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August 04, 2011

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Paul Flynn

If you are an example of well informed public opinion you have made my point. The pavements of Newport and the City Centre are ENTIRELY the responsibility of Tory-Lib Dem junta that are in control of Newport. Have a word with them

I was delighted with the powerful response to my interview on the Jeremy Vine programme. Listen to the first three listeners' responses. They were all from intelligent people who saw through the populist false promises of e-petitions. The comments have been running two to in favour of what I said.

The people of Newport West voted for me six times after I replaced a Tory in 1987. I'm optimistic that they will do the same in 2015. I will continue to do what I believe to be right and not chase popularity. The people of Newport know all about my views that challenge Daily Mail fuelled prejudices. They would for an independent mind not for a party hack or a political whore who would anything for a vote.

Gerald

Mr. Barlow you are right, the streets and centre of Newport are in need of cleaning and redevelopment.
Perhaps you would like to do something worthwhile and at next years Council elections help remove the Conservative-Lib. Dem coaltion run Council that have run Newport into the ground over the last few years.

David Barlow

Ps.If you want to do something worthwhile,perhaps getting thr chewing gum off Newport's pavements would be a start.Walk from the railway to the bus station(i doubt you have)and do something your constituants would thank you for.

David Barlow

I listened to your "turn"on The Jeremh Vine show,and i'd have to go a long way to find a more arrogant out of touch (supposedly)public servant.You are elected by the people to represent them in Parliament.You seem to believe that you get voted in,are unaccountable,and then do what you want.Democracy doesn't work like that.As for your deriding the right wing,Tony Blair's Government was more right wing than Thatcher,only it didn't like to admit it.Frankly if you honestly believe that you are in Parliament to pursue your own agenda,you are a disgrace to our supposed democracy.You criticise the need for 100,000 signatures.How many people decide on a debate subject at present,and then form laws?Less than 600,and that's democratic?

Peter Reynolds

Absolutely agree with your view of death penalty advocates Huw. String 'em up I say!

Paul Flynn

Thanks for the responses. They have been fascinating.
On the Jeremy Vine programmes there were three strongly supportive ones on the line I took plus a couple of half-hearted ones opposed. The right-wing blogosphere foul-mouthed tribe have lost the Labour Government to kick about and are chasing hares.

There have been far more positive answers from those who know that e-petitions are a cynical gimmick.

Gerald

Michael, why do you think that the Conservative Governments of the 1980s and 1990s who had the option of using capital punishment for acts of treason did not do so? And many of the terrorist attacks in the UK and the North of Ireland could have been considered as treason.
Referenda may be useful but they only reflect a snapshot of opinion at a particular time and are liable to be skewed by the popularity of the Government at the time. They are not a democratic substitute for democratically elected representatives who have to answer to the electorate at every election.
As for Paul being "horrendously arrogant", I've had, and will continue to have, some disagreements with Paul and never found him so. Indeed when I've been campaigning with Paul in residential streets and the centre of Newport, I have always found him open and receptive to the points of view of his constituents.

HuwOS

".. the death penalty has some compelling arguments, ..."

It really does not, Michael.
But you are right, supporters of it should not be considered to be just "tabloid inflamed" idiots.
They are vicious, nasty minded, decidedly imbalanced and ignorant idiots and no one should hesitate to tell them so.


MIchael

I'm sorry but I watched that interview and found you horrendously arrogant. "Public opinion is wrong"? Of course, there are times when populism needs curbing. But the death penalty does have some compelling arguments, and its proponents don't deserve to be relegated to the territory of "tabloid inflamed" idiots and DM followers.

That you think "no government would pull out of the EU" or "reintroduce the death penalty" is a pretty damning indictment on you and a political system which is clearly out of touch. Of course MPs should stick to their moral guns about certain issues to a point, and shouldn't blindly follow public opinion. But contentious issues shouldn't be off-limits because some politician decides that they are. In the face of overwhelming public opinion on certain matters, the government should at the very least hold debates, and consider referenda, on certain issues.

The government is there to serve the people. Largely, representative democracy serves its purpose, but the direct will of the people must be allowed to prevail.

Peter Reynolds

I'm a little less cynical about it than you Paul. Obviously I and all CLEAR members will vigorously support the legalise cannabis petition. Although of course "Your Freedom" was canned precisely because of the overwhelming call for drug reform wasn't it?

As a conscientious MP you'll probably like mine (but many of your colleagues won't!):

Standards of Service From MPs and Ministers

Responsible department: Office of the Leader of the House of Commons

MPs and Ministers have forgotten that they are in office to serve the public and not vice versa. Five year elections provide no real accountability from MPs and Ministers hide in their ivory towers and ignore the public. This petition calls on the government to implement minimum standards of service from MPs and Ministers in response to enquiries from the public. MP's accountability is limited to constituents but Ministers must account to any British citizen. An integral part of these standards is a complaints system with the power to implement meaningful sanctions.against the MP or Minister personally.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/436

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