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Our MP: voting update

From Andy M

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Apologies - a depressing bit of news for many I suspect: Craig Whittaker yesterday voted against including a clean energy target in the Energy Bill, which was lost by just 12 votes. This follows his voting to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board last month.

So - he doesn't like gay people getting married, farm workers getting fairly paid or clean energy.....

What does he like I wonder?

From Eleanor Land

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

I think many of our MP's constituents have long since given up wondering what motivates Mr Whittaker's voting choices. I am hoping many of them will be joining me in voting to abolish him at the next election. Roll on 2015.

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 6 June 2013

I don't think it is any surprise that our right wing MP votes in a right wing way.

The big question is for those people who were conned by the Lib Dems nationally and locally.

Last time the Lib Dems in Calder Valley nearly took second place on the basis of lies like scrapping university fees. I don't think many of the 13,000 people who voted Lib Dem last time thought they were get a load of boot-lickers propping up this awful government.

So assuming Whittaker loses a significant number of votes to UKIP and the Lib Dem vote locally will collapse - as they been well and truly found out - then how many of former Lib Dems are going to switch to make him the one term wonder he deserves to be?

If you don't switch then you could be letting him back in.

From David Telford

Friday, 7 June 2013

Although I may not agree with Craig Whittaker regards Gay marriage. I can understand why he voted against it and for me, it’s not high up on my priorities.

I fully agree with his voting on the energy bill. We do not need to have additional costs heaped on British business at times when it so desperately needs help to continue the economic recovery. I also support the opportunity for agriculture to be competitive in the UK as it’s important for so many reasons that the UK maintains a healthy agricultural industry - I just wish NMW was removed so the whole country can improve it’s economy, improve employment and grow.

I take exception to Paul Clarke’s description of the Lib Dems taking a place in government on the back of “lies”. Lib Dems based their manifesto promise on the economic reports from his favoured Labour Party - this turned out to be a horrific lie (not the only one from the former treasury minister), in fact the only truth to come out of the office was from Liam Byrne when he wrote to the impressive David Laws "I'm afraid there is no money left.” The Lib dems are also the junior partner in the coalition and had to compromise accordingly on their policies.

From Allen Keep

Friday, 7 June 2013

In the meantime Paul, I trust you will be hoping the Labour party will have something different to offer? What I find more depressing than the clown Whittaker today is the spectacle of Milliband gearing up to clamp down on welfare. Switching votes in two years isn't going to be enough. We need active opposition now.

From Eleanor Land

Friday, 7 June 2013

I agree with Paul Clarke's summary of the Lib Dems in government. Whilst claiming credit for the few policies they have to target poverty, they then sign up to a tax cut for the rich during the worst recession for over 70 years, whilst happily cutting living standards for the majority.

As for David Telford's "impressive" David Laws, that conman should never have been allowed back into office after his attempt to rip off taxpayers and voters.

I hope the Lib Dems receive their just reward for actively supporting the most right wing, ideologically motivated, cack handed Tory government for years.

From Charles Gate

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Craig also voted for the badger cull. Given Craig seems to vote for all the issues where a minority of the voters agree with him, it is indeed surprising he even got elected.

The news that Hebweb is posing questions for prospective Labour candidates in Calder Valley will be of no little interest to Craig as he will be depending on Labour to mess up again with their candidate and let him in again.

Question 4 of Hebweb's questions to Labour candidates is
Estimates of the cost to replace Trident vary but it is thought to be in excess of £100 million. Could this money be better spent?

I think the figure is supposed to be £100 billion. (Now corrected - Ed)

Party lines on Trident are:
Tory/Ukip - complete replacement.
Lab/Lib Dem - replace with cheaper version.
Greens - no replacement, get rid of nuclear weapons full-stop.

From David Telford

Monday, 10 June 2013

Charles, a badger cull is never going to be popular and in this case it doesn't affect the farmers of this area but you have to take on board that farming is an important industry for the country and this area and the threat of TB via badgers is a big problem. The Cull was, sadly the best solution and I'm happy that the MP is prepared to take the decision for the bigger picture rather than consider looking cuddly to the local electorate.

Nuclear weapons are always a difficult subject. On the basis that they have kept the post-war piece and we are going to have them, well we need to have the cutting edge of technology to maintain that deterrent. We didn't keep on top of the game in the late 60s & 70s (for political & economic reasons) and had to rely on the US for the last Tridant system and we also lost a lot of 'brains' from the likes of Aldermaston were lost to the US.

Eleanor, I suspect you know that is a weak argument re. the cutting of the 50pc tax rate. At best, you are simply aping the tired and ill informed party political point that Labour HQ tried to press forward though the media to easily manipulated audiences on the likes of Question Time etc. I am fairly sure you have the intellect to know that is utter rubbish. The point of taxation is to raise income for the treasury, not to penalise and drive away the successful. The 50pc rate raised a little more money in it’s first year but thereafter, high earners do their level best to get away from penalitive taxation. We saw this in the 70s, we saw it reversed in the 80s and it simply does not work. The Lib Dems have been quite right and pragmatic to bring in taxations that is not only fair but good for the country. The lowest paid are now better off than ever, this compares to a labour government that managed to take £350 off the lowest paid in just one budget.

Re. David Laws, yes, he made a mistake. As it happened, he wasn’t claiming more money than he was entitled to, he simply didn’t claim it in the right way which was exacerbated by his desire to keep his sexuality private.

As Allen rightly points out, it’s been a rough week for Labour. We’ve been waiting for the big economic ideas from Balls for 2 years. He keeps telling us that the economy is flat-lining so we were expectant to hear his brave new world. What was it? Well, it was an amazing idea that he was going to stop the cold weather payments to the well off pensioners. Sensible enough but a drop in the ocean and in reality, really difficult to execute which is why the coalition haven’t already done it. How was Balls going to pull this off? He didn’t know!!!

From Darren G

Monday, 10 June 2013

I find our MP's voting pretty usual for a Tory with blinkers.

He will vote to make money at the expense of anything else. Health, workers pay & conditions, enviroment, just anything.

He recons to support Heartbeat a support group for cardiac rehab, yet votes to relax the smoking ban. His excuse, many pubs are closing down because people can't smoke in them. Never thought many normal working people can't afford to use them?

If he is re-elected it goes to show how low our politics has gone.
We need a good, honest working class candidate willing to fight for everyone on an equal basis under the banner of TUSC.

From Eleanor Land

Monday, 10 June 2013

Mr Telford please don't patronise me. It does nothing to further your own argument, it is petty point scoring. The majority of voters have been hit by this governments cuts agenda which they claim is necessary to deal with the deficit. Why then do you expect us to believe that paying their share should drive away the successful, surely they are subject to the same deficit reduction arguments as the rest of us. Or is it that the elite think the rest of us are dim enough to believe the contrary.

I find your attempt to paint me as intellectually feeble enough to be swayed by spin from any party or TV programme particularly pathetic.

No doubt you are a 50p tax payer who is reluctant to to play your part in reducing the deficit.

As for Laws, he lied about his expenses and should have been kicked out, instead he has been rewarded for lying. If he was a benefit cheat he would have been doing time. Lib Dem pragmatism is formed from a desire for power, if principles and promises have to be ditched on the way it is no problem to the likes of Clegg and dodgy Laws. Their real problems will come at the ballot box in 2015, as voters now know they are not to be trusted on anything.


From Graham Barker

Monday, 10 June 2013

I don't want to get involved in wearisome party political tit for tat, but this article is worth reading. It discloses that the tax rate that maximises revenue without scaring the horses is 48 per cent.

From David Telford

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Eleanor, I don't suggest you are intellectually feeble enough to be swayed by spin. Moreover, that argument is put forward by the spin machine for Labour and I'm sure you are no more likely to be taken in by it than me.

Sadly, I'm not a 50p, 45p nor 40p tax payer, i wish I was in those earning brackets. However, I don't believe those successful people should be paying over the odds in tax. I have no problem in ensuring everyone pays their fair share but penulative tax neither encourages success nor does it increase taxation revenues. Research shows that the optimal tax rate to raise revenue is somewhere between 40% & 45%. Rates above 50% make people think they are being taken for a ride and look to move themselves or at least their income to lower tax regimes. This was seen in th last couple of years with sports stars whom were finding other tax regimes a better environment to ply their trade.

You will be aware of the increased number of French high achievers who prefer to pay their taxes in London than Paris. That said, even in France, a £180k salary was 'only' being taxed at 45% so at 50% tax in the UK, even the high taxation regime of France is lower.

For all the political postering from Ed Balls on the matter, I can guarantee that Labour will not reintroduce the 50% tax rate at the same level as it was that was which is why it's clearly political guff rather than sound economics.

As for Laws, I agree, what he did was wrong as far as the rules were concerned but it wasn't to flounce the rules to make himself better off, he simply did not want to some out as gay. I'd say that Gordon Brown's trick of employing his brother (who, as well as doing a bit of cleaning is also a senior executive of EDF Energy) as a cleaner was far more of s sinister fraud / misuse of public funds. Laws was targetted by Labour as they feared him and needed him out the way. This is a shame as Laws is supremely competent as a treasury minister and with Osbourne, would have been a formidable team.

We will see what happens in the 2015 election, personally, I still fear a Labour win and i don't trust them to find some new "iron discipline" I fear they will simply replicate the mistakes they made post 2001 expecting different results and you know Einstein had a word for that behaviour.

Graham, you are absolutely right, the theory is fairly basic economics in hte form of the Laffer curve and the 48% figure is for the UK and is total taxation including NI. Other estimates are as low as 40% but for most economies like ours, 45% seems about right and unsurprinsingly, 45% happens to be the common upper rate in Europe. A good article to understand the point is from the Wall Street Journal

From Andy Wilson

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

I wrote to Craig W about the Energy Bill. In response got a stock letter with a printed signature which says absolutely nothing, is badly written, and lacks internal logic. It says he 'does not support these amendments' when I did not specifically mention amendments, and neither does the letter. The final paragraph states: 'I hope this reassures you that the Govt is determined to meet achieve (sic) our climate goals..."

I haven't got round to a blistering reply to him yet but I will. Too disappointed with the vote. It was so close, too.

From Eleanor Land

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Mr Telford I am afraid your argument that Osborne and Laws would have made a formidable team is truly laughable. I have seen some useless Chancellors in my lifetime but Osborne takes the trophy for the worst. He hasn't got a clue, his borrowing figures show his failure. Laws is a former investment banker whose main skill was filling his own pockets. He has only himself to blame for his downfall, my point is that if a politician has been dishonest he should pay the price with his job. I should not be paying his salary again.

Balls seems to be trying to out nasty the Nasty Party, he obviously believes that morphing into a Tory Party Mark 11 will get them votes.

The argument about high achievers and their taxes is simple as far as I'm concerned. This country is on it's uppers and we all need to play our part. Some people believe they are above this and no matter how low a tax rate they will do anything to get out of paying their share. We only have to look at companies such as Starbucks, Google, Amazon and now Thames Water to realise that they wish to use our markets and infrastructure but expect someone else (Joe Soap's like me) to pay for it. Unfortunately our government seems to be happy to let them get away with it.

From Paul D

Thursday, 13 June 2013

I imagine the local Conservatives are quite happy with their MP. It could be harder for his opponents to get rid of him than the current rather inept coalition make that appear. We had the rotund yet highly effective Donald Thompson for more terms than seemed humanly possible (18 years) in part because Labour kept fielding weak candidates against him with little local purchase - does that remind anyone of their decision last time out?

The pressure isn't so much on Craig as on his opponents. Firstly, they have to get the selection right and then after that plan and fight an effective campaign. Even though some view the Lib Dems as spoilers at best, significant local support and very good organisational capacity suggests that such an assumption could be risky. Second guessing where their votes will go locally is tricky, the ides that they will ‘come home’ to Labour rather ignores the reasons they ‘left home’ in the first place – again, there’s still much repair work to be done and this also has to move beyond parroting the coalition’s now discredited ‘austerity’ programme (now looking more like a war on women, the vulnerable and the low paid) without scaring off potential Labour voters (Eleanor's point on Balls).

Craig’s voting record only really matters if it resonates with the local electorate, so his tolerance for minority sports (shooting badgers) could be compared to his lack of support for local minority groups (such as on gay marriage), but given that the majority of local people are heterosexual and we can assume a fair number of these support our MP’s views if not his party, then this isn’t exactly a sure fire vote winner. No, the situation is quite serious and as we saw in 1979, Governments are not only at the mercy of ‘events’ but can manipulate or even create them. It will have to be house by house, street by street and to this end the local Labour party not only has to get the candidate that can cut it locally, but significantly expand their membership to support the campaign to come.