Monday, March 23, 2009

Ernest Millington and the Association of Former MPs

A recent discovery of mine is the website of the Association of Former Members of Parliament, which is hosted by ePolitix.

The plight of former MPs is not one to attract public sympathy, but they can have a hard time. In a Guardian article in 2004 Michael White quoted Joe Ashton:
"It's not like losing your job in a factory, when everyone loses their job and rallies round. You may be living in a rural area, no contacts, no way to keep in touch. You can be lonely and isolated, your kids may be slagged off at school or even taken out of private school if you're a Tory. If you claim benefit the local paper gets to hear about it."
And White went on to say:
When Labour was defeated in 1979, 38 ex-MPs had not found a job after a year. In 1997 it was the Tories' turn: 126 lost their seats. Familiar stories of depression and drink, debt and divorce, began circulating.
One of the purposes of the Association is to help people in this position.

Its website includes free PDF copies of its newsletter. The most recent of these - Spring 2009 - includes an article about Ernest Millington, the last former MP alive who was elected before the 1945 general election.

There is more about Millington on Wikipedia, and he published his memoirs, Was That Really Me?, a few years ago.

The article in the Association of Former MPs' website is written by Roy Roebuck, who Labour MP for Harrow East between 1966 and 1970 before being defeated by Hugh Dykes.

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