Thursday, February 04, 2010

Labour Minister Bans Labour MP From Making Defence Speech

Eric Joyce is a Labour MP with a mind of his own. He resigned as a PPS at the MoD on an issue of principle. Labour High Command has never forgiven him. Yesterday he posted THIS extraordinary story on his blog. To cut a long story short, he has been invited to give a talk at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham, but the day before he was due to go, her received word from Shivenham that a Minister at the MoD had intervened to ban him from the premises. I'll let Mr Joyce tell the story...

I’ve spoken a fair amount, albeit less than some Tories, about Defence over the years. Recently, though, I’ve had reservations about some aspects of government policy (in areas where the government and opposition are pretty much on the same page). I think we should be out of Afghanistan sooner than later; I think we give to much too the Americans for too little in return; and I tend towards thinking we shouldn’t renew Trident. In many ways, that’s all pretty uncontroversial and I predict that regardless of who’s in government in 2012, Trident will be extended rather than renewed.

Uncontroversial to most, maybe, but not to one Defence minister who has ordered The Defence Academy at Shrivenham in Wiltshire to ban me from their premises.

As MPs often do, I was due to speak to officers there tomorrow alongside an opposing Conservative MP, at an event organised by the Academy and the excellent Industry and Parliament Trust. When the organisers sought clearance from ministers for guests to enter, always previously a technicality, the minister singled me out to be ‘denied admission’ on the grounds that I may not reflect his views, and suggested an alternative MP. This seems to me a pity, especially since the government today issued a green paper on Defence which is designed to facilitate public discussion.

I don’t believe for a moment that the prime minister and defence secretary have have anything other than good intent as regards discussion about future defence policy. But it does seem a shame, and rather odd, that a junior minister should wish to so blatantly gag an MP.

Still, we live and learn. We sure do that.

Indeed. So, who was the junior defence minister who banned Joyce? Two senior Labour sources have identified Kevan Jones as the culprit. It was my first reaction too, as I doubt whether it is Bill Rammell's style. This is not the first time that Mr Jones has had an accusatory finger pointed at him. On the last occasion, Bob Ainsworth had to slap him down. Will he now do so again, and apologise on behalf og his junior minister to Eric Joyce?



Houdini said...

Eric Joyce is a Labour MP with a mind of his own. He resigned as a PPS at the MoD on an issue of principle.

Joyce is a total Labour stooge every bit as bad as any of them, and you know it. The only reason he started speaking up against this Government and making noises is because he had very bad publicity over his expenses, and he saw the writing on the wall and is now busily ingratiating himself with the electorate, AS YOU KNOW.

Just Youtube his name for a full and sickening flavour of Joyce.

Is he you latest best buddy in Labour now? Should we see links to him now? Will you fawn over him constantly now? Will we see him featured over and over in the daily dozen now?

Unsworth said...

And next they'll be attaching political commissars to each unit. Still if it gets one or two of these NuLab cretins somewhere near the front line that may not be such a bad thing. A little light fragging would certainly help to bring some clarity.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Rats in a sack.

James D said...

I hope he takes a soap-box and delivers the speech he was to give outside the gates.

DocRichard said...

Hang on, this may make sense.

NuLabour sends our boys out to Afghanistan to die, because if they didn't the Taleban would come over here and take away our freedom of speech.

Things are not looking good. Victory is still a long way off. So maybe Kevan Jones has a cunning plan: if he takes away our freedom of speech, he will have shot the Taleban's fox.

It's just a hypothesis mind.

Anonymous said...

Joyce obviously likes the sound of his own voice too much. He comes out with so much rubbish. We gotta stay in Afghanistan for as long as it takes. Plus thats not the issue, Iran is a bigger issue which needs dealing with more than just sanctions.