Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Shadows of the Past

Abolishing Shadow Cabinet elections was the best thing that Ed Miliband ever did.

The people who now want them back, wanted rid of them at the time. Almost unbelievably, those same people also now want to bring back the Electoral College, of all things. The mind boggles.

Ho, hum. Jeremy Corbyn would be under no obligation to honour the choices of the people who had failed to offer him the slightest support as he had sought to raise this country's ever-worsening housing crisis at today's Prime Minister's Questions.

Consider the case of Mildred Gordon, who died this year, aged 92.

Deported from New York in the 1950s, for nine of her 10 years in Parliament, until his death, she was married to Trotsky's old bodyguard, Nils Kaare Dahl.

In 1993, she was nearly elected to the Shadow Cabinet.

John Smith had required every Labour MP to vote for at least four women, and the more traditional right-wingers had given her 81 votes in order to indicate their displeasure.

Smith did not offer her a junior position, so whenever one of the women whom he had appointed got up to speak, then the Conservatives used to shout, "We want Mildred!"

But they never got her.

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