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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

 

So, farewell then, Paul Marsden

Paul Marsden's announcement on this morning's Radio 4 Today programme that he was defecting back to the Labour Party was quite bizarre (a view shared by James Oates in his posting earlier today).

You can listen to the interview online
here (which the BBC amusingly prefaced with an archive recording of the interview Marsden originally gave when he left Labour).

You may recall that, when Marsden switched from Labour to the Liberal Democrats, he was spectacularly rude about Alistair Campbell. In this morning's interview, he went out of his way to praise Campbell on the grounds that "he raises a lot of money for a lot of good causes".

Marsden performed with all the spontaneity of a speak-your-weight machine but, despite sounding completely scripted, denied that his appearance had been managed by the Labour Party. His line was virtually identical that of the Labour luvvies who wrote a
letter to the Observer on Sunday - "angry about the war... blah, blah... but the only choice is between Labour and the Tories... blah, blah... if you don't vote Labour, Michael Howard will get in... blah, blah..."

Given that Marsden is not contesting this election, it is difficult to see what he could possibly gain from this humiliating public display. He will have done the Liberal Democrats no harm at all by leaving and his pathetic performance is unlikely to persuade any anti-war voters to switch back to Labour. If this is the best Alan Milburn can do, then Labour's campaign is in trouble.

Marsden was a thorough embarrassment during his brief time as a Liberal Democrat MP and the party is well rid of him.


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