Last week I noticed that our esteemed MP Ian Lucas was taking part in a question and answer session on climate change a few days after voting against the 10:10 motion.
To me the timing exacerbated the hypocrisy - telling the peasants how important it is to reduce emissions while voting against a bill to reduce Parliament's contribution to climate change. The full text of my letter:
Dear SirsSurprisingly enough Mr Lucas wasn't impressed:
I was very interested to read that Labour MP Ian Lucas was taking part in a Climate Change question and answer session in Oswestry at the weekend.
Sadly I couldn't make it to the event, but was struck by the incredible timing. Mere days after helping the Government to defeat the 10:10 motion in Parliament - a pledge for the Government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by the end of 2010 - he appears at an event to warn people of the effects of those very gasses!
This seems all too typical of the hypocrisy infecting the Labour Government
It is sad that a Wrexham Liberal Democrat activist calls me a "hypocrite" Leader Letters) - so much for lifting the level of political debate.
The spurious ground is an effort by the Liberal Democrats to make party political capital from what should be the cross-party issue of climate change.
As the letter writer notes, I spoke at an event addressing the issue of climate change recently - an event he could not be bothered to attend. I made time to attend because I think it is an important issue.
The government is not opposed to 10:10, as the writer suggests - every member of the cabinet has signed up to it and I support it myself.
But I disagreed with the way the Liberal Democrats used 10:10 for their own political purposes in Parliament which is why I voted against the Liberal Democrat motion referred to.
I also disagree with the way their Wrexham activists are using the campaign to attack me.
Warm words from the Lib Dems won't cut climate change - action will. I have campaigned on climate change for many years and will continue to do so.
Ian Lucas MP
(Notice I hadn't mentioned that I was a Liberal Democrat, I assume he must read my blog. Hello Mr Lucas. Try leaving a comment instead of lurking. Or get one of your activists to do it. If they are even vaguely polite I'll publish it.)
So he is proud of voting against a measure he supports? That's politician logic for you. Presumably it is not the first time either as despite campaigning locally to prevent Post Office closures he voted repeatedly in Westminster against halting the closures.
So I replied:
I am disappointed at the double standards employed by Wrexham MP Ian Lucas in his attack on me (Leader, 2 Nov) for pointing out his hypocrisy on fighting climate change.First he tries to politicise the attack by dismissing my views as those of a Liberal Democrat, then he claims to believe that fighting climate change should be a cross party issue!Mr Lucas also claims to be a supporter of the 10:10 initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2010. Yet when it came to committing his government to action he voted against it. It is hard to defend voting against a measure with which you claim to agree.As Mr Lucas says "warm words won't cut climate change - action will". Perhaps Mr Lucas should heed those words. He could use his position to vote in parliament to bring about change instead of just going around lecturing people! It is fairly pointless for him to continue his alleged campaigning if he fails to take action when given the opportunity. He could have shown that fighting climate change is indeed a cross-party issue by voting for another party's motion. Instead he voted against it.Mr Lucas criticises my choice of words, and specifically the use of the word "hypocrisy". For his information the definition of hypocrisy is "The claim or pretence of holding beliefs, feelings, standards, qualities, opinions or virtues that one does not actually possess."I realise this Government is famous for its "creative" use of language, but clearly claiming to support a cause while voting against it is hypocritical, whether that cause is halting climate change, opposing the Iraq war or fighting local post office closures!
I think the nice people at the Leader are enjoying it - my original letter was just mixed in with all the others, then his reply was top right with a photo of him. My response was printed today - top centre and with a bigger font for the title than his, and a pull quote. Yes, I'm easily pleased.
There is no reply yet, it must have been lost in the post.
Really, do MPs think people won't notice when they say one thing locally and vote exactly the opposite way in Parliament? I know Westminster is a fair way from Wrexham, but a while back some enterprising chaps invented movable type, and slightly more recently that internet thing has become a fairly popular way of obtaining information.
It's arrogant and cannot possibly increase trust in our elected representatives.