"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Did your MP vote against the Tories Welfare Reform and Work Bill?

Barely a few days after my disappointment at not getting to colour in new constituencies on my last map, a new vote hits the headlines which saw 47* Labour MPs rebel against their party. Even more remarkable is that not only has this been covered by the EBC, it has also published a list of MPs from the opposition parties who turned up at their place of work in order to oppose the Tory bill. This kind of journalism from the EBC is virtually unheard of.

There's a more in depth explanation of what the vote was about plus a full list of how each member voted (or didn't vote) at this site but here's a quick summary. Reduce the benefit cap in order to make large areas of England too expensive for poor people, freeze some pension and disability benefits, limit child benefit to the first two children and swapping some benefits for loans.

Wow, a vote map that doesn't look like all the others - Share via twitter | facebook
The bill was passed with 308 votes for and 124 against. After the Tories abandoned their fox hunting bill out of fear of being defeated this was an opportune moment for Labour to actually be an opposition party and oppose the bill. This bill represented a chance for Labour to stand up for the poor and the disabled instead of not wanting the London papers or the middle class voters of England thinking they are a party for the working classes.

47* of the Labour MPs voted against (*there was one teller so technically it was 47) meaning there were 184 Labour MPs who decided that the Tory cuts weren't so bad after all. If you add the 124 votes against to the 184 Labour MPs who think disabled people are already getting too much you get 308. A tie, this would have been the first tie since 1993, the 'Tory' speaker would then get to cast a vote but wouldn't this have been a far bigger story? And wouldn't it have given Cameron a bit of a fright?

Another aspect that the media do not appear to be mentioning but has been brilliantly pointed out by Wings over Scotland is that Labour added an amendment for the bill to not to be read again. They then, with typical hypocrisy, ordered their minions to abstain.

The following MPs representing Welsh constituencies voted against the bill.

Jonatthan Edwards - Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
Liz Saville Roberts - Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Hywel Williams - Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon (not Argon as the EBC put it)

Mark Williams - Lib Dem MP for Ceredigion

Ann Clwyd - Labour MP for Cynon Valley
Geraint Davies - Labour MP for Swansea West
Paul Flynn - Labour MP for Newport West
Carolyn Harris - Labour MP for Swansea East
Gerald Jones - Labour MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney
Madeleine Moon - Labour MP for Bridgend
Jo Stevens - Labour MP for Cardiff Central

This gives us 11 MPs in total which works out as almost 28% of our MPs. Labour have 24 MPs in Wales so that means 29% of them rebelled against their London masters. It'll be interesting to see how these 'rebels' behave from now on. Coincidentally 11 is also the amount of Tory MPs in Wales. With 'socialists' like Labour, who needs Tories?

If you include the one teller then all of the SNPs 56 MPs turned up for work and voted against. I wonder how many of the Labour rebels acted after the heart felt plea from Mhairi Black for the opposition parties to work together to defeat the Tories?

If you do spot an interesting vote coming up, or one I might have missed then feel free to let me know about it so I can produce more sexy maps.

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Did your MP vote against the Tories Welfare Reform and Work Bill?http://www.welshnotbritish.com/2015/07/did-your-mp-vote-against-tories-welfare.html
Posted by Welsh not British on Tuesday, 21 July 2015

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