Dear Editor. Jonathan Walker (Post column July 9) attempts to explain away the less than loyal actions of local labour MPs by saying “rebels tend to emerge when governments have been in power for a long time and have a small majority”.
Whilst it is true the current Labour Government has been in power a long time, it is not true that it has a small majority. The present Labour Government won an overall majority of 64 seats at the 2005 General Election and it is currently only slightly reduced from that. Even though 64 seats is less than the landslides which Tony Blair won in 1997 and 2001, in Parliamentary terms an overall majority of 64 seats is still very considerable.
I suspect the real reason local Labour MPs are now sometimes speaking out against their Government is because – like the rest of the population – they can see how unpopular Brown’s Government has become. As a result, they are desperately trying to distance themselves from it. But at the end of the day, they are Labour MPs, and on most issues they DO still vote with their party.
Furthermore, when the next General Election comes, no matter what they say now, with the exception of Clare Short and Lynne Jones who are retiring, the others will be standing as Labour candidates and asking voters to prolong the life of this extremely lame Labour Government. That is what voters will judge them on.
Coun Deirdre Alden,
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Edgbaston.