Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Kate Hoey's had a great week

My local MP, Kate Hoey has had a pretty stellar week it has to be said. While the press scrambled for an untarnished name in government at the height of the expenses scandal, Kate Hoey's name shone through. The former Sports minister has been the subject of some pretty brutal attacks over the years, most recently from Ken Livingston who called Kate "Batty" last year, when she decided to support Boris Johnson's Mayoral bid by becoming his non-paid executive adviser to the 2012 Olympics. As Sports Minister she was subject to what appeared to be unprovoked bile from a number of tabloid newspapers for opposing London's Olympic bid.

Kate famously stood against the Iraqi war and opposes Labour's ID Card scheme, the hunting ban, university top-up fees and the EU Lisbon Treaty. She's actively involved in issues such as affordable housing and sports in schools.

Yesterday she was subject to an attempted humiliation at the hands of our awesomely inept Speaker of the House, Michael Martin. When Kate challenged the Home Office's decision to order an inquiry into the MP's expenses leak calling it an "awful waste of money" at a time when the police already had a "huge job" to do in London, Michael Martin interrupted by saying "I listen to you often, when I turn on my television at midnight, and I hear your public utterances and your pearls of wisdom on Sky News. It's easy to talk then... Some of us in this House have other responsibilities". While a general feeling of disgust at Martin's actions are shared across the house with Nick Clegg warning that the Speaker should not be criticising the media at a time when he should "taking a lead" on the expenses issue and Conservative MP Douglas Carswell called for a vote of no confidence citing that "However good he may be at being Mr Martin, he is quite useless at being the Speaker" Gordon Brown is standing behind his man.

Is it proactive for the least popular Prime Minister of all time to support the least popular Speaker in recent memory? I don't know. I'm not sure it matters at this point, Gordon's got 12 months to rush through as much legacy destroying legislation as he possibly can before Labour can reshuffle and make themselves a viable prospect again in 8-12 years. Maybe with a proper MP like Kate Hoey back on the front-bench.

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