Quote of the day
“Before the war, I toured TV stations either preceding or following the shadow Foreign Secretary. It was clear that the issue of legality did not for one moment pass through his mind. At some stages, his gung-ho approach left me feeling that if the Conservatives had evidence of Saddam passing wind, that would have been enough to declare war.”
Nottingham South MP Alan Simpson introduces the concept of toilet humour to the Houses of Parliament. Whatever next – knob gags?
On a more serious note, I think I’ve said what follows before, but it’s worth repeating. I’ve contacted Alan Simpson on several different occasions over a range of issues (I think I must be in training to become one of those grumpy old men who spend their time firing off angry missives in every direction), and every time he’s replied with a personal letter which, rather than fobbing me off, has included or been accompanied by the relevant information. Of course it helps that I broadly share his politics, and that I admire his dogged determination as one of those lefties concerned with issues of social justice at home and abroad, and who is perfectly prepared to dig his heels in in a bid to prevent Blair dragging Labour further over to the right.
In this instance I was writing on behalf of Our World Our Say to ask for his support in the campaign for the charges against GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun to be dropped; he signed the relevant Early Day Motion and the charges have since been dismissed. In my experience he’s conscientious, caring, responsive, accountable, outspoken and passionate - in other words, the sort of politician who convinces me that the political process in this country is not totally bankrupt.