Waking up to the news of the UK House of Commons having defeated the government in its attempt to get parliamentary sanctions for military action in Syria, I was wondering how my representative did in this. Did she speak? Did she vote for or against the motion? Did she vote for or against the alternative motion.
So I went on the internet and looked at ‘They work for you‘.
You can find there the full debate; everything the Prime Minister said in the debate – and he said a lot – and everything that any MP said.
You can read there, too, the full motion as set out by the Prime Minister.
To her immense credit, Caroline Lucas was the first MP to speak and to ask why only a summary of the Attorney-General’s advice was published. A very good question. Should not both the House of Commons and the public have had the benefit of the full advice. She also spoke on several other occasions clearly and forcibly arguing against military intervention. But sadly, she isn’t my MP.
My MP is a junior minister in the government and thus probably under significant constraints regarding both her ability to speak against government motions or to vote against them. I recognise that where an MP has this dual role – to represent their constituents and to work for the government – there can be a dilemma for them.
But my MP had written to her constituents only on Wednesday a note which set out how important this vote was and how hard she was listening to her constituents in order to find out what they think.
Of course, I am not able to tell what the balance of opinion was that had been communicated to her by other constituents.
But I am disappointed that she did not speak in the debate; that she voted against the amendment to the government motion; and that she voted for the government motion.
I am glad that motion was defeated; I would have been happier if that had been done with the support of the vote that represents me.
If you want to know what your MP said and how they voted, follow this link and find out.
And once you have found out, write to them and let them know how you feel.