Labour Abstention on Job Seekers (Work Programme) Bill

businessdesk__1359460624_Liam_ByrneMy thoughts on Labour Abstention on Job Seekers (Work Programme) Bill

After reflection the question is did Labour do right by their decision to abstain. If the party felt that they would not have enough support it was better to abstain rather than lose face choose your battles that you can win comes to mind.


Now here comes the part that many Labour activists and supporters were angry over all this bill does is restore the DWPs means of sanctions for those who breach benefit claim rules. This bill has existed since 1911 and was suspended following the court ruling. Nothing has changed with the Labour Party’s opposition to Workfare and allowed this bill to pass on condition that the whole system is looked at again, legislation reviewed and changed to make it fairer and clearer. Nothing significant has changed. That vote today was about a bill for 100 years. The party did put out several press releases but none were printed. Again the press misquote, misrepresent and blow it out of proportion to get a story. The official party position from the National Executive Committee, Parliamentary Group and National Policy Executive is opposition to the scheme and if you would have heard the debate you would get a clear picture of complete derision and contempt for that Coalition policy. If you want any more information, I am happy to source it. I hope I have cleared it up for you. Please look into what the debate is about and research a bit before jumping on the attack because of the usual press scaremongering.


imagesWell if this is the case the Coalition Government has Labour over a double shot-gun barrel in other words damned if you vote against damned if you abstain. Well done Labour.

In this case Labour took the decision to abstain which some will argue was wrong and some will say yes. Let’s not kid ourselves for one moment and look on the merit of the whole picture there was a recent ruling on a court case when a Birmingham woman took the Department of Work and Pensions to court and she won her case.
conservative-liberal-democrat-logo-468965850The coalition was not happy with the outcome and as I understand it is currently appealing against it. Granted that is their right to do so but in order for them to do so they would have to revisit the Job Seekers (Work Scheme) Act to show the appeals court that they have correct the procedure.

Liam Byrne Shadow Dept of Work and Pension advised his fellow Labour it is better to abstain than lose face backfired as some Labour MPs went to the No lobby others abstained. Sure it caused anger with some of our member of the party but truthfully I was not angered but more disappointed to know that one of Labour core principle had been broken protecting the poor.

Rightly or wrongly this has played into the coalition hands. Granted there are many angry Labour supporters and party members who will be remembered this day. Then there are sounding for Liam Byrne to step down as he is doing more damage to the party. I DO NOT advocate that he should step down but let the leader of opposition to decide during the reshuffle.

For too long the third main political parties are more interested in protecting their political careers and their mortgages than looking after the citizens who voted them into office it’s no wonder why Joe Blog is pissed of with our politicians. I commend those Labour MPs who voted against the bill on 19 March 2013.

I salute the Labour MPs who took the decision to vote against.

And here’s the list of rebels at the third reading (36 rebels):

For those who abstained remember that some of you have a selection to come I urge all Labour party members to hold their Labour Members of Parliament(MPs)  to account at their selection meeting organised by your Consistency Labour Party and ask them to explain why they abstained in this debate then if you are happy then leave it the way it is or if you not happy then seek a full selection.


3 responses to “Labour Abstention on Job Seekers (Work Programme) Bill

  1. Pingback: Labour Abstention on Job Seekers (Work Programme) Bill | Trade unions and social activism |

  2. If the can justify why they abstained then why on earth have they not put out a statement on their FB page as there are so many life long labour party members incensed by this and they deserve an explanation as soon as possible. .Did they not anticipate that their loyal supporters would be angered by these tactics and what seems bewildering actions.?

  3. Very well said. I got a verbal battering for trying to point all of this out yesterday, from so many. To vote would have gained nothing anyway, as the lib dems and tories combined would have seen the Bill passed without concession. No gain there at all. This way, we now have a review and the right of appeal for claimants is maintained. Content over style

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s