Friday, October 20, 2006

Another one bites the dust...

Clare Short's resignation from the Labour Party today is not just the culmination of a long process of personal disillusionment with the party, but the latest example of Tony Blair's failure to retain the trust of the people who once constituted his top team.

Short is the second member of the 1997 Labour Cabinet to leave the party, the first being ace badger-watcher Ron Davies. I cannot recall this ever happening to another Government in my lifetime, although others may have longer memories....

Of that initial Blair Cabinet, just six members remain - the Prime Minister himself, John Prescott, Gordon Brown, Jack Straw, Margaret Beckett and Alastair Darling, great political survivors all.

Four are dead - Ivor Richard, Donald Dewar, Robin Cook and Mo Mowlam - while another five - Ann Taylor, Jack Cunningham, David Clark, Chris Smith and George Robertson - have joined Derrry Irvine in the land of the living dead, aka the House of Lords.

Oct 23 Update: Rumours of Ivor Richard's death are apparently greatly exaggerated - see comments thread below.

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5 comments:

Disillusioned and Bored said...

An absolute disgrace. Check out her 2005 election leaflet here. I would be outraged if I had voted for her at the last election.

Iain Dale said...

Er, Ivor Richard is very much still alive...

media scum said...

I suppose over a period of time you can count in George Brown, Reg Prentice and John Stonehouse who, i think, all left the Labour Party prior to the SDP breakaway. Prentice to become a Tory and Stonehouse to become a member of somehting called ( think) the English Democrats, or some such

Paul Linford said...

Iain is right of course - Williams of Mostyn was the Welsh House of Lords leader who died, not Richard of Ammanford.

George Brown was a Cabinet minister in the 1964 Labour Government, Reg Prentice in the 1974 one. I don't think Stonehouse was ever a Cabinet minister My question was really whether there had been another
Government in recent history where two or more people who served in the Cabinet had left their party by the end of it. I still can't think of one.

media scum said...

I seem to recall that Stonehouse was Postmaster general - I'm not sure whether that gave cabinet rank. Possibly not. Benn's diaries will give a clue as that is where he started in 1964