Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill
Mr Charles Walker: I rise to support amendment 2, tabled by the hon. Member for West Bromwich East (Mr Watson). This really is a ridiculous way to transact legislation in this place—to sit here and listen to a lot of nonsense from some quite respectable people. The idea that we should put something so important and worthwhile through in a day just takes the biscuit.
I am sure that there is a huge amount of worthy content in the Bill, and I am sure that it is extraordinarily important that business is transacted as quickly as possible, but we have a duty of scrutiny and reflection in this Chamber. We represent 65 million people. This is not simply a rubber-stamping process. The idea that doing this in a day is somehow no worse than revisiting it in December just does not hold water. That argument will have no resonance out there with our electorate.
There is a slight undertone in the debate that those in the Chamber who express concern about the way business is being done today are somehow complicit in putting the nation’s safety at risk. That really is the last hiding place of scoundrels. I do not mean that anyone in this place starts from that basis, but we have a moral duty here to scrutinise legislation. I totally and honestly agree with the hon. Member for West Bromwich East that we need to revisit this sooner, rather than later.