Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mark Oaten - The Story I Missed

Last Tuesday I was told by a friend of Mark Oaten that he would announce this week he'd be standing down at the next election. And what did I do about it? Nothing. Diddly squat. Why? Because (cue embarrassed blush) I forgot about it. That sort of thing starts happening when you get to 44 I've been told! You can imagine my reaction tonight when I heard the news on 5 Live while driving home from Tunbridge Wells Sainsbury's.

So what does it all mean? Well for Mark Oaten it will close the chapter on a political career that appeared to promise much, but in the end delivered little. There's only one thing he'll be remembered for in the footnotes of early twenty first century political history, but let's not go into that here. I suspect that Oaten will try to reinvent himself as a sort of LibDem Michael Portillo and tart himself round the TV studios. He may well succeed in ther short term, but he hasn't got Portillo's charisma or intellect to make a long term career out of it. But whatever he does, let's wish the guy well.

I do wonder if the redrawing of the boundaries of his constituency played a part in his decision. Meon Valley always looked like a Tory gain. Now I'd say it was almost a dead certainty. We need to get a candidate selected their pretty damn quick, because you can bet your house on the LibDems having a Julia Goldsworthy look-a-like selected by the end of September. Are you ready George Hollingbery? Your Party needs you.

PS I seem to have been much kinder than certain LibDem Blogs to Mr Oaten. True colours will always out.

31 comments:

Chris Black said...

Oh, I think the various Lib Dem bloggers are being fair. It's a relief that he's stepping down, and we wish him well for the future.

I remember a comment from Sandra Gidley in January:

One of the exciting things about this parliament is that a Government defeat is much more likely. Tonight we were voting on the Lords amendments to the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill and a combination of opposition MPs and Labour rebels meant that one of the Government's dafter ideas was held well and truly in check.

The second vote was won by a majority of one so it's a good thing that the Member for Winchester turned up and voted appropriately.

Members of the public may find it hard to believe but the House of Commons can be an incredibly supportive place at times of personal crisis. The support is cross party and can come from surprising quarters. So, it was particularly gratifying to see senior Tories approaching Mark in a supportive manner. Before anyone says anything there may well have been similar gestures from Labour MPs - it's just that I didn't spot them!

Anonymous said...

Chris Black - wonder how many of those Tory embraces were for a fellow practitioner of you-know-what. Anyway, hilarious really; how could Oaten have the sheer outrageous cheek to pose as a TV pundit as Iain rightly points out he wannabe. Oh my God. Shame is dead. The man needs therapy but he gets his own TV programme. Have pity on our once-proud democracy.

Tom said...

To dismiss this kind of gross behavior as a mid-life crises or as a result deflated self esteem from losing ones hair is patently ridiculous…….but to publicly admit to shopping at Sainsbury's is unforgivable. ;o)

Andrea said...

"I suspect that Oaten will try to reinvent himself as a sort of LibDem Michael Portillo "

and who will be his Diane Abbott?

David said...

Emma Nicolson?

Jenny Tonge?

Bugger I'm running out of sensible LibDems....

beethoven writes said...

You need one of those Hemingway notebooks...

Catherine said...

No, no! The spar has to be from an opposing party, not his own.

S-o-o-o-o, Patricia Hewitt (gag); Tessa Jowell (gag); Theresa May (gag); Heather Blears (gag).

Hmmmm ... given Mark Oaten's inclinations since he got depressed about his hair loss ... maybe a man? Someone who wants to commit political suicide while the public titters knowingly?

Hello I'm Johnny Cash said...

On me 'ead son!

Professor D.C. Warmington said...

Sir

I suspect that I speak for a number of Hampshire residents, particularly those of Scotton Pinkney, in expressing pleasure at Mr Oaten's plans. You see, we do not care for the television, indeed never watch the thing (my wife, Lady de Tocquaine, even refuses to have one in the house), whereas at election times the incumbent and would-be incumbent would sometimes appear at the village hall. Though I am no longer chairman of the Parish Council, I still feel a moral obligation to attend such gatherings: so my personal pleasure is the more acute.

I am, and remain, Sir

A. de Tocquaine

The Remittance Man said...

Anon 11:51

"The man needs therapy but he gets his own TV programme".

Haven't you been watching Tricia, Jerry Springer et al? Humiliating oneself on confessional television is the modern accepted therapy for all sorts of psychological disorders.

Admitedly, for most sufferers, a single appearance is sufficient to render a cure. Having to start one's own tv confessional programme and undergoing treatment on a weekly (or even daily) basis is only for the most extreme cases.

RM

Michael Oakeshott said...

re: Iain
Not quite sure what you mean by a Julia Goldsworthy look a like. Do you mean someone who is young(true) and lacks substance(not true)? Or do you mean someone who (some people think) is good looking. Oakeshott dissents from this view. I met Goldsworthy a few times before she became an MP, and she is actually very intelligent. Being in the Lib Dems would make anyone look ridiculous and I believe she has even had trouble with her counting lately. Poor girl, joining Ming's merry band was the last act of her (serious) political career.

Michael Oakeshott said...

re: Iain
Not quite sure what you mean by a Julia Goldsworthy look a like. Do you mean someone who is young(true) and lacks substance(not true)? Or do you mean someone who (some people think) is good looking. Oakeshott dissents from this view. I met Goldsworthy a few times before she became an MP, and she is actually very intelligent. Being in the Lib Dems would make anyone look ridiculous and I believe she has even had trouble with her counting lately. Poor girl, joining Ming's merry band was the last act of her (serious) political career.

Anonymous said...

"True colours will always out."

You aiming for Brownie points here Ian?

Michael Francis said...

The first time I became aware of Mark Oaten he was cutting the Government to shreds at PMQ's, over ID cards; I was very impressed. Pity.

Mark Senior said...

You seem to have got your facts and seats mixed up a bit Iain . Meon Valley is a new seat which includes part of the old Winchester seat . It has a notional Conservative majority of 3-4,000 so if the Conservatives do not hold this you are in real trouble . The real battle will be for the new Winchester seat which is of course notionally Lib Dem . The Conservatives did outpoll the LibDems in May by a couple of thousand but IMHO with the right candidate it could be held despite the Oaten affair .

Birdman said...

Celebrity Big Brother? Or panto (he's behind you).Or perhaps he might open a shirt shop.

strapworld said...

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. In the days when homsexuality was against the law, I arrested many men 'cottaging'! I would say that 99% were 'happily married' men.

Oaten has much to teach other parties about the Lib Dem fighting machine and if I was involved in a party with ambition I would certainly listen to someone involved in a party that is bloody good at fighting local issues! they have proved time and again, especially at Bye Elections, how well oiled that machine is.

If you cannot beat them you get them to teach you!
and after the unkind remarks on the Lib Dem blogs, he may listen to offers.

Rigger Mortice said...

the only real surprise was that I read it in the daily mail first.shock horror

Anonymous said...

What's that he's found on his head?

"Aubrey de Tocquaine, LL.D" your pleasures are ever our concern. Were you by any chance an advisor to John Redwood or Bill Cash? I find traces of your speech patterns in their rambling utterances. Thank goodness the Tories have you, I would hate to think of it as a Cameroonish modernising shower.

MisterInquisitor said...

what's with the "suspect" he'll become some sort of Lib Dem Portillo, he HAS been tarting himself around on the telly studios relentlessly, trying to make out that disgusting sexual practices are all part of a normal mid-life crisis.

I'm amazed he's not tried to get himself onto Love Island yet...

Mind you, there are probably laws against that...

Anonymous said...

And you did diddly squat.Sounds like something Mark might do or have done.

Anonymous said...

Dan Hannan wants Meon Valley. CCHQ will help him to keep him quiet over Dave's EPP sell-out.

Anonymous said...

You forgot? Maybe you're having a mid-life crisis. I've been told the only way to deal with is to be defecated on by a rent boy.

Hayek's Grandad said...

I think a new seat (or heavily re-drawn) is Dan's best hope . In my experience he's really not very popular with the local associations he's worked with as an MEP (don't know why, I try to keep out of such things but I know he wouldn't stand a chance in my present association).

Laura said...

Over heard:
"Have you heard that Mark Oaten has announced he's retiring"
"I wouldn't believe it - the man is full of shit"

Tory in the Wilderness said...

No prizes for guessing what he will do with his new found freedom.

MisterInquisitor said...

Perhaps you could send Mr Oaten the new Spurs away kit as a retirement gift?

I am sure he would appreciate the sentiment...

Anonymous said...

but misterInquisitor, the pricks would be in the horse's side!

Barrie Wood said...

Overwheening ambition, limited talent - can't remember who said that but s/he is right !

And with his downfall the end of Liberal Future - an organisation soliciting Tory defections.

Not sad about him going at all. The way the Oaten's have banged on in the media about their troubles has been 'car crash' coverage.

I was never convinced that he was vaguely a Liberal anyway !

Aidan said...

I'm more unnerved that he's just chosen a Human League record as his favourite British chart-topping album. The man truly has no shame...

Maybe he misses the days when he could have his hair done Phil Oakey-style...

fido said...

Is it true that the only thing he and a former leader of the Lib Dems(Charles K) will be remembered for is getting shit faced?