As you will know, the Liberal Democrat payroll vote carried the government through in this evening's vote to increase tuition fees - potentially tripling them to £9,000.
John Hemming, MP for Yardley, who only yesterday told the House that he wasn't going to u-turn, executed a u-turn on his pre-election pledge to vote against any increase in fees and voted alongside the cabinet and the Tories - a place where he feels very comfortable. I'm sure the reward will not be far away - either thirty pieces of silver or a place as a PPS.
On the other hand, at least John made a decision - the wrong one, but he made it. Across the city border, Lorely Burt chose cowardice and abstained. Interviewed by BBC Midlands Today, she said
"It has been very difficult for myself and all my Liberal Democrat colleagues, but what we are seeking to do is find a way that is fair and progressive, given the hand that we’ve got."So difficult, Lorely, that you couldn't do your job and cast your vote. Members of parliament are paid to make decisions and to hide behind an abstention is an abdication of your duty. Clearly, you haven't found a way that you feel is fair and progressive, otherwise you would have voted openly for it, but neither could you vote against it. Instead, you chose to abstain - a covert way of letting the bill pass while you pretend to keep your hands clean. As part of trying to rub that stain from her hands, she has edited her website.
Previously, it showed this and the quote
"It's simply wrong to penalise people who want to make the best of themselves by saddling them with enormous mortgage-style debts from the day they graduate"
Now, it shows this.
A policy and a position airbrushed from history.
(Hat tip to Jon Walker at the Birmingham Post)