I seem to have been getting into the habit of working late at the Lords, not normally leaving until 11.00 p.m. or even midnight. Usually, there is little relationshp between when the House rises and when I leave. Yesterday was an exception.
I was up early as I had to travel to Canterbury, where I was speaking at a Politics Sixth-Form Conference: I was speaking, with Lewis Baston, on ‘Is the British political system fit for purpose?’ I focused on the constitution and was analytical rather than promotional. I got away shortly after noon in order to catch a high-speed train back to St Pancras. In the event, it was delayed as it approached London – there were reports of someone on the line – with the result that I was back at the House too late to attend lunchtime meetings I usually attend on Wednesdays.
In the afternoon, I chaired a working group that is looking at how to increase registration and electoral participation among UK nationals living abroad. After that, it was a case of getting to the chamber to follow committee proceedings on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. When the proceedings were interrputed for the dinner-hour business, most peers left to get something to eat. I had to remain in the chamber as I was speaking in the dinner-hour debate on the quality of legislation. I identified various reforms that need to be implemented in order to achieve better quality (and ideally less) legislation.
When we finished, committee stage on the Bill resumed. I did pop out later – I had dinner about 10.00 p.m. – before returning to follow proceedings. The House rose just before 12.30 a.m. I got away shortly before 1.00 a.m. I was conscious I had to be up early to catch a train back to Hull…
I have made a mental note that I will start to get away earlier in the future. Oh yes.