Thursday, March 09, 2006

How Has Lynne Featherstone Upset Ming?

I wonder what the Imperial One has got against Lynne Featherstone? Despite the fact that I find her voice extremely irritating, she's been a rather effective performer since she got into the Commons at the last election. Yet in Ming's Shadow team she has seen three women promoted, all of whom are under 30 and none of whom have anything like the track record of Ms Featherstone. OK, she was a vocal supporter of Chris Huhne, but that's hardly crime of the century.Would any of my LibDem readers care to dish the dirt enlighten us?

30 comments:

russ said...

Oh come now, her voice is so high pitched that one can't love it for its cartoon qualities.

Though I was a bit surprised that she didn't receive cabinet or very-near-cabinet billing.

Anonymous said...

The others have potential, you can see them as future cabinet or shadow cabinet ministers. Lynne has more of the Simon Hughes quality about her... personally likeable, great campaigner, good at publicity but ultimately lacking that sense of statesperson-like gravitas, or any sense that it might develop.

If quantity of effort and sensational local results were a measure of qualification for the front bench, Lynne would be Deputy Leader. But it isn't and what Lynne and Simon perhaps don't get is that 650 great local campaigners do not make for a government.
Is there a portfolio that Lynne is clearly the best Lib Dem MP to represent... I can't see it...

Essentially she's a nice person and extremely hard-working who you'd want batting for your team in a bye-election. If Kennedy were still leader she'd have been promoted. But we're growing up from that kind of party. Menzies decisions show a marked departure from the cult of the local celebrity MP and ineffectual affability before ability. Not promoting Featherstone was a good decision, tough but good.

Andrea said...

"Yet in Ming's Shadow team she has seen three women promoted, all of whom are under 30 "

Susan Kramer has been promoted to the Shadow Cabinet too

Anonymous said...

how do you explain sarah teather then

Anonymous said...

What people see is Sarah Teather, I do not know.

Also, note a certain Ming campaign manager was not given a position. Is it because even Ming realises he's a complete moron (even by Lib Dem standards?)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
how do you explain sarah teather then

pass on that one

There is an ineresting qoute on Lynne Featherstone's blog which says "I go back to my room and find a message on my phone from the Press Office to say that Question Time have bumped me off the program next Thursday in favour of Nick Clegg - as he is on the Ming team and therefore because of the result they want a Minger!"

The Grim Reaper said...

Lynne Featherstone was meant to be on BBC Question Time tonight too, but now it appears there is to be no Liberal Democrat representation at all.

Andrea said...

"Also, note a certain Ming campaign manager was not given a position. Is it because even Ming realises he's a complete moron (even by Lib Dem standards?)"


if you're referring to Paul Burstow, he's running for the Chief Whip position as Ming's favourite choice.

Tim said...

Who are the people running for Deputy Leader? I know David Heath is, but anyone else?

Recess Monkey said...

I'm sorry, but "statesperson-like" - Isn't that taking political correctness just a little too far?

Anonymous said...

Also, note a certain Ming campaign manager was not given a position. Is it because even Ming realises he's a complete moron (even by Lib Dem standards?)

Surely this is a reference to Dimby Browne?

Inamicus said...

There's going to be further announcements on junior positions....

Burstow for Chief Whip although Phil Willis may run; Hughes for deputy leader?

Cllr David Morton said...

I think you are completely wrong about lynne shes a self made millionaire - from business not the city. If she got voice coaching she'd be a mega star by lib dem standards. the idea she couldn't be a minister is absurd.

Anonymous said...

I think Alan Sugar proves you can be a millionaire and still have poor judgement.

James said...

Susan Kramer is under 30? She looks MUCH older than Sarah Teather (32)!

The Grim Reaper said...

"I think Alan Sugar proves you can be a millionaire and still have poor judgement."

If you're referring to last night's edition of The Apprentice, I agree with you entirely. One can only assume he didn't fire that loud, big-haired Brummie thing because it makes for good television.

Paul Linford said...

I have to say that the post by the first anonymong about how the other women all have so much more Cabinet potential than Lynne and that's why they were promoted is the most contemptible, disingenuous load of balls I have read on this or any other blog for quite a long time.

He knows perfectly well that the reason Jo Swinson, Julia Goldsworthy and Sarah Teather got promoted and Lynne Featherstone didn't is because they supported Ming Campbell in the leadership election while she supported Chris Huhne.

The truth is that party leaders invariably feel they have to reward loyalty and punish "disloyalty" because that's what party management demands. They fear that if they did not do this, there would be no incentive for people to support the leadership and anarchy would ensue. That is exactly what Ming has done in not promoting Lynne and also in ensuring that Clegg got a more important job than Huhne.

So, anonymous, please don't try and patronise us by spinning fatuous yarns about people being promoted on the basis of ability. It's nothing to do with ability and everything to do with loyalty.

Anonymous said...

I think Lynne would a great minister too, but there isn't space for everyone.

Slightly bemused by Sarah Teather myself though.

Susan Kramer is 55. The Lib Dems currently seem to be doing a line in highly competent but not necessarily likeable females.

Anonymous said...

if anyone watched her performance on Police Bill on 6th March you would realise why she wasn't promoted. She reads from a script, can't improvise, gets stuff wrong, won't answer questions and doesn't know her parties own line....laughable

Edward said...

Iain, I think it's because she was agitating to prevent the "coronation" early on. Clearly unforgiveable to make the Empire go through the throes of an election...

Anonymous said...

Lynne hasn't been making wise choices, quite apart from enthusiastically supporting Chris - her blog is a bit indiscreet, or at least inappropriate.

One way to NOT get a promotion, is to say you want a job promised to someone else i.e. Lynne saying to journos she wants Shadow Home Sec.

Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong on Lynne in many ways.

Before being elected in 05 she was almost silent on anything - her performance in hustings & local public meetings less than good. I doubt voice coaching would make her a 'star.' Her acceptance speech was awful and made no attempt to even acknowledge the defeated Labour MP, Barbara Roche.

What many people may not realise is Lynne inherited her multi-millions from a family lighting business (recently switched from owning shop business to the properties shops were in.) Also one of largest LD personal donors to the national party; 2) believe trained as an actress; 3) last couple of years rather changed image and pictures made her a look much younger than she is, 4) she actually came from being a local Cllr in marginal 3-way ward to make safe seat and at 3rd attempt came from 3rd place to winning Parliamentary seat resulting from changes in demographics and constantly telling people how much LDs were doing (huge money helps!)

In the years up to '05 election - she was really the face of the campaign. The strings were pulled from behind her by local activists including 4 members of Cowley St LD campaign team. Her money of course helped and local image as community worker rather than politician (the reality was she was a professional politician and still sits as a local ward Cllr though gave up GLA top-list seat.)

Since she has been elected come much more out of the shell! I have heard more opinions from Lynne in last year than almost last 10 years.

Gravitas I doubt, actually a nice person but her winning a Westminster seat was more something of 18-19th century political history given the money spent on campaigning.

One only has to look at the Electoral Commission disclosures to see number of local LD members could not support such money being spent (even when a LD target parliamentary seat) with much less members that local Tories or Labour.

JJ said...

That last anonymonger comment sounds like a very familiar voice to me bearing a very personal grudge - I won't name names but anyone who's anyone will know who it is based on the obseessive focus on Lynne's finances!!!!

Mark P said...

The irony about opponents' moans over the LDs in Haringey is the ability of the Tories in particular to spend large amounts of money in Haringey for no discrenible real benefit.

Their massive financial waste truly is a sight to behold.

At the general election they spent just about up to the limit - as did the LDs and Labour, but only got 13%. In terms of votes won for seats gained this must have been one of the worst results in the country.

Smarter Tories would be saying it's time to sack the people running their Haringey campaigns after an expensive fiasco like that.

elephunt said...

'She's a nice person'?

I may be wrong but didn't Charles Kennedy have to apologise to Barbara Roche when Featherstone's campaign team attacked Barbara's HOC attendance record - forgetting to mention that Barbara was caring for her sick daughter?

JJ said...

Elephunt - that version you give is a highly twisted account of the truth - but the funniest thing was when i heard her daughter was sick and looked at Bab's attendence record I thought it was some devasating illness she had - what was it in the end????? - a mere broken leg....hmmmm.....

Elephunt said...

So Kennedy apologised for nothing did he? hmmmm .Oh and it wasn't my version, it was the version I read in the local press at the time .I mean ,it's not exactly beyond the LDs ,is it?

Elephunt said...

Here's the 'just a broken leg'

"Mrs Roche is "shocked" that Lib-Dems have used the information - after it was reported the low attendance was mainly due to her daughter undergoing two operations on a shattered leg"

Nice

Anonymous said...

"The others have potential, you can see them as future cabinet or shadow cabinet ministers. Lynne ... ultimately lacking that sense of statesperson-like gravitas, or any sense that it might develop."

And Jo Swinson has???? Have you heard some of her oral questions? She makes a 16 year old William Hague look like a world statesman.

Jo Swinson? "Statesperson-like gravitas"? That's got to be the most amusing thing I've heard since David Blunkett's dog ate his bird's bag.

Susanne said...

Personally I'm really disappointed. I'm one of her greatest loyalists.

All the good work she did whilst on the GLA (transport)should count for something.

The comments about her personality are really not justified. She is definately one of the nicest MP's, a real people person, not frosty faced like some I wouldn't like to mention.

The best thing about Lynne she says it as it is.