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To think those that are campaigning to deselect MP's are bullies

(75 Posts)
LovelyBranches Thu 03-Dec-15 12:17:07

There's been a number of these type of campaigns popping up and I absolutely hate the undertone. MP's in the Labour Party were given a free vote on Syria action and were free to vote how they wished. Surely if we were to deselect MP's who defied the party position, ignored the Whip or voted against public popular opinion then Corbyn would have been deselected a long time ago. Surely the point of the democratic system that we have, is that every 4/5 years everyone gets a chance to vote to keep their local MP. Deselecting after a vote seems undemocratic to me.

Also sad to see how much grief Women politicians in particular are getting. The bullying that Stella Creasy has been subjected to is shameful.

OurBlanche Thu 03-Dec-15 12:33:55

Well, we could call for the individual's baying for blood to be deselected for bullying... if they are MPs.

Tit for tat and all that.

Walthamstow Labour councillor Asim Mahmood is just one named MP who has overstepped the mark.

Phone the people who rang party offices and were abusive and call them names, harrass them.

Or just keep on repeating the same message: People using Syria for their own political agenda, to get rid of MPs are to be vilified. They are colluding with our enemies.

In real life, I am using the last one. I may be more, erm, robust on anonymous forums smile

howtorebuild Thu 03-Dec-15 12:36:18

Any extreme people be they political or religious will go OTT.

A well thought out CLP can deselect if they are unhappy.

Mistigri Thu 03-Dec-15 12:40:19

Lobbying for something is not "bullying" - if party members believe that their MP does not represent them they have a right to campaign for a new one. (They may or may not get their wish - I'm not saying that deselection is the right thing to do, just that people have the right to campaign for it.)

Otherwise, I'm in two minds about this whole issue. Firstly if - as seems to be the case - people have been harassing constituency party workers, then that is very wrong. Anger should be directed at MPs, who got to vote on air strikes, not at their employees, who didn't.

However, I really struggle with the idea of MPs being "bullied" by constituents. MPs are by definition a group that is difficult to victimise - if they are subject to unacceptable or illegal harrassment, they can access the law much more easily than most people (and Stella Creasy knows this perfectly well since she has successfully made a complaint about harrassment in the past). But constituents and party members have the right to lobby their MP, and to make clear that they are not happy with their voting record. That's not bullying - it's politics.

OurBlanche Thu 03-Dec-15 12:49:54

Some of the content of fb posts and tweets have not been 'just politics'. Some of it, from other MPs, has been unnecessarily personal and overly emotive. There should be some censure for such actions. A public censure would probably do it... and that has been done.

I am usually of the same mind, a politician chooses to be in the public eye and should be robust enough to deal with naysayers. Unfortunately it seems that there are enough social media 'botherers' to make some MPs less able to do so, sometimes. I would guess that there are only so many "murderous bitch" messages you can read without getting upset. Not that I am at all sure it is mainly female MPs who are being targetted.

Topseyt Thu 03-Dec-15 13:08:04

It was a free vote. It should be left at that.

Deselection if you were a dissenter would mean that actually, it wasn't intended to be a free vote at all. It is a bullying line - i.e. do what you like but if you don't toe the party line you will be out on your ear anyway.

LovelyBranches Thu 03-Dec-15 13:23:26

People are going to die whether the vote last night resulted in a yes vote or a no vote. I don't think either side can claim the moral high ground on this one.

I think that as it stands, parliament is deeply unwelcoming to women and the ratios of men to women will only set to increase if everytime there's a contentious vote, people who aren't even registered to vote, campaign to deselect you.

I agree with Topseyt that this threat of deselection is the opposite of a free vote. It's nasty, vile politics and bullying tactics. I don't think MP's are a separate group of people who we are allowed to bully.

EnaSharplesHairnet Thu 03-Dec-15 13:29:07


Mistigri Thu 03-Dec-15 13:33:47

Well, MPs really should be able to rise above abuse on twitter, or report it if it crosses the line. I don't have much sympathy.

I don't agree or disagree with deselection ... it would be stupid to deselect MPs based on one issue, but where MPs patently do not have the support of their constituency party, there has to be a reckoning sometime.

TendonQueen Thu 03-Dec-15 13:36:29

It's totally unacceptable. They were given a free vote, the issue is a very contentious and complex one. There are no grounds for deselection. And the vitriol expressed has been shocking. The demonstrations, fine, civil messages asking an MP to reconsider, fine. Lots of behaviour has been way over the line.

EnaSharplesHairnet Thu 03-Dec-15 13:36:57

A campaign from Momentum for deselection of MPs would look rather like a party purge though.

howabout Thu 03-Dec-15 13:44:34

YABU on the notion of campaigning to deselect an MP based on their Parliamentary voting record. Perhaps the tone of the campaigning has been overzealous.

It is extremely disingenuous to complain about threats of deselection imho. The entirety of the Blair years was characterised not only by deselections but also expulsions from the Party for anyone deemed to be too far left of the Blairite position. I think this is the root cause of the current problems.

It is becoming ever clearer that the PLP is not representative of the views of the Labour Membership. At some point this disconnect will have to be resolved.

OurBlanche Thu 03-Dec-15 13:48:04

Pictures of dead babies and severed heads aren't exactly sane and sensible discussion points, especially when shoved through your letterbox, for your kids to find!

It is actions like that of the Walthamstow MP that has meant a new ruling has been requested, to rein in the wilder actions of MPs against other MPs. You do have to wonder why supposedly media savvy people use Twitter like that? They do know how it works, don't they?

LovelyBranches Thu 03-Dec-15 13:48:30

Yes but Mistigri, how do you get the support of your constituency? If you have support from each branch but not from a vocal group of activists within your party, is that support or not? In every single constituency there will be people for or against and the volume of their opinion isn't a reliable indicator on whether it's representative of everyone's opinion.

Also, why should politicians rise above abuse on twitter? I'd be devastated if someone I came across through my job called me names or threatened to kill me/rape me on twitter. Many politicians get this, and if we want real, ordinary people to represent us then surely we have to accept that they wouldn't want a job that comes with this much abuse.

EnaSharplesHairnet Thu 03-Dec-15 13:51:06

howabout the Labour vote will evaporate at that point and it will be left as pressure group.

IShouldBeSoLurky Thu 03-Dec-15 13:58:24

howabout The MPs who have been targeted are saying that the people harassing them and calling for their deselection are for the most part not even registered voters, never mind party members. The wider electorate would certainly have voted in favour of air strikes so it just isn't accurate to say MPs' votes don't reflect the views of their constituents.

And the people who are being disingenuous are Corbyn and his acolytes - waiting until the threats have been made and the genie is out of the bottle and then saying, "Oh dear me no, we don't approve, this isn't the new politics."

samG76 Thu 03-Dec-15 14:01:06

Howabout - The deselection of MPs has always been a tactic of the far left. If leftwingers were deselected during the Blair years, how come so many survived?

The point is that by definition the MPs have the support of their constituents, and most sane CLPs realise that deselection of a sitting MP is an insult to the voters.

howabout Thu 03-Dec-15 14:14:18

IShould I did not refer to "constituents" but rather Labour Party membership. The latest poll I saw was 54% in favour of airstrikes from the population as a whole. If you accept the proposition that there was a sizeable majority in favour of airstrikes among Conservatives then the conclusion is that Labour supporters were not in favour. Labour Party polling indicated 75% against - this would be endorsed by the MN yes/no thread.

No-one ever claims that a Conservative MP represents the views of all their constituents whether or not they voted for them. Representing and serving the best interests of your constituents is not the same as agreeing with them. Until Labour MPs represent Labour values I think they will be increasingly unelectable. There are many who have not forgiven the Labour Party for the Iraq War. The voting last night will not have brought them closer to the fold.

I did not and do not endorse the extremist approach taken to dissent but I fully endorse the right to dissent and lobby.

It is notable how much analysis of the LP and left wing activists is being made in the media and on MN. I see very little mention of the institutionalised bullying within Conservative activists except surprisingly in the DM which is rightly outraged.

EnaSharplesHairnet Thu 03-Dec-15 14:21:00

I comment on Labour as I've always voted for them. I just have less interest in the Tory party tbh.

I read on here that some found most of their Tory-voting friends against bombing. Was the Labour Party polling members then?

howabout Thu 03-Dec-15 14:26:01

Ena my understanding was that JC was being criticised for doing direct polling of members over the heads of MPs?

I am not a Labour member and have voted both Labour and Conservative among other things. Having expressed an interest in Ed Milliband's campaign prior to the GC I now get all sorts of emails from the LP giving me position statements and asking for feedback. I wasn't polled on the Syria vote.

IShouldBeSoLurky Thu 03-Dec-15 14:32:35

howabout Mumsnet is massively more left-wing and pacifist than the population as a whole - we really, really aren't representative. I don't know why that's the case - I would expect a platform like this to be a pretty broad church - but it is.

The Mark Clarke affair has been made a huge deal of in the left-wing press - the Guardian led on it for ages. But bullying and harassment is by no means a Tory problem - it happens across the board. I personally know women who are active in both the Lib Dems and Labour who have been treated appallingly.

Incidentally I have always voted Labour and am a party member, although I am about to resign because frankly Corbyn and everything about him sickens me.

EnaSharplesHairnet Thu 03-Dec-15 14:34:47

Thanks. So again we are talking membership not voters. That isn't surprising to me.

My guess is there are plenty of Tory voters against this particular policy and plenty of Labour voters who think bombing the right way to go about limiting ISIL. It would be interesting to see polling but then so many people are floating voters nowadays it probably wouldn't mean that much.

lighteningirl Thu 03-Dec-15 14:36:54

Mumsnet probably is more representative but the vicious name calling that the left wing and 'pacifist' indulge in mean free speech is stifled on here.

ComposHatComesBack Thu 03-Dec-15 15:57:21

Go on then, light what is it you want to say, but feel you can't, as far as I can make out no one is preventing you from typing whatever you want.

The floor is yours ...

BMW6 Thu 03-Dec-15 16:05:25

Totally agree light

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