Letter from Parliament – Jim Dobbin MP

Date published: 21 July 2014

The assisted dying bill was debated in the House of Lords last Friday. There was no vote and it was given a second reading and will now be debated in committee.

Personally, I shall vote against this dangerous Bill if and when it comes to the House of Commons.

Once you open the door on assisted dying, where will it end?

Faulkner, the former Labour Lord Chancellor has softened his use of language and words. He has gone from ‘euthanasia’ through ‘assisted suicide’ to ‘assisted dying’- very clever but the threat and the action remain the same.

In Belgium, it includes children.

In Holland, they have mobile units travelling from place to place.

Surely we should be focusing on developing exceptional palliative care and support for individuals and families.

Baroness Sheila Hollins, immediate past President of the British Medical Association and former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has written extensively against assisted dying and is worth reading in forming any opinion on this most serious of matters.

The Government is increasingly pushing ideas to undermine the Trade Union Movement: they may succeed in the short term, but mark my words, working people will push for representation through co-operation with one another and unions will re-emerge stronger than ever. Their negotiating powers and campaigning skills will be in more demand than ever.

The Government’s policy of using austerity as a weapon and profit as a target will clearly identify them with the rich and wealthy and lead to the stigmatising of the middle classes and those who live in poverty.

The recent reshuffle by the Government was marked by a strong move to the right and an increase in the anti-Europe stance in the Tory party. Both will signal greater attacks on poor families and damage business opportunities throughout Europe.

It is clear now that public service workers are struggling to provide efficient services because of staff and services cuts. It is a worrying situation and I hope that we can show support to those who work so hard, for our benefit, in the public sector.

I hope that the debate about the performance of the railways and the utility companies will lead to a Labour Government demonstrating committment to re-nationalising both. These basic services need to be rescued from the grip of a small group of people who are profiteering at the expense of the majority. I hope that Labour will put in place good regulation of every day services.

I was pleased to be able to attend the Darnhill Festival and commend Rick Walker and Cartwheel Arts for their support in organising the event. It was a great day for the people of Darnhill.

I also opened the summer fair by the parish of St. James’s Church in Ashworth. The community has strong links to the Edgerton Family and the history goes back to the time of Henry VIII.

The same day, I saw a fantastic attendance at the annual Bamford Chapel Garden Party. It was a weekend of celebrations across the constituency. Well done to everyone involved.

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