Posted by: secretperson | October 7, 2008

More Regional Ministers!

There are now twelve MPs promoted to the newly created roles of assistants to the regional ministers. This includes Wales and Scotland (do these have ministers as regions on top of Secretaries of State as nations?), and the nine English ‘regions’, with two assistants in London.

Jonathan Isaby observes they are all but one in vulnerable seats come next election. I am more concerned by these shadowy regional ministers and their role, whether they have assistants or not.

These new assistants cannot be related to the parliamentary functions of the regional ministers as Isaby quotes their job as “helping coordinate the Labour Party’s campaigns in regions and nations”. I sincerely hope that government ministers’ roles do not involve Labour Party campaigns.

But then what are these regional ministers for. When UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and UK Chancellor Alistair Darling were specifically saving Scottish jobs in the Halifax Bank of Scotland take over, along with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, where was Yorkshire and the Humber minister Rosie Winterton? Halifax’s MP was speaking out, Winterton spoke of negotiation but I don’t see any success.

These extra government jobs seem toothless and pointless, and are a strange point of denial of the faliure of the Prescott regionalisation agenda. Adding party political assistants isn’t going to change this fact.

In fact, I think Labour would win more votes if it referred to England as something other than “the regions”.


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