Battle of Orgreave: MPs call for independent review of South Yorkshire Police’s files


MPs have called for hundreds of unreleased files about the so-called Battle of Orgreave during the 1984 Miners’ Strike to be independently reviewed. *The Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee says it has discovered that South Yorkshire Police (SYP) holds 94 … Continue reading

Yorkshire Labour MPs condemn party’s decision not to expel Ken Livingstone


A number of Yorkshire Labour MPs are among those who have condemned that party over its decision not to expel Ken Livingstone following allegations of anti-semitism Former leader Ed Miliband, and former shadow cabinet members Yvette Cooper and Michael Dugher … Continue reading

Exclusive: Ex-South Yorkshire police tsar could face new perjury inquiry


Confirmed: Watchdog mulls criminal case against ousted Yorkshire police tsar A POLICE watchdog has confirmed it has now begun a fresh consideration of whether there could be a criminal case against former South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright … Continue reading

Police watchdog to reconsider case against former Police and Crime Commissioner


Police watchdog to reconsider case against former Police and Crime Commissioner The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to reconsider whether there is a criminal case against South Yorkshire’s former police and crime commissioner. It comes after the IPCC admitted … Continue reading

Labour in meltdown over new leader election


Anyone who thought there was peace and tranquility in the Labour Party would be mistaken. Locally Rotherham Labour Group, the source of all power in Rotherham, is riven with factionalism, and the gulf between the activists and the parliamentary party, … Continue reading

Would you buy a used car from this bunch?

The first time a Labour Leader chose his own Shadow Cabinet, rather than by election among the labour MPs themselves, we get an uninspiring Leader choosing a pretty uninspiring front bench!

Most would struggle to identify more than a handful of Ed Milband’s pick for his A team. The new faces are simply time served party apparatchiks who have known little else but politics since leaving college!

This is probably the weakest Shadow front bench we have ever seen and inspire little in the way of confidence just at the time when experience may be needed.

Labour leave parliament with the disaster for Ed Miliband at PMQs still reverberating in their ears, a disaster for them on Europe, and if that were not bad enough, Labour is now firmly behind in the latest opinion polls!

No sense of direction is apparent and Ed Miliband’s leadership is turning into a disaster in much the same way Michael Foots leadership was a huge mistake!

Ed Balls, in his announcement before this years autumn conference that he no longer had ambitions to lead the party, was interpreted by most, as firing the starting pistol for the race to replace Ed Miliband as leader. At least, it was an open invitation for plotting to commence.

Yvette Cooper, no wonder she has not taken her husbands name, it’s Balls! Is said to be in pole position and the favoured choice of those who judge these things, especially the MPs! She will have to assert her political independence though, if she is to remain front runner at the end.

Many other political political careers, currently on hold, will depend on Yvette’s success. Why is John Healey not in the Shadow Cabinet? Is a question I have now heard many times. Was it the result of pure political spite on Ed Miliband’s part, as some have suggested for the support he gave Ed Balls? Whatever the reason, the Shadow Cabinet is the poorer without him!

MP Expenses Scandal – Balls & Cooper, A Tory Complains!

Yvette Cooper, shadow Home Secretary and her husband Ed Balls, shadow Chancellor, both Yorkshire MPs, are in further difficulty with their expenses claims. It has emerged that Andrew Bridgen, a Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, has written to John Lyon CB, the standards commissioner (AKA the sleaze buster, by some) complaining about the high number of claims made by the pair for family travel.

The ‘Green Book’ allows an MP to be reimbursed for 30 journeys per child, per year.

The couple claimed for 375 journeys taken by their three children between 2007 and 2010 between London and Yorkshire.

This adds further to the recent embarrassment for the Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Labour Party after Eric Illsley, Elliot Morley and Denis MacShane! One by-election victory in Barnsley does not repair the damage to their reputation.

They still have to face up to the fact that the expenses scandal is not going away any time soon and won’t, until the past is properly dealt with and the expenses fraudsters brought to book!

Why are Cooper and Balls of interest to us? Yvette Cooper, threw her hat in the ring in 1996, for selection as Wentworth’s replacement Member of Parliament for Peter Hardy. John Healey won comfortably, Yvette polled just 14 Votes from a then membership of 900 plus. Oh dear! I did warn her!

Her exceedingly poor performance in terms of votes was affected by an indiscretion at a Brampton Parish Hall Christmas do, a fortnight before the final selection meeting. Yvette’s  husband  to be, Ed Balls, put his foot in it when he was overheard to say, “This was his first visit to Yorkshire and he hoped it would be his last!” Not the best way to endear yourself to a bunch of Yorkshire folk wanting to find a suitable candidate to be their next MP!

Genuine Tyke, John Healey – Now 'Politicians Politician'!

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.


See Independent and People articles.