Wednesday, 25 November 2015


I do not yet know, but I strongly suspect and I intend to find out, exactly what marker was being put down by the six Labour MPs who voted for the SNP's motion against Trident.

Only half of them were uncomplicatedly, if at all, of the Left, and the most striking thing about all them was the sheer length of their service.

Kelvin Hopkins and Graham Stringer were first elected in 1997, an electoral generation ago now. Roger Godsiff in 1992. Ronnie Campbell in 1983. Geoffrey Robinson at a by-election in 1976, before four of the 14 pro-Trident rebels were born.

And Dennis Skinner as long ago as the General Election of 1970, when Liz Kendall and Chris Leslie were likewise not even glints in the milkman's eye.

Yet ask yourself this: when have you ever seen on television, or heard on the radio, or read in a newspaper or magazine, anything by or about Kelvin Hopkins, or Graham Stringer, or Roger Godsiff, or Ronnie Campbell?

Or anything other than snide and baseless financial innuendo, and even that quite a long time ago, about Geoffrey Robinson? Or anything relating to Dennis Skinner, other than class-based ridicule?

Six is the right number for a weekly column each on a national daily newspaper. I do not know whether they would all want one, and Skinner has turned down such offers in the past because he believes in a certain distance between politicians and the press. But even so.


  1. A third of them opposed to equal marriage, half of them signatories to that anti-immigration letter last year, none of them keen on the EU, at least five of them in favour of withdrawal, one of them a climate change non-non-denier at least, no wonder you are so keen on this motley crew.

  2. Did you find out exactly what marker was being put down?