Imagine it is the day of a big football match. Two teams are to line up with the result hanging on the outcome of this one game. One player decides he wants’ the day off, and agrees with a player in the other team that he won’t play either, so that it’s still even on both sides. Complete nonsense I know, but that is what Pamela Nash is asking us to believe as explanation for her non-attendance at the vote her own party called to have the bedroom tax repealed. Apparently, she says, this is due to a parliamentary procedure called “pairing”. Even as the “baby of the house” she should be aware that pairing is not permitted at important votes, and she must have been aware that even if this wasn’t deemed important by the Labour Party it was important to the people who put her in a job, the people of Airdrie, and should have attended regardless. Of course, she couldn’t as she had an important meeting in Vienna at the ESPI Conference on Space against Youth Unemployment, no doubt all expenses paid. No need for her to worry about the roof over her head, on that night or any night. I hope she slept easy discussing job options in the stars that some of her constituents will be looking up at when there is no roof over their head and they are on the streets.
The fact there were numerous flights available to get her back to London for the vote has not gone unnoticed, and it seems that this MP who is not unknown for enjoying away days at others expense, such as her trip to Glastonbury, put a free night in Vienna on the taxpayers tab rather than hurry back for the job she was elected to do.
It seems to me that Ms Nash is following in the footsteps of a long line of Labour politicians who see Airdrie as a safe Labour seat, with no effort required beyond polling day. I can only hope that the people of Airdrie get the chance to boot Ms Nash’s career into space before the inevitable Conservative election victory sees them reduce the number of MP’s in Scotland and strip them of powers to solve the West Lothian question at the same time.