Now we need a caveat : Neither probably mean anything at all.
However, the first rule of our campaign has been : If you know what they're up to, you can write about it and frankly, what they're up to is often so dodgy, the stories just write themselves.
So, first, if you haven't read the article by Jeff King, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Laws, University College London, it's a cracker. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/news/welfare-reform-and-the-financial-privilege.pdf It's long and very academic, but the crucial part is this :
"What recourse does the House of Lords have?
It is for the Commons tojudge the scope of the privilege in any given dispute, but the Lords
need not accept its judgment without protest. They have two recourses. First, they can
assert by way of resolution that they make no admission regarding the reasons offered by
the Commons, and do not consent to such reasons constituting a precedent. (See 125 Lords
Journals 425; 138 Lords Journals 337; 140 Lords Journals 345). Presumably, they may go
further and positively assert their disagreement while acquiescing nonetheless, just as they
may do with a legal decision they disagree with but grudgingly accept. The second recourse
is that, contrary to the tenor of the Clerk of Parliament’s report on the Lords’ options in such
a case, the Lords do in fact have the right to reject a bill in its entirety. The rule is stated
succinctly in Halsbury’s: ‘The House of Lords may reject a bill in its entirety without
infringing the financial privileges of the Commons. Its power to reject even a bill of aids and
supplies has been acknowledged in former times by the House of Commons.’ (Halsbury’s
Laws of England, Vol.78 (2010) 5thEdn, s.826; also noted inErskine May, 23rd
Both these recourses would be strong measures, but can be reasonably viewed as
appropriate responses to the Commons’ attempt to overextend its privilege."
So, basically, the Lords can stamp their feet a bit and delay the bill for a month, or they can throw it out entirely and it will be a year before the Government can pass it. More later on how where when and why - cleverer people than I are looking at the options, what it all means and what is actually likely to happen.
The second piece of sheer geekery came from the reasons given by the Government for rejecting the Lords amendments.
Quick flick through, Financial privilege, financial privilege, financial privilege, nothing to see here.... Oh wait?? What 's that? 19A agreed to? Except not agreed to at all! Reversed to read just as it did originally, but agreed to??? No financial privilege??
In fact, the time limit and the "youth condition" amendment (NI credits for disabled children, clause 52) were both agreed to. I had heard that youth condition might be accepted, but that makes it all the more surprising to see time limiting ESA in there too. Now geeks way geekier than me started bombarding me with clauses and caveats - "It won't change anything because..... "ahhh well they've only agreed because..... So again, more later when we've (well they've really) unravelled the deep, impenetrable mysteries of welfare, but I thought other geeks might like to join in the puzzling.
It seems to me, that they've accepted a "not less than" addition to time limiting under 19A - this would mean a year would be the least amount of time you could claim cESA, but possibly it could be more. Again, we'll just have to see what the experts say.
So. Much more later, when we know more, but it seems a glimmer or two just rose from the ashes. Or maybe not.
** For anyone who is reading my blog for the first time today, ignore today's post entirely. It is pretty much undecipherable unless you've been following clauses and amendments and points of order for the last 18 months. It may, even then be total gobbledegook and there are only about 12 people who will care about it all anyway, lol