In a week which has seen the truly base & venal nature of certain New Labour politicians --& others-- exposed (excellent investigative job by the people at Channel 4's Dispatches programme), it's worth recalling an incident involving Stephen "cab for hire" Byers & a local female Labour councillor in 2002 (http://news.scotsman.com/stephenbyers/The-night-minister-dropped-his.2339704.jp ).
The incident involving Barbara Corish, then councillor for Litherland Ward in Bootle, is salient not for any prurient or sensationalist motives on my part (other blogs on the web cater for that market), but because it affords a glimpse into the mindset of an arrogant, avaricious & hubristic New Labour luminary. As the saying goes, hubris precedes nemesis, the latter of which duly arrived with his high, & Mittyesque, opinions of himself, as told to the undercover Dispatches journalist (£3,000-£5,000 a day sure beats the minimum wage). Along with Geoff Hoon, who once dismissed manufacturing workers as "metal bashers", & Patricia Hewitt, Byers' fall has been worthy of Icarus.
On a not entirely unrelated note, it's heartening to see that Heather Brooke, who campaigned tirelessly on the issue of MPs' expenses, & whose mother hails from Merseyside, is now getting the credit she merits, as Roy Greenslade obseved this week (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/mar/22/freedomofinformation-mps-expenses ).