back to article Labour MP quits over McKinnon extradition vote

A decision by Labour supporters of Gary McKinnon to back down in a recent parliamentary vote has proven the breaking point for MP Andrew MacKinlay, hastening his decision to retire. MacKinlay, an independent-minded Labour MP who has represented the parliamentary constituency of Thurrock in Essex since 1992, announced last …


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  1. Martin 49

    Cor !

    So politicians are fickle, untrustworthy, self-serving and dishonest.

    I would never have guessed.

    The icon? - I just like penguins.

  2. Jason Bloomberg

    Sinking ship

    Sadly, one less honourable member in the house. Parliament stopped being a house of representation for the electorate a long time ago and has simply become the refuge of sheep, willing to do their master's bidding for a comfy life and a large wad of cash.

    Mine's the one with the book about Guy Fawkes in the pocket.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the sad thing is

    The few decent politicians left are going to leave/quit/be forced out/moved to the lords. Leaving only the soundbite yes men and media lackies. However you get the government you deserve right? I wonder if a single front bencher has the qualifications to run their departments - the nations being run by a bunch of ad men, religious zealots, and fringe lunatics.

  4. Hugh_Pym
    Thumb Up

    An MP's Job

    I thought an MP was voted in to represent the views of the constituency in the House of Commons. How can any MP not feel shamed and if they bow to pressure and vote contrary to their beliefs. I think this guy has proved himself to be one of the few people worthy to be an MP.

  5. BossHog


    Now we have even fewer principled politicians!

  6. Anonymous Coward


    This isn't a treaty, it is just blind obedience to the great US of A. If it was a treaty then congress would have ratified _THEIR_ half of the contract.

    Until they do the treaty should be suspended.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Not quitting

    He's not quitting, he is just not standing at the next election, which means he gets the £42,000 resettlement grant.

    If he had real integrity, he would resign today.

  8. GeorgeTuk

    Is he retiring before his pension collection date?

    Is retiring before the next general election is called and making a real point by going without a pension? Or is he just going to go quietly about picking up his expenses?

    Also not sure how he can diagree with parliament to resign when we vote (well not me, not my MP) to put him there to represent us.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Craig 12


    Why is this mentioned alongside this case *every* time? I've had a quick google about it, and couldn't find anywhere that said this caused people to not understand the difference between right and wrong. Problems with social interaction... doesn't every nerd have that? It doesn't mean you can get off the hook from hacking over 9000 servers.

  11. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Asperger's

    Well, if you've had a quick google about it then I think we can all agree you have acquired a respectable body of knowledge about the condition in all its complexity and are more than qualified to hold the opinion that it's no excuse. Why, if it were, surely they'd all be doing it, a la Peter Griffin with his diagnosis of retardation:

    *kicks down toilet door*


    "Can't help it, retarded."

    "Oh, you poor thing, that's OK."

    *kicks down second toilet door*


    "Don't know any better."

    "Ah, bless your heart."

  12. Steve Evans

    Party politics...

    With the way the sheep follow the whip, we might as well just have 3 MPs and reduce the expenses and paperwork.

  13. blackworx
    Thumb Up

    @Hugh Pym

    "I think this guy has proved himself to be one of the few people worthy to be an MP."

    Catch 22. Reminds me of the Billy Connolly quip:

    "I think, roughly, the desire to be a politician, should ban you for life from ever being one. "


    Two Points We Should All Know By Now

    One - the figures for the alleged damage done in cases like this are lies. The alleged victims neglect their security and when someone inevitably walks into their system, they calculate a sum based on how much they should have spent to secure their network properly in the first place (ie. not be negligent) and falsely claim that the trespasser caused this much in damages. So one of the principle charges against McKinnon is fake and should hold no weight.

    And two - the treaty HAS been ratified. It has been ratified as intended. That intention was, however, to hold the USA to a much lower standard of proof for getting hold of UK citizens than the UK has to provide for getting hold of US peeps. As such, confusion is understandable and it is still as fundementally unbalanced and unjust as if the treaty had not been ratified.

    The UK government sold out its citizens to curry favour with the US government and in a sane (and properly democratic) world, this would be the very definition of treason.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    @AC - 13:08

    Do keep up - the USA ratified their side in 2006! And you can thank Baroness Scotland.

  16. EdwardP


    He isn't fucking quitting though is he? This wasn't an incensed walkout, it was a shoddy attempt at making his run-of-the-mill retirement hit the front pages. Is he giving up his resettlement bonus of nigh on 50 grand? Fuck no he isn't, man's gotta eat...

    This whole affair illustrates the complete betrayal of the parliamentary pricipal that has taken hold of this system. I don't give a flying fuck about Gary McKinnon (although he should be tried here), he's a bloody idiot who broke the law and can't face the consequences, that we know. But the idea that 74 "honerable" members could change their "opinions" on such a fundemental issue shows that at best we're ruled by mindless automatons, or at worst scheming, crooked individuals whose personal beliefs (or those of their constituency) don't even begin affect their decision making.

    I would hope for mindless automatons, but their masterfully adept manipulation of the expenses and tax system, coupled with the fact that no other parliament in living memory has sat for this little time, seems to suggest they're nothing more than a bunch corrupt, workshy charlatans who lack even the basic moral fibre required to put the country they represent before a country who refuses point blank to ratify the very treaty under discussion.

    The implication is that one US citizen, is worth more than one UK citizen. With this decision, our rulers have now made it policy. Policy, that because of their previous cowardly behaviour, is backed up with the highest level judicial precedent.

    We threw one of our men to the wolves. A blood sacrifice in the name of our special (read: non reciprocal) arrangement.

    A bunch of spineless, self righteous, lying scumbags. The fucking lot of them. To. a. man.

    And don't get me started on Tony fucking Blair's thoroughly demeaning appearance on the Catherine Tate show (wank). Is there where we are now? Ex-Prime Ministers trotting out painfully overused catch phrases on formulaic BBC3 comedies? Is this how you're going to restore confidence in our obviously broken political system?

    And somebody had the nerve to mention morality. Fucking hell.

  17. Sir Sham Cad

    Re: Asperger's

    Jesus Christ on a space hopper! Why is this mentioned *every* time? Because it's relevant.

    Your quick google must have been bloody quick as even a cursory glance at a source as, erm, incomplete (haven't got the asbestos suit - must choose words carefully) as Wackypedia will let you know why this is very relevant to this case. Hint: it's the bit about obsessive, repetitive behaviour.

    While you're there, take a look at "Mens rea" as well.

  18. Jay Castle
    Paris Hilton

    Paris says...

    ..."I'm, like, SO bored of this McKinnock guy and his aparagus syndrome. Can't we, like, change the channel or something? Oh my God, he's just a hacker geek, anyway, yeah?"

  19. Paris Hilton
    Paris Hilton

    I say....

    I'm, like, SO bored of this McKinnock guy and his aparagus syndrome. Can't we, like, change the channel or something? Oh my God, he's just a hacker geek, anyway, yeah?

  20. David 105

    @Sarah Bee

    Quoting Family Guy to make a point... I think I love you

  21. Maty

    You get what you vote for

    The rot set in when being a MP became a profession. Previously, MPs were people who had at least tried life in the real world, and knew something about it. Many modern MPs make their way up within the party machinery and have never held anything like a real job.

    This leaves them both contemptuous of the electorate and terrified of losing the only job they know. (And which, generally speaking, they richly deserve to lose.) The result, as this vote shows, is bad for democracy, and bad for the people of Britain.

    Next election, forget party tribal loyalty - vote the hacks out and get some real representatives in.

  22. Andy Bright
    Black Helicopters

    re:You get what you vote for

    The other thing to remember is people are always frightened of voting in new MPs because they think they'll do something incompetent like blow us up with our own nukes or delete the stock market.

    But all MPs really do is what they're told by their corporate sponsors. Need a law to put people in prison for not paying credit cards? I have an MP for that. Need a law to create a useless ID card so your corporate can cash in by the billion making them? I have an MP for that too. Need a generous contract to build a half-arsed database filled with personal medical information and guaranteed to be mailed to a random member of the public, well guess what? Yep I have an MP for that. Whatever you need, for the right price I can get my team of MPs to create whatever law or government contract you require.

    And that's all they do. Show me a single bill that isn't either a knee jerk reaction to "won't someone think of the children" or the result of a corporate bribe and you've found the only honest MP in Parliament.

    There is nothing to be afraid of if you vote for someone who has never been an MP except the possibility that they will introduce legislation based on what people want and maybe a few extra bank holidays during the summer.

    Civil servants do the day to day running of the country, all we really need is a court system that is honest enough to strike down legislation that is illegal under our Bill of Rights and it wouldn't matter if infant school children ran Parliament. At least the only dishonest and greedy legislation would involve sweets and school holidays if that were the case, as opposed to ID cards and permission to read all our email if we cross the road when the traffic light guy starts flashing red.

  23. Dave The Cardboard Box

    Let's see

    Gary McKinnon is either guilty or innocent. We won't know which until he is tried. If the court find him guilty they can take his personal circumstances into account. Where's the injustice?

    Yesterday we were told a wonderful, loving granny has been convicted to 8 years by another cruel, undemocratic, justice system - the French. She was smuggling drugs and freely admitted it.

    These aren't stories about justice, just small-minded British prejudice.

  24. Martin 6 Silver badge

    @You get what you vote for

    Bit confused about what these MPs are for?

    You vote for the president you want (Blue torch vs Red rose), whoever wins gets to make all the rules, if he resigns the vice-president for that side gets the job.

    Why do you need to pay 650 people to just sit on benches to remind you of the score?

    Couldn't you simply have a post-it note on the doors of Westminster saying red team=349, blue team=196 at a great saving in expenses.

    I commend my idea to the house !

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    For brevity ...

    1 - I am sure that the US legal system will factor in any and all health issues (probably more fairly that UK legal system might)

    2 - the US legal system might be more influenced by dosh and spondoolies but is likely to be less influenced by who one knows , family and 'old boy' networking

    3 - difficulties of the challenge tend to enthuse rather than despond.

    Where's the mountain?

    There's the mountain!

    Let's go!


    Obut yehbut nobut I'm tired!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Asperger's syndrome is a fuzzy spot on the line of the autistic spectrum. Autism can be severe, less severe. mild, anything in between. Asperger's is a name given to the less severe end of the range, but itself comprises a range of severity of symptoms. It is possible that Newton was a sufferer, although "sufferer" may not really be an appropriate word, as a degree of autism often confers mental gifts as well as limiting social function. The label by itself does not accurately define anyone's mental state or mental age or competence.

    I didn't google it. I have a grandson with this condition.

  27. zedenne

    @Andy Bright

    "delete the stock market"

    just conjured the wonderful image of an incompetent MP finding a big red delete button in the basement of the LSE marked DELETE. of course they would ignore the "Are you sure?" dialog.

    Made me smile.

  28. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Who were they ?

    So who were these MPs who were so taken with the arguments of their party that they changed their views ?

  29. Nordrick Framelhammer
    Thumb Down

    Typical leech

    Typical political leech. He claims that he is disillusioned and exhausted. If this was the case,m and he was standing by his principles (as hard as it is to believe have any left after they get elected) he would stand up and say "I quit with immediate effect" and force a byelection.

    However, like every other leech he continues to bleed the public for every single ounce of blood that he can before withdrawing his fangs.

    Therefore he is nothing special, just another turd floating in a very large, festering, putrid pool of crap.

  30. PPPie

    Land of Assburgers syndrome

    Wow, everyone has some type of syndrome in the UK these days, why don't you question why?

    Stop injecting your children with mercury might be a start. Roll up Roll up, get your mercury injections here. More people have a syndrome in the UK than swine flu....

  31. Anonymous Coward

    @ Sir Sham Cad

    Sir, I would NEVER look for mens rears on the internet!

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