Thursday, September 07, 2006

Why Tom, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Gordon?

Apparently - assuming I've not been fed a line - something that has not really been commented on in the media about the resignations of yesterday is that two of them, Tom Watson and Mark Tami, share an office in the House of Commons. This show of solidarity between office workers is admirable, but I thought - given that little titbit - I'd have a look at the other resignations as well, and it looks like the flood of resignations may have been orchestrated entirely from the Watson/Tami office.

A quick look on the Amicus website lists the members for the West Midlands as, Tom Watson and Khalid Mahmood (note also that Sion Simon is in there too). For Wales we have Mark Tami, Wayne David and Ian Lucas. Next there is last night's resignation of Iain Wright. Now he's not a member of Amicus but is, assuming my snout is not lying, the flatmate of.... Tom Watson. David Wright is MP for Telford which is slap bang in errr.... the West Midlands.

So that's seven of yesterday's eight resignation all with a strong connections leading them back to Tom Watson's and Mark Tami's office. The only one I can't seem to link in is Chris Mole, who is MP for Ipswich, if anyone can link him in then do let me know. Of course, Mark Tami used to work for the Paymaster General at the Treasury and Tom Watson was previously the Treasury whip. What good lieutenants they are.

Update: Someone has just kindly linked me to this Fabian pamphlet, co-authored by Watson and Tami.

Update 2: It's appears that the missing link between Chris Moles and Tom Watson is that Watson is the Labour Party by-election man he ran Moles' by-election campaign in Ipswich. So there we have it, a group of orchestrated resignations leading back to one office that is undoubtedly looking upwards.

Hat Tip to Croydonian for help with the background research.


leon said...
7 Sep 2006, 13:57:00  

This post is one hell of a good example of why blogs are important. I’ve not seen this angle investigated in this manner in the dead tree media…

David Boothroyd said...
7 Sep 2006, 14:10:00  

Ian Wright and Tom Watson also share a flat in London to use as their pied-a-terre when Parliament is sitting. Mark Tami and Ian Lucas are good friends with neighbouring constituencies in North Wales.

Ian Lucas also knows Chris Bryant from Oxford days (although Bryant was in the Conservatives then). The 2001 intake have regular lunches and dinners with each other.

UK Daily Pundit said...
7 Sep 2006, 14:26:00  

And the missing link is.........

Step forward, Bob Ainsworth, Labour's Deputy Chief Whip. A committed Brownite (he was Brown's former pps), he holds a midlands seat and is tipped for the job of chief whip in a Brown government.

AJD said...
7 Sep 2006, 15:31:00  

I am less than impressed with Tom Watson. He doesn't appear to have any morals, claims that the party is the most important legacy, deletes anything critical of on his blog and he didn't have the guts to resign BEFORE putting his name on that letter.

He is just a career politician trying to further his career by screwing the Labour Party. GOod luck to him - he will taste the syrup of sweet revenge soon enough.

Luke Akehurst said...
7 Sep 2006, 15:43:00  

If you want to know the real background to Mr Watson, Mr Watson and the departure of TB, polish up your Shakespeare and read on, MacDuff. and preceeding postings.

Ellee said...
7 Sep 2006, 15:53:00  

Very interesting, I wonder where Tom and Mark will drink their coffee now. Politics is very incestuous, and maybe Luke can elaborate about MacDuff.

Hazel Blears said...
7 Sep 2006, 16:38:00  

Luke, in Tom's eyes I think this isn't so much a case of MacDuff as Brutus. Not that I loved Blair less, but that I loved Labour more...

Anonymous said...
7 Sep 2006, 17:18:00  

I think Tom Watson may have run Chris Mole's by-election campaign.

NuLabour said...
7 Sep 2006, 17:28:00  

Your use of the term "Treasury Whip" is, understandably, a bit confusing:

Tom Watson was an unpaid Assistant Whip, but not one of the senior ones, who are, for no good reason, appointed to sinecures and paid extra money from the public purse:
the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip), the Treasurer of the Royal Household (Deputy Chief Whip), the Comptroller of the Royal Household, and the Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal Household (Governmet Whips). There are also about half a dozen Junior Lords Commissioners of the Treasury (Government Whips) and another half dozen unpaid Assistant Whips.

The Lords Commissioners of the Treasury also include the Prime Minister (First Lord of the Treasury) and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the senior Government Whips but do not include Assistant Government Whips, nor, of course, the Opposition party Whips.

Confusingly, the Government Whips in the House of Lords (who are all Lords or Ladies in their own right) are not Lords Commissioners of the Treasury either: the Captain of the Gentlemen at Arms (Lords Chief Whip), the Captain of The Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (Deputy Chief Whip) and the Baronesses and Lords in Waiting (ordinary Governemnt Whips)

This is significant because lots of legislation empowers the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury or the Commissioners of HM Treasury, to do various things, including to (orally) declare a national or regional Emergency and make Emergency Regulations (which have the full force of any Act of Parliament or the Royal Prerogative) under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Part 2 Emergency Powers, even though Government Whips are not even junior Ministers, let alone senior ones.

List of Cabinet Minister 5th May 2006

Anonymous said...
7 Sep 2006, 17:46:00  

Actually NuLab you are very wrong.

Tom Watson was promoted from unpaid whip in May 2005 to become Lord Commissioner to HM Treasury and when he took that role was assaigned to the Treasury as their departmental whip, something he mentioned on his blog at the time.

NuLabour said...
8 Sep 2006, 01:47:00  

@ anonymous 05:46:53, thanks for the correction 8-)

I gave up reading his blog very closely, after his political opinion blogging seemed to dry up when he first became an Assistant Whip.

I suspect he will still be in self-censorship mode for the next few months, in case he is in line for another Ministerial postiton under the new regime. is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to