The bill which will see disgraceful cuts to welfare has been passed in its first reading in the House of Commons.
Yesterday I wrote about the need for progressives to work together and the simmering resistance against neoliberal, austerity is building. Unfortunately, we have now discovered that the parliamentary Labour Party on the whole are not progressive and are not prepared to stand up for the young, poor or vulnerable. Having said that, the 48 Labour MPs who boldly opposed the party whip are to commended for doing so.
Of particular note was the Labour MP, John McDonnell who explained;
"I would swim through vomit to vote against this bill and listening to some of the nauseating speeches tonight I think we might have to. Poverty in my constituency is not a lifestyle choice, it is imposed upon people.We hear lots about how high the welfare bill is, let's understand why that's the case.The housing benefit bill is so high because for generations we've failed to build council houses, we've failed to control rents, we've done nothing about the 300,000 properties that stand empty in this country."
I wanted to write this quick post for my part to say thank you to the 124 MPs who agree with Mr McDonnell and did oppose this atrocious bill. We now have a clear idea of who the progressives are in parliament and can see from which ranks we could see productive, positive alliances growing.
Who was in the 124 progressive MPs yesterday?
48 Labour MPs
8 Liberal Democrats
3 Plaid Cymru
You can find out how your MP voted at http://www.theyworkforyou.com/