David Bartlett today observes on his blog that Labour's Liverpool Wavertree MP Jane Kennedy is set to quit her post as environment minister (http://blogs.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/dalestreetblues/2009/06/wavertree-mp-jane-kennedy-on-t.html ).
Bartlett refers to a story in today's Sunday Times in which Kennedy is named as one of two female junior ministers who are about to jump from the sinking ship (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6446324.ece ).
Bartlett also asks us to remember that Kennedy "first came to prominence in fighting the Militant Tendency in Labour. Some would say there are direct comparisons in the manner in which Militant operated and the so-called cabal that runs the government."
Such "comparisons" are lazy in the extreme. Whatever Militant's shortcomings may have been, & whatever your view may be of those years, it should be noted that Brown's "cabal" is slowly disintegrating, something that didn't happen to Militant; democratic centralism, for all its faults, ensured that.
Kennedy has been Telegraphed, it should be said. According to the paper (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5349413/MPs-expenses-Full-list-of-Labour-MPs-investigated-by-the-Telegraph.html ):
"Jane Kennedy [Labour, Liverpool Wavertree] regularly claimed £400 a month for food, as well as £200 for telephone bills and £200 for service and maintenance on her second home, a flat in Lambeth."
The reference David Bartlett made to Kennedy's role in Liverpool Labour politics during the 80s reminds me of an episode from that time which speaks volumes about her willingness, or otherwise, to try & justify the claims she made. The Labour Party NEC voted in favour of an inquiry into the running of the Liverpool District Labour Party (DLP) in the wake of the expulsions in 1985. Peter Taafe & Tony Mulhearn recall:
"On the very first day of the inquiry, the Sun reported: 'Shock 150 page blast at Militant'. This dossier had been drawn up by Jane Kennedy and the NUPE leadership in Liverpool probably with the connivance of the union leadership at national level. Jane Kennedy was more than eager to detail the alleged 'crimes' of the Liverpool District Labour Party in the safety of the inquiry's private sessions.
"When the leaders of the District Labour Party appeared at the inquiry, they were given an assurance that they would be allowed to question their accusers and the 'evidence'. When this was revealed to Jane Kennedy by reporters, she was alarmed and threatened to withdraw the 'dossier'. The inquiry was a show trial." ("Liverpool: A City That Dared To Fight", p.356, by Peter Taafe and Tony Mulhearn, Fortress Books, first edition January, 1988).