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ref date:8 Dec 1997 (WBA)
Blairs thugs get tough

New Labours open and responsive government showed its true Thatcherite totalitarian colours when it vowed to implement new party diktats that could well mean suspension for MPs who vote against the Government and those who register a protest by abstaining or by missing the vote altogether.

Chief thug for the Labour government in London Nick Brown (?) said "The party rules are clear. Failure to vote for the Government on Wednesday will result in some form of immediate disciplinary action. It will be swift and vigorous. Abstention is not an option. They are elected to support the Government. They can't pick and choose which aspects of policy they are prepared to support."

Support for ones party is a reasonable thing to expect when your party is being reasonable, but when it is breaking manifesto promises and behaving undemocratically, the MPs have every right and indeed a responsibility to those who elected them to speak out.

After all, it's government for the people, NOT for the party, this latter view was brought to you in disastrous 19-year technicolour by the Tories and is back, bigger than ever with Labour.

Labour promised to help improve family life. Labours manifesto lie