Last year my old MP Gerald Kaufman wrote of that strange species that are known as Labour MPs in the Independent , observing how some:
having held ministerial office for a while and then been removed from it [have] rediscovered their vibrant, aching socialist consciences the moment their bottoms hit the backbenches.
One such example with not inconsiderable rump, John Prescott was on the Today programme this morning expressing horror at the £650,000 for life the 50 year old Sir Fred Goodwin is now to pocket having led the state (ie taxpayer)-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to the biggest losses in British business history. The radio appearance in which the ex-Deputy MP named “greed, greed, greed” as the culprit for our woes has been labelled by the Guardian’s Michael White as “a tremendous populist rant”.
I’m glad Prezza did speak out, now liberated from the constraints of collective responsibility, even if he stopped short of advocating squeezing the rich until their pips squeak. It seems that all and sundry are queuing up to denounce Fred the Shred who is public enemy number one for his audacious defiance of popular opinion. Other detractors include the PM, Alisatair Darling and his shadow George Osborne who too has called it an irresponsible waste of taxpayers money.
Cynics might claim that the last case though sadly is no discovery of socialist conscience. It is more about Tory opportunism just like their “vote blue go green” envirnoment policy infiormed by marginal seats near Heathrow. However a bit more of this left-awkening would not go amiss in my opinion from all sides – preferably when in government.