Working late

Lord Norton

It is just coming up to 11.00 p.m. on Wednesday.  The House is still on Report stage of the Academies Bill.  We have just had  a vote on one of the amendments.  It is always possible that there may be more before Report stage is completed later this evening.  Then again, given that the Opposition lost the vote by 44 votes to 111, possibly not.

It’s been a busy day.  I had a meeting of the Constitution Committee this morning.  We had a fruitful discussion as to future business.  (Nick Clegg is appearing before the Committee next week.)  After lunch, there was the weekly meeting of the Association of Conservative peers.  I had a meeting with Universities minister David Willetts, along with a few other academics, to discuss the research excellence framework (REF) for universities.  I had to return to the House for a division on the Academies Bill.  I then attended a very useful seminar on ‘Connecting with Constituents’ organised by the Hansard Society, looking at different means of using technology to engage with people outside Parliament.  It was then back to the House for the Academies Bill.

A slightly longer day than usual, though not by much- well, not so far…

10 comments for “Working late

  1. 08/07/2010 at 6:27 am

    So three-quarters (75%) of The Peoples’ advocates, representatives, protectors and governors thought the education of Britain’s Young not worth getting out of bed to vote for or against or even to register an abstainment , my lord ?

    And that was just in the so-called ‘Lower House’, by far the most powerful and therefore the most responsible Place in Britain ?

    And only one of The Peoples’ Defenders reporting back reasonably fairly to us ?

    I question whether such Governance is even response-able.

    Whatever your hidden or so far unseen or unreported motives may be, Lord Norton, you appear to be quite ‘conservative’, to be supporting research excellence for universities (but nowhere a proper All-Round and frequently-up-date-able Foundation Education for all) and to have some kind of interest or intention towards ‘Connecting with Constituents’ (but it seems you make a clear non-sequitur therein by equating ‘constituents’ with ‘people outside of parliament’ ?
    ——————–
    None the less I would propose a little vote of thanks towards you, for not only working reasonably objectively towards an increasingly truer and (may I put it a slightly different way this time, all-people’s longterm real-needs-and-hows-and-costs)democratic-governance, but for combining with that in this little report an open-hearted bit of subjective or ‘personal’ conversation.
    I only hope and trust that we’re not all working ‘too late’.

    Warm regards …

    ——————
    (JSDM 0620Th0807)

  2. 08/07/2010 at 6:35 am

    So three-quarters (75%) of The Peoples’ advocates, representatives, protectors and governors thought the education of Britain’s Young not worth getting out of bed to vote for or against or even to register an abstainment , my lord ?

    And that was just in the so-called ‘Lower House’, by far the most powerful and therefore the most responsible Place in Britain ?

    And only one of The Peoples’ Defenders reporting back reasonably fairly to us ?

    I question whether such Governance is even response-able.

    Whatever your hidden or so far unseen or unreported motives may be, Lord Norton, you appear to be quite ‘conservative’, to be supporting research excellence for universities (but nowhere a proper All-Round and frequently-up-date-able Foundation Education for all) and to have some kind of interest or intention towards ‘Connecting with Constituents’ (but it seems you make a clear non-sequitur therein by equating ‘constituents’ with ‘people outside of parliament’ ?
    ——————–
    None the less I would propose a little vote of thanks towards you, for not only working reasonably objectively towards an increasingly truer and (may I put it a slightly different way this time, all-people’s longterm real-needs-and-hows-and-costs)democratic-governance, but for combining with that in this little report an open-hearted bit of subjective or ‘personal’ conversation.

    I only hope and trust that we’re not all working ‘too late’.

    Warm regards …

    ——————
    (JSDM 0630Th0807)

    • Lord Norton
      lordnorton
      08/07/2010 at 10:09 am

      JSDM: My choice of words (‘people outside Parliament’) was deliberate as the means of connecting with people was also very relevant for peers.

      • 08/07/2010 at 9:39 pm

        Now we have three wordings:
        Hansard’s; ‘Connecting with Constituents’;
        Peers’: ‘Connecting with people’;
        Lord Norton’s: (‘using technology’ ?) ‘to connect with people outside Parliament’;
        so, since any conflict between those terms is not expressly your possible non-sequitur my lord, there remains a clarification problem sufficiently tiny for a little exercise to be suggested here, for the overall tinier & greater Task of ‘Win-Win-Win Assessment’.

        Where we see a difference between two purportedly ‘same’ terms, we should be able to scrutinise their win-win proportions.

        But since we have 60 million-odd ‘same’ Needs throughout the People, our scrutiny needs to have 60 million-odd ‘wins’ in it (win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win x 600,000).

        Not ridiculous: nor impossible.

        I start with the Enneagram graphic: on the first page I draw a very large circle and nine equidistantly smaller circles within that, like a ten-circle ‘target’ which will be the ‘quantity’ part of the graphic;
        and now for the ‘quality’ part I insert straight line radii to divide the ‘gram into equal sectors representing each major component part of the overall field being assessed, such as Food, Clothing, Utilities, Transport, Wishes & Luxuries.

        Enneagrams are like circular ‘graphs’; make different coloured tiny crosses and noughts on the appropriate quantity-circle within each sector, lets say green for the quantity you already have, black for what the Law says you must or should have, red for a negative shortfall, and yellow for a positive surplus (between what you have and what you need; and between what you have and what the Law says you should have); the join up each particular colour and cross or nought until you see all the overall shapes.

        That gives a quick ‘snapshot’ of balance and imbalance, between quantities as well as qualities.

        Successively smaller-scale enneagrams will bring us up to the 60 million level of Common Needs that I argue is where our democracy should be veering instead of trying to create smaller and smaller bodies of Excellence at the expense of Progressively Harmonised All-Roundness and Sustain-worthiness.

        Other graphics are similarly useful, including the Web which young primary-school pupils are already very familiar with, some to the extent of having different sizes of circles and rectangles, variously overlapping or underlapping, to make a visually intelligent ‘Map’ of any problem, subject, module, concept or word.

        ‘Blueprints for Thinking in the Cooperative Classroom’ (Bellanca & Fogarty) is a good manual showing twelve such cooperative-thinking models.
        ——————-
        Whenever we see terms such as ‘balance’, ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ we need to resort to detailed mapping such as the relatively simple ones above, to see precisely what the proportions and percentages of ‘winnings versus losings’ is going to be, in any Needs or Entitlements matter, especially concerning legislation we are engaging in or are contemplating.
        ==============================
        Lastly I wish to apologise for posting the same comment twice first at 0620 then at 0630;
        I was tired, and thought it important to make the closing sentence “I only hope and trust that we’re not all working ‘too late'” distinctly separate from the foregoing.

        Could one think that the second comment should have replaced the first; or that LOTB might be able to provide the submissor with some little signal that can show ‘This (time/date) replaces the previously-submitted (time/date)’ ?

        This is possibly a reasonable sort of human ‘foible’, but if (hopefully when) magnified up to 60 million times will surely have needed more than just Hansard to find technological-means of coping with (what could it be called) “Two-way Communication with The People”, my lord ?
        —————–
        (jsdm2140Th0807).

  3. Senex
    08/07/2010 at 4:23 pm

    LN: The ruddy BBC is at it again!

    Your impromptu chair of the lecture ‘Briefings: The Coalition in Modern British Politics’ in Portcullis House 21 June 2010 is not on the Democracy Live site. Is it a conspiracy to protect the blue and true from fainting in disbelief?

    It was on iPlayer but this content is not available to the good folks overseas. Anything remotely to do with Parliament should be on the DL site.

    What say you BBC and Hansard?

    • Carl.H
      09/07/2010 at 1:07 pm

      Had you mentioned earlier whilst it was still available I could have put up instructions so you could use a British proxy server or at risk of prosecution copied it for you, for educational purposes.

  4. Chris K
    08/07/2010 at 5:55 pm

    In many ways I’m quite pleased to see late-night sittings coming back. Certainly it’s preferable to having a pathetic three hour debate on a key piece of legislation, as the previous government thought sufficient.

    The Commons were up until gone 2am on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) debating the Finance Bill. I suspect that may have been due to a deliberate effort by HM’s Loyal Opposition.

    Being a legislator isn’t a 9-to-5 job. I have no sympathy for MPs who complain about late nighters. I do have some sympathy for your Lordships, however, as I’m sure I would be flagging by gone 11pm. Add 60 years to my age and I’m certain I would(!)

  5. 08/07/2010 at 7:54 pm

    What’s the word on REF?

  6. Carl.H
    09/07/2010 at 9:52 am

    Why have the bloggers stopped posting on debates that are current or upcoming in the House ?

    I was led to believe this blog was so more interaction between the public and their Lordships could occur.

    Today we have the Defamation Bill and the Dog Control Bill but not a single blog on those subjects.

    All we seem to get lately is reform posts. I do not believe their Lordships to be so self centred or should I ?

  7. Lord Blagger
    09/07/2010 at 9:14 pm

    Perhaps because they haven’t been to the house apart from to sign on. 🙂

    Lord Blagger

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