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Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Karen Buck, Iraq, and the Party Whip

Whilst couching the post to our main Karen Buck interview in legally acceptable caveats we figured an investigation into the issue of misleading statements over voting and the voting record was very much in order.

Pay attention at the back. Once you've got through this it's... well... It's important. You'll see.

The Hon. Peter Bottomley MP touched on the party whip issue and its implications for MPs. Karen Buck counters ;

We’d like to clarify some points.

You may hear on your playback what appears to be the interviewer (or Ms Buck) breaking wind. It isn't. Neither is it the sound of the interviewer blowing a raspberry.

2) We’ll leave it to you to decide whether Karen Buck’s voting record leans towards free-thinking or the party whip. The bare stats for the times she went against her party are ;

5 May 2005 to present day : 1 vote out of 329, 0.3%
7 Jun 2001 to 11 Apr 2005 : 16 votes out of 923, 1.7%
1 May 1997 to 14 May 2001 : 1 vote out of 893 or 0.1%

You’ll note she claims in the interview to have voted against the war in Iraq. As our friend Julian at the Public Whip put it.. this is, "not completely correct".

Dear reader, we are now entering the land of the small print...

For a true insight into the nuts and bolts of what actually allows Karen Buck to proclaim she voted against the war in Iraq, now is the time to make an espresso. Then come back to this screen and take it all in. Take it all in baby ‘cos you may find yourself thinking – fuck me, what a load of devious bollocks.

Impartial reporting standards require me to say that you may not.

Now go and get some caffeine you subversive mutha.

The two crucial votes on the war with Iraq were both on the evening of March 18th. The first, at 9.15pm was division (Parliamentary term for a vote) number 117, in which Karen voted for the following ;

“This House notes its decisions of 25th November 2002 and 26th February 2003 to endorse UN Security Council Resolution 1441; believes that the case for war against Iraq has not yet been established, especially given the absence of specific United Nations authorisation; but, in the event that hostilities do commence, pledges its total support for the British forces engaged in the Middle East, expresses its admiration for their courage, skill and devotion to duty, and hopes that their tasks will be swiftly concluded with minimal casualties on all sides....cont'd"

It was understood that if this amendment had been passed, the House of Commons would have repudiated government policy and British forces would not have participated in the US-led invasion of Iraq. That may be the case – we shall never know.

In division 118, at 10pm that evening the actual Vote for the declaration of war took place. 338 Labour MPs voted, including 84 who went against their party, against the government and against the war in Iraq. Karen didn't vote.

Karen's voting record for the war on Iraq looks like this ;

Here's the Public Whip analysis

There's also the small matter
of voting for an inquiry into the invasion of Iraq. If your MP tells you they voted against the war in Iraq, you may expect them to vote for an inquiry into it. In all, there have been 11 votes on the need for an inquiry into
the war.

Karen has never voted for an inquiry.

So when Karen Buck proclaims she voted against the war in Iraq, you tell me if that's an honest statement, a genuine mistake, a mis-representation, misleading or a dis-ingenious lie ?

PS. A big thanks to Julian and our friends at the public whip. They do an amazing job. The next time your MP tells you what they stand for, you may want to check it out at their website.

Julian's full comment on the voting against Iraq guys and the voting for an inquiry is,

You can tell I think it is important to make a distinction between those who are actively trying to get this disaster sorted out, much to the detriment of their careers within the Party, and the ones who might have made a half-hearted stand in a vote three years ago, but appear content to allow the matter to skid for another bloody decade like Vietnam somehow did. It was probably seen as a compromise with the whips to be able to tell the public that they had voted against the war, whilst not actually threatening the Parliamentary majority or sacrificing their ministerial career prospects."

Here speaks a man that gazes into the bowels of Parliament on a minute by minute basis.


  1. Phew, its very complicated.....

  2. If this is true it's a disgrace. And they wonder why we don't trust 'em.

  3. tony the hairdresser9 Mar 2007, 15:03:00

    I can hear the constant but gentle sound of a fart on playback but it's definitely Karen Buck.

  4. Having attended several of her constituency surgery things, I can confirm Ms Buck does have a problem with flatulence. It's a slight eggy sort of pungent tangy smell that lingers on your clothes.

    S'pose it could've been me. I do shit m'self quite reg'lar y'know.

  5. Sir Alec Guiness9 Mar 2007, 16:21:00

    There's no way this is an MP. This is the char-lady down the local cafe. You'll never get away with this elaborate hoax.

    Shame on you.

  6. That was a bit of a slog to get through but basically makes me think more and more what's the point in voting. It really makes no difference whatsoever. There's no real way of knowing what your MP stands for and even if you did they've got to vote with the party.

  7. rules.
    Fantastic site. Hours and hours of lies just waiting to be discovered.

  8. MrGrrrrAngrypissedoff10 Mar 2007, 07:16:00

    If I've got this right - Karen Buck can say she voted against the war on Iraq because the motion she voted for said she believed the case for WMD was unproven. After the invasion, in the 11 votes for an inquiry which could have proven she was correct, she didn't vote for an inquiry.

    If she was my MP I'd be pulling my hair out at the gall of the woman.

  9. In fairness, she did vote for a motion stating that “the case for war against Iraq has not yet been established”. That is a vote against war, in no uncertain terms.

    Having failed to pass the amendment (by 179 votes) it probably seemed evident to her that the government would get its way. It’s not surprising that she failed to vote against the government on the second vote, given that she considers it her duty to follow the whip. She had already made her protest vote, why make another? She tried, she failed, she gave up. It’s not admirable, but it’s believable.