Independent or simply refugees?
At the time of writing, 11 MPs have joined the Independent Group: eight from Labour and three from the Conservatives.
They haven’t yet formed a political party but they are a fascinating grouping who have little in common except starting off as Remainers. But have you noticed that there are seven women and just four men involved so far (63%, whereas Parliament as a whole is 32% female. That’s a big difference (although based on a small sample))? I think that there may be some significance in this. The leading drivers for Brexit have been men, some of them less-than-honourable men (and Theresa May). But also, I would conjecture that women are a bit less tribal and a bit better at working with ‘the other side’ than are men.
The three Tory women, Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston and Anna Soubry are, to my mind (as a Labour Party member remember) of a higher calibre than the eight Labour break-aways. They include two of the most impressive Conservative MPs in parliament and I am growing to like the feisty Anna Soubry too.
The grouping doesn’t have a huge amount of environmental expertise, but then, any 11 MPs plucked at random wouldn’t look any better, actually rather worse. And they look more like a group of refugees from oppression rather than a group of like-minded, like-thinking politicians.
I’ve just checked and see that my annual payment to Labour of £69 is due in late July. I’ll leave it for a while to see whether I want to remain a member or not, and whether I want to join any other party or not, or whether I will increase or decrease my annual payment. Five months is a very long time in politics – and the next five months will certainly be eventful.