in Politics, Wandsworth

Has Linton forgotten how he voted?

The April edition of Martin Linton’s Bugle dropped through my door this morning.  The newsletter, funded by his Parliamentary communications allowance always makes interesting reading.

One of the stories is on his successful campaigning against the third runway, to which he is “opposed… on environmental grounds.”  Apparently he “has voted against the third runway twice and will continue to campaign against it.”

Hold it though, that’s not quite right is it? In January he voted with the Government in support of the third runway.  He claimed afterwards that he was confused and tried to blame the Conservatives.  It was all fine though, because “sometimes funny things happen in Parliament.”  Yes, indeed.

I’m glad that, as a taxpayer, he gets some of our money to tell me what he’s up to, it helps transparent government.  I’m not so happy that when he decided to support his beleagured government on Heathrow than stand up for his constituents, but that’s the nature of representative government.  What I am unhappy about is that he’s using our money to pretend he’s always been on our side.  Would it have been to much for him to have taken the opportunity to say sorry?

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  1. He was wrong to not support the Tory motion, as 20 of his “courageous” colleagues did.
    However it is inaccurate to say “he voted with the Government in support of the third runway”. Fact is he did not have a chance for that actually. No need to press for his miss by misleading the readers…

    (er… are you going to publish this comment? Just wondering as you usually prefer to publish only comments supporting your message 😉 Anyway, you got mine 🙂

    • It’s not inaccurate at all. He voted against a Conservative motion to rethink expansion plans and with the government. I do not see how you can interpret that as anything but a vote in support of the government. You might just be able to argue that if he’d abstained, but he didn’t he voted for the government and against what he proports are his anti-expansion principles.

      I’m not sure what you mean by you second point. I don’t put emails on here, if that’s what you mean.

  2. I reiterate.
    The Conservative party put a motion AGAINST the third runway, before the Government put a vote asking to approve the Heathrow extension.
    As I understand it, Martin Linton did not want to be associated with the Tories and therefore vote with them. Instead he was planning to vote against, on the Government vote to approve the extension that should have happened after.

    Unfortunately it backfired. The Tory motion was defeated and the Government, maliciously, decided that it did not need to ask for a vote as it was implicit approval.

    I appreciate people who have the courage of their opinion and can rebel against the authority when they don’t find it legitimate (in the movie “I comme Icare” from Henry Verneuil, they refer to the Milgram experiment: Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View – look in Wikipedia for more details). As he was against the third runway, he should have voted with the Conservatives – as some of his honourable friends did… and against the Government should he have the chance later.

    It is a miss opportunity, and you might have presented that as a question of courage to defend its constituents. But saying “he voted with the Government in SUPPORT of the third runway” is just a short-cut, politically appealing but misleading. there is not need to “interpret” here, but just to report the facts.

    PS: it does not matter too much, but some of my previous comments are still waiting for validation, for example here:
    http://jamescousins.com/2009/04/how-politics-are-done-lesson-1-taking-credit/

    • Sorry, so, Martin Linton voted against a motion opposing the third runway, and in support of a government who wanted the third runway. I, and I know many of his constituents, fail to see how this isn’t voting with the government in support of the runway.

      Sorry, I missed that comment. Although it perhaps explains why you have an interest in defending Martin Linton.

  3. James> One could say that I am just trying to present honestly the facts… but I understand that as a politician it might be easier to kick back criticisms by other means ;-).

    • The facts are:
      1. The government supports Heathrow expansion
      2. There was a motion opposing Heathrow expansion
      3. Martin Linton voted with the government.