Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hoey To Join Team Boris

Boris has just said that if he wins the election on May 1st, Kate Hoey will join his mayoral team as a non-executive director advising Boris on sport and the Olympics.

Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall and Chairman of the Countryside Alliance may face expulsion from the Labour Party as a result despite Gordon Brown's 'big tent' exercise of last summer. Kate Hoey has long been seen as a potential defector with centre-right views and a healthy dose of euro-scepticism. She served as Sports Minister, has worked for several football clubs and is a former Northern Ireland High Jump champion.

Boris said "I am delighted to announce that Kate Hoey will join me in my administration if I win on May 1. She and I agree that there is much more that can be done to promote sport and to develop sporting facilities across London. Kate has a huge and well-known commitment to sport and to London, and I am determined to bring talent from across politics and the community to a new administration.”

There has been speculation over the last few days if Hoey would defect following an event at which she was due to appear with Boris but pulled out last minute. When asked if she was supporting Boris for Mayor, she answered "I am a Labour MP, I am not endorsing anyone." Scant comfort for Ken then!

I see that she is the one of the most rebellious of all Labour MPs according to Public Whip and has made plenty of noise about councils closing swimming pools. It'll be interesting to see what she makes of the LibDems' handling of Cheam Baths when Lead Councillor Graham Tope contradicted himself in a single letter to the Guardian, starting the letter saying that there were no plans to close the pool but finishing off by calling for a rational debate about what to replace it with. All of this schizophrenic behaviour whilst the Council are ploughing £500,000 of our money into the pool with no future. No doubt they'll be trying to fill it up without putting the plug in next.


Anonymous said...

I have a lot of time for Kate Hoey and have often smiled at suggestions she may defect. Paul is right to point out that she is a rebellious Labour MP, she genuinely votes with what her conscience tells her, rather than maintain the binary divide conformed to by many of the more vacuous members. It is a shame then that Brian Paddick calls her 'bonkers'. He really is clueless. It is probably a good time to remember that famous quote from Othello that jealousy is the 'green eyed monster', or perhaps from Hamlet that Mr Paddick 'doth protest too much'!

Great news for Boris, it shows he really is willing to reach across and do what is best as Mayor. Ken would never do something like this. He would just waste more tax payers money on a gang of over paid advisors!!

Fingers crossed for Boris.

Anonymous said...

I too have always had a lot of time for Hoey. It is a very forward-looking idea of Johnson to think of it, and I can't understand why any Labour MP's would be up in arms. After all Brown sucked up to Maggie (whom he despises anyway), so what's good for one is good for the other.

Anonymous said...

This is good news for the Boris team, but I must say it is rather odd for a Labour MP to declare she will advise a Tory candidate before the election, her own party's candidate running for the same office!

This demonstrates the lack of faith which Labour politicians must have in Ken Livingstone. I don't know much about Hoey but a quick bit of research has shown me she's not quite in the mainstream of New Labour and I greet that with approval!

Anonymous said...


I feel that I must share a posting from the PB.Com web forum. I wish I could take credit for this, but it has to go to "Sean".

I do not think I have ever read such an explicit, eloquent, concise and correct analysis of a political party. If ever there was a good reason for Labour MPs to jump ship like Kate Hoey, it is encompassed below. I hope all of your readers enjoy this as much as I did.
“I mean: WTF are Labour for? Are they for liberty - then why ID cards? Are they meant to help the poor? Then why abolish 10p tax rates? Are they for clean politics? Why cash-for-peerages?

Do they represent the working classes? Then why mass immigration, repressing low-skilled wages? Maybe they are the capitalist party? But then, why bail out Northern Rock?

Are they the europhile party? But why didn’t they join the euro? Maybe they are the democratic party. In which case, why didn’t they give us the referendum they promised on Europe? Perhaps they are the British party - yet they promoted Devolution. Could be they are the pacifist internationalist party - er, hold on, no, they invaded Iraq illegally and killed half a million.

Ah, I know, they believe in racial equality. Whoops, wait a minute - “British jobs for British workers”. Who said that?

Labour are a nothing party. They believe, literally, in nothing but their own careers. They are a busload of ugly, self-serving, slimy-faced shysters, they are a dish of cold sick in the canteen of Hell. They are moral bacteria."
The author deserves an award for that last paragraph alone!

I’ll stick my neck out and say the future of the Mayoralty is looking Conservative; the future of Westminster is looking Conservative and if anyone is serious about politics rather than the name calling and mud slinging of the Mickey Mouse parties they should get on board where their views can actually make a difference to this world.

We are in for troubled financial times ahead, but the electorate appear to be coming to their senses, so there are large glimpses of blue sky ahead.

Anonymous said...

Cllr Russell - yes agree with every word, apart from your pointed and obvious poke at UKIP. "and if anyone is serious about politics rather than the name calling and mud slinging of the Mickey mouse parties".

How typically arrogant Tory!

Anonymous said...

how typically realist?

Anonymous said...

How typical to hide behind an anonymous name.

Anonymous said...

Hi David

Sorry you took offence. I was thinking more about the LibDems, Green's etc.

Let's not start up the old nonsense of "typically arrogant Tory" and the such like. You and I know each other too well for that and we both know the old adage "you have to be in it to win it" is so very true in politics.

The political truth is that nationally the UK is primarily a two party scenario and locally primarily three. So however loud other parties or pressure groups shout they must fail to achieve.

We have the perfect example of this locally. As you and I know the LibDems have ruled the local council for over 20 years. They have used their local strength to get two LibDem MPs returned.

Absolutely no one in Westminster pays them a blind bit of notice. They shout about how hard they work etc. It really would not matter if they were both genuinely talented and worked 24/7 - this Borough has effectively not been represented in Westminster for 11 years.

Local residents would be hugely better served if our MPs were in one of the two major parties (clearly I would prefer them to be Conservatives).

We could debate long into the night whether this is right or wrong, however as things stand in the UK, only the two major parties will drive policy nationally. If stating a obvious fact causes you to think me arrogant, that is unfortunate (and as you know me pretty well it is also untrue!).

David, good luck on Thursday. I may well see you out and about.

Anonymous said...

Mr Russell, I concur entirely with your statements. Mr Burstow has been my MP for many years now (I live in Cheam) and I really can't name a single thing he has - by virtue of being a Member of the Commons - ever achieved. Lots of 'local campaigns' et cetera but has it made any difference? No, not really. I can't begin to name how many post office branches have been abolished despite endless 'campaigns'.

With all due respect to Mr Burstow and his party generally he'll never be a Minister, or even in a government party. He can, in effect, do nothing for substance. In that sense you might as well elect a Monster Looney Party MP!

I will be voting for the Conservatives for the London assembly body as well as for Mr Johnson for mayor.

Voting for Labour will only secure Mr Livingstone in his dictatorial throne for another term, voting Lib Dem will only waste a vote, the same for the little parties and candidate without a prayer be they the Green Party, Ukip Party, English Nationalists, Independents and all the rest of it.

In my humble opinion and at this stage only Conservatives can make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Barry - good luck to your candidate as well.

Anonymous said...

One thing in this round of London elections that surprises me is how low profiles the Liberal democrats are in general, have they basically given up on their candidates? i haven't heard a peep out of them!

I know the Brian Paddick mayor candidate but who is the local one? have they even got one?

Unknown said...

Whilst a Sky News journalist was shadowing him, Paddick was taken around a nursing home by local MP, Tom Brake. Unfortunately the vast majority of residents had decided to opt for a daytrip to the Isle of Wight instead.

Anonymous said...

Can't blame them for that!

Anonymous said...

I think the Lib Dems are increasingly seen as just a protest vote. Barry is right to point out how little my MP, Paul Burstow, has achieved at Westminster.

Paul Burstow is actually the reason I got into politics, let me explain why. I got fed up of hearing him go on and on about the Cheam postcode. I live in Cheam and there are so many things here that need attention before that (the state of the roads, parking, high council tax for older residents etc). Instead Burstow choses to go on and on about campaigns in which he has had no success, as no one listens to him!

I was also fed up of hearing how hard this guy works. Firstly, he votes against a cap on the number of flights from Heathrow, yet claims to be green! I actually ran a radio show at my former University and wanted to interview an MP for the three major parties. Labour and the Conservatives jumped at the chance, but when I contacted my local MP Paul Burstow (once by e-mail and three times to his offices) I did not even receive a reply!

In stark contrast, when I contacted former Sutton PPC Richard Willis, he responded to my e-mail within a day! Eventually Simon Hughes agreed to do the interview, but then again, he is a nice guy and a genuinely hard working MP.

We need an MP here who can make a difference and really does work hard for residents, getting results in Westminster! I want an MP who stands up for green issues, tries to tackle the tax burden, can fight for a better settlement for the Council from the Government, and does more than rely on their local roots to get elected!

Adrian Short said...

Councillor Russell,

In one breath you quote "Sean":

"Labour are a nothing party. They believe, literally, in nothing but their own careers. They are a busload of ugly, self-serving, slimy-faced shysters, they are a dish of cold sick in the canteen of Hell. They are moral bacteria."

and say:

"The author deserves an award for that last paragraph alone!"

and in the next:

"the future of Westminster is looking Conservative and if anyone is serious about politics rather than the name calling and mud slinging of the Mickey Mouse parties they should get on board where their views can actually make a difference to this world."

How far beyond "Mickey Mouse parties" (your words) and "moral bacteria" (Sean's) does one have to go to reach your definition of "name calling and mud slinging"?

Anonymous said...

Must proffer congratulations on the Conservative gains last night. Now all to play for in London. Whoever gets the mayorality will only get it by a short head in my opinion. I just can't stand the thought of another 4 years of Uncle Ken.

Anonymous said...

Mr Short

Thank you for your observations, my apologies that this reply is a few days late, I am sure you will appreciate that the last few days have been somewhat hectic for those of us involved in politics.

Maybe I should have explained my earlier comments more fully. Excluding Sean’s final paragraph, I thought his comments regarding the current Labour Party were “explicit, eloquent, concise and correct” it seems that all other contributers agree we this.

However, the final paragraph can hardly avoid being arraigned as you correctly have. I do not think Sean included it for any reason other than as a humouress conclusion to a serious contention. That certainly was why I chose to suggest it worthy of an award.

As poetic witty vitriol, literally dozens of people have confirmed to me that they think it highly amusing and well composed, with many if not most of them claiming that they hope to plagiarise it. Its inclusion and my praise were designed to amuse and in no way to suggest that the comments in that paragraph were serious political comment.

Having explained that, I would be very interested to know your views on my (serious this time!) comment regarding our two MPs:

“Absolutely no one in Westminster pays them a blind bit of notice. They shout about how hard they work etc. It really would not matter if they were both genuinely talented and worked 24/7 - this Borough has effectively not been represented in Westminster for 11 years.”

Whilst out and about in the Mayoral and GLA battle of yesterday I was taken to task by a very dour person who claimed to work for Paul Burstow. She told me that I was very wrong to criticise him for being ineffectual because he “is such a nice man”. Then again she also told me Brian Paddick was the “Greatest policeman Great Britain has ever had”.

Personally I think it is preferable that politicians are nice people but also essential that they are effective.

Anonymous said...


Over the last few weeks the strength of feeling on the street, that echoed your sentiments regarding Ken Livingstone, was remarkable.

Anyway onto other matters. Congratulations to you for your showing in the GLA election. You must be personally very pleased, we seemed to miss each other on Thursday whilst we were both out and about. With hindsight UKIP would have done better to run you for Mayor rather than Gerard (don't call me Gerald!).

Unfortunately if you stand in the General Election that is about the only thing that could save Burstow's place in the Commons, which is very ironic given the LibDem's love of the shambolic EU.

Anyway that is probably two years away.

Speak with you soon.


Anonymous said...

Barry - thank you for your good wishes. They have come in bucketloads today from various people, and I would like to thank anybody reading this who voted for me. As to the general election (which undoubtedly will be in May 2010 along with the locals), it's not a done deal yet. What has to be remembered is that UKIP have neither the money nor the manpower (at the moment) to match any of the 3 main parties within the borough. Of course it would be nice to be officially chosen, but there is a question of funding the deposit, leaflets, papers etc and currently that's a tall order.

Could you maybe ask Ashcroft for a sub for me?

Adrian Short said...

Cllr Russell,

I too am not particularly worried whether politicians are "nice". They should be legal, decent, honest and truthful. As to being "effective" -- what does this mean? A local MP is elected to represent his constituents, not just to govern them. You will be as aware as anyone that MPs (and councillors!) have divided loyalties between their constituents and their parties. While this may cause many sleepless nights for elected politicians, I believe this paradox is ultimately resolved by the broad representation of a wide range of views within our Parliament and councils.

Very few issues are purely local ones, therefore it's preferable to have that range of views represented by people from different parties to ensure that most views are represented somewhere and to prevent our political life becoming a stale monoculture.

If you want to take your argument to its logical conclusion, Conservative councillors in Sutton and Conservative MPs in Westminster aren't "effective" because while they may have more influence than some, they have no direct power. Are your colleagues in other boroughs where they are third-party councillors wasting their time, or are they representing a point of view that may be relatively unpopular in that area but nonetheless significant and deserving of a voice?