Baxter vs Moore - Costing you money in Parliament

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 6 March 2005

The London Development Agency has been running a competition to name a new bridge at Wembley Stadium, and like all good online votes it has attracted people trying to hijack it. First up it was a campaign by Scottish fans to get it named after Jim Baxter, and then according to this Evening Standard article, the Irish and Welsh have joined in with campaigns backing Roy Keane and Scott Gibbs respectively.

The Scottish campaign has allies in Parliament, with SNP member Pete Wishart setting down Early Day Motion 767 about it.

The Jim Baxter Bridge

That this House notes the online vote to name a footbridge at the new Wembley Stadium; believes that there could be no more appropriate and suitable name than the Jim Baxter Bridge in acknowledgement of the genius of 'slim Jim'; remembers when he humbled world champions England in 1967, with his audacious displays of 'keepy-uppy' on the Wembley turf; notes the tartan armies' support for this campaign; and calls upon all football fans, regardless of nationality, to honour this piece of impudent genius.

West Ham's Labout MP and former minister Tony Banks retaliated on behalf of the English with Early Day Motion 786:

The Bobby Moore Bridge

That this House is outraged that Scottish football supporters are attempting to hijack the naming of the footbridge at the New Wembley; demands that the Tartan Army retreat; and acknowledges that the bridge must be named after Bobby Moore, one of England's finest footballers and captain of the victorious 1966 World Cup team.

All good fun banter you might think.

Well, unless you start to consider that it is at the taxpayers expense, after all the printing of Early Day Motions cost nearly half-a-million pounds in 2000/1 according to Parliament's own EDM fact-sheet.

You might also think that the two MPs involved should perhaps be paying more attention to the core business of them being in the house. Pete Wishart has voted in less than half of the votes held in this Parliament (580th out of 658 MPs), and despite being very high profile outside of the house, Tony Banks has only managed to make 14 speeches inside it.

1 Comment

The bridge was, of course, eventually rather randomly named after Billie, the white horse from the 1923 F.A. Cup Final

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