Joan Ruddock’s War


I’ve been forwarded this letter that Joan Ruddock MP has sent to a selection of Lewisham Central residents.

I read it and gulped, again, the claim that Joan Ruddock voted “against” the war, only in a much clearer and unequivocal phrasing.

“I have always acted with integrity and stuck to my principles – voting against the government going to war in Iraq.”

Now, let’s be clear, Joan Ruddock is on record as absent on the crucial occasion of the Government’s motion to authorize the use of force against Iraq. That’s a fact.

(Click here for her record on the vote for the use of force)

She was also absent for every other vote on the main motions about Iraq.

What she did vote for were proposals to amend those motions on Iraq by inserting clauses saying that the case for war was yet unproven, but those attempts were always defeated, and following those failed votes for amendments the main motions went to vote, and on each and every occasion about Iraq she was absent.

(Click here for her voting record on Iraq)

So, I don’t think she’s being straight at all by saying that she voted against the government going to war in Iraq. She didn’t do  a Robin Cook or even a Diane Abbott, at the crucial moment she wasn’t in the room.

Something that voters should know, and that can potentially affect her chances for the forthcoming elections since it’s not just an embarrassing statement but also a great way to remind people of the clear position that Lib Dems took against the Iraq war.

She’s the incumbent with a large majority, but the debate is just starting. Lib Dems were the second party in Lewisham Deptford in 2005 and with the redrawing of the constituency boundary to include Lewisham Central ward (where Lib Dems are the first party) our chances have increased.

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12 Responses to “Joan Ruddock’s War”

  1. Chris Says:

    I feel let down by this. This is a used car salesman response, Iraq must be an issue for Labour if they feel they need to address this.
    How can we trust what Labour politicians are saying on any issue if they feel they can play fast and loose with the truth?
    I need a candidate I feel I can trust.

  2. Sue Says:

    I am almost lost for words – the sheer audacity of it!

  3. Max Says:

    It is incredible indeed that she decided to send this to quite a lot of people. She must have known that some of them knew her true record.
    I already wrote how Labour canvassers are saying it on the doorstep, but to put it in writing, in such unequivocal formula, it’s just incredible.

  4. Sue Says:

    It sounds like a smoke screen to divert attention from her support for the Afghan war, which she most certainly did vote in favour of, in the hope, I believe, of an improvement in the situation of women in Afghanistan – something most of them are still waiting to see.

  5. Max Says:

    I don’t think so, not after what I experienced canvassing today and spoke with a woman that told me that she was inclined to vote for her because (drum-roll):

    “Joan Ruddock voted against the war in Iraq”

    I asked her if she had that from the letter and she confirmed.
    When I explained her that the letter was stating a false fact and her record was a different one the reaction was very interesting.

    At first she almost didn’t registered what I said, had a bit of a double take, then she questioned a bit if what I had said was true, then in quick succession she tried to explain herself why she wrote that, a bit looking for ways to excuse her that maybe she wrote something but meant something else, then I explained it more clearly and only at that point she fully registered that she had been duped and said she’d check on this blog and have a good think.

    Anyway, it was a complex reaction, a “personal” one, not about politics, it was about the “principled person” and it was clear that after reading the letter she had committed at an emotional level.
    People like the idea of the “principled MP” that takes a stand on points of principle against her own government, that’s something they go out and vote for, and that’s why I think she wrote it, in fact that’s what she says in the letter, vote for me because I vote on principles.

    We really must make people aware.

  6. Thomas Says:

    Just a quick google shows that Joan Ruddock did not vote for the war. How can you say someone that is described as an ‘anti-war’ rebel was for the war. Do not get me wrong I am no Labour supporter but you are just peddling lies; either that or you couldn’t be bothered to even research this important issue. So you are either ignorant, deliberately lying or just plain lazy.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2862397.stm

    ( I enclose the link as you clearly cannot be bothered to do the simplest of internet searches)

  7. Max Says:

    Respectfully, I think that it’s your “simplest of internet searches” that is not a good enough research. If the BBC wants to include Joan Ruddock among the rebels then it’s their choice. I think that it’s the BBC lazy, not me.
    Her full parliamentary record is what I linked to in my post.

    She said of herself:

    “I have always acted with integrity and stuck to my principles – voting against the government going to war in Iraq.”

    And this means that she voted “against” the war, when in fact she never did such a thing.
    The following are the links to her parliamentary records for each of the occasions when she had a chance to vote against the war, including the crucial motion on the use of force, as you can see she was never present in the room and never cast a vote against government as she says to the public in her letter.

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2002-09-24&number=319&mpn=Joan_Ruddock&mpc=Lewisham%2C_Deptford&house=commons

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2002-11-25&number=6&mpn=Joan_Ruddock&mpc=Lewisham%2C_Deptford&house=commons

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-02-26&number=97&mpn=Joan_Ruddock&mpc=Lewisham%2C_Deptford&house=commons

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-03-18&number=118&mpn=Joan_Ruddock&mpc=Lewisham%2C_Deptford&house=commons

    The only votes she cast in Parliament around the Iraq war where not on Government bills, she never voted against Government on the war, she voted in favour of motions to amend two of those bills (including the final one) to include wording stating that the case for war “is yet unproven” but those motion failed and when the main motions went to vote she just didn’t take part to the vote, so her claim of having voted against the war is completely false.

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-02-26&number=96&mpn=Joan_Ruddock&mpc=Lewisham%2C_Deptford&house=commons

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-03-18&number=117&mpn=Joan_Ruddock&mpc=Lewisham%2C_Deptford&house=commons

    Joan Ruddock MP has written a statement about her voting record that is completely untrue, she didn’t have the disposition to go against government in Parliament but now she is saying differently and she must be exposed.

  8. Thomas Says:

    I think I would rather trust the BBC – a news organisation that is respected and trusted around the world – than someone who obviously has an agenda

  9. Max Says:

    Sorry, the BBC page you linked is not at all about the vote for war, it’s about the motion that preceded that vote and that was a proposal trying to amend the text of the motion for the use of force by replacing the part of the text of the motion for war with the words:

    “- believes that the case for war against Iraq has not yet been established, especially given the absence of specific United Nations authorisation; but,
    - in the event that hostilities do commence, pledges its total support for the British forces engaged in the Middle East, expresses its admiration for their courage, skill and devotion to duty, and hopes that their tasks will be swiftly concluded with minimal casualties on all sides.”

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-03-18&number=117&mpn=Joan_Ruddock&mpc=Lewisham%2C_Deptford&house=commons

    Following the defeat of this motion the main motion for the use of force went to discussion and vote, there those that voted against stayed in and voted against, Joan Ruddock left, she did not vote against it.

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-03-18&number=118&mpn=Joan_Ruddock&mpc=Lewisham%2C_Deptford&house=commons

  10. Max Says:

    And since you most trust the BBC this is their page telling you the voting record of MP’s on the vote for the use of force in Iraq:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2863277.stm

    As you can see Joan Ruddock is neither among those that voted in favour nor against.

  11. Joan Ruddock and the Iraq war: an unusual self-description Says:

    [...] local Liberal Democrat blogger Max puts it: So, I don’t think she’s being straight at all by saying that she voted against the [...]

  12. Joan Ruddock and the Iraq war: an unusual self-description | Mark Pack Says:

    [...] and stuck to my principles – voting against the government going to war in Iraq.As local Liberal Democrat blogger Max puts it:So, I don’t think she’s being straight at all by saying that she voted against the [...]

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