Blackpool's Split Parliamentary Vote
Whilst many readers of this blog may prefer fixating on the minutae of whichever tram deserves an 'award' for its appearance or performance over the past twelve months - there are far more fundamental decisions pressing us all on Britain's future and relationship with the European Union: and even more importantly the fate of the planet, if not in our life time, certainly during the course of this century. The Global Conference on Climate Change ongoing in Katowice, Southern Poland - received a sober assessment from Sir David Attenborough in his speech today on the threat to civilisation itself if politicians are allowed to tinker round the edges over hard choices on containing global emissions long overdue.
Whilst at Westminster our elected representatives face up to a decision on whether or not to endorse an agreement reached this autumn after two years of toing and froing between London and Brussels - the hard facts and implications of a 'deal'with the EU affecting the UK and Northern Ireland. of terms of which are muddied and ill understood at almost every level. But nonetheless terms arrived at between this Government and the EU to be put to Parliament as 'the best deal' achievable.
All of this will crystalise into a single vote in Parliament next week by which a fractious House of Commons determines whether or not to accept the 'deal' being postulated by the Prime Minister as the best terms possible for this country's future wellbeing.
A survey posted online by Sky News this week tabulates the intentions of individual MPs of all Parties on their declared position to support, or not, the 'Deal' as presented to Parliament by Theresa May and her Minority Government. Blackpool with its two sitting MPs and a town which voted overwhelmingly to 'Leave' in the 2016 Referendum will exercise contrary positions with Garden Marsden MP representing Blackpool's southern Wards - joining his Opposition colleagues (or most of them) in voting against the Government's recommended terms. Paul Maynard MP - now a Government Whip charged with persuading his Conservative Members to vote with the Government, is duty bound to exercise his own vote in support of the 'Deal' representing the interests of voters in Blackpool North and Anchorsholme of which I am one. Cat Smith MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood a Labour held Seat, is shown to be voting against the Government. The two Fylde constituencies, one of which is held by Mark Menzies MP, a Minister in the Government are understandably supporting the 'Deal' as put to Parliament.
The debate in Parliament this week and outcome of the Vote will impact young and old for decades to come; much as that initial decision to enter the Common Market set a course for Britain in the 1970s. Likewise the Global Conference ongoing in Poland will set out markers of far greater importance for future generations into the next century. The removal of pollutants from the atmosphere and far greater control over wastage and irreplaceable natural resources are elements in a wider agenda for a sustainable future. We are facing a tipping point: in a parochial sense over Britain's role in the world; and the harder picture of the future of mankind medium and long term. Hence this Blog away from frivolous trivia beloved of the few.