FRANK Dobson wasn’t snubbed for a place in the House of Lords when the latest lot of believers in an unelected second chamber were beamed up to the red benches in last month’s list of new peers. It’s just an assumption, of course, that Tessa Jowell, Lynne Featherstone and co are not outraged by the way you get a place in the room Tim Farron labelled ‘Narnia’. But if they hate it, their ascensions are a roundabout way of showing their displeasure. As for Dobbo, he is not about to lead a march down Whitehall demanding the reform of the Lords, but you are unlikely to see him become Lord Dobson of Bloomsbury any time soon either. The briefing goes this week, and readers of a niche blog like this understand how these things work, that Frank was approached more than a year ago as he made moves to depart the Commons. The former health secretary politely declined, telling colleagues that he just didn’t fancy it. He has other plans for retirement. Memoirs will have to wait, however, as he is heading off to Canada in the coming weeks to address conferences about the danger of private marketeers in the health service.
TULIP: NO REGRETS OVER CORYNMANIA
HAMPSTEAD and Kilburn’s MP Tulip Siddiq stands by her position to help Jeremy Corbyn onto the Labour leadership ballot paper with her parliamentary nomination, even though she wants Andy Burnham to win. “I don’t think we would have had the same debate if it had just been Andy, Yvette and Liz Kendall,” she told the New Journal this week. Local doubters say she will regret it all if an unpopular Corbyn leadership turns her constituency into another tug-of-war with the Conservatives in 2020. Tulip admits she has been “surprised” by the power of the Corbyn campaign, but added it was time to respect what the membership wanted.
With a small pool of supportive of MPs to choose from, there have been whispers that she would be elevated by Corbyn, if he wins, to a front bench role. But, when asked, she rules out working in a shadow cabinet with any of the candidates while she is still getting used to life at the House of Commons.
ROYALIST OR REPUBLICAN?
THE usual complaint about Camden’s bust full council meetings still applies. Motions, the part of the all-member sessions where we actually see the colour of a councillor’s voting record, are tucked away like inconvenient irritations at the end of the agenda. So the gang all meet again next Wednesday knowing that there will not be time to hear all four scripts. This time, however, the rubbish ordering is good news for secret republicans, who are unlikely to face being asked to declare their hand publicly. Conservatives Oliver Cooper and Jonny Bucknell want the council to agree to send hearty congratulations to the Queen on becoming the country’s longest-serving monarch, asking everyone to vote on how grateful they are for her “public service”. If heard, the motion might see a couple of known rebels forced to awkwardly sit on their hands.
THE polls close.
This leadership election was a farce – anyone up for re-running it?
— Theo Blackwell (@camdentheo) September 10, 2015
TULIP asked for advice.
@TulipSiddiq Tulip I have not been disqualified or received the means to vote in the leadership ballot. I paid but nothing? Suggestion?
— Vicky Fox (@Vicky_Doorstep) September 9, 2015