Banner

  By Bob Duncan
 
The Labour party has betrayed public sector workers, say the SNP, after MPs failed to turn up for a vote in Westminster, allowing the Tory pensions bill to sail through parliament.
 
SNP Work & Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford has slammed the Labour Party for allowing the Tory led UK government's Public Sector Pension plans to pass unchallenged through the House of Commons during the bill's final reading.

With the UK government threatening to reduce the Scottish budget, the SNP has demanded that Labour explain to Scotland's public sector workers why they have not opposed these plans.  One of the MPs who failed to turn up for the vote was Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran (pictured).

Only last week in the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Labour claimed to have deep concerns over changes to public sector pensions but their Westminster colleagues would appear to have none, say the SNP who have now demanded that Labour MPs Willie Bain, Cathy Jamieson and Tom Harris - together with dozens of their colleagues - now explain to their constituents why they neglected to stand up for them at Westminster, in spite of their meaningless claims to the contrary.

During an earlier debate on the proposals, Labour MP Cathy Jamieson said:

"Scottish pensioners who have worked hard all their lives for modest second pensions to top up their state pension will be outraged that an additional 60,000 people in Scotland will be hammered by George Osborne's Granny Tax by 2016.

“This Tory-led Government is completely out of touch, choosing to give as many as 18,000 top rate taxpayers a tax cut worth £10,000 a year while pensioners will pay on average £83 more each year.

Her colleague Willie Bain said:

"Handing out huge tax cuts to the super-rich while hammering 423,000 pensioners in Scotland for on average £83 extra in tax, on top of the £480 in higher VAT bills, and the ending of pension credit, shows this Government is out of touch, out of excuses on the economy, and out of ideas on jobs and growth.

"The age-related personal allowance shields 471,000 Scottish pensioners from extra tax this year. It is unbelievable that the Tory-led Government thinks it is right that pensioners should be made worse off in order to make the wealthy even richer.”

During his bid for the Scottish Labour leadership, Tom Harris said he would support a strike on this issue by public sector workers and said it was wrong for the public sector to be punished for a crisis started by the private sector.

However Jamieson, Bain and Harris then failed to turn up for the vote, along with 32 of their Scottish Labour colleagues.

Scottish Labour MPs have missed crucial votes before, having failed to turn up for a vote in March on the reduction of the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45%.  On that occasion, Willie Bain MP said that the Labour group had refused to back the call because the vote had been secured by SNP and Plaid Cymru MPs, a position which has become known as the 'Bain Principle'.

Dr Whiteford said:

“Not bothering to vote, and therefore allowing Tory policy the freedom to sail through parliament, is a shameful act of hypocrisy by no less than 35 Scottish Labour MPs.

“It is classic all talk and no action form Labour; Cathy Jamieson MP slammed the UK Government as being 'out of touch' but was posted missing, meanwhile Willie Bain MP highlighted the Tory shame of making the rich richer and making pensioners worse off and Tom Harris MP said he'd support a strike, but both of these men were too afraid to stand up in Parliament for pensioners.

“Labour should be ashamed of themselves for sitting idle and letting the Tories off the hook whilst betraying public sector workers.

“These punitive reforms are all about the UK government's deficit reduction plans, and have nothing to do with securing sustainable pensions. The need for affordable, sustainable and fair public sector pensions is of critical importance to everyone, which is why the short term cash grab by the UK Government is so concerning.

“Labour know this and shout loudly to the press but failed to make a stand - it is pathetic - the pensioners of Scotland deserve so much better.

"This whole episode is a powerful illustration of the need for pensions policy to be decided in Scotland, in an independent Scottish Parliament."


The following is a list of Labour MPs who failed to vote in the third reading of the pensions bill:

  • Douglas Alexander 
  • Jim Hood
  • Willie Bain  
  • Cathy Jamieson
  • Gordon Banks 
  • Mark Lazarowicz
  • Anne Begg     
  • Michael McCann
  • Russell Brown   
  • Gregg McClymont
  • Gordon Brown   
  • Anne McGuire
  • Tom Clarke      
  • Ann McKechin
  • Iain McKenzie    
  • Graeme Morrice
  • Margaret Curran    
  • Jim Murphy
  • Alistair Darling
  • Ian Murray
  • Thomas Docherty
  • Pamela Nash
  • Brian Donohoe
  • Fiona O'Donnell
  • Frank Doran          
  • Sandra Osborne
  • Gemma Doyle     
  • John Robertson
  • Sheila Gilmore  
  • Frank Roy
  • Tom Greatrex   
  • Lindsay Roy
  • David Hamilton 
  • Anas Sarwar
  • Tom Harris

Comments  

 
# balgayboy 2012-12-06 07:17
Shows these people up for what they really are. Then again they could have been busy filing their expenses!
 
 
# mudfries 2012-12-06 07:37
I'll bet if it was their own pensions at risk they would have been there, what I find really shocking is that some people will still vote for this shower.
 
 
# rhymer 2012-12-06 11:34
Quoting mudfries:
I'll bet if it was their own (Labour party) pensions at risk they would have been there, what I find really shocking is that some people will still vote for this shower.


This is another sickening political manouver by Labour to let the Tories get what they want through the Westminster parliament. They are in partnership with the Tories, they agree with what the Tories are doing and Scotland suffers when Labour copies Tory policies.

Scotland is a country with a surplus of energy but we are forced to export our oil, gas, hydro-electric and wind power when we have old age pensioners dying from hypothermia. This is sickening !!!!!
VOTE YES IN THE REFERENDUM and stop this madness !
 
 
# Macart 2012-12-06 07:59
Well you couldn't ask for a better example of how close Labour and the Tories are in terms of policy and nature. They simply can't claim the Bain principle here, this has nothing to do with how the SNP would vote, they wanted these reforms themselves. Next election they'll casually forget how little a fight they put up and blame the whole shimozzle on the Conservatives.

Red or Blue, makes no difference these days, a tory is a tory, is a tory.
 
 
# Spirtle 2012-12-06 08:16
Is there any response from the Labour Party in Scotland as to why they chose en masse to not vote? Whats the strategy? Enlighten us please do Ms Lamont with your great leadership pronouncement!
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2012-12-06 08:34
Named and shamed Labours list of IMBECILES.
I note missing from the list is Ian Davidson.
But I bet he had an important essential meeting arranged in Glasgow last night ... at Celtic Park.
 
 
# taimoshan 2012-12-06 10:26
I don' think Davidson will have been at Celtic Park last night - have just read an article saying that Rangers fans are considering boycotting all SPL grounds!
Let us not fall into the "divide and rule strategy" that has been used against Scotland in the past!
 
 
# gus1940 2012-12-06 08:44
O/T

I may seem obsessed with this as I have commented on it before but that little gentleman who allegedly 'won' the Glenrothes By-Election managed to get himself yet another question at yesterday's PMQ's.

He seems to be selected for a question about every 5 or 6 weeks in spite of the fact that there are approx. 650 other MP's most of whom will be queuing up to ask questions- How does he manage it?
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-12-06 09:03
Shall we call the tendency of Labour MP's to be too lazy to turn up to vote against punitive Tory legislation The Curran Principle?

I expect they'll be doing it a lot now as they further blur the boundaries between themselves and their allies especially with Lamont's promise that the "something for nothing culture" is unsustainable.
 
 
# rapid 2012-12-06 09:23
O/T: Scotsman leading on another EU story "A letter from the EU Commission in Brussells to the House of Lords states that any nation becoming independent will have to re-negotiate it's membership"

however, radio 4 this morning got in touch with the commission who said they hadn't actually sent the letter yet...

Radio 4 never tackled the point that the remainder of the UK would also have to renegotiate...
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-12-06 09:31
This will be very interesting. I assumed it would prove extremely difficult for an oil rich country with huge fishing grounds who had been a member for 40 years to extricate itself from the EU even if it wanted to.

Now it seems they'd be kicking us straight out and letting the RUK be the successor state by default.

I fear some suit in Brussels ( or perhaps more likely a Better Together journalist at Hootsmon towers ) may be sweating over this "clarification" letter by nightfall.
 
 
# bringiton 2012-12-06 12:14
The problem for some people is that their idea that only by being part of a Big economy can you avoid problems is now being shown to be a total sham.
Economic management is about how and not how much.
 
 
# admiral 2012-12-06 12:21
If rUK is the successor state, doesn't that also means it picks up all the liability for debt?
 
 
# Macart 2012-12-06 09:38
Soooooo not re-apply, but re-negotiate.

That'll go down well. :)
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-12-06 09:49
So basically David Maddox of the Scotsman has made up the story and is lying, well I never. I wonder if the Scotsman will retract the story, considering the EU commission are stating they hadnt actually sent the letter. Perhaps the BBC in Scotland will also apologise for repeating the lie? Not holding my breath though
 
 
# gus1940 2012-12-06 10:22
£1,000,000 fines all round for this one methinks.
 
 
# colin8652 2012-12-06 11:00
I see the BBC have out of the blue opened thier version of this story for comments. The opening comments being from the typical BCC/daily mail uninformed middle Englanders.
 
 
# bipod 2012-12-06 11:57
fortunately, the article can only be seen from the Scottish news section. The comments so far seem to be fairly balanced.
 
 
# RTP 2012-12-06 11:07
The Scotsman writes that it has seen the letter and it says:
-----------------------------------------
The EU Commission has not yet replied to the inquiry from the House of Lords - officials say the letter exists but has not been sent.

I wonder who at the Scotsman has seen the letter that has not been sent typical of that paper.
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2012-12-06 14:20
Hi there,

Didn't a certain Mr Taylor also pull something similar, claiming to have seen a document on which some nonsense anti-SNP/Salmond claim put forward by the Gray man was supposed to be based?, that is now known never to have existed.

What a parcel of rogues.

Regards,
 
 
# 1820 2012-12-06 10:50
Thanks for the name and shame list. I'll be contacting my local paper about this, as my MP, Pamela Nash AKA the invisible woman is on it.
 
 
# BillCo 2012-12-06 11:06
Just another example of the drip, drip, drip of misinformation which emanates from the Bitter Together mob on a daily basis. Josef Goebbels would be proud of them.

But this tactic, like most of their others will backfire on them.
 
 
# soutron 2012-12-06 11:30
The Scotsman comments on this are absolutely packed full of the usual rabid unionist nonsense. I couldn't even make it to the bottom. It makes me ill that this is what passes for journalism. I can only hope these tactics do backfire but there's such an uneven playing field. Two years of this truly depresses me.
 
 
# Independista 2012-12-06 11:41
Britain Is Broke
Excellent piece by Terry Smith. The graph proves how Brown and Darling started the rot, and how Cameron's government are simply following the trend set in 2003/4.

terrysmithblog.com/.../...
 
 
# Koenig 2012-12-06 13:39
All the cuts which have taken place haven't touched London's deficit or debt. I say London's as Scotland's deficit and debt is minimal. Yet we are paying for theirs.
 
 
# Massan_Gow 2012-12-06 12:38
Surely this is a dereliction of duty. These people are meant to represent us!
Is there a body that we can complain to?

An absolute disgrace! (although not surprised Gordon Brown is on the list - he's my local MP & never even replied when I wrote to him about my mum's diamond ring going missing when she was in hospital with Alzheimers - when I called his office then told me 'health not Gordon's remit'.

These people only care about themselves - which I guess we already knew...
 
 
# Angus 2012-12-06 13:12
Quoting colin8652:
I see the BBC have out of the blue opened thier version of this story for comments. The opening comments being from the typical BCC/daily mail uninformed middle Englanders.

BBC Radio 'Scotland' picked up on the story from the Scotsman and couldnt wait to get the story out.
Lord Foulkes is in on it.
 
 
# govanite 2012-12-06 14:13
Didn't look like much substance to the Hootsman report. Does the letter even mention Scotland ?
 
 
# RTP 2012-12-06 15:48
Quoting RaboRuglen:
Hi there,

Didn't a certain Mr Taylor also pull something similar, claiming to have seen a document on which some nonsense anti-SNP/Salmond claim put forward by the Gray man was supposed to be based?, that is now known never to have existed.

What a parcel of rogues.

Regards,


Remember it well when we were allowed to comment on BWB asked him many times if he would produce the document but my comments were always blocked.
 
 
# Robabody 2012-12-06 17:58
To me this is a classic example of the Weary Willie complex..... you can't win the vote so you don't turn up. Wrong. You turn up and fight for your constituents. Okay you still get outvoted but you'll have tried to do your duty and make your mark. But no, no that's not how it works - what an absolute shower.
 
 
# megabreath 2012-12-16 14:14
Quoting Robabody:
To me this is a classic example of the Weary Willie complex..... you can't win the vote so you don't turn up. Wrong. You turn up and fight for your constituents. Okay you still get outvoted but you'll have tried to do your duty and make your mark. But no, no that's not how it works - what an absolute shower.

unfortunately thats the case and it wont end anytime soon.Unless...............in 2014......
 
 
# scottishwatersnotforsale 2012-12-06 19:50
Can anyone tell me if Eric Joyce voted as he is my local MP ?
 
 
# gus1940 2012-12-07 10:05
A few weeks ago Joan McAlpine (SNP) failed to appear at Holyrood to ask a question.

For this dastardly act she was attacked from all sides by the Unionist rabble in particular by the Labour Deskslappers. They were ably backed for several days with extensive criticism by The BBC, The MSM and the cretinous bunch of bloggers in The Scotsman.

Earlier this week I read that a female Labour MSP had similarly failed to be present to ask her question. However, on this occasion blanket criticism was there none - how typical.

and
 

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.

Banner

Donate to Newsnet Scotland

Banner
Banner

Latest Comments