Clause 1 — Referendum on the alternative vote system

Part of Royal Commission (London) – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 12th October 2010.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), DUP Westminster Leader 8:15 pm, 12th October 2010

I am grateful to you, Mr Hoyle, for the opportunity to speak in this debate. I say "debate", but until Nick Boles spoke, it was not much of a debate, but more of a monologue: every speaker, apart from the Minister, had the same opinion in support of the amendments that would move the date of the referendum from the date scheduled in the legislation.

The hon. Gentleman talked eloquently about the people, and politicians, talking to each other. I have no doubt that none of this debate this afternoon and evening will get any coverage at all anywhere in the main news media. I doubt very much whether it will get any coverage in the press tomorrow. Frankly, people are not interested in the subject. That is the reality. If we were really honest about it and were following a new agenda and new politics, we would be saying that what we are discussing is not on people's minds at all: they are far more interested in the economy, jobs and the wars going on, with soldiers dying and all the rest of it. They are not interested in our spending days upon days debating this subject, which is of interest only to certain politicians in certain parties.