I am writing to you on behalf of North Edinburgh Women’s International Group regarding reports in the news that 46 Labour MPs failed to turn up to the House of Commons to vote for a motion which could have led to the scrapping of the bedroom tax.
We can only assume that the ten Scottish MPs who failed to vote were unaware of the 150 per cent increase in people using food banks in Scotland during the last year as a result of the current programme of welfare reforms.
We understand that Labour’s motion on the scrapping of the bedroom tax was defeated by only 26 votes. We would have thought that the recommendation by the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing calling for the bedroom tax to be suspended immediately would have had an impact on members of the Labour Party. This does not appear to have been the case.
We were under the impression that an important part of an MP’s job involves turning up to their workplace (ie the House of Commons) and voting on issues which affect the people they represent. We believe that 46 of the Labour Party’s MPs have not been doing their job and we find this completely unacceptable.
The inaction of these MPs demonstrates that the Labour Party does not represent the interests of ordinary people. It also suggests that the Labour Party does not care about the suffering and hardship experienced by many families as a result of the bedroom tax.
We are interested in finding out what the Trade Union Movement’s response is to the inaction of the 46 MPs who represent the party which they fund.
We are disgusted, angry and disheartened at what has become of the Labour Party. It is no longer the party of ordinary people. The Labour Party has taken working class people’s votes for granted. It has insulted our intelligence by assuming that people would forgive and forget this terrible betrayal. This will cost the Labour Party at election time.
North Edinburgh Women’s International Group, Edinburgh
No resting on festive laurels
With preparations in full swing for Edinburgh’s festive celebrations it must be hoped that the changes and new attractions that are being introduced this year prove to be a hit with visitors and locals alike.
During the last couple of decades Edinburgh has become something of a leader when it comes to putting on a festive show.
But if the city is to retain its lofty position as one of the most vibrant and interesting places to visit during the festive season, it’s not just this year or every other year that there should be fresh input, it is every year. Festivals and celebrations do have a habit of becoming stale relatively quickly and as other cities and towns try all the harder to capture the lucrative tourist market, Edinburgh can in no way afford to rest on its laurels.
Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh
Independence looks like more of the same
Alex Orr (Letters, November 16) argues that if Scotland votes “Yes” for independence in next year’s referendum that the Scottish Government would seek to negotiate to retain the pound sterling as the currency of the new state.
Alex Salmond, pictured below, argues that an independent Scotland should retain the Protestant monarchy even though the Scottish Parliament has resolved on more than one occasion that such religious discrimination should be removed.
On the BBC TV Newsnight special on education and independence on October 28 the student-elected independence-supporting Scottish Green rector of Edinburgh University pleaded for the UK Government to say in advance that, in the event of a “Yes” vote, it would preserve the benign funding arrangements that allow Scottish students not to pay tuition fees and which grant Scottish universities, based on competition, a disproportionately large share of UK research funding.
What on earth is the point of all the effort of seeking and securing independence if many of the existing arrangements that sustain the three centuries old union are to be reintroduced after a “Yes” vote? The attitude of the SNP and the Scottish Government and its Scottish Green Party supporters is like that of someone who tells his partner that he wants a divorce but that from time to time he would like to sleep with her.
This is hardly an attitude that will encourage the partner, in the event of a “Yes” vote, to be helpful in negotiations about the shape of an independent Scotland.
Norman Bonney, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh
Time to call EU’s bluff over immigration
David Blunkett has warned that the influx of Roma migrants into Britain risked causing race riots.
In Sheffield relations between the locals and Roma immigrants are already poisonous and worsening by the day and there are the first signs of vigilante action being taken.
On January 1 more Romanians and Bulgarians will be allowed to flood into Britain.
Time is running out to stop the tsunami of “economic refugees” coming here to claim welfare benefits, social housing, education and access to the NHS.
Politicians promise much but achieve little.
Instead of taking a 19-day break over the festive period, politicians should be demanding an emergency debate and passing legislation to refuse Romanians and Bulgarians access to welfare benefits, housing and education.
That would immediately stem the flood and those who do come would be refused entry.
The EU would not like it?
The UK pays the unaccountable EU £53 million every day and receives little in return.
Time to call the EU’s bluff.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow