Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Lamb to the Slaughter

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Lamb to the Slaughter

Article excerpt

Norman Lamb, the employment relations minister, is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The past has caught up with a Liberal Democrat making it easier for bosses to sack hired hands without compensation. His Labour shadow Ian Murray acquired a rare, unsigned copy of a book Lamb published in 1998 with the snappy title of Remedies in the Employment Tribunal: Damages for Discrimination and Unfair Dismissal. Back then, the little Lamb toiled as an employment solicitor. His manual advises claimants how to maximise pay-offs. It maybe mixing metaphors but Stormin' Norman appears to be a poacher-turned-gamekeeper.

The Europhile Denis MacShane is probably Britain's numero un fan of Francois Hollande. The Rotherham polyglot's mobile phone contains the personal number of the French Socialist presidential candidate. So imagine the Labour MP's anguish when his daughter Emilie, a citizen of the Fifth Republic, informed pere she intended to vote for the fiery Jean-Luc Melenchon's Front de Gauche in the first round. Ever the pragmatist, MacEurope's palpitations slowed when she assured him that she'd switch to Hollande in the second-round run-off against Napoleon Sarkozy. That's one extra vote in the bag. Only a few million more needed if a Socialist is to inhabit the Elysee Palace after 17 years of internal exile.

William Hague may be enjoying healthy royalties from his fine tome William Pitt the Younger. The Foreign Secretary reimbursed the public purse a mouth-watering [pounds terling]3, 211. 02 for a private dinner in the Chevening pile he shares with the lodger Nick Clegg. …

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