I wrote this last year on Oct 10th, I wouldn’t take a single word back except to point out that John has grown into his role in opposition admirably and is beginning to comprehensively pick the Tories policies on health and the NHS apart!
The Shadow Cabinet elections have revealed Yorkshireman, John Healey, to have become the consummate politician. Suddenly bursting in to public view to reveal a perfectly formed, gifted man, in much the same way that a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis.
Coming second only to another talented Labour MP, Yvette Cooper in the Shadow Cabinet vote amongst Labour MPs a distinct achievement in itself shows just how his peculiar talents have been recognised by all groups of opinion on the Labour benches.
John’s achievements now eclipse anything other Rotherham representatives of the past or present have managed and still has potentially the most successful period ahead of him.
I am confident that John will perform well at his brief. Taking the Health portfolio, will allow him ample possibilities to play to his strengths and to learn the arts of opposition, which are quite different to being in Government.
If John does not get involved in shaping future campaigns for Labour it will be their loss.
I am glad that the young man that appeared on my doorstep all those years ago, wanting to enter the race for Wentworth, (occasioned by Peter Hardy’s retirement) has handsomely repaid the confidence we placed in him, back on that chilly night shortly before Christmas 1996, much to the chagrin of those who had wished to see inferior, but local candidates.