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Sad death of 100th Service person in Iraq

John Hemming MP together with Lorely Burt MP, John Barrett MP, John Leech MP and Richard Ross MP attended the vigil in memory of the deaths of 100 British Servicemen and Women at 5pm on Tuesday 31st January 2006.

The Liberal Democrat MPs shared in the reading out of the names of the servicepeople who had died.

John Hemming MP said, "The government have a key responsibility for the lives of our service people. They need to recognise that there is no good reason for keeping our boys and girls as military targets in Iraq. Work should commence for their return to the UK."

"This war was a mistake. The continued occupation is also a mistake."

"We do recognise that in theory we could have been arrested for reading the names of the service people. However, it is important that MPs stand up for free speech and the right for people to have their voice heard."

Lorely Burt MP said, "Our hearts go out to the families of the service people who have been killed in Iraq. We only hope that there will be no more tragedies as happened today."


TonyF said…
Who were the Labour and Tory MPs there?
Richard Gadsden said…
Uh, John, probably not 31st March...
TonyF said…
However, it is important that MPs stand up for free speech and the right for people to have their voice heard."

That's not what you said when you had me and my wife expelled from the party!
John Hemming said…
I did not see any Labour or Tory MPs there.

Secondly, I did not move to have Tony Foley expelled from the Lib Dems.

Thirdly, if you are a member of a political party then you cannot campaign against that party. There is a limited extent to which the party can be criticised and as soon as people say "don't vote for this candidate" they are going beyond that limit. That is not a constraint on free speech it is a constraint on membership of a political party.
TonyF said…
The words were 'refuse to support the candidate'.
You know, the same words you used with Charles Kennedy.
John Hemming said…
There is a difference between quietly not doing anything and running an Evening Mail press story about ripping up membership cards.

A story which might (given that it was reprinted by Labour and delivered across the constituency) have resulted in us losing the by-election.
TonyF said…
I don't recall ripping up membership cards or anything in the paper about it.

As for quietly not doing anything, you were in the Evening Mail say you would not support Kennedy.

I'd say the bully boy tactics used on a middle aged woman who wanted to speak to Kennedy in the By Election had more to do with Nokia losing the election.
John Hemming said…
I have since found the article. In fact you were ripping up a party poster.

It says "City Liberal Democract activists have withdrawn their support for candidate ..."

It has a photo of you and Maxine tearing up a poster.

That is publicly campaigning against a candidate.

It is not the same as not supporting someone in an internal party election.
TonyF said…
Publicly campaigning against a candidate?

Why not print on here the actual words John.

Liberal Democrats in Birmingham were campaigning against the siting of mobile phone masts near schools. Nichola Davies was and still is a member of the Mobile Phone Operators association. She was responsible for the siting of a phone mast next to a school in Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield. To support her would be Hypocricy. There was no mention of a campaign against her. But then, the rest of you supported her, didn't you?
So who kept to their beliefs and who was the Hypocrite?

I now refer you back to 'free speech and voices must be heard'