Former maverick left wing Labour MP leaves the Labour Party. 'Big deal' will be the spin from Labour Central. 'No one outside the Labour Party has ever heard of her', I can imagine them saying.
But Alice Mahon does matter. So did Peter Temple-Morris, John Lee, Peter Thurnham and Alan Howarth, when these little known names left the Conservative Party in the 1990s. They symbolised a deep malaise within the Party, which was regarded as deeply intolerant and ideological. In Alice Mahon's case she has left, not because of Labour's policies, but because of the way the Party is conducting itself in office. That's perhaps even more damning. And don't believe she just reflects a narrow left wing viewpoint within the Labour Party. Indeed, I suspect most Labour members are privately expressing similar concerns at the moment.
I'd like to think that there could be some high profile defections over the next few months. But I'm long enough in the tooth to realise that the Labour Party is a far more tribal beast than the Tory Party. But the fact that the sinking ship is slowly being deserted by people like Alice Mahon is evidence enough that there's trouble at t'mill for Gordon Brown. Leadership chatter is already starting again, and any bounce that Brown got from the G20 was illusory. And next he has the Euro and local elections to contend with.
The Yorkshire Post has the full story HERE. Their headline seems to indicate she is still an MP...