Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nick 'Janus' Clegg slaps down colleague, sort of

I promised a while back to tell you the response if I recieved one from Nick Clegg's office about the egregious Paul Holmes MP for Chesterfield and the Lib/Dem Parliamentary Chairman and 'Shadow' Housing Minister.

So here it is,

Dear Mr Towler,

Many thanks for your email to Nick regarding Paul Holmes' signature ofEDM 982 on Fidel Castro and his further comments. Nick has asked me to reply to you on his behalf.

Paul Holmes MP signed this EDM in his role as an individual constituency MP. It should not be the role of the party leader to dictate which EDMs individual MPs choose to sign.

However, the content does not represent party policy and does not have the
support of Nick Clegg nor our Foreign Affairs Spokesperson.

All best wishes,

Victoria Helyar-Cardwell

Correspondence Manager

Office of Nick Clegg MP

So what is he actually saying here? That MPs are free to sign up to anything they want, from the slaughter of the first born to support for withdrawal from the European Union. Is he saying that a senior member of his party, elected no less to the Chairmanship of the Parliamentary Party, and a member of his so called Shadow Ministerial team is not covered by any form of corporate responsibility?

But it's OK. Clegg doesn't agree with him, nor does the shadow foreign team. Well I should ruddy well think not. Remember that I asked the question after Holmes was quoted as saying,

"It is true Cuba has political prisoners and no free elections," said Holmes, "but it has very good dentistry."
A monstrously flippant attitude to basic human liberties of those poor blighters in Cuba suffering under a Communist dictatorship. Good teeth be hanged. Good teeth if you are a party apparatchik or with US dollars to play with more like.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at the pusillanimity of Clegg's response, after all the NHS he worships has a similar feel to it these days. However given that he sacked people for refusing to abide by his three line whip to abstain, this is pretty weak, and rather telling.

I asked Clegg,

"Is this attitude something that you believe is acceptable from somebody so senior in your party.

And if so, why?"
I really don't think that this is an answer.

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