The Privileges of Parliament

Posted on: 19th May 2011

Originally posted February 10 2010

MPs have cottoned on to a new ruse; claiming “Parliamentary immunity” from any criticisms for arriving late at meetings, or mislaying papers and so on. Some are even using it at home to protect themselves from grievances over household chores.

Meanwhile Parliament itself is in hyper overdrive mode. Ends are being tied at a frantic rate of knots…

After years of little happening, the Shipping Minister has promised me that he would rapidly introduce a new Harbour Authority for Newlyn – opening the door for a major investment which it is hoped will breathe new life into our pre-eminent fishing port.

Although I may have failed in my bid to stop the privatisation of the Search and Rescue Helicopter Service, we welcomed news this week that Culdrose will not only keep its important status as the only base for 250 miles to provide a 24 hour service. Two new Sikorsky S92 helicopters arriving from 2012 with better and modern facilities – securing the importance of our local base.

I am encouraging local farmers and growers to lend their support for a supermarket watchdog. The Government opened a consultation this week on the Competition Commission’s proposal to make sure that British and developing world suppliers are treated fairly. This will be good for our food producers and for customers. I’ve slaved away chairing a national body pressing for this improvement over the past four years. Now we are only weeks away from real progress.

A Fire Service Minister apologised to my Committee this week for a Fire Control Project which has run out of control. I first protested about the plans seven years ago. Four years behind schedule and six times over budget the plan to operate Cornwall’s Fire Service from Taunton doesn’t look such a wise idea now – especially as our firemen would prefer that money to be spend on their engines and kit.

Now on to securing the Penzance to St Mary’s Ferry Link. Not before lots of avoidable froth and falling-out no doubt. I haven’t entirely given up calling for a calm and rational discussion.