X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Coffee House

Tories win knife fight using devious and confusing methods

17 June 2014

6:31 PM

17 June 2014

6:31 PM

As expected, Nick de Bois’ amendment to the Criminal Courts and Justice Bill passed 404 votes to 53. It owes nothing to the Conservative frontbench, which abstained for reasons I’ve tried my best to outline here (it’s difficult to explain something that doesn’t make a grab deal of sense, especially when both parties have voted in different ways before, as on the boundary changes). And it owes nothing to the Liberal Democrats, who opposed the measure in Cabinet and in this vote.

The result this evening is an example of the way the Coalition has reshaped the workings of government. Can’t get the Cabinet agreement you need on a policy? Let it rise up from the backbenches instead and hope for an unholy alliance with the Opposition. The Tories are of course practising the same logic with the EU referendum bill, having been frustrated on introducing this as a government bill for a second time by the Lib Dems, but they will not get Labour’s support for that piece of legislation.

The Tory backbenches have become more important and dangerous under this Coalition. Rebellious Conservatives dramatically changed the way the government works, as illustrated by the revolt on the Immigration Bill led by Dominic Raab. But backbench MPs are now also important ministerial weapons. They can introduce legislation that a Coalition partner will block at Cabinet level, although as David Cameron knows, this new power won’t always benefit him: his MPs are just as likely to introduce legislation he’d quite like his Coalition partners to block.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close