Thursday, 10 September 2009

Here's to the next 30

I've just read this article on the BBC website about the party held to honour Frank Field's 30th year in Parliament. It was attended by friends and admirers from all sides of the house, most notably Lady Thatcher and present Home Secretary Alan Johnson. That one man could be popular with two people from such opposite ends of the political spectrum says all about the qualities of the man. A maverick who's never been afraid to speak his mind and is a beacon in the house of commons for all new MP's to aspire to. That he has been treated so shabbily by the Labour party during their time in office has been a travesty. I suppose the one advantage of them denying him the speakers role which he would have excelled at with effortless neutrality is that will not stop him speaking his mind on the issues that matter to him in parliament. He is the most non-partisan member in the entire commons chamber and when he does get up to speak, it would do other members good to listen. That his time as a minister was cut short is a shame. He was asked by Tony Blair to 'think the unthinkable' on welfare reform. Well, he thought it and then honestly spoke his mind...and Brown, Harman and the labour left crucified him for it. Still, when Labour is reduced to a rump at the next election it is nice to know that Field will still likely be there, except less likely to be drowned out by the present rows of mediocrity and he will still be a man worth listening too. Here's to the next 30 years Frank.

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