Friday, February 23, 2007

From 'Red Dawn' to New Labour Loyalist - what a transformation!

I'm afraid I dont think Dawn Primarolo, MP for Bristol South, has been true to her 'principles' over her 20 years in Parliament which she is now celebrating, according to a large article in the local press recently. I think there is a clear relationship between her transformation from radical left-winger 'Red Dawn' to New Labour loyalist, and her rise up the political ladder to her position as Paymaster General in the Blair Government.

I was there at the count as the Green Party's 1987 Parliamentary Candidate when she first became an MP. Then I was certainly a political opponent but given her radical credentials, I felt there was at least some common ground between our political positions. As a former UNISON steward and the NASUWT rep I have always been a supporter of many aspects of the labour movement and many of its broad objectives and so expected to see her take on issues like: income inequality; nuclear weapons and power; the importance of how we treat children and childhood; and non-violence; on an ongoing, consistent and fundamental basis.

I was there at the count again in 2001 as the Greens Candidate and said as part of my speech at the end 'I hope she fights for a truly radical agenda more in the next five years'. She most certainly has done the complete opposite of this, given the actions of the government she is happy to be a member of!

Just look at the lack of achievement on what I initially thought was our 'common ground' back in 1987. Income inequality is high and is growing. The prospect of a non-nuclear future for the UK has been shattered by the governments decision to spend $76 billion over the coming years on Trident nuclear submarines equipped to the teeth with new nuclear weapons. The government is determined to forge ahead with a new nuclear power program. On children and childhood wellbeing a recent Unicef report shows that the UK is bottom of a league table of 21 industrialised countries compiled using no less than 40 different wellbeing indicators! And far from having a non-violent community we are now experiencing rising gun crime, especially involving young people.

Its a pretty damning record and puts the article written about her into some context. When politicians of apparent strong conviction dont hold to those convictions when political opportunities come along surely it helps to bring politics and politicians into disrepute?


  1. Good piece Glenn, Dawn must be a shameless individual to have sold out so thoroughly! I 've never even seen her in Bristol!

  2. Glenn thank you for expressing what many must be feeling. What happens to Politicians 'Convictions'? Can anyone else remember when Dawn would have opposed PFI and the Iraq War ? It's sad and disheartening to realise how little substance there is in some Politicians Core.


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