Thursday, April 14, 2005

Guess the Party

Just looking at the credentials of a prospective local MP.

Eleanor Blagbrough. Born 13.06.1976, Chertsey. Single. Educated at St Hilda's (all women) College, Oxford University and Harvard Business School. Currently a strategy consultant for a management consulting firm.

What do you think? Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Veritas? Nope, all wrong. She is a Labour candidate in the election who has a special interest in the NHS and affordable housing!! I assume she went to a private school where fees are over £3,000 per term as there is no mention of her secondary education on her profile. She went to the "elitist" Oxford University and the even more elitist Harvard. A true representative of Labour's core working class values I think.


lascivious said...

I have concerns that she is only 29, not long out of university. What possible life experience can she bring to parliament? Does she have her own opinions or just those of the whips? I bet within 2 years she will be a junior minister. A wise man once said "if you want to go into politics, get a job for 10 years outside politics before you even think about standing for election". There are too many people in politics still wet behind the ears. And before anyone accuses me of being an old fuddy duddy, I am younger than she is.

lascivious said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Snafu said...


I totally agree with you. Her life experiences to date are surely too remote from the experiences of the majority of people she wants to represent.

Snafu said...


I removed Lascivious' second comment as it was a repeat of the first!! I was not censoring him and wouldn't want to!!


lascivious said...

I only posted it once. strikes again!

Anonymous said...

Her election leaflet has just been posted through my door. At least its mostly to the point - which is more than you can say for Ann Lees(Lib Dem). My guess is she's serving her time in an unwinnable seat before getting parachuted into some all woman short list else where ... My bet is on a private education also.

Snafu said...

If you search google on her name and St.Hilda's you'll eventually find this about her...

St. Hilda's College
ELEANOR BLAGBROUGH, formerly of Guildford High School for Girls

Anonymous said...

The views posted here appear very cynical. Can any one person fully understand the views of all their constituents just from personal experience? To me, her background points to an ability to work hard and excel which must be a fine quality in any MP.

Snafu said...

Anonymous, there are two aspects to the cynicism you highlight. You are correct to say that it is very difficult for one person to ever represent all of their constituents. I recognise that but I am uneasy about her relatively junior age and limited life experiences to date. I also suggest that as a Labour candidate, it would be more appropriate for their candidates to have done "real" work or struggled at some point in their lives rather than be Management Consultants with a first class academic record. Otherwise they need many empathy skills as they tour the council estates!!

Secondly, you ignore the cynicism of her official Labour party biography. They were happy to trumpet her academic achievements at Oxford and Harvard, yet ignored her private secondary education by which she achieved such an illustrious CV.

I wish more children had the opportunity to have an education like Eleanor, unfortunately Labour scrapped the Assisted Places Scheme in their first Parliament. It gave some poorer children the same educational opportunities that Eleanor has enjoyed but whose parents were not as wealthy. Labour ensured that only wealthier parents can "guarantee" their children have a first rate education.

Meanwhile, the state system that Eleanor has presumably never experienced continues to fail children across the country. Rather than fix this, Labour have tried to mask the problem by restricting University access for privately educated children with quotas to ensure a "level playing field".

Anonymous said...

I think your comments are interesting. Eleanor does have a privileged educational background but, in standing to be a labour MP, she indicates a desire to use this background to improve the living standards of others.
To preclude her from doing this because of her background will disadvantage the very people who would most benefit from the creative problem solving ability she no doubt brings to the table.
Not having experienced something directly does not prevent you learning about it, analyzing the underlying causes for the problems and proposing creative solutions. Reference to her lack of experience of the state school system without pointing to the experience she has of working to improve the National Health Service again only tells half the story.

Snafu said...

"Working to improve the National Health Service" is a noble goal and I wish her well. However, who are the improvements aimed at? I hope the improvements are aimed at the ultimate consumer, the general public, who require elective and emergency treatments rather than improvements for the Unionised employees, both doctors through the BMA and nurses through UNISON. I note that Eleanor is a member of Amicus so am clear whether her creative or radical solutions are bounded by the potential impact on unionised staff. Does she believe in national pay bargaining when hospitals face different skills shortages in different areas?

I cannot help but think that working on improvements to the current NHS is similar to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Fundamental, "creative" solutions need to be found, Labour thankfully seem to be slowly moving in the right direction, at least in England, by throwing political doctrine to the wind and encouraging an internal market where funds follow patient choice. This needs to be encouraged further by allowing private companies to compete for ever increasing levels of the services that the NHS currently provides. Ultimately, this could mean job losses in the NHS and the closure of inefficient hopsitals as patients provide market feedback based on price and quality of care. Unfortunately, I don't believe Labour will ever take this step, as a result, regardless of any improvements Eleanor makes, the NHS will continue to swallow more and more public funding.

Matt Davies said...


I ran as candidate for UKIP against MS Blagbrough. Throw a few rocks at me if you want. I am only 31 and have been working in computers since I left an ex-polytechnic.

She seemed a very pleasant young lady, but just like the other two old parties, she stuck rigidly to the party line. We only had one hustings and not one person asked a question on Iraq, ID cards, or anything else that I would deem important.

She is a good looking girl too, so I fully expect her to be leading Labour one day. Indeed it wouldn't surprise me that she will be head of state, when we are the United States Or Europe.