The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Parasites on the nation

Posted on November 13, 2013 by

So all the names are in, and we now know that 47 Labour MPs didn’t bother turning up in the Commons yesterday to vote for the party’s motion to repeal the bedroom tax, which was defeated by just 26 votes. There’s a full list at the end of this article.


Today Labour’s officers and apologists are all over Twitter trying to justify the craven failure of the people’s tribunes to appear, on the grounds that they’d simply “paired” with Tory MPs who also wanted to stay at home scratching their arses and filling out expenses forms for their heating bills instead of going to work and doing their jobs.

Which would be fine, except for one thing.


That image is from the official UK Parliament website. It’s pretty unambiguous. “Pairing is not allowed in divisions of great political importance”. So clearly, Labour didn’t consider the single most unpopular policy of this entire administration to be a matter of political importance. We’ll leave it to readers to decide what that reveals about its priorities and how much it really cares about the vulnerable and desperate.

Further comment from us seems fairly superfluous. We’re not sure what use opposition MPs are when they can’t even be bothered to turn up for a vote on their own motion concerning a policy they’ve been screaming from the rooftops about. We’re certainly not sure that a cosy arrangement by which more than one in four of the nation’s elected representatives can agree to stay at home and trouser their fat salaries without actually doing the work is performing a service to democracy.

But mostly we’re not sure how any of the people below can dare to show their faces in public and ask people for their trust and their votes ever again.



Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington)
Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth)
Bob Ainsworth Coventry North East)
Douglas Alexander (Paisley & Renfrewshire South)
Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South)
Ed Balls (Morley and Outwood Clp)
Hugh Bayley (York Central)
David Blunkett (Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough)
Gordon Brown (Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath)
Chris Bryant (Rhondda)
Ann Coffey (Stockport)
Huw Irranca Davies (Ogmore)
Geraint Davies (Swansea West)
Gloria Del Piero (Ashfield)
Jim Dobbin (Heywood and Middleton)
Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras)
Brian Donohoe (Central Ayrshire)
Frank Doran (Aberdeen North)
Clive Efford (Eltham)
Frank Field (Birkenhead)
Paul Flynn (Newport West)
Mike Gapes (Ilford South)
David Hamilton (Midlothian)
Margaret Hodge (Barking)
Jimmy Hood (Lanark and Hamilton East)

George Howarth (Knowsley)
Siân James (Swansea East)
Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)
Tessa Jowell (Dulwich and West Norwood)
Gerald Kaufman (Manchester Gorton)
David Lammy (Tottenham)
Ian Lucas (Wrexham)
Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)
Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)

Alan Meale (Gateshead)
Meg Munn (Sheffield Heeley)
Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire)
Pamela Nash (Airdrie and Shotts)
Dawn Primarolo (Bristol South)
Joan Ruddock (Lewisham, Deptford)
Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central)
John Spellar (Warley)
Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South)
Chuka Umunna (Streatham)
Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North)
Dave Watts (St Helens North)
Alan Whitehead (Southampton Test)
Shaun Woodward (St Helens South and Whiston)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 09 12 14 15:45

    This Theatre of Dreams | A Wilderness of Peace

138 to “Parasites on the nation”

  1. pmcrek says:

    I wish my work offered a pairing scheme for days I cant be arsed.

  2. Stuart Black says:

    Even if, for instance, Sarwar was paired and it would make no difference to the eventual outcome, the breathtaking lack of self awareness is telling. Brass is too soft a material for this man’s neck to be constructed from, titanium more like.
    I do hope Nicola will get a chance to wave his shabby little fabricated bill at him in future televised debates. He’s right about one thing though. Holyrood is not a democracy as they know it in Westminster, and thank fuck for that.

  3. auslander says:

    Is there a list of the pairs somewhere or is this just an ad-hoc arrangement?

  4. Ellie says:

    Has someone checked the list of Tory absentees to see that the numbers do in fact add up?

  5. Horacesaysyes says:

    It is pathetic.
    However, the whole idea of ‘pairing’ seems to be a strange one to me. If, as it seems to suggest, you have to find someone who would have voted the opposite way to yourself to cancel out the effect of your non-attendance, doesn’t that suggest that the whole idea of having a debate is irrelevant, if MP’s have already made up their minds before the debate has even taken place?

  6. Stuart Black says:

    “doesn’t that suggest that the whole idea of having a debate is irrelevant, if MP’s have already made up their minds before the debate has even taken place?”
    Indeed, Sarwar’s preferred democracy in action.

  7. Marcia says:

    The Rev’s twitter account has one Labour drone informing him that Housing is devolved to Holyrood and there the SG could cover it. Pity the chap didn’t mention that the Benefit system isn’t and the Bedroom Tax isn’t devolved to Holyrood. A waste of an education.

  8. Gillie says:

    Craven Labour Cowards.

  9. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Has Nicola made any comment on this ? does anybody know ?

  10. Brian Powell says:

    So why did they call for the Vote??

  11. Atypical_Scot says:

    Has someone checked the list of Tory absentees to see that the numbers do in fact add up?
    Moreover, what if they were paired with LibDems who may have voted against the tax?
    A full list is required.

  12. faolie says:

    I just posted this late on the prev post, but, re pairing thingy, I believe that pairing is usually arranged between ministers and their opposition spokesman, so that, eg if the Foreign Secretary William Hague was abroad, then wee Dougie would abstain. (don’t know if Hague was actually away btw).
    However. Don’t think that Anas Sarwar and Gordon Brown are opposition spokesmen for anything, and so should have been in the commons voting (instead of, perhaps catching up on Downton maybe, and laughing at the lot of the servants).

  13. fairiefromtheearth says:

    Are you sure these people are parasites,does a parasite not live off its host without the host noticing,these fekkers love the limelight even when everything they say are proven to be bare face lies.Traitors Hang EM High.

  14. balgayboy says:

    The pairing system is one thing…but having a pair is obviously alien to some of Scotland’s labour MP’s.

  15. Iain says:

    In the modern Labour Party pols like Sarwar are regarded as a safe pair of hands, in that they have the hide of a rhinoceros and can be trusted to shamelessly obfuscate and shut down debate at the drop of a hat. The downside (for them) is that they forget what moral politics look like, and become unaware of what their actions look like to people outside the bubble. Last night was a PR disaster for SLAB; as any Blairite fule kno, you get your excuses in early and you don’t let the narrative get away from you, so double fail.

  16. Juteman says:

    ‘Pairing’ my arse!
    A ‘proper’ socialist would drag himself from his sickbed to vote against that bill!

  17. Iain says:

    ‘Has Nicola made any comment on this ? does anybody know ?’
    She’s tweeted.

    Nicola Sturgeon ?@NicolaSturgeon  
    Can @scottishlabour explain why so many of its MPs failed to turn up in the House of Commons last night to vote against the bedroom tax?

  18. Gillie says:

    Speaking on October 14th, 2013, Chris Bryant MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Welfare Reform: “It’s time for (Coalition) Ministers to repeal this cruel and unfair policy. If they don’t, Labour will”
    Bryant couldn’t get off his erse to vote. What a disgrace. 

  19. kendomacaroonbar says:

    Thanks Iain,   I just can’t get a hang of twitter…

  20. Gillie says:

    All of these Labour Cowards have spoken on the Bedroom Tax.
    Can we have a list of these comments?

  21. Illy says:

    If they actually wanted to get rid of the bedroom tax, they’d have set up the pairing to keep the tories at home, then come in anyway.
    And then it would be gone.
    Looks like Labor like it too much.

  22. eddie says:

    There are very few, if any, proper socialists left in the Labour Party.

  23. Matt says:

    Did Ann McKechin vote after all then?

  24. balgayboy says:

    Yup  ” the labour party in Scotland could do with a spring clean next year” to get rid of these right wing types.

  25. Arabs for Independence says:

    I wonder where Gordon Brown ret’d was?
    Actually I wonder where they all were.

  26. chalks says:

    Just sent something into the local paper in Aberdeen:

    Hi ******, just wondering if the EE will be asking Frank Doran why he failed to turn up at last night’s vote to abolish the bedroom tax, this motion was actually brought forward by Labour! At least 43 Labour MP’s failed to turn up and cast their vote, with the coalition winning by 26 votes.

     Also interesting that the new Secretary of State of Scotland, Alistair Carmichael voted to keep the bedroom tax….I think that might go against the opinion of the Scottish electorate, but hey, what’s that matter!

    Anyway, interested to know why one of Aberdeens elected representatives didn’t bother to vote on an issue that is adversely affecting his constituents and whether the EE will seek his opinion on the matter.

  27. FreddieThreepwood says:

    The most revealing aspect of all this is that it shows the relative importance Labour MPs place on a) social justice, fighting for their constituents and upholding the underlying political principles allegedly at the heart of their party and b) the rules of the ‘game’ and conventions of that gilded palace by the Thames.

    So great is the cringe that Scottish Labour MPs have forgotten it was their voters who gave them permission to strut about Westminster and play the game – not the frilled and buckled clerks or even their own whips office.

    Their servility is truly shaming.

  28. Cath says:

    “doesn’t that suggest that the whole idea of having a debate is irrelevant, if MP’s have already made up their minds before the debate has even taken place?””

    Well quite. Total waste of time and OUR money having debates, votes and the like if they don’t have any hope of changing anything. It’s just political grandstanding. 
    Similar thing can be seen with many Labour and union types over the referendum. They’ve made up their minds long before the debate has even happened and have no interest in even listening to debate.

  29. chalks says:

    Instant reply from my contact…going to look into Doran’s absence, Carmichael’s was predictable….fingers crossed they give him hell

  30. truescot says:

    You lot just don’t understand the torment that is tearing Jim Murphy’s mind apart. From one side to the other.

    Oh, decisions, decisions,

    Scrap bedroom tax—-Free vegan meal
    Scrap bedroom tax—-Free vegan meal
    Scrap bedroom tax—-Free vegan meal
    Scrap bedroom tax—-Free vegan meal

    Fuck it, I’LL have the carrot soup please!

  31. Bannock Hussler says:

    Did they pair up by number of bedrooms, I wonder. Pity it wasn’t a referendum – and Ingram could have sorted it out retrospectively.

  32. Ken says:

    There is no excuse for this. None what so ever. Their constituents would expect them to be there on their behalf, even if they lose. They wrap themselves up and make themselves at home in Westminster’s cosy little colony. Appearing only when a media opportunity allows them to spout meaningless phrases in a shallow effort to justify being there. As Lamont remarked recently, We don’t want Labour to APPEAR to be taking Scottish voters for granted”. (My emphasis) Appearance is everything for these parasites, but their arrogant disregard for the people who trusted them with their vote is spotlighted in ugly clarity on that list. 

  33. Indy_Scot says:

    The more you learn about Labour and Tory politicians, the more you realise that they have no interest whatsoever in the people they are supposed to represent, other than taking them for fools.

  34. faolie says:

    Priceless from Curran on Twitter, sending a letter to Alistair Carmichael asking him and his lot to vote for the abolition bill.
    Dear Alistair [Carmichael] As you know, tomorrow all MPs will have an opportunity to vote to end the bedroom tax. The (cont)
    Should have sent a similar letter to your fellow MPs, Margaret.

  35. joe kane says:

    The Westminster Parliamentary Labour Party also abstained on Ian Duncan Smith’s retrospective legislation which legalised the stealing of dole money off unemployed workers forced into state slave labour schemes. Labour justified their non-opposition to this attack on the principles of the welfare state and that of liberal democracy (ie no retrospective law, anti-slavery) by claiming they got the promise of an independent review out of it by abstaining.

    Here’s johnny void to eloquently explain yet another Labour sell-out and with details in how to assist the review and suchlike –
    The Official Whitewash Into Benefit Sanctions Begins: This Is Why Labour Sold Out The Poor
    12 Nov 2013

  36. Gillie says:

    Only a few days ago Labour was claiming that over 400,000 disabled people were being disproportionately affected by the Bedroom Tax and that they were going to do something about it.
    They simply paired off with their Tory chums and buggered off.
    We need to know who paired with who?  

  37. Politics Politics ,, don’t expect labour to follow through on their rhetoric.  Really , the pairing system is only to be used for important votes and I’m sure if labour had been serious, they would’ve put a three-line whip on the vote.   Its all the usual huff and puff, and Scots labour will do what they always do, polish up the collective brass neck, blame the snp, and disappear till it all blows over.  We can only disseminate this article as far and wide as we can thru social media.  

  38. kendomacaroonbar says:

    You know I wonder what the ‘pollsters’ would have made of last nights event given all the the indications and general platitudes from Labour et al that they were vehemently against the bedroom tax ?
    Perhaps all those Labour Unionist No voters will emulate their betters and won’t pitch up on the day, or just vote opposite to what we’d been led to believe ?
    I’m still incandescent with rage

  39. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Logically none of the barstewards need to turn up for any vote if they are paired leaving just the unpaired, (i. e. few MPs who make up the marginal majority) need be ersed to get of the all-day bars which are central to the functioning of The  Houses of Parliament  (Private Members Club) 

  40. faolie says:

    From Labour Party website:
    Tonight, MPs can vote to scrap the Bedroom Tax — and put an immediate end to the distress and hardship it’s causing thousands of vulnerable people.

    Ed Miliband has already promised that a Labour government in 2015 would repeal this unfair and cruel policy, but it can be scrapped now if enough MPs vote the right way in the debate Labour has organised tonight.
    Yes, that’s right, if enough MPs vote the right way… Shouldn’t that just have been, if enough MPs vote…

  41. Wayne says:

    The pairing is a smokescreen, it just doesn’t happen on issues such as this, despite whatever post-facto sophistry the ministry of mis-truth might churn out to appease the MSM and Labour sycophants.  
    Sarwar has no credibility left after this.  Hypocrisy of the highest order.  I am looking forward to Johann getting another pasting in FMQ’s this week.

  42. A2 says:

    You are being a bit unfair, It’s an awfy long way to go just for a wee vote after all.

  43. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    Don’t the Party Whips know the vote numbers beforehand? Of course they do. Thats their purpose. So whats the point in having a debate already knowing the odds are against winning it?
    Or could it be that its all double think? If Labour use the ‘Bedroom Tax’ removal as their flagship General Election promise with the population cowed and beaten do they think they will win? Whips advice just now ‘Oh dont bother voting as we need this for our GE campaign’.

  44. Illy says:

    We all know that Laor says they’ll do something, then does the exact opposite once they’re in power.
    What’s the follow-through rates for the different political parties doing what they said they’ll do?  Who comes out on top?
    Oh, right, that’s just ScotNat propaganda…

  45. kendomacaroonbar says:

    I know that Labour MP’s can ‘house flip’ I just wasn’t aware they could ‘policy flip’ also.

  46. Davy says:

    Oh no, another Labour problem, does this mean Lamont is heading for the bunker and another two or three months of silence from our leader of Labour in Scotland.
    She may find the bunker a bittie crowded with that deputy of hers and the other nine missing ‘proud Scot’s’ hero’s from yesterdays Westminster “bedroom tax” vote, jamming there craven erse’s in there. 

  47. Gillie says:

    Pamela Nash, writing in the Daily Record, March 2013:
    “It is hard to believe that the Tories could ever come up with a policy which could be more hated and cause more devastation than the Poll Tax. But we should never underestimate this Government’s ability to attack the poor while rewarding the rich. The Bedroom Tax seems designed to attack the vulnerable. It is more than just ill-conceived; it is positively vile in its intentions. Labour support sensible welfare reform but the Bedroom Tax is just plain crazy. This will hit soldiers and their families. It punishes foster carers for the crime of giving a home to a child in need and punishes husbands and wives caring for their partners and disabled children.”

  48. faolie says:

    @Davy: Oh no, another Labour problem, does this mean Lamont is heading for the bunker and another two or three months of silence from our leader of Labour in Scotland.

    No tweets since 25th October (nothing on Ed M’s about the bedroom tax either for that matter)

  49. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    @ Chalks – Well done with your communication with the EE. I am at Woodside/Tillydrone which as you know is part of Frank Doran’s patch. It is packed with social housing and families struggling to make ends meet. Churches and charity organisations continually operating food banks.
    Yet Frank Doran MP cannot even bring himself to support his constituents. Mind you he has already announced he is standing down next election so perhaps he doesnt give a monkeys toss.

  50. Ian Brotherhood says:

    For anyone who hasn’t seen this – George Carlin laying it all out in three minutes:

  51. Rod Mac says:

    I am ashamed to say Jim Murphy is my MP.
    I have today sent him an email asking why he did not  vote in the division last night.
    I further asked him why I should Vote No  or Labour if they cannot be trusted  to turn up and vote on their own motions.
    I do not expect a reply of course, but I do feel better giving him 2 barrels and letting him know we are aware of his inaction even if Scottish MSM fail to inform us properly

  52. Gillie says:

    Jim Murphy, speaking in Feb 2013 about local families affected by the Bedroom Tax;
    “These new figures are really worrying for so many local families.  I fear that many will have to move home uprooting their children from local schools and taking them away from all of their friends. This revelation that more than 500 local families will be affected reveals the flaws in the government’s plans. The government’s answer is that people should move to smaller homes. But here in East Renfrewshire, the Council and Housing Associations just don’t have enough alternative homes for the people who may be forced to move from their current home, meaning that families may find it difficult to relocate and will be trapped by this tax.

  53. Seanair says:

    Gillie, You’re right. Let’s see who paired with whom. Do the pairers have an agreement to pair on every occasion or do they have to scurry round each time to get a patsy who’s looking for a day off?
    Since Gordon Brown is hardly ever there who is/are his pairer/pairers? I would not be happy if I were a Tory voter whose MP paired with GB so that he could swan around the globe making money (for his charity of course).

  54. Bill McLean says:

    Heads-up sent to the Dunfermline Press asking if someone will do some real reporting on Labour and reminding them of the disgraceful dishonesty by Labour in the Dunfermline by-election campaign. Also email to editor of the Herald asking “why this protection of the foul Labour party in Scotland. Nothing to Hootsmon – I wouldn’ spit on it! get it out there folks!!!

  55. Dcanmore says:

    Right, time for these SLAB politicians to be exposed by their own previous quotes against the Bedroom Tax then asked ‘If you were against then why did you not turn up to vote against it?’. 
    Labour are NOT against the Bedroom Tax per se despite what they say in soundbites, they are NOT against any policy that brings in an income. In power they would only provide a voucher scheme to help the poorest people for the benefit of headlines in the papers, but the reality is someone else (with slightly more means) will pay for it. Labour do cost adding, not cost cutting.

  56. Robert Louis says:

    These lame excuses about pairing are absolute and utter fluff.  What a pathetic bunch of craven liars.  Aside from what the article above says, there is an important issue of the public trust involved here, especially in relation to the Labour party.
    Even if Labour thought they couldn’t carry the vote, on an issue as important as this, every single damn one of them should have been there, to make it clear that there really is a huge strength of feeling around the UK on this matter.  To shout about the bedroom tax, and wave the Labour bill to abolish it on national TV, as Anas Sarwar of Labour did, then not even bother to turn up for the debate or to vote, truly beggars belief.
    Labour day by day, exhibit a complete disragrd for the electorate, and the people they are supposed to represent.  I would love to know what extremely urgent business they were all involved in which meant they were unable to bother attending the house of commons yesterday.  These people are paid a minimum of 66,396 pounds per year, plus gold plated pension,  plus expenses, plus second homes in London, plus free flights to London to do their job, so why were they not doing it????
    As Johan Lamont of the Labour party is supposedly ‘in charge’ of the Scottish MP’s who couldn’t be bothered to vote yesterday at Westminster, I do hope our First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, takes her to the f’in cleaners at FMQ’s today over this.
    what a total bunch of wasters in the Labour party in Scotland.  The pond life of politics.

  57. Gillie says:

    Douglas Alexander, Sept 2013:
    “Repealing the cruel bedroom tax is absolutely the right thing to do. The Bedroom Tax is hitting hundreds of council and housing association tenants here in Renfrewshire. Local people are furious that the Tory-led UK Government has handed a tax cut to millionaires while at the same time penalising ordinary people struggling to get by with the Bedroom Tax. Labour will continue to stand up for local people here in Renfrewshire who are facing a cost of living crisis.”

  58. jake says:

    Why do MP’s need fully expensed second homes in London when they have all arranged between themselves, and to their mutual advantage, an informal system of collusion and vote rigging which enables them to avoid attending parliament to participate in debates, be informed by those debates and vote accordingly in the interests of the constituents who elected them?

  59. Atypical_Scot says:

    Turns out 21 LibDems didn’t turn up who may have voted against the tax. If all the Labour MPs turned up, plus a contingent of the LibDems;
    47 Lab + 47 coalition = 94 votes.
    47 lab in favour, 21 libDems in favour = 68 
    94 – 68 = 26
    26 + the 26 vote lead = 52 against the motion
    68 for the motion.
    A full turn out of Labour and the Libdems would have meant only 14 LibDems out of the 21 missing would be required to pass the bill.

  60. raineach says:

    Well, hopefully they won’t be bothered to vote in the  referendum either

  61. Geoff Huijer says:

    Once again shameful of Labour – Keir Hardie no doubt burlin in his grave.
    And Gordon Brown? Nothing this man does or doesn’t do could make me
    despise him any more than I do.
    And whilst I would never wish any harm on him I do hope that one day
    his conscience gets the better of him and his God reminds him of the
    opportunities he has had to help people and how he has failed to do so.

  62. Robert Louis says:

    My honest opinion is that Labour don’t actually want to repeal the bedroom tax, their public stance is pure spin, to try to appeal to voters in certain areas.  That’s the only logical explanation for so many Labour MP’s from Scotland not even bothering to turn up.

  63. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Douglas Alexander, Sept 2013:”

    It’d save me a lot of time if you’d include links with these, folks.

  64. Cymru Rydd says:

    Did these 47 MP’s individually decide not to turn up for this vote?
    Or was it planned that this amount would not turn up to ensure that the vote was lost?
    It appears that Labour want to be ‘seen’ to oppose the policy, but don’t want the actual responsibility of  dealing with the implications of defeating it. They are banking on the fact that most voters won’t be aware of this distinction.  It really is cynical Westminster politics at its very worst.
    Are Labour taking this position on the bedroom tax because they actually initiated this policy in the private rented sector?
    Or is it because they know that being tough on welfare is actually proving quite popular in Middle England, and they can’t really afford to give ground to the Tories on this issue in reality as we start to prepare for 2015?
    This little episode shows once more that those hoping for Miliband to stake out an alternative vision in 2015 are sorely misguided.
    The only alternative vision for all of us( the people of Scotland, Wales, yes and England too) is a YES vote in Scotland next year. 

  65. kendomacaroonbar says:

    @ Big Red Machine  !     Excellent…circulate it far and wide !

  66. Gillie says:

    Brian Donohoe, Sept 2013, speaking on the impact of the Bedroom Tax:
    “It really must be a strain on our local authorities to be coping with the rise in need for services such as community care grants and crisis grants as well as discretionary housing payments at the same time as taking the hit of loss of revenue as rent arrears increase thanks to the Bedroom Tax.
    I will continue to make representations in Westminster to try and make the Government see that their Welfare Reforms are doing more harm than good and we can only hope that they may see the error of their ways and reverse some of the ridiculous reforms they have imposed.”

  67. How long will it be before we hear “ we tried to abolish it” Labour good, coalition bad, when all the while they did not want it repealed, just a PR exercise, well it aint washing, we are not thick, we can see right through it. As for Sarwar of all people not turning up, low life scumbag don’t even come close. Vote yes and dump these people for good, they are a disgrace to Scotland and their constituents, Bought and sold the whole lot of them ! They might be Scottish like the rest of us but Sorry, Patriots they are not !

  68. Bill McLean says:

    I wonder if Hothersall and his ilk will be feeling ashamed this morning. No chance they will be working on some spin to excuse those cowards and hypocrites who disgracefully call themselves Scottish and Labour! Never been so angry in years. Disgusting spivs and low lives!

  69. balgayboy says:

    No surprises there then. A so called socialist party who proclaim to be for the working people and the poor cannot even get their act together to spend some minutes of their time to vote/stand up for their proclaimed ethos.
    Notwithstanding the protection of these so called socialists by Scotland’s MSM and BBC Scotland have again literally stabbed the poor (and voters) in our Scotland in the back.
    This example should be a lesson to the Scottish people that regardless of how their political leanings are, our main aim at this present time should be self determination.
    Once independence is achieved then we can decide which political persuasion we choose.
    No point in trying to dismantle the only party that has got to where we are.

  70. Cath says:

    Whips advice just now ‘Oh dont bother voting as we need this for our GE campaign’.
    That’s what the whole thing looks like. A set up designed for spin and headlines, for a flagship policy they intend to fight the 2015 election on. Meanwhile across the country people are being put through total hell, being evicted, being forced to move away from home, friends and family or ending up on the streets thanks to both Labour and the Tories.
    How many will be evicted, die, commit suicide etc before 2015? For the slight hope that maybe Labour will get in and if they do maybe they’ll repeal this act and bring in something more sensible. Neither of which I’d hold my breath for.

  71. chalks says:

    @Archie [not Erchie]
    It’s enough to make the blood boil, we’ll sort the b**tards out.  Sooner or later.

  72. JP says:

    From now on when Labour and Tory get together not to vote this should be called Pair of Tits.

  73. there can be only one reason labour MPs didn’t turn up last night and that is that Labour want to push this as a General Election policy promise.  happy to allow the vulnerable suffer in the meantime for their own political timetable

  74. MochaChoca says:

    Grandstanding. That’s the only point of proposing a Bill in the full knowledge that (pairing or not) you make sure your own Bill is not carried. What a waste of time.

  75. Robert Kerr says:

    Checked the online Herald.
    No mention as yet.
    New headline about puppies being abandoned.

    Get a grip Herald

  76. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    There are Scottish MPs who actually voted yesterday FOR the Bedroom Tax including Scottish Secretay Alistair “Bruiser” Carmichael and my own MP, the entirely useless Alan Reid.
    Lets not forget them

  77. desimond says:

    This is yet again a clear indicator that your all too ‘stoopid’ to run your own affairs. You should be grateful that these MPs didnt turn up and therefore cause a late sitting and generate more perfectly valid and reasonable expenses claims.

    But do you salute these brave men and women from rejecting more public cash making its way into their offshore bank accounts by them unselfishly staying at home or heading away on trips like arms dealing junkets?

    No! You all start moaning that these Members of Parliament should be in parliament, representing the thoughts and wishes of their constituents!

    Pure idiocy.

    Shame on you all, shame!

    Never Yours

    G Foulkes

  78. Atypical_Scot says:

    It’s a sad state of affairs that politician of any party can assess the damage caused by the tax and not vote to abolish it.

  79. Macart says:

    Personally, I’d like those absentee MPs stand in front of those under threat of eviction for a face to face, just to see who blinks first.
    Next debate which includes Mr Sarwar I’d like to see the SG representative with piece of paper in their hand for Mr Sarwar to sign.

  80. Gillie says:

    Labour MP Ann McKechin speaking at Axe The Bedroom Tax march in Glasgow where thousands turned up, March 2013,
    I’m not surprised at this turnout. People are shocked by the scale of this unfair and unjust tax. The Westminster government doesn’t understand the full impact it will have.”
    Love the irony on turnout. 

  81. Seasick Dave says:

    I noted the following in the image…
    Pairing is an informal arrangement and is not recognised by the House of Commons’ rules.

  82. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    My MP Alan Reid didn’t turn up for the vote, apparently. He was probably “paired” (hopefully not in the biblical sense – though I sense he is now f*cked)

  83. Gillie says:

    Yesterday’s vote on the Bedroom Tax in the House of Commons proved conclusively that this is not Labour tax, nor a Tory tax, nor even a Lib Dem tax –
    The Bedroom Tax is a Westminster Tax 

  84. The Man in the Jar says:

    Jimmy Hood is my MP with a 13,478 (29%) majority. Sad but true. 🙁 

  85. Seasick Dave says:

    Just had a gander at the ‘story’ on the Daily Record and tried to add my approval to the pertinent comments at the end.
    Unfortunately, there seems to be a glitch at the DR as the following message appeared…
    We are unable to record your recommendation at this time. Please try again later.

  86. desimond says:

    Lets be honest, the clue is in the name, Party Politics.

    It seems no one, regardless of what they may believe, votes for an individual. They vote for the Party represented, where that candidate is aligned of course.
    Proof positive that rather than just say “You could put a red rosette on a donkey and he’d get elected in Scotland”, you would be just as well doing that, carrots are cheap and electing an actual person makes no difference whatsoever as they will have no voice or thoughts of their own to express anyhow.

  87. Kev says:

    I also see Alistair Carmichael voted in favour of his government against the wishes of his country’s citizens, absolutely shameful stuff.

    The daily record’s title is a cracker too:
    “Bedroom Tax: Cowardly Scots Lib Dems vote against Labour motion to scrap hated spare room policy”
    “SPINELESS Lib Dems last night refused to take a stand against the hated bedroom tax.
    Seven of the party’s Scottish MPs voted against a Labour motion to scrap the spare room subsidy.
    The other four didn’t even bother to turn up.”

  88. kendomacaroonbar says:

    We cannot let this pass. 

  89. HandandShrimp says:

    I suppose one might well inquire if it was a pairing issue was it the Tory Mp or the Labour MP that stayed away. If Anas couldn’t be arsed going then that is quite a different issue from his being there but abstaining because his Tory pair was not there.
    However, it does rather suggest that none of them consider this a matter of political importance.

  90. JLT says:


  91. kininvie says:

    Back to poppies for a second:
    Rory Cellan-Jones ?@ruskin147 27m … ITV News presenter CharleneWhite on the foul abuse she got for not wearing a poppy
    And what a dignified and restrained reply she writes.

  92. wee e says:

    marcia wrote: The Rev’s twitter account has one Labour drone informing him that Housing is devolved to Holyrood and there the SG could cover it.

    Labour’s drone must not know that Labour got together with the Cons in Holyrood committeee to block the SG / COSLA joint scheme that’ll help people suffering from the 10% Council Tax benefit cut. Bitter Thegither voted five times to block this help.

    Their excuse? It’s “interfering” with the benefits system, and that’s reserved to Westminster. Labour will surely apply the same logic to the bedroom tax, and join the Tories in kyboshing SG help there too.

  93. I remember pairing stopped a few years back, under John Smith I think.  It was trumpeted that there’d be no deals with the Tories and that they’d be held to account at every opportunity.  It didn’t last long though.

  94. patronsaintofcats says:

    I think you insulted parasites there Rev.

  95. Training Day says:

    “The Bedroom Tax is a Westminster Tax”
    In a nutshell.

  96. patronsaintofcats says:

    Actually maybe we’ve got our billboard message: the 10 Scottish Labour MPs who voted against reversing the Bedroom Tax 
    Name and shame these useless bastards, get the word out.  They will NEVER live this down, I think Labour in Scotland signed their death warrant with this disgraceful show. Reap the whirlwind you cowards…

  97. Jim Arnott says:

    I was so incensed at the Labour MP’s who didn’t turn up for their own party’s motion to abolish the Bedroom Tax that I have automated a series of tweets that takes each and every  Labour MP who didn’t turn up for the vote and asks for an explanation. You can see these tweets @jimarnott and they will be tweeted at roughly 20 minute intervals. I will let them run for a couple of days and then run them again next week when MP’s are back at Westminster. It will be interesting to see who, if any, give an explanation for their absence from the Chamber on such an important motion. I think it is important that everyone is made aware of just how seriously the Labour Party are about abolishing the Bedroom Tax

  98. Doug Daniel says:

    What amazes me about the list is the number of ex-ministers and shadow cabinet folk on it. Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Chris Bryant, Gloria Del Piero, Jim Murphy, Chuka Umunna, Bob Ainsworth, David Blunkett, Frank Dobson, Alan Johnson, Tessa Jowell, Dawn Primarolo, Shaun Woodward… There’s probably more.
    How the fuck can anyone take Ed Miliband seriously about binning the bedroom tax when his own shadow chancellor can’t be arsed turning up to vote against it? The very man we’re supposed to believe is in charge of deciding what can and can’t be afforded?
    And the next time that slimy, conniving, slithering little bastard Anas Sarwar tries to bring up the bedroom tax, someone beat him in the face with a copy of Hansard. Repeatedly.

  99. truescot says:

    What we need is these Scottish Labour MP’s outed in public. (Also the Scottish Lib-Dems who voted for it).

    How about the shy and retiring Mr Tommy Sheridan arranging an interview with STV Scotland Tonight programme.

  100. Luigi says:

    “Pairing is not allowed in divisions of great political importance”
    The Labour party is well aware of this rule.  One can only conlude, therefore that either:
    1) The bedroom tax is not considered to be important.
    2) Labour politicians secretly want to keep the bedroom tax. 
    There are no other possible explanations. 
    What a devious bunch of barstewards.

  101. Truth says:

    But wait a minute, if Torcuil can give the Lib Dems hell for not turning up, when as it seems they will have paired off too, then how can he not give Labour hell too?
    Either they weren’t paired and abstainers should get hell or they were paired and Torcuil should shut his mouth.
    They can’t have it both ways.

  102. faolie says:

    Gordon Brown calls for postponement of the Bedroom Tax. 
    A hard hitting Fife report calling for the postponement of the so called ‘Bedroom Tax’ has been sent by MP Gordon Brown to Work Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

    Mr Brown has said that the cuts, due to come into effect in April that will see a reduction in housing benefits of between 14 and 25 per cent, were “offensive, onerous, unfair, arbitrary and should be postponed”.

  103. rabb says:

    Should their be some kind of demo / march arranged in Glasgow to protest about the Labour Party and their shameful act of colluding with Tories to keep the bedroom tax?
    I’ll be there if their is 🙂

  104. Edward says:

    Here is an idea, those with twitter accounts. literally bombard each of the 10 Labour MP’s with copies to each of the news outlets (I don’t know how it works, so bear with me) and see what comes back. It would be especially helpful for those, whose own MP couldn’t be bothered. Get others in the same constituencies to do the same
    get this to go viral, so its copied in England as well

  105. This gives Bettertogether a new meaning, all parties together shafting the public who vote for them. This is an example that there is no alternative party to vote for, not a fag paper between any of them. UK parlimentary system is broken voting is a farce & we do not have a newspaper worth its salt to inform the public.Read yesterday they tightening up laws against demonstrations & protest as well they might.Another thing thst gets my goat is when Hov mentions the queen signed the Bill, its perverse.The best that could happen for the whole of the UK is we for Scot to vote yes. This will expose a corrupt WM

  106. Bill C says:

    Just tweeted this to Sarwar:

    “Where were you last night? The most vulnerable people in Scotland were betrayed by 10 Scottish Labour MP’s who didn’t turn up.”

    We cannot let this bunch of hypocrites off with this betrayal of the most vulnerable in our society. 

  107. a supporter says:

    “For those asking we operate a pairing system with the Tories and therefore it would have made no difference to majority on the Bedroom tax”

    Not strictly true. It presupposes that each paired individual who is assumed to vote YES and his pair who is assumed to vote NO would actually do so if forced to turn up and listen to the debate. You never know some may change.

  108. CR says:

    Hmm, good question, that’s really got me wondering.  From what I can gather, Charles Kennedy abstained – i will be writing!  But he was there, at least for the debate, because he’s quoted in Hansard: where he demands reassurance that there

    This is the exchange  with Steve Webb:
    Mr Charles Kennedy (Ross, Skye and Lochaber) (LD): I am grateful to the Minister for giving way—it is characteristically generous of him, particularly because he knows my past record and that I have been unable to give my support to his policy. I have a specific question on how the policy will develop. The Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recommended some time ago that communities of fewer than 3,000 people could be exempted from the impact of the policy. I represent the largest geographic constituency in Britain, and that question is of great interest to the Highland council welfare committee. Will he please look at it?

    Steve Webb: My right hon. Friend and his hon. Friends have been effective in lobbying for the needs of remote rural communities. That is why we specifically made available this year an additional £5 million, focused exclusively on remote rural communities, which face difficulty because of the distance people might have to travel to alternative accommodation. I hope that that Government decision this year has helped to address those concerns.

    (then Angus Macneil asked)

    Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP): What solution does the Minister suggest for a Hebridean island where there are 105 houses, 50% of which are single occupancy, but only 20% of which have one bedroom? If people live on such islands, what is the solution?

    (and Steve Webb replied)

    Steve Webb: I am not sure whether the hon. Gentleman was listening a moment ago when I referred to the specific additional funding we have allocated to remote rural areas to respond to that problem.

    So there might be ‘some extra help’ for people in rural areas? But even if that were the case, what about everyone else?  For example those in Portree or Fort William – in CK’s community? Nevermind those in larger towns/cities.  CK might state that he is against this tax, but he didn’t vote against it!  Not good enough imho!

    However a question I have about this whole debarcle is, who are the missing LibDems paired with?  If they are in Government then would they be paired with Labour MPs?  If so, could those who didn’t turn up have abstained if they couldn’t bring themselves to support the motion?  Then their paired labour MPs could surely have upheld the motion?  So are they not as bad as eachother? 

    Alistair Carmichael, Michael Moore, John Thurso, etc are beyond despicable as far as I’m concerned

  109. JGedd says:

    Having given up on Labour nearly three decades ago myself, their cynicism no longer surprises me. I doubt that there are any Labour MPs today who would call themselves socialist.
    Slightly off topic, I watched the video from Cupar with John Swinney debating against Murdo Fraser. At one point, Murdo Fraser commented that the Bedroom Tax was popular in Scotland. I was a bit disappointed to see that John Swinney let that go by.

    At the end Mr Swinney remarked that it had been a very civilized debate. While not wanting a debate conducted as an acrimonious shouting match I could have done with an acerbic response rather than polite silence at such a comment by Fraser. 

  110. Gillie says:

    12 of these Labour MPs are in Ed Miliband’s Front Bench team, 5 of them Shadow cabinet members.
    Douglas Alexander, Jon Ashworth, Ed Balls, Chris Bryant, Huw Irranca Davies, Clive Efford, David Hamilton (Whip), Ian Lucas, Jim Murphy, Gloria Del Piero, John Spellar, Chuka Umunna.
    It looks like that Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet is very much split on the Bedroom Tax. 

  111. velofello says:

    Ach, with the weekend sports for the public to focus on, SLab likely calculate that this business will be forgotten by Sunday evening.

  112. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    And Alan Reid

  113. Luigi says:

    In future, if any of the missing Labour MPs wish to comment on the effects of the nasty bedroom tax, the first question they should be asked is:
    “So, why did you not bother to vote against it?”

  114. Big Al says:

    These shameless bastards need to be recalled by their constituency labour party members, however they are probably just as shameless and spineless as their MP’s. Can I suggest the hashtag #recall?
    @JimArnott can you give us instructions on how you set up your automated tweet fest?

    @big_al no, I do not believe we are related .

  115. Futureproof says:

    As far as I am aware MPs are paired with a particular opponent so it should be possible to check whether this is just a convenient excuse or not.  Presuming that they are willing to share who they are paired with which seems unlikely. 

  116. CR says:

    @Dave McEwan Hill- Thanks, am not sure what constituency Alan Reid is?  I know where John Thurso, Danny Alexander and Alistair Carmichael, all of who voted to keep the tax are based, all Highland MPs.
    CK is my MP which is why I’m particularly interested in his behaviour on this.  I know a number of people affected by the tax in this area and as far as I can see he has no excuse for behaving this way

  117. msean says:

    This is a joke,if you can’t be bothered to turn up,why bother being there at all?I can see the point where a minister off on govt business or if an mp is too ill,fair enough.Any excuse should be explained,if you take time off work,or don’t turn up for something you were being paid to do,you would be expected to provide a good reason.

  118. colin mccartney says:

    Much to my shame, and I didn’t vote for him, Anas Sarwar, the slimy sycophant, is my MP.I have just written to him using as I have done many times in the past. I have asked him to explain his absence from last nights vote, and if I get a reply from him, I will gladly share it on Wings.Don’t hold your breath though as his reply rate to me is currently running around 35%

  119. Illy says:

    “and oh, the iron masters, they always get their way.”

  120. Craig P says:

    Alan Reid, MP for Argyll, the man whose constituency is so vast (and to be fair, it is) he has *two* constituency homes.
    Plenty Tories in Argyll so doubt he’ll lose much sleep over it.

  121. Dramfineday says:

    Even if you know that you are more than likely to be outvoted, you surely turn up for the debate and subsequent vote, even if it is only to register your disapproval. At the very least it indicates to your constituents that you are trying to do your job.
    How utterly sickening for those who, tonight, may be in fear of losing their home. It guars me greet.

  122. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    On my iPad I have the SKY app.
    In the list of stories there is one whereas the Tories are employing some “robot” to delete all their conference speeches in the public domain.
    That is right, wiped out on google and other such places so, they never existed.
    I thought that 1984 was a warning not a fekin roadmap?
    What have the cnuts got planned for us next?
     No FOI’s anymore?

  123. Jim Arnott says:

    I had to tweek my tweets re the non show of Labour MP’s for the motion to abolish the bedroom tax. Twitter deemed they were duplicates so I tweeked the question at the end of each tweet to get over the duplication issue. It would be helpful if folks retweeted these tweets in order to get the message out to as many people as possible. They can be found at

  124. Jim Arnott says:

    Big Al
    I use (professional version). I write a word doc with each tweet I want to post making sure it is less than 140 words (incl spaces) obviously adding a return at the end of each tweet. I then save as a text doc in word using Unicode (UTF-8) for converting to plain text. I then create a queue in socialoomph and import the text file using bulk upload updates. I can then arrange the time between each tweet being published. Hope this makes some sense.

    There is a free version of socialoomph that can handle up to 5 accounts.

    As I have the professional version I can upload to unlimited number of accounts. I do this for @yeswestlothian and would be pleased to help you via my pofessional version if that would be of interest. All you would need to do is send me a file with the tweets you would like to update along with your twitter account and password and I can do the rest for you.

    If you are interested drop tweet me at and we can arrange to discuss.

  125. msean says:

    Remember what Winston Smiths’ job was in 1984,changing historic news headlines.

  126. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Yes is No
    Right is wrong

  127. Kaiser Tia says:

    Thank you for the quotes! Using them, I’d love to do more of these, especially for the Scottish MPs who didn’t bother to turn up (I’m only just in, so it’s just Sarwar for now).

  128. Kaiser Tia says:

    Thank you for the quotes! Using them, I’d love to do a series of these images, especially for the Scottish MPs who didn’t bother to turn up. I’m only just home, so it’s Sarwar for now.

  129. Paul Cochrane says:

    I am an SNP and Indy supporter. I contacted my MP Douglas Alexander. He was at Auschwitz on the day of the vote.

  130. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Paul Cochrane
    Do you think he’ll manage to escape? 

  131. majestic12 says:

    Of all the many excellent articles on this blog that have filled me with ire and indignation, I think I can say that this one has scunnered me the most. MP? Cushy number if you can get it. Maybe that decidedly unpleasant character Russell Brand is right, and that a revolution is coming………..or even a latter day Robert Catesby might be useful! The Westminster parliament and the way it works needs a complete overhaul.
    Hopefully some time very soon we won’t need to worry about it any more. I can’t imagine any Scottish parliament allowing rampant absenteesism on this scale when something so contentious was being voted on. For one thing it would be much smaller and everyone could see who couldn’t be bothered to turn up. No hiding place.
    How could any Labour voter reading this, in all conscience, ever vote Labour again?

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top