A victory for sanity, in British politics?

From the BBC News website

The government has survived two big challenges to its controversial plans to change the law on embryo research for the first time in 20 years.

A cross-party attempt to ban hybrid human animal embryos was defeated on a free vote, by 336 to 176.

Catholic cabinet ministers Ruth Kelly, Des Browne and Paul Murphy voted for a ban. PM Gordon Brown and Tory leader David Cameron both opposed it.

A bid to ban “saviour siblings” was voted down by 342 votes to 163.

The votes followed two impassioned debates in the committee stage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, aimed at updating laws from 1990 in line with scientific advances.

Click here to read the full article on the BBC News website

Well that restores my belief in democracy and British politics just a little bit. I’d read a fascinating post and associated comments on this vote and the future of hybrid embryonic research on Tom Reynolds’ Random Acts of Reality blog. From the discussion in the comments, and what I’d seen in the mainstream media I’d assumed a long debate, a narrow margin victory, and further future debates mostly revolving around religious morals rather than scientific fact.

However, it looks like a victory for science and reason. I somehow don’t think it will stop the normal insanity that comes out of Westminster, but hey at least they made one step in the right direction!


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