How refreshing – an MP who sees it as her job to represent her constituents!

“Shadow minister Tulip Siddiq has resigned from the Labour frontbench, telling Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that she could not reconcile herself to the party’s three-line whip to vote for triggering article 50.

In her letter to Corbyn, the shadow minister for early years, said voting to start the process of leaving the EU would be a betrayal of her north London constituents, three-quarters of whom voted to remain in the EU.

I have always been clear – I do not represent Westminster in Hampstead and Kilburn, I represent Hampstead and Kilburn in Westminster,” Siddiq wrote in her resignation letter. “I feel that the most effective place for me to counter Theresa May’s hard Brexit is from the backbenches.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/26/labour-mp-tulip-siddiq-resigns-from-frontbench-over-article-50-vote

How refreshing – an MP who sees it as her job to represent her constituents!

8 thoughts on “How refreshing – an MP who sees it as her job to represent her constituents!

  1. Refreshing indeed, even if Tulip Siddiq only goes half way.

    The Brexit vote was based on a promise from the Leave campaign that we could restrict immigration and still stay inside the single market (and by implication the customs union).

    The Brexit vote was NEVER a vote to leave either the single-market or the customs union.

    But then again, realistically MPs are supposed to represent not only what is best for their constituents but also to a lesser extent what is best for the country – lesser because of course if every MP represented what was best for their constituents then by definition the majority vote of MPs would therefore reflect what is best for the country as a whole.

    What they are not supposed to do is to follow blindly the dictats of their party leadership who are operating on dogma, ignoring recent public opinion and using the tyranny of the small Brexit majority as an excuse to achieve their own agendas. And particularly when that conflicts with their own moral compass and conscience (or at least that is the case for those MPs who actually have a moral compass or conscience – by all accounts, Our Hugo doesn’t).

    The big irony, of course, is that the people having fought so hard through the supreme court to get the government to accept that MPs need a say, Corbyn now appears to be giving away the opportunity for proper debate by agreeing in advance that Labour will support the triggering of article 50 – rather than taking the position that the government needs to demonstrate to Labour MPs that their approach is the best approach and in the genuine interests of the UK.

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  2. You make a number of unsupportable assumptions about the basis of the Brexit vote before wrongly concluding what it was or wasn’t . On these false premises you seem then to be behaving like the EU and wanting another vote because you didn’t like the result. Yes MPs should vote on the result of the negotiations, but don’t ignore or disrespect the majority who voted to leave. It is both arrogant and condescending for folk to believe they know better. I voted for the Common Market. I was not asked and did not vote for a federal Europe. I am also sick of UK politicians using the EU as an excuse for their own, many and growing, shortcomings.

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    • No – I accept that the majority voted to leave the EU – but that was done on promises by the Leave campaign that we could stay in the single market and still restrict free movement of people.

      They also failed to point out that EU rules already allow the UK to temporarily stop free movement if a crisis exists, without any time limits on the temporary suspension. So apparently we can stop free movement without leaving the EU at all.

      If the referendum had been fought on the basis of truth rather than blatant lies, then it would have been genuinely democratic, and no one could argue with the result. But instead it was based on blatant lies, and morally that absolutely calls into question the entire validity of the referendum.

      Nevertheless, I do accept that a (slim) majority of people did vote to leave the EU in order to regain control over immigration, but this was on the basis that:

      a. this was the only way of achieving it; and

      b. we would still be in the single market and would not have the negative economic consequences of having to leave it.

      So, to now generalise the referendum as being a mandate to leave the single market is a travesty of democracy.

      If the government was now pursuing a course that matched the promises (i.e. that kept us in the single market whilst restricting free movement, and which gave us £350m per week for the NHS), then I would have no argument that the referendum was completely valid.

      Alternatively, if the referendum vote had been 90% Leave / 10% Remain, you could argue that the strength of feeling was sufficient to justify a wider mandate than that promised by the Leave campaign because it would be unlikely that the result would have been different if everyone had told the truth.

      On the other hand, if the Leave campaign had been truthful and said that if we leave the EU we will have to leave the single market AND the customs union – and oh and there won’t be £350m per week for the NHS, but instead we will have to pay the EU (say) £60bn in money we owe – and the result had STILL been a vote to Leave, then again the referendum would have been completely valid.

      But they didn’t – instead the politicians lied through their teeth about staying in the single market in order to con people into voting. The vote was 52% to 48% so it would only need 2% to have voted differently for the result to be different. Of course we don’t know for certain what the result would have been if the arguments had been truthful – but given the slim majority it seems highly likely that it would have been different.

      So, Roland, you tell me which of the following is more democratic:

      a. Using a referendum result based on blatant lies to justify action that is the opposite of what was promised, and to refuse to let the people have another say now that the truth has come out?; or

      b. To allow the people to make a better informed decision on what is best for them and the UK now that the consequences are clearer?

      And Roland, you tell me who is more “arrogant and condescending”:

      a. Someone who insists that a vote based on lies and deceptions should stand simply because it fits with their own dogma on what they would like to see happen?; or

      b. Someone who is objecting, not on dogma, but because the referendum process was fundamentally flawed because of the blatant lies told by politicians?

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      • P.S. Roland, I would also point out that you have just said that you voted for being in the single market AND for freedom of movement – for that is what voting for the “common market” actually meant. The “federal europe” happened afterwards in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, which was responsible for creating the Euro (which we opted out of anyway), and it should be noted that our membership of the EU resulted in the Maastricht Treaty being substantially watered down in terms of its move to a Federal Europe covering foreign policy, defense, criminal justice and cooperation in civil matters (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maastricht_Treaty).

        Indeed the Brexit referendum was fought almost entirely on issues relating to our original membership of the Common Market, and only peripherally on questions related to a “Federal Europe”.

        Indeed, the one area of the Maastricht Treaty that was covered by the Leave campaign was supremacy of UK courts, but even that is fundamentally about the European Convention on Human Rights / European Court of Human Rights which were established in 1953 well before our membership of the Common Market, and which was in fact drafted by Britain. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights and https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/human-rights/what-are-human-rights/human-rights-act/human-rights-act-mythbuster and especially https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptfmAY6M6aA.)

        Of course, you are free to change your mind about whether membership of the EU is a good idea or not, but please don’t claim that you voted leave because your vote to join the EU in 1973 didn’t include the reasons you now want to leave.

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        • P.P.S. We are in complete agreement about being sick with current UK politicians.

          Personally I am completely disillusioned. I believe that we are now living in an autocracy rather than democracy – too many lies and lying politicians and secret agendas. too many policies which were not in election manifestos and which are never debated properly, too many MPs (like Hugo Swine) who are party hacks and ignore the needs of their constituents, increasing divide and divisiveness between the haves and have-nots, too many tax cuts for the rich people and corporations who fund the Conservative Party and too many cuts in services for those people who cannot afford to pay for them themselves.

          Personally, I no longer see Britain as being British. All the aspects of Britishness that I cherish – democracy, a sense of fair play, compassion for the less well off, doing what is best for the UK in the long-term for our children and our grandchildren, or cherished institutions such as the NHS and an unbiased and fair investigative press – all these have gone.

          In summary, I am now ashamed to be British.

          And I agree with you that all of this can be laid at the door of our MPs.

          But where I disagree with you is in saying that this is the EU’s fault. Let us not allow our lying politicians off the hook by saying that it is the EU’s fault. It is the UK MPs who are to blame. But we should not forget that it was us – the voters of the UK – who vote politicians like Hugo Swine into parliament. We have brought this upon ourselves.

          If we want to take back control of our society, to bring back the Britishness to Britain, the only way to achieve it is to vote in politicians who care, who have a moral conscience. Leaving the EU will not fix it – voting for politicians who will think about policies and vote according to their conscience rather than do as the party leadership tell them is the only way to fix this.

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  3. Both remain and leave lied and span to a ludicrous extent but I think most people with a brain saw through that and allowed for it.
    Broadly I think we agree. However The Maastricht treaty was neither properly publicised nor adequately debated in Parliament which makes the current issue of Parliament scrutining the article 50 even odder.

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    • No – most people didn’t see through the lies. Most people can’t be bothered to check the truth of what they hear or read in the popular newspapers who pander to their emotions because that sells papers.

      And even if Masstricht was not debated properly, that is not a reason to avoid proper debate on Brexit.

      As for our MPs, ironically it is likely that Brexit is NOT going to improve democracy by giving power back to the UK people. Instead it is likely to concentrate and consolidate power even more in the hands of the autocracy and make democracy even worse and MPs even less accountable – because with an ineffective fourth estate, the EU currently acts as the only remaining check and balance on their powers. Indeed, perhaps that is their real agenda.

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  4. PS (sorry its catching 🙂 Indeed it is not the EU’s fault but leaving does scotch the federal ambitions and leave our own MPs appropriately exposed.

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