Friday, 23 January 2009

Tale of two MPs (1) Norman Baker

I find that our MPs vary hugely in their quality irrespective of their party label, in fact I've made the point before that I don't have a loyalty to any one party, with MPs I would much rather they were honest, adequately represented their constituents and approached problems with common sense even if that meant at times going against the party line. Regarding the latter point I flagged up in a previous post how Frank Field was the one Labour MP who voted against the government on the reduction in VAT rate. It's almost impossible to believe that every other Labour member thought that this ridiculous policy was fine but there you go ...

Now to Norman Baker, LibDem MP for Lewes in Sussex. For some reason he has become a figure of fun to some bloggers but he was the man who temporarily relinquished his post on the LibDem front bench to investigate the strange death of Dr David Kelly. He uncovered a mass of detail and put his findings into a book (I should also mention again the blog written by Rowena Thursby which you can read here covering a lot of the Kelly business). For the record I consider that the way the aftermath of Kelly's death was handled has been one of the most disgraceful episodes in recent British history and I'm also appalled at the attitude taken by political bloggers and many newspaper columnists to Baker's findings.

Even his detractors will admit that Baker is assiduous in ferreting out information from government sources. I see on the BBC News website that there is a story here in which Norman Baker points out how hard it is to get an answer from Gordon Brown when he submits a written question. According to Baker the PM had only answered 4 out of 23 written questions he had posed in the past year satisfactorily. So had others replied on the PMs behalf - Baker checked this out with Brown and was assured by Brown that he personally approved each one of them.

far too gentle with Brown on the 'Today' programme this morning. My guess is that if BBC radio's best attack dog John Bearing in mind my recent observations on Brown not answering questions at PMQs this story re Norman Baker should be no surprise. But how can Brown continue with these tactics? It is making a complete mockery of the democratic process. Incidentally I hear that Evan Davis wasHumphrys had been the interviewer Brown wouldn't have appeared.

I hope Mr Baker continues to write to the Prime Minister and not be too disconsolate. For once at least the BBC have put up a story on their website which isn't positive about our dear Prime Minister.

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