One of our MPs is missing
A couple of weeks ago I talked about the petition for the Drop The Bill motion to be debated in Parliament. Despite the petition breaching the 100,000 limit for the motion to be discussed, the committee deciding on Commons business, loaded with Tories and Lib Dems, refused to let the motion pass into debate. There’s democracy for you, and a clear illustration that the government e-Petitions scheme favours public motions which fit the Tory agenda.
So the battle to save the NHS continues. Next up, was last week’s debate on the motion to publish a report into the risks the NHS is facing as a result of Lansley’s slash and burn plans. Rather than publish the risk report, which is usual, the government has decided to keep it secret. That should be enough to get the cynic gland pumping away.
This debate to demand the publishing of the risk report was an opportunity for the opposition to get behind the defence of the NHS and build a momentum for the fight. The motion to publish the report was beaten by the government 299 to 246. That’s not a surprise. The usual opposition faces were there; Andy Burnham, Ed Miliband, Diane Abbott and Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn. Green MP Caroline Lucas was there too. It wasn’t until later though, that I found out through the excellent 38 Degrees, that one local MP was missing:
That’s right, South Shields MP David Miliband didn’t vote, which was confirmed by Hansard.
It’s disappointing that a Labour MP, working in a constituency like South Shields with more than it’s fair share of poverty, one which would feel the full force of Lansley’s demolition of the NHS, couldn’t turn up on behalf of the people who voted him in.