Short change

Readers may be interested in Clare Short’s election address as the Labour Party candidate for Birmingham Ladywood in 2005. (Hat-tip to Barry’s Beef.)

Obviously, the world has changed so dramatically over the last sixteen months that the above reasons to vote Labour are no longer valid.

Short has managed to vote in barely over half of Commons divisions since then, one of the worst attendance records for a backbench Labour MP. No doubt her workrate will decline further now she is stepping down to spend more time with her ego campaign for a hung parliament.

17 Responses to Short change

  1. Andrea says:

    IIRC her voting record was over 60% (an improvement compared to the previous Parliament, even the part of it she served as backbencher) before the recess. Since the Commons resumed their work in October, I think she missed all the divisions

  2. Andrea says:

    You know the Labour rules better than me…but Short told the BBC she wants to remain in the Labour Party as an individual member without taking the whip as an MP…is it possible?

  3. HenryG says:

    If it was, I’m sure they’ll find a way to put a stop to it pronto. And the entire NEC would support kicking her out.

  4. Matthew says:

    It seems like a pretty open and shut case of bringing the party into disrepute if you ask me – regardless of whether you can be an individual member and not take the whip.

  5. Andrea says:

    I just heard her…she sometimes looks very naive

    The “bringing the party into disrepute” rule…if you follow it literrally, probably half of the PLP should be expelled (some ministers too) 😕

  6. It is possible to be a Labour Party member without being in receipt of the whip. That is the situation when Labour MPs have the whip suspended as part of the disciplinary process.

    However, the provisions of Rule 2A.8 are broadly drafted and permit expulsion by the NCC of any member for “conduct which in the opinion of the NCC is prejudicial or … grossly detrimental to the party”.

    Perhaps she is hoping to be expelled from the party and get another shot of publicity from that?

  7. Andrea says:

    thanks politicalcorrepondent

    I was talking about it with a Tory friend and he replied: “her problem is always this – she wants to have her cake and eat it. She’s like a kid. She doesn’t understand that you have to sacrifice things in order to give up other things” A comment that I think sums well Clare Short

    Btw, I think she has indirectly ruled out standing as an Independent…she told BBC that she won’t stand at the next election

  8. Benjamin says:

    The Daily is a good blog, but it’s still a partisan Labour blog. So feelings against Clare run high – understandable maybe.

    A more balanced assessment of Clare is offered by Michael White of the Guardian here:

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/michael_white/2006/10/post_533.html

  9. Andrea says:

    I see Khalid Mahmood is asking for Clare’s resignation as an MP too because she was elected as Labour…I’m not sure that having a byelection in a seat with the Libdems just 20% behind is so good (especially since the Liberals actually managed to win the Ladywood byelection in 1969)

  10. Clare Short would be expelled from the party if she was to stand as an independent against a Labour candidate.

    I hope that this is the last we hear of Clare Short. I fear that it isn’t.

  11. Nick says:

    Whenever anyone defects there are always demands for a by-election and it never happens, because constitutionally we elect the candidate not the party, so I think it’s probably unfair to expect Short to stand down. I also think it would be most unwise, for the reasons Andrea mentions.

  12. Sham says:

    Khaled Mahmood calling for Clare Short’s resignation ‘cos she was elected as Labour? Hang on a minute, is this the same Khaled Mahmood who called on our leader – who was, lest we forget, elected for a full third term – to quit barely a month ago???

    The words pot, kettle and black spring to mind …

  13. Andrea says:

    Sham…yes, she wondered what made her change her mind now considering she stood as a Labour candidate less than 18 months ago…it was pretty amusing considering someone can ask him what prompted him not to be able to carry on as PPS considering he was willing to do it in the previous year!

  14. *Sigh* – Sham – Are you saying that resigning the Labour Whip and calling for the prime minister to confirm the departure date that the Prime Minister had already announced are the same thing?

    To me it seems faily clear that, while different people will have different views of whether the letter was the right thing to do and who leaked it, it is not on the same level. You may not like that your favourite politician is leaving office slighly sooner than he’d planned, but Short is a genuine traitor to the Labour Party. She was happy to put the boot in for the Blairites back in the day, but now she’s on the other side of the argument, she’s taking her toys home.

  15. Andrea says:

    maybe “traitor” is a bit too strong…there’s no written rule that someone should support the Labour Party forever.

  16. Andrea says:

    ..cont..naturally Labour supporters have the right to be pissed with her for her recent actions, but I think it’s the best outcome for the party in the end.
    There was no point to keep her around.

  17. Sham says:

    Admittedly, leaving the party completely is slightly different to quitting as a lowly pps!

    I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of Khalid Mahmood – he said Clare Short was elected as a “Labour MP on a Labour manifesto” and should therefore hold a by-election now she’s quit the party; one might counter that the people who elected him done so because they were voting for Tony Blair, certainly so in 2001 when I’m sure everyone will agree that a vote for Mahmood was actually a “vote for Blair”.

    In my view they’re both traitors!!! But, you’re right in saying Short is much, much worse than Mahmood – calling for PR & for a hung Parliament. Unforgivable!

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