Tag Archives: Liberal Democrats

The Name May Change, But Disdain for the Poor Remains the Same


LiamDuncanSmith

Liam Duncan Smith….or is it Iain Byrne?

On Wednesday, Iain Duncan Smith brought in a bill designed to deny illegally sanctioned jobseekers redress, by retrospectively changing the law. Picking on people who are barely able to afford to eat is bad enough, but legislating to declare your illegal actions legal after all sets a dangerous precedent.

The Labour Party should have opposed the bill on both counts but instead, at the behest of Liam Byrne, all but around 40 Labour MPs abstained.

Whenever Liberal Democrat MPs allow Tories to win votes in the House of Commons by abstaining, Labour MPs are quick to point out that they are, effectively, voting with their coalition partners.

I agree, but the same applies when the boot is on the other foot.

The Labour MP who purports to represent me wasn’t one of those who voted against IDS’s bill, so I will now have a difficult decision at the next General Election, unless the Labour Party return to their roots, and start to actually defend the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.

The longer that Liam Byrne stays on the front bench, the more difficult it will be to persuade voters that they are any different from the Tories.

 

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April Fools


April Fools Day must have seemed to the government the ideal time to announce its intention to take its “Communications Capabilities Development Plan” to Parliament. They might be justified in thinking that everyone would assume it was an April Fools joke. (Part of me thinks it might be but, like everything this government has done so far, it’s not really funny, however laughable it might be.)

The authorities can already monitor and intercept communications from or to people under suspicion, so long as they obtain a warrant, but they want to spy on everyone even if they have no reason to suspect them. They still wouldn’t be able to see the contents of emails etc., but they’d be able to see every site you visited, and every email address you were in contact with.

This was deemed unacceptable to both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in 2006, when they were in opposition. Suddenly both parties support it, though, hopefully, not all of their MPs.

You can click here to add your name to the growing number of people who disapprove of this measure.

 

…or the official epetition here.