A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baroness Scotland

I just don't get why she isn't resigning.

She's not an irreplaceable political asset to the Government - until this scandal 99% of the public had never heard of her.

She is causing reputational damage to it by hanging on.

What is the point in her continuing in office?

Personally I'm uncomfortable with the signal sent to ordinary working people by a Labour minister employing a "housekeeper" - sounds like someone from the cast of "upstairs, downstairs" - whether that servant is an illegal immigrant or not. I thought we represented people who cooked their own dinners and did their own washing up, not the servant-employing classes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure the Northern Ireland Secretary would agree with you there. Or the former Prime Minister for that matter

1:20 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger Hughes Views said...

Scotland always gets preferential treatment (ho ho)

1:21 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger Jimmy said...

These career women eh?

I for one am pleasantly surprised to see a tabloid feeding frenzy faced down. It makes a nice change.

1:30 pm, September 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, and Shriti Vadera, Gord's "Representative on Earth" has gone.

Your loyalty was once laudable.

Now it's laughable.

How much before of this before Hackney becomes a do-able marginal for the Conservatives.

3:00 pm, September 24, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, and Shriti Vadera, Gord's "Representative on Earth" has gone.

Your loyalty was once laudable.

Now it's laughable.

How much before of this before Hackney becomes a do-able marginal for the Conservatives.

3:01 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger Ben said...

Employing someone privately and failing to check that they are able to work in the UK would not lose you your job if you were in any other profession. I'm not sure why it should in this case.

As you say, no one had heard of Baroness Scotland before this case. I'm almost certain that 99% of people won't know or care about her in a month's time either whether she resigns or not. This is not a bog issue outside of Westminster.

3:36 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Luke's final, broader point is a good one though. Labour should be on the side of people doing the cleaning, not people privileged enoug to hire them.

3:54 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger Steve Horgan said...

This is as bad as it gets. Immigration, on law for us and one for them, and having a 'housekeeper' when ordinary people are struggling to have a job.

Brown could have made a very positive point by firing her. Instead he screws up, again.

3:59 pm, September 24, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

I employ a dog walker? Is there any difference. How people choose to spend their money is up to them.

I personally don't like the term servant but as an employer you are required by law to check the credentials of everyone you employ. That includes checking whether they are allowed to work in the UK and taking a photo copy of their passport.

If she failed to make those checks then the police should be involved...simple. I'm assuming this employee either worked for an agency or provided fake documents.

5:16 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger kris said...

you are having a laugh.

Shouldn't you be more worried why Obama isn't returning Gordo's calls.

What gets me is no one's apparently told Gordon not to be so clingy. He should read "The Rules" - but then he might wake up and realise "he's just not that into you".

lol. No really - lol.

5:49 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger Jimmy said...

I'm staggered that the response of Labour activists to a woman reaching the pinnacle of her profession is that she should really be at home doing her own housework.

6:46 pm, September 24, 2009

Anonymous BaronessLordVadera said...

Luke is on fire! Attacking Labour's evil hypocrisy and contempt for the people with the best of them. The top Government law officer makes a bad law, breaks it, and then stays in her job. This is why Labour must lose the next election, for Britain's sake. I think even Luke is beginning to understand that.

7:32 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with a busy career woman employing a cleaner, though I'm rather shocked that she needs someone full time! What's wrong with providing work in that way?

I tend to think that the problem is rather ridiculous legislation which puts all the onus on the employer. Its very difficult to tell whether someone is legal or not if they have forged documents. But Baroness Scotland was responsible for drafting it, so its not easy to be sympathetic.

Rich - I gather that she checked but the documents were forged. She was required to take copies proving she had checked and she didn't do this, hence the fine.

11:56 pm, September 24, 2009

Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

I agree completely, Luke. I can't understand why it's thought advantageous to keep her - and she certainly should resign over her London allowance, regardless of the housekeeper issue.

12:00 am, September 25, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll never get a safe seat now, Luke (-:

How are you, by the way?


8:35 am, September 25, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Well if she was fined then I'm assuming guilt and in this case there is no case for keeping her job.

Someone of this position should know better and the law is very clear on this matter.

Brown has almost totally lost all authority and now relies totally on his cabinet and advisors. Hence his reluctance to remove someone like her. We no longer have a captain and in these times that is very concerning.

The way I see it now is that the electorate have zero choice at the next general election. All parties want to slash public spending which will result in massive job losses and extend the current economic problems for 25 years.

I do think its time for Brown to be removed. I'm very surprised that Labour haven't attacked the the libs and the conservatives on their plans to cut public services. This is major argument that must be understood by the voter. Cutting public services will not result in tax cuts of any significance for the average working person. The negative aspects of cutting public services far out weigh the positives.

Labour should be aiming to trim management at all levels but not cutting front line service providers.

I fear the next 20 years are going to be very grim.

8:43 am, September 25, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I thought we represented people who cooked their own dinners and did their own washing up, not the servant-employing classes."

Aye, honest decent working men wi' proper jobs like, er, Public Affairs Director for a PR agency.

Come off it with the cloth-cap rubbish, you know as well as anyone that ministers aren't exactly in the position to do the hoovering when they get home. That applies to Tory Governments, Labour Governments and even People's Proletarian Front Governments if we had one.

10:41 am, September 25, 2009

Blogger Paul Bell said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with someone employing a cleaner...I hate cleaning and I was brought up in a council house. The issue I have is the fact that we should have unelected ministers from the House of Lords, unless it is to represent the government in the Lords. Moreover, it sends out completely the wrong message...Labour politicians need to understand they are not above the law; she is the Attorney general!

11:54 am, September 25, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tories employ loads of illegal immigrants as they are cheaper!

The real issue is is that there is hardly any distinction between all 3 main parties and the working class will be bashed up for another 30 years!

Public spending will punish the poor-why not punish the real culprits who are the bankers?

Don't forget that a lot of Civil Servants are only earning around £16,000 so they will have to go on the dole and do nothing!

9:56 pm, September 25, 2009

Anonymous observer's friend said...

"I thought we represented people who cooked their own dinners and did their own washing up"

I'm not saying the Tories or LibDems would be much better but ... I wish Labour also fairly represented those of us who are disabled and unable to "cook their own dinners and [do] their own washing up"; those of us reliant on social services (which New Labour has reduced expenditure on), PAs and DLA (which New Labour is currently threatening to reduce).

Incidentally, I wonder if people would have made such an issue if Mandy or some other male peer was employing a housekeeper. Am I alone in feeling it all smacks a bit of misogyny and maybe even racism?

8:07 pm, September 26, 2009


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