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Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Regular readers will be aware that my MP, David Borrow, and I have some differences of opinion. Some of these have been discussed at some length in personal correspondence, but as we (think we) approach a general election, I thought it would be interesting to review the more interesting points on his voting record in the House of Commons, and see just how much our opinions differ. Of course, if we have very similar opinions, then I might vote for him. Otherwise, I won’t. So let’s see…

Cutting Lone Parent Benefit (10th Dec 1997)
This motion was an attempt to block the government’s plans to cut lone parent benefit.
To me, it would appear that lone parents have a tough time, particularly those with young children, since they are unable to work and therefore reliant on state income. In the vast majority of cases, these parents will not have chosen to be lone parents, and so they will almost certainly be suffering from a degree of emotional and psychological distress at being left in this very difficult situation, on top of everything else. So I would tend to suggest that we should be doing everything possible to support lone parents, and certainly not making things worse for them by cutting their benefits.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative voted AGAINST this motion.

Military Action against Iraq (17th March 1998)
This was a motion to allow military action to be taken against Iraq should peace attempts fail.
At this stage in the game, it would probably be sensible to vote for military action as a last resort, since it would be the obvious choice if all peaceful attempts to get Saddam to comply with his UN duties failed. I would expect all military action to be sanctioned by the United Nations of course.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

Cuts in Student Funding (8th June 1998)
This was a motion to oppose the government’s plans to cut student funding.
Students have a tough time in this country. We’ve had the cliché of the penniless student for many years, since the maintenace grants were not nearly enough to pay for someone to live for a year. Therefore it would seem much more logical to be increasing student funding, certainly not cutting it. If I had personally benefitted from this cash when going through university, then I would certainly feel strongly about supporting a motion to block plans to cut funding, and I couldn’t live with myself for making others’ situations worse than that in which I found myself. If I was forced to vote against my conscience on this issue, then I would at least make a reasonably big show of giving an amount equivalent to the maintenance grants I received to a relevant student charity.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative voted AGAINST this motion.

Age of Consent (22nd June 1998 and 10th Feb 2000)
This was a motion to lower the age of consent for homosexual sex to sixteen.
Personally, I see no moral difference between two men having sex, two women having sex, or a man and a woman having sex, and so I don’t see any reason for the age of consent to be different.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

Incapacity Benefits Means Test (10th May 1999)
This was a motion to oppose the government’s plans to introduce means testing for incapacity benefit.
I’m generally opposed to means testing of any kind. I don’t see why people should be made to undergo a complex form-filling exercise to claim money to which they are entitled. It doesn’t stop people who shouldn’t get the benefits getting it, because there is a culture of exaggerating circumstances on these forms to ‘get the money’. So why subject genuine claimants to this kind of nonsense?
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative voted AGAINST this motion.

Freedom of Information Legislation (5th April 2000)
This was an ammendment to extend the scope of the Freedom of Information bill.
I think that it is crucial that we are allowed to see as many documents as possible that the government produce, since they are producing them on our behalf and with our money. I can’t think of many situations where we would pay someone to do work for us, and then allow them to keep the details of that work a secret. I think that Freedom of Information is a foundation of a good democracy – how can we know whether our representatives are acting well on our behalf if we can’t get hold of the details of what they’re doing?
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative DID NOT VOTE on this important issue.

Ban on Hunting with Dogs (17th Jan 2001)
This was a motion to ban hunting with dogs.
I am opposed to banning most things, since any ban is a distinct limit on the freedom of a country’s citizens. This is no exception: I see no logical, non-emotive reason for banning hunting with dogs, but I can see many reasons for not banning it.
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

Afghanistan Airstrikes (11th Nov 2001)
This was a motion against the government’s backing for airstrikes on Afghanistan.
I saw no reason for airstrikes on Afghanistan. In fact, I saw little reason for attacking Afghanistan in the first place. Airstrikes in particular are a ‘bad thing’ as they inevitably lead to a great number of civilian casualties, and so I see no good reason for them being used in Afghanistan.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative voted AGAINST this motion.

Anti-terrorism Legislation (21st Nov 2001)
This was a motion to give the government the right to detain foreign terrorists without trial.
I find the very idea of detaining anyone without trial is repulsive. These may be desperate times, but measures like this are simply going too far. How are we any better than our enemies if we allow this sort of breach of civil liberties, and discriminate those breaches on grounds of nationality?
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

Single Faith Schools (6th Feb 2002)
This was a motion to require faith schools to take 25% of pupils from other backgrounds.
I do not understand the logic behind this idea, and if schools are producing results (as smaller faith-based schools tend to) then let them get on with it.
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted AGAINST this motion.

Hunting with Dogs (18th Mar 2002)
This was a motion to completely ban hunting wild animals with dogs.
Unlike some people, my position has never changed on this issue, and I would still not support bans on hunting with dogs.
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted AGAINST this motion.

Licensing of Hunting (18th Mar 2002)
This was a compromise measure to allow foxhunting under licence.
I would probably have supported this motion, as it would help to regulate the hunting industry and keep animal cruelty in check, whilst allowing the hunting to continue to the benefit of those who wish to undertake this activity.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative DID NOT VOTE on this important issue.

Adoption (4th Nov 2002)
This was a motion to allow unmarried and gay couples to adopt children.
I fail to see the difference in the relationship between heterosexual and homosexual couples, and so see absolutely no reason that unmarried and gay couples should not be allowed to adopt children. I accept that this could be seen as a contentious issue, because gay couples can clearly not naturally have chilren of their own, but I don’t think that this makes them any less suitable parents for an adopted child.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

UN Resolution 1441 (25st Nov 2002)
This was a motion to limit the justification for war with Iraq without UN sancation.
I think that it would only be sensible and right to go to war in these circumstances with UN backing, particularly when one of the reasons given for going to war is that Saddam Houssein is not complying with UN resolutions. This is something that the UN should sort out, not two members acting alone.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative DID NOT VOTE on this important issue.

House of Lords (4th Feb 2003)
This was a motion to introduce a fully elected House of Lords.
I like the fact that the House of Lords is not elected, since it adds a level of ‘randomness’ and therefore a level of protection against a rogue government and rigged elections. To remove this level of protection is a dangerous step for future generations.
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

House of Lords (4th Feb 2003)
This was a motion to introduce a fully appointed House of Lords.
Again, I’m happy with the way the Lords has always been, including hereditary peers and so-forth. Just as an all-elected House of Lords removes a vital piece of Constitutional protection, and all-appointed House of Lords has exactly the same result.
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted AGAINST this motion.

Foundation Hospitals (7th May 2003)
This was a motion opposing the introduction of Foundation Hospitals.
I think that reform in the NHS needs to spread rather wider than to a few hospitals, and I’m not keen on private involvement in the NHS.
I would have voted FOR this motion.
My elected representative voted AGAINST this motion.

Hunting with Dogs (30th June 2003)
This was a motion to completely ban hunting with dogs.
Again, I’ve made MY position clear on this. I’m not sure where David Borrow is coming from, though.
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

Top-up Fees (4th Feb 2003)
This was the bill which included plans for variable student tutition fees.
I think that top-up fees are a distinctly bad idea. Students already pay much more than the House of Commons graduates, and I was positively enraged by Tony Blair trying to sell us this as a ‘better deal’. What other possible deal is there where the cost of something more than doubles, and somebody has the gall to tell us that it’s a ‘better deal’?
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

Hunting with Dogs (15th Sep 2004)
This was a bill to bane foxhunting and hare coursing.
I still haven’t changed my position on this issue. I’m not sure what David Borrow’s position was this time round though, because he didn’t bother to turn up.
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative DID NOT VOTE on this important issue

ID Cards (20th Dec 2004)
This was the bill introducing ID cards.
As I have outlined in detail previously, I do not see any reason to spend vast amounts of money on the introduction of ID cards, but I can see a number of potentially major problems with the system, and I have great privacy fears over the introduction of this system.
I would have voted AGAINST this motion.
My elected representative voted FOR this motion.

So, out of the twenty-one most important votes in the House of Commons since my local MP was elected, he has voted as I would have on a total of six occasions. Which is rather better a record than I had expected, but is still pretty appalling. I can’t see any reason to vote for David Borrow at the next election. Whenever that might be.

But, of course, this exercise does not show who I should be voting for: It simply confirms that I won’t be voting Labour. I’ll try and keep you up-to-date over the coming months with my thinking on who I plan to vote for, and I might even have go through this particular exercise with each of the main party leaders in order to help me to decide which party best reflects how I feel on the major issues of the last few years. So keep your eye on this blog.

This 234th post was filed under: Election 2005.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th November 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th October 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd September 2017)

Why do people read rubbish? (published 19th March 2004)

iPad App Review: WWTBA Millionaire HD (published 14th April 2011)

Unfortunate (published 4th May 2004)

Photo-a-day 308: Broken lamp (published 4th November 2012)


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