earth would I allow a bill the principle of which I don’t like [the chance to be debated again]?
Philip Davies MP, 20 Nov 2015
It’s reassuring to know that there are elected representatives who think so highly of themselves that the strength of their opinion alone is enough to torpedo democracy.
Other complaints that Philip had were that he had been taught first aid at school and now didn’t remember any of it (one hopes he can still remember his times tables, otherwise those are clearly under threat too), and that:
[he didn’t want] the Government to be sticking their nose in at every turn trying to lecture [teachers] every five minutes that they should be doing this, that, and the other.
Philip Davies MP, again, 20 Nov 2015
This, dear readers, from a member of the party that you’ll recall has always resisted meddling with the curriculum.
British Red Cross and St John Ambulance, who both staunchly supported the bill, have expressed disappointment. Your humble author – who has spent much of the past ten years volunteering with both of those organisations – has verbally expressed much stronger opinions, but is restricting this text to stuff that won’t get me blocked by content filters.
Another character involved in the filibuster were education minister Sam Gyimah. I’m sure they’re both very proud of their contribution to democracy.
PS: if you want to add your name to the 10,000 folk who think being able to block debates in this way is unfair, the petition is here.
PPS: I’ve just noticed that the tag line on Philip Davies’ website is “your interests, not self-interest”. Ha!