Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oops, he did it again

Iain Dale, one of the godfathers of political blogging, has just posted about my General Election opponent in Rotherham in 2005, Denis MacShane under the title of "Denis MacShane Falls Foul of Mr Speaker". (http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2006/12/denis-macshane-falls-foul-of-mr.html#links

In asking Margaret Beckett the question:
"Next year, Britain will celebrate two great acts of union—that with Scotland and that within the European Union. May I invite my right hon. Friend to take off her sober Foreign Secretary garb and, now and then, return to Margaret the great campaigner and campaign against some of the rancid rabble on the Opposition Benches who reject both the EU and the Act of Union with Scotland?"
he apparently strayed off her Ministerial scope and in to the overtly political.

As a strong supporter of both the EU and the Act of Union I happen to agree with Denis. In questioning if we can ever have a "Scottish" Prime Minister the Tories are playing with fire for the sake of short term political gain against Gordon Brown. And their anti-Europe stance runs profoundly counter to the country's long term interests.

Denis' best point, but a pity for the country, is that he is probably the staunchest ally of the European Union in the Labour Party. It was a combination of Brown's irritation at this - and his repeated hunt for media airtime, sometimes at the cost of caution - that hastened his departure from the role of Europe Minister after the last General Election.

But its hard to keep him down - only Denis would treat the 9% swing I got against him at the last General Election as something to celebrate in his acceptance speech. The reason? For the first time since World War I the two "progressive parties" had put the Tories in to 3rd place.

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