Thursday, March 26, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Dawn Butler Does It Again! Labour Loses Key Committee Votes

There has been chaos this morning at the Education & Skills Standing Committee. The job of the government whip on the committee is to ensure there are enough Labour MPs there to form a quorum and then to win any vote. Sadly, the Labour whip on this committee was derelict in her duty. The hapless Dawn Butler failed to ensure enough Labour MPs were there and as a consequence, the Tories and LibDems combined together to win four different votes, removing a whole clause from the Bill.

Remember, it was Dawn Butler who was at the centre of a little skirmish a couple of months ago when she claimed a personal endorsement from Barack Obama. Well, in terms of whipping, it's clear that No She Can't.

I guess it's another sign of the gradual decay of this administration when its own MPs can't be bothered to turn up for a committee and the whip is completely useless at her job.

But the big question is: what is the chief whip, Nick Brown, going to do about it? In other times, he would have summarily sacked her. But no doubt the sisterhood, in the form of Harriet Harman, will come to her rescue.

I suppose if Brown did sack her she could always run off to one of her two homes - both located nine miles from Westminster, and one paid for by you, the taxpaper.

UPDATE: This just gets better and better. One of the Labour MPs who turned up late was none other than the Minister who defines the word 'hapless', none other than Sion Simon. And I hear that the Deputy Chief Whip (who Chris Mullin calls the 'Lance Corporal') Tommy McAvoy has been up to the Committee Corridor to deliver an interview without coffee to Simon and Butler. Apparently, it wasn't pretty.


Armchair Sceptic said...

Leave Dawn alone, Iain. She's a nice lady, though on the sinking ship that is the Labour Party - she'll go far - she just needs some mentoring etc.

Whereas there is no excuse for 'experienced' MPs messing up like Clarke and Osborne on the economy and taxes. That is the real scandal.

Chris Paul said...

What have these people removed Iain? How tragic is this removal? What makes these votes "key"? Or are you making that up?

And to slightly but not completely change the subject: Where is Sarah Teather these days?

Chris Paul said...

Agree with the Wilted Rose. Harman calling Clarke "the shadow chancellor" at PMQs was classic.

Gareth said...

The whip system is a poison to democracy. Whither the representation of constituents or the conscience of each Member when so many MPs are merry lapdogs of their Party?

Ian Simcox said...

Chris Paul- You do know that Brown has been calling Clarke the shadow shadow Chancellor ever since he came back into the shadow Cabinet.

And it doesn't particularly matter whether these votes were 'key'. The Labour party couldn't get enough MPs together to be able to form a majority vote. Worrying, no?

Iain Dale said...

Chris Paul reveals his ignorance of parliamentary procedure yet again. To lose a whole clause of a Bill is just about the most serious mistake a whip can make. it's like a radio presenter not turning up to present a programme, or a team captain appearing on a football pitch with players missing.

javelin said...

It's a sad day for equality when an incompetent black woman can't be called incompetent - because she's a black woman, not because she's not incompetent.

JohnofEnfield said...

I wouldn't worry too much about these second homes, the market wreaks it own revenge on amateur speculators.

Consider: -

1.Many of these MPs newly acquired second homes will be in negative equity now & even further so next June.

2. The parliamentary expenses gravy-train will abruptly stop for these ZanuNuLab MPs when they lose their seats. Many of them will be unemployable outside of the ZanuNuLab quangocracy. So they will be forced to try & sell at a loss.

I look forward to some high-profile repossessions.

Rexel No 56 said...


Of course, their heart may not be in it because they have been told that the Bill will fall anyway as a consequence of the election being called.


davidc said...

there are lessons to be learned,nothing to see, move on!

no longer anonymous said...

"Chris Paul reveals his ignorance of parliamentary procedure yet again."

I think it's more to do with his partisan inability to criticise his own side.

davidc said...

iain -'and one paid for by you, the taxpaper'.

who is this 'taxpaper' and why the 'you' ?

are you not a taxpayer along with the rest of us ?

Bradley said...

Iain, was this Clause 125 - the Ofqual one?

Bird said...

Yesterday, race warrior Jessee Jackson waxed lyrical on air about our wonderful black Labour MPs.
I don't know who fed him the names, but he mentioned Bernie "we gave the police a bloody nose" Grant, failed minister Paul Boateng, disgraced minister Keith Vaz and never-will-be minister Dianne Abbott.
Shame about leaving out Dawn Butler in the roll of honour. She belongs with the above idiots.

Man in a Shed said...

But she's a diverse MP. Its important that we have diverse people in Parliament, not effective ones.

Otherwise the various leadership won't be able to do whatever they like... Ah now I see what Harriets up to ..

Anonymous said...

Look Iain do not criticise her - she is black she is a woman, she's left wing ! You cannot do these things. Its not fair.

And por Gods sake stop annoying Chris Paul - his rapid rebuttals are beginning to wear me down.

This Butler woman - isn't she involved in some expenses row?
Owning two homes within spitting distance of Westminster and claiming for one of them?
I am sure Mr Paul has a rational explanation.

cassandra said...

Black MPs parachuted into seats simply because they have the right skin colour?

Black MPs have not exactly covered themselves with honourable glory and high achievements have they?
What was wrong with selecting the best MPs based soley on their merits and experience? The quota game allied to the selection of party yes men and mindless droids capable only of taking the fat paycheck and obeying orders has effectively destroyed Westminster as a credible institution, I hope the coming election sweeps out the mindless droids but then again the party lists are stuffed with ever more glassy eyed 'yesbots'!

Unsworth said...

@ Wilted

This is no time for an apprentice.

If she's not up to the job - and that is manifest - why was she appointed?

Is it because she's young, black and female?

Anonymous said...

why was she appointed?
Is it because she's young, black and female?

You forgot - 'and quite pretty'.

Anyway, good stuff Iain, this is what you do best.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Just look on the bright side folks, Labour screwed up and just proves they can no longer control like they used to do......rejoice, rejoice

Unsworth said...

@ pol-e-tics

"quite pretty"?

Not my style, I'm afraid. Frankly I wouldn't touch it with yours, let alone mine.

Windsor Tripehound said...

Black MPs have not exactly covered themselves with honourable glory and high achievements have they?

I draw your attention to my MP, Adam Afriyie, who is not only an excellent MP and a shadow minister but also created a very successful business before entering parliament. He's one of the very few of the recent intake (of any party) who has achieved anything outside of politics.

King Athelstan said...

Interview without coffee? like it. Is that like the old forces expression "Bring a friend, don't bring your hat" ? (Nobody in the Liebour camp will understand that one). BTW why if I look up sycophant in the Collins English dictionary does it say "see Chris Paul."