Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Roll of Honour


Noes: Joe Benton (Bootle), Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley), Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill), Rosie Cooper (Lancashire West), David Crausby (Bolton North East), Sir Tony Cunningham (Workington), Jim Dobbin (Heywood & Middleton), Brian Donohoe (Ayrshire Central), Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South), Mary Glindon (Tyneside North), Paul Goggins (Wythenshawe & Sale East), Dai Havard (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney), Michael McCann (East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow), Jim McGovern (Dundee West), Iain McKenzie (Inverclyde), George Mudie (Leeds East), Paul Murphy (Torfaen), Stephen Pound (Ealing North), Frank Roy (Motherwell & Wishaw), Jim Sheridan (Paisley & Renfrewshire North), Derek Twigg (Halton), Mike Wood (Batley & Spen).

Abstentions: Dame Anne Begg (Aberdeen South), Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath), Alex Cunningham (Stockton North), Bill Esterson (Sefton Central), Pat Glass (Durham North West - two cheers, at least), Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Hall Green), David Heyes (Ashton Under Lyne), Jim Hood (Lanark & Hamilton East), Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr), Michael Meacher (Oldham West & Royton), Ian Mearns (Gateshead), Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East), Virendra Sharma (Ealing Southall), Gavin Shuker (Luton South), Stephen Timms (East Ham), Shaun Woodward (St Helens South & Whiston).

Lib Dems: 

Noes: Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed), Gordon Birtwistle (Burnley), John Pugh (Southport), Sarah Teather (Brent Central).

Abstentions: Norman Baker (Lewes), Martin Horwood (Cheltenham), Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye & Lochaber), Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West), John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross), David Ward (Bradford East), Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central).

Also voting against was the Labour-allied Independent, Sylvia, Lady Hermon. Lady Hermon's predecessor-but-one was going to be outed by Peter Tatchell, but he died the day before. When that got out, the reaction from Northern Ireland was that everyone had always known this, and that Tatchell had a ridiculous idea of what life there was like.

Despite having made an unhappy speech, the former SDLP Leader, Mark Durkan, voted in favour. But his successor, Margaret Ritchie, abstained, as did their partisan, Alasdair McDonnell, two thirds of SDLP MPs, who take the Labour Whip. Of Northern Ireland's 13 MPs who take their seats, only Durkan and the Alliance Party's Naomi Long voted in favour, and her local party is split down the middle on this issue.

David Cameron himself did not turn up.

These are far more Labour and Lib Dem refusals to support this Bill, even at Second Reading, than had been predicted. Many a speech by a Labour MP who voted in favour nevertheless expressed deep unhappiness about this Bill, which is horrendously drafted, yet which cannot be any other way in order to achieve its objective. Having voted for the principle, they will not vote for the final text to become law. This Bill will never reach Third Reading.

But those hoping either for an anti-Cameron coup or for a breakaway right-wing party need not lay either such flattering unction to their souls. The number of Conservative votes against was far in excess of the previous rebellions over the EU (fewer than the number of Lib Dem MPs, once asked to vote on something specific rather than a meaningless gesture that they knew would lead to nothing) and over the future of the House of Lords. The lists do not correspond all that much, certainly not anywhere near enough.

In any case, there is no one more tribal than the Tories, to whom a party which they pretend is not really a party at all, but simply in itself the national interest, is therefore an end entirely in itself.


  1. Where's merseymike? He said the North West was not like that at all any more, there would be only one or two Labour votes against from there, an elderly Rosary-clatterer or something like that.

    Not according to Joe Benton (Bootle), Rosie Cooper (Lancashire West), David Crausby (Bolton North East), Tony Cunningham (Workington), Jim Dobbin (Heywood & Middleton), Paul Goggins (Wythenshawe & Sale East), Derek Twigg (Halton), Michael Meacher (Oldham West & Royton), Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) and Shaun Woodward (St Helens South & Whiston).

    Add in Gordon Birtwistle (Burnley) and John Pugh (Southport), 50% of Lib Dem votes against.

    Good showings from Scotland, Wales, West Yorkshire, the West Midlands and the North East, too. Signs of things to come.

  2. If Benton's Bootle seat is not Labour's safest then it cannot be far off. He is Secretary of the All Party Pro Life Group, Dobbin, who made a brilliant speech today, is Chairman of it. Dobbin is a stripling, a mere 73 this May. But Benton will be 80 in September. A seat to watch.

  3. I was surprised and gratified at the number of Labour noes and abstentions. Coupled with those who said they deemed the Bill worthy of scrutiny but would ultimately vote against, it may never reach the Lords.

  4. We live in hope, Andrew. I'd say that that was fairly improbable. But I can't see it reaching the end of its stages once it came back down the corridor.

    Anonymous 22:46, you missed out Bill Esterson (Sefton Central). I, too, would love to hear from merseymike on this. And from a frequent Anonymous but easily identifiable poster of comments on here, on my two concluding paragraphs.

  5. Dave Lundrum's Retweet of George Pitcher sums this up nicely.

    @GeorgePitcher..."I have more in common with right-wing of Conservative Party than David Cameron does. He has more in common with Labour Party. Irony is dead""

    If your a social conservative... WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING IN LABOUR?

  6. I'm not.

    And Pitcher is hardly where you are. Never mind the Blue Labour stalwart Dave Lundrum, who, unlike me, is, I believe it is correct to say, a Labour Party member. Broad Scouse. Staunch Everton supporter. Possible MP if any of the older Merseyisde contingent on this list were to retire?

    Any chance that you might answer my points about your fantastical view of UKIP, your obvious inability to break free of the Conservative Party (demonstrating my final paragraph), and your hallucinations about the possibility of a breakaway party reconciling all the irreconcilable right wings?

    That last one has already been tried. I had thought that you were in it. Although not very happily, it would seem.

  7. Not even you would suggest it was the reason. But assuming you are right that this Bill will never become law, Pat Glass abstaining has saved you the trouble of putting up in 2015 as an Independent or for anything set up in the meantime.

  8. "In the meantime"...?

    Actually, the movement within Labour could do with an interlocutor, a friendly critic, a critical friend.

    The Trots had the Trots. The Bennites had the Morning Star and that end of the Communist Party. The likes of the Labour Co-ordinating Committee had the Eurocommunists and Marxism Today. The Old Labour Right had the SDP (relations were often far closer than veterans of either camp would have you believe in print) and that period's Guardian.

    A publication of some kind, probably online these days. And an organisation? We'll see how it goes. It worked the last time. The mood of the Labour Party now bears more than a passing resemblance to the British People's Alliance. I even managed to convince them of that over on Harry's Place, so the moderators banned me.

    Very similar things could now be said about the Right, of course. What says it?

    Oh, and love the moniker.

  9. Mary Glindon and Sylvia Hermon went so far as to vote against the money motion and the carry over. True believers.

  10. Carry-overs are a monstrous Blairite invention. Any Bill that ran out of time at the end of a session ought to be lost. That always used to be the case, and it forced Governments to compromise.

  11. You may be interested in this from the office of Martin Horwood, Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham, whom the list records as abstaining:

    "Martin did not abstain on the equal marriage bill last night. He did not vote as he had an important meeting with constituents in Cheltenham on the effects of the government’s welfare reforms. This meeting had already been rearranged once and had to go ahead. Martin remains 100% in favour of equal marriage and will vote for the bill at all its subsequent parliamentary stages and looks forward to it becoming law."

    I had wondered if the debate, and the letters he had received, had given him food for thought. It seems not; but while there's life there's hope, and I'd like to think you are correct in believing that the Bill will not ultimately be passed.

  12. Pat Glass is on some parliamentary trip to Amsterdam, of all places. But so what? They knew that this vote was happening. Absences are intentional, and they speak volumes.

  13. David, is there a reason why you have failed to list the Conservative MPs who voted against or abstained on this bill?

  14. I am not interested in them.

    And I do not believe at least a third of them, anarcho-capitalists who are doing this for show.

  15. I have only once before passed by your site but will do so again - these are my thoughts on the matter:

  16. David Lindsay @ 17:33

    "I am not interested in them"

    What a contemptible and ignorant statement.

    You oppose gay marriage, yet you are "not interested" in the only large number of people willing to stand for that principle in Parliament-just because their existence doesn't suit your prejudices.

    Even George Pitcher admits on Twitter that he has more in common with the Right of the Tories than Cameron-and that Cameron has more in common with Miliband!

    The blunt fact is that the only significant socially-conservative rump in Parliament is in the Tory party-and casting doubts on their personal motivations for voting (which you can't ever know) is a despicable and slimy way to try and escape that fact.

  17. Nowhere near as despicable and slimy as they are, showily voting against something that they certainly support and know is going to pass Second Reading, if nothing else, anyway.

  18. "David Lindsay said...
    Pat Glass is on some parliamentary trip to Amsterdam, of all places. But so what? They knew that this vote was happening. Absences are intentional, and they speak volumes."

    The papers said PG was away with the Education Select Committee David. I'm sure Pat controls their dates for her own purpose. Have you even asked her for her view? She would have voted for it, my Mum got a letter saying so. If you don't believe me, ask for her view. But of course you know everything.

  19. These things do not happen by accident. Look at the constituencies of some of the people conveniently away on that committee trip. For that matter, look at Pat's.

    It will have done her no end of good in this constituency (not necessarily the CLP, perhaps, although I wouldn't be so sure of that), that she didn't vote for this. In fact, to my certain knowledge, it already has done. The Labour majority here was cut in half in 2010.

    If I were Pat, then I'd publicly play down that excursion, and semi-publicly point out that these things do not happen by accident. One fully expects that to happen.

  20. The NW MPs who voted against were as I predicted, a handful and all but one the usual suspects. At least two on your list - Woodward and Esterson - are in favour but like Martin Horwood could not attend. 400 against 175 is a huge majority and far greater than anything else voted on recently. An excellent victory.

  21. Also if you look back at my posts I said one or two from Merseyside. I was right. And that MP is not likely to be standing again next time.....