Friday, 23 May 2014

Follower of Burke or Just a Silly Berk? The Arrogance of Conor Burns MP

Conor Burns, Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, has written an amazingly arrogant letter to one of his constituents, telling him that it is not an MP's duty to represent his voters. Yes, that is what he says. That it's NOT an MP's job to represent the electors. In the opinion of Mr Burns, an MP is there to follow his own superior judgment, and the views of the people who voted for him can go hang.
What then is the point of voting for him?

Contact Conor Burns MP
Get in Touch with Conor!
 What is curious is that on his website, Mr Burns says,

 "Conor Burns is the ConservativeMember of Parliament for Bournemouth West, Branksome East and Alderney. He lives in Westbourne in Bournemouth West. He has pledged to be a community-focused MP who works as a voice in Westminster for his constituents, putting them before anything else."

He hypocritically invites you to "Get in Touch with Conor!" and shows a photo of himself on the telephone with his sleeves rolled up in a business-like way. He purports to be seeking the opinions of his constituents on every subject. You are invited to write to him and tell him what you think about the Navitus Bay Wind Farm proposals. Doubtless when you have told him, he will disregard your input because he is not there just to represent you. He is there to impose his superior judgment. 
Mr Burns' letter reveals an egregious vanity. He cannot resist boasting about "my friend Mrs Thatcher" - whom in fact he hardly knew, as he was only elected to the House of Commons in 2010, by which time she was retired even from the House of Lords, and was in her declining years. The letter is doubly absurd because in ignoring his voters' wishes he claims to be acting in an "unbiassed" fashion. Yet the issue on which he was refusing to follow his constituents' expressed preference was same-sex marriage, and Mr Burns is a homosexual who is notorious for lobbying for special rights for homosexuals. He has used his influence to get the Home Office to allow immigrants into this country simply on the grounds of their sexual orientation. "Unbiassed" is the last thing anyone could call him.
His letter, dated 30th March 2013, admits that there was little pressure coming from most homosexuals in England for removing the distinction between marriage and a civil partnership. He says it was not a priority for "the gay community", that all-important 1.5% of the population, and they were not "clamouring" for it. He also admits that he had received many letters from his constituents in Bournemouth West opposing the idea and urging him to vote against it. Yet he felt no obligation to represent those voters.
Mr Burns represented only himself. Regarding the letters from his constituents, he has no more sophisticated method of argument than to dismiss their views in the predictable gay way as "hatred and bigotry".
To justify his high-and-mighty attitude, Mr Burns quotes from the 18th-century writer Edmund Burke, whom doubtless he read as a set text when he was studying Politics at Southampton University. This speech of Burke is available in the convenient Penguin pocket volume The Portable Edmund Burke, so quoting it does not indicate very profound learning on Mr Burns' part.

Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

But there are many other things that Edmund Burke said that Mr Burns seems to have overlooked. For instance, "The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse." That sounds like a good description of the kind of government we now have, that passes laws without any proper mandate from the electorate. "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Plenty of contemporary application there.
And here is Burke giving what could be a remarkably perceptive description of the "gay community":-

But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice and madness, without tuition or restraint.

And finally, The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I suggest that the good men and women of Bournemouth West get together next year and vote for another MP in the place of Mr Burns, one who does see it as their job to represent the voters and who has read more of Burke than you can find in a pocket digest.

1 comment:

  1. When I first arrived in Bournemouth and wanted to meet Conor Burns in his surgery, he made it clear that he only wanted to talk about local concerns, such as doggy bins and bus shelters, issues for which I can go to my town hall, without bothering him. As a concession and only for this one occasion would he allow me to talk about national issues such as the subversive activities of Stonewall and Sir Ian Gandalf McKellen coming to schools in Bournemouth.

    |One such member of this new super race , the gaystapo, is Peter Tatchell who said at London World Pride,“There are no borders or boundaries when it comes to Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender human rights. No nationality, no culture, no belief system can stand in the way of the historic quest for LGBT freedom.”

    Freedom to do what? To override the rights of the rest of the British people.

    We wrote to Conor Burns with regard to same sex marriage and this was his answer:

    “ Although as I write this is not the issue that has attracted the highest amount of emails and letters (forests and Bovine TB control generated more contact from constituents), a large number of local people have been in touch to ask why I voted the way I did.”

    He equates our concerns with the culling of badgers and the removal of pine trees.

    As for the James Burke quotation, he completely turns it on its head. When Burke says of an MP,” It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures , his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interests to his own,” Conor Burns is precisely placing his own narcissism above that of the rest of society.

    Further when Burke says “.... his unbiased opinion, his mature judgement, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, or to any set of men living,” he is also saying that he must not sacrifice his duty and responsibility to the greater good rather than to that of a loud and vociferous minority, like the Gaystapo.

    Burke famously said,

    Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.

    He also said, “ It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare ; ”

    “ Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.”

    “Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.”

    Same sex marriage legislation is bad if no other reason than that is can only be enforced through intimidation, threatenings, police harassment, fines, loss of jobs, loss of businesses, jail, prison and even violence.

    Let Conor Burns and his bum chums in Parliament take note of another quote made by Edmund Burke:
    People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous.