Saturday, 18 October 2014

A Labour politician worth listening to

Whilst my Conservative affiliations are not in doubt I have never been so tribal as to be unable to admire (if not always to accept) the arguments put forward by representatives of other parties - or indeed to occasionally disagree with the views of some of my party colleagues ! I struggle to believe that anyone with a love of politics cannot be absorbed by the views and style of Tony Benn even whilst disagreeing with his views. Another Labour politician who always demands attention is Tam Dalyell. This was confirmed by the interview with him published in today's Independent. Of even greater concern is that on this occasion I agree with most of what he says. As the originator of the West Lothian question he framed one of the most simple but challenging questions of recent years. His views on delivering real devolution to Scotland and the rest of the UK, to include the abolition of the Scottish Parliament, scrapping of the unfair Barnett Formula, and the establishment of a proper system of regional government in Scotland is persuasive. For England he sees devolution but to the existing structure of local government. My main disagreement is his view that the county councils are best suited to deliver this whereas I prefer a single tier, unitary approach. He even highlights another issue which I have commented on previously namely the tendency of our modern Westminster elite to follow the path of university, researcher, advisor and then MP with no experience of the real world which can only increase the risk of a lack of contact between MPs and those they represent. An article which is well worth reading. My only concern is that I struggle within the current crop of front line Labour politicians to find those capable of stepping in to the shoes of Benn, Dalyell etc.


  1. For a second or two I thought this article was going to be about me!

  2. Nigel, two current Labour MP's who command my attention are Kate Hoey and Frank Field