During debate in the Lords yesterday, the Government attracted criticism, not least from me, for its failure to distinguish what Lord Sewel said at the despatch box in 1998 from what has developed as the Sewel convention. I have written about the verbal gymnastics of the minister in a post on my own blog. What was interesting was the stance of the Opposition Shadow Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Davidson of Glen Cova, in offering his support for the clause in question (Clause 2). The Opposition are committed to delivering on the Bill and so supported the stance of the Government. The problem with this clause was that Lord Davidson had difficulty finding any substantive reasons to oppose amendments moved to the clause. He took the view that it was politically necessary to stick with the existing wording, but didn’t really get beyond that. Essentially he said nothing, but took some time in doing so. Perhaps his most revealing, and amusing, comment was made in response to an intervention from Lord Tebbit:
Lord Davidson of Glen Clova: The suggestion that I am waffling is one that I do not find wholly offensive.