“I wish both countries would look at Switzerland” pic.twitter.com/cXNuifGGpf
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) February 9, 2018
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.
It’s been great working with you.
Goodbye Mr Postman…
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Asked about immigration on the Today programme, Alan Johnson, the chair of Labour’s Remain campaign, blamed “people” for not “listening” to their arguments:
“We’ve talked about immigration all the way through this. Sometimes people haven’t been listening to us.”
The Remain campaign in one soundbite: if we don’t win, it’s the voters’ fault…
Johnson went on to argue that remaining in the EU helps us control immigration. Voters are listening, and that’s Remain’s problem…
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…
Worth watching Alan Johnson kick off at weirdy beardy Left Unity nut Simon Hardy on the Daily Politics. “All you’ve done is print out your leaflets despising the Labour Party…”