There has been much discussion about the planned 11% rise in salaries for MPs but I suggest we should also be considering who should pay for those salaries. Salisbury MP, John Glen, has voted in the Commons 807 times but has never rebelled against his party. He voted in favour of the Health and Social Care Bill which, despite the absence of a democratic mandate and despite promises to contrary, is forcing through a £3.5 Billion top down reorganisation of the NHS and its rapid outsourcing to unaccountable international corporations like G4S. He voted for welfare reforms which indiscriminately hit the low paid and vulnerable. He voted in favour of the current debt fuelled boom in London house prices – yet another bubble that will burst without solving our catastrophic lack of affordable homes.
He was in favour of the appointment of tobacco lobbyist Lynton Crosby as Tory campaign manager and has done nothing to tone down his party’s vindictive and divisive rhetoric or the accompanying output of misinformation and made up statistics. Recently he voted to down grade commitments to ‘eradicate fuel poverty’. He also voted in favour of the lobbying bill, which will do nothing to prevent big companies and wealthy individuals from influencing government but will stifle criticism from grass roots organizations and charities.
In short, the evidence suggests that Mr Glen has put his party before his constituents.
MPs are in parliament to hold governments to account on behalf of their constituents. If they put party loyalty and ideology ahead of the welfare of ordinary citizens I suggest they should be paid from their party funds not the taxes of hard working families who are striving to cope with a deliberately prolonged period of austerity for which they were not to blame.
Other votes by John Glen:
Tues 7th Jan 2014: Voted against a motion to improve compensation to sufferers of Asbestosis and extend a levy on the insurance industry to pay for research into the deadly disease and its causes. (Bid to increase compensation for asbestos victims fails in Commons: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/10919958._/) Northern Echo 8th Jan 2014. (Dr Sarah Wollaston supported this motion as did a few other rebel Tories)
Wed 8th Jan 2014: Voted against a proposal to give local councils greater powers to restrict the proliferation of betting shops containing Fixed Odd Betting terminals (FOBT)s. http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/669/
Tory MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP demonstrates how to hold her own government to account when they get things wrong:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10558580/The-Government-has-failed-to-lead-by-example-on-open-data.html Daily Telegraph 08 Jan 2014.
See also: BMJ investigation reveals the “cosy relationship” between the alcohol industry and the British government http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/article-clusters/alcohol
Here is another example of how MPs should be doing their job. If only we had more MPs in all parties that were prepared to put reason and evidence before party dogma or self interest: “Plain packaging and minimum unit pricing for alcohol killed off – The only winners, big tobacco, big alcohol and big undertakers“. (Dr Sarah Wollaston, July 2013) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/15/tobacco-alcohol-public-health-minimum-alcohol-pricing