Post Referendum Letters: 08/12/14 (Advertiser)

Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser

Dear Sir,

A few weeks ago you published a letter from me regarding the Recall of MPs Bill debate which took place on 27th October 2014. In that letter I pointed out that three local Labour MPs, Tom Clarke, Frank Roy and Pamela Nash all voted against the proposed legislation. Tom Clarke replied to this via your letters page with the assertion that all three did vote for the power, and I stand corrected. I have re-checked the information on the websites They Work For You and Public Whip. These websites tally with the information contained in Hansard, the official record of Parliament for the debate which took place on that date. The proposed amendment to the bill would have strengthened it by giving the public the power to remove poorly performing MPs between elections. All three, Clarke, Nash and Roy voted that the public not be given this power, and instead they voted to introduce a bill which in my opinion is significantly weaker. Mr Clarke stated that they supported the bill which now “gives unprecedented powers to the people”. This means we are still reliant on a system where the MPs call the shots, with virtually only serious crime triggering the legislation. Hardly unprecedented.

Mr Clarke’s words mirror the actions of the Labour Party in relation to the negotiations with the Smith Commission. Labour publicly stated that we Scots are being given unprecedented new powers, but at the negotiating stage they were the ones actually demanding fewer powers. Abraham Lincoln is famously quoted as saying that “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”. It would appear that time has caught up with Mr Clarke, and the ease of access which the public now has as to who said what and how people voted means that we are less likely to be fooled now or in the future. Their actions are a matter of public record, no matter how they try to spin the story, and if people take the time to look into those records I’m sure they will be just as appalled as I am at the actions of a group of politicians who always put themselves and their party before the needs of the people who actually put them there.

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