The EDMs Bob Did Not Sign

Bandwagon Bob

THERE ARE 646 MPS and, in the current Parliamentary Session, they have raised 622 Early Day Motions (EDMs) between them – on average, just under one each. On the other hand, Bob Spink, our ‘hard working’ MP has raised 52. He has also sponsored a further 86 and supported, in total, 202.

Around a third of all EDMs raised have received our Bob’s support.

But Bandwagon Bob has a problem. He has supported so many issues, so many campaigns, and voiced agreement to so many proposals that it is difficult for residents to know where his convictions differ to the other parliamentary candidates, also hoping for your vote at May’s polls.

This blogger firmly believes that the best way to understand Bob is through knowing what he does not stand for – rather than what he does – and the best way to do that is to examine those EDMs that he does not support. (For it must be something pretty special for Bob not to reach for his pen).

Readers might think that such EDMs would be the result of left-wing politics; or motions that have no bearing on Castle Point residents – and some indeed can be so categorised. But, by no means all.

Readers may think that most fair minded islanders would expect their MP to support the EDMs listed here – and ask themselves why Spink has not.

It is certain that many readers will be justly outraged – particularly in relation to what is the most telling EDM (which I have left to the end). Those that are not angered by the selection need do nothing; but, if you are offended by what you find, you can do something about it. Contact Bob directly and ask him to sign that which concerns you.

You can write to Bob at: The House Of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA – or you can email him by: spinkr@parliament.uk. Those wishing to speak to him directly can do so on: 0207 219 8468, or, mobile: 07957 543 648.

He is your MP.

He should be representing your views…

Here is a selection of 20 EDMs that Bob does not support:-

EDM 542 – VICTIMISATION IN THE WORKPLACE

06.01.2010

Anderson, David

That this House recognises that people who are victimised in the workplace or treated unfairly in the recruitment process need to be able to challenge employers and seek redress; understands that a very small number of serial litigants are abusing this right for financial gain and condemns their actions; does not accept that these individuals are a big problem, and does not believe that measures designed to expose them should jeopardise the employment prospects of the vast majority of genuine victims; further condemns the launch of a website by Gordon Turner of Partners Employment Lawyers and Damian McCarthy from Cloisters Chambers which allows employers to find out if a person has taken an employer to tribunal in the past; believes that such a website could be used to screen unfairly applicants who have legitimately taken their employer to tribunal in the past, which runs contrary to the Government’s progress on dealing with the victimisation of trade union members; is concerned that such a website would be in breach of data protection laws; and calls on the Information Commissioner’s Office to investigate whether the website is compliant with the Data Protection Act.

EDM 522 – NETWORK RAIL AND MAINTENANCE SAFETY

16.12.2009

Leech, John

That this House asserts that there can be no compromise to safety in maintenance of the railways, including the adequate inspection and repair of track, signals, overhead lines and other rail infrastructure; notes Network Rail’s commitment to ensure safety in its programme of works; and calls on Network Rail to ensure that any changes to maintenance schedules to ensure efficiency in delivering necessary improvements do not compromise safety in any way.

EDM 425 – CONTRIBUTION OF REGIONAL AND LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

09.12.2009

Burstow, Paul

That this House believes that local and regional newspapers have a long track record of serving and being at the heart of their communities; notes that local media are widely acknowledged as the most trusted of all media; further believes that the independence of local media is vitally important to proper scrutiny and accountability; is concerned that local authority subsidy of news can create unfair competition, making local commercial media unviable and pose a threat to free speech; is further concerned that 100 local newspapers across the UK closed in 2009; further believes that the requirement to place statutory notices with publications independent of the placing authority should be preserved; and calls on the Competition Commission and Audit Commission to review the impact of the growth of local authority funded newspapers on the local media market and free speech.

EDM 392 – AFFORDABLE RURAL HOUSING

08.12.2009

Williams, Roger

That this House is deeply concerned about the shortage of affordable housing in rural areas and the threat it poses to the viability of rural communities; notes that the average price of a home in the countryside is now around £40,000 more than in urban areas, pricing many lower income earners and young people out of the communities in which they work and were brought up; believes that in order for the shortage to be addressed, local authorities must be fully aware of housing need in each of their rural wards; supports calls by the National Housing Federation and the Countryside Alliance for the Government to ensure that local authorities and their residents have easy access to all relevant national and regional data about rural housing need in their area; and calls on the Government, in conjuction with local authorities, to make the provision of affordable rural housing a priority.

EDM 383 – PEOPLE WITH A LEARNING DISABILITY AND VOTING

07.12.2009

Clarke, Tom

That this House is concerned that less than 20 per cent. of those eligible to vote with a learning disability voted in the last General Election; believes that in order to encourage more effective engagement of people with a learning disability in the democratic process, local authorities, political parties and central government should produce accessible material in relation to electoral matters; notes the work of Mencap’s Get My Vote campaign to encourage political parties to produce easy to read manifestos and United Response’s Every Vote Counts campaign to ensure that people with a learning disability are engaged in the democratic process; and calls on all prospective parliamentary candidates to make their election material easily accessible for people with a learning disability.

EDM 332 – PROVISION OF LOCAL AUTHORITY HOUSING

02.12.2009

Mitchell, Austin

That this House welcomes the new direct investment in existing and new council housing but considers that the level of funding in the proposed Housing Revenue Account reforms is not sufficient to meet housing need; believes that the 3,200 new council homes will be nowhere near enough to provide the public housing for rent needed by the five million people on council housing waiting lists and that the new homes built will be heavily outnumbered by council homes lost through privatisation and sales to finance decent homes improvement in the year ahead; and recommends that to avoid further loss of much-needed local authority housing stock the Government should impose an immediate moratorium on the further sale of council housing, should provide funding on the scale necessary to meet the level of need including the £7 billion backlog of capital works, and should provide a new system of funding council housing which creates a level playing field on debt write-off and stock transfer so as to achieve the `sustainable, long-term system for financing council housing’ promised by Ministers, and to begin the big council and social house-building drive necessary to put people and builders back to work and ensure that the building of public housing reaches the level necessary to check the rise in private house prices and prevent people being forced to take up mortgages they cannot afford as the only way of being housed, trends which have led to the present crisis.

EDM 325 – FAMILY COURTS

02.12.2009

Hemming, John

That this House notes that the Government has expressed a desire to increase accountability in the family courts; regrets that the Children, Schools and Families Bill as currently drafted would have the effect of increasing secrecy in the family courts; and calls on the Government urgently to draft amendments to deliver its commitment to accountability.

EDM 318 – CHARITIES AND RECORDED MUSIC LICENCES

01.12.2009

Levitt, Tom

That this House notes the Government’s decision to make charities and other not-for-profit organisations pay for a licence when they play recorded music in their own premises from April 2010; further notes the proposals would result in an unacceptable financial burden on the voluntary and community sector upwards of £20 million per annum; further notes the devastating impact that these proposals would have on local tea dances, youth clubs, coffee mornings, charity shops and others; and therefore calls on the Government to maintain the status quo and continue the current exemption for all charities and other not-for-profit organisations from this music licence regime.

EDM 294 – SEAFARERS’ PAY AND THE FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE

30.11.2009

Prosser, Gwyn

That this House notes that for a number of years discussions have been taking place in both Houses with the Government and the Trades Union Congress to seek to resolve the horrendous situation whereby ferry company owners and others, whose vessels regularly trade on fixed routes between UK ports, are allowed to pay poverty wages substantially below the minimum wage to non-UK seafarers, including rates as little as £2.00 per hour; welcomes the fact that a number of hon. Members have supported amendments to the Equality Bill which would close this loophole; is therefore dismayed that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is blocking these amendments by claiming that applying the minimum wage on ferries that trade solely between UK ports could mean the UK is in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; further notes that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has adopted this position despite the independent legal advice to the contrary provided to the RMT union and also the advice of the International Transport Workers Federation; is appalled that in the 21st century the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is effectively allowing the continuation of poverty wages to continue in UK waters; and calls on the Foreign Secretary immediately to publish the legal advice on which the Department’s blocking action is based and allow the advice to be subject to urgent independent scrutiny.

EDM 283 – BANK PENALTY CHARGES

30.11.2009

Cable, Vincent

That this House notes the judgement of the Supreme Court that banks and building societies were legally entitled to charge penalty fees for unauthorised overdrafts; further notes that the Supreme Court conclusion was not a judgement on the fairness of such charges; condemns the disproportionate penalty charges levied on customers by banks and building societies; welcomes the Office of Fair Trading’s assessment that such charges are unfair; urges the Office of Fair Trading to continue to pursue this issue using the other powers available to it; calls on the British Bankers’ Association to amend the Banking Code to make explicit the industry’s principles on service charges; further calls on the Government to review existing pricing structures; and further calls on banks and building societies to voluntarily refund unfair and disproportionate penalty charges.

EDM 277 – FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION

30.11.2009

Hancock, Mike

That this House notes that section 24 of the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, as recently interpreted by the Court of Appeal, prevents the Home Office from disclosing all information, however trivial, about animal experiments that researchers want kept secret; agrees that information such as researchers’ names and addresses and genuinely confidential information should remain secret; but believes that the public should be able to access all other information, including what is being done to the animals and for what purpose; and calls on the Government to repeal section 24 using its powers under section 75 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

EDM 249 – UNITED NATIONS CAMPAIGN TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

25.11.2009

Clark, Katy

That this House expresses deep concern that, according to UNIFEM, up to 70 per cent. of women worldwide will experience sexual or physical violence from men in their lifetime; notes that a concerted international effort is required to combat this problem; and welcomes the United Nations Campaign to End Violence Against Women which seeks to achieve the adoption and enforcement of national legislation in line with international human rights standards, the adoption and implementation of multi-sectoral national action plans, the establishment of data collection and analysis systems, the establishment of national and/or local awareness-raising campaigns and systematic efforts to address sexual violence in conflict situations in all countries by 2015.

EDM 191 – HIGH PAY COMMISSION

24.11.2009

Battle, John

That this House believes that the Government should establish a High Pay Commission to examine the effects of high pay on the economy and society; acknowledges that over the last 30 years median earners have seen incomes increase at less than the average while the super-rich including UK chief executive officers have seen their pay increase to 76 times that of the average worker; notes three main concerns over the effect of high pay in Britain: the link between excessive pay and the financial crash, the questionable link between economic performance and high pay and the social effects of inequality due to the increase of wealth concentrated at the top of society; and calls for a public inquiry to bring all of the facts, evidence and arguments into the public domain.

EDM 184 – TEXT MESSAGING THE EMERGENCY SERVICES

24.11.2009

Sanders, Adrian

That this House welcomes the introduction of a pilot scheme allowing people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and speech impaired to contact blue light emergency services by sending a SMS text message to 999; notes that the pilot scheme is of significant help to people who may have difficulties using a telephone to contact the emergency services; further notes that the scheme makes the help and assistance of the UK’s excellent and very hardworking emergency services easily accessible to those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired; congratulates the Royal National Institute for Deaf People and the communications companies for their work on the pilot; wishes the scheme success; and further hopes to see the introduction of a permanent SMS service as a result of this groundbreaking pilot scheme in order that people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and speech impaired are able to contact the emergency services as a matter of course when necessary.

EDM 126 – GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT FOR CARERS

19.11.2009

Hoyle, Lindsay

That this House calls on the Government to simplify guidance and systems of support for carers; is concerned by the findings of the Public Accounts Committee that one-fifth of carers who receive benefits have experienced difficulties claiming; notes that approximately 900,000 people in the UK care for a relative or loved one; acknowledges that the value of the service that unpaid carers provide is not reflected in the quality of support available for them; and urges the Government to urgently review the loopholes identified by the committee in order to adequately support the vital work of carers.

EDM 125 – CONSUMER PROTECTION FOR AIRLINE PASSENGERS

19.11.2009

Hoyle, Lindsay

That this House notes with concern that when flights are booked online there is no protection for the customer if the airline concerned goes into administration; notes that customers booking a package holiday have their rights protected by European law under the Package Travel Directive and bookings made through a travel agent are protected by ABTA and ATOL; calls for this loophole in the law to be addressed; and supports Brian Simpson MEP’s resolution to the European Parliament calling for all airline passengers to be protected.

EDM 121 – SUSTAINABLE SUPPORT FOR FARMERS

19.11.2009

Hoyle, Lindsay

That this House calls for procurement policies on the purchasing of food supplied by local farmers to supply the supermarkets and shops in their local area; recognises the quality of locally grown and reared produce by local farmers; further calls for efforts to ensure less environmental damage by reducing the number of food miles; further calls for the creation of sustainable communities by bringing together farmers and buyers; and further calls for the establishment of local farm co-operatives to help build relationships between food outlets and their neighbourhood farmers.

EDM 119 – MARITIME AND COASTGUARD AGENCY PAY

19.11.2009

Carmichael, Alistair

That this House notes the 2008-09 Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) annual accounts which show senior management and board members within the MCA received on average a 15 per cent. pay increase whilst those on the frontline received an average one per cent. increase; further notes with surprise the 7.6 per cent. increase in the chief executive’s salary from £127,000 in 2007-08 to £137,400 in 2008-09 in contrast to salaries for a coastguard watch assistant which start from £13,260; further notes with concern the continuing poor industrial relations within the MCA and the significant disparities between pay for MCA workers and others doing comparable jobs in other emergency services; further notes that in 2008 over 700 MCA workers took part in their first ever one day strike over pay and that as a result half of the UK’s rescue co-ordination centres closed because of strike action; acknowledges the recent decision by the Public and Commercial Services Union to ballot its MCA members for potential future strike action; and calls on the Secretary of State for Transport to intervene in this long running dispute and offer reasonable pay for those who protect and serve the UK’s shores and seas.

EDM 114 – REMUNERATION OF ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND CHIEF EXECUTIVE

19.11.2009

Davies, Dai

That this House is appalled that UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI), the public body created by HM Treasury to oversee the taxpayers’ interests in the billions of pounds of public money provided to the failing private banks, has seen fit, on behalf of taxpayers, to endorse the obscene financial package worth £9,600,000 per year to Stephen Hester as chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is 70 per cent. owned by taxpayers; contrasts this utterly unacceptable and incomprehensible UKFI decision with the announcement of RBS a month earlier on 21 May to make redundant 700 workers in the first wave of a planned 4,500 job losses across the United Kingdom, which followed an announcement of 9,000 job losses by RBS in April; does not accept that this absurd level of payment is necessary to incentivise efficient management of RBS, noting that outgoing RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin was paid a massive £4,190,000 a year, and his business decisions brought the bank to the verge of ruin; recalls that Mr Hester told the Treasury Committee on 11 February 2009 `I do think banking pay in some areas of the industry is way too high and needs to come down and I intend us to lead that process’; believes the remuneration package offered to Mr Hester is entirely inconsistent with his own intention; and therefore believes the Chancellor should intervene immediately with UKFI to block this outrageous planned payment to Mr Hester.

Now, why our Bob did not sign this last one is anybody’s guess…

EDM 207 – SIR CHRISTOPHER KELLY’S REPORT (No. 2)

24.11.2009

Williams, Roger

That this House calls for the implementation of all of Sir Christopher Kelly’s recommendations at the earliest possible opportunity, without amendment.

Well, look at it this way, Bob: sign these (that you obviously missed) and then you’ll have a grand-slam.

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2 Responses

  1. Bob will not sign that EDM – simply because he would then have to accept the details of the Sir Christopher Kelly recommendations. We know he was proven as breaching various parts with regard the Expenses scandal – as well as not giving back his legal fees, paid by the taxpayer, when he wins his court cases.

    Try and be a gentleman for once and just stand down. You believe in fairness so you say! Then go!

  2. This list just goes to prove that the last thing on Bob Spink’s mind is Castle point Residents.

    He is so busy chasing headlines and thinking up sound bites that he is totally oblivious to the reason he was elected as an MP.

    His is just one big ego trip that has nothin g to do with democratic politics or representing the people he was elected to serve.

    Yes Bill, you are perfectly right.

    GO BOB, GO!

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