Straight from the heart with Ian Lucas: Newsflash - MP keeps promise!

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It comes to something when an MP doing what he said he would makes front page news! But that’s exactly what happened on Friday in the Herald, when the main headline was ‘MP keeps promise!’

The very least I expect of my MP is for him/her to keep their promises! That can’t be too much to expect, can it?

Of course this is all about the vote on tuition fees, where the libdems have come a cropper to say the least. Their party leadership were split three ways, with their leader voting ‘for’, the deputy leader ‘abstaining’, and the party president voting ‘against’! Bizarre!

By the by… I predict here that the party president, who is a man representing Cumbria called Tim Farron, a nice guy on the left of the Party, will be the next leader of the Libdem party. The interesting issue is whether his elevation will come before the next general election or after!

But anyway back to the story. The day before the general election in May, Nick Clegg was on Eastbourne seafront as the hero of the nation, with rank and file libdems sporting ‘I agree with Nick’ T-shirts, and the saintly aura of ‘new honest politics’ swirling around him.

But six months is a long time in politics.

Nick Clegg, along with Stephen Lloyd, Norman Baker and all the others made a pledge not to vote for an increase in tuition fees. Clegg and Baker have broken that pledge. So what is a promise, and what is a pledge?

The Oxford English Dictionary says a pledge is a ‘solemn promise or undertaking’, whereas a promise is an ‘assurance’ of a certain action. Is there a difference there?

Not only that, in politics as in life you should honour your word. In other words – what did you actually mean when you said what you said?

We all know that an entire manifesto can’t be instigated when the party that fought a campaign on it didn’t get elected. If a coalition government is formed, and a subsequent ‘coalition document’ drawn up, there will have to be compromises.

However, there are lines in the sand. There are some things that can’t be compromised on – and when a ‘pledge’ is given, it should be honoured.

PREACHER OF HATE?

Exactly what grounds can the Home Secretary use to ban the US preacher Terry Jones from coming to the UK? Unpleasant though he may be, like the BNP we should let him have his say, and then ignore him. Banning will only make a martyr of him.

Have a great week friends!