May 20, 2009
Michael Martin: Last Bastion of Old Labour
Magnus Linklater, The Times
No explanation. No regrets. Just a 35-second resignation statement, with one curious reference to the unity of the House of Commons. But that reference is crucial. Michael Martin is, first and last, an organisation man, and the organisation to which he owes his loyalty is not the public, but the power base that he represents.
For most of his life that has been the Labour Party in Scotland - the old, pre-Blair party machine that still holds sway, particularly in the west. It has never set much store by openness or accountablity, it has protected its institutions and people with ruthless self-interest, and it resents bitterly any attempt to challenge its authority.
For more than 50 years after the war, it ran councils and constituencies as a self-perpetuating oligarchy,...
TAGGED: Michael Martin, United Kingdom