Saturday, 20 February 2010

Brown Loses Whip who is a 'Titan' of Politics

In what is almost a daily announcement of the latest Future Retirement for Me from the Labour benches today it is the turn of Labour's longest standing whip, Tommy McAvoy the MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton. He has been a whip for the last 13 years of his 23 in the House of Commons. Gordon Brown himself has described McAvoy as a 'Titan' of politics.

At 66 it is the time that many people look forward to retirement, but in the run up to 2005 those who were retiring from Labour's benches for that reason left a longer built up for their replacement to be found and bedded in. The fact that so many this time are leaving it so late shows that in certain seats Labour are taking it for granted that you can put a red rosette on anyone and the seat will remain Labour's.

While some of the seats that are selecting last minute replacements will be selecting people who have campaigned locally others will be parachuting in people who the Labour party want in their team after the election. But the people are not going to have much change to get to know who some of these people are. Many of them have yet to be named and selected, I just hope none of them do turn out to end up sticking a rosette on a chimpanzee so that we prove that particular theory.

UPDATE: Iain Dale has written a post why he wonders if McAvoy leaving is because he is allegedly the whip that will be mentioned by Jim Devine in his defence in court over his expenses.

If true, and the coincidence of a long standing Scottish whip giving such advice to a new Scot seems highly probable. It gives added nuance to Jim Murphy's validictory to McAvoy:

"His job has been to steer laws through parliament to change people's lives. It is because of his work that Labour has been able to introduce so many changes which help so many people in different ways."

Could the last bit include MPs, their families and their constiruency parties?

1 comment:

  1. This trend is seriously pissing people off at HQ. A work colleague of mine is high up on the Labour NEC and we were talking about it on Thursday. Basically none of these who announce now are going to be able to have constituency led selections (has been that way for a few weeks actually) and loyal constituency parties who have often as not no clue that the MP they have worked for sometimes for a long time is going to jump ship and leave them with an imposed candidate. Further, on targetting, whilst Labour will put every effort into a sitting MP's seat whatever the majority, an MP going like this does give them an opportunity to "detarget" a seat if they are stretched.

    (By coincidence the security word for this comment was "parnef"...:-)