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Press Cycle 11 - Bank Holiday Bill
#11
I abstained against the Bill to show my support in principle, but the reason why I have abstained is why most other Conservatives have voted no. This isn't about whether we abstained or voted against. We have not voted against an increase in the bank holidays and not only myself, but other members of the Conservative Party, including Elaine herself, have said that we support an increase in the amount of bank holidays that our workers should have. Our concern is the way in which these bank holidays will fall. Next year, and possibly every year, 58.33% of the bank holidays will fall in three months, March - May. 4 bank holidays in one month, out of a proposed 12 in a year is too much, because it is not evenly spread. 7 bank holidays over three months, out of a proposed 12 is too concentrated - again it is not evenly spread. I understand the logic of a new bank holiday between August and Christmas, especially one at a time when we honour those who have died in battle, however I cannot understand the logic of lumping most of the bank holidays in Spring, so close together. What we suggested was straightforward, if we are to introduce new bank holidays in March and April, to evenly spread the bank holidays out over the year, we should be looking at moving the two current May bank holidays into the summer months. I think most people would prefer to have a more even spread, especially if we were giving them time off when the weather is hotter, perhaps to run in line with the school holidays - this isn't us being uncaring, this is Labour not taking the chance to amend legislation to make it better.
MP for Hexham 2005 -
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#12
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#13
Giving people more time off, there's no way that this could possibly backfi... oh my goodness that's a lot of division and discord.

Lockhart starts the cycle by absolutely decimating the Tories for rejecting Remembrance Day as a national holiday, it's effective, makes them look unpatriotic, it stings badly. The Lib Dems follow up the attack with two of their own including the reasoned observation that Knight did not vote against the bill. Ashbury rushes to the defence of her position pointing out that during the debate she was constructive and it is Labour who bulldozed this through, pointing out that there are now about a million bank holidays in Spring was another nice touch. MacKellar and Manning chime in to say how wonderful it is that the British workers have more time off now before Ashbury sweeps back to talk about spring again, Sweeney's retort about which holidays would be binned was quite good as well. Beddow and Knight finish the cycle with good entries backing up Ashbury.

This cycle was unfortunate because I think the Tories had the best of it, but their position is just inherently unpopular. People like bank holidays, they like patriotism, and they like their individual sense of nationhood (George, Patrick, David etc.) I'm going to give this to Labour purely because their policy is an easier sell, but this wasn't the washout it could have been for the Tories if they hadn't come to the table with sensible objections. XP to Sweeney, Ashbury, and Knight.
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