Sunday, 23 March 2008

Hypocrites of the Day

The seventy plus Labour MPs who told their constituents one thing, and then did the exact opposite:
Labour MPs are being criticised for voting against plans to suspend post office closures in Parliament before going back to their local constituencies to protest against the cuts.

Andrew Slaughter, the MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush in west London, is the latest to be accused of hypocrisy.

He voted against Conservative plans to suspend Post Office closures at 7.15pm on Wednesday. Thirty minutes later, he was addressing an open meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall to protest against the closures.

Greg Hands, the Conservative MP in neighbouring Hammersmith and Fulham, who was at the meeting, said: "He appeared with me and stood there and decried the local post office closures and even said he would back Ken Livingstone's judicial review.

"He came out with a mealy-mouthed line like he saw the need to close some post offices but disagreed with the choice of closures locally. Even in these times reeking of hypocrisy, it is surely one of the swiftest volte-faces ever."

It had already emerged that Sadiq Khan, the Labour MP for Tooting, voted against the suspension before addressing a meeting to speak out against post office closures.

The Daily Mail reports that Khan was jeered when he spoke at the meeting in his constituency. At least that's something, although I must say that I wouldn't have been satisfied with anything less than pelting him with rancid tomatoes, and possibly tarring and feathering him for good measure. The same goes for Andrew Slaughter, and, it would seem, a great abundance of other Labour MPs:

At least 90 Labour MPs - one in four of the Parliamentary party - have campaigned locally against closures. Several members of the Cabinet are among them. However, only 19 backbenchers rebelled against the Government in Wednesday's vote.

So the remaining seventy-one or so also campaigned against closures, and then voted for them. Forget "Hypocrites of the Day" - this lot would stand a good chance of getting "Hypocrites of the Year"!


Anonymous said...

CAPOC (Communities Against Post Office Closures) has been formed from groups that have been fighting since last October, and their website contains a wealth of information and advise that will help local action groups in fighting to save their own Post Office Branch.

Please take a look at the website which is the home of CAPOC, and pass this email onto the Postmasters and Local Action Groups in your area so that they can take advantage of the information.

Should any of your Local Action Groups decide to register with CAPOC this will greatly help the national campaign.


Alex said...

The Post Office closures fiasco is just another case in the following point:

Hypocrisy is inseparable from the job of a professional politician. How many MPs would vote against the party line on a matter of principle if it meant losing their place in the pecking order or being deselected as member for their constituency at the next election? We hear a lot of humbug about "serving the public interest", but nothing is allowed to get in the way of political expedience and the welfare of MPs.

To rid the House of Commons from hypocrisy is unrealistic under the present system of paying MPs handsome salaries bumpered up with secret perks and generous pensions. This situation won't be turned around because turkeys would never vote for Christmas.

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