Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Hypocrites

Well folks, the toadies and fools will have to wait but here are the worst of the hypocrites. These Labour MPs signed EDM 1088 but did not vote for it when offered the opportunity.
  1. Diane Abbott
  2. John Austin
  3. Lyn Brown
  4. Ronnie Campbell
  5. Martin Caton
  6. Colin Challen
  7. Michael Clapham
  8. Jim Cousins
  9. Ann Cryer
  10. Jim Devine
  11. Bill Etherington
  12. Paul Flynn
  13. Neil Gerrard
  14. Ian Gibson
  15. Kate Hoey
  16. Kelvin Hopkins
  17. Lynne Jones
  18. Peter Kilfoyle [see update]
  19. Jim McGovern
  20. Austin Mitchell
  21. Linda Riordan
  22. Jon Trickett
It remains to be seen whether any of these people actually voted against something they had previously explicitly supported or whether they merely abstained from voting for something they had previously explicitly supported. Either way, they all appear to be guilty of empty political posturing of the worst kind. Some on that list, I had actually thought could rightly be called honourable members. Apparently not.

Anyway, if your MP is on the list and you thought their signature on a motion calling for an inquiry meant that they actually supported an inquiry, why not write to them and ask them to explain why this wasn't the case (politely, need I add).

On a related note, I watched some of the debate and one of the standard lines regurgitated by the government's supporters was that this inquiry wasn't what the people of the country wanted, that Iraq wasn't an issue in the "constituencies". And yet, in a recent poll, 72% of respondents in British constituencies said they believe the Iraq war is "unwinnable". When 72% believe that we are involved in an unwinnable war, it clearly is an issue in the constituencies. How to square this circle? How, ultimately, can democracy function when the ruling party simply denies obviously uncontroversial truths?

My MP, Anne Begg, did not vote for the invasion in March 2003 but she is also not on the list of Labour rebels. If she's prepared to support the government now but wasn't then, I can only conclude that she believes things have gone better than expected in Iraq. Either that or she voted against the war only because she knew the government weren't going to be defeated that day. I'm going to (politely) write to her about that.

One other thing. What I said over at Blairwatch (give me a break, I've got the the devil's own cold here). For any other PM, this would be a very bad result indeed. 273 MPs voted against him on a matter his government proclaims to be absolutely vital. An honourable man would be considering his position. I won't be holding my breath.


Peter Kilfolye had a quadruple heart bypass operation in June and has not been back to the Commons since. That seems to be a reasonable explanation for his absence. For that reason, he should not have been included on the above list.

Here's the list of those who signed the EDM but actively voted against yesterday's motion (via). Almost unbelievably, twelve Labour MPs decided to vote against. To be fair, those twelve are clearly hypocrites, toadies and fools.

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Anonymous said...

Having an inquiry now will damage the morale of our troops. How?

Mark McDonald said...

I pointed out in my blog that there are probably many more pressing issues on our troops' minds than the potential for an inquiry.

It's yet another pathetic smokescreen thrown up to try and deflect criticism.

"Don't criticise us, our troops will be demoralised"

Utter toss.

septicisle said...

Even if all of them had voted against the government, Blair would still have won by 3 votes. Doesn't excuse them, but it just shows how right Simon Jenkins is.

Garry said...

Dot (heh), I have to disagree with the maths slightly. If all of the EDM signatories had voted for the motion, it may well have passed.

I think 12 of them voted with the government (HTF's) and 10 abstained (including the ill Kilfolye). If the 12 HTF's had not voted with the government, there would only have been 286 noes. If they had instead voted for the motion, that'd be twelve extra noes; 285. But we've still got the 10 abstainers to add to that so the vote could have been carried (even with Peter Kilfoyle absent).

The principle remains true though; the fact that this didn't happen does demonstrate just how right Jenkins is. When it comes right down to it, too many Labour MPs put party and self before country and conscience.

Anonymous said...

I thought the debate in the commons on the motion was telling. Beckett (and co) seemed to place their main justification on why MPs shouldn`t vote for the motion on the grounds they would be voting alongside 'the nationalists'. So in the House of Commons its not the validity of your arguments, or voting on principle - its the party you represent that matters! How can Labour hope to promote democracy in Iraq when they fail to grasp the basics of parliamentary democracy in the Commons.

Garry said...

Davie, indeed. I was watching the debate and one Labour MP, didn't get his name but he must be on the list above, said essentially exactly that; "I signed the EDM but I'm not voting with the bloody Nationalists!"

This from the party who said we shouldn't play party politics with this issue. Utterly disgraceful.