Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 gaffe of the year, comeback, non political hero, + unnoticed backbench stars of the commons

  • Gaffe of the year - "Brexit means Breakfast" was a classic - done twice as well, first by a conservative, then many times by labour. First Andrew Davies in Birmingham - albeit the poor man had just been deprived of his own breakfast, and was speaking at 8;45, so I have sympathies. Then John McDonnell said it 3 times in 1 speech, including the classic "Brexit means a chaotic breakfast" - whatever that is??
  • Events of the Year – only 2 really matter- Brexit and Trump winning.
  • My Northumberland Highlight of the Year – The growth of tynedale community bank in Northumberland - a community success story that is making a massive difference

  • Most Unlikely Political Moment of the Year – The return of Balls...End of ...
  • Best celebration: Iceland at European football and on their return home
  • Most interesting appointment - Trump
  • Most obvious appointment - Theresa May as PM: a strong woman for a difficult time.
  • Mistake of the Year – Labour not getting rid of Corbyn.
  • Comeback of the year - Balls again. Now the most popular labour politician ... a commons comeback beckons for my nemesis?
  • Non political man of the Year – Major Tim Peake. Amazing bloke. Great tv and radio. Better still on twitter. Made space v interesting to all the kids in my locals chools
  • New political party - the ABC party= anyone but Corbyn ... as leader of the labour party. Particularly strong in the House of Commons
  • Political Achievement of the Year – Jeremy Corbyn is the only political mainstream leader to survive since summer 2015. Pretty impressive as he was the only mainstream leader who opposed Brexit, and 172 of his own MPs led a campaign against him. Odds on Corbyn being labour leader after 2017? Pretty good I reckon, although the mechanics are difficult. The longer the labour MPs leave him there the greater their prospects of problems. 
  • Best unsung heroes of backbenchers in the House of Commons: for labour Chris Matheson, the labour Chester MP is very good, and I spent time with Pete Dowd, who is a decent man with a lot of Local Authority experience. It remains amazing so many of the other labour stars are unused as they are out of favour with Corbyn.
  • On our side Andrew Stephenson and Graham Evans, the MPs for Pendle and Weaver Vale, are consistently outstanding in the chamber, great PPSs, and good people. All of my flock are amazing but both go the extra mile. Hard to think of a liberal star, but given their lack of numbers and dislike of the house of commons [they are never there] it is not surprising. For the SNP Hannah Bardell MP remains their best rising star.  Of the Irish, Danny Kinahan MP is hard working, a nice bloke and very empathetic.