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Neil Coyle abstains from vote on Welfare Bill

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Wednesday 22 July 2015 6.54am
So his first important vote as a newly elected MP and Neil Coyle let's down the most vulnerable people in his constituency.

As Diane Abbott so rightly put it, he was "not sent to Parliament to abstain".

Hugely disappointing.
Wednesday 22 July 2015 8.51am
i would have been more disappointed if he had voted for but you are right what is the point in abstaining
Wednesday 22 July 2015 12.52pm
I've never understood why they're allowed to abstain - shouldn't they be voting according to their constituents' wishes? I thought they were there to represent our views, not their own - or in this case no view at all!
Wednesday 22 July 2015 2.58pm
MPs abstain from voting yay or nay on legislation supported by their party when the know that their constituents would not be happy with them voting for or against a law, but the whips discourage a vote different to what the party leadership would like to see.

While Mr Coyle didn't want to pass off as a Corbynite rebel in the eyes of Harman's gang, one can't ignore the demographics of Bermondsey and Old Southwark: these show it as a deprived area, with over 40% of its population living in Council housing, and with over 30% born outside the UK: these are people who stand to suffer the most under the provisions of the 2015 Welfare Bill.

By abstaining Coyle can say: "hey don't look at me: I never voted for that bill!".

Labour by no means has a monopoly on this: Simon Hughes abstained when the Bedroom tax was voted upon in 2012.

These are difficult times for Labour as it must decide its political position very carefully: remain a Brownite party, that twice in a row lost General Elections, return to a form of Blairism (they could have done that had they selected David instead of ED), or travel even further back in time to the days of a much more left leaning and militant Labour Party.

If I was a member, I would find it very hard to decide who should lead the party, though no one can deny that Blair won 3 General elections on the trot and this is definitively food for thought.
Wednesday 22 July 2015 5.26pm
I must say I rather like the sound of Jeremy Corbyn. Isn't that what real Labour is about?
Wednesday 22 July 2015 6.25pm
Gavin Smith wrote:
I must say I rather like the sound of Jeremy Corbyn. Isn't that what real Labour is about?

Back in the early 80s, I lived in Islington and worked for the borough's social services dept: I had occasion to meet and discuss politics with Corbyn several times.

I was very favourably impressed by him, and supported him with my vote.

But those were other times, the borough was known as the Socialist Republic of Islington, and used to fly the red flag over Town Hall.

Maggie ruled the nation with a cold, uncaring iron fist, and had little time for even the concept of society. She loved Ronald Reagan more that she did the British working classes...

The SDLP were neither meat nor fish, so my only choices were not to note at all, or support donkey jacket wearing Michael Foot which I did wholeheartedly.

What I consider morally right, and what I consider realistic are two different things. Nš1 priority is keeping the Tories out of Government.

In the 21st Century only the party that can successfully make the middle ground its own stands a chance.

This means no red flags or pre-fall of the Berlin Wall rhetoric, no late night beer and sandwiches marathon meeting with the Unions, but instead a modern set of values fronted by a leader who knows how to best use the media to present him or herself as someone the public instinctively likes and trusts.

Blair managed to achieve this, though his leadership during Gulf War II resulted in him being defenestrated by his own party.

If labour wants to win the next Elections, it needs a likeable (for populism purposes) leader who can speak to and be heard by voters, with a well thought out set of policies that are easily distinguishable from those of the other main parties and that retain the core values of the Labour movement, and a united party behind his/her leadership.

Also, leadership contests must be decided on a one member, one vote basis.

No block votes.
Wednesday 22 July 2015 10.38pm
How I wish Margaret Hodges had thrown her hat in the ring.
Wednesday 22 July 2015 11.34pm
I think the hats that really count will be thrown in at the 11th hour during the Party conference in late September.

Some candidates will be little more than fall guys testing the water for bigger fish.

Until then frantic private discussions and negotiations will be a daily factor among those in the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Many things are being said, argued and debated behind closed doors and in confidential eMails, and you better believe it that they are not intended for the ears of mere mortals such as ourselves or even rank and file card holding Labour constituency members.

Right now Labour MPs seem to be either running around like headless chickens, or desperately trying to prove their loyalty to the faction they say they belong to perhaps in the hope of a junior position in the shadow government.

As of today no single figure in the party appears to display the level of statesmanship Labour needs if it wants to convince the Nation to give them a mandate to govern.

Again, none of this is exclusive Labour territory: all major parties have behaved in the same way when deciding on a new opposition leader.

Labour has so far failed twice in its choice (Gordon and Ed): it simply cannot afford to screw it up again.
Thursday 23 July 2015 5.13pm
If you can spot any labour MP that measures up to a Clement Attlee then that MP is likely to fit your desired criteria as a responsible and decisive leader
Thursday 23 July 2015 5.47pm
tone wrote:
If you can spot any labour MP that measures up to a Clement Attlee then that MP is likely to fit your desired criteria as a responsible and decisive leader

Unfortunately I can't spot someone within the labour Party that can match Attele's gravitas and genuine principles (at least not one who is likely to stand).

The man whose opposition Neville Chamberlain's appeasement to Hitler showed him as a strong opponent of Nazism, and his criticism of the weak British response to Hitler's plan for world domination was made of something we haven't seen in decades.

When they made men like him, they broke the mold.
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