Contribution was well thought-out

Greg Barker seems to have been well thought of during his time as Bexhill and Battle’s constituency MP, you reported his elevation to the peerage recently!

This was, quite properly, followed by scrutiny of his and others expenses on September 18 (Former MP had top expenses bill in Sussex).

Coincidentally, I had just come across a cutting from the Telegraph of June 7, 2013, during the period when expenses were pretty much central to British politics.

The article “How MP’s claim on children’s travel costs” discussed a number of MP’s individual circumstances. It caught my attention that two of them were shown in small black-and-white photographs whereas Mr Barker appeared in colour, seated in full hunting costume and as the subject of an impressive oil painting!

I’ve always felt that the hunt conveys a clear social message about entitlement to govern things – especially in the south.

The recent contribution of his successor, Huw Merriman, to the debate in the House of Commons on assisted dying as described by himself and Lynn Jenkins in the Observer was both commendable and well thought out. Although MPs are allowed a ‘free’ vote on such important matters it seems, to me, both disingenuous and undemocratic for individuals to rely entirely on ‘matters of conscience’ when it is clear that an overwhelming majority of the electorate are in favour of changing the law to accommodate both a merciful approach to the distress of others and the removal of terrible anxieties arising from a fear of incapacity and helplessness in the future. I’m neither a Tory voter or a practising Christian – not that the two things are necessarily linked – but I can’t see that Jesus would opt for the status quo in the face of ongoing suffering.

Dave Walsh

Rotherfield Avenue


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