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1:30pm on Saturday, 7th May, 2005:

Four MPs


I know four MPs. Of these, one knows me, too.

Here are their results from this week's election:

Dr Nick Palmer, Labour, Broxtowe
Returned with a majority of 2,296.
I know Nick (or Nicky, as he was always known) from 25 years ago when we were both involved in postal gaming. He's a good bloke. When he was younger, he had the look of someone with a mental disability, but he was very sharp and very good at gaming. He founded Flagship, the premier UK postal gaming magazine (to which I still subscribe). Nick is the one MP I know who definitely knows who I am (he'd recognise my name).

Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat, Colchester
Returned with a majority of 6,277.
I knew Bob when he was publicity information officer at Essex University. I don't think he knew me, though, although he might know my face (in the same sense that when you see someone in the street out of context, you know you know them but not immediately why). He's very good at (self) publicity, and has the best voting record of any MP in the House of Commons.

Bernard Jenkin, Conservative, Essex North
Returned with a majority of 10,903.
I've spoken to Bernard Jenkin, my local MP, perhaps twice. However, I'm just another constituency member to him. He's actually a decent bloke, as I mentioned the other day, although his rise through the Conservative ranks suffered when he backed the wrong horse (well, it was the right horse initially, but not now: he was campaign manager for Iain Duncan Smith).

Derek Wyatt, Labour, Sittingbourne and Sheppey
Returned with a majority of 79. Yes, that's 79.
I met Derek at an event last year for the top 100 Internet pioneers in the UK, and spent half an hour talking to him. He's an amiable old buffer until he gets onto politics, whereupon he switches into Labour MP politician mode and is nowhere near so much fun. He dismissed my suggestions that the Iraq war might hurt Labour, saying that it wasn't even in the top 20 things that constituents wrote to him about. I guess in the light of his majority he may revise his opinions now... If he doesn't stand down before the next election, he can expect to have his picture shown a lot on TV when it comes around, as his seat must now be one of the most vulnerable in the country. He may recognise me if we were to meet again; it depends on whether or not the free supplies of alcohol he was taking advantage of wiped the evening from his memory.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).