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Labour MPs openly mocking the disabled MP Paul Maynard

I know this story is way old but I’ve only just come across it and my blood as they say is boiling…

This lunchtime I was watching Prime Ministers Questions. Nothing new or exciting in that. The Prime Minister was getting a battering from Ed Miliband which shows just how poor the PM’s performance was. However this isn’t was drew my ire. When Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys stood up and asked a question I looked and listened to him and I straight away thought to myself that he suffered from cerebral palsy and I smiled that someone suffering from this has made it into the Chamber.

So I googled him to check and indeed he does. As someone who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a kid it is always good to see that disability is no barrier. My disability was limited to physical issues whereas this MP also has to deal with a speech defect. As far as my knowledge of my situation goes I had the exact same issue – the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck during birth thus starving my brain of oxygen causing the damage.

So I’m sitting here quite happy and content but then I read more. During his first speech in the House it seems as though a number of Labour MPs were openly mocking him because of his defect. Are you fucking kidding me? All the MPs accused said that they did nothing of the sort but senior Labour MPs who witnessed the attack were not amused.

Mr Maynard said: ‘They were constantly intervening, trying to put me off my stride, which may be normal parliamentary tactics.

‘But some were pulling faces at me, really exaggerated gesticulations and faces.

‘Only they know for certain whether they were taking the mick out of my disability. But it certainly felt like it. That is why politics is held in such low esteem.’

I don’t expect much from MPs but one thing I do expect is that they act is a decent manner. It doesn’t cost anything to have manners and common courtesy but mocking a guys disability, is this really what we expect from our elected officials?

A senior Labour MP told The Mail on Sunday (in the piece): ‘What they did was disgusting. It was obvious that Paul was upset but they sensed a weakness and went for the kill like a pack of hyenas.’

Outraged Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle, the Deputy Speaker, tried to protect Mr Maynard from the jibes and told Mr Hamilton to order Labour MPs to stop tormenting him.

I know this story is well over a year old and nothing more has happened but why did it have to happen in the first place? I despite anyone who mocks people for their disabilities. I dislike Harry Redknapp as much as the next Pompey fan but I cringe every time I hear people calling him ‘twitchy’ following the car accident he was involved that caused the death of a man. Attack people for what they say and what they do but never mock someone for the way they say whatever they say if there is a reason behind it.

I hope the MPs involved spoke to Paul Maynard and apologised for their disgusting behaviour. After the Eric Joyce rejoicing in the fact he is a thug you have to wonder about how some Labour MPs get elected (I know Eric has been kicked out of Labour now). I think even in proper red rose country openly mocking disabled people would lead to the electorate questioning whether they wanted to vote for such a person.

I am fuming.

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The thug Eric Joyce MP defends the thug Joey Barton. Who is surprised? Hands up…anyone? Anyone…?

Everybody’s favourite criminal MP and everybody’s favourite MP who was first to claim over £1,000,000 in cumulative expenses are in fact the same person. So what has Eric Joyce done to make an appearance on my humble blog? Has he decided to give drink drinking another turn? Not this time. Has he decided he needed to headbutt a few more MPs? Not today. Has he claimed for more money in expenses the Isle of Wight GOP? Nah. This time he has decided that as a nation the fact we disapproved of Joey Barton elbowing someone, then kneeing someone then attempting to headbutt another before trying to assault yet more people is wrong. Joey Barton is just a footballer who got a bit passionate so we shouldn’t condemn him.

On his own website the disgraced criminal wrote a piece entitled ‘Joey Barton and a nation’s blind hysteria’ where he attacked those who condemned Joey Barton and basically said anyone who condemns him should look at the big picture. So using the same philosophy I assume he things we shouldn’t condemn him for drink driving and assault when there are mass-murderers out there. We should only tut and write bad words about those who do such egregious things that hell might be too comfortable of a place for them to hang out.

Let us quote from the word of Joyce:

I’ll tell you what. If you never want to go and watch a couple of dozen aggressive, supremely talented and justly well-paid athletes fight for your entertainment on a football pitch, then you may have a right to carp. But otherwise, extrapolating moral and ethical significance from a football match looks like your life might be a bit shite (see vicar, above) and your polemic sounds more like an existential cry for help.

I’ll tell you what criminal MP – my life might be a bit shite but I’m also not a convicted criminal so I’m one up on you (yes I know that is an easy lay-up but sometimes even the great ones miss them – see Dwayne Wade last night in the dying moments of the Heat v Pacers). I’ll also tell you another thing. Violence is violence no matter where it is. The only way that violence can be tolerated is if both parties agree to it. I don’t give two hoots if two idiots want to brawl in a back alley but I do not think anyone had asked Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero or Vincent Kompany if they actually wanted a dose of violence. For example in boxing both fighters do so that is fine but in football violence isn’t tolerated. Yes it is a contact sport with aggressive men but heck there are aggressive men on a Friday or Saturday night in any town – is that ok because people know they might be violent? Is it heck.

Eric Joyce has come across as a thug. Oh wait that is because he is one. Is he defending another thug? I think he might just very well be. I imagine most of us would agree that stubbing out a lit cigar in another person’s eye is the behaviour of a thug? Yes. Yes. Yes I think we would. Also anyone with a conviction for assault is a thug so we have safely labelled them both as what they are.

However lets have more from the word of Joyce:

Scotland’s journalists turn a blind-eye to the mess of Rangers FC, then go mental and turn it into the only story which matters here -and then preserve their right to express their own moral superiority through the medium of the excuse that they use to escape their wives/husbands for a few precious moments each week.

Is he mental? Scottish journalists have not turned a blind-eye to Rangers. So that is a lie. As for turning the Joey Barton story into a big deal – well do you know what – it kinda is. It is fair to make that a big story for 24 hours until the news cycle ticks over. I’m guessing Eric Joyce has never worked in the media industry because if he did then he would know how it worked but I’m not done with quoting from the word of Joyce because it is go crazy it deserves more ridicule:

Or, if people want to observe high moral values, they could go and watch the synod of the Church of England, or book a meeting with the Dalai Lama – the latter has some time on his hands these days, I understand. But what’s going on when people want to suspend all their normal value judgements when it comes to football? Politicians are carping about huge salaries but leaving out footballers; council-tax payers are preferring that their money is spent on propping up some crap local football team rather than granny’s care-home.

First of all what a wonderful cheap shot at the church and the Dalai Lama. Stay classy. As for the salaries of footballers – yes they are sky high and yes they do not deserve it but the issue is it is a free market. Philosophically I do not believe that people should not be able to earn as much as they desire. If football clubs are willing to pay stupid salaries then why shouldn’t the players take them? Footballers aren’t being paid by the state. Football Clubs are not in the public sector so I think the MP needs to understand the difference between the public and private sector – it isn’t the trickiest one to get your head around and as an MP you’d hope he’d be smart enough to make that distinction but it seems like he isn’t. Sad times.

His piece has one valid point. There are worse people than Joey Barton. However just because there are worse people than Joey Barton it doesn’t mean we should ignore his flaws.

Lastly he has replied to some of the comments on his blog and this one is a doozy.

Professional football is physical and aggressive; they’re not sitting in an office flicking paper at each other. Things come to the surface occasionally – that isn’t desirable per se but people are only human and that’s part and parcel of the game. There’s always going to be niggle off the ball; everyone knows that. As far as the flick of the head is concerned, Victor Company is clearly the aggressor (check the video).

Anyone who thinks that at any point you can defend assault because they are playing a physical and aggressive game is an idiot. Straight and to the point. Eric Joyce is an idiot or maybe a moron. I use moron a lot but maybe I should give it one more turn. Ok I will. Eric Joyce MP is a moron.

He ends that quote with a lie putting the blame at Victor Company who wasn’t even on the pitch. I don’t even know who he is. I know of a Vincent Kompany who plays for Manchester City but the guy he is talking about. I have no idea. When he can’t even get a name right – either the first or surname you have to wonder as to his IQ level but maybe we shouldn’t – he’s just a common criminal who happens to be an MP. As for saying ‘Company’ is clearly the aggressor then we get what Joyce thinks – bad words deserve a physical act of violence in retaliation. If that is what he thinks (which it clearly is) then I feel for the people of Falkirk. I know the old adage of you can put a red rosette on a monkey and get them elected in certain areas but in that constituency it seems like as long as you say you are Labour you can be a despicable low-life criminal and they’ll still vote for you as long as you have that rosette.

It makes me cry it really does.

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A defection from Labour…to the Liberal Democrats!

After the drama (well when I say drama I mean a few people on twitter thinking that a defection from the Tories to UKIP is the beginning of the end of the Conservative Party as we know it – and then there was a question whether the defector was even a member of the Conservative Party anyway) there was more drama this morning when Tristan Pithers defected from Labour to the Lib Dems – cue much rejoicing on my timeline (probably – he defected a good couple of hours before I woke up) but at least he has written why he defected and it is a good read.

You can read the full piece entitled ‘And it was all yellow’ – Why I’m considering defection to the Liberal Democrats. behind that hyperlink.

A couple of things really stood out to me. The first being this:

My problems with the Labour Party as an organisation have always been present. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the word ‘Comrade’ being used to greet me on entering a constituency office or reading a local party email.

Do they really do that? I had no idea. That enough would be enough to make me want to leave. Dear Comrade… really? I mean really? I know it only means friend, colleague or ally but I prefer the old fashioned why of greeting by using someone’s name. To me that is a lot more acceptable and palatable.

He goes on to say:

The Labour Party and its membership, bar a few increasingly out-of-place New Labour Blairites, are about more spending, more handouts, more debt, more tax as punishment for prosperity and less individual responsibility.

This is something that rings home to me. I think front line services are vital and people do rely on them and I have always been and high tax but amazing public services guy however I don’t like the more handouts culture. Provide the best public facilities in the world. I love Children’s Centres for example. I think they are one of Labour’s best moves of the Blair years. These provide not only a great place for children to interact but also a place for young parents to get together. I imagine being a young parent is often a lonely and difficult existence and knowing people in like-minded positions can only help. The more handout culture though irks me. Sometimes we all need help but I’d prefer prefer a helping hand to get myself on my own two feet than help to just keep me ticking over.

Tax should not be punishment for the rich. Yes it is only right and fair that they help shoulder the loud but not to extreme lengths. I have banged on for eons about how Labour just want to bash the bankers. The bankers did help fuel this financial crisis but they are also the ones that can help us get out of it. Just castigating the whole industry over and over again won’t do any good but yet because public sentiment is against the bankers then Labour will exploit this for every political need they desire instead of being grown-up about this.

Lastly for me to pick at:

I still believe that there is a place for idealism in politics, that there are arguments that can be won, that a vote does not simply have to be red or blue.

Yes. Yes. 100x Yes. I am still an idealist. I know it will be nearly impossible to reach the goals tat I think we can reach but I still want to fight for them. I don’t just want to think ‘well the future is either one of two parties as that is the way it has always been’ because things change. If enough people believed in change and not the status quo then change can really be reached.

So I welcome this young man to the Lib Dems. Is it a big deal like twitter has made it out to be? Probably not but it is always nice to here a fair and reasoned article about why someone does the things they do.

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Is this Nottingham Labour leaflet racist?

This lunchtime I saw a bit of a kerfuffle on twitter over a leaflet produced by the Labour Party in Nottingham and that leaflet being potentially racist. I thought I’d have a look and here is the leaflet itself:

Nottingham Labour Leaflet Front
Nottingham Labour Leaflet Back

There is also a good piece about it on LabourList entitled “This is not what I expect from the Labour Party I joined”.

I am not sure it is racist per se but it is certainly absolutely awful and shows the depths some people will go to in election literature. It is possibly the worst piece of literature that I have seen in this election campaign. Why do people (and this includes all political parties) talk about other people instead of talking about themselves? This leaflet basically says that ‘if the BNP and EDL want it then it must be bad’ instead of saying ‘elected mayors is bad because…’

According to Stace over on her blog in a piece entitled Nottingham Labour have some explaining to do says it also breaks guidelines from the NEC:

“No Labour Party resources – either in cash or in kind, and including the national membership system and the national electoral database – may be used to campaign in any of these referendums.”

So only only it is gutter leafleting at its very worst it is also going against guidelines.

It is no wonder people are getting annoyed with politics when people will break guidelines and plunge to new depths in an attempt to get what they want. Whipping up racial tension along the way. It just sickens me.

I’m just proud my election literature focuses solely on what I believe I can do, what the party as a whole in Southend would like to do and what the Lib Dem Councillor in my ward has already been doing in the ward.

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