Vote on the David Heath issue - Should David Heath stay or go ?

David Heath MP has created something of a stir by declaring that he we vote against the party line, but will also be keeping to the election pledge the Lib Dems made in 2005 when he was elected, when he supports attemts in parliament to call for a referendum on the EU constitution.

Should he stay or go from the Lib Dem front bench ?

The case against him is given HERE

The case for him staying is given HERE.

If you have an opinion, you can vote in the voting bar in the right hand column of this page. Voting closes at teatime on Sunday.


Gavin Whenman said...

Stay, definitely stay.

Tony said...

It really is quite incredible. An MP commits to uphold principle by retaining the Lib Dem promise to support a referendum.

Yet this defies the party leader who has reneged on the party's promise, using an excuse that does not stand up to scrutiny, to support a referendum.

So Heath's position as a party spokesman is now under threat for wishing to honour a promise made to the electorate. A promise that was part of the platform upon which he was elected to Parliament.

And politicians wonder why the public has lost faith in our elected representatives. The only people who should be kicked off the Lib Dem front bench are Clegg and those who support his wish to break a promise made to the people.

Politicians of principle are a dying breed. This is not the way they should be treated. If he resigned he would probably be welcome on the Conservative benches.

Anonymous said...

Tony, what referendum was that? The promise was a referendum on the constitution and that died in 2005. David Heath should go!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Bob, we all know, everyone involved at any level in politics knows that the EU reform treaty is 90-95% the same as the EU constitution.

If a beefburger is 90-95% beef, it is still a burger.

Anonymous said...

Nich, I like the burger anology. However, if something is only 90 or 95% the same as something else, its not an exact copy is it? To be the same doesn't it have to be 100% the same. Besidesmy point with David Heath is a simple one. What is the party line? Has he deliberately gone against the party line? I would say yes to both and as a local MP its to save his own neck not for any other reason. The tories have bullied him into this decision. Not the public he says he is doing it for. I dislike people who are disloyal - I guess it stems from my days in HM Forces. I rate loyalty very highly. David H has shown himself to be disloyal. End of.

Anonymous said...

P.S I have just put a P.S on my post drawing peoples attention to your poll.

Tony said...

No offence Bob, but such slavish devotion to your party's official line does you a real disservice.

As Nich rightly points out the reform treaty is 95% of the constitution by another name. The government's disingenuous campaign to deny what is self evident does them no credit - and does not fool the public who have been denied what they were promised.

Your support of an equally discreditable position by the Lib Dem leadership under the guise of "loyalty" makes me wonder if you have any time for principle.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Bob. I appreciate your views and the loyaloty issue. I did it when I was a councillor and toed the party line on one occasion against my better judgment. oddly, on that occasion I was proved wrong and the party right. I don't think though that is true on this occasion.

Anonymous said...

Its strange as I knock on peoples doors nobody has ever mentioned this an issue. Could it be that this is just an issue with Tories and we are simple falling into the trap of believing its amajor issue. I am off door knocking tomorrow - I may even ask if anyone cares. Has anyone actually had more than one or two people say "oh yes I am really bothered if we have a vote on the eu treay. Besides Mr & Mrs Tory voter.

Newmania said...

Nick I am absolutely delighted to read what you say about this. It quite restores my faith in the Liberal Party. I see nothing but credit for the Liberal party and the Liberal bloggers that are prepared to say what they think.

Well done .If you are not honest on this it seesm to me you forfeit the right to be heard in the future .

Norfolk Blogger said...

Newmania, I have been consistent on this issue since before Ming announced his alternative referendum in conference week, but appreciate for once a compliment from you.

I know that a majority of lib Dems I know support a referendum but the party has been hijacked on this issue by the pro EU at all costs brigade.

jailhouselawyer said...

Hi Nich: Thanks for the opportunity to enter into an interesting debate. I have visited both links you provided. Whilst I liked Bob Shaw's display of feathers, I wasn't convinced by the argument. Anthony Hook's was more convincing and he got my vote even though his blog signed me in as hypocriteandliar (the blog where I attack my arch enemy), and there is comment moderation which slows things down somewhat. I note that I am in the majority, that makes a change for me (save for anti-McCanns where again I am in the majority).

I still feel that the LibDems should not have let Ming/Nick Clegg overturn the party vote in relation to prisoners human right to vote. It lost the party the high moral ground. The party needs to regain this. It's a home truth that prisoners are more vulnerable as a group in society than pensioners.

Nick Clegg reminds me of George W Bush answering Matt Frei with a shake of the head whilst saying yes he holds the high moral ground. The LibDems have to be the honest party. They have to do and believe in what is right and explain why it is the right course to follow, and not follow Labour and the Tory Parties down the wrong path just because they believe it may be more popular. It isn't, because the public are being fooled and lied to and one day they will find out. If you leave them nowhere to turn when its payback time the LibDems will lose out. The party needs to put Nick Clegg back on the right track.

Duncan said...

I'll be honest in saying I cannot see how one could honestly think he should step down from his position. The reasons are two fold:

1) David is an INCREDIBLE asset to the parliamentary party. I doubt anyone that has met him could doubt this.

2) The issue upon which David is diverging from the official party line upon is one entirely in keeping with liberal, democratic principles: namely he thinks there should be a referendum on an important issue affecting the country. That seems entirely reasonable, though it may not be politically expedient. The day we start punishing party members for taking a stand on principle we might as well start calling ourselves the New New Labour Party.

Daily Referendum said...


Please ask everyone you doorstep today. And please keep a tally. It may not be the first thing on their minds but they will have an opinion.

Ask them if they believe that the Constitution and the Treaty are the same. Ask them if they think they are being denied the right to vote. Ask them if they believe a manifesto promise has been broken.

You can repeat your silly claims that it's different all you want but the people know the truth. Let's face it, you and people like you want to force the nation to sign up to the Lisbon Treaty against the wishes of the majority of voters.

You think the people are not bothered? Wait until the treaty gets ratified and they realise that they have been denied their democratic right. Wait until headline after headline highlights another power being lost to the EU. Wait for all the stories of stupid regulation coming out of the EU that we must obey.

You may think that getting the Treaty ratified against the peoples wishes will be the end of this, but it will just be the beginning.

Tim said...

Heath has always been a euroseceptic, and has always stated that the public should have a voice on increasing EU powers, whether they are good or bad. Now that he stands as an independent voice, representing the views of his constituency, on just one issue, apparently he should quit.

He would be a huge loss to the front bench, and outside of this he is very very loyal.

Anonymous said...

Mmm Daily referendum. Is there any possibility you are in the 'Yes' Camp. As for claim I am silly I will reply with one of my daughters favourite words - 'whatever'.

Antony Hook said...

Jail House Lawyer,

"hypocriteandliar" is how your name come up on the comment, you realise it was no doing of mine I hope.

jailhouselawyer said...

Anthony Hook: Yes, no blame attached to you for that. However, you did attempt to answer my points raised in relation to Nick Clegg's cold feet in relation to the prisoners human right to vote, and I feel that you failed miserably. Nice try with the diversionary tactic. Do you feel up to having another stab at it? The reason I ask is recently, a student was asked to write an essay on this question: "“As far as the franchise for convicted prisoners in the UK is concerned, if it were not for the courts, there would be no rights protection at all”. Critically discuss". Bright girl, she had the right idea and emailed me to ask for my views on the case I took to the ECtHR. If a student thought of this, why has nobody within the LibDems thought of asking me? Given that information is power, don't you think that it is remiss of the LibDems not to simply just stare at the wide mouth of the river without investigating the source?