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Date: Sat, Nov. 16th, 2013 10:56 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] zotz
We pay them about the same as head teachers or professors to do a lot of other things besides losing votes in person. AFAICT it would have been lost anyway by the same amount had people not been paired, and if you (or anyone else) knows for a fact that whatever else they were up to in committee or whatever wasn't at least equally important then they're doing a good job of keeping their mouths shut.

I am getting really really sick of people treating politics as nothing more than a branch of theatre. We need to depose the electorate and get a better one.

(no subject)

Date: Sun, Nov. 17th, 2013 01:21 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] scotm
Pairing: this is true. It would have been lost. However, the Labour Party look a lot more credible at presenting a motion for one of the cornerstones of their re-election campaign by having the party's representatives full backing.

It also says a lot about the lack of solidarity for those affected when a fifth of the opposing representatives simply don't show.

It also gives the Yes campaign a stick to beat them with. For no reason. The people I was speaking with on their doors this morning were appalled.

(no subject)

Date: Sun, Nov. 17th, 2013 01:39 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] zotz
People were appalled because of the way it was put to them. The result of hammering people for not treating theatre as the only end of government is that government becomes entirely about theatre, which strikes me as a good working definition of hell.

If we go around telling people that standing in lobbies is the only thing government's about, then they will believe us. And then we're all fucked.

(no subject)

Date: Sun, Nov. 17th, 2013 02:04 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] scotm
You've captured the schism rather well: MPs are basically nowt but a walking vote. And if we're going to argue the margin is all that matters - the reducto argument is: let's sack all the opposition.

MPs supposedly get elected to represent your constituents, but in reality it's mostly to bolster the party leader backed by the whips. That's the ball-game. And it /is/ fucked.

Opposition MPs are an alarmingly comfortable gig. You're responsible for next to nothing. Constituents won’t blame you for much the government does, because you're not in government and there’s not much that even the most demanding constituent could realistically expect you to do about it.

Casework is a thing, but ultimately the job for those in opposition and elected to the Commons is to turn up and be counted. We pay quite handsomely for it, either way.

And it worked, quite recently on Syria. The residue of recent dodgy wars finally put the fear of God into them. And they turned up and got counted.

(no subject)

Date: Sun, Nov. 17th, 2013 09:06 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] zotz
No. MPs do a lot more. As I've just said below, what happens in committee, for example, is often more important than what they do in the chamber.

(no subject)

Date: Sun, Nov. 17th, 2013 09:05 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] zotz
There are many other things MPs do. Most of the important work happens in committees, although there are other things too. Being seen to oppose bad policies in the chamber is important, but it's not the only thing or even in every case the most important thing, particularly when the vote is lost and it's just being seen to turn up.

It's all a bit Tea Party to my mind. There's a place for theatre and grandstanding, but if you insist that it's always the most important thing, it's all that you'll get.

(no subject)

Date: Tue, Nov. 19th, 2013 01:16 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] zotz
There is a difference between working on or voting on something that may go through and make a difference to people's lives in a few months, and voting on something which will not go through, and won't. That latter isn't worthless, but it's vastly less important than the former.

They couldn't by that point stop the bedroom tax before the next general election, but if some of them reckoned that it was better not to interrupt something they were doing on any one of a hundred other dreadful matters (the role of ATOS, mail/phone/everythingelsetapping, the NHS having the boot stuck in yet again, et cetera ad nauseam) then it is at least possible that they're right.

What would be good would be if the people who wrote those articles had asked what it was that they thought was at least as important. If I were wearing my cynical hat - which I'm not, because it's at the cleaners - I would pointedly suspect that nobody asked in case they got an answer that would pointlessly complicate complicate their ranting and spoil their beautifully manufactured outrage.

(no subject)

Date: Sun, Nov. 17th, 2013 01:22 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The Tories have also gotten the relevant pages removed from the Wayback machine. And deleted all the "Meet Dave - I'm just like you, really!" videos and stuff from YouTube.

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