48 Labour MPs defied the party whip to vote against the bill rather than abstain
|Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman had urged her party MP's to abstain|
"Sitting on hands" on such an important issue as this, is an insult to all those who turned out to vote and elected these "MP's" last May. At least Jeremy Corbyn and 47 other Labour members had the backbone to oppose a bill which attacks the vulnerable sectors of our society and will increase child poverty.
The current Labour leadership in the House of Commons, albeit on a temporary basis, demonstrates all too clearly why ordinary people believe that there is little if any difference between the policies of both Labour and Conservative Parliamentary parties on the majority of the issues affecting this country. The other candidates, Burnham, Cooper and Kendal reveal how the Labour PLP under their leadership would be no different from what is the status quo today. All too often, we have heard the feeble reasoning for abstention promising opposition at a later stage. That was the comment from Burnham, promising to "fight this regressive bill, word by word, line by line" (provided that he is elected as leader in September), whilst hiding behind the skirt of the mythical "collective shadow cabinet responsibility", to justify his abstention. If a government policy is wrong at some later date, it is wrong now and must be opposed at every opportunity.
The performance of those MP's abstaining on such a crucial issue as this, brings discredit to the Labour party and underlines the fact that currently, the party lacks direction, purpose and principle. Furthermore, there little prospect of any change should Burnham, Cooper or Kendal become the next leader. Jeremy Corbyn may be unelectable, that is if you believe the media, television and other right of centre black propaganda, (but there is much evidence to indicate that vast sections of the public actually support his candidacy), but a Labour party under his leadership would provide a clear and distinguishable choice in the political spectrum.