Just to show that even a blogger can keep a confidence, I saw Bob at the Spectator party a couple of weeks ago and he told me then he wouldn't be fighting the next election. I debated whether to blog it at the time but decided not to on the basis that it was a private conversation. Memo to self: must be more ruthless...
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Bob Marshall-Andrews to Retire
Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews has announced this afternoon that he is standing down at the next election. He's someone I have always admired for his willingness to speak his mind, even if I haven't always agreed with him. His constituency of Medway is an ultra marginal, which Bob actually announced he had lost last election night, when in fact he had held on by a couple of hundred votes. I imagine the local Labour Party will be gutted, as his departure makes it all the more winnable for the Conservatives next time around.
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Good luck to Bob. I must admit I was frustrated when he held on to Medway by a whisker, probably thanks to the presence of ukippers. But he has been a delightful thorn in the side of Blair and Brown.
As Tam Dalyell once said, "I want nothing from the leadership, so they cannot control me."
I don't agree with everything he says either, but I often agree with him saying it to the gits he says it to. Will the Great Suking Git offer him a peerage? FOC?
BMA for the cross-benches!
He wouldn't have slipped the story to you Iain if he thought you wouldn't blog it immediately! He wanted it out then during the Brown ego-fest. You missed the chance.
Yes. Be more ruthless - except, that is with us your regular commenters, with whom you must remain tolerant and ruthful.
Tapestry: "ruthful" is, like, pitiful?
Blogged about BMA and his gun control missus and the fact that he had himself up as a stalking horse at one point here.
One truthful man with a labour leaning. His one fallacy was his truthfulness, Sad day. Good luck to the lad in his retirement.
Highly principled man, shame he had such deep socialist convictions.
Bob Mrashall-Andrews, a lovely and good humoured man - much too good for the Labour Party.
Another human being departs, to be replaced, in due course, by a battery hen programmed to walk into the government lobby and read out, haltingly, patsy questions prepared by the whips' office.
No! Wait! At the next election this is going to be a Tory seat, so we may get a human being after all.
A hard left enemy of all that Conservatives stand for leaving the field hardly seems a moment for regret. Had this government's policies been more akin to Red Ken's, Marshall-Andrews would have been noted for being a lickspittle lackey of the left who never rebelled once.
It is a fair wind that will rid the good citizens of Rochester & Strood of him and his loathsome party.
Anyone who has heard this man sounding off in the relative privacy of a Barrister's Robing Room will find this little love-fest hard to take. Principled, my foot!
He looked and at times sounded like a Tory.
It would be a good seat fo you to fight Iain.
Iain as he told you direct you were right not to blog it. I think it shows you have a high degree of integrity.
tsk tsk Iain, a diary compiler with integrity.
With that sort of flawed attitude you'll never get paid onerous sums to read your diaries on the Beeb.
The boundaries are changing so his seat will become even more interesting. I was amused by the interview with him on the Looking for Middle England programme (that may well not be its name). He said he came out as a Tory voter in personality tests. The interviewer observed that he did indeed usually vote with the Tories...
Is he just retiring from the Commons? Will we notice? He's only ever in the building when he's not doing his QC duties and there's a chance he might get on TV. The only reason he's retiring is because he's a crap constituency MP who wouldn't have a chance at the next election.
Useless oppositionalist for the sake of it (well ok for the sake of his ego).
Won't be missed other than by the sort of fools who think its better to be opinionated than right, and the sort of Tories who laud left wing trouble makers out of a patronising sense of what a "workers MP" ought to be like - trouble making, undisciplined, a bit stupid (see also Dennis Skinner)- or (more likely) because he caused far more damage and trouble for his own party than he ever did for the Conservatives.
Good riddance (if you hadn't gathered).
tapestry is spot on. Iain is a perennial naivete; advancing years has not stopped him taking people at face value (provided they dont push the envelope of Iain's received wisdom too far).
A real shame to see him go. A man of principle, wit and great skill. His departure is a real loss to Parliament and true Democracy.
"The boundaries are changing so his seat will become even more interesting."
Indeed they are. The new Rochester & Strood seat is gaining a (nett) 1,400 Conservative voters from Chatham & Aylesford - who are also losing 400 votes to the new Gillingham & Rainham.
His wife is a nasty little yard dog
who spends her spare time trying to disarm freeborn brits.
Good riddance to him.
I love this "admire him but didn't always agree with him stuff". It's code for "he's a loud-mouthed, pompous, self-indulgent pillock" aka Claire Short.
Always entertaining and almost always voted on the side of liberty. A good man who will be missed.
"He wanted it out then during the Brown ego-fest."
really? and were exactly would MAs decision not to stand at the next election figure in the night's news bulletins? Somewhere below 'and finally don't forget to switch off your TV sets' would be my guess...
Shame, a good Republican and thorn in the side of Blair,Brown and that ilk
"Just to show that even a blogger can keep a confidence....."
Yes dear, we know you are in the loop.
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