Liberty in Liverpool, or Just what do we get for our votes
Liberal Democrat Voice – a yellow tinged version of ConHome – has a tool which lets you check out how authoritarian or libertarian MPs are.
Let’s be clear: it’s not the final word, just a rule of thumb, and it relies on the way MPs voted on the following issues:
- Freedom of Speech
- ID Cards
- 90 days detention
- Abolition of Parliament Bill
- Trial without a Jury
- MPs’ Expenses (FOI exemption)
- Control Orders
- Extradition Act 2003
- Government intervention in collection of evidence
- DNA database
It’s also – as you’d expect with the LibDems, heavily slanted towards social liberalism, rather than economic liberalism.
With these limitations noted, the results are interesting:
|Party Leader||Authoritarian %||Missed Votes|
Even allowing for the slight difference in the number of missed votes, the result is telling. That big clunking fist is significantly more authoritarian than either Cameron or Clegg.
Now, let’s have a little look at Liverpool’s MPs. They’re all Labour (yes, even Bob Wareing – he’s only an independent since he was deselected in 2007), so you might expect them to be much of a muchness.
You’d be wrong.
|Constituency||MP||Authoritarian %||Missed votes|
|Garston and Halewood||Maria Eagle||100%||None|
|Liverpool Riverside||Louise Ellman||90%||One|
|Liverpool Walton||Peter Kilfoyle||56%||Three|
|Liverpool Wavertree||Jane Kennedy||83%||Two|
|Liverpool West Derby||Bob Wareing||13%||Two|
It makes pretty depressing reading. Eagle, Ellman, and Kennedy are particularly bad – loyalist to the core, they’ve consistently put their party’s dictates ahead of their constituents rights, voting with the government to infringe the civil liberties. Both Ellman and Kennedy missed votes, so their scores would be even worse if they’d gone through the lobbies on those issue.
Frankly, they should be ashamed of the fact that ‘Serbian’ Bob Wareing is more liberal than them. Realistically, I doubt they care – and I suspect they’re the kind who view it as a badge of pride that they’re more “loyal” than him.
In democracies, even the kind of titular democracy represented by parliamentary systems, the real problem is not authoritarian leaders, but the “useful idiots” who give them legitimacy and support.
In Liverpool, we have three useful idiots as sitting MPs, and one more (Peter Kilfoyle) who’s not far behind. Eagle and Ellman are both up for re-election, and it would be nice to think that people might actually consider their voting records when they go to the polls. If you vote for these people, you compromise the right to complain about the infringements of your civil liberties, because you have enabled them.