the Disillusioned kid: Bye Bye Bill
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bye Bye Bill

Due to constraints on my time and a general disinterest, I haven't written much (if anything) about the results of last Thursday's elections. One tit-bit which may be of interest to regular readers is the fall and rise of "Busy Bill" Rammell who was until the election, in John Pilger's words,"the junior Foreign Office minister responsible, it seems, for most of the planet", a remit which included the Chagos Archipelago (known to the British Government and almost nobody else as the British Indian Ocean Territory) and also Uzbekistan, both recurring interests of this blog.

Rammell was the MP for Harlow, but came within a hair's breadth of losing his seat. The constituency was the last to declare, not doing so until lunchtime on the Saturday, 38 hours after polls had closed. The lateness of the declaration was a result of just how close the contest had been. Rammell came within 97 votes of losing and there had to be three recounts. Interestingly his victory seems to be attributable to the decision of Respect candidate Jim Rogers, who had previously been a Labour Party official and councillor, to withdraw at the last minute.

In the aftermath of his victory, Rammell was promoted in Blair's Cabinet reshuffle to the position of Minister of State (Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education), which certainly sounds very impressive. I'm not entirely sure who's going to be succeeding him at the Foreign Office, although it looks like the position may have been filled by Lord Triesman, whoever he is...

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