chapter  2
32 Pages

Allies and Adversaries

ByEmma Crewe

Challenging the assumptions and prejudices about MPs with a defence of politicians and party politics, this is also about the tribal identity that MPs arrive with, what parties stand for, and how MPs forge both friends and enemies across the House in their bid to make their mark as national representatives. The cultures of the political parties give female–male dynamics an extra twist. Labour has a long history of feminism, whereas it is only the 2010 intake of Conservative MPs – both male and female – who have brought women’s interests into their party discussions with vigour. Conservative, Labour and MPs will always disagree, but whenever Lib Dems speak about principle, both sides of the House rock with laughter. The hangover from the internal Labour battles in the 1980s–90s still supplies fodder for attack by other parties, renewed under the leadership of Ed Miliband, who is to the left of Blair, in the dual charge of class envy and naivety.