Tory chiefs accused of casting MPs adrift Tory MPs embroiled in controversy over 2015 General Election expenses have hit out at the party’s central office for “cocking up” and then casting them “adrift” as the row rumbles on. The Conservatives … Continue reading
If there is one session of Parliament that is simply unmissable for MPs, Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQ’s) is it.
It provides many subtle signs for the sophisticated observer to interpret. Rothpol always amuses himself by looking out for Denis MacShane and as importantly where he was sat.
Since Denis MacShane was relieved of the Labour Whip in October 2010, when it was announced that a Police investigation into his expenses claims had been launched, Denis has frequently inserted himself on the Labour benches as though he wasn’t suspended! Sitting there as bold as brass despite being cold shouldered!
Labour Whips have had great difficulty over the last 16 Months in controlling their suspended, and therefore for the moment Ex-Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) member, Denis MacShane. He insists on sitting amongst Labour MPs on the opposition benches, confusing the casual observer.
The Speaker normally obliges us, by calling Denis MacShane. This week the Speaker couldn’t call Denis because he wasn’t even there!
One hopes that the investigation by the Metropolitan Police concludes very soon, it has been 16 Months so far.
Even if the Met Police and the special CPS group recommend no prosecution, Denis MacShane is still the subject of a, currently suspended, Parliamentary investigation. The report of the Standards and Privileges Committee, Chairman one Kevin Barron, will be published in due course and thought to be so damaging, that suspension of the whip would then be made permanent.
How did Miliband do? Not much better than a score draw. Monday was just a flash in the pan if today’s exchanges are anything to go by?
MacShane however seems to be completely unfazed by this and can often be seen still lurking on the Labour benches as if nothing had happened! No sign of support from them though, he only seems to enter the chamber when there is plenty of room on said benches, he has appeared a little lonely of late.
‘Doughnutting’, is a parliamentary term to refer to the practice of surrounding someone they wish to support, for the benefit of the television cameras and their rather narrow shots in parliamentary coverage. These tight shots are to con the public into thinking there are more MPs present than there actually are.
Cows in a field will not graze too close to cow pats, this is known as the ‘zone of repugnance’, or perhaps in parliamentary language ‘reverse-doughnutting’.
Denis seems to be benefiting from a distinct reluctance by his colleagues to sit close to him. Also he seems to exit the chamber just as soon as he has made his contribution.
Perhaps now is the time for Denis to exhibit a little humility for a change and to stop acting as though nothing has happened. He is, after all, still under investigation by the parliamentary authorities and in addition by the police!
If he carries on in a similar vein, he will leave himself open to the accusation that he is not taking the investigations seriously and it just reinforces most peoples views as to his arrogance!