On Page 2 of The Gazette last week, local Hayes Reporter Jack Griffith paid tribute to John McDonnell MP for submitting the most Early Day Motions in the House of Commons, and responding to the most, in the current parliament sitting – A grand total of 544, of which he was a primary sponsor on 20 and a sponsor on 113.
These figures look truly impressive – After all, in the wake of the expenses scandal, many of us look at MP’s as being overpaid and underworked windbags, even though in some cases the reality is far removed from the perception. Surely, Mr McDonnell is showing how hard he is working for the local community?
Actually, further investigation reveals a slightly different story. Early Day motions are a way of getting a subject that you care about brought in front of the house for debate – If you get enough respondents to an EDM, then the house has to debate what you have brought up in more depth.
So, what vitally important things has John McDonnell brought to the attention of the representatives of this country, and at what level of success?
EDM258A1 was brought about the state of the ticket office at Ealing Underground Station (Note, Ealing and NOT Hayes,Ruislip or Uxbridge) – This got 1 respondent (McDonnell himself)
EDM319 was about pay differences on board British merchant ships depending on race – This got 20 supporters.
EDM564 was about the first anniversary of the closure of a wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight, and got a massive 16 supporters.
EDM633 referred to the arrest of Reza Shahabi in Iran, a local union leader – This got 33 supporters.
The catalogue continues, with motions about Underground staffing, The UK Film Council, the Parliament Peace Camp, a congratulation of a media mogul – All of which got minimal support.
So why does this matter so much?Well, I can give you three reasons as follows….
Firstly, not one of the EDM’s that John McDonnell has brought up directly affects the people of Hayes and Harlington, who he claims to represent. Where are the EDM’s about lack of housing, rising crime, increase in class numbers and cuts to the budgets for education,the NHS and housing?
Secondly, each EDM costs approximately £800 to put up – So 544 EDM’s equals £435,200 of taxpayers money, £16,000 of which was directly triggered by him and he co-sponsored £90,400 worth of expenses.
Finally, there was one EDM that I feel sure all English patriots would have liked further discussion on – That was EDM1083 that was put forward to debate a bank holiday for England on St George’s Day. John McDonnell, supposedly a ‘local MP for local people’, voted against this one, although he does like to celebrate St Patrick’s Day every year – Nothing wrong with that, but why then deny the English their day? Especially when you are supposedly the ‘only local candidate to stand for MP in Hayes & Harlington’.
To their shame, both John Randall (MP – Uxbridge) and Nick Hurd (MP – Ruislip and Northwood) also failed to back this EDM.
But then, having a sense of pride and community is not what any of the old three political parties want.