The shadow MP

JO Shaw, the Liberal Democrat hoping to make history by unseating long-serving Labour MP Frank Dobson, is going around calling herself a ‘Shadow MP’. Emily Thornberry’s opponent in Islington, Bridget Fox, is doing the same – although at least in her case she is fast becoming the bookie’s favourite. But what’s this made-up new title all about? Who’s heard of a ‘Shadow MP’? Not me. I can’t be the only one who thinks that comes across as a little bit of self-aggrandising before the main event of this year’s General Election. Voters in Holborn and St Pancras will be more interested in what the candidates – there’s a simple name for people running in an election – have to say, than what odd names they conjure up for themselves.

Shadow MP

Our 'Shadow MP' with a message to her 'shadow constituents'?

6 Comments on The shadow MP

  1. Self agrandisement would seem charitable. Some might consider it a deliberate attempt to hoodwink voters in to thinking they have some official status that they don’t. Like the parliamentary lib dems refering to their spokespeople as ‘Shadows’ when the is actually a constitutional term for the front bench of the official opposition. It’s not out of character for them.

    Although it could be seen as an admission, in Jo Shaw’s case, that she’d be a mere shadow of an MP compared to Frank.

  2. It’s a quicker way to refer to a candidate than “Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for X & Y” which takes up masses of space and many people don’t really know what a PPC is or does. In the cases you describe the 2 women really are shadowing the MPs, actually doing more work than the MPs themselves, because they are the ones who really care about the areas they represent.

    Just because Frank Dobson has been around forever doesn’t mean he’s entitled to the seat. Jo Shaw does far more work to help people. It’s time for a change, and a miracle Labour have any hardcore voters left after they mess they’ve made this Country into.

    The Lib Dem front bench are as much “shadow” cabinet as the Tories, we’ve moved onto to three party politics now!

  3. Fred Carver's pudding bowl // January 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm //

    Helen, I don’t see how you can support the statement that your PPC does “more work”, that’s mindlessly doctrinaire at the very least, and disrespectful to someone who has been an excellent public servant to the people of the borough since the 1970s (not sure just how long Jo Shaw has been here??)

    Also you seek to undermine people who vote Labour – more people voted Labour in Camden than for other parties in 2006 (last borough elections), and in 2008 the Lib dems came 4th!

    We know from her antics on youth cuts on the Maiden Lane estate which cause so much anger locally that she’s not beyond a bit of creative writing to back her ambition up. This is just another example surely.

    • General Robin Hood // January 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm //

      Frank, in all his years as H&SP MP; never once did something so disrespectful like bringing a camera crew to a Remembrance Sunday for his own political aspirations.

      She can’t hold a candle to Frank. She has not a single redeeming quality.


  4. Helen “In the cases you describe the 2 women really are shadowing the MPs,”

    No they aren’t. When someone shadows somebody they go round with them learning from them as they do the job. When you shadow someone at work it’s a friendly relationship where an inexperienced person learns how to do the job from someone who knows what they are doing.

    Are they doing that?

    The shadow ministers etc. that you mention have been elected by the voters and therefore have a democratic mandate to hold the government to account. The public have never elected Jo Shaw and perhaps they never will.

    Describing yourself as a ‘shadow MP’ is to award yourself a title without the messy necessity of having to get elected.

    They are candidates, anything else is spin and hubris.

  5. Iam Notcameron // January 27, 2010 at 6:12 pm //

    They are working for a dark power hence shadowey

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