I hate having to re-arrange classes as it is disruptive for students. I only do so if parliamentary business is pressing. I cannot remember the last time, prior to last week, when it was necessary; it must have been some years ago. However, last week, I had to re-schedule classes because of the Second Reading of the Public Bodies Bill. I have had to rearrange another set of classes tomorrow because of the Second Reading of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.
The need to re-schedule arose because of the rules regarding Second Reading debates. One has to be present for the opening and closing speeches as well as for the bulk of the debate. I thus needed to get to the House in time for the beginning of the debates, necessitating leaving Hull before any class could be held.
With committee stage of Bills, there is greater flexibility. As a result I was fairly confident that, after tomorrow’s Second Reading, there would be little likelihood of needing to re-arrange any more classes because of business in the Lords. The key word here is Lords. I overlooked the other House! No sooner had I had concluded that no further changes would be necessary than I had a call from the Public Administration Committee in the Commons. It is examining what ministers do. Could I give evidence? It meets on Tuesday mornings – a teaching morning for me. Aargh!