Political Non-entities (particularly front benchers)

scarty16

Well-known Member
GMB this morning had the Shadow Chancellor on, Rachel Reeves I think her name was.

1648714640890.png

I commented to my other half, I have never heard of her or even recognised her face. Labour has a bunch of well-known women MPs some of which love the TV camera (looking at you Emily Thornberry), yet this one could have hidden in a crowd of one.

Makes me wonder how many other front benchers on all sides are basically un-known to the populace. I assume most Lib-Dems are unknown, as I don't even know who the Leader is.
 

MrsArcanum

Member
Rachael Reeves is actually properly qualified to do the job. If people don't know who the opposition front bench members are, it tells you all you need to know about how MSM is manipulating things.
 

maddy

Distinguished Member
Not having a pop at Rachel Reeves per se, but:

1) she's married to Gordon Brown's old speechwriter
2) her sister is also a Labour MP
3) her sister's husband is also a Labour MP
4) she's yet another one who studied PPE.

Our political class is woeful.
 

Heathens

Member
She's been around for a while and I don't reckon she's any less known than any of the others tbh, and I suspect Starmer wouldn't be any more recognised than her. That's not saying a huge amount about either of them though.

Unfortunately she's my MP.
 

Judge Mental

Well-known Member
She worked as an economist at the Bank of England (she has a masters in economics) so she does at least have some credentials for her role.
 

Boo Radley75

Distinguished Member
Not having a pop at Rachel Reeves per se, but:

1) she's married to Gordon Brown's old speechwriter
2) her sister is also a Labour MP
3) her sister's husband is also a Labour MP
4) she's yet another one who studied PPE.

Our political class is woeful.
Why is that woeful?

1ec6fb5195f1fea8d57438316b79192d.gif
 

Boo Radley75

Distinguished Member
It's an example of the insular nature of our political classes. Plus PPE, which is always a warning sign.
Compared to the current s**tbags running government, having a couple of relatives and inlaws who are also politicians is the least of my worry.
 

Judge Mental

Well-known Member
It's an example of the insular nature of our political classes. Plus PPE, which is always a warning sign.
A warning sign that someone is interested in philosophy, politics and economics? I have no major issue with that. Why would a degree in English or Physics make someone better at being a politician? She’s had real working experience that’s directly relevant to her portfolio. Which is more that can be said for, say, Nadine Dorries or Gavin Williamson.

To me she seems intelligent, hard working and motivated. So already streets ahead of our current prime minister.
 

Heathens

Member
Yep, for all the reasons that someone (i.e. me) might dislike Reeves, her having a PPE degree ain't one of them because that would just be pathetic.
 

mossy2103

Distinguished Member
It's an example of the insular nature of our political classes. Plus PPE, which is always a warning sign.
How come PPE is a warning sign? Seems OK according to this:

The first and most important thing to bear in mind is that PPE is a generalist’s degree. The flip side of covering three subjects (politics, philosophy and economics) is that you get less depth on any individual one. If you’re really set on getting as deep into economics as possible, for example, Cambridge Economics is probably a better bet (or Cambridge philosophy). On the other hand, you still do get quite a lot of depth––enough for graduate study. Moreover, the essence of PPE is the connections between all three subjects: a knowledge of the other disciplines helps with any single one. For example, many political judgments need both economic knowhow and a normative (philosophical) basis. Finally, if you don’t want as much breadth, in your second and third years you can choose to narrow down to just 2 of the 3 subjects.

PPE is also both fascinating and difficult because it needs essay-writing and quantitative ability. Moral philosophy or political theory are close to humanities and require facility with essays; formal logic or econometrics are quite mathematical. This can be an attraction, but is worth bearing in mind. Again, this also means you have to be comfortable with each, otherwise the degree might end up becoming a grind.


 

LakieLady

Distinguished Member
Rachel Reeves would never be the best chancellor we've ever had, but she'd be far from the worst. She's a big improvement on Annelise Dodds imo. Shadow ministers are never going to be as well-known as the ministers they shadow, because they're not responsible for govt policy and big decisions.

But this lot have their own share of nonentities imo. Oliver Dowden, for one. If he was a prefect at school, he'd have been out of his depth.
 

LakieLady

Distinguished Member
A warning sign that someone is interested in philosophy, politics and economics? I have no major issue with that. Why would a degree in English or Physics make someone better at being a politician? She’s had real working experience that’s directly relevant to her portfolio. Which is more that can be said for, say, Nadine Dorries or Gavin Williamson.

To me she seems intelligent, hard working and motivated. So already streets ahead of our current prime minister.

And generally sober, too.
 

VladTheImpeller

Distinguished Member
PPE seems to be the media studies for posh kids, it's the degree you go for when you don't have the ability for a 'real' degree before you become something to do with politics
 

Mesostim

Well-known Member
GMB this morning had the Shadow Chancellor on, Rachel Reeves I think her name was.

View attachment 1676003
I commented to my other half, I have never heard of her or even recognised her face. Labour has a bunch of well-known women MPs some of which love the TV camera (looking at you Emily Thornberry), yet this one could have hidden in a crowd of one.

Makes me wonder how many other front benchers on all sides are basically un-known to the populace. I assume most Lib-Dems are unknown, as I don't even know who the Leader is.
The more you get to know Reeves the less likable she becomes. Her total hostility to benefit claimants is certainly going to come back to haunt her.
 

Judge Mental

Well-known Member
The more you get to know Reeves the less likable she becomes. Her total hostility to benefit claimants is certainly going to come back to haunt her.
Any version of the Labour Party in power is going to be less hostile to benefit claimants than the current shower so I’m not going to get too exercised until I see what their policies are going to be. At present she is trying to concentrate on showing that Labour would be economically responsible because that’s the perceived weakness that the Tories will try to exploit.
 

iwb100

Distinguished Member
And yet there have been several reports that she is the front bencher Tories in the current government fear the most…..
 

Mesostim

Well-known Member
Any version of the Labour Party in power is going to be less hostile to benefit claimants than the current shower so I’m not going to get too exercised until I see what their policies are going to be. At present she is trying to concentrate on showing that Labour would be economically responsible because that’s the perceived weakness that the Tories will try to exploit.
Au contraire ... Rachel Reeves specifically promised to be tougher on benefits than the Tories... which isn't a good look right now.


There was a potential Labour government that would have looked after those on benefits.... but oh no... had to be Johnson's lot instead.
 

Judge Mental

Well-known Member
Au contraire ... Rachel Reeves specifically promised to be tougher on benefits than the Tories... which isn't a good look right now.


There was a potential Labour government that would have looked after those on benefits.... but oh no... had to be Johnson's lot instead.
Well there was a context to those comments, made almost ten years ago when she replaced Liam Byrne (of the ‘no money left’ note). The context was very high support being polled for Tories policies on cutting the benefits bill before the impact of ten years austerity could be seen.

What we don’t know yet is what Labour policy on benefits will be going into the next election but we are now in a different context where benefits aren’t keeping pace with inflation in food and energy costs so I think the tone and actual policies will reflect a different context.
 

iwb100

Distinguished Member
Au contraire ... Rachel Reeves specifically promised to be tougher on benefits than the Tories... which isn't a good look right now.


There was a potential Labour government that would have looked after those on benefits.... but oh no... had to be Johnson's lot instead.
If we ignore that this was 8, yes eight years ago and in a very different climate.

What she actually was saying that people who turn down solid employment offers wouldn’t be able to stay on job seeking benefits. And this was in conjunction with a government backed guaranteed jobs scheme Labour were piloting.

But of course in identity politics world that doesn’t matter. It’s just the fact that she merely uttered words to suggest Labour were courting the votes of working people…
 

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