Confessions of a Political Animal

October 11, 2008

A continuing question of scrutiny

A few weeks ago, I took Tory London Assembly Member Roger Evans gently to task for a low-grade ConservativeHome article in which he claimed that the Conservative Assembly group was doing a pretty good hash of their new-ish role as Boris’ cheerleaders ‘critical friends’. In that post I pointed out that the Tory group was asking a miserably low number of questions of the Mayor per member compared with the other parties and that the quality didn’t make up for the lack of quantity.

So, how goes the scrutiny of the Mayor from the ‘government’ benches? Well, the first big change is that Roger Evans himself is now the Conservative group’s leader. And the second big change…is that nothing much has changed. The Conservative group is continuing to table nearly four times fewer questions to the Mayor (questions for October 15th Mayor’s Question Time here) per member than any other party group. Even the Assembly’s increasingly delusional resident fascist Richard Barnbrook has found time – despite having single-handedly deposed Sir Ian Blair – to table five questions (and only two involve some form of race baiting! Well done Richard – you can kick the habit!). The Tories managed to piece together just 4.4 each, with Roger Evans and Brian Coleman, another (more…)

October 8, 2008

Should Transport fear its new Adonis?

One of the little surprises hidden under the big surprise of last week’s Cabinet reshuffle was the musical chairs amongst the lower ranks in the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Department for Children Schools & Families (DCSF). In particular, mildly controversial blogging MP Tom Harris lost the railways brief (and indeed, all ministerial position), with Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Schools Lord Adonis taking his place.

Adonis is, to put it mildly, an odd creature within the Labour Party. I should, briefly declare a prejudicial interest here – Adonis was the author of the most dry and uninspiring text book (now available for an inflation-busting £1.70+£2.75 P&P) on my A-level Government & Politics reading list and ten years on I’m still not quite ready to forgive.

Formerly of the SDP, Adonis, like many other such traitors turncoats Jenkinsites late developers late joiners of the Labour movement, he relied heavily on the patronage of Tony Blair on his climb of the greasy poll, with his ability to articulate and promote the most anti-progressive education policies (more…)

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