Cryer takes chairmanship of PLP as things are about to get bumpy

It’s not a reflection on John Cryer’s charisma or ability, but the election of a new chairman of the Parliamentary Labour party is one of those occasions that only registers among the political cognoscenti.

Yet, the role – invariably described as Labour backbenchers’ shop steward – is important for a party about to head into a period of serious turbulence.

Put bluntly, Labour either enters government in May, or it does not.

Let’s take the more optimistic scenario first. If Ed Miliband pips David Cameron to the electoral post he is, most probably, going to be at the helm of coalition government, with all the inherent instability that brings with it.

Crucially, a deal with the Lib Dems – and possibly the Democratic Unionists – will also involve sharing out the ministerial goodies.

We’ve seen how unhappy many overlooked Conservative backbenchers have been throughout this parliament, with their prospects of promotion severely curtailed as a chunk of ministerial jobs – hitherto coming their way – were offered up to their Lib Dem coalition partners.

Cue the inevitable muttering from Labour MPs who are equally observant of the law of Buggin’s turn.

Cryer will now be the person charged with channelling these kinds of frustrations and grievances up to Ed Miliband’s notoriously haphazard private office.

His two immediate predecessors in this parliament, Dave Watts and Tony Lloyd, were the epitome of geniality and courtesy and have had a relatively quiet time of it.

But Cryer faces a tougher watch, especially if Labour loses in May and is plunged into a bout of introspection, and, in all probability, a leadership contest.

Here again, the chairman of the PLP will play a pivotal role in helping provide stability during what might well be a far less collegiate contest than 2010.


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4 Responses to “Cryer takes chairmanship of PLP as things are about to get bumpy”

  1. Tafia says:

    Labour would have truly taken leave of it’s senses if it ever went into Coalition with the DUP. The DUP is openly bigoted. Is anti-gay, anti-EU, anti-immigrant (particularly those form catholic countries) and anti-Catholic. Is also anti any religion that isn’t Christian Protestant. It is more right wing than UKIP and probably more right wing than the BNP. Traditional Monarchists who support the Royal family through thick and thin & who always stand for the national anthem, even in their own homes. Many many of them do not drink to such severity that they won’t even eat liquer chocolates or sherry trifle.

    It is the openly political wing of the Orange Order.

  2. John Cryer’s win is a very major Eurosceptic gain, and thus a sign of the direction of Labour MPs in the midst of the collapse of the Eurozone out of which Gordon Brown so wisely kept this country. Good stuff. Very, very, very good stuff, indeed.

    As for the DUP, it loathes the Conservative Party, long ago supplanted the only party in Northern Ireland that ever did have any time for it (and that was always a strained relationship), and mostly represents the old working class and heavily subsidised agriculture in a place with barely any private sector.

    So there you have it. If you vote for anyone with any meaningful chance of winning a seat, other than the Conservatives themselves, then you are voting for Ed Miliband as Prime Minister and for no Conservative Party members in government.

    Everyone else contesting this Election is defined specifically by hatred of that party, and would simply have to support Miliband, since they could not possibly support David Cameron. None of them needs to be offered anything. They just need to be dared to go home if they had kept Cameron in office.

    But the DUP’s three-point wish list is more defence spending, tighter immigration controls, and the abolition of the Bedroom Tax, all of which are in fact Labour policy, so there is no problem there. Any Irish Republican lobby inside Labour is now negligible, with only about as many Irish as Indian passport-holders still voting in the United Kingdom, even including Northern Ireland.

    The only way to have so much as one Conservative as the Minister of Anything, never mind Cameron at the top, is to return a Conservative overall majority. That was psephologically impossible in 2010, and it is still psephologically impossible in 2015. It would require a Conservative lead of 11 points, which would be 11 times larger than the lead that that party very occasionally records, although even that lead is highly infrequent.

  3. Tafia says:

    Everyone else contesting this Election is defined specifically by hatred of that party

    Actually, that is bollocks. The SNP, Plaid, Greens, UKIP, Lib Dems, Alliance, SDLP are not that enamoured with most of what Labour say – as will be abley demonstrated when Labour attempts to build some form of loose coalition in May and finds the minimum demands of the other parties a trifle difficult to swallow as it sees things such as it’s defence policy, EU policy and spending plans evaporate before it’s eyes.

  4. David Lindsay, until close to the election, the polls won’t reveal what seats Ukip, have a chance of winning

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