Shades of grey

According to, I voted “strongly in favour” of the Iraq war and identity cards. What does “strongly in favour” actually mean, I wonder? In the Commons there’s an Aye and a No lobby. You vote in one or the other. There’s no “Definitely Aye” or “Maybe, on the other hand, Better Not” lobby. So how on earth do they conclude whether an MP voted “strongly in favour” of something? Someone who feels only lukewarm about a subject votes in exactly the same way as a colleague to whom the same issue is a defining principle.

Did I, perhaps, run through the Aye lobby on those two occasions, waving my arms in the air and wearing a “War now!” t-shirt? Such behaviour is frowned upon, and I’m sure that’s not it. Perhaps on ID cards I voted Aye three or four times? That’s more likely, but still very, very unlikely.

The Commons doesn’t really do shades of grey. Neither, it appears, does



Filed under Parliament

5 responses to “Shades of grey

  1. I was researching Labour MP’s websites yesterday, so I visted about 150 of them. It struck me how many MPs use their TheyWorkForYou page instead of having their own site.

    Reading the voting records, on the issues the site has chosen to highlight remember, didn’t make for good reading. I wondered whether any of them had actually seen what they were saying about them.

    It’s good to see that you have. Can you ask your colleagues to not use this site for their homepage?

  2. Sammy

    I’m rather puzzled by your question. TheyWorkForYou explains in detail how they classify MPs and their votes. What about their explanation is it that you don’t understand? Your piece reads to me (perhaps unfairly?) that you’ve just dashed off criticisms without having looked at their explanations at all.

  3. “What does “strongly in favour” actually mean, I wonder?” – if you click the “votes” link on the line, it’ll show you all the votes that the statement is based upon, more than one vote on each issue.

    “Someone who feels only lukewarm about a subject votes in exactly the same way as a colleague to whom the same issue is a defining principle.” – in that case, the statement on their voting record would be the same, which is of course irrelevant to how they feel.

    Labour Matters – we simply have the issues that people have asked us and provided the voting policy for. We will happily add others if you provide them for us – has all the information you need to create a new policy issue. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

  4. That’s why I asked the question. You see? If you don’t ask you don’t get.

  5. corelad

    So what do you think of ID cards and more specifically the underlying NIR database? Exactly what shade of grey are you?

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