Neither Blair or Brown attend Parliament for Iraq Debate

#62
They both stitched themselves up by writing cheques with their mouths that this country couldn't cash.

I have said for a long time (sadly) that I hoped to god that Labour was still in power when the effect of their policies actually came home to roost. I would have hated it if anyone else got the blame.

The people of this country (most of them) are now maxed out in debt - and the interest rates (as expected) are starting to climb. Too late, and now the knock on effect is that the banks will make it super rich and hundreds of thousands will be in the work-house.

Broon has spent all he can spend and got the whole country in way more debt than it can afford - just before it all comes crashing down with high unemployment and a recession due to interest rates and massive personal debt. No chance of repaying that national debt. The next party in will have to make itself incredibly unpopular by making massive cuts in spending to balance the books again - which means our forces once again. Do you remember the swinging Conservative cuts in spending? Well that was in order to pay off the previous HUGE national debt. Broon has wasted that legacy and put us back 20 years. Someone has to pay that debt and guess who it will be? US!
 
#63
I would hate to see the military cut to pay for Broons incompetence and Blair's eagerness to fight wars. Surely there are vast swathes of useless middle managers and quangos that should be cut first.

I have to say, it is worth the pain just to see Broon under pressure when he becomes PM. I don't think he is up to the job and he will not have any easy foreign policy moves to get him out of trouble in Afg and Iraq, 2 wars that he emphatically supported in Blair's Cabinet.

Anyone remember the winter of discontent! Oh happy days.
 
#64
TB has gone past his sell-by date anyway. Reason for not attending was:

1. He has nothing to say that would have any impact.
2. He's going soon.
3. No bugger has listened to him for the last decade anyway.

I suggest that they turn the House into a Political Big Bro Show. Anyone voted out by the public would be sacked, not forced to resign and receive a lump sum/full pay for a year/half pay for a further ten years and then a whacking great pension. Simply; pack your newspaper and your coffee mug and follow the securityguard to the door, bye-bye. I think that would be true representation of the public will.

It should be aired on a public channel (non pay per view or any other dodgy encoded frequency) with a free-phone number to vote.

I am generaly hacked off at the complete disregard by the politicians in Britain, but that is nothing new. I don't see many Western countries who have a governing body that can even stick to 50% of their promises.

Why do we bother? I think I'll just apply for another 6 credit cards, max out and them emigrate.
 
#65
Archimedes said:
Hang on a mo - Cameron was there: unless the Guardian and Times reporters (amongst others) were making things up (or Cameron has a convincing double):

Tony Blair has rejected a call for an October pull-out of UK troops from Iraq - but ducked discussing the issue with MPs at a Commons debate on the conflict.

In a deliberate breach of parliamentary etiquette, the leaders of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties appeared in the chamber - despite Mr Blair's decision to attend a CBI conference of business leaders in London instead.
Grauniad story and Times story. Also see Torygraph report

Parliamentary etiquette (as the story suggests) holds that if the PM isn't there, the leader of the opposition doesn't turn up either. This is why when Prescott entertains the masses at PMQs he is faced by someone else - usually William Hague.

Since Margaret Caravan was leading for the government, Hague was - according to etiquette - the one to respond for the opposition, which he did.

Ming Campbell spoke, but IIRC, Paddy Ashdown often spoke in foreign affairs debates as the Lib Dem lead as a function of the fact that the Lib Dems aren't the official opposition, so the etiquette doesn't apply in quite the same way (AIUI). Cameron may have headed off to Davos (for the World Economic Forum), but he was at the debate.
If you read through the debate in Hansard and you will not find Campbell anywhere on it. He was at a trade conference in Switzerland, as was Brown, the latter of whom was giving a presentation to it on leadership!

The papers seem to believe that Hague still leads the Conservalabourtives!

I am rather dubious as to the existence of the etiguette to which the paper refers. I can find nothing in the Standing Orders of the House to suggest the existence of such an agreement, arrangement or understanding reached between the parties.

On previous occasions when Blunkett used to send a junior minister to the House to answer questions on contentious Home Office Policy, Blunkett's shadow opposition made very sure he was there.

The contention that Ming was there because his party is not the 'official' opposition is at best speculative.

The issue is, in any event, academic. It was the single most important issue this country faces. That Parliament evidently thought so was evidenced by the amount of time spent by members debating it.

It leads one to the conclusion that party leaders appear to have contempt for Parliament whose only use to them is ensuring that their 'Lobby Fodder' can engage in debate as much as they like for the edification of the public as long as they do as they are told by the leader in a whipped vote.

Regards and best wishes
Iolis
 
#66
That is well noted Iolis.

What was the number of politicians in the house during the debate. This would also be a good indicator of how important 'other' representatives thought it was.

As for the etiquet issue: What a load of sh!t. Our interests must be represented in the proper place by ALL concerned at the time an issue is debated. If the leader of one party cannot find it within him/herself to attend, it is NO reason for the other leaders to bail out also. Democracy and representation cannot be left out simply because of some idiots perception of etiquet!

If there is a debate in the house about an issue, the relevant ministers are under an obligation to attend WHETHER OR NOT they think there is nothing to add. If there is nothing to add, then why is there a debate.

The people who did not attend copped out of their duties, not only to the British people who wanted their input and to hear their responses in he debate, but also the parliamentary democratic process that they are supposedly proud of.

If the parliament has such little value, I for one will be happy to scrap it, scrap them and start a dictatorship.
 
#67
Seriously, though, is anyone really surprised? I mean, really?

He's made a career out of ignoring Parliament unless he needs them in order to get his way, so what's new?

If he had attended, he might be asked all kinds of awkward questions, like, " Can the Prime Minister say where the troop reinforcements promised to Afghanistan will come from and what effect this will have on rest periods for units?"

Since, as someone else said, we're seeing the bunker mentality emerging I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was, "Steiner's Panzer Corps". I'm not holding out any hope he'll take the same way out as the last national leader to be pinned in a bunker by his enemies, but the thought's a nice one...
 
#68
There are many who ignore Parliament.

Some MPs are very poor attenders.

These are the self-same people who will lament falling voter turnout and condemn the public for it's failure to vote yet, at the same time, the same people who are in receipt of a vote are the same people who either fail to turn up for a crucial vote, or simply vote according to the direction of the whips without even attending the debate or, even if they are strongly against a Bill as proposed, they will abstain from a vote rather than showing 'disloyalty' to the party.

In other words, they demand your vote and having got it, they fail to exercise their own. They seek to demand what they refuses to discharge. They seek to claim the benefit while absolving themselves of the burden.

It is worth remembering that control orders and detention without due process cleared the Commons by a single vote! That is how fragile your freedoms are!

You have to find £60,000 plus a generous amount of expenses from your taxes every year to 'feather-bed' 'Lobby Fodder' like this.

If you pay a generous amount of money to a tradesman to repair your house, you might at least expect him to work on it and complete it in accordance with your direction. You might feel pretty aggrieved if you paid him good money, he turned up when he wanted and followed someone else's instructions and not yours!

Why should these Bastewards be treated any differently?

If your own MP is remiss in this area, a note to him with a polite reminder that you have noted his poor attendance and voting record and that you will not tolerate freeloading passengers might serve to keep him on his toes. If he abstains from a vote, send him a bollocking letter asking him to disclose his reasons for doing so. He is, after all, accountable to you regardless of whether or not you voted for him. In short, shake the basteward up and make him do his job!

So what if he gets fed up with having to answer your letters. He cannot on the one hand claim that people are apathetic while at the same time complaining when they are not!

Hand deliver his office a note or send him a fax and let the basteward send you a letter the postage of which has to come out of his constituency budget. If you are not happy with his response, send him another one asking for a response with a greater degree of specificity. Stay on his back! Make yourself a pain in the arrse. Make the tw*t earn his money!
 
#69
Iolis,

with the greatest respect, don't forget that Hansard only tells you who spoke in the debate, not who was actually there. It's ludicrous to think that the political correspondents of three major newspapers would mis-identify Cameron for Hague. Or that BBC Parliament somehow managed to squeeze in a very cunning holographic representation of Cameron on the front bench to hide the fact he wasn't there...

He was present for PMQs, so his being at the start of the debate 13 minutes later isn't at all implausible.

I should have said 'custom' rather than etiquette, since Cameron could have spoken, although it would have marked a considerable breach of custom to have done so and to have taken the lead from Hague. I rather think he should have done this to make the point, although I can't help thinking that the Speaker would probably have continued his tradition of getting things wrong by intervening and refusing to allow Cameron to speak.

Giblets is quite right that this is ridiculous - but then as it took 200 years to end the bizarre requirement (not mere custom) that an MP wishing to make a point of order in an adjournment debate had to wear a collapsible top hat I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised that custom over-rode the idea that the Leader of the Opposition should speak.
 
#70
Iolis said:
Archimedes said:
Hang on a mo - Cameron was there: unless the Guardian and Times reporters (amongst others) were making things up (or Cameron has a convincing double):

Tony Blair has rejected a call for an October pull-out of UK troops from Iraq - but ducked discussing the issue with MPs at a Commons debate on the conflict.

In a deliberate breach of parliamentary etiquette, the leaders of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties appeared in the chamber - despite Mr Blair's decision to attend a CBI conference of business leaders in London instead.
Grauniad story and Times story. Also see Torygraph report

Parliamentary etiquette (as the story suggests) holds that if the PM isn't there, the leader of the opposition doesn't turn up either. This is why when Prescott entertains the masses at PMQs he is faced by someone else - usually William Hague.

Since Margaret Caravan was leading for the government, Hague was - according to etiquette - the one to respond for the opposition, which he did.

Ming Campbell spoke, but IIRC, Paddy Ashdown often spoke in foreign affairs debates as the Lib Dem lead as a function of the fact that the Lib Dems aren't the official opposition, so the etiquette doesn't apply in quite the same way (AIUI). Cameron may have headed off to Davos (for the World Economic Forum), but he was at the debate.
If you read through the debate in Hansard and you will not find Campbell anywhere on it. He was at a trade conference in Switzerland, as was Brown, the latter of whom was giving a presentation to it on leadership!

The papers seem to believe that Hague still leads the Conservalabourtives!

I am rather dubious as to the existence of the etiguette to which the paper refers. I can find nothing in the Standing Orders of the House to suggest the existence of such an agreement, arrangement or understanding reached between the parties.

On previous occasions when Blunkett used to send a junior minister to the House to answer questions on contentious Home Office Policy, Blunkett's shadow opposition made very sure he was there.

The contention that Ming was there because his party is not the 'official' opposition is at best speculative.

The issue is, in any event, academic. It was the single most important issue this country faces. That Parliament evidently thought so was evidenced by the amount of time spent by members debating it.

It leads one to the conclusion that party leaders appear to have contempt for Parliament whose only use to them is ensuring that their 'Lobby Fodder' can engage in debate as much as they like for the edification of the public as long as they do as they are told by the leader in a whipped vote.

Regards and best wishes
Iolis
At this juncture I mention 'pairing'

Is Blair not paired with Cameron? Whilst pairing is only to do with voting, is it not etiquette to forgo the debate too?
 
#71
I am grateful to Archimedes and Sven for their comments.

It is confirmed that Mr Haig was present for PMQs. Whether and to what extent he remained thereafter is not clear.

The arrangement of ‘paring’ is an informal arrangement, which refers to voting only. Since it is an informal arrangement, it does not appear in the Standing Orders.

The authority for this contention is Parliament itself which describes it thus:

“Pairing

Pairing is an arrangement where an MP of one party agrees with an MP of an opposing party not to vote in a particular division. This gives both MPs the opportunity not to attend. Pairing is an informal arrangement, however, and is not recognised by the House's rules.

Such arrangements have to be registered with the Whips, who check that the agreement is stuck to. Pairing is not allowed in divisions of great political importance but pairings can last for months or years.”


The informal arrangement of ‘pairing’ has no application at all to debates in the House.

Archimedes is correct to point out that Hansard will only record those who have contributed to debate and not those who attend. It is only possible to find out who attends when the lists appear on a vote taken. Clearly that is not the case here.

However, if Mr Campbell was in attendance throughout, then Hansard records he had nothing at all to say . If that is in fact the case, then it reinforces the point I attempt to make rather than weaken it.

If Mr Campbell did, in fact depart for the Conference at Davos that day as we know he did, then in my submission nothing changes. He is the leader of Her Majesty’s principal opposition who failed to exploit fully a clear opening left open to him by a political enemy. In a bloody adversarial conflict in war, as in a bloodless adversarial conflict in politics this might be considered by some to be a dereliction of duty by any leader in any conflict!

Although I have tried to find some explanation for Mr Cameron's Parliamentary silence, I remain at a loss to find any plausible reason, justification or excuse for it.

I do of course concede to Archimedes the point he makes that it is ridiculous to suggest that newspaper editors would fail to properly identify the leader of the opposition and I am sure that he will forgive the heated flippancy of my remark.
 
#72
Iolis let it rest. I saw Ming on TV in the chamber and I saw Cameron as well. Blair was the only one who couldn't be bothered to attend. His reputation has sunk to a new low. I would be happy to see either Ming or Cameron as the new PM. Pity we have to see Mong Broon first. Labour are a disgrace, they need to be removed-quickly.
 
#73
chimera said:
nigegilb said:
BTW if James Gray (Con), wins his reselection vote on 30 Jan I have offered to stand against him. Try and get an ARRSER in parliament!
Why? You might not like his private habits, but he is very pro military.
Well,I was wondering while reading this why no ex-serving officers of HM Forces (Paddy Ashdown's the only one I can think of) has stood against the government in Parliment? I'm sure there are a few who aspire to politics as a secondary career.The was talk a while go over here of Col Tim going into politics.
I think to be a leader you need a spine first & foremost.The ability to say,"I funcked up!" & in doing so,you'll more likely be forgiven in time.bLair & Broon has & never will do that!
I have more respect for the the MP's who came out & admitted they wre alcho's,gay,whatever else than I ever will for those two tw@s!
Even Richard Nixon (even tho I was too young to remember it) get's my vote!
bLair & Broon..You to are prize cnuts of the highest order!!!


RFUK for Prime Minister!!!
 
#75
spike7451 said:
chimera said:
nigegilb said:
BTW if James Gray (Con), wins his reselection vote on 30 Jan I have offered to stand against him. Try and get an ARRSER in parliament!
Why? You might not like his private habits, but he is very pro military.
Well,I was wondering while reading this why no ex-serving officers of HM Forces (Paddy Ashdown's the only one I can think of) has stood against the government in Parliment? I'm sure there are a few who aspire to politics as a secondary career.The was talk a while go over here of Col Tim going into politics.
I think to be a leader you need a spine first & foremost.The ability to say,"I funcked up!" & in doing so,you'll more likely be forgiven in time.bLair & Broon has & never will do that!
I have more respect for the the MP's who came out & admitted they wre alcho's,gay,whatever else than I ever will for those two tw@s!
Even Richard Nixon (even tho I was too young to remember it) get's my vote!
bLair & Broon..You to are prize cnuts of the highest order!!!


RFUK for Prime Minister!!!
Talking straight in a world of liars and two-faced cnuts does not put you on the fast track to the top of that particular food chain.

To become Prime Minister, you have to be the biggest, baddest liar on the block, or better still, be sponsored by people who are AND have money - Monsanto, Gambling interests, the Mafia, Irish Americans, Halliburton, Republicans etc, etc.
 
#76
Which Prime Minister has been sponsored by organised crime?
 
#78
nigegilb said:
Iolis let it rest. I saw Ming on TV in the chamber and I saw Cameron as well. Blair was the only one who couldn't be bothered to attend. His reputation has sunk to a new low. I would be happy to see either Ming or Cameron as the new PM. Pity we have to see Mong Broon first. Labour are a disgrace, they need to be removed-quickly.
Why?
 
#79
PartTimePongo said:
Which Prime Minister has been sponsored by organised crime?
Er, none to my knowledge, and I wouldn't dream of accusing our Prime Minister of being corrupt. Didn't the Kennedy's have links with organised crime?
 
#80
Both John Reid and the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament attended a "Red Rose Dinner" hosted by a drugs dealer (who was under police surveillance) with links to Russian gangsters, who was shot and killed six days later. The purpose of the "Red Rose Dinner" was to raise money for local Labour politicians.

Draw your own conclusions.

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=850532004

Jailed hitman to appeal
KATE FOSTER

HOME AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (kfoster@scotlandonsunday.com)

A HITMAN is to appeal against his conviction for the murder of a drug dealer who mixed with Jack McConnell at a Labour Party dinner just six days before he died.

William Gage has been given the go-ahead to appeal amid growing concerns by senior legal figures that the conviction may be unsound.

Gage was jailed for 20 years in February after a jury found him guilty by a majority verdict of gunning down Justin McAlroy outside his home two years ago.

The murder took place just days after McAlroy had attended a Labour fundraiser with McConnell, the First Minister, and other senior party members, including Health Secretary John Reid.

The event was one of the now infamous "Red Rose Dinners", which raised funds for McConnell and other Labour election campaigns from businessmen, including the building firm run by McAlroy’s father.

The dinners were highlighted again in April when Liz Wilson, treasurer of Motherwell and Wishaw Labour Party, was fined £2,400 for embezzling £11,000 from the fundraising events.

An appeal by Gage could bring yet more embarrassment to McConnell over the dinners.

Gage’s appeal was last night welcomed by miscarriage of justice campaigners, who claimed the police were under pressure to bring an early resolution to this politically sensitive case.

Legal experts are now concerned about the evidence brought to the original trial, and that in finding Gage guilty the jury may have come to the wrong verdict. The High Court yesterday confirmed that leave to appeal had been granted.

John McManus, spokesman for the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation Scotland, said: "The police wanted someone, it took the heat off and there was a political incentive to have this case out of the way.

"They wanted a fall guy. There was a strong political will to have this case closed.

"The fact that the evidence was allowed to be brought to court in the first place shocks me. Why the jury found Gage guilty I still do not understand.

"Gage was sent to prison for 20 years just one month before Thomas TC Campbell and Joe Steele were cleared of the Ice Cream War murders after 20 years in prison.

They wanted a fall guy. There was a strong will to have this case closed
When they were freed, people said this should never happen again in Scotland. I think there should be an investigation into why this case went to trial in the first place."

McAlroy was gunned down over a £50,000 drug debt outside his home in the Cambuslang area of Glasgow in March 2002.

Just days earlier he had attended the Labour Red Rose Dinner held in the Dalziel Golf and Country Club owned by his father Tommy McAlroy, who made donations to Jack McConnell’s campaign fund.

At the event, young McAlroy sat just yards away from McConnell, Reid, the then Northern Ireland secretary, and his MI5 minders. The local Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Frank Roy, was also there.
 

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