Christine Russell's voting record is appalling, she pretty much has no positive aspect to her voting record at all.
She is perfectly at ease supporting the creeping privatisation of essential public services. She voted for Foundation Hospitals on 19/11/03 and Tuition Fees on 27/01/04.
Christine Russell voted to support the illegal invasion of Iraq on 26/02/03 and 18/03/03.
With regard to civil liberties she voted for 'Anti-Terrorism' legislation giving the government the right to detain foreigners without trial on 21/11/01. She voted for ID Cards on 20/12/04 and in favour of 'Control Orders' on 28/02/05.
She even voted against an all elected House of Lords and for a wholly appointed one on 04/02/03. Her only positive vote was for the ban on hunting with dogs on 30/06/03 but this is little consolation.
As a supposedly 'Labour' MP Christine Russell has simply not voted progressively. Chester might as well be run by one of Blair's unelected Thatcherite spin doctors, she couldn't be more Blairite if she tried. Christine Russell has followed the New Labour Whip 99.9% of the time, the word sycophant springs to mind. What can I say, it seems we have no elected representation in Chester.
Parliamentary Questions & Debate:
In addition to following the New Labour Whip without fail, looking at Christine Russell's Parliamentary questions it would seem she has done so unquestioningly. She has asked nothing in relation to any of the major issues of the day and attempted to hold nobody to account for the decisions made. Whether it be Iraq, Civil Liberties, the Privatisation of Public Services or the scandals within this Government, Christine Russell has nothing to say and simply does as she is told.
The only positive contribution she has made is in relation to Poor Countries and Debt Relief. She has at least partaken in some debate with regard to this, although she does seem to be Gordon Brown's place person and much of the rest is simply lavishing praise upon the Government:
To the Chancellor, "If he will make a statement on the progress towards multilateral debt cancellation for poor countries...May I thank my right hon. Friend for that encouraging reply...I have hundreds of constituents that very much welcome and acknowledge the commitment to debt relief that our Government have shown...when it (Britain) assumes the presidency of the G8 and the EU next year, will he encourage our colleagues to follow his lead and commit to debt relief" (16/12/2004)
To the Chancellor, "If he will press G7 Finance Ministers, at their meeting in February, to take further action on debt relief...Today, many of my constituents have traveled down from Chester to attend the 'Make Poverty History' rally to be addressed by Nelson Mandela. He is on record calling for the world's richer countries to make a bigger contribution to helping the poorer ones achieve their millennium goals. What more does my right hon Friend think that Britain can do to galvanize global action to eradicate poverty and debt throughout the world" (03/02/2005)
Although Christine Russell is not trying to hold the Government accountable in any way here, it is something positive and progressive to be involved and interested in, she is making a small contribution and I would say it is representative of her electorate. But it really does seem to be the only positive contribution she has made.
Early Day Motions Signed:
Surprisingly Christine Russell has actually signed a couple of good Early Day Motions which would reflect the views of her electorate.
For example (although once again it is very pro the Government):
EDM 272 Wind Energy - That this House congratulates the Government on the introduction of the Renewables Obligation and the setting of a target to generate 20% of the nations electricity from renewable sources by 2020
However, here are a couple of very good EDMs signed which wouldn't have had the blessing of her New Labour bosses:
EDM 308 ICJ's Ruling on Israel's Separation Barrier - That this House welcomes the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on Israel's separation barrier; notes that its conclusion that the barrier is illegal and that Israel has a legal obligation to dismantle the barrier where it is built on occupied land; welcomes the UN General Assembly resolution that demands Israel comply and calls upon the British Government to urge Israel to dismantle the barrier where built on occupied land and to ensure Israel's full compliance with the Geneva Convention in respect of the occupied territories.
EDM 243 Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails - That this House is alarmed that since 1967 more than 600,000 Palestinians, including women and children, are believed to have been detained by Israeli military and security forces, with 7,000 currently being held in custody; notes that numerous human rights organisations continue to report inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees as well as the use of torture; calls upon the UK Government to take every measure possible to ensure that Israel complies with it's international legal obligations, particularly the Geneva Convention.
However, there are many progressive Early Day Motions which Christine Russell did not sign, use the EDM link above to explore as there are too many to mention. Credit where it is due though for signing these last two. Although it is a little hypocritical to criticise other countries regarding International Law when she supports her own Government in disregarding it.
To conclude, looking at the facts, i.e. Christine Russell's voting record, parliamentary questions and EDMs signed. I have no doubt that she is a Blairite sycophant whose representation of Chester, in my opinion, is extremely poor. Her unquestioning support for the New Labour Project and every New Labour policy is totally unrepresentative of Chester. Although there are quite a few Tories knocking about we did vote for a Labour MP, could anyone tell the difference? Christine Russell has simply failed to represent Chester and hold the present Government accountable in any way.
If Christine Russell is your MP contact her regarding issues which affect you and your community. Follow the links at; http://powertothepeople.org.uk/content/gov/ChristineRussell-MPReview.htm and explore what she has done in your name. Also follow the link for her contact details with which to demand change as a constiuent.