Labour MPs "caught red-handed" sharing quotes


In the old New Labour days it was sometimes said that party bosses trusted their MPs so little they even wrote identical press releases for them. All the keen backbencher had to do was to insert his or her name between the phrase "local MP" and "said".

But that was then. These days Labour has cast aside the old control freak tendencies associated with its tenure of Millbank Tower. Or has it?

A press release on pensions arrived this morning from Welsh Labour HQ in the name of the Llanelli MP, Nia Griffith, Owen Smith's deputy in the shadow Wales Office team. "Once again," said Ms Griffith, "Ministers have been caught with their hands in pensioners' pockets."

If that sounded familiar, it was probably because the quotes were almost identical to those issued (on the same subject) by Owen Smith, yesterday. "Once again," said Mr Smith, "Ministers have been caught with their hands in pensioners' pockets."

Ms Griffith said: "Ministers have been caught red-handed hiding the truth on pensions reforms."

Mr Smith said: "Ministers have been caught red-handed hiding the truth on pensions reforms."

The only differences in the quotes are down to the inclusion of data for Mr Smith's constituency; Ms Griffith included data for Wales as a whole.

The main quote first appeared in a press release issued by Labour's pensions spokesman earlier this month - as reported in The Independent two weeks ago. All further sightings gratefully received.

Great minds thinking alike? A powerful display of on-message unity from Labour? Or have they been caught red-handed - and presumably a little red-faced?

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Just to confuse things with a few facts
    The House of Commons expenses row was about MPs filing false claims.
    The House of Lords appears to believe that its members are gentlemen, and does not seek, or record, details of what the expenses relate to. It is not clear that there are any rules.
    Whilst few could have greater distaste for another bunch of politicians, I don't know of major fraud by AMs

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    You could say the same about the House of Lords. EXPENSES.!! Wasn't there an expenses row in Westminster recently or is that different because they are in London and they are the good guys

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Inactive sloths? The sloth only sleeps 10 hours a day, the Koala sleeps for 18. The average AM sleeps for 23 using the other hour to file expenses.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Alfsplace (16)

    Alf. Totally agree with you ! The 5 years additional worktime before your wife can retire is all happening way too fast

    It appears that all this equality/work extension malarky has been hurried and ill thought out

    My wife was due to retire back in Dec 2011 now has to wait until Sept 2013.

    Still, that's nowhere near as bad as your wife's compulsory 5 year work "extension"

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    #11 it could be the £66k jobs for the assistants that will have that money and why does he say that the money is for 40 PCSO;s when Carwyn was trumpeting the provision of 500 last year for this year!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Digressing again you are lucky Cross my wife is 60 next year she will now have to wait until 2018 to reach Pensionable age. Now that is an injustice if ever there was one. So who are the unlucky ones. She has another 5 years to wait. So work it out they are not gaining anything. By the way I am of those already on State Benefits.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Thanks for the caution Boxer. Rugby League for the Saga generation. Having watched Leeds and Hunslet tussle for the RL championship at Elland Road in 1938?39, I think I am qualified to join the fray.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    #12 No problems, Punter. This is Rugby League for the Saga generation. If you don't pick up a yellow card occasionally, you aren't sufficiently committed.
    BTW if you say a poster is a cretin, you will probably get moderated. If you say a comment is cretinous, you tend to get away with it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Ahh Pension reforms

    EVERY current OAP plus EVERYONE unlucky enough to become an OAP BEFORE April 2017 will receive the present basic pension of £107 a week.

    ALL those who become OAPs AFTER April 2017 will receive £144 a week (plus £11 expected inflation increase)
    Those unlucky £107 OAPs...WILL NOT receive any increase to £144 on April 2017

    Look out for the OAP riots... Near you soon !

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    My apologies Boxer. As an infrequent poster, I was unaware of the significance of hash marks and wrongly assumed that you were commenting on my response to Mab at 6.
    I regret the wording of the final sentence in my post

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    In keeping with the many and varied topics getting an airing, I'll digress onto Alun Michael's police precept increase and pose the question: is any of this going towards those grossly excessive Ammanford police station (standing empty) PFI bills? I expect his accompanying statement to be specific.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    #9 Dear me ! You ask me to read posts #6 and #7 carefully.You then inform me that 'active sloths' were Mab's words.
    If you were reading carefully, you would have noted that Mab's words were 'inactive sloths'. Also that my post #8 starts with '#6' signifying that I was commenting on Posting #6, which is Mab's.
    So, I wasn't sufficiently interested in your post #7 to comment.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    #6 As so often, I fail to understand your point: I admit some punctuation would help. But 'inactive sloths' ?? What other sort are there ?? You don't get sloths coming down the tree and playing open-side on Saturday afternoons. You might as well have said 'feline cats'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    #6 MB
    I suppose "jesters" is an improvement on your usual jibe of "anti-Welsh" but the "inactive sloths who make ill-informed clap-trap on this forum" come wholly from your side of the fence. No names, no packdrill.
    When this quixotic attempt to save Cardiff aerodrome goes pear shaped ( and it will) will CJ do the honourable thing and resign? Wiilieckaslike.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Why should politicians play by the rules when you see certain jesters on this forum's remarks. Agreed not all are bad who use their positions to further their bank balance and there are politicians who actually care about Wales hence the attempt to save our only national Airport from folding other than doing nothing like the inactive sloths who make ill informed clap trap on this forum daily.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    When Cameron's major speech on the EU was allegedly written by a former ice cream seller, who clearly knows as little about the EU as Cameron,

    can we really expect the rank and file snouts in the trough to think for themselves?

    Grunt once for yes or twice for no...

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Which is why you can't believe anything that comes from their mouths or prewritten replies. They are Politicians. They don't think for themselves. they get script writers to do it all for them. All they have to do is regurgitate it like sheep that they are. Don't forget one thing. WE put them there. Or at least some of us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    What chance when WAG buys Cardiff Airport that we will be told that the buying price and terms&conditions are commercially confidential from the people whose money it is viz US ??

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    #1 ' Never mind the alleged 'socialist' apparatchiks.'

    Tory or Labour: 'the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.'


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