Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Metal Mickey's Saintly Successors-to-Be

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Metal Mickey's Saintly Successors-to-Be

Article excerpt

* The fate of the country's most famous former sheet metalworker, Michael Martin, was sealed when a Labour salvage squad failed to persuade MPs to rally behind him. Dishonourable members were too busy arguing about who might succeed Metal Mickey to listen to the whips. The Labour name mentioned most frequently is the saintly Kelvin Hopkins, MP for Frugal Central, but even tribalists concede it's another party's turn. A Lib Dem snout whispered Nick Clegg favours Alan Beith over Ming Campbell should the yellow peril seize the chair. The only Tory with Labour support is the Monday Clubber-to-moderate John Bercow, though David Cameron's fellow Old Etonian, the bicycling baronet Sir George Young, still fancies his chances. Ahead of Martin's assisted jump, a surprising name floated was that of Dr Richard Taylor, the Kidderminster independent. The selfless medic, I hear, is prepared to serve should others massage his ego.

* With Labour plummeting in the polls, the sound of sniggering envelops John Prescott and Alastair Campbell's "Go Fourth" campaign. The goal, you may recall, was to win Labour a fourth term. Less optimistic colleagues quip the aim now is to finish behind Ukip, the Lib Dems and Druggie Dave's Tories in the 4 June Euro elections.

* Chequebook journalism, broadsheet-style, is creating a Conservative backlash against the Daily Telegraph. MPs who believe the Torygraph shouldn't go in for muckraking are cancelling lunches with the rag's hacks. No greater sacrifice can a parliamentarian make than to refuse a free meal for the sake of his dignity. …

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