• MPs have rejected a call for caps to be imposed on loans in the high-cost credit market. By a majority of 115, they voted in favour of a government-backed amendment neutering the motion put forward by Labour’s Stella Creasy under the procedure that allows backbench motions to be debated. Ed Davey, the business minister, said that the government was still considering what to do about this problem of people being charged extortionate rates of interest but that Creasy’s proposal could backfire because it could limit access to credit.
This is how the Guardian reported the Coalition’s wrecking of the Consumer Credit Bill tabled by Labour Newbie Stella Creasey, and supported by Ed Miliband to prevent legalised loan sharking, as outlined ad nauseum by yours truly on various blogs, Facebook and at our CLP Meeting last month.
To say I am steaming is an understatement. But I am not surprised by this cynical move from the Lib Dems to destroy a piece of legislation that seeks to protect the most vulnerable in Society.
We have to expose these lackeys to the Tories at every turn. They must not be allowed to get away with it, and at the local elections we must tie, indelibly the Lib Dems to this malicious and cruel Government which makes Thatcher’s Tory Party look positively benign.
BUT, there is one huge positive to come out of this as far as the Labour Party goes. Stella’s efforts are an attempt at bottom up politics. She took an issue raised at her Constituency Surgery, applied for and delivered a Ten Minute Rule Bill, got the thing to Westminster Hall to hear evidence and brought it before the House to vote on. And crucially she and her supporters persuaded the Front Bench and Leader Ed Miliband to throw their weight behind it, only to see the Coalition strong arm their back benchers into voting it down.
All credit to Stella Creasey, her supporters and members of the Party and the public that got a grass roots Bill this far. Shame, and more shame on the Lib Dems. Make them pay with their Council seats in May.