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Friday 22 February 2019

Labour Resignations - Who’s Next

So Ian Austin has gone, claiming to be ashamed of the party - and the party leader - on whose manifesto he was so happy to stand in 2017. The question now being asked is this: are there more out there who will follow him? And what clues do we have? What straws are there blowing in the wind? Zelo Street has been looking at the two who may be next.
One MP who has been touted as a potential resigner - but who will probably not be going anywhere - is Birmingham Yardley’s MP Jess Phillips. Sure, she is critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and many diehard Jezza supporters dislike her, but those are not reasons for throwing in the towel. She’s staying put. But being noisy with it.

A more compelling case for putting an MP on resignation watch can be made for Margaret Hodge, who infamously lost it with Corbyn very openly in the Commons, when there just happened to be plenty of witnesses. She accused her party leader of being a racist and an anti-Semite, which is quite a reach, given the decades of work Jezza has done to fight, er, racism and anti-Semitism. She may well be next. Why so? Ah well.

Margaret Hodge is 75 next September. Whichever way you slice it, she is coming to the end of a long and varied career in politics which began back in 1973. More than 45 hears’ public service which - overall - offers more positives than negatives, and recently helping to put the final nail in the coffin of the Garden Bridge that never was.
Who might leave Labour at the same time as Margaret Hodge, or maybe slightly ahead of, or behind, her? Well, there’s another strident Corbyn critic waiting in the wings, and that is the MP for Bassetlaw John Mann. Mann, an appallingly immodest man with much to be modest about, is an unsympathetic character, a thug, a bully, and not particularly clever.

Mann has been hot on anti-Semitism, providing someone else points it out to him first. He is then an implacable foe, and as former London Mayor Ken Livingstone discovered, a shameless self-publicist. Also, Mann is a perennial back bencher, which tells you all you need to know about how much of a loss he will be to Labour when he jumps.
How can I be certain that Margaret Hodge and John Mann should be put on resignation watch, if they are not already? Simples. Have a look at both MPs’ Twitter bios. Whereas Jess Phillips (for instance) has “Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley”, Ms Hodge choosesMP for Barking & the heart of Dagenham” and Mann usesFirst elected MP for Bassetlaw in 2001”. He is also “Not afraid to say it how it is”.

Well, Zelo Street is not afraid to say it how it is either, and how it is is that my Occam’s Razor is pointing at him, and Ms Hodge, as the next two out the door.

You read it here first. Tomorrow’s papers may being interesting news.
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The Toffee said...

Just off the top of my head th e ones that need punting (rather than being allowed to do the off)

(ill)eagle (both)
'mizz balls' (aka cooper)

Not an exhaustive list...

Andy Foster said...

You're very kind to Margaret Hodge. I still bear the scars of my encounter with her. I was part of a group which campaigned to save the Birmingham Central Library, a masterpiece of the 1970s. We weren't political; but we were a distinctly left group. I was a Birmingham councillor for eleven years and am still active in the party. Joe Holyoak is well known in Birmingham as an architect and urbanist. Our much-loved secretary, the late Alan Clawley, was a Green activist and candidate. In 2009 English Heritage recommended listing the library. Margaret Hodge was the listing minister. I'd be surprised if her briefing note before she made the decision didn't refer to our politics. She decided not to list the building. She could have announced her decision quietly, even perhaps met us to tell us. Instead she came up to Birmingham and announced the refusal on the Ed Doolan programme, an appalling regular item on BBC local radio with an alt-right presenter who spent his life attacking Birmingham's Labour council. She could not have been nastier if she had tried, to people who should have been her friends.

I told this story a while back to a local Labour member after a meeting. And she capped it perfectly. When she was a student in the eighties she had been quite a prominent Labour activist. So she applied for a job with the Fabian Society. She was interviewed by Margaret Hodge, then its chair, and the general secretary. All through the meeting, without stopping, Margaret Hodge talked to people on her mobile phone, while the secretary tried to keep the interview going. At the end she looked at my colleague and just said "Well I don't think you're the sort of person we want at all". And that was that.

Sorry for this long post but people need to understand what Margaret Hodge is like.

Anonymous said...

No surprise there, Tim.

The sooner they go the better. When they go, to coin a phrase, I'll make a little celebration in my heart.

Mann in particular is a grotesque, hate-filled individual who should never have been accepted in the Labour Party in the first place. His natural place is with the tories. A thoroughly horrible fellow.

Anonymous said...

Mann and Austin are both such bigots even TIG wouldnt want them. Presumably they'll form their own hard right, anti immigrant, pro Brexit party for a couple of months before giving up the pretence and joining the ERG half of the remnants of the Tory Party.

Anonymous said...

To my constant regret, I may have helped save Hodge's political career at the end of the 1980s, when she was leader of Islington council.
There was a public meeting at the town hall on Upper Street about some new education reform being imposed on local authorities, and I was helping set out leaflets, seats and so on. A council employee got so drunk before it started that he lost control of his bowels, in the foyer where the presentation was being made.
I found it, and it was messy. The man was slumped against a wall, pretty much helpless. For some reason, he'd taken his underpants off, then smeared the contents around quite a bit. A lot of the literature was spoiled, the entire space was absolutely foul and stinking--and all just before the public was due to be let in. I think we salvaged what we could, and hurriedly moved it to some other room.
A little later, having washed my hands very thoroughly, I had to lay a red (!) cloth on the table that was set up on the stage. Hodge gave me a nice little smile when I put a microphone in front of her. I didn't say anything about what had happened, so I doubt she ever knew, but if I'd just left the shit where it was we might have been spared some of the current horror...

Anonymous said...

I bet the nazi spooks at Vauxhall Cross and Langley are burning the midnight oil on this......

Might even divert them for a while from "interfering" in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ukraine. But I doubt it

Anonymous said...

I do not agree that her record is mainly positive.

What about all the help she gave to the BNP?


Anonymous said...

Mann and his dead bird story. He said it was sent by anti-Semitic Corbynists to his wife, when in fact it happened in 2012, and the sender's motivation was a combination of misogyny and personal animosity against Mrs Mann. Anyone who bothers to search for the account of the case at Worksop Magistrates Court can find this out quite easily, so it's surprising that John Mann didn't know, particularly when he could have found out even more easily by asking his wife.