Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Conservative)
My Lords, I begin by addressing the very proper remarks of the noble Viscount, Lord Bledisloe, who tried to take me to task on the basis that I appeared to be inconsistent. Indeed, he thought I was inconsistent. The Minister rode to my defence, and I hope to improve it even more. I was not able to leap to my feet and say, "But excuse me, it is not quite as bad as it looks" because the rules on Report say that I have to sit and await my opportunity.
The first amendment I moved today looked at the Bill and found it wanting, in the sense that the Government lacked a definition of its own purpose. I was therefore trying—mischievously perhaps the Government might say—to assist them by putting in a proper purpose clause. But that was the purpose as they see it. This amendment says something about how I see the Bill and what I want to do about it. So in that sense I was not being inconsistent. It perhaps shows a difference between the Government's approach and my approach to Part 1.
Like the Minister, I shall try to be brief after that explanation—it is not an excuse—to the noble Viscount. Unlike the Minister, I accept the analysis put by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Donaldson, her noble friend Lord Stoddart of Swindon and my noble friend Lord Lamont. It would have taken a Damascene conversion for either of us to resile from the position that we have taken. She will therefore understand why I wish to test the opinion of the House.