Monday, May 22, 2006

Nineteen n-n-n-nineteen

The BBC finally catches up with Socialist Unity and has reported on the Armed Forces Bill.

There have been back bench calls to scrap the section that says deserters from the army are to face life imprisonment. LIFE for deserting! Jeez Loiuse!

Life for not killing people?!?

But we should all calm down because, according to the BBC, "Defence minister Tom Watson said life could apply only where desertion was "to avoid relevant service". " Unlike the deserting that allows you to go to Iraq and fight at same time?

This is grossly disproportionate and clearly part of cracking down on soldiers exercising their conscience.

Number of MPs that voted against life imprisonment = 19
Number of MPs that voted for life imprisonment = 442

When we have the list of 19 MPs we will be awarding medals...


Phugebrins said...

"There have been back bench calls to scrap the section that says deserters from the army are to face life imprisonment."
From 19 people? I could just about believe the 19 if it 19 against, 42 for, but 442? That's sickening.

Jim Jay said...

I was worrying about this 19 number - thinking that CAN'T be right can it.

Oh yeah - sick fuckers.

More from the Scotsman

...An amendment to the... Bill that would have reduced the maximum jail term for deserters to two years was overwhelmingly rejected... MPs voted 442-19 to keep life imprisonment.

Left-wing Labour MPs joined forces with the SNP to try to reduce the tariff...

Angus MacNeil, the SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, said those who "besmirched parliament" and sold peerages faced a maximum of two years, while soldiers could be punished with a life sentence. "Two years is enough for somebody who has, arguably, followed their own conscience," he said...

Chris Bryant, a Welsh Labour MP, said reducing the life sentence would "undermine many of our operations" and bring "ethical chaos" to the armed forces."

ethical chaos !!!!

Renegade Eye said...

You captured the essential point: Life sentence for not killing.

Anonymous said...

Austin, John
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Cohen, Harry
Corbyn, Jeremy
Etherington, Bill
Flynn, Paul
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Hosie, Stewart
Jones, Lynne
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
MacNeil, Mr. Angus
McDonnell, John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Simpson, Alan
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Wishart, Pete
Tellers for the Ayes:Mr. Neil Gerrard and
Kelvin Hopkins

AN said...

They are undoubtedly worried about the disarray being acsued in the armed forces by fighting a war without popular support.
A similar trick was used in 1945 when the popular anti-facist war finished and the Empire then sought to regain control of the colonies (which casued a wave of multinies from soldiers who rigtly felt this was the opposite of what they had joined up for)
About a dozen paratroops were sentenced to death commuted to life imprisonement for refusing to obey orders in Borneo. there was a big labour movement campaign in their defence, I think with prominent involvement from Leo Abse MP, and after about 3 years they were all released.
But it was a clever use of what the CP correctly called at the time "the mutiny trap" - the result of which the restoration of "professional" military discipline into an army that had developed many demiocratic traditions during the war.

AN said...

I note Diane Abbott voted for Life imprisonment

Jim Jay said...

Thanks Anon for posting the list of 19. Although the other list is much too long to reprint here (people can check out your link) Andy's post has prompted me to post up a few names of the 'should know betters'

Abbott, Diane
Cable, Vincent (Lib Dem deputy leader)
Campbell, Sir Menzies (anti-war spokesman anyone?)
Cruddas, Jon
Field, Frank (Frank's I'm on the left really rebranding takes a step backwards)
Henderson, Doug
Howarth, David (my MP, he made a big thing of his anti-war credentials in the election)
Jackson, Glenda
Keeble, Sally
Malik, Shahid
Russell, Bob (another 'anti-war' 'civil liberties' lib dem)

Ed said...

Are you sure Abbott voted against the bill? Maybe she wasn't there.

Jim Jay said...

It's there in black and white I'm afraid. She voted. Due to the wonders of alphabetical ordering she is even top of the list of those who voted against reducing the penalty from life click here

There are others I was looking out for that don't seem to be on either list (Geroge Galloway for instance) who I guess did not vote.

AN said...

yeah - I got a phone call from my MP earlier today over another issue, and I asked him becasue he hadn't voted, and he said he would have voted for the bill, but he was busy and not in the House.
I think the government didn't see this as a big deal, and it had a low profile in parliament.

However, it does rather undermine his gorgeousness's claim to be THE anti-war MP.

Reuben_the_communist said...

shock news. dianne abbot takes a stupid and politically indefensible position.

AN said...

Is there summat going on between Abbot and Portillo.
Body language wise they seem to act like a very intimate couple.

Jim Jay said...

They have known each other a very very long time - decades in fact - I think they may just be very close chums. Which is nice.

Anyway, I defend her here against the critics...

AN said...

And here is a picture of them both when they started out.

Jim Jay said...

I'm jealous, John McDonnell wrote to the Weekly Worker about this Bill. here

"Scare tactics

The Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs has tabled amendments to the Armed Forces Bill with regard to the government’s intention to apply the sentence of life imprisonment for the charge of desertion, including refusal to participate in a military occupation.

These new provisions are a heavy-handed attempt to intimidate those in the armed forces who out of conscience might object to participating in a military occupation of a foreign country, such as Iraq.

The deeply held feelings of soldiers who object to participation in such controversial occupations need to be treated with understanding and compassion rather than bullying and scare tactics. That is why the Socialist Campaign Group will be pressing for amendments to remove the excessive punishment of life imprisonment for desertion, especially with regard to refusal to participate in military occupations.

John McDonnell MP
Socialist Campaign Group"

Either the group has shrunk or they didn't all turn out though...

Red and Green said...

No Bob Marshal-Andrews then? Perhaps he's getting ready to represent Diane Abbot in a defamation case against an?

AN said...

And note that Jon Cruddas MP is suddenly turning up everywhere as a left rebel, having been originaly known as a super-Blairite.

Good article by him and Nick Lowles in this month's Searchlight.