BBC News24 interviewed the representatives of the “winners”, Keith Vaz and the leader of the parliamentary DUP.
Keith Vaz looked like someone who was eating a mouthful of shit while trying to cover up his innate gagging response. He claimed he would have voted against it, if not for the “concessions.” He’d better hope he gets paid back handsomely for his vote in the next reshuffle or he’ll have shown himself to have been spineless rather than merely careerist.
On the other hand, the DUP representative looked like the cat who’d just swallowed a bowlful of cream. (Possibly with a delicious dead mouse chaser.) He said the DUP voted with the government as a matter of principle. Oh yeah? He denied there was any sweetener for Northern Ireland. Although, if there just happened to be extra wodges of public money coming NI’s way, he would welcome it. He didn’t even try to keep from grinning.
(Vaz only stopped gagging to be caught in a snigger when the DUP guy said that, although their votes weren’t bought, the NI parliament would welcome any coincidental gift from the government.)
Government won by 9 votes. DUP miraculous conversions to Labour votes were … oh, let me see if I’ve got this right… Hmm that will be 9.
With supreme irony, he said the DUP voted with the government because the NI troubles meant they knew about terrorism. Well, almost certainly, they do. Most of us on the mainland find it very hard to distinguish between Unionist politicians and Protestant terrorists, for a start.
Maybe, I don’t understand this boring political stuff. But, this looks disturbingly like a government pushing through its 42-days TWAT measure by buying off a terrorist front organisation to defeat the opposition of 36 principled Labour MPs (and principled Tories and Liberal Democrats. Credit to all)
Tony Benn said that he’d never dreamed that he’d be present in Parliament to see the rights gained by Magna Carta being unmade.
Absolutely spot on, but, if he was less statesmanlike he might have added, “through an alliance that would fit seamlessly into a plot synopsis for Godfather IV.”
I almost promise this will be the last on this fiasco. It has driven both T_W and me to distraction (along with Amnesty International, Liberty, the Tory and Liberal Shadow Home Secretaries, the thinking broadsghheet editirs, brave Labour MPs like Grogan and Abbott, long-time Labour stalwarts like Benn, old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all…) It’s probably going to be defeated in the House of Lords, anyway, but I will try not to not mention it until that happy day.