Was it something I said?

I had to be in the House on Monday for the second day in committee on the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill.  Because of an agreement between the parties, the first day had finished relatively early and the sitting on Monday was scheduled to be a late-evening one.  Given that, I knew I would not be able to get back to Hull that evening, even if I left the car at Doncaster and caught a late train from King’s Cross.  The problem was that I had classes to teach on Tuesday morning.

I moved some amendments as well as spoke to others.  When I rose to speak on an amendment shortly after 11.30 p.m. I opened by saying “My Lords, I plan to be extremely brief, as I have classes to teach in Hull shortly after 9 o’clock in the morning.”  The minister followed me, saying that he appreciated the lateness of the hour and that the points raised in the discussion – although he addressed some of them – were matters that we would be coming back to later in our deliberations on the Bill.  The mover of the amendment took one sentence to withdraw it.  The House then adjourned.  

I was a little concerned in case I had helped encourage the decision to bring proceedings to a close at that point.  I was quite content to move on to deal with the next few amendments, including another two of my own.  As a result, they will taken early on the third day in committee – necessitating a furthe rearrangement of my teaching schedule in order to be there!

I should add that, being the Lords, some peers were concerned to know how I was going to get back to Hull to teach the classes.  I explained that there was a very early train from King’s Cross…

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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9 Responses to Was it something I said?

  1. Peta says:

    Good afternoon Lord Norton.

    Very pleased to have found your blog.

    I suspect by 23.30 everyone was ready to go home and were probably quite grateful to adjourn. I know I would have been by then.

    I hope you have an enjoyable weekend my Lord.

  2. Carl.H says:

    Ahhh the milk train, fond memories of extra hours spent with a loved one.

    Perhaps my Lord should have mentioned at an earlier point of his timeframe then his noble friends may have packed up even earlier.

    • Lord Norton says:

      Carl.H: I remember the midnight milk train from many years ago. It entailed spending two or three hours on Doncaster station – at least in those days there was a station buffet that was open.

  3. tory boy says:

    Do you have a flat in London to stay at when in London or do you stay in a hotel?

  4. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,

    It is perhaps good to create pressures for adjourning earlier.

    • Lord Norton says:

      frankwsummers3ba: I am one of those who don’t mind late sittings – well, as long as I don’t have a really early train to catch.

      • Frank W. Summers III says:

        Lord Norton,

        I imagine that you are able to do it willingly and it sometimes needs to be done. Yet if it becomes routine it may have and adverse effect on many things I would think. I myself have found collegial work settings challenging enough to know I should not opine on these matters. But those very difficulties make me aware of the issues. I am a colleague capable of (at least in the past) extraordinary amounts of time in continuous worlk who also prefers extraordinary amounts of time available away from the shared project. Both qualities are more unappealing than appealing to those seekig a common schedule I suppose…

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