Virendra Sharma MP rises in estimation


by Sunny
29th January, 2009 at 3:02 am    

My opinion of Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma has risen after finding he’s resigned from the government after opposing a vote on the Third Runway. He said yesterday:

I profoundly regret the need to resign, but I had no option. The Government’s decision to expand Heathrow will seriously affect many of my constituents, and my first priority is to represent them.

Good man. At least he stuck by his principles, unlike Keith Vaz – who opposed the government on 42 days until changing his mind at the last minute.


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Filed in: Current affairs,Environmentalism






15 Comments below   |  

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  1. Tom — on 29th January, 2009 at 9:22 am  

    Andrew Slaughter up the road in Acton did much the same thing. It’s partly local electoral calculus, but what’s wrong with that if it scares politicians into representing their constituents?

    My MP Ann Keen and her husband Paul, who between them represent the whole of Hounslow, both voted in favour.

  2. Letters From A Tory — on 29th January, 2009 at 9:34 am  

    There are several Labour MPs who know that their seats are already in jeopardy given the predicted national swing at the next general election, and the Heathrow debacle will only make it worse for them.

    I agree with Tom that this is a politically driven decision, but the MPs didn’t really have a choice in any case.

  3. Mangles — on 29th January, 2009 at 9:47 am  

    Whatever his reasons for resigning from the Government, one thing I have no doubt about is that he never wrote those words himself. lol

    Rab rakha!

  4. persephone — on 29th January, 2009 at 10:14 am  

    its a shame that he did not stay in post to be part of the movement opposing the 3rd runway plannng application – other labour MP’s in the area are supporting & exhorting local residents in a variety of ways

  5. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 10:34 am  

    Peresphone:

    As a member of the government, he is required to back all their policies in public or resign. And he did. Unlike, as Tom says, the Keens. Alan will probably keep his seat due to the Labour block voting in his area, but Ann’s is more shaky.

  6. persephone — on 29th January, 2009 at 10:51 am  

    Rumbold @5

    This is the type of thing I mean see the below link:

    http://www.hillingdontimes.co.uk/no_to_heathrow/news/4050065.John_McDonnell_thrown_out_of_commons/

    Since being thrown out of the commons John Mcdonnell has done other concrete things to take on board the concerns of his constituency.

    My viewpoint is that resigning is easy. Resisting & challenging the status quo while still in a position of power is a stronger position to evoke change

  7. Sanj — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:18 am  

    From past reading of local papers Mr Sharma has always been against the Heathrow expansion and only a couple of weeks ago his article in the Southall Gazzete showed this. So to say he has done it for keeping his seat in the next election is a bit premature when Mr Sharma has always been against the expansion. How can an MP be in a Ministerial position and then vote against the Government.

  8. MaidMarian — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:32 am  

    Tom (1) – ‘It’s partly local electoral calculus, but what’s wrong with that if it scares politicians into representing their constituents?’

    What’s wrong is that it is a terrible hostage to fortune.

    Leaving aside for one moment, that your thinking effectively allows the ‘side’ (for want of a better word) with the best media operation a permanent upper-hand you are assuming that what scares politicians is what you agree with.

    What if local electoral calculus said that there was mileage in never allowing planning permission for wind farms? What if local elcetoral calculus was in favour of 420 day detention?

    I would dearly love a politician to stand up and say, ‘you know what – yes I know XYZ cause is unpopular but I support it for ABC reason. If you don’t like it and it means that much to you, vote for the other guy.’

    It’s thinking about short term electoral calculus that does not allow the really tough issues that the public need to face to be debated properly. Try getting a debate about the need to raise the retirement age through local electoral calculus.

    I see where you are coming from Tom, and I do not question your motives, but populism is not always healthy or good.

  9. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 11:41 am  

    Persephone:

    So he would have had to have voted for a third runway then? Otherwise he would have been sacked.

  10. persephone — on 29th January, 2009 at 12:11 pm  

    Rumbold,

    If he did something to make a stand whether by making speeches or yes doing stuff that would get him suspended. He has not made any real stand.

    His activity has been very low (apart from overseas trips..)- he does not take part in things he is paid to do.

    He faced suspension last year because he had not attended a council meeting in 6 months. His level of speeches in Parliament is very low & I believe he has not voted against the party on any issues. His web profile says he holds 2 half day clinics a month though…

    His profile in Ealing Times anyhow has been very low – nothing since early Nov 08 & that was relating to his promotion to a ministerial post. There were more expectations of him considering many in his constituency work around Heathrow & residents are concerned that a 3rd runway will result in job losses because of mechanisation introduced in the 5th terminal.

    Local constituents seem not to be happy going by the comments below the articles in the two links below:

    http://www.ealingtimes.co.uk/search/2168744.Sharma_to_attend_council_meeting/

    http://www.ealingtimes.co.uk/search/2152293.Sharma_says_accusations_are__childish_/

  11. Rumbold — on 29th January, 2009 at 1:13 pm  

    Suspended? You mean from the House or the party? If it is the former, then I am not a big fan on those sort of stunts, even if I agree with the cause.

  12. persephone — on 29th January, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

    Rumbold,

    Sorry for the delayed response but I got enticed into reading the mutiny from the goodship PP Bounty thread (aka They really care for us etc thread)

    Any(consistent)action on VS’s part would be welcome.
    One resident posted the following comment about VS:

    “And worst of all, you have scurried round Ealing Southall campaigning against post office closures whilst voting for those same post office closures in parliament the next week!”

    And when the votes for the climate bill were in motion he voted upon one (but did little to do anything more at a local level) and did not vote (as opposed to abstaining)on 4 more climate aspects – the latter at a time when I believe he said he could not attend council meets due to parliamentary meets…

  13. Sunny — on 29th January, 2009 at 3:32 pm  

    My MP Ann Keen and her husband Paul, who between them represent the whole of Hounslow, both voted in favour.

    Grrrrr….

  14. ac256 — on 30th January, 2009 at 1:01 am  

    lol anyone seen the Heathrow rap vid on Plane Stupid?

  15. Liz H — on 17th March, 2009 at 11:13 am  

    It’s good that Virendra Sharma resigned in order to represent his constituents on the Heathrow issue, but what is he actually going to do to represent them on this or indeed any other issue?

    It’s all gone awfully quiet on the Sharma front since his resignation.

    Given that Sharma is hardly a man of action at the best of times, I’m concerned that his representation won’t involve any action on his part whatsoever.

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