Somerset MP in praise of Gravity
Ian Liddell Grainger is an experienced politician. He seems to have been MP for Bridgwater (with or without West Somerset) for an eternity, but it turns out just since 2001. He has also become adept at making Parliamentary interventions. Mostly these serve to highlight what you will find below described, accurately of course, as God’s own county.
By and large these are interventions are in defiance of Parliamentary protocol. However when they provide promotional material for our county we should be grateful. How does it work?
Well yesterday was a fine example as Hansard illustrates. It was during a phase of Parliamentary process when MPs can request debates:
Ian Liddell-Grainger Conservative, Bridgwater and West Somerset: My right hon. Friend knows how good Sedgemoor District Council is, but I do not know if my right hon. Friend is aware that it has just approved the imaginative plans for the Gravity site, on the M5, of 600 acres, which even Elon Musk, I believe, has been down to see. This will create 4,000 jobs. May we please have a debate in Government time on the importance of enterprise sites, of which this is one, and their role in creating opportunities for all of the United Kingdom, but especially where district councils should be praised for the imaginative work of making sure they create jobs in their areas?
Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons: It is wonderful to see somebody from God’s own county. The more we hear from Somerset and about Somerset, the better, and I join my hon. Friend in congratulating Sedgemoor District Council. It is actually a rare treat to have Members come in and praise their local council; normally, it is a litany of woes where local councils are concerned. However, 4,000 jobs is a great achievement, and enterprise sites are a very good way of encouraging business. I am very grateful to him for highlighting the success of Somerset, which goes from strength to strength.
Eagle eyed readers will not that Mr Rees-Mogg skillfully avoided offering the debate that was requested. But here is the thing. Did Mr Liddell Grainger even want the debate? Or did he simply want the opportunity to put something in the written record in Parliament. It is a technique he has used many times and to be honest, few others are as skilled.
But then if everybody did it the point of the process (to schedule actual debates in parliament) would be rendered, well pointless.