remember Eric Joyce(not to be confused with James Joyce or Joyce Grenfell)? He is currently the one-time Labour MP for Falkirk,but soon will not be on account of beating up the odd Tory in the Strangers bar!
There was a time when the delightful Mr Joyce was the apple of the Blairites eye, not only was he a bright shiny Labour MP but he had been a bright shiny British Army officer and thus a welcome addition to the massed ranks of Blairite aficionados
He might almost have been parachuted into working class Falkirk, much in the way other favoured sons and daughters were all over the place.
A Mandelson up in Hartlepool,a Miliband up in South Shields,another Miliband up in Doncaster,even a Blair in solid old mining constituency of Sedgefield!
It wasquite marvellous how so many of the London elite managed to turn up in rock solid proletarian parliamentary seats, clutching their CV's from years in Whitehall working as special assistants to ministers,or leading London councils for ooh...microseconds, or even having worked on the pit face in a barrister's chambers.
Luckily all of these class warriors seemed to have pristine union cards issued by the TGWU or the GMBU,often in London offices by union officers doubling as party hacks.
But you see in those days when the Labour Party was keen to forget its labouring class roots,when in wanted shiny TV presenters or journalists or barristers or doctors of the spinning variety or even army officers or businessmen,then all the talk of fixing short lists and favourite sons and daughters was something those sweaty old lefties did in smoke filled rooms!
New Labour was above all those machinations, it was as new as a new penny and wanted its people in parliament to represent Mondeo man and encouraged those in the class who wanted to get 'filthy rich'-that was what was new about new Labour!
they were happy to have a shrinking party, and they didn't mind a few mucky trade unionists hanging about as long as they passed over their dosh-why some like Alan Johnson might even cop a safe seat,but truth to tell they preferred big bundles of wonga from rich city types- after all they weren't too interested in policy-all they wanted was the odd peerage and a bit of a guzzle at Chequers now and then.
Over the last few weeks The Times(prop.R.Murdoch) has been running a vicious campaign against Unite the Union and Len McCluskey in particular over the Falkirk selection process.Unite have committed the unpardonable sin of wanting a union supporter to win the nomination in a working class constituency, and they have done the unforgivable thing of recruiting working class men and women in the union to Falkirk Labour Party(don't suppose many of them were Falkirk based barristers,spin-doctors,business tycoons or senior military personnel)
No they were probably unemployed,factory workers,shop workers,lorry drivers- all those men and women who were the creators of the trade union movement generations ago, who moved on to found a party for Labouring people....it seems to me that at last the wheel is starting to turn full circle.
Imagine working people taking control of a working peoples political party! I bet none of them ever read 'Progress' or wonder why so many of the New Labour project managers are working for the coalition or Murdoch's papers!
Eric Joyce was one of the New Labour breed,doesn't that say everything about why they need to go!(oh and by the way he was one of the biggest expense claimants in the PLP- but they never slung him out for that-he got slung out for smacking a Tory.