Cheers, Joan


‘The honourable Joan Ryan’ anagrams into: ‘Enjoy heartburn on a halo’. I like to think it means ‘enjoy looking all righteous now, but later it’s going to smart.’ I didn’t work the anagram out myself. I got it from a cheap, tacky website for people who are not terribly smart with such things (kinda like the one Ms Ryan apparently gets her political decisions from).

Joan Ryan MP has been fired by Gordon Brown for publicly calling for a leadership contest again. She won’t get it. What she has already got is a lazy and blood-loving media (which has already decided that their line on Gordon Brown must be his failures, real or imagined) all hot and sweaty. Why? Because Gordon was doing okay for the first week in living memory.

His rather silly (but utterly necessary in a society where people who are told their approval of someone is dropping tend to stop approving of them) ‘relaunch’ of his personal brand this week has been derailed by that Ryan woman. But when a train that was until very recently on fire is derailed, it’s not just a transporting incident. People get hurt.

I’m not a prophet. I can’t predict or prove that this incident will be the nail in the coffin for Brown. But if it is, then it is a nail in the coffin of Labour, more than likely. Take a minute to think what that means. The Tories in charge. The people, the interests they represent, with the ear of government and the laws of the land supporting them.

I’m no unquestioning fan of New Labour and their pathetic bowing and scraping to money, power and privilege. But there is still a difference between them and the Tories. I just wish Joan Ryan had remembered that before she put the boot in. Because if the Conservative Party gets in in the next election, she will be partly to blame.

Now let’s be fair. Maybe our Joan is really all about the ideology and not the limelight. And maybe that ideology is not unbridled capitalism or some aristocratic (in the new, not Platonic sense) rot. Maybe she’s rebelling because she’s a woman of conscience, a real lefty renegade…

Um… No. Check out her record at and see if that fits. If she’s all about expressing her conscience and not sticking the knife in, why did she vote ‘very strongly’ for the Iraq war and ‘very strongly’ against an investigation into it? And very strongly for the liberty-eroding anti-terror laws. And ‘strongly against a transparent parliament‘ [italics mine][all mine! miiiiiine!]. And for introducing top-up fees.

Admittedly, this hardly sets her far apart from a lot of Labour MPs. Or many Conservatives. But it does kinda disprove that her motivation is to move towards something more oriented towards workers, poor people, socialism or pretty, fluffy kittens of good politics.

Just remember. When the Tories win and the country is handed over to private business interests, when taxes for the rich are cut and the poor have spending on their welfare reduced, remember Joan Ryan. And Charles Clarke. And the rest of them.


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