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Friday 31 August 2018

Frank Field By-Election? BRING IT ON

Nothing better demonstrates the gaping chasm that has opened up recently between those in the London-centric media bubble, and the reality of life away from the capital, than the decision of semi-detached Labour MP Frank Field to resign his party’s whip and sit as an Independent. And now that Field has hinted that he may precipitate a by-election in his Birkenhead constituency, that reality is poised to hit home with a vengeance.
While the Daily Mail proclaims this morning “Labour giant Frank Field has quit … the party he’s given his life to” (he hasn’t quit the party, but hey, who needs research or facts?), the realty is that his career has been one of serial failure. Moreover, if he’d “given his life” to the Labour Party, what was he doing working for the 2010 Coalition Government, or indeed, voting against the Labour whip to prop up Theresa May?

Well, now has come the opportunity for the holders of conventional Westminster wisdom to pit their reality against the one operative for the rest of the country: as the Guardian has reported, “Field has refused to rule out triggering a byelection after resigning the Labour whip … The veteran Birkenhead MP, who was due to hold talks on Friday with Labour’s chief whip, Nick Brown, told the Guardian he had yet to decide on his next step”.

But before all those obscenely overpaid and chronically under-researched pundits make their decision, nail their colours to the mast, and tell the world how the respected Field would romp home in a by-election contest and defeat all challengers, here’s a little reality check, just for those who can’t find the Wirral on the map.

Birkenhead may be across the river from Liverpool, but the deep-rooted dislike for certain sections of the media does not stop when the train departs from James Street and arrives at Hamilton Square. Seven of the 96 came from Birkenhead. That matters.

Because Frank Field has, as part of his being a “maverick”, been an enthusiastic past contributor to the Murdoch Sun, the paper that is banned from many of Merseyside’s news stands for its unrepentant smears of Liverpool FC and its fans in the period immediately following the Hillsborough stadium disaster.

Disrespecting the memory of the 96 is, for a politician on the Wirral, in the category of Totally Unforgivable Sins For Which There Is No Redemption. We saw this at the 2015 General Election when Tory I-Speak-Your-Weight machine Esther McVey lost her Wirral West seat - against the national trend - after her Twitter feed sent out several party political messages during the 25th anniversary Hillsborough memorial service.
Field has also used his Twitter feed to endorse the Sun’s piss-poor attempts at journalism. And that is in addition to the under-reported fact that his constituency party was on the brink of deselecting him. Frank Field would be trounced in a by-election contest.

So bring it on, Westminster know-alls. Take old Frank aside and persuade him to go for a by-election. Then watch him lose, and badly. Give us all a good laugh.
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Anonymous said...

Remember that people voted for Douglas Carswell when he switched from Conservative to UKIP: the same could happen here.

offpat @smile_of_decade said...

The parallel with Carswell is far fetched, as there was an inflating UKIP bubble at that time...(thankfully, now as flat as a pancake)

Field is in a different sort of bubble. One of his own.
He is a socialism-despising right winger who would never have become an MP in the area expect by people voting in whoever the Labour Party selected...

as an independent he stands as much chance of becoming Mr Popular as a ham sandwich at a Muslim wedding.

Hoops Mcann said...

If he spent all his life in the Labour Party, why was he a member of the Conservative party back in the day??

Anonymous said...

I really, really, REALLY hope Field triggers a byelection.

He'll be destroyed.

Which is all he deserves.

. said...

Danczuk thought he had the popular vote and stood as Independent,lost his deposit. In strong Labour seats it's the Labour candidate that will win. Carswell was a different kettle of fish, with lots more to factor in

Mark said...

My favourite unintentionally hilarious tweet today came from Jacqui Smith arguing that Field is being 'hounded out' for voting with the Tories when Corbyn did it all the time. Utter bollocks of course and totally misses the point that when Corbyn refused to vote in line with the party it was because the party was voting to the right of the centre, and therefore totally against his principles. Field votes to the right because that's exactly where his principles lie. Let's not forget he was one of the men who visited Margaret Thatcher in her final days at Number 10 and begged her to stay on and fight! As is often the case with the Blairite, London-centric twitterati, you provide them with facts (such as their man Chuka Ummuna voting in line with the likes of Rees-Mogg half the time) and they refuse to acknowledge them. Instead they jump on their high horse, cry 'political thuggery' and bullying and paint themselves out as martyrs as they retweet Eddie Marsan, Tracy Ann Oberman, Frances Barber, David Quantick and JK bloody Rowling in the hope of a pile-on. And we're the cult that refuses to open our eyes??

Jonathan said...

Danczuk only got the Rochdale gig by very dubious means, expelling many leftwingers who opposed his selection.

When he threw his toys out the cot and desected because of his behaviour he got smashed by Tony Lloyd and in turn lost his deposit.

Believe me, Frank Field will go the same way, he isn't very popular with his electorate.