Looks as if my first week back at Westminster is going to be interesting - if today's Sunday papers are anything to go by. On Tuesday 11th, second day back, we are debating the European Union Bill, which I'd thought would have been welcomed by any MP of an anti EU-integration bent. I'd been looking forwards to it as a way of putting a brake on the 'one way only' escalator system which has transferred power from the British Parliament to the EU Parliament since we joined in the early 1970s. After the 'confusion' surrounding the Lisbon Treaty 'non-referendum', I'd assumed there would be a rousing welcome on the Conservative benches for ensuring future moves towards Euro-integration would be subject to more Parliamentary and popular control. This Bill creates a legal structure, giving power to Parliament (and in some cases the people) over power transfers from us to them'. How could any Euro-sceptic not approve of this. But it seems (at least according to Melissa Kite in today's Telegraph and James Forsythe in the Mail, and others) that several of my colleagues do object. They are even suggestions that enough Conservatives are going to join with Labour to pass amendments which the Coalition Government will not be prepared to accept. "Commons defeat for Cameron" they announce in big headlines. Must admit that I don't believe a word of it, but then I live well out into 'the sticks'. Who knows what's happening four hours away. I'll just have to wait and see.
Have to say that today's newspapers seem determined to put a damper on my anticipation of going back on the 10th. There was so much negative stuff about 'purple plotters', the European Union Bill, and votes for prisoners, which all seemed designed to cause dissension in the camp. Saw somewhere that I may even be a 'purple plotter' myself - except that I'm not a plotter, purple or otherwse. Janet Daley in the Telegraph takes the view that the Coalition will survive, (which it will) but become hated by everyone. Well I hope she's not right about that. Anyway, I've had enough of reading all this miserable c***, have dumped all the newspapers in the recycling bin, and decided to be positive about the New Year and look forward with relish to returning to Westminster.