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WikiNow - 06/05/05 - Formerly Labour MP for Cambridge.
DingDong? TheWitchIsDead? :)  --Vitenka (Die you puppy killing, piglet humping, fraudulent cow.  Suffer in the pits of LocalCouncilor?.  May your eyeballs turn against you, that strangers slay you with a glance.  May your ears rot that all you hear is condemnation.  May leaopards consume your feculant interior.  May you vote BNP.)

Does _anyone_ have a good word to say about this woman?
She has challenged TonyBlair on Iraq in PMQ. Okay, so I don't know the motive, but I still approve of the action in abstract.
She resigned as a minister over the war. She's still a labour MP but now she's a backbencher. I've heard her speak twice and had dinner with her, my opinion was that she's alright but wasn't one of the greatest leaders of our time. If she stuck more to constituancy stuff and worried less about having a place in government (which to her credit, she's resigned from) she'd actally be a pretty good MP. Basically she's not a natural-born rebel but I think her heart is in the right place. I've seen worse MPs than her before now. --Edith

Perhaps she's had some kind of change of heart... Before the '97 election, Anne Campbell circulated a letter saying that the Labour party and herself in particular were opposed to the introduction of tuition fees. Despite this, she voted for the introduction of tuition fees. apparently when she said 'tuition fees' in the letter that meant something different from the 'tuition fees' introduced by the government. Whatever. --Gwyntar
I second that - and will continue to malign her until her career is destroyed.  She is a liar, a deliberate fraudster and a reason why politicians should not be allowed into politics.  And damn it, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to commit slander against her.  The problem being that it's all true.  Aha!  She eats babies.  There, that's probably libellous.  --Vitenka
Technically, unless she is a vegetarian, she probably eats babies as well.  Actually, <pedant> she might eat baby sweetcorns, baby carrots etc too </pedant>.
Wasn't me. I always sign, one way or another. That is a very common misspelling/joke - SunKitten
Ah. I agree that Anne Campbell's primary motivation is Anne Campbell, which is why she's no rebel. Her ever shifting position on TutitionFees? was: No Tutition Fees, sorry that was no Top-Up Fees, Nope! I meant No *Differential* Top-Up Fees. Erm... Which is perhaps why I've had very little to do with the University Labour Club over the years. Having said that, I still think she could make a decent MP if she just forgot about trying to advance her career by sticking to the party line so much. --Edith
Cambridge local politicians seemed to think that she'd resigned as a junior minister owing primarily to pressure from her local party.
Hmmm... not sure what to make of that. Suffice to say that unseating a Labour MP from within the constituancy party is bloody difficult so it must have been pretty heavy pressure. In the short term at least she's scuppered her career in government which is perhaps why I'm not convinced she's a total self-serving hypocrite. OTOH it was a smart move in the long-term, provided she plans to stick around to see a post-Blair regime and I'm not sure that she does. I'd love to get hold of a copy of her whips report. --Edith

Anne Campbell is also known as Anne Shambles, if you read Varsity. --Jumlian
Just to add that, AFAICT from the radio, she is yet again trying to be the 'no top up fees' person.  And did anyone notice how the debate has shifted from 'no top up fees' to the obvious compromise 'top up fees the same for all universities'.  --Vitenka (Ok, so training needs to be funded, but dammit if you make a degree a requirement for work then have a required pay back of debt you are approching serfdom quite quickly.)
Just to continue with the Shambles-bashing theme, does the current student body in Cambridge actually remember that spectacular volte-face of hers on tuition fees?  By the time the next election comes by the undergrad body should have completely changed and it'll be a fresh set of voters who don't necessarily remember.  This can only work in her favour, with the engendered ill-will towards labour being spread more thinly over the entire country. --Jumlian
I would point out that at the last election, where the ill-will towards her should have been at its peak (and, indeed, was - the swing against Labour in Cambridge was higher than almost anywhere else), the Lab majority in Cambridge was still 8,579 (or about 20% of the vote). Newsflash, people - Cambridge is a very safe Labour seat. (This is why StuartFraser keeps his vote in his home constituency, the marginal (Lab maj, 3,961) Brigg and Goole).
Um, no. Cambridge is not exactly a safe Labour seat, at least not in my definition of the term. A safe Labour seat would be somewhere like Harlepool or Sedgefield which haven't changed hands in my lifetime. They're the ones held by senior labour figures like Tony Blair and are pretty much the last to go. As for personal disdain for Anne Campbell being a peak at the last election, perhaps, but there was a lack of a viable opposition and the next election will have a number of people wishing to protest against the war which may well lead to a significant amount of absenteeism in the Labour ranks (of which students are *not* the majority, it'll be the locals to kick her out in the end). In other words, next election could well see the end of Anne Campbell MP if not the end of the current Labour government. And for the record, my vote remains in Leeds where I like the candidate better --Edith
Oh yes it is. The Conservatives can win the next election without taking Cambridge. In fact, if another party did take Cambridge, it would be a 20% swing (Liberal Democrat) or a 24% swing (Conservative). This would harbing a collossal wipeout - the Conservative majority would probably be greater than the current labour one. This does not happen in politics. Yes, Peter Mandelson (Hartlepool) and Tony Blair (Sedgefield) would survive such a swing (38%, 44%); that doesn't mean that Cambridge isn't a safe seat. (For those who care, I think the safest seat in the country is probably Dunfermline East (50.1% Labour majority))
Depends on your definition of a safe seat. My definition is a seat which will remain in the party's control regardless of the political trends, the rest of them the local party has to put up a fight for (although they generally put up a fight for the safe seats too so as not to tempt fate). Labour gained control of Cambridge in 1992 with a very small majority, prior to that it was held by Conservatives by roughtly the same majority Anne Campbell has, it is concievable that it could switch back. Yes this would probably mean a big shift and the end of the Blair Government but not necessarily. A big enough backlash against Campbell personally combined with a re-emergance of the Conservative vote (which dropped by almost 4,000 between 1997 and 2001, presumably conversative voters staying at home with little hope of getting a government they'd want) could topple her quite easily. Having said that, Campbell's chances are pretty good providing that she manages to stay close enough to the centre-left to not let the Lib Dems steal her voters. --Edith
According to an opinion poll I've seen, in Cambridge Labour are on 37%, LibDem on 36% and Tories on 18%. So it sounds as though it will be quite close, so I don't think you can describe Cambridge as being a safe seat for Labour. And I'm sure at this election there will be some suprises with supposedly 'safe' seats. Uniform National Swing  is a very dodgy assumption. But this opinion poll was in a LibDem election leaflet. --MawKernewek
A Lib Dem election leaflet with "The Conservatives cannot win in Cambridge" on it? I suspect the motive and thus the data on that one. --Edith
  This was actually a different one, with "It's neck and neck" written on it. Of course the motive is obvious, they want people to vote for them! --MawKernewek
As to Cambridge being a safe Labour seat - not any more ;) - SunKitten


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