Letter from Derek Conway TD MP (P 93 (Session
The Committee may wish to consider how those
outside Parliament view EDMS.
Increasingly charities and lobby groups use
them as activity tools, misleading their supporters into thinking
the EDMs have great impact on parliamentary opinion and in turn
justifying their own existence.
In 2004 the London Evening Standard carried
its analysis of what it judged to be a hard-working MP. Part of
the marking-chart was signing EDMS. This was in contrast to ignoring
service on House Committees, Standing or Select, neither of which
was considered, journalistically, a valid indication of an MP's
work in Parliament.
The Committee will no doubt have its own views
on whether an MP contributes more to the scrutiny of legislation
or the Executive by working on Committees or by signing EDMs on
the latest episode of Coronation Street. The London Evening
Standard clearly has.
It would seem that any form of self-regulation
has gone and that the House must set and enforce its own rules
to ensure its reputation is not tarnished by a minority who use
the Order Paper as a press release.
I would not wish to see too firm a control on
the subject matter but the issues should have some relationship
to public policy which commentary on sporting successes and or
television drama programmes cannot.