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Interesting, very interesting

Reported in the Observer

Bob Marshall-Andrews yesterday defied the Prime Minister to sack him, adding that he hoped other Labour MPs would join the former shadow home secretary’s one-man crusade for civil liberties.

‘They can’t muzzle the whole of the party, and it seems to me foolish in the extreme in the present climate to start describing civil liberties as a stunt,’ he told The Observer. ‘I have had emails asking, “Why does it take a Tory to say this”?’

10 comments to Interesting, very interesting

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I love the way he recounts that he has emails asking him “Why does it take a Tory to do this?”. Perhaps it is beginning to dawn on the thicker elements of the electorate that socialism, a belief in a government that tries to do everything, is a potential menace to liberty and that those few Tories who understand the need for limited government are the best placed to grasp the connection to civil liberties.

  • So, why doesn’t Bob Marshall-Andrews do a DD himself?

    It would (a) show he can walk the walk as well as talk the talk and (b) re-inforce DD’s point that this is not a party political issue.

  • Nick Timms

    DD is in a fairly safe seat, and although I applaud his stand, I think it extremely unlikely given the present governments unpopoularity, that DD will not be re-elected.

    Bob thingy would have to have an incredible amount of political courage to do a DD. I have no idea of the size of his majority when he was elected but no by-election in a socialist seat is going to be just about civil liberties.

    I am glad that he has verbally defied his party leader but unless he wants to risk political suicide I doubt he will go any further. Shame. It would be nice to know that there were more than one or two people of honour and principle in the HOC.

  • guy herbert

    Bob Marshall-Andrews’ seat is so unsafe he was interviewed on air during the 2005 count while under the impression he had lost. If the Tories didn’t oppose him, he’d win a by-election, though. He has a big personal following, and has already said he will retire at the next general election, so it wouldn’t hurt the Tories to do it at all.

  • Nick Timms,
    “Political Suicide” sometimes equals honour. On the basis of what Guy said he just wants to keep his snout in the trough for another year or so.

    Compare and contrast Robin Cook and Clare Short.

  • guy herbert

    Nick M,

    I’ve no idea how you got that from what I said. Bob Marshall-Andrews QC, being a real silk, not just a parliamentary one – a bencher of Gray’s Inn, no less – is one of those people who could make a lot more money outside parliament than he does as a backbencher unpopular with his party’s whips.

  • Bob is actually my MP (not that I voted for him; I didn’t even live in Medway during the last election).
    This is probabbly the first time I’ve found myself agreeing with the man (He would be mad to resign- his only just got elected in 2005)


  • I actually emailed my MP (Kate Hoey) asking her to join DD by resigning her seat. She’s a labour back bencher and as liberal a labour backbencher as you can get.
    I think her seat is pretty safe with a majority of nearly 10,000 and given that all 9700 Lib Dem voters would probably back her. She doesn’t tend to follow the whip anyway – so no harm in having that removed – and also now has a role at City Hall in which she can continue to contribute without having a seat in parliament. So I reckon she’s a pretty good candidate for Labour’s DD – all she needs is an opponent and the guts to risk probable deselection.

    Chances? Slim, but if anybody else passing by is a Vauxhall constituent maybe you could encourage her a little…

  • Paul Marks

    J.P.s comment is good (I am not saying the other comments are bad – it is just that his hit home the hardest).

    I agree with what Guy has said before:

    If B.M.A. does call an byelection on the issue of Civil Liberties the Conservative party should not oppose him.

    In fact he should be supported and Mr Brown be challenged to put up a “Brownite” candidate against him.