Friday, October 31, 2008

Lord Falconer, Mr Anderson and an interesting Early Day Motion

I was rooting around old Early Day Motions today and stumbled across the following EDM which first appeared in May 2005, less than 3 weeks after the general election:

That his house is gravely disappointed to learn in this the 20th year since the end of the year long 1984-85 Miners' Strike that it was Lord Falconer, in a previous role, who advised Sir Ian MacGregor, the then Chairman of British Coal, how to get round the collective agreements signed over the previous 40 years between the National Union of Mineworkers and the National Coal Board/British Coal, resulting in the Board's withdrawal from the all-important Coal Industry Conciliation Scheme and thereby circumventing agreements established by democratic industrial procedures to pave the way for the recognition by British Coal of the breakaway Union of Democratic Mineworkers and leading to a worsening of the terms and conditions of all UK coalminers; and calls on Lord Falconer to make a statement.

Co-sponsor was a certain Mr David Anderson, MP for Blaydon. Indeed, it was the first EDM he co-sponsored (he was first elected in May 2005) and joint first EDM he signed.

Quite what Mr Anderson hoped to achieve by demanding a statement from Lord Falconer 20 years after the miners' strike was over is not clear. All I can see is that such a demand would have reminded everyone about how badly led the miners were and how they were on a suicide mission that accelerated the closure of pits. But that is not the point of this post.

Instead it is to wonder aloud about what Mr Anderson must be thinking of the appointment earlier this year of Lord Falconer to head up the Newcastle Gateshead Development Company. Party to the appointment were his own Labour colleagues on Gateshead Council. May be they were unaware of Mr Anderson's thoughts on Lord Falconer. May be they took no account whatsoever of Mr Anderson or maybe Mr Anderson has changed his view or has let bygones be bygones. Perhaps Mr Anderson, you would care to enlighten us.

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