Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dave the Chameleon Watch no. 1

Madagascar chameleon Dec 07 No 1

Remember the Labour attack on David Cameron. They called him Dave the Chameleon because he changes what he says to suit his audience. A reasonably accurate description but there is another Dave-The-Chameleon on the block. It is none other than David Anderson, Labour MP for Blaydon. Readers of this blog will recall that the interesting inconsistencies do often get raised by me. However, I have decided to put them onto a more formal basis. So today, I can exclusively reveal that I am launching "Dave the Chameleon Watch"!

Today we are featuring Mr Anderson's position on Equitable Life. Back in May 2009, Mr Anderson was so annoyed about his government's handling of the Equitable Life disaster that he put his made to an early day motion which read:

That this house notes the Parliamentary Ombudsman has taken the unusual step of using powers under the 1967 Act to present Parliament with a further and final report on Equitable Life;

also notes that the Public Administration Select Committee's second report on Equitable Life, Justice denied? concluded that the Government response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman's report was inadequate as a remedy for injustice;

recognises the vital role the Ombudsman plays in public life;

reaffirms the duty of Parliament to support the office of the Ombudsman;

believes the Government should accept the recommendations of the Ombudsman on compensating policyholders who have suffered loss;

welcomes the formation of the All-Party Group on Justice for Equitable Life Policyholders;

and notes with regret its necessary formation and the fact that over 30,000 people have already died waiting for a just resolution to this saga.

Move forward to 21st October and Mr Anderson actually had the opportunity to stand by his demand for action by voting for the very same motion in the Commons, proposed by Vince Cable. There was only one small difference. Vince's motion included the line "notes the outcome of the Judicial Review announced on 15 October extending the period for compensation claims back to 1991". This simply took into account a recent development but did not materially change the motion.

So, did Mr Anderson last week vote the way he demanded in May? Did he hold the government to account, the same government of which he was so critical earlier this year? Errrr, no, he didn't! Instead, he voted to kick out the motion and replace it with something that backed the government.

Not very consistent are you Mr Anderson?

(I took the photo in Madagascar in December 2007!)

1 comment:

kevin scott said...

Mmmmm, since you are talking about inconsistencies, Jonathan, do you want to play spot the difference with the BBC's Michael Crick?