Criticism of MP seems like partisan petulance
COLIN Clark's suggestion that Chris Williamson's call for worldwide abolition of capital punishment "is not what we pay him for" (Opinions, December 24) is politically naive.
So is his accusation that Mr Williamson was implicated in Labour's original awarding of the Thameslink contract to Siemens because he was an MP at the time, and that his efforts to retrieve the situation by securing "minor contracts" for Bombardier employees is "nothing to be proud of".
The former issue is a perfectly valid object for British foreign policy in the pursuit of greater worldwide stability and social justice. While representing constituencies, MPs always embrace wider concerns which sometimes predominate over local issues, especially if they become ministers with specific responsibilities.
The government is fully entitled to ally itself with like-minded democracies in advocating that the death penalty is an outmoded and anti-humanistic measure which should have no place in any modern state, especially when perpetrated capriciously, say, against homosexuality or adultery.
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Even the "democratic" USA might come to realise that its toleration of states retaining execution of murderers after suffering a decade on death row, or tolerating firearms for individuals' "personal protection" is now inconsistent with its democratic claims.
Concerning the latter accusation, the awarding of the Thameslink contract was by the present government in June 2011, while claiming its "hands were tied" because its procurement terms had been set by the previous Labour one.
As the same civil servants advised both governments, the idea it was entirely Labour's fault must remain contentious, especially when, according to John Bull in the London Reconnections journal, the original terms were compiled at a time when Canadian-owned Bombardier was questioning its commitment to the UK rolling stock market.
As for Mr Clark's dismissive rubbishing of Mr Williamson's support for "irrelevant issues" like animal welfare and abolishing capital punishment, and accusing him of neglecting his constituency duties, despite his campaigning for a Thameslink contract rethink and trying to secure contracts elsewhere for Bombardier's workers, is merely partisan petulance.
The idea he is neglecting other parliamentary duties doesn't stack up.
As Mr Williamson isn't even Mr Clark's MP under current arrangements, why did he feel the need to write in the first place?