Thursday, June 23, 2005

Performance Review

As we've had a month or so of parliamentary action, perhaps a quick glance at their recent performance is in order. It doesn't make good reading for the Liberal Democrats or the Tories, while the nine Labour MPs all have solid attendance records. (Votes are those attended since the start of the current session, questions are written questions asked within the last twelve calendar months) . Sourced from They Work For You and The Public Whip and correct at time of going to 'presss'.

Name, Constituency, Votes, Questions
Lynne Jones, Selly Oak - 100% - 19
Liam Byrne, Hodge Hill - 100% - 77
Richard Burden, Northfield - 100% - 34
Roger Godsiff, Sparkbrook/Small Heath - 100% - 28
Gisela Stuart, Edgbaston - 100% - 10
Steve McCabe, Hall Green - 100% - 7
Sion Simon, Erdington - 90% - 4
Khalid Mahmood, Perry Barr - 90% - 1
Clare Short, Ladywood - 84% - 29
John Hemming, Yardley - 58% - 58
Andrew Mitchell, Sutton Coldfield - 47% - 43

John Hemming is saved from being the worst-performing MP in Birmingham only because of the Tory MP in Sutton Coldfield (which is not part of Birmingham in the eyes of the Liberal Democrats and the Tories, as we know - although the Boundary Commission begs to differ). Not only that, John's is the eighth worst performance by a Liberal Democrat MP (not counting the late Patsy Calton) - another of the LD worst performers is also 'dual-hatted' as a local councillor as well. If John is seeking to excuse his performance as down to not having acquired office space, then I can point out that his new colleague across the border in Solihull, Lorely Burt, managed to make 85% of the divisions in the House.

The title of the most pointless MP who has actually taken the oath (Sinn Fein MPs don't swear in, so can't vote) goes to 'Gorgeous' George Galloway who has been effectively representing his constituents in Bethnal and Bow by not attending a single vote. No Respect for their votes at all, there.


john said...

Given that Liam Byrne is a minister he is answering questions not asking them.

Secondly I have abstained on a number of votes. That is not counted. You will note that I may have taken part in the debate.

PoliticalHack said...

True, but that's the number of questions he has asked in the past twelve months.

The votes on which you have been absent as far as the House is concerned have all generated significant Liberal Democrat turnout - usually around 54 LDs vote - so you have avoided voting with your party. Your blog did point out that there is no way of abstaining - other than by being 'absent' - but then one of the jobs of an MP is to make decisions, not sit on fences and avoid offending constituents.

I'd like to hear George's excuse for not turning up - although I'd bet he still draws his pay.

john said...

At times it is party policy to abstain. On other occasions I abstained although it was not the strict party position. On other occasions I was in Birmingham.

john said...

I have checked. I have missed three votes as a result of being in Birmingham out of 19.

This would give a figure of 84%.

Bob Piper said...

It must be very comforting for the people of Yardley to realise that their MP is such a revolutionary abstensionist. Do the Lib Dems have a book of policies on which it is party policy to abstain? Perhaps all parties should be made to issue a manifesto announcing all those things they don't give a toss about!

Anonymous said...

Bob, you must know that abstaining on anything that may come back to bite you is semi official Lib Dem policy - "never take responsibilty for anything" .John knows full well he is about to be beaten with the same stick he used to beat previous Yardley MPs .And if not I'd jolly well like to know why.

PoliticalHack said...

That seems to be the sum of it. The religious abuse bill is a case in point. John's blog notes that he supports the idea, but not how this bill is worded - which would seem to justify a vote against the progression of the bill.

But then, you see, John is well aware that come the next election and the likely boundary changes (results due this week, factfans), there will be a sizeable Muslim vote in the new constituency, who would not take kindly to a no vote. So John's able to sit firmly on the fence, telling one group that he didn't vote against the bill, but keeping his party (and the sizeable chunk of white, working-class BNP vote in Yardley) happy by not voting for it either.

As I said before, MPs are elected to make decisions. That's why there's no 'abstain' lobby.