Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Three More Labour MPs to Stand Down

So, three Labour MPs have announced today that they are to stand down at the next election - David Chaytor, Patricia Hewitt and Beverley Hughes. It is becoming clearer by the day that the new Parliament will probably have more new MPs in it than ever before. Some believe that more than 50% will be MP virgins. That is both a plus and a minus. It's a plus because it presents a real opportunity for things to be done differently, with a whole new intake acting in concert to ensure it happens. The negative is that a Parliament with little experience is a Parliament which might make some big mistakes. All newly elected MPs benefit from guidance from the grey beards (except on expenses!), but it looks as if few of them will be left.

Meanwhile, ConHome reports that selections for the dozen Conservative seats now available will not commence until September or October. I think this is due to the deluge of new people applying to be on the candidates list. They all need to be processed before then, which presents a huge logistical challenge.

43 comments:

Cynic said...

They can see the internal carnage and blood letting that will follow the election and want to get out before this strikes.

Labour will be out of office for a generation, if it ever recovers. And who would want to follow Balls as Party Leader, always waiting for the silent knife in the back from one of the acolytes who will surround him?

Tom said...

"The negative is that a Parliament with little experience is a Parliament which might make some big mistakes." not sure where to start with that one!

Russell said...

Even if, may God forbid, there isn't a General Election this Autumn, there still needs to be recognisable candidates in place to be promoted - otherwise the other parties will get a head start in campaigning for an election which the Conservatives are expected to win!

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. This bizarre decision needs to be reversed, and soon.

Unsworth said...

Grey Beards - and that's on the women...

Someone should warn the MP wannabees that it's really not a very nice place to work. The facilities are lovely - but the people one meets are so awful.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's what Gordon meant when he said that a quick election would cause chaos: chaos in choosing all of those new candidates...

Anonymous said...

the real worry about a house half full of new MPs is that those who do know the system (which will be the cabinet and the whips) will have even more opportunity to 'guide' things. This will mean that the power of the executive is yet again increased at the expense of the scrutiny of Parliament; precisely the main charge levelled at the government for the last decade. And no matter whom you support, that can only be a bad thing in the log run.

The 2010 (or 2009, but probably the former) election will indeed go down in the political history books, but it's quite possible that it will be for entirely the wrong reasons.

Spectator said...

Well if the new MPs make mistakes like not going to war in Iraq then there will be much to be said for them...

Means Test ACA said...

If more experienced MPs are better, shouldn't they be paid more? Or, more appropriately, less experienced MPs paid less?

subrosa said...

These 'new' MPs ought to be starting on a new graded salary structure similar to those used by other public sector employees.

It really is ridiculous that someone with no required formal qualifications or work experience can jump into a job with a salary of £64,000.

I would have thought you would have said more about this Iain.

Anonymous said...

I hear it is so bad Susan Boyle phoned Downing Street this morning to make sure Gordon is OK

Simon Emmett said...

They obviously feel it's better to stand down than face the embarassment of defeat in an election.

wapping boy said...

Excellent news and good riddance - Hughes and Hewitt were both utterley mediocre ministers even by New Labour's miserable standards. Hewitt in particular, with her Marxist-sisterhood "fathers are irrelevant to families" sexism, will not be missed.

Anonymous said...

You are falling into the trap Iain of believing MPs make a difference. If so many are going to be so inexperienced that is fine. They have non-jobs anyway and achieve the square-root of bugger all. Just tie them up for hours on end on nothing legislation and leave the private sector to get on with it.

Raedwald said...

Subrosa - absolutely disagree!

Being an MP is not a profession, or a career. MPs are not public servants, at the command of their employers, the State.

I'd go further. I'd add the cost of keeping an MP to local Council Tax bills; with an average electoral quota of 69,000 per constituency an MP's basic remuneration and oncost would cost each of us directly about £1.10 a year each. Plus another £3.63 if their expenses were £250k. Of course the Council tax base is lower than the electoral base, so this may be about £7.60 per household per year.

The knowledge that local electors were paying them directly would focus their minds wonderfully - and remind them who pays them, and why.

An MP's remuneration was never intended to be a 'salary' for a 'job' but an honorarium to compensate for lost earnings from their real trade or profession, so as not to disadvantage those without investment income from standing for Parliament.

Summer said...

We cannot go on like this, can we? We can't have a Parliament full of people about to throw in the towel, at a time when the country most needs a firm hand on the tiller. We HAVE to have an election!! A real one, not a fig leaf for European fascists.

disillusioned Dale blog reader said...

Seriously, could anyone have done a worse job in the past 12 years?

Three major UK banks have gone bust, pointless invasion of Iraq, lack of proper equipment responsible for several deaths in Afghanistan, serious problems in the NHS even after record levels of spending (96 deaths from the c-difficile virus at your Kent and Sussex due to managers not being able to work out how to clean a hospital), continued failing education system even after 12 years of Labour government (even though that was supposed to be a no.1 priority), lack of investment in the Transport infrastruture, absurd expense claims, record levels of inmates in the Prison system, highest level of unemployment for 15 years - and rising, the highest council tax bills ever.....

Inexperienced new MP's? Welcome! Welcome!

Anonymous said...

So, quite clearly, to ensure the appropriate level of experience and ability (on all sides) in the next Parliament, we need mature individuals who have already succeeded in other walks of life and generally "knocked about a bit" to put themselves forward for selection as candidates. [SPADS, hyperannuated student politicos, special interest group pleaders etc need not apply!]

Victor, NW Kent said...

They are trying to escape the threshing machine.

I read today of yet another florid non-entity on the Tory benches who has been claiming for paying his servants. I have no objection to people employing servants - my very pleasant cleaning lady has just left the house - I just do not believe there is a single shred of justification for MPs to expect for us to pay for them.

We have haour party away. quite enough of these blimp types and I shall be delighted to see them swept away - a broom and plenty of flowing water is the only way to clean a pigsty. Can't be done whilst the pigs lie on the spot.

If there were not another bunch of crooks on the opposite benches these revelations would have swept my party away.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

"eccentric judgements are being made"

Not the Captain of the Titanic, but Tony Wright MP on the putative departure of Alistair Darling, as Chancellor, on The Daily Politics.

I have a lifelong rule, which, whenever I disobey it, I get into trouble; "never make decisions in desperation".

What is happening here is that a class of people (the MPs) are running around with their heads cut off. They have been caught, collectively being what they have spent their lives telling us not to do - behave antisocially, and their behaviours exhibit a raft of panicky actions from blame to shame.

There has been a systemic failure, but the change lies not in the system, but the people. New blood will work if these new candidates understand the deeply moral aspect of serving the country as a Member of Parliament.

One of the strongest assets a candidate can bring is an ability to know his or her own mind and stick to it. My gut feeling on this is that the bad guys in the Commons is not the issue. What has propped this whole rotten odyssey up is "loyalist" lobby fodder who cannot or will not think and vote for themselves.

Sadly, I expect our host to have difficulties with this, fitting into the party of schmoozers, as he is a man who apart from anything else is a stubborn bastard with his own mind. MP maybe, but the ranks of the inner circle are reserved for loyal idiots - which kind of suggests we need a revolution and sweeping systemic changes, not a change of government.

GM said...

Following Tom @1124 -

"a Parliament with little experience is a Parliament which might make some big mistakes." Like, say, take us to war without properly considering the credibility of the evidence. Or scuttle around inadequately trying to find a way of coming through a severe economic crisis. Or make ludicrous expense claims. Or preside over a permanent revolution in education with little idea of how to stabilise it.

Heaven forbid that we should have a genuinely novice 'citizen 'army of representatives, unschooled in the art of craven, whipped politics!!

Chris Paul said...

Given the ConHome comment re selection timetable - and there may well be more of course - can we now accept that Cameron is no more really wanting an election now than Brown is?

All three Labour MPs listed are a loss to the house, yes, even Hewitt. I don't think Chaytor was at it deliberately, Hughes has been 95% solid, and Hewitt is fairly bright if a bit accident prone.

Baroness Hughes and Baroness Hewitt I think you'll find. And/or Higher Education and NHS roles respectively. Not sure about Chaytor. Probably far too honest to go back into the FE sector.

BrianSJ said...

Central Office needs to get its skates on then; there will be plenty more vacancies to come and a very good chance of an autumn election.

Chris Paul said...

PS Cannot see Balls making party leader any time soon.

Jonny Mac said...

Mail reporting that Jacqui Smith is quitting

Paul Burgin said...

"Meanwhile, ConHome reports that selections for the dozen Conservative seats now available will not commence until September or October. I think this is due to the deluge of new people applying to be on the candidates list. They all need to be processed before then, which presents a huge logistical challenge."

And the Tories want a general election now! Just goes to show they aren't being genuine when they demand it and are simply posturing

JuliaM said...

"I hear it is so bad Susan Boyle phoned Downing Street this morning to make sure Gordon is OK"

Bwahahaha!

mark said...

@ anonymous 12.30

You could add publicity seeking 'celebs' to that list also...

trevorsden said...

Raedwald is correct. But whether pay comes from council or general tax - its still public spending so I do not see a difference.

I regard some of the more extreme sneering at MPs and Parliament and democracy as hugely overblown. people ought to get a life, stop passing on your own inadequacies.

Much of what has gone wrong over the last few years has one source and one alone - New Labour and its deliberate sidelining of parliament with its imposition of this oafish Speaker.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Ho! Ho!

trevorsden said...

CoffeeHouse saying that J.Smith is announcing she is leaving the cabinet

Bill Quango MP said...

So, three Labour MPs have announced today that they are to stand down at the next election.

And the government are reporting its "JUST SPECULATION" that big Jaq Smiff is about to resign to spend more time with herself.

Could turn out to be quite a pleasant day, with the sun out and the evil ones falling away.

Shamik said...

Another one bites the dust!

Anonymous said...

Jacqui Smith to stand down!

Jules said...

Make that four - JaqBoot is going according to Sky, BBC and LabourList. Whitehall leak. Brown is so not in control. Of anything. This is snowballing fast now. The hand is off the tiller (if it was ever there), the engines are racing and the rocks are approaching.

Fore!

Anonymous said...

Chris Paul said...

"All three Labour MPs listed are a loss to the house, yes, even Hewitt. I don't think Chaytor was at it deliberately, Hughes has been 95% solid, and Hewitt is fairly bright if a bit accident prone."

Do not forget ..

"Immigration Minister Beverley Hughes has resigned after admitting she "unwittingly" misled people about a suspected visa scam."

More like she is/was 95% useless.

AJC

Charles said...

So,

We have a proposal for a new Chancellor (high probability), new Home Secretary (high), new Foreign Secretary (moderate), and presumably several other new faces round the Cabinet table as well.

Does this sound like to Night of the Long Knives to anyone? As I recall that was read as panic, and SuperMac was out within a year?

trevorsden said...

"I don't think Chaytor was at it deliberately" -- I do not think any of them were at it 'deliberately'. They were using the expenses system as an allowance which they had been told was their right. The current Speaker saw nothing wrong in what was happening, he did his best to defend it.

But even within that scenario it beggars belief to claim for something that did not exist. McNulty claiming expenses to pay for the 2005 list of postal voters springs to mind (I'm told its free).

strapworld said...

The pressure is now on Cameron. WILL he sack those members of his shadow cabinet who have had their hands in the till.

The public will not be put off with 'he has paid this or that back' They have to go"!

Has Cameron the GUTS?

Mirtha Tidville said...

Ooooh I`ve been looking forward to days like these since 1997....Interesting story in Today`s Telegraph Financial pages that the reason the pound is strengthening and the markets rising is they believe that the General election will come this Autumn and herald a Cameron landslide...Oh that it be true....

I truely hope and pray that Labour (old and new) will be smashed, destroyed and incapable of repair so that never ever may they inflict the damage they have to this once great nation.

Oh yes ,an especial good riddance to Pat Hewitt..Now piss off back down under, where you came from....

FireForce said...

t
Like Rats off a sinking ship?
^

FireForce said...

Like Rats off a sinking shi(t)p?

norfolkandchance said...

Just heard Ian Gibson has bitten the dust. If he is unfit to stand for what he did that eliminates half the cabinet.....or have I missed something?

Victor, NW Kent said...

Mirtha T.

Patricia Hewitt will stay in the UK - she has some useful directorships and consultancies in the health supply area. I think she has a bigger clutch of them than Alan Milburn even.