Labour wants) Obviously neither situation is tenable for the good of people and society as a whole, living costs, energy bills, fuel, VAT have all risen considerably in the last few years, it costs more to live now, wages have to keep up with this. And so do benefits for workers on a low income, for disabled people and for people out of work. We face a grim future all of us, if the cost of living continues to grow faster than household incomes. A healthy economy is one in which living costs and incomes match each other, this economic unhealthiness should concern the government, unfortunately it doesn't.
So Andrew George set himself up as firmly against the plans to not keep incomes in line with inflation, I thought was a good thing and well done to an MP eager to stick up for the less fortunate. However all was not that clear cut, but for now here's the press release sent out before the vote (pinched from the Future for Penzance facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/afutureforpenzance).
Here there are a number of things Andrew is clearly saying, such as "will refuse to support", "this evening", "he will vote against". However come the vote of that evening four Liberal Democrat members of parliament voted against the passage of the bill through parliament, others didn't turn up at all and Charles Kennedy and Andrew George abstained by voting in both lobbies. (I don't understand the need of this quirky and archaic practice in a modern democracy, apparently its voting for and against thus offending neither the government or the opposition. Andrew did this before with the Voting bill that introduced the Devonwall idea.) So Andy voting against did not happen, despite the above claims.
So I pointed this out to him on twitter...
No I am perplexed why further debate is needed and whether this means, if Andrew has only specific problems with aspects of the bill rather than the whole thrust of it. I am not sure either why some Lib Dems didn't turn up or voted against and Mr George felt the need to abstain in that curious fashion. He never answered my question why his press release stated he'd voted against that evening and then he didn't...
Andrew was clear what his part in the Welfare Benefits Up-Rating Bill (incidentally freezing benefits the main proposal in an 'up' rating bill? I dread what a down rating bill would be based upon this). So the press release afterward was duly sent out with a clear message:
Leader of the rebels, starts the rebellion by abstaining? I had a quick look on the other Lib Dem rebels websites and through their press releases, no mention of following Andrew's rebellious banner of hesitancy.... The press release continues:
For the record I don't think anybody was suggesting that the MP should vote against the bill at the second reading, well except for Andrew's own press release before the vote which again stated "will vote against". Never fear this time it's for real and Andrew will vote against it, that's if his press release converge with reality.
As we saw the other day the Lib Dems are pulling all kinds of propaganda tricks to boost their standing both in Westminster and with an eye on May's Cornwall Council elections. I don't have a problem with that they're more than welcome to argue why people should trust the Liberal Democrats again but when its so removed from reality I have to take exception. Much like Stephen Gilbert's claim that their party is increasing benefits again we find Cornish Lib Dems willlfully deluding people about the role of their party in coalition government and the policies they are enacting. They need to wake up to the fact that they can't attack everything the government does without recognising they are part of that government, the votes of Cornish people led to them being elected and they have used them to jump straight into bed with the deplorable Tories.