As Alan Johnson and Anna Soubry blindly defended the NHS despite being confronted with dire statistics on its health outcomes, Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs made a compelling case for reform on This Week.Soubs and Johnson showing politicians see the NHS as a religion as they treated Kate’s sensible suggestions as heresy…
I was going to spend this morning writing my Parliamentary Report for Thursday’s GC – then the news broke about an early general election. I have decided not to stand again as your candidate.
Next month will mark the 20th anniversary of my tenure as Member of Parliament for Hull West and Hessle. Every day has been a privilege and a pleasure but it can’t go on for ever and the electoral cycle means that each incumbent has to think again about what’s best for them, the constituency and the Party.
As far as the constituency and the Party are concerned, no MP wants to put them through the anguish of a mid-term by-election, so for me the personal decision is whether to retire now or in 2022 when I’ll be into my 70s.
I’ve decided that going now will give me the opportunity to do other things with my life and is therefore in the best interests of me and my family. I also think it’s best for the Party.
If the Tories win again there is little doubt that they’ll implement the boundary changes that they commissioned which will drastically alter the make-up of our constituency whilst maintaining most of West Hull and Hessle at its core.
It’s far better for a new Labour candidate to fight the seat as it is rather than be a new face contesting a revised constituency in five years’ time. I wanted Labour Party members in Hull West and Hessle to be the first to hear about my decision – hence this e-mail.
The loyalty and friendship of those who’ve been stalwarts of the Party throughout most of my 20 years has been something I’ve cherished.
We’ve achieved a lot together and Labour in Hull can be equally proud of its past achievements and its vision for the future: that is now being realised.
As a resident of East Yorkshire I’ll watch that vision unfold from the sidelines – hopefully under a Labour government.
Alan Johnson is touring firms across the East Midlands with a camera crew today, hoping to speak to business owners who want to stay in the EU. You might think the pictures at the factory of clothing manufacturer David Nieper look a little awkward…
Just last week, managing director Chris Nieper, above left, said that Britain’s influence in the EU is “absolutely pitiful” and that business has “nothing to fear” from Brexit:
“It is not where the future is so I don’t think Britain has to attach itself by the hip to the Eurozone. We must consider the world market. They are all trading with us…
I don’t worry at all about our ability to sell in the Eurozone as a result of this vote going one way or another.
We employ staff in the EU itself and the staff we’ve got in our French office, our German office, our Dutch office, et cetera, are natives of the EU.
To get some kind of feeling whether a Brexit would affect us or not, I did a small and very unscientific survey, where I carefully wrote a neutral question for our European staff: ‘Do you think our customers would react differently to our product if Britain was no longer a member of the EU?’ To my surprise, unanimously, across all our offices in Europe, they thought it would make no difference whatsoever. Absolutely zero.”
In fact, last year, Nieper fully came out for Brexit:
“There is a regulatory cost to us, a financial cost to us, from being a member of the EU, and there’s a loss of control, actually, for the British Parliament – it’s no longer the end decider of all laws, we’ve given that away to an ultimately higher parliament in Europe.”
Did no one at the In campaign think to check before Alan turned up with a film crew?
Video is homely and a bit “meh”. Labour’s In campaign is dominated by Blairites and Blair-era throwbacks, the ever popular Alan Johnson is the front man, he says
“When people ask me why I’m leading Labour‘s campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union, I think back to 1975. Wearing a tank top and flares, I asked myself two questions — what is best for me and my family, and what is best for Britain?”
They are confident they are going to show the Corbynistas how to win a national popular campaign. We shall see…
“Atos are a disgrace” said Liam Byrne in 2013 in a row about the French firm used by the DWP to assess who should get disability benefits.
Baldamort added that the government should “sack them and sack them now.”
Labour keep it quiet that they originally hired the frog firm in 2003, though eventually Atos walked away from their DWP contract after an intense negative campaign against them.
So imagine Guido’s surprise to hear that Labour grandee Alan Johnson has been despatched to brief Atos’ “public sector leadership team” about the plans of any future Labour government: special treatment that few other companies receive.
Alan Johnson’s suspected affair with a civil servant was widely rumoured around Westminster, it was the reason that people believed that he had not run for leader. The story was never stood up by the papers.
This evening Guido sources are pointing the finger at Alex Belardinelli, Special Adviser to Ed Balls, as the person who has been making inquiries into Alan Johnson’s private life. Shadow Cabinet sources say they believe the Sunday Times has the story and Ed Miliband himself believes that Ed Balls’ people have had a hand in the story getting out. Balls chose his moment well, a series of gaffes by Alan Johnson had left him politically weakened. Yet still Miliband rewarded him with the prize he craved…
UPDATE 22 Jan : Lots of people in the comments saying this story is proven duff by the Mail’s story about the wife and the copper. Don’t be so sure – they’re not mutually exclusive stories…
Alan Johnson said…
“A graduate tax is now very much back on the agenda in my book… If you are talking about inconsistency, Osborne, Cameron, Cable all voted against any graduate contribution whatsoever. But they are Premier League inconsistency. Mine’s Champions League inconsistency.”
You wouldn’t know there was an election on would you? The governing party is in chronic meltdown. The Prime Mentalist is reduced to begging his sworn enemies for support. One Blairite told Guido “if you think this is bad, wait until the polls close”. Currently Ministers and MPs are straining to be loyal, Lord Falconer yesterday morning on the Today show put a sell-by-date on that loyalty.
After the polls close at 10 pm tonight, the battle will be joined for real…
Emily Thornberry tells Labour activists some home truths…
“…we must all acknowledge, that there are sickening individuals on the fringes of our movement, who use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people, and their desire to see Israel destroyed.”