Saturday, 30 May 2015

Dennis Skinner, the SNP and the battle for a seat in the Commons

To Dennis Skinner, the 83 year old unreconstructed far left wing MP, where he sits in the Commons matters. He has sat in the same backbenchers seat for over 30 years. This is front row on the left, appropriately. It is clear that the SNP take a different view. The SNP think Westminster traditions, and the respect we as MPs show those who have been here a long time - even though we disagree with them politically - are ridiculous and there to be attacked.
The SNP approach is to attack all of the Westminster traditions, the courtesies and respect shown. Their MPs are, as some freely admit, a wrecking ball, designed to show the Scots they are different and hopefully upset the rest of the Commons.
So there has been a turf war this last week over Skinners seat. The SNP took it, only for Skinner and various Labour MPs to help Dennis take it back.
For my part you have to spend time in the Commons to understand the character that is Dennis Skinner. As an MP you respect his commitment to the socialist cause, his continuing desire to represent his constituents aged 83, and his trenchant views. Yes he is sometimes over the top, but then aren't we all? And we will probably be way worse aged 83! But I am a strong supporter of this tradition and happily rebut the SNP claims and approach. It is about respect for Westminster and the House of Commons. It has been around many hundreds of years and will be here for a long time to come.
Full report of the story here, and a differing view, in today's independent: